Vergennes Union High School Teacher to Receive Educator Award

first_imgA Vergennes Union High School teacher who has inspiredstudents for 22 years has been named Vermont’s humanities educator of theyear for 2006. The Vermont Humanities Council has chosen RobertaSteponaitis, a teacher of history and geography, to receive its annualVictor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award. The award is the fourth givenout by VHC since inaugurating the award in 2003.”Roberta Steponaitis is the teacher they [students] will remember when theythink back to their high school days, as having made a pivotal difference intheir lives,” said Dr. Carol Spencer, Director of Curriculum and StaffDevelopment of the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union, in her nominationletter. “She touches the lives of the students she meets in a personal andinfluential way.”Vermont Humanities Council Chair Melissa Hersh will present the award atVHC’s Fall Conference, “Setting as Character: Vermont’s Landscape, Stories,and Sense of Place,” November 4 at the Killington Grand Hotel in Killington.The ceremony will take place at 8:30 a.m. and will include a presentation ofa $1,000 check to Ms. Steponaitis.VHC created the award to recognize a Vermont educator on an annual basis andto honor Victor R. Swenson, the Council’s first executive director. Theaward is given to a Vermont educator in grades 6 through 12 who exemplifiesexcellence in the teaching of the humanities.Steponaitis has taught at Vergennes Union High School since 1984. Duringthose 22 years, she has taught at the middle and high school levels,offering courses in US History, global religions, world cultures, civics,and current events.She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in 1982and her Masters of Education from the University of Phoenix in Arizona in2005. She will complete her PhD at the University of Phoenix in 2008.Says Spencer, “I believe that the spirit of inquiry that she fosters in herstudents clearly represents the spirit that the Victor Swenson HumanitiesEducator Award celebrates.”Steponaitis encourages her students to use primary resources to investigatethe lives of historical people. She founded the Otter Creek Basin StudentHistory Club to encourage passion about local, state, and national historyin her students. And she takes her students to museums and reenactmentsthroughout the region. Her students have earned many local, state, andnational awards.”Ms. Steponaitis’s . . . commitment to bringing history alive for herstudents has given two generations of students a stronger sense of belongingto a place in history,” notes Spencer. “She helps students to becomescholars. . . . She inspires students to aspire more highly in their lives.She reaches out and taps them on the shoulder and says, ‘you would be goodat this history project. Come on. Give it a try.’ For so many kids, that isall it takes to get them involved, and to help them make a commitment todeeper engagement in their schooling.”For more information about the award, contact the Vermont Humanities Councilat info@vermonthumanities.org(link sends e-mail) or 802.262.2626, or visitwww.vermonthumanities.org(link is external).The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring thepower and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters – of everybackground and in every community. The Council envisions a state in whichevery individual learns throughout life – a state in which all its citizensread, reflect, and participate in public affairs.last_img read more

Broome County facing $18 million deficit

first_imgCoronavirus numbers: County Economy: He says the projected deficit is a result of declining sales tax revenue. The victims were two males in their 80s and one female in their 90s. The total number of deaths is 28. Broome County is reporting three more deaths from COVID-19 Wednesday. However, the county executive says he is hopeful for economic recovery due to the House of Representatives passing a stimulus package that includes aid to local governments. For a map detailing where cases are located, click here. 259 people recovered from the virus. In total, 377 cases have been reported. However, he says frustrated the previous three packages did not. Broome County May 13 coronavirus update: (WBNG) — Broome County Executive Jason Garnar announced Wednesday the county is facing a projected $18 million deficit.last_img read more

A new tourist package focused on eco-tourism was tested in the Kornati National Park

first_imgSix international eco-tourism experts from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Italy and Spain spent the past week getting to know the Kornati National Park and its surroundings in a completely new context.Instead of the classic tourism we are used to, they got to know the nature, culture and tradition of this protected area. Talks with representatives of the local community, introduction to beekeeping and olive growing, sage processing and a gastronomic workshop with chef Vjeko Bašić from the Bob tavern are just some of the activities that are part of the new tourist package “Escape from Civilization”, which experts came to try as tourists. to rate.The experts spent the first day of their trip exploring Šibenik, and the next two days they discovered the beauties of Murter, including the Betina Wooden Shipbuilding Museum, the Murter Homeland Collection, the Colentum Archaeological Site and the Church of St. Roka. Part of the Murter part of the tour was diving, but also the gastro-workshop of chef Vjeko Bašić, who can boast of a Michelin recommendation and his colleague, Ante Božikov, owner of the Kornati restaurant “Opat”.After setting out to sea in a wooden boat – leuta, for three days the experts got acquainted with the tradition of beekeeping, olive growing and the construction of dry stone walls. Their host, Slobodan Skračić, told them the original Kornati story, about the Kornati as they once were, but also the values ​​that today represent exceptional beauty and cause peace and contentment.Upon their return to Murter, they met the creative artist Ned Juran, and together with her made beautiful souvenirs from the flooded material and a reminder of a wonderful journey through space and time. “Tourism as an opportunity, not a threat to the preservation of nature and heritage is the idea behind this project. This is certainly possible, but it requires a completely different approach to both the organization of the offer and the guest and that is what we seem to have managed to achieve here. The local community together with Park and WWF created this offer through the DestiMED project, experts have tested it, and we hope that this product after the final evaluation will get the green light to promote and enter the market. These are small groups of tourists with minimal impact on the environment, and a direct economic contribution to the local population because all income remains in the local community. We see this offer as a strong counterbalance to mass tourism that tramples both nature and local heritage.“, Comments Mosor Prvan, DestiMED project manager from WWF Adria.”The recommendations we received from our testers who tested the prepared eco-package in the fall of 2017 helped us to make the eco-tour even better together with colleagues from WWF Adria, Šibenik Plus Travel Agency and experts from Greenspot Travel, and to encourage other stakeholders to get involved. According to the first reactions of the testers, participants in the “refreshed” tour, we are convinced that this attractive package will soon be ready for the market. We believe that this will be an incentive for other tourism workers to embark on similar eco-tours, and we from the Park Administration will always have support,“Points out Martina Markov from JU NP Kornati.”The potential of this program is told by the smiles of the guests, who became a Kurnat family, who shared thousands of photos on social networks, who still left a part of themselves on the Kurnats after coming home. Isn’t that the point of it all ?? This is a program of sustainable, Mediterranean eco-tourism, without the masks of civilization and rich in authentic experiences. This is a unique opportunity to meet real people and live a different, healthier, smarter life. This program is intended for “new” tourists, travelers who are increasingly looking for an original experience during the trip. The potential is huge.”Concluded Tina Vickov, owner of the Šibenik Plus Tourist Agency, holder of the“ Golden Bowl ”award for excellence before the tourist agencies of the Šibenik-Knin County.The development and testing of eco-tours is part of the DestiMED project implemented in Croatia by WWF Adria, and financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG MED program. In addition to the Kornati National Park, the project is also being implemented in the Lastovo Islands Nature Park. More about the project at https://destimed.interreg-med.eu/ .last_img read more

Anti-Semitism rears head in debate

first_imgRecently, an audio was released of a black politician in Washington, D.C., discussing the weather with a friend. He stated that “the Jews control the weather.” I hope that was in jest, bad humor – like what you see on Saturday Night Live. No one really believes it — right? Rothschild gold at it again. It fits with what Rev. Louis Farrakhan says about Jews.I will try to make sense of it. God, the father of Jesus (via immaculate conception), used a Jewish girl, Mary, as a vessel of life to bring forth a savior. Being Jesus was half Jewish and his father is God, that’s the connection to the Jews controlling the weather. God controls everything.It’s not the Jews; it’s not global warming. It’s God. Blame it on “him.” Oh yes, Christ isn’t Jesus’ last name; that’s what he became on the cross – the Christ. The sky darkened, the earth moved, the wind blew. This was God doing the weather, again.The black politician in D.C. was sort of right, The reverend is all wrong. Being stupid is excusable. Being evil is unforgivable. God is not a Jew.Edmond DayRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Planning

first_imgOne might think that all is quiet in the south-west in the middle of winter, with few tourists around and few planning questions to be answered.This is far from the truth. Many planning issues have been raised recently in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. For example, Restormel Council is facing a fight over planning permission, which was issued for a retail park and then converted into permission for a factory outlet centre. There has been a long-running battle with the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. It appears that the DETR may have won the day and there will possibly be an inquiry.In Somerset, a proposal for an animal carcass incinerator has been thrown out by a planning inspector. The incinerator was considered an intrusion on the Countryside, despite the fact that there was an existing permission for a pet food factory on the site. The county is also on the shortlist to win a prize. The Piggeries housing scheme in Frome has been nominated for the Royal Town Planning Institute’s annual award for schemes of great merit.Village housing development proposals are always a controversial issue in the south-west. Recently, an inspector allowed a new housing development in Restormel. Since it was within the village envelope, provided affordable housing and was well designed, it was approved –even though the decision resulted in the housing allocation being exceeded.In Devon, an appeal by Lidl for a new discount food store in Tavistock was recently dismissed. The proposed scheme was for the redevelopment of a motor showroom and service garage to provide a 929 sq m (10,000 sq ft) store. The key issue was the adverse impact on Tavistock Town Centre, particularly the Co-op store, which had already been affected by a new Safeway store.As convenience shopping plays an important role in the town centre, it was considered that if the Co-op closed, it would have a strong impact. It was accepted that there were no other sites in or on the edge of the town centre. The inspector decided that the lack of accessibility, particularly for the rural catchment area – together with the potentially adverse effect on the town centre – was sufficient to dismiss the appeal.Tourism is important to the economy of the south-west and this industry has a number of recurring planning issues. For example, the use of farm buildings and cottages for holiday lets. Occasionally, a planning authority is reluctant to allow a change of use from agriculture to residential, and sometimes the loss of permanent residential to holiday lets and hotels is resisted.Access to many parts of the south-west is one of the main deterrents to new development. As a result, some of the food superstore chains have been reluctant to move further west until their distribution network is viable.last_img read more

DTZ stubs out Imperial fight

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Govt to work with ‘kos-kosan’ start-up Mamikos in pre-employment card program

first_imgDenni expected the participants would be able to draw ideas from living and exploring a new city and take such inspiration back to their hometown to set up a business, among other examples.“It will create an ecosystem of learning and exchanging ideas,” she said.The skills gap has become a real problem in the country’s workforce as the education system has failed to produce graduates with the skills needed by industry.A 2018 study by the McKinsey Global Institute and the World Bank predicted there would be a shortage of 9 million skilled and semiskilled workers in the digital sector in Indonesia between 2015 and 2030. Currently, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data reveals that 6.24 percent of the country’s 6.82 million unemployed individuals are university graduates. The unemployment rate for graduates of vocational schools, which train students for specific jobs, is most alarming at 8.63 percent of the workforce in February 2019, followed by high school graduates at 6.78 percent.Topics : Jobseekers may soon find it easier to find a place to stay when they take vocational classes under the pre-unemployment card program outside their hometown, following the government’s latest partnership, a presidential official has said. The Presidential Office (KSP) special economy advisor Denni Puspa Purbasari said after a public discussion on Tuesday that the government would help promote kos-kosan (rooming houses) from the listing application Mamikos to ease housing access for pre-employment card recipients.“We have also urged investors behind Mamikos to invest more in acquiring residential houses and maybe turning them into like mini-Airbnb properties,” she said. She expressed the hope that such schemes would entice applicants in less centralized regencies to apply for the program in groups and rent the kos-kosan before they take classes at the learning centers.The pre-employment cards aim to help job seekers by granting them access to training as the government seeks to address the nation’s shortage of skilled workers. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration has allocated Rp 10.3 trillion (US$752.24 million) for the program this year. Read also: ‘It will be like Go-Food’: Jobseekers in Java to get pre-employment cards in AprilThe training program’s costs were estimated to be between Rp 3 million and Rp 7 million for each pre-employment cardholder, which includes a Rp 500,000 monthly meal allowancelast_img read more

BLOG: As the Snow Thaws, Prepare for Possible Flooding

first_imgBLOG: As the Snow Thaws, Prepare for Possible Flooding By: Rick Flinn, Director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency PSA,  The Blog,  Weather Safety This week, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) reminded Pennsylvanians to monitor their local forecasts for possible flooding due to snow melt and rain.Widespread river flooding is not currently forecast. However, several waterways will move into the action or minor flood stage, with the chance for one or two to move into moderate flooding.Since flooding can occur with little or no notice, all Pennsylvanians need to remain vigilant. Families should have emergency plans in place for getting out of their neighborhood and maintaining contact with other family members in case flooding occurs when they’re not together.Pennsylvanians can also protect their homes from flooding by clearing the drains around their home, including roof gutters, drain inlets, downspouts, pipes and drainage ditches. If you can, clear nearby storm drains from snow, leaves, or debris — clogged drains can create a back-up of water, which can cause local flooding.Drivers should also be aware of flood warning signs and traffic control devices that warn of flooded areas. To help ensure safety for motorists and emergency responders alike, state law mandates that motorists who drive around or through signs or traffic control devices closing a road or highway due to hazardous conditions will have two points added to their driving records and be fined up to $250. Penalties are higher if emergency responders are called to rescue motorists who disregard warning signs.The commonwealth’s ReadyPA campaign encourages citizens to take three basic steps before an emergency occurs: Be Informed, Be Prepared, Be Involved. More detailed information, including free downloadable emergency home and car kit checklists and emergency plan templates, is available online at ReadyPA.org. The free ReadyPA app is also available for both Apple and Android devices.With the possibility for flooding in the near future, Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller reminded consumers about their options for flood insurance coverage at an event yesterday in Hershey.Some Pennsylvania homeowners may be facing steeply rising premiums under the federal government’s flood insurance program, and re-drawn Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps have placed many properties in flood zones that had not been there before,However, many homeowners can get private market flood coverage — in many cases at substantial savings as compared to the federal government coverage.The Insurance Department announced the creation of a new webpage, providing a one-stop shop for information on flood insurance available to Pennsylvania homeowners and renters. You can view the new webpage here. February 03, 2016center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

Governor Wolf to Delegation: Federal Cuts Will Hurt Pennsylvanians

first_img Economy,  Education,  National Issues,  Press Release,  Public Health,  Seniors,  Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – As the federal government rushes to complete a spending bill or continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown, Governor Tom Wolf is asking Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation to put their constituents above the pressure of the President and congressional leaders to make deep cuts to important programs that could hurt Pennsylvanians.In a letter to the delegation, Governor Wolf outlined how the proposed cuts would hurt their constituents, especially students, seniors, workers, the poor and those seeking treatment for addiction.“Opposing the President’s proposed reductions for the remainder of this fiscal year is especially critical because in many cases they would lock in the disastrous Budget Blueprint, which would slash $54 billion in federal support to states including particularly the social programs which help Americans access healthcare and education benefits,” Governor Wolf wrote. “The Budget Blueprint, which was announced in mid-March, shocked members of both parties in the degree to which its cuts were targeted at Americans who can least afford them.“The President seems intent on waging war on those who are struggling, especially in rural communities, who will disproportionately feel the effect of his proposed cuts. On behalf of these constituents and all Pennsylvania residents I call upon the Pennsylvania delegation to show a unified front in opposing these changes.”The remainder of the governor’s letter includes an extensive analysis of how the proposed cuts would hurt Pennsylvanians and local communities, including cutting education, community and economic development funding and health and human services, attacks on our youngest and oldest, preventing laid-off workers from accessing job training services, killing jobs in the manufacturing sector, reducing funding for transportation infrastructure, leaving Pennsylvanians out in the cold, harming rural communities, defunding coal communities, and crippling environmental protection.Read full text of the letter below. You can also view the letter on Scribd and as a PDF.Dear Representative:I am writing to share my major concerns with the $18 billion in reductions proposed by the Trump Administration for the remainder of the 2017 federal fiscal year. The cuts proposed by the President—like those first proposed in his Budget Blueprint for 2018—will hurt all Pennsylvanians, but will be especially painful to our constituents for whom government support means the most — young people, new mothers, the elderly, those receiving mental health services, and individuals struggling with addiction or other disease.As Governor, I have focused on four key priorities to move the commonwealth forward: improving the quality of our education system by ensuring adequate funding; addressing the ravages of the heroin and opioid epidemic by ensuring the availability of excellent treatment; improving the economy while creating good paying middle class jobs; and making sure our senior citizens are treated with the respect they have earned.Unfortunately, the reductions proposed by the President via the Office of Management and Budget will set the commonwealth back in each of these areas. As you will likely be considering either a Continuing Resolution or an Omnibus Appropriations Bill in the coming days, which may include some of the President’s requested cuts, I would like to highlight the significant negative effects these cuts will have on programs which Pennsylvania residents depend on for critical services.Opposing the President’s proposed reductions for the remainder of this fiscal year is especially critical because in many cases they would lock in the disastrous Budget Blueprint, which would slash $54 billion in federal support to states including particularly the social programs which help Americans access healthcare and education benefits. The Budget Blueprint, which was announced in mid-March, shocked members of both parties in the degree to which its cuts were targeted at Americans who can least afford them. The President seems intent on waging war on those who are struggling, especially in rural communities, who will disproportionately feel the effect of his proposed cuts. On behalf of these constituents and all Pennsylvania residents I call upon the Pennsylvania delegation to show a unified front in opposing these changes.The list which follows is not exhaustive, but represents a sample of the many cuts which would have an immediate negative affect on our constituents. Should you have any questions, or if you would like further detail about the effect of any of the cuts detailed below, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.Cuts to EducationAs Governor, I have made investments in Pennsylvania schools a top priority and have worked with the General Assembly to secure an historic $640 million increase in education funding since coming to office. The President’s reductions would reverse this progress by cutting nearly $3 billion from the budget of the U.S. Department of Education as a precursor to $9 billion in cuts proposed for 2018 in the Budget Blueprint.The Pennsylvania Department of Education estimates that under the Blueprint, Pennsylvania schools would lose $443 million in federal funding for education programs, services, and research. Under the approach recommended by the President for this year and carried through in the 2018 proposal, Pennsylvania’s local education agencies would lose more than $132 million in Title II, Part A funding (cut by $1.2 billion in the President’s proposed reduction, and eliminated altogether in the 2018 proposal). This funding supports staffing, professional development, and recruitment/retention efforts for educators. The loss of these vital resources would create a significant burden and unfunded mandate for local education agencies and the state as it attempts to comply with new federal requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and would exacerbate existing achievement gaps between historically underserved students and their peers.In addition, Pennsylvania would lose more than $36 million in federal funding for afterschool and out-of-school programs under the proposed elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21 CCLC) Program. This program serves nearly 50,000 children and youth across Pennsylvania every year, and provides important economic and community benefits by offering working parents and families the reassurance of safe, engaging learning spaces beyond the traditional school day.Cuts to Funding Our Communities Depend OnFederal funding which is passed through to communities for local infrastructure and services is critical to keeping Pennsylvania communities strong. Two key federal programs which serve this purpose are the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG), both of which are administered in Pennsylvania by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). I suspect that every member of the delegation can name projects and programs in their district which they are proud of or had a hand in creating, which were funded by these programs. Both are on the chopping block in the 2018 Budget Blueprint and would be slashed if the President’s 2017 proposal is adopted.The President proposes cutting funding to CDBG by $1.494 billion this year, ahead of the program’s total elimination in 2018. Pennsylvania’s total potential loss with the elimination of the program would be $169,582,362 based on 2016 allocations. The commonwealth’s allocation of CDBG funds has already been reduced by 35% since 2010. CDBG funds flow to local communities to allow them to address community infrastructure needs, particularly in low income communities and rural areas. These funds are used to make investments in important public facilities and infrastructure including senior centers, homeless shelters, parks and recreation facilities, and fire equipment. These public facilities are important gathering places and community civic centers which in many cases would not have been possible without support from this program.The President has also requested a $306 million cut to CSBG for the remainder of this year, which would then be completely eliminated in 2018. Last year, DCED received and distributed $50 million in CSBG funds to designated community action agencies serving some of Pennsylvania’s neediest communities. These funds are used to tackle the causes and conditions of poverty through a long list of community engagement activities including employment training; community stakeholder collaboration; literacy programs; housing supports; addressing the needs of youth through programming and coordination; and increased engagement in community planning and improvement activities. The block grant has a tremendous return on investment, with every dollar spent leveraging nearly $17 from other federal, state, local and private sources.Health and Human Services CutsAnother cornerstone of my administration has been improving access to healthcare for all Pennsylvanians, including particularly residents with special needs including our newborns, the elderly and those with intellectual or other disabilities. The Trump proposals will negatively impact these populations in numerous ways. In addition, the administration’s attacks on women’s reproductive health care put women, especially in rural and underserved communities, at risk of having extremely limited access to essential, and often lifesaving, health services.The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, which the President would slash by $100 million, or roughly 20%, supports a variety of community-based mental health programs and services—including priority treatment for individuals without health coverage, services for adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbance—in every one of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. In 2015-2016, 46,134 Pennsylvania residents received services funded with the Block Grant. The proposed cuts would force Pennsylvania to substantially curtail services and programs that depend on this funding almost immediately. This would result in a significant number of individuals losing access to the mental health services and supports they depend on.The President has also proposed the elimination of the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIPs), which the Department of Aging uses—through a program called APPRISE—to do proactive outreach to seniors to counsel them on Medicare options. With a grant of $2.1 million which would be eliminated under the President’s proposal, the APPRISE program helped serve 345,484 clients in Pennsylvania in the 2015-16 fiscal year alone.Additionally, the President’s proposed cuts also include major reductions to several public health funding sources, including National Institute of Health research grants ($1.232 billion reduction proposed); the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program ($50 million reduction proposed); CDC Public Health Program ($50 million reduction proposed). Pennsylvania schools and research universities, as well as community-based organizations and health research systems, receive funds through these programs, which help promote better health and related outcomes for students, families, and communities throughout the commonwealth.In recent years, the expansion of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act has enabled Pennsylvania’s Departments of Health, Aging, and Human Services to address larger lifespan health issues by expanding home visitation programs, proactively reaching out to enroll seniors in Medicare, implementing mentoring programs for adolescents, integrating greater injury prevention work, and beginning behavioral health screenings. The proposed cuts to health and human services would jeopardize the forward progress we have made in ensuring Pennsylvanians have access to the care they need and will greatly reduce health outcomes among Pennsylvania’s young, elderly and most vulnerable populations.Attacks on Our Youngest and OldestBoth the 2017 requested reductions and the President’s 2018 Budget Blueprint significantly cut funding to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In Pennsylvania, since 1974 WIC has provided nutrition and health services to low-income women, expecting mothers, and children. Over 230,000 Pennsylvanians are currently enrolled in WIC and receiving vital family health and nutrition benefits. The proposed $200 million cut proposed in the revision is roughly equal to what Pennsylvania received through the program in 2016. Recipients of WIC funding must meet specified eligibility requirements, including that their income be no more than 185% of the federal poverty level, meaning that these cuts are targeted exclusively at low-income mothers and their children.For decades, the AmeriCorps and Senior Corp programs have provided a pathway for generations of lower to middle income youth to employment through post-secondary education or vocational training, and offered assistance to older residents seeking volunteer opportunities or a path to reenter the workforce. The cuts to these programs would mean that approximately 13,000 Pennsylvania Senior Corp volunteers will not receive this assistance — support that helps keep our senior residents engaged with their community and provides modest stipends to help offset basic living needs. In addition, nearly $10 million in annual AmeriCorps funding for Pennsylvania currently supports 1,362 AmeriCorps members, who help coordinate nearly 16,000 volunteers. This network mentors nearly 4,000 at-risk students, assists 924 veterans and their families, and serves 30,153 disadvantaged children and youth. Other AmeriCorps initiatives include literacy programs, college advising, youth reengagement programs, after-school and interscholastic programs, youth service programs, and support for pre-K-12 grade educators.The President also proposes to eliminate funding for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). In an unusually uncaring comment explaining why this program should be eliminated, the President’s Office of Management and Budget notes that with “costs of almost $6,500 per participant [SCSEP] is not a cost-effective mechanism to provide community service opportunities to older adults.” Clearly OMB misunderstands the purpose of this program, which pairs unemployed low income adults (income of less than $14,850 for family of one) who are 55-years and older, with part-time subsidized employment opportunities serving the community, thereby improving their well-being, and preparing them to re-enter the job market. Last year SCSEP helped older residents in every county of Pennsylvania receive job training which helped successfully place older adults in the workforce. SCSEP is the only federal workforce program designed specifically to assist this vulnerable population and these proposed cuts essentially turn the government’s back on these older Pennsylvanians.Leaving Pennsylvanians Out in the ColdThe 2017 budget revision proposes cutting $372 million from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) ahead of the program’s elimination in the 2018 Budget Blueprint. As the Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission recently noted in a letter urging funding for the program, LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills to keep approximately 345,000 Pennsylvania residents, keeping them warm and safe during the winter months. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), a program that has also been proposed for elimination, provides energy conservation and weatherization services, which are prioritized to higher risk residents including the elderly, individuals with disabilities, families with children, and high energy users. Pennsylvania funding for these two programs amounted to nearly $220 million last year. Elimination of these programs would put several hundred thousand Pennsylvanians – including our seniors and children — at risk next winter.Preventing Laid-Off Workers from Accessing Job Training ServicesThe Dislocated National Reserve helps Pennsylvania provide job training and employment services assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events such as major plant closings or natural disasters. The President has proposed an immediate $100 million reduction to this program. The $13.5 million in Dislocated Worker National Reserve funds that Pennsylvania currently receives is used to provide comprehensive worker training and employment programs for dislocated workers who need assistance to reenter the work force after having been laid off.  Recently GE closed a plant in Erie, and laid off nearly 1,500 employees. Funds from the Reserve were used to help pay for education and training costs to assist dislocated workers. In an economy built on high tech skills, Pennsylvania workers are dependent on these types of programs to help transition to other good-paying, middle class jobs when, to no fault of their own, the job they depend on ends.Killing Jobs in the Manufacturing SectorThe President has proposed cutting the federal appropriation to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership by half this year and then eliminating the program in 2018. The elimination of federal funding for the Partnership would cause the loss of Industrial Resource Center (IRC) assistance to Pennsylvania small and medium-sized manufacturers, and result in a loss of up to 10,350 middle class jobs annually. In particular, the discontinuation of IRC assistance would cost Pennsylvania up to 2,950 direct manufacturing jobs, as well as 7,400 scientific, logistics, service, professional and technical industry jobs dependent on the manufacturing sector. These job losses would in turn result in a loss of $502 million in wages earned by Pennsylvania workers each year.Cutting Transportation InfrastructurePresident Trump’s 2017 reduction calls for a $499 million cut in infrastructure funding to the wildly popular TIGER program. The Budget Blueprint would fully kill the program. Elimination of TIGER grant opportunities will prevent transportation projects proposed by communities and regional planning organizations around the commonwealth. TIGER grants are often the critical leverage enabling struggling communities to begin to reinvent themselves through innovative projects that enhance transportation options, improve quality of life, and create jobs. Well over $130 million has been awarded to Pennsylvania TIGER projects between 2009 and 2015 including:Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard, PittsburghDilworth Plaza/Concourse Improvements, Philadelphia Center City District & SEPTACentral Pennsylvania Rail/Road Expansion, SEDA COG Joint Rail AuthorityRutherford Intermodal Facility Expansion in Harrisburg, PennDOTCarrie Furnace Flyover Bridge, Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny CountyHarming Rural CommunitiesThe President’s 2017 reductions would cut $82 million from Rural Utility Service and related USDA lines, ahead of nearly $500 million in cuts sought in the Budget Blueprint from the Water and Wastewater loan and grant program. This program is the federal government’s only dedicated resource for financing water and sewer programs in communities of fewer than 10,000 people. In 2016, the program supported 16 projects across Pennsylvania totaling nearly $55 million. For many small and struggling communities, this program has been invaluable to rebuilding the water infrastructure that families and businesses depend on. Many of Pennsylvania’s rural communities could not afford to invest in upgrades to ensure residents have clean water without this program.Additionally, $95 million in cuts to the Rural Business Cooperative Service program impacts critical job creation that is especially crucial to our rural communities where jobs are often harder to come by and job growth can be limited.  In 2016, nine business loan guarantees were provided for $26.4 million which supports business conversion, enlargement, repair, modernization, or development and $733,000 of dedicated business grant funding which supports initiatives like long-term business strategic planning and leadership and entrepreneur training.  Both of these funding streams would disappear under the President’s 2017 proposal.Defunding Coal CommunitiesDespite his supposed enthusiastic support for coal communities, the President has proposed the elimination of $90 million in additional funding for Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund state grants to three Appalachian states, including Pennsylvania. The $30 million the commonwealth received last year from this program helped fund 14 abandoned mine reclamation projects across the state, each of which was selected for its potential to improve the environment, put out-of-work miners back to work, and lay the groundwork for economic growth for the local community. Preservation of this funding is especially important given the likely movement of legislation in Congress which has the potential to decrease Pennsylvania’s long term share of funding from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund.Crippling Environmental ProtectionProposed cuts to the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency—including a proposed 44% reduction in environmental program grants which are passed through to the state Department of Environmental Protection will have an immediate effect on Pennsylvania’s ability to carry out responsibilities under federal environmental laws which protect public health and the environment, and lead to economic development. The President’s 2017 reduction proposal specifically notes that the 10% cut in the current fiscal year is intended to ease into the transition to the drastic cuts which are proposed in the Budget Blueprint. These cuts would mean fewer inspections at sewage plants, industrial wastewater discharges, construction sites, and at the commonwealth’s 8,500 public water systems, hampering our ability to detect contaminants like lead, water-borne pathogens. Additionally, with cuts to both the EPA Brownfields and Superfund program, Pennsylvania communities would be limited in their ability to clean up contaminated sites and return property to economically productive use.While the long list of social programs targeted for cuts or elimination in the President’s Budget Blueprint and requested reductions for the remainder of this year may look benign on paper—just numbers in a spreadsheet and an alphabet soup of acronyms—those of us who travel around Pennsylvania and see the need in communities and the benefits these critical programs deliver at the local level know that cuts will have real and immediate consequences for the Pennsylvanians we each represent.I urge each member of the Pennsylvania delegation to strongly oppose these cuts. Thank you for you for your consideration of this request.Sincerely,TOM WOLFGovernorLetter From Gov. Wolf on Federal Funding by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribd April 25, 2017 Governor Wolf to Delegation: Federal Cuts Will Hurt Pennsylvanianscenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Strategic Marine and BMT Nigel Gee Design Far Offshore StratCATs

first_imgStrategic Marine and BMT Nigel Gee will be displaying two new crew transfer vessel (CTV) designs at Seawork International in Southampton, United Kingdom.The event will be held from 13 to 15 June 2017 at the Mayflower Park venue in Southampton, United Kingdom.The two new vessel designs that will be unveiled at the event are the StratCAT30 and StratCAT38. Models of both vessels will be on display at Seawork International for the public and industry watchers to view.The two new designs are being launched to build on the success Strategic Marine has had with the previous StratCAT26 and other smaller CTVs.The vessels have features which can provide increased capabilities to wind farm service operators who want to leave their crews at sea for longer periods of time, work further offshore and operate in a higher sea state, the company said.Mike Bell, the General Manager – Commercial of Strategic Marine said: “The launch of these two new vessel designs highlights Strategic Marine’s triumphs in the European Wind Space and showcases our commitment to continue to invest in the renewables vertical. This is where the future is headed especially in a world with increasingly limited resources where the need to innovate becomes stronger than ever.”last_img read more