Powered by Flash MP3 Player Just last week, we saw a picture posted online of a front yard in Central Virginia with just the barest dusting of snow. The author of said picture, both joyfully and a bit sarcastically, captioned the photo, “Snow Day!!!”Sure, there was a hint of snow, but you know what that means . . . . It was a great day to get outside and play! When the local school system gets the jitters and shuts you down, take advantage and hit a trail or two!!And how better to accent your winter adventures on an unexpected – but much appreciated – day off than with a great Trail Mix to take along?We open this Trail Mix with a tune from blues man Otis Taylor. Taylor’s instrument of choice is the banjo – an instrument he learned to play while riding a unicycle in high school and one, perhaps, seemingly incongruous with the blues. Taylor is known for a keen social consciousness in his music; when listening, you can’t help but be challenged to ponder the ills of society or the injustices of history. Take a listen to “Blue Rain In Africa,” a sparse and moving tune, off of Taylor’s recent release, My World Is Gone.Trail Mix is also happy to include a new track from one of our favorite songstresses, Samantha Crain. After exploding on to the scene with her early releases with her band, The Midnight Shivers, Crain offers up “Never Going Back” from her new record, Kid Face.Make sure to check out new stuff from former Squirrel Nut Zippers front man Jimbo Mathus, blues man Bobby Rush, quirky folksters Frontier Ruckus, progressive old time rambler Charlie Parr, and Adele’s favorite newgrassers, The Steeldrivers.Trail Mix also features Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, Sol Driven Train, Fonda, Chris Stamey, Dustin Welch, Sunshine, Henry Wagons, Elephant Stone, Wood & Wire, Bex Marshall, The Shilohs, Mary Gauthier, Jacob Jones, and A Fragile Tomorrow.As always, stream and listen to Trail Mix at your leisure. Spread the word. Share with your friends or – if you get lazy around the 14th – gift it to your sweetheart! Most importantly, seek out the records the great artists have released. They appreciate your business! Thank them for supporting Trail Mix by throwing some money their way!!!Download Trail Mix February 2013 here.Click here to open the player in a new window.Download more music from month’s past here! They never go out of style.No flash player!It looks like you don’t have flash player installed. Click here to go to Macromedia download page.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:More than 40 Catholic institutions are to announce the largest ever faith-based divestment from fossil fuels, on the anniversary of the death of St Francis of Assisi.The sum involved has not been disclosed but the volume of divesting groups is four times higher than a previous church record, and adds to a global divestment movement, led by investors worth $5.5tn.Church institutions joining the action include the Archdiocese of Cape Town, the Episcopal Conference of Belgium and the diocese of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino, the spiritual home of the world’s Franciscan brothers.A spokesman for the €4.5bn German Church bank and Catholic relief organisation Caritas said that it was committing to divest from coal, tar sands and shale oil.In a symbolically charged move, the Italian town of Assisi will also shed all oil, coal and gas holdings the day before a visit by the Italian prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni, to mark St Francis’s feast day.The origins of the latest church action lie in last year’s climate encyclical by Pope Francis – himself named after St Francis of Assisi – although the project was advanced by the Global Catholic Climate Movement.More: Catholic Church to Make Record Divestment From Fossil Fuels In ‘Symbolically Charged Move,’ a Record Faith-Based Fossil-Fuel Divestment by Investors With $5.5 Trillion in Assets
Ignoring Washington, corporate America continues to expand its renewable energy footprint FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享New York Times:Dozens of Fortune 500 companies, from tech giants like Apple and Google to Walmart and General Motors, are voluntarily investing billions of dollars in new wind and solar projects to power their operations or offset their conventional energy use, becoming a major driver of renewable electricity growth in the United States.“You’re definitely not seeing corporations slow down their appetite for renewables under Trump — if anything, demand continues to grow,” said Malcolm Woolf, senior vice president for policy at Advanced Energy Economy, a clean energy business group. “And it means that many utilities increasingly have to evolve to satisfy this demand.”One big question, however, is whether these corporate renewable deals will remain a relatively niche market, adding some wind and solar at the margins but not really making a sizable dent in overall emissions, or whether these companies can use their clout to transform America’s grid and help usher in a new era of low-carbon power.Last year in the United States, 19 large corporations announced deals with energy providers to build 2.78 gigawatts worth of wind and solar generating capacity, equal to one-sixth of all of the renewable capacity added nationwide in 2017, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewable Center. (Power companies themselves added much of the rest, often in response to state mandates.)That trend appears to be accelerating. Corporations have already announced deals for another 2.48 gigawatts of wind and solar in the first half of 2018, as companies like AT&T and Nestlé join the search for cleaner power to fulfill their sustainability goals and take advantage of the rapidly declining cost of renewables.“We didn’t intend to do this as a statement about Paris, though it has become a statement that we’re definitely still in,” said Brian Janous, general manager of energy at Microsoft, which has so far bought enough wind and solar power to match 50 percent of the demand from its global data centers.“But with how fast wind and solar prices have fallen, we see this as something that makes financial sense,” he said.At least 22 companies in the Fortune 500 have committed to buying enough renewable power to match 100 percent of their electricity use in the years ahead. And some analysts say these goals could help spur electric utilities to continue reducing their own emissions even as the Trump administration rolls back Obama-era policies like the Clean Power Plan, a regulation focused on reducing carbon emissions from power plants.“We think this is a major trend,” said Lisa Wood, vice president of customer solutions at the Edison Electric Institute, a major utility trade group. “Customers are becoming the driver.”More: A Year After Trump’s Paris Pullout, U.S. Companies Are Driving a Renewables Boom
February 1, 2004 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Senate panel gets to work on Art. V funding issuesSenior Editor “We’re getting down to some big, tall decisions in a short period of time.”That’s how Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, summed up challenges facing the Senate Subcommittee on Article V Implementation and Judiciary, at the end of the three-hour meeting January 8.The committee will oversee the judicial systems budget for 2004-05, when the state takes over more trial court funding. It is also working on a glitch bill to correct problems with the law passed last year spelling out how that funding transfer will take place.The meeting gave an idea of the size of the task facing lawmakers. Topics ranged from numerous perceived problems with the transfer law, the number of new judges certified by the Supreme Court and funding for local legal aid programs (see story, page 8), overall court funding, technology and communications problems that have yet to be hammered out between the state and counties, and prosecution of municipal and county ordinances.Many of those issues surfaced as the committee heard from representatives of the courts, state attorneys, the counties, and public defenders on glitches in the transfer bill, HB 113A, passed by the legislature last year.Second Circuit State Attorney Willie Meggs, president of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, presented a list of glitches that began with a prohibition in HB 113A for prosecutors handling municipal and county ordinance enforcement.Meggs said that would lead to counties and cities creating their own prosecutorial offices and a maze of state and local prosecutorial operations, something the 1972 Article V amendment was intended to end.Smith agreed that there should be only one prosecuting entity, but he said he wanted to go further than Meggs’ suggestion of allowing state attorneys to negotiate agreements with counties for local ordinance enforcement.“I’m willing to make you the prosecutors, but I do not accept the fact the counties may or may not pay,” he said. “I want you to come up with a way for the counties to pay for this service.”Smith said there might not need to be a charge if prosecutors handled only a handful of such cases a year, but in some areas it can be thousands of cases a year. He and Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, said one solution might be redirecting part of the fines city and counties get from ordinance violations to the state.Meggs also said prosecutors need clarification about whether the state or counties will be responsible for computer and communications services. While the law appears to make the counties responsible for computers, he said some don’t have computer networks or have systems that are inadequate for state attorneys’ needs. He also said some counties are defining the requirement to provide communications as ending with the provision of a telephone wall jack.“We’re looking for a global information computer solution that the counties and the state can live with,” Smith said.Another problem is a section of HB 113A that allows state attorneys to pay for experts in criminal cases, but is silent on civil cases, such as the Jimmy Ryce Act committals or Baker Act cases, Meggs said. He asked that the matter be addressed.Second Circuit Public Defender Nancy Daniels, representing the Florida Public Defenders Association, had similar concerns, including the prohibition in HB 113A on public defenders representing clients charged with municipal and county ordinance violations.Smith noted that public defenders are not required if a judge up front says jail time will not be part of the penalty, including for violating any resulting probation. But Daniels said judges are reluctant to make that concession because it limits their ability to impose sanctions on recalcitrant defendants, especially for probation violations.Another glitch, according to Daniels, is the law makes it harder for public defenders to hire expert witnesses than for state attorneys. The defenders should have the same requirements as the prosecutors, she said.The law also prohibits counties from giving extra funds to public defenders for overload or other extra work. “We don’t think the statute should prohibit it if we’re able to convince them to give us some money for something,” Daniels said.Other concerns, she said, are:• Clerks are given authority after three years to dispose of evidence, including DNA evidence, if no appeal seems likely. Daniels said judges should make that call.• The law requires assessments of costs and fees when indigent defendants are convicted. Daniels suggested setting a schedule of costs and fees for each kind of case, rather than tie up court time trying to figure out an accurate assessment for each individual case.• Language in the law could be read as giving public defenders oversight of prosecutor witness coordination and victim services programs, something defenders don’t want, Daniels said.• Clarifying whether counties are responsible for such communications equipment as fax machines and office utilities.• Clarifying the effective date for the funding switch. Daniels said there are questions about who pays an expert witness who is hired before July 1, but submits his or her report after July 1, when the state takes over more of the funding.Eighth Circuit Judge Stan Morris, vice chair of the Trial Court Budget Commission, said the courts had several suggestions, mostly involving policies. Those include:• Allowing counties to pass laws imposing extra fees and costs on some cases, with the money then earmarked for enhanced court programs.• Continuing to work out due process costs that currently are handled differently in the various circuits and counties. As an example, Morris noted some counties use publicly employed court reporters, while others contract out that work, and others use a combination. He said counties should be given the flexibility to use the system they want.• Clarifying how some court fines and costs will be reported. Morris noted that for many criminal offenses, judges are given discretion on imposing fines and costs. Yet clerks plan to report anything less than the maximum imposed as waived or uncollected revenues, which the judge said presents an unfair picture.• Increasing the portion of filing fees set aside for judicial education from $2.50 to $4 to keep judges well trained and up to date.• Give chief judges oversight on the quality of materials clerks provide to pro se and indigent litigants.• Consider, as Sen. Smith proposed last year, some form of surcharge on complex cases that result in a large award. Morris said judges would support a levy of 0.1 percent, or $1,000 on a $1 million award. Smith said he intends to pursue some form of that idea in the coming session.John Ricco, representing the Florida Association of Counties, also presented several suggestions. He said counties should not be responsible for the day-to-day computer operations of the court system. He also said the filing fees charged to counties and cities when they file cases to enforce their ordinances should be kept low, preferably less than $50.The meeting ended before the committee had a chance to take testimony from cities and court clerks. Smith said they would appear at a future meeting, and that also he hoped to have a glitch bill ready for review by early February.Then the committee will work to sort out the communications and technology issues remaining with the counties, and will tackle, as Smith put it, that “little funding issue” of how the state will pay for its increased share of the trial courts.Why’d we do that again? Senate panel gets to work on Art. V funding issues Call it the legislative equivalent of a bender.There may not have been alcohol involved during committee meetings and intense negotiations, but keeping all the details of court funding issues sorted out in the fast-and-furious frenzy of the Florida Legislature can be mind-boggling.Consider HB 133A. The 100-plus page blueprint was passed last year in the legislature’s first special session, the product of hundreds of hours of testimony from lobbyists representing every player in the court system, from judges to court clerks. The House and Senate officials had to work out many difficult compromises.Inevitably, there were problems, and now legislators are scurrying to fix them with glitch bills.“Working in the legislature is like waking up from a bad drunk. I can’t remember why we did what we did, but it must have seemed like a good idea at the time,” said Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Article V Implementation and Judiciary.As chuckles rippled around the committee room, Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, smiled at Smith and replied, “There are some people here who don’t know what you’re talking about.”“That’s because you haven’t sobered up yet,” Smith flung back.Of course, the legislative hangover can affect more than senators.Second Circuit State Attorney Willie Meggs, the Baptist teetotaler president of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, was next to testify. Before he presented his list of suggested glitch fixes, Meggs told Smith and the committee: “I feel like I was on that bad drunk with you!”
In December 2016, a crowdfunding campaign was launched on the Indiegogo platform, with the noble goal of opening the first cafe in Croatia that will employ people with Down syndrome – Buba Bar.She launched the campaign Bubamara Association from Vinkovci, which cares for over 1.400 people with disabilities in Vukovar-Srijem County, employs about 245 people, and has successfully applied for and implemented over 80 projects.Buba Bar will employ people with Down syndrome and it will be the first cafe in Croatia where guests are served by people with disabilities. Alen, Domagoj, Dario, Ivana and Marija have been diligently practicing and honing their skills for over a year in order to make their start as successful as possible. Bubamarci were trained, and through various activities and events where they had the opportunity to show their skills, both in the city of Vinkovci and throughout Croatia, they showed how ready they are to open the Buba bar. “Our mission is to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, and to encourage society to accept people with disabilities as its equal members. We want Buba Bar to break the ice, and soon every city in Croatia has its own Buba Bar! We want to give young people with disabilities the opportunity to live life like everyone else. We want them to be able to work. ” point out the Association Bubamara, which with its excellent results unofficially holds the title of the most successful association in Croatia, and is an excellent example of the development and operation of associations.Ladybugs serve dinner at the Hilton Zagreb hotel / Photo: Bubamara AssociationThe entire project received the support of the city of Vinkovci, which provided the former Vinkovci bowling alley for the future Buba bar, as well as many other institutions, partners, sponsors and citizens after a successful crowdfunding campaign, which was the second most successful crowdfunding campaign in 2016. Currently, the works and adaptation of the entire space are in the final phase, and also, as part of the renovated facility, there will be a bowling alley, as additional content.The value of the first phase of works is 1 million 874 thousand 971 kuna, of which 1 million was provided by the Ministry of Regional Development and European Union Funds, 200 thousand kuna Bubamara, while the remaining funds in the amount of 675 thousand kuna were provided by the City of Vinkovci. Recently, a contract was signed on co-financing works and services for the project “Continuation of renovation of the facility for the development of new social services and content for young people” under the Regional Development Support Program with the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds in the amount of 340 thousand kuna. The remaining part of the funds needed for the completion of works and services will be provided by the City of Vinkovci (approximately 363 thousand and 850 kuna), while the exact amount will be determined after the public procurement procedure so that the total foreseeable funds in the second phase are 713 thousand and 447 kuna. “The size of the Beetle Bar is about 750 square meters including a bowling alley plus terraces which are about 150 square meters. The opening of Buba Bar is expected in the fall and it will employ five people with disabilities. ”, Said Tomislav Velić, President of Bubamara.Buba bar will also be an education center, but also an example to other caterers to recognize the potential of people with disabilities. Thus, Buba will at least become a place where people with disabilities will exercise their basic right – the right to work and will have the opportunity to contribute to the community through their work.Buba Bar is looking for partners and helpThis is a story we must support. If you want to help and be socially responsible, help in arranging and equipping Buba Bar, the first cafe in Croatia that will employ people with Down syndrome. Contact the association directly LadybugRelated news:BRAVO TO THE INSTRATURIST WHO RECEIVED PERSONS WITH DOWN’S SYNDROMETHANK YOU VALUABLE MOVE OF THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM – HIRE PERSONS WITH DOWN SYNDROME AND THEIR BUBA BAR PROJECT FOR CATERING SERVICES