MLSD Board discusses learning plan, teacher concerns

first_img By Ashley McCartyThe Manchester Local School District Board of Education met on March 10 to discuss the Extended Learning Plan and teacher concerns.“We received some Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) dollars. We plan on buying two Clorox 360 electrostatic sprayers; one for each building. We intend to have Summer School for grades K-4 for summer 2021, 2022 and 2023. Three summers, four hours a day for 20 days. For the next two school years, for 2021-2022 and 2022-23, we plan on hiring two reading remediation teachers. They will work Monday through Thursday,” said Superintendent Brian Rau.Those remediation teachers will work through the next school year and then the subsequent school year.”We do have — it depends on when we get funds approved — have a classroom monitor in the Junior High right now to lessen the numbers since we came back. Junior High and High School will do their Summer Schools again 2021, 2022, 2023. Tentatively, we will have two High School teachers, one Junior High teacher. That will be eight hours a day for 20 days. Depending on the need in the Junior High, we could have two teachers in the Summer School,” said Rau.The School Recourse Officer will be present during Summer School.“In Junior High, we will be adding an English Language Arts teacher, a Social Emotional Counselor and not next school year, but the year after, another Intervention Specialist,” said Rau.Rau said he met with both principals, and they feel this is a very good start to get the students back on track.“At the last board meeting, I did attempt to address publicly the issue of the four day versus five day and explain the calendar situation. Apparently, that wasn’t clarified, and I’ve been notified today by a couple [of people] and asked to make sure that the board understands where the staff stands and why we stand where we are. At no point have teachers said we refuse to go back five days. That has never been the fight or the argument. Last summer when the Restart Team met — and there was several teachers, staff members, a superintendent, I think even Dr. [William] Hablitzel even attended one day — during that planning process there was a plan developed. There were revisions done to the calendar at that time. That did go back to the associations for a vote, that did come back to the board for your adoption. The confusion of teachers not wanting to come back needs to be clarified,” said MES Teacher Caroline Grooms-Lowe.The community is under the assumption that they are not, she said.“The plan at that time was to create — we created a Blue Group and we created a Gold Group. Blue Groups were Monday and Tuesday with three days remote, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Gold Group, Thursday, Friday, with the remote being Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Wednesday’s were set aside for the deep cleaning days. Teachers agreed to help with that; they cleaned their rooms and they did things to help make sure that their rooms were safe. We applauded the efforts of the whole team to make sure that we were doing the right thing. COVID-19 was in full bloom, it was exploding, so yes, safety for the staff and the students was top priority, and we credited Superintendent Rau for that. We understand that students have not been engaged daily as we would hope for them to be, but we felt at that time it was the best decision that could be made for safety reasons. The next step was to blend those two groups,” said Grooms-Lowe.The Blue and Gold Group would come Monday/Tuesday as well as Thursday/Friday.“That was the discussion that was had, and that was the assumption and understanding that the staff had. That it would be a process. Wednesdays would remain as the deep cleaning day. For whatever reason, decisions were made and we understand that management has the right to make those decisions, we just ask that we be at the table or represented to listen, understand and try to, I guess, get those decisions before the public gets them so we understand what’s going on. I think that’s a fair thing to ask. So, I want to make sure and make it very clear. If there’s any questions, there’s multiple teachers here. There was a meeting last Wednesday. The association met, and I think it was very clearly discussed in that meeting; at no point in that meeting did anyone say we don’t want to come back. So, we want to make that clear and understood to the board that that is not the argument,” said Grooms-Lowe.They just wanted to be a part of that process, understand the changes and why they were happening, she said.“The next item, the extended learning plan. At the last board meeting, it was mentioned that there would be discussion and planning stages for that to happen. In conversation with Superintendent Rau, I understood that the month of March, we would have March to work on this and come up with that plan. I will credit Mr. Roberts as principal of the elementary, I can’t speak to Dr. Pollock, I haven’t talked to anyone at the High School. I don’t know how that was handled. I know that he did talk with BLT members in the building actually one-on-one and went to rooms to talk with teachers to maybe get some ideas, and he expressed his ideas of what he thought might be best for our building. So, that discussion did happen. But, I can honestly tell you — because I got phone calls and I was met on the playground with ‘have you seen the extended learning plan’ — I hadn’t, and I had to say that because I had not seen it. I didn’t realize it was even going to be presented tonight—” said Grooms-Lowe.Rau said he could answer some of that.“When Mrs. Grooms-Lowe and I met, the deal was going to be that she was going to go ask her union association and solicit ideas and give those ideas back to Mr. Roberts. That’s what we agreed upon. I told her I had a timeline of when I had to have this done, because it must be submitted to the state on April 1. Unfortunately, our board meeting is very early in March, March 10. Other school districts have until another couple of weeks to get this in. This is the only board meeting we have in March. This is when the board has to approve the plan, because it’s due April 1. That’s the only time I have,” said Rau.That’s why he was asking to solicit that information and get it to Mr. Roberts, he said.“But did you not say to me it would be presented at the April meeting?” said Grooms-Lowe.Rau said he did not recall that, because the plan has to be approved by the board before April.“I saw that in writing from the state, I did see that, but in our conversation—” said Grooms-Lowe.Board member Dave McFarland said it didn’t matter what the conversation was, errors can be made.“Then would you not just from discussion, say, hey, we need to get this in, we need to get this together for the March meeting,” said Grooms-Lowe.Rau said they did.“That’s all we’re asking, and I’m not saying we don’t agree with a lot that’s in there,” said Grooms-Lowe.McFarland said he didn’t want to get into a he said/she said.“That’s where you wanted to go and it’s in writing that it’s going to be April 1. Yeah, you’re going to make technical errors, and yeah, he’s going to make technical errors. That happens. It’s how we manage life,” said McFarland.Grooms-Lowe said that he knew as well she she that if the topic wasn’t discussed in the open it wouldn’t be discussed in executive session.“So, that’s the only reason we wanted to share. That’s all we wanted to do,” said Grooms-Lowe.MHS Teacher Brandi Thomas stood up and addressed the board.“Can I talk for just a second? I know I didn’t fill out the form, I apologize. This summer I was informed by Dr. Rau that the library would be closed, and I would be moved to Junior High. Since then, the elementary library has been closed. So today, I did read the learning recovery and extended learning plan that you just heard, and it does not include putting a teacher back into the library. Actually, it didn’t mention the library at all. So, I’m just confused, because at the time that you closed it, you stressed that you really didn’t want to, and that you really wanted to get it back. So, we now have the funds. We’re very concerned about our students’ reading. Why is the library not one of those things that we need to work on?” said Thomas.Rau said they only have a finite amount of money.“When I met with the principals, this is the ideas that we had. I’m not saying that — and you and I have spoken — that is still a priority, but I have to see where the funding is before I allocateit to that,” said Rau.Rau said she and him had spoken about it.“We did. The funding, I thought you meant, was the one you told me about in June or July. Right? You told me about funding we might get in June or July,” said Thomas.Rau said yes, but that it wasn’t a given yet. He can’t put it in the plan if it’s not allocated.“I didn’t fully know about this funding, is what I’m saying. So, I don’t know why it wasn’t put in there, in this particular plan. I’d like to hear why,” said Thomas.Rau said he wouldn’t have a reason that anybody is going to agree with.“Mr. Roberts and I have spoken two or three times; he knows how I feel about the library. Whether anybody else wants to believe it or not, he knows how I feel about it. He and I spoke again today about the exact same thing, and I explained to him that once we make the moves with the plan that I have to submit to the state — it’s a fluid plan, but it has to be submitted to the state — I’m going to go back — in fact, I had that conversation with Mrs. Elliot as well — I need to see where we are with that. The next thing on my list to do is bring back the library. That is a priority. I just have to see, once we get this down, to see exactly where the funding lies what I’ve got left,” said Rau.Thomas asked if the library was the next step if they have funding.Rau said he had to look at the funding first.“But you can’t tell me why it wasn’t included already?” said Thomas.Rau said he didn’t think that it mattered what he was going to say.“Nobody is going to like it or agree with it. The plan that I took forth was the ideas that were submitted to me by folks — including the principals — and that was their initial plan for closing the achievement gaps. You’re right, it was not in the initial conversation. I’m the one that brought it up. I brought that to the table. That’s why it’s not in the initial plan that the state is approving,” said Rau.As the board returned from executive session, Rau announced he would include Grooms-Lowe and Kimberly Skaggs in future plan reviews.With no more business before the board, the board adjourned. Meeting minutes will be approved by the board at the next meeting, subject to revisions. MLSD Board discusses learning plan, teacher concernsMarch 18, 2021Mark CarpenterNews, Top Stories0 Powered By 10 Sec How to Slice & Mince Vegetables Like a Pro NextStay How to Slice & Mince Vegetables Like a ProNOW PLAYINGHow to Melt and Soften ButterNOW PLAYINGHawaiian Roll Ham SlidersNOW PLAYINGApple Pie Bites With Caramel SauceNOW PLAYINGApple Pie BitesNOW PLAYINGHomemade Caramel SauceNOW PLAYINGPerfect Bacon Every TimeNOW PLAYINGOld Fashioned Soft and Buttery Yeast RollsNOW PLAYINGHow to Chop an Onion PerfectlyNOW PLAYINGHow to Chill a Drink in 2 MinutesNOW PLAYINGHow to Peel Hard Boiled EggsNOW PLAYINGHow to Peel TomatoesNOW PLAYINGHow to Cook Scrambled EggsNOW PLAYINGHow to Core and Slice a PineappleNOW PLAYINGCream Cheese Cake Mix CookiesNOW PLAYINGHow to Make the Ultimate Light and Fluffy Mashed PotatoesNOW PLAYINGSweet Alabama PecanbreadNOW PLAYINGPumpkin Cream Cheese BarsNOW PLAYINGHow to Carve a Whole ChickenNOW PLAYINGHow to Knead DoughNOW PLAYINGHow to Use a Meat ThermometerNOW PLAYINGSlow Cooker/Crock Pot HintsNOW PLAYINGHow to Quarter a ChickenNOW PLAYINGHow to Clean Garbage DisposalsNOW PLAYING5 Easy and Delicious Crock Pot Meatball Appetizer RecipesNOW PLAYING Arrow Left #1 Icon Created with Sketch. Arrow right #1 Icon Created with Sketch. HomeNewsMLSD Board discusses learning plan, teacher concerns MLSD Superintendent Brian Rau and Board President Troy Thatcher. (Photo by Ashley McCarty)center_img Top Searches Top Searches SmalkMattVommo PreviousNot just another date on the calendarNextHB 67 passes House; tests, graduation requirements alleviated for students Around the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterThis Weird Method Can Restore Your Vision Naturally (Watch)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. 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Brandmaier and Knightwood Stable’s Caliana Win McKee-Pownall Junior/Amateur Championship

first_img Email* We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. SIGN UP Horse Sport Enews Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! Jeff Brandmaier and Knightwood Stable’s Caliana capped off a great year at the 94th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON by winning the McKee-Pownall Junior/Amateur Championship. Over three days of competition, the pair was the model of consistency, and was the only combination to jump clean first rounds in all three classes and earn a top placing in each.Brandmaier and Caliana, a 13-year-old bay Rheinlander mare (Come On x Wachter) also earned the Canadian Champion title for the 1.40m Junior/Amateur Jumper division.“I am thrilled to pilot Caliana to this recognition,” said Brandmaier. “She is so deserving. We call her the ‘Warrior Princess’ because she is always game and fights for the clear round. We know each other so well, she is a great horse, and we had an amazing year!”The honour was a storybook ending to an exciting year for Brandmaier, 57, who recently returned to the show ring following major surgery in his battle with cancer. The pair’s 2016 season included winning four High Junior/Amateur Classics, the Ontario Hunter Jumper Association (OHJA) High Junior/Amateur Jumper Championship, The Angelstone Tournaments Junior/Amateur 1.40m Circuit Championship and earning the $5,000 Nationwide Auto Warranty High Point Junior/Amateur Jumper Bonus at Angelstone Tournaments in Rockwood, ON. Brandmaier and Caliana also made their grand prix debut in the $50,000 Brookstreet Hotel Grand Prix in July at the Ottawa National Horse Show.Ending an incredible year marked by top honours at The Royal was a special experience for Brandmaier, especially with his wife and fellow competitor, Margaret ‘Muffie’ Guthrie, and their three-year-old daughter, Liza Jean, with him every step of the way. In addition to competing at the Royal Horse Show, Muffie and Jeff, along with Braeburn Farms, present the Canadian Hunter Derby National Championships at The Royal, which culminates with the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby.“The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is a magical place that has been dear to our family for generations, and this is a team win for Knightwood,” said Brandmaier. “My trainer Erynn Ballard is incredible. She worked with us to develop the winning plan for the year and that reflected in Caliana’s readiness for the Royal; she was fresh, focused, and happy to do her job. Erynn inspires so much confidence with her approach to the sport and made the Royal and the entire year easy and so much fun!“Our barn manager, Lesley Leeman, is integral to our success and is a true professional,” continued Brandmaier. “She keeps everything organized and Caliana is always prepared flawlessly; shiny, fit, relaxed, and ready. It is a great feeling when everything comes together.”Brandmaier was also quick to express gratitude to McKee-Pownall Equine Services veterinarian Meghan Waller, DVM, and her dedication to Caliana, and for their sponsorship of the Junior/Amateur division at the Royal.“They raised the profile of this division, and we all appreciate that,” concluded Brandmaier. More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business.last_img read more

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NYC tourist robbed at knifepoint of ‘Make America Great Again’ hat

first_imgKevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Two men, one brandishing a knife, robbed a New York City tourist of his red “Make America Great Again” hat, police said today.The 18-year-old Danish victim, whose name was not disclosed, was about to enter the subway in Union Square Thursday at 5:40 p.m. when a man grabbed him from behind and swiped the red baseball-style cap from his head, police said.There was a struggle over the hat when a second man flashed a knife and pointed it at the victim before the two made off with the hat, police said.The hat reads “Make America Great Again,” according to a police source. Also known as “MAGA,” the slogan was popularized by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.The armed suspect was described as a white male in his 20s or 30s, about 6 feet tall with short hair and wearing a brown jacket. Police are seeking the public’s help in finding him and his accomplice.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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3 teachers who are moms push back on reopening schools

first_imgiStock/Favor_of_GodBy: MARIYA MOSELEY, ABC News (NEW YORK) — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the U.S., the debate over how to safely reopen schools is intensifying.Three teachers who are mothers spoke to ABC News, urgently pleading to halt plans of in-person school reopening’s without better managing safety risks and providing more guidance on how to keep children and families safe.From hard-hit Arizona — now a global COVID-19 hot spot — to California, which has seen a rise in new infections that forced a rollback of reopening plans, to Georgia, where a battle over mask-wearing continues, these three educators weigh in on the debate as a new Gallup poll shows slightly more than half the country’s parents favor their child going back to school full time.Lucero Beebe-Giudice, a middle school teacher in Phoenix, not only believes her state’s reopening plan is reckless, considering Arizona is now a global COVID-19 hotspot, she’s been rallying in the sweltering summer heat to make sure her voice is heard.She joined a group of teachers, parents and activists at the Capitol on Tuesday to deliver to Gov. Doug Ducey a letter signed by over 1,900 people who oppose the state’s reopening plan to resume in-person classes in less than a month.“We have a historic legacy of systemic exclusion of communities of color from things like health, safety and security,” she told ABC News. “And what’s happening right now is by design. It’s intentional. And we have to fight.”Beebe-Giudice, a 40-year-old mother of two who has been teaching for over seven years, previously worked in diversity recruiting and community relations. The letter she and hundreds of others delivered to state leadership stressed once again how reopening schools disproportionately harms students of color.“I’m really angry right now,” she said. “Governor Ducey just thinks that my Black, Indigenous, Mestizo and other students of color are disposable.”According to the Arizona Department of Education, most public school students aren’t white: Among about 1.1 million, about 45% are Latino, 5% are Black, 4% are Native American, 3% are Asian American and 4% identify as multiracial.Since a statewide reopening May 15, Arizona has seen an 850% increase of reported coronavirus cases. As of Thursday, the state’s health department said nearly 90% of intensive care units were full.“We live in a reality now where some schools run out of bathroom soap and toilet paper halfway through the year, and we’re talking about a pandemic?” Beebe-Giudice said. “We need sustainable funding. We need to know that there are new protocols, maintenance and safety procedures.”Karen Sher, a public school teacher in Oxnard, California, who has been teaching for more than 25 years, has joined the push to go virtual in the fall.A mother of three who teaches language arts for middle schoolers, Sher reiterated that although many teachers would love to return to the classroom, it just isn’t safe yet.“As a teacher, a trustee and a parent, I want for all children to be successful and have the opportunity for a powerful future, but we can’t do that if we’re not alive,” Sher told ABC News.In California, the country’s most populous state, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently rolled back several reopening plans as coronavirus surged, resulting in more hospitalizations and deaths.Sher, a trustee for the Oxnard Union High School District and Board President, has condemned the federal government’s threat to cut funding for schools that don’t reopen in the fall.Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who has no experience as an educator, has faced fierce backlash after demanding U.S. public schools reopen without providing any guidance on how to do so safely.“To threaten to remove funding is cruel and wrong,” Sher said. “The federal government should be giving schools more money to help provide measures that will protect everyone.”Sher, 50, calls teaching one of the joys of her life and has devoted years to advocating for teachers’ rights. She also supports students, standing in solidarity with them on issues affecting the LGBTQ community and Black Lives Matter activists.Public school teachers nationwide make about $60,000, and Sher, who also serves as a teacher leader for the California Teacher Association’s Instructional Leadership Corps and the U.S. Library of Congress, also wants to know why if it’s so vital to get students back in front of teachers, why aren’t they more fairly compensated?“If we’re so vital to the success of our nation,” Sher added, “why aren’t we paid adequately?”Roxanne Mungin, a 43-year-old mother and music educator in Georgia, has been teaching for over 20 years. Currently, she teaches middle schoolers.Mungin said she’s feeling a sense of relief after her county recently vowed to provide virtual learning for students, with only teachers and staff set to return to classrooms in the fall.Mungin’s child is 6, so although she’s been given some level of temporary comfort considering the circumstances, the decision allowing her to teach virtually still presents its own challenges.“Now the problem is teachers with kids. Because we have to teach from the building, we can’t be with our kids during the day,” Mungin told ABC News.She said she’s standing in solidarity with fellow teachers nationwide — whom she calls “front-line workers” — in rallying for stricter safety guidelines, including at several schools across her home state of Georgia where there’s little if any guidance.Mungin said any educators uncomfortable with the lack of safety guidance — either from their districts or from the federal government — need to remember that they “have rights.”“Make your voice heard,” she said. “We have to say something because we’re already the most underrated profession. … COVID has really brought out another perspective of how parents, administrators and local school officials feel about teachers.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Translink boss appointed as Chair for BITCNI

first_imgTranslink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway has been selected as the new Chair of Business in the Community Northern Ireland (BITCNI).The responsible business network is driving the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ deal which focuses on climate change as a priority.Chris says: “It’s incumbent for business and government to work together to tackle our biggest societal and environmental issues. Businesses in NI can make a real difference to their people, the planet and the places where they operate, and I’m a firm believer that they are obligated to do so.”Kieran Harding, Managing Director at BITCNI, says: “Chris has been a member of the Board of Business in the Community for five years and is passionate about driving the responsible business agenda, not only within Translink, but across Northern Ireland. We are delighted he’s taken up the position of Chair.”last_img read more

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Dallas police chief: Suspect ‘had other plans’

first_imgThe man believed to have shot a dozen police officers and killing five last Thursday night in Dallas had designs on much larger and broader attacks, the city’s police chief said Sunday.“It appears that our search of the suspect’s home in Mesquite leads us to believe, based on evidence of bomb-making materials and a journal that this suspect had been practicing explosive detonations and that the materials were such that it was large enough to have devastating effects throughout our city and our North Texas area,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”Brown added that officials are “convinced” that Micah Johnson “had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to make law enforcement and target law enforcement, make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement’s efforts to punish people of color.” Asked whether Johnson had been planning the attacks before the fatal shootings of black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota, Brown said, “We believe so, and we believe that the deaths in Minnesota and the deaths in Louisiana just sparked his delusion to fast-track his plans and saw the protest in Dallas as an opportunity to begin wreaking havoc on our officers.”As far as whether Johnson’s targets extended to beyond police officers, Brown said that was “undetermined” but cautioned that the investigation is still unfolding.“We still haven’t ruled out, Jake, whether or not others were complicit. That’s the way we do things. We want to be sure to follow every lead and we don’t want to miss any pieces of evidence that might lead to other things that we don’t know yet,” Brown continued.Discussing Johnson’s journals being investigated, Brown remarked that he “obviously had some delusion.”“There was quite a bit of rambling in the journal that’s hard to decipher. I can just add, at the scene where he was killed he also wrote some lettering in blood on the walls,” Brown revealed.“Which leads us to believe he was wounded on the way up the stairwell on the second floor of the El Centro building and where we detonated the device to end the standoff there was more lettering written in his own blood.” Asked what he wrote, Brown said Johnson wrote the letters “RB.”Brown also confirmed that Johnson would only speak with a black negotiator during the standoff.“For a long time during the negotiation, because of the negotiator’s expertise, the suspect wouldn’t believe he was black. Until they talked some more and — but during that talk it didn’t matter whether he was black because he was shooting at us. So asking for a black negotiator didn’t make sense to us,” Brown said. “It didn’t matter to us. And it shouldn’t make sense to anyone because that didn’t lead to any type of peaceful resolution. But that is a request that did happen. But our police sources should not reveal that. I want to make sure I’m clear on that, so the people that leaked that information understand that you are getting in the way of us doing our job by leaking information. So stop it.last_img read more

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Researchers control the assembly of nanobristles into helical clusters

first_imgFrom the structure of DNA to nautical rope to distant spiral galaxies, helical forms are as useful as they are abundant in nature and manufacturing alike. Researchers at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study have discovered a way to synthesize and control the formation of nanobristles, akin to tiny hairs, into helical clusters and have further demonstrated the fabrication of such highly ordered clusters, built from similar coiled building blocks, over multiple scales and areas.The finding has potential use in energy and information storage, photonics, adhesion, capture and release systems, and as an enhancement for the mixing and transport of particles. Lead authors Joanna Aizenberg, Gordon McKay Professor of Materials Science at SEAS, the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute, and a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute; and L. Mahadevan, Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics at SEAS and also a Wyss Institute core faculty member, report the research in tomorrow’s edition of the journal Science.“We demonstrated a fascinating phenomenon: How a nanobristle immersed in an evaporating liquid self-assembles into an ordered array of helical bundles. This is akin to the way wet, curly hair clumps together and coils to form dreadlocks — but on a scale 1,000 times smaller,” said Aizenberg.To achieve the “clumping” effect, the scientists used an evaporating liquid on a series of upright individual pillars arrayed like stiff threads on a needlepoint canvas. The resulting capillary action — the wicking action or the ability of one substance to draw another substance into it — caused the individual strands to deform and to adhere to one another like braided hair.“Our development of a simple theory allowed us to further characterize the combination of geometry and material properties that favor the adhesive, coiled self-organization of bundles and enabled us to quantify the conditions for self-assembly into structures with uniform, periodic patterns,” said Mahadevan.By carefully designing the specific geometry of the bristle, the researchers were able to control the twist direction (or handedness) of the wrapping of two or more strands. More broadly, Aizenberg and Mahadevan expect such work will help further define the emerging science and engineering of functional self-assembly and pattern formation over large spatial scales.Potential applications of the technique include the ability to store elastic energy and information embodied in adhesive patterns that can be created at will. This has implications for photonics in a similar way to how the chirally ordered and circularly polarizing elytral filaments in a beetle define its unique optical properties.The finding also represents a critical step toward the development of an efficient adhesive or capture and release system for drug delivery and may be used to induce chiral flow patterns to enhance the mixing and transport of various particles at the micron  and submicron scale.“We have teased apart and replicated a ubiquitous form in nature by introducing greater control over a technique increasingly used in manufacturing, while also creating a micro-physical manifestation of the terrifying braids of the mythical Medusa,” said Mahadevan.“Indeed, our helical patterns are so amazingly aesthetic that often we would stop the scientific discussion and argue about mythology, modern dreadlocks, alien creatures, or sculptures,” added Aizenberg.Aizenberg and Mahadevan’s co-authors include Boaz Pokroy and Sung H. Kang, both in the Aizenberg Biomimetics Lab at SEAS. The research was supported by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard; the Harvard Materials Research Science and Engineering Center; and the Center for Nanoscale Systems, a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network initiative.last_img read more

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Solar energy saved Vermont $17 million in 2019

first_imgNew Report Quantifies Energy, Public Health, & Climate Cost Savings of Local SolarVermont Business Magazine Newly available data demonstrates the enormous benefit of local solar power to everyone in New England. From 2014 to 2019, small-scale solar in New England saved utilities and their customers more than $1.1 billion in wholesale electricity costs. Notably, these savings were enjoyed not only by people with solar, but everyone with an electric bill. Vermont saved $17 million in 2019 and $79 million since 2014.In July 2020, ISO New England, the regional grid operator, published for the first time, detailed data about the amount of electricity produced every hour by the thousands of small, local solar installations throughout the region. Analyzing this data, a new report from Synapse Economics, the Boston-based energy consulting firm, reveals that local solar produced 8,600 gigawatt-hours of electricity, enough electricity to power more than 1 million New England households for a year.  Energy cost savings accrued in two ways. First, on the hottest, sunniest days, locally-produced renewable energy met a sizable percentage of the region’s peak demand, directly reducing the amount of energy utilities had to purchase. Decreased demand for electricity during peak periods also had a deflationary effect on energy prices. Put simply, “producing renewable energy locally means that utilities don’t have to purchase as much energy to meet peak demand, and what they do purchase is less expensive than it would be with higher demand,” explained Pat Knight, economic analyst at Synapse Energy Economics and lead author of the report. “The new data from ISO-NE clearly shows that local solar has not only lowered utility bills for everyone, it has also reduced the public health and climate impacts of fossil-fuel pollution.” From 2014 to 2019, the clean electricity from small-scale solar reduced climate pollution by 4.6 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the road for one year. Nearly every state in New England has enacted legally-binding climate pollution reduction requirements. This new study demonstrates that local, renewable energy contributes meaningfully to achieving these climate commitments.   In addition to reducing climate pollution, local solar also avoided the release of six million pounds of health-harming sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, substances known to have direct negative consequences on allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. Local solar avoided the release of these pollutants, yielding public health savings of $87 million.    “Local solar provided more than $152 per year in cost-savings and benefits to every Vermont household annually,” said Olivia Campbell Andersen, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont. “If not for local solar, electric rates would be higher for everyone, we would experience greater health costs and pay a higher price to mitigate damage from climate change.””Now that we know the data support adding more local solar to help all customers save on their electric bills, we have the opportunity to direct those savings to under-resourced communities,” said Nathan Phelps, Vote Solar’s Regulatory Director, Northeast. “Legislation like the pending carbon-neutral bills in Massachusetts can set the stage for a clean energy future that builds wealth and health in areas harmed by fossil fuels.”In addition to these substantial savings, local solar provides myriad benefits beyond the scope of this report. These include job creation, state and local tax payments, improved grid reliability, reduced costs associated with generating, transmitting, and distributing fossil-fuel based energy, and deferred or lowered infrastructure costs. “As we tackle triplicate crises in public health, economy, and climate change, the benefits of solar help us with these unprecedented generational challenges,” continued Campbell Andersen. “Local solar in New England eliminated pollution equal to half all the carbon emissions in Vermont; and if we tripled the amount of small scale solar in our state – it would cut electric costs for all Vermonters by more than $42 million.”The benefits of local renewable energy are possible thanks to state policies such as net metering, renewable portfolio standards, and standard offer programs, and federal tax credits. “Maintaining customer choices and increasing equitable access to local renewable energy by improving net metering and our Renewable Energy Standard to 100% renewables with no less than 20% of that from resilient, local energy will increase benefits for all,” concluded Campbell Andersen.Full report,(link is external) Solar Savings in New England, December 2020, and summary slides(link is external).Factsheets for New Hampshire(link is external), Massachusetts(link is external), Vermont(link is external). Video of press conference here(link is external).About Synapse Energy EconomicsSynapse Energy Economics, Inc. is a research and consulting firm specializing in energy, economic, and environmental topics. Since its inception in 1996, Synapse has grown to become a leader in providing rigorous analysis of the electric power sector for public interest and governmental clients. About Renewable Energy VermontRenewable Energy Vermont (REV)’s businesses, non-profit, utility, and individual members are creating resilient, local economies powered by renewable energy and employ a 21st century workforce committed to improving the lives of their neighbors and communities.  Together, we will achieve 100% total renewable energy (electric, thermal, transportation) and meaningful climate action.  Join us at www.revermont.org(link is external).Vote SolarSince 2002, Vote Solar has been working to make solar affordable and accessible to more Americans. Vote Solar works at the state level all across the country to support the policies and programs needed to repower our grid with clean energy. Vote Solar is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, but always working to expand access to clean solar energy. www.votesolar.org(link is external)Clean Energy NHClean Energy NH is the Granite State’s leading clean energy advocate and educator, dedicated to promoting clean energy and technologies that strengthen the economy, protect public health, and conserve natural resources. Clean Energy NH builds relationships among people and organizations using a fact-based approach that offers objective, balanced, and practical insights for transforming NH’s clean energy economy and sustaining its citizens’ way of life. www.cleanenergynh.org(link is external)Source: Renewable Energy Vermont, Montpelier 12.3.2020last_img read more

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IPA Arranges $67M Student Housing Sale in Tucson

first_imgInstitutional Property Advisors (IPA), a multi-family brokerage division of Marcus & Millichap, arranged the sale of The District on 5th Avenue, a new 208-unit, student housing community one-half mile from the University of Arizona campus in Tucson.The 764-bed complex commanded a sales price of $67M, or $322,115 per unit and $268 PSF.Peter Katz, an executive director, advised the seller, Residential Housing. The buyer was Education Realty Trust (EdR).“The District on 5th Avenue is a core, Class A pedestrian-to-campus, purpose-built student housing community that ideally fits the institutional investor’s property profile of an urban infill, close-to-campus asset,” Katz said.“Institutional investors, in an effort to place allocated capital, have become more aggressive in their pricing. This has resulted in compressed cap rates and lowered unleveraged yields, especially for properties at tier-one universities with residents from strong socio-economic backgrounds.”Located at 550 N. Fifth Ave. between N. Herbert and N. Arizona avenues, The District on 5th Avenue is a high-end student community with 12 two-bedroom/two-bath units, four three-bedroom/two-bath units, 40 three-bedroom/three-bath units, 45 four-bedroom/two-bath units and 107 four-bedroom/four-bath units, with an average weighted unit size of approximately 1,203 SF. All units are leased by the bed.Community amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, a swimming pool and spa, a parking garage, tanning beds, a volleyball court and a media room with a movie theater. Each unit includes a full kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, nine-foot ceilings, and a washer and dryer.A key attraction for tenants is the community’s central location and nearby transportation access. Residents can easily walk or bike the short distance to the University of Arizona; a light rail system will be opened in 2013 and pass within half a block of the clubhouse, serving both the university and downtown Tucson.The Congress Avenue shopping and entertainment district, also within one-half block of the community, features a wide range of retail shops and dozens of student-friendly restaurants, bars and clubs.last_img read more

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Moral values and the fiscal cliff

first_imgThe Washington Post: The fiscal cliff negotiations remind us of the long-running game show “Beat the Clock.” Couples had to perform a stunt, such as tying their shoelaces together using only their left hands, before a large clock ticked down to zero. The host would often introduce a twist at the last minute, something like, “Oh, and one more thing, you have to do this while members of the audience throw tomatoes at you.”President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner must do something far harder than tying their shoelaces together before the clock ticks down to January 1. They have to reach a deal themselves, and then convince majorities in the House and Senate to go along. Oh, and one more thing, they have to do this while being pilloried by their respective bases. What can they do to improve their odds of beating the clock? Moral psychology can help.Read the whole story: The Washington Post More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

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