School Board Budget Keeps Tax Rate Flat

first_imgSchool Business Administrator Timothy Kelley presents a budget for the 2019-20 school year during a meeting Wednesday night. By Maddy VitaleThe Ocean City Board of Education introduced a school budget for the 2019-20 school year with no tax increase.The total budget is $41.6 million, down from $43.1 million last year. The bulk of the funding for the spending plan will come from $22.7 million in local tax revenue, School Business Administrator Timothy Kelley said during a presentation to the board Wednesday night.While the budget will not result in a tax increase, Kelley noted that the district will lose just under $60,000 in state aid in the new budget.That means the owner of an average home assessed at $500,000 will pay roughly $1,080 in local school taxes for the year, the same as last year’s figure. The board has not seen an increase in taxes for at least the past four years.“I just love saying no increase. Good job, Tim,” board member Cecilia-Gallelli Keyes said.Kelley said he does his best to present a solid budget. Some of the areas he looks at when creating a budget include the district’s strategic plan, classroom needs, operation needs and state-mandated requirements and programs.“We need to be mindful and responsible,” Kelley noted of the spending plan.The district offers a wide variety of programs including Pi Day at Ocean City High School. (Photo courtesy JASM Consulting)Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor commended Kelley’s work on the budget and said the district works together to do the best job it can for the students and staff.“We work with the staff to make sure we have what we need and do it in a reasonable way,” Taylor said. “We are proud and excited about the new school year.”Ocean City’s tax base has gone up by $133 million this year, giving the city more tax ratables, which helped the district present a budget without an increase in the school tax rate.After the school board introduced the budget Wednesday night, the county deadline for budgets to be in, Kelley said it would be immediately sent to the county.Some changes in the 2019-20 budget from last year included tuition revenue, which was up from $11.3 million in 2018-19 to $11.4 million for the 2019-20 budget.The most dramatic difference was to the capital outlay portion of the plan, going from $1.6 million last year to $489,815 for the 2019-20 school year.Kelley attributed the decrease to ongoing projects that are slated to be completed in the Intermediate School and Primary School. Those projects were previously funded.And unlike last year, when there was a slight increase to the cost of employee benefits, the figure went down from $7.9 million to $7.7 million for 2019-2020.A public hearing on the budget and a final vote by the board are scheduled at the Board of Education meeting May 1, Kelley said.Ocean City High Schoollast_img read more

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Studying energy, environment

first_imgA major Antarctic ice sheet has begun a slow, inexorable slide into the sea, scientists said this week. A government report said last week that climate change is already bringing drought, heat waves, torrential rains, and invasive pests to the United States.Scientists say these developments are just the tip of the iceberg on climate change, a problem that promises to worsen over time and to require attention from experts in many fields, including scientists, politicians, lawyers, businesspeople, and public health workers.Harvard faculty members, University leaders, and students understand that it is important to train the next generation of climate scientists, but it’s also important that students in other disciplines have every opportunity to understand environmental issues.To do that, the Environmental Science and Public Policy program, in coordination with the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE), will offer a new secondary field in energy and environment (E&E), which provides an avenue through which undergraduates in any field can learn about climate change.“The E&E secondary field is an exciting new development in the Harvard undergraduate curriculum,” said Paul Moorcroft, chair of the Environmental Science and Public Policy program. “Both energy and environment loom as defining issues for the 21st century and for this generation of Harvard students. The purpose of the new E&E secondary field is to provide an intellectual forum for students from a wide range of concentrations to engage with the key questions, challenges, and opportunities that surround the intertwined futures of the world’s energy demands and the Earth’s environments — both natural and human-made.”The secondary field is designed to allow students to explore issues surrounding energy and the environment from the perspective of their primary discipline. For example, an English concentrator might want to increase her knowledge of energy and the environment from the perspectives of environmental literature or history, while a student interested in global health might want to understand the effects of climate change on water, nutrition, and health.Harvard President Drew Faust said that the new secondary field is part of a broad University commitment to support research and education on the climate-energy challenge, which promises to be a central global issue facing the generation of leaders being educated now.“Our faculty and students have vital roles to play in confronting the challenge of climate change, and we’re committed to advancing their work,” she said. “This new secondary field creates an important academic pathway for our undergraduates to engage with one of the most pressing issues of our time.”HUCE Director Daniel Schrag, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and professor of environmental science and engineering, said the new secondary field was created in part because students in recent years have been asking for such a program. It is modeled after the Harvard Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment, which combines coursework and a weekly seminar to create a community of doctoral students from various fields who share an interest in energy and the environment.The point of the consortium, Schrag said, is not to create an interdisciplinary field for those students, but to make them knowledgeable about cross-cutting issues in energy and the environment that may affect their main area of study.“We want them to be really good at what they do. We want them to be good economists, good chemists, good physicists. We feel like that’s important to lots of different people, because over the course of their careers they will encounter these issues,” Schrag said. “The ESPP concentration is a fabulous interdisciplinary concentration, it is really effective for the 15 to 20 students per class who concentrate in it. But I believe that every undergraduate at Harvard should learn about climate change, about energy technology, about policy related to these issues, about environmental issues more generally.”Students interested in the energy and environment secondary field would be required to take four courses: one broad foundational course, and three advanced courses drawn from categories of social sciences/humanities, or natural sciences/engineering. In addition, students would have access to the HUCE’s resources, including its approximately 250 faculty affiliates and its regular public programs. Students will be required to attend one of those public events each semester, as well as a special seminar with the presenter.“There are important contributions needed from many different people,” Schrag said. “People who study the arts, that’s an important way of thinking about these issues; people who study economics, no question; people who study history, of course; people who study psychology. There’s really interesting work in this space on why people make the choices they do. You want to talk about philosophy? Well, think about the ethical dimensions of some of these problems. These challenges are so great and so pervasive there’s really no field that is not relevant to this issue.”last_img read more

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Doing Our Part to Fight Plastic Pollution

first_imgSunday is Earth Day, a global day dedicated to celebrating our planet.  It is also a day to pause and reflect upon our collective impact upon the environment and how we and our customers can use our technology to reduce that impact.This year’s Earth Day theme is dedicated to ending plastic pollution, a topic that Dell has taken to heart over the last decade.In 2008, Dell started using post-consumer recycled plastics sourced from water bottles and milk jugs in our products.  In 2013, we took it a step further and started putting plastics from e-waste recovered via Dell’s recycling programs back into new products.A few years ago, Adrian Grenier and his Lonely Whale Foundation made us aware of how the issue of plastic pollution affects the health of our oceans. We were moved to bring more visibility to the issue and produced a fully immersive virtual reality experience called “Cry Out: The Lonely Whale Experience” to take people underwater to experience through the eyes of a whale the impact of pollution. You can download the mobile version here.But we felt there were more ways we could contribute.We started a feasibility study to determine if we could use ocean plastic materials in our packaging, which proved out a business case. And last spring, we started shipping our signature consumer product, the XPS 13 2-in-1, in ocean-bound plastic packaging.Our global team members were inspired to do their part as well. They organized more than 50 ocean and river clean ups around the world to support our company’s commitment. This video from the Philippines #ShoreUp event captures the passion of our teams perfectly.And this year our events team is taking Dell Technologies World plastic bottle free- eliminating 65,000 plastic water bottles!We’re honored that these efforts are validated with recognitions like being a FastCompany World Changing Idea Award Finalist.  And today we’re thrilled to accept the ISRI “Design for Recycling” Award for the second time. We hope we’re proving that you can do business while doing good and drive innovation with incredible impact.But Dell efforts alone will not solve the issues. Collaboration is critical, and everyone has a role to play.In December, we announced the convening of NextWave, a consortium of companies coming together to create a global supply chain and commercial use-cases for plastic material bound for the ocean.  We are still looking for partners who can create use cases. Please join us!https://youtu.be/EQ5Sh5HQV8wAnd between April 22 and June 8, we’re organizing clean ups and encouraging “virtual” volunteering as “citizen scientists” for research projects at Zooniverse.org, a platform for people-powered research, made possible by volunteers who come together to assist professional researchers in citizen science projects to help unlock answers to big problems.We hope you will join us in the effort to reduce plastic pollution. Perhaps #stopsucking on straws or skip the plastic lid. Your planet will thank you!CIO of Dell and VMware, Bask Iyer celebrates #EarthDay2018 and explains how we can do more for the environment with a sustainable approach to Digital Transformation “Seeing the Forest for the Trees: A Sustainable Approach to Digital Transformation”last_img read more

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Fossil Free ND presents divestment, renewable energy petition to University President’s office

first_imgKatie Galioto | The Observer Led by sophomore Adam Wiechman, students in Fossil Free ND march in a protest in October of this year.Currently, 4 percent of the University’s endowment funds are invested in fossil fuel companies. Jenkins has said there are no plans to change that number in the near future. On Sept. 20, Jenkins announced the University’s five-year sustainability plan, which included eliminating coal usage on campus by 2020 and providing at least 25 percent of the University’s energy from renewable resources by 2050.  “A few weeks ago, 47 developing countries committed to going 100 percent renewable,” senior Sophia Chau said. “I feel like if they’re able to do that, we — as the world’s leading Catholic university — should be able to set a more ambitious goal than just 25 percent renewable by 2050. “I hope this will bring attention to the disappointment regarding Notre Dame’s sustainability goals on campus, and I hope that the administration will be more willing to engage in meaningful and fruitful dialogue with students and faculty.” Before the petition was delivered, the students gathered in front of the steps of Main Building for a brief prayer service. Senior Luke Hamel said the prayer was written in seven sections, one for each Catholic social teaching. “Each section starts off with a description of that Catholic social teaching and then a personal story of someone around the world who’s been affected personally by climate change,” he said. “Climate change is affecting real people; it’s affecting them now, and we want to share that through prayer and make sure the whole message that Catholics have to protect the most poor and vulnerable is clear.”During the service, students held up painted cardboard signs, reading statements like “planet over profit,” “climate justice is social justice” and “the climate is a common good.” The signatures for the petition were gathered in the last month since Fossil Free ND’s last rally Oct. 27, former student body president Ricketts said. He said the administration’s response to the earlier rally was promising. “We were able — the week after — to sit down with [University executive vice president] John Affleck-Graves and talked through some of the concerns that students have expressed and tried to find some common ground on the technical issues we were facing,” he said. “ … We’re looking forward to seeing the recommendations [the sustainability committee] puts forward in the coming semester or year.”Weekly meetings for Fossil Free ND are held Mondays at 9 p.m. in the basement of Geddes Hall and are open to the public. The planning session for next semester, however, will start at 8 p.m. this Monday, Ricketts said.While the student-led organization will be planning for the near future, Ricketts said the long term goals of progress in sustainability and increased student awareness never change. “We, as students, know the world we want to grow up in and want to create — and it’s one that’s a just place and a sustainable place,” he said. “I think we feel those are more under threat than they have been before, but that’s not going to stop us from trying to have an impact where we can — in the place we call home.” Tags: Climate change, Fossil Free ND, fossil fuel, petition, sustainability A month after their last demonstration, more than 20 students involved with Fossil Free ND presented a petition with 1,183 signatures to University President Fr. John Jenkins’ office Thursday afternoon. “We’re asking that Notre Dame live up to the mandates of our Catholic faith and fully divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies and set a target of 100 percent renewable energy on campus by 2050, which we think are reasonable goals and goals that other universities have done. We’re asking Notre Dame to step up to the plate as well,” fifth-year student Bryan Ricketts said. Jenkins was not in his office, but the petition was delivered to his chief of staff, Ann Firth.last_img read more

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Pac-Man Game Turns 40

first_imgJAMESTOWN – Pac-Man turns 40 today.It debuted in a Tokyo arcade on May 22, 1980 and became a game-changer in the video game world.It went on to become the most successful arcade game of all time. It led to all kinds of merchandise and became an icon of 1980’s pop culture.Pac-Man’s official website says it’s one of the most recognized images on the planet, with 90 percent brand recognition around the world. It all started with a young game designer named Toru Iwatani, who created the game for the Japanese games firm Namco.He says he never thought it would be loved and played so widely throughout the world. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img

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Blueberry Pest Field Day

first_imgWith spring approaching, blueberry farmers focus on maximizing their 2018 yields, which means finding new ways to deal with pests like gall midge and spotted wing drosophila.To help these growers stay on top of potential pest problems, University of Georgia integrated pest management (IPM) researchers hosted a spring field day in Alma, Georgia, on Feb 21. Over 70 regional farmers from several southwestern Georgia counties, such as Bacon, Clinch, Appling and Pierce, attended the half-day event.Attendees ranged from experienced growers to new farmers.“We’ve only been in business for five years, and I feel like I have to take advantage of any opportunity to learn,” said Elizabeth McQuaig McIntyre, a farm manager in Abbeville, Georgia.The field day included presentations about pest risks and management strategies by UGA IPM coordinator Ash Sial and his blueberry research team. Following the presentations, attendees rotated through three stations: a sponsored lecture by AirScout, a pest identification station and a sprayer calibration demonstration.UGA entomology professor Glen Rains demonstrated sprayer calibration on various types of equipment.“Properly calibrated, maintained and adjusted sprayers are important to efficient pest management,” said Rains. “Calibration can be overwhelming if you are a novice or even a seasoned veteran. These field days equip farmers with the knowledge to better care for their crops.”The pest identification station included a microscopic viewing of pest specimens and damage, and management strategies by Sial and his team. Andy Wilkes, a novice blueberry farmer, found this station particularly beneficial.“All the information is extremely helpful, but there is something to be said about walking in the fields, learning what and how to identify, and seeing everything that is against us,” said Wilkes. “Every field day event we attend, we learn something new.”All attendees received Pesticide Applicator license credits.For more information on IPM, including upcoming field days, please visit the UGA Extension IPM website at www.ipm.uga.edu. For more information about the UGA Extension Blueberry Team, visit https://site.caes.uga.edu/blueberry/.last_img read more

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Adventure and Beer: Where to Unwind After a Day on the Trails in Southwest Virginia

first_imgA craft beer on a warm summer day tastes great. But after a day spent slaying singletrack with buddies, swapping out leads with a climbing partner, or hiking with the family, that beer tastes even better. Long ago, some brilliant outdoor enthusiasts paired beer with outdoor adventure and ever since it’s been a marriage made in heaven. In fact, the same thing could be said about food. Towns like Abingdon, VA have capitalized on this après-adventure market, growing their microbrewery and restaurant profile dramatically. Here is your guide to the best trail-to-tavern pairings in the region.Jay YoungVirginia Creeper Trail, Wolf Hills Brewery  Established in 2009 and named after Daniel Boone’s original name for the surrounding area that became Abingdon, Wolf Hills Brewery has turned into the place to visit for craft beers and live music after a long day pedaling the Virginia Creeper Trail, the renowned 34-mile bike trail with its western terminus in Abingdon. Wolf Hills’ Creeper Trail Pale Ale is a perfect post-ride brew that will have you reliving the highlights of the day and sharing stories and laughs with fellow adventurers in the region.Appalachian Trail, Damascus BreweryDamascus is known as Trail Town USA thanks to its proximity to the Appalachian Trail, the Virginia Creeper Trail, the Iron Mountain Trail, and the Trans American National Bicycle Trail. It’s also the gateway town for the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, which features the highest peak in the state. Hikers and cyclists in the know head to Damascus Brewery to sample the small-batch craft beers after a long day in the woods. Damascus Brewery’s, D-town Brown Ale, and Backbone Bock have helped to soothe many sore legs and ignited future adventures in the region.Hidden Valley Climbing, Heartwood Artisan CenterJoe DeGaetanoHeartwood, Southwest Virginia’s artisan center located in Abingdon, makes the perfect stop after trashing yourself climbing on the newly opened sandstone crag, Hidden Valley. Hidden Valley Lake, located about halfway between Abingdon and Bristol, hosts more than 200 routes on bullet sandstone. The climbing runs the gamut from overhanging thuggery to thin delicate crimp work. Regardless of what and how much you climb, a local craft beer is sure to soothe those worked tendons and back muscles. Heartwood offers an unparalleled collection of #SWVA craft brews, with happy hour specials every Saturday. You’ll soon be hatching future plans to send that one route that shut you down.Hiking the Channels Trail, Harvest TableHarvest Table RestaurantWhile hiking and navigating through the rock corridors and labyrinth-like maze of boulders on the 6.6-mile, out-and- back Channels Trail, one will build up a hearty appetite. Luckily for you, the neo-Appalachian inspired, farm-to-table Harvest Table in nearby in Meadowview, Virginia, can help you refuel after your backcountry adventure. Harvest Table sources its food by working with local farmers, breweries and wineries. It tries to keep its carbon footprint as low as possible and chooses seasonal foods to highlight in the ever-changing menu. For more information, go to visitabingdonvirginia.comlast_img read more

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Mexico’s President-Elect Tours Latin America

first_img Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s president-elect, initiated a tour to six Latin American countries, from September 17 to 24, with an agenda stressing security, trade and immigration. Pena Nieto’s schedule includes Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Peru. By heading first to Central America, the new leader aims to assure those impoverished countries – a source of many migrants heading north in search of a better life, and sometimes preyed on by drug cartels for kidnappings – “they will be a priority in practice, and not just in words,” said Rafael Fernandez de Castro, head of international studies at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico. “There are two chronic problems: abuse of migrants in transit and developing our southern border so it will stop being a no man’s land,” Fernandez de Castro added. Pena Nieto, a 46-year-old attorney and an ex-governor of populous Mexico state, hails from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled for 71 years with a mix of patronage, repression and corruption before losing the presidency in 2000. He is to take office December 1 and has pledged, among other things, to quell the drug-related violence ravaging the country. By Dialogo September 18, 2012last_img read more

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Chenango Valley cheer team hosts fundraiser for national competition

first_imgMembers of the team told 12 News the squad is one of the first in school history to have an opportunity to compete at the national stage, which is set at Disney World in Orlando, Fla,. this year. PORT DICKINSON (WBNG) — The Chenango Valley cheer team held their holiday party at the elementary school Saturday, hoping to raise money to fund a trip to nationals in February. “I love it. I think it’s a great way for everyone to come together and not only buy Christmas presents for the holidays, but also support the sports at Chenango Valley so that we can raise for our goal of nationals,” Aswad said. Cheer captains Madison Aswad and Natalie Gillette said the party gives a chance to shine the light on the school’s sports.center_img Local vendors were invited to sell items in time for the holiday, and kids were treated to arts and crafts as well as a chance to interact with Santa Claus himself. The team is actively looking for donations and sponsorships. To participate, the team asks you contact the through a Facebook or Instagram message.last_img read more

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Arcadia plans to offload redundant stores

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

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