Students to blame for Oxford’s housing crisis?

first_imgCORRECTION:It was previously stated in this article that Shelter would urge the council to investigate the impact of the transient student pupulation on availability of affordable housing for locals. This is in fact untrue, as Shelter has no evidence of any effect, and was thus unable to comment on the matter. Cherwell would like to apologise to Shelter and to its readers for any confusion this may have caused. Oxford is failing to provide enough affordable housing, a study by the charity Shelter revealed this week.The housing charity claims that Oxford city council is only meeting 12% of the demand for affordable new housing.Shelter’s Housing League Table was published this week. It shows that Oxford is ranked 226 out of 323 English local authorities, and has a shortfall of 1,547 new homes per year.Shelter told Cherwell that the effects of the student population on the lack of affordable housing in Oxford is something which they would like to know more about. They feel that this would be an issue for the council to investigate, as Shelter does not hold data on privately rented housing.Evidence from studies in other cities shows that short-term rental contracts, such as those usually leased by students, can inflate market rent prices.There are currently over 30,000 students from both Oxford and Brookes universities living in private accommodation in Oxford.Finding reasonably priced accommodation is also an issue for students who live out. The average rent for students in Cowley is £70 per week, close to the national average, but accommodation in Jericho can cost as much as £110 per week.St. Anne’s undergraduate Vanessa Carr said, “looking for a property close to your college is unnecessarily stressful. The deposits are large and some estate agents’ queuing processes are unfair.”This January some students camped outside North Oxford Property Services for two nights in snow and rain because of worries over the increasing demand for housing in the area.last_img read more

Women’s Hospital, Ford Center Introduce New Breastfeeding Pod

first_imgWomen’s Hospital, Ford Center Introduce New Breastfeeding PodSEPTEMBER 24th, 2017  BRITNEY TAYLOR EVANSVILLE, INDIANA The Women’s Hospital and the Ford Center team up for the grand opening of a new infant feeding space in Evansville. Mamava Suite will give parents a private space to feed their babies. Lactating mothers can also use it for pumping.These types of suites are becoming more common in airports, convention centers, and college campuses across the country.The suite is a portable pod, and also contains a changing table and outlets to plug in a breast pump.Chris Ryan, CEO of Deaconess Women’s Hospital, said “It’s hard enough to go back to work after you have a baby. You go through that emotional detachment, but then when you’re breast feeding, and that’s what we want to continue to encourage, it is even more difficult if you don’t have a place to pump or to breast feed in general.”Parents will be able to use the Mamava Suite beginning next Thursday for the Thomas Rhett concert.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

The March for Life and the Anti-Trump Women’s March: A Study in Contrasts

first_imgThe March for Life and the Anti-Trump Women’s March: A Study in Contrastsby Michael Brown for TownHallI’m writing this article on the eve of the 44th annual March for Life, but I can tell you in advance how it will differ dramatically from the recent Women’s March, organized in protest of the inauguration of President Trump.First, the media coverage of the events will be totally different.Whereas the Women’s March was in the mainstream media’s spotlight, the March for Life will be a mere footnote for most mainstream outlets, regardless of how many people attend. The fact that Vice President Pence will be speaking at the event – the first time a vice president has done so – might get some attention, but comparatively, the coverage of the Women’s March will dwarf the coverage of the March for Life.Not only so, but there’s a good chance that those protesting the March for Life – always a minuscule number in comparison to the overall crowd – will get just as much media attention as the participants and the speakers, thereby giving a totally skewed impression to viewers and readers.Second, the spirit of the events will be totally different.Despite the deep conviction of pro-lifers that we have witnessed an abortion holocaust, there will be no calls to burn down or blow up abortion clinics (contrast Madonna’s thoughts about blowing up the White House while speaking at the Women’s March), nor will there be vulgar and obscene attacks on individuals (contrast Ashley Judd’s truly deplorable comments).CARTOONS | KEN CATALINOVIEW CARTOONThere will be nothing in the pro-life speeches that will incite people to violence or hatred. Instead, there will be an appeal for life – life for the most innocent and unprotected citizens of our society – and a call to honor life.And if my surmises are correct, the streets of DC will not be littered with signs and objects from the March for Life, in contrast with the litter left behind by the Women’s March.Third, the ideology of the events will be totally different.Among the March for Life participants, you will not see signs with messages like this one, from the Women’s March, proclaiming, “My menstrual blood will flow through the streets fighting for women of all genders,” nor will you hear from radical feminists like Aida Hurtado and Gloria Steinem, extreme media leftists like filmmaker Michael Moore and CNN commentator Van Jones, transgender activists like Janet Mock and Raquel Willis, or women like Donna Hylton, who spent 27 years in prison for her role in the brutal kidnapping, torture and murder of a man. All of these were listed as speakers at the Women’s March.To sample some of the best-known quotes of Hurtado, “White men need white women in a way that they do not need women of Color because women of Color cannot fulfill white men’s need for racially pure offspring.” And, “White men perceive women of Color primarily as workers and as objects of sexual power and aggression. Their sexual objectification of women of Color allows white men to express power and aggression sexually, without the emotional entanglements of, the rituals that are required in, relationships with women of their own group.”This is the kind of divisive identity politics that will be absent from the March for Life.As for Hylton, her message at the march was one of solidarity with female prisoners of color, wanting to tell their story to the world, and I’m sure it’s a story we need to hear. Regrettably, she spoke not a word of her horrific past – not a word of remorse to say, “I was justly incarcerated for my actions, which I deeply regret and categorically renounce” – but only a word of solidarity with “all of those women who have been overlooked, marginalized, sexualized, dehumanized and silenced.”Her failure to renounce her past horrific deeds makes it difficult to hear the positive message she sought to bring.Contrast that with the spirit of the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a founding father of NARAL known affectionately by his colleagues as the “abortion king,” responsible for 75,000 abortions (by his own estimate), but who experienced a radical change of heart after watching an ultrasound of an abortion and became a pro-life icon. Dr. Nathanson spoke at the 25th March for Life in 1998, and you can be sure his message always included the renouncing of his past sins.And that, perhaps, will be the greatest contrast between the Women’s March and the March for Life. While the former certainly had some redemptive content, along with genuine concern about our new president, in no way was its overarching theme one of redemption or life or hope or even dignity. (In reality, many aspects of the Women’s March were downright degrading to women.)In stark contrast, the great theme of the March for Life will be one of redemption and life and hope and dignity.Watch and see.By the time many of you read this article, the 44th annual March for Life, along with the coverage of it by the media, will be history.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Members Of Vulfpeck Announce New Band, Share First Single

first_imgVulf Records sent out an extremely “low volume” e-mail today, more or less announcing a new band called The Fearless Flyers with very little information. The first taste of this band comes in the form a music video for their brand new song “Aces of Aces”. Vulfpeck bassist Joe Dart and guitarist Cory Wong team up with drummer Nate Smith and guitarist Mark Lettieri for the debut premiere, supplemented with a crowdfunding link to support the first pressing of a limited supply of 12″ vinyl–suggesting a full record is on the way.Produced, composed, and mixed by Volfmon Jack Stratton (bandleader/multi-instrumentalist of Vulfpeck), the new release seems to point at a full record coming from The Fearless Flyers. “Aces of Aces” showcases the timing and perfection of the musicians who play under Stratton’s guidance, clearly reminiscent of early Vulfpeck days. With Joe Dart and Nate Smith holding down the complicated grooves, guitarists Cory Wong and Lettieri communicate with their instruments as if they share the same brain. Tight and funky, this is the stuff of legends.last_img read more

Food, gender, culture

first_imgHarvard Summer School is old, since it opened in 1871 as the first university summer studies program in the nation. But it’s also young, since nearly a quarter of its 6,000 students this summer were teenagers in its Secondary School Program.The Summer School also extends well beyond Harvard Yard. There were 28 overseas programs, including in China, France, Israel, and Kenya. (One recent student summed up international study by saying: “We had to take off our American goggles.”)And the seven-week summer program is big, with more than 300 courses. From late June to early August, students studied the Vietnam War, fairy tales, the anthropology of childhood, utopia, Bob Dylan (a seminar), the odes of Horace, astrobiology, video editing, the Harlem Renaissance, environmental crises, the early plays of Shakespeare, and digital storytelling. Students also did writing involving journalism, novels, short stories, travel, and food.Food was the star of one course, SWGS S-1155, better known as “Gender, Food and Culture in American History.” The professor was Marilyn Morgan, a manuscripts cataloger at the Schlesinger Library who has a Ph.D. in American history. The course’s guiding idea is that food isn’t just something to eat. It’s a shared cultural experience that on close examination reveals a lot about gender, race, and class.By the end, it taught a sobering lesson, at least regarding gender in advertising. “Not much has changed,” said Morgan. Food roles are as gendered now as they were in the America of nearly 200 years ago. “I still am astonished over how clueless people are to these sexist ads and norms in society,” wrote student Elizabeth Greif in an email, adding italics to the next sentence: “This stuff is still happening today!”When the students read snippets of food writing from 1841, 1898, and the present, Morgan said not one could identify the era of a single text. Women are still largely perceived as the ones responsible for buying, preparing, and serving food, she said — as well as the ones to blame if things go wrong.Grinding, gritty, rewardingThe 13 students in the class covered a lot of demographic ground, typical of Harvard Summer School. Four were from high school (including Greif, a rising senior from desert-bound Quartz Hill, Calif.); two came from overseas; and many of the others were Southerners. They joined to study print and television ads, 19th-century treatises on domestic skills, vintage cookbooks, and decades of scholarship on the intersection of what we eat and who we are.The coursework offered a lesson in what the Summer School means: seven weeks of grinding, gritty — but rarified and rewarding — work. “Admittedly there was a lot of reading,” Alabaman Mia Tankersley ’14 said in an email. “But honestly, having to reflect on the evolution of macaroni in the United States or soul food didn’t feel like work.”Another student, Nadine Mannering, who arrived this summer with a master’s degree from her native Australia, said the workload was “fairly intense,” but it was the first time she had been in college without having to work at a paying job, too. “I relished the opportunity to actually focus on my studies first.”Morgan’s students averaged 150 pages of reading per class, 300 pages a week. Using new software, they illustrated timelines that could eat up half a day. And their weekly writing assignments, brightened and honed, appeared on a class blog that remains open and active. “They learned,” said Morgan, that “the real challenge was how to write effectively in that short a space.”The writing is tight, and the timelines enlightening. (In the one on canned food, we learn that the billionth can of Spam was produced in 1959. In another, we get this sweet bit: 400 million M&Ms are made every day in the United States.) The texts also use vintage ads as points of argument. A 1950s TV pitch for instant coffee contains a minute of husband-wife food dynamics that today would make anyone queasy. (Instant coffee got its first popularity bump with men during World War II, said Greif, who studied it for her final project. But advertisements often “included women serving a cup to men,” she said, “despite how easy it would have been for the man to make the coffee himself.”)Using primary sourcesThe students’ final research papers required primary sources, in this case, mostly from Schlesinger. The library, part of the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, houses the richest American women’s history collections, including the papers of chef Julia Child and early feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman.Gilman, whose “Women and Economics” (1898) was on the course reading list, wanted women to change their house-centric identities. “A house does not need a wife any more than it needs a husband,” she wrote, a sentiment that put her at odds with her anti-suffragist aunt, Catharine Beecher, whose 1845 “Treatise on Domestic Economy” was also required reading. Aunt and niece were opposing bookends in the 19th-century debate over the role of women, an uneasy tension that still exists today. “I’m a feminist who loves to bake,” said Tankersley, “and I constantly think about what that means and why I’m conflicted about it.”By the end of class, most of the final papers used foods — rather than personalities — as a cultural lens. Many were previewed in the student timelines, including looks at food preservation, M&Ms, peanut butter, wedding cake, pineapple (marketed as “glam” and exotic in the 1950s), artificial sweeteners, and Cream of Wheat. The last product was part of a leitmotif in class, what Morgan called an “archetype of using subservient Others” to sell a product in the 20th century.For Cream of Wheat, at first, that “Other” was Rastus, a black man in a chef’s hat and white coat. For other products, it was Aunt Jemima or Uncle Ben. “There were too many surprises to count,” said Tankersley of the course, including the true story of Aunt Jemima. She was Nancy Green, a former slave hired in 1893 to promote pancake mix at the Chicago World’s Fair.The female hand in the universe of preparing food gets more subtle as advertising enters the era of second-wave feminism. Gone are the women in dresses pouring coffee or fussing over cakes in the daytime. But women are still in the kitchen, as in the TV ad Mannering used in her study of Tupperware parties — marketing artifacts of the 1950s that today still limit the hostess-saleswoman to commissions only. “Though we always think we’ve come so far, there (are) always, always things that need to be worked on,” Mannering said. “We should never (assume) everyone’s being treated equally and fairly.”Meanwhile, men remain just as stuck in their food roles of 50 years ago, mostly as guilt-free consumers of high-calorie snacks. The final flowering of that role might be the “Get Some Nuts” TV ads for Snickers, a “man candy” chock full of protein and energy. In food ads, women aspire to low calories, satisfaction, and even female agency — from yogurt, say, a product still largely pitched to one gender. The marketing subtext often even co-opts a standard second-wave feminist joke: Who needs men? (When you have yogurt, at least.)Summer demographicsThe same joke, in its own way, was repeated in the course. Of 13 students, only one was a man, a fact that Morgan attributed to having “gender” in the course title.But the demographics in this class were in other ways typical of the Summer School. The four high school students made up about a quarter of the class, the same proportion as in the whole program. There were two foreign students in the class, from Taiwan and Australia. In the School at large, the percentage of international students is higher, 37 percent last year. Mannering, who works for a bank in Melbourne, took three months off to tour the United States, but started her visit with the course. “I was flattered,” said Morgan.“I wanted a base in the States,” said Mannering, “so I chose summer school. Harvard was an obvious choice as it’s — in my mind — the best university in the world. Doing summer school allowed me to get to know Cambridge and Boston, and have a temporary ‘home’ in America.”The undergraduates in the course were also expressive of a geographical range — New York, Virginia, Alabama — that that is typical for Harvard year-round.Something else about Morgan’s students was likely true of everyone at the Summer School. “Most were exploring something about themselves,” she said. That included a native Southerner (now a Boston-area lawyer) who did a final paper on North Carolina barbeque, and was shocked to discover that most such operations are run by men. (That matched Morgan’s general take on food prep: Women cook, men grill.)There’s yet another way that the course was like a lot of others at the Summer School: There was fun, too. Students could join the gym, play in a pops band or orchestra, row on the Charles River, volunteer at nonprofits, take sponsored tours around Boston, or venture out to Cape Cod or Tanglewood or even as far as Rhode Island or Maine.“Boston is just a T stop away,” said Greif, the Californian teenager. “History and more history await to be explored, and I want to explore everything.”Morgan’s students took time on a July Saturday to visit the outdoor market at Haymarket and the food-intensive Feast of St. Joseph street festival in Boston’s North End. The trip included a look at the site of the landmark Boston Cooking School (1879-1902), where Fannie Farmer, of cookbook fame, studied and taught.What inspired the course? For one, Morgan read the Works Progress Administration slave narratives as a graduate student, with an eye to how former slaves would “use food as a means of exerting power in a situation in which they were powerless.” It was slavery, and the legacy of African foods and spices, that made Southern cooking what it is, she said. Food historian Frederick Douglass Opie, author of “Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America” (2008) was a guest lecturer. He was a 2012-2013 fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute.Morgan was also inspired by her work at Schlesinger, which last year included cataloging the papers of Jean Wade Rindlaub, a New York advertising executive who, among other things, created ads for cake mixes and other convenience foods. Her secret involved direct emotional appeals to women. Her papers are a window into the machinery of marketing food.Mannering was struck by how different advertising is in Australia. “There is a lot of ‘mother-guilt’ in American advertising,” she said, “brands telling women that their product is healthy and best for their child in an attempt to create insecurities and secure the demographic.”More than one student came away from Morgan’s class with a critical eye on sugar, which Tankersley said food companies are increasingly adding to make up for using less fat. “I could go on and on about how dangerous it is for us, but let’s just say that after that class I was prepared to swear off all sugar (aside from fruit),” she wrote. “Then I made a beeline for a cup of coffee Oreo ice cream. So it’s a work in progress.”last_img read more

Talking tragedy

first_img Read Full Story Just a few days after the Boston Marathon bombing last year, lecturer Betsy McAlister Groves was asked to meet with a group of residents who lived on the same street as Martin Richards, the 8-year-old who had been killed by one of the bombs. The parents wanted Groves, a licensed clinical social worker and founding director of the Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center, to help them figure out how to help their own children cope in the aftermath. “It was a very hard conversation,” she says.Last week, in light of the anniversary of the bombing, Groves spoke again, this time to the Ed School community. Her talk, “Helping Children with Scary and Stressful Events,” included her experience after the tragedy, both as a social worker and a parent, as well as her advice for the mostly student audience — some who had direct connections to the marathon tragedy.last_img read more

Data Value at the Edge

first_imgThe Edge, while frequently discussed as something new, is in fact another technical turn of the crank. Fueled by an abundance of smart devices and IoT sensors, worldwide data creation has been growing exponentially, driving our customers and partners to innovate. For example, between 2016 and 2018, there was an 878% growth in healthcare and life science data resulting in over 8 petabytes of data managed by providers per annum. Dell Technologies has been at the forefront of this data revolution enabling our customers and partners to leverage these new sources of data to drive business. The process of data creation, transformation and consumption has taken on new meaning as devices have become more integrated in our everyday lives. How this data lifecycle adds value to our customers and partners is the subject of our post today.Data Creation“Data is fuel.” We’ve heard this spoken time and time again. While that’s true – it doesn’t convey the process the data undergoes, before it become something useful. “Data is fuel” is the net result of this process, not the genesis.So, how do we get to this final, consumptive state with data? Data Creation is a constantly evolving mechanism driven by innovation, both in technology as well as in society. For example, the idea of remote patient monitoring has evolved, enabled by complementary technologies like 5G networks and IoT sensors. The ability for health care providers to securely retrieve data from smart watches, pacemakers, blood pressure cuffs, temperature sensors, electrocardiograms and insulin pumps (to name just a few) has driven a new paradigm of patient care and engagement. This wouldn’t have been possible a few decades in the past and, due to innovative approaches in networks, data management, and sensors, it represents one of many unique applications of the data creation process. Once this data is created, however, it must be transformed to be useful.Data TransformationUsing the example of remote patient monitoring, the data generated by various sensors is unique. It has no intrinsic value as a “raw” data stream. Binary bits of encoded data provide no context, no perspective on what is happening with a patient. To fully understand, contextualize and derive useful consumptive value, it must be transformed. This transformation process extracts information, correlates and curates it through applications like artificial intelligence and analytics and provides it back in a human and machine-readable format. 1’s and 0’s become more than their sum and now, as transformed data, they’re ready to be consumed. Continuing with the patient monitoring example, the doctor receiving this information is then able to correlate and analyze these data feeds from a variety of sensors and sources and view them with an eye toward application. Recently, a Dell Technologies customer was able to increase their analyst-to-support staff ratio by greater than 100:1, enabling them leverage this data transformation to achieve better performance. As we’ve now seen, data is now one step closer to being fuel.Data ConsumptionBy now, data has been created in various modalities, transformed by analytics and artificial intelligence and is ready to be consumed. Consuming data is more than just visualizing an output; it is the action. Our doctor has received remote patient data, securely viewed the correlated results and is now ready to provide diagnosis. The diagnosis is the net result of this generative (reproductive) model. Rather than being static or one-time-use, data consumption has taken on new meaning. Broadening this example, doctors use data to predict how to better counteract and treat disease. Machine learning models consume training data to learn to take future action and to create and transform the outputs into new capabilities. Manufacturers view vehicle data in extended reality (XR), peeling apart systems to be able to experience the real-time interactions between components. This generative cycle continues to evolve as technology advances, making the most of data’s kinetic energy.ConclusionThe Edge brings tremendous value to the creation, transformation and consumption model of data. Understanding where your organization’s data is on its journey at the Edge will enable you to make meaningful choices with the data at your disposal. From Dell Technologies Design Solutions to our modular data centers (MDCs), to our comprehensive portfolio of PowerEdge servers, storage and networking equipment, to ruggedized Dell gateways and laptops,  you can be assured that as new technologies emerge, new modalities are created, you will be uniquely equipped to respond to the ever-changing landscape of the world economy.last_img read more

New 800-Mile Midwestern Power Line Expands U.S. Wind Market

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Midwest Energy News:Finished in late September after more than a decade of planning and construction, the 800-mile-long CapX2020 transmission project has prompted more than 3,600 megawatts of clean energy project proposals, according to Xcel Energy.While not all the proposals are likely to be approved by regulators, the flood of applications represents the tangible impact of CapX2020 in moving electrons from windier parts of the Midwest to dense population centers to the east.“There’s a high preponderance of generators in the interconnection queues which are wind developers, with some solar, too,” said Teresa Mogensen, senior vice president for transmission at Xcel Energy, the utility which, along with Great River Energy, led the development.A recently completed 70-mile stretch of CapX in South Dakota has resulted in proposals for nine wind projects and one natural gas plant together totaling more than 2,000 MW. One of those is the largest wind project in South Dakota’s history, Xcel Energy’s 600 MW Crown Ridge.Developers have submitted plans for 10 wind projects totaling 1,900 MW on another segment from Brookings, South Dakota to Hampton, Minnesota. More projects are expected to come from North Dakota, too.The high level of interest does not surprise Wind on The Wires executive director Beth Soholt, an early supporter of CapX.“It’s a big deal,” she said. “It’s created a road to market for wind, allowed benefits to accrue to communities where wind can be developed.”The line allows greater flexibility to bring large volumes of wind energy onto the grid when it is available, a key to incorporating more renewable energy into the marketplace, she added.If the 3,600 MW of wind projects currently proposed get built, royalty payments to landowners will top $15 million annually, added Xcel Energy’s Tim Carlsgaard.The more than $2 billion project stands as one of the largest investments in energy infrastructure in Minnesota history, with 5,000 transmission structures on the six sections of the project.What started out as a project to improve the grid’s reliability and improve the Upper Midwest’s economic stability has created a clean energy superhighway, Mogensen said.It was one of the first “multi-value projects,” or MVPs, to receive approval from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO. That designation allowed some of the costs of several CapX lines to be spread among MISO’s footprint, which extends throughout the Midwest, Manitoba, and parts of the South. MVPs in other states have similarly been credited for facilitating new wind development.“By adding these CapX lines we’ve multiplied the network capacity of what used to be there both because we have more lines and higher capacity,” Mogensen said. “It’s like putting in a highway where before you just had local roads. You can carry a lot more traffic a lot farther and a lot faster on that freeway structure … we can move a lot more power from west to east because of that.”As outlined in a University of Minnesota report sponsored by CapX and written by researchers at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the transmission project was jumpstarted by federal and state legislation.In 1999 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order calling for states to create regional transmission plans.Second, new renewable energy projects began to come online, especially wind, to meet renewable portfolio standards of Minnesota and other Midwest states.Third, there was a sense among utility executives that the transmission grid, which had not been improved since the 1970s, was due for an expansion.More: Utilities say CapX2020 transmission project prompting wind energy growth New 800-Mile Midwestern Power Line Expands U.S. Wind Marketlast_img read more

Walk the Line: The Mason-Dixon Trail

first_imgThe Mason-Dixon line—the dotted line running along the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania—remains a symbol of a time when the division between North and South was as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon. These days, there is more to the Mason-Dixon line than territory disputes and regional dissection: there is a long-distance hiking trail.The Mason-Dixon Trail was conceived in the early 1980s by York County, Pennsylvania native Bob Yost and some friends. Their original aim was to connect eastern Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Trail with the banks of the Susquehanna River; thus it was called the Brandywine Susquehanna Trail. Through the work of area hiking club volunteers, the trail was eventually expanded and the Brandywine Susquehanna Trail deemed too much of a mouthful so it was renamed the Mason-Dixon Trail (MDT). Although the MDT does not share a direct path with the original Mason-Dixon line laid out in 1767, the two cross at several points and the MDT does not lack for historic markings along its way.The trail runs a total of 193 miles from its eastern terminus at the Brandywine Trail at Chadds Ford to its western terminus at its intersection with the Appalachian Trail at a small town called Whisky Springs. Heading west out of Chadds Ford, the trail dives south through the Delaware arc and Elk Neck State Forest toward the mouth of the Susquehanna where it crosses at Havre de Grace, Maryland. The trail then traces the west bank of the Susquehanna for about 65 miles to Wrightsville, Pa. before heading west toward the A.T. The 30 miles of this section of trail between Wrightsville and the Norman Wood Bridge was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2010, and is one of the finest sections according to Rick Maerker, treasurer of the Mason-Dixon Trail System.“Some parts of it would remind you of a national park if you didn’t know where you were,” he said.Maerker should know. The retired teacher was one of the first to thru-hike the MDT in the early 1990s. He actually made a large loop by taking the MDT to its western end, heading north on the A.T. to link up with the Horseshoe Trail, which brought him back east to the Brandywine Trail. He averaged 40 miles a day in preparation for not one, but two A.T. thru-hikes – one in each direction.“I can remember my very first hike I ever did,” he recalled. “I was substitute teaching and I had a day off, I think it was a Wednesday in October, and I said, ‘I’m going to check out that Mason Dixon Trail.’ So I went down to Chadds Ford and started following the sky blue blazes. It was a beautiful fall morning and I just thought, ‘Man, this is really cool.’”Even given its fairly robust history, the trail continues to be a work in progress. Maerker estimates that 30 percent of the trail is along roads, albeit mostly backcountry roads that see little traffic. Given that the trail is not very remote, gathering supplies during a thru-hike is no problem, but camping can be a challenge. There are designated camping areas, but they are limited to the state parks or forests and can be some distance apart. Maerker says that many MDT hikers stealth camp along the way.The MDT is just another piece of the long-distance trail puzzle linking different portions of the East Coast by footpath. Although it does not share much historical accuracy with its namesake, one can only hope the trail is around as long as the line has been.Day HikesDay hiking on the Mason-Dixon Trail is easy due to the accessibility of the trail system. Here are a few favorites:Pinchot State Park (8.5 miles)Take the loop around the lake for great views of this park located near the western end of the trail.Otter Creek Loop (5 miles)This loop beginning at the Otter Creek Campground affords stunning views of the river from the Urey Overlook.Eagles Nest (2.3 miles)Short hike to nesting bald eagles (March – June) and Lock 12 of the Susquehanna Canal.last_img read more

Lawyers donate 1.3 million hours of pro bono work

first_imgFlorida lawyers provided more than 1.3 million hours of pro bono work last year and contributed $2.5 million to legal aid organizations, according to the new figures gleaned from the Bar’s latest dues statements.The new statistics represent an increase in pro bono services over the previous year, when Florida attorneys provided $1.2 million hours of free service and $2.4 million in direct legal aid contributions.“Florida has one of the most aggressive pro bono legal services programs of any state in the nation, encouraging attorneys to provide free services and requiring them to report their contributions on an annual basis,” Bar President Tod Aronovitz said. “Despite the misperceptions many people have about lawyers, the truth is that the legal profession is absolutely dedicated to making the law work for everyone, and we want to make a difference in the lives of our community.”Aronovitz said the 1.3 million hours of pro bono work amounts to more than $65 million in free services, when calculated according to an estimate of $50 per hour in fees (based on doubling the $25-consultation fee charged by lawyers involved in the Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service).Nearly 30,000 of Florida’s 70,000 lawyers provided the free legal services to the poor from July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2002, and 6,784 lawyers donated cash directly to the legal aid providers. In 1993, the Florida Supreme Court adopted a pro bono plan that encourages attorneys to give at least 20 hours per year in free legal services to the poor or contribute a minimum of $350 to legal aid organizations. Included in the Supreme Court plan was a mandatory requirement that every lawyer report whether he or she did or did not participate.“Pro bono contributions from the legal profession have risen steadily through the years, and our goal is to see every Florida lawyer participate and give back to the community,” Aronovitz said. Lawyers donate 1.3 million hours of pro bono work Lawyers donate 1.3 million hours of pro bono workcenter_img February 15, 2003 Regular Newslast_img read more