Amy Serrato

first_imgThis earthquake was the one thing that made me the most freaked out person on earth with earthquakes. I was in the sixth grade getting ready to depart to Jackson Elementary, when the unthinkable happen. My mother, father, baby brother and I all freaked out, I think I freaked out even more watching them freak out because mom and dad never freaked out. As the windows broke, my moms crystal flew everywhere, the walls seemed to be dancing, it was scary. After it finished shaking we all stood there looking at each other in awe. Finally my mom said where’s Sam, which was my other younger brother. He was in bed still sleeping. My sisters were at or on their way to School already, one at Dexter and one on her way to Whittier High. My sister attending Whittier High tells stories of trying to dodge falling brick uptown Whittier. My other sister tells us how they all freaked out even the teachers at Dexter, it was just chaos. My dad that day pitched a tent in the front yard, just until all the damaged was repaired in the house. I think I slept in the tent for over a month, I was horrified to return back to the house. I’ll never forget that Whittier Earthquake! 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

WTO members support policy approaches to enable innovation in agriculture

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced that the United States has joined with 12 other nations to support policies that enable agricultural innovation, including genome editing. The International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology was released in Geneva at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.“Precision biotechnologies such as genome editing hold great promise for both farmers and consumers around the world. These tools can play a critical role in helping farmers address many of the production challenges they face while improving the quality and nutritional value of foods available to consumers worldwide,” Perdue said. “Unfortunately, such technologies too often face regulatory roadblocks that are based on misinformation and political posturing.  Therefore, it’s gratifying to see Argentina and other allies come together under the WTO umbrella to publicly embrace science-based regulatory systems that will allow us to unlock the huge potential of these new technologies.”Countries and organizations supporting the statement, to date, are: Argentina, which led this effort, as well as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Paraguay, the United States, Uruguay, Vietnam and the Secretariat of the Economic Community of West African States.The text of the joint statement, which is being updated as additional countries sign on, is available on the WTO website.last_img read more

Designing a Good Ventilation System

first_imgUPDATED on June 25, 2018Most green builders include some type of mechanical ventilation system in every home they build. That’s good. Since green buildings usually have very low levels of air leakage, mechanical ventilation is usually essential.Unfortunately, several research studies have shown that a high number of mechanical ventilation systems are poorly designed or installed. Among the common problems:It’s disheartening to learn that many green homes waste energy because of poorly designed ventilation systems that were improperly commissioned.If you’re unfamiliar with residential ventilation systems, it’s a good idea to review the ventilation information in the GreenBuildingAdvisor encyclopedia.ASHRAE’s residential ventilation standard (Standard 62.2) sets the minimum ventilation rate at 7.5 cfm per occupant plus 3 cfm for every 100 square feet of occupiable floor area.The residential ventilation requirements in the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) differ from the requirements of the ASHRAE 62.2 standard, however. According to the 2018 IRC, the minimum ventilation rate is 7.5 cfm per occupant plus 1 cfm for every 100 square feet of occupiable floor area. (For more information on code requirements for ventilation, see “An Update on the Residential Ventilation Debate.”)Systems complying with ASHRAE 62.2 have ventilation rates that are relatively low; for example, a 2,000-square-foot house with three occupants requires 83 cfm of mechanical ventilation. That’s about as much airflow as is provided by a typical bath exhaust fan. (Of course, systems complying with the minimum requirements of the 2018 IRC have even lower ventilation rates.)Since ventilation airflows are typically quite low, ventilation ductwork needs to be impeccably sealed. If ventilation ductwork is leaky, fresh air won’t reach its intended destination.Prominent building scientists are now debating the merits of the ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation rate. Max Sherman, former chairman of the ASHRAE 62.2 committee, defends the existing ASHRAE formula. On the other hand, Joseph… Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

Estate Planning Tips for Service Members

first_imgBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.eduWith the exception of policemen and firemen, nobody puts themselves in harm’s way for their job more often than service members. Thus, it is not surprising that Personal Financial Management (PFM) program staff often counsel military families about estate planning.An “estate” is everything that people own in their own name or with others. Estate planning is the process of anticipating future life events (e.g., incapacity and death), minimizing gift and estate taxes, and distributing assets to loved ones in the manner that a donor intends rather than according to the dictates of state law.Estate planning should, ideally, be started in young adulthood upon the purchase of assets and/or the formation of a family. Comprehensive estate plans typically include four or five complimentary documents: a will, durable power of attorney (names an agent to make financial decisions), living will, health-care proxy (names an agent to make medical decisions), and, sometimes, one or more trusts.Photo by icon0.com from PexelsBelow are five estate planning tips to share with service members:Write a Will- Ask people to serve in key positions, such as executor and guardian, before you name them in a will. People who die intestate (without a will) default to the “one size fits all” will provided by their state of residence. This property distribution formula may or may not be appropriate for their family’s situation, but there is no choice in the matter. The cost of a will should not be an issue. If someone is prepared with a list of their personal representatives, bequests, and beneficiaries, a will can cost less than $300.Review Estate Planning Documents Regularly- Review and revise documents when tax laws change or due to changes in relationships or economic circumstances. Beneficiary designations on retirement savings plans and life insurance policies also need to be reviewed periodically to make sure that they are current and not in conflict with provisions in a will or other legal document.Avoid Conflicts in Titling of Assets– Don’t make the mistake of wanting assets to go to one person (e.g., a child from a first marriage) named in a will, yet owning them with rights of survivorship with someone else (e.g., a second spouse). In cases where provisions in a deceased person’s will conflict with titling of assets, the title almost always determines the asset’s subsequent owner.Make Plans for Untitled Personal Property- Consider how you will distribute items where ownership is not identified with a written document. Examples include tools, furniture, books, dishes, collections, and jewelry. Talking about untitled property can be “sensitive” because of the emotions involved, sentimental meanings attached to various possessions, and differing perceptions of what’s fair in the distribution process. There are several ways that untitled personal property can be distributed including lists given to a person’s executor or family members, gifts made during a donor’s lifetime, drawing names out of a hat, verbal promises, and labeling items. For additional information, visit the University of Minnesota’s Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate? Web site at yelowpieplate.umn.edu.Drafting a Durable Power of Attorney- Name an “agent” to handle financial matters in the event of your incapacity. Without one, it may be necessary for your family to seek court appointment as a guardian or conservator if you become incapacitated. This appointment process can be avoided with a durable power of attorney. If properly drafted, a durable power of attorney eliminates the need for court proceedings to declare people incapacitated and to appoint a surrogate to act on their behalf.The North Carolina Extension publication Where There is a Will, There is a Way has additional information about wills and estate planning.last_img read more

Minnesota Budget Proposal Includes Federal Conformity

first_imgMinnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a budget proposal that includes:– an expansion of the working family tax credit;– increasing the subtraction for Social Security benefits;– federal tax law conformity to new foreign income provisions;– retention of state personal income tax deductions and exemptions;– property tax relief created by modifying the sales tax exemption for local governments and nonprofits purchasing construction materials;– a 20-cent increase in the gas tax; and– a $50-per-acre property tax credit for farmers who provide buffer strips of land near public waters and drainage systems.MinnesotaCare TaxThe governor also proposes to keep the MinnesotaCare tax at the rate of 2%.News Release, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, February 19, 2019Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

Army foils infiltration bid, kills two ultras in Kashmir

first_imgThe Army on Saturday morning said it killed two unidentified infiltrators along the Line of control (LoC) in Machil sector of Kupwara.The soldiers manning the fence at Goutum Post near LoC had intercepted a group of militants. “After being challenged the militants opened fire triggering an encounter,” the army said. Two infiltrators were killed, said the army spokesman. The operation is on, he added.Ceasefire violationsMeanwhile, violation of ceasefire agreement by Pakistani troops continued for the second night in Jammu. A BSF spokesman said during the intervening night Pakistan troops resorted to firing with small and heavy weapons at Sai, Treva and Jabowal forward posts in Arnia Sector in Jammu.“Indian forces retaliated. The firing stopped on Saturday morning. No loss of life reported,” said the spokesman.However, some livestock were killed or Injured. “Two houses were damaged,’ said the spokesman. A BSF personnel was killed in ceasefire violation on Friday night in Jammu. Meanwhile, a Delhi court on Monday allowed the NIA to conduct custodial interrogation of two men, including a freelance photo-journalist, for three more days in alleged case of stone-throwing in Kashmir Valley and mobilising support against security personnel via the social media.last_img read more

Another olive ridley nesting site soon

first_imgThe Odisha forest department is all set to add another olive ridley mass nesting site to its wildlife map.It has started preparing the beach at the Bahuda river mouth in Ganjam district to lure the endangered turtles to come over for mass nesting next year.Around 3-km stretch of the beach from Sunapur to Anantpur at Bahuda rookery is being developed as a possible olive ridley mass nesting site. The Bahuda rookery is located around 20 km to the south of Rushikulya rookery coast, a major mass nesting site of olive ridleys on the Indian coastline.Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer Ashis Behera said the Bahuda rookery coast has been cleaned up once already and it will be thoroughly cleaned up again before the start of the mass nesting season in February. “The forest department has decided to fence off around 2-km stretch of the beach near Bahuda river mouth to protect the turtles during the nesting season,” the DFO said.Encouraging signsThis year, a few hundred olive ridleys had nested at Bahuda river mouth in February. This encouraged the forest department to develop it as a second mass nesting site for the turtles on the Ganjam coast. At present, mating olive ridleys are being sighted near the Bahuda rookery. It is being hoped that the turtles will find the beach conducive and their mass nesting number at Bahuda will increase in 2019.Marine fishermen in the area have been requested to refrain from using gill nets during fishing as that can kill the turtles. Fishermen near Rushikulya rookery do not use such nets. With the support of local residents, efforts are being made to reduce polythene pollution caused by tourists and picnickers at Bahuda river mouth to keep the sand clean for mass nesting.Local fishermen say around two decades ago thousands of olive ridleys used to nest at Bahuda coast, which for some reason diminished with time.last_img read more

Documents used by police not admissible: Bharadwaj’s lawyer

first_imgNone of the documents that the Pune Police relied on to implicate trade unionist and human rights lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj in the Elgar Parishad case are admissible in law, her lawyer told the Bombay High Court on Friday. Arguing for her bail before a single Bench of Justice S.V. Kotwal, advocate Yug Chaudhry submitted a compilation of documents to the court, and said they contained papers seized from the hard disks of the others accused in the Bhima-Koregaon violence, but none from any device at Ms. Bharadwaj’s house.He said there is no evidence apart from the printouts from the others’ computers. He said, “It is not [the prosecution’s] case that [Ms. Bharadwaj] was there at Elgar Parishad and Bhima-Koregaon, and the only single witness in the case is the investigating officer.”Mr. Chaudhry said not a single document from the compilation is admissible in law. He said the prosecution has relied upon printouts and originals. Referring to the affidavit filed by the Pune Police, he said the documents were not produced by the computers, but were copied from the computers of the co-accused. So they could be scanned or downloaded from somewhere.He said the letters are not dated, so cannot be linked to Ms. Bharadwaj by handwriting analysis. The letters are unsigned, unverified and unauthorised as per Section 161 (examination of witnesses by police) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and none of them were seized from the residence of Ms. Bharadwaj.He said, “What we have are typed unsigned letters from A to B found at C’s computer mentioning something about [Ms. Bharadwaj].” He said for a document to be admissible in law, its authorship and truth has to be proved. Reading from the affidavit filed by the prosecution, Mr. Chaudhry said, “According to them, the role of the accused was not peripheral, but vital.” He read out a letter, whose image was found on the computer of jailed activist Rona Wilson: “on January 2, 2018, there was a mohalla meeting of special female naxal members and people attending the meeting were Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj.”Mr. Chaudhry said, “Shoma Sen is a retired professor of literature of the Nagpur University and Ms. Bharadwaj is a professor at National Law University, Delhi. She is the president’s representative in selecting a vice chancellor for the State of Chhattisgarh.” He said, however, as per the call detail records, Ms. Sen was in Mumbai and Ms. Bharadwaj was in Faridabad on the day in question. The hearing will continue on September 4.last_img read more

November 23 2009 This report continues from 1120

first_imgNovember 23, 2009 This report continues from 11/20/09. Ten volunteers from Arcosanti enjoyed the unique opportunity this year of attending the 2009 International Greenbuild Conference & Expo and Green Streets festivals that took place in downtown Phoenix and the Scottsdale Fashion Square. [photo: Young Soo Kim & text: Anna Tran] This year’s expo hall in the Phoenix Convention Center boasted 1,800 exhibit booths that showcased the latest in innovative products and services. Each volunteer had a specific research assignment at the Expo, ranging from community outreach to research on renewable energy technologies including solar, wind and geothermal; innovations in waste reduction; recycled and renewable products and building materials; and energy efficient strategies. [photo: Young Soo Kim & text: Anna Tran] After a full day at the Greenbuild Expo event in Phoenix, the evening continued on with the Scottsdale Green Streets event, part celebration, part art exhibit, part music festival, to celebrate the city’s sustainability efforts. The free event took place on the South Bridge and Scottsdale waterfront with a live Latin Jazz concert, organic beer tastings, eco-friendly public art installations and interactive exhibits that highlight Scottsdale’s green projects – a great place to end an exciting day. [photo: Young Soo Kim & text: Anna Tran] The volunteer team set up the information booth right at a location with a view of the future site of the Soleri Pedestrian Bridge and Plaza, which is in the pre-construction planning phase. Decorative, precast panels for the site are currently being cast at Cosanti, to be part of the art wall around the bridge. [photo: Young Soo Kim & text: Anna Tran & Erin Jeffries] There was a positive buzz – people were all business and excited to participate. Everyone was interested in learning and sharing information, insights and contacts. The Arcosanti booth was well received by other business and expo visitors alike. We received many good leads. This was a great event to attend to gain exposure. [photo: Young Soo Kim & text: Anna Tran] The team had a wonderful experience at both the Expo and Green Streets events. At the end of the day, we had interesting conversations with many environmentally conscious companies as well as other retailers, schools and individuals. [from left to right] Young Soo Kim, Anna Tran, Alfonso Elia, Matteo Di Michele, Erin Jeffries, Scott Riley, Michael Bittman, and Jose Masaoy. [photo: Young Soo Kim & text: Anna Tran]last_img read more