Image: Samson Resources II announces strong initial production results . Photo: Courtesy of David Mark from Pixabay. Samson Resources II, LLC (“Samson” or the “Company”) announced today that it recently turned to sales two additional operated horizontal Frontier formation wells in Converse County, Wyoming.The Bohlander Fed 3974-1720 2FH generated an IP 24 rate of 3,408 barrels of oil equivalent per day (“boe/d”) and an IP 30 of 2,248 boe/d (60% oil) from a 9,472-foot lateral length, or 237 boe/d per 1,000 lateral feet.The Allemand 21-2017 39-74FH produced an IP 24 rate of 3,044 boe/d and an IP 30 of 2,127 boe/d (57% oil) from a 9,677-foot lateral length, or 220 boe/d per 1,000 lateral feet.Joseph A. Mills, President and CEO of the Company stated, “The Bohlander and Allemand Frontier formation well results further illustrate the target rich nature of Samson’s 154,000 net acres in the Powder River Basin. Down spacing opportunities within the Frontier formation are encouraging as these two wells were drilled and completed at 2,500 foot spacing with minimal interference between wellbores. Over the past 12 months, Samson has turned to sales top performing Turner, Frontier, Shannon, Niobrara and Mowry formation wells, which illustrates the vast resource potential of the stacked pays over the Company’s acreage in the Powder River Basin. Samson’s current net oil-weighted production from the Powder River Basin is approximately 8,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and anticipated to continue to grow over the next several months.”Samson is a privately held onshore exploration and production company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Company holds approximately 154,000 net acres in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. Source: Company Press Release Samson is a privately held onshore exploration and production company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, US
To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and the names ofthree contact references through Interfolio.com at: http://apply.interfolio.com/81276 Bard College, a liberal arts college on the Hudson River, is aprivate institution working in the public interest.Employer Website: http://apply.interfolio.com/81276Bard College Office of Safety and Security is seeking a full timeEmergency Dispatcher. Reporting to the Director / AssistantDirector of Security, the Emergency Dispatcher will be responsiblefor the receiving and obtaining information and monitoring ofcampus activities and buildings as directed. This position isconsidered essential and may be required to fill in for otherdispatchers on off time. The successful candidate will excel atworking in a community that is broadly diverse with regard to race,ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, gender identity,nationality, sexual orientation, and religion.Bard College’s main campus is in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., with1,900 undergraduate students; the College also includes multiplegraduate programs. The 1,000-acre campus sits along the HudsonRiver and offers the Fisher Performing Arts Center, and HesselMuseum of Art, and is the home of the Bard Prison Initiative, thelargest college-degree-granting prison education program in theU.S. The Bard Network also includes several Bard High School EarlyColleges across the country as well as international campuses andpartnerships. The Bard Network is complex and demonstrates Bard’spriorities well in addition to the College’s emphasis on civicengagement.Bard College is a private institution working in the publicinterest. Bard faculty and staff lead their students by example,building upon the existing network of boundary-breaking programsfocused on rethinking who can and should be included in a liberalarts education.Primary Responsibilities:Responsible for ensuring the safety of the students, employees,guests and property of the college by disseminating information tothe appropriate personnel or department.Responsible for the accurate completion of reports and logs asrequired.Must be able to multitask, prioritize and rapidly handleemergency situations in a cool and calm manner.Must be familiar with computers, various operating systems andprograms.Must have excellent organizational skills.Must possess excellent communication skills, telephonic andinterpersonal, with a helpful and professional demeanor.Must be neat, presentable and professional at all times.Other duties as assigned.Qualifications:High School Diploma Required.Must possess a valid NYS driver’s license.Some security or dispatch experience preferred.Position requires good character references. Good health,especially in hearing and eyesight, and good personal habits, suchas neatness and dependability.Position requires mental alertness, and to be emotionallystable to deal with emergencies.Attention to accuracy, ability to work under pressure,multitasking and strong follow up skills required.Acceptance to diverse, open-minded behaviors and/oractions.Ability to deal and use discretion with confidential matters amust.Ability to work independently and in a team environment; on andoff campus positive promotion of the college required.Strong literate, verbal and written skills required.Ability to use various equipment; such as a radio andtelephone.Must have the ability to think quickly and act decisively inemergency situations.Must be able to work obscure or extended hours as needed.Physical Demands:Must be able to sit for extended periods of time and work instandard office environmentMust be able to occasionally lift 20 pounds Bard College is an equal opportunity employer and we welcomeapplications from those who contribute to our diversity. Allqualified applicants will receive consideration for employmentwithout regard to race, color, religion, sex, mental, or physicaldisability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationalorigin, familial status, veteran status, or geneticinformation.Bard is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, andreasonable accommodation for all individuals in employmentpractices, services, programs, and activities.AA/EOE
An Oxford University research collaboration has found that poorer nations tend to take a more active approach to conservation than richer countries.Researchers from Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) partnered with Panthera, the only organisation dedicated to protecting wild cats, to assess the level of commitment of individual countries to protecting the world’s wildlife.The team created a Mega-Fauna Conservation Index (MCI) of 152 countries to assess their conservation footprint and created a benchmarking system which evaluated the proportion of the country occupied by each species, the proportion protected and the money spent on conservation relative to GDP.African countries were found to top the list, with Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe leading, whereas the United States came in at 19th place and a quarter of countries in Asia and Europe were classed as significantly underperforming.Leader of the collaboration and Panthera researcher Dr Peter Lindsey, told Cherwell: “This is the first attempt to try to compare the conservation efforts of different countries. We need to be able to compare efforts to create a floating benchmark so that the average effort is pulled up, especially as megafauna populations are dropping.”On the need to monitor megafauna in particular, he added: “Megafauna act as a proxy for conservation efforts in general, hopefully in the future the study might be expanded to monitor marine conservation efforts.”Professor David Macdonald, Director of WildCRU, said: “Every country should strive to do more to protect its wildlife. Our index provides a measure of how well each country is doing, and sets a benchmark for nations that are performing below the average level, to understand the kind of contributions they need to make as a minimum.”The study also explains the reasons for this disparity in contributions to conservation. Mega-fauna are valuable assets and to many less affluent countries their existence provides both a national identity and an economic lifeline in the form of tourism, which provides a high proportion of the GDP of some African nations: for example in 2014 tourism contributed 17% of Tanzania’s GDP.Dr Dawn Burnham, also of WildCRU, told Cherwell: “What really matters is the idea we have developed, rather than the detail: countries can be ranked in their commitment to conservation, and each country can and should strive to climb the rankings – the details of how the rank is calculated can surely be refined in future, but the idea of the ranking will endure”.Speaking about the future of the project, Dr Lindsey said: “We will be generally improving the study and making it as fair as possible. Our goal is to have an index that is published annually and the performance of countries regularly assessed.”At the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, developed nations promised to allocate at least $2 billion (USD) per year towards conservation in developing nations. However, current contributions from developed nations are just half of the proposed amount, $1.1 billion (USD) per year.
WHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?“IS IT TRUE” will be posted on this coming Thursday or Friday.Todays READERS POLL question is: Who would you vote for If the election was held today for District 77 State Representative seat?Please take time and read our newest feature articles entitled “BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS” posted in our sections.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] County Observer has been serving our community for 15 years.Copyright 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribute.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Wildlife Control Specialists LLC owner Joe Kosakowski holds Nola, a Harris’s hawk, while she flaps her wings. By DONALD WITTKOWSKIThere’s Betty, Nola, Susan, Lilly, Clark and Barney.Like many other out-of-towners, they will be visiting Ocean City this summer during the vacation season.You’ll see them on the beaches, the Boardwalk and in other areas of town popular with the tourists. However, these “visitors” won’t be spending a leisurely vacation at the shore. They will be working at their summer jobs – patrolling the skies and chasing away the pesky seagulls that have the nasty habit of swooping down and harassing the human tourists for their food.Betty, Nola, Susan, Lilly, Clark and Barney are raptors owned by Wildlife Control Specialists, LLC, a Lebanon, N.J., company that has an array of trained falcons, hawks and an owl. The company specializes in keeping annoying birds like seagulls away from people.Wildlife Control Specialists, which has been awarded a $193,600 contract with Ocean City, brought its birds of prey to the resort town last week and will be chasing – but not harming – the seagulls throughout the summer and early fall. Already, the gulls seem to be steering clear from the beaches and Boardwalk when the raptors are on duty.“They’re starting to learn the deal. The newbies are finding out fast,” P.J. Simonis, a falconer with Wildlife Control Specialists, said of the gulls fleeing the area.Before the raptors arrived, aggressive seagulls often swarmed people on the Boardwalk while trying to steal some food.Last summer, Mayor Jay Gillian and City Council grew tired of brazen gulls snatching pizza, French fries and other goodies right out of the hands of unsuspecting tourists.The city responded by bringing in another company that uses trained falcons, hawks and an owl to patrol the skies. Harassed by the raptors, the gulls scrambled back to their natural habitat – the ocean – instead of hanging around the Boardwalk while looking to steal a quick meal of human food.Ocean City was believed to be the only beach community on the East Coast last year to have a gull-abatement program that used raptors.At times, large sections of the beach and Boardwalk were virtually devoid of gulls. Tourists and residents alike repeatedly expressed their astonishment that the gulls had all but disappeared.Hailing it as a great success, the city decided to continue the seagull-abatement program for this summer, although Wildlife Control Specialists became the new contractor by submitting the low bid.The company will fly its raptors on weekends until June 15 and then will switch to a seven-days-a-week schedule through Labor Day. After Labor Day, the raptors will be in town on weekends until mid-October before stopping for the year. They will be on duty from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Simonis said.On Sunday, Simonis and company owner Joe Kosakowski were on the Boardwalk, showing two of their birds to curious Memorial Day weekend bystanders. The raptors are proving to be a big draw, but the coronavirus pandemic requires company representatives to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while talking to members of the public about the birds.“We’re trying to be respectful of the regulations by staying six feet apart. It seems to be working very well,” Kosakowski said while wearing a protective face covering.Kosakowski views his contract with Ocean City as having a twofold purpose: His company will keep the seagulls away from the tourists, but it will also educate the public about the raptors.“Two out of three people who pass by have a question about our birds,” he said in an interview on the Boardwalk in front of the Music Pier.Almost on cue, Kosakowski was approached by Debbie Raynock, a visitor from Levittown, Pa, who had a few questions.“What kind of bird is that?” Raynock asked about the Harris’s hawk perched on Kosakowski’s arm.“Her name is Nola,” Kosakowski responded while telling Raynock about the feeding habits of Harris’s hawks.Raynock, who marveled over Nola, said she has never experienced having seagulls trying to snatch her food on the Boardwalk, but is well aware of their sneaky habits.“If you’re sitting on the Boardwalk and holding a sandwich like this, it’s going to happen,” Raynock said, mimicking the movement of a gull dive-bombing for some food.P.J. Simonis, of Wildlife Control Specialists LLC, talks to bystanders on the Boardwalk about Betty, the gyrfalcon perched on his arm.In addition to Nola, Kosakowski plans to use an assortment of other raptors in Ocean City over the summer. One of them is Betty, a gyrfalcon, the largest of the falcon species. The imposing gyrfalcon has a striking mixture of white, gray and black feathers, along with some orange plumage on her back.“This is the biggest falcon you’ll ever see and the prettiest, in my opinion,” Simonis told bystanders while holding Betty.Betty, though, is more of an enforcer than a supermodel. She will be an intimidating presence in Ocean City this summer – if you happen to be a seagull.
The call came early on Nov. 5, 2008, telling Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr. that his new church was ablaze. Only hours before, Barack Obama had been elected the nation’s first black president. Now Robinson’s nearly completed church, home to a largely black congregation, was burning like a matchbook, the flames lighting the night sky.The fire, which prosecutors say was set by arsonists angry at Obama’s election, was on Robinson’s mind as he addressed a group of Harvard undergraduates on a warm spring afternoon outside the Macedonia Church of God in Christ. The church in Springfield, Mass., had risen again, with their help.Forgoing a week at the beach or at home, the students joined the annual Alternative Spring Break trip sponsored by Harvard’s Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) to help rebuild churches destroyed by arson. During their week on-site, the volunteers helped to paint almost the entire interior of the 18,000-square-foot church in bright pastels.“You guys were on the other side of that flame,” an appreciative Robinson told them.Robinson said later that the students’ support “just renews the spirit, the soul.” Their participation reminded him of Obama’s optimism, Robinson added, “when he says we are moving toward a more perfect union.”Harvard’s service ethos is at the heart of its founding mission, which focused from the start in 1636 on educating ministers to serve their surrounding communities. Now, that service commitment extends across the modern University and includes students, faculty, alumni, and staff. Some efforts are embedded in altruism, and some in curriculum. But all aim to do good, as a rising focal point of Harvard life.Harvard President Drew Faust has made service a core value of her administration. She regularly reminds the Harvard community that with the University’s great resources comes great responsibility. “We as a University live under the protections of the public trust,” she said at last year’s Commencement. “It is our obligation to nurture and educate talent to serve that trust — creating the people and the ideas that can change the world.”Buttressing that ideal, Harvard will soon announce the winners of the first Presidential Public Service Fellowships – 10 students from Harvard College and the graduate and professional Schools who will work in public service for the summer. Created by Faust, the program provides grants of up to $5,000 for undergraduates and $10,000 for graduate students for a range of efforts, including government and community service, nongovernmental organization and nonprofit work, and innovative projects that serve the common good.For many participants, such public service proves transformative. Some volunteers say their experiences prompted them to change their academic direction, while others point to the lasting friendships they made in working toward shared goals.Emmett Kistler ’11, who for three years has participated in the Alternative Spring Break sessions led for a decade by Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Harvard College lecturer on history and literature and public policy Tim McCarthy ’93, was so inspired by his experiences that he changed his concentration. After his first trip as a sophomore, the Eliot House resident traded his chemistry classes for ones involving religion and civil rights. He is completing his thesis on Martin Luther King Jr.“This has been one of the most shaping experiences of my college career,” Kistler said.Other participants point to the personal bonds they forged. Several students working on the Springfield church said they had made lasting friendships with fellow undergraduates.Freshman Rachel Horn said that she missed the break time that she could have spent with her family, but that her parents understood she wanted to make service “a big part of what I did in college.”“I love the sense of community that it has given me,” said a paint-spattered Horn as she added another cream-colored coat to a wall near the church’s sanctuary. “I love doing this work, but I also just love meeting the people. All the people on this trip have been incredibly friendly, and I feel like I am really close with them, even though I have only known them for a week.”PBHA is the gateway to service for Harvard undergraduates. The student-run organization has 1,500 students participating in more than 80 social service and social action programs. The numbers of participants and programs have risen steadily over the past decade.This year, 110 students participated in one of 11 Alternative Spring Break trips, which included everything from working with AIDS patients in New York City to creating affordable housing in El Salvador.Service, front and center For Harvard’s Schools, serving others is often part of the curriculum.At Harvard Law School (HLS), every student must complete 40 hours of pro bono legal services before graduating. But most students do far more. The HLS Class of 2010 averaged 556 hours of free legal services per student, and some students completed 2,000 hours or more of free services during their three years at the School. Such efforts are managed through the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs (OCP).“It’s a dual mission of providing services to the community but also teaching students how to be competent and ethical lawyers,” said Lisa Dealy, assistant dean for clinical and pro bono programs. “We feel that all lawyers have an obligation to serve their communities (and the world). And through the HLS clinical and pro bono programs, we hope to instill in students that public service ethos.”One of the largest providers of free legal services in Massachusetts, the School’s clinical arm is also believed to be the largest clinical legal education program in the world, offering clinics in nearly 30 areas, including immigration, international human rights, and child advocacy law. Under the supervision of the School’s 60 clinical instructors, students represent clients in actual cases.Serving the community has another important benefit, said Ronald Sullivan, a clinical professor of law who directs Harvard’s Criminal Justice Institute, in which third-year HLS students, supervised by clinical instructors, represent indigent criminal defendants and juveniles in local courts.Providing quality representation allows defendants, their families, and friends to feel that they were heard, something particularly important in communities of color, where distrust of the criminal justice system can be widespread, said Sullivan.“One of the ironies that every good criminal defense lawyer experiences is a client who gets convicted and turns to you and says ‘thank you.’ It is a profound expression of the recognition that their voice was heard,” Sullivan said.Second-year law student Jessica Lewis recently helped a young man to gain asylum status through Harvard’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic. She said the work “changed my experience in law school.”Developing skills as a lawyer by working with another classmate and a clinical instructor, while forging a connection with her client, gave her a new perspective. “It makes you realize that the skills you are developing here are not just for you,” she said. “You can use them for other people to make a difference in their lives.”HLS also has a dozen student practice organizations that work on real cases. For example, the School’s Harvard Law & International Development Society collaborates with the OCP to offer opportunities in law and international development.In January, working with the Millennium Challenge Corp., a U.S. foreign aid agency, students visited the small African nation of Lesotho, where they worked on decentralizing health care services and on a land regularization project so residents could obtain formal documentation of their property rights.“The most satisfying thing was knowing right away that what we were doing was really helping, and that we were able to give back,” said third-year HLS student Alastair Green.Supplementing such efforts, last year HLS created the Public Service Venture Fund, which will start distributing $1 million in grants annually, beginning in the spring of 2013, to help graduating students pursue service careers. HLS students also have access to the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising to investigate such careers.Aiding in public healthThrough programs that address key issues such as global health, health policy, nutrition, and complex diseases, the Harvard School of Public Health works to inform policy debate, disseminate information, and support health as a public good and a fundamental right. The School has a network of students who work with local high school students on such critical concerns as violence prevention and safe-sex practices.At Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM), students and faculty offer their skills in local communities, including HIV counseling and testing programs, as well as free dental services to the underserved. Through the HMS Department of Global Health & Social Medicine (GHSM), faculty and students help to tackle problems such as malnutrition and infectious disease in developing nations.First-year HMS student Matthew Basilico ’08 plans to return to Haiti this summer to study the causes of poverty and ill health, working with faculty from GHSM and Harvard’s Department of Government. As a Harvard freshman, Basilico took what he called “a life-altering seminar” with Paul Farmer, founder of the HMS-affiliated aid organization Partners In Health (PIH), head of GHSM, and Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine. After graduating from the College, Basilico worked with PIH following Haiti’s devastating earthquake a year ago, helping to coordinate landing spots in the capital for planes carrying medical teams and supplies.“There has been an enormous range of opportunities to be involved with global health work at Harvard,” said Basilico, “and there are incredible mentors here who highlight these issues.”In addition, HKS trains public leaders to make a difference in the world. The Harvard Business School has a Social Enterprise Initiative that encourages “emerging leaders in all sectors to apply management skills to create social value” through enterprises involving teaching, research, and other activities. The Harvard Graduate School of Education prepares academic leaders who will work to improve community teaching and learning practices. The Harvard Graduate School of Design has a Community Service Fellowship Program in which students aid design and planning projects both locally and abroad. The Harvard Divinity School helps to bridge religious and cultural divides around the world.Helping neighboring communitiesLocally, the Harvard Allston Education Portal connects families in the Allston and Brighton neighborhoods with the University’s vast intellectual resources. The portal offers individual and small group mentoring, pairing Harvard undergraduates who have concentrations in science, math, and the humanities with local students to help polish their skills.The portal also offers a lecture series featuring professors from the University’s new General Education curriculum.Since the portal opened almost three years ago, 53 Harvard undergraduates have been student mentors.Chioma Madubata ’11, a molecular and cellular biology concentrator, is a regular mentor. She leads experiments such as teaching how to make ice cream, using plastic bags and rock salt to show what happens when something changes from a liquid to a solid.“It also shows that science is fun — and occasionally you can eat what you make,” said the Quincy House resident, laughing.The Public Service NetworkThe Phillips Brooks House, which houses PBHA, is also home to the Public Service Network, which supports independent, student-led service programs, as well as the Center for Public Interest Careers (CPIC) at Harvard College, which assists students in securing paid public interest placements during summers and after graduation.Natasha Alford ’08 said CPIC played a major role in “planting the seed” of her growing professional interest in service.Familiar with the shortcomings of inner-city high schools, Alford arrived on campus hoping to make a difference. “I came to Harvard with the idea that I needed to do something,” she said. Through CPIC, she was placed one summer with an organization involved in foster care. The next summer, CPIC helped her to secure an internship with Facing History and Ourselves, which helps teachers to educate their students about social justice issues.After graduating, Alford headed to a management investment firm. But she knew “something was missing.” Now she is working with Teach for America as an English teacher at a struggling charter school in Washington, D.C.“It’s so rewarding. Every morning I wake up and I have a purpose,” said Alford, who credited CPIC for helping her to “find my place.”One of PBHA’s programs is the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter. Student run with 28 staff members and about 200 volunteers, the shelter in a church basement offers warm beds and hot meals to men and women during the winter. Volunteer resource advocates assist the guests with job searches and with applications for benefits and transitions to permanent housing. An outreach team delivers food to the homeless in Harvard Square.Luci Yang ’11 volunteered at the shelter as a freshman, and quickly found her niche. Now, she is one of the two administrative directors. The experience made her think about public service in “many different ways,” giving her “a more rounded sense of what service could mean, and what it would mean to do service as a long-term career.”
Inside the Harvard University Herbaria, Steph Zabel is a curatorial assistant who spends her days digitizing collections of dried plant specimens. Sometimes she jokes that the botanical depository is like a “plant mortuary,” since it contains the preserved remains of specimens from around the world.Outside work, she tends living and local plants, running her own herbalism businesses, which are undergoing a major growth spurt. That’s because herbalism — “using plants for wellness and health benefits” — is experiencing a renaissance, according to Zabel.“Humans have co-evolved with plants, using them for healing and medicinal purposes,” she said. “They’re the oldest form of medicine.”So two years ago Zabel founded Herbstalk, a two-day educational festival based in Somerville, featuring classes on how to use herbs and for what purposes, complete with music, local vendors, and more. “I wanted to create something that made herbal medicine accessible,” she said. “Some people feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.”That concern also led Zabel to start Flowerfolk Herbal Apothecary, through which she conducts holistic herbal consultations with individuals, evaluating health concerns, and “discussing how dietary and lifestyle changes can complement herbal recommendations.”Zabel cites her South Carolina upbringing as the catalyst for her earthy interests. “I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house in the country, walking in the woods,” she said. “And my grandmother loved plants.”She attended Clemson University, studying horticulture and biological science before pursuing a master’s degree in ethnobotany at the University of Kent at Canterbury, U.K. She has since studied herbs during a three-year clinical apprenticeship with the CommonWealth Center for Herbal Medicine, at the Boston School of Herbal Studies, and elsewhere.Zabel doesn’t dismiss conventional medicine, but she turns to herbs first, for instance dismissing pesky but easily treatable headaches with peppermint.“Just smelling peppermint essential oil has a cooling, anti-inflammatory effect,” she said. “It’s also great for digestion, and it’s energizing as well, so it’s nice to drink in the morning or after heavy meals.“Common, culinary herbs are also very useful for day-to-day health,” she added. “One of the reasons thyme is so popular as an herb is that it helps us digest fatty foods and meat. It’s high in essential oils and can help fight respiratory problems and colds.”She recommends making thyme tea, or steeping the leaves in a pot of water and throwing a towel over your head for an old-fashioned steam bath.“I don’t get sick that often,” she said, “perhaps because I’m incorporating nourishing herbs into my life on a regular basis.”With spring’s arrival, Zabel advises locals to be on the lookout for chickweed, a low-growing plant that in bloom has tiny white flowers that “resemble stars.”“Chickweed is quite nutritious and you can eat it as a salad,” she said, before warning, “Just make sure you’re harvesting it from a place that hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals.” Chickweed is also good topically, said Zabel, “for relieving minor eczema, dry skin, and healing wounds.”“Plants are so amazing, and even in the city they surround us everywhere,” she said. “That’s part of what I do — especially with urban dwellers — is to help people make connections with plants.”Herbstalk will take place June 7 and 8 at the Center for the Arts at the Armory in Somerville. For more information.
By Geraldine Cook/Diálogo November 06, 2017 A unique academic environment pervades the halls of the Peruvian Air Force (FAP, per its Spanish acronym) Air War College. The school has high standards of quality and is educationally demanding for FAP officers. In its classrooms, students pay close attention and take notes on national defense and security, strategic planning, military operations, and civilian interaction, among other topics. They take on a great responsibility as they prepare to be the institution’s new leaders. “The academic level has been stupendous, really good professors,” said FAP Colonel Pablo Patrón, air defense specialist and student in the High Command Program (PAM, per its Spanish acronym). “The academic level is higher. It helps us understand how the state apparatus evolves, which propels us into public administration.” The yearlong PAM targets colonels who have the best chance at promotion, so they can fine-tune their knowledge on strategic design, planning, training, and execution within the military realm, while allowing them to analyze the domestic situation to resolve conflicts. “Our objective is to train all the FAP officers of different ranks, so that they are qualified for any position and can lead our institution when they finish their studies,” said FAP Major General César Augusto Fernández Corbetto, commandant of the school. “We want officers to be trained and leave here as prepared as possible. [We want] those who graduate to be as well trained as possible and for them to make the best decisions in their assignments.” The school The Air War College was founded in 1946, and officially inaugurated in 1947, three years before the official inception of FAP. It has operated on different military premises in Lima, Peru, but has maintained its own facilities in the district of La Molina since 1991. As Peruvian military aviation was still being developed, U.S. Air Force Colonel Robert C. Orth acted as the original commandant of the school from 1947 to 1948. The first class of officers graduated in 1950. The academic institution has an average of 250 students, including officers from the country’s other military branches. The students are selected by their respective units and assigned to academic work full-time for one year. The teaching staff comprises active and retired military members and civilians. “This school is highly sought after,” Maj. Gen. Fernández said. He explained that of an average of 80 prospective candidates each year, only 28 officers are admitted. The academic programs are divided into different areas, and the Peruvian Ministry of Education is in the process of accrediting it as an official school of higher education. The area of Military Doctrine, for example, includes PMA, the Command and General Staff Program (PCEM, per its Spanish acronym), the Service Officers General Staff Program, and the Tactics Program. In addition to being certified in their respective areas of specialization, PMA and PCEM students graduate with a master’s degree in Aerospace Doctrine and Administration from the National University of San Marcos, Peru. Other certification courses are offered as well, such as Accident Prevention and Investigation, Aviation Medicine, and Psychology, among others. The school also has academic internships with other institutions, both domestically and internationally. Officers from Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, and other countries have attended its classes. “Interacting with other forces is very important,” said Col. Patrón, who has completed nine months of studies and is attending classes with his counterparts from FAP and other Peruvian forces. “Although we are from the same country, under the same flag, and speak the same language, we do have some differences, but sharing experiences with them is very enriching,” he said. Quality education “It’s a great responsibility to be a professor at the Air War College. The officers come here with a high degree of knowledge and a vast amount of experience leading large units in the organization,” said Edward Pino Hurtado, faculty advisor and PAM coordinator. “We attach great importance to the evaluation of students in decision making and the critical analysis that they carry out during the planning process. This is complex and difficult, but it is fascinating and important.” Pino said that the academic programs are vital to the officers as they allow them to advance in their military careers. “Students who come here have many incentives; they’re thinking about their future and their profession.” FAP Major Nadia Maycook, a PCEM student, is motivated by such a future. Three months after graduating, Maj. Maycook has honed her knowledge on planning and operational application of aerospace power in war processes. “We put into practice all the tools and the resources we have to implement during war,” she said. “Operationally, I am learning things you don’t see every day in an administrative unit.” Maj. Maycook is part of a class of 32 students, including four women. “We are past the difficult phase of working as women and men,” she said. “At first, the change was more difficult for [the men], and the experience was the more difficult part for us, but not anymore, we don’t have any difficulty working as a team.” For FAP First Lieutenant Cristian Medina, a helicopter pilot and Tactics Program student, the course has given him enriching experiences, especially in the study of military doctrine. “This is the first time we are seeing doctrine in an assertive manner, with people who are specialized in resolving issues based on their knowledge and, more than anything else, based on their experience.” Sitting in his classroom with 37 of his fellow students, ready for the start of the day’s academic session, 1st Lt. Medina said that, in addition to the academic part, the relationship between the 38 students in the class has been essential. “You are with a lot of people, and each person is like a different world. So, you also learn what living together and working as a team means,” he said. “I am a helicopter pilot based in operations, and I am learning how others perform in their areas.”
5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Christine DiGangi, Credit.comAbout 6.5 million mortgage borrowers could qualify for and benefit from refinancing their home loans, according to the “Mortgage Monitor Report” from Black Knight Financial Services, which could translate into massive savings for those consumers.The report, based on May 2015 data, puts the total potential annual savings at $20 billion, with as many as 3 million borrowers saving at least $200 a month in mortgage payments.The vast majority of homeowners could realize these savings through traditional refinancing, the analysis showed, while roughly 450,000 homeowners would be eligible for lower interest rates on their home loans through HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP is geared toward borrowers whose homes have declined in value, therefore preventing them from securing traditional refinancing.Black Knight arrived at these figures by analyzing borrower and mortgage data, specifically the 30-year fixed-rate loan. In a news release about the analysis, Black Knight noted that rate fluctuations could change borrowers’ ability to save. continue reading »
6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Like it or not, government rules and initiatives have an impact on your credit union. This week – in addition to updates on upcoming regulations related to payday loans, electronic checks, military lending and Dodd-Frank – we consider White House cybersecurity czar Rob Joyce’s suggestion to retire Social Security numbers in favor of a more modern approach to identity. Once again, change rules.White House: Is It Time to Retire Social Security Numbers?PYMNTSWill the government ditch Social Security numbers in favor of a “modern cryptographic identifier?” Rob Joyce, White House cybersecurity czar, thinks Social Security numbers may be ready to retire, since they no longer fulfill their intended function – and bring a number of unintended challenges.New CFPB Rule Could Curb Payday Loan IndustryReutersThe CFPB released a new regulation that could put a chill on revenues for the $6 billion payday loan industry. The rule requires lenders to determine if borrowers can repay their debts and caps the number of loans lenders can make to a borrower. If this regulation survives challenges in Congress and in court, it could be a boon for consumers and conventional lenders alike. continue reading »