Wallace emotional in celebrating 500 finish with family: ‘I just want to make them proud’

first_imgRELATED: Complete Daytona 500 resultsDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The vignettes of emotion around Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. started early Sunday, well before he set sail in Richard Petty’s No. 43 for his first Daytona 500. They ended with a warm reception from his family after his second-place finish at Daytona International Speedway. “We’ve waited so long, baby. So long,” Desiree Wallace, Bubba’s mother, said during their extended, tearful embrace.The 24-year-old Wallace wept openly during his post-race news conference, his emotions pouring over after kicking off his rookie season in NASCAR’s big leagues with his first top-five result. His first year of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup competition comes filled with optimism, on the heels of a 2017 campaign filled with uncertainty.Sunday’s finish fueled that hope and uncorked all the feelings.“It’s a sensitive subject, but I’m just so emotional over where my family has been the last two years, and I don’t talk about it, but it’s just so hard,” Wallace said through tears, “and so having them here to support me is … pull it together, bud, pull it together. You just finished second. It’s awesome. “I just try so hard to be successful at everything I do, and my family pushes me each and every day, and they might not even know it, but I just want to make them proud.” Cameras for the Facebook Watch documentary series “Behind the Wall” had been following Wallace around all week. Sunday, they recorded a surplus of material.RELATED: Watch the series: ‘Behind The Wall: Bubba Wallace’Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, a trailblazer in his own right in another form of motorsports, followed him on Twitter and gave him a social-media note of encouragement Sunday morning. And Wallace said he received a phone call from Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who — like Wallace — also hails from Mobile, Alabama. “Just knowing that people are tuning in and hopefully noticing the new face and the new change that’s coming to NASCAR and they get behind it and support it,” Wallace said. “Just exciting.”Wallace’s Sunday drive made sure that people took notice. From his seventh starting spot, he moved up into the top five and positioned himself firmly in the top 10 for the closing stretch. Once bedlam erupted in Turn 1 on the next-to-last lap of regulation, Wallace avoided contact and put himself in contention for the frantic final laps of overtime. FLASHBACK: Nos. 3, 43 back on top in NASCARWallace’s No. 43 Chevrolet scraped together with Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota as they crossed the finish line just behind 500 winner Austin Dillon. Though Wallace admitted to a measure of disappointment in coming up just short of a major victory, he still savored the flood of sentimental moments in his first “Great American Race.” “No matter what the circumstances are, when you have family here and you run good and it’s been a while since you’ve been somewhat competitive, it pulls on the heartstrings,” Wallace said. “I’m competitive. I love to win. I hate to finish second. Obviously that shows for everybody. But I’m human. No matter if I race cars for a living and enjoy doing it, at the end of the day we all get emotional about something, so I’m just the same as you guys.”last_img read more

Questlove-Directed ‘Summer Of Soul’ Documentary Wins Twice At Sundance Film Festival

first_imgA new music documentary entitled Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), which tells the story of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival as directed by musician/author/late-night television bandleader Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, has won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the documentary category at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.Confirmed by the festival via Twitter on Tuesday, the award-winning film which premiered during the famous Utah film festival tells the story of the six-day concert series that took place in Mount Morris Park in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City in 1969. Amazingly, the film includes long-lost video footage of now-legendary performances from Stevie Wonder, The Staple Singers, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, and more.Related: Stevie Wonder Surprise Calls Questlove During DJ Livestream [Watch]“It has always been a dream of mine to direct films and telling this story has truly been an amazing experience,” Questlove said in a statement on the film’s accomplishment. “I am overwhelmed and honored by the reception the film is receiving and want to give special thanks to Sundance, and my production partners: Radical Media, Vulcan Productions, Concordia, Play/Action Pictures and LarryBilly Productions.”Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson on SUMMER OF SOUL[Video: Sundance Institute]The Harlem Cultural Festival took place during the same mythical summer as Woodstock (three months prior, actually), and also drew over 300,000 attendees, yet its place in history is far less prominent. In fact, one could make the argument that the landmark Harlem event—often referred to as “Black Woodstock”— is overlooked entirely in discussions of the 1960’s counterculture events, likely due to the lack of prominent footage captured at the event.Thankfully, cameraman Hal Tulchin was on site to capture over 40 hours of footage over the six-day gathering. After being locked away in storage for nearly 50 years, Questlove and his team re-earthed the never-before-seen footage as the core content for the documentary, along with interviews with attendees and participants of the long-forgotten happening.Congratulations Quest!last_img read more

NIOSH Recommendation of Respirator Discontinuation of Use

first_imgNIOSH recently determined NIOSH-certified N95 respirators with the following approval numbers: TC-84A-4363, TC-84A-4364, TC-84A-4394 and TC-84A-4665, produced by Champak Enterprise Co., Ltd before February 2010 may, in limited situations, not meet the filtration efficiency requirements specified in Title 42, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 84 due to faults in internal testing procedures. Please discontinue use of these products until further notice.center_img Additional information available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/default.htmlunder spotlights.last_img read more

Humanity’s Earliest Written Works Go Online in World Digital Library (Video)

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore National libraries and the U.N. put some of humanity’s earliest written works and illustrations on the Web this week at WDL.org.  From ancient Chinese oracle bones to the first European map of the New World, the World Digital Library is an enormous online collection of digital reproductions of original documents from libraries the world over. The project is sponsored by UNESCO and brings together materials from 26 partner institutions in 19 countries and was the brain-child of US Librarian of Congress, James Billington. The online descriptions are geared to the average person or casually curious to bring understanding of this treasure trove to all corners of the globe.  Watch both Videos below, one from AP , and another good one from AFP. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Deputy fatally shoots stabbing suspect at home in Azle

first_img Next Up AZLE,  (AP) — A North Texas sheriff’s deputy has fatally shot a man suspected of stabbing three of his relatives at a home.The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office late Monday night answered a domestic disturbance call in Azle (AY’-zil), about 10 miles northwest of Fort Worth.Sheriff’s spokesman Terry Grisham says the deputy arrived to find two stabbing victims outside the house. Grisham says the deputy heard another person yelling for help, went into the residence and saw the suspect attacking that third person.Grisham says the suspect refused to drop the knife so the deputy opened fire.The victims — two women and a man — were transported to hospitals. Their names, relationship and conditions weren’t immediately released Tuesday.Investigators also didn’t immediately release names of the suspect or the deputy.last_img read more

Two Vermont towns among safest in US

first_imgVermont Business Magazine A national home security firm has used comprehensive law enforcement data to rank the safest municipalities in the US. Essex ranked second overall and Milton ranked 23rd. Vermont as a state was noted as having the fewest number of sex offenders per capita. The firm, SafeWise, (link is external)is a home security and safety brand committed to increasing safety education, awareness, and preparedness in American communities. SafeWise has been recognized by The Huffington Post, AngiesList, Mashable, and Homes.com, for their Home Security Brand Comparisons and Safest Cities Reports.Finding a safe place to raise your family is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a parent. From the quality of the school system to the accessibility of great parks and children’s recreational activities, selecting a community where you’ll want to settle down and raise a child is serious business.SafeWise delved into the data to define which cities in the United States excel at creating safer environments for families.SafeWise notes that the safest cities for raising families tend to skew towards coastal New England towns, where quiet, suburban neighborhoods have less crime, promote healthy and active lifestyles, and enjoy well-funded school systems. Connecticut takes the lead with nearly a third of the cities on the list hailing from the state, while New Jersey’s family-friendly townships make up a large portion of the remaining communities.Here are a few state statistics that helped inform our rankings of which cities are the safest for raising a family.Connecticut has exceptionally low rates of violent crime.Vermont has the fewest registered sex offenders per capita of any state.New Jersey has the second-highest high school graduation rate.Massachusetts schools are rated the best for overall quality.While parents always strive to closely supervise their kids, it helps to have a community that’s willing to focus on family-friendly initiatives that make the difference. These are the cities across America that make one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs you’ll ever undertake a little less stressful.1. Greenwich, ConnecticutFounded by a descendant of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Greenwich captures plenty of historic charm without sacrificing safety. Consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in America, this community has private beaches, plenty of parks and recreation programs, and an island sanctuary to help residents escape from the bustle of ordinary life. Many Greenwich couples have kids, so you’ll be in good company when you settle in one of these quiet Connecticut culs-de-sac.2. Essex, VermontThis mountain town is one of the most populous in Vermont but retains a small-town commitment to community involvement. Essex’s award-winning schools focus not only on graduation and college attendance, but also on apprenticeship opportunities for students who want to move into business or industry-sector jobs that require technical skills. Come for the scenic, rural charm but stay for the unparalleled, real-world education opportunities.3. Fairfield, ConnecticutThis city on the Long Island Sound frequently wins accolades as one of the best places to live in the Northeast. Fairfield not only subsidizes neighborhood programs that focus on creating a stronger sense of community but also heavily invests in the public school system. The most expensive construction project in the city’s history concludes this summer and provides residents with three new schools equipped with the latest technology and innovative spaces for learning 1.4. Carmel, IndianaCarmel is one of the fastest-growing cities in Indiana,2 and it’s easy to see why. Families are attracted to the award-winning parks and recreation department that offers a robust menu of summer camps, extended school enrichment, and even a water park. It’s also home to the World’s Smallest Children’s Art Gallery, a claim to fame that has plenty of adorable appeal.5. Merrimack, New HampshireTucked into the outside curve of the Merrimack River, this city is often touted as a best place to live due to its accessibility for commuters and rural, small-town sensibilities. Merrimack has several award-winning high school sports programs and was also the first in the state to establish charter schools focused on STEM and arts education.36. Fishers, IndianaRecently named a Playful City for the ninth year in a row, Fishers’ focus on kids’ recreational opportunities is unparalleled. The city produces a seasonal guide to its incredible parks and recreation program that features a community garden, a subsidized preschool, and tons of summer camp opportunities. Indiana’s teacher of the year also hails from Fishers, which is situated in one of the best school districts in the state.7. Monroe Township, Middlesex County, New JerseyAlong the outer reaches of suburban New York, this New Jersey township has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the Northeast. Residents are attracted by the fantastic educational opportunities in Monroe Township, which was voted best high school in America, Silver in 2014 by US News.48. Irvine, CaliforniaA planned city in sunny California, Irvine is biking friendly with a focus on sports for kids, nature centers, adventure playgrounds, and more. This community also has a specific department that handles family services and provides counseling, and Irvine also offers fantastic higher education opportunities at nearby universities like Pepperdine.9. Middletown Township, New JerseyThis Jersey township is nestled along the Sandy Hook Bay and has a plethora of beaches that provide prime fishing opportunities, despite the city’s proximity to New York City. Middletown Township’s calendar is packed with family activities like community fossil hunts, movies in the park, and mother-daughter afternoon teas.10. Cary, North CarolinaLocated near the Research Triangle Park, Cary’s award-winning sports and recreation department has a robust approach to youth sports. Dotted with creeks and tree-lined streets, this community outside of Raleigh is one of the most highly educated in America, as 68% of residents have a college degree. 511. Wayne Township, New JerseyDespite being dotted with lakes and tidy suburban neighborhoods, Wayne Township is just twenty miles from the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhattan. The city has nearly 2,000 acres of parkland, which includes swimming facilities, community gardens, and dozens of playgrounds. Wayne Township is also home to a world-famous ice rink where championship skaters and coaches run youth skating programs.12. Franklin, MassachusettsMassachusetts is rated the highest in the nation for overall school quality, and Franklin is no exception, winning the 7th Annual AP Honor Roll Award for superior high schools.6 This quaint New England town is also home to America’s first library, whose books were donated by Benjamin Franklin himself.13. Toms River Township, New JerseyNew Jersey’s stellar graduation rates are just the beginning of what Toms River Township has to offer students. A youth services department specifically focuses on after-school and summer camps tailored to provide services to kids in need. And when October rolls around, you’ll be in for a ghoulish good time as the township prepares to host the second-largest Halloween parade in the world.7 14. Warwick, Rhode IslandIt may be the second-largest city in Rhode Island, but Warwick still retains plenty of small-town charm as a cheerful New England seaport. Enjoy miles of beachfront parks, an ice arena, and even a picturesque rocky point outfitted with a scenic lighthouse.15. Ridgefield, ConnecticutA 300-year-old town at the foot of the Berkshire mountains, Ridgefield lives up to its name with stately colonials and green lawns that lead to the sea. The Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, formerly known as the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, is famous for having performed at both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.8 The school system is noted for a fantastic band and an arts program that would be music to any parent’s ears.16. Gilbert, ArizonaSoutheast of Phoenix lies Gilbert, one of the most populous incorporated town in Arizona.9 Named a 2017 Playful City USA for its commitment to families, this formerly agricultural town has turned into a bustling suburbia focused on providing programs for every member of its community.17. Bridgewater Township, New JerseyTravel inland to the friendly, tree-lined neighborhoods of Bridgewater Township, and you’ll find more than great parks and youth recreation opportunities. Local high schools boast stellar graduation rates and have been the recipients of Blue Ribbon Awards from the US Department of Education for exceptional performance.18. Southington, ConnecticutJust southwest of Hartford along the gently rolling hills of the Quinnipiac River lies Southington. This Connecticut town’s high school has a fantastic reputation, with a 93% graduation rate.10 Southington is also home to the Apple Harvest Festival, a family-friendly seasonal event that draws tens of thousands of visitors.19. Orem, UtahFamily City USA is this Utah city’s nickname, and it lives up to it with a smorgasbord of family-focused opportunities and programs. Just south of Salt Lake City, Orem is a university town with tons of trails, a robust parks system, and a bevy of neighborhood leaders that excel at creating a strong, welcoming community.20. Westport, ConnecticutSnuggled against the Long Island Sound, Westport has some of the best middle schools in the nation, snagging multiple Blue Ribbon Awards from the Department of Education. Known for its brick facades, this picturesque coastal town claims it is “New England in tradition; cosmopolitan in outlook.”21. Cumberland, Rhode IslandJust around the corner from Providence, Cumberland boasts a historic park and an award-winning Little League team whose coach, Dave Belisle, has become something of a legend. Despite easy access to New Haven and Boston, Cumberland still retains its rural sensibilities.22. Hillsborough Township, New JerseyTucked on the edge of a mountain preserve, Hillsborough Township focuses on putting families first with great sports programs and excellent schools. This New Jersey town was named a Playful City USA for its efforts to keep kids engaged and active.23. Milton, VermontMilton is a sleepy little Vermont town along the edge of Lake Champlain with an attractive lineup of summer camp programs and an award-winning youth theater program.12 The town proper may look familiar as the setting for the movie Me, Myself, and Irene, some of which was filmed on location in Milton.24. Simsbury, ConnecticutSimsbury has one of the best youth music programs in the nation and has been recognized for exceptional arts advocacy.13 Simsbury High School was ranked a top Connecticut school by US News and World Report,11 and the entire community enjoys not only low rates of crime, but also a healthy, active community centered on being bike and pedestrian friendly.25. Cheshire, ConnecticutBetween Hartford and New Haven lies the city of Cheshire, which was named a best place to live by Connecticut Magazine.14 This inland city with quiet neighborhoods devotes a good amount of resources to its Youth Services Department, which coordinates activities, counseling, and family services.26. Milford, ConnecticutHome of the famous Oyster Festival, Milford is a coastal town clustered along the banks of its own inlet from the sea. Home to several beaches, an historic downtown, and a large protected marsh that is a wildlife sanctuary, Milford manages to keep it quaint despite being sandwiched between the busy metro areas of New Haven and Bridgeport.27. Glastonbury, ConnecticutJust northeast of New Haven, Glastonbury is an award-winning, bicycle-friendly community that NerdWallet lists as a best place for first-time homebuyers.15 The Youth and Family Services program puts on annual drama productions that have become quite the draw locally, and families can take their pick of dozens of well-maintained parks around town.28. Narragansett, Rhode IslandAnother beach town, Narragansett’s population doubles during the summer due to its famous beaches, which are a huge draw for tourists. Despite the crowds, this city still enjoys relatively low crime and an exceptional school system.29. Lakeville, MinnesotaA suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Lakeville lives up to its name with plenty of small ponds and a recreationally focused community. While it’s the only Minnesota city on our list, Lakeville earns its top spot with award-winning schools and plenty of small-town charm.30. Newton, MassachusettsNicknamed the Garden City, this suburb of Boston boasts quiet, safe neighborhoods, referred to as villages, that are accessible by rail from Beantown. Massachusetts enjoys some of the best schools in the nation, but Newton sweetens the deal with plenty of youth programs, including a popular Learn to Fish class available to both kids and adults.MethodologyThe SafeWise team reviewed reported sex offender concentration(link is external), state graduation rates(link is external), overall school quality ranking(link is external), and FBI violent crime data(link is external). SafeWise also considered parks and recreational opportunities as well as special programs focused on providing services for kids and families. While lots of communities strive to provide a safe environment for their residents, the cities on this list performed the best considering these factors specifically important to raising a family.It’s important to note that SafeWise eliminated all cities with fewer than 10,000 residents and those communities that did not report complete crime numbers to the FBI.Source: SafeWise, June 2017(link is external)last_img read more

Hinson lays out goal to be the best; highlights Shawnee Mission accomplishments to SMEF crowd

first_imgDr. Jim Hinson and Dr. Christy Ziegler with Briarwood students Celia Condon and Barrett McKee and teacher Jon Ferrell during the SMEF breakfast presentation.Shawnee Mission School Superintendent Jim Hinson used the State of the District address Thursday morning to highlight the accomplishments of the Shawnee Mission schools over the last year, but also to look to the challenges the district faces in the future.Hinson said the district is in the middle of a lifestyle change. “Is what we are doing in public education relevant,” Hinson asked. Today’s kindergarteners are the Class of 2028, he noted. School improvement is not moving as fast as the world is changing, he said. “We need a growth mindset. (We) must be able to see things differently than in the past.”“We refuse to be defined by circumstance. We refuse to offer an excuse for what we can’t do. All means all.” Those were among the principles Hinson laid out for the district.The presentation to a full house at the annual Shawnee Mission Educational Foundation breakfast was punctuated by showcasing exceptional student work including biotechnology research from SM West and Briarwood students using advanced technology.Hinson also laid out changes in the district over the last year:The largest increase in enrollment since 1992.The security upgrades to every school, including a secure entrance at SM North.1,300 middle school students taking part in athletics last year.The rollout of the bullying app for students to report incidents.The passage of the $223 million bond issue for new schools.The start of construction for the Center for Academic Achievement.Expansion of the engineering program to elementary schools.Wholesale changes in the district leadership team.The rollout of 30,000 personal technology devices to district students.The elimination of fees for all-day kindergarten.The elimination of elementary textbook rental fees.Hinson said the new administrative center will bring 500,000 square feet of administrative space at multiple buildings into 70,000 square feet for administration at a savings of $2 million per year. After years of school closings the district is looking to add a new school. Hinson said development projects within the district boundaries could bring 7,000 new “doorways” to the district.He also recognized SMEF executive director Linda Roser who will be retiring at the end of this year. Roser gave several examples of how SMEF money and the Shawnee Mission Cares campaign had made a difference to district families in times of crisis. “We are the Shawnee Mission family taking care of our family,” she said.last_img read more

The truth about lying? Children’s perceptions get more nuanced with age

first_imgShare LinkedIn The researchers showed the children a series of short videos in which childlike puppets either told the truth or lied. The variable was the outcome of the puppets’ words: Sometimes what they said caused harm to someone else (e.g., blaming an innocent person for their own misdeeds). In other scenarios, the speaker’s words harmed themselves while helping someone else (e.g., a false confession to a misdeed in order to spare the real perpetrator from punishment). The videos also portrayed puppets telling truths, such as “tattling,” could harm someone else.A marker of moral and social developmentAfter watching the videos, the children were asked to decide whether the characters were being honest or deceitful. They were also asked to decide whether the puppets’ behaviours should be rewarded or condemned.“Looking at how children see honesty and deceit is a way of gaining insight into different stages of moral and social development,” explains Professor Talwar.“Children get a lot of messages from their parents saying that lying is always bad, but at the same time they see their parents telling ‘white’ lies to make life easier. Depending on their age, this is likely to be a bit confusing for children. We were interested in gaining a more nuanced picture of children’s perceptions of truth and lies – since not all lies have negative consequences for the other person, and not all truths have positive consequences for someone else. We were curious to know at what age children start to understand this.”Tattling is tough for kids to understandThe researchers discovered that the children had no difficulty, no matter what their age, in distinguishing truth from lies. They were also adept at deciding which behaviours to reward or condemn – with two notable differences between younger and older kids.False confessions to help someone else were difficult to assess; younger children saw these as being more negative than older ones did. Tattling was also problematic. Younger children were less concerned by truth-telling that had negative consequences for someone else, whereas older children were more conflicted about tattling. “What we were seeing is children’s confusion around particular kinds of truths and lies,” says Shanna Mary Williams, who recently completed her PhD at McGill and did much of the research on this study. “Younger children see things more starkly – truths are good and lies are bad. But by the time they are 10-12 years old, children become more aware that truth and lies are less binary. The older they are, the more interested children are in the consequences of these actions. They are also more able to start looking at the intentions behind the speech.”A need for more nuanced conversations around truth-tellingThe takeaway? Children’s moral evaluations of both lies and truths is influenced by their understanding of whether the speakers’ intention is to harm another or themselves. While younger children may be reflecting what is taught by parents and caregivers when it comes to tattling (i.e. that honesty in all forms is virtuous), the researchers believe that older children may be less likely to reward tattling because they are concerned with how their peers will perceive this behaviour. In both cases, what is clear, according to the researchers, is that parents and teachers need to have a much more involved conversation about truth-telling or lie-telling with children starting as early as the age six.The study was published in International Review of Pragmatics. Pinterest Parents don’t like it when children lie. But what do the kids themselves think about it? New research suggests truth telling isn’t black and white.As children get older, their moral evaluations of both lies and truths is increasingly influenced by whether they think this behaviour will cause harm to either others or themselves.Victoria Talwar, a Canada Research Chair in McGill’s Dept. of Educational and Counselling Psychology, led a research team that was interested in how a child’s moral understanding develops. They studied the behaviour of close to 100 children, aged six to 12.center_img Email Share on Twitter Share on Facebooklast_img read more

USDA unveils plan to cut Salmonella in meat and poultry

first_imgThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released a Salmonella Action Plan to curb levels of the pathogen in meat and poultry products, one of its top food safety priorities in light of the 1.3 million illnesses linked to Salmonella each year.A centerpiece of the plan is a strategy that would modernize and streamline federal food safety inspections at poultry processing plants by freeing up inspectors to spend less time on visual inspection of carcasses and more time on exploring other safety issues at the facilities.Salmonella is a top cause of foodborne illness, and the federal government’s new strategy comes amid a Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to two Foster Farms poultry production facilities in California that has so far sickened 389 patients in 23 states.”Far too many American are sickened by Salmonella every year. The aggressive and comprehensive steps detailed in the Salmonella Action Plan will protect consumers by making meat and poultry products safer,” said Elisabeth Hagen, MD, undersecretary for food safety, in a press release from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).In mid November Hagen announced that she will resign from the USDA in the middle of December. She has worked for nearly 4 years as USDA undersecretary,The FSIS estimates that the plan’s steps to modernize the poultry slaughter inspection system could prevent at least 5,000 illnesses each year.Controversy around the planToday’s action plan announcement caps working group efforts that have been under way since 2011. The announcement of the proposed steps for streamlining poultry processing inspections has drawn criticism from consumer and union groups. They have aired concerns about data the FSIS used to justify the performance of a pilot program that tested the new system at poultry plants and the safety consequences of increased production line speeds under the new system.In September the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that said the USDA cut corners in evaluating the poultry inspection part of the plan, but added that it appears to gives plants more flexibility and responsibility for ensuring food safety and inspectors more opportunities to focus on other additional food safety activities.The GAO report triggered a response from FSIS head Alfred Almanza, who wrote in a Food Safety News editorial that the agency was already working on the GAO’s two recommendations and that the GAO authors seemed to overlook the FSIS’s food safety rationale for advancing the plan.Steps for poultry, pork safetyOther features of the plan are aimed at giving inspectors more information to identify possible food safety problems, such as details about a plant’s performance history. Other items on the 10-step plan include ensuring that sampling activities are in line with foodborne illness trends, considering modification of how FSIS posts poultry facilities on Salmonella performance lists, completing risk assessments for comminuted poultry products and poultry parts, exploring the role of lymph nodes in Salmonella contamination, and gathering more information on preharvest contamination.Some of the steps also touch on pork production. For example, one is aimed at decreasing sanitary dressing problems in hog slaughter establishments and possibly developing performance standards for hog carcass and pork product sampling programs.Another of the plan’s steps would order new approaches for providing Salmonella-related food safety information to consumers, such as adding more detailed explanations for recommendations or practices.CSPI responseIn response to today’s FSIS announcement, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released a statement from its senior food safety attorney, Sarah Klein, who said the FSIS Salmonella Action Plan makes some important improvements that allow it to respond more nimbly and gather more useful data.She addeed, however, that the plan ignores the critical issue of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella. CSPI has petitioned the agency to add antibiotic-resistant Salmonella as adulterants.Klein also said the FSIS should go further and test each poultry and beef plant weekly for Salmonella. “This would increase consumer protection, as it would give FSIS real-time data on plant performance and allow the agency to take prompt action if a plant veers off course,” she said in the statement.See also:Dec 4 FSIS press releaseText of action planSep 4 CIDRAP News story “GAO: USDA took shortcuts in poultry inspection plan”Sep 6 CIDRAP News scan “FSIS head rebuts GAO report on poultry inspections”Dec 4 CSPI statementlast_img read more

Ryti: UnQuarked Board Of Appeals Decision

first_imgBy RANDALL RYTI Vice ChairLos Alamos County CouncilI was one of the three members of the Board of Appeals convened for the UnQuarked appeal of the stop work order (red tag) placed Nov. 22, 2019. UnQuarked was required to present substantial evidence that the County Chief Building Official (Michael Arellano) application of the red tag was arbitrary, capricious, or not in accordance with the law.The Board unanimously denied the appeal on July 14 and we had a meeting on July 27 to approve the final minutes of the hearings. UnQuarked has appealed this decision to County Council. Given that I was member of the Board of Appeals I will be recusing myself from hearing this appeal to Council.The Board of Appeals hearings lasted about 29 hours, and while a few people may have had the time to listen to the full hearings I wanted to provide a short summary. The following are some but not all of the reasons why I voted to deny the appeal.The work in question was a commercial remodel, and all such work requires a design professional and a licensed general contractor (GB98). Los Alamos County has a commercial permit application checklist that specifically states that a design professional is required. During the hearings it was clarified that the design professional could be a professional engineer (PE) or an architect. In most cases the design professional is an architect. The reason for requiring these types of professionals is to ensure that public health and safety is maintained while the project is underway and when the project is completed.UnQuarked’s question has been, “What work were we doing that required a permit?” The answer is UnQuarked was doing commercial remodeling work that required a permit.The following is a relevant snip from the County Code regarding permits: It is unlawful for any person to construct, alter, repair, remove, demolish or to commence the construction, alteration, removal or demolition of a building or structure without first filing with the building official an application in writing and obtaining from him a building permit authorizing such work. (Sec. 10-73.(a) – Building permit; application; deposit.)It was clear from the evidence presented at the hearing that UnQuarked had moved beyond changing light bulbs or doing some interior painting, and had started a commercial remodel including the remodel of a commercial kitchen without the required permits. The evidence submitted to the Board indicating that UnQuarked had commenced this level of work included, but was not limited to, documents and testimony showing that UnQuarked was building a long and heavy bar-like structure that would require electrical permitting, and placement of numerous additional pieces of commercial kitchen equipment moved to the premises since the lease started.UnQuarked appeared to miss the point that when a commercial remodel commences a permit must be obtained for the whole scope of the project. This is not only required by applicable building codes but stands to reason—if a commercial kitchen is being remodeled with new appliances it is wholly appropriate to first determine whether they as well as other elements of the overall design will function safely within the scope of the project. Will the addition of these appliances overwhelm the existing electrical system? Is the gas and associated plumbing sufficient to safely operate a commercial wok in the context of the whole project? Is the existing hood and fire suppression system sufficient for the changes being made in the kitchen? Is the construction of a lengthy and heavy bar-like structure in the premises going to cause ingress/issues under relevant fire codes? Although the whole project is included in the permit application, it was stated by the Building Official that the work could be completed in phases.A permit application was submitted on Nov. 15, 2019. The application included a drawing of the structure being built for the front of the business and the equipment being planned for the back of the business (kitchen). The permit application followed a site visit and inspection by the Building Official on Nov. 12, 2019. When the red tag was placed on Nov. 22, 2019, work was in progress on the structure in the front of the house and no valid permit was in effect. The purpose of the red tag is to stop work on the project and have the responsible party come to the Community Development Department and resolve the deficiencies. We were told that red tags are removed typically within two days to two weeks. UnQuarked was informed of deficiencies in their permit application on Nov. 18 and Nov. 22, 2019. A licensed general contractor was not named on the permit application. A PE stamped the drawings, but the application did not list any other design professional. The PE who stamped the drawings was not a witness for the Board of Appeals and therefore we did not know their qualifications as a design professional for commercial remodel work.While it was not in the Board of Appeals’ scope to comment on processes for applying for commercial work permits or other improvements to support our local businesses, the Board did comment on some areas that should be improved. For example, while the Building Official has the authority to modify the value of the work being planned, it should be transparent who made the change and the applicant should be made aware of the change.However, none of these administrative issues are relevant to the issue that was before the Board, which was whether the Stop Work Order issued by the Building Official was appropriate. The answer to that question was an overwhelming yes, and the reason for that is because UnQuarked was doing work far beyond cosmetic work and had, in fact, started commercial remodel including the kitchen in a premises that has been vacant for several years triggering a permitting process imposed by state and local law that insures health and safety requirements are met.last_img read more