Take the Cave City exit off Interstate 65 in Kentucky and drive past the life-size dinosaur replicas, the abandoned putt-putt course, and Yogi Bear’s unseasonably quiet Jellystone Park. You can also jump in a bumper boat to show your tube-maneuvering skills, but let’s face it, people only come to this quaint Kentucky town to see one thing: caves. Mammoth Cave National Park, the longest cave system in the world, just happens to be a few miles down the road.In addition to the main attraction, the 53,000-acre park is home to nearly 200 other smaller caves and bodies of water like the Green River. But Mammoth Cave itself holds the most allure. It’s one of the few places on Earth that holds as much mystery today as it did when Native Americans set foot into the dark abyss nearly 6,000 years ago.In the BeginningGourds, spear points, burnt cane torches, and even an Indian corpse tell us that these people visited the underground world but did not live there. Researchers believe the Native Americans collected minerals like gypsum and selenite from the cave walls for their medicinal and ceremonial value.By the time the first European settlers came to the plateau that stretches above the cave system, tribes like the Shawnee and Cherokee had been hunting there for generations. Soon, however, those that were spared from disease and warfare were pushed from their hunting grounds to make room for a new era of cave exploits: those of the white man.Visitors built towers of cave rocks both to clear trails and to serve as memorials to hometowns or businesses. This one, built in honor of Kentucky, stands above the rest and touches a ceiling covered in graffiti from the 1800s. Photo: Jess DaddioWhen war with England broke out in 1812, a sudden demand for black gunpowder drove men to the hills. Wealthy gentleman looking to capitalize on the war came in search of caves with saltpeter deposits, used to make gunpowder. Mammoth Cave was filled around the clock with over 70 slaves and a handful of oxen working to supply the American military. Only a year later in 1813, the cave’s owners abandoned gunpowder business for another endeavor: tourism.Then, in 1838, a wealthy man from Glasgow, Ky., purchased the cave and brought with him a slave who would change the future of Mammoth. That slave’s name was Stephen Bishop. Although he would go on to sell the cave only a year later, Bishop would become Mammoth’s foremost explorer and guide. Bishop became the first person to push the boundaries of exploration in Mammoth when he found a crawlway that crossed The Bottomless Pit, a canyon-like section of the cave that most had assumed to be “the end.” Bishop also discovered the underground Echo and Roaring Rivers as well as the eyeless fish that reside in the cave. In all, Bishop did more than entertain and guide visitors; his explorations marked the first contributions of a true caver. He managed to discover and map roughly 25 miles of the cave, a crucial step toward understanding the vastness of this largely unexplored world, which he referred to as a “grand, gloomy, and peculiar place.”Little did Bishop know that he and his rough sketches of Mammoth Cave would spur a frenzy of exploration in the early 20th century. Discovery stories of neighboring caves also drew attention to Mammoth’s already extensive system. One story in particular was the tragic tale of caver Floyd Collins. In 1925, the Kentucky native attracted media outlets from around the country when a 27-pound rock landed on his ankle and trapped him during a reconnaissance mission in nearby Sand Cave. Collins died in his underground entrapment, but his story would put Cave City and the surrounding caves on newspaper headlines around the globe. That same year, the Mammoth Cave National Park Association was created to begin drafting plans for turning Mammoth Cave and the surrounding land into one of three national parks in southern Appalachia.Mammoth Becomes MammothFast forward to 1938. An eight-year-old boy from Shelby, Ohio, and his mother are visiting Mammoth Cave for the first time. The boy, who has long been fascinated with caves hidden beneath kitchen chairs and blankets, carries a flashlight he purchased with his own money. He bounces the beam of light off the cave’s solemn walls, his eyes wide, heart racing; he has been waiting for this moment to come for nearly three years.The tour guide leads the group through Mammoth’s chambers, reciting bits of geology and history along the way. The boy, however, is lost in the moment, the grandeur and mystery of the cave sending his mind into a feverish wave of unanswered questions and stories of lost souls in hidden passageways.“Where does that go?” the boy finally asks, pointing the beam of light at what appears to be another passage. The tour guide stops and chuckles, apparently amused by the boy’s inquiry.“Why, it doesn’t go anywhere!” the guide says, which causes the group to erupt in laughter.The boy, rightfully confused, keeps his thoughts to himself for the remainder of the tour, but his incessant curiosity stays with him long after leaving the cave. That boy would grow up to be one of the most influential cavers in the development of Mammoth Cave. His name is Roger Brucker.Although Brucker dabbled in some “very small and very muddy” Buckeye caves after that first exposure, it would be another 16 years before he returned to the Mammoth Cave region. In 1954, the National Speleological Society (NSS) chose Brucker to join 64 cavers on a sponsored weeklong expedition to Crystal Cave, a trip that would alter the futures of both the cave and Brucker himself.“All of a sudden caving turned from a hobby to an obsession,” Brucker says.The expedition team surveyed a few miles of previously unknown territory in nearby Crystal Cave, slowly enlarging the cave system’s scope, mile by mile.“What we found as we went along was one connection after another,” Brucker says. “It was then that we knew how vast the cave really was.”One year after the NSS expedition, two of Brucker’s caving colleagues discovered the first official connection between Crystal Cave and Unknown Cave, both of which would eventually be included under the umbrella of Mammoth Cave. Now that explorers had mapped nearly 45 miles, the cave’s known passage system was growing in recognition. The National Park Service claimed the cave’s maps covered 150 miles, which put Mammoth Cave on record as the longest in the world.Mammoth Cave National Park was officially established on July 1, 1941. In 1981 it was designated as a World Heritage Site and in 1990 it became the core area of an International Biosphere Reserve. The first tour of Mammoth Cave was in 1816. Photo: Jess DaddioSuddenly, Kentucky’s cave-dense karst area exploded onto the scene and attracted the attention of national publications. In 1955, Brucker and two of his partners led photographer Robert Halmi and journalist Coles Phinizy of Sports Illustrated through the recently discovered Eyeless Fish Trail in Crystal Cave. Because neither the photographer nor the journalist had any previous caving experience, it was up to the team to carry their weight. Brucker was burdened with the photograher’s waterproof box, which was filled with over 40 pounds of expensive camera equipment.They arrived at an underground stream near their destination and the “trail” had turned to no more than steep banks covered in a foot of mud. Eventually they had to cross the stream over a bridge of mud. Brucker decided to get on his hands and knees. His crawling technique served him well until he reached the bridge’s halfway point. He was alone now, having to bring up the rear because of his slow pace. Moving his hand forward, he shifted his weight and let his hand sink through the cool mud.All of a sudden, he was no longer on his hands and knees but on his stomach, sliding down into darkness. When his face hit water, he knew he was in trouble. His only light source was now extinguished, and with no reference point above or below, no hopeful beam of light to direct him, Brucker was lost.“When you’re in utter blackness, sinking farther in the water, it’s the kind of thing that makes your whole life flash before your eyes,” Brucker says. “All I could think was ‘don’t panic.’”Underwater, Brucker knew the only way he would find air is if he tried to swim in some direction. With all of his gear on, and the photographer’s waterproof box still in tow, his body sank like an anchor. Unfortunately, Brucker was swimming the wrong way, which he knew as soon as he knocked his head on an underwater ceiling.“At that point, I realized I must be in some rain-barrel-sized hole, one of a series of small, underwater caves I’m sure,” he says. “When I couldn’t find the surface, I absolutely panicked.”By pure luck—and a great deal of thrashing—Brucker eventually surfaced in a pocket, sputtering and gasping for air. He cried out for help, still totally disoriented in the suffocating darkness.Brucker’s team heard his struggles and finally found him, though the photographer was more worried about his cameras than Brucker’s near-death experience.“Obviously I made it out okay, but it shook me up for quite some time,” Brucker recalls.He didn’t stop caving, however. In fact, he would go on to help link Mammoth Cave’s system from just over 100 miles to the present-day 400 miles. According to Brucker, exploration in the cave will continue at this impressive rate long after he steps down from the caving scene.“If we can continue to add seven or eight miles to the system per year, there’s no doubt in my mind that Mammoth Cave’s reach will extend to 1,000 miles by the end of the century.”Caving for What?Unlike mountaineering or even paddling, there’s no grand summit during a caving expedition, no singular moment to work toward, no take-out at the end of the day. A constant desire to find out what is around the next corner continues, and will continue, to drive cavers of every generation toward some yet-unknown goal.“Potential for further exploration is almost unlimited,” says Dave West, the Eastern Operations Manager of the Cave Research Foundation (CRF). The Mammoth Cave system is surrounded by other large cave systems, including Fisher Ridge, nearly 120 miles in length. It’s only 300 feet away from one of Mammoth Cave’s entrances, but it has yet to be connected to the system. Underlying politics between organizations have thus far prevented the connection of the two systems, but there is strong speculation that they share passageways and the discovery of their connection, if possible, will only be a matter of time. Though Mammoth Cave is the longest in the world, it is relatively shallow, which means any added mileage will come from cavers pushing the boundaries outward, not down.“One passage we are exploring is in Great Onyx Cave,” says West, referring to a smaller cave within the national park’s boundaries. “It has the potential to connect into the system, but exploration there is weather dependent, so it is unclear when that may happen, or if it is in fact possible.”CRF also helps protect more than 130 different species of crustaceans, fish, insects, and other inhabitants of Mammoth Cave.“We cannot be certain we even know the full scale of habitation,” says West. “Each cave is a unique environment, and it is not uncommon for a single cave to have one or more inhabitants that are not known to live anywhere else. Consequently, many unique species are endangered immediately upon discovery.”Like many caves throughout the region, bats are particularly at risk due to White Nose Syndrome, a fungus that interrupts hibernation cycles. The effect of a weakened bat population extends far beyond the daily life of a cave; without bats, increases in certain insect populations (which would normally serve as a food source for bats) could wreak havoc on nearby agriculture. Other cave-specific species that are at risk include the Kentucky cave shrimp, the eyeless cave fish, blind beetles, and cave crayfish.“Caves are important to all of those that live near them,” West says. Unique microbes might be found that could provide a path to a cure for disease. We must protect what might well be the last unknown frontier.“
By Roberto López Dubois/Diálogo August 29, 2017 Members of Panama’s and Costa Rica’s armed border forces, as well as members of the Panamanian Air and Naval Service, and the Institutional Defense Service will remain in the jungles of Darién for three months. The goal is for them to get trained in the Reconnaissance and Combat course taught by Panama’s National Border Service (SENAFRONT, per its Spanish acronym). “The course is important at a strategic level because it trains the units to become part of the Reconnaissance and Combat Group (RECOM, per its Spanish acronym), which is the tip of the spear in the fight against narcoterrorism and transnational organized crime,” Commissioner Oriel Oscar Ortega Benítez, the assistant director of SENAFRONT, told Diálogo. “The units that we train here are going to get to a higher level than what is required of other groups and that’s why we proudly wear the black beret.” RECOM is a unit from SENAFRONT’s Special Forces Group, which is responsible for patrolling forest paths all along Panama’s borders. The course, which is being taught at SENAFRONT’s facilities in the Darién province, in Panama, is focused on combating organized crime and drug trafficking. Due to its geographical position, the isthmus of Panama is considered the first line of defense for this group of nations which blocks drug cartels’ trafficking of illegal goods. Last year, Panama seized 68.4 tons of narcotics, according to the Panamanian Ministry of Security’s figures, placing the nation at the top of the list for drug seizures. A shared reality Other nations in the region face a similar reality in having their border areas used by drug traffickers. That is why, since 2003, service members from Argentina, Belize, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and now Costa Rica have attended this training course on jungle reconnaissance and combat. Uniform training allows for more efficiency in joint coordinated action by the service members of the various nations that guard these border areas. This is particularly important when considering that those dedicated to crime work in transnational and transregional networks operate from country to country. The Reconnaissance and Combat course runs for 12 weeks, on a 650-hour nonstop schedule. To take part in this training, the organizers require that participants be in excellent physical condition and have psychological resilience. To solidify that point, on July 3rd, the day the course began, there were 80 students on the training billet. By August 7th—35 days later—only 39 service members remained. And if everything goes as planned, they will complete their training on September 22nd. During the course, instructors teach patrol techniques, individual tactics, knots and anchors, rappelling, advanced patrolling, reconnaissance, and targeting and ambushing, among other skills. They also have classes on first aid where they learn how to transport the injured, in addition to other emergency techniques. Similarly, they get training on international law, human rights, the criminal justice system, and the limited use of force. In this phase of the training, they learn how they must treat detainees, and they even see the issue of unlawful migration that all borders face on a daily basis. “It’s not easy to leave your urban environment for a rural area and have to carry out missions under the sun, in the rain, while fatigued and in a stressful situation,” SENAFRONT Captain Juvencio Allard, who is in charge of the course, told Diálogo. “That’s why these units are trained in this course; so that when the unit goes out into the field on real missions, it has the capacity to face all of these kinds of difficulties,” he added. “This trains them to carry out high-profile, high-risk missions, because we know that drug traffickers use their weapons to defend the illegal things they transport,” Capt. Allard underscored. “Everything concerning the training process and the course instruction prepares the unit for the risky situations that they will have to face once they are in the field.” Bonds of friendship and cooperation One of the aspects that they try to instill the most during the course is developing a sense of commitment among participants. Completing the course is a major challenge for them, and they give it their maximum effort to successfully achieve that. “The course itself covers everything having to do with the mountains—which is very important—because in our work, we have to know how to move in those areas and [to know] the methods and techniques for doing so,” Costa Rican Border Patrol Agent Roy Daniel Jiménez said. “This setting is similar to the one in Costa Rica, but it’s larger. It’s a very good course and up until now, my expectations have been met 100 percent. I have the sense that my Costa Rican comrades and I will be able to complete it.” “The main advantage to this course is that it strengthens the bonds of friendship between nations,” Commissioner Ortega concluded. “At the end of the day, we all have a common enemy, which is transnational organized crime. And this course allows us to tackle crime more efficiently.”
By Nathalie Gouillou/Diálogo May 14, 2019 U.S. senior officials and leaders of the Western Hemisphere gathered May 7 at the 49th Washington Conference on the Americas at the U.S. State Department to focus on major policies affecting the region under the theme “Disruption and Transformation in the Americas.” The Venezuelan crisis took center stage with many speakers addressing the plight of Venezuelans and the urgent need for a transition to democracy. “Nicolás Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power, and Nicolás Maduro must go”, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said, describing the Venezuelan crisis as a battle between totalitarianism and democracy. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio from Florida, chairman of the U.S. Senate Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, echoed Pence’s remarks and dismissed the notion that supporters of the illegitimate president are ideologues. “They don’t stick with Maduro because they’re loyal to him or loyal to some ideology,” Rubio said. “They stick with him because he allows them to keep money, keep making that money, and protects their status.” Vice President of Colombia Marta Lucia Ramírez addressed Colombia’s concerns and reiterated her country’s support for Interim President Juan Guaidó. Ramírez also pointed to security issues surrounding the Maduro regime, including its protection and cooperation with members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia or FARC in Spanish), the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional or ELN in Spanish), and Islamic extremist groups. “What is clear for us is that they are not an elected government. They didn’t take power through democracy; they took power through force,” Ramírez said during a bilateral meeting with U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan at the Pentagon, also on May 7. “This is an issue of security and it’s an issue also of stability, an issue of the future — the future of our democracy, of our values.” In an effort to take control of the government, Guaidó urged people to demonstrate on April 30, calling for military commanders to join him. U.S. President Donald Trump and his top aides have endorsed Guaidó’s attempts to oust Maduro. “The United States of America will continue to exert all diplomatic and economic pressure to bring about a peaceful transition toward democracy in Venezuela,” Pence told participants at the conference held at the State Department. “But to those who continue to oppress the good people of Venezuela, know this: All options are on the table.”
Bill would require telling buyers about deed restrictions April 15, 2003 Regular News A bill requiring home sellers to tell buyers about all deed restrictions ran into technical problems at the House Judiciary Committee late last month, but was passed at a subsequent meeting.Another bill creating a special task force to study problems with condominium and homeowner associations cleared the committee and went to the Business Regulation Committee. Rep. Manuel Prieguez, R-Miami, sponsor of the bill and chair of the Business Regulation Committee, said he would address some of the concerns raised at the Judiciary Committee there.On the deed bill, Tallahassee attorney Pete Dunbar, representing the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section, said the section didn’t philosophically oppose HB 1551, but had some concerns it could cause unintended problems.Rep. Thomas Anderson, R-Dunedin, sponsored the bill and said it would require a property seller to give a list of all deed restrictions to anyone who enters into a contract to buy the property. The list would have to be provided at least three days before a closing, or the buyer would have a period of time to void the contract after receiving the restrictions.Dunbar said while the bill was a good idea, there were some problems, including potential conflicts with other reporting requirements. He also said it exempted developers, who in some cases are the people who created the restrictions. He said the current law requires the seller to reveal the existence of a mandatory home-owners association and the annual dues, but not any deed restrictions imposed by the association.“We haven’t got it quite right yet,” he said of Anderson’s bill. Anderson agreed to table the bill and work on it with Dunbar and other interested parties. Committee Chair Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, said he would work to schedule the bill on a future agenda.The bill came up again at the committees april 2 meeting. Anderson said the problems had been worked out and it passed unanimously.Prieguez said his bill, HB 547, is aimed at addressing serious problems that have arisen in condominium associations and to a lesser extent with homeowners’ associations. The task force, which is to report next February, would be charged with studying “the changes and additions, if any, to those laws which may be appropriate to protect the interests of consumers and property owners on matters including, but not limited to, control of the homeowners’ association’s operations, management and maintenance, disclosure of financial reports by developers or owners, disclosure of all governing documents governing the real property, penalties for noncompliance, oversight and funding for such protection of interests, alternative dispute resolution, and assistance in the formulation of rules to implement enforcement.”Mark Benson, who runs a management company for condo homeowner associations, said the law currently has different requirements for homeowner and condo associations, and changes are needed. But Bill Hunter, president of the Florida Association of Community Developers, said the proposed task force membership was stacked in favor of homeowners. He also said it was too big and unwieldy.“This is an area rife with problems. It’s a continual struggle between the developers on one side and the homeowners and the associations on the other,” said Brian Bibeau, who represent major development companies. “What is the appropriate level of regulation and when should the turnover [of control from developers to homeowners] take place?”But he agreed the task force was too large.Prieguez said he would address those changes at the next committee, and the bill was approved by the Judiciary Committee. Bill would require telling buyers about deed restrictions
by: Jay JenkinsBank investors typically don’t pay much attention to credit unions. That’s a mistake.Since the financial crisis, credit unions have seen an explosion of business at the expense of banks across the country.There are very clear cut reasons why. It’s time for banks and bank investor to sit up, pay attention, and start catching up.Credit union advantages banks won’t easily overcomeTo be fair to all the retail and commercial banks out there, credit unions do have some meaningful structural advantages that banks won’t be able to replicate.For one, credit unions don’t pay taxes. Credit unions also operate under a less burdensome regulatory framework than comparable commercial banks. These are huge advantages.Some in the banking industry have made public calls to begin taxing and increasing regulation for credit unions, particularly those with large and complex operations rivaling some of the biggest commercial banks in the country.Navy Federal Credit Union, for example, has $60 billion in total assets and more than 10,000 employees worldwide. If a bank, Navy Federal would qualify for significant regulatory oversight because with more than $50 billion in assets it would be considered systemically important. That burden alone can cost hundreds of millions of dollars to shoulder.That said, large credit unions are outliers. In general, credit unions are much smaller than the typical bank, particularly at the upper end of the spectrum. For example, the average bank is 14 times larger than the average credit union in total assets, and the four largest U.S. mega banks are each larger than the sum of all U.S. credit unions combined. continue reading » 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 28-year-old homeless man’s lifeless body was discovered on a beach near Port Jefferson Harbor Thursday, Suffolk County Police said. A Village of Port Jefferson constable found the body of Marlon Lewis, 28, who apparently drowned, at approximately 1:45 p.m. March 17, police said. Sixth Precinct officers responded to the scene, and describe Lewis as homeless.Suffolk homicide detectives are currently investigating the death, and an autopsy will be performed by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 15-year-old girl was found beaten to death in her hometown of Brentwood on Tuesday night and her friend has been reported missing, Suffolk County police said.A passerby called 911 to report a body on Stahley Street and upon arrival, Third Precinct police officers found Nisa Mickens in the road with lacerations and head trauma at 8:36 p.m., police said.The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office is conducted an autopsy and determined her cause and manner of death to be homicide by assault. Authorities suspect there may have been gang involvement in the death.Police are also searching for her friend, 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas, who investigators believe was with Mickens at some point Tuesday night.Homicide Squad detectives ask anyone with information about this incident to call them at 631-852-6392 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. There is a reward of up to $5,000 for an arrest in Mickens death or the safe return of Kayla Cuevas, police said.
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton and football superstar Lionel Messi shared the Laureus sportsman of the year award at Monday’s ceremony in Berlin.Hamilton, 35, a six-time world champion and Barcelona star Messi, 32, share the award for their achievements in 2019.This is the first time a footballer has won the award and also the first occasion in the event’s 20-year history when the jury reached a tied decision. “I am honoured to be the first to win this award being a sportsperson coming from a team sport,” Messi said from Barcelona via a video message.US gymnastics superstar Simone Biles, who won five titles at the 2019 world championships in Stuttgart to leave her with a record 25 world gold medals, took the Laureus sportswoman of the year award for the third time.”It means the world to me, this is my third Laureus award and I’m really grateful,” said Biles in a video message.South Africa, who won the 2019 World Cup, were named team of the year, beating Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and the US women’s football team. Springboks captain Siya Kolisi was joined on stage by six South African team-mates to collect the trophy.”With this group of players, we came together for the love of the game with one goal and fought so hard for each other,” Kolisi told the audience in Berlin.”We gave everything we had to win the trophy and hopefully inspire kids for generations to come.”Snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim, 19, won the action sportsperson award after taking gold medals at the world championship halfpipe and X Games super pipe.Oksana Masters, who was born with limb impairments caused by radiation from Chernobyl and was later adopted in the US, won the sportsperson with a disability award.The 30-year-old won five gold medals and a silver at the world para nordic skiing championships and also took the cross-country overall world cup title.She also won silver medals in the road race and time trial H5 at the para cycling road world championships.Colombia’s Egan Bernal, 22, who became the youngest rider to win the Tour de France for 110 years, won the breakthrough award after winning the world’s top cycling race in what was only his second three-week classic event.”I’m really happy, this is a big result for me in my career,” the Colombian said in a video.German F3 driver Sophia Floersch scooped the comeback of the year award for racing once again at the Macau Grand Prix last November, a year after a crash on the same circuit left her with a spinal fracture.Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar won the public vote for the top sporting moment over the last 20 years for leading his country to victory at the 2011 World Cup at the sixth attempt.German basketball star Dirk Nowitzki was recognised with the lifetime achievement award.Topics :
Aquaculture startup Aruna has announced it had closed a US$5.5 million deal in the latest funding round with its current investors, on the back of the company’s astronomical surge in revenue in the first half of the yearAruna raised the funds from top Indonesian venture capital firms AC Ventures, East Ventures and SMDV, the venture capital arm of the Sinar Mas Group.The fishery startup plans to use the fresh capital injection to expand its community of fishers to help improve productivity, product quality and standards. The aquaculture platform currently works with thousands of fishers in 31 coastal areas across Indonesia. Aruna also intends to use the capital to scale up its domestic business-to-business (B2B) market as well as its export market to East Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East and North America.“E-commerce helps create fairness and transparency in the fishing industry, as well as a more efficient supply chain. [In] reaching more coastal areas across Indonesia, Aruna is supporting economic equality in Indonesia,” Aruna CEO and cofounder Farid Naufal Aslam said in a statement on Wednesday.Farid stated that the company’s revenue in the first half of 2020 grew 86 times compared to the same period in 2019, on the back of strong global demand for fresh seafood products despite the pandemic.“This is a company that has been positively impacted by the [health] crisis and we are excited to double down on them,” said East Ventures cofounder and managing partner Willson Cuaca.Aruna also launched a home delivery service for seafood products called Seafood by Aruna to capitalize on the rising demand for food deliveries during the health crisis.. The service is currently available in Greater Jakarta, Bandung in West Java and Balikpapan in East Kalimantan.Meanwhile, Aruna is seeking new partnerships with resellers after launching its official stores on online marketplaces Tokopedia, Shopee, Bukalapak and GrabMart, as well as online grocery stores Sayurbox, Nalayan and Delisari.Another Indonesian aquaculture startup, eFishery, recently announced it had closed its series B funding round led by Go-Ventures, the venture capital arm of Gojek, and the Northstar Group. The company reported that it had quadrupled growth and profitability in the last two years.Topics :
Gov. Wolf Signs 11th Renewal of Opioid Disaster Declaration to Continue Work to Aid in Opioid Epidemic
August 19, 2020 Press Release, Public Health, Substance Use Disorder Governor Tom Wolf signed his 11th renewal of his January 2018 opioid disaster declaration to help the state fight the then-burgeoning opioid and heroin epidemic. The declaration allows the state to loosen regulations and work outside of typical procedures to expedite aid and initiatives to help those suffering from opioid use disorder and those who work to prevent and treat this medical condition.“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commonwealth’s Opioid Command Center continues its work to fight another health crisis – the opioid epidemic,” Gov. Wolf said. “The work that is enabled by this declaration is vital to saving the lives of so many Pennsylvanians, providing education and treatment, and advancing initiatives across the state to continue to battle this epidemic. This work is no less important during COVID and I am grateful for all those dedicated professionals who continue the drumbeat of compassionate care and work toward ending this crisis.”The declaration allows for the redirection and reorganization of commonwealth resources to align programs from multiple agencies to work together to mitigate the opioid crisis, its causes and its effects. Because of the magnitude and complexity of the opioid crisis, additional resources may be needed to fully contend with the severity of this continuing and expanding disaster emergency.“As the commonwealth continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing our fight against the opioid epidemic has never been more important,” said DDAP Secretary Jennifer Smith. “Governor Wolf’s 11th renewal of the disaster declaration shows his unwavering commitment to support individuals suffering from substance use disorder and focusing resources to support the drug and alcohol community.”Yesterday, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed an updated naloxone standing order permitting community-based organizations to provide naloxone by mail. This will assist organizations with distributing naloxone to Pennsylvanians in-need while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. All Pennsylvanians can continue to obtain naloxone at a pharmacy under a previous standing order issued by Dr. Levine in 2018.“The opioid crisis continues for those with the disease of addiction, our communities and our state,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Renewing the disaster declaration allows us to continue our efforts to ensure that we are helping those in need. Recovery works, and treatment is possible for those with this disease.”Work to address the opioid crisis focuses on three areas: prevention, rescue and treatment. Efforts over the past several years, working with state agencies, local, regional and federal officials, have resulted in significant action to address the opioid crisis:The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has reduced opioid prescriptions by 34 percent and has virtually eliminated doctor shopping.The number of people receiving high dosages of opioids (defined as greater than 90 morphine milligram equivalents per day) has dropped 53 percent since the PDMP launched in August 2016.The Opioid Data Dashboard and Data Dashboard 2.0 has provided public-facing data regarding prevention, rescue and treatment.11 Pennsylvania Coordinated Medication Assisted Treatment (PacMAT) programs are serving as part of a hub-and-spoke model to provide evidence-based treatment to people where they live, with just under $26 million dedicated into the centers.More than 45 Centers of Excellence, administered by the Department of Human Services, provide coordinated, evidence-based treatment to people with an opioid use disorder covered by Medicaid. The COEs have treated more than 32,500 people since first launching in 2016.The waiver of birth certificate fees for those with opioid use disorder has helped close to4,800 people, enabling easier entry into recovery programs.A standing order signed by Dr. Rachel Levine in 2018 allowed EMS to leave behind more than 2,400 doses of naloxone.Education has been provided to more than 6,600 prescribers through either online or face-to-face education.882 drug take-back boxes help Pennsylvanians properly dispose of unwanted drugs, including 178,540 pounds of unwanted drugs in 2019.The Get Help Now Hotline received close to 38,700 calls, with nearly half of all callers connected directly to a treatment provider.The state prison system has expanded their Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program which is viewed as a model program for other states.A body scanner pilot project was successful in reducing overdoses and violent crime in a number of facilities. Body scanners are in place in more than 30 locations and are currently being expanded to additional facilities.Several agencies have worked together to collaborate on the seizure and destruction of illicit opioids across Pennsylvania.Education and training on opioids have been provided to schools. Future plans are in place to make opioid education a standard component of their school-based training.The coordination with seven major commercial providers has expand access to naloxone and mental health care, while also working to make it more affordable.Naloxone has been made available to first responders through the Commission on Crime and Delinquency, with more than 63,400 kits made available and close to 12,700 saves through that program. More than half of those saves, 6,633, occurred in 2019.EMS have administered more than 40,600 doses of naloxone and more than 10,000 doses were made available to members of the public during the state’s naloxone distribution last year.For more information on Pennsylvania’s response to the opioid crisis visit www.pa.gov/opioids.Ver esta página en español. Gov. Wolf Signs 11th Renewal of Opioid Disaster Declaration to Continue Work to Aid in Opioid Epidemic SHARE Email Facebook Twitter