26 Jan

Construction limits student parking

first_imgTags: Construction, Student Parking Keri O’Mara Construction work on a new research building to the east of the Hesburgh Library has changed student parking options on campus, and the number of spaces in the D2 lots will continue to fluctuate for the next few months.Mike Seamon, associate vice president for campus safety, said while the University’s growth and expansion is good news, “one of the challenges of this growth is the stress that is put on various roadways and parking lots surrounding the new construction.”“We are very sensitive and are aware that the construction around campus, and particularly on the east side, is causing some issues for people in regards to traffic and parking,” he said.In D2, there are now 450 student spots in the North and Middle sections. In the nearby Library Lot and the Middle and South sections of D2, there are 900 faculty/staff spaces.The University constructed a new parking lot near Bulla Road and North Twyckenham Drive to compensate for reallocated student spaces in the three D2 lots, and with the additional Bulla lot spaces, Seamon said the ratio of faculty/staff to student spaces is “about the same as it was before the construction.”The current project is a utility construction process that is part of the infrastructure required to serve the new buildings, Seamon said. Work began in the summer and is scheduled to be completed on the east part of campus by the end of the fall.“Upon completion of the utility project, each of the lots along the east side of campus will see a slight increase in parking spaces,” Seamon said. “In the short term, however, over the course of the next few months as the utility project continues to unfold, some spaces will be lost on a temporary basis until the project is concluded.“Once the [utility] project is finished in late fall, the spaces will return in the respective areas. At that time, we anticipate the parking set-up to remain in place for the foreseeable future.”An email from the parking offices sent to all students this summer said the east campus construction is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2016.Seniors and juniors living in North and Mod Quad residence halls are “the priority” for the 450 D2 student spots, Seamon said, and an email from parking services said they can purchase passes specifically for those lots. Sophomores and all other students living on campus can park in the Bulla Lot or D6 on the west side of campus.Although the Bulla lot is farther east than D2, some students have found the situation better than they expected after reading the email announcement this summer.Junior Jessica Zic, of Breen-Phillips Hall, said the Bulla lot path is relatively accessible.“The walk from the new Bulla lot to [Breen-Phillips] was long, but it really didn’t feel that much longer than the walk from a far parking spot in the old D2 lot,” she said.Kim Sammons, another Breen-Phillips junior, said the Bulla lot is “a lot bigger than I expected.”“It isn’t as bad of a walk in the warm weather, but I know once it gets cold there could be a bigger issue,” she said. “[All of the lots] are a trek back to BP, but I’ve never felt unsafe. They could be better lit between the parking lots and Mod Quad.“It’s a straight shot from the [Bulla] parking lot through Mod Quad, so it isn’t too bad when there’s not snow.”Seamon said safety was a top priority when constructing the Bulla lot and its pedestrian pathways, so the lots and walkways are equipped with closed circuit television cameras, lighting and Blue Light emergency call boxes. NDSP is “routinely patrolling the lot,” he said, and O’SNAP and Safewalk will also provide services to the area. The area was fenced and cleared to enhance safety, he said.A free shuttle will operate weekdays from 7 to 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. with stops at the Bulla lot, Hesburgh Library, East Gate and the Main Building. Another shuttle will operate on the same hours between the C1 parking lot near the track and field complex and Main Circle, with stops at Eddy Street and Holy Cross Drive near Legends.The second shuttle anticipates more parking realignment on the south side of campus due to more construction, according to the email from the parking offices.Some students are interested in the shuttle options, but said the hours are inconvenient or that they end too early for the service to be helpful in the dark.“I’ve never seen the shuttle working, so I think they could advertise that better,” Sammons said.The current setup is based on recommendations from a 14-member committee made up of undergraduate and graduate student representatives, Faculty Senate and Staff Advisory Council members and staff from relevant departments. Seamon said Lauren Vidal, student body president, and Andrew Carmona, director of University Affairs for student government, represented the undergraduate student body on the committee. The group “placed a premium on preserving the pedestrian nature of the Notre Dame campus and ensuring convenience and safety,” the parking services email said.last_img read more

17 Jan

Fescue Toxicity Grant

first_imgA $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow researchers at the University of Georgia to examine the minutiae of cattle and fescue microbiome interaction to find targets that will help mitigate the effects of fescue toxicosis, a forage-related condition that costs the U.S. beef industry more than $1 billion each year.Fescue toxicosis, which has long been a problem for U.S. and South American cattle producers, can cause digestive and reproductive problems including reduced calving rates, reduced weight gain, and foot and leg problems in cattle.The grant project, funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is being led by College of Veterinary Medicine Professor Nikolay Filipov in collaboration with College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Associate Professor Todd Callaway of the Department of Animal and Dairy Science and Professor Nicholas Hill of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, in partnership with Associate Professor Garrett Suen of the University of Wisconsin and Professor Dean Jones of Emory University.“If you are raising steers for meat, a 20-30% decrease in weight gain or a 30-40% decrease in calving rates translates to major monetary losses,” Filipov said. Fescue toxicosis can also affect other grazing animals, including horses and sheep, although UGA’s research focuses on cattle. “Various approaches have been attempted to mitigate it. What we are trying to do is characterize the disease —which is very complex — globally,” said Filipov, a member of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We are looking at multiple levels of the gut microbiome of cattle to see how they metabolize all of the different molecules of fescue to characterize those and, more importantly, how those interact with the bacteria that are part of the cattle’s GI tract. The overall idea is that we may be able to come up with more specific ideas of types of management strategies or treatment approaches for the disease that can’t be found with more simplistic approaches.”This research is important to cattle producers because Georgia is located in what is referred to as the “Fescue Belt” — a 1,000-mile long, 400-mile deep swath of the U.S. that is home to about 25% of the nation’s beef cows. In this region, fescue is the most widely used forage grass because it is easy to establish, has a high drought tolerance and has a long grazing season. However, fescue contains an endophyte — a fungus that lives within the plant — that gives the grass desirable attributes but produces alkaloids that are toxic to animals who graze on it, a defense mechanism meant to prevent overgrazing. While endophyte strains that do not produce toxic alkaloids have been identified, it is not feasible to completely remove the toxic endophyte-containing grasses from the environment, Filipov said.Current management practices, such as preventing pregnant cattle from grazing late in gestation, implementing rotational grazing and incorporating dietary supplements, have had limited success in managing fescue toxicosis, Filipov said.“We would like to come up with a solution based on whole-animal and animal-plant-endophyte approaches, so we can manipulate the many things that contribute to fescue toxicity, both on the plant side and the animal side,” he said.Field research will be performed at the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center in Watkinsville, Georgia, where personnel under the leadership of its superintendent, Eric Elsner, have been very supportive and accommodating of this fescue toxicosis research team.“The idea is to determine what the toxic endophyte causes in terms of changing the composition of the grass, and we will measure the bacteria and fungi that are present and the metabolites produced when cattle ingest it,” Filipov said.Suen, a microbiologist, and Callaway, a microbiologist and animal nutrition expert, will examine the gut microbiota of cattle used in the study to understand the effect of microbe-host interactions caused by the alkaloids.“The metabolome is a combination of what the microbiome does to feedstuffs and what the animal does to feedstuffs along with the end products of the microbial fermentation. We don’t know if there is a population in the gut that can detoxify these chemicals or turn it into something that can be used for growth while mitigating the detrimental effects. We don’t know what to look for yet, but that is the puzzle of the microbiome and the purpose of this research,” Callaway said.For more information on the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, visit vet.uga.edu. For information on the Department of Animal and Dairy Science, visit ads.caes.uga.edu.last_img read more

14 Jan

Rep. Karmo Joins Fight against Child Marriage

first_imgBomi County Electoral District #1 Rep. Samuel Garya Karmo has joined the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection (MoGCSP) in condemning child marriage in Liberia.Serving as the keynote speaker at the official launch of the ‘campaign to end child marriage in Liberia’ in Tubmanburg recently, Rep. Karmo said “with no disregard to the values of traditional practices in the country, it is about time for everyone to let children remain children and not force them into marriage because of economic difficulties a family might be faced with.“No country in the world has all the laws written for its citizens to follow but transforming ideas into a value system for collective progress positively changes a nation,” said Rep. Karmo. He said not everything considered legal by a group is expedient at all times, and not everything considered expedient is legal as well.“Unwritten traditional laws practiced by our people of yesterday seemed good to them at that time but they did not consider the risk associated with them,” he said.He noted that because he has the passion to always advocate for women and girls who are victims of circumstances, he will never be complacent and watch them continue to suffer challenges that can be avoided. “All of us, parents, guardians and friends who are mature should promote the moral and educational development of children, most especially girls,” Rep. Karmo admonished.The lawmaker assured his audience that people who continue to abuse children and endanger their future will meet tougher punishments.The chairperson of the Governors’ Council of Liberia (GCL), Mrs. Musu Kiadii, said her office will always stand by the Gender Ministry and other local and international organizations that are fighting against child marriage and other abuses. Mrs. Kiadii cautioned men who are in the habit of approaching minors for sex to desist. “If you believe in the dignity of a person, I advise that you don’t accept to go to bed with a girl child, neither should parents allow their daughters to be trapped into early marriage,” she said.The president of the Liberia Children Representative Forum (LRCF), Ms. Satta F. Sheriff, said her office is calling on all stakeholders in the fight against child abuse to stand taller than what they are now.“We all should realize that more needs to be done if inhumane treatment against children must come to an end in this country,” Ms. Sheriff said. “A girl with a dream is not only a noble citizen but an untouchable pearl destined for the enlightment and transformation of a nation.”She commended all those who are supporting MoGCSP’s efforts to curtail the violation of children’s basic human rights. Launched under the African Union Commission’s theme as “African year of human rights with focus on women’s rights” and the national theme “We are children not wives, save us from child marriage,” the campaign is focused on accelerating change across Africa by encouraging governments to develop strategies to raise awareness and address the harmful impacts of child marriage.According to the MoGCSP’s report, the first summit on ending child marriage was held in Lusaka, Zambia, from November 26-27, 2015. Liberia’s accurate statistics on child marriage is yet to be made public; UNFPA’s child marriage sheet’s statistics states that 42 percent of girls in Africa are married before they reach 18. The UNFPA said child marriage leads to premature pregnancies, maternal mortality, infant mortality, illiteracy, mental health problems, abuse and violence against female children who are married, in most cases to older men. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

18 Dec

SAA passes global environmental test

first_img11 June 2013 South African Airways (SAA) has become one of only six airlines in the world to be awarded “stage one” status in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) environmental assessment, the airline announced on Sunday. The IATA environmental assessment is a two-year programme to develop and establish an environmental standard and management system for over 240 IATA member airlines. The standard will involve general and on-board recycling, efficient flight and airport operations, limiting and reducing carbon emissions, general energy efficiency and environmentally conscious procurement procedures. SAA was invited by IATA to participate in the programme. “As part of SAA’s group environment strategy and in SAA’s continuous effort to become one of the world’s greenest airlines, our customers can fly assured that we are taking great steps to establish ourselves as a market leader when it comes to environmentally friendly operations, efficient aircraft, green buildings and environmentally conscious employees,” the airline’s spokesperson, Tlali Tlali, said in a statement. The IATA environmental assessment is the first environmental management system for the aviation sector. “I am delighted to announce that SAA has satisfied the independent assessors and passed the IATA environmental assessment stage one,” said IATA’s Paul Steele. “This makes SAA one of the world’s leading carriers in the areas of environmental responsibility and sustainability.” South African Airways aims to comply with applicable international regulations and integrating environmental concerns with all SAA’s planning and decision-making processes through the implementation of effective environmental management systems. It also involves working towards industry goals such as a cap on aviation carbon emissions from 2020, with the aim being carbon neutral growth, and an average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year between 2009 and 2020. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more