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Senate Democrats Want Raises For Teachers In Next Budget

first_imgSenate Democrats Want Raises For Teachers In Next BudgetNovember 16, 2018, By Janet WilliamsTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—Indiana Senate Democrats said they will push for $150 million in wage hikes for teachers as part of their agenda in the 2019 legislative session when the state’s next two-year budget will be set.Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, and Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Merrillville, unveiled their priorities in a Friday afternoon press conference where they discussed their ongoing commitment to passing a hate crimes bill and redistricting reform.But boosting teacher pay was one of the major initiatives they will pursue next year as Melton described how Indiana teachers are drastically underpaid for the work they do. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Calumet High School teacher Daniel Brugioni, president of his local education union, described how pay for him and his colleagues has failed to keep up with inflation over the past decade. Today, the average teacher in the Lake Ridge School District where Calumet is located makes about $45,000.“We’re getting great teachers into our districts, then they realize that their salary isn’t going anywhere,” Brugioni said. As a result, school districts like his see teachers leave for better-paying jobs just as they gain experience in the classroom.“We need good teachers to have good schools,” he added.In addition to the teacher pay issue, Lanane said his members will also propose legislation to legalize medical marijuana and protect people with pre-existing medical conditions from losing access to health insurance.Lanane noted that 33 states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana and it’s time for Indiana to make it available as an alternative treatment for conditions such as cancer, seizures, and post-traumatic stress disorder.“It’s time for Indiana to join the list,” he said, calling it a safe and effective treatment option.In a recent Ball State University survey, about 80 percent of Hoosiers said they support some kind of marijuana legalization—42 percent said they favored medical marijuana only.Senate Democrats have little power in the General Assembly—they have 10 seats in a 50-member chamber. Lanane said they hope to find Republican allies as they work to pass their legislative priorities.FOOTNOTE: Janet Williams is executive editor of, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.last_img read more

Reopening case after closing arguments was not an abuse of discretion

first_imgOlivia Covington for www.theindianalawyer.comThe Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it allowed the state to reopen its case against a defendant after closing arguments because the defendant had been forewarned that certain evidence could be admitted if he presented a contrary intent defense, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.In James Gilman v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1601-CR-95, Robin Kemp came to the house where James Gilman’s estranged wife, Melissa, lived while Gilman was visiting in April 2015. Kemp was the mother of Gilman’s children.When Kemp arrived at the home, she remained in the car but was yelling and claiming that she was on the phone with police discussing a dispute between her and Gilman about who owned a Chevrolet Impala that was registered in her name. Gilman then got into the Impala and attempted to drive away, but Kemp drove her vehicle into the Impala, knocking it into the neighbor’s yard.Both Gilman and Kemp then took off at high speeds and their cars bumped several times before colliding at roughly 87 miles per hour. The impact of the collision killed Kemp instantly, but Gilman’s vehicle came to a rest a short distance away from Kemp’s. Gilman could see Kemp injured inside her vehicle, but he fled the scene without helping her, calling for police or waiting for emergency services to arrive.During an interview about the accident in May, Gilman admitted that at the time of the accident he knew of an outstanding warrant for his arrest in an unrelated case. He was then charted with Level 5 felony leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.During a pretrial hearing, the state informed the Marion Superior Court that it intended to introduce evidence of Gilman’s knowledge of the outstanding warrant if he argued that he had a defense for leaving the scene of the accident. The court issued an order saying the evidence could only be introduced “should Defendant place intent at issue by presenting a claim of particular contrary intent.”The state rested without presenting the evidence of Gilman’s knowledge of the warrant, but during closing arguments, the defense argued that Gilman fled the scene “out of necessity” because he believed Kemp would hurt him. The state objected, and the court sustained the objection.Then, the state requested permission to reopen its case and present its additional evidence of Gilman’s knowledge of the outstanding warrant because Gilman had made a necessity claim. The trial court granted the state’s request over Gilman’s objection and also allowed Gilman to supplement his argument if he wanted.The jury found Gilman guilty as charged and he appealed, arguing that the trial court erred when it allowed the state to reopen its case because the evidence in question was more prejudicial than probative.But Indiana Court of Appeals Senior Judge Carl Darden wrote Wednesday that Sgt. Doug Heustis, who testified to Gilman’s knowledge of the warrant and who interviewed Gilman after the accident, was not a surprise witness because he testified in the state’s case-in-chief. Similarly, Darden wrote that Gilman’s counsel was given a copy of Heustis’ interview with Gilman before the trial.Further, Gilman’s counsel chose not to cross-examine Heustis and did not supplement its closing argument after the state re-rested, the appellate judge said.“We conclude that under these circumstances, allowing the State to reopen its cases was not unreasonable,” Darden wrote. “Also, Gilman has failed to show how he was unduly prejudiced by the reopening.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more


first_imgMayor Davis creates board to create new SID on the MOTBYMayor James Davis issued an executive order to establish an advisory boardfor a Special Improvement District (SID) on the former Military Ocean Terminal Base (MOTBY), which was retroactively created as of November 1. The Bayonne City Council approved the officers’ report. The advisory board will include Business Administrator Joe DeMarco and Chief Financial Officer Terrence Malloy, as well as development stakeholders, Vice President of Boraie Development William Boraie, Mahalaxmi Bayonne LLC Manager Raj Gupta, and Tantum Group Founder Deborah Tantleff.A SID is an area authorized by state law (the Pedestrian Mall and Special Improvement District Act) and created by an ordinance of the local government to collect a special assessment on the commercial properties and/or businesses in that area. That assessment will be performed by the city’s District Management Corporation (DMC), the Bayonne UEZ/SID, which is a separate nonprofit organization.The improvement district provides a mechanism for the businesses of a community to organize as a single entity, to raise funds for activities that supplement municipal services, and to manage themselves to become a more effective shopping/dining/commercial destination. The Improvement District itself is effectively a boundary of affected properties and businesses, and is defined by municipal ordinance.The DMC, which is governed by a board of business and property owners, sets the agenda, priorities, and initiatives of the organization, hires and supervises staff, and determines the annual budget and assessment amount.At the council meeting, Bayonne resident Melanie Flora wanted details about what the SID board will do and what the overall plan is.“So that’s a special improvement district where the residents or owners in that district pay extra into a fund that they can manage to maintain their public walkways, the parks, to possibly subsidize the ferry,” said DeMarco at a November 8 City Council meeting. “They will create the organization and then create the bylaws, the backbone of the organization. How many members it will have, what the formula would be in terms of contribution, whether it’s on square foot commercial space, whether it’s on a residential corridor, whether it’s based on assessed value. Then, they will set how that money will be spent.”In December, Jersey City approved a new SID at Exchange Place, led in large part by DeMarco’s brother, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation President Michael DeMarco. Philanthropist donates to Hudson Chamber and its nonprofit baseThe Hudson County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) has announced the receipt of a $100,000 gift by philanthropist and former Congressman Frank J. Guarini, in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the chamber’s rebranding effort. It comes on the eve of Legends 10, the annual event at Liberty Science Center honoring outstanding members of Hudson County’s business community. The unprecedented donation was followed by additional gifts to 39 nonprofit organizations who are members of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce.“It is most important that our business community supports the good work of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce and harnesses the energy and dedication of our nonprofit community. Our future depends on working together with a common purpose. Together, through the chamber, we can assure a successful and prosperous tomorrow,” Guarini stated.The 129-year-old Hudson County Chamber of Commerce currently has a diversified membership of more than 600 businesses throughout the County. It supports 50 programs annually and is ranked in the top 25 Chambers in the State of New Jersey by NJBiz.Maria Nieves, president and CEO of the HCCC, recognized Congressman Guarini as a treasured leader, resource, and contributor to the energy and growth of business in Hudson County and the state:“Frank Guarini’s timely support provides critical and immediate funding to a diverse and growing community of nonprofit organizations in Jersey City which contribute greatly to elevating the city’s quality of life for all.”Bayonne Bridge featured in the New YorkerNew Yorker staff writer, and New Jersey resident, Ian Frazier wrote a feature in the magazine’s November 13 issue titled “Clear Passage: Making space for megaships by saving majestic bridge.” Frazier tells the story of the bridge’s construction and of the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, which was the largest ship to pass under the bridge, in September. Bald eagle sightingBald eagles are a rare sight in Bayonne, but a few residents caught a glimpse of one that landed around the area of 9th Street and Avenue A. While the sight of a bald eagle may seem unusual today, residents may remember a time when the species was even more rare. In 1973, when the Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act was passed, there was just one nesting pair in the state, in a remote forest in Cumberland County, according to the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife. Today, there are more than 150 nesting pairs of eagles in NJ. Most are in the Delaware Bay counties of Cumberland and Salem, but eagles can now be found statewide.Bald eagles remain on the state endangered species list, however, due to their sensitivity to environmental contaminants, habitat loss and human disturbance. The challenge to biologists and citizens now is protecting the lands and waterways used by eagles to maintain and enhance this species’ recovery.According to the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s 2016 Eagle Report, “The population of wintering bald eagles has grown along with the nesting population, especiallyin the last ten years. This growth reflects increasing populations in NJ and the northeast, as eachstate’s recovery efforts continue to pay off for eagles.”According to a map of movements by bald eagles tagged with satellite tracking equipment, many eagles fly from the Delaware Bay to Northern Maine and southern Quebec, a route that passes over Bayonne.Chiaravalloti appointed to HCCC Vice-President of Planning and DevelopmentHudson County Community College (HCCC) President Glen Gabert, Ph.D. announced this week that Joseph D. Sansone, the College’s Vice President for Planning and Development and Assistant to the President will retire effective February 28, 2018. The Board of Trustees has named Nicholas Chiaravalloti, J.D., Ed.D., to succeed Mr. Sansone. He will begin work at HCCC as Vice President for Planning and Development/Assistant to the President Designate effective December 1, 2017, and will assume full responsibility for that office on March 1, 2018.Chiaravalloti also represents the 31st District, which makes up Bayonne and parts of Jersey City, in the State Assembly.“Dr. Chiaravalloti brings extensive knowledge of higher education and valuable experience in working with the people of our community to his new position at Hudson County Community College. We look forward to working with him and Joe Sansone during the transition period and the future,” Dr. Gabert said.A lifelong member of the Bayonne community who holds a Bachelor’s degree from The Catholic University of America, Dr. Chiaravalloti earned his law degree from Rutgers School of law, and Doctorate of Higher Education Leadership from Saint Peter’s University.His professional academic experience includes serving for the past six years at Saint Peter’s University where he was Executive Director of the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership, Associate Vice President for International Outreach/Community Engagement, and a Father John Corridan Fellow.Chiaravalloti’s legal experience includes founding the consulting firm ANJ, LLC, serving as a partner in the law firm of Weiner and Lesniak, LLP, founding and serving as partner of Magis Strategies and Chiaravalloti, LLC. Chiaravalloti has served at the local, state and federal levels of government – as Executive Director of the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, and as State Director to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. Since 2016, he has served as Assemblyman representing the constituents of New Jersey’s 31st Legislative District.“Dr. Chiaravalloti’s dedication to the people of Hudson County, his appreciation of higher education, and his own background and professional experience are assets that will contribute to his new work at Hudson County Community College,” said HCCC Board Chair William Netchert. “We look forward to welcoming him, and to working with him in continuing the College’s important mission of providing high quality educational opportunities for all the people of our community.”Menendez jurors try again after deadlockThe jury in the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez is resuming deliberations today after telling Judge William H. Walls on Monday that they’re deadlocked on all the charges.According to reports from, the judge sent the jurors home at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, November 13, telling them to rest and reconvene on Tuesday. The jury had to start its deliberations from scratch on Monday after one juror was excused to go on vacation and an alternate was seated. BBOED audit results to be made publicThe results of an audit of the Bayonne Board of Education conducted by the NJ State Legislature Office of the State Auditor were released Tuesday, Nov. 14, according to Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael A. Wanko. The audit was requested by Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti after the school district turned up a deficit of more than $2 million in November of 2016 that resulted in programmatic cuts and hundreds of layoffs.The Executive Summary of the audit received on Tuesday reads, “We found the primary factors that contributed to the fiscal year 2016 year-end General Fund budgetary deficit were the unreported designation of $4.7 million in reserve for excess surplus at fiscal year-end 2015 and the inappropriate encumbering of at least $1.8 million and $4.2 million for payment of subsequent year expenditures at the end of fiscal years 2015 and 2016, respectively. If the reserve was properly identified and these funds were not encumbered, the district would not have reported the General Fund unassigned budgetary deficit of $2,003,625, but rather a budgetary surplus of $3.0 million. The district also under-budgeted $5.7 million in non-salary accounts which were funded by transfers from adequately budgeted salary accounts.”The BBOED Finance Committee was expected to review the results at a 5 p.m. meeting on Tuesday. Afterward, the BBOED will post the report on its website,“We want to make things better here,” said Dr. Wanko. “The public has been waiting a long time for this, so we want to put it on the website as soon as we can.”Dr. Wanko requested that the Office of the State Auditor send an expert from the audit team to help explain the results to the public at the board’s next public workshop meeting this Thursday, November 16 at 6 p.m. at 669 Avenue A. If someone from the audit team is unavailable this week, Dr. Wanko said that he’d like that person to be available at the BBOED regular meeting on Thursday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m.Stay updated on the audit results at Bald eagle spotted in Bayonne. Photo by David La Pelusa.center_img ×Bald eagle spotted in Bayonne. Photo by David La Pelusa.last_img read more

In pictures: Scottish Baker of the Year 2016

first_imgLast weekend saw Scottish Bakers hold its Scottish Baker of the Year competition.The Kandy Bar came away with the top accolade at the awards ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.The evening also saw Craig McPhie, of McPhies Craft Bakers, installed as president of Scottish Bakers.Can you spot yourself in our gallery?Scottish Baker of the Year 2016flash 16cameramake NIKON CORPORATIONheight 1957orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS5 originaldate 5/7/2016 5:03:18 PMwidth 2800cameramodel NIKON D800flash 16cameramake NIKON CORPORATIONheight 1684orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS5 originaldate 5/7/2016 4:41:37 PMwidth 2800cameramodel NIKON D800flash 9cameramake Canonheight 2000orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/7/2016 11:12:17 PMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 9cameramake Canonheight 2031orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/8/2016 12:40:07 AMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 9cameramake Canonheight 3000orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/8/2016 12:39:43 AMwidth 2476cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 9cameramake Canonheight 2111orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/8/2016 12:30:06 AMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 9cameramake Canonheight 2000orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/8/2016 1:00:31 AMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 9cameramake Canonheight 1870orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/8/2016 12:26:54 AMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 9cameramake Canonheight 2000orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/7/2016 11:13:33 PMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 16cameramake NIKON CORPORATIONheight 2800orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS5 originaldate 5/7/2016 3:35:31 PMwidth 2249cameramodel NIKON D800flash 16cameramake NIKON CORPORATIONheight 2136orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS5 originaldate 5/7/2016 3:02:59 PMwidth 2800cameramodel NIKON D800flash 9cameramake Canonheight 2187orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/8/2016 3:58:03 AMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 9cameramake Canonheight 2136orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/8/2016 12:33:54 AMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 9cameramake Canonheight 1958orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/8/2016 12:13:21 AMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 16cameramake NIKON CORPORATIONheight 1773orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS5 originaldate 5/7/2016 5:07:45 PMwidth 2800cameramodel NIKON D800flash 9cameramake Canonheight 2000orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/7/2016 11:48:48 PMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 9cameramake Canonheight 3000orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/7/2016 3:28:13 AMwidth 2000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 9cameramake Canonheight 2000orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/8/2016 3:24:00 AMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS-1D Mark IVflash 16cameramake Canonheight 2224orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 5/8/2016 2:06:21 AMwidth 3000cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIlast_img read more

Vulfpeck Welcomes Dave Koz, Louis Cato, & More For Kings Theatre Closer [Video/Photo]

first_imgPhotos: Brandon Weil For the past seven-plus years, Vulfpeck has been busy spreading its funk far and wide, its band membership spanning out from Ann Arbor to Los Angeles, Long Island, and points in between. And while their tour schedule is seemingly non-existent, the group will always make it to Brooklyn for at least a couple of nights a year. Such was the case this weekend, when Vulfpeck put on its biggest (and best) enclosed show to date at the cavernous Kings Theatre. Following an energetic Friday night, which featured the live debut of “Soft Parade” on the day of its official release, Vulfpeck brought Saturday to the next level.With a packed house of 3,000 revelers on hand, the core combination of Theo Katzman, Jack Stratton, Woody Goss, and (of course) Joe Dart just about emptied its ever-deepening bag of tricks before jetting across the Atlantic for the next leg of its “Wisdom of the Crowds” tour.There was the usual switching of instruments between Theo and Jack, among others. The guest appearance by Jack’s mom. The more-than-guest appearance by the outstanding vocalist Antwaun Stanley, who once again stole the show with Vulfpeck classics “1612,” “Funky Duck” and “Wait For the Moment.” The doubleheader by Joey Dosik, who opened for and sat in with Vulf, tickling the crowd with his signature tone as a singer and saxophonist all the while. The infectious energy of Cory Wong adding his guitar to the mix. The crowdsourced three-part harmonies orchestrated by Katzman on “Back Pocket” and “Christmas in L.A.”Except, this time, Theo did so while wrangling a full-blown, sold-out theatre. And with his old drum teacher, Rich Rodriguez, on percussion. And with Louis Cato, perhaps best known for his work with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, taking his turn on drums during “Beastly.” And with legendary sax man Dave Koz upstaging everyone during “Smile Meditation” and “It Gets Funkier.”Not to mention Jack’s keynote-style speech for Vulf Records, which led into the introduction of “Peck-a-pella.”Indeed, the second night of Vulfpeck’s autumnal-equinox stint in Flatbush featured all the silliness their fans have come to know and love, but on a grander scale, with bigger names, a bigger stage and bigger solos from (and cheers for) Joe Dart on bass.Which can only mean bigger things to come for Vulfpeck, thanks to sold-out dates in Copenhagen and Paris, Dublin and London, before returning to the US for Suwannee Hulaween ahead of the release of the band’s next album, Hill Climber, on Dec. 7.Through all that growth, in both group profile and venue size, it’s comforting to see that Vulfpeck has maintained its foundation as a sarcastic collection of music nerds who are at once serious about their artistry and instrumentation while not taking themselves seriously at all.And considering all the support and inspiration that Brooklyn has provided to Vulfpeck over the years, it was only fair that the group return the favor while taking the next step forward as an act of expanding repute.“The Sweet Science” (with Michael Winograd) → “Fugue State” → “Cory Wong”[Video: bebop Pete]“Smile Meditation” (with Alice Stratton and Dave Koz)[Video: bebop Pete]“Aunt Leslie” (with Antwaun Stanley)[Video: bebop Pete]“Wait for the Moment” (with Antwaun Stanley)[Video: bebop Pete]Setlist: Vulfpeck | Kings Theatre | Brooklyn, NY | 9/22/18The Sweet Science, Fugue State, Cory Wong, Animal Spirits, Daddy, He Got a Tesla, Smile Meditation (w/ Dave Koz), Baby I Don’t Know (w/ Joey Dosik), Game Winner (w/ Joey Dosik), 1 for 1 DiMaggio, 1612, Aunt Leslie, Funky Duck, Wait For The Moment, Back Pocket (Peck-a-pella), Beastly (w/ Louis Cato), Christmas in LA, Dean TownE: Birds of a Feather, We Rock Together, Outro, It Gets Funkier Load remaining imageslast_img read more

5 key questions for Trump’s Senate impeachment trial

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Arguments are set to begin Tuesday in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump on allegations that he incited the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. It appears unlikely that he’ll be convicted after being impeached by the Democratic-controlled House. While many Republicans were harshly critical of Trump for telling supporters to “fight like hell” and go to the Capitol after a rally near the White House on that January day, their criticism has since softened. Most Republicans have avoided defending Trump’s actions. Instead, GOP lawmakers have argued that the trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office. Democrats and many legal scholars disagree.last_img read more

SMC honors Earth Hour

first_imgFor one hour, the entire earth will be dark. Tomorrow, the Sisters of the Holy Cross will participate in Earth Hour with millions of people worldwide by turning off their lights. From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., the Sisters encourage members of the Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame communities to turn off their lights and other electrical devices in an effort to promote ecological sustainability. Sr. Veronique Wiedower, vice president of the Division for Mission, said Earth Hour has an important humanitarian element tied into its focus on sustainability. “The idea is that we are a global village, and the same is going to be true about water as with oil in that there are not endless amounts,” she said. “We need to know what it means to be responsible for those resources, or responsible in our use of those resources.” The Sisters’ participation in Earth Hour stems from their mission of standing in solidarity with the less fortunate of the world, Wiedower said. She said one community can have a significant impact when united with other communities across the globe. “It is important to be in solidarity with poor who do not have access to these resources everyday,” Wiedower said. By shutting off lights this Saturday, the Sisters hope the conservation of resources will spark further efforts to share with those who need them desperately, she said. “During this time of Lent, when we give up, we give an opportunity to give someone access to resources,” she said. “What each person can do is important.” Sr. Wiedower encourages participation in any form. “If you can’t shut off everything, do a little bit. Each person makes a difference,” she said. “You never know what the tipping point might be, and you might be that last person needed.”last_img read more

Homework habits

first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaSchool is almost back in session and with it comes homework. Unfortunately, many children think of homework as punishment, and sometimes, so do parents.How can you reduce homework headaches? “When adults nag children to get their homework done, children look for ways to put it off – and the whole process can become a power struggle,” said University of Georgia Extension human development specialist Don Bower. A positive attitude and good homework habits can prevent power struggles between parents and children and generally reduce household stress.Homework helps children practice, reinforce or expand the skills they learn during the school day. Teachers say completing homework assignments is as important as attending school.That’s why it’s important to establish “homework time”, Bower says. A consistent quiet time for homework lets children know it’s a priority. It also cuts down on arguments about when to do the work.To determine when homework time should occur, it’s important to consider the child’s personality.“Some children are better off completing their homework before they play outside or watch television,” Bower said. “Others need some relaxation time after school before they are ready to do homework. Choose the time and place that works best for each child, even if they end up doing homework at different times.”The child’s needs aren’t the only consideration when determining homework time.“Make sure an adult will be available to help during ‘homework time’,” Bower said. “Adults can read, pay bills or other quiet activities while the children study.”Helping a child do their homework doesn’t mean doing it for them, Bower said.“Essentially, homework is a contract between the teacher and her students,” he said. “It’s the child’s job, not the parents. Does that mean you don’t help at all? Of course not. The question isn’t if, but how.”Many adults struggle with how much help to give children. Bower says it’s fine to work through a question or two, but make sure your child is doing most of the work himself. “Doing your child’s homework for him may seem like the easiest short-term solution,” Bower said. “But it will wind up hurting your child down the road.” Organization is the key for long-term projects, Bowers says. “Many children don’t know how to break a large assignment down into manageable steps,” Bowers said. “They don’t start on it until a few days before it’s due.”Parents can help by sitting down with the child the first night and helping them plan out a strategy. Choose specific dates to have information gathered, to complete a first draft and to finish revisions.Research shows that completing appropriate homework successfully is a sure-fire way to promote academic success, Bower said.“When you make homework a priority in your home, you are offering your children support, helping them deal with mistakes, teaching them to take responsibility for their own learning and helping them develop problem solving skills,” he said. (Cat Holmes is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Pesticide training

first_imgSpring rains and summertime heat have sparked insects and lawn diseases across the state. That may send some landscape lovers looking for someone to apply a few chemicals to protect their interests.Before asking landscaping companies to apply pesticides, homeowners need to ask them if they’re properly certified, said Paul Guillebeau, an entomologist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Companies don’t have to hold a certificate to mow lawns or trim hedges, but they do have to be certified to apply chemicals.“Whether they’re applying ant bait or Roundup, they have to have a license so they know how to use chemicals safely,” he said. “Too much pesticide or chemicals used in the wrong place, it all could cause problems.”Georgia lawTo purchase and apply pesticides on another person’s property and collect a fee for it, the business the pesticide applicator works for needs a commercial pesticide applicator’s license, according to Georgia law.The fee for applying pesticides without a license is up to $1,000 per violation.Private pesticide licenses are available through county UGA Extension offices. This license is limited to farmers and allows them to apply restricted-use pesticides on their land. The key difference between a private and commercial license is that private license holders can’t apply pesticide for money. Toxic conditionsPeople who are not licensed pesticide applicators don’t have access to restricted chemicals, but they do have access to many products available at home improvement stores.“It just seems to be a real human tendency to use more instead of less,” Guillebeau said about pesticides. “And if they’re a landscape company, they probably want to make sure the homeowners don’t see any insects out there.”Even private homeowners can go overboard. Guillebeau remembers one caller who had a bird lice problem. A nest outside his front door was home to more than just birds, and he and his family were getting bit by hungry lice.“He ended up spraying so much pesticide that he and his wife could not stay there,” Guillebeau said, “all because he didn’t know.”Too many chemicals can make any environment toxic. “If they’re applying pesticides around where kids are, you do want to know they know what they’re doing,” he said.While pesticides are designed to kill harmful insects or plant diseases, they can also be bad for humans and pets.Pesticide trainingPesticide certification exams are available at Georgia technical colleges through the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Instead of requiring each person applying pesticides to be certified, the license covers an entire business.UGA offers training for the pesticide licensing exams through study guides and county Extension offices. Local Extension offices can provide information on exam locations.UGA Extension also offers a training program for pesticide applicators who work for a business, but are not themselves required to have a license. The Georgia Competent Applicator of Pesticides Program, or GCAPP, is a voluntary program. The GCAPP program is available at county Extension offices throughout the state. Participants view a PowerPoint lesson and take a 37-question test. Twenty-six correct answers results in the student being awarded a GCAPP certificate that is good for five years. They also gain knowledge that will help them apply pesticides in ways that won’t harm themselves or those around them.“I would like for anybody using pesticides to go through the program,” Guillebeau said, “especially if they’re working at a school or a park. They may not be trying to put anybody at harm, but they may not know.”For more information on the GCAPP program, call 706-542-9031 or e-mail Guillebeau at [email protected]last_img read more

Just Keep Going: Cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway

first_imgAs Julie hit the first steep incline, she wondered what in the world she had gotten herself into. This was the first hill of many, as she was part of a dozen riders cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway from end to end: Charlottesville, Virginia to Cherokee, North Carolina. Julie was a 53-year old mother of two, an avid cyclist and climbing enthusiast with 4,000 miles under her belt for the year. This was without question the hardest ride she would ever do in her life.The Parkway has long been a top southern location for scenic driving, hiking and camping. In the last decade, it has become a prime location for cycling. Completing the entire 469-miles on a bicycle ranks as one of the toughest endurance tests in the Southeast, and cannot be done without a lot of training and support. The difficulty can be adjusted by the number of days spent. The fewer the days, the more difficult the ride. We decided to try it in six days, and added Mount Mitchell State Park to the route, making it an ambitious endeavor. We honestly figured that some riders would not make it.Even after making her way up that brutal first climb, Julie had a struggle of a first day. Fortunately most of the Parkway climbs are not nearly as steep as the approaching roads, but riding only up and down can wear someone down. The descents go too fast to get a chance to recover, and there are few opportunities for easier riding on the flats. Julie had to deal with other issues on that first day. She had shifting problems, which caused her to not be able to use her middle gears for half of the ride. On the Parkway, just about every gear is needed at some point. The first day was unseasonably warm. She ran into hydration problems thanks to the unexpected heat and humidity at the lower elevations in Virginia. It was a recipe for a bad day of riding, and Julie barely made it through. At this point she questioned whether she was really up for the challenge of the next five days.At night as we “camped” at a bed and breakfast, the first of many over the week, Julie tried to put the bad day behind her. Attempting something this difficult requires mental strength nearly as much as physical strength. Julie had to put the bad day behind her, regain some confidence, sleep well, and continue on the adventure tomorrow.The beauty of the Blue Ridge has a way of getting one’s head back in the game. A rainstorm came through just before rolling out on the second day. The roads were completely deserted, thanks to the weather and the government shutdown. Gorgeous, damp fall leaves were scattered across the road. The road became a wonderland. Climbing did not feel so bad knowing that it would reveal a breathtaking view at the top of each hill.The body has a way of adapting, as proven by Julie on this and subsequent days. She was able to settle in and get her climbing legs as she progressed further on the Parkway. She was careful not to overextend herself on the climbs, as she would need to save that energy for later. The toughest days were ahead of her. She also had her good friend Wes around for support. As they found themselves on a long and grueling climb, he would tell her to “settle in.” That gave her a sense of focus.As the group made their way into North Carolina, the personality of the Parkway changed. No longer was it just rolling mountainous hills through agricultural territory. With the higher elevations of western Carolina, the climbs proved longer, steeper, and the riding became tougher. Over that period they traveled up and down, reaching heights of 4,000-5,000 feet. Everything was challenging, but Julie and the group were able to cruise along, every day getting closer to Cherokee.The crew.The crew.It was on the final day when Julie started to feel herself really cracking. The week had finally taken a toll. All of the climbing and the calorie deficit left her weakened, with the biggest day ahead of her.She made it through the 13-mile climb from Asheville to Pisgah. It was when she climbed higher that she had trouble. The section beyond Pisgah has rolling hills, mostly uphill, but the inclines are a little steeper, and the temperature was getting warmer. When she reached Richland Balsam, the highest point of the Parkway, she was toast. That was the halfway point of the ride, but the majority of the climbing was already done.Most people would be jubilant when reaching the highest point of the Parkway. Julie was anguished, her face flushed, breathing labored, and her psyche shot. “Please let there be a long descent coming up,” she said as she reached the top. She was prepared to end her day and her voyage right then and there, with success a mere 30 miles away. Asked if she would regret stopping early, she shook her head no. “At this point it just isn’t fun anymore,” she said with disappointment in her eyes. This was coming from someone who lived for riding her bike, and did not accept failure lightly.Since she had done the work, she deserved to experience the exhilarating 12-mile descent from Richland Balsam. She expected to call it a day when she got to the bottom. After descending to below 3,000 feet, her mindset changed. She got a second wind, recovered, and found that she felt better than she had all day. She kept going. She somehow grinded out the eight miles to Waterrock Knob, which left one climb remaining – three miles to Wolf Laurel Gap. Running on fumes, she slowly made her way to the top.The final 10-mile descent made all the pain worthwhile. She bombed down to Cherokee in what seemed like an instant, and coasted over the Oconoluftee River bridge, which signified the end of the Parkway. All of the other riders and supporters awaited her there with congratulations and hugs. It was over. She had accomplished the task with tenacity, strength, and a little help from her friends.StatsMiles, Climbing & Calories: Day 1: 88 miles, 10,045 feet, 4,019 caloriesDay 2: 97.7 miles, 13,097 feet, 3,877 caloriesDay 3: 57.5 miles, 4,469 feet, 2,021 caloriesDay 4: 92.3 miles, 9,413 feet, 3,959 caloriesDay 5: 83  miles, 9,249 feet, 3,396 caloriesDay 6: 90.9 miles, 10.417, 3,884 caloriesGeography:Day 1: Nellysford to BedfordDay 2: Bedford to Rocky KnobDay 3: Rocky Knob to Meadows of DanDay 4: Meadows of Dan to Linville FallsDay 5: Linville Falls to AshevilleDay 6: Asheville to CherokeeBiggest Climbs:Mount Mitchell, North Carolina, 14.7 miles, 3,163 feetApple Orchard Mountain, Virginia 12.6 miles, 3,169 feetMount Pisgah, 12.2 miles, 3,415 feetWaterrock Knob, 7.2 miles, 2,071 feetLinn Cove Viaduct, North Carolina, 5.5 miles, 814 feetBent Mountain, Virginia, 4.8 miles, 1,402 feetBlack Balsam, 3.5 miles, 1,102 feetWolf Laurel Gap, 2.9 miles, 911 feetWildlife seen:2 black bears7 deer1 hawk1 rabbit100 squirrels1,000 bugslast_img read more