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first_imgThis past winter, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) received a two-year, $45,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to be directed to the management of invasive plants throughout the Ottauquechee Watershed.  These management efforts will be led by VINS in conjunction with the recently formed Ottauquechee Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (OCISMA).  The OCISMA comprises a group of concerned citizens, municipalities and businesses led by a steering committee that includes representatives from the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the VT Agency of Natural Resources, the Vermont Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and the Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District as well as Randolph-based invasive species pioneer Mike Bald. Invasive plants represent a significant threat to the ecology and economy of Vermont and New Hampshire because they aggressively out-compete native species, disrupt delicate food webs, negatively impact forestry practices, outdoor recreation and farm production and in some cases directly threaten human health.  The staggering number of invasive species from Europe and Asia that are present in the Upper Valley includes Japanese knotweed, honeysuckle and barberry, burning bush, rusty crayfish, Eurasian watermilfoil and purple loosetrife.  Other invasive species lurking on the outskirts of our region include Asian longhorned beetle, hemlock wooly adelgid and emerald ash borer. If left unchecked, these invasives could exact major economic, environmental and cultural costs and could place a significant burden on our environment and way of life.  Thanks to VINS and the OCISMA, hope is on the horizon – but they need your help. The OCISMA is currently recruiting willing and able volunteers to tackle several aspects of invasive species management.  From monitoring to mapping, pulling to planning, spreading the word to spreading native seeds, whatever your interests and abilities may be, you can play an important role with OCISMA.  The future of the Upper Valley is at stake! Anyone willing and interested in lending a hand to support this critical effort this spring, summer or autumn should contact Hannah Putnam [email protected](link sends e-mail) or 802-359-5001 ext. 228. The Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) is a non-profit, member-supported environmental education, research and avian rehabilitation organization headquartered on Route 4 in Quechee, VT.  VINS’ mission is to motivate individuals and communities to care for the environment with a priority placed on making high-quality, compelling and fun environmental education programs and learning opportunities accessible to more people and communities.  Stay connected with VINS through our nature blog at vtnature.blogspot.com and our website atwww.vinsweb.org(link is external).last_img read more

first_img Studying the eruption El Salvador’s Army and National Police responded quickly to help calm thousands of people who were potentially endangered by a large explosion at the Chaparrastique volcano, which released large amounts of gas and ash and caused widespread fear among the civilian population. About 1,500 personnel from the Army, National Civil Police (PNC), Civil Protection, and Civil protection agents coordinated their efforts and launched security measures when the volcano exploded on Dec. 29, 2013, in the department of San Miguel. The security forces responded to help civilians after the volcano’s “explosive eruption,” said Armando Vividor, chief of the directorate of civil protections operations. The volcano is known as “El Chaparrastique,” or the San Miguel volcano. The volcano is 2,129 meters high and is located 130 kilometers east of San Salvador. El Chaparrastique is one of seven active volcanoes in El Salvador. The volcano could erupt again The security forces responded in a prompt and professional manner, and reassured residents that they would be kept safe, said José Wilfredo Salgado García, the mayor of San Miguel. “The response of the police and Army soldiers was efficient and exemplary. People are grateful to them for their immediacy and because they helped maintain calm and order,” José Wilfredo Salgado García, Mayor of San Miguel, said in an interview. The volcano last erupted in 1976. The country recorded 123 major natural disasters from 1989 to 2009, events which killed 4,332 people, injured more than 2.7 million people, and caused nearly $4 billion (USD) in economic damages, according to a report by the Standing Committee for Risk Management, a civil society organization in El Salvador. The loud explosion interrupted what began as a calm Sunday morning and created a high level of confusión and fear. “Apparently, the explosion of the third highest volcano in El Salvador caused considerable anxiety in the population,” Salgado García said. “At first, people did not understand what was happening. There were no victims or serious damage.” Seismographs installed inside the volcano began to register an increase in seismic activity around 6 a.m., about four hours before the eruption, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) reported. The strongest part of the eruption ended around 1 p.m. A magnetic field was involved in the eruption, the National Civil Protection System’s Scientific Technical Commission reported. The commission was created to evaluate and analyze the cause of the eruption. Environment Minister, Herman Rosa Chávez. “That means that if there is more activity in the volcano in the near future, the most likely scenario is an eruption with a launch of incandescent rocks near the crater,” Minister of the Environment Herman Rosa Chávez warned. A large explosion and a quick response The bravery of police and soldiers Area back to normal Security forces respond to natural disasters center_img ‘Considerable anxiety’ Salvadoran security forces are battling street gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha, which is also known as MS-13 and Barrio 18, as well as transnational criminal organizations which operate in El Salvador. These organized crime groups include the Sinaloa Cartel, which is led by fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Los Zetas. In addition to fighting criminal groups, the National Police, and Civil Protection services have in recent years helped several regions that have been hit by natural disasters: • In October 2011, National Police agents and Army soldiers helped the civilian population after the tropical depression “12E” dropped record levels of rain on the country. The tropical depression killed 194 people, left 81 people missing, and caused more than $ 2 billion (USD) in damages. • In May 2010, National Police agents, Army soldiers, and Civil Protection units cooperated to protect residents in several areas that were damaged by the tropical storm “Agatha.” The storm killed 12 people, left another 12 missing, and caused $115 million (USD) in damages. • In November 2009, security forces in 14 departments throughout the country helped evacuate and shelter tens of thousands of people impacted by the tropical storm “Ida.” The storm killed 198 people, damaged or destroyed 3.400 homes, and left 14,000 people homeless. Within 72 hours, most of the people who had been evacuated were safely back in their homes. “Everyone has already returned to their homes. Activities in San Miguel are going on as if nothing had happened. An eruption is not ruled out so we have to remain alert. We are preparing a helicopter with sirens to alert people so they can evacuate immediately,” Salgado García said. By Dialogo January 19, 2014 Loss of life and economic damages The volcano exploded around 10 a.m. on a Sunday. A column of thick smoke rose high above the volcano, distributing gases into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and sulfur, which can be deadly if the concentrations are high enough, were among the gases the volcano expelled. Immediately after the explosion, the authorities ordered the evacuation of the communities located within three kilometers of the volcano. This included about 300 communities, where about 2,300 people live, according to published reports. The evacuted communities included Chinameca, Jucuapa, Batres, Santa María, San Jorge, El Tránsito, Las Placitas, Usulután, Santa Elena and San Rafael. Evacuees were directed to 16 emergency shelters in the departments of San Miguel and Usulután. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health quickly brought in water-purifying equipment to make sure the evacuees had enough water. As a precautionary measure, authorities canelled at least 22 flights that were expected to land that night at Comalapa International Airport, according to Notimex. Airport officials were concerned that the high volume of ashes emitted by the volcano might reduce visibility for pilots. Praise for security forces Many of the police agents and Army soldiers responded to the volcano eruption without wearing protective masks, putting themselves at risk of inhaling toxic elements. “We all worry about evacuating and helping people, and we forget about our police officers and soldiers, many of whom went near the volcano without masks. They deserve recognition,” Salgado García said. Scientists from the University of El Salvador are studying the eruption and exchanging information with volcano researchers from the University of Michigan. A group of volcanologists in Italy is scheduled to travel to El Salvador in the coming months to share their knowledge and experience with Salvadoran officials, authorities said. it’s logicallast_img read more

first_imgUtley will file an appeal today and a decision could come before gametime. One would certainly hope so. If not, Utley will be introduced on the baseline before Game 3, amid 44,000-plus pitchforks. And he probably will be seen in the batter’s box, too. What fun.Before the suspension, Don Mattingly said Utley had a good shot at getting into the lineup. He has a .333 average in 24 plate apperances against Matt Harvey, the Mets starter.Harvey also spoke Sunday. “As far as sticking up for my teammates, going out there and doing what’s right is exactly what I’m going to do,” he said.One can reasonably interpret that as a warning for Utley to wear very light shoes in the batter’s box, in either Game 3 or a possible Game 5, although Harvey would be more eloquent if he postponed the retribution and pitched nine incident-free innings.One can also assume that several Mets will make sure they slide enthusiastically into second base. @MWhicker03LANG on TwitterChase Utley plays it like hockey. No bro-hugs, no chitchat. No higher compliment.Baseball could use much more of that. But when something illegal, damaging and malicious happens in hockey, the punishment is decisive and the explanation is sound.On Sunday night, MLB suspended Utley for Games 3-4 of the N.L. Division Series, tonight and Tuesday in Citi Field, after his excessive slide wiped out Mets’ shortstop Ruben Tejada and broke his fibula in Game 2. And that is exactly what should happen. The Mets should file their protest with fastballs and spikes. Utley surely expects it. So do the Dodgers. But baseball won’t stand for it. Harvey will be warned before the game and then ejected if anything comes close to the chin, and the actual competition will be further distorted. Whether Joe Torre weighed Utley’s likely appearance and Harvey’s apparent warning is something only he knows. In the 1973 NLCS, Cincinnati’s Pete Rose was enraged that Mets’ shortstop Bud Harrelson was mocking the Reds’ hitter after a Jon Matlack shutout. He slid hard into second base (not into Harrelson) and then got up and popped up, sparking a brawl that brought whisky bottles from the audience at Shea Stadium. Sparky Anderson pulled the Reds off the field.Those were different days. Security will be U.N.-tight at Citi Field, but then it should always be.Should Utley play in these New York games? Of course not.There’s the argument that baseball is becoming too effete and clubby and Utley is a shining exception to that. That is probably true, except that the “Hal McRae Rule” dictates that you have to be at least somewhat interested in sliding into the base and not just the fielder.In the 1977 ALCS, Kansas City’s McRae ran through the bag to go after the Yankees’ Willie Randolph. Because of that Frank White was able to score and tie a game, just as Kike Hernandez did Saturday, courtesy of Utley. That sparked new legislation, as the Utley-Tejada play probably will.There is the argument that we wouldn’t be even discussing this if Tejada weren’t hurt. Again, probably true. And what’s wrong with that? Hockey’s Department of Player Safety takes injuries into consideration, and also history. The Mets remember that Utley went after Tejada similarly in 2010.Here, the Mets lose their most consequential defender because Utley went over the top.Pirates fans erupted because the Cubs’ Chris Coghlan got no suspension after he plowed into shortstop Jung-Ho Kang and knocked him out for the season, which ended when Chicago beat Pittsburgh in the wild-card game. But Coghlan at least was reaching for the bag with his left hand when he took out Kang’s knee, and actually slid first instead of chop-blocking.Utley disrupted the competitive balance of the series, no matter how unintentionally, and he set into motion a Dodgers victory. Again, if umpire Chris Guccione calls Utley and Howie Kendrick out, as the rules provide, then Kike Hernandez doesn’t score and the Mets lead 2-1 after seven innings.Second baseman Daniel Murphy hung Tejada out to dry with a wayward toss, as Rose correctly pointed out on a studio show. At that point Tejada was a defenseless receiver. Utley could still have hindered Tejada by sliding on time and staying close to a base that he still hasn’t touched.It was not “good old hardball.” It was irresponsible and reckless. But MLB is secretly aglow. It now has its controversy and its storyline: The Guilty v. The Aggrieved.If Utley somehow plays, just make sure the jury stays in the box.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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