first_imgEducation School Superintendents Want Newsom to Freeze School District Pensions Two-year pause could save schools billions STAFF REPORTS Published on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | 3:23 pm faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,PCC – EducationVirtual Schools PasadenaDarrell Done EducationHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Top of the News CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  More Cool Stuff HerbeautyAmazing Sparks Of On-Screen Chemistry From The 90-sHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyIs It Bad To Give Your Boyfriend An Ultimatum?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Tips To Rejuvenate Winter Dry, Chapped LipsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty11 Ayurveda Heath Secrets From Ancient IndiaHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyTop 9 Predicted Haircut Trends Of 2020HerbeautyHerbeauty Community Newscenter_img In a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, superintendents from several major school districts requested a two-year freeze on scheduled increases in pension contributions that could save billions of dollars, according to published reports.The districts have been paying an increasing amount of money into the systems each year since 2013 under long-term plans to improve the pension systems’ financial health.In 2018, Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Brian McDonald told the City Council that since 2013, the district has been plagued by debt due to rising pension costs.We fully support the requests by districts to the state for a two-year freeze on scheduled increases to pension contributions,” said PUSD Board Vice President Scott Phelps. “It would save PUSD millions of dollars that could then be used to fill in for the state revenue that is being lost during this crisis.”According to one estimate freezing pensions would save an estimated $1.3 billion in 2020-21 and less than half of that in 2021-22.If the governor freezes pensions, district contributions to the California State Teachers Retirement System and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System would halt.The superintendents want Newsom to declare a budget emergency to use the state’s rainy day fund, known as the Budget Stabilization Fund, to support a stream of school funding that can vary with economic changes.“In addition to our vulnerable populations, students whose parents are experiencing job loss, homelessness, or who may be in foster care will need additional supports to ensure their academic success,” the letter states.Superintendents from Los Angeles, San Diego, Long Beach and Riverside signed the letter. Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week 14 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Community News Business News Subscribe Make a commentlast_img read more

first_imgBy Faith PeppersUniversity of Georgia Jimmy Petty stood tall, his clear, bright eyes surveying the farm. Years of knowing the land and his family’s stake in it were drawn deep into the character of his face. Almost a century of the Pettys’ history is tilled into this soil.”We work hard to be better stewards of this land for our grandchildren,” he said of his family’s toil on the 6,000-acre farm straddling the Georgia-Tennessee line near Chatsworth, Ga. “We hope to leave it in even better shape for them.”Gov. Sonny Perdue acknowledged the success of the family’s labors on March 21, and presented them the first Governor’s Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Award at the kickoff ceremony for National Agriculture Week in Atlanta.Petty’s brother Jerry and his wife Phenna accepted the award.A century of conservationThe Petty farm has been in the family since 1915. Three brothers (Jimmy, Don and Jerry) and their four sons now farm it. They run a dairy and grow corn, soybeans and cover crops of wheat.Perdue recognized the Pettys for not only using sound conservation methods in their farming but also for creating a stream buffer to protect the Conasauga River, which runs through their land.”Get this,” Perdue said during the award ceremony. “They not only created a buffer to protect the river on their land, but the river water is actually cleaner when it leaves their farm than when it entered.”Regional winnersThe new award is sponsored by the Governor’s Agriculture Advisory Commission. It was developed to recognize farmers in five state regions who use conservation and best management practices that protect and conserve natural resources in their day-to-day operations.Regional winners include Dick Phillips of Hartwell; Glen, John and R.W. Walters of Barnesville; Bob Rawlins of Rebecca; and Kenneth Durrence of Claxton.”I always say that farmers were the original conservation stewards of the land,” Perdue said.Protecting the river”We consider it huge when a farmer creates a … stream buffer (1,000 feet long),” said Cindy Askew, a district conservationist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “The Pettys have created a stream buffer that stretches 15 miles.”The family has created a 35-foot forested buffer and a 30-foot green buffer. And they’re planning to add more.”All this was done out of a love for the land before there were even any incentives in place,” Askew said. “Any new lands they add will come under the incentives program. But they’ve done it without incentives because they saw the benefits.”Additional benefitsCreating a stream buffer takes part of a farmer’s land out of production. But the Pettys have found it to be worth the loss. Since they began their conservation reserve along the river, they’ve seen more wildlife on their farm.”We began to see more quail,” Petty said. “But we also brought some in to help repopulate the quail.” They’ve seen more bobcats and bears, too.A five-member selection committee, representing each of the regions, selected a winning farmer from each region. They then toured each of the regional winners’ farms and selected the state winner based on the tours and interviews.”We’re proud to see the Petty family recognized for the outstanding work they’ve done over the years in Murray County,” said Louis Dykes, the UGA Cooperative Extension coordinator in Murray County.Dykes said he nominated the Pettys “because of the strong reputation they have in this region for their conservation practices.”last_img read more

first_imgIMCA Late Models – 1. Matt Ryan, Davenport, Iowa, 458; 2. Jeremiah Hurst, Dubuque, Iowa, 456; 3. Justin L. Kay, Wheatland, Iowa, 425; 4. Dalton Simonsen, Fairfax, Iowa, 391; 5. Andy Nezworski, Buffalo, Iowa, 371; 6. Cory Dumpert, York, Neb., 340; 7. Todd Malmstrom, Hampton, Ill., 329; 8. Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls, Iowa, 314; 9. Lake Knutti, Chadwick, Ill., 299; 10. Les Siebert, York, Neb., 256; 11. Todd Cooney, Pleasant Hill, Iowa, 245; 12. Curtis Glover, Runnells, Iowa, 244; 13. Eric Pollard, Peosta, Iowa, 242; 14. Shawn Cooney, Bondurant, Iowa, 214; 15. Denton Duncan, Ravenna, Neb., 211; 16. Jim Johnson, Plainview, Neb., 208; 17. Nelson Vollbrecht, Stanton, Neb., 206; 18. Terry Neal, Ely, Iowa, and Paul Nagle, Nevada, Iowa, both 205; 20. Chase Osborne, Battle Creek, Neb., 203. Mach-1 Sport Compacts – 1. Steven Bevills, Granbury, Texas, 879; 2. Terry Tritt, York, Neb., 805; 3. John Gill, Marshalltown, Iowa, 773; 4. Ramsey Meyer, Pierce, Neb., 724; 5. Howard Watson, Weatherford, Texas, 617; 6. Kaleb Watson, Mineral Wells, Texas, 616; 7. Anthony Vandenberg, Dublin, Texas, 594; 8. Kaytee DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, 535; 9. Derek Cates, Woodway, Texas, 532; 10. Brian Schoenbaum, Killeen, Texas, 527; 11. Alex Dostal, Glencoe, Minn., 509; 12. Darwin “Bubba” Brown Jr., Jackson, Minn., 506; 13. Jade Lange, Humboldt, Iowa, 502; 14. Oliver Monson, Humboldt, Iowa, 495; 15. Shawn Hein, Beatrice, Neb., 479; 16. Barry Taft, Argyle, Iowa, 477; 17. Harold Clifton, Stephenville, Texas, 475; 18. Jay DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, 461; 19. Denny Berghahn Jr., Plattsmouth, Neb., 453; 20. Kody Crofutt, Dublin, Texas, 443. IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks – 1. Leah Wroten, Independence, Iowa, 805; 2. Kaden Reynolds, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 760; 3. Cory Probst, Brewster, Minn., 712; 4. Dylan Nelson, Adel, Iowa, 674; 5. Tathan Burkhart, Hays, Kan., 673; 6. Cody Williams, Minneapolis, Kan., 634; 7. Cody Nielsen, Spencer, Iowa, 612; 8. Jeff Ware, Columbus, Neb., 606; 9. Brady J. Bencken, Oakley, Kan., 603; 10. Brandon Nielsen, Spencer, Iowa, 595; 11. John Watson, Des Moines, Iowa, 584; 12. Corey Madden, Avoca, Iowa, 580; 13. David Norquest, York, Neb., 563; 14. Braxton Berry, Colby, Kan., 561; 15. Shannon Anderson, New Virginia, Iowa, 554; 16. Drew Barglof, Sioux Rapids, Iowa, 541; 17. Colby Kaspar, Columbus, Neb., 528; 18. Chuck Madden Jr., Avoca, Iowa, 524; 19. Joe Vlasity, Glendale, Ariz., 518; 20. Tim Gonska, Brainerd, Minn., 509. IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars – 1. Westin Abbey, Comanche, Texas, 1,105; 2. Jason Batt, Harker Heights, Texas, 1,056; 3. Mike Nichols, Harlan, Iowa, 930; 4. A.J. Dancer, Red Rock, Texas, 916; 5. Cody Center, Mesa, Ariz., 832; 6. George Fronsman, Surprise, Ariz., 828; 7. Jeffrey Abbey, Comanche, Texas, 768; 8. Bryan Schutte, Wayne, Okla., 714; 9. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb., 708; 10. Shelby Williams, Bonham, Texas, 698; 11. Gary Williams, Bonham, Texas, 677; 12. Jay Schmidt, Tama, Iowa, 671; 13. William “Joey” McCullough, Phoenix, Ariz., 660; 14. Lonnie Foss, Glendale, Ariz., 653; 15. Calvin Lange, Humboldt, Iowa, 629; 16. Kevin Opheim, Mason City, Iowa, 576; 17. Donavon Smith, Lake City, Iowa, and Gene Henrie, Cedar City, Utah, both 570; 19. Brian Blessington, Breda, Iowa, 569; 20. Devin Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 555.  Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods – 1. Chase Rudolf, Prole, Iowa, 1,094; 2. Jake McBirnie, Boone, Iowa, 915; 3. Guy Ahlwardt, Antioch, Calif., 855; 4. Cody Thompson, Sioux City, Iowa, 835; 5. Keith Brown Jr., Pittsburg, Calif., and Cole Carver, Apache Junction, Ariz., both 813; 7. David Jones, Chandler, Ariz., 780; 8. Justin Svoboda, David City, Neb., 748; 9. Taylor Kuehl, Cave Creek, Ariz., 747; 10. Mark Harrison, Coolidge, Ariz., 735; 11. Hunter Longnecker, Woodward, Iowa, 686; 12. Mark Madrid, Laveen, Ariz., 677; 13. Kyle Olson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 658; 14. Brady Bjella, Williston, N.D., 648; 15. Matt Looft, Swea City, Iowa, 633; 16. Kevin Johnson, Bakersfield, Calif., 625; 17. Jerry Miles, Bernard, Iowa, 611; 18. Brian Osantowski, Columbus, Neb., 610; 19. Dakota Sproul, Hays, Kan., 596; 20. Tyler Soppe, Sherrill, Iowa, 585.center_img IMCA Modifieds – 1. David Goode Jr., Copperas Cove, Texas, 1,009; 2. Chris Morris, Taylor, Texas, 955; 3. William Gould, Calera, Okla., 930; 4. Zachary Madrid, Tucson, Ariz., 892; 5. Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, 878; 6. Kelsie Foley, Tucson, Ariz., 821; 7. Jeffrey Hoegh, New Caney, Texas, 806; 8. Jeff “Bubba” Stafford Jr., Wittmann, Ariz., 770; 9. Kevin Green, Waco, Texas, 758; 10. Chris Elliott, Abilene, Texas, 676; 11. Tyler Mecl, Queen Creek, Ariz., 672; 12. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb., 655; 13. Matt Guillaume, Haslet, Texas, 649; 14. Tim Ward, Chandler, Ariz., 628; 15. Anthony Roth, Columbus, Neb., 622; 16. Shane DeMey, Denison, Iowa, and David Goode Sr., Copperas Cove, Texas, both 621; 18. Kollin Hibdon, Pahrump, Nev., 618; 19. Beau Begnaud, Spring, Texas, 612; 20. Jeff Larson (B1), Freeport, Ill., 603. Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods – 1. Taylor Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas, 1,037; 2. James Hanusch, Belton, Texas, 1,023; 3. Gregory Muirhead, Mabank, Texas, 950; 4. Damon Hammond, Burleson, Texas, 748; 5. Larry Underwood, Temple, Texas, 723; 6. Chris Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas, 572; 7. Chris Cogburn, Robinson, Texas, 571; 8. Justin Nabors, Kemp, Texas, 496; 9. James McCreery, Midlothian, Texas, 494; 10. Jon White Jr., Red Oak, Texas, 480; 11. Kaden Honeycutt, Willow Park, Texas, 467; 12. Casey Brunson, Lott, Texas, 419; 13. Austin Moore, Axtell, Texas, 415; 14. Jeff Shepperd, Waco, Texas, 406; 15. James Skinner, Burleson, Texas, 398; 16. Blaine Shives, Leonard, Texas, 381; 17. Garett Rawls, Elm Mott, Texas, 378; 18. Kyle Wilkins, Italy, Texas, 377; 19. Brandon Geurin, Robinson, Texas, 376; 20. Jake Upchurch, Red Oak, Texas, 372. IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars – 1. Kenneth Duke, Selinsgrove, Pa., 491; 2. Mike Moore, Des Moines, Iowa, 417; 3. Mike Houseman, Des Moines, Iowa, 415; 4. Andy Shouse, Oklahoma City, Okla., 378; 5. Scott Lutz, Jonestown, Pa., 376; 6. Jonathon J. Jones (12J), Irvona, Pa., 372; 7. Ryan Lynn, Hollidaysburg, Pa., 371; 8. Jacob Gomola, Seneca, Pa., 363; 9. Zach Newlin, Millerstown, Pa., and Rod Craddock, Alvin, Texas, both 362; 11. Larry McVay, Bordentown, N.J., 342; 12. Mike Oliver, San Antonio, Texas, 335; 13. Douglas Dodson, Middletown, Pa., 330; 14. Kyle Ganoe, Thompsontown, Pa., 325; 15. Tyler Harris, Vidor, Texas, 322; 16. Matt Richards, Lincoln, Neb., 315; 17. Michael Pombo, Easton, Calif., and Grant Champlin, Hanford, Calif., both 313; 19. Colin Smith, Sheldon, Iowa, 312; 20. Drew Ritchey, Everett, Pa., 308.last_img read more

first_imgMario Tama/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a rare public rebuke of a sitting member of Congress on Wednesday, accusing Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of making “dangerous” threats against two justices by name.Schumer, speaking at a rally earlier Wednesday outside the court, which was hearing a case on abortion, called out the two justices appointed by President Donald Trump — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — saying, “you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You will not know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”The comments were delivered before a raucous crowd of several hundred abortion rights activists who had assembled at the steps of the high court as the justices heard oral arguments over a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of their clinic.The case marks the first time Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will weigh in on the issue of abortion since being confirmed.“We know what’s at stake. Over the last three years, women’s reproductive rights have come under attack in a way we haven’t seen in modern history,” Schumer shouted as the crowd roared. “We will tell President Trump and Senate Republicans who have stacked the court with right-wing ideologues that you’re going to be gone in November, and you will never be able to do what you’re trying to do now ever, ever again.”Several hours later, after Schumer’s comments ricochetted across social media, Roberts issued a statement through a court spokeswoman.“Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous,” Roberts said in the statement. “All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.”Roberts has said he feels an obligation to defend members of the federal judiciary who typically cannot defend themselves from intense public criticism in order to remain impartial; but he has also deliberately sought to avoid the spotlight and public statements that might politicize the court.In 2018, Roberts issued an extraordinary direct response to Trump’s criticism of federal judges, but did not mention the president by name.Roberts did not respond last month when Trump, for the first time in the White House, directly attacked Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, accusing them of bias.Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said the Democratic leader’s comments were “a reference to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that the justices will unleash a major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision.”He accused conservatives of “deliberate misinterpretation” of Schumer’s remarks.“To me this sounds like he’s talking about a physical price, violence,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., in an emotional statement from the Senate floor. “These are members of the Supreme Court — he the minority leader of the United States. … I believe these statements are outrageous. They’re uncalled for. They’re out of bounds. And on their face, they appear to invite violence against members of the Supreme Court.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

first_img27 Nov 2019 England Golf supports Rainbow Laces campaign England Golf has given its full backing to the 2019 Rainbow Laces campaign and underlined the message that golf is a sport for all.As part of Come Out Active week (23-30 November) run by the charity Stonewall, golfers across the country are being encouraged to show their support for LGBT equality by wearing rainbow laces on their shoes or displayed on their golf bags.Many in the LGBT community live and breathe for sport, yet four in 10 think that sport isn’t welcoming.By working together we can help make sport everyone’s game.England Golf is already committed to a policy of inclusivity and will continue its drive to change attitudes in 2020 by supporting a series of initiatives.In the year ahead, we willProvide inclusivity training and support for England Golf staff and volunteersConduct research to understand the current experiences of LGBT people in golfUnderstand the perceptions/barriers to participation in golf by LGBT peopleCreate guidance for LGBT people on how they can engage with the gameCreate guidance for clubs on good practice of inclusion of LGBT peopleReview our guidance and policies around inclusion of LGBT people for competition within EnglandExecutive director Richard Flint said: “Making sure golf is a sport for all is a cornerstone of the England Golf strategy.“Golf is a wonderful game for everyone to enjoy. In a modern, sporting environment there is no place for any discriminatory barriers.“England Golf is delighted to support the Rainbow Laces campaign and is committed to spreading a message of inclusivity through all our affiliated clubs and our staff.“The new initiatives we are putting in place for 2020 only serve to reinforce this message.”Stonewall encourages people in sport to challenge existing prejudices and can offer advice to anyone involved in golf when faced with a discriminatory or abusive situation.This guidance includes the following messages:Avoid a knee jerk reaction. Take a minute to find the right words and toneExplain that it’s offensive to LGBT people and many othersExplain that it makes LGBT people feel unwelcome in sportTell them making a joke, chant or insult about being LGBT is abuse – always.There are already many LGBT people participating in golf, but we want to pledge our support to them and anyone choosing to take up the game in 2020.Here at England Golf we want clubs and golfers to share their Rainbow Laces images with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the #RainbowLacesDayStaff at England Golf offices in Woodhall Spa last week showed their support for the campaign by wearing rainbow laces to work.For more details on Come Out Active week and the Rainbow Laces campaign please click hereFollow England Golf on social mediaTwitter: @EnglandGolfFacebook: England.golfInstagram: England.golflast_img read more

first_imgBy Bruce Fuhr,The Nelson Daily SportsThe Nelson Leafs appeared to have solved that dreaded problem scoring.Now the two-time Kootenay International Junior Hockey League finalist has added some grit in front of the net, which could make finding goals even easier.Leaf coach and GM Chris Shaw announced Thursday the team is getting a bigger presence in front of the net after the team acquired 6’2”, 190-pound Evan Moir from the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.The acquisition of Moir comes on the same weekend that Shaw is getting back 6’2”, 200-pound winger Cody Abbey back from a shoulder injury.“Evan is a power forward that’s a good fast skater who can carry the puck and has a good physical presence on the ice,” Shaw told The Nelson Daily Thursday. “And now that we have Cody Abbey back also, it should make a big difference for us.”The on-again, off-again Leafs appear to be back on after racking up a pair of wins. The first win was not totally unexpected against Grand Forks. However, Sunday’s win in Spokane over the red hot Braves was a victory that could provide the Leafs with some much-needed confidence as the squad attempts to climb the Murdoch Division standings.“We got back to the basics in practice and put in some hard work,” Shaw explained. “I’ve always been a believer you play the way you practice so we put our hard hats on, did some dryland and it paid off for us.”The dedication to detail combined with a few changes on the power play allowed the Leafs to snap out of a 1-for-31 slump with the man advantage.“We changed some things as far as entering the opposition zone differently,” Shaw said. “Once in the zone the guys were really passing the puck around and had some good finishing.”The Leafs hope to extend the streak a few more games than two when the club plays host to Kimberley Dynamiters Saturday at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.Sunday it’s off to Spokane once again for an afternoon contest against the Braves.LEAF NOTES: Kyle Alexander’s stay in Nelson was brief after Shaw sent the former Flin Flon defenceman to Helena, Mont. of the Northern Pacific Junior Hockey League for future considerations. Alexander played only two games in a Leaf jersey . . . Two Leaf players, forward Tanner Burns and Colton Malmsten, will see action Friday for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL. The Smokies host the Victoria Grizzlies in Trail. Both players will return to the Leafs for the two weekend [email protected]last_img read more

first_imgResidents of one of the Sime Darby Community, one of the most densely populated communities within Bomi County, on Saturday, February 22, petitioned Ambassador Neh Dukuly Tolbert to contest the upcoming special senatorial election.The citizens, in their petition, said: “Residents of Bomi county have unanimously agreed to petition you as the choice of the people that will bring the expectation of Bomi citizens to fruition.”Their expectations include good schools for their children, water and sanitation, medical facilities and agricultural programs across the four political districts of the county.They described her as the “political light of Bomi County.”According to the citizens, the career of Ambassador Tolbert has blazed a historic and stellar path for the county in the most difficult moments. They added: “It is now time that the international stage can produce direct benefits for the people and country she loves and where like her distinguished ancestors, she will make contribution.”They expressed the hope that Ambassador Tolbert would reconstruct, prioritize development needs, and  create business opportunities, things they said her father— Former Secretary of State Momolu Dukuly—did for their county.According to the citizens of Bomi County, it was time to change the  political playing field of the county. They envisioned that under her senatorial leadership, Bomi will become a county of paved roads, many schools and vibrant human capacity.The citizens, who gathered at the Sime Darby Central High School to petition the Ambassador, said it was time to demonstrate a true ideas of dedication of democracy for which the county can have a genuine representation at the level of the senate.Responding, Ambassador Neh Dukuly Tolbert expressed gratitude to the people of the county for their position and promised to work collectively to ensure that the hopes and dreams of the people are achieved.The Special Senatorial election is  scheduled for October 14, 2014.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgEU Parliamentary candidate Peter Casey says Ireland must suspend EU Freedom of Movement temporarily to avoid an immigration boom that will overwhelm the country.The Donegal-based businessman is calling for what he describes as a “mature discussion” on Ireland’s immigration policy to ensure migrants help sustain and grow the Irish economy rather crippling it.He says: “Britain leaving the EU poses an immediate immigration problem for Ireland. After Brexit, people within the EU, who would have ordinarily tried to migrate to Britain, will look to Ireland as an English-speaking alternative. Where else can they go? “Last year more than 200,000 people migrated to the UK from within the EU. If only a fraction of that number of people were to arrive in Ireland as the only other English-speaking country (except for Malta), then we would not be able to cope,” he says.Mr. Casey said the Central Statistics Office predicts that up to one million people will arrive in Ireland from other countries over the next 32 years. That is more than one fifth of our current population, yet there are no realistic plans to create the capacity to deal with such an influx of people.Mr Casey adds: “Last year, the ‘National Risk Assessment’ report disclosed that Ireland is at risk of increased illegal movement of asylum seekers. According to the report, Brexit could also give rise to a risk of increased illegal movement of third-country nationals into Ireland from the UK. It further notes possible consequences for secondary movements of asylum seekers and illegal migrants from the UK to Ireland in the event of UK divergence from EU law in the field of asylum.”The presidential election runner-up acknowledges that immigration is important to Ireland’s economy but is adamant it must be affordable. “I warmly welcome diversity and realise that continued immigration is vital to supply the labour needed to grow the Irish economy. However, it must be affordable.“We can’t afford the current rate of immigration into Ireland. That is obvious from the housing crisis, pressure on our health services, the cost of our social welfare system and many more areas of our society.“There are many people in our towns and cities who feel aggrieved and also many who believe we should open our doors just like other countries did for the Irish people for generations. This is why immigration should be top of the agenda for mature discussion. We need to acknowledge the views of all Irish people in order to make informed decisions on how we handle this ticking time bomb for our country.“We need to stop running away from controversial issues when hard decisions must be made. The politically correct lobby should stop trying to claim that any debate is right wing populism. That’s ridiculous.“Last year around 31,100 people from within the EU plus 30,900 from other parts of the world arrived in Ireland. That is a lot of new arrivals when compared 18,000 and 6,000 respectively in 2010.” “Article 112 of the EEA agreement gives a country the right to put in place safeguard measures regarding Freedom of Movement within the EU in light of ‘serious economic, societal and environmental difficulties’. If Britain leaves, then we have a major problem. There will definitely be ‘serious economic, societal and environmental difficulties’. If Liechtenstein can do it, so can Ireland.”Immigration ‘a ticking time bomb’ for Ireland – Casey was last modified: May 16th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:electionEUImmigrationPeter Caseylast_img read more

first_imgThe 11th fossil of Archaeopteryx, found in German limestone, has dished up some surprises that finish off the old evolutionary icon.It’s big news when a new exquisitely-preserved specimen of the world’s most famous (and beautiful) fossil—Archaeopteryx—is discovered.The famous Archaeopteryx fossils were listed as No. 5 in Jonathan Wells’ 2000 critique of Darwin evidences, Icons of Evolution.  At the time, eight specimens of Archaeopteryx were known; one was just a feather, and one had been lost.  The Berlin specimen was the best; the “London” specimen (because it ended up in London’s Natural History Museum) was the next best.  All had been found in Solnhofen limestone in Germany.  While Archaeopteryx had modern-looking flight feathers, it also possessed unique traits, like a scaly head, teeth, wing claws, and a long bony tail.  Wells argued in 2000 that Archaeopteryx could not be an ancestor to modern birds, because it appears too early in the fossil record.  It also provided no help to evolutionists about the origin of flight.  It must have been, therefore, a member of an extinct lineage of birds.  The missing link that was once Archaeopteryx, therefore, was still missing, he ended.Not until more recent years were so-called “feathered dinosaurs” found in China (dated before and after Archaeopteryx) to expand and complicate the ecology of extinct birds and their alleged evolutionary ancestry.  The story of Archaeopteryx itself has evolved in the interim.  Now it is no longer considered a transitional form (1/16/13).  Some suggest it devolved from a flying bird (11/12/13).Analysis of specimen #11 was reported by Nature today (the authors are not aware of the provenance, [date and location], of the specimen, since it came from a private collection).  So what does the new specimen show about the old icon?  One new finding involves feathers on the legs that they dub “feather trousers.”  Asymmetric pennaceous feathers are usually diagnostic of flight; strangely, this specimen’s tail feathers are asymmetric, but the wing feathers and “feather trousers” are symmetric (whereas on Microraptor gui, the leg feathers are asymmetric).  The plumage dismisses an evolutionary speculation that flight evolved first in bi-plane fashion, on a glider such as Microraptor gui, then as powered flight.  Here’s the new interpretation from the abstract:Here we describe a new specimen of Archaeopteryx with extensive feather preservation, not only on the wings and tail, but also on the body and legs. The new specimen shows that the entire body was covered in pennaceous feathers, and that the hindlimbs had long, symmetrical feathers along the tibiotarsus but short feathers on the tarsometatarsus. Furthermore, the wing plumage demonstrates that several recent interpretations are problematic. An analysis of the phylogenetic distribution of pennaceous feathers on the tail, hindlimb and arms of advanced maniraptorans and basal avialans strongly indicates that these structures evolved in a functional context other than flight, most probably in relation to display, as suggested by some previous studies. Pennaceous feathers thus represented an exaptation and were later, in several lineages and following different patterns, recruited for aerodynamic functions. This indicates that the origin of flight in avialans was more complex than previously thought and might have involved several convergent achievements of aerial abilities.The authors’ cladogram shows a confused mess.  There is no longer a single line of feathers leading to flight; instead, there are mosaics of traits appearing here and there but not over there.  Microraptor gui is shown as the first creature with asymmetrical feathers (indicative of flight) and an alula (helpful in low-speed flight), but Archaeopteryx lacks the alula.  Because the story is “more complex” now, the new interpretation is that pennaceous feathers and flight must have evolved several times by “convergent evolution.”Pennaceous feathers appear in no particular evolutionary order.  “Based on these results,” the authors state, “the evolution of pennaceous feathers is generally decoupled from the origin of flight and might be related to other biological roles.”  Were they for insulation?  camouflage?  sexual display?  brooding?  balance?  Whatever happened, the authors reject the idea that four-legged gliding preceded two-winged flight:Although some taxa possess prominent feather trousers, an initial aerodynamic function, as previously hypothesized, can be rejected because the presence of this character is extremely variable within Paraves, and elongated hindlimb feathers were usually restricted to the tibia and are symmetrical in shape. Thus, probably non-volant taxa such as Anchiornis or Xiaotingia might have used these feathers for display, breeding or other functions. The display function might be supported by the finding of complex colour or iridescent patterns in hindlimb feathers. Archaeopteryx might have used its ‘trouser’ additionally as a vertical plane during landing, similar to recent raptors. Only for Microraptor does an improved aerodynamic adaptation of the trousers seem plausible, as indicated by the triangular shape of the trousers and the asymmetrical shape of the feathers. These results contradict the hypothesis that the flapping flight of modern birds was preceded by a four-winged gliding stage, and indicates that flight ability in Avialae [the lineage containing Archaeopteryx] and Microraptor evolved convergently and was functionally different.The best tale they can invent is that feathers evolved early, and were put to use in flight and non-flight uses by different lineages via “convergent evolution.”  In Darwin jargon, the feathers were “repeatedly, and probably convergently, recruited for aerodynamic functions.”   That makes it sound so easy.  What about all the other physiological changes for flight?  (See documentary Flight: The Genius of Birds for details.)This indicates that the origin and evolution of flight in theropod dinosaurs were more complex than previously thought, and (as already shown for other anatomical complexes, for example forelimb myology and breathing apparatus) could draw on structures that evolved in different functional contexts.In short, “flight” was able to “draw on” structures that had already “evolved in other functional contexts.”  They seem to be suggesting that feathers are just one of many structures that first had some other function that was “recruited for aerodynamic functions” by “convergent evolution” in unrelated lineages.  This is “co-option” on steroids.  What would be the alternate functions, though, for a flow-through lung system, redesigned muscles, redesigned digestive and excretory systems, redesigned brain, new navigation abilities, and all the other bird-specific anatomical traits, if not for flight?In short, it’s going to be a lot harder to illustrate the origin of flight in textbooks from now on.How are the news media spinning this re-interpretation of Archaeopteryx?Dinosaur-Era Fossil Shows Birds’ Feathers Evolved Before Flight (National Geographic); An ancient bird ancestor from the dinosaur era sported feathers, but couldn’t fly.”  Mark Norell is quoted: “It’s very hard to say feathers evolved for any one reason.”  Senior author Oliver Rauhut told NG, “Once pennaceous feathers had evolved, early feathered dinosaurs could have relied on them to eventually fly.”Flight may have evolved multiple times in birds (Science Magazine). “The discovery raises the intriguing prospect that flight may have developed multiple times in the ancestors of birds.”Early bird Archaeopteryx ‘wore feather trousers’ for display (BBC News). Dr. Rauhut contradicts National Geographic; he told the BBC News, “I’m pretty sure it could fly. Though of course there is still a debate about how well it could fly.”National Geographic‘s artistic reconstruction of the animal looks pretty birdy: something like a roadrunner without a beak.  Mark Norell thinks it flew, but poorly, like a turkey or something similar.  Even so, nobody calls turkeys or roadrunners non-birds or transitional forms.  Archaeopteryx was a bird, albeit a strange one.Does anybody care at this point that the authors prefer the “ground-up” (cursorial) theory of flight instead of the “tree-down” (arboreal) theory?  Where’s WAIR?  Calling all storytellers!  Dial Ken pronto (6/25/14).We like it when more data come in.  They usually have the effect of toppling icons of evolution.  Archaeopteryx was a good example.  The first specimen was discovered two years after Darwin published the Origin of Species, and was widely hailed as a transitional form confirming Darwin’s theory.  It would be nice to see the expression on his face if he saw the icon topple 150 years later.  It would be like getting two turkeys for the price of one. (Visited 147 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Many farmers throughout Ohio have been experiencing colder temperatures these last few days which has resulted in some frost damage in soybean and wheat fields. In this video Beck’s new PFR agronomist, Alexandra Knight, is at the London, OH PFR site evaluating wheat and soybean frost damage and what to look for on your own crops.last_img