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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Delta’s 12th Annual ‘Breast Cancer One’ Survivor Flight Takes Hope to New Heights

Press Release – New York, NY (September 27, 2016) — Delta ‘s 12th annual “Breast Cancer One” employee survivor flight takes to the skies today, kicking off the airline’s month-long campaign to generate awareness and raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Delta’s iconic Pink Plane will carry more than 140 employee breast cancer survivors on the flight’s first transcontinental route from New York City to Los Angeles.

“The work we do with BCRF each year has one goal – eradicating breast cancer. This partnership stems from our commitment to not only support each other, but also the communities where we live, work and serve each day,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President of In-Flight Service. “With the help of our employees, customers and community partners we will continue to work together to create a better tomorrow.”

Delta leaders and BCRF executives will join the survivors for a kickoff celebration at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The group will then take off for Los Angeles International Airport where survivors will be treated to a special evening at the JW Marriott, Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.

Delta’s Pink Plane

Delta’s Pink Plane

The dinner event will celebrate the survivors, discuss cancer research milestones and include special guests Wanda Sykes and co-founders of BCRF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund Rita Wilson, Jamie Tisch, Kelly Meyer Quinn Ezralow, and Marion Laurie. The dinner will also include a meet-and-greet with Dr. Sofia Merajver, one of BCRF’s world-renowned researchers.

For the third year in a row, Delta customers will also join the flight. Delta recently held a SkyMiles Experiences online auction, where three customers donated a total of 205,001 miles, which will go directly toward BCRF and its efforts. The three customers, each with a guest of their choice, will also be a part of the flight.

“As a global leader, Delta’s commitment has been instrumental in advancing BCRF’s mission to be the end of breast cancer,” said Myra Biblowit, President of BCRF. “Delta’s dedication is deeply personal—underscored by the passion of their employees and customers. In joining forces with the highest rated breast cancer organization in the country and the largest private funder of research in the world, we are confident that, together, we will consign breast cancer to the history books.”

Delta employees, customers and their friends and families have raised $11 million for BCRF since 2005, including last year’s efforts of $1.75 million. The collective contributions have funded the vital work of 44 different research projects over the years in the pursuit of eradicating breast cancer.

To further raise awareness and support for breast cancer research, Delta employees will wear pink uniforms and sell pink products, including pink lemonade and pink headsets, on board and in Delta Sky Clubs throughout the month of October.

Additional information, including how to donate, is available on delta.com/bcrf.

Delta offers the most seats of any airline between New York’s JFK and Los Angeles and San Francisco and is the only carrier to operate widebody service on both routes. The airline has also made several investments both in the air and on the ground to enhance the experience for customers. In Los Angeles, Delta will soon embark upon a relocation to Terminals 2 and 3 at LAX, taking steps toward a $1.9 billion plan to create a premier partner hub that offers best-in-class check-in, seamless connectivity and an industry-leading customer experience. In the meantime, Delta’s LAX customers continue to enjoy its recent $229 million facilities investment at Terminal 5, including a newly remodeled Delta Sky Club and a brand new premium check-in experience, Delta ONE at LAX. In New York, Delta customers at JFK travel through a $1.4 billion, state-of-the-art international gateway at Terminal 4, which opened in 2013. A new Delta Sky Club in San Francisco opened last summer.

Delta Air Lines honors 140 breast cancer survivors with the 12th annual "Breast Cancer One" employee survivor flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport on September 27, 2016. The flight on Delta's iconic pink Boeing 767 kicks off the airline's month long campaign to generate awareness and raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), the largest private non-profit funder of breast cancer research in the world. Photo Credit: Ben Gabbe, Gabbe Group for Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines honors 140 breast cancer survivors with the 12th annual “Breast Cancer One” employee survivor flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport on September 27, 2016. The flight on Delta’s iconic pink Boeing 767 kicks off the airline’s month long campaign to generate awareness and raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), the largest private non-profit funder of breast cancer research in the world. Photo Credit: Ben Gabbe, Gabbe Group for Delta Air Lines

Once onboard, all cross-country flights between JFK and LAX and SFO offer the premium cabin Delta One, with full flat-bed seats and a suite of other amenities, including TUMI amenity kits, featuring Kiehl’s Since 1851 products, and wines selected by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson. To commemorate the airline’s BCRF campaign, Delta partnered with TUMI to create a unique BCRF amenity kit to help generate awareness. The kits will be offered on Delta One flights out of the U.S. and flights between JFK and LAX and SFO. Customers traveling from JFK to LAX are also able to enjoy hand-crafted, seasonally rotating meals from Union Square Hospitality Group’s North End Grill.

Additionally, Delta Comfort+ offers upgraded amenities such as dedicated overhead space, extra legroom and premium snacks including Luvo sandwich wraps and Greek frozen yogurt bars. Customers can also access free entertainment options through Delta Studio.

About Delta’s “Pink Plane”

In 2012, Delta’s international Boeing 767-400ER was formally dedicated to the memory of Evelyn Lauder who founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1993. The aircraft flies international routes and will raise awareness for BCRF around the world this year. Delta’s first pink plane was a Boeing 757 that flew between 2005 and 2010 throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean to generate awareness for the cause.

About the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is dedicated to being the end of breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research. Founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, BCRF-funded investigators have been deeply involved in every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. This year, BCRF will award $57 million to support the work of more than 250 scientists at leading medical and academic institutions across 14 countries, making BCRF the largest private funder of breast cancer research worldwide. By committing 91 cents of every dollar directly to its mission, BCRF is one of the nation’s most fiscally responsible nonprofits. BCRF is the only breast cancer organization in the US with an “A+” from CharityWatch and has been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating of four stars 14 times since 2002. Visit http://www.bcrfcure.org/ to learn more.

Common Threads Launches Common Bytes Program to Give Kids Tools for a Lifetime of Healthy Living

Interactive platform builds foundation for childhood nutrition through fun nutrition education games and activities online

Press Release – CHICAGO (September 28, 2016) Common Threads – a non-profit organization that provides hands-on cooking and nutrition education to children, families and teachers in underserved communities – is launching a new online learning tool, Common Bytes, on October 10, 2016 as part of National School Lunch week. Common Bytes is an online resource that equips families and educators across the country with the tools needed to bring nutrition education into learning environments for pre-K through eighth grade students. With one in three children in the U.S. obese or overweight, Common Bytes presents a fun and easy way for children to learn about nutrition and embrace a healthy lifestyle.

“Children are empowered to be agents of change for healthier families, schools and communities across the country through our programs. Common Bytes supports our current programming and substantially extends our reach,” said Linda Novick O’Keefe, Common Threads’ Co-founding CEO. “Now, not only can children in Common Threads programs continue to learn about nutrition, but wellness advocates and aspiring kid-chefs across the country can access our research-based tools and resources.”

How Do You Play?

Common Bytes initiates learning through recipe-driven games that take children on a journey to learn about the food they eat and the path it takes to get to their plate. The program begins by selecting a recipe and leads to an informational page about the dish. Here children can find cultural and nutritional facts, preparation and cook time and an ingredient list, as well as access to tools like a cooking timer, conversion chart and cooking how-to videos featuring professional chefs.

The next step is to embark on the recipe journey: a series of interactive games including everything from filling the cart at the grocery store to measuring ingredients. By the end of the recipe journey, children have played games covering nutrition, gardening, reading nutrition labels, healthy grocery shopping and cooking techniques, and are encouraged to make the dish at home. Children can even upload photos, write reviews, add their own favorite recipes and view a list of the journey games they have completed.

“Technology is a huge priority in our schools and so is student health and wellness. Our teachers use Common Bytes to teach nutrition in an easy, interactive way,” said Dr. Sylvia J. Diaz, Assistant Superintendent Innovation and School Choice at Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “The platform and lessons allow students to interact virtually with the recipes they prepare and reinforce what they learned in class.”

Why Should Teachers Use Common Bytes?

The Common Bytes teacher account provides a convenient way for teachers to bring nutrition education into their classrooms. Through Common Bytes teachers can sort through classes, track individual students and see how their school compares to others in the district. They can teach with Common Bytes in groups or individually, as well as assign students take home lessons.

Teachers who have completed the Common Threads’ Healthy Teacher Training course will also have access to lesson plans through Common Bytes. Once certified, teachers can access Common Threads lessons by grade level and topic while viewing alignment with National Health Education Standards. They can also find extension lessons to connect to Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards as well as favorite lesson plans, download PDFs lessons and even leave feedback for Common Threads.

Common Bytes can be played on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device with internet access, by visiting www.commonbytes.org.

Urban Land Institute Receives Grant from the Leichtag Foundation to Support Institute’s Food and Real Estate Program

Press Release – WASHINGTON (September 28, 2016) – The Urban Land Institute (ULI), a research and education institute dedicated to responsible land use and building thriving communities worldwide, has been awarded a $115,000 grant from the Leichtag Foundation to support the institute’s Building Healthy Places Initiative’s focus on food and real estate. This effort seeks to explore the intersection between real estate development and food, and demonstrate how access to fresh food can help enhance human health, the environment, social equity and food system security, as well as community sustainability and prosperity.

With the support of the Leichtag Foundation, ULI will expand its work on the connection between food and real estate, working with members and partners to explore trends and opportunities at the intersection of food, real estate, and community farming, as well as sustainable, equitable, and financially-favorable approaches to integrating food access into real estate projects. This work will build on ULI’s existing activities in this area, including a comprehensive report on food and real estate that will be available at the institute’s Fall Meeting, which will be held October 24-27 in Dallas.

ULI’s food and real estate program is part of its Building Healthy Places initiative, which leverages the power of ULI’s global networks to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities, and its Center for Sustainability, which is dedicated to creating healthy, resilient, and high-performance communities around the world.

ULI’s work will consist of the following over a two-year period:

  • ULI will conduct targeted outreach and local programming that engages ULI’s sizeable member networks in exploring opportunities to support and leverage the growing interest in community farming and food-focused real estate development.
  • ULI will bring members together with new audiences of real estate professionals, community farming experts, and others working at the intersection of food and real estate to deepen understanding of how to elevate food as a factor in land use decision-making. This effort will result in the creation of a practical and tactical action plan to support development of “state of the art” real estate projects that accommodate community farms, promote food access, and leverage growing consumer interest in food. ULI will work to increase the number of professionals engaged in a range of activities related to food and real estate.

“We are delighted to receive this generous grant from the Leichtag Foundation,” said ULI Foundation President Kathleen Carey. “It will help greatly in advancing ULI’s work on the connection between food and real estate. We are aiming to show how access to fresh, locally grown food can serve as a key amenity that provides multiple benefits, in terms of quality of life, economic success and environmental sustainability.”

“We see how growing more food locally can create new pathways for food access, food justice and building healthy communities,” said Daron ‘Farmer D’ Joffe, Director of Agricultural Innovation and Development at Leichtag Foundation. “We do this work at Leichtag Commons and Coastal Roots Farm, and we believe this grant will help more communities create these pathways too.”

About the Urban Land Institute

The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has nearly 40,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information, please visit uli.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Unique Baby Names Amid Move to More Traditional Values

Researchers at San Diego State University find that American baby names are becoming increasingly unique even as other parts of culture return to more traditional values.

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2016) — What’s in a name? The answer to that question has changed over time. New research suggests that American parents are choosing more unique names for their children than they did a decade ago, bucking what many thought would be a return to more traditional names following recent economic turmoil. Instead, a societal shift toward individualism may be responsible for the uptick in uniqueness.

“The results are bit surprising, as many speculated that the Great Recession would ‘reset’ American culture toward more group-oriented values, such as choosing traditional names,” said the study’s lead author, San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge. “Instead, parents are now even more likely to want their children to stand out rather than fit in.”

Twenge, author of the book “Generation Me,” analyzed data from the U.S. Social Security Administration’s database of names given to 358 million babies born between 1880 and 2015 who were issued a Social Security number.

She found that between 2004 and 2006, 34 percent of boys and 24 percent of girls received one of the 50 more common names for that time period. Fast-forward to 2011-2015, and only 28 percent of boys and 21 percent of girls received one of the 50 most common names for that time period.

Delving deeper into the data, Twenge searched for trends connected to historical economic indicators, such as stock market performance and unemployment numbers. Some researchers have theorized that during lean economic years, parents tend to choose more common names for their children as society shifts toward more traditional, communal values. But Twenge’s analysis didn’t bear this out, finding that these variables were only weakly linked to baby naming trends.

Geographic trends further supported this finding: The trend toward uniqueness was found both in California, which was severely affected by the recession, and in Texas, which was less affected. The findings, co-authored by Lauren Dawson, a 2013 SDSU graduate, and W. Keith Campbell of the University of Georgia, were recently published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

“The Great Recession did see the return of some communal values, such as charity donations and saving energy,” Twenge said. “However, American parents continued giving their children more and more unique names.”

She suspects that rising cultural individualism is responsible for the nontraditional names.

“Most parents in the 2010s are millennials, a generation raised to value the unique self,” Twenge said. “In naming their children, they may have been more influenced by their individualistic childhood than by their experiences during the recession.”

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its 35,000 students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 91 areas, master’s degrees in 76 areas and doctorates in 23 areas. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit www.sdsu.edu.

Sir Richard Branson and Adrian Grenier Swam Nearly 2 Miles across Italy’s Strait of Messina To Promote Ocean Health

Press Release – Los Angeles, Calif. (September 27, 2016) – Well-known environmental activists Adrian Grenier and Sir Richard Branson completed a unique swim challenge in conjunction with the Lonely Whale Foundation and Ocean Unite with the goal of spotlighting the critical importance of ocean health.

Yesterday at 11:00 a.m., Grenier and Branson began the 2.05-mile (3.3-km) open swim, launching from the southern tip of mainland Italy and finishing at Sicily’s Cato Peloro beach, accompanied by boats with lifeguards for every three swimmers.

Previously this year on World Oceans Day (June 8), Grenier and Branson joined to ask people everywhere to #MakeASplash by submitting a photo or video explaining “how much you appreciate the ocean and everything it provides,” which has earned 265M social media impressions and 9K posts from more than 120 organizations and individuals.

As an extension of #MakeASplash, and as a part of the annual Virgin Strive Challenge, the 66-year-old Branson challenged the 40-year-old Grenier to join him in an act of swimming stamina to show how individuals can take action to effect change on our shared planet. The challenge is a metaphor for how, when we work together, we can go further, faster, which is what is needed to improve ocean health more quickly than our current rate of change.

“It’s hard to swim in open ocean, but I accepted the challenge to overcome my personal limitations. And I knew I could do it, as I know that we, together, can overcome the challenges that face our civilization, and save the precious resources that is our ocean,” Adrian said.

The Lonely Whale Foundation launched in 2015 to develop empathy for marine life and inspire action that improves ocean health. Inspired by the documentary film about finding 52Hz (52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale), the Foundation provides K-5th grade education on marine animals and ecosystems and engagement initiatives like #MakeASplash. Through Adrian Grenier’s role as its social good advocate, Dell developed Cry Out: The Lonely Whale Virtual Reality Experience, a fully immersive underwater expedition that transports viewers into the depths of the sea to witness underwater life and the impact of pollution. Please visit http://www.lonelywhale.org.

Making Social Media Good for Girls: Announcing The Project for Girls

“Community powered by positivity, passion, & electric idea sharing” from The Project for Women Founder, Lauri Levenfeld

Contributors include US Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles and Project Runway’s Ashley Nell Tipton; features include Francesca Capaldi

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO, September 28, 2016 — Fashion photographer Lauri Levenfeld (Marie Claire, Seventeen, Sundance Film Festival), the founder of The Project For Women, announced today the launch of a new online editorial project geared toward young women: The Project For Girls.

A spinoff of its predecessor, The Project For Women, which pairs personal Q&A’s of entrepreneurial female leaders with Levenfeld’s signature photography, The Project For Girls offers inspiring content and interviews girls from all walks of life. In keeping with the site’s ethos, to be a “community powered by positivity, passion, and electric idea sharing, posts on TPFG are not only written for tweens and teens – they are written by tweens and teens.

Upcoming feature subjects include Francesca Capaldi of Disney’s “Dog with a Blog;” upcoming contributors include Simone Biles (US Olympic Gold Medalist), Ashley Nell Tipton (Winner, “Project Runway”), Ariana Greenblatt (star of Disney’s “Stuck in the Middle”), Olivia Rodrigo (star of Disney’s “Bizaardvark”), Lori Mae Hernandez (“America’s Got Talent” comedian), Natalie Hampton (16 year-old founder of the app Sit With Us), Gabrielle Begun (author, “Freddy the Penny”) and Alexa Ponciano (model + actress).

“Being a fashion and celebrity photographer, I have seen how girls often position themselves on social media,” says Levenfeld, herself the mother of a young woman. “There is pressure there to tear each other down, to tease and bully. The Internet can be a hostile and threatening place for girls.

But through The Project For Women, I’ve also seen how powerfully influential women can be in the opposite direction: they can collaborate online, they can mentor, they can celebrate each other’s successes. So I dreamt up The Project For Girls as a response to the all-too-common experiences girls have these days online. Like The Project For Women, I wanted to carve out a space for girls that felt inspirational and fun, uplifting and positive. Where they could be themselves, talk to each other, and feel the power of a larger, creative, and most importantly supportive community.”

“I am so honored to be a part of such a wonderful project, I feel that it is very important that girls have a place to go where they can feel safe and comfortable to speak out about their issues, and not feel judged by people,” says Capaldi. “Girls have a hard enough time as it is with friendships, relationships and being hard on themselves; we cannot continue to be so cruel to each other. I think The Project For Girls will be a great place for girls to be able to speak out and learn from others.”

Topics covered on TPFG include everything from bullying to teacher favoritism, social media to girl empowerment. Photos of each subject aim to capture each girls’ quirks and authentic self-expression, showing off their creativity and unique personality.

“Being a mom of a seven year-old, I can already imagine where she might go,” says Levenfeld. “Technology will be a part of her future, but it’s so important to me that it adds quality to her life, not diminish it. I want her to be able to engage in beautiful, meaningful relationships, and those include the relationships she discovers on social media. Our team at The Project For Girls aims to set a new tone for girls on the Internet, so that my daughter and young women like her can congregate online, and feel awesome about it.”

Emerald Cities Collaborative Partners with DOE to launch the Better Communities Alliance

A Landmark Initiative to Ignite Clean Energy Action in 60 Cities & Counties Nationwide

Press Release – September 27, 2016, Washington, D.C. – Announced by the White House during Smart Cities Week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is launching the Better Communities Alliance (BCA), a groundbreaking collaborative effort among local governments, philanthropies, nonprofit organizations and leading private companies to accelerate local clean energy progress and leadership across the country.

“We are proud that DOE has tapped ECC as one of 60 partners and affiliates joining the Better Communities Alliance,” said ECC President and CEO Denise Fairchild. “As part of the Obama White House’s broader Smart Cities Initiative, BCA will reflect the administration’s commitment to a smarter, more collaborative approach to working with local communities that puts citizens, community groups and local leaders at the center of its efforts to identify local needs and priorities, develop and build upon evidence-based and data-driven solutions and strategically invest Federal funding and technical assistance.”

With 87 percent of total U.S. energy to be consumed in cities by 2030, America’s city and county leaders, through the BCA, are making commitments to reduce wasted energy in homes and buildings, expand renewable energy and sustainable transportation options for their residents and businesses, harness new energy-saving technologies and invest in resilient power systems and community infrastructure.

The BCA is part of DOE’s broader Better Buildings Initiative that aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade. Through Better Buildings, public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate successful strategies to drive energy efficiency. Such efforts can save billions of dollars on energy bills, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create thousands of jobs.

“Cities and counties are already centers for clean energy innovation across the United States,” said DOE’s Under Secretary for Science and Energy Franklin Orr. “Through the Better Communities Alliance, DOE is committed to further supporting America’s local governments and working with leaders from the public and private sectors to deliver energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transportation solutions that create cleaner and more prosperous communities for millions of Americans.”

As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, the BCA will support ECC’s work in making communities cleaner, healthier and more economically just and inclusive. To date, the communities where ECC is working that have signed onto the initiative are Los Angeles and Miami-Dade Counties, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. A full list of participating communities, which DOE will continuously update can be found here. So far 34 local governments serving 40 million Americans are on board.

These partners are working with DOE to accelerate local clean energy progress and bolster leadership. They will receive streamlined access to DOE clean energy resources, opportunities to apply for resources, access to forums for peer networking and expert dialogue and federal recognition of clean energy achievements.

In addition, the BCA will improve community access to DOE’s existing clean energy expertise and resources and create actionable dialogues and peer exchange between public and private partners to identify opportunities for collaboration and progress.

ECC is one of 26 public and private “affiliates” with which the BCA is partnering. The list also includes the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and Institute for Market Transformation, which are represented on ECC’s board. The affiliates will help identify specific opportunities for collaboration with DOE and local governments:

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Are Suburban Garden Ponds Spreading Lethal Frog Disease?

UK study suggests human activity may be helping fuel ranavirus outbreak

Keen gardeners stocking their domestic ponds with exotic or wild aquatic species could be inadvertently fuelling the rapid spread of the lethally infectious frog disease ranavirus, according to new research led by scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Queen Mary University of London.

The research – the most comprehensive investigation into the pathogen’s spread across UK amphibian populations to date – was carried out alongside UCL and Herpetofauna Consultants International (HCI), and sheds new light on how ranavirus managed to spread so quickly across the UK in recent decades.

While the infection can arrive with the natural movement of amphibians, the expansion of its range appears to have been exacerbated by human transfers of infectious material between their own garden ponds, or direct from a common source such as commercial aquatics retailers.

The study found that virulent viruses have been introduced to the UK at least twice, with human interventions combining with natural amphibian dispersal to facilitate a rapid invasion. The risk of disease was higher in areas of higher human density, while a corresponding reduction in risk in less populated areas suggests that human population density is a more significant predictor of disease spread than other factors like the local climate.

Data analysis also indicated that fewer disease outbreaks occurred in less affluent neighbourhoods, raising the possibility that the fashion for introducing exotic or wild animals into ornamental ponds and other water features in British suburbs may be inadvertently fuelling the pathogen’s spread.

Commenting on the study, lead author Dr Stephen J. Price from QMUL/ZSL/UCL said: “Ranavirus is one of the most serious health threats currently facing the UK’s amphibian population, so our findings that humans seem to have helped move the virus around, facilitating its rapid spread, could be translated into some straightforward ways to manage the risk of disease outbreaks.

“It seems that well-meaning homeowners stocking their garden ponds with frogs, fish or spawn translocated from neighbouring ponds or beyond could inadvertently be fuelling the spread of this serious amphibian disease. We certainly don’t want to discourage people from adding ponds to their urban gardens – this remains one of the most positive steps we can all take to support wildlife – but equally we would strongly urge people to try to limit how much potentially-infectious material they’re moving into and out of their gardens in the process.”

The study was based on two decades of citizen science data recorded by the Frog Mortality Project – originally through HCI/ZSL and conservation charity Froglife, then the ZSL-coordinated Garden Wildlife Health. More detail on this scheme is available here: http://www.gardenwildlifehealth.org/

For more information on ZSL’s wider work to conserve the world’s amphibian populations, please visit: https://www.zsl.org/conservation/species/reptiles-and-amphibians

ACEEE: California Golden Again On Energy Efficiency, Regains #1-State Spot in Tie with 6-Time Winner Massachusetts

10th Anniversary Energy Efficiency Scorecard Shows VT, RI, CT, NY Rounding Out Top 5; MO, ME, and MI are 3 Most Improved States; LA, KS, SD, WY, and ND at Bottom and Most in Need of Improvement.

Press Release – WASHINGTON, DC///September 27, 2016/// In a dramatic photo finish, California and Massachusetts both won the top spot in the 10th edition of the 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). This marks Massachusetts’ sixth consecutive year in first place, but the first time it shared the spotlight with the Golden State, which last held the title in 2010. The balance of the top 10 consisted of Vermont (#3), Rhode Island (#4), Connecticut and New York (tied for #5), Oregon (#7), Washington state (#8), Maryland (#9), and Minnesota (#10).

The three most improved states are Missouri, Maine, and Michigan. The ACEEE State Scorecard identifies the following states as most in need of improvement: Louisiana (#47); Kansas (#48); South Dakota (#49), Wyoming (#50), and North Dakota (#51).

Steven Nadel, executive director, ACEEE, said: “Governors, legislators, regulators, businesses, and citizens are increasingly recognizing that energy efficiency is a critical state resource that keeps money in the local economy. The past year has been an exciting time for energy efficiency, with several states strengthening efficiency policies and programs. States are spurring efficiency investment through advancements in building energy codes, transportation planning, and leading by example in their own facilities and fleets. These investments reap large benefits, giving businesses, governments, and consumers more control over how and when they use energy.”

Jay Nixon, governor of Missouri, said: “Missouri is proud to be among the most improved states for energy efficiency this year. Our state energy plan recognizes the vital role that energy efficiency plays in helping Missouri citizens and businesses manage their budgets. Going forward, Missouri will continue to work towards a more sustainable and secure energy future and create next-generation jobs in this fast-growing industry.”

Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, US Department of Energy (DOE), said: “States oversee many policies and programs that unlock efficiency’s many benefits—economic competitiveness, more jobs, an improved environment. The Scorecard shows states are diving deeper, pushing further, innovating, and making tremendous progress on efficiency.”

Andrew McAllister, commissioner, California Energy Commission, said: “To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from building energy consumption, California’s highest priority is energy efficiency. California continues to prove that using energy wisely is good for both the economy and the environment. A robust and growing clean energy economy enables real people to understand and choose between attractive options that improve their lives and achieve deep energy savings. With the right public-private cooperation and partnerships, we expect even greater things ahead.”

Judith Judson, commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, said: “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to supporting energy efficiency policies, which are consistently proven to be the most cost effective way to reduce ratepayer costs and lower emissions. By working with our utility partners, the Commonwealth’s ratepayers continue to realize billions of dollars in benefits from our nation-leading energy efficiency policies and programs.”

To download the full State Energy Efficiency Scorecard online visit: http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard.

OTHER KEY FINDINGS

The 2016 ACEEE State Scorecard zeroes in on six policy areas in which states pursue energy efficiency: utility and public benefits programs and policies; transportation policies; building energy codes; combined heat and power (CHP) policies; state government–led initiatives around energy efficiency; and appliance and equipment standards. Here are the leaders in each category:

  • Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont are the top states in utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies. A total of 26 states enforce and adequately fund energy savings targets to drive investments in utility-sector energy efficiency programs. The states with the most ambitious targets include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Arizona. New Hampshire is the most recent state to adopt energy savings goals for its utilities.
  • California, Massachusetts, and New York are out in front on energy-efficient transportation policies. California’s requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions have prompted several strategies for smart growth. Massachusetts promoted smart growth development in cities and municipalities through state-delivered financial incentives. New York is one of the few states in the nation to have a vehicle-miles-traveled reduction target.
  • Several states—including Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Washington—join California and Illinois in achieving top scores for building energy codes and compliance this year. A growing number of states have taken major steps toward the adoption of the most recent DOE-certified codes for both residential and commercial new construction. These include Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.
  • Massachusetts, Maryland, and California score highest for their combined heat and power policies.
  • California, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Tennessee set the pace in state government-focused initiatives.
  • California continues to lead the nation in setting appliance standards, having adopted standards for more than 100 products. Within the past year, it became the first state to adopt standards for LEDs and small-diameter directional lamps, and it also updated its standards for HVAC air filters, fluorescent dimming ballasts, and heat pump water chilling packages.

States continue to be standouts in other regards when it comes to energy efficiency. New York posted an increase in electricity savings. Earlier in the year, the Empire State also completed major updates to its state building energy codes. Utah and Tennessee made similar gains thanks to updates to state building energy codes this year. Arkansas committed to extend its energy efficiency goals and gained points for state government-led policies, having recently closed its first commercial PACE project.

Weston Berg, research analyst and lead State Scorecard author, ACEEE, said: “Over the last 10 years, we have seen that many if not most innovative policies and programs that promote energy efficiency originate at the state level. As a cost-effective compliance option, efficiency is a valuable addition to any state’s policy toolkit, saving money, driving investment across all sectors of the economy, creating jobs, and reducing the environmental impact of energy use.”

METHODOLOGY

ACEEE allocated 50 possible points to states among policy areas: 20 points to utility and public benefits program and policy metrics; 10 points for transportation policies and programs; seven points to building energy codes; four points to improved CHP policies; seven points for state government-led initiatives; and two points going to state appliance and equipment standards.

Policy information for The 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard reflects the state of play on energy efficiency as of the end of July 2016.

ABOUT ACEEE

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit http://aceee.org.

Repair the World Launches “Act Now for Racial Justice” Campaign

Driven by Jewish values, ongoing opportunities to learn, host, and serve during High Holidays and beyond

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Press Release – New York, NY – Offering opportunities to stand against racial injustice through service, Repair the World today launched “Act Now for Racial Justice”, a campaign that coincides with the Jewish High Holidays and that will continue through MLK Day and Passover in 2017. The campaign includes resources for young adults to learn how racism permeates economic, social, and criminal justice systems; to host meals and discussions with peers exploring how our food systems perpetuate racial injustice; and to take action and serve with communities to move closer to racial justice.

“Like in the African American community, young adults are leading our Jewish community in creating change; and, by standing in solidarity, they are making a meaningful difference, sending an important signal, and building deep relationships across racial lines,” said David Eisner, CEO of Repair that World. “Our Jewish values compel us to stand for racial justice and to right the wrongs we see nearly daily; this feels especially urgent right now, as we look to understand where we’ve fallen short over the past year, and to mark the New Year by resolving to do better. Act Now for Racial Justice offers our community tools to take action through service in a Jewish context, and to address important inequities in our communities.”

The meals hosted during the campaign will be part of Repair the World’s Turn The Tables initiative, and will include educational materials, including discussion guides. A portion of the meals are supported by OneTable.

Learn more at http://werepair.org/high-holidays, including information on service opportunities around the country to counteract racial injustices in food and educational equity. Follow #ActNowForRacialJustice on Twitter for stories and interviews with Jews of color and others standing against racial injustice Act Now for Racial Justice will continue to offer service and reflection opportunities year-round, including on MLK Day and Passover 2017.

To stand as allies with victims of racial injustice, Repair will send a Jewish delegation to Facing Race, November 10-12 in Atlanta, GA. Facing Race is a collaborative endeavor to grow the racial justice movement and the largest multiracial, intergenerational gathering for organizers, educators, creatives and other leaders.

“Meaningful service in solidarity with communities of color is a powerful way to take a stand against racial injustice,” Eisner adds. “We are all part of America’s racial justice journey and young adults often look for active roles they can play to positively impact this journey. Frankly, each of us already play a role in the racial justice journey of our community and our country. The question we each need to ask is whether we are satisfied today with what that role has been.”

Repair the World—part of the Slingshot Class of 2016 in recognition of its innovative approach to Jewish life and engagement—coordinates major service initiatives year-round, including through its flagship program, Repair the World Communities. Repair recently hosted the inaugural Service Matters: A Summit on Jewish Service, which also included 35 partners from the Jewish and secular service worlds.

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