City Council votes to increase impact fees

first_imgShare on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Parks and recreation fees increased, police and fire fees createdThe City Council voted 5-0 Wednesday to raise impact fees for parks and recreation, and to begin charging impact fees for police and fire services.According to information in the City Council agenda packet, the City contracted with Public Resources Management Group [PRMG] to conduct a study needed to support its ability to charge impact fees on new construction for both fire and police services for future capital needs. It also contracted with them to study possible modifications to existing parks and recreation impact fees. All three completed studies have been previously discussed with Council in workshop settings.PRMG made recommendations based on those studies, which the City Staff recommended to the Council, who accepted the recommendations.The increased impact fee for parks and recreation will go from $241.05 to $1,060. The new impact fee for police is $747, while the fire impact fee is $708.The total impact fees for Apopka new housing construction increases from $9,393 to $11,667, which puts it slightly higher than Orange County impact fees ($10,410), but in the middle of similar cities in Florida according to a graph provided by PRMG.Jeff Welch pushed back on the increased fees.“I’m not against impact fees,” said Welch, the Immediate Past Chairman of the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce. “I am against them when they are the highest spike on every one of those comparisons, and I really do believe this would have a negative impact on what we are teeing-up right now… which is great growth. There is a delicate balance between impact fees and general revenues. If your impact fees are high, people will stop annexing and people will stop building… and then your general revenues will become flat. So I would urge the City Council to take a weighted measure on this.”Commissioner Doug Bankson had given this issue a lot of thought and research he said in his comments, and believes homebuyers would not backup on a purchase because of the increase in impact fees.“For someone coming to Apopka, knowing that we have top police and fire, top facilities, top parks and recreation… that to me as a home buyer… well I’m not going to balk at that $2,000 difference on the purchase of a house that is $150,000, $250,000 or even higher.”The final vote on impact fees will come at the January 18th City Council meeting. The Anatomy of Fear Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. TAGSApopka Fire DepartmentApopka Parks and RecreationApopka Police Departmentcity council Previous articleFaith Festival announces showtimes and food vendorsNext articleJenkins named to national education board Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Please enter your comment! You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Please enter your name here Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replylast_img read more

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Harkavy Residence / Robert Gurney Architect

first_imgArchDaily Houses Save this picture!© Anice Hoachlander | HD Photo+ 20 Share “COPY” Projects “COPY” Photographs:  Anice Hoachlander | HD PhotoText description provided by the architects. This house of 2,900 sqf is located on a one acre, wooded lot, adjacent to park land outside of Washington, DC. The house is sited away from the road and oriented toward views deep into the woods. The sequence of entry is defined by a series of walls, intended to privatize and delineate the approach and entry into the house. The walls, garage volume and house become a threshold between the road and the wooded parkland. Save this picture!© Anice Hoachlander | HD PhotoThe house is composed of three volumes articulated with varying roof forms. A two-story wood volume anchors the composition. A butterfly-shaped roof is employed to open views southward and sloped to funnel rainwater into a collection system. Large overhangs provide a sense of shelter and shade the openings below while maximizing sun exposure in the winter. The overhangs also serve to extend a visual connection to the outdoors. A shed-roofed volume, clad in corrugated galvalume incorporates the garage and service spaces. A third volume, housing the primary bedroom suite, is flat-roofed and sheathed in Corten steel. Save this picture!exploded axonThe two story volume contains an open living, dining and kitchen space and two small offices on the second floor. The living space is double height, surrounded by views of the natural surrounding and flooded with light. The one story bedroom suite is a more intimate space, but remains light filled and open to the views. Save this picture!© Anice Hoachlander | HD PhotoInterior detailing is minimal and crisp throughout. Brazilian cherry flooring and beech millwork combine with black window frames and black ground-faced block. Limestone, teak, stainless steel, natural aluminum and opaque and translucent glass contribute to the palette. Save this picture!© Anice Hoachlander | HD PhotoWith simple forms rendered in sensory materials, the house becomes a small part of the larger landscape, providing a place to witness trees changing colors, fog rolling in from the not too distant Potomac River and deer herds wandering to the edge of the woods.Save this picture!© Anice Hoachlander | HD PhotoProject gallerySee allShow lessMobilis Interactive Exhibition Building / Építész StúdióArticlesA101 Urban Block Competition / KCAP Architects & Planners and NEXT ArchitectsArticles Share Area:  2900 ft² Photographs ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/108053/harkavy-residence-robert-gurney-architect Clipboardcenter_img CopyHouses•Potomac, United States Architects: Robert Gurney Architect Area Area of this architecture project Harkavy Residence / Robert Gurney ArchitectSave this projectSaveHarkavy Residence / Robert Gurney Architect United States Harkavy Residence / Robert Gurney Architect ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/108053/harkavy-residence-robert-gurney-architect Clipboard CopyAbout this officeRobert Gurney ArchitectOfficeFollow#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesHousesPotomacUnited StatesPublished on January 31, 2011Cite: “Harkavy Residence / Robert Gurney Architect” 31 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 12 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Read commentsBrowse the CatalogMetal PanelsAurubisMill Finished Copper: Nordic StandardWindowsMitrexSolar WindowAluminium CompositesTechnowoodHow to Design a Façade with AluProfile Vertical ProfilesBulbs / SpotsCocowebLighting – Compact Gallery White TracklightConcreteKrytonCrystalline Waterproofing – KIMSealantsEffisusCrossing Perforations on RoofsWall / Ceiling LightsLouis PoulsenLamp – LP RiplsTiles / Mosaic / GresiteMargresPorcelain Tiles – Linea CosmosWood Boards / HPL PanelsInvestwoodValchromat Panels for Interior DesignWindowspanoramah!®ah! MotorisationHingesSaliceHinges – PactaDrawers / Filing Cabinets / ShelvesBeneStorage Partition – PORTS StorageMore products »Read commentsSave世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my streamlast_img read more

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Pennsylvania prisoners punished after Dept. of Corrections embarrassed in Federal Court

first_imgFrackville, Pa. — For the last six months, Pennsylvania state prison staff have been systematically opening and duplicating all legal correspondence exchanged between inmates and their attorneys.This flagrant violation of attorney-client privilege, made official policy by Gov. Tom Wolf in July 2018, was challenged by a joint suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Abolitionist Law Center, the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project and the Amistad Law Project.After just one day of testimony in federal court, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections announced its intention to settle the suit and will stop photocopying and storing prisoners’ legal mail.This sudden reversal is a major victory for inmates and abolitionists across the state.The decision to open, copy and store prisoners’ legal mail was one of many repressive policies implemented in the aftermath of an unprecedented 2018 statewide crackdown on prisons. Wolf claimed that his decision to impose an emergency lockdown of all 24 state correctional facilities — and over 50,000 prisoners — was in response to an “outbreak” of illnesses due to exposure to “synthetic drugs” that were being smuggled into prisons.But there has been only one verified case of a corrections officer’s “exposure” to illegal drugs, confirming activists’ suspicion that the lockdown, ordered in the middle of 2018 National Prison Strike, was aimed at stifling rebellion and strike activity.State ACLU Legal Director Vic Walczak told a local NPR affiliate: “Our expert, who was a former warden at San Quentin and a commissioner in the California Corrections Department, was going to testify that legal mail has not been a major source of contraband.” (wskg.org, Feb. 22)The legal watchdogs’ suit was aimed only at prisoners’ legal mail, so all other mail will continue to be routed through Smart Communications in Florida, where it is photocopied and forwarded to Pennsylvania prisons. The DOC granted a $4 million contract to Smart Communications and has spent over $40,000 to purchase copy machines for all state prisons.Retaliation continues against prisoners, families “They’ll resort to any means at their disposal to make you feel like you have no control, to undermine your value as a human being,” says Bryant Arroyo as he bites into a cold turkey sandwich in the visiting room at SCI Frackville.For the first time since the July lockdown, Bryant and his fellow inmates are allowed to purchase lunch while meeting with visitors. Sandwiches and candy bars are again in vending machines that for six months stood empty.The machines seem to be stocked with six month’s worth of leftovers, with mostly food, including some kind of pork product.“This facility is aware,” says Arroyo, “of the majority-Muslim and other individuals who refrain from the practice of eating pork products. It seems the staff has engaged in a deliberate act of discrimination against the Black/Hispanic inmate population.” This insult has only exacerbated racial tensions between the majority Black and Brown prison population and the overwhelmingly white staff.Bryant also points to the removal of tables from the visiting room. During our visit, prisoners could be seen juggling lunch trays in their laps while meeting with family members, or else they were forced to put trays on the floor and eat off the ground. Apart from the indignity of this arrangement, Bryant slams the removal of proper tables and furniture as ableist and a likely violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.The privilege of prisoners to get their photo taken with visitors is still suspended, even though officials said the moratorium was only meant to last 180 days.Monetizing even the small momentsDaniel Gibson, an activist is also being held at SCI Frackville, described to WW a recent visit with his loved one in no uncertain terms: “Our visit at SCI Frackville was punitive and oppressive. It seemed like all the correctional officers’ actions were a retaliation against the recent wins of prisoners’ rights — food and drinks returning to vending machines, the return of client-attorney privilege with respects to legal mail and the reinstatement of the book policy which allows people to donate and send books to inmates.“The COs specifically singled us out, reprimanding us for the slightest personal touch (like leaning on someone) and non-‘promiscuous’ behavior (which is not allowed in State Correctional Institution visiting rooms). This is the case for many visiting rooms across the state, where people do feel singled out because of how oppressive these environments are.“Inmates’ families report harassment, cuts [in] visiting times at SCIs Camp Hill and Frackville in particular, and feeling criminalized while trying to visit their loved ones. The Department of Corrections wants to make in-person visits so unbearable [and] eventually force increased use of video visitation, yet another cash cow for the DOC. They want to further monetize even these small, intimate moments.”The number of formal grievances filed by inmates has reportedly skyrocketed in recent weeks, an indicator of greater mobilization and activism on the part of prisoners. Arroyo, whom Mumia Abu-Jamal once dubbed “the world’s first jailhouse environmentalist,” is encouraged by the bravery and engagement of his fellow inmates.‘Tell me who you walk with’Switching back and forth between Spanish and English as he often does, the Puerto Rican prisoner-organizer recites an adage he learned from his working-class parents. “Dime con quien andas y te diré quien eres/Tell me who you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are.”Bryant walks the block with the most oppressed of our class. The prison authorities and corrections officers clearly stroll a different path“What does the DOC hope to achieve from all this?” A mischievous smile appears on Arroyo’s face, and he rubs his shaved bald head as if running his hand through a mop of hair.Then he trumpets his lips out in a comic fashion and gestures wildly with both hands, impersonating President Trump: “They want to Make America Great Again!“I think that’s a Freudian slip, by the way,” says Arroyo, chuckling. “They really just want to Make America Hate Again.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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The Harper Years: Tough Times For Reporters In Canada

first_img Follow the news on Canada Furthermore, Canada experienced the largest mass arrest of protesters in its history during the G20 summit – held in Toronto on June 26 and 27, 2010. Reporters covering the event were also arrested. RSF_en Organisation CanadaAmericas As federal elections will be held in Canada on October 19, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reviews the evolution of freedom of the press and information during Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s tenure. It is not a pretty picture. News Brett Gundlock, a photographer for the National Post at the time of the protests, was arrested despite having full accreditation and wearing a visible media access badge. “Press and protesters were treated in the same fashion,” says Gundlock, who was punched in the face by an officer after he put his hands up. He was then thrown to the ground. An officer kept his knee on Brett’s back to immobilize him while another officer kicked him. When he was finally taken to a makeshift detention facility, he was charged with unlawful assembly and obstruction of a police officer. After contesting these charges, he had to undergo a very thorough and intrusive strip-search. A full 24 hours elapsed before he was able to speak with a defense lawyer. Luckily, the charges were dropped 2 months later, but his arrest and violation of his civil rights should never have happened in the first place. “Since he became Canada’s Prime Minister (PM), in 2006, Stephen Harper has presided over the country with a very clear negative attitude towards freedom of the press and freedom of information. The most obvious example is his administration’s closed-door policy with regard to media requests for interviews,” says Delphine Halgand, US Director of Reporters Without Borders. News January 15, 2021 Find out more Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” And as far as privacy issues are concerned, the law allows various government institutions to share citizens’ personal information with security agencies if it is simply deemed “relevant” to national security. The situation is just as frustrating for journalists. Justin Ling of Vice, who has been covering Canadian politics for several years, says: “Media access in Canada has gone from pretty good to awful in the past several years.” According to him, information is now regularly withheld by the Harper’s government. Receiving adequate responses to Harper’s interview questions has become much more difficult. Now Harper answers approximately 5 questions from reporters every 2 to 3 months. Those journalists from national publications who pay to travel with the PM are usually entitled to 4 questions, while one is usually reserved for a journalist from a local publication. October 16, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 The Harper Years: Tough Times For Reporters In Canada “Every time you photograph Harper, it feels like you’re the enemy,” says Amber Bracken, photojournalist and president of the News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC). Amber says Harper “uses security as an excuse to protect his image,” explaining to RSF how the Prime Minister’s security team habitually cordons off photographers into specific areas to take photographs, excluding the possibility of any genuine or unscripted images. Help by sharing this information On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia November 11, 2020 Find out more “As election day draws near, the question that begs asking is: will this trend of restricting access to information and freedom of the press continue with a new government?” says Margaux Ewen, Advocacy and Communications Officer for RSF’s US office. Though many Canadians hope for change in this respect, it’s unclear that it will actually come. Nick Taylor-Vaisey, president of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) says: “It’s important to emphasize this is not only a Harper problem.” Freedom of the press and access to information have also been attacked by city and provincial governments – conservative and liberal alike. For example, the city of Ottawa’s police service claims it will cost over 6,000 Canadian dollars to produce data on accidents between cyclists and motor vehicles, whereas access to such information should be provided for free to media and citizens. Treating reporters as “enemies” doesn’t only manifest itself in Harper’s direct relationship with the media. It’s something his party has also successfully campaigned on. The Conservative Party sends fundraising emails to its donors suggesting the “media elite” is trying to undo everything the conservatives stand for and have already accomplished. CanadaAmericas Campaign promises from the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party include better treatment of the media and policies that favor broader access to information and a reduction in the costs associated with those requests. However, many in the journalistic community are skeptical that even a prime minister coming from a current opposition party will be willing to relinquish the high level of control that Harper has put into place during his years in office. News Arbitrary arrests at the demonstrations against the 2010 G20 summit The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) filed a complaint in July with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, arguing that Bill C-51 was “adopted in violation of the Constitution.” Opposition parties running against the current majority have promised to either scrap the law or remove the most controversial sections. National security – another excuseIn addition to his closed-door policy, anti-terrorism legislation passed during Harper’s time as PM has triggered significant issues regarding freedom of the press and of expression. Specifically Bill C-51 adopted in June 2015. The law includes prison terms of up to 5 years for “advocating” or “promoting” terrorism in general, including “reckless” statements. It also gives authorities the power to take down online content deemed “terrorist propaganda.” Many authoritarian regimes have adopted anti-terrorist legislation with similar language in order to silence journalists and human rights defenders. November 19, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts to go further Closed-door policy News Despite the fact that Canada currently remains among the top ranking countries in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, freedom of the press and access to information have suffered over the past 9 years. Systematic curtailment of photographers’ freedom of movement and limited access to the Prime Minister for interviews or even during press events seem to be the tenets of the Conservatives’ philosophy on the media. Brett’s colleague Colin O’Connor (photographer for the National Post), was also arrested, along with freelance journalist Jesse Rosenfeld, working for The Guardian. Jesse was also beaten by the police. “We must impose democratic obligations on the leading digital players”last_img read more

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Provide Details Of Members Of Tablighi Jamat Who Are Lodged In Quarantine Centers Or Are Released: Allahabad HC Tells State [Read Order]

first_imgNews UpdatesProvide Details Of Members Of Tablighi Jamat Who Are Lodged In Quarantine Centers Or Are Released: Allahabad HC Tells State [Read Order] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK30 May 2020 7:37 AMShare This – xThe Allahabad High Court on Friday asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to apprise it with the status of members of Tablighi Jamat, who were quarantined after their arrival in the state. The bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha has directed the state to “make available all details pertaining to the members of Tablighi Jamat, who were quarantined, released…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Allahabad High Court on Friday asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to apprise it with the status of members of Tablighi Jamat, who were quarantined after their arrival in the state. The bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha has directed the state to “make available all details pertaining to the members of Tablighi Jamat, who were quarantined, released after completing the quarantine period or have yet not been released despite completing tenure of quarantine.” The direction was passed in a PIL moved by Delhi-based lawyer Shaad Anwar who pointed out that all the members of Tablighi Jamat who were quarantined by the state Government have completed the prescribed Quarantine period but the State, without any just and valid reason and in violation of the right to life and liberty of such people guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, is not releasing them. Responding to these allegations, Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal informed the Court that many of such members were staying at the quarantine centers at their own will due to non-availability of transportation from the State of Uttar Pradesh to the State to which they belong. This fact was however disputed by the Petitioner. The court has now asked the Government to particularly provide reasons for not releasing such persons, if any. Case Details: Case Title: Shaad Anwar v. State of UP Case No.: PIL No. 578/2020 Quorum: Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha Appearance: Petitioner in person; Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal (for State) Click Here To Download Order Read Order Next Storylast_img read more

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Applications Integration — Core HR And Talent Management«In Full Bloom

first_imgApplications Integration — Core HR And Talent Management«In Full BloomShared from missc on 15 Apr 2015 in Personnel Today “Looking for an appropriate image to convey the necessity of deep integration across core HR (whose system’s name is HRMS) and talent management (whose system’s name is usually abbreviated TM), I remembered this really terrific graphic from Josh Bersin.  Giving tremendous credit where it’s due, this graphic is from an equally terrific post by Josh entitled: “Workday 10: Talent Management And HRMS Converge and dated in March, 2010 (and doesn’t it seem almost quaint to be referencing Workday 10?).  I won’t speak for Josh, but I’ve been preaching the need for tight integration across H”Read full article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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Virtual Reality property tours launched in Wales

first_imgAlexanders reports that it is the first estate agency in Ceredigion/Powys to introduce Virtual Reality Property Tours.They have created VR suites in their offices, where customers may come in, sit down in the pod and view the properties of their choice whilst relaxing and having a coffee.Wearing the headset allows them to be in charge of the camera, and it allows couples to simultaneously share the experience of a virtual viewing in either of Alexanders offices without actually visiting the property in person.Alexanders launched their first 360 video on our Facebook page, and within a week the property was sold.Layla Mangan, Partner at Alexanders said, “We are delighted to be the first estate agency in Wales to offer this new way for clients to view houses and make decisions on their new home.“Virtual Reality is becoming more influential in all aspects of commerce and I am sure that others will want to follow our lead. This method of operation is now rolling out as an option across our network and gives our clients a real advantage in selling their homes.”proptech virtual reality Virtual Reality in Wales Virtual Reality Property Tours August 15, 2017The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Virtual Reality property tours launched in Wales previous nextProptechVirtual Reality property tours launched in WalesCountry’s first agent to adopt VR property tours is Cardiff-based single-branch Alexanders.The Negotiator15th August 201701,014 Viewslast_img read more

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Krispy Kreme dismisses Enfield riot tweets

first_imgKristy Kreme has moved to dismiss Twitter postings suggesting that its Enfield store with onsite bakery was burned down in the London disturbances last night (Sunday, 7 August).Krispy Kreme was a trending topic on Twitter on Monday morning, with tweets such as “A Krispy Kreme is ablaze in Enfield”, “They’ve burned a Krispy Kreme down in the riots. Are they donuts?” and “They’re saying the Krispy Kreme factory in Enfield has been burned down. Now it’s personal.”However, a spokesman for Krispy Kreme said: “Following last night’s riots, our Enfield store sustained some minor damage. Fortunately, nobody was hurt and the damaged areas, which consisted of four broken windows, are already being fixed. The store is open for business as normal today.”Meanwhile, bakeries such as London craft wholesaler Flourish were counting the costs of the riots.Operations manager Shuk Ng told British Baker that the company had not been able to deliver to customers for two days as the roads around Tottenham were locked down. She expected the situation to continue for a further three or four days.last_img read more

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News story: Environment Minister visits North America to turn tide on marine plastic

first_img There is no greater asset than our blue planet, and it is only by working together we can address the multitude of threats facing our marine life. In the UK we have already banned microbeads and cracked down on plastic bags, and in 25 years’ time we will have eliminated all avoidable plastic waste. I look forward to working with my international counterparts to do all we can to protect our oceans for future generations. Minister McKenna and Minister Coffey also discussed the crucial role industry can play in turning the tide on plastic. And with businesses across the UK pledging to ban straws, cut plastic packaging and roll out water refills, the Minister met Mars and Coca Cola to see first-hand how big producers in the USA are tackling waste.While in Washington D.C. the Minister also met Judy Garber, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the American Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, who was supportive of moving forward work on oceans – especially on improved data and marine mapping.Minister Coffey also used a meeting with stakeholders from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the High Seas Alliance as an opportunity to discuss improving biodiversity in the marine environment. Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey has joined forces with Canada and the USA in the fight against marine plastic.During a visit to Washington D.C. and Ottawa this week, the Minister met her international counterparts to discuss the UK’s priorities for the marine environment ahead of the G7 Environment meetings to be held later this year.Like the UK, Canada has already banned microbeads in rinse-off cosmetics, and the Minister met the country’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, and Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, to look at how the two countries can unite in further tackling the threats facing our oceans.Through its presidency of the G7, which includes a focus on climate change, oceans and clean energy, Canada will be pushing member states to take action to deal with plastic pollution, ocean acidification, and develop the blue economy.Following her visit, the Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:last_img read more

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UGA entomology fellow Olivia Smith

first_imgFollowing the onset of several major outbreaks of foodborne pathogens traced back to wildlife, buyers of farm-fresh produce began encouraging the removal of natural habitats and nesting areas on farms to discourage wildlife intrusion.  As this tactic became a preventative measure targeted at limiting farmland contamination due to wildlife presence, Olivia Smith, a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, began to focus her research on identifying the food safety risks posed by wild birds due to agricultural intensification — examining the various relationships between farming practices, land-use practices around farms and crop contamination by birds.With populations of birds already rapidly declining due to repercussions from agricultural intensification, this solution is particularly problematic because farmland remains an important habitat for many species of birds.“Birds provide important insect pest control services to sustainable farmers, so removing birds makes it harder for these farmers to farm without pesticides,” said Smith. “Therefore, it is extremely important to understand how much of a problem birds are likely to be for food safety and how we might reduce that risk.”With foodborne illness remaining a major concern in the U.S. and abroad, this in-depth research is important for harmonizing food production and wildlife conservation, while preserving the general health of consumers around the globe. Despite widespread fear that birds are a major cause of foodborne illness, Smith’s studies showed only one conclusive study linking foodborne illness back to birds.“One of the greatest challenges of our time is to figure out how to feed 8 billion people while supporting a healthy environment for future generations,” said Smith. “Bird populations have been rapidly declining, with an estimated 3 billion birds lost over the last several decades. Meanwhile, a growing body of research has shown that biodiversity provides important pest control services to farmers. Thus, it is timely and imperative to understand how to best comanage conservation, food production and food safety.”Smith’s findings, which were published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, suggest that these natural habitats around farms should be preserved, as they may be beneficial for both food safety and wildlife conservation efforts, despite current recommendations for promoting food safety within the industry.“We began the research to understand how much of a problem birds are likely to be for food safety for small-scale, organic farmers and how farm management and land use surrounding a farm impact that risk,” said Smith, who works with Department of Entomology Professor Bill Snyder. “It is extremely important to understand the risk wild birds pose to food safety for several reasons.”Beginning in April 2016, Smith began accumulating hundreds of hours of data collection and collaborating with researchers across the country to prepare a manuscript for publication. Her leadership and dedication to the project garnered praise from Snyder, who served as co-senior author to the paper.“Olivia entirely led the field research that the paper reports, and also all stages of data analysis and manuscript preparation,” said Snyder. “Her project was challenging because it included an interdisciplinary team of researchers spread all across the country, yet she enthusiastically took on the challenge to herd this big group of cats. Her remarkable success in publishing her work is proof of just how effective she was as a team leader.”Snyder echoed the importance of Smith’s study and the impact it will have on the food production industry and wildlife worldwide.“Wildlife is thought to be a key threat to food safety, which has led to pressure for growers to remove natural habitats from their farms,” said Snyder. “Olivia has made a major contribution by showing the natural habitats on farms are the solution to, rather than the cause of, food safety threats posed by wild birds. This is because diversified farms attract the native bird species least likely to spread human pathogens. So, Olivia has shown that there is no conflict between food safety and bird conservation — quite the opposite, as the two actually go hand in hand.”Through her work, Smith hopes to inspire a younger generation of researchers and students to keep moving forward even when times get tough.“Carrying out a research project from start to finish comes with many challenges, but dedication and commitment will get you through to the end,” said Smith. “It is important to have confidence and push forth with your ideas.”A native of southeastern Michigan, Smith earned her bachelor of science in biology from Siena Heights University in 2013, a master of science in fisheries and wildlife from The Ohio State University in 2015, and a doctorate in biology from Washington State University in December 2019.To learn more about the UGA Department of Entomology, visit ent.uga.edu.last_img read more

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