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Editorial: ‘We All Breathe the Same Air’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From the Missoulian (Montana):Montana is home to one of the top 10 emitters of greenhouse gases in the nation. The coal-fired power plant at Colstrip is by far the largest industrial source of greenhouse gases in Montana, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Nevertheless, thanks to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Montana was finally on its way to charting a course for cleaner energy. In the past few years the state had put together a blueprint of sorts for complying with the plan, and earlier this year Gov. Steve Bullock announced the members of a 27-member advisory council charged with making recommendations on how to cut carbon pollution in the most environmentally effective, least economically damaging way possible.Then the Clean Power Plan got tangled up in the courts, coal began a steady global collapse and Montana’s leaders seemingly abandoned efforts to help mitigate climate change in order to focus their attention on saving the Colstrip power plant.Montana’s state and federal leaders have been spending a great deal of time talking about how to keep Colstrip viable. Bullock is even taking steps to put together a working group addressing Colstrip’s future.They are taking this train in the wrong direction. Regardless of how the Clean Power Plan plays out in court, Montana must get back on track. It must not commit public resources to propping up an industry that damages public health. Montanans must remind our governor and congressional delegates that the state still needs to plan for a future that includes a strong, diversified energy industry, good-paying jobs and most of all, clean air.There’s no reason to delay, and every reason to move forward with urgency. Montanans’ health depends on it.Just this month, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released a new report that links the effects of climate change with public health, and noted that if things don’t change, Montana can expect to see more drought, soil erosion and dust activity, for instance. The report, “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment,” connects these outcomes to human activities including agriculture, livestock grazing, irrigation and the like.It also, of course, notes that Montana can expect more wildfires and more smoke – and therefore, poorer air quality.In Missoula and Ravalli counties, poor air quality is particularly concerning. Although Missoula has made some headway thanks to local standards, it is still losing ground and its air quality continues to receive the poorest possible grade from the American Lung Association.The American Lung Association will be releasing its annual State of the Air report later this month. Last year’s report, which studied the years 2011-2013, showed that hotter, drier summers – with their more frequent, more intense wildfires – were responsible for increased particle pollution in places like Missoula and Ravalli counties. In Missoula County, for example, 86 percent of the poor air quality days were directly attributed to wildfire smoke.Consequently, Missoulians can expect to see more cases of chronic illness and respiratory disease. Children and the elderly, pregnant women, and people with heart or lung disease are especially vulnerable. Climate change is even extending the allergy season, including more – and more potent – airborne allergens.County-level air quality standards are effective, but they can only go so far. Montana must join the national push to mitigate wildfires by curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and it can accomplish this by dramatically reducing the use of coal as an energy source.And then what? Montana must continue to hold a statewide discussion that focuses on replacing polluting energy sources with cleaner ones, making use of new energy technologies and training a workforce equipped to overcome the inevitable challenges of such a massive transition.Recent polling data shows Montana residents want to do something about climate change, but are skeptical of the Clean Power Plan. A poll released last month by the University of Montana and Stanford University found that 54 percent of Montanans agree that climate change’s effect “pose a serious problem for the state.” And a whopping 71 percent would prefer to see the state “develop its own plan to reduce emissions” instead of allowing the federal government to call the shots.Montanans can already see that climate change is costing us immensely, and we shouldn’t wait to begin taking steps to reduce that threat by implementing our own standards. Bullock ought to reconvene the Clean Power Plan advisory council, and direct the group to continue working on this issue.The council should be given the support to continue to develop state-level solutions to the global problem of climate change.Montanans may remain divided on the Clean Power Plan, whether to lend public support to propping up Colstrip and, if so, how far to go. Regardless of those divisions, it would be wise to keep in mind that we all breathe the same air.Missoulian Editorial: Return focus to clean energy, healthy air Editorial: ‘We All Breathe the Same Air’last_img read more

Xi Jinping meets with Mauritanian President Abdel Aziz

first_imgPresident Xi Jinping met with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in Beijing on Monday, vowing to improve ties with Mauritania within the framework of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum.  Aziz is in China for the second China-Arab States Expo, a key platform for promoting ties between China and Arab states, in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, northwest China.last_img

Tim LaFleche Wins Annual Fitness Inspired Gala

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisSome locals are looking thinner, happier, and have become a new person.  This weekend the community helped celebrate the achievements of the participants who were recognized for their hard work at the gym.The gala honored 25 people who have transformed their life through fitness and shared their story on “60 Second Inspiration” during 2018.This year’s winner went to Tim LaFleche. Tim won a $500 VIP gold card to Bay Athletic Club after his story was voted most inspiring. Tim lost 100 pounds. Congratulations Tim!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Intro Into Diving Encourages Locals to Embrace Winter Learning a New ActivityNext ‘Photo of the Day’ for Monday, January 21last_img read more

Chase Utley brings his leadership back to Dodgers

first_imgThere wasn’t much negotiating to do. The Dodgers’ front office has made it very clear how much they value Utley’s influence in the clubhouse culture and particularly on the young players that have become an increasingly prominent part of the roster. GM Farhan Zaidi credited Utley with having “a huge impact on this organization.” Manager Dave Roberts took it a step farther two years ago, calling Utley “my favorite player of all time.”The Dodgers further tipped their hand over the winter by including Utley in a promotional trip to Dubai where he and Justin Turner conducted a baseball clinic and allowing Utley to work out at Dodger Stadium (even though he was technically no longer part of the organization).When camp opened this past week, Utley’s cleats and gloves were in his usual locker and boxes addressed to him were stacked up in front of it – though there was no nameplate until Saturday.“Yeah, that’s huge for the team, huge for the clubhouse,” Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager said of having his mentor back. “It’s obviously really nice on a personal level too.”Staying in Los Angeles was an “ideal fit” for the Southern California native (Long Beach Poly High, UCLA) and the decision to continue playing at age 39 was “fairly easy,” Utley said. “I’ve enjoyed playing baseball for a fairly long time and I still enjoy it. I still feel I can be productive in a number of ways,” he said.A six-time All-Star in his prime with the Philadelphia Phillies, Utley’s on-field contributions for the Dodgers have been much more modest. Last year, he batted .236 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 127 games, starting 68 at second base, 10 at first base and three at DH. He was 0 for 15 during the Dodgers’ postseason run.Utley’s role could be more diminished in 2018. Second baseman Logan Forsythe figures to get all the starts against left-handed pitching. He batted .290 with an .870 OPS against lefties last season – but he struggled mightily against right-handers (a .190 batting average and .576 OPS), opening the door for a platoon situation.But this year, Roberts said he does not expect to platoon Forsythe against all left-handers.“No, absolutely not. For us, we expect Logan to get the lion’s share of at-bats,” Roberts said. “I think last year against left-handed pitching was certainly under his career norm. So he did some things in the winter to combat that.”Roberts said Forsythe fell into some bad habits with his swing last season that made it longer and “didn’t allow him to consistently get to the fastball.” Roberts said Forsythe addressed that during his offseason work and it already “looks more direct and clean.”Forsythe’s first season with the Dodgers got off to a rough start with foot and leg injuries that sidelined him early in the year and might have led to those swing changes.“He won’t admit it. But I would argue yes,” Roberts said. “Everything in sports, in baseball obviously works from the ground up and when your feet aren’t working the right way and you don’t have that foundation then everything is compromised. I do think that bled into his mechanics and kind of in the middle of a season it snowballed on him.”NOTESLeft-hander Alex Wood threw a slightly abbreviated bullpen session Saturday, his first of the spring after a minor ankle injury postponed it. Wood is on track to throw to hitters next week like the rest of the Dodgers’ starting pitchers. … The Dodgers signed two pitchers with major-league experience to minor-league contracts – left-hander Cesar Ramos and right-hander Justin De Fratus. Ramos, 33, pitched for the Rays, Rangers, Angels and Padres from 2009 through 2016. He spent last season in Triple-A for the Phillies. De Fratus, 30, made 191 relief appearances for the Phillies from 2011 through 2015 but has not pitched in the majors since. GLENDALE, Ariz. — It might be a measure of their respect for Chase Utley that he got the only multi-year contract given out by the Dodgers this winter.Or it might just be a measure of how committed they are at this point to maintaining as much cushion between their payroll and the luxury-tax threshold that they spread his salary out over the next two years (annual average salaries are used in the tax computations).Either way, Utley was in Dodgers camp Saturday after his two-year, $2 million contract became official.“Early on (in the offseason), I let the Dodgers know I’d like to continue to play and staying in L.A. would be my first choice,” Utley said. “Probably not the best negotiating strategy.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more