FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ken Ward Jr. for the Charleston (W.V.) Gazette-Mail:Earlier this week, The New York Times had the latest of the recent national stories to take a stab at explaining the impending crisis regarding the cleanup of decades of pollution problems related to coal mining. The Washington Post had its own version of this story a few months ago.It’s great that these issues are getting national attention. But this attention is long overdue. And one thing that is a bit worrisome is that there is a tone in the stories that sometimes makes it seem like this all came out of nowhere — that no one possibly could have imagined this crisis.That’s just not true.Part of the problem is the focus in the coverage on the issue of “self bonding,” in which mining companies basically promise they have the money available for cleanups, rather than actually posting insurance bonds that would fund reclamation if they went belly up. The real issue in my mind is less self-bonding, and more the simple nature of states being allowed to run permit programs based on bond “pools.” Rather than requiring full-cost bonds — surety of some sort to cover the actual projected reclamation costs — companies pay a per-acre bond that goes into a common pool. It’s no surprise to readers of this blog that the per-acre bonds never covered the actual reclamation costs, let alone long-term water treatment.And for many, many — many — years, environmental and citizen groups like the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy have been preaching that the bond pools (like West Virginia’s Special Reclamation Fund) didn’t have enough money — and would literally collapse if there were a collection of serious coal company bankruptcies.In West Virginia, state regulators have never forced mine operators to post bonds or otherwise obtain insurance that would cover the full cost of land reclamation or water treatment at their mines. Instead, operators post bonds in smaller amounts, or they “self bond” by showing regulators they are financially healthy.A “bond pool” or “special reclamation fund,” which also includes money from a reclamation tax on all mine operators, is used by Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Special Reclamation to clean up mine sites that are abandoned since passage of the 1977 federal strip-mining law. That bond pool itself has, for years, struggled with maintaining enough funds to pay to clean up mines left to the state’s supervision when companies go belly-up.It’s going to take a lot of work from smart people to find ways out of this mess — but one thing that is important in solving this and so many other coalfield issues is being honest about how the problems came to be.Full item: The looming coal cleanup crisis On the Blogs: Long-Festering Mine-Cleanup Liabilities Demand an Honest Assessment of Their Origins
South Australia launches sweeping residential energy storage program FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:South Australia’s Liberal government officially opened the country’s biggest support scheme for household battery storage, with up to 40,000 homes able to access grants and low-interest finance for both battery storage and new rooftop solar installations.The $200 million scheme – half in grants and the other half in loans provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation – delivers on a pre-election promise from the newly elected Marshall government, but is heavily modified after the then Labor government proposed a similar scheme, but with more focus on low-income housing and more connection between installations.South Australia – as most people are aware – is leading the country and possible the world in terms of penetration of wind and solar, with more than 50 per cent of its generation coming from these variable resources, and the Australian Energy Market Operator predicts that share could rise to near 100 per cent by 2025.While much of the focus has been on the state’s large-scale renewable investments, the state also boasts the highest penetration of rooftop solar, with more than 930MW, and this is starting to have an impact on the way the grid is managed. Rooftop solar is now providing up to 45 per cent of generation at certain times of the day, and the growing amounts of solar could push that grid demand to zero in coming years, causing AEMO to look for ways to try and “orchestrate” this resource for the overall benefit of the grid.The scheme could add up to 400MWh of storage to the grid – not quite four times the size of the 100MW/129MWh Tesla big battery next to the Hornsdale wind farm that has dominated interest from operators and market players – and this could time shift the output of solar, and provide essential grid services.More: South Australia opens biggest household battery storage support scheme
Another big solar-plus-storage project proposed for Nevada data center FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Billed as the “world’s largest, most advanced data center campus,” Switch Inc.’s Citadel complex near Reno, Nev., could be powered by a large-scale solar-plus-storage project, according to a recent proposal to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.Citadel Solar LLC, a project development affiliate of CD Clean Energy and Infrastructure VII JV LLC, a fund managed by private equity firm Capital Dynamics Inc., on Jan. 18 filed an application to construct the 250-MW solar photovoltaic project along with a 60-MW/240-MWh battery storage system, new transmission capacity and other infrastructure on roughly 2,188 acres of private land near the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center in Storey County, Nev.The center also houses a lithium-ion battery factory owned by Tesla Inc. and Panasonic Corp., plus another new data center under development by Google LLC. In December, Google proposed an agreement with NV Energy Inc. to purchase 350 MW of solar and up to 280 MW of battery storage to power a new data center near Las Vegas.Switch, which is among several major companies that have left NV Energy, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy utility, for alternative power suppliers, is working with Capital Dynamics on 1,000 MW of solar projects in Nevada.The first phase of the Citadel Solar project, if approved, will include 100 MW of solar and 60 MW of energy storage located at a nearby Switch-owned substation. A second phase would add another 150 MW of solar. Construction is scheduled to start in 2020 and finish in 2021.[Garrett Hering]More ($): Another big solar-plus-storage facility proposed in Nevada
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S is planning to develop a 3.5-GW offshore wind project off the coast of Binh Thuan, Vietnam.The proposed La Gan project is estimated to cost up to US$10 billion. When completed, it will become one of the first large-scale offshore wind projects in Vietnam, the Danish investment firm said in a July 22 news release.Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, or CIP, and its partners Asiapetro and Novasia signed a memorandum of understanding with the Binh Thuan province to develop the project. The MOU was signed at the Vietnam Energy Summit 2020. The project partners are preparing a final investment decision after inclusion of the project into the Power Development Plan of Vietnam.CIP announced in June reached the €1.5 billion first financial close of its Copenhagen Infrastructure 4 fund, which is looking to invest between €10 billion and €14 billion in greenfield renewable energy infrastructure across North America, Western Europe, developed Asia and Australia.The firm has currently made more than 20 investments in large-scale energy infrastructure assets totaling almost 8 GW in capacity across the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Spain and Taiwan, according to the release.[Maryam Adeeb]More ($): CIP to develop 3.5-GW offshore wind project in Vietnam Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners planning 3.5GW offshore wind project in Vietnam
1 2 3 4 You’re standing in the swamp, rescuing a man that has been bitten in the leg by an alligator. All of a sudden—WHAM! The alligator is attacking you, too.“The lesson here is pay attention to your surroundings and think before you act,” says Michael Caudell, an emergency room physician and director of the MedWAR Challenge. MedWAR is a bizarre adventure race in East Georgia that blends trekking, canoeing, and mountain biking with wilderness medicine. Over the last decade, the adventure race has grown from Caudell’s pet project into a cult phenomenon amongst doctors and med students, drawn to the race for the chance to test their medical chops in the wild.Beyond the sheer joy of spending a day running, paddling, and biking in the woods, the MedWAR Challenge is designed to underscore a single fundamental truth: most of us are clueless when it comes to handling emergency situations in the woods. Surprisingly, that rule applies to most doctors too.Fort Gordon is a U.S. Army base just west of Augusta, Ga., with 56,000 acres of undeveloped wildlands used for training soldiers. The terrain is a brutal combination of sand, dirt canyons, swamp, and creeks—the signature terrain of MedWAR Southeast. Half the teams that start the challenge don’t finish the full course, and the competitors that do cross the finish line usually come out cussing Caudell’s name.“I’m into all that bored-white-guy high adventure stuff,” says Luke Smith, a second year medical student at the Georgia College of Medicine and two-time MedWAR racer. “MedWAR is exhausting. I’m already training for next year.”It’s not so much the sand that slows racers down, or the canyons, or the heat, which can be brutal in this corner of Georgia. It’s the swamp. Trekking through waist-deep muck for miles can kill even the fastest runner’s momentum.“When you first enter the swamp, you try to daintily jump from log to log. But that takes too long, so eventually, you have to jump in and slog through waist deep mud,” Smith says. “It’s awesome. It’s like you’re in Predator, or one of those other Arnold movies I grew up watching.”And right in the middle of this swamp leg of MedWAR, you and your team of four have to figure out how to stop an alligator attack victim from bleeding to death while not getting bitten yourself. Caudell has six medical scenarios scattered throughout the 15-mile course, along with half a dozen checkpoints with multiple choice questions stapled to a tree. The questions are taken straight out of a wilderness medicine handbook, but they tend to be really obscure. There might be pictures of five plants presented, for example, and you have to choose which one is poisonous. Finding the checkpoint with the questions alone will get you a five-minute time bonus. Answer the question right and you get an additional five-minute time bonus.
October 2018Pocadventure Adventure TriathlonOctober 13, 2018 | Pocahontas State Park , Chesterfield, VAJust a short drive from downtown Richmond, the final race of the Virginia State Park Adventure Series highlights a 4-mile lake paddle, 12-mile Mountain Bike leg, and a 5-mile trail run. Points will be tallied for the Adventure Series and an awards ceremony will be held shortly after the race. All proceeds go to expanding and maintaining the 80+ miles of trail in the park.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/adventure-seriesfopsp.org/pocadventure.htmlBaltimore Running FestivalOctober 20, 2018 | Batltimore, MDCome out and see why runners are calling the Baltimore Running Festival one of the best races of the east coast. With five distances to choose from, an Under Armour race premium, and finishing at the Inner Harbor, what’s not to love?!thebaltimoremarathon.com May 2018Spring Shakori hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & DanceMay 3-6, 2018 | Pittsboro, NCThe 16th annual spring festival features 40+ bands on four stages. Located on 72 beautiful farmland acres in central North Carolina, just down the road from Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Greensboro. Local crafts, delicious food, kids’ activities, healing arts, music and dance workshops, environmental sustainability forums, camping and much more, all in a family friendly setting.shakorihillsgrassroots.orgFrench Broad River FestivalMay 4-6, 2018 | Hot Springs, NCCelebrate spring in the mountains at the 21st French Broad River Festival in Hot Springs, North Carolina. Part outdoor adventure, part music festival with whitewater, mountain biking, hiking, kid’s village, and music including The Travelin’ McCourys, The Jeff Austin Band, Billy Strings, Jon Stickley Trio and more!frenchbroadriverfestival.comFrederick Running FestivalMay 5-6, 2018 | Frederick, MDThe Frederick Running Festival, now in its 15th year, is one of the hidden gems of the running community. With four race distance options, each participant receives a race premium and aMaryland themed medal and crosses the finish line at theFrederick Fairgrounds.frederickrunfest.comMudder’s Day Madness 5kMay 12, 2018 | Maryville, TNMudder’s Day Madness 5k is a mud run that consists of obstacles and, of course, plenty of mud! Everyone eight years of age and up are welcome! This is a fun, family friendly, fundraising event benefiting Harmony Family Center’s Montvale camp. It will be held Saturday, May 12, 2018 (the day before Mother’s Day) at 10:00AM on Montvale’s beautiful grounds at the foot ofChilhowee Mountain.harmonyfamilycenter.org Sponsored.Blue Ridge Outdoors is proud to present the top races and events from the Blue Ridge and beyond. Festivals, marathons, mud runs, expos, concerts and more! Mark your calendars now.February 2018Association for Experiential Education 2018 Southeast Regional Conference: Reaching Back To Our Roots To Shape Our FutureFebruary 23-25, 2018 | YMCA Camp Greenville, Cleveland, SCTeachers, students, therapists, leaders, and facilitators who believe that learning through experience positively transforms people and our world: YOU are invited to AEE-SE 2018! Enjoy engaging workshops, a keynote by Trey Fouche of Charlotte Latin School, live music, and fellow professionals who strive for excellence.aee.org/southeastAVL Beer ExpoFebruary 24, 2018 | Asheville Masonic Temple, Asheville, NC30+ breweries, 30+ craft beers, educational panels, and meet the brewers! Limited tickets for the carefully curated industry event that lets craft beer geeks peek behind the curtain of #avlbeer. $30 GA/$60 VIP.avlbeerexpo.comMarch 2018LanternAsiaMarch 9-13, 2018 | Norfolk, VALanternAsia returns to Norfolk Botanical Garden March 9 through May 13!Experience the magic as the garden is transformed with colossal works of art—MORE Art by Day, MORE Magic by Night!For tickets and information call (757) 441-5830 or visit our websites.lanternasia.org | norfolkbotanicalgarden.orgUnited Airlines Rock ‘n’ RollWashington D.C. Marathon & ½ MarathonMarch 10, 2018 | Washington, D.C.The United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington D.C. Marathon and 1/2 Marathon returns March 10, 2018 and you’re invited to ROCK the biggest running festival to hit the capital city! More than just a political capital, D.C. is a cultural capital with an endless list of things to do and experience during the race weekend.runrocknroll.com/dcTransylvania Adventure Games (TAG)March 17, 2018| Brevard Music Center, Brevard, NCFamily fun adventure run complete with two courses, an untimed 5k for ages 8 and up, and a mini course for ages 3-12 and under. Both courses are full of memory tests, rope webs, rock walls, and more. The race will be followed by a festival with live music, local vendors, and food trucks! This is a fundraiser event for Mountain Sun Community School!mountainsunschool.org/events/transylvania-adventure-games/Campapalooza 2018March 31, 2018| Diamond Brand Outdoors, Asheville, NCSpring camping season gets an early start with a preview of 2018’s best reviewed gear from international innovators as well as local favorites. Free hourly workshops on topics from festival camping to choosing the right backpack for a thru hike are joined by special buys, giveaways, and the presentation of grants to local environmental nonprofits. diamondbrandoutdoors.com/event/campapalooza-2018April 2018The Cooper River Bridge RunApril 7, 2018 | Charleston, SCThe Cooper River Bridge Run, located in beautiful Charleston, is the 3rd largest 10K in the U.S., averaging 40,000 participants with world-class competition. The main goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle. Take part in our Health & Wellness EXPO on April 7 and 8.bridgerun.comRock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Half Marathon presented by WRALApril 7-8, 2018 | Raleigh, NCJoin us in April for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Half Marathon presented by WRAL—the best year yet with more music for your miles! Meet us in the sophisticated and charming capital city of North Carolina to discoverthe hidden gem of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series!runrocknroll.com/raleighThe Runners Marathon of RestonApril 8, 2018 | Reston, VALocated just 20 miles from D.C. in Reston, Virginia, the Runners Marathon of Reston includes a mix of beautiful wooded, paved trails and roads. Runners and volunteers enjoy a free pre-race pasta party, an indoor venue, a post-race feast, and great give-aways. Choose between the marathon, the half marathon, or the relay!runnersmarathon.comTom Tom Founders FestivalApril 9-15, 2018 | Charlottesville, VATom Tom is a celebration of founding—what happens when people envision something cool and make it happen. A week of Summits, keynotes, concerts, competitions, installations, and workshops are designed to make the connections that start great things. Come for the party, leave inspired.tomtomfest.comTom Tom Fest Community Bike RideApril 14, 2018 | Charlottesville, VAPlease join Blue Ridge Outdoors, Tom Tom and Blue Ridge Cyclery for a community bike ride at Darden Towe Park in Charlottesville. All ages and skill levels welcome.tomtomfest.comDevils Backbone Mountain Cross and Blue Ridge MetricApril 14-15, 2018 | Nelson County, VATwo amazing rides in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains! On Saturday, a mixture of paved and unpaved roads and on Sunday, an all paved ride. Choose between 65-mile or 45-mile options. All riders receive a $15 gift card to the Brewery. Registration online.bikereg.com/devils-backbone-mountain-crossJames River Adventure TriathlonApril 21, 2018 | James River State Park, Gladstone, VAThe fifth race of the Virginia State Park Adventure Series features a beautiful course with a 7-mile kayak run, an 8-mile Mountain Bike leg and a 3.1-mile trail run. Racers can compete solo or in teams. All abilities are welcome. Bring the family and enjoy camping on the river during your stay. Proceeds will benefit the Gladstone Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.trireg.com/adventures-on-the-james-4dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/adventure-seriesThe 2018 Redbud RideApril 21, 2018 | London, KYThe Redbud Ride is one of the most beautiful and challenging bike rides you’ll ever experience! The ride starts in beautiful downtown London, Kentucky, one of the top 10 redbud sight-seeing routes in the state! Register online today!redbudride.comSt. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & ½ MarathonApril 26-29, 2018 | Nashville, TNJoin one of the best spectator-supported and most music-filled courses in the Series! This challenging yet beautiful route takes you past the iconic Honky Tonks and through some of Nashville’s hippest neighborhoods.runrocknroll.com/nashvilleVirginia Creeper FestApril 28, 2018 | Abingdon, VA Come join us at the trail head of the Creeper Trail in Abingdon, Virginia as we celebrate outdoor recreation in Southwest Virginia. Get hands-on at this event with activities like a 10K race, Yoga in the Park, Rock Climbing, Trail Excursions, Sunset Bike Rides and more, friendly to all ages! Full schedule and information on our website.vacreeperfest.com Hops in the HillsJune 23, 2018 | Maryville, TNJoin us for the 4th Annual Hops in the Hills Craft Beer Festival… A Celebration of Fermentation. Enjoy some of the most unique and tasty craft beer with the Great Smoky Mountains as the backdrop. Beer…Food…Music… and Beauty. Come experience us.hopsinthehills.comJuly 2018The Summit—A Hiking and Backpacking Conference for WomenJuly 13-15, 2018 | Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NCThe Summit is a weekend of classes that range from making your own gear and map reading, to outdoor writing and photography, all of which are designed to enhance your outdoor experience.Come join us for inspiration, camaraderie and friendship.traildamessummit.comSeptember 2018Breaks 40 MilerSeptember 8, 2018 | Breaks Interstate Park , Breaks, VAThe latest race adventure is coming to the Breaks Interstate Park! The park is partnering with Next Opportunity Events to challenge those brave enough to conquer two states, 40 miles of trail, and 24,000 feet of elevation change!nextopportunityevents.comNew River Trail ChallengeSeptember 15, 2018 | New River Trail State Park, Max Meadows, VAThe penultimate race of the Virginia State Parks Adventure series, the “Challenge,” is one of the oldest, largest, and toughest Adventure Triathlons in Virginia. Started in 2000, the race features a 40-mile bike ride, 12.1-mile kayak and half marathon along the scenic New River. All ages and skill levels can compete solo or in teams. Competitors range from world class athletes tocostumed teams and “bucket listers.” Everyone is welcome.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/adventure-series dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/nrt-challengeCumberland River ChallengeSeptember 22, 2018 | Barbourville, KYThe Canoe and Kayak Race is an annual event, hosted by Union College, U Canoe and Barbourville Tourism. The race consists of 15 miles of river, ranging from calm water to beginner-level rapids. It starts on the Knox County line bordering Bell County and finishes in Knox County at the Thompson R.V. Park.barbourvilletourism.com/adventure/canoe-kayak-race AVL Beer WeekMay 25-June 3 2018 | Asheville, NC76+ events around Asheville and WNC. 8th Annual smorgasbord of beer-centric events, from beer dinners, to beer releases, Angry Yoga, education, music events, and more! Location and event entry varies.avlbeerweek.comSummer 2018Alleghany Highlands Summer EventsSummer 2018 | Alleghany Highlands, VAThis summer, it’s GAME ON. We are home to four of the most action-packed outdoor events in the Mid-Atlantic. Whether you run, bike, swim, all of the above, or simply enjoy great competition, don’t miss out on the fun. It’s uniquely Alleghany.visitalleghanyhighlands.com/featured-events2018 Bryce Bike Park Summer SeriesSummer 2018 | Bryce Resort, Basye, VAJoin us from May to October for a six-race mountain bike series for new and experienced racers alike. The series features simplicity and fun with your fellow riders minus the high cost and stress associated with big series events. Visit our website for more info!bryceresort.comJune 2018Baltimore 10-MilerJune 2, 2018 | Baltimore, MD2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Baltimore Ten Miler, which starts and finishes at the scenic Druid Hill Park, home of the Maryland Zoo. Runners are treated to a post-race party and race premium, which Runners World awarded “Best Swag Item” in 2009!baltimoretenmiler.comBeer City FestivalJune 2, 2018 | Roger McGuire Green, Pack Square Park, Downtown Asheville, NCEnjoy 35+ breweries with rotating small batch offerings, guest breweries, and live local music. For $45 get unlimited samples / $25 entry with tokens. Designated Driver tickets are also available.beercityfestival.com Bath County TriathlonJune 23, 2018 | Marina at Lake Moomaw, Warm Springs, VANestled in the Virginia’s Western Highlands, Bath County is one of the hidden gems of TriAdventure. The Bath County Triathlon includes a 750 meter open water swim, 20k bike loop and a 5k run on closed roads. Awards and post race meal will be provided.triadventure.com November 2018Richmond MarathonNovember 10, 2018 | Richmond, VAHaven’t #RunRichmond yet? What are you waiting for?! Each of our scenic courses showcases some of our RVA’s favorite attributes. With thousands of volunteers and spectators encouraging you, and more race perks than you can count, you’ll see why we’ve earned our rep as “America’s Friendliest Marathon”!richmondmarathon.org
By Brazilian Army Colonel (R) Fernando Montenegro* July 12, 2019 The European Union and the Lima Group currently oversee negotiations in Venezuela between dictator Nicolás Maduro and Interim President Juan Guaidó. The Venezuelan economic catastrophe worsens due to debt with China and Russia.The Russian position can be clearly identified as that of a disruptive actor, with no regard for Venezuelans’ miserable conditions, in an area that has historically been favorable to the United States.While the United States, the European Union, and the 14 nations that are part of the Lima Group recognize Guaidó’s legitimacy and the severity of the humanitarian crisis that has led Brazil and Colombia to accept millions of refugees, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov reaffirms support for an illegitimate regime in Caracas, which systematically conducts corrupt activities, drug trafficking, and transnational organized crimes, in operations involving Maduro’s relatives, his generals, and front men. Operation LibertyU.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently tried to find common ground with Lavrov to no avail at the Artic Council on May 6, even after Russia expressed concern about the April 30 event. At that time, Guaidó led a group of Venezuelans in an attempt to establish constitutional order and restore democracy and human rights, in what became known as Operation Liberty. However, Guaidó’s wishes, along with millions of Venezuelans, could only be made possible with a mutiny, because Hugo Chávez had disarmed the population just over a decade ago. One of the positive outcomes of the protest was the release of Leopoldo López, the leader of Guaidó’s political party (Voluntad Popular), who was under house arrest.Despite the wish of millions of Venezuelans for a stronger participation from Brazil in helping with the Venezuelan crisis, including sending troops to the neighboring country, the Brazilian foreign policy has a long-standing non-interventionist tradition — a position President Jair Bolsonaro recently ratified. As a new development, as if in response to Moscow, the day after Russia confirmed its support for the dictator Maduro, during the Arctic Council, Venezuela returned to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, approved by the General Assembly. This treaty enables the request for assistance from foreign troops of signatory countries such as Peru, Colombia, and even the United States, to solve internal conflicts. Since Guaidó is the recognized president, this is a tangible possibility.Dying governmentCurrently, Maduro is nothing but a declining ruler, artificially maintaining power, akin to a terminal patient in an intensive care unit. Various methods are used to keep the puppet in power, and those are literally paid for in gold. Recently, a large-capacity Russian aircraft landed in Caracas and transported 20 tons of precious metal, equivalent to about 20 percent of Venezuelan’s reserves, to an undisclosed location.Maduro’s growing loss of trust for his armed forces and state structures is increasingly evident upon verification that the dictator’s security and that of the country’s critical infrastructures are managed by Private Military Contractors (PMCs), such as Wagner Group and Cossacks, led by former Russian service members who are very close to the Kremlin, consisting of some form of indirect military operation from Vladimir Putin. In addition it is widely known that Cuban agents carry out private security.Furthermore, a Russian task force arrived in the country to maintain and fix all Russian military equipment, such as aircraft, armored vehicles, and anti-aircraft defense systems. Because Venezuelan service members were not trained to work with such sophisticated equipment, PMCs also brought pilots to operate the Russian manufactured Sukhoi aircraft, and other Russian defense systems. The Kremlin’s concern is well founded, since the poor performance of some Russian military equipment in a possible mission could cause great damage to the country’s lucrative and traditional military equipment industry.As far as we know, Venezuela has anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 generals who, along with their family members, occupy key roles in the government and state-owned companies. However, this is a forged “loyalty,” since it was bought during the Chávez era and is currently maintained through blackmail. Nonetheless, we must emphasize that the Cuban intelligence service controls the details of these high-ranking officers’ lives to ensure their loyalty to the government.The question remains as to how the game will unfold following a possible change of position from the Havana government.* Colonel Montenegro is the Brazilian Army’s Special Forces operator and researcher for the Autonomous University of Lisbon, International Relations Observatory.
Documentary to explore domestic violence issues July 1, 2005 Regular News Documentary to explore domestic violence issues Heritage Education Resources, Inc., of Tallahassee plans to create a documentary video exploring women’s experiences with the legal and social services systems as they relate to domestic violence, according to Jan Rosenberg, who founded the nonprofit organization.“For the past year I have been working in domestic violence as a part of American culture,” Rosenberg said. “I have collected a series of women’s stories of abuse and survival and will be publishing them through the University Press of America under the title These Are Our Stories. This proposed project, In Their Best Interest, grew out of the original collecting project.”Rosenberg said from listening to women tell their stories, she has come to see the legal and social services system as “fractured” when it comes to domestic violence.“In this video I want to explore how this is and this is not the case, with interviews with women who have gone through the systems, lawyers and judges, and representatives from the Department of Children and Families in Florida,” Rosenberg said. “In a sense it would be a collaborative piece with the participants guiding almost my every move.”For more information contact Heritage Education Resources, Inc., at (850) 580-9889 or e-mail [email protected]
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York We all know our government is strapped for money.But you probably haven’t heard about some of the really bizarre new taxes people have started paying recently.So we’ve decided to honor America’s fiscal creativity with our first “Oddball Tax Award”—given for the most outlandish new tax that anyone has come up with this past year.Here, without further ado, are the nominees and winners in the 2012 “Oddball Tax Awards”:Alabama, for taxing any deck of playing cards that has less than 54 cardsConnecticut, for deciding to tax children’s diapers, but not adult onesArkansas, for a breakthrough new tax on tattoos and body-piercingsMaryland, for taxing a bottle of your own wine you bring into a restaurantThe Runner-up: New York, for its exciting “Bagel Alteration Tax”—a tax of 8 cents on every bagel that is “altered,” which means that if the man behind the deli counter cuts your bagel and adds a schmear, you pay an extra tax. Uncut bagels, however, are tax-free. Go figure.And our 2012 Winner: the Great State of Utah, which now has levied a 10-percent tax on the fees collected by nude or partially nude workers. (“Excuse me, ma’am, I’m from the IRS. I just saw that gentleman stuff cash down your G-string and I’m required to count it…”)Friends, it’s clear that America has to do better next year. Our country needs some fresh, outside-the-box ideas for taxes. And we’re asking for your input.Here are a few ideas to help get you started thinking:Animal Flatulence FeeScientists tell us that methane from the flatulence of cows is one of the main causes of global warming. (Honest. I am not making this up.) Well then, this is a no-brainer. The only question is whether we extend this yearly fee to non-farm animals, possibly even to people who consistently overeat.Illegible Penmanship TaxTens of thousands of man- and woman-hours are spent trying to figure out what people have written—on IRS tax returns, on driver’s license applications, on write-in ballots, etc. If government employees waste their valuable time struggling to read your handwriting, it should cost you.Non-Consumption TaxOur economy depends on the ever-expanding consumption of goods and services. This keeps our factories humming, our workers employed. So, if you’re not consuming enough stuff, you ought to step up to the plate and max out your credit cards, or face a stiff tax for not buying your “fair share.”The Bullshit FeeThis is perhaps the largest potential source of revenue there is, particularly in our state capitols and on Wall Street. Even though Ernest Hemingway claimed he had a “built-in bullshit detector,” this did nothing to reduce the enormous quantity produced each year. If economists could figure out a way to measure and charge for it, we could balance our budget in no time flat.If you have an idea for a new tax to help our government raise money, please leave a comment at the bottom of this “Just Saying” column. If you’re reading this column in the printed newspaper, go online to www.longislandpress.com.Your country needs you!Editor’s Note: This is a non-partisan column. In some cases, Pete has used the word “taxes,” as preferred by Democrats. In other cases, he’s used the word “fees,” as preferred by Republicans, mainly to prove they’re against new taxes. Bottom line: It all comes out of the same pocket: yours. Pete Tannen is a humor writer who has won multiple awards from the National Press Club (Washington, D.C.), the Press Club of Long Island and the Florida Press Association. His columns can also be heard on select Public Radio stations across the U.S. www.tannenweekly.com
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)A seafood restaurant manager at Walt Whitman Mall died Saturday night from carbon monoxide poisoning that sent 27 others to the hospital and forced the evacuation of surrounding restaurants, Suffolk County police said.Four ambulance personnel and three police officers were among those injured, police said.Police and members of the Huntington Manor Fire Department responded to Legal Seafood at the Huntington Station mall around 6 p.m. after they received a report of a woman falling and hitting her head in the basement, police said.First responders who entered the restaurant quickly realized they were dealing with carbon monoxide after several of them began feeling nauseous and dizzy, police said.Police evacuated the restaurant and later found 55-year-old Steven Nelson, the restaurant’s manager, unconscious in the basement. The Copiague man was pronounced dead at Huntington Hospital, police said.The more than two dozen other victims were transported to five area hospitals, but their symptoms were considered non-life threatening, police said. Most of the victims were employees at Legal Seafood, police said.Detectives are focusing their investigation on the restaurant’s heating equipment, police said.Nearby restaurants, including Panera Bread and The Cheesecake Factory were also evacuated, but the carbon monoxide appeared to be confined to the basement of Legal Seafood.Homicide and Arson Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.