JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African president and African Union chairman Cyril Ramaphosa has called on richer nations to release surplus vaccine doses to the rest of the world. Delivering an address to the virtual World Economic Forum dialogue, Ramaphosa highlighted the African Union’s efforts to secure vaccines for African nations and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent. According to Ramaphosa, some countries have acquired more doses than they need to vaccinate their populations. He said he is deeply concerned about the problem of vaccine nationalism, which, unless addressed, he warned will endanger the recovery of all countries.
Your daily outdoor news bulletin for August 8th, the day President Richard Nixon announced he would resign, proving that not even the President of the United States is above breaking the law, lying about it, resigning to avoid impeachment, and getting pardoned by the next guy:Blue Ridge Parkway Gets New SuperintendentThe Blue Ridge Parkway is having some trouble. A giant crack forced the closure of a large portion of the byway outside Asheville, cuts have forced the BRP to cut back it’s already low budget for basic upkeep, and there is a 10-year, $450 million deferred maintenance backlog to deal with. Well, now all those problems have new shoulders to rest on, albeit capable ones. Mark Woods was named the new Blue Ridge Parkway superintendent Wednesday, replacing Phil Francis, who retired in April – Monika Mayr had acted as interim superintendent during the gap. The 53-year-old Woods is a 33-year veteran of the National Park Service, having worked at several parks across the South. His most recent gig was superintendent of Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, and the similarities between the two entities should set him up nicely to succeed. Both span multiple states (Cumberland is known as the Gateway to the West and incorporates Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee), which will also help his relationship with gateway communities with different needs. He is also a native of South Carolina, and has worked mainly in the South as previously mentioned, so there shouldn’t be any complaints about a “Yankee coming down here and messin’ with how we do things our way, blah, blah, etc.” Woods certainly has his work cut out for him, but with a capable staff, not to mention his $125K salary, he should be able to lead the BRP into an uncertain future.More can be found at the Citizen-Times.Virginia Snakehead Sets World RecordBack in June, we told you about Virginia native Caleb Newton and the 17 pound northern snakehead fish he caught out of the tidal Potomac River in Stafford. If you have forgotten about Newton, or the snakehead, let me refresh your memory: “Caleb Newton held the rod while Phil Wilcox held the net as they landed the possible world recored Northern Snakehead out of Aquia Creek in Stafford, Virginia Saturday. The (ugly-as-sin) fish weighed in at 17.6 pounds, topping the previous record – caught in Japan in 2004 – by a couple of ounces. The northern snake head is, in a word, gross: they can live for days out of the water, can move on land, excrete mucus, smell terrible, have sharp teeth, are as hard to kill as the Terminator (T-850, not the T-1000) and are just plain ugly. They are also an invasive species, and if caught in Virginia are required by law to be, well, terminated. ” Well, according to the Free Lance-Star, word has come back from the International Game Fish Association confirming that the fish is a world record. Newton is aiming to turn his new-found semi-fishing fame into an endorsement deal, because, why not?Noteworthy National Outdoor NewsSeveral national stories of note have come out in the past few days.First, is this cool article on the Daily Beast examining the science and studies currently being conducted on why mosquitos target some people and not others. This obviously has huge implications for us in the South, and could lead to better protection from the pests in the future, including the spread of diseases like dengue fever and malaria. LINKHere is an audio story from NPR about something that has become a hot topic in the East, although this piece concentrates on the West: Ski resorts catering to mountain bikers in the summer in an attempt to find a four season revenue stream. LINKHere is another NPR story about sleep patterns and how a week of camping can reset your internal clock to help you sleep better at night. LINKAnd here is some sad news from the digital media file: Contour has mysteriously and unexpectedly closed up shop. Employees arrived on a typical work day to locked doors and a note saying they were no longer employed by the action video camera company. Contour has positioned itself over the last few years as the most serious contender to GoPro in the market of action POV cameras, so the sudden closing is a surprise. LINK
Pennsylvania Revives Solar Initiatives to Boost Clean Energy Jobs November 29, 2017 Economy, Energy, Environment, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf touted the commonwealth’s commitment to the advancement of solar energy and clean energy job creation by emphasizing the importance of two recent announcements and two ongoing initiatives that will help ensure Pennsylvania remains at the forefront in competing for good paying clean energy jobs.“We all have long known that the future of our country and our commonwealth’s energy economy will include a robust renewable energy sector,” said Governor Wolf. “In Pennsylvania, we are making sure that the benefits of increased renewable jobs, a cleaner environment, and a growing renewable economy will be felt in the commonwealth and that the environmental benefits of solar generation which are being paid for by Pennsylvania consumers and businesses are experienced here as well.”Earlier this month the governor announced that the state’s Solar Energy Program will make available $30 million in new grant funding to be used by eligible applicants to promote the installation of new solar projects and the manufacture or assembly of solar equipment in the commonwealth, another move which will encourage the deployment and creation of solar jobs.For solar equipment manufacturing projects, the program will offer up to $40,000 in loans or $5,000 in grants for every new job created within three years. For new solar panel installations, the Solar Energy Program will offer loans up to $5 million or $3 per watt, and grants up to $1 million or $1.50 per watt.Additionally this month the governor signed legislation which will strengthen Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act by requiring that solar renewable energy credits used to demonstrate compliance with the Act must be generated at solar facilities delivering electricity to the grid here in the commonwealth.Prior to the change, Pennsylvania was one of the few states that allowed out-of-state transactions of solar renewable energy credits, which resulted in a huge supply of credits being available, in return diminishing the value of Pennsylvania’s credits. This fix will help to ensure that the environmental benefits of new solar installations are experienced here in Pennsylvania, and that we build a more competitive energy economy in the state.These recent moves reinforce the work the administration is already doing to expand the use of solar energy and other renewables in Pennsylvania including the development of strategies to cost effectively increase the amount of solar electricity generated in Pennsylvania to 10 percent by 2030 through the “Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future” project led at the Department of Environmental Protection.Additional efforts include the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (DCNR) deployment of small scale solar arrays to take certain buildings and facilities on state park and forest lands off the grid, saving money and reducing DCNR’s carbon footprint. By the end of 2018, DCNR’s more than 18 solar installations should:Save more than $65,000/year on electric;Reduce CO₂ emissions by 350 tons/700,000 lbs. per year (average car emits 6 tons/12,000 lbs. per year); andReduce energy consumption by up to 600,000 kWh/year (average American home uses 10,812 kWh per year). SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
City of Sarajevo soon will host three Billiard European Competition.The best billiard players are already arriving in the capital city of BiH, and tomorrow begin the European tournament in category of billiards for cadets and juniors” European Youth Championship”.After the competition for young billiard players will follow the European Competition for seniors “Euro tour”, that will be held in six European countries, where will participate the best players.The President of the Billiard Club Predator and one of the organizers of the tournament Ramiz Turulja said at today’s press conference that these tournaments are a great promotion of Sarajevo and BiH.He thanked the President of the European Federation of Billiard (EPBF) Gre Leenders, who decided to organize the tournament in Sarajevo.“After last year’s” Euro tour” which was held in Sarajevo, Leenders even this year decided that the prestigious competition to be held in our city instead of Paris. The organization of these competitions is the crown of our many years work”, said Turulja.In the tournament for the younger categories will participate 22 players from BiH, in the senior championship about 20, while for the “Euro tour” also will be several representatives of our country.Leenders said that the organization of last year’s “ Eurotoura” in Sarajevo was excellent, and that has caused the return of the competition in BiH. He believes that Sarajevo could get the organization of male and female competitions and tournaments for players in wheelchairs for 2015.Competition tournament for youth categories, officially, starts tomorrow, and the entrance is for free. Revue part of the tournament will be held on 31st July at Coloseum Club Sarajevo.(Source: Fena)