Yukon aims to sell renewable power to Skagway cruise ships

first_imgHow bad are cruise ship emissions in downtown Juneau? An air quality survey aims to find out.Share this story: Alaska’s Energy Desk | Business | Economy | Energy & Mining | Nation & World | Southeast | TourismYukon aims to sell renewable power to Skagway cruise shipsFebruary 19, 2020 by Claire Stremple, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Haines Share:A Disney cruise ship tied up at Skagway’s Ore dock. (Photo by Emily Files/KHNS)Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2020/02/12YukonNRG.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Skagway played host to about 450 cruises last season. The ships burn diesel while in port, because the small town can’t generate enough electricity to connect them to shoreside power.But the Yukon produces a lot of renewable energy. And they have a surplus in the summer months, when cruise ships are in port.Yukon Energy rolled out a 10-year plan for renewable electricity in the territory this January. One of its goals is to sell excess renewable energy to green up cruise ships in Alaska ports. The utility plans to expand its southern infrastructure in order to store a projected surplus of summer power.Yukon Energy President and CEO Andrew Hall said that opens up an international clean energy possibility.“Given that we were building or have plans to build out that transmission infrastructure, we started thinking about the business opportunity to sell more renewable energy down to Skagway and help with potentially electrifying cruise ships for the shoreside power,” he said.It could be a win-win: The Yukon territory could turn a profit on their surplus, cruise ships could green up their local image and Skagway might enjoy better air quality near the port.The plan is still in early stages, but Hall said his initial talks with cruise ship companies have been positive. The price of Yukon’s renewable energy will be competitive with what the cruise ships would otherwise spend on diesel.Despite being in a rainforest, solar energy is on the rise in KakeBut this plan hinges on infrastructure in remote and mountainous territory. And it doesn’t exist yet.Hall stated the big question: “Who would pay for that?”“You know, I don’t think Yukon Energy wants to necessarily operate transmission in the United States. So we would be looking for the local utility — you know, Alaska Power and Telephone — to potentially play a role in that,” he said.Darren Belisle manages Skagway’s Alaska Power and Telephone Co. office. He said shoreside power is something Skagway has considered before.“It’s not just plugging in an extension cord,” he explained. “It’s a pretty extensive process.”He said it takes serious real estate for the transformers onshore. Belisle estimates the cost of transmission lines from Yukon to Skagway would be in the range of $100 million.Hall said he expects to know whether or not the project is viable within the year.last_img read more

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How the Y-K Delta became one of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination leaders

first_imgCoronavirus | Health | SouthwestHow the Y-K Delta became one of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination leadersFebruary 25, 2021 by Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel Share:The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region is leading the nation in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. In Bethel, community members can even receive a vaccine at the grocery store. (Katie Basile/KYUK)The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta once led the nation in COVID-19 case rates. But now, in a startling reversal, cases are dropping and the region is now helping lead the nation in vaccinations.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/210224-Vaccine-Update-pkg-1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Bethel has become possibly the only place in the U.S. where you can go to the store to pick up dinner and get a COVID-19 vaccine, no appointment needed. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is offering the vaccines at both the AC and Swanson’s grocery stores.“I wasn’t even sure if it would work out logistically, or if people would even want that,” said Dr. Ellen Hodges, YKHC’s chief of staff.But it has worked. YKHC has previously offered flu vaccines in these stores. Now, people are rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine right next to where they would buy household goods. The goal is to remove barriers and reach people who don’t want to go to the hospital or don’t have the transportation to get there. YKHC is also making home vaccination visits.“Especially if they’re a home-bound elder, or they’re caring for a home-bound elder who might be vaccinated and there’s other people in the home who need to be vaccinated,” Hodges said.As vaccinations have increased, cases have dropped. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta’s case rate is 23 cases per 100,000 people. It was 12.5 times higher than that at its peak, when the case rate hit 300 cases per 100,000 people in November 2020.Over three times as many people in the region have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine compared to the rest of the nation. That’s 20% of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta population fully vaccinated compared to 5.9% of the national population, according to data from the YKHC and the CDC.YKHC is distributing the vaccine across the region. While many areas of the nation are struggling to develop systems to disseminate the vaccine, the tribal health corporation already had one.“We had the groundwork in place, so we have been distributing vaccines to rural clinics for decades,” Hodges said.Over those decades, YKHC created the infrastructure needed to deploy a vaccine quickly and widely, all before the pandemic began.“To keep inventory straight, to get it shipped out, get people vaccinated, and get that information quickly back into the record,” Hodges said.And YKHC had the staff willing to do it.“Hundreds of phone calls. Maybe at this point hundreds of flights out to do this,” Hodges said. “So just a very, very dedicated team of professionals.”YKHC received a large volume of vaccine early in the pandemic, both from the Indian Health Service and from the state. This enabled the corporation to accelerate administering the vaccine across the region. In mid-January, it became one of the first places in the nation to open the vaccine to the general population, allowing everyone age 16 and older to get vaccinated.In mid-February, every community in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta received vaccines when the health corporation got vaccines to Red Devil and Lime Village, located in the easternmost reaches of the region.Now, 46.3% of the region’s eligible population has received one dose of the vaccine and 33.1% have received two doses. That’s a higher vaccination percentage for the eligible population than for the state or the nation.But it’s not high enough. Hodges wants 100% of the eligible population vaccinated, especially before any of the more contagious variants reach the region. Already, both the variants first identified in the United Kingdom and in Brazil have been detected in Alaska.Share this story:last_img read more

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Understanding what works: How some countries are beating back the coronavirus

first_img With Europe and the United States locked in deadly battle with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, a number of countries that were hit early by the virus are doing a far better job of beating it back.China, which is now diagnosing more cases in returning travelers than in people infected at home, reported no new domestically acquired cases on Wednesday, for the first time in more than two months. South Korea, which had an explosive outbreak that began in February, is aggressively battering down its epidemic curve. Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan have together reported only about 600 cases.Those successes have been bought by a layering of what are known as non-pharmaceutical initiatives — including social distancing and travel restrictions — aimed at severing chains of transmission to keep the virus from going into an exponential growth cycle.advertisement Support STAT: If you value our coronavirus coverage, please consider making a one-time contribution to support our journalism. None of the other countries has been as aggressive as China, which put tens of millions of people into forced quarantine for weeks. And these other locales have not all adopted an across-the-board checklist of measures. While kids in Hong Kong haven’t been in school since late January, class continues in Singapore.Here’s a look at some of the techniques these governments employed, and how they stack up to steps being taken in the United States as well as the United Kingdom, which has come under heavy scrutiny for its approach, fairly or not.advertisement About the Author Reprints Medical staff, wearing protective gear, move a patient infected with the coronavirus from an ambulance to a hospital in Seoul. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images “Testing is central because that leads to early detection. It minimizes further spread and it quickly treats those found with the virus,” she said, suggesting early detection and treatment may explain why South Korea’s death rate is lower than other places with large numbers of cases.South Korea introduced drive-through testing, allowing people to be checked for disease without even leaving their vehicles. Travelers returning from abroad have to provide contact information and report their health status for 14 days after their return via a mobile app, the South Korea CDC website reports.It has recommended Koreans refrain from international travel at this time and urged people to avoid large gatherings and church services. Companies have been encouraged to allow workers who are able to work from home.Can these techniques be applied elsewhere? Is it too late in places like the United Kingdom and the United States?Many epidemiologists and mathematical modelers who have been plotting the possible trajectory of this pandemic think there is no choice but to try some of the serious social distancing measures other countries have taken.But Marc Lipsitch, an infectious diseases epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said the possibility of containment — stopping spread — through rigorous tracing of all contacts of known cases is not realistic. That window has closed, he said.“I think one thing to learn from those experiences is that what’s appropriate when an epidemic is small and mostly ascertained is not appropriate when an epidemic is large and mostly not ascertained,” he said.“I would say put in place as intense as possible social distancing and get the messaging from the White House consistent with that,” Lipsitch said. “Right away, everywhere, with the short-term goal of trying to reduce the … demand on the health care system.”Any universities still in session should send students home, especially those living in dormitories “which are one step away from cruise ships in terms of density and poor ventilation,” he said.Lipsitch said time is limited to make a difference.“The data that we just assembled from Wuhan about the timing and magnitude of the peak demand for critical care shows first that it can very quickly — even without that many people being infected compared to the whole population — exceed per capita bed capacity in the United States,” Lipsitch said.He noted there was a four-week lag between the shutdown of Wuhan and the overwhelming of critical care units. “So if you wait till you see a problem, then you have another month of agony, at least.”It appeared that was the kind of message Britain was not heeding.There was a huge controversy late last week when it seemed like the country intended to simply allow enough people to become infected so that the population would develop “herd immunity.”Adam Kucharski, an associate professor of infectious diseases epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it was never the government’s plan to drive toward herd immunity; rather, there was an acknowledgment that might be what happens because the virus could be so hard to control.“It’s not been an aim to get everyone infected as soon as possible. It’s more this really tough situation we’ve got where the options we have are probably not going to be able to fully control this in the long term,” Kucharski said.The country has now taken a swing toward the types of early and aggressive social distancing methods other countries are trying to implement. The government is urging people with even mild symptoms to self-isolate; but Kucharski worried that message was going unheard in the din about herd immunity.The country, he said, was trying to save some of the more difficult measures — really stringent social distancing approaches that are hard to sustain over time — for closer to when they are needed.“It makes sense to use them, given that they’re short-term measures, use them when they’ve got the most impact,” Kucharski said. “You can’t shut down your country for months.”Rivers suggested that was a risky approach. “I think that’s a difficult thing to time. My recommendations for the U.S. context at least, is to begin social distancing measures early,” she said.In the United States, a tepid early response — marked by a prolonged delay in ramping up testing and a White House that initially seemed intent on playing down the scale of the threat — has given way to a war footing.This week the White House urged Americans to embrace social distancing by not taking part in gatherings of more than 10 people. In a number of communities, restaurants are closed to all but takeout or delivery service. Some states have closed schools. The country is on edge.But with large-scale testing capacity still coming up to speed, it remains unclear how deeply the virus has embedded itself into the country, and whether the measures people and their local, state, and national governments are trying to adopt can slow the coronavirus’ progress.It is also unclear how long communities can sustain the dramatic lifestyle changes that appear to be needed to slow the virus’s spread.“Right now people are approaching this if they are basically sheltering in place for … a Minneapolis blizzard, lasting two or three days. And that’s the mindset that they have. Where, in fact, we need to look at this like a coronavirus winter, where we’re only in the first weeks of what could be a long season,” warned Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy.“This could last easily many months. And we need to make our actions proportional to the risk in the community or else we run the risk of people just getting tired of them when that particular community has not seen increased transmission of the virus.”This article had been corrected. An earlier version misidentified the Singapore university at which David Heymann lectured. Senior Writer, Infectious Disease Helen covers issues broadly related to infectious diseases, including outbreaks, preparedness, research, and vaccine development. Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. HealthUnderstanding what works: How some countries are beating back the coronavirus Privacy Policy Tags Coronavirusglobal healthinfectious diseasepublic healthcenter_img @HelenBranswell By Helen Branswell March 20, 2020 Reprints Let’s start with Singapore.The island city-state was one of the first places to ban incoming flights from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus originated. And it placed people coming into the country from countries affected by Covid-19 into mandatory quarantine.Singapore has seen its numbers gradually tick up. But it hasn’t had an explosion of cases, likely because it has aggressively tracked where the virus was circulating. Of the 345 cases it has recorded, 124 have recovered and 221 are considered active cases. It has not yet recorded a death.“Singapore has done everything right,” said David Heymann, who led the World Health Organization’s response to the 2003 SARS outbreak and now teaches infectious diseases epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “They’ve been openly communicating every day on what’s going on. And they’ve made it clear to the population and the population understands that they are not only to protect themselves but protect others.”Health authorities have severed several transmission chains, tracking down people who have been in contact with a known case and ordering them into home quarantine. They are checked twice daily to see if they developed a fever. STAT+: Leave this field empty if you’re human: Mass gatherings were canceled. Schools have not been closed, though students go through temperature screening to enter. So does anyone entering most buildings or restaurants.Heymann, who was in Singapore recently to lecture at Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said at the start of each class, a picture would be taken of the classroom, so that if any student became ill, there would be a record of who had been in close contact with him or her. “So there’s all kinds of innovations and measures going on,” he told STAT.Singapore also quickly developed a much-needed serology test — a blood test used to look for antibodies in blood that are a sign of previous infection. Getting a handle on how many people have been infected is critical to understanding how deadly this virus really is, experts stress. Authorities in Singapore actually used the serology test in late February to find the source of a cluster of cases in a church group.How about Hong Kong?Hong Kong, like Taiwan and Singapore, bears deep psychological scars from the 2003 SARS outbreak. Hong Kong had the most cases of the disease outside of mainland China and people there remember the trauma that came with it.So do their public health leaders, who have prepared for disruptive infectious diseases outbreaks in the years since SARS and the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. People take respiratory health hygiene seriously, routinely wearing surgical masks in public if they are sick to prevent spread to others.“These places were better equipped to face an outbreak of the new coronavirus than many others,” Ben Cowling, a professor of infectious diseases epidemiology, and Wey Wen Lim, a graduate student in infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong, wrote in a recent opinion piece in the New York Times.Hong Kong responded very quickly — within days of China’s Dec. 31 announcement that it was finding unusual cases of pneumonia. Doctors were told to report any patient who had influenza-like illness and a travel history to Wuhan. Borders crossings into China were closed — first some, then all.Schools and universities haven’t been open since the Lunar New Year, on Jan. 23, though online learning has replaced classroom teaching in some circumstances.Hong Kong has been testing for the virus, aggressively trying to locate cases. People have been urged to telework if possible and to practice social distancing.Gabriel Leung, dean of medicine at the University of Hong Kong, said measures have largely worked, but the toll is high. And both he and Cowling are concerned people are starting to let down their guard.“I think we are already beginning to see a little bit of response fatigue among the people,” Leung said, noting it has become apparent over the past couple of weeks. “You see that people are beginning to mix again, they’re beginning to come out again, because it’s been two months already. So how do you still keep alert and keep this up? There is only so much that any population would be able to tolerate.”What of Taiwan?Taiwan didn’t move initially to cut off air travel with Wuhan, as Singapore did. But doctors boarded incoming flights with temperature scanners looking for people who were unwell. Later it did ban most flights from China.Mass gatherings were not banned, but were discouraged. The government controlled the distribution and pricing of medical masks, Cowling and Lim wrote. Stiff fines — up to more than $30,000 — were threatened for people who violated home quarantine orders.“All of these places are coupling aggressive testing strategies to identify cases, with isolation, contact tracing and sometimes quarantine of at-risk people,” said Caitlin Rivers, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, speaking of Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. “And they have also layered on community mitigation strategies, school closures … and other closures. So what I take away from that is that it’s important to layer these strategies to try to accommodate both of them.”Rivers tried to look at whether the measures were being successful at driving down new infection rates by pulling up data on other types of communicable infections, both respiratory illnesses, diarrheal diseases, and conjunctivitis. In a short analysis she posted on Twitter, Rivers noted that rates of these other infections declined after stringent social distancing practices were put into place.“The things that are also spread through close contact have fallen dramatically, and so that tells me it’s individual-level social distancing behavior that is contributing to the control,” she said.Isn’t South Korea a different case?Indeed, the Republic of Korea has had a different trajectory than Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.The new coronavirus took root in a large and closely knit religious sect, a development that led to an explosive outbreak, which the other three have not experienced. As of Wednesday South Korea has reported just over 8,400 cases and 91 deaths.But whereas Western countries that have reached numbers like those see daily and every larger rises in their case counts, South Korea’s outbreak curve has been beaten back. From a one-day high of 909 new cases on Feb. 29, South Korea has seen its daily case count rise by as few as 74 cases on Monday. That swung back up, though, on Thursday to 152.The country is testing aggressively — more than a quarter of a million people had been tested by March 15, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told the BBC recently. Please enter a valid email address. Helen Branswell Exclusive analysis of biopharma, health policy, and the life sciences. last_img read more

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Detectives investigating violent Cape Coral home invasion

first_imgAdvertisementTheir children were in the other room as the attack was happening, according to the parents. The intruders threatened to shoot both of them in the head if they moved, according to the report. Both of them begged and pleaded for the intruders to not shoot them, the report states. AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Cape Coral man tries to figure out meaning of his 25-year-old tattoos June 16, 2021 WATCH: Porch pirate targets newly moved in Cape Coral residents June 16, 2021 Advertisement The man said he was about to go to sleep and his wife was watching television when the group broke into the home and asked for money, police reported. Upon saying they didn’t have any money, a robber hit the man over the head with a gun and forced both of them to lay face down on the floor. Advertisement Cape Coral canal levels remain low even after recent rains June 17, 2021 The Major Crimes Unit and members of the forensics team are investigating the scene. They wish to press charges when the suspects are found, the report states. Anyone with any information on this case is asked to please contact the Cape Coral Police Department by calling (239) 574-3223 or by submitting an anonymous tip here or here. AdvertisementTags: Cape CoralHome Invasion The man said he was in fear for their life and told the intruders about a pouch in the bedroom containing $1,000. Both of their phones were stolen and later located at or near the home. AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Cape Coral break in foiled by barking dog June 17, 2021 RELATEDTOPICS CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Detectives are investigating the scene of a home invasion robbery that happened early Thursday morning, the Cape Coral Police Department reported. Four people with masks and guns broke into a home on Embers Parkway, according to police. A husband, his wife and their children were in the home at the time of the break in. Police responded to the home around 1:30 a.m. after someone called 911 screaming for help and disconnected. last_img read more

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Six Party Talks Wrap Up without Result

first_imgAnalysis & Opinion RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR The third round of the sixth Six Party Talks, which were held for four days in order to set up the verification protocol for the North Korean nuclear program, fell through in Beijing on Thursday. By the morning of the final day, North Korea had consistently shown a different view from the other parties about methods of verification and sampling, verification targets and other issues. However, upon North Korea’s presenting a written opinion of the draft verification protocol, some expected the atmosphere of the talks to change positively. Unfortunately, the written opinion did not contain anything related to the verification protocol, the core agenda of the talks, and maintained its existing position regarding the targets and subjects of verification. In the afternoon, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill left the meeting location first. As he left Beijing, Hill told the press at Beijing International Airport, “We worked very hard on verification, but ultimately were not able to get an agreed verification protocol.”The schedule for the next round of the talks has not been fixed yet. The meeting finished up with the Chairman’s Statement.Wu Dawei, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China and Chair of the talks, announced in the statement that, “The parties gave full recognition to the positive progress made in implementing the second-phase actions of the September 19 Joint Statement.” He continued, “The parties evaluated the progress made towards agreement on terms for verification.”He added that, “The parties agreed, as described in the October 3 Agreement, to complete in parallel the disablement of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities and the provision of economic and energy assistance equivalent to one million tons of heavy fuel oil by the other parties.” In conclusion, Wu stated, “The parties agreed to hold the next Six Party Talks meeting at the earliest opportunity,” without providing a specific schedule.This round of the Six Party Talks was supposed to complete the second phase actions of denuclearization and to link them to the third phase, but it has not achieved its purpose. Now, the Six Party Talks, which have no timetable, could meet after the launching of the new Obama administration. It is almost time for the Bush administration to leave office, so the momentum of the Six Party Talks is not promising. Further, the U.S. Department of State announced on the 10th that North Korea can always be put back on terrorism list. In light of all this, North Korea may well concentrate on preparing negotiations with the next Obama administration.Eventually, the North Korean nuclear talks are likely to resume in March or April next year, when the Obama administration has lined up a new foreign and security policy staff. Jeon Sung Hoon, a researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification gave his opinion, “North Korea has dug in its heels on the sampling issue. It means that North Korea doesn’t want to wash its hands of its nuclear weapons in any case.” He predicted that, “The progress of the nuclear negotiations was over within the Bush’s term of his office. Although there is the possibility of putting North Korea back on the list of terrorism sponsoring states, it will not be so easy due to public opinion.”Vice-Head of Committee for Defense Issue Studies Kim Tae Woo pointed out that, “Both the U.S. and North Korea cannot step backward from the verification protocol for now. For the U.S., it was difficult to accept a verification protocol that did not include basic items like sampling.” He foresaw, “North Korea presumably thought that accepting the U.S. requirements would influence the next phase of negotiations for denuclearization. They need some coordination period.” He added that, “The U.S. and North Korea may try to meet. North Korea would want to approach the U.S. in order to protect itself from the U.S. making a tough gesture.” “North Korea will keep approaching the U.S. with deft tactics, and the U.S. will not be a match for North Korea, even though it knows the North’s ways well,” he added. Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center AvatarJeong Jae Sung Analysis & Opinion center_img Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? Facebook Twitter Six Party Talks Wrap Up without Result Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke” SHARE By Jeong Jae Sung – 2008.12.12 12:09pm last_img read more

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First Australians grew to a population of millions, much more than previous estimates

first_imgFirst Australians grew to a population of millions, much more than previous estimates More than 3 million people may have lived in the area that is now modern-day Australia, far more than any previous estimateWe know it is more than 60,000 years since the first people entered the continent of Sahul – the giant landmass that connected New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania when sea levels were lower than today.But where the earliest people moved across the landscape, how fast they moved, and how many were involved, have been shrouded in mystery.Our latest research, published today shows the establishment of populations in every part of this giant continent could have occurred in as little as 5,000 years. And the entire population of Sahul could have been as high as 6.4 million people.This translates to more than 3 million people in the area that is now modern-day Australia, far more than any previous estimate.The first people could have entered through what is now western New Guinea or from the now-submerged Sahul Shelf off the modern-day Kimberley (or both).But whichever the route, entire communities of people arrived, adapted to and established deep cultural connections with Country over 11 million square kilometres of land, from northwestern Sahul to Tasmania.This equals a rate of population establishment of about 1km per year (based on a maximum straight-line distance of about 5,000km from the introduction point to the farthest point).That’s doubly impressive when you consider the harshness of the Australian landscape in which people both survived and thrived.Previous estimates of Indigenous populationVarious attempts have been made to calculate the number of people living in Australia before European invasion. Estimates vary from 300,000 to more than 1,200,000 people.The 2016 census figures show an estimated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of about 798,400.But records prior to the modern era are unreliable because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were only fully included in the national census from 1971, after the historic 1967 Referendum.Before 1971, population estimates were attempted by anthropologists and government authorities. For example, the 1929 census reported 78,430 Aboriginal people.Then, in 1930, the first thorough Australia-wide survey of Aboriginal populations estimated a minimum population of 251,000 at the time of European invasion.This was based on accounts of European settlers adjusted by anthropological concepts about group sizes and ideas about environmental productivity.Yet almost all of these older estimates are uncertain because of haphazard or incomplete data collection, and even a healthy dose of guesswork.A new approach neededWe developed an entirely different approach to tackle the question of how many people were in Sahul, and through which parts they would have moved first as they adapted to a range of challenging new landscapes.We developed a simulation model grounded in the principles of human ecology and behaviour, based on anthropological, ecological and environmental data.For example, we estimated the number of people the landscape could support based on climate and vegetation models that recreated ecosystems during the time of the first peopling of Sahul.We also gathered real-world anthropological information on immigration and emigration rates, long-distance movement, human survival and fertility. We even looked at the probability of disasters such as bushfires and cyclones.After running 120 scenarios of the model many times each, our research found that after expanding to all corners of the continent, the population of Sahul could have been as high as 6.4 million people, with initial entry most consistent with 50,000 or 75,000 years ago.How good is our model?We tested our predictions by comparing the model’s results against the ages and locations of the oldest known archaeological sites from Australia and New Guinea.If the model predicts realistic movements (even though it’s unlikely we’ll ever know exactly what occurred), we expect its results should at least partially match the patterns observed from the archaeological data.That’s exactly what we found.For example, while previous modelling says the northern route of entry through New Guinea would probably have been easier for people to negotiate, our model suggests the southern route through modern-day Timor and into the Kimberley was potentially the dominant entry point.Why our estimate is higher than othersOur model covers the entire landmass of Sahul, including both New Guinea and the now-submerged continental shelves, which represent about 30% of the total landmass of Sahul. No previous population estimates have included this expansive region.There is also plenty of precedent for the population densities our estimates imply.If you divide our total 6.4 million population estimate by the land area available at the time (11,643,000 km²), it comes out to around 55 people per 100 km². This compares well to estimated densities of 34 people per 100 km² in some coastal regions of Australia, and 437 people per 100 km² in swidden-farming agricultural societies in New Guinea.Population estimates immediately following European invasion are also likely to be low because of the heavy death rates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffered from exposure to European diseases such as smallpox, and the devastating history of genocide committed by colonists.Our findings add to the new evidence constantly being revealed to paint a more complete picture of life so long ago.With sophisticated modelling tools combined with an ever-increasing pool of data covering all aspects of pre-European life in Australia, and guided by Indigenous knowledge, we are coming to appreciate the complexity, prowess, capacity and resilience of the ancestors of Indigenous people in Australia.The more we look into the deep past, the more we learn about the extraordinary ingenuity of these ancient and enduring cultures.This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Aboriginal, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Australia, Australian, Europe, european, Government, Guinea, immigration, Indigenous, referendum, resilience, simulation, Tasmania, Timor, University of Wollongong, UOW, Wollongonglast_img read more

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Eating Disorders are Focus of Weeklong Series at CU-Boulder

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: Feb. 19, 2009 The University of Colorado at Boulder is participating in a weeklong national event starting Feb. 23 designed to bring attention to the epidemic of eating disorders and body dissatisfaction issues that plague huge numbers of college-aged women and men.Felicia Greher, eating disorder coordinator at CU-Boulder’s Counseling and Psychological Services, said eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder and are strongly present on college campuses.”It is estimated that 10 million females and one million men struggle with an eating disorder in this country,” said Greher. “Many more struggle with body dissatisfaction and sub-clinical eating disorders.”Despite efforts like this week’s series of events, eating disorders continue to be a problem for people all the way from middle school to middle age and affect every size, gender, race and ethnicity.”It think it’s gotten worse,” said Alisa Shanks, eating disorders clinician and program coordinator at the Wardenburg Health Center. “For women the pressures are similar but the thin ideal has gotten thinner. It used to be that a thin size or shape was OK. Now it’s more of an anorexic size.”Men, too, are feeling the effects of a body-obsessed culture that often values looks over all else.”For men there’s a lot more pressure around being big and muscled,” Shanks said.Greher said 10 percent of all eating disorders occur in men.For both men and women, college is a hard time when it comes to eating and body image issues.”Eating disorders have a bimodal onset,” said Greher. “It tends to manifest at two peak periods: puberty and college. There are a lot of risk factors associated with college life.”Efforts to treat eating disorders are geared toward helping students gain self-esteem.”Eating disorders really aren’t about the food,” said Shanks. “It’s about self-worth. It’s one area they can feel mastery. For us the goal is about figuring out how we can find mastery somewhere else.”For a schedule of events visit www.colorado.edu/sacs/counseling/.All events are free and open to the public. For more information call Counseling and Psychological Services at 303-492-6766.last_img read more

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Dr Rahul Medakkar appointed CEO of Continental Hospitals

first_img Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Read Article MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” By EH News Bureau on October 16, 2019 Dr Medakkar has 15 years of experience in hospital operations, quality assurance and accreditations, market research, consulting, strategyContinental Hospitals, Hyderabad appointed Dr Rahul Medakkar as the Chief Executive Officer. Dr Rahul Medakkar is an accomplished healthcare management executive with more than 15 years of experience in various domains of healthcare management. He has experience in hospital operations, quality assurance and accreditations, market research, consulting and strategy.  He is a persuader of integrated healthcare delivery model which can consistently be customised to societal needs for health and wellness. His personality traits such as growth centricity, empathy to all stake holders and focussed approach to delivery of plans are well recognised in healthcare circle.Prior to this, Dr Rahul has worked with hospitals such as Manipal Hospitals, Apollo Hospitals, B Braun Medicals and CARE Hospitals. He will be taking over from Faisal Siddiqui.Dr Medakkar said, “As an observer, I am always impressed with the potential of Continental Hospitals that has grown and gained a leading position in healthcare. I believe that Continental Hospitals will pursue the mission of making the IT corridor the healthiest corridor in the country by providing comprehensive healthcare ranging from prevention to rehabilitation.”He further said that the hospital will initiate innovative health programmes for an inclusive participation from the surrounding communities. CEOContinental HospitalsDr Rahul MedakkarFaisal Siddiqui Share Comments (0) The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Life News Dr Rahul Medakkar appointed CEO of Continental Hospitals WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha Related Posts Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 Add Comment Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care applast_img read more

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For the Love of Hiking

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. The annoying whir of a fly or mosquito in my ears, the tug of my pack on tight shoulders, the burn in my calves and lungs as I push up a steep hill, the step-after-step pounding on my soles and occasionally on my soul — these aren’t my favorite things about hiking.And yet I’m addicted. At the end of the day, it feels so great to peel off soggy socks and dusty shoes and feel the strange buzz of exhaustion, which is adrenalized by both the relief and exhilaration of finishing a formidable hike. And the cold microbrew pulled out of a cooler in the car has never tasted so good.But it’s not just the rewards at the end of the hike that make it so intoxicating. Within the hard work are magical moments. The suspense and surprise of rounding a corner that reveals another dramatic peak, a glistening lake below the trail, or wildflowers spattered across meadows like paint on an artist’s palette. The snow patches blanketing rose-colored rock slabs, streams of clear water racing down mountainsides through feathery ferns and cushy moss, and the dew-kissed morning air taking on aromas of dry grass and dirt as the noon sun beats down on the trail. The rigors of hiking fade into the background when I remember the good times — the spectacular scenery and the memorable events that unfold in the unpredictable natural world. Here are a few of my favorite things about hiking.Piegan Mountain view. The views are specular at the top of this Glacier Park mountain where snow lingers into summer. All photos by Kay BjorkSummitsMost of our hikes are destination driven, and some of the most rewarding run out at the top of a mountain. Mountain summits can vary dramatically from a mellow ridge walk to a technical climb over vertical rock. I’m not fond of the more treacherous summits but have found plenty of moderate ascents that still offer the thrill of getting to the top, with virtually unobstructed views of mountains and valleys.Two of the most memorable summit hikes offer very different experiences because of location and accessibility affecting their popularity. Reynolds Mountain in Glacier Park is a seven-mile hike with a 2,500-foot elevation gain to reach the summit at 9,125 feet. It’s popular because it’s less technical than many of the summits in Glacier Park that are characterized by unstable sedimentary rock and routes with exposure.When we went, the first 1 ½ miles were more like hiking in the city, weaving through a crowd on the boardwalk, but changed quickly when we left the Hidden Lake trail at the high point, where we walked through a meadow splashed with colorful wildflowers, careful to avoid the fragile vegetation. We followed a primitive trail to reach the easiest route up the southwest side of Reynolds Peak, where the hike intensified. I became jittery as we started up a fairly steep talus slope and hikers above us kicked loose scree, which bounced wildly down the slope like popping corn. I was actually more at ease when we reached the narrow ledge along rock cliffs where I felt more protected. When we arrived at the top, I felt both relieved and ecstatic, surrounded by the spectacular views of Glacier Park circled by layers of craggy mountains spattered with snow, ice and turquoise lakes.At the south end of the Mission Range, Lindy Peak answered my love for solitude with its vague and often disappearing trail through forest, along a rock ridge and up a band of cliffs. Early on, a portion of the hike passed through heavy timber and turned into the notorious bushwhacking that seems to be inevitable on most of our hiking escapades. Finally, I was surprised and elated when we broke into a casual saunter through wildflowers and snowfields up a broad ridgeline to reach the top. The views were magnificent.The views seem endless from the top of Reynolds Mountain in Glacier Park.More Favorite Mountain PeaksMount Aeneas – Jewel BasinElevation – 7,525’Elevation gain – 1800’Distance – 6 miles* A busy trail, so it’s best if you go early in the morning or off-season. Highlights include great views of the basin and surrounding mountain chains and a good chance of seeing mountain goats.Sixmile Peak – Swan RangeElevation – 7,406’Elevation gain – 3,400’Distance – 9 miles* A steady and moderate grade gets you to the top, where you can see views of Swan and Flathead lakes, Glacier Park, Great Bear Wilderness, Bob Marshall Wilderness, Hungry Horse Reservoir and the Mission Mountains on the west side of the Swan Valley.Nasukoin Mountain – Whitefish RangeElevation – 8,086’Elevation gain – 3,000’Distance – 11.6 miles round trip* The highest point in Glacier View Ranger District with great views of the North Fork and Glacier Park.Pyramid Peak – Swan RangeElevation – 8,309’Elevation gain – 3,100’Distance – 12 miles* You reach Pyramid Lake before heading up the slope on the west side of the lake. It’s a nice place to take a break or have lunch.Warrior Mountain – Swan RangeElevation – 7,903’Elevation gain – Nearly 4,000’ on a roller coaster trailDistance – 12 miles* The Napa Point Trailhead is a scenic trail that rolls up and down an open ridgeline and affords great views of Swan Peak and the surrounding area. Warrior Mountain is reached by a relatively mellow ascent off of scenic Alpine Trail No. 7.Information on how to get there, plus other details are found on the U.S. Forest Service website: www.fs.usda.gov/activity/flathead/recreation/hiking. Click on the day hiking link for specific hike details.WildflowersWildflowers are like nature’s exclamation point. Even though they normally peak in July in subalpine country, the mountainside is usually peppered with some kind of flowers at various elevations from April into September. There are hundreds of wildflower species in Montana. One of the first to pop up in the spring is the glacier lily, which I think of as an excited child who can’t wait to see what’s next, because it often pushes its yellow blossom up through the snow. The arrowleaf balsamroot is another favorite, with its yellow daisy-like flowers and arrow-shaped leaves. They’re frequently found on sunny slopes. Bear grass is probably my favorite, with its star-like blossoms circling a tall stalk. It is a mystical experience to wade through flowers so deep and so tall that you can lose children and dogs in them.Indian paintbrush and fleabane daisy spill down the mountainside along the Birch Lake trail in the Jewel Basin.Favorite Wildflower LocationsWild Horse Island — Look for the arrowleaf balsamroot in May.Glacier Park — Logan Pass, the Highline Trail and the east side of Logan Pass are just a few of the places you can find dozens of wildflower varieties that dot the landscape throughout the summer.Napa Ridge in the Swan Range — Bear grass, Indian paintbrush and fireweed are three favorites that cover the mountainside.Peters Ridge in the Swan Range — Wildflowers seem to flow down the open slopes as you wind up to the ridge and access to Alpine Trail No. 7.WildlifeGoing into the wild often includes exciting — and potentially frightening — encounters with wildlife. I have been lucky enough to see many of our native species from the wee pika to the gigantic grizzly, and I’ve even spotted the elusive wolverine in Glacier Park three times. When we reported a wolverine sighting at Piegan Pass to a park ranger, he said, “You are lucky. You should buy a lottery ticket.” Glacier Park is one of the best places to view wildlife, with bighorn sheep and mountain goats often spotted at Logan Pass and along many of the alpine trails. We have seen a variety of other wildlife, including moose, elk, deer, mountain lions, eagles, and both black and grizzly bears, some from the road and others on the trail.Mountain goats are a common sight on Mount Aeneas in the Jewel Basin, and they’re habituated to people, so don’t be surprised if they show up for lunch. We have had many meals with goats looking over our shoulders, probably hopeful that someone might leave a crumb, but from my experience they keep a polite distance.Bear stories usually trump all. We have seen quite a few bears over the years, and most of the time we only see their rump as they’re making a hasty exit. But I have also had closer encounters. One was along Six-Mile trail when I was snapping photos of bear grass and was separated from my group. I felt a little uneasy by myself so I started singing “hi ho, hi ho” (you know, the one the seven dwarves in Snow White sing). Shortly afterward, I spotted my family waiting at a trail junction. When I reached the group, my husband pointed up the trail to where a little black bear was peering around a larch tree. The cub paused for a few more seconds before he scrambled up the tree, signaling that we should all hustle down the trail before mama bear showed up. In our future storytelling, he became the “peek-a-boo bear” who liked my singing (or at least the song.)Another incident that occurred in Glacier Park involved a much larger and more frightening grizzly. We were on the last leg of our hike above Two Medicine Lake, and, once again, I fell behind taking photos. I was framing a photo of wildflowers against a mountain peak when a large animal suddenly appeared in my viewfinder. I thought, perhaps wishfully, “oh, a dog,” though it wasn’t very logical, since dogs aren’t even allowed on park trails. But I quickly ascertained that it was a bear casually coming down the trail toward me. I know you aren’t supposed to turn your back or run, but I wasn’t about to wait for him to reach me. My instinct was to make a calm but brisk retreat down the trail, looking frequently over my shoulder until I caught sight of my family and motioned them ahead, silently mouthing, “Bear!” They caught sight of him, and we quickly moved down the trail to reach the boat dock where several hikers were waiting for the Two Medicine shuttle boat. They told us they had watched the bear follow us down the trail. We don’t know where the bear ended up, but we were sure happy to be headed home on a boat.Favorite Wildlife SpotsLogan Pass and along Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier Park — A wide variety of wildlife.Jewel Basin in the Swan Range — Deer, elk and mountain goats.Highway 83 — Famous for its deer population, we have also seen a variety of other wildlife on our way to a hiking destination, including elk, bears, coyotes, foxes, and mountain lions.Napa Point Trail — Plenty of wildlife, including grouse, deer, elk, mountain goats, wolverines, and bears.Wild Horse Island — This 2,164-acre island state park has walking trails that offer great opportunities to observe various wildlife, including bighorn sheep, mule deer, eagles, hawks, and wild horses.WaterCooling off. Sisters Kelsey and Risa share a little sibling rivalry and cold water at Rockwell Falls in Glacier Park.A hot day feels a lot hotter when you’re on a strenuous hike, so my favorite warm weather adventures are often along creeks, waterfalls or alpine lakes. A stream provides a refreshing face wash, while a lake offers a great way to cool off before the trip back down. I have swum in over a dozen alpine lakes, and I love when I can lure someone else to join me for a plunge into water that can barely melt an ice cube. My friend Mary grew up in California but is a farm girl and always game for fun, so she happily agreed to follow me into Turquoise Lake in the Mission Mountains, even with the north shoreline still draped in snow. She launched into the lake with aplomb and then popped up like a cork, first gasping and then laughing uncontrollably. She scrambled out of the water to a warm rock, still laughing.Another favorite moment occurred in the Two Medicine area of Glacier Park when my daughters had a water fight beneath Rockwell Falls on our way to Cobalt Lake. A photo captured the sparring, joyful camaraderie of the two sisters. Cold water and warm memories.Favorite LakesCold LakeMission Mountain WildernessCedar LakeMission Mountain WildernessDucharme LakeMission Mountain WildernessUpper Whitefish LakeWhitefish RangeHidden LakeGlacier ParkSummer SnowSnow lingers well into summer in high mountain country and never leaves in glacier country. On a trip to Mount Aeneas with visiting family members, while eating lunch, we watched a herd of mountain goats frolic in the snow, their white shaggy coats contrasted against deep blue skies. When we headed down the ridge to complete the loop past Picnic Lakes, a few members of the group followed my husband’s glissade down a snowfield, snow spraying and feet flying as they learned a new sport. For those not ready for a potential spill down the mountain, a snowball toss was plenty of excitement, while a niece built a hobbit-sized snowman.Snow slide. Glissading down a snowy ridge in the Swan Range contrasts a sunny summer day.Favorite Snowy High PlacesLogan PassGlacier ParkJewel BasinSwan RangeGlacier ViewGlacier View Ranger DistrictLunchThe lunch break is a highlight of our hiking routine — from a sandwich garnished with wild onions picked in a soggy meadow, to my trademark double chocolate brownie, to a handful of fragrant huckleberries picked along the trail. The “lunchroom” is usually pretty spectacular, too — on a perch above lakes and valleys with endless views, a warm rock alongside a gurgling creek or a glistening lake, or maybe on a smooth log that lost its bark long ago.Lunch provides a welcome break. Some may wander off to explore the area while others take a nap in the sun. My husband pulls out his maps, and where there is a lake, I go for a swim, followed by a sunbath to dry off before we head down the trail.I always feel wistful when it’s time to go home, reluctant to leave a special place, view and time. But reaching the end of the trail presents its own reward and satisfaction. When we get to the car, I like to yell, “I’m alive!” Then we peel off our boots and grab a cold drink from the cooler, followed by a high-spirited toast with family and friends who shared a day of hiking — and a whole lot more.* Read more of our best long-form journalism in Flathead Living. Pick up the summer edition for free on newsstands across the valley. Or check it out online at flatheadliving.com. Emaillast_img read more

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Comment / How technology can boost staff retention and not simply replace them

first_img© Palto | Dreamstime.com – Ways to motivate During the recent Cargo Facts Asia conference, one airline executive stated: “Airlines are responsible for the problems in ground handling. Handlers have simply been squeezed too much by the airlines… ground handling operations are now one of the best opportunities for service improvements in the air freight industry. Part of the problem is the vicious cycle of low-wages, poor benefits and worker retention.”This low worker retention rate does not only affect the cargo handler, but its clients (airlines), the clients of its clients (forwarders) and the clients of the clients of its clients (stay with me – the shippers).Despite these knock-on effects, current market conditions prevent cargo handlers being able to increase margins any time soon. Which means their workers’ salaries will see little change – and the vicious circle of non-retention of good labour continues.However, there is one handling company which is trying something new to improve its worker retention rate. By Niall van de Wouw 28/06/2017center_img Australia’s leading ground handler, Aerocare, with a staff of 3,000, is implementing a planning tool to improve the work/life balance of its workers and, as a result, increase the retention rate. Although Aerocare focuses on passenger and ramp services, the lessons it has learned can be applied to cargo handlers, forwarders and airlines alike.The overarching theme is that this company is aiming to improve its success in attracting and retaining people that need to work in shifts for (relatively) low wages.How does the planning tool work? Next to producing rosters that provide sufficient resources, the application tries to maximise the roster’s ‘likeability’ for employees by considering individual preferences of workers, and could include factors such as maximising the number of consecutive days off, or the progression from early shifts to late shifts to minimise fatigue.When questioned, the Aerocare chief executive said:  “Shift work can be challenging for many reasons, and the ability to make rosters more predictable and to better suit individual needs should have a big impact for our staff … we expect it to improve staff engagement, retention and service.”There is no such thing as the average shift-worker. One group of workers will want to make as much money per month as they can, while another group prefers to work mainly days. Providing an ‘average’ roster would thus disappoint both groups (either not enough pay or too much night shifts). It is therefore only logical, within the boundaries of the expected need for staff, to accommodate the preferences of the individual workers as much as possible.At a time when there are so many articles written about technology replacing humans, it is a breath of fresh air to hear about technology focusing on actually retaining staff. Of course, such a tool will not prevent handling staff leaving their job for better pay elsewhere. But by maximising the value that an individual can create from his or her job, it should make at least handling companies more attractive places to work. And ultimately that benefits the entire air freight industry.last_img read more

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