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Archives for January 27, 2013

Trash plan littered with frustration

But it’s not for lack of trying.

The California Department of Transportation has tried to fit intermittent trash pick-up into its already heavy workload. Volunteers have stepped up their efforts, too. New ideas are being mulled, like having the city hire clean-up workers with state funds.

Inmates needed

Authorities say the best solution would be to get those inmate crews back, but that possibility is far from certain.

“When we lost the inmates, you could see the difference … you could see the decline,” said John Enriquez of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful, the city’s anti-litter and beautification group. “When we had the inmate program (and) the volunteer efforts, we could stay on top of it. … And things were looking presentable two years ago.”

A contract for prison inmates from the Shafter Community Correctional Facility ended in July 2011. The inmates were paid a small amount to clean up litter along Highways 58 and 99 around Bakersfield and along roadways in Delano, Wasco and Porterville. And they provided a massive amount of labor. Four crews of nine to 12 inmates each, picking up litter six hours a day, five days a week. That totaled at least 1,080 working hours every week.

Now, in the Bakersfield Caltrans office, staff devote about one day a month to litter pickup, and it’s mostly reactionary, such as cleaning up homeless encampments, said David Schroeder of Caltrans. That’s about 72 hours of work time a month.

Litter pickup competes with all the other tasks the 25 Caltrans road crews in Bakersfield do: filling potholes, fixing broken sprinklers, signs and guardrails, answering complaints and repairing facilities when copper wire thieves hit, he said. Those 25 people cover 179 miles of roads and 320 acres of landscaping.

The loss of the inmate crews means “a whole lot more complaints and headaches” for Caltrans, Schroeder said. “We obviously can’t address what we’ve got coming in.”

Caltrans had planned to renew its contract with the Shafter prison to provide crews, he said, but then the facility closed with the shift of certain criminals from state to county custody.

The prison, which had housed more than 500 inmates, still stands empty, but recent discussions with the state Department of Corrections to take state prisoners have been encouraging, said Shafter City Manager John Guinn.

“The (agency) just has to figure out whether it fits into their existing plans,” Guinn said. “I think we’re going to be able to get more information here pretty soon.”

As to whether Shafter inmates would again pick up litter, he said, “That’s certainly everyone’s expectation.”

Inmates to do litter pick-up could come from Los Angeles County. Supervisors there are slated to discuss this week a proposal to send at least 512 prisoners to the Taft Community Correctional Facility.

If that happens, those inmates could do litter pick-up on area highways, said Taft City Manager Craig Jones

But Jones didn’t seem to have much confidence Los Angeles County supervisors will make a decision soon.

“They keep putting (a decision) off, but they haven’t pulled it (from their agenda) yet,” Jones said.

Other efforts

Meanwhile, other groups have been doing what they can to clean up trash along the roads, but it’s hard to make up for the loss of inmate crews.

Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall personally leads weekend clean-ups on Highway 99 ramps under Caltrans’ Adopt-a-Highway program. Last year, he increased those clean-ups from once a month to twice a month.

Keep Bakersfield Beautiful leads intermittent clean-ups by volunteers and weekly clean-ups by kids sentenced to community service for some offense. The kids pick up trash three times a month on Highway 99 and once a month on Chester Avenue. And there are businesses and individuals who participate in Adopt-a-Highway.

But unlike Caltrans staff and the inmates, volunteers and juvenile offenders can’t work on the highways themselves in Bakersfield, only in certain, relatively safer areas, such as on- and off-ramps. That leaves miles and miles untended when they’re covered with trash.

Enriquez said he understands litter isn’t Caltrans’ main responsibility.

“They’re pulled in many directions,” ranging from maintenance to traffic control when there’s an accident, he said. “It’s a community problem … That’s why we talk about solutions, the things we can do as a community to not just point fingers at Caltrans.”

Caltrans has OK’d six sites in Bakersfield for its Adopt-a-Highway program, and 31/2 have been adopted, said Deanna Hornback, a Caltrans coordinator for the program. Adopters for Bakersfield sites commit to six clean-ups a year.

Adopt-a-Highway sites are usually two-mile stretches of roadway that volunteers “adopt” for clean-ups. But Bakersfield highways have been deemed too dangerous for that standard, Hornback said.

“The problem in Bakersfield is the high traffic volumes, high accident rates, steep slopes, the ice plants (that) make it slippery,” Hornback said. “(Caltrans) supervisors have determined that it’s not safe for adoptions on the mainline (highway).”

Local volunteers are frustrated by that restriction, she conceded.

“Even more important than how it looks is the safety of the people that we’re putting out there,” she said.

City solutions in works

The city of Bakersfield is working on other ideas, too, which could alleviate trash on the highways between interchanges, places volunteers can’t go.

Caltrans has proposed giving Bakersfield the money Caltrans would normally spend on inmate crews if the city would take over some responsibility for litter on highways.

How exactly that would happen is still being sorted out, but it could involve the city hiring contract labor, said John Liu, deputy district director for maintenance and operations for Caltrans District 6. The Bakersfield Homeless Center has been involved in those discussions, Liu and Bakersfield Solid Waste Director Sal Moretti said.

The cost of one inmate crew for one year is about $125,000, Liu said, and roughly half that much is available in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Liu said he suggested the city and Caltrans come up with a contract for this option by July, when the new fiscal year starts and more money would be available.

“This is something that’s new for both of us,” Liu said. The idea is that such an agreement would include traffic control, temporary signs and other measures to protect workers.

Of course, the easiest, quickest option remains contracting with inmates, Liu said.

“If a prison came on board, we could do that a lot faster because we do those types of contracts all the time,” he said. On the other hand, there is “zero indication” that would happen anytime soon.

Without additional hands to work on the highway stretches now, anti-litter advocates are pushing other methods, such as enforcement of litter laws and education.

“We really need to educate the public on the importance of keeping their community clean,” Enriquez said. “That first impression that people have as they drive through Bakersfield is unfortunately very negative because of the trash.”

Article source: http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x738923879/Community-groups-struggling-to-get-highways-cleaned-up

America Today – Civility Series

Community

Kevin Ostapowicz, a member of Troop 390 in Fairlawn, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout, Boy Scouting’s highest honor. For his Eagle Scout project, Kevin supervised his fellow scouts in landscaping the gardens in the courtyard of Faith Lutheran Church in Fairlawn, the charter church for his troop. He is a junior at Copley High School.

Leon Doutrich of Wadsworth has received the state’s highest award for a nonactive member of the military reserve. He was honored for 11 years of service on the Fort Knox Retiree Council. He retired from the U.S. Army 20 years ago as a first sergeant and joined the 37th Infantry Division of the Ohio National Guard. He is adjutant of the Wadsworth VFW Post 1089.

Claudia Coleman received the 2013 Charles Salem Humanitarian Award from the city of Akron. She was among a dozen candidates who were nominated for their humanitarianism. She was a board member and officer of Akron Summit Community Action and a member of more than seven other nonprofit organizations throughout her career.

Education

Julie Zhao, director of the IDEAs Program in the University of Akron’s College of Engineering, was named the 2013 Outstanding Minority Engineering Program Administrator by the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates. The IDEAs program — Increasing Diversity in Engineering Academics — recruits African-American, Hispanic and Native American students into engineering majors.

University of Mount Union Board of Trustees member Clifford Shields, a 1943 MU alumnus, was chosen for induction into the Hall of Excellence for the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges. He has been a Mount Union trustee since 1967, serving as president from 1987 to 1992.

Hiram College President Thomas V. Chema has been named to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the unified national voice of more than 1,000 member institutions and associations.

New members to the board of trustees for the University of Mount Union are:

John J. Flynn, an attorney with Keith Flynn in Kent; Laurence Talley, a senior manager, certified public accountant and certified internal auditor at Ernst Young; and Gretchen L. Schuler, vice president of insurance-risk management and technical documentation at Invacare Corp. All graduated from Mount Union.

Military

Sergio V. Capotosto was promoted to master sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He graduated from Tallmadge High School in 1995 and joined the Marine Corps in 1996. He is the son of Fred and Rosemary Capotosto of Tallmadge.

Marine Corps Pvt. Zachary J. Wagner, son of Shannon K. McPeak and David L. Wagner, both of Akron, graduated from recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. He is a 2012 graduate of Ellet High School in Akron.

Marine Corps Pfc. Jyordan J. Smith, son of Lavetta M. and Joseph Smith of Akron, graduated from recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. He is a 2012 graduate of James A. Garfield High School.

Navy Constructionman Melanie L. Hamilton, daughter of Melinda and Mark Hamilton of Akron, was among the sailors awarded the Naval Construction Force Battle “E” award for outstanding operational performance of the Naval Mobile Construction Battalions. She is a 2005 graduate of Springfield High School.

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Megan E. Dunton, daughter of Debbie Archer of Canal Winchester and Steve Dunton of Stow, was among the sailors awarded the Naval Construction Force Battle “E” award for outstanding operational performance of the Naval Mobile Construction Battalions.

Dunton is a 1997 graduate of Pickerington High School, a 2002 graduate of the University of Dayton and a 2010 graduate of Ohio State.

Send news of community, school or military achievement to staff writer Carol Biliczky at cbiliczky@thebeaconjournal.com or fax them to 330-996-3033.

Article source: http://www.ohio.com/news/local-news/celebrations-jan-27-1.368177

Republicans Pin 2012 Failures On Message, Not Ideas

* Party leaders consider reasons for Mitt Romney’s defeat
* Paul Ryan: Republican ideas better for “daily lives”
* Leadership will come from states, Republican governor says
WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Days after President Barack Obama’s inauguration, Republican leaders said on Sunday their party needed to change the way it communicates, not its ideas, to win back the White House.
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, appearing in his first live television interview since the Nov. 6 election, said his party needs to demonstrate that Republican ideas can improve people’s lives.
“We have to show our ideas are better at fighting poverty, how our ideas are better at solving healthcare, how our ideas are better at solving the problems people are experiencing in their daily lives,” the Wisconsin congressman told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.
Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned aggressively and lost by 4 percentage points, said his party’s message has failed to reach voters who don’t pay close attention to politics.
“I think they don’t understand the conservative message,” McDonnell told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
McDonnell said the party should look away from Washington and toward the country’s 30 Republican governors for lessons on how to gain voters’ support.
Representative David Schweikert of Arizona said his party has failed to connect with many Americans.
“We are accountants,” Schweikert said on ABC’s “This Week,” arguing that the Republican Party offers a more analytical approach to solving problems than Democrats. “Sometimes, though, being an accountant doesn’t pull at the heart strings.”
Republican leaders gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina, last week to address the party’s future. There, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential candidate for president in 2016, told his fellow Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and reject anti-intellectual strands within the party.
In the 2012 campaign, Republicans struggled to attract support from single women, Hispanics and blacks. Some Republicans are looking to embrace immigration reform as a way to alter the party’s image and welcome new voters.
“How can we be a party of growth, of opportunity, of free enterprise, of prosperity, but not be the party of immigration?” said Carlos Gutierrez, a former U.S. commerce secretary, on “State of the Union.”
Highlighting a Florida Republican senator’s approach to providing a path to citizen for undocumented immigrants, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told CBS’s “Face the Nation:” “Republicans had better listen very carefully to Marco Rubio.”
(Reporting By Samuel P. Jacobs; Editing by Eric Beech)

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow

  • NASCAR Friends

    At the Daytona 500 race, Mitt Romney’s a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/26/mitt-romney-nascar-team-owners_n_1303029.html” target=”_hplink”attempt to connect with voters went awry/a when he admitted that he didn’t follow racing as closely as “some of the most ardent fans.”

    “But I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners,” he added.

    At the same event, he told a group of fans wearing plastic ponchos, “I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks.”

    Romney later a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/mitt-romney-garbage-bag-rain-gear_n_1313499.html” target=”_hplink”defended the comment/a, saying, “Look, I have worn a garbage bag for rain gear myself.”

  • Loving The Height Of Michigan’s Trees

    Romney campaigned through Michigan ahead of the state’s GOP primary in March, a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/mitt-romney-michigan-trees_n_1299937.html” target=”_hplink”frequently making mention/a of its foliage.

    blockquoteMitt Romney’s last few Michigan stump speeches have included an unusual plank — his appreciation for the apparently perfect height of the state’s trees.

    “I love this state,” he told an audience Tuesday. “The trees are the right height.”

    On Friday afternoon, Romney reprised the comment, saying, “This feels good, being back in Michigan. You know, the trees are the right height.”/blockquote

    Of course, those comments were just the latest examples of Romney professing his love for the Wolverine State’s trees. For more, read the a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/mitt-romney-michigan-trees_n_1299937.html” target=”_hplink”rest of the story/a.

  • Romney Likes Grits, Y’all

    At a March stump speech in Mississippi, Romney a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/mitt-romney-i-like-grits-learning-to-say-yall_n_1334935.html?ref=elections-2012″ target=”_hplink”explained to primary voters/a that he had been making attempts to solidify his Southern credentials.

    blockquoteCampaigning in Mississippi on Wednesday, Mitt Romney attempted to win over local voters by invoking a beloved regional delicacy.

    The former Massachusetts governor said during a speech in Pascagoula, Miss., that he is turning into an “unofficial Southerner.” He also joked, “I’m learning to say ‘y’all’ and I like grits. Strange things are happening to me.”/blockquote

  • Packzi Problems

    Romney tried to connect with a Michigan crowd by providing 35 dozen paczkis, Polish jelly doughnuts traditionally eaten on Fat Tuesday, with flavors including strawberry, rose-hip and prune.

    But as emThe Washington Post/em reports, a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/two-michigan-rallies-reveal-romney-santorum-flaws/2012/02/21/gIQA5Sz9ZR_print.html” target=”_hplink”the gesture went awry/a:

    blockquoteThe Comeback Kid walked out smiling, wearing a button-down shirt and jeans.

    And immediately messed something up.

    “By the way, how was the paczkis this morning? Yeah, yeah! That was very good,” Romney said. His message: We are not so different, you and I. We have both just eaten the same food! But then Romney began talking about the powdered sugar on the paczki.

    There was no powdered sugar. The doughnuts were glazed and bare.

    “Reminded me of what’s going on outside,” Romney said, comparing the falling snow to a doughnut that people had not eaten. (Had he not really eaten one of the paczki, after all? Had Romney’s campaign given the naked doughnuts to the crowd, while Romney was eating upgraded, sugar-dusted ones backstage?)/blockquote

    Passing out baked goods is apparently something of a Romney hallmark, per this pool report of his a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/21/sc-primary-mitt-romney-ha_n_1220447.html” target=”_hplink”foisting Panera on reporters/a during a flight.

  • A Couple Of Cadillacs

    Mitt Romney tried to woo voters in Michigan when he off-handedly listed the American cars he and his wife owned, but may have instead ended up painting himself as out of touch.

    “I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles,” Romney a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/mitt-romney-cadillac_n_1299740.html” target=”_hplink”said during an economic policy address/a. “I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs actually. I used to have a Dodge pickup truck, so I used to have all three covered.”

    Ann Romney’s SRXs, retail new for $35,485 to $54,525.

  • $10,000 Bet

    During a December debate, Mitt Romney tried to make a point by challenging rival Rick Perry to a bet over the content of his book, “No Apology.”

    “You’ve raised that before, Rick, and you’re simply wrong,” Romney a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/10/mitt-romneys-10000-bet-rick-perry_n_1141387.html” target=”_hplink”said/a. “Rick, I’ll tell you what: 10,000 bucks?”

    He may have been right, but it was the dollar amount that raised eyebrows. $10,000 is a href=”https://twitter.com/#!/WestWingReport/status/145696946579972097″ target=”_hplink”three months’ salary/a for many Americans.

  • Pink Slips

    During the New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/new-hampshire-primary-romney-rivals-final-appeals_n_1193570.html” target=”_hplink”told an audience/a at a campaign stop that he understood the fear of being fired, and that “there were a couple of times when I was worried I was going to get pink-slipped.”

    Then-opponent Rick Perry mocked the statement, saying, “I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips – whether he’d have enough of them to hand out.”

  • Oh, My Goodness!

    At a campaign stop this spring in Derry, New Hampshire, Mitt Romney pulled a gag that raised eyebrows. While posing for a photo with his arms around the waitresses at Mary Ann’s Diner, Romney suddenly jumped forward, acting as if someone had pinched his hind quarters.”Oh, my goodness gracious!” he exclaimed.

    The GOP presidential candidate later said he was “just teasing” and the gag is “kind of fun to do.”

  • Chrome For The Hollandaise

    During a Granite State visit, Mitt Romney stopped off at Blake’s Restaurant in Manchester. On the way out he met with the diner’s owner a href=”http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2011/06/14/mitt_romney_vs_diners.html” target=”_hplink”and cracked this egg/a:

    blockquoteI saw a young man over there with eggs benedict. He had the eggs benedict with a hollandaise sauce and the eggs, there. And I was going to suggest to you that you serve your eggs with hollandaise sauce and hubcaps. Because there’s no plates like chrome for the hollandaise!/blockquote

    emGet it!?/em

    The owner laughed politely.

  • Corporations Are People

    At an August rally in Iowa, Mitt Romney attempted to school a heckler by telling him that “corporations are people.”

    “Corporations are people, my friend… of course they are,” Romney said, a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/11/mitt-romney-heckled-iowa_n_924426.html” target=”_hplink”answering a question about entitlement reform/a. “Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People’s pockets. Human beings my friend.”

  • Know Each Other?

    Trying to make small talk with patrons at a New Hampshire diner, Romney asked a married couple sitting in a booth together, “You know each other?”

    Other Romney conversation nonstarters, a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-day-of-awkwardness-with-mitt-romney/2011/06/14/AGApq6UH_story.html” target=”_hplink”via The emWashington Post/em/a:

    blockquoteTo a man wearing a “Joe Gauci Landscaping” T-shirt: “You do some landscaping work?” To two older women who just came from the gym: “Are your knees, hips doing okay?” … Romney seemed to be auditing one man: “What’s happened to your financials the last couple of years?”/blockquote

  • ‘I’m Also Unemployed’

    On the campaign trail in Florida, Romney and a small group of voters discussed unemployment and how to find a job in the struggling economy. The GOP presidential candidate worth more than $200 million chimed in, “I should tell my story. I’m also unemployed.” The crowd laughed and asked if he was on LinkedIn. “I’m networking,” Romney said, “I have my sight on a particular job.”

  • Who Let The Dogs Out?

    In the now-infamous video from Romney’s 2008 presidential bid, Mitt is seen meeting with voters at a Martin Luther King Day parade in Florida. After nervously approaching a crowd of youngsters and awkwardly weaving his arm into the huddle, he randomly a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/22/mitt-romney-who-let-the-d_n_82486.html” target=”_hplink”blurted out/a, “Who let the dogs out? Whoo Whoo!”

    For the full effect, watch the YouTube video above.

  • Anyone Over 100?

    At a town hall event at a senior center in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney asked the elderly audience if anyone was over 100 years old. The exchange, a href=”http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/25/romneys-awkward-senior-moment/” target=”_hplink”via the Daily Caller/a:

    blockquote”Anybody here over 100 years old?” Romney asked.

    Crickets.

    “Not yet, but we’re getting there, right? We’re on our way,” continued Romney.

    “We’re hopefully going to get there soon.”

    “Well, not so soon. We hope to get there safe and sound.”/blockquote

  • Airplane Scuffle With LMFAO Rapper

    In February 2010, Mitt Romney got into a a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/15/mitt-romney-threatened-on-plane_n_463322.html” target=”_hplink”scuffle on an airplane/a traveling back from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. A Romney spokesman initially told reporters that a passenger became “physically violent” after Romney asked him to move his seat upright for takeoff. Rapper “Sky Blu from the group LMFAO later identified himself as the passenger, saying Romney loudly told him several times to straighten his seat. When Romney reached forward and grabbed Blu’s shoulder, the rapper knocked Romney’s hand away.

    a href=”http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1632218/lmfaos-sky-blu-was-other-man-mitt-romneys-plane-fight.jhtml” target=”_hplink”From MTV/a:

    blockquoteIf Romney had asked nicely, Blu said he might have put his seat up, but since he was so rude … Well, next thing you know, Blu said Romney reached out and put his hand on his shoulder and asked him again to put his seat up. /blockquote

    a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/18/mitt-romneys-fight-with-a_n_468407.html” target=”_hplink”Blu said/a, “And I didn’t take it any further than that. I just wanted the man not to touch me; that’s it.”

  • Only $100s

    At a campaign stop in Colorado, Romney mingled with patrons at a Mexican joint in Denver. From a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/romney-sharpens-attack-on-dodd-frank-financial-regulations/2011/06/20/AGPbUwdH_story.html” target=”_hplink”emThe Washington Post/em/a:

    blockquoteAt one table, a boy offered Romney a $1 bill that he had folded origami-style for good luck. The candidate happily accepted it, but then rifled through his wallet looking for money to give the boy in return. Romney had a $100 bill, but evidently did not want to give that away. An aide handed him a $1 bill, but Romney said that wasn’t enough.

    Then, deep inside his leather billfold, Romney found a $5 bill. “We’ll give you an Abraham Lincoln back,” he said, handing it to the boy./blockquote

  • A ‘Product’

    Mingling with voters at a a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romney-reaches-out-but-often-lacks-common-touch/2011/10/21/gIQAkUVc7L_story.html?hpid=z3″ target=”_hplink”campaign stop in Iowa/a, Romney ordered a plate of fried chicken, corn and baked beans. While chatting with the market’s owner, Romney, ever the business executive, curiously referred to the meal as a “product.”

  • Politicians Get Recognized

    a href=”http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/59002.html#ixzz1biat38lC” target=”_hplink”Courtesy of Politico/a, this video shows Romney trying his hand at comedy during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Romney talks to the crowd about how his four years in politics compare to his 25 years in the private sector, and how politicians get recognized in public.

    blockquoteI was in the Newark airport, flying to Boston, and I was reading my newspaper and I heard someone shriek and I looked up and she was pointing at me. She had on a cowboy hat, cowboy boots; she was a Chinese exchange student. I knew she wasn’t Texan because she had her jeans tucked into her boots. She pointed at me and she said, ‘You’re John Kerry!” And I said, “I sure am.”/blockquote

    For the full act, and the audience non-response, check out the video above.

  • Aloof Plane Flight

    Mitt Romney displayed some particularly aloof behavior when a passenger sitting next to him on a fight to Boston tried to strike up conversation, emThe New York Times/em reported Nov. 6. a href=”http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/in-flight-romney-is-aloof-with-fellow-passengers/” target=”_hplink”From the emTimes/em/a:

    blockquoteAccording to Ms. McClanahan, about an hour into the flight — which Mr. Romney mostly spent reading emUSA Today/em and using an iPad while wearing headphones — she told him her idea for improving the American health care system: slashing overhead costs by switching to an electronic billing system.

    “He looked at me blankly and said, ‘I understand,’ then put his iPad headphones in and kept reading,” she said./blockquote

    When another passenger asked Romney for a restarauant recommendation in Boston, he told her “I can’t give you any .. You’ll have to ask someone else,” according to the article.

  • Perspired Heavily

    For 15 years Mitt Romney ran the private equity group Bain Capital. The successful financial company earned him millions. a href=”http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/16/nation/na-mittbain16″ target=”_hplink”An emLos Angeles Times/em article/a about Romney’s career at Bain painted a picture of the businessman under strain. “In tense meetings, he sometimes perspired so heavily it became an office joke. Or he nervously flapped his tie and said, “Oooohhh, what do we do now?” former colleagues told the paper.

  • The Decision

    When Romney entered the 2008 presidential race, he released a a href=”http://www.myspace.com/video/mittromney/the-decision/16602414″ target=”_hplink”13-minute video /aof his family aimed at humanizing him. The video, titled “The Decision,” went viral, but not for the reasons Romney wanted. The short film is narrated mostly by his wife Anne Romney, who comes across as charming, personable and engaging, while the rest of the scene gives off a cloying whiff of privilege, cloister and artificiality.

    Mitt sits down with his family to discuss the pros and cons of running for president, although Anne had already admitted that the decision had basically been made earlier, undermining the conceit of the filmed family gathering. Mitt, apparently unable to behave informally even with his family, whips out a white legal pad to take notes on his family’s discussion. “Let me ask: How do you minimize the downsides?” the business executive asks his sons and daughters.

    Tagg Romney, who suggests he runs, has one warning for his pop: “The country may think of you as a laughing stock.”

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/27/republicans-2012_n_2562579.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

Spring arrives early in Convention Center


Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 12:40 pm


Spring arrives early in Convention Center

Sonya Ellingboe
sellingboe@ourcoloradonews.com

Colorado Community Media

|
0 comments

For nine days in February — Feb. 9-17 — one can walk into the Colorado Convention Center, inhale and pretend that spring has arrived. It’s time for the 2013 Garden and Home Show.


A glance at the numbers involved is mind-boggling, but it all comes together after five days of labor to present more than an acre — 45,000 square feet — of assorted gardens, amid exhibits from more than 600 companies from 25 states and Canada.

Fourteen separate gardens are designed by local landscapers and schools (Colorado State University and Pickens), including the “Flowers and Flight” entry garden with featured aircraft by Town and Country Landscaping. A special favorite is the “Trains to Tranquility Garden,” installed by Timberline Gardens, featuring G-scale garden railroad trains among boulders, trees and flowers.

We received facts such as: 15,000 blooming flowers, 2,000 cubic yards of mulch, 400 tons of rocks and boulders — and that’s just for the gardens.

Families can shop for new varieties of roses, water features for an existing garden, landscape plans for a new garden and numerous items for home remodel and repair. Wear your walking shoes to traverse this 400,000-square-foot show.

A standard flower show is a regular component and this year’s theme is “Out of this World.” Look for unique arrangements from about 60 garden club members. Also, look for “Experience Ikebana” in the upper lobby to the left of the show entrance during the second weekend.

An ongoing schedule of seminars is listed on the show’s website, gardeningcolorado.com, and it includes participation from Arapahoe Community College; Dr. Jim Klett of CSU, who will introduce the new Plant Select varieties; “how-to” on remodeling home landscape sessions by Alpine Gardens of Fort Collins and Greeley; programs by local members of ASID, Association of Interior Designers and more. See “Theater” on the website for a schedule.

Each year, the Garden and Home Show organization awards scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students in plant sciences, as well as grants to community-related garden projects. In the past, Littleton’s Colorado Center for the Blind and Hudson Gardens, as well as Englewood’s Swedish Medical Center rehabilitation garden have received grants.

If you go

The Colorado Convention Center is at 700 14th St., Denver. Light rail stops there (Convention Center/Performing Arts stop). Or you can drive to Coors Field, park for $5 and ride the shuttle to the show.

Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays; noon-8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Admission: $12/$10, free 12 and younger. Discount tickets are available at Tickets West outlets in area King Soopers.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013 12:40 pm.


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Colorado Convention Center,



Denver, Colorado,



Garden And Home Show

Article source: http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/englewood/life/spring-arrives-early-in-convention-center/article_38ef4326-67f0-11e2-a732-001a4bcf887a.html

Michigan House Envy: Farmington Hills colonial was stop on Underground …

Pre-Civil War railroad ties are built into the basement here, a mute reminder this spot was once a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Founded by abolitionist Quakers, Farmington was an active player on one route black slaves used to escape to Canada. It ran through Farmington, Birmingham and Troy, then east to the St. Clair River.

The basement dates from this site’s original 1830 farmhouse, which in 1916 was rebuilt by Detroit banker Richard Cudmore. He saved that foundation with all its history and added this sunny, three-story house with its stately entry portico and wrap-around veranda to be his family’s summer home.

For a 97-year-old structure, this house has been lucky in its owners. The second owner in 1937 added fine carpentry and finishing details. That includes the pagoda-like roof around the veranda and opulent interior trim.

Owners since then continued the upgrades, including the family now here for 22 years. They remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms, expanded closets, and added new insulation, heating and cooling systems, a security system and a sound system.

They gutted a carriage house over the three-car garage and rebuilt it as a studio. They renovated and landscaped the pool.

Current owners include award-winning garden designer Cathy Rosenhaus, who created an extensive landscape meant to complement a vintage house — patio and paths, perennial borders, formal gardens, varieties of hydrangeas and hostas with ornamental trees.

“We tried to keep with the style and architecture of the house, but in a modern way,” says Rosenhaus.

The house has hardwood floors throughout, tall ceilings and large, sunny rooms. The living room is 26 by 29 feet, the dining room 23 by 20, the master bedroom 23 by 18. The family room is 21 by 15 feet and on the second floor.

Extensive woodwork includes deep crown and floor moldings, wainscoting, built-in cabinets and display nooks. The living room, dining room and master suite all have fireplaces.

The third floor has two bedrooms and a full bath, formerly used as playrooms for kids.

For Rosenhaus the appeal is the quality of the original 1916 house, plus the years of renovation.

“The interior trim, the original plaster,” she says, “it’s just a solid, beautiful house.”

More Details: Remodeled 3-story

Where: 28062 Danvers Dr., Farmington Hills

Price: $445,000

Bedrooms: 6

Bathrooms: 4 full, 3 half

Square feet: 5,672

Key features: Stately three-story house has impressive exterior with covered entrance portico and wrap-around pagoda-style veranda. Interior has large, sunny rooms, hardwood floors, much woodwork detail. Extensive remodeling includes a new kitchen, bathrooms, mechanical systems, a renovated pool and professional landscaping. Also three fireplaces and a three-car garage with a finished studio above.

Contact: Linda Deutsch, Cranbrook Real Living, 248-705-0494.

Article source: http://www.freep.com/article/20130127/BLOG46/301270054/Home-sweet-historic-home?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE

INNOVATIVE MODEL OF CARE DRIVES DESIGN OF NEW ORLANDO …

For immediate release, January 27, 2013
For additional information and images contact:
Jonathan Lerner, 212-877-7298, jonathanlerner212@gmail.com
Betsy Beaman, 404-524-2200 x115, betsy@sbs-architecture.com


INNOVATIVE MODEL OF CARE DRIVES DESIGN
OF NEW ORLANDO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Stanley Beaman Sears’ concept integrates inpatient and outpatient care,
family support, and architectural response to environmental conditions.


Nemours Children’s Hospital, in the Lake Nona Medical City mixed-use development in Orlando, Florida, has set a new standard for the correlation of a medical facility’s mission with its physical expression. The master plan, building and landscape architecture, interior and furniture design, signage and graphics for the project were all led by Stanley Beaman Sears, an Atlanta-based architectural firm known for its work in healthcare, research,
education and the arts.


Most notable is the alignment of outpatient and inpatient care in a single building, whereas these functions are typically housed separately. Here, outpatient clinics and inpatient rooms devoted to a particular medical specialty are located in adjacent wings of the same floor, with shared waiting spaces. This enables a consistent care team who become familiar to children during both clinic visits and inpatient stays. “It’s a family of clinicians they know and see throughout their illness,” says Betsy Beaman, vice president and director of design at Stanley Beaman Sears.


The project’s architectural solutions arose from consultation with the hospital’s full range of stakeholders, including practitioners, administrators, and a family advisory committee of parents and children. The hospital’s 24-hour visiting policy, meant to welcome and invite family involvement, led to strategies such as patient rooms with overnight accommodations for two parents, laundry facilities, and a concierge desk in the elevator lobby of each patient floor. Ample lounges and playrooms overlook and give access to extensive outdoor spaces designed for respite and recreation. These include landscaped rooftop terraces, interactive water features, a “discovery garden” and an outdoor community stage for live performances.


In this subtropical environment, intense sun and humidity are a major concern. Extensive solar studies not only allowed the landscape architecture to maximize agreeably shaded outdoor spaces, but also helped determine the design and placement of exterior shading devices that block direct sunlight while admitting abundant natural light to the interiors. In response to the area’s high water table, a curving ramp subtly raises the entry drive one level, allowing a daylight basement that accommodates the facility’s delivery and service functions while ensuring that these do not intersect the paths of patients and families. This curving gesture continues through and out the back of the building where, planted with gardens, it slowly returns to grade at the back of the site. Rainwater drains naturally from rooftops and site into created bioswales and retention ponds.


“We were lucky to have an owner, in Nemours, who cares deeply about sustainability and who believes as we do that strong landscape design that provides both visual and physical connection to nature, greatly enhances the experience and effectiveness of a healthcare facility,” said Veronique Pryor, a Stanley Beaman Sears principal and the hospital project manager. Since the 60-acre greenfield site had very little vegetation, Nemours requested extensive landscaping with mature plant materials “from day one.”


The project’s 600,000-square-foot, $240-million first phase, which opened just last month, includes arrival and drop-off, 95 inpatient beds and 76 exam rooms (with shell space to accommodate another 32 beds and 24 exam rooms), emergency facilities, a central energy plant and a parking deck. The master plan anticipates expansion of inpatient and outpatient spaces and additional medical office, research and support buildings. A large team supported the design of the Nemours Children’s Hospital, including patient-care-team consultants Bowen Briggs, associate architects for hospital interior design P+W, landscape designers AECOM (formally Glatting Jackson), civil engineers Harris Civil Engineering, structural engineers Simpson Gumpertz Heger, mechanical electrical plumbing and fire protection consultants TLC Engineering for Architecture, lighting designers CD+M, medical equipment planners Source Atlantic, security consultants HSJ, and fountain consultant ADE.


ABOUT STANLEY BEAMAN SEARS
Stanley Beaman Sears, which has headquarters in Atlanta, is considered one of the most innovative designers of pediatric hospitals today. The firm is known for creating architecture that captures powerful ideas, and for rigorous vetting of technology-rich solutions. Current and previous pediatric healthcare projects include The Kennedy Krieger Institute, affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago, Iowa Children’s Hospital at the University of Iowa, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Children’s Medical Center at Georgia Health Sciences University, and many others. Stanley Beaman Sears’ work has been featured in Architectural Record, Contract Magazine, Modern Healthcare, Healthcare Design and The Wall Street Journal. Visit: http://www.stanleybeamansears.com

Article source: http://archinect.com/firms/release/61396192/innovative-model-of-care-drives-design-of-new-orlando-children-s-hospital/66371725

Nutritional tips and tricks to help you feel and look your best

Some of you might know about the Body Transformation Challenge that is currently going on at the Kaua‘i Athletic Club. Lots of people are involved and are really working hard to get in better shape and improve their fitness and health. So, I thought I’d share some nutritional tips that everyone can use to help lose body fat, boost muscle tone and live healthier, better lives.

Of course, calories in foods are important. But nutrients are even more important.  If you want to be healthy and lean, you  need to make sure that you are feeding your body correctly. This is true whether you are working out hard or a casual exerciser. Food is fundamental! When you work out with resistance training, you break down muscle fibers. That’s the whole point of it. You are trying to reshape your muscles and firm them up. In between workouts, feeding your body the best possible foods and taking the best possible nutrients to ensure muscle repair is essential.

Here are the most important nutrients for excellent muscle tone. Fish oil helps increase blood flow to muscles and reduces inflammation in the body. Having salmon and other fatty fish twice a week will help you get enough. Taking omega 3 fatty acids in capsules of about 1,000 mg daily will work, too.

Calcium is one of the most important nutrients for proper muscle contraction and also prevents cramping up. You should take at least 1,200 mg a day, which is really difficult to get through food alone. If you take a supplement it should include Vitamin D3 for better calcium absorption. Take several smaller doses throughout the day as that will also aid in optimal absorbability.

Vitamin D is required for muscular contraction function and growth. We get lots of vVtamin D from the sun here, so not an issue unless you can’t go out in the sun. If that is the case, a supplement of 4,000 IU is adequate.

Vitamin E helps cell membranes recover faster after exercise — 15 mg per day is plenty. Magnesium is important to avoid muscle cramps and should be at the level of about 300 mg daily. You can find magnesium in spinach, nuts and whole grains, as well as supplements.

The B vitamins play a huge role in overall health and also help your body with protein metabolism, as well as breaking down fats and carbohydrates for energy. The “Bs” are found in whole grains, eggs, lean meat, nuts, beans and fortified cereals. Vitamin B12 is found only in animal sources. Vitamin C helps support the muscle’s need for oxygen by keeping the blood vessels healthy. It also aids in the production of collagen, which is the supportive substance in your body. The recommended amount of vitamin C is 75 mg. We have an abundance of Vitamin C in all of our wonderful island-grown fruits.

Since protein has a high thermic effect, you will burn more calories to digest it. You can maximize this effect by eating five or six little mini meals daily, with a lean source protein in each one. Green Tea is a very effective fat burner. It speeds up metabolism, not just due to the caffeine but also due to a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Use olive oil as your fat as it actually helps you burn more body fat. Just remember it also has a lot of calories, so use it instead of other fats, not as an addition.

To get lean and toned you want to minimize the bad carbs, including sugar, processed foods, soda, sweetened fruit juice and white flour foods. Stick with high fiber carbs. Fiber pulls fat out of your body.

Drink lots of water. You should consume in ounces half of what your body weighs in pounds. This means if you weigh 100 pounds, drink 50 ounces of water per day. If you weigh 200 pounds drink 100 ounces. If you like, put some fresh lemon in your water and get those digestive enzymes in there ,too.  

I have always told my clients, “You can work out till you’re blue in the face. But  unless you get your food under control, you will likely look a little better, you will be stronger, have more flexibility and balance and be fitter, but you likely won’t look that much different.” Food is fundamental.

• Jane Riley, M.S., B.A., C.P.T., C.N.A., can be reached at janerileyfitness@gmail.com, 808-212-1451 or www.janerileyfitness.com.

Article source: http://thegardenisland.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/nutritional-tips-and-tricks-to-help-you-feel-and-look/article_1ceab2c4-683a-11e2-8809-0019bb2963f4.html

Vegetable gardening tips for success – messenger


Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 12:00 am
|


Updated: 2:09 pm, Fri Jan 25, 2013.


Vegetable gardening tips for success

By Annette Meyer Heisdorffer Daviess County Extension Agent for Horticulture

Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer

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Growing vegetables in your own garden provides fresh produce outside your back door. This makes it easier to incorporate more servings of vegetables as part of a healthy diet. Important tips below address garden location and soil testing that may lead to a more productive season.     


In planning the vegetable garden, select a site that receives direct sunlight for at least eight hours a day for best production. Avoid shading caused by trees and buildings. Vegetables grown in low light become leggy and do not produce very well. If partial shade is the only location available, you can grow lettuce.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013 12:00 am.

Updated: 2:09 pm.

Article source: http://www.messenger-inquirer.com/features/lifestyle/article_c8305216-c6f9-58ca-aa72-8c1fa4c078d8.html

Garden bird-watchers get tips from RSPB at the Forum



The RSPB Wild Garden weekend at the Forum. Allana Townsend, 10, with some cuddly bird friends. Picture: Denise Bradley

By CHRIS HILL, Rural affairs correspondent
Sunday, January 27, 2013
9:30 PM

Nature lovers were encouraged to join the nation’s biggest wildlife survey this weekend – and to make their gardens more appealing to the birds they recorded there.

The RSPB Wild Garden weekend at the Forum. Sue Stephenson, RSPB volunteer, with examples of bird seed. Picture: Denise Bradley

The RSPB, in partnership with conservation groups including the Friends of the Earth, the Bat Group Norwich, and Master Gardeners, invited the public into the Forum in Norwich throughout the charity’s Big Garden Birdwatch weekend.

The survey asked the public to spend an hour counting the numbers of birds in their garden or local park, and report back to the RSPB to help build a better understanding of species’ habitats and population.

And to help boost the counts in future years, visitors to the Forum were taught about wildlife-friendly gardening, given a “pick and mix” choice of bird seeds, and offered the chance to build their own bird box.

Aggie Rothon, Big Garden Birdwatch project manager for the RSPB, said: “The survey is about getting as many people as possible across the East region sitting down and looking out of their window for an hour and counting the birds in their garden. “The most important thing is that they then submit the results to the RSPB so we get an idea of numbers and what we may be able to do to help them.

The RSPB Wild Garden weekend at the Forum. Adam Murray, RSPB social media officer, with a tray of fat balls for the birds. Picture: Denise Bradley

“Once people have done the big garden birdwatch this weekend, what we’re asking them to do is to take the rest of the year to improve things in their garden, so they can see the difference next year.”

David Cannon was one of the RSPB volunteers selling £3 bird boxes for blue tits and great tits, made from timber kits supplied by the prisoners at Wayland Prison near Watton.

He said: “It is critical that they face north-east, otherwise the birds won’t use them. But blue tits don’t care what they look like, as long as they keep the water out, so why would you pay £30 for one?”

Among the experts giving tips on how to make gardens more wildlife-friendly was Shirley Boyle, who tends the RSPB’s Flatford wildlife garden in East Bergholt, in Suffolk.

The RSPB Wild Garden weekend at the Forum. Spiderman, 5-year-old Frankie Welander, with one of the bird boxes that customers can build, helped by RSPB volunteer, Darren Clarke. Picture: Denise Bradley

She said: “One of the easiest things to do, although this is not always popular, is to be a little less tidy in your garden. It does not mean you have to let it all go mad, but leave a small corner of the garden for the grass to get a little longer, because it provides a good habitat for insects and invertebrates which provide food higher up the chain.

“People tend to take things down the dump straight away, but we say: ‘Why not use them creatively?’ If you have got tree prunings you can lay them down to make a ‘dead hedge’. Deadwood is a great source of food and habitat for a lot of creatures and it is a greener way of dealing with your waste rather than driving it to the dump or burning it.”

The event also included a gallery of wildlife photography, as well as nature-inspired face-painting and story-telling.

Anyone who took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch survey can record their results at www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.


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    Article source: http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/garden_bird_watchers_get_tips_from_rspb_at_the_forum_1_1829768

    Winter Garden

    The dark days of winter are upon us, so you might think a winter gardening list is odd, but for the true gardener,there is no off-season.

    Take advantage of warm days. The weather in New England is changing. Winters that used to be three months of snowy and freezing weather now quite often break for a 40- or even a 50-degree day. Those warm days are perfect for cleaning up debris from recent storms or putting down a bit of extra mulch on recent plantings. It’s also a good time to trim and reshape flowering trees and assess any winter damage that requires attention. If you need tree work, now is the time to get an appointment with a professional arborist—if you wait until spring, any good arborist will be very busy. Prepaying or contracting for service in the winter ensures that your trees get the attention they deserve—and most likely will get you a discount.

    Assess the situation. Winter is the perfect time to evaluate where your garden design is coming up short. For example, a large bed of annual flowers leaves your flowerbed empty and unattractive for almost six months. Consider placing perennials such as ornamental grasses or small evergreens as anchors at the ends or center of the bed, with plenty of room to add a few annuals of your choice. These perennials will provide visual interest throughout the year and require little work. This is also a good time to note where you might want to move or divide a perennial, remove a tree or a few branches to allow more light into your gardenbeds, or plant another tree in a strategic location.

    Baby your bulbs. Too early to mulch? Not for bulbs. Sometimes bulbs are forced out of the ground by what is called heaving— each time the ground freezes and thaws, it pushes the bulbs toward the surface. Protect them with an extra blanket of mulch.

    Create a wisteria lane. Wisteria must be pruned twice a year, once in the early summer and again in February. For winter pruning, trim the long shoots down to three to five buds, and trim any long unruly shoots remaining from the previous season.

    Sharpen your tools. Is your lawn mower working? Are your tillers tilling and your tools sharp? Winter is the perfect time to take care of the nitty gritty. Make sure your hand and pruning shears have a good edge so they won’t damage your plants. Take them to your neighborhood hardware store for sharpening.

    Consider the birds. Winter, when food sources are limited, is the perfect time to offer your local feathered friends a place to rest and feed. Purchase a book about the birds in your area so you can identify which types of birds you have on your property. (Kids will love identifying them as they visit the birdfeeder.)

    Force the issue. February is a great time to force branches of flowering trees and shrubs. Trim small branches of forsythia, Bradford pear, crab apple, ornamental cherry, lilac, pussy willow or magnolia. Place them in a large container of warm water. Trim the ends at an angle two inches above the original cut and place in temperate water in a large vase. Flower preservative is a good idea, but not necessary.

    Fill your shopping cart. Now that you’re in a gardening frame of mind, break out those catalogs that feature enticing photos of flowers and plants.

    For the best selection,order early, before the mad spring rush.

    If you take an all-season approach to your outdoor landscape, you’ll be rewarded with a well-appointed garden and increased property value and curb appeal. And you can take full credit for being so on top of it—even in the winter.

    Article source: http://hartfordmag.com/connecticut/article-801-winter-garden.html