Existing Programs – Sister Friends Together http://www.sisterfriends-together.org/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 17:40:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1.png Existing Programs – Sister Friends Together http://www.sisterfriends-together.org/ 32 32 Mammoth Freighters Adds Widebody MRO Installation to B777 Cargo https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/mammoth-freighters-adds-widebody-mro-installation-to-b777-cargo/ https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/mammoth-freighters-adds-widebody-mro-installation-to-b777-cargo/#respond Wed, 22 Sep 2021 17:16:59 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/mammoth-freighters-adds-widebody-mro-installation-to-b777-cargo/ ORLANDO, Sep 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Mammoth Freighters LLC (“Mammoth”) today announced a strategic investment in a world-class widebody maintenance and modification facility to support its Boeing 777s -200LR and 777-300ER passenger-to-cargo conversion programs. Through its investment, Mammoth enters into a long-term partnership with GDC Technics (“GDC”), a global aerospace company with extensive expertise […]]]>

ORLANDO, Sep 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Mammoth Freighters LLC (“Mammoth”) today announced a strategic investment in a world-class widebody maintenance and modification facility to support its Boeing 777s -200LR and 777-300ER passenger-to-cargo conversion programs.

Through its investment, Mammoth enters into a long-term partnership with GDC Technics (“GDC”), a global aerospace company with extensive expertise in engineering and technical services, modifications, electronic systems, R&D. and MRO services. Located at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, GDC has a state-of-the-art 840,000 square foot facility and six widebody hangars for modification and maintenance work on 777 aircraft.

Mammoth Co-CEO Bill Tarpley said, “By partnering with GDC, our Mammoth 777 -200LR and -300ER cargo conversion and support initiative will be located in the mid-US in a purpose-built facility. for 777-200 / 300 aircraft and with qualified personnel. workforce in place.

Brad Foreman, CEO of GDC, added: “We believe Mammoth is positioned to be the world’s leading passenger-to-cargo converting company and we are excited about the potential. We see a huge market for cargo conversion lines. Coupled with our existing connectivity, MRO and VIP services, this positions GDC for continued growth in the market. “

GDC Chairman Mohammed Alzeer said, “This strategic partnership between Mammoth, a company backed by funds and accounts managed by Fortress Investment Group LLC, and GDC, will revolutionize the passenger-to-cargo market for the benefit of airline owners. assets and investors, freight operators and their customers.

About Mammoth Freighters LLC

Mammoth, with operations in Escondido, Calif., Orlando, Florida, and soon Fort. Worth, TX, was founded specifically to develop, convert and support two models of the world’s most productive and economical 777 long-haul freighters. Mammoth brings a flexible business model to the cargo conversion market that provides air freight operators and asset owners with dynamic new options, including the ability to supply their own assets for conversion or to acquire or lease. ready-to-fly converted freighters from existing Mammoth raw material of ten 777 -Plane equipped with 200LR GE90-110B1. The company, which has a Boeing data license to perform 777 conversions from passenger to cargo, has already made significant progress since starting operations in late 2020 and plans to gain FAA approval for its additional type certificate. (STC) in the second half of 2023.

About Fortress Investment Group LLC

Fortress is a leading and highly diversified global investment manager with approximately $ 53.9 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2021.

Visit: Mammoth777.com for more information.


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New study reveals influence of pandemic, new technologies and company size on construction safety management https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/new-study-reveals-influence-of-pandemic-new-technologies-and-company-size-on-construction-safety-management/ https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/new-study-reveals-influence-of-pandemic-new-technologies-and-company-size-on-construction-safety-management/#respond Tue, 21 Sep 2021 12:35:00 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/new-study-reveals-influence-of-pandemic-new-technologies-and-company-size-on-construction-safety-management/ HAMILTON, New Jersey – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – COVID-19 and new technologies are creating significant changes in the way entrepreneurs handle security, according to new study from Dodge Data & Analytics. There is wide variation in the way businesses of different sizes react, with smaller employers lagging behind their larger peers. SmartMarket 2021 Report on Safety […]]]>

HAMILTON, New Jersey – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – COVID-19 and new technologies are creating significant changes in the way entrepreneurs handle security, according to new study from Dodge Data & Analytics. There is wide variation in the way businesses of different sizes react, with smaller employers lagging behind their larger peers.

SmartMarket 2021 Report on Safety Management in the Construction Industry, the fifth in this series, shows how contractors and workers are adapting well-established safety management principles to respond to the pandemic and are beginning to benefit from increased access to real-time data. The report was published with the support of the Center for Research and Training in Construction (CPWR) and Newmetrix.

Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2021 documents how COVID-19 accelerated existing changes in entrepreneurs’ approaches. More than one in three (35%) entrepreneurs have increased online training in the past 12 months, and almost two-thirds (63%) of entrepreneurs are now using it. More than 75% of entrepreneurs who reported using more online training attributed this growth in part or all to COVID-19. However, while 96% of large employers with 100 or more employees developed a written plan to protect workers on construction sites from the spread of COVID-19, only 57% of employers with fewer than 20 employees had written plans.

An even bigger trend resulting from COVID-19 is the increased use of health and wellness measures. While these measures have long been a part of construction safety, the study found that many new measures were adopted during the pandemic. Almost two-thirds (61%) of contractors plan to keep some of these measures after the pandemic is over, although respondents varied considerably in their views on which practices will continue.

The study compares the current use of health and wellness programs for workers on the construction site and in company offices. Between 40% and 50% of entrepreneurs offer mental health services to their workers, including alcohol and drug abuse programs, but only about 25% offer stress management or smoking cessation programs. Again, large entrepreneurs were much more likely to take this step than small entrepreneurs. These statistics suggest both a broad recognition of the value of these programs and the opportunities for much wider adoption.

“COVID-19 has highlighted that the safety and health of workers are crucial for a successful construction,” said Chris Trahan Cain, executive director of CPWR. “This report shows that entrepreneurs of all sizes must continue to address persistent concerns like falls and ergonomics while responding to COVID-19 through planning, training and technological advancements. ”

The report also shows that the construction industry continues to evolve towards a data-driven approach to managing safety.

  • One in five entrepreneurs (19%) see making better use of the security data they currently collect as one of the main ways to improve their security program.

  • A slightly higher proportion believe that the use of observational data from worksite images (26%) and predictive analytics (21%) is essential to a world-class safety program.

The study also highlights the likelihood of wider adoption of a data-driven approach. Entrepreneurs have identified several technologies as the most likely to improve security in the future, including wearable sensors, predictive analytics, and visual surveillance with artificial intelligence (AI). Currently, only around 10% of entrepreneurs use wearable sensors or predictive analytics, and only 5% use visual surveillance with AI. Forty-one percent of small employers don’t currently use data for their security programs, but 96% of large businesses do. Overall, the proportion of those who plan to implement these technologies in the next three years is more than double those who do so now.

The study highlights that contractors are continuing their existing security practices. The practices and benefits of their use – including the ability to negotiate better insurance terms, a better reputation in the industry, and a better ability to bring in new work – remain remarkably consistent with previous SmartMarket reports.

“Despite the new demands and challenges in the fight against COVID-19, the study results demonstrate the commitment of entrepreneurs to their best security practices,” said Steve Jones, senior director of information on the COVID-19. industry at Dodge Data & Analytics. “They always see that making these investments has positive implications not only for their workers, but for their projects and their businesses.”

Along with the report, Dodge Data & Analytics and Newmetrix will host a seminar on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 1:15 p.m. ET at the Orlando World Center Marriott. The seminar, “Improving Security Through Technology: A Tactical Guide to the Best Investments,” will be led by Steve Jones of Dodge Data & Analytics and Timothy Gattie of Newmetrix. It will cover business perspectives on promising industry technologies and the latest processes that best prepare teams to adopt enhanced security measures.

The full report is available for free download at www.construction.com.

About Dodge Data and Analytics: Dodge Data & Analytics is North America’s leading provider of commercial construction project data, market forecasting and analytical services and workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors and service providers use Dodge to identify and research unprecedented growth opportunities that help them grow their businesses. Locally, regionally or nationally, Dodge empowers customers to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, seize growth opportunities and successfully pursue specific sales opportunities. The information on the company’s construction projects is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry.

On April 15, Dodge Data & Analytics and The Blue Book, the largest and most active network in the commercial construction industry in the United States, merged their businesses. The Blue Book Network offers three unprecedented databases of companies, projects and people. Dodge and The Blue Book offer over 10 billion data items and over 14 million project and document searches. Together they provide a unified approach to new business generation, business planning, research, and marketing services that users can leverage to find the best partners to complete projects and engage with customers and prospects. to promote projects, products and services. To learn more, visit: construction.com and thebluebook.com.

About CPWR: CPWR – The Construction Research and Training Center is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization created by the North American Building Trades Unions (NABTU). Its mission is to improve safety and health conditions in the American construction industry. CPWR is ideally located to serve construction workers, contractors and the scientific community in the United States, in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as part of the Safety and Health Research Initiative health in building NIOSH for three decades.

About Newmetrix: Newmetrix reduces project risks in the areas of safety, productivity and quality with its easy-to-use, industry-friendly artificial intelligence (AI) platform, Vinnie. With Newmetrix, construction customers were able to halve their recordable incident rates and use platform data to demonstrate lower risk to ensure lower insurance premiums. For more information on Newmetrix, please visit http://newmetrix.com.


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Military could better tackle extremism in the ranks with existing programs, report says https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/military-could-better-tackle-extremism-in-the-ranks-with-existing-programs-report-says/ https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/military-could-better-tackle-extremism-in-the-ranks-with-existing-programs-report-says/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 22:25:14 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/military-could-better-tackle-extremism-in-the-ranks-with-existing-programs-report-says/ The military could better combat extremism in the ranks simply by using programs that already exist, according to a recently released study by researchers at a Washington, DC-based think tank. “Historically, the military has struggled to identify and manage personnel whose beliefs could lead to future problems,” wrote the authors of the report, which was […]]]>

The military could better combat extremism in the ranks simply by using programs that already exist, according to a recently released study by researchers at a Washington, DC-based think tank.

“Historically, the military has struggled to identify and manage personnel whose beliefs could lead to future problems,” wrote the authors of the report, which was produced by Rand Corp.

The most recent and blatant examples of extremists in the ranks include at least 32 veterans and one active duty member believed to have been part of the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6. groups with extreme views or agendas also continue to emerge. The Pentagon also acknowledged that extremist groups were actively trying to recruit military personnel.

Read more : Space Force finally has its own rank badge

The report’s authors argue that not only the Defense Ministry should use the programs it has to deal with the military in the early stages of extremist tendencies, but tailor them to groups that target the military.

“You want to understand the landscape and then tailor the programs accordingly so that you can get ahead of this type of activity before it gets out of hand,” Marek Posard, one of the study’s authors, told Military.com .

Posard explained that “everything from mental health care providers and chaplains to family readiness groups” can be used as part of this effort.

“Military organizations do not exist independently of society at large and so… you will start to see the same types of things happening in the military,” he added.

The goal, according to Posard and his fellow researchers, is to intervene early – ideally before law enforcement has to intervene. The report emphasizes “community-based” approaches that focus on the entire military or entire groups of extremists rather than on individuals.

Posard also noted that there is a great need to know more about how the military is recruited and the true scope of the problem.

“There really is a need for data collection to capture and understand these trends at different types of touchpoints,” he explained. “You can have actual activities that are clearly illegal, but there are also other types of protests and initial states. These are more difficult to measure.”

The document also notes that “the military could better take advantage of existing violence prevention programs to prevent the military from becoming involved in extremist groups.”

So far, while each branch has publicly condemned any extremist activity, dealing with individual cases has been more difficult. Some measures, such as tighter entry controls, appear to be paying off. However, in other cases, officers have been allowed to remain in the military and continue to work while lengthy investigations or legal proceedings continue.

– Konstantin Toropin can be contacted at konstantin.toropin@military.com. Follow him on twitter @ktoropin.

Related: Pentagon announces tougher extremism screens for new military recruits

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Significant Changes to the State’s Stormwater Management Program for Those Affected by Post-Construction Stormwater Management Permits – Real Estate and Construction https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/significant-changes-to-the-states-stormwater-management-program-for-those-affected-by-post-construction-stormwater-management-permits-real-estate-and-construction/ https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/significant-changes-to-the-states-stormwater-management-program-for-those-affected-by-post-construction-stormwater-management-permits-real-estate-and-construction/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 12:24:13 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/significant-changes-to-the-states-stormwater-management-program-for-those-affected-by-post-construction-stormwater-management-permits-real-estate-and-construction/ Significant changes to North Carolina’s stormwater runoff law came into effect today as part of Sessional law 2021-158. The changes to the stormwater program are incorporated into an environmental omnibus bill titled “An Act to Make Various Amendments to the Laws on Natural, Environmental and Cultural Resources of the State, as Recommended by the Quality […]]]>

Significant changes to North Carolina’s stormwater runoff law came into effect today as part of Sessional law 2021-158.

The changes to the stormwater program are incorporated into an environmental omnibus bill titled “An Act to Make Various Amendments to the Laws on Natural, Environmental and Cultural Resources of the State, as Recommended by the Quality Departments of the State. environment and natural and cultural resources ”(the“ “Act”). Introduced in March as Senate Bill 389, the law was ratified by the General Assembly on September 8, 2021 and signed by Governor Roy Cooper eight days later.

The main method used by the Environmental Quality Department (DEQ) to control stormwater discharges is to implement best management practices adapted to on-site activities aimed at reducing the sources of pollutants. DEQ’s Energy, Mineral and Land Resources Division (DEMLR) implements and enforces various North Carolina stormwater permitting programs for industrial, municipal and development activities. DEMLR’s Global Stormwater Licensing Program is a compendium of statewide stormwater control policies, strategies and regulations designed to protect surface water quality from the adverse effects of runoff.

Under the Post-construction stormwater program, DEMLR issues stormwater permits and enforces stormwater management for development in a 20-county coastal area in eastern North Carolina and other pockets of the state. Low density stormwater permits are perpetual and do not require technical stormwater control measures; instead, they limit the built-up area (BUA, also known as the impermeable surface) to a certain percentage of the entire development, often with boundaries per lot. High density permits are valid for eight years and must be renewed as they prescribe technical stormwater control measures with specific operation and maintenance requirements.

Section 4 of the act modifies the stormwater management program under § 143-214.7 of the North Carolina Bylaws in several ways:

1. Annual certifications

New stormwater permits and those reissued by transfer, amendment or renewal will require the permit holder to submit an annual certification of the project’s compliance with the permit conditions. DEMLR cannot require the license holder or their representative to submit annual certification and will need to update their online system to allow electronic submission of certification. Annual compliance certification is not considered “new or increased stormwater control,” which the law explicitly prohibits from applying to pre-existing development.

2. Transfer permit

Several provisions of the Act modify the process for transferring stormwater permits. Under normal circumstances, a licensee requests a license transfer shortly after the underlying property has been transferred to a successor owner. However, this does not always happen.

The Act expands the power of the DEMLR to transfer a stormwater license without the consent of the license holder or successor owner by allowing it to initiate a transfer of a license in a broader set of circumstances. The Act authorizes DEMLR to require that a license transfer request be submitted when:

  • the holder is (1) a deceased natural person; (2) a trade association which has dissolved, has completed the liquidation of the business and has no successor in title; (3) a person or entity having legally and definitively dispossessed of title to property by foreclosure, bankruptcy or other legal proceedings; or (4) a person or entity who sold the good,

and

  • the successor owner of the asset is (1) the person or entity holding the title; (2) the applicant for the right to carry out the authorized activity; (3) an association as defined by law; or (4) any other natural person, group of persons or entity deemed appropriate by DEMLR to operate and maintain the license.

Under the Act, the licensee and the successor owner will be required to jointly submit an application for the transfer of a stormwater treatment license, unless the license holder has died or a trade association is dissolved or if the successor owner asks DEMLR to accept the request without the licensee’s signature.

Under the Act, the licensee and the successor owner will be required to jointly apply for the transfer of a stormwater treatment license, unless the license holder has died or a trade association is dissolved or if the successor owner asks DEMLR to accept the request without the licensee’s signature.

If the license transfer conditions are met from July 1, 2021, DEMLR may require that the joint application be submitted within 90 days. If the license transfer conditions have been met before July 1, 2021, DEMLR may request a transfer request after confirming the transfer conditions and may require it to be submitted within 180 days of the request. If the conditions on the property are not in accordance with the approved plans and license conditions, the license transfer request will need to include an action plan with a timeline for achieving compliance within one calendar year. It may also require a permit modification request. Low density permit transfer requests may include a request to update the BUA limit under the new conditions discussed below.

If the licensee has sold the property or is the registrant of a condominium or planned community and the successor owner is an association, only the licensee is responsible for the action plan and schedule. of compliance and substantial compliance of the property with approved plans and permit conditions before DEMLR can transfer the permit. DEMLR cannot impose new or different design standards on a project without the prior express consent of the successor-owner of the property.

3. Built on zone limit overruns

A new permit modification request mechanism is available for low density stormwater permits that have exceeded the authorized BUA limits in order to bring these projects into compliance with the existing or amended BUA limit. A permit holder whose low density permit was issued before January 1, 2017 can request a permit amendment to limit the BUA to the existing amount that exceeds the authorized BUA limit. The law specifies the updated BUA limits for change requests based on whether the current BUA is less than or equal to 110% of the maximum BUA allowed under the permit. Compliance with an updated BUA limit will need to be reported as part of the new annual certification requirement. Projects, where the BUA exceeds 110% of the maximum BUA allowed under the permit, must mitigate the impacts of the exceedance by adding one or more stormwater control measures on the property before DEMLR can issue an updated permit.

4. Grandfather of Low Density Stormwater Certifications

For older developments approved under the New Stormwater Program, stormwater certifications and approvals issued before September 1, 1995 will be revoked effective January 1, 2022. The current BUA will be considered an existing development in under other provisions of the law. This processing will require that any future development on such projects or sites comply with the law and any restrictions relating to recorded acts.

5. Civil sanctions

Finally, the law extends § 143-215.6A to allow DEQ to impose a civil penalty of up to $ 25,000 for violations of any part of § 143-214.7. Civil penalties were previously limited to part of the law that was repealed in 2013.

What can happen?

The most significant impacts of the Act will likely be felt by developers of residential communities still designated as license holders and by community associations and their property management companies who oversee existing developments but are not current license holders. The provisions that address BUA exceedances of low density permit limits offer the best opportunity to solve a conundrum that frequently plagues communities – situations where homeowners add improvements, such as swimming pools, patios and landscaping, which exceed the BUA limits of the permit, and DEMLR refuses to transfer the permit for non-compliance even though neither the holder nor the association participated in the development activities that led to the exceedance. The advantage is that transfers of permits stranded along the coast can benefit everyone if done in a cooperative manner. But drainage areas that are overdeveloped and already subject to high water tables prone to flooding in the event of rain may not be able to cope with leaving excess BUA in place or supporting further development. Time and weather will tell.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.


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Democrats push to overhaul healthcare programs for millions of people https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/democrats-push-to-overhaul-healthcare-programs-for-millions-of-people/ https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/democrats-push-to-overhaul-healthcare-programs-for-millions-of-people/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:33:33 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/democrats-push-to-overhaul-healthcare-programs-for-millions-of-people/ WASHINGTON (AP) – Dental care for the elderly Health Insurance. The end of the rock bottom prices on prescription drugs. New options for long-term home care. Coverage for low-income people in lockdown Medicaid by ideological battles. These are just a few of the healthcare changes Democrats want to make with President Joe Biden’s massive “Build […]]]>

WASHINGTON (AP) – Dental care for the elderly Health Insurance. The end of the rock bottom prices on prescription drugs. New options for long-term home care. Coverage for low-income people in lockdown Medicaid by ideological battles.

These are just a few of the healthcare changes Democrats want to make with President Joe Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” plan. The $ 3.5 trillion National Agenda Bill affects nearly every aspect of American life, from taxes to climate change, but the components of health care are a cornerstone for Democrats, magnified during the COVID-19 crisis.

For the nearly 145 million Americans covered by government health programs, as well as their families and communities, investing in the nation’s services could make a difference in quality of life for decades.

“It’s a holistic look at how health care can be not only expanded, but better geared towards the real needs of people,” said Kathleen Sebelius, Federal Health Secretary to President Barack Obama, of the Bill Biden. “You have a plan that really targets the serious gaps in health care that keep people uninsured or running out of money for their treatments. ”

But Democrats can only be successful if they bridge the divides between them. Don’t look for Republicans to help you.

With Medicare’s long-term finances under a cloud, Republicans say now is not the time to add new benefits. They plan to oppose not only the healthcare provisions but the entire Biden package, voting against it as being too big, expensive and a slide towards “socialism.”

Conscious of the politics to come, Democrats are pulling the package together with their weak grip on Congress. Instead of launching new experiments that many progressives prefer, they have chosen to inject more resources into existing programs, Medicare and Medicaid adopted during the Great Society during the Obama era. Affordable Care Act.

It’s sort of a compromise, led by Biden’s approach, paid for by taxes on corporations and the wealthy, those who earn more than $ 400,000, as well as savings on prescription drug prices paid. by the government to pharmaceutical companies.

“I have said many times before: I believe we are at an inflection point in this country – one of those times when the decisions we are about to make can change – literally change – the trajectory of our nation. for years. and maybe decades to come, ”Biden said in remarks last week at the White House.

Polls have shown that key healthcare provisions appeal to voters of all political lines. Many Republican voters, for example, generally approve of Medicare negotiating the prices of prescription drugs, even if GOP lawmakers do not. While Obama’s health law was primarily aimed at helping uninsured working-age people and their families, Biden’s coda emphasizes the elderly, who are also reliable voters in mid-election. mandate.

The main healthcare provisions in the mix include:

—Allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of the most expensive drugs, including insulin. Private insurers and employer plans could then access these lower prices. Annual increases in established drug prices would be limited. Elderly reimbursable expenses would be capped.

A RAND Corporation study finds that such an approach could cut U.S. spending on major drugs in half.

Strong opposition from large pharmaceutical companies and major industrial groups has left Democrats divided over the structure of the program.

Four House Democrats opposed the measure in committee votes last week, enough to fill the whole bill. In the past, they had argued to give Medicare the power to negotiate, but they are voicing a series of concerns about the scope of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan. The Senate could take a somewhat different approach.

Medicare’s bargaining power is the backbone of all healthcare, as expected savings would be used to deliver new benefits.

—Expand health insurance to cover dental care, vision and hearing aids for the elderly. This provision, championed by Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Has been a long time coming. Vision care would start at the end of next year and hearing aids in 2023, but in an apparent cost cut, dental coverage would not begin until 2028.

—Based on Obama’s health care law. The idea is to provide health insurance to more than 2 million low-income people in GOP-led states that have rejected “Obamacare” Medicaid expansion. The workaround is a major demand for health equity for black lawmakers, as many of those caught in the coverage gap are minorities in the southern states.

Biden’s plan also calls for making health insurance more affordable for people who buy their own policies by increasing subsidies for Obama’s health law. The richest subsidies are temporarily provided in Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill to people who do not have employer coverage, and the White House wants to make the subsidies permanent. Lawmakers may only be able to meet the president halfway.

—Promote a shift to long-term care in the patient’s home as opposed to care facilities, which have turned into incubators for the coronavirus as the pandemic spreads. Biden had wanted $ 400 billion for this initiative as part of Medicaid, but it appears Congress will give him about half of it.

—Permanently fund the politically popular children’s health insurance program so that it does not face recurring votes in Congress that could disrupt services.

—Improved maternal health by providing postpartum coverage for 12 months through Medicaid.

With key centrist Democrats, including the senses. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, saying the overall price of $ 3.5 trillion is too high, Democrats are looking for ways to cut costs, either by cutting some programs or, more likely, by shaving. some cost or duration of what has been proposed.

Other Democrats, however, have warned that a thinner package could disappoint voters who sent them to Washington on their promises to make big changes.

“My constituents expect and pledge to deliver,” said Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., Whose professional background is in health care policy.

Biden’s approval rating plunged following the chaotic and violent consequences of the United States’ exit from Afghanistan and the resurgence of the coronavirus at home after proclaiming the pandemic was on the wane, and as Democrats in Congress are gearing up for next year’s midterm elections.

Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said the healthcare provisions in the budget bill appeal to lawmakers’ own instincts for self-preservation. The proposals resonate with older voters and women, two key groups in the 2022 contests, with Democrats battling to retain the House.

“If you want to protect yourself in your district, you have to double the health care provisions,” she said.


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Mastering technology as a catalyst for systemic change – le journal https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/mastering-technology-as-a-catalyst-for-systemic-change-le-journal/ https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/mastering-technology-as-a-catalyst-for-systemic-change-le-journal/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 19:47:16 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/mastering-technology-as-a-catalyst-for-systemic-change-le-journal/ Technology and education Mastery of technology as a catalyst for systemic change By Dennis O. Harper, Rebecca F. Kemper 09/20/21 The K-12 education system needs to change. This phrase has been spoken for centuries, and millions of educators and billions of dollars have tried to make this change. John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, Seymour […]]]>

Technology and education

Mastery of technology as a catalyst for systemic change

The K-12 education system needs to change. This phrase has been spoken for centuries, and millions of educators and billions of dollars have tried to make this change. John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, Seymour Papert, Jonathan Kozel and many others have spent their lives developing proven models of teaching and learning. National efforts such as “A Nation at Risk” (United States, 1983), Technology Innovation Challenge Grants (US Department of Education, 1995) and “No Child Left Behind” (United States, 2001) are just three examples. recent efforts. to change schools systematically. So why have these efforts not resulted in significant changes? Why have we read every year over the past century that “the K-12 education system is in crisis? “

This article will argue that three factors are now (2021) different and may result in not only significant educational reform, but also overall systemic change in systems beyond education. The article will then propose that technological culture is the catalyst to take into account these new factors and create a global systemic change. This article will further provide five suggested solutions that could be implemented by K-12 schools that can address both technological culture and systemic change.

Zachary Stein (2019) in his book “Education in a Time Between Worlds” summarizes what the current reform of the education system should involve and why it is essential for reforming systems beyond education.

“Those concerned with ‘fixing’ the existing school system don’t stop to ask questions about what schools are, who they serve and what kind of civilization they perpetuate. As I said, our civilization is in transition. Across the planet, major transformations are underway – in the global system and the biosphere – which will decenter the core, reallocate resources and recalibrate values, the economy and nature itself. That is the task of education today: to meet the almost unimaginable design challenge of building an education system that provides for the re-creation of civilization during a transition of the world system. This challenge brings us face to face the importance of education for humanity and the fundamental questions that structure education as a human enterprise. “

This article goes beyond reforming the K-12 education system. It’s about changing all systems. We will present a case on how to meet the challenge identified by Stein of “rebuilding an education system that provides for the recreation of civilization during the transition of the global system”. We will suggest that achieving this reconstruction is now possible for three reasons: urgency, technology and the infusion of youth. We then argue that mastering technology from Kindergarten to Grade 12 is a key catalyst for achieving systemic change. The article will end with five examples of how schools are starting to rebuild the education system to achieve the above goals.

Define technology culture, catalyst and systemic change

Before making a case for K-12 technology mastery as a key catalyst for systemic change, we need to clarify our definitions of the three main terms in the title of this article.

Kindergarten to Grade 12 Technology Proficiency – What Does It Mean for a Kindergarten to Grade 12 Student to be Tech Proficient? What should a high school student know after graduating from high school? Being literate in any field is always a moving target. As time goes by, more history occurs, more literature is written, more science is discovered, etc. Technological culture is perhaps the most fluid of all literacies. The current pandemic has shown that first graders have had to master distance learning applications and cloud-based environments, skills that until now were not considered necessary.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has addressed technological culture over the past 20 years by developing the ISTE Comprehensive Standards for Students (ISTE, 2016). These standards divide technological culture into seven key elements.


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Governor McMaster Pledges to Increase Funding for Special Needs Programs https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/governor-mcmaster-pledges-to-increase-funding-for-special-needs-programs/ https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/governor-mcmaster-pledges-to-increase-funding-for-special-needs-programs/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 22:25:00 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/governor-mcmaster-pledges-to-increase-funding-for-special-needs-programs/ CLEMSON, SC (WSPA) – Governor McMaster was on the Clemson campus on Friday after the university issued a call to action for college students with special needs. Clemson University has one of South Carolina’s largest special needs programs. The ClemsonLIFE program was launched for students with special needs who may not have many options for […]]]>

CLEMSON, SC (WSPA) – Governor McMaster was on the Clemson campus on Friday after the university issued a call to action for college students with special needs.

Clemson University has one of South Carolina’s largest special needs programs.

The ClemsonLIFE program was launched for students with special needs who may not have many options for college. The opportunity allows them to come to Clemson to learn, grow and acquire life skills.

Now this program will spread across the state.

McIveer Thomas began his college search with a lot of questions.

“Is there a place, you know, where a college, where special needs would be,” Thomas said.

As a student with intellectual challenges, his options were limited, but that’s when he discovered ClemsonLIFE.

“When I opened this letter I was blown away, I was shocked that they accepted me,” Thomas said.

Thomas graduated several years ago and his story is one of victory.

Thomas said: “Now I’m independent, my skills have improved dramatically. There are still bumps in the road, but they’re better than they were years ago.

Thomas’ success story is not the first.

Hundreds of other students with special needs were able to complete the two-year program and secure full-time jobs.

Governor McMaster announced on Friday that he would allocate additional funds from the state budget to other colleges and universities to launch their own similar programs.

“Keep doing what you’re doing. It makes South Carolina an even better place to live, work and raise a family, ”said McMaster.

For Clemson chairman Jim Clements, it comes close.

Her daughter Grace is in her first year in the ClemsonLIFE program this year.

“We never knew if she would be able to go to college and have an experience like this, have these friends and have this program, learn the skills, live independently and to find a job. the president of the university, but as the father of ClemsonLIFE, I am delighted, we are so blessed, ”said Clements.

This additional funding will also be given to schools that already have suitable programs, allowing them to continue and improve opportunities for students.

The ClemsonLIFE program trains an average of 7-8 students each year. Last year they doubled that number.


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Past deforestation awaits a world of supply chains without conversion https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/past-deforestation-awaits-a-world-of-supply-chains-without-conversion/ https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/past-deforestation-awaits-a-world-of-supply-chains-without-conversion/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 09:36:36 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/past-deforestation-awaits-a-world-of-supply-chains-without-conversion/ Deforestation has been the poster child of the environmental movement for decades. For good reason, because healthy forests are of paramount importance to biodiversity, climate and local livelihoods. But they’re not the only ecosystem we should be concerned about. In the United States, temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, which are found primarily on the Great […]]]>

Deforestation has been the poster child of the environmental movement for decades. For good reason, because healthy forests are of paramount importance to biodiversity, climate and local livelihoods. But they’re not the only ecosystem we should be concerned about.

In the United States, temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, which are found primarily on the Great Plains, are the most threatened native landscapes. New analysis from the World Wildlife Fund shows that in 2019 alone, 2.6 million acres of unspoiled grassland were converted to row crops. This is an area larger than Yellowstone National Park.

This is bad news for climate activists, bird watchers, hunters, ranchers and downstream communities. The good news is that more of these groups are realizing the problem and are joining forces to collaborate with policymakers and businesses to conserve and restore these important landscapes.

So what exactly is going on and how can we all get involved?

Drivers and impacts of rapid grassland conversion

WWF report shows that nearly 70 percent of the newly converted acres across the Great Plains were used for three crops: corn (25 percent); soybeans (22 percent); and wheat (21 percent). In the Northern Great Plains region, which still has the most intact native ecosystem and is therefore of particular concern, 42 percent of the converted land has been used for wheat production. What is driving this agricultural expansion?

Supply chain transparency and traceability is lacking in the US commodity market, making it difficult to directly link increased pressures to specific food products or companies. But Patrick Lendrum, scientific manager of WWF’s Northern Great Plains program, points to a general trend he observes: the prices of corn and soybeans – used mainly for ethanol and animal feed, and secondarily for human consumption. – increase. Farmers are responding by planting corn and soybeans on their most productive acres, shifting wheat to more marginal land. This could explain the particular increase in wheat production in the Northern Great Plains, where the soil quality is poorer and not irrigated but still suitable for wheat production in dry areas.

It is a disturbing trend. When grasslands are converted to cropland, about 30 percent of the soil organic carbon that native plants have helped store is immediately lost. WWF says it can take 350 years to return to carbon levels comparable to native grasslands when trying to restore abandoned cropland. Our best bet is therefore to never convert these native ecosystems in the first place. In reality, a study the assessment of natural climate solutions in the United States identified avoided grassland conversion as the most important mitigation opportunity within agriculture.

Pastoralists manage over 70% of the pristine grasslands in the Northern Great Plains. They are the key to the future of the region.

Greenhouse gas emissions are not the only concern. Martha Kauffman, vice president of the Northern Great Plains program at WWF, points out many other services these ecosystems provide: They are home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, many of which provide important pollination services to farmers. Deep-rooted grasses prevent soil erosion and serve as a great sponge of water, reducing downstream flooding. Part of America’s unique hinterland, they also provide a valuable opportunity for escape, recreation, and livelihood for many.

How Businesses Can Protect the Great Plains

Many agribusiness companies are already committed to building deforestation-free supply chains. Companies should expand their commitments, avoiding any conversion of agricultural land, assessing where land-use change is occurring and integrating its emissions into greenhouse gas inventories and reduction strategies. This work should be monitored and disclosed in a transparent manner, for example by collaborating with the Science Based Targets initiative or the CDP.

Businesses can also play an important role in promoting better management of existing grasslands. Today, pastoralists manage over 70 percent of the pristine grasslands in the Northern Great Plains. They are the key to the future of the region. The Walmart Foundation, Cargill and McDonald’s collaborate invest $ 6 million in a WWF-led initiative to support ranchers in Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota with technical expertise, training and tools to help advance grazing practices that improve the health of the land.

[Interested in learning more about sustainable food production? Check out VERGE Food, part of our VERGE 21 online event.]

Kauffman hopes such programs will make animal husbandry in the region more profitable and sustainable, allowing ranchers to be continued stewards of the grasslands rather than handing them over to farmers.

Supporting Indigenous nations and Indigenous communities is another important strategy. Indigenous nations are the oldest stewards and still sustainably manage around 10 percent of the untilled grasslands in the Northern Great Plains, according to the WWF report. The Wolakota Bison Regenerative Range in South Dakota is an interesting project. There, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe is converting 28,000 acres of their land from cattle ranching to bison ranching in an effort to protect and strengthen the grassland ecosystem and create cultural opportunities for their community.

Biparty groups join forces for grassland conservation

There is also a lot going on on the political front. Ten organizations – ranging from WWF to more specialized groups such as the National Deer Organization, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and Pheasants Forever – came together to lobby for a bill they call the “North American Grasslands Conservation Act. “The act is similar to a adopted in 1989 which protects wetland habitat. The groups hope on the potential of the bill, because it links many interests across political divides.

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), one of the largest voluntary private land conservation programs in the country, also implemented a grassland-specific program in 2018. It provides agricultural producers and private landowners with financial incentives. to protect the existing grasslands and does not require any new reconversion of the areas financed for 10 to 15 years. CRP currently puts over 2.5 million acres of grassland under conservation.

Finally, it will be important to adjust the programs that indirectly encourage the conversion of grasslands. The Renewable Fuels Standard stimulates the demand for ethanol and has probably been one of the main drivers of conversion of grasslands to crops. Insurance subsidies can also make the problem worse, Kauffman said. Converting the poor quality soils of the Northern Great Plains to cropland is not a safe investment for farmers. But since insurance covers some of the fallout when crops fail, farmers may be more likely to convert marginal land and experiment with it. A better policy would encourage increases in productivity on existing cropland.

Overall, grassland conservation in the Great Plains is a fairly mixed area at the moment. Many nonprofits, producers and some companies are stepping up their efforts, but the pressures of production always outweigh their efforts. Hopefully, increased awareness of the problem and investment in corporate sustainability programs and climate policy will turn the tide before it’s too late.

[Want more great analysis on sustainable food systems? Sign up for Food Weekly, our free email newsletter.]


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BERC Awards Sustainable Sacramento Business https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/berc-awards-sustainable-sacramento-business/ https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/berc-awards-sustainable-sacramento-business/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 22:35:13 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/berc-awards-sustainable-sacramento-business/ The presentation recognized the best environmentally proactive companies in the Sacramento area whose work practices demonstrate an exceptional commitment to improving sustainability. Awards and achievements of the recipients: United States Cold Storage – Energy Conservation Award Partnered with SMUD by participating in their energy efficiency incentive programs, Power Direct program and installing solar panels and […]]]>

The presentation recognized the best environmentally proactive companies in the Sacramento area whose work practices demonstrate an exceptional commitment to improving sustainability.

Awards and achievements of the recipients:

United States Cold Storage – Energy Conservation Award

  • Partnered with SMUD by participating in their energy efficiency incentive programs, Power Direct program and installing solar panels and a future battery system.
  • Is in the process of converting their gas park to all electric.
  • Participated in SMUD’s Custom Retrofit incentive program by installing innovative quick-freeze ventilation systems in their existing warehouse.

Cal Waste Recovery Systems – Pollution Prevention

  • Design and installation of a new high-tech material recycling (MRF) facility that improved throughput / processing from 11 tonnes per hour to 30 tonnes per hour with an annual processing rate of 130,000 tonnes.
  • This new technology is more efficient and has higher capture rates for recyclable materials. For example, mixed glass has a capture rate of 99.2% with the new technology.
  • Even with all the amazing technological upgrades, they still occupy the same 100,000 square foot building.
  • Relying on its 1.9 megawatt photovoltaic installation, SCDA converts the compressed natural gas (CNG) airport shuttle fleet into zero emission electric vehicles (ZEV)
  • Since acquiring its first ZEV bus in 2019, SCDA has delivered five buses in September 2021, and eight additional buses have just been offered for summer 2022.
  • The result of converting these shuttles is an annual reduction of nearly four million pounds of greenhouse gases.

The American Institute of Architects in California – Green Building

  • Completely remodeled and modernized an existing building in downtown Sacramento with a fully elective design for their new headquarters.
  • All building equipment is emission free and all electricity used is produced from 100% renewable energy.
  • To save energy, they use efficient heat pump technology for space heating needs.

Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) – Solid Waste Reduction

  • In 2018, EGUSD’s Nutrition Services and Maintenance Operations departments partnered with Breathe California to launch food waste recycling programs at two elementary schools. These programs are now active in 19 primary and preschools.
  • Since food recycling relies heavily on the motivation of students and staff, EGUSD Nutrition Services streamlined messaging to promote food waste reduction, recycling and diversion.
  • In addition to recycling food waste, schools have set up “food sharing” tables where food can be donated as long as it is unwanted and uneaten edible food. These stations encourage students to donate food to their food insecure classmates and help reduce waste.

Green Acres Nursery and Supply – Water Conservation

  • In 2020 and 2021, Green Acres included information on available water efficiency and conservation discounts at several locations, including in-store and on its website.
  • Green Acres has added dedicated staff to its store irrigation departments to help educate customers on available water-saving devices and good irrigation practices.
  • In 2021, Green Acres launched a gardening podcast series that covers a wide range of topics, including outdoor water efficiency.

For businesses and organizations in the Sacramento area that are committed to adopting environmentally responsible practices and conserving resources, BERC’s sustainable business program is the region’s benchmark for implementing sustainable practices. Since its inception in 2007, the program has achieved over 500 certifications and awarded over 200 unique companies.


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The first ABA-approved online JD program to debut next fall https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/the-first-aba-approved-online-jd-program-to-debut-next-fall/ https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/the-first-aba-approved-online-jd-program-to-debut-next-fall/#respond Tue, 14 Sep 2021 09:07:00 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/the-first-aba-approved-online-jd-program-to-debut-next-fall/ Signage is visible outside the American Bar Association (ABA) in Washington, DC, United States on May 10, 2021. REUTERS / Andrew Kelly St. Mary’s University Law School Launches Five-Year Pilot Program School hopes to enroll students from underserved areas of Texas and beyond (Reuters) – St. Mary’s University Law School will launch the first fully […]]]>

Signage is visible outside the American Bar Association (ABA) in Washington, DC, United States on May 10, 2021. REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

  • St. Mary’s University Law School Launches Five-Year Pilot Program
  • School hopes to enroll students from underserved areas of Texas and beyond

(Reuters) – St. Mary’s University Law School will launch the first fully online Juris Doctor program approved by the American Bar Association next fall.

San Antonio Law School unveiled the pioneering program on Tuesday, saying it planned to enroll 25 students in the first cohort of the five-year pilot program. Nearly a dozen law schools now offer hybrid JD programs, in which much of the class is taught online but still requires students to spend time on campus. The new St. Mary’s program is the first ABA approved program to offer all online credit courses by design. (A small number of online JD programs have been around for over a decade but lack the ABA seal of approval.)

“We have to get it right – not just for these 25 students, but for the schools that will follow us with their own programs and for the American Bar Association, for trusting us to give us permission to try,” The dean of St. Mary’s Law, Patricia Roberts, said in an interview.

The online JD will take approximately four years and the tuition will be comparable to the school’s existing part-time in-person program, which is currently $ 26,594. The first year courses will be 50% asynchronous, meaning that students will be able to take them on their own schedule, while the other half will be delivered in real time online.

Roberts first asked her faculty to assess the possibility of offering a hybrid JD program in August 2020, spurred, she said, not by the pandemic-induced shift to online courses, but because St. Mary’s has offered a Master of Jurisprudence online for five years. This meant the school already had teachers with experience in online teaching, Roberts said, noting that all of the faculty had now completed online teacher training.

She said the school initially saw improved online offerings as a way to expand access to legal education for people in underserved areas of South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, where there are no law schools. (Texas lawmakers have long debated the possibility of a new law school in El Paso.) But the faculty committee quickly came up with the idea of ​​a fully online program instead of a hybrid program, arguing that forcing students to come to campus regularly undermines its goals of access and affordability.

The ABA approved St. Mary’s request for a waiver of its distance education limits in May, but the school did not release any information on its plans until this week. ABA has increased in recent years the number of credits a JD student can earn online. Currently, JD students can take up to one-third of their credits online, which translates to around 30 credit hours at most schools. Any JD program that exceeds these online hours must obtain special permission from the ABA. (The ABA has allowed law schools to exceed these distance education limits during the pandemic.)

Roberts said she believes the pandemic has made the ABA more receptive to the idea of ​​a fully online JD program, and she expects other schools to roll out similar programs in the years to to come. St. Mary’s is committed to providing the ABA with detailed academic performance data and JD Cohort Bar exams online.

“We talked about it and we were like, ‘Well someone’s gonna be first,’ Roberts said. ‘We might as well try it.’

Read more:

For most law students, distance education has failed – report

Is Law School Worth It During The Pandemic? Some distance law students are not so sure

Reporting by Karen Sloan


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