Posts tagged with "Federal"

Kaelen Felix illustrates Veterans Day for 360 Magazine

Remembering Veterans During a Strained Time

By: Elle Grant

Wednesday, November 11th marks the annual commemoration of veterans in the United States, aptly named Veterans Day. This year, in the unprecedented context of coronavirus, as well as intense political and social strife, the day takes on an additionally sacred context as a reminder of those who have served our country.

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. Congress then passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, with the day becoming a national holiday beginning in 1938. Similar to Memorial Day, which is an annual federal holiday in May, it celebrates veterans of the United States. However, the difference between them is that Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, living and dead. Yet a particular focus is on those veterans still with us, who served their country with honor and distinction whether during war or peacetime.

Several countries have similar days commemorating their veterans that find their root in remembering World War I and World War II on or near November 11th. Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday. World War I, as arguably the most brutal conflict in human history on the soldiers, is a devastating reminder of why countries celebrate those who serve.

2020 is a particularly remarkable year as it marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, and the 30th anniversary of both the end of the Panama Invasion and the beginning of Desert Shield.

Veterans Day has been distinctly impacted by the coronavirus, still sweeping the nation especially in the Midwest. As such, celebrations and efforts of remembrance are being affected in large ways. Arlington National Cemetery, used to hosting hundreds of thousands of veterans, their families, and the families of veterans who have passed, has altered its yearly ceremony in context of the current pandemic. For the first time, it will be livestreamed, with certain areas closed off, and embracing social distancing and masked mandates. Furthermore, the beloved observance at Memorial Amphitheater has been closed off to the general public, yet the overall cemetery will remain open.

Yet it is no time to despair or to pause the nation’s respects. There are 18.2 milling living veterans who have served during wartime alive in the United States today, all deserving admiration.

Many businesses and restaurants salute veterans during this day with special deals for those who have served and their families. 360 Magazine thanks all veterans for their service.

Rise in Obesity-Related Cancers

A new analysis, published in the Lancet Public Health, raises the alarm that the rates of obesity-related cancers are rising in younger and younger adults. In the new study, six of twelve types of obesity-related cancers have significantly increased between 1995-2014 and the risk of these cancers is increasing in each successive younger age group. These cancers include colorectal, pancreatic, gallbladder, kidney cancer and multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer). These cancer types are particularly concerning because they are very serious and account for over 150,000 deaths in the U.S. every year.

“These numbers are worrying but not surprising; the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recently sounded the alarm that having overweight and obesity cause at least 12 types of cancer. However, the younger and younger age bracket in which we see rates increasing is even more troubling and demands a response. We cannot just watch these rates go up and ignore the factors that we know are contributing to these increases,” says Dr. Nigel Brockton, Vice President of Research at AICR.

Disturbingly, over 70% of Americans have overweight or obesity according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And AICR maintains that cancer risk increases across each higher category of Body Mass Index (BMI) as an indicator of body fatness (Healthy = 18.5-24.9, Overweight = 25-29.9, and Obesity = 30 and above).

A mere five BMI points (kg/m2) separate the three basic (healthy, overweight, obese) BMI categories. It is important to emphasize that cancer risk is not limited to the extreme category of obesity only, the risk increases for those with overweight too. For example, compared to those having healthy BMI range overweight category face an increased liver cancer risk of 30% and those having obesity of 60%.

The recent AICR Energy Balance and Body Fatness Report presented strong evidence for factors that can reduce risk of having weight gain, overweight and obesity, including walking, aerobic physical activity, food containing fiber and a “Mediterranean-type” diets rich in fruits and vegetables that reduce the risk of weight gain, overweight and obesity. Conversely, sugar-sweetened drinks, fast foods and a “Western type” diet rich in meats and energy-dense proteins are strongly linked to increased weight gain, overweight and obesity.

The Report also points to the evidence that greater screen time is a cause of weight gain, overweight and obesity in children. This is particularly relevant in light of the Lancet study that discussed the onset of cancer at an early age, since children with overweight and obesity are likely to turn into young adults in a similar status. There is enormous opportunity to prevent future cancer cases, if changes can be made to stop and reverse the current trend of increasing overweight and obesity. In addition to helping individuals learn about healthy lifestyle choices, community and national policies play a crucial role in creating living spaces more conducive to physical activity and healthier food choices.

AICR is urging Congress and federal agencies to improve funding for cancer prevention research, ensure that federal nutrition and physical activity guidelines reflect the latest research regarding cancer risk, improve nutrition labeling and improve access to lifestyle interventions.

Cleanup of Contaminated Soil and Sediment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that cleanup work will begin this summer to address soil and sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site in the town of Nassau, N.Y. The General Electric Company (GE) will remove contaminated soil and sediment, replace it with clean backfill, restore the stream channel, and re-plant trees and shrubs. The work will begin this summer and will be completed this fall.

“Superfund is at the very core of EPA’s mission and this important cleanup work will address one potential source of contamination at the Dewey Loeffel site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “EPA is working closely with the community and is expanding its efforts to involve stakeholders as we advance this cleanup forward working closely with our state and local government partners.”

EPA will hold a public information session on July 17 in Nassau to provide an overview of the recently completed field investigation activities and the upcoming cleanup. EPA will also discuss the opportunity for the formation of a community advisory group (CAG) for the site. A CAG is made up of members of the community and is designed to serve as the focal point for the exchange of information among the local community and EPA, the state regulatory agency, and other pertinent federal agencies involved in cleanup of the Superfund site.

A public information session will begin at 6:00 p.m., with a formal presentation beginning at 7:00 p.m. Members of the project team will be available to answer questions about current and planned project activities.

Public Information Session:

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Open House: 6 – 7 p.m., Presentation: 7 p.m.

St. Mary’s Church

Parish Hall (behind the church)

26 Church Street, Nassau, N.Y.

Background:

The stream to be addressed, technically known as Tributary T11A, is a 1,900-foot stream which flows into the Valatie Kill. The sediment and adjacent shoreline soil of Tributary T11A is contaminated with elevated levels of PCBs, which serve as a potential ongoing source of contamination to downstream areas, such as Nassau Lake. In September 2017, the EPA, working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), reached an agreement with GE to conduct the T11A cleanup.

Between 1952 and 1968, an estimated 46,000 tons of industrial waste material generated by several Capital District companies was sent to the Dewey Loeffel Landfill site. The waste included industrial solvents, waste oil, PCBs, scrap materials, sludge and solids. From 1980 until the site was added to the federal Superfund list in 2011, numerous investigations and cleanup actions were performed at the site by GE and the NYSDEC. The cleanup work in Tributary T11A is an immediate action that is being taken to address contaminated soil and sediment in the tributary while the EPA’s long-term comprehensive study of the site continues.

For more information about the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund Site, please visit www.epa.gov/superfund/dewey-loeffel-landfill.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://facebook.com/eparegion2.

Tribute to The Honorable George P. Shultz

Joined by nearly 250 guests at the historic Old U.S. Mint, the California Historical Society, the state’s official non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the Golden State, hosted a Gala dinner celebrating The Honorable George P. Shultz on January 11, 2018.

“Secretary Shultz has had a distinguished career serving five presidents, holding four key Cabinet positions, and overseeing some of the nation’s most historic, pivotal moments,” said Dr. Anthea Hartig, Executive Director of the California Historical Society, “Dr. Shultz is a man of integrity, leadership, and loyalty – a true statesman who has dedicated his life to serving our nation and advancing important causes.  His wide-ranging and long-standing contributions have been acknowledged with a truly remarkable array of awards and honorary degrees, their very variety a testimony to the rich diversity of his contributions.”

The black-tie event took place on the 263rd birthday of Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Treasury Secretary. In 1972, as America’s 62nd Treasury Secretary, George Shultz helped save the 1874 Old U.S. Mint – now a National Historical Landmark – from sale and destruction, ensuring the powerful legacy of the Treasury in the western United States.

A distinguished group of leaders in business, education, government, and philanthropy came together to plan and support the Gala in celebrating one of California’s and the Nation’s true civic legends, in one of the West’s most significant historic buildings.

The Honorary co-chairs for the event were Mr. Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr., Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., the Honorable Dr. Condoleezza Rice, and Mrs. Charlotte Mailliard Shultz. The Chair of the Host Committee was CHS Trustee Linda Elliott.

AFJ Applauds Sens. Booker

Following the announcement that Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) will join the Senate Judiciary Committee, Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement: 

“We are delighted that Sens. Booker and Harris will be joining the Senate Judiciary Committee as it takes up its critical work in the new year. These two Senators are champions for fair courts and access to justice for all, and will bring experience, intellect and discernment, as well as diversity, to the committee.  We look forward to their valuable input as the committee makes decisions about the men and women who will be given lifetime appointments to the federal bench and performs its critical oversight role with regard to the justice system that meant to protect all our rights.”