Arctic Snowy Owls Soar South in Rare Mass Migration

first_imgA certain number of the huge owls fly south from their Arctic breeding grounds each winter but rarely do so many venture so far away, even amid large-scale, periodic southern migrations known as irruptions. (READ the Reuters story from MSNBC)Snowy Owl by Pe ha45-Flickr-CC license; Thanks to Julia Frerichs for sending the link!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreBird enthusiasts are reporting rising numbers of snowy owls from the Arctic winging into the lower 48 states this winter in a mass southern migration that a leading owl researcher called “unbelievable.”Thousands of the snow-white birds, which stand 2 feet tall with 5-foot wingspans, have been spotted from coast to coast, feeding in farmlands in Idaho, roosting on rooftops in Montana and soaring over shorelines in Massachusetts.last_img read more

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University to host immigration conference

first_imgNotre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) will host “The Church and Immigration” conference next week in McKenna Hall Conference Center, which will focus on the role of the Catholic Church in immigration reform.  Keri O’Mara | The Observer Rev. Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C, associate professor of theology and director of the Immigration Initiative at the ILS, said the conference aims to promote the increasing importance of immigration reform, highlight the ethical issues involved and make connections to the gospel of Jesus Christ.“235,000,000 people are migrating around the world today, and in the United States alone 10 to 12 million of those are undocumented,” Groody said. “If Notre Dame as a Catholic university had nothing to say about this, how would it be credible as a university or a Catholic institution?”The conference will explore what roles the Catholic Church can play in redefining immigration policies and practices, Groody said.“Part of what has made America the great country that it is are the immigrants who have helped make it what it is today,” Groody said. “The focus of this conference is on what the Church has done, is doing and can better do in response to this challenging and important issue.”The ILS will host various speakers, including several bishops and University President Fr. John Jenkins, and will hold workshops such as “Human Trafficking” and “Immigrant Voters and the Changing American Electorate.”Groody said the United States can do more to aid immigration reform.“People migrate because of economic need, the violation of human rights, weak juridical structures, environmental disasters and many other reasons,” he said. “While the United States cannot accept every migrant in need, there is much more it can do.”Groody said the conference is born of out of principles of Catholic Social Teaching, which are based directly with the dignity of the human person.“However one identifies oneself in liberal or conservative terms, the heart of Catholic Social Teaching deals with justice in the world and building a peaceful society,” Groody said. “Catholic universities should have a role in that process. Notre Dame is involved in this issue because this is both a national and global issue of significant importance.”Colleen Cross, project coordinator of the conference, said the initiative critically engages the issue of immigration in the United States.“Building on Notre Dame’s long-standing commitment to a faith that does justice, as well as the significance of immigration in Latino communities, the Immigration Initiative seeks to highlight the Church’s commitment to immigrants and immigration reform in the United States,” she said.The conference will run from March 2 through 5.Tags: Church and Immigration, Immigration, immigration reform, reformlast_img read more

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Governor expects “exponential” coronavirus jump; 2nd Texas death reported

first_imgAUSTIN (AP) — The number of Texans testing positive for the new coronavirus is likely to dramatically rise as the state’s testing capacity ramps up and cases of community spread continue to climb, Gov. Greg Abbott said.“You’re going to see an exponential increase in the number of people testing positive on a daily basis,” Abbott said at a press conference.By the end of this week, testing for the new coronavirus in Texas is expected to ramp up to 10,000 tests weekly, Abbott said. In North Texas, Tarrant County health officials say test results on a 77-year-old man who died Sunday came back positive Tuesday for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. In a statement, county officials say the man was a resident of the Texas Masonic Retirement Center in Arlington. Tarrant County teams are working with retirement center administrators to assess other residents and staff as a search is mounted for the possible source of the infectionThe announcement came after that late Monday night from Matagorda County health officials, along the Texas coast, that a man in his late 90s who died had tested positive for COVID-19. He was the first COVID-19-related death known in Texas.Officials said they were reviewing a possible community link between that man and the county’s first COVID-19 case, a 60-year-old woman who is being treated at a hospital for pneumonia. The woman traveled around Texas but had not left the state, said Mitch Thames, a county spokesman.First responders, healthcare workers, vulnerable populations and those with symptoms will be prioritized for testing, the governor said.Abbott emphasized that aside from public testing, private health care providers will have access to the new coronavirus tests as well. The governor encouraged those with private insurance to see their current doctor.“By end of week, everyone who needs a COVID-19 test will be able to get a COVID-19 test,” the governor said.To get tested, individuals will need a doctor’s order, the governor said.“You can’t just drive up like you would drive up to a Whataburger and order a cheeseburger. You can’t just walk up to this and order a COVID-19 test,” Abbott said of drive-through testing centers that will continue opening throughout the state.Those who are asymptomatic will not be tested, the governor said — though public health officials have warned infected people without symptoms can also spread the virus. The second death in Texas related to COVID-19 was announced Tuesday, hours after Austin joined other major cities statewide in closing bars and restaurant dining rooms to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.The City of Port Arthur declared a public health emergency Tuesday, with city leaders prohibiting gatherings of 50 or more persons at public facilities in response to the coronavirus pandemic, mirroring an amended order from Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick.The Texas Capitol in Austin is closed to the public starting today (March 18) according to a statement issued Tuesday by the State Preservation Board. The Capitol will remain open to elected officials, staff and state agency personnel. The Capitol Visitors Center, the Texas State Cemetery and the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage also will be closed for the duration of the coronavirus emergency.center_img The University of Texas System on Tuesday instructed its eight academic campuses to, effective immediately, move all classes online for the rest of the spring semester and postponed graduation ceremonies until the fall. With no classes held on campus, system officials are urging students to go home. Campus residence and dining halls will be limited to only those students who don’t have alternative housing. Graduating students will still receive their degrees.Also Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott activated the Texas National Guard in response to the outbreak, describing it as a “preparative measure.” Abbott said there were no current plans for deployments.For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. On Monday, Dallas restricted public gatherings to 50 people.last_img read more

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2013 Genesis Bikes Add Ti, Alloy Road Racers, Full Suspension MTB & More!

first_imgGenesis has had their Croix de Fer and Day One steel disc cyclocross bikes for a couple years now, but the new Vapor becomes their race-level ‘cross bike. It shares a similar alloy frame as the Volant but with some off road tweaks like proper cyclocross geometry and a large gusset at the downtube/headtube junction. It also gets disc brakes and maintains the rack and fender mounts of its siblings to extend use beyond race season. The Volant looks more like the type of alloy race bikes we see at NAHBS, which is a good thing. Oversized alloy tubes, slightly shaped stays and a 44mm headtube add up to a good looking rig that should make crit racers quite happy. Genesis Bikes’ lineup has expanded with new materials and models for road, mountain and cyclocross.Above, the Equilibrium is a seamless double butted titanium road bike with shaped, oversized tubes and 44mm headtube. It comes built with mostly Shimano 105, including hubs, and tapered fork with alloy steerer and carbon legs. The frame and fork get fender mounts, making it a good year round bike for training, racing and just getting to and fro.It joins a couple of high end alloy racing bikes for road and cyclocross, their first full suspension mountain bike and some hardtail 29ers…center_img The High Latitude is a new steel 29er hardtail mountain bike. It’ll set up as singlespeed or geared, and at the moment is still officially in the prototype stage as it’s not quite shown on their website.A nice machined section of the chainstay provides ample clearance for a double or triple crankset.Tubing is Reynolds 520 steel and geometry is built around a 100mm suspension fork. If you want to run rigid, they offer the Fortitude 29er that’s designed for use without a suspension fork.The 26″ Grapil is also still officially in prototype stage. It’s a 120mm travel frame designed around a 140mm fork for trail/all-mountain use.last_img read more

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Garen Scribner & More to Join Rob McClure in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway at the Muny

first_img View Comments Garen Scribner(Photo: Caitlin McNaney) St. Louis’ beloved outdoor theater The Muny has announced the full 50-member cast set to appear in the company’s centennial-season mounting of Tony-winning musical revue Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Directed by Cynthia Onrubia with music direction by Michael Horsley, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway will begin performances at the outdoor theater on June 11 for a run through June 17.New to the principal company in a variety of roles are Garen Scribner (An American in Paris), Sarah Bowden (A Chorus Line), Peter Chursin (On the Town), Gabriel Cytron (Newsies), Alexa De Barr (Trip of Love), Jess Fry (M. Butterfly), Leeds Hill (Cabaret), Sarah Marie Jenkins (Cats), Cole Joyce (Newsies), Maggie Lakis (Avenue Q), Jenny Powers (Little Women), Drew Redington (Holiday Inn), Sean Rozanski (The Bodyguard), Elizabeth Teeter (The Crucible), Tanairi Vazquez (Hamilton), Erica Wong (M. Butterfly) and newcomer Davis Wayne. They join the previously announced Tony nominee Rob McClure (Something Rotten!) as The Setter.Jerome Robbins’ Broadway comprises musical numbers from productions that were either choreographed or directed by the late five-time Tony winner Jerome Robbins. Shows featured in the revue include The King and I, On the Town, Fiddler on the Roof and West Side Story.The musical’s ensemble will include Lindsay Bell, Jessica Bishop, Kyle Coffman, Whitney Cooper, Darien Crago, Lauren Csete, Nicolas De La Vega, Sean Ewing, Patrick Garr, Peter Garza, Berklea Going, Sean Harrison Jones, Evan Kinnane, Marina Lazzaretto, Chris Lingner, Robin Masella, Melissa Hunter McCann, Mitchell McCroskey, Connor McRory, Courtney Ortiz, Hillary Porter, Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva, Emilio Ramos, Mariah Reshea Reives, Kyle Samuel, Brian Shimasaki Liebson, Gabi Stapula, Bethany Ann Tesarck, Brandon L. Whitmore, Andrew Wilson and Victor Wisehart.Jerome Robbins’ Broadway will feature scenic design by Paige Hathaway, costume design by Robin L. McGee, lighting design by John Lasiter, video design by Nathan W. Scheuer and sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge.last_img read more

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Broadway Producers Offer $1 Million Challenge Match for BC/EFA’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund

first_img Star Files Lin-Manuel Miranda View Commentscenter_img More than 20 Broadway producers are offering a $1 million challenge match to double the impact of donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.The producers coming together to offer the $1 million challenge are Spencer Ross, Rebecca Gold Milikowsky, Elizabeth Armstrong, Bill Damaschke, Diana DiMenna, Jeanne Donovan Fisher, S. Asher Gelman, John Gore & Lauren Reid/The John Gore Organization, Louise Gund, Judi Krupp, Larry & Beth Lenke, Carmen Pavlovic & Gerry Ryan, Marc Platt, Daryl Roth, Jordan Roth, Scott Rudin, Jeffrey Seller, Jana Shea, Iris Smith, David Stone and Barbara Whitman. Lauren Reid, Jordan Roth and David Stone also serve on the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Board of Trustees.The Broadway producers’ challenge was initiated by Ross who pledged $50,000 and began recruiting other producers to join him in each pledging $50,000 for the match. Milikowsky quickly followed suit and joined Ross to co-lead the recruitment effort. Armstrong was the first to sign on. In just a few days, they had 20 producers onboard collectively offering the $1 million pledge.The Emergency Assistance Fund, administered by The Actors Fund, is helping those onstage, backstage and behind the scenes impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and work shutdown. Each day that theaters remain dark, entertainment professionals face unprecedented health and financial challenges requiring immediate attention and resources.With the producers’ challenge, every new donation made to the emergency fund will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $1 million. You can make your tax-deductible donation here.Broadway Cares launched the emergency fund on March 17 with an initial $250,000. So far, $580,000 has been raised, including $52,000 generated by Lin-Manuel Miranda during a special segment of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: At Home Edition.Thanks to the producers’ challenge match, the goal for Broadway Cares’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund has been increased to $2 million by April 12.The COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund is helping entertainment professionals meet coronavirus-related expenses. It provides urgent additional resources for the vital social service programs of The Actors Fund, including emergency financial assistance, health insurance, counseling and the operation of The Actors Fund’s Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts.The Actors Fund is actively processing applications for help from 5,000 people who have been submitted in the last 10 days, and expects the need to increase. Hundreds already have been provided with help.last_img read more

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Jenn Colella & More Join The Great American Songbook Concert Series

first_img Jenn Colella Luba Mason Beth Malone Emily Skinner Jenn Colella(Photo: Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com) Elizabeth Stanley Kerry Butler Star Files A slew of stars are set for The Great American Songbook Concert Series! In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, producer Scott Siegel brings this virtual series, a celebration of American songwriters from Irving Berlin to Stephen Sondheim, into the homes of audiences via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The concerts premiere bi-weekly on Thursdays at 7:00PM ET and are free to watch. The latest edition of series will premiere on August 13 with Tony nominee Jenn Colella.Siegel created a GoFundMe campaign dedicated to producing these concerts and paying the artists that perform. So far, over 175 audience members, each credited with the title of producer, have generously donated to series, raising over $20,000. Additionally, Siegel has received a matching grant of $25,000 and hopes to have that grant matched with an additional GoFundMe campaign.The many stars who have either performed or will appear in upcoming concerts include Christina Bianco, Kerry Butler, Robert Cuccioli, Quentin Earl Darrington, Tony DeSare, Debbie Gravitte, Aaron Lazar, Beth Malone, Karen Mason, Luba Mason, Kenita R. Miller, Christiane Noll, Kerry O’Malley, Patrick Page, Emily Skinner, Jarrod Spector, Elizabeth Stanley, Tom Wopat and Karen Ziemba.“I conceived this series to be a ‘win’ for everyone. The audience wins because we give them free concerts available on all social media platforms. The performers win because they get paid to perform when there are virtually no other paying jobs out there right now (and they get to be seen by thousands of people). And, finally, the donors win because they are acknowledged as the shows producers,” Siegel said. “I believe that this is a feel good story in a feel bad world.” Quentin Earl Darrington Kenita R. Miller View Comments Jarrod Spector Patrick Page View All (10)last_img read more

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Vermont Gas becomes charter member of EPA methane challenge program

first_imgVermont Gas Systems Inc,Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Gas announced Wednesday that it is a charter member of the US Environmental Protection Agency National Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program. The voluntary program provides a new mechanism through which companies like Vermont Gas can make and track ambitious commitments to reduce methane emissions.“We are committed to a clean energy future and that means reducing emissions any way we can,” said Vermont Gas President and CEO Don Rendall.  “We are proud to be a part of this EPA program. Vermont Gas has a strong record of work that eliminates and avoids methane emissions. We support both voluntary and regulatory efforts to prevent methane emissions through efficiency programs, local distribution and more.”Participating in this Challenge is part of the company’s overall commitment to a clean energy future. In December 2015, Rendall supported national methane management rules under consideration by the EPA to sharply reduce emissions in oil and gas production, processing, and transportation.In 2014, a Google car equipped with the latest technology to detect even very small methane emissions in Vermont Gas’ Burlington distribution system determined that the Vermont Gas system has one of the lowest levels of methane emissions in the country. In recent decades, Vermont Gas has replaced older pipe and maintained an aggressive emissions survey program of its own.Vermont Gas Vice President Ned Farquhar attended the STAR Methane Challenge Program launch this morning in Washington, DC. “Energy efficiency, renewables, new technologies, responsible development and use of natural gas is crucial to the world’s clean energy future,” said Farquhar. “Vermont plays a leadership role in many different ways.”For more information about the Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program, visit: https://www3.epa.gov/gasstar/methanechallenge/index.html(link is external)last_img read more

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Assisting with the new car call

first_imgUse these 5 questions to help your members decide if they should keep their current vehicles.by. Tom KazarThis week a friend of mine took his car into the shop and was told that his auto repair bill would be almost $2,000. He came to me and asked, “I love my car, but repairs are getting expensive. Should I keep repairing or cut my losses and purchase a new car?”So we began spreadsheeting and working the math to see what made more “cents.” Your members’ best interest is important, so here are some questions to ask your members to help them reveal the financial pluses and minuses before they give up on their current car and purchase something new (or new to them):Do you currently have liability or full coverage auto insurance? If the car is older, insurance premiums may be lower because the cost of replacing the car is less. If your member will be financing his next vehicle, he will need full coverage and may be paying more. Have him get a quote from his insurance company so he can gauge the price difference.How will gas consumption change? With gas prices as high as they are, a few miles per gallon difference can have a strong impact on a weekly budget. Have your member calculate her current mileage and research the mileage of vehicles being considered. A weekly surplus or deficit can save or cost a lot over the vehicle’s lifetime. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Reduce Dumb Decisions by Thinking in a Foreign Language

first_imgABC News:Forget about dropping that Korean or Spanish or Japanese lesson, and not just because sticking with it might make it easier to navigate a polyglot world.It can pay off in other ways too. People who think problems through in a foreign language – and it doesn’t matter which one – make more rational decisions and are more apt to take smart risks, especially in the financial realm, according to a recent study in the journal Psychological Science.Left to follow their gut instincts, people are naturally loss-averse, sometimes myopically so, and often pass up favorable opportunities as a result, says Boaz Keysar, a psychologist at the University of Chicago and lead author of the study.“Imagine I offer you $100, or we flip a coin and if it’s heads, you get $200, and if it’s tails, you get nothing,” Keysar says. “Most people would say, ‘I’ll take the $100′ and not risk getting nothing. Ninety-nine percent of people would do that, even if I offer $2,200 or nothing. We have an emotional reaction to a definite, immediate gain.”Read the whole story: ABC News More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

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