News story: Community projects to benefit from £45 million of HS2 government funding

first_imgcommunity projects along High Speed Two (HS2) railway route to get a cash boost from £45 million government pledge HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani visits Crewe to announce £5 million to help communities along HS2 Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe first recipients of the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) are confirmed today fund will provide legacy of improvements along the Phase One route from London to the West Midlands HS2 and major projects media enquiries Castlehaven Community Association in Camden, London, receiving £73,591 to support ‘Greengage’, a local community initiative to get more residents engaged in environmental issues Helmdon Acorns pre-school in Northamptonshire, receiving £5,442 to improve the safety and accessibility of the children’s play area Thorpe Mandeville Village Hall Trust receiving £4,600 to resolve damp issues at the village hall Steeple Claydon Methodist Church in Buckinghamshire, receiving £12,000 to make a number of improvements to the church premises West Euston Partnership in London, receiving £74,804 to support ‘Healthtrain’, a community-led local health initiative Wormleighton Parochial Church Council in Warwickshire, receiving £74,982 to install toilets and catering facilities in St Peters Church HS2 will be the backbone of our national rail network – supporting growth and regeneration and helping us build a Britain fit for the future. Whilst we know there will be disruption as we deliver one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects, we are absolutely committed to minimising the effects of building the new railway. That is why I am delighted to see this significant funding helping to unlock the potential of communities and businesses along the route, ensuring the legacy of HS2 extends beyond the railway. These diverse and empowering projects will help regenerate local areas and bring people closer together, and I look forward to seeing more grants being funded in the future. These funding allocations highlight the government’s determination to ensure HS2 is more than just a railway, but a catalyst for economic growth, driving regeneration as well as improving the transport landscape around the rail line.The cash will be spent on public projects such as the refurbishment of community centres, nature conservation and measures to support local economies and employment. Apply for the Phase One community and business funds Switchboard 0300 330 3000 As we deliver HS2, we have the opportunity to leave a positive legacy for the communities along the route of the railway. Our Community and Environment Fund, and its twin Business Fund, are starting to support important local initiatives, including building renovations and environmental projects. We’re encouraging local people to come forward with other opportunities, such as community-led nature projects which could contribute to the ‘green corridor’ we’re creating alongside the railway. This grassroots activity is in addition to the national benefits of HS2, which will rebalance the economy by connecting 8 out of our 10 biggest cities, increase rail capacity on the current system and reduce journey times, while also creating thousands of jobs across the UK. We have had a fantastic response so far and are proud to be supporting a variety of projects which will bring huge benefits to their communities for many years to come. More funding is available for eligible applicants in the HS2 Phase One area and throughout the construction of Phase One. We look forward to announcing more funded local projects for Phase One and the launch date for Phase 2a applications. Community projects near the HS2 route to benefit from £45 million fund The first organisations to secure CEF local grants are: Cathy Elliott, independent chair of CEF and BLEF said: Community projects along the new HS2 railway route will receive more than £245,000 as part of a £45 million pledge by the government to provide a legacy of improvements for generations to come, HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani announced today (25 January 2018).A Northamptonshire pre-school, a 900 year-old Warwickshire church and an environmental awareness charity in London are amongst the first recipients of the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) – a £40 million fund to support local economies and communities affected by the Phase One construction of HS2 between London and Birmingham.Today HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani visited Crewe station to announce an extension of the scheme – with a further £5 million being made available to help communities along HS2 Phase 2a route from the West Midlands to Crewe.Community projects to benefit from £45 million of HS2 government funding HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani said: Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292 Mark Thurston, HS2 Ltd chief executive, said:last_img read more

A political bluster-buster

first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Over the past 19 years, Amy Walter has built a reputation as an accurate, objective, and insightful political analyst with exceptional access to campaign insiders and decision-makers.In late February, she’ll deliver a keynote address at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, offering astute observations about the electoral process, congressional culture, and the Washington political scene. Her presentations take audiences on an insider’s tour of D.C. through the eyes of a woman with her finger on the pulse of politics.The national editor of the Cook Political Report, Walter is a regular panelist on many of the premier political shows on network television, including “Meet the Press” on NBC, “Special Report with Bret Baier” on Fox News, and “Face the Nation” on CBS. She provides weekly analysis for the “PBS NewsHour.” continue reading »last_img read more

Pandemic planners urged to tap grass roots

first_img There is a risk that the official and activist sides could simply plan past each other, with neither side accessing what the other has to offer. That must be avoided if pandemic planning is to work when the crunch comes, said Schoch-Spana, whose paper includes a list of recommendations for officials. In central Florida, retired paramedic Michael Coston has started an “adopt a first responder’s family” campaign, which he promotes through his blog, “Avian Flu Diary.” In the 16 months he has been blogging, Coston has seen his 300 daily readers shift from being interested only in preparing their families to being willing to share community preparations. “My whole point in blogging has been to say that people need to band together to work through a pandemic,” he said in a phone interview. “We can’t say, ‘Too bad about the guy across the street; I’ve got mine.'” Connecting top and bottomThe lack of successful connection between top-down official planning and bottom-up citizen activism is one of the most frustrating features of pandemic planning, said Crawford Kilian, a professor at Capilano College in British Columbia who operates the highly regarded flu news site “H5N1.” Tapping communities’ self-knowledge, rather than dictating to them, ought to be an essential component of pandemic planning, said noted risk communication expert Peter Sandman of Princeton, N.J. (Sandman serves as deputy editor of CIDRAP News’ sister publication, CIDRAP Business Source Weekly Briefing.) UPMC report “Community Engagement: Leadership Tools for Catastrophic Health Events” The government of Berkeley, Calif., has capitalized on its community’s intense political involvement by deploying campaign techniques to distribute health information. Last May, the city of 103,000 used 250 volunteers to hang disaster-information kits on 25,000 doorknobs; next month they plan to distribute pandemic-flu planning information the same way. See also: National Academies report “Citizen Engagement in Emergency Planning for a Flu Pandemic”http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309107911 “US homeland security and health emergency policies, however, do not adequately reflect the civic infrastructure’s proven contributions in catastrophes. Nor have most top officials yet realized the potential value for local and national communities—and for themselves—of preparing knowledgeable, trained networks of constituents who can mobilize in a crisis.” “The rational planning unit is the neighborhood,” he said in an interview. The ideal planning unit “wants to be geographically compact, it wants to be something with more storage capacity than individual homes, and it wants to be something that, when government has its hands full, can be autonomous.” But few top-down pandemic plans have approached neighborhood organizations or examined the potential of neighborhood gathering places such as firehouses and American Legion halls, he said. Other cyber-organizers say their readers fear being thought of as alarmists. “They go to their town council and no one wants to hear it; they speak to the chief of EMS and get tagged as a crazy person,” said Debi Brandon, a former police officer in coastal South Carolina who reaches out to law enforcement and first responders through the blog “Bird Flu Journey.” Michael Coston, “Avian Flu Diary”http://afludiary.blogspot.com “If you just define citizen preparedness as stockpiling, you are only giving people limited options,” she said. “There is a wide range of contributions that citizens can make, to prepare for, respond to, and recover from extreme events.” The health department has reached out to leaders and advocates in community-based agencies and is using the new contacts both to hold planning meetings with marginalized groups and to understand the groups’ social organization, said regional health officer Sandy Ciske. The effort has already produced some gains. When unusually high winds last December caused lengthy power outages—and subsequent deaths from burning charcoal indoors—the health department warned recently-arrived African immigrants of the danger by giving flyers to men from that community who drive taxis in downtown Seattle. Initiatives in cyberspaceFew political jurisdictions, though, have gone as far as Seattle and Berkeley in forging community contacts. In areas that have not, some existing community groups and some newly formed ones are acting on their own—face-to-face, or in the borderless meeting places of cyberspace. Apr 17, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Governmental plans for an influenza pandemic are missing an important opportunity to improve US preparedness, according to two new reports: They are not reaching out to communities and grass-roots groups that could refine plan details and increase public support. “[Official plans] look to me like a 60-foot rope hanging from the top of a 100-foot cliff,” he said in an e-mail interview. “The bureaucrats have done their planning without really thinking about what the rest of us are supposed to do to make the plan succeed. . . . [But] in fairness, the officials probably aren’t finding many grassroots/ad hoc groups to link up with.” The city government has reached out to neighborhood disaster teams, hoping to add pandemic planning to their long-standing training in earthquake and wildfire response, and is beginning to talk to religious organizations and neighborhood-watch groups, said Assistant City Manager Arrietta Chakos, who participated in the Working Group on Community Engagement in Health Emergency Planning, the panel that produced the UPMC report. “The civic infrastructure—comprised of the public’s collective wisdom and capability to solve problems; voluntary associations (both virtual and face-to-face) that arise from shared interests or a public good; and social service organizations that look out for the well-being of various groups—is essential to managing a mass health emergency,” the report says. The first report, “Community Engagement: Leadership Tool for Catastrophic Health Events,” was published Apr 4 by the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). The report, which sums up the findings of a 27-member panel convened by the center during 2006, asserts that official planning incorrectly assumes the public will panic and create a “secondary disaster.” Debi Brandon, “Bird Flu Journey”http://birdflujourney.typepad.com/ The report quotes Jason Corburn, assistant professor in the urban planning program at Columbia University, New York City: “Engaging community members and their knowledge about how they move through the world, and what they know about their disease management and exposure risks in their community, can contribute to better science and policy.” Meanwhile, ad hoc communities and preparedness alliances are forming—in the real world and online—with minimal input from government planners. And, confirming the reports’ concerns, some members of those communities say they have networks and resources to offer to official efforts, but are frustrated by their inability to make themselves heard. The second report, “Citizen Engagement in Emergency Planning for a Flu Pandemic,” was published Apr 13 by the National Academies Press and sums up the findings of an Institute of Medicine workshop held Oct 23, 2006. It says that seeking community input about policy decisions and setting up channels through which residents can talk back to government has been critical to the success of recent environmental-action and public-health campaigns and should be folded into pandemic planning as well. FluWikihttp://www.fluwikie.com/ “We would like health officials and mayors and governors to reach out to the community . . . and to provide political support and visibility,” she said. “But community-based organizations shouldn’t wait to be invited to the table. They should be asking for advice on how they can maintain their operations during an acute emergency, so that their members can be taken care of—but they should also be offering themselves as a community asset.” The central cyber-site for pandemic planning is the FluWiki, a sprawling collection of thousands of collectively assembled posts that has garnered 1.5 million visits in its 22 months. In FluWiki’s earliest days, participants anonymously shared advice about preparing their own households, said Dr. Greg Dworkin, a pediatric pulmonologist in Danbury, Conn., who is one of the site’s volunteer editors under the name “DemfromCt.” More than stockpilingIn an interview, lead author Monica Schoch-Spana, PhD, a senior associate at the UPMC center and chair of the panel, said that official planning addresses civic divisions—states, counties, cities, and towns—and then makes a long leap to individuals and households. In that leap, she said, the plans ignore the many relationships that knit together civil society and that could be used to enhance preparations before a crisis and disseminate information and organize action during one. “It really helps when government people go into the community and use the meetings and gatherings that already exist, rather than convening special city government town halls to communicate information,” she said. “The more we meet with our neighbors in settings and forums that they convene, the more the message gets communicated that we want to work with groups that are functioning in effective and healthy ways.” Seattle and Berkeley reach outA few jurisdictions around the United States have reached out on their own to local communities and grass-roots networks. The Seattle–King County Health Department—an agency that is widely considered a national leader in pandemic planning—created a Vulnerable Populations Action Team after seeing the extraordinary difficulties that Hurricane Katrina brought to the Gulf Coast’s elderly, disabled, impoverished, and undocumented residents. Many FluWiki members remain cautious about revealing their real-world identities, Dworkin said, because they fear it may put their personal preparations at risk. “They’ve all had the experience of trying to be a bit of an evangelist about stockpiling at least 2 weeks of food and water, and having a family member say, ‘Great, now I know whose house to go to,'” he said. But in recent months, he said in a phone interview, participants have begun reaching out to each other through pages dedicated to US states and foreign countries and have begun sharing strategies for area preparation and for communicating with public health agencies and local governments. At the same time, a few planning agencies have begun using the site as a resource; the New York State Department of Health, he said, posted its draft guidance for using scarce ventilators during a pandemic to the FluWiki before the document’s public release. Crawford Kilian, “H5N1″http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/last_img read more

Rodchenkov lives in fear after exposing doping

first_img FOLLOW US Written By WATCH US LIVE First Published: 11th August, 2020 08:37 IST His head covered in a black balaclava, adjusting dark goggles obscuring his eyes, Grigory Rodchenkov grows anxious if any part of his face can be seen.Exposing Russia’s state-sponsorship doping scheme forced Rodchenkov into hiding in the United States five years ago. Revealing his current identity is still too risky for the chemist turned whistleblower, even in a video interview from an undisclosed location.“It’s my security measures because I have physical threats to be assassinated,” Rodchenkov told The Associated Press. “And I want to live.”Evidence from Rodchenkov that has already turned Vladimir Putin’s Russia into international sporting outcasts continues to be used in cases against athletes along with data from his former laboratory in Moscow.“Putin, he is quite logical. He separates opposition in two ways — enemies … betrayers,” Rodchenkov said. “I am falling in the betrayers’ category and all betrayers should be beheaded, cut, dead. So there is no doubt that he wants me to be dead.”It has not deterred him from documenting his life story in “The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Putin’s Secret Doping Empire,” revisiting how he conspired with his country to corrupt sports and then tries to show contrition by turning star witness.Rodchenkov was the brains behind the Duchess cocktail of anabolic steroids and cover-up that turned Russia into a medal machine at the home Olympics in Sochi in 2014, topping the standings with 13 gold medals before disqualifications.Russian spies ensured the Duchess would not be detected in doping tests as FSB agents used a hole in the wall of the Sochi laboratory to swap out the dirty samples with clean urine at night.“For me, it was the end of doping control,” Rodchenkov said. “If we can do it, why others cannot?”The doping cover-up extended beyond the Winter Olympics, into the Summer Games, Paralympics, world athletics championships and every major sport.Some Russians were barred from competing at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games and 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games as the International Olympic Committee remains opposed to blanket bans on countries.So Russian athletes can still compete on the international stage if they can show they are clean, despite a four-year ban from major international sporting events being imposed on the nation last year for a fresh cover-up, including tampering with data gained from Rodchenkov’s former lab in Moscow.“Sport is a part of Putin’s politics and showing to the West how good Russia is,” Rodchenkov said. “You cannot trust Russia. You cannot trust the certification authorities, and (anti-doping) laboratories cannot be allowed to be restored within the foreseeable future.”Especially now, according to Rodchenkov, following constitutional changes allowing Putin to run for two more six-year terms, in 2024 and 2030,“Until 2036,” Rodchenkov said, “no trust.”But why now trust Rodchenkov as he presents a virtuous image at odds with his deep collusion with the state to cheat?“When you are laboratory director and you have 50 employees and you are reporting to your high ups at the ministry, I could not even think about morals,” he said, dismissing concerns about any long-term damage to the health of athletes he allowed to be pumped with steroids.“It’s extremely debatable and still ungrounded,” he said. “We see the generation who is now in the end of their lives of 70s and 80s, which are still … in a good physical condition after steroid programs.”Go back four decades and Rodchenkov was starting out in a Soviet system learning how to manipulate doping controls.“I had honestly, I’m sorry, but I had huge feelings of accomplishment,” he said. “Those athletes I helped to (win) were extremely talented and I could not understand, with the coach, how he or she may lose to others. The only explanation was doping. Then using some programs, we won gold medals. Honestly it was like leveling the field.“Again, ‘morals’ is maybe vocabulary from American life but not from Soviet and Russian. In (the) Soviet (Union) it was the Soviet moral, in Russia there is no morals.”It helps when the athletes are compliant.“This is the huge problem of the militarization of Russia sport,” Rodchenkov said. “They follow orders, they are disciplined but they cannot tell the truth because they have given the oath to the Russian state and consider foreigners as potential enemies or even actual enemies. That’s why in Russia there are three ways – lying, cheating and denying.”Rodchenkov has had to convince the world he has shed those ways and is coming clean. More of the cases he helped to cover-up could soon come to light after the World Anti-Doping Agency shared data — of samples tested up to 2015, and tampering that continued into 2019 — that was retrieved from the Moscow testing lab at the heart of the state-backed doping program.“The problem is that the people from outside cannot understand what is going on inside sports,” he said. “Only whistleblowers could do that. But in corrupted countries you have to escape and we need to be preserved.”For Rodchenkov that means living a life constantly in fear of being recognized as happened on a train in the US.“It was a student,” he recalled. “I told him, ‘Forget you are meeting me, yes it’s me, don’t tell anyone.’ … I disappeared again.”Image credits: AP Associated Press Television News center_img COMMENT Last Updated: 11th August, 2020 08:37 IST Rodchenkov Lives In Fear After Exposing Doping His head covered in a black balaclava, adjusting dark goggles obscuring his eyes, Grigory Rodchenkov grows anxious if any part of his face can be seen LIVE TV SUBSCRIBE TO USlast_img read more

VNA Offers ‘Walk-in’ Wednesday for Flu Shots

first_imgRED BANK – Visiting Nurse Association Health Group is providing free seasonal flu shots, every Wed­nesday at two regional locations, Red Bank and Mana­squan, to adults and children over age 12.In Red Bankat 176 Riverside Ave.from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.In Manasquanat 67 Main St.from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Flu shots are free of charge thanks to contributions re­ceived from the Robin Hood Foun­dation in support of the VNA Hurricane Relief Fund. Pneu­monia vaccines are $65 or you can present Medicare Part B card. Medicaid and Medicare HMO’s are not accepted. Supplies are limited.Pediatric flu shots for children under 12 are by appointment only.Flu shots can also be scheduled by appointment on days other than Wednesday. Call 732-224-6734 to arrange an appointment or for more information.The Centers for Disease Control recommends that every one over 6 months of age get a seasonal flu shot.last_img read more

Another Beaver Valley/Castlegar Murdoch Final, another Game seven

first_imgFor the second time in as many seasons the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and Castlegar Rebels will need a Game seven to determine the Murdoch Division Champion.The Hawks, paced by Kootenay International Junior Hockey League scoring leader Ryan Edwards, forced a deciding game by stopping the Rebels 5-0 in Fruitvale.Edwards scored twice to lead the Hawks.In three series wins against the Rebels, Edwards has scored five times for seven points. In three Castlegar wins, Jordan Gluck has allowed four goals.Gluck did not finish the game Monday and was replaced by Connor Beachamp five minutes into the third period.So it’s safe to say the star that shows up will no doubt have a say in the final outcome.That is unless a role player like Justin Niminken steps up like he did in 2012, scoring the game-winning goal with three minutes remaining in the game to spark the Hawks to a 5-3 win in Game seven.Game time is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Castlegar.The winner advances to the Kootenay Conference Final against the Golden/Fernie champ.last_img read more