Balliol JCR has become the first common room to sign up to pay a Living Wage to its staff.The Junior Common Room has agreed to increase its core levy charge on members by £1.33 to pay a living wage to five of its staff. The motion presented in the last JCR meeting argued, “If members of the JCR support the payment of a Living Wage to JCR staff in principle, they should be prepared to support it in practice with a direct increase to the JCR core levy”. Hannah O’Rourke, a Balliol student, campaigned in favour of the motion. “Living wage is a very important issue especially in times of recession. A job should keep you out of poverty, not keep you in it”, she said.She added that the move was “a useful way to apply pressure on colleges and the university. If we, as student employers, can pay a living wage, then surely they can to.”JCR President Iain Large praised the principle that has been turned into practice. “The JCR has shown its support for the Living Wage Campaign for many years in principle. It is good to see that it supports it in practice too, by agreeing to fund a living wage for the staff it employs.”Felix Flicker, the campaigner and a student at St Catherine’s college commented on the motion. “This is a vital step towards achieving a Living Wage in both Balliol College and the University as a whole. It is a further demonstration that student support for the campaign is very strong. Students aren’t content to be provising poverty pay salaries: nor should Balliol College be.”The Living Wage Campaign argues that the £5.15 minimum wage is not enough for Oxford residents to live on. It suggests that all workers in the city should be payed at least £7 per hour to reflect the city’s housing, transport, and groceries costs.Next week The Living Wage campaign is to hold a ceremony honouring institutions that pay the sufficient amounts to their staff. President of Oxford UnionCorey Dixon, OUSU President-Elect Stefan Baskerville and the Oxford Mayor will all receive a certificate of recognition.Corey Dixon said the Union “was already a living wage employer and the event was conducted to publicly show our support”.Oxford Council last week guaranteed all employees a minimum living wage, while OUSU has supported the campaign since its inception in 2006.
Under sweltering conditions mitigated somewhat by a constant breeze, the 2nd annual Sea Spray Catamaran Regatta took place Saturday, August 14.The event consisted of four races with a point system used to crown the overall winner.Each boat had a two-person crew. The first and third races were sprints, the second and fourth were traditional triangle courses with of the triangle upwind.In all, 10 boats competed in the event.When the racing was completed, Captain Bruce Buck and crew Joanne Weithenauer took the overall title.Second place went to Jim Brown and son, and P.J. Chew and Kevin Matthews took third.
Universally acclaimed surrealist filmmaker David Lynch (of Twin Peaks fame) will bring his Festival of Disruption to Brooklyn in May, marking the third edition of the event and the first on the east coast. Lynch will continue to host the event concurrently in Lost Angeles, where the first two years took place. The event is set to take place at Brooklyn Steel on May 19th and 20th.The music lineup for the event will include Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Animal Collective, Angel Olsen, Flying Lotus, Au Revoir Simone, John Hopkins, and Rebekah Del Rio. In addition to curating the talented roster of musicians for the Brooklyn edition of Festival of Disruption, David Lynch will also present a series of talks and film screenings at the event. Lynch himself conduct a talk on “Rare Short Films”, actress Isabella Rossellini will present a screening of Blue Velvet (1986), and renowned photographer Gregory Crewdson will present There But Not There, a 2017 Juliane Hiam-directed documentary short about the making of his 2008 opus, Beneath The Roses.An art exhibition has also been planned for the event and will showcase works by Lynch, William Eggleston, and David OReilly, in addition to Sandro Miller’s Psychogenic Fugue featuring John Malkovich photographed as iconic David Lynch characters. In addition, the Brooklyn edition of Festival of Disruption will feature a meditation session hosted by Bob Roth and featuring Brian Eno‘s his recent ambient LP, Reflection.The event will benefit the David Lynch Foundation, which aims to reduce “toxic stress and trauma among at-risk populations, including victims of domestic violence, veterans suffering from PTSD, and underserved urban youth, through the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique.”Tickets for the third annual Festival of Disruption go on sale Thursday, March 8th, with a limited number of tickets including an intimate cocktail party hosted by Lynch.For more information, head to the Festival of Disruption website.
And it didn’t end there. A group of shoppers and growers fromPike County started attending the Carroll County workshops. Theydecided to launch Pike County’s Market on the Square a few weeksafter the Cotton Mill Market opened. * A rose grower saw the potential of all those Saturday morningcustomers and built a small, inspected kitchen to sell bakedgoods along with fresh-cut roses.* A beef producer set up a new customer base by hawking histransition to pastured beef on market mornings.* A senior citizen who had been making quilts as a hobby broughtsome for a special market event and found a new generation ofcustomers. Downtown market opens in Upson CountyAnd that’s not the end of the success story. Upson CountyExtension Agent Wes Smith watched Market on the Square’s successfor a season. Then in 2003, he organized the Downtown Market inThomaston, building on the bylaws and rules passed along to PikeCounty from Carroll County.The Downtown Market started out on Wednesday mornings. It soonexpanded into Monday evenings, too.”The Downtown Market has definitely been a success,” Smith said.”Our first season provided a retail outlet for 30 farmers andbrought shoppers downtown.”With 24 market days, the growers had about $20,000 in sales. Themarket will start the 2004 season with both the Monday andWednesday market days.Jordan wasn’t surprised. “While it’s exciting that all thisactivity in Carroll, Pike and Upson counties started with amodest amount of grant money from Southern SARE, it’s not uniqueto Georgia,” he said.”We’re seeing this kind of ripple effect throughout the South,”he said. “It’s exactly what we envisioned when we started thisgrant program: many new opportunities springing from eachsuccess.” By Gwen RolandUniversity of Georgia Few Georgia counties have more farms than Carroll County — 702in 1997. With much of Atlanta only an hour away, though, thecounty’s agriculture was fast losing ground to urban sprawl.In 2002, the Carroll County Farmland and Rural PreservationPartners started looking for ways to reverse the trend. Theybelieved a farmers’ market might connect farmers with thecommunity and highlight the county’s rural character.The group got a $23,000 grant from the Southern RegionSustainable Agriculture Research and Education program run by theUniversity of Georgia and Fort Valley State University. A little money = startling resultsSARE usually provides major funding for large-scale scientificresearch. “But there are situations where a little money putdirectly into the hands of people close to a problem can producestartling and immediate results,” said Jeff Jordan, director ofSouthern Region SARE at the UGA Griffin, Ga., campus. The small grant to the Carroll Partners did just that. The groupconducted workshops to help growers choose high-demand crops,grow quality produce, set competitive prices, create attractivemarket displays and develop customer relationships. In the first season, 28 vendors sold more than $150,000 worth offruits, vegetables, cut flowers, grass-finished beef, honey,preserves, baked goods, landscape plants and a few traditional,handmade crafts.In 2003, the market added 10 more vendors. It expanded into asubscription market at the end of the season. Market on the Square was an immediate hit, averaging 10 vendorsin 2002 and 25 in 2003. The president of a local bank was soimpressed he offered the market free use of the bank’s shaded lotnext to the town square. Besides boosting retail sales of fresh produce, Market on theSquare has helped launch several new businesses in Pike County. A model for others to followThey used the Carroll County market as a model. They evenborrowed the bylaws and vendor regulations as a starting pointfor their own documents.
Congressman Peter Welch on Tuesday introduced legislation to protect dairy farmers by closing a trade loophole that allows for the unlimited importation of a form of dried milk product. Welch s bill, the Milk Import Tariff Equity Act, will update existing trade regulations to include milk protein concentrate (MPC) and treat it like all other imported dairy products. In the past decade, MPC imports have more than doubled, undermining the market for domestic powdered milk and driving down the price Vermont s dairy farmers are paid for their milk. As international dairy producers have flooded the American market with milk protein concentrate, Vermont s dairy farmers have paid the price. By circumventing trade agreements, these producers have contributed to the plummeting price of milk and caused many Vermont farmers to go out of business, Welch said. This legislation will simply level the playing field and ensure that all dairy producers play by the same rules.Milk protein concentrate, similar to non-fat dried milk, is used in a variety of processed food products. In the past ten years, MPC imports have increased 58 percent. A 2004 International Trade Commission report found that, imported milk protein products may have displaced approximately 318 million pounds of U.S. produced milk protein [equivalent to 883 million pounds of non-fat dried milk] between 1998 and 2002.Because the technology used to produce MPCs was relatively new at the time, regulations approved during the 1995 Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations neglected to include MPCs. In the years since, foreign producers have taken advantage of this oversight and increased exports at a rate higher than is allowed for other dairy products.The Milk Import Tariff Equity Act would simply close this loophole and ensure that milk protein concentrates are regulated at the same level as other dairy products.Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).Source: Welch’s office. 9.29.2009
South Australia businesses, billionaire team up on solar FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:U.K. “green steel” billionaire Sanjeev Gupta has unveiled a stunning, landmark agreement to provide cheap solar power to five major South Australian companies, promising to slash their electricity costs by up to 50 per cent.The eight-year deal signed with a consortium brought together by the SA Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME)–and including some of the heavy hitters in the resources industry–will enable Gupta’s SIMEC ZEN Energy to fast track the construction of the 220 MW Cultana solar farm near Whyalla. The eight-year supply deal is the just latest in a flood of contracts between large energy users and solar companies to slash their electricity costs by sourcing power directly from their own or third-party solar farms.Just in the past few weeks, companies such as CUB, Mars Australia, and University of Queensland have signed contracts to meet all their electricity needs with large-scale solar plants, and others such as zinc refiner Sun Metals, Telstra and CC Amatil will use solar and/or wind to supply a large part of their needs.Gupta’s deal is doubly significant, because it is the start of his own plans to create an Australian solar-powered economy, with plans to build 10GW of large-scale solar to slash the energy costs of his own manufacturing businesses and others. It is also another stake in the heart of the coal industry and their apostles in the right wing of the Coalition, whose claim that only coal power can deliver cheap and reliable energy is looking more ridiculous by the day.Indeed, while South Australia’s high and volatile power prices have been blamed by conservatives and ideologues as the fault of renewables, in reality the state has always experienced such high prices, even causing the state grid provider to investigate wind energy more than half a century ago. Now it is patently clear that wind and solar–combined with the plunging cost of storage and the emergence of “firming contracts”–is easily beating fossil fuel generation as the most reliable source of cheap energy.In all, Gupta plans 1GW of large-scale solar in South Australia alone, and plans to sign up more business customers. More: Gupta’s stunning deal to supply cheap solar to South Australian industry
Welcome to our new Ask the Doc feature. We will be posting regular updates from Dr. Sean Cook with questions pertaining to outdoor injuries and basic health and fitness. Hey Doc,My husband and I are going camping for a week on the Appalachian Trail. Ten weeks ago we did the same trail and two days after we returned home both of us had a stomach bug for next five days. How can we avoid a repeat situation?————————————————- First, congratulations on the trip (not on the illness). An estimated 3 percent of outdoor adventurers will return home with more than memories of their trip. Wilderness associated diarrhea (WAD) is caused by bacteria or viruses though less commonly due to parasites. The time frame of exposure to onset of symptoms is usually no more than seven days. Most WADs require no management beyond hydration and replacement of electrolytes like salt and potassium. Imodium can be used to help decrease frequency of diarrhea. Warning signs to seek medical attention would be diarrhea persisting more than 5 days, if the diarrhea is accompanied by fever, abdominal pain, or if blood is noted in the stool.WAD prevention is the key. Choose running water sources. Avoid water that is cloudy or run off water from nearby farms. Boiling water at 500 C (1600 F) for 30 minutes or 2-3 minutes at 900 C (1940 F) is adequate to kill all types of pathogens. If boiling water is not an option, using commercial filtration followed by iodine or chlorine tablets will work equally well. UV light devices have also become a popular alternative to chemical tablets. Be aware that colder temperatures and the amount of particles in the water will affect the purification efficiency UV light devices and chemical tablets.When Sean Cook, M.D., is not tempting fate kayaking the Chattooga River, you can find him practicing infectious disease in Eastern Georgia and South Carolina.
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Levels not seen in two decades; 2015 expected to surpass banner yearby: Trey GarrisonThe Credit Union National Association’s estimates show that credit union membership expanded by 3.6%—the highest calendar year growth in membership since the 3.7% increase in 1994.“Credit unions truly had a banner year as 2014 marked a time that credit unions experienced exceptional growth, something that hasn’t been seen in two decades,” said Jim Nussle, President and CEO of CUNA. “I’m proud of the credit union movement, its growing membership – from 100 million in August to 102 million to close out the year – and the fact that Americans are choosing credit unions as their best financial partner.”Mike Schenk, vice president of economics for CUNA said, “Although there’s a big difference between those who simply join a credit union because they recognize the value proposition and those who join and actually use credit union services, the data seems to suggest that Americans are both joining and tapping the services of credit unions: Strong loan portfolio growth provides important clues.”Credit union loans outstanding rose by 10.2% during the 12-month period, the fastest jump since 2005 when loans expanded by 10.7% continue reading »
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr We need to meet the banking lobby’s misinformation campaign head-on.By Mike SchenkThe banking lobby is at it again, ramping-up efforts to feed policy makers a healthy dose of anti-credit union rhetoric. Bankers are imploring legislators at the state and national levels to impose additional taxes on credit unions and severely restrain their operations.Credit unions, they say, harm the nation’s small banks and are “no longer focused on their original mission to serve disadvantaged members” of their communities.But as has been the case historically, the banker narrative is woefully short on facts. Put simply, evidence of credit union harm in the banking sector is nonexistent. And the notion that credit unions aren’t focused on their historical mission is just plain hogwash.In reality, “harm” is especially difficult to detect. Banks control 94% of U.S. financial institution assets while credit unions control less than 7%—a percentage that has been virtually unchanged for nearly 25 years.In 1992, the largest 100 banking institutions controlled 41% of financial institution assets and smaller banking institutions controlled 53% of the total. Today, the largest 100 banks control 74% and smaller institutions control 19%.If small banks are being harmed, the source of that harm clearly is big banks, not credit unions.As the nation’s only member-owned, democratically controlled financial institutions, credit unions are a small but necessary—and extremely popular—financial alternative for more than 100 million Americans.Ensuring policy makers see through and resist banker rhetoric is critically important. That’s because credit unions: continue reading »
Jun 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced that it is allocating states and major metropolitan areas $1.1 billion to strengthen public health preparedness and help healthcare facilities respond to emergency events such as an influenza pandemic or terrorist attack.”States and local communities need to be supported because they are on the front lines of response in a health emergency,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in an HHS press release today. “These funds will continue to enhance community readiness by increasing the capabilities of health departments, hospitals, and healthcare delivery systems to respond to any public health emergency.”HHS earmarked $1.1 billion for two related cooperative agreement programs: Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP), administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), managed by the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).Public health departments depend on cooperative health agreements to build capacity.Budget support for building capacityHHS said it allocated $704.8 million in PHEP funds to states, territories, and certain metropolitan areas, which is down from $896 million the agency granted in 2007. However, last year’s amount included $175 million for pandemic influenza preparedness.Focus areas for this year’s funds include:· Integrating public health, public, and private capabilities with other first responder systems· Addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in the event of a public health emergency· Ensuring that state, local, and tribal groups coordinate their planning on preparedness and response activities.The metropolitan areas that receive PHEP funding include New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles County, and Washington, DC. Grant amounts ranged from $330,743 for the territory of Palau to $50,161,370 for California.Renewed funding for surge capacityHHS started ramping up its funding for healthcare facility preparedness after the Sep 11 and anthrax attacks in 2001. The grant award, designed to boost surge capacity, this year is $398 million, down from $430 million in 2007.Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit public health advocacy group based in Washington, DC, has voiced concerns about the state of hospital preparedness over the past few years in its annual reports called “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism.”Most of the goals for the funds are the same as last year: development of or improvement in interoperable communication systems, bolstering hospital bed tracking systems, preregistration of healthcare volunteers, processes for hospital evacuations or sheltering-in-place, and fatality management. An added focus this year is strengthening community healthcare partnerships, HHS said.The same metropolitan areas that receive PHEP funding receive healthcare facility preparedness grants. Overall, grant awards ranged from $273,894 for Palau to $32,625,884 for California.A change this year for both programs is a new accountability program, which was stipulated in the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. HHS said it could withhold funds from states, territories, or cities that don’t meet performance measures.Downward funding trendsIn February, TFAH issued an analysis of the Bush administration’s budget proposals for 2009 in which it raised concerns over shrinking funding levels for public health preparedness and hospital readiness programs. Over the past 5 years, the funding level has been reduced by one-third, according to a TFAH press release that accompanied the analysis.At about the same time, a report from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) said that the cuts have impaired local preparedness efforts.Cuts in federal preparedness funding threatens the gains that many states have made, TFAH director Jeff Levi said in December 2007 when the group released its fifth annual readiness report.Rich Hamburg, director of governmental relations for TFAH, told CIDRAP News today that the amounts of today’s grants were about what the group had expected.See also:Jun 3 HHS press releaseJul 11, 2007, CIDRAP news story “HHS to give states $430 million for hospital preparedness”Jul 18, 2007, CIDRAP news story “HHS, DHS fund public health preparedness and emergency response”Feb 4 TFAH press release