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New Program Makes Available $2 Million in Low Interest Loans for Home Energy Improvements

first_imgNew Program Makes Available $2 Million in Low Interest Loans for Home Energy ImprovementsState Treasurer Jeb Spaulding will announce September 17, 2008, a new low-interest home loan program that will make available $2 million to Vermont homeowners seeking to weatherize their homes and reduce energy costs. Joining Spaulding will be TD Banknorth President Phil Daniels, Efficiency Vermont Director Blair Hamilton and Burlington homeowner Bob Poczabut.The new program can potentially provide very low-interest loans to weatherize approximately 800 homes, depending on the loan amount granted. Efficiency Vermont also will announce a limited time offer associated with the program that will further help defray homeowner costs for undertaking comprehensive weatherization improvements. In addition to weatherization projects, the new program will provide low-interest loans for the replacement of old, inefficient heating equipment.For More Information: Lisa Helme, Director of Financial Literacy & Communications, Office of the State Treasurer, (802) 828-3706, email: [email protected](link sends e-mail)last_img read more

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Colombia Launches Offensive Against Illegal Mining in Eight Departments

first_img Guerrillas extort local miners throughout Colombia “This type of intervention is a necessity because the machinery used in this way is causing enormous damage to the country. We are not launching an offensive against mining in general and much less against artisanal mining. This is an operation against illegal groups,” Santos told reporters. Gold, coltan and tungsten are among the minerals mined illegally in 25 of Colombia’s 32 departments, representing a new and lucrative source of income even as coca cultivation falls, authorities say. And while the practice is nothing new here, observers say the extent to which it has spread and the magnitude of its economic yield is causing a stir — leading President Juan Manuel Santos to launch an offensive against such activity in eight departments. By Dialogo June 19, 2013 The guerrillas and other armed groups charge miners an entry fee of up to five million pesos ($2,650) for one piece of heavy machinery and then a monthly charge of two million pesos ($1,060) to continue working. Pinzón conceded that it won’t be easy to crack down on such practices, given the difficulties in reaching remote locations where the state presence is slim and where illegal groups are active in mining. He said the illegal mines are also displacing civilians living nearby — not to mention causing grave environmental damage. In mid-June, 67 pieces of heavy mining machinery allegedly belonging to the FARC were seized in the northern department of Córdoba, while in the jungle regions of Guainía and Vaupés, authorities confiscated 32 tons of coltan — a dull black metallic ore dredged from nearby rivers. Soon after the president’s statements, the Medellín newspaper El Colombiano published images of Colombian Air Force aircraft attacking and destroying machines used to excavate land in the department of Antioquia. center_img “Illegal mining not only affect the environment and damages Colombia’s natural resources but at the same time generates an economy to launder cash or finance terrorist activities. We cannot permit these actions to continue, and for this reason we must fully combat this illegal activity,” Pinzón said. Illegal gold mining is prevalent in about 340 of Colombia’s 1,102 municipalities, said Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is present in 87 of those 340, the National Liberation Army (ELN) in 30, and other criminal gangs in another 118, Pinzón told reporters. BOGOTÁ — Illegal mining in Colombia is reportedly overtaking coca as the principal source of income for FARC guerrillas and newly formed armed groups known as “bandas emergentes” — especially in regions of the country where precious metals and minerals are found and the state presence is thin. More than 2,000 pieces of heavy machinery are being used for mining in the departments of Bolívar, Córdoba and Cauca as well as in national parks and other protected areas, said Gen. Leonardo Pinto of the Colombian Army’s Nudo del Paramillo task force. In Norosi, the town in Bolívar department where in January ELN rebels kidnapped a Canadian engineer working with the mining firm Geo Explorer, armed groups supposedly charge a 50 percent tax on any minerals extracted from the ground. In Peru something similar is happening, immense extensions of wooded rain forest have been deforested due to mining. Gold provides wealth but also debases.last_img read more

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Whicker: The Fall could be the season for seasoned 22-year-old Julio Urias

first_imgAt the moment, what Urias is doing is one of those to-be-continued storylines. He is effectively the left-handed bullpen enforcer, but not a specialist. In eight of his past 11 appearances, Urias faced nine or more hitters.For those of you who are wondering how the Dodgers’ bullpen will function this fall, which is to say most of you, Urias is likely to follow the pattern set by Cleveland’s Andrew Miller in 2016, Houston’s Charlie Morton, Brad Peacock and Lance McCullers in 2017, and Boston’s Nate Eovaldi last year. He will not be looking over his shoulder. He will be expected to make it through the whole lineup, at least once.“I would say Julio has handled everything we’ve thrown at him with flying colors,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “It would be easier if we could get him more consistent appearances, but he’s done a great job of not letting it affect him.”But the postseason workload will be something new. Urias has not pitched with fewer than two days’ rest all season.He worked Sunday, his first appearance since July 30, and July 30 was his first appearance since July 23. He has an excellent 1.085 WHIP  (walks and hits, per innings pitched) and has struck out 65 in 62 ⅔ innings. Ever since they signed him, the Dodgers have treated him like the final bar of soap on a desert island, which is appropriate for such a talented kid who already has had labrum surgery. But this might be the year when the Dodgers uncover his card.“And we still project him to be in the starting rotation next year,” Roberts said. “This could be a jumping off point.”There might not be clear answers in the Dodgers bullpen but there certainly are possibilities. Kenta Maeda could be the fourth starter and so could  Rich Hill, provided he’s healthy. But Hill said Monday he’s game for relieving, and he’s notoriously good when he tours the lineup for the first time.Conceivably, Gonsolin and fellow rookie Dustin May are candidates, too. Mix in Joe Kelly and Pedro Baez and the only question, really, is Kenley Jansen, which is not a question we thought we’d be asking.If the Dodgers thought they were out of solutions, they would have emptied the bucket to get the Pirates’ Felipe Vazquez last week, even though they haven’t won annual division titles or earned 17-game leads by doing that.Urias will be in the midst of whatever they decide.“It can be a little bit hard,” Urias said. “You don’t always know how many innings you’re going to throw. But I’ve been able to adjust to it. You know October is going to be the hardest month if we are able to make the playoffs.”Urias was 19 years old when he made the Dodgers varsity, three years after he signed. Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Joc Pederson were in the lineup that night in New York, and so were Chase Utley, Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick. The relievers were Joe Blanton, Louis Coleman, J.P. Howell, Pedro Baez and Chris Hatcher.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire So he’s been here for a while, and yet he’s been largely holstered.“Patience has been a very important point for me,” Urias said. “I relied on it coming up through the minors. As long as I’m patient and healthy, I’m able to get into the situations I need to be in. I’m proud and happy that I’ve had that patience and I have this opportunity.”And what about starting?“I have been watching the way our starters work,” Urias said. “I was in that role in 2016 when I came up, so it’s not something I’m not accustomed to. I feel as long as I’m healthy, I can do anything.”After all, he’s not getting any younger, even though everyone else is. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season LOS ANGELES — Tony Gonsolin and Matt Beaty have two things in common. Both are Dodger rookies who are older than Julio Urias.Josh Sborz and Brock Stewart shared the same thing. So did Alex Verdugo, Max Muncy, Rocky Gale, Caleb Ferguson, Dennis Santana and you get the idea.Urias has been with the Dodgers since 2016, yet he is just 22 years old. He finds this more amusing than the National League will someday. He smiled when someone asked him Monday if he felt like a kid or a veteran.“I feel more so a young player, but the way the rest of the team treats me, it makes me feel comfortable,” Urias said, through an interpreter. “I wouldn’t say I’m a veteran, but I think I know what I’m doing now.” Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco last_img read more

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Gola Forest National Park Management Plan Validated

first_imgParticipants posed with a banner at the just ended validation of the GFNP Management Plan.The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) in collaboration with the Society for the Conservation of Nature (SCNL) and a cross-section of residents from Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount counties have validated a five-year draft comprehensive park management plan of the Gola Forest National Park (GFNP) to govern activities at the park.The initiative is being supported by the Rainforest Trust and the United states Agency for International Development (USAID) through the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WABiCC) and the World Bank.In 2016, the Liberian government legislated the GFNP, which covers 88,000 hectares in the two counties as a national park to promote conservation activities.SCNL Executive Director Michael F. Garbo, informed participants at the validation workshop that it was important for the residents to contribute to the development of the strategic plan because they are the direct beneficiaries.Garbo noted that it will be unfair for such significant document to be finalized without the inputs of the people.“You cannot validate document for people if they, as direct beneficiaries, are absent; we want everyone to make their inputs,” he said, noting, “Everything that rural people do for living starts from the forest.”He assured them that following their inputs on the draft management plan, SCNL will share the final copy with the donors for possible funding to begin the implementation of proper management of the GFNP  to benefit the communities and the country as a whole.Aerial view of the Gola Natiional Forest(Courtesy: David Zeller/Birdlife)Rainforest Trust Africa Coordinator, James P. Lewis, expressed gratitude for the validation of the GFNP management plan, as well as his entity’s commitment in supporting the full implementation of the document.Lewis recalled how in 2016, when the World was watching Liberia passed into law the GFNP Act.FDA Technical Manager, Blama Goll, who represented the managing director, Mike Doyen, assured the residents of the beneficiary counties that whatever inputs they make, will be considered.“This document is clear, and your idea will make it more viable,” Goll informed the participants.Porkpa District Paramount Chief Jamiatu A. Watson, who spoke on behalf of all the chiefs, informed the residents that the government made no mistake to establish the Gola National Forest Park.Madam Watson said besides conservation, the establishment of the park has many benefits that will transform the living conditions of the residents from the two counties that are hosting the park.Dr. Samuel Kofa, lead consultant for the drafting of the GFNP management plan, thanked the participants for their inputs to the exercise. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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