Woburn District Court HEAT Program Addresses Substance Abuse At 12th Annual Conference

first_imgWOBURN, MA — Hundreds of leaders in public health and law enforcement came together last month for the 12th Annual Woburn District Court Heroin Education Awareness Task Force (H.E.A.T.) Conference to discuss the latest trends and treatment surrounding substance abuse.On Friday, June 15, attendees gathered at the Hilton Boston/Woburn to learn more about drug use and ways to assist those struggling with addiction. The half-day meeting consisted of experts speaking about substance abuse treatment, prevention and enforcement.The H.E.A.T. program was founded by Vincent J. Piro and Michael P. Higgins, of the probation department of Woburn District Court, the police departments of the seven cities and towns under its jurisdiction: Woburn, Burlington, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wilmington and Winchester, the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services and the AdCare Educational Institute. The program is designed to educate the public, especially families and friends of those suffering from addiction, about heroin use and abuse trends among young people.“To all the presenters and attendees who joined us for the 12th annual conference, thank you for making this year a success,” Piro said. “Every year, the Woburn District Court and our partner agencies work to provide life saving resources to those in need, and it is through these collaborations that we have been successful.”Over the last few years, overdose deaths have exceeded motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. More than a decade ago, H.E.A.T. recognized the growing problem between painkiller abuse and heroin use, and every year works to call attention to deadly synthetic substances in an effort to prevent addiction and deaths.“The H.E.A.T. program has been at the forefront of these issues for almost 13 years,” Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo said. “It is the belief of leaders at Friday’s conference that we must collaborate across agencies to provide education to the public on prevention, treatment for those struggling with addiction, and enforcement of the laws to make a difference in the opioid crisis.”To open the conference, Stephen Wood from Winchester Hospital spoke about the rise in popularity of vaping, new substances that are being taken for recreational use (everything from Morning Glory flower seeds to “Flakka” — a synthetic cathinone that causes a number of symptoms like hallucinations and violent behavior) and potential warning signs that a loved one may be using drugs.Britte McBride, Commissioner of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, informed attendees about the provisions and regulations that will be in place for the marijuana industry once legalized sales go into effect on July 1, including mandated advertisements to educate consumers and promote safe use of products, stringent security protocols at establishments and testing of products before they go onto the market.Billerica Town Manager John Curran shared his experience with the opioid crisis from a municipal level, using a proactive and reactive approach, while Tewksbury Police Chief Timothy Sheehan spoke about the change in perspective that law enforcement must take to address the opioid epidemic.“We found that we couldn’t arrest our way out of the problem,” Chief Sheehan said. “We were really failing by not going deeper into the issue, and instead just going through the judicial system.”In Tewksbury, the mentality of solely relying on enforcement has been altered and officials are looking at education, collaboration with local agencies and counseling/treatment to address the root of the issue. Additionally, all officers carry Narcan, an opioid reversal drug, to save the lives of those who are overdosing.Michael McLaughlin and Pierce Aliberti, of Stoneham, closed the conference by sharing their experiences and journeys to recovery, thanking those who helped them along the way with resources and support.(NOTE: The above press release is from JGPR.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Police Attend Heroin Education Awareness Task Force (HEAT) ConferenceIn “Police Log”Woburn District Court H.E.A.T. (Heroin Education Awareness Task Force) Holds 11th Annual ConferenceIn “Government”Wilmington Police Department’s Substance Abuse Efforts Gets Boost From $100,000 Grant & Regional PartnershipIn “Police Log”last_img read more

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT 7 Wilmington Students Named To Deans List At Bryant University

first_imgSMITHFIELD, RI — Bryant University is committed to the pursuit, recognition, and celebration of academic excellence. The University is pleased to recognize the following Wilmington students who have been named to the Deans’ List for the spring 2019 semester:Brian Cavanaugh, class of 2020Robert DuCharme, class of 2021Justin Kannally, class of 2020Alexa Kelley, class of 2022Anthony McKearney, class of 2022Nicholas Poli, class of 2020Zachary Richards, class of 2021About Bryant UniversityFor 156 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. Bryant delivers an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education that inspires students to excel. With approximately 3,700 graduate and undergraduate students from 38 states and 53 countries, Bryant is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, and Barron’s.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Bryant University via Merit.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 3 Wilmington Students Graduate From Bryant UniversityIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 3 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At Regis CollegeIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 4 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At WPIIn “Education”last_img read more

Sheryl Sandberg Breaking up Facebook wont fix social media

first_img 6 On Friday, EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said breaking up Facebook would be “a remedy of the very last resort.” This may come as a surprise given that the European Union has typically been more heavy-handed than the US when it comes to regulating Silicon Valley tech companies. Vestager in particular has a reputation for coming down hard on US tech giants, thanks to record-breaking fines she’s handed out to Amazon and Google. Originally published May 17, 9:19 a.m. PT.Update, 11:49 a.m.: Adds comment from EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Comments Facebook co-founder: Time to break up the social network Facebook isn’t secretly listening in on your phone conversations. Really Facebook’s ad targeting has created a creepy image problem it can’t shake EU competition commissioner: Facebook breakup would be ‘last resort’ Sandberg also responded to a recent op-ed from Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who said Zuckerberg had too much power and that the company should be broken up.”You could break us up, you could break other tech companies up, but you actually don’t address the underlying issues people are concerned about,” Sandberg told CNBC.Facebook, along with other social media companies like Twitter and YouTube, has been called out for not doing enough to combat election meddling, misinformation and hate speech. Critics have also argued that Facebook’s enormous power needs to be kept in check.Sandberg acknowledged that users are concerned about privacy, but added that every one of Facebook’s engineering and product teams now have systems in place focused on protecting people’s privacy, according to CNBC.When it comes to elections, Sandberg said Facebook is ready for 2020.”We never foresaw Russian interference in the 2016 election … and that’s on us,” she told CBS This Morning. “Going into the 2020 election, we have war rooms in place. We have a working relationship with the FBI and Homeland Security … and we’re all working together.” 5:10 More on Facebookcenter_img Facebook knows it has hard work to do, says COO Sheryl Sandberg. Angela Lang/CNET Facebook is doing the hard work necessary to protect elections and your privacy. That’s the message from Sheryl Sandberg in interviews with CBS This Morning and CNBC on Friday.Sandberg, the social network’s chief operating officer, told CBS This Morning that earning back people’s trust will be hard, but that she and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will do “whatever it takes” to keep people safe on Facebook. (Editor’s note: CNET is owned by CBS.) Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Tags Tech Industry Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Sheryl Sandberglast_img read more

SpaceX Starlink satellites have astronomers amplifying the cosmic alarm

Sci-Tech Elon Musk Space SpaceX 23 Photos This image of a distant galaxy group from Arizona’s Lowell Observatory is marred by diagonal lines from the trails of Starlink satellites shortly after their launch in May. Victoria Girgis/Lowell Observatory The world’s largest organization of professional astronomers is sounding the galactic alarm over Elon Musk’s plan to send a swarm of SpaceX satellites into low-Earth orbit. Almost immediately after a Falcon 9 rocket released the first batch of the company’s Starlink broadband internet satellites last month, stargazers were dismayed by just how bright and noticeable the train of orbiting routers is in the night sky. Now the concern has moved from chatter on social media to a more formal call for new government regulation from the International Astronomical Union. In a statement Monday, the IAU said large satellite constellations like Starlink could have unforeseen consequences for advancing our understanding of the universe and the protection of nocturnal wildlife. “We do not yet understand the impact of thousands of these visible satellites scattered across the night sky and despite their good intentions, these satellite constellations may threaten both,” the statement reads. The IAU shared the above image, which shows bars of light from Starlink satellite trails in the field of view captured by Arizona’s Lowell Observatory. The trails obscure the view of galaxy group NGC 5353/4.  Comments Every Elon Musk project right now Tags There are already 4900 satellites in orbit, which people notice ~0% of the time. Starlink won’t be seen by anyone unless looking very carefully & will have ~0% impact on advancements in astronomy. We need to move telelscopes to orbit anyway. Atmospheric attenuation is terrible. pic.twitter.com/OuWYfNmw0D— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 27, 2019 8 Originally published June 4.  “Although this image serves as an illustration of the impact of reflections from satellite constellations, please note that the density of these satellites is significantly higher in the days after launch,” the organization explained. A SpaceX spokesperson added via email that “the observability of the Starlink satellites is dramatically reduced as they raise orbit to greater distance and orient themselves with the phased array antennas toward Earth and their solar arrays behind the body of the satellite.” Nonetheless, should SpaceX deploy all the Starlink satellites it is permitted for, it would more than double the amount of satellites currently orbiting Earth, with some being granted permission to orbit at even lower orbits than originally conceived. The IAU, which represents over 13,000 astronomers, called for satellite constellation operators and astronomers to work together more closely and urged “appropriate agencies to devise a regulatory framework to mitigate or eliminate the detrimental impacts on scientific exploration as soon as practical.” Are SpaceX Starlink satellites ruining the night sky? For its part, SpaceX has already been coordinating with the US National Science Foundation, which oversees the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. “After working closely with SpaceX, NSF has finalized a coordination agreement to ensure the company’s Starlink satellite network plans will meet international radio astronomy protection standards, limiting interference in this radio astronomy band,” the NSF said in a statement Tuesday. Elon Musk also hinted at a possible long-term solution on Twitter: “We need to move telelscopes (sic) to orbit anyway.” 2:57 Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice read more

Abid Ali Neemuchwala likely to become Wipro CEO early next year Report

first_imgWipro Ltd is likely to promote its group president and chief operating officer (COO) Abid Ali Neemuchwala as CEO early next year, when TK Kurien’s term ends.Wipro, India’s third biggest IT firm, is likely to make its current CEO Kurien, whose five-year term will expire in January next year, vice-chairman of the company.The new appointments will be announced by Wipro in early 2016, according to sources.”Any such decision will be taken by the Board of Directors based on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee and will be communicated to the stock exchanges. We don’t want to comment any further on this speculation,” Business Standard quoted Wipro as saying in a statement.In October, the Bengaluru-based Wipro was said to have been contemplating to extend the tenure of Kurien by at least one year in a bid to buy time to scout for a new CEO.The reports on Wipro looking for a new CEO had surfaced after it promoted three executives as presidents and roped in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) veteran Abid Ali Neemuchwala as its COO earlier this year. Neemuchwala was seen as the “contender” for the top post.Following Neemuchwala’s appointment as COO and group president, Wipro has witnessed many restructuring initiatives aimed at having a “better control” over the company’s performance. The restructuring process has seen a few top level executives leaving Wipro. Ayan Mukerji, a company veteran who headed the media and telecom business, and Sangita Singh, head of healthcare business, were among those exits.In April, Wipro had elevated Rishad Premji, the eldest son of promoter Azim Premji, to the company board as a wholetime director, effective from 1 May.Industry watchers had speculated that the elevation of Rishad was a step towards grooming him to assume the top role at a later stage, although Azim Premji had always said that Rishad would not be appointed the chief executive.last_img read more

BNP to hold human chains sitin hungerstrike programmes

first_imgBNP chairperson Khaleda Zia being taken to jail on Thursday. Photo: CollectedThe Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will form human chains on Monday, stage sit-in on Tuesday and stage hunger strike on Wednesday across the country demanding release of its chairperson Khaleda Zia.Party’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the three-day programmes at a press conference at the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters on Saturday.The country’s main opposition leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia landed in jail on Thursday after a makeshift court sentenced her to five years in jail in a graft case filed during the military-controlled regime in 2008.last_img read more

Schoolgirl raped in Sylhet

first_imgA fourth-grader schoolgirl was raped allegedly by two youths at Khursupur village in Sylhet’s Osmaninagar upazila on Saturday, reports UNB.Locals said the girl was collecting vegetables from the field near her house in the morning around 10:00am.Then Ismail and his associate Hafizur ushered the girl to an under construction building site where they forcibly raped her, they added.Hearing the scream of the girl, locals rushed in and the rapists managed to flee the scene.Later, the girl was taken to one stop crisis centre at Osmani Medical College Hospital, locals also said.Al-Mahmud, officer-in-charge of Osmaninagar police station, said soon after the incident, police arrested one rapist – Ismail, 26, son of Chadik Ullah of the village.Police started conducting drives to arrest the other rapist Hafizur. A case was filed with the police station in this connection, the OC added.last_img read more

Journos can use bike on election day EC

first_imgThe government on 23 December slapped a ban on all motor vehicles from 29 December midnight to 30 December midnight. Journalists covering the 30 December national election will be able to use motorcycles, the election commission announced on Thursday, reports UNB. Asadul Haq, EC’s deputy director (public relations), said journalists would have to display the commission’s approval stickers on their bikes. EC withdrew the ban on motorcycles a week after imposing it, facing harsh criticism from the journalist community. Motorcycles are the preferred mode of transport of newsmen who often have to run on tight schedules. “Journalists have already been given stickers and cards for covering the election. They have to display the [EC] stickers on their motorcycle,” he said.last_img read more

Indonesian fishermen rescue 5 stranded Rohingyas

first_imgFive Rohingyas stranded at sea for almost three weeks have been rescued by Indonesian fishermen but another five of them died during the harrowing ordeal, officials said Friday.News of the rescue comes several days after the arrival in Malaysia of another boat carrying dozens of members of the persecuted Muslim minority from Myanmar.The group of two men, aged 28 and 33, a 20-year-old woman, a 15-year-old girl and an eight-year old boy were spotted Monday in a small boat in waters off southern Thailand and Myanmar, 325 kilometres (176 miles) from Aceh province in Muslim-majority Indonesia.The fishermen took them back to Aceh on Sumatra island and the group arrived early Friday.”They were immediately brought to a local hospital for treatment as they were weak,” Abdul Musafir, head of the East Aceh search and rescue team, told AFP.”But I’m sure they will be fit again after a couple of days in hospital.”Musafir added that the group said they had been travelling with some two dozen other Rohingya but got separated. He did not provide further details.East Aceh police said the rescued five were stranded at sea for about 20 days while five others had starved to death and their bodies were thrown overboard.It has been rare for Rohingya migrants to attempt the sea routes south since Thai authorities clamped down on regional trafficking networks in 2015, sparking a crisis across Southeast Asia as large numbers were abandoned at sea.But there have been concerns desperate migrants might start taking to the high seas again after mainly Buddhist Myanmar launched a new crackdown last year that forced about 700,000 members of the stateless Muslim minority to flee to Bangladesh.In 2015 hundreds of Rohingyas came ashore in Aceh, where they were welcomed in the staunchly conservative Islamic province.last_img read more

Garden with 70 species of aquatic plants

first_imgRaqibul Hasan tends to his aquatic plants in Narayanganj recently. Photo: Prothom AloGardening is a common hobby and rooftop gardens are gaining popularity in Bangladesh. But a garden with aquatic plants is not a common scene.Such a special garden with 70 species of aquatic plants has been traced in Narayanganj’s Fatulla. Raqibul Hasan, 33, has created his garden in the yard and rooftop of his Panchabati residence, collecting floating plants from home and abroad.Asked how it all started, Raqibul said, “It was 2015 and we, my wife and I, were visiting Cox’s Bazar. As my wife loves blue water lilies, I collected one from there. Soon collecting aquatic plants and growing them in containers became a passion for me.”Water bodies are shrinking every day in the concrete jungle of urban life. And so are the aquatic plants. Raqibul built the garden to archive the rare aquatic plants which are facing the danger of extinction.Speaking about his collection, Raqibul said he has a total of 44 species of water lilies including Victoria Amazon Lily and Hardy Water Lily.”Usually, you’ll find three kinds of water lilies in Bangladesh. But in my collection, I have seven local species including Pink Water Lily which is very rare,” he added.Besides the local ones, Raqibul collected the remaining 37 species of water lilies from Thailand, Mexico, Europe, USA and other countries.Raqibul has a collection of six lotus species, too. Local but rare Swarnakumud and Jhanji are also there in his garden.Raqibul Hasan shows his aquatic plants to visitors in Narayanganj recently. Photo: Prothom AloHe started the garden from a kind of passion. But, it is now a source of income for him. He has been selling saplings of aquatic plants for the past few years.Taslim Abed, an official of a pharmaceutical factory in Gazipur, collects aquatic plants from Raqibul.”By gardening and keeping aquatic plants on the rooftop of our factory, we can bring down the temperature from 52 degree Celsius to 38,” Taslim said.Deputy director of Narayanganj agriculture extension department, Kazi Habibur Rahman, also praised Raqibul saying, “It’s a great endeavour. If others follow him, we can leave a better world for our next generation.”After collecting 70 species of floating plants, Raqibul does not want to stop. He has plans to keep 100 species of water lilies and 50 species of lotus by this year.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Imam Hossain.last_img read more

City of Houston Unveils A New EnvironmentallyFriendly Building

first_img– / 3The City of Houston is celebrating the LEED Gold certification for its new Traffic Operations building. According to figures released by the city, the facility is 23% more energy-efficient than the usual code-compliant building.The building features all-LED lighting and about 20% of the building materials were locally-sourced. Environmentally-friendly paints and flooring were used in the building’s construction. There’s also a stormwater treatment system.LEED certification is granted by the U.S. Green Building Council. Certifications are granted at four levels — certified, silver, gold, and platinum.Houston City Council adopted LEED certification building standards in 2004. Several other city buildings have attained LEED gold certification, including the Houston Permitting Center and the Julia Ideson Library.   Sharelast_img read more

Texas Set To Pass Transgender Bathroom Law For Schools

first_img Share Paul Ladd/AP Images for ReliantFILE — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at the valve turning ceremony for the Petra Nova carbon capture and enhanced oil recovery system on Thursday, April 13, 2017, in Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston.A transgender “bathroom bill” reminiscent of one in North Carolina that caused a national uproar now appears to be on a fast-track to becoming law in Texas — though it may only apply to public schools.A broader proposal mandating that virtually all transgender people in the country’s second-largest state use public restrooms according to the gender on their birth certificates sailed through the Texas Senate months ago. A similar measure had stalled in the House, but supporters late Sunday night used an amendment to tack bathroom limits onto a separate and otherwise unrelated bill covering school emergency operation plans for things like natural disasters.Republican Rep. Chris Paddie authored the hotly-debated language, saying it had “absolutely no intent” to discriminate. Under it, transgender students at public and charter schools would not be permitted to use the bathroom of their choice but could be directed to separate, single-occupancy restrooms.“It’s absolutely about child safety,” said Paddie, from the East Texas town of Marshall. “This is about accommodating all kids.”His change passed 91-50. Final House approval should come Monday, sending the modified bill to the Senate, which should easily support it. Texas’ legislative session ends May 29, but that’s plenty of time — even if the bathroom bill is scaled-back enough to only affect the state’s roughly 5.3 million public school students, and not the general public.“This amendment is the bathroom bill and the bathroom bill is an attack on transgender people,” said Rep. Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat. “Some people don’t want to admit that because they are ashamed, and this is shameful.”A small group of Democratic women legislators went into the men’s restroom just off the House floor before debate began in protest. With Republicans enjoying solid majorities in both of Texas’ legislative chambers, though, such opposition was purely symbolic.Houston Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson, one of the House’s longest-serving and most-respected members, likened the new language to when restrooms nationwide were segregated by race.“Bathrooms divided us then and bathrooms divide us now. Separate but equal is not equal at all,” Thompson said, drawing floor applause.While Barack Obama was still president, the U.S. Department of Education tried to implement requirements that school districts nationwide allow transgender students to choose campus bathrooms or locker rooms they wished to use. Texas led a lawsuit challenging that directive and a federal judge in Texas ordered it suspended. President Donald Trump then rescinded the order in February.Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said he wants to sign a bathroom bill into law. House Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican from San Antonio, has been even more vocal opposing one — saying it could hurt a Texas economy that has been among the country’s strongest in recent years.Top firms, chambers of commerce and lobbyists also have decried the bathroom bill in all forms as bad for business. Many Hollywood actors and music stars have suggested state boycotts, and the NFL and NBA have expressed concerns about it passing — even though Houston successfully hosted this year’s Super Bowl.Since 2004, Texas has hosted more combined Super Bowls, NBA All-Star Games (three) and NCAA men’s Final Fours (five) than any other state. San Antonio is scheduled to host another Final Four in 2018, and Dallas is hosting the 2018 women’s NCAA Final Four.Supporters described limiting the scope to schools as “middle ground” and hinted that it could soften the kinds of costly boycotts that hit North Carolina after it approved its bathroom bill last year. The NCAA pulled sporting events and the state faced losing billions of dollars in related economic fallout, though some opposition has quieted since North Carolina lawmakers voted in March for a partial repeal.Straus said in a statement that the House amendment “will allow us to avoid the severely negative impact” of the original Senate bill, which was closer to what North Carolina’s original looked like.But opponents still vowed to fight Sunday’s Texas amendment with lawsuits.If the Legislature succeeds “in forcing discrimination into Texas law, you can bet that Lambda Legal will be on the case before the next school bell rings,” Jennifer C. Pizer, senior counsel and director of law and policy at the national gay rights group Lambda Legal, said.last_img read more

Heroes DREAMers And Bill Nye The Guest List For Trumps First State

first_imgPablo Martinez Monsivais/APCarryn Owens, the widow of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, fought back tears as President Trump addressed her during his 2017 speech to a joint session of Congress.President Trump’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night is intended to outline the priorities of the nation, while guests of the president and of lawmakers reflect the political messages each party wants to highlight.Trump has invited a list of law enforcement and military heroes, a reinforcement of his intended theme of “building a safe, strong and proud America.”Democrats, on the other hand, continue to try to steer the conversation toward immigration. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic leaders have invited dozens of undocumented immigrants who came into the country as children, also known as DREAMers. Without action from Congress, the roughly 700,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would no longer be shielded from deportation.Trump’s guest list“Some of these individual’s stories are heroic, some are patriotic, others are tragic but all of them represent the unbreakable American spirit,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday, unveiling who would sit alongside first lady Melania Trump on Tuesday night.Trump’s most powerful moment in his address to Congress last year was his acknowledgement of Carryn Owens, the widow of a Navy SEAL killed in a controversial raid in Yemen.Military and law enforcement: Retired Cpl. Matt Bradford is the first blind, double amputee to re-enlist in the Marine Corps. Ryan Holets, a police officer in New Mexico, adopted a baby whose parents were addicted to opioids. Army Staff Sgt. Justin Peck was part of a team clearing IEDs from ISIS territory in Syria last year. And Preston Sharp is a boy leading an effort to place American flags and red carnations on the graves of soldiers.First responders: Jon Bridgers founded a nonprofit rescue organization that helped respond to the 2016 floods in Louisiana and to Hurricane Harvey last year. David Dahlberg, a fire-prevention technician, helped saved 62 people from a wildfire in Southern California last July. Ashlee Leppert is an aviation electronics technician in the Coast Guard who rescued dozens of people during last year’s hurricane season.Immigration: The president has sought to shine a light on the MS-13 transnational street gang, whom he called “animals” last year, in arguing for stricter border control. Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez and Freddy Cuevas are parents of children who were killed by members of the gang. They will be in attendance, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Celestino Martinez, whose investigations have led to more than 100 arrests of MS-13 members.Economy: As a nod to the tax cuts approved by Congress in December, the president invited Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger, who started Staub Manufacturing Solutions 20 years ago. According to the White House, the company offered larger bonuses as a result of the tax plan. Corey Adams, a welder at the company, will also attend.The Democratic responseAs shown by the government shutdown earlier this month, which ended with a promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring immigration legislation to the floor, Democrats want the DACA issue front and center.Dozens of young immigrants will be sitting in the House gallery, guests of Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and other lawmakers.A number of Democratic lawmakers are also calling attention to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements related to sexual harassment. Among them is Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., who is bringing Chessy Prout, a sexual assault survivor whose case yielded national media attention.At least 10 Democrats have chosen to boycott the event completely, according to a list compiled by USA Today.“We are watching the presidency erode before our eyes and I, for one, refuse to participate in pomp and circumstance that does nothing but normalize his egregious and hateful behavior,” Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., said in a statement.The Science GuyBill Nye the Science Guy will also be in attendance as the guest of Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla.It’s an interesting pairing, considering Bridenstine’s history of denying humans’ role in climate change and Nye’s role in expanding knowledge on the subject and criticism of climate change deniers.Bridenstine, however, has changed his tune in recent months, after he was nominated by Trump to lead NASA. In his confirmation hearing, the congressman acknowledged that “humans are contributing” to climate change.“He’s changed his mind, and in science that’s generally a good thing,” Nye told Quartz. “I am hopeful that others will see the wisdom in the Congressman’s evolving view and follow suit.”Tomorrow night I will attend the State of the Union as a guest of Congressman Jim Bridenstine – nominee for NASA Administrator – who extended me an invitation in my role as CEO of The Planetary Society….— Bill Nye (@BillNye) January 29, 2018 …The Society is the world’s largest and most influential non-governmental nonpartisan space organization, co-founded by Carl Sagan. While the Congressman and I disagree on a great many issues – we share a deep respect for NASA and its achievements…— Bill Nye (@BillNye) January 29, 2018Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

UPDATE Houston Firefighters Union To Meet With Mayor Turner To Parley Over

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen View Fullscreen X 00:00 /00:00center_img Andrew Schneider/Houston Public MediaPhoto, taken across the street from Houston City Hall, August 8, 2018Mayor Sylvester Turner has scheduled a public meeting tomorrow, Wednesday January 16, with the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association (HPFFA). The mayor wants to discuss the union’s ideas on how to implement voter mandated pay raises without busting the budget and the union has accepted his proposal to meet.Mayor Turner sent an open letter to firefighters’ union president Patrick M. “Marty” Lancton last week, inviting him to discuss the union’s ideas for implementing Proposition B. That’s the ballot measure that requires firefighters get the same pay as police of similar ranks.On Tuesday afternoon, Lancton said he wrote back a series of questions, but had yet to receive any answers. “And what we asked was, ‘Will you bring your own solutions, not simply demand that us or the people in the community not only negotiate against each other or we with ourselves?’” Lancton says. “That’s not constructive.”Lancton also asked whether the mayor would cease threatening to lay off workers. Both Mayor Turner and City Controller Chris Brown say the only way the city can afford the firefighters’ raises is by laying off hundreds of city workers – including firefighters.Later on Tuesday afternoon, the firefighters union said in a statement that Lancton and union attorney Troy Blakeney will meet with Mayor Turner Wednesday “to discuss implementation of Prop B and settlement of the City’s pending lawsuit against firefighters.”In the statement, the union also announced it is seeking a court order “compelling the city to begin paying firefighters equally with police officers on a rank-by-rank basis.”In a letter sent to Ron Lewis, the City of Houston’s Attorney, Blakeney wrote: “It is not our intent to have another public debate between Mayor Turner and HPFFA President Lancton” and added the union looks forward to “gaining a better understanding of the City of Houston’s proposals and options for implementing Prop B and discussing a possible resolution of the legal actions concerning this matter.”Note: The meeting will take place at the Houston City Hall Annex at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. It is open to the public, but seating is limited. Sharelast_img read more

The Pros And Cons Of Houstons Complicated Relationship With Plastics

first_imgPlastics are such a ubiquitous part of our lives that you’d be hard-pressed to find a way not to use them in your day-to-day life.You probably drink water or other fluids from plastic bottles, drive a car with plastic parts, get things in plastic packaging, call or text people with a plastic cell phone — it’s pretty unavoidable these days.pexels.comPlastics make their way into numerous everyday items in our lives.But, of course, there are some downsides to plastic, particularly when it finds its way into the environment as a pollutant. That’s a problem environmental groups regularly cite when calling for consumers to be more mindful about their plastic use.So, how do we successfully strike a balance in maintaining production of such a useful material but keeping it from harming us and the environment? How does Houston — a city with a number of industries that make use of plastic parts — handle the issue?In the audio above, Houston Matters gets some perspective on plastic manufacturing from Joel Morales of Polyolefins Americas. And Rachel Powers from the Citizen’s Environmental Coalition shares some concerns.Michael Hagerty/Houston Public Media 00:00 /15:09 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: pexels.comcenter_img Listen Sharelast_img read more

DC Parks and Recreation Opens Pools Black Kids Need to Learn How

first_imgMake a Splash Tour wants 800,000 children to learn how to swim this summer. (Courtesy Photo)As the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation kicks its annual late-night community pool events into high gear, swimming organizations are urging Blacks to learn how to swim.  With an estimated 70 percent of Black children unable to swim, the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis, have set a goal of teaching 800,000 children to swim in 2015.“One drowning is one too many. Knowing how to swim can be the difference between life and death, as formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent,” said Debbie Hesse, executive director of USA Swimming Foundation. “Drowning is such a big problem, but it’s 100 percent preventable. The USA Swimming Foundation and Phillips 66 are educating communities on the opportunity to make learning to swim a life skill all children can easily acquire this summer.”Researchers like Maria Burzillo have attacked the false belief that Blacks inherently fear swimming by noting the prevalence among several West African nations of both swimming and surfing before colonization. Additionally, scholars like Victoria Wolcott have documented how contested spaces of recreation prohibited Blacks from sharing beaches, public swimming pools, and even lakes alongside Whites. Their absence, however, prompted ridiculous theories that Black people were not as buoyant as other races and prone to drowning, or that an historic ban on instructing enslaved Africans to swim caused a generational resistance to being trained.Whatever the underlying cause, the loss of life attributed to drowning each year has proven astronomical.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S., nearly 25 percent of which are children younger than 14. The CDC found the rate of Black children drowning was nearly three times higher than White children. In addition, adults who fear the water also tend to project their anxieties onto children and grandchildren, with only 13 percent of children born in non-swimming households ever learning to swim.last_img read more

African Childrens Choir Performs at Ebenezer Baptist Church

first_imgThe internationally acclaimed African Children’s Choir will be performing at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 306 East 23rd Street, Baltimore, Maryland on Nov. 22 at 11 a.m.  The choir will perform a mix of African songs and dances. Contact Lydia Sherwood at 360.733.2149 for more details.last_img

Maryland House Censures Lawmaker for Racial Slur

first_imgBy BRIAN WITTE, Associated PressANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A White Maryland lawmaker was censured by the state’s House of Delegates on Thursday for making a racial slur about a legislative district in a majority-Black county, but she said she would not resign despite calls for her to do so.The House voted 137-0 for the body’s expression of severe disapproval against Del. Mary Ann Lisanti.Maryland Del. Mary Ann Lisanti talks to reporters after the House of Delegates voted to censure her on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 in Annapolis, Md., for making a racial slur about a majority-black county. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)“With this vote, we are saying as a body that racial slurs and racially charged language cannot and will not be tolerated by this House,” said Del. Kathleen Dumais, a Democrat who is the House majority leader.In addition, House Speaker Michael Busch is kicking Lisanti off of a legislative committee. The speaker already has stripped Lisanti of a leadership post she held earlier in the week.Lisanti, a Harford County Democrat who is in her second term, apologized earlier in the week to the Legislative Black Caucus and the Democratic House Caucus, as well as publicly in a written statement, after The Washington Post reported she used the slur in reference to Prince George’s County during an after-hours gathering with fellow legislators at a cigar lounge in the state capital after a dinner.Maryland political leaders from both parties and civil rights groups have called for her resignation. After the censure vote, however, Lisanti said she will not resign. She rose in the House chamber to speak, but she was not acknowledged and spoke to reporters outside of the chamber.“To those who have called for my resignation, I say quitting is easy, but not the road to redemption,” Lisanti said. “Quitting this body would in fact be an easy way out.”The resolution the House voted on noted that Lisanti “has publicly admitted to using a hateful and derogatory racial slur while describing a predominantly African American legislative district in Prince George’s County.”Even after apologizing earlier this week, Lisanti expressed some doubt Thursday about whether she used the word, though she said she was taking responsibility for saying it.“It is apparent that some in attendance heard, or thought they overheard, an inappropriate word, and in lieu of reporting the incident in accordance with our newly adopted harassment policy chose to instead contact a member of the media, thus igniting the firestorm that brings us all here tonight,” she said.The situation has caused a considerable distraction this week, as the General Assembly has crossed into the second half of its annual 90-day session.The speaker said he would not allow the House to be “torn apart by hurtful and divisive slurs.”“Delegate Lisanti’s use of a racial slur to describe an entire community is inexcusable,” Busch, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Her actions have caused hurt and disappointment among legislators and the general public. This behavior has become a distraction to the important work that these dedicated public servants do each and every day in the legislature.”Nearly 30 percent of the state’s population is African-American, and 57 members of the 188-member General Assembly are Black.When Lisanti was first asked about the comment by the Post, the newspaper reported that she said: “I don’t recall that … I don’t recall much of that evening.”Asked Thursday about whether she believes she had had too much to drink that night, she said “I do not,” adding she had just had a very long day.The condemnation of the comment came as state government in neighboring Virginia has been embroiled in scandal after Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, acknowledged they wore Blackface in the 1980s. They have resisted calls to resign.last_img read more

Asia Video Streamer Hooq to Be Integrated Into Grab App

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 CREDIT: Courtesy of Grab Many of East Asia’s tech companies are engaged in a race to expand into ecosystems or super-apps. And with online video as one of the stickiest media formats – about 80% of all Southeast Asians say they watch online video every day – many have now expanded into multiple forms of entertainment. Examples include China’s Tencent, Alibaba, iQIYI and Meituan Dianping, Korea’s Kakao, Japan’s Line (the dominant messaging service in Thailand), and Indonesia’s Go-Jek. The deal is a revenue-sharing agreement which operates on two levels in the four Southeast Asian territories where the two companies’ operations overlap: Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. (Hooq, which is backed by Singtel, Warnermedia and Sony, also operates in India.)All of Hooq’s advertising-supported (AVoD) content will be available through a widget on the Grab app’s home page. Grab users will also be offered a three-month trial of Hooq’s premium VoD services and 17 pay-TV channels. After a user’s trial has been completed, they will be able to sign up for 1-day, 7-day, or 30-day subscriptions, and see billing handled through the Grab Pay mobile wallet.“Both companies have been very flexible in defining the business model,” Hooq founder Peter Bithos said. “We have also had to work with all our content partners to get this off the ground. This is a brand-new category of rights that nobody has operated before.”The companies describe the deal as a “hockey-stick moment for both digital services and online video in (the Southeast Asia) region.” That is a reference to the non-linear growth prospects that are presented to innovative businesses in a region with a population the same size as Europe’s. Digital services are now overcoming many of the region’s geophysical barriers and socioeconomic challenges such as lack of bank accounts or credit cards. The market for subscription video in Southeast Asia is forecast to grow from $60 million in 2017 to $390 million, according to Dataxis.“We have spent four years investing in technology, content and understanding to build the leading OTT service in Southeast Asia. Now is the time to move to another level,” Bithos said. Speaking to Variety, Bithos also dropped heavy hints that Hooq is interested in expanding into Vietnam and Malaysia, two other fast-growing and populous countries where Grab is already present. But he said there is “nothing material” to report.“The Hooq partnership forms a cornerstone of Grab’s online media strategy, and will add to our strategy of becoming the everyday super-app in the region, by making our platform altogether more engaging,” said Koik. However, he did not rule out other moves into media and entertainment, such as co-production, “if the right opportunity comes along.”center_img Popular on Variety Asian video-streaming platform Hooq is to be hosted on the Grab tech and services app in Southeast Asia, following a deal between the two companies. The deal is designed to accelerate the growth of both companies beyond their core businesses.Grab was established in 2012 as a ride-hailing service in Singapore. In early 2018, Grab bought Uber’s businesses in Southeast Asia, and has since expanded into activities stretching from food delivery to payment services. Currently, it operates in eight countries and has over 130 million downloads.Like a handful of other tech companies in Asia, Grab now styles itself as a “super-app” or ecosystem, a services platform that keeps users engaged throughout their daily lives. “Adding video was an obvious next step,” Danny Koik, Grab’s head of regional partnerships told Variety. “We know that people want more services.”last_img read more

Oculus Accidentally Leaves Paranoid Messages in VR Controllers

first_imgStay on target British Airways Tests VR Entertainment on Select First-Class FlightsGeek Pick: HP Reverb Is Clear-Eyed Virtual Reality Modern tech companies love to think that if they make enough cutesy jokes comparing themselves to Skynet or Tyrell or OCP or any other scary evil tech company from a movie, we won’t notice when they act like actual scary evil tech companies from movies. Any place with a motto like “Don’t be evil” couldn’t possibly be evil.It’s not like we’ve been holding out hope for VR company Oculus to be one of the good guys in tech. After all, they’re the ones who gave us actual fascist Palmer Luckey, and currently the company is an arm of Facebook, still underrated in how much real harm it did and is doing to the world. But looking at these “accidental” hidden paranoid messages in a batch of Oculus controllers makes us suspect even they know exactly how bad they are.Hidden “Easter eggs” messages appear in the motion controllers for the recent Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S headsets. Given how new these devices are (they aren’t even fully available yet) it seems the team forgot to remove the text before this initial launch after prototyping. At least, that’s the explanation Oculus executive Nate Mitchell gave for the “inappropriate” discovery.The messages on final production hardware say “This Space For Rent” & “The Masons Were Here.” A few dev kits shipped with “Big Brother is Watching” and “Hi iFixit! We See You!” but those were limited to non-consumer units. [2/3] pic.twitter.com/po1qyQ10Um— Nate Mitchell (@natemitchell) April 12, 2019So what kinds of messages are we talking about? Stuff like “Big Brother is Watching” or “The Masons Were here.” “Hi iFixit! We See You!” Nothing really that bad, but just kind of embarrassing and juvenile to leave in. And again “joking” about being spying on users isn’t that funny coming from a Facebook product you hold up to your eyeballs.Oculus won’t recall the controllers, so the apparently tens of thousands of controllers with the messages still in them are about to become collectors’ items. Maybe that’s the real conspiracy. For more on virtual reality read our review of the recent Nintendo Labo VR Kit and check out our impressions of upcoming impressive PlayStation VR games like Iron Man VR and No Man’s Sky VR.last_img read more