Discovering the Congo carbon sink

first_imgAgriculture, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Ecosystems, Environment, Forests, Gorillas, Interns, Peatlands, Research Cuvette Centrale, as it is known, stores as much carbon as has been emitted by the U.S. over the last 20 years.The peatland ecosystem is home to wetland birds, forest elephants, and western lowland gorillas.Threats to the vast carbon sink include climate change and conversion to agriculture. Laden with carefully thought-out food supplies, Greta Dargie carried her heavy pack as she waded through the mud. Getting to field sites in the swampy forests of the Cuvette Centrale in the Congo Basin proved no easy task.Dargie and her team travelled by boat down one of the two main rivers of the Likouala region in the Republic of the Congo (RoC). They hiked and waded through water and mud that was sometimes waist high. But they were not alone. These forests are also filled with thousands of lowland gorillas.The UK-Congolese team traveled by boat down river, waded across swampy forests, and camped on soggy ground deep in the forests of the Cuvette Centrale. Underneath this muddy water was a discovery that would have important global implications. Photo credit: Dr. Simon Lewis.The team’s determination and sense of adventure allowed them to discover the largest peatland in the tropics. It extends 145,000 square kilometers, covering an area greater than England.Dr. Greta Dargie and Dr. Simon Lewis—affiliated with both the University of Leeds and University College London in the UK—led the expedition. They first discovered peat soils in this area in 2012, and spent three years exploring this remote region to determine its expanse.This discovery is not just important for the Cuvette Centrale region: it also has global implications. Peat soils are formed from plant material that is not completely broken down. They are important carbon storage systems—also known as carbon sinks.In their recent study, Dargie and Lewis estimate that it might hold 30.6 billion metric tons of carbon. Dargie likened this number to 20 years of carbon emissions from the United States. They also write in Nature that there is almost the same amount of carbon belowground as there is throughout the entire Congo Basin aboveground.Peatlands only fulfill their role as carbon sinks when decomposition of plant material is slowed or prevented. The waterlogging in these swampy forests helps maintain this role. However, climate change poses a potential threat to this new discovery.If rainfall decreases regionally due to warming, the water in the peatland could drain, ramping up decomposition. If this occurs, release of carbon dioxide and methane – two important greenhouse gases – could increase.“If the peat was to somehow be drained and burned, then the release of the carbon into the atmosphere would be a grave blow to the global attempts to mitigate climate change,” said Dr. Fiona Maisels, advisor for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) wildlife survey and monitoring programs in Central Africa. WCS is the Congolese government’s partner in conservation efforts.The Cuvette Centrale (shown in green) is an extensive forest and wetland system that spans both the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo on the continent of Africa. Although extremely remote, Dr. Greta Dargie and Dr. Simon Lewis overcame challenging conditions to discover the tropics’ largest peatland. Photo credit: Dr. Greta Dargie.Inside Cuvette Central is the DRC’s fourth largest protected area: Lac Télé Community Reserve (LTCR) covering 4,400 square kilometers. The LTCR is home to a high diversity of wetland birds, and all three Central African crocodile species. This includes two of the most threatened crocodilians in the world – the slender-snouted crocodile (Crocodylus cataphractus) and the dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis).In addition, the LTCR contains among the highest densities of Critically Endangered western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in the region.But how did a peatland the size of England go undiscovered for so long? The Congo River Basin is larger than India. Although researchers believed there might be peat here, they could not find locations mentioned in the scientific literature.“Nobody called the swamp forest in the Cuvette Centrale peat swamp forest, so we needed to go and have a look for ourselves,” said Lewis.Traversing this swamp forest is no easy task: there are few people that venture into it. Furthermore, Lewis noted that peat could only be traversed when it was not submerged at the end of the dry season. Unless you were looking for it, you were not going to find it.The UK team worked with local villagers who knew the forest and were skilled in living in the challenging environment. Accessing field sites required traveling by boat, wading through muddy, swampy terrain, and camping on saturated forest floors.The western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is a critically endangered species living in the wetlands of the Cuvette Centrale. They are found in high densities in the Lac Télé Community Reserve (LTCR). Typically, they reside in drier areas that are not waterlogged, known as terra firme (“firm earth”) forests. Photo credit: Rhett A. Butler.But having an effective team helped in these conditions. Dargie said local expertise was essential.“They showed us how to construct platforms to pitch our tents on when the swamp was flooded.”To map the extent and carbon storage capacity of this peatland, the UK-Congolese first collected peat samples. Determining the amount of carbon and the thickness of the peat was integral in estimating the carbon capacity. In one area, the peat soil was 5.9 meters thick – roughly the size of an adult giraffe.Peat consists of semi-decomposed plant material. Decomposition is slower in these ecosystems due the waterlogged conditions. Because of this, peat soils act as carbon storage systems. Hundreds of these samples were collected to determine the extent and amount of carbon present in this peatland. Photo credit: Dr. Simon Lewis.After collecting hundreds of samples, they noticed that the peat is regularly found under two vegetation types: hardwood swamp forests and swamp forests dominated by raphia palms (Raphia laurenttii).The team then mapped these two forest types using satellite data. They needed to figure out how far these peatlands extend within the Congo Basin. The combination of their empirical and satellite data proved that this was the largest peatland in the tropics, and stored some 30 billion metric tons of carbon.Maisels said that the government is considering expanding the LTCR to conserve a larger portion of this important ecosystem. The LTCR is both a Ramsar site and one of BirdLife International’s Important Bird Areas.There are also 27 villages consisting of 17,000 people in or near the LTCR. These villagers depend on the natural resources that this habitat provides, like bushmeat, fish, construction materials, and medicine. Although traditional practices are an important part of their cultures, conservation’s presence helps make sure quotas are maintained.Unfortunately, climate change is not the only threat to this ecosystem. For wildlife, Maisels said that “hunting of animals for bushmeat is, as for much of central Africa, an important threat, where the meat is sold outside the area by commercial bushmeat operators.”Conversion to oil palm or other agricultural crops could pose a future threat to both the wildlife and the carbon within these peatlands. Such conversions are ongoing in other parts of Africa, and could happen down the line in the RoC if the peatland is not valued as a climate and wildlife protector.Citations:Dargie, G., Lewis, S.L., Lawson, I.T., Mitchard, E.T.A., Page, S.E., Bocko, Y.E., Ifo, S.A. (2017). Age, extent and carbon storage of the central Congo Basin peatland complex. Nature, 542, 86-90. Article published by Maria Salazarcenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

How will Trump Admin policy rollbacks impact efforts to combat climate change?

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A new analysis from the World Resources Institute (WRI) looks at seven different studies that estimate what the US’ annual emissions levels will be in 2025 under a range of possible scenarios based on Trump’s policies versus what would happen if Obama’s policies were left intact.While Trump’s policies will lead to far more emissions than Obama’s would have, the authors of the analysis, WRI’s Taryn Fransen and Kelly Levin, found that all scenarios considered in the studies lead to US emissions being higher than the 2025 target the US committed to when it ratified the Paris Climate Agreement.Can sub-national efforts led by cities, states, and businesses actually make up the difference between the US Paris Agreemen targets and the current trajectory of US emissions? Fransen and Levin looked at two different studies that explore this question, as well, and discovered that it is indeed possible. Given that Donald Trump tweeted in 2012 that he believes concern about global warming is the result of a ploy by China to make American manufacturing less competitive, and then in a 2014 tweet explicitly called global warming a “hoax,” it was no surprise when his administration moved aggressively to undo the climate actions taken by former President Barack Obama.Trump began exploring ways to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement before he was even sworn into office, and announced on June 1, 2017 that he was officially pursuing withdrawal from the pact signed and ratified by Obama. The soonest any country can formally withdraw is four years after the Paris Agreement went into effect, or 2020 — but Trump made it clear at the G20 summit in July that the US would “immediately cease” any effort to honor the emissions reduction plan (known as a nationally determined contribution or NDC) that the Obama Administration committed to in ratifying the accord.Under Trump, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a key component of Obama’s climate legacy that sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, and has gutted numerous other rules and regulations aimed at drawing down emissions, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and otherwise protecting the environment.So what impact will this climate action rollback have? A new analysis from the World Resources Institute (WRI) seeks to answer that question by looking at seven different studies that estimate what the US’ annual emissions levels will be in 2025 under a range of possible scenarios based on Trump’s policies (such as whether the Trump Admin succeeds in overturning the Clean Power Plan or not) versus what would happen if Obama’s policies were left intact.The authors of the analysis, WRI’s Taryn Fransen and Kelly Levin, found that all scenarios considered in the studies lead to US emissions being higher than the 2025 target in the US NDC.The “studies suggest that if Trump’s policies are put into effect, U.S. emissions in 2025 will range from 5.6 to 6.8 Gt carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e),” Fransen and Levin write. “Under Obama’s policies, estimates suggest emissions would have ranged from about 5.0 to 6.6 GtCO2e.”NEW from WRI: The impact of Trump’s policy rollbacks on climate change: https://t.co/pO4fHbbxR9 pic.twitter.com/GR1KWxNCFP— WRI Climate (@WRIClimate) December 6, 2017However, while Trump’s policies will likely lead to much higher emissions levels, Fransen and Levin note that even Obama’s policies would have failed to meet the US NDC target of 4.8 to 4.9 GtCO2e in 2025, meaning that, no matter what, significant additional actions would have to be taken between now and then.Which isn’t the same as saying that there’s no difference in Trump’s and Obama’s climate policies, of course: “Unsurprisingly, the studies find that the United States would have come closer to hitting its NDC target under Obama’s policies than under Trump administration proposals,” Fransen and Levin add.Even as the Trump Administration seeks to weaken the US response to global warming, however, there are a number of sub-national and private sector efforts emerging to reduce emissions, usher in an era of renewable energy, and honor the Paris Agreement commitments.Most notably, there’s the We Are Still In network, which was launched just days after Trump announced he would pursue withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and now boasts more than 2,500 state and local elected officials, business leaders, academic institutions, and more. There’s also the America’s Pledge initiative, led by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown, which works in tandem with We Are Still In and attended the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany in November to represent the many people and institutions in the US who continue to work to combat global warming.But can efforts led by cities, states, and businesses actually make up the difference between the US NDC targets and the current trajectory of US emissions? Fransen and Levin looked at two different studies that explore this question, as well, and discovered that it is indeed possible.One of the studies found that 2025 emissions could be reduced by as much as 4.5 GtCO2e through a variety of actions available to local governments and businesses, such as aggressive replacement of coal-fired energy production with clean energy sources and the implementation of policies like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard and tougher vehicular fuel standards regardless of whether the federal government pursues them or not.Another study “explores the levers states can use to control emissions from electricity, transport and on-site sources,” according to Fransen and Levin, and “concludes that if states find the political will to use these levers, they could meet the U.S. climate commitment.”At the same G20 summit where Trump let it be known that the US would not honor its Paris Agreement commitments, the leaders of the 19 other nations in attendance reaffirmed their own intention to work together to meet the emissions targets they had set for themselves. That means that sub-national efforts in the US are not acting alone, as Fransen and Levin point out: “Many U.S. cities, states, regions and companies are already joining other countries in taking the helm on climate and clean energy action and pointing the way toward a low-carbon future.”The Alta Wind Energy Center in Kern County, California, is the third-largest land-based wind farm in the world. Recent research has found that state, regional, and local efforts to combat climate change have the potential to meet the gap between the US’ emissions reduction targets and the projected emissions levels under Trump Administration policies. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Climate Change Policy, Climate Change Politics, Environment, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Greenhouse Gas Emissions center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Shop owner Lipson dies at 97

first_imgJack A. Lipson, who sang and played guitar and banjo with the Dixie Lee Band in the 1930s in England, died in his sleep Friday morning in a residential care home in Santa Clarita. He was 97. Lipson became an antique dealer in Selsey, Sussex, in the U.K. after World War II. He emigrated to the United States in 1948 with his family and continued his business, importing antiques from England. He owned retail antique stores in West Hollywood prior to purchasing Carl’s, a paint and wallpaper store in Burbank, in 1957. He operated the paint store with wife, Sophie, for 20 years before retiring. Lipson was a one-time avid tennis player who reached the semifinals of the London Evening News Tennis Tournament in 1929. Lipson leaves his wife of 76 years, Sophie “Bobbi” Lipson; his daughter, Valerie Cravitz of Santa Clarita; his son, Larry Lipson, the Daily News’ restaurant critic; two grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. A service will be held Sunday afternoon at Mount Sinai Funeral Home in Los Angeles. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

RUNNERS AND WALKERS UNDER STARTER’S ORDERS FOR ‘RUNEGAL’

first_imgIreland’s most spectacular run/walk – the Runegal 10k returns for its third year on Saturday July 14th in Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal, starting at 2pm.RUNEGAL 10k or the Horn Head Challenge – has built a reputation for being one of the more difficult but rewarding routes in the country, with the tough hills competing with the astonishing scenery of Horn Head to take your breath away. It has a total ascent of 225 metres to the top of Horn Head giving you spectacular views as you start your descent for a fast final 5 kilometres.The run is officially measured and affiliated by Athletics Ireland and each participant will receive an official race time. The aim of the event is to challenge runners and walkers and give you a change from the usual flat 10k races across the country. As well as that, participants can make a weekend of it and get to visit one of the most picturesque locations in Ireland.Participants can run or walk the route and it’s all in aid of Donegal Hospice, while a welcoming family setting is expected at St. Michael’s GAA club of Dunfanaghy. RUNEGAL 10k starts and finishes at the GAA club with an after party planned for Patsy Dan’s at 7.30pm.Registration for the event is €20 and there are 3 ways you can register: – Online through www.runireland.com/events/runegal-10k– In Centra, Dunfanaghy up to 9.30pm on Friday 13th July – just ask any member of staff– On the day there will be registration from 9.30am until 1.30pm at St Michael’s GAA Club, Dunfanaghy.For more information, you can check out the Runegal Facebook page at www.facebook.com/runegal10km or can watch a video of the spectacular route at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYvLn3UfGgo. RUNNERS AND WALKERS UNDER STARTER’S ORDERS FOR ‘RUNEGAL’ was last modified: July 9th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Runegal 10Klast_img read more

The gift of life

first_imgDUARTE – The sense of elation was felt Friday at the City of Hope as hundreds celebrated their triumph over life-threatening cancers and diseases. For patients and the friends and family who struggled through illnesses with them, Friday’s bone marrow transplant reunion was a chance to rejoice in the success of City of Hope’s 30-year-old program. It was also a time to remember the people who donated the bone marrow that cured them. “If you can save somebody’s life, it’s the greatest thing,” said Sandra Sholkoff, a 58 year-old psychiatrist and grandmother of three diagnosed with leukemia in July 2002. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventIn a mid-morning ceremony at the hospital’s Rose Garden, Sholkoff met her donor for the first time. After a few words from Sholkoff’s doctor, lawyer Roger Winkelman, 49, appeared and the two shared a long embrace. “It was a very easy decision to make,” Winkelman said afterwards of his donation, “a no-brainer.” Joining the marrow registry requires a simple blood test, and donation has virtually no risks. It is achieved either by removing marrowfrom the pelvic bone or by separating the necessary cells from the blood. “What I’m amazed at was the ease of the whole procedure and the outcome,” said donor Deborah King, a licenced practical nurse in Albuquerque. King, too, had a chance to meet the recipient of her cells, Taylor Distelrath. Taylor’s mother, Cheryl Distelrath, broke into tears as King appeared. “That lady did a lot for my family,” Distelrath said later. “Thank you is not enough, because she saved my daughter’s life.” Each patient wore a large button proclaiming the number of months or years since their transplant. “People tend to go around looking for numbers higher than theirs as a way to understand that life can continue, there is life after transplant,” said the head of City of Hope’s bone marrow program, Dr. Stephen Forman. City of Hope has the largest bone marrow transplant programs in the state, and treated more than 500 people last year alone. City of Hope scientists are now making headway in applying what they’ve learned about curing cancers to curing autoimmune diseases, and are also working to make the transplant more tolerable for recipients, doctors said. But on Friday, one message stood out. “A simple blood test will get you into the registry,” King said. “I would encourage anybody to do it.” 10-year-old elise.kleeman@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Five families begin life in new Habitat homes

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The Fernandezes were among five low-income families who on Saturday got a warm “welcome home” from Habitat for Humanity volunteers at a dedication ceremony at their new homes. The gated subdivision, which eventually will have 62 homes, is located across the street from Maclay Middle School in Pacoima. Before the city purchased the land and sold it to Habitat, it was covered with dilapidated homes and was a haven for drug dealers and prostitutes, said Gerhard Runken, director of fundraising for the Habitat for Humanity, San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys chapter. Today, the site has 20 homes, mainly three- to four-bedroom duplexes, and more than a dozen more are planned for Phase II, said Tom Neary, past president and a member of the board of directors for the Habitat chapter. Habitat receives no federal funding, and relies on volunteers, corporate financial and in-kind donations and support from religious groups and other community organizations, Runken said. PACOIMA – Truck driver Luis Fernandez calls the Habitat for Humanity program “straight from heaven.” Fernandez, 24, wife Tereza, 25, and daughters Prizila, 4, and Rebekah, 1, had been living in a converted San Fernando garage before they moved into a new duplex-style home they helped build. Breaking down in tears, Luis Fernandez thanked the volunteers who had helped the family build their home, saying they were “truly men of God … and someday, I hope to give back like you gave here. “You’ve given my princesses and my queen – and this king – our very own castle,” he said. At Saturday’s celebration, each family was given a Bible and two huge baskets of gifts, one from the Stephen S. Wise Temple and one – which included a new coffeemaker – from Starbucks. The high cost of real estate, as well as housing materials, makes it difficult for Habitat to add more houses, Runken said. But the need for affordable housing, particularly in Los Angeles, continues to grow. More than 420 people applied for the homes, said Lyn Rauls, interim executive director. Applicants, most of whom earn less than $35,000 a year, must be employed, have good credit and be able to pay the mortgage. The five families who were selected paid 1 percent of the purchase price – typically around $250,000 – and got no-interest home loans. But first the new homeowners had to provide 500 hours of “sweat equity,” helping to build their own home and those of their neighbors. “We’re giving an opportunity to families who could never have had this wonderful piece of the American Dream,” Runken said. “It’s not a hand-out. It’s a hand up.” For the Fernandez, Gonzalez, Gutierrez, Hernandez and Villalobos families, it was a dream come true as they became homeowners. The Fernandez family are the first in their families to become homeowners. “Now we have the ability to put away some savings for a college fund,” Luis said. Tereza Fernandez was a little daunted at first by the “sweat equity” requirement, because she had never done any construction. “Now I know how to paint and put in insulation,” she said proudly. “Every time I look at the house or look at the fence, I remember the time I did that.” Habitat volunteers said helping low-income families become homeowners strengthens the city as a whole, helping to lift families out of poverty and leading to increased community stability and active citizenship. Rauls said many of the volunteers earn too much money to qualify for the Habitat program, but can’t afford a home in Los Angeles on their own. Yet, they still donate their time and effort to build a house for families who are less fortunate than they. Patrick Hall, chairman for Habitat’s family support committee, said he loves to see how putting families in homes makes a life-changing difference for their children. “It’s a future for these kids,” Hall said. “This is a safe place for them.” Manny Hernandez, 16, agreed, saying he felt much safer in his new Habitat home than in the one-bedroom North Hills apartment he shared with his parents, Maria and Manual Hernandez; his grandmother, Petrona, 72; and his brother, Melvin, 11. Now a student at Monroe High School, he dreams of someday of becoming a chef. “It’s just better for the children,” Maria Hernandez sighed happily, speaking in Spanish. “We were too crowded.” lisa.sodders@dailynews.com (818) 713-3663160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

talkSPORT host slams Liverpool’s performance against Wolves as ‘unacceptable’

first_imgTony Cascarino has described Liverpool’s FA Cup defeat to Wolves as ‘unacceptable’ by the club’s high standards.Ruben Neves’ thunderbolt sealed a 2-1 third-round win for the hosts after Divock Origi had hauled Liverpool level.Raul Jimenez opened the scoring after James Milner’s first-half error and, according to former Chelsea striker Cascarino, Liverpool were thoroughly deserving of their exit after a woeful opening 45 minutes. Jurgen Klopp’s poor record in the FA Cup continued Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade “The first-half was not acceptable for Liverpool Football Club,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“Passing can go astray, but generally they were second-best and Wolves deserved absolutely everything they got in that first-half.”Klopp made nine changes, including handing Curtis Jones and Rafael Camacho their debuts, while 16-year-old defender Ki-Jana Hoever became the club’s third youngest player ever.MORE: ‘Jurgen Klopp was RIGHT to field a second-string team against Wolves’He replaced Dejan Lovren, who suffered a hamstring injury after just five minutes to increase Liverpool’s defensive injury issues.However, Cascarino highlighted the performance of experienced striker Daniel Sturridge as a real cause for concern.He added: “For someone like Daniel Sturridge, we all thought he was going to be fit for the season, everyone kept saying how sharp he looked – he really wasn’t at the races last night. 3 Latest Football News huge blow Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card “But he was one of a few.”Klopp outlined he was forced into most of his changes and insisted he did not disrespect the cup.He said: “I’m not sure what you all would have said if our centre-half situation (from the start) was Fabinho and Ki-Jana, probably a few smart people would have told me I don’t respect the competition. Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Daniel Sturridge struggled against Wolves MONEY 3 RANKED “It doesn’t make sense to bring a 16-year-old boy from the start but he came on and did well.“I changed a lot because we have to, not because I wanted to.“After the City game we had immediately a few players who were ill with a sore throat. Pretty much all the players who weren’t here today had little problems.center_img Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Liverpool were lacklustre in the first-half at Molineux REVEALED BEST OF Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move REVEALED “Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson were in our plans. Dejan was not in our plans, he was only supposed to be on the bench.“The intensity of the last few games gave me information it is not possible to start with the three up front.“We have been playing with a similar line-up in some really tough games.” Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury 3 no dice Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade ADVICE last_img read more

Burns vows ‘I’m not done yet’ after losing world title

first_img“I think where he came back from before is about ten levels below where we are now,” Hearn said.”The Zlaticanin fight felt like the end of the world. “Tonight he lost in a unification fight to a very good fighter. If he can come back from the Zlaticanin defeat then he can certainly come back from this.”While saying that he would give any big fight consideration, Burns did rule out an all-Scottish affair with up-and-coming talent Josh Taylor, suggesting the desire for a fight was coming from trainer Barry McGuigan more than Taylor himself.“I’m not entertaining that,” he said. “Josh is a cracking fighter, I get on well with him and he’s the Commonwealth champion but how many fights has he had?“I think there’s a lot bigger fights out there for me than Josh Taylor.”Reflecting on the defeat to Indongo, Burns admitted the verdict was fair.He said his opponent’s style was difficult to get around and that the IBF and IBO champion was a big hitter.“The better man won,” he said. “Obviously I’m devastated that I’ve lost my title.“He was a lot more awkward and better than we thought he was going to be.“The first few rounds we knew what we were going to do. We were going to play it safe with a high guard, be on the move and try to take the sting out of him. He could punch, by the way. My head’s thumping.“The better man won on the night and I don’t know what else to say. I’m gutted.“I’m going to have a couple of weeks off. A couple of my stable mates are fighting next week so I’ll go down and watch them. I’ll probably go down and see Eddie before I go on holiday and we’ll discuss what’s next.” Ricky Burns said he was devastated by losing his WBA world super-lightweight title to Julius Indongo but insisted he still has some big fight nights left in him.The 34-year old was beaten in a unanimous points decision by the Namibian southpaw at the Hydro on Saturday night, suffering the sixth defeat of his 48-fight professional career.Having bounced back from losses to become a three-weight world champion, he wouldn’t rule out more big occasions in the future.“I’ve still got a few years in me and I’ve still got a few big nights left so we’ll see what happens,” Burns said. “I’m not finished yet. “Losing is the most gutting feeling ever but I’ve always said I will fight anybody at all. I’m not afraid to lose but just now it’s not nice.“They could say to me you’re fighting anyone at all and I would say ‘no bother’. My attitude is that a fight is a fight. I’m not afraid to go in with the best because boxing is all I’ve ever wanted to do.“There are still some great big fights out there for me and I’m not done yet.”Promoter Eddie Hearn agreed with Burns, saying that the road back from losing to Dejan Zlaticanin after defeat to Terence Crawford had been far more damaging.last_img read more

The SATURDAY SIX News Desk: Bait You Can Click On

first_imgShare This!This week’s SATURDAY SIX is a truly special one as we once again dust off the blue blazer and step behind the SATURDAY SIX News Desk. What a week. If you’re like us you’ve been deluged with #Blizzard2016 pictures, the Oscars dealing with a diversity problem, and Donald Trump being Donald Trump. However we’ve been informed that a whole lot of stuff happened in the theme park world recently. So we took a page out of our old college playbook and pulled an all-nighter, cramming as much information as we could into our brains so that we could report back to you, Dear Reader, with all the relevant facts (and before we forget it all tomorrow). So sit back, know that you are getting all the news that’s fit to print (and plenty more that’s not), and let’s begin our countdown starting with…# 6 – Pizza Planet Under Major Refurbishment. Coming Back With a New Theme?Could Pizza Planet actually come back with a Muppets theme? (photo by Matt Cleary)First, some backstory. For years Jim Hill, an icon of theme park media, has been telling the story of how the Muppets were originally going to be used in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. One of the things that never ended up coming to fruition was The Great Gonzo’s Pandemonium Pizza Parlor. Can you imagine a Muppet’s themed restaurant, with a kitchen run by the Swedish Chef, where Mama Melrose’s Restorante Italiano now sits?  Dare to dream.Now it’s time to put on the detective hat. Recently Pizza Planet at DHS closed down for a long refurbishment. What should have been a wonderfully themed venue themed to the world of Toy Story was instead one of WDW’s most bland restaurants/arcade. Back at the D23 Expo, Disney unveiled details of the upcoming Toy Story Land expansion. This new land is going to built on the other side of the park, so it would be strange to have a Pixar related restaurant (no matter how poorly themed) so far away from everything else. After the construction walls went up around Pizza Planet, WDW uncharacteristically put up a lot of humorous signs on the walls. Gags that are much more in line with the type of jokes  you see in the building of say… Muppet*Vison 3D. In a recent edition of the Disney Dish podcast, Jim Hill said that instead of a Gonzo themed restaurant, we may actually see The Swedish Chef’s Cooking School.Will Pizza Planet return from it’s refurbishment as a Muppets themed restaurant? Time will tell, but it is almost assuredly not coming back as Pizza Planet and for that we can all be thankful. To stay up to date on this story follow the boys over at WDWThemeParks.com.# 5 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios Closes More Attractions, Informs Guests “Good luck with all that.”A glimpse into the near future? (photo by Michael Sheehy)As of this writing it has been 490 days since DHS closed the Studio Backlot Tour. Since that time other attractions have joined the hit list. The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow. The Magic of Disney Animation. The Cars and Phineas and Ferb meet and greets. Mulch, Sweat, and Shears. On April 2nd, DHS will close Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, Honey, Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, Watto’s Grotto, the Monsters Inc meet and greet, and the Studio Catering Co quick service restaurant. The Earffel tower, one of our favorite WDW park icons, will soon be finding its way to the Disney Dump and we’ll also be losing The Writer’s Stop (home of the famous carrot cake cookie. You can still get the cookie at Sweet Spells, but it’s not the same).That’s a lot of stuff, especially for a park that has never been known for having a lot of rides and attractions in the first place. With Star Wars Land and the previously mentioned Toy Story Land not opening any time soon (and that may be the understatement of the year), guests who haven’t been keeping up with the closures at DHS are in for a quite a surprise when they enter the park this summer (and this fall, this winter, 2017, 2018, etc). Guest Services may see as much action as they did during the disastrous Villains Unleashed party back in 2014.Will DHS do anything extra to “make good” on charging a full day price for a park going through this big of a change? History tells us possibly not, as Disney’s California Adventure just made guests suck it up during their transition from The Park No One Liked into one featuring Cars Land. But to be fair, guests out there were steps away from Disneyland. Guests at DHS are steps away from EPCOT, another park with a shortage of rides. If we had our druthers, we’d have DHS bring in a rotating cast of rare characters for meet and greets and allow each guest an automatic FP+ to meet one of their choice.Clearly that is just wishful thinking, but let’s just hope DHS is fully stocked with extra hula hoops.–# 4 – It’s Not Just Theme Park Attractions That Get Delayed…The Internet broke last week with the news that Star Wars Episode VIII would be delayed. The movie was scheduled to be released on May 26th, 2017, but was pushed back to December 15, 2017. The Episode VIII news was covered by just about every media outlet in the known world. In fact at least 100 news outlets possibly were created just to make sure we got this story. This was an interesting decision by Disney because moving Episode VIII put it directly into competition with James Cameron’s Avatar 2, which was scheduled for Christmas Day 2017. Considering Disney put in a rumored 400 Million dollars (and possibly more) into building Avatarland at Animal Kingdom, it is not in their best interests to cut the legs out of that movie by positioning a sure hit in Star Wars right before it.Just throwing this out there, but the night of the Star Wars announcement, Your Humble Author speculated on why Disney made the controversial move.The very next day it was announced that Avatar 2 would not be coming out on Christmas Day. There is no timetable on when we may see another Avatar film. Disney also filled the open gap in its film schedule by moving Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales into the May 26h slot. This is a movie that possibly no one outside of Johnny Depp’s accountants asked for, but we’re getting it anyway.–# 3 – Orlando Creates Almost 50,000 New Jobs in 2015, Most Of Them Being WDW CMs Holding “FP+ Starts Here” SignsTwitter user @patrick720 caught this picture of a FP+ line for Expedition Everest starting at Finding Nemo: The Musical.This can’t possibly be what they imagined in the board meetings when discussing the benefits of FP+. (photo by Seth Kubersky)Whaaaaaaaaat?! (photo by Seth Kubersky)For a long time the “Best Kept Secret” at Walt Disney World was the Disney Vacation Club. Today, the best kept secret is the next level bananas FP+ lines you just may run into when out at the parks. Sometimes they are so long it’s hard to believe they are even real. In a move that surely has prevented Guest-on-Guest violence, you’ll notice Cast Members holding “FP+ Line Starts Here” signs.There are several factors that contribute to this perfect storm of a queue. It takes more time for guests to line up their MagicBands to the readers compared to a CM just quickly checking the time off an old legacy Fast Pass. Guests not understanding the FP+ system clog up the space while talking to CMs. It is also rumored that WDW has put in a lot extra FP+ into the system to make sure guests feel they are getting the selections they want.So now we have a whole bunch of guests in ridiculous lines in an unthemed outdoor make-shift queue, who then walk briskly through an actual themed queue once they get past the bottleneck. Can Disney fix this problem? There’s certainly some short term things they can do to make the guest experience better. Move the FP+ scanners deeper into the attraction. Install more FP+ scanners or at least separate them enough to truly allow multiple people to use them at once (just like at the turnstiles at the front of the park, many guests don’t realize a MagicBand reader is open because of how they are set up and a CM rarely – if EVER – alerts them to an open one). Long term maybe Disney can figure out a way where one person can scan in for an entire group. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that WDW ultimately has to do one specific thing to help alleviate this problem: Fix it!–# 2 – Walt Disney World Petitions Government to Fly Drones in OrlandoA glimpse into a possible dream of Bob Iger as he imagines drone usage in Orlando. (photo by Michael Sheehy)There’s a famous expression, one that most people say incorrectly, in you can’t eat your cake and have it too. After 9/11, Disney lobbied for – and got – a No-Fly Zone status instituted for the airspace above its theme parks. Universal doesn’t have this status. Nor does Six Flags, SeaWorld, or any other theme park or amusement park in the United States. This was all fine and dandy, until Disney wanted to use drones.We heard about Disney applying for patents to use drones in theme park shows a while back, but not much since. On episode 95 of the Disney Dish podcast with Jim Hill and Len Testa, they discussed the possibility of a new show using drones (which they refer to as “Flixels“) coming to Seven Seas Lagoon as part of Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021. This show would be a replacement for the Electrical Water Pagent.Will Disney get their FAA exception? Well, we opened this segment with an oft-used expression and we’ll close with another one: money talks. Disney has a lot of money and even more influence, especially in the state of Florida. You can all but take it to the bank that we’ll be seeing drones in some capacity at Walt Disney World in the near future.–# 1 – END OF THE WORLD NOTICE: LeFou’s Brew Gets a Seasonal Version with LeFou’s Winter BrrrewClutching my pearls.–Not a dream! Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! This past week Disney unveiled a seasonal variant to LeFou’s Brew. Available at Gaston’s Tavern, this hot cocoa drink certainly makes one think about its similarity to hot Butterbeer, which was introduced to tremendous success during last year’s Celebration of Harry Potter. So similar that we wonder if the newly introduced Butterbeer Fudge will be followed by a LeFou’s Fudge.The bad news? The name LeFou’s Winter Brrrew is next level bananas. The good news? LeFou’s Winter Brrrew is approximately one million times better than standard LeFou’s Brew. We’ll take it! So there you have it: The SATURDAY SIX News Desk: Bait You Can Click On. See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan)How great is this. The “FP+ Line Starts Here” for Stitch IS RIGHT WHERE THE LINE BEGINS ANYWAY. You Can’t make stuff like this up. (photo by Seth Kubersky)If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:Six Events That Will NOT Be On Any Theme Park CalendarSix Things We Wish Theme Park Fans Would Stop Complaining AboutInaugural 2015 Theme Park Awards (AKA ” The Burgys”)Six Great Souvenirs From the Universal Orlando ResortSpecial Thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover, the Keymaster Tim Grassey, master photo manipulator Matt Cleary, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and Brian Carey.last_img read more

Our freedom ‘did not come free’

first_img3 April 2014 Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane has called on all South Africans to uphold the freedom the country has enjoyed since 1994. “Our freedom came at a tremendous cost and must be jealously guarded,” Chabane said on Thursday. “We must never lose sight of the sacrifices of those who came before us, so that we can be free today. “It is up to us to carry the torch of freedom that so many of our fellow countrymen and women fought and even died for. Let us be the generation who celebrate their legacy.” Chabane was speaking in Pretoria following a session of the National Communication Partnership (NCP), which brings together stakeholders in the communication field to discuss ways of uniting the nation around the 20 Years of Freedom celebrations. The session coincided with the launch of 2014 Freedom Month. Chabane said the fact that South Africa was now a better place to live in before 1994 was not empty rhetoric, as everyday life was full of examples of how things had changed since 1994. “This is not simply a feel-good declaration,” he said. “It is evident wherever we look. It is tangible and very real for millions of South Africans as they go about their daily lives. “We have worked tirelessly to build a better life for all our people, especially those who were deliberately underdeveloped and sidelined by apartheid.” Chabane said South Africa’s 20 Year Review, released last month by President Jacob Zuma, confirmed the progress the nation had made. He added that over the past 20 years the country had forged a national identity built on mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance, which formed the basis for nation building and social cohesion. “We have much to celebrate and be proud of in this regard. At one time, we were a nation at odds with each other. Our peaceful transition stunned the world [at a time] when some predicted that the country would be divided by a civil war.” Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more