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first_imgBy Donald WittkowskiA bitterly contested mayoral election, overshadowed by allegations of “toilet politics,” will come to a climax when voters go to the polls on Tuesday to choose between incumbent Mayor Jay Gillian and challenger John Flood for Ocean City’s top office.The race between Gillian and Flood pits two high-profile, experienced politicians who have been hammering each other with accusations of misconduct in the divisive final weeks of the campaign.Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.Gillian, who won election in 2010 and 2014, is seeking his third, four-year term as the city’s top elected official. Flood, a former member of City Council, is looking to make a comeback after a seven-year hiatus from politics.Meanwhile, the municipal election also includes three incumbent at-large City Council members who are facing no opposition in their race for new four-year terms.Keith Hartzell, who first joined Council in 2006 and is the longest-serving member, is seeking his fourth term.Peter Madden, who has served as Council president for the past two years, is running for his second term.Karen Bergman, the third Council incumbent, won election in 2016 to fill the unexpired term of former at-large Councilman Michael Allegretto, who resigned in 2015 to become the city’s director of Community Services.Bergman served as a Second Ward councilwoman from 2008 to 2012, but chose not to seek re-election in 2012. She returned to the governing body in 2015, when she was unanimously appointed by Council to temporarily fill Allegretto’s vacant seat leading up to the 2016 election.Hartzell, Madden and Bergman have said they believe the lack of opposition suggests that voters are satisfied with the direction the city is heading during their time on Council.Mayor Jay Gillian is asking voters to re-elect him so that he can continue the work he started on rebuilding the city’s aging infrastructure.Although the Council race has featured no drama, the mayoral campaign has grown nastier in recent weeks as Gillian and Flood have taken potshots at each other over a series of issues, including the construction of a city restroom project on the Boardwalk.Flood has repeatedly alleged that the large restroom project, which he estimates will cost upwards of $1 million, will benefit the mayor by drawing more customers to his business, the Gillian’s Wonderland Pier amusement park next door on the Boardwalk.In denying the accusations, Gillian has responded by criticizing Flood for engaging in “toilet politics.” Gillian said the restroom project was built at Sixth Street to serve a busy part of the Boardwalk, as well as the heavily used Ocean City High School athletic complex nearby.Flood has also accused Gillian of “diverting” city resources away from a critical flood-control system to instead concentrate on the public restroom project. Those allegations brought more denials from Gillian.In the final week of the campaign, Flood alleged that the mayor has been using a secret email domain that serves as his “private chat room” for city business, away from public scrutiny.In response, Gillian said the domain was created by an employee of the city’s outside IT consultant for official city business. Denying any secrecy, Gillian said copies of emails sent on the same domain may be obtained by the public in requests through the state Open Public Records Act.Mayoral candidate John Flood, a former city councilman, is looking to make a comeback in politics.During the campaign, Gillian has focused on his record of rebuilding the city’s aging infrastructure through a five-year, $100 million capital plan that includes an array of road, drainage and dredging projects.Gillian has asked voters to re-elect him to allow him to continue the work he has started, particularly with the city’s capital improvements.Flood favors modernizing the city’s infrastructure, but wants to see the capital plan done at a slower pace. He believes the city risks taking on too much debt and is vulnerable to tax increases unless the capital plan is slowed down.Both Gillian and Flood have been touting their experience in public office and the local business community during the campaign. They come from families that trace their roots in Ocean City back for generations. Both of them are lifelong residents.Gillian, 53, followed his father, former Ocean City Mayor Roy Gillian, into politics. He is the third generation of his family to own Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, the Boardwalk’s historic amusement park founded in 1929 by his grandfather, David.In interviews, Gillian has said his proudest moments as mayor include helping the city recover and rebuild from Hurricane Sandy’s devastating blow in 2012.The 65-year-old Flood served on Council from 1988 to 1996 and briefly returned to the governing body in 2011 when he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of a former Council member.Flood’s grandparents came to the resort about 100 years ago. His grandfather, Emil Palmer, founded the former local Chevrolet dealership in 1933.A commercial real estate developer, Flood owns land concentrated around 16th Street and Haven Avenue, including the property where the former Chevrolet dealership was located. The CVS store on 16th Street, a car wash and professional offices are among his commercial tenants. Mayor Jay Gillian, left, and developer John Flood are disputing each other’s account of a key legal point about the city’s proposed purchase of a large tract of land.last_img read more

first_imgLast year around this time, many national and regional news outlets, including USA Today, the Asheville Citizen Times, and Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, were reporting a staggering set of snowfall statistic coming out of Mount Mitchell State Park.The stats, which were recorded by Mount Mitchell park rangers, stated that Mitchell, the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River, received a staggering 60 inches of snowfall during a weather event known as Winter Storm Jonas.During the 24 hour period ending in Jan 24, 2016, the park was said to have received a total of 41 inches of snow accumulation. This would have bested a previous record of 36 inches set during a severe blizzard in the winter of 1993—an event that is still studied by undergrads working to become meteorologists.The problem with the measurement? It grossly misrepresented the facts.According to the North Carolina climate extremes committee, formed ten years ago for the express purpose of reviewing record-setting weather events, the actual amount of snow that accumulated on Mitchell a year ago yesterday was closer to 21 inches, nearly half the amount that was actually reported.The discrepancies could have arisen from the difficult conditions that state park personnel, who are tasked with recording and reporting all weather that occurs on Mt. Mitchel, were facing during Winter Storm Jonas.“We got hammered. It was brutal,” park superintendent Bryan Wilder told the Asheville Citizen Times shortly after the storm. “We had 4 or 5 inches an hour, and you really couldn’t tell if you were on the road or not.”In addition to the white out conditions, a gauge typically used to record liquid precipitation—an instrument that climate experts say is vital when verifying snowfall totals—was rendered inoperable by heavy snow drifts.last_img read more

first_imgBy Dialogo October 15, 2010 Ministers met Thursday, 14 October, to outline NATO’s trajectory for the next decade, hoping to reach agreement on new policies on missile defense and cyberwar and on a mandate for global missions, despite the decrease in European military budgets. NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen is seeking contributions from member countries’ foreign and defense ministers in order to agree on a new NATO Strategic Concept – or declaration of intentions – at an alliance summit to be held on 19 and 20 November in Lisbon. “NATO’s core mission, to protect the 900 million citizens of NATO countries from attack, must never change – but it must be modern defense, against modern threats,” Rasmussen said. The Strategic Concept will define the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s central task of defending its territory and its commitment to collective defense, as well as the mandate for operations like the costly mission in Afghanistan. It will also underline the need to modernize national forces in order to confront twenty-first-century security threats, including cyberattacks and missiles, but it also encourages collaboration in order to make the best use of resources in times of budget cuts. The document will also ask NATO members to engage more actively with countries that are not members of the alliance. Rasmussen has underlined the importance of ties with countries such as Russia, India, China, Japan, and Australia. He also warned against excessive cuts in defense spending and pointed out that Washington will turn to other allies if Europe does not make the necessary efforts in security matters. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that he is concerned because the cuts in Europe could increase the pressure on an already-stretched American army. Great Britain is expected to cut ten percent from its budget of 36.9 billion pounds (58.4 billion dollars). Rasmussen and Gates will urge their allies to invest 200 million euros in linking their current missile-defense capabilities with the interceptors Washington is planning to deploy in Europe.last_img read more

first_imgLifeSiteNews 15 April 2014The British government has released statistics showing that while the teen pregnancy and abortion rates are dropping, the number of girls and women having repeat abortions continues to climb alongside steady increases in the use of artificial contraceptives.According to the Society for the Protection of Unborn Citizens, the statistics show that giving more contraceptives to young girls will lead to more abortions.According to 2012 figures for London alone, 16,323 women age 18-29 had abortions who had never had one previously. 7,817 of aborting women in London in the same age group had had one previous abortion. 149 had had four previous abortions and 22 had had six previously. Overall, the number of repeat abortions for England and Wales is about 37 percent in the latest figures.The government’s figures show that in general the abortion rate has dropped since 2010 but the number of repeat abortions has risen. In 2011, 36 percent of women undergoing abortions had one or more previous abortions. The 2011 report said that number has risen from 31 percent since 2001.The same 2011 report found that 96 percent of abortions were funded by the NHS and 61 percent of these were carried out in private facilities who bill the NHS.Health Minister Jane Ellison added that in 2012, of the 185,122 abortions performed on residents of England and Wales, none were allowed under Ground F, “to save the life of the pregnant woman.”http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/repeat-abortions-climb-with-increased-contraceptive-use-uk-government-statslast_img read more

first_imgWATERLOO — A group of Iowa labor and community organizers is calling for state and federal agencies to boost oversight of factories and meat packing plants.Gayle Warner’s husband has worked at a Whirlpool factory in Amana for 30 years. During an online forum yesterday, she accused the Occupational Health and Safety Administration of failing to ensure the safety of her husband and his co-workers.“I’m filled with anger and sorrow,” Warner said, as she cried. “Instead, I would like to be filled with hope and to get help from our leaders in government.”Black Hawk County Supervisor Chris Schwartz said OSHA guidelines should be better enforced at places like Waterloo’s Tyson plant, as county officials say more than a thousand of the plant’s workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and the outbreak spread through the community.“Things have quieted down a little bit,” he said, “but not enough to the point that we should be relaxing all these measures that the governor did put in place and so we’re very worried about the very real possibility of a second surge, ’cause we’re not even through our first.”Thirty residents of Black Hawk County have died of COVID-19. That’s nearly 10 percent of all the deaths recorded in Iowa. The League of Latin American Citizens is planning a protest Friday at the Tyson plant in Waterloo.last_img read more

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – An annual report that ranks each state for indicators of child well-being says Iowa has fallen behind in some areas.The 2020 KIDS COUNT report says Iowa has slipped from number three in the overall rankings to tenth in the nation. The indicators that make up the rankings include economic stability, education and health.The report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says access to early childhood education and eighth-grade math proficiency are particular trouble spots for the Hawkeye State. Anne Discher, executive director of the Child and Family Policy Center in Des Moines, says the pre-K barriers are especially concerning.“You know, a lot more four-year-olds go to pre-school than three-year-olds,” says Discher. “But the fact is, we’re leaving out lots of kids, our early-education system is missing lots of kids; not accessible to a lot of kids to get that quality, early-childhood experience.”The report says 53% of three- and four-year-olds in Iowa are not enrolled in school. Discher says it’s an area where more state funding would help with access issues.And while Iowa usually fares better than the national average on several key indicators, Discher says the new data was compiled before the COVID-19 crisis, so the gaps might run even deeper. And no matter the timing, she says there are still too many kids in Iowa who are left behind.“Fourteen percent of kids were living in poverty,” says Discher. “That’s pretty substantially better than the national average, but it still translates to 97,000 children. If that were a city, it would be the fourth-largest city in the state.”Past reports from the Casey Foundation have also shown that poverty rates in Iowa are much higher for Black and Latino children.last_img read more