AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1531980 times)

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Nasa confirms ocean moon mission
« Reply #13785 on: August 20, 2019, 07:57:59 AM »

Artwork: Europa Clipper will try to determine whether the moon can support biology

Scientists working on an audacious mission to the ocean world of Europa can proceed with the final design and construction of the spacecraft, Nasa says.

The Europa Clipper mission will target the ice-encrusted moon of Jupiter, which is considered a prime target in the search for life beyond Earth.

Below its icy shell, Europa is thought to hold a 170km-deep body of water.

This could have the right conditions for biology.

Due to launch in 2025, the Europa Clipper mission has now passed a stage called Key Decision Point C, a crucial marker on the road to the launch pad.

"We are all excited about the decision that moves the Europa Clipper mission one key step closer to unlocking the mysteries of this ocean world," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for Nasa's science mission directorate.

Europa Clipper will carry out an in-depth investigation of the watery world, including whether it can support life in its subsurface ocean.

Gravitational interactions with Jupiter generate tidal forces and heat, which keeps Europa's ocean liquid. The heating may even drive volcanic vents on the seafloor; on Earth, such vent systems support a wide array of life forms.

But it has taken decades to bring a dedicated mission this far, in part because of cost considerations and the challenges posed by the space environment around Jupiter.

Europa's orbital path takes it deep into belts of intense radiation that surround the giant planet. This radiation fries spacecraft electronics, which limits the durations of prospective missions to months or even weeks.

So rather than orbiting Europa, Clipper will make repeated close flybys of the moon, to reduce its exposure to the energetic particles trapped by Jupiter's magnetic field.

The spacecraft will carry nine science instruments, including cameras and spectrometers to produce high-resolution images of the moon's surface, a magnetometer to measure the strength and direction of its magnetic field (providing clues to the ocean's depth and salinity) and an ice-penetrating radar to determine the thickness of the icy crust above the ocean.

The ice shell could be tens of kilometres thick. Luckily, scientists think there are several ways for ocean water to get up to Europa's surface. In recent years, the Hubble Space Telescope has made tentative observations of plumes of water-ice erupting from beneath Europa, much as they do on Saturn's ice moon Enceladus, which also has a subsurface ocean.

The first concepts for missions to explore Europa were drawn up in the 1990s, around the time that data from the Galileo spacecraft helped build evidence for a subsurface ocean. Since then, however, one proposal after another has been thwarted, including an ambitious US-European mission along the lines of the Cassini-Huygens mission.

But Clipper has had a key champion on Capitol Hill, in the form of Republican legislator John Culberson who, as chairman of the US House of Representatives appropriations committee that funds Nasa, channelled money to the mission.

But last year, Culberson, who had become known for his advocacy on Europa exploration, was unseated in Texas' 7th congressional district by Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher. During the campaign, a pro-Democrat political action committee ran an ad saying: "For Houston, Lizzie Fletcher will invest in humans, not aliens."

A follow-up mission to go and land on Europa has also been proposed. But the most recent federal budget request included no funding for the lander.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49408495
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Huawei founder details 'battle mode' reform plan to beat U.S. crisis
« Reply #13786 on: August 20, 2019, 08:04:09 AM »
HONG KONG (Reuters) - China’s Huawei will spend more on production equipment this year to ensure supply continuity, cut redundant roles and demote inefficient managers as its grapples with a “live-or-die moment” in the wake of U.S. export curbs, founder Ren Zhengfei said.

His remarks come as the United States said this week it will extend by 90 days a reprieve that permits Huawei Technologies to buy components from U.S. companies to supply existing customers, but it also moved to add more than 40 of Huawei’s units to its economic blacklist.

In a memo sent to employees on Monday loaded with military metaphors, 74-year-old Ren asked staff to work aggressively towards sales targets as the firm goes into “battle mode” to survive the crisis.

“The company is facing a live-or-die moment,” Ren, a former Chinese army officer, said in the memo, which was seen by Reuters. Huawei confirmed the contents of the memo.

“If you cannot do the job, then make way for our tank to roll; And if you want to come on the battlefield, you can tie a rope around the ‘tank’ to pull it along, everyone needs this sort of determination!”

Huawei is a key theme in a broader, year-long U.S.-China trade war, with Washington slapping it with the trade ban in May citing national security risks. Huawei, however, posted a 23% revenue jump in the first half, helped by strong smartphone sales in its home market.

Ren said in the memo, “In the first half, our results looked good, it is likely because our Chinese clients were sympathetic and made payments in time, the big volume made cash flow look good, this doesn’t represent the real situation.”

But he expressed confidence in Huawei’s full-year results and said it needs to “spend the money and solve the production continuity issue” by ramping up strategic investment on things including production equipment.

According to the memo, Huawei, which employs nearly 190,000 people around the world, is reforming its operation globally by granting more power to the frontline, cutting out reporting layers and eliminating inefficient posts.

“In 3-5 years time, Huawei will be flowing with new blood,” Ren said. “After we survive the most critical moment in history, a new army would be born. To do what? Dominate the world,” Ren said.

While Ren said in June the ban was worse than expected and that Huawei’s revenue may stay flat in the next two years, in the memo he called on staff to try their best in meeting the sales target outlined at the start of the year before the ban - which was to grow its revenue to around $125 billion from more than $100 billion in 2018.

He also warned of cash flow risk if receivables are not paid in time. He asked staff to be conservative in ensuring dues were paid in time by clients, because otherwise the lack of liquidity could be fatal to the company.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-huawei-tech-founder/huawei-founder-details-battle-mode-reform-plan-to-beat-u-s-crisis-idUSKCN1VA0Z0?utm_source=reddit.com
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 A 15-year-old student was arrested in Central Florida after authorities said he made an online threat to shoot up his school.

The unnamed teenage boy, who attends Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, allegedly posted a comment on a video game chat platform last week using a fake name, vowing to bring his father's M15 assault rifle to school and kill seven people "at a minimum," according to a statement from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

The school's principal did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment Tuesday morning.

 The comment was reported to the FBI, which contacted the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. The teenager allegedly admitted to posting the comment but insisted it was just a joke.

"Joke or not, these types of comments are felonies under the law," the sheriff's office said in a statement Monday. "After the mass violence we've seen in Florida and across the country, law enforcement officers have a responsibility to investigate and charge those who choose to make these types of threatening statements."

 Body-camera footage released by the sheriff's office shows the moment deputies arrived at the teen's home on Friday morning and handcuffed him. His mother can be heard telling deputies that she does own a gun and understands threats cannot be taken lightly.

"But," she says, "he's just a little kid playing a video game."

https://abcnews.go.com/US/joke-types-comments-felonies-police-arrest-florida-teen/story?id=65070169&cid=clicksource_4380645_null_card_hed
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Forest fires in Brazil up 82 pct in 2019
« Reply #13788 on: August 20, 2019, 08:09:56 AM »
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The number of forest fires in Brazil increased by 82 percent from January to August in 2019 compared to the same period last year, the country's National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) said on Monday.

According to Inpe, 71,497 forest fires were registered in the country in the first eight months of 2019, up from 39,194 in the same period in 2018.

Five states suffered more forest fires this year. The number of forest fires in the mid-western state of Mato Grosso soared by 260 percent than last year, which is responsible for almost 20 percent of all the forest fires registered in the whole country from January to August; the number of forest fires in Rondonia, Para and Acre in the northern region grew by 198 percent, 188 percent and 176 percent respectively; Rio de Janeiro in the southeastern region saw a 173-percent growth.

Alberto Setzer, a researcher at Inpe, said that all the fires are results of human activity, some of which are accidental while others intentional.

"Ignition is essential for a forest fire, and this central Brazil and south of the Amazon Rainforest region has been undergoing a prolonged draught; there are some places where there has not fallen a drop of rain for three months," Setzer told local news site G1.

The sharp rise in the number of forest fires caused strange phenomena in several regions in Brazil earlier on Monday.

By mid-afternoon in places like Brazil's largest city Sao Paulo, which is thousands of kilometers away from the forest fires area in the Amazon rainforest, the sky was dark as if it were night, covered by a thick "fog". The "fog" -- scientists said -- was partially caused by the smoke from the midwestern region carried by the wind.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-08/20/c_138322944.htm
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Colorado OKs electric car requirement to fight air pollution
« Reply #13789 on: August 20, 2019, 08:14:08 AM »
DENVER (AP) — Colorado tightened its air quality regulations on Friday, requiring that at least 5% of the vehicles sold in the state by 2023 emit zero pollution.

The state Air Quality Control Commission, which passed the rule on an 8-1 vote, said the requirement applies to auto manufacturers, not buyers. It’s intended to boost the number of electric vehicles in a state struggling to control ozone pollution in its most heavily populated area.

The minimum rises to 6.23% in 2025.

Colorado is the 11th state to adopt zero-emission standards, according to Green Car Reports, which tracks developments in low-pollution vehicles.

Two auto industry groups, Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, applauded the rule. They said they had been working with Colorado officials on how to structure the requirement.

John Bozzella, president of Global Automakers, said Colorado had adopted an innovative policy by collaborating with manufacturers.

Environmental groups also welcomed the standards, but the Colorado Freedom to Drive Coalition called them costly and ineffective.

“We believe commissioners did a disservice to all Coloradans, but especially Coloradans of modest means,” coalition spokeswoman Sara Almerri said.

Regulators said the zero-emission standard is aimed at reducing ozone and greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis directed the Air Quality Control Commission to set a zero-emissions standard shortly after he took office in January. In a statement Friday, he said the new rule was “only the beginning” of the state’s work to reduce air pollution.

Excessive ground-level ozone has plagued Colorado’s urban areas for years. Ozone is the main component of smog and can aggravate asthma and contribute to early deaths from respiratory disease. It’s created from pollution emitted by vehicles, the oil and gas industry and other sources.

Ozone alerts have frequently flashed on signs over Denver freeways this summer, asking drivers to reduce car trips.

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Denver and the northern Colorado urban corridor failed to meet federal ozone standards and said the state must come up with a new plan to clean up the air.

The state is also rewriting air pollution rules for the oil and gas industry.

https://apnews.com/f74e15cc24884645b9162ea325bf3929
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Why change fails — and what we can do about it
« Reply #13790 on: August 20, 2019, 08:30:38 AM »
Creating change is like a game of Jenga — it can quickly come crashing down

Does this sound familiar: Under pressure to cut costs, your senior management mandates an efficiency drive which successfully reduces the number of employees by 15 or 20 percent.

Rather pleased with themselves, they turn to other problems only to find — a year or so later — that managers have found reasons to recruit, headcount has started drifting up again, and all those efficiency gains are being lost.

Or maybe your managers are worried about “silos”? Important parts of your organisation don’t talk to each other or coordinate their activities. So they implement an exciting internal communications strategy using newsletters, a Yammer network and a regular Knowledge Café featuring a communicator of the month.

Six months later, the newsletter is overdue, Yammer is mainly used to organise parties, and Knowledge Cafes are sparsely attended, and not attended at all by senior managers.
Getting it right

What is going on? Well, the organisation is doing what organisations always do, which is to revert to its original shape once external pressure has been removed.

The external pressure at first appears to work and the organisation appears to change, but this creates unseen internal pressures which assert themselves once the external stimulus has been removed. The answer — the only answer — is to address all the key elements of your organisation at the same time.

It sounds daunting and it requires serious planning, but it is the only way to achieve a reasonable chance of success.

What are the key elements? They can undoubtedly be described in a number of ways, but these “Six Cs” works pretty well:

    Capacity
    Capability
    Communications
    Culture
    Compensation
    Constitution

Let’s look at each in turn.
Capacity

This one is straightforward:

it is the organisation’s resources, and in particular its staff numbers. It is an easy and obvious target for efficiency gains. The equally obvious problem is that the remaining staff will need to work harder or in different ways. Which leads directly to the next element:
Capability

This could also be referred to as competence.  This encompasses staff skills, training, experience and motivation.

It lies at the heart of any change program because,  obviously enough, if you don’t improve – or at least alter – the capability of your team then they are very unlikely to be capable of working effectively within a more challenging environment.

Note in particular that improvements in capability must be more than just cosmetic. A change of title plus a bit of e-learning will not cut it. There needs to be a serious training program and/or supervised further experience followed by rigorous testing.

    Very few change programs achieve their full objectives, and many are complete failures

Staff motivation can be particularly resistant to change, if only because most humans do not like being taken out of their accustomed comfort zone. There is extensive literature on how whole organisations can lose confidence when faced with the need for change, and this needs to be understood and allowed for. This, in turn, requires high-class communication, hence the need to also focus on the next element.
Communications

This includes both communications whilst the change program is ongoing, and also new ways of communicating once the changes have been implemented.

The methods you choose to use to communicate within the change program must be specifically designed for your organisation — and indeed for individual parts and levels of your organisation. But the messages to different audiences must be consistent if they are not to be discredited, and must be capable of persuading the cynical and disaffected as well those keen on change.

And, afterwards, more open, fast-moving and less hierarchical communications styles (if that is what you need) will need to be reflected in changes in the organisation’s culture:
Culture

It can be extremely difficult to develop new internal relationships, attitudes to innovation, and attitudes to customers.

These improvements are often driven by changes in compensation/remuneration — as I outline below – and reinforced by employing more experienced and better-trained staff, which speaks to the Capability element above.

Indeed, this is perhaps the area where change programs most often begin to fall apart when change managers fail simultaneously to address all six elements listed in this note.
Compensation

If you are aiming to employ fewer people then you will almost certainly have to reward the remainder rather better, even if this limits your cost savings.

The same applies if you want staff to work more independently and/or innovatively, or to demonstrate better interpersonal or customer-facing skills.
Constitution

Last, but not least, very few of any of the above elements will respond to pressure for permanent change unless accompanied by changes to organisational structures, reporting lines etc.

These sorts of changes administer severe jolts to any organisation because they are hard to reverse and lead to both managers and staff re-evaluating their roles and responsibilities.

It can be hard to know when to introduce these organisational changes. They will feel premature and unnecessary if introduced before much else has changed. And they will be too little, too late if the other changes have already begun to degrade.

In short, very few change programs achieve their full objectives, and many are complete failures.

It takes a lot of thought and time to plan a program which simultaneously changes all of the key elements of an organisation which are listed above. But the effort is well worthwhile if you are seriously focussed on success.

https://apolitical.co/solution_article/why-change-fails-and-what-we-can-do-about-it/
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'Similar to mafias': Lebanese singer Elissa says will quit music
« Reply #13791 on: August 20, 2019, 08:38:42 AM »
Outspoken singer, who has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, is known for tackling taboo subjects in her music.


Fans and fellow artists have shared messages of support with the award-winning singer

Lebanese pop star Elissa, one of the best-known female singers in the Arabic-speaking world, has announced she is retiring, comparing the music industry to the mafia.

"I am preparing this new album with a lot of love and passion. The reason is that it will be the last one in my career," the 46-year-old singer posted on Twitter late on Monday, adding that she made the announcement with a "heavy heart".

"I can't work in a field that is similar to mafias. I can't be productive anymore."

The singer did not elaborate on her comments, instead expressing her love for her fans and sharing their messages of support.

The comments hit headlines around the world, prompting a discussion over artists' right to own their own material.

Last year, Elissa, whose real name is Elissar Khoury, complained about her music "being blocked" after her record label, Rotana, made a deal with Deezer, a music streaming service.

The deal resulted in the singer's music being removed from the Middle Eastern streaming service Anghami, on which her songs had hundreds of millions of plays, and placed on Paris-based Deezer's site.

Elissa is one of several prominent artists to voice concerns over the ownership of their music.

In June, pop sensation Taylor Swift slammed a deal between her former label Big Machine Records and talent manager Scooter Braun, which resulted in Braun gaining ownership of her master recordings, as her "worst case scenario".

Following Elissa's announcement, fans and fellow musicians posted messages of support on social media.

Egyptian singer Mohamed Hamaki said he "didn't want to imagine" the music industry without Elissa, while Lebanese television presenter Joumana Bou Eid urged the singer to "never give up".

Elissa has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and is known for tackling taboo subjects in her music, including domestic violence and suicide.

In August, she revealed in a music video that she had successfully undergone treatment for breast cancer.

A politics graduate, the singer caused controversy by aligning herself with the Lebanese Forces, a Christian-armed-group-turned-political-party.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/mafia-lebanese-singer-elissa-quit-music-190820090935901.html
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After Desperate Migrants Jump Ship, Italy Allows Rescue Vessel to Dock
« Reply #13792 on: August 20, 2019, 05:18:34 PM »

Migrants aboard the Open Arms rescue vessel celebrating the news that the ship would be allowed to dock.

ROME — A ship carrying over 80 migrants stranded off the coast of Italy for nearly three weeks must be allowed to dock, an Italian prosecutor ordered on Tuesday, ending a crisis that had grown more dire by the day as desperate passengers began throwing themselves off the vessel.

More than a dozen migrants jumped overboard on Tuesday alone, news reports said, in a vain attempt to swim the roughly three miles ashore. All were rescued.

The migrant ship, whose landing had been blocked by Italy’s hard-line interior minister, Matteo Salvini, made port on the island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily, late Tuesday night. France and Spain have said that they would take some of the migrants, most of whom are African, although the details were unclear.

“There’s been a happy resolution. It took too much time, but we got there,” said Arturo Salerno, a lawyer for Open Arms, the Spanish charity that operated the migrant rescue vessel of the same name. “The chief prosecutor inspected the ship, saw that the situation had become intolerable, and ordered the migrants to leave the ship.”

Luigi Patronaggio, the chief prosecutor of Agrigento, in Sicily, had boarded the ship on Tuesday afternoon with a team of doctors to evaluate the conditions. Mr. Patronaggio also ordered that the ship be seized under Italian law.

The migrants — who had been picked up by Open Arms from three shipwrecks off Libya in early August — at one time numbered over160 on the rescue vessel. Sick people, pregnant women and minors were allowed to evacuate bit by bit, but about half of the passengers remained aboard as appeals to other European countries to open their ports went unanswered.


The migrants had been picked up by Open Arms after separate shipwrecks off Libya in early August.

Open Arms called the deteriorating conditions aboard a “full humanitarian crisis” and said the health and safety of the migrants had been jeopardized. Dozens of people were crammed on deck, sharing just two bathrooms.

Mr. Salvini, whose anti-migrant stances have buoyed his surging popularity at home, had banned the ship from landing even after an Italian administrative court ruled that it could enter Italian waters.

This month, Italy passed a new security law pushed by Mr. Salvini, codifying his view of rescue ships as accomplices of human traffickers. The law punishes aid vessels entering Italian waters, allowing officials to confiscate them and impose million-euro fines on captains who defy the law.

Critics say that the Italian measure violates international maritime law, which cites an obligation to assist anyone in distress at sea.

For now, Mr. Salvini may have to take a back seat on the fate of the migrant ship. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned, collapsing the government in which Mr. Salvini’s nationalist League Party had shared power. President Sergio Mattarella will begin consulting with political leaders this week to determine whether a new government can be formed.

Mr. Salvini has himself been investigated on charges of effectively detaining people at sea by refusing to allow them to land. On Tuesday, he wrote on Twitter: “Ngo #OpenArms: another landing, another trial? I am not afraid, proud to defend the borders and the security of my country.”

In recent days, with conditions aboard worsening and Lampedusa in sight, some migrants began jumping overboard in an attempt to swim ashore.

“The situation became more and more dramatic,” Mr. Salerno said. The migrants from the Open Arms vessel will be taken to a reception center in Lampedusa, he said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/20/world/europe/italy-migrant-ship-salvini.html?emc=rss&partner=rss
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City commissioners: Publix stifles plastic ban
« Reply #13793 on: August 20, 2019, 05:27:23 PM »
Gainesville’s plastic ban ended before it ever started.

The Gainesville City Commission voted 4-2 on Thursday to repeal an ordinance passed earlier this year banning the use of plastic bags and polystyrene foam containers. The decision came after the 3rd District Court of Appeals sided with the Florida Retail Federation in a case against Coral Gables regarding a similar plastic ban.

On July 15, Gainesville received a letter from the same lobbying group asking the city to repeal the ordinance and threatening legal action if not done so within 60 days, according to city documents.

The decision in the Coral Gables case came after a three-year legal battle with the Federation. The appellate court ruled that the city’s plastic ban was deemed unconstitutional and violates section 500.90, which preempts local governments from enacting ordinances banning single-use plastics.

District 4 City Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos said he blames Publix.

“For years now, Publix has been the main force at the state legislature,” he said. “They’re hiding behind the Florida Retail Federation in trying to prevent cities from being able to protect the environment.”

Publix provides more than half of the federation’s funding, according to state campaign finance documents. In the 2018 general election the Florida Retail Federation received a total of $690,552 in contributions. Publix donated $500,000 of the total.

The Alligator reached out to Dwaine Stevens, a regional  Publix spokesperson. Stevens ignored interview requests and did not respond to specific questions about policies.

Instead, he provided the following statement that was given to other news organizations and appears verbatim on Publix’s website:

“At Publix, our goal is to meet today’s needs without compromising what is essential for tomorrow. Simply stated, this means taking care of people and minimizing impact to our planet while remaining profitable.

Sustainability is ingrained in our culture and represented in our Mission Statement through valuing our associates, serving our customers, enhancing our ties to the communities we serve, conserving natural resources, and ensuring economic stewardship for our stockholders.”

Stevens added that Publix will comply with all ordinances and laws in all areas it operates in.

The supermarket chain’s political involvement goes beyond its close relationship with the Florida Retail Federation.

In 2016, the Lakeland-based company gave Florida lawmakers $1 million to pass legislation that would prevent local governments from banning single-use plastics, according to the Miami Herald.

Hayes-Santos said that as one of the largest employers and grocery store chains in the state, Publix should be setting an example.

“They need to be a leader in our state in order to help protect our communities and our environment,” he said.

Gainesville has been attempting to reduce single-use plastics for more than 10 years.

The city’s efforts to curb plastic use date as far back as 2008, when local grocery stores began offering reusable/recyclable options, according to Alligator archives. In Aug. 2018, the city began its push to become waste free by 2040.

District 3 City Commissioner David Arreola described the legal dispute as “disgusting.”

“When the people wanted to use the democratic process, those corporations used their money to suppress the democratic process by lobbying and paying off elected officials,” Arreola said. “It’s important for everyone to look at the businesses they shop at and start asking if they reflect our democratic values.”

Arreola said if Coral Gables decides to take the case to the Supreme Court, Gainesville may be willing to write an amicus brief.

“Given our notice of intent, that’s the path we’re going to take,” he said. “Of course, if Coral Gables decided to appeal, I’d be thrilled to offer Gainesville as a friend of the court.”

Although the commission chose to rescind the ordinance, Hayes-Santos said the city will be proceeding with other measures to reduce plastics that are in accordance with state law.

On Thursday, the commission approved a plastic straw ban, which is set to take effect Jan. 2020. Plastic straws are exempted from the laws cited in the Coral Gables case.

Another avenue is the regulation of single-use plastic bags and foam containers on city property, Hayes-Santos said. 

He said he thinks Publix would shift gears if people put enough pressure on the business.

“Let the store managers know about your concerns,” he said. “I think that’s something that if enough people complain to the store managers about this, they may make some changes.”

A Greenpeace report released in June ranked retailers on a plastics scorecard, which determines a “baseline measurement of U.S. retailer’s sustainability performance on single-use plastics.”

Publix was ranked 15 out of 20, although none of the retailers surveyed received a passing score.

The report stated: “Especially given their brand recognition and/or sheer size, it is troubling that Publix (ranked 15th) ... had so little to offer.”

It added that aside from very little public information on their initiatives, they “appear to be stuck in the 1990s, with a large focus on recycling.”

Hayes-Santos said that if large corporations, such as Publix, “continue hiding in the shadows” behind lawmakers supporting these measures, the issue will only continue to worsen.

“Our state legislature should be putting the citizens and our state first, not the interests of Publix first,” he said.

https://www.alligator.org/news/city-commissioners-publix-stifles-plastic-ban/article_4e0fbf44-c250-11e9-b514-4fc68b338c81.html
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Microplastics discovered in 'extreme' concentrations in the North Atlantic
« Reply #13794 on: August 20, 2019, 05:35:57 PM »
Sargasso Sea (CNN)Within the Atlantic Ocean is the world's only sea without shores, its borders defined by the currents of the North Atlantic gyre. The Sargasso Sea takes its name from sargassum, a free-floating golden brown seaweed that is a haven for hatchling sea turtles and hundreds of other marine species who use it to feed, grow and hide from predators. But the sargassum is now home to objects wholly unnatural too.
Caught up in the swirling gyre is a growing collection of human waste: trash from countries that border the Atlantic, from the west coast of Africa to the east coast of the US, slowly breaking up on its long journey into microplastics that end up in the gills and stomachs of aquatic animals.
We joined a Greenpeace expedition to the Sargasso where scientists were studying plastic pollution and turtle habitats. Our mission was to get a better understanding of what lives out on the sargassum ecosystem, what is threatening it, and how that may impact us.

Into the blue

My cameraman, Brice Laine, and I thought we had an understanding of how humanity's reliance on plastic has impacted Earth. We have reported from the remotest regions of our planet, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, where we witnessed the discovery of microplastics, fibers and PFAS (chemicals that are used as stain and water repellents in things like cookware and outdoor gear).

The Sargasso Sea is another place where few humans venture. Constantly changing with the currents, this oval shaped body of water is around 1,000 miles wide and 3,000 miles long. From the bow of our ship, Greenpeace's Esperanza, the water looks pristine, inviting. Having never really been in waters like this -- the open ocean, often believed to be a biodiversity desert -- we're excited to get in.

There are small schools of juvenile trigger and file fish, and other species darting around or just hiding within the sargassum. There are many species we don't see, too small, too apt at blending into this rich nursery ground like young shrimp and crab, tiny frog fish, and what we really hoped to find but didn't -- baby turtles.
Embedded in most of the sargassum are the easily visible pieces of trash: shampoo bottles, fishing gear, thick hard containers or thin soft bags amongst many other types of plastic. One of the scientists points out fish bite marks in a small plastic sheet we pull out. But what is really jarring is when you dive down and look into the blue and realize you are surrounded by tiny glittering pieces of broken up plastic called microplastic.

 It wasn't until witnessing it that the extent of plastic pollution and what it means sank in. And it's terrifying.
Greenpeace scientists say they found "extreme" concentrations of microplastic pollution in the Sargasso Sea, although they are still reviewing their findings. In one sample, they discovered almost 1,300 fragments of microplastic -- more than the levels found last year in the notorious Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Their analysis indicates this pollution originates from single-use plastic bottles and plastic packaging, according to Greenpeace.
Greenpeace's trip to the Sargasso is part of its year-long pole-to-pole expedition to campaign for a Global Ocean Treaty that calls for the protection of a network of ocean sanctuaries covering 30% of the world's oceans by 2030.
Off the side of the Esperanza, the manta trawl lazily gobbles up water samples from the ocean's surface that are filtered through its long mesh tail. An hour later, what is collected shows us the bleak reality of what is in the water.

 "In most of the samples that we have been sampling where there is sargassum we have seen a lot of plastics because they get entangled in the sargassum," Celia Ojeda, a marine biologist with a PhD in ocean conservation, explains, pointing to the tiny pieces floating at the top of one sample.
"It's a really nice blue; you can't imagine what is under there, and then when you get the sample you get really shocked at the numbers," she says.

Along with research assistant Shane Antonition, who is with the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo, Ojeda spends hours picking through the sargassum and what was collected in the manta trawl net.
Grabbing the tiny pieces with tweezers, she places them carefully on paper to count.

Antonition was part of a similar study years ago. "The more I learn, the more I see how much more like a spaceship Earth is, and how fragile these systems are and how much we rely on these ecosystems services to keep us alive. So, (we are) learning more about our impact on the earth and using those discoveries to inform the change that can prevent further degradation of our environment," he says.

 From your bin to your plate, via the ocean
Only around 9% of plastic produced has ever been recycled. Most single-use plastics end up in landfills or are burned in huge toxic fires. Some finds its way into our rivers or the oceans, either flushed into water systems or blown by wind currents.

"This goes into the food chain." Ojeda explains. "The fish and shrimps eat the plastic, we are eating them or the fish that eat them, and this will end up in our bodies somehow."

The plastic humans discard -- food wrappers, plastic bags, even nappies -- find their way back into homes in the food that you buy. A study from June 2019 said the average person ingests around 2,000 microplastic particles a week -- around five grams, or the weight of a credit card. What scientists don't yet fully understand is what that plastic or the toxins that plastic contains can do to us.
Plastic pollution is hardly a new phenomenon. A study off the shore of Bermuda back in the early 1970s found 3,500 pieces of plastic per square kilometer. A more recent, as yet unpublished study by the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo found that nearly 42% of fish samples had ingested microplastics.

he weight of evidence that humans are contaminating one of our major food sources is overwhelming -- not only introducing potential toxins into our own bodies, but also polluting whole ecosystems and killing precious marine animals.
How can you protect the ocean?
The key to tackling ocean plastic is to stop it getting there in the first place, but the solution doesn't just lie with recycling.
"We need to be reusing and refilling," Ojeda says. "The consumers are doing a lot of things, but if you as a consumer are going to the supermarket and you are unable to buy something which is not wrapped in plastic it's not your fault. You are a person. It's companies; companies need to take the step, need to lead the change -- and governments need to push the companies.
"For the oceans to recover to we need to stop them (plastics) now. If we are thinking we can stop them in 10 years, we can phase them out, no: we need to stop single-use plastic. Then the seas will have time to clean up."

"We need to look at all the ways we are not understanding the fate of plastic," says Robbie Smith, a marine ecologist and the curator of the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo. "Recycling is terrible, even in the US. Countries are facing up to the reality, but they are not ready to turn off the tap.

"We need to look at the types of plastic we are using and eliminate the ones that can't be recycled. We need to tidy up land-based sources (landfills and the like).

 "We need to be more respectful that plastic is a great tool but can become a nightmare," he adds. "There is no quick fix. Nothing is going away fast. It takes a decade or two for plastic to make its way into the watershed."

Few of us witness what is out in the open oceans far from our homes, which is one of the many challenges for ocean protection and why few truly understand how dire the situation is. Out of sight, out of mind.
But in reality, it's ending up right back in front of us -- and inside us -- even though we may not see it.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/19/world/microplastics-sargasso-sea-north-atlantic-intl/index.html
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Area 51 events in Nevada prompt emergency crowd planning
« Reply #13795 on: August 20, 2019, 05:39:24 PM »
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Fearing they could be overwhelmed with visitors, officials in the remote Nevada county that’s home to the Area 51 military base have drafted an emergency declaration and a plan to team resources with neighboring counties and the state ahead of events next month tied to the “Storm Area 51” internet drive.

The elected board governing the county with about 5,200 residents conditionally approved two events Monday for tiny desert towns near the once top-secret U.S. Air Force test area known in popular lore as a site for government studies of outer space aliens.

“Oh, we’re taking this seriously,” Lincoln County Commission Chairman Varlin Higbee told the Las Vegas Review-Journal . “With the possibility of 35,000 to 40,000 people showing up, yeah, this is serious.”

County officials are concerned that a surge of visitors will crowd campsites, gas stations and public medical, internet and cellphone services. Officials count just 184 hotel rooms in the county nearly twice the size of the Connecticut.

“The cellphone system is going to go down,” Higbee said. “You get more than a couple of hundred people there, and it’s going to crash. Cell service won’t be available.”

The Little A’Le’Inn in the community of Rachel, population about 50, is scheduling a three-day music festival Sept. 20-22 dubbed Alienstock. Hotel co-owner Connie West has said she’s expecting 10,000 people.

The Alien Research Center souvenir shop in Hiko, a town of about 120 a 45-minute drive from Rachel, plans a Sept. 20-21 exposition.

The events evolved from an internet post inviting people to run into the remote test area in the Nevada desert that has long been the focus of UFO conspiracy theories.

County Sheriff Kerry Lee said Tuesday he was meeting with state emergency planning officials.

County officials have also met with officials from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in Clark County, the sheriffs of White Pine and Nye counties, and the Nevada Highway Patrol.

Eric Holt, county emergency manager, asked commissioners to “pre-sign” the emergency declaration.

Higbee, who has authority to invoke a declaration, said it would let Lincoln County seek financial help and emergency personnel from the state.

“We don’t know where or how far our resources are going to go,” he said. “A lot of it is equipment and financing. The county only has so much money to deal with.”

Higbee said visitors should not to try to enter Area 51.

“We don’t want them going down to government property; it will probably be blocked off,” he said. “We don’t want civilian people in contact with the military at all. That will get ugly.”

The conditional permits require festival and event organizers to submit final plans to the Lincoln County Commission by Sept. 3.

“They have to have their security, medical, parking plans and few other things (ready),” Higbee said.

https://www.apnews.com/86167556378d4198a44e6626b02724df
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37 pic slide show

Police arrested six people — including a pair of people in their 80s — last week after getting reports of “lewd and sexual activity” in the Grace Richardson Open Space area at the intersection of Congress Street and Morehouse Highway.

According to police, the department received several complaints of inappropriate behavior during the week of Aug. 12. The Grace Richardson parcel is an 87-acre piece of land that was part of a major acquisition by the town from the H. Smith Richardson family in 1966. The rest became the H. Smith Richardson Golf Course and the Hoyden’s Hill Open Space.

The Fairfield Police Department’s Quality of Life Unit was assigned to investigate. On Aug. 9, officers and detectives from both the Special Services Unit and the Quality of Life Unit conducted surveillance in and around the open space area.

Several violations were observed, and the following arrests were made: Daniel Dobbins, 67, charged with breach of peace and public indecency; Otto D. Williams, 62, charged with breach of peace; Charles L. Ardito, 75, charged with breach of peace; John Linartz, 62, charged with breach of peace and public indecency; Richard Butler, 82, breach of peace; Joyce Butler, 85, breach of peace.

All were released on a promise to appear in court. A court date was not given in the release.

An internet search revealed that the park has been advertised on at least one “City Hookup Guide” site as a meet-up spot along with other Fairfield locations, including the Jefferson Street Commuter Lot and McDonald’s at the Interstate-95 Service Plaza. Police are continuing to monitor the locations and internet advertising.

Capt. Robert Kalamaras said that the department is committed to keeping public spaces appropriate and safe.

At least one of those arrested has been charged before, on similar allegations.

In May 2017, Dobbins was issued a misdemeanor summons of second-degree breach of peace by New Canaan Police after witnesses said they spotted a man walking around Waveny Park naked. Police found Dobbins in his car with his shirt and shorts draped over him and no underwear. Police said Dobbins told them he was naked for medical reasons.

https://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Six-arrested-in-lewd-activity-complaint-in-14363512.php
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Dick's Sporting Goods is testing if it should stop selling guns
« Reply #13797 on: August 20, 2019, 05:48:19 PM »
Dick's Sporting Goods considered stopping all gun sales in early 2018. A shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida, had killed 17 people. And the company was shocked into action.
"We did have a conversation about that," CEO Ed Stack told CNN Business earlier this year. "At the time we felt it was a part of our DNA and we should stay in it. So many people in the country are law-abiding citizens who use firearms to hunt, to use from a recreation standpoint. We didn't think it was right to exit the business completely."
That could be changing. Dick's, one of the country's biggest gun retailers, has been quietly testing the water on whether to pull out entirely from what it calls the "hunt" business, including firearms. An announcement with the results of the test is expected Thursday, when it is set to report quarterly results.
America is again debating gun control after a recent wave of shootings — including one on August 3 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. The debate has drawn new scrutiny on the legal sale of guns.

When Walmart (WMT) reported earnings on August 15, CEO Doug McMillon said the company supports stronger gun measures, though he stopped short of endorsing a specific plan.
But Dick's has been the mainstream retailer to so far make the loudest public statement about firearm sales.
Two weeks after the Parkland shooting on February 14, 2018, Dick's decided to drop the sale of assault-style rifles that are frequently used in mass shootings, as well as high-capacity magazines that can allow a person to fire more bullets without taking time to reload. It also raised the age for the sale of any firearm to 21 from 18.

Rather than sell off its inventory of assault rifles to another retailer, Dick's had the weapons destroyed. And it hired lobbyists to work on gun safety and gun control issues. The moves won praise from gun control opponents and anger from gun enthusiasts. The backlash has probably hurt the sale of rifles Dick's continued to sell. As a test, Dick's last fall stopped selling all hunting gear, including guns, in 10 stores. It replaced the guns with other goods, such as apparel of a local sports team and other popular items.
The experiment was a success. "Those stores outperformed the balance of the chain pretty meaningfully," Stack said.
Earlier this year, the company pulled the hunting business out of another 125 stores, leaving sales in about 600 stores. The company said it would study the impact on overall store sales at those 125 stores and complete its review by August. The company declined to comment on the status of that review ahead of Thursday's earnings announcement.
Firearm sales have generally been on the decline in recent years.
American Outdoor Brands (AOBC), the largest gun manufacturer and maker of Smith & Wesson, reported that sales fell 33% in the year that ended in April 2018, compared to the previous year, before rising 5% in the most recent year. Sturm Ruger & Co. (RGR) reported a 21% drop in sales in 2017, and another 5% drop last year. Other smaller gunmakers have also reported declines. Remington filed for bankruptcy in April 2018.

During the administration of President Barack Obama, the fear that the government would crack down on gun sales stoked sales. But under President Donald Trump, who was elected with the support of the National Rifle Association, those fears have abated — and along with them gun sales have waned. FBI background checks used for gun purchases, a measure of sales, were down 5% last year compared to 2016, the last year of the Obama administration.
"It's an OK business," Stack told CNN Business earlier this year. "It's not a great business."

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/20/business/dicks-sporting-goods-gun-sales/index.html
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The US is set to drown the world in oil
« Reply #13798 on: August 21, 2019, 08:32:19 AM »
A staggering 61% of the world’s new oil and gas production over the next decade is set to come from one country alone: the United States.

The sheer scale of this new production dwarfs that of every other country in the world and would spell disaster for the world’s ambitions to curb climate change – the effects of which we’re already witnessing through massive heat waves, flooding, and extreme weather.

Earlier this year, we crunched the numbers from the latest climate science and industry forecasts and found that we can’t afford to drill up any oil and gas from new fields anywhere in the world if we’re to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

In our analysis, we assumed that existing oil and gas fields are going to keep on pumping for as long as they can. That means that the decisions about new projects will shape the future for the oil and gas industry and our climate.

And when it comes to these new oil and gas fields, production from the US is set to eclipse the rest of the world.

Production from new fields in the US is set to be eight times that of the next largest producing country – Canada. New US production is forecast to be 20 times that of Russia and more than 1.5 times the total of all other countries combined.

Output is set to be so vast that if US states were treated as countries, Texas is forecast to be the biggest producer of new oil and gas in its own right, with production nearly four times that of Canada.

Seven out of the top 10 biggest oil and gas producers would be US states, with only Canada, Brazil and Russia making it onto the list. Pennsylvania is set to be the third largest producer of new oil and gas, producing more than double that of Russia.



If things don’t change, by the end of the next decade, new oil and gas fields in the US will produce more than twice what Saudi Arabia produces today.

The future of our changing climate and its increasingly devastating impacts across the globe will be shaped by future oil and gas production. And if the future of oil and gas production is decided by what happens in new fields, then it will be determined by what happens in the US in the next decade.
More oil and gas is a big problem

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, our analysis shows that global oil and gas production needs to drop by 40% over the next decade. Yet, instead of declining, US oil and gas output is set to rise by 25% over this time, fueled by expansion in new fields.

By now, it should go without saying that burning more fossil fuels is a disaster for the world’s climate. Each extra barrel of oil that comes out of the ground becomes more planet-warming CO2 going into the atmosphere.

The recent National Climate Assessment starkly laid out the risks the US faces from climate change. These include more extreme temperatures, rainfall, high tides, coastal flooding and forest fires, as well as worsening air quality, all threatening the health and wellbeing of the American people. These risks are highest for those that are already vulnerable, including low-income communities, some communities of color, children, and the elderly. The financial costs are staggering too, under a high emissions scenario where the world fails to mitigate climate change costs to the US economy could exceed $500 billion a year by 2090.

In addition to these harmful impacts and costs in the US, impoverished countries will continue to be hit the hardest by climate change and are at a disadvantage when it comes to managing these impacts.

So if all this new oil and gas production goes ahead in the US, it would drown the world in oil and gas – slowing down the shift from fossil fuels to renewables and releasing vast amounts of planet-heating greenhouse gases.
The US's next president needs to have a plan

Climate change is set to become one of the biggest issues in the 2020 US presidential election, and is already a key issue in the race for the Democratic nomination. Almost all Democratic candidates have already emphasized the need to stop this unsustainable growth in US oil and gas production, committing to a moratorium on new fossil fuel extraction on federal lands. With about a quarter of US oil production taking place on federal lands, this is significant.

With respect to the other three quarters of US oil and gas production that takes place on privately owned land, the next president should look to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. Official estimates for such subsidies range from $4.6 billion to a staggering $649 billion a year.

A recent study found that based on recent low oil prices, up to half of new US oil fields rely on government subsidies to be economically viable. This means that without these subsidies, those projects wouldn’t proceed. For the projects that are viable without subsidies, the money will go into the pockets of the oil and gas companies, giving them more money to invest in more new projects or simply boost corporate profits.

According to Greenpeace's tracker of the Democratic presidential candidates, almost all are now on the record in favor of ending fossil fuel subsidies.

Scrapping these subsidies can also free up huge sums of money to ensure a fair deal for workers and communities that are currently reliant on polluting high carbon industries, through what is known as a just transition.

To ensure these policies become a reality, whoever wins the election will need to be free of the fossil fuel industry’s huge political influence over their administration. That’s why campaigners have now pushed 21 of the Democratic candidates to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, rejecting the financial support of the fossil fuel industry for their campaign.

Time for a proper debate

Climate change isn’t a single issue topic; how governments act to curb climate change will touch almost every aspect of the economy and society overall. The climate crisis deserves dedicated space for the Democratic candidates to fully explain their plans and debate them with one another, as well as to be tested on their public commitments.

Here are the top questions we’d like to see the candidates answer in a dedicated climate debate:

    What action do you intend to take to curb oil and gas production from public lands and waters?
    Will you end government subsidies for oil and gas production? How will you ensure the money saved benefits the communities affected?
    Will you commit to not approving new oil and gas pipelines, export terminals and other infrastructure?
    How will you ensure your appointees to key agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior serve the public interest and not the fossil fuel lobby?

The American people deserve to know what these candidates’ plans are and where their priorities lie.

This week, the DNC will vote on whether or not to host a dedicated climate debate – we believe it’s vital they do.

The next US president needs to have a credible plan for tackling climate change. And any credible plan to tackle climate change has to prevent the US from drowning the world in oil.

https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/oil-gas-and-mining/us-set-to-drown-world-oil/
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60 toxic algae blooms reported across New York state
« Reply #13799 on: August 21, 2019, 08:39:07 AM »

A close-up view of blue-green algae at the south end of Skaneateles Lake Sept. 25, 2017, stirred up by a drifting seaplane. A toxic algae bloom was confirmed on Skaneateles Lake Sept. 15.

Syracuse, N.Y. -- With the peak of the algae bloom season yet to come, 60 blooms have been reported in the past two weeks in New York state.

The blooms were discovered across the state, from Long Island to Western New York, and in water bodies ranging from small park ponds to a bay off Lake Ontario. Some of the blooms were confined to small areas, while others were spread across large bodies of water.

Four Finger Lakes are on the list -- Canandaigua, Honeyoye, Keuka and Otisco. No blooms have been found in Skaneateles Lake, the unfiltered source of drinking water for the city of Syracuse. Last year, all 11 Finger Lakes had a bloom at some point.

The blooms are actually a form of bacteria called cyanobacteria. They secrete toxins that, in large quantities, can sicken humans and kill dogs.

The blooms tend to peak in late August and September, especially when the weather is hot, sunny and calm. Last year, more than 100 water bodies had toxic blooms for some part of the summer or fall.

The chart below lists the blooms reported in the past two weeks to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC cautions that some of these blooms may have dissipated, and that some blooms may have popped up that haven’t been reported.

NY toxic algae blooms, Aug. 20
County    Water body    Type    Size
Albany    Beaver pond    Suspicious    Small Localized
Broome    Whitney Point Reservoir    Suspicious    Small Localized
Broome    Whitney Point Reservoir    Suspicious    Large Localized
Chautauqua    Chautauqua Lake    Confirmed    Not Reported
Chautauqua    Chautauqua Lake    Suspicious    Widespread or Lakewide
Chenango    Thunder Lake    Confirmed    Small Localized
Cortland    Casterline Pond    Suspicious    Widespread or Lakewide
Cortland    Song Lake    Confirmed with High Toxins    Not Reported
Delaware    Cannonsville Reservoir    Suspicious    Large Localized
Dutchess    Westage lake    Suspicious    Small Localized
Genesee    Swinging Bridge Reservoir    Suspicious    Large Localized
Kings    Prospect Park Lake    Confirmed with High Toxins    Widespread or Lakewide
Madison    Oneida Lake    Suspicious    Large Localized
Monroe    Irondequoit Bay    Suspicious    Small Localized
New York    Turtle Pond    Suspicious    Large Localized
Oneida    Oneida Lake    Suspicious    Small Localized
Onondaga    Jamesville reservoir    Suspicious    Small Localized
Onondaga    Otisco Lake    Confirmed    Small Localized
Onondaga    Otisco Lake    Confirmed    Large Localized
Ontario    Canandaigua Lake    Confirmed    Large Localized
Ontario    Canandaigua Lake    Suspicious    Large Localized
Ontario    Honeoye Lake    Suspicious    Large Localized
Ontario    Retention pond    Suspicious    Small Localized
Orange    Guymard Lake    Suspicious    Widespread or Lakewide
Orange    Orange Lake    Confirmed    Small Localized
Orange    Orange Lake    Confirmed    Not Reported
Orange    Murray Pond    Suspicious    Small Localized
Oswego    Lake Neatahwanta    Confirmed    Widespread or Lakewide
Oswego    North Sandy Pond    Suspicious    Small Localized
Putnam    Barger Pond    Confirmed    Open Water
Putnam    Lake Carmel    Suspicious    Small Localized
Putnam    Lake Peekskill    Suspicious    Small Localized
Putnam    Long Pond    Suspicious    Small Localized
Rensselaer    Vosburg Pond    Suspicious    Small Localized
Saint Lawrence    Black lake    Suspicious    Large Localized
Saratoga    Moreau Lake    Suspicious    Open Water
Schuyler    Cayuta Lake    Suspicious    Large Localized
Suffolk    Agawam Lake    Confirmed    Widespread or Lakewide
Suffolk    Fort Pond    Confirmed    Widespread or Lakewide
Suffolk    Fresh Pond    Confirmed    Small Localized
Suffolk    Laurel Lake    Confirmed    Large Localized
Suffolk    Maratooka Lake    Confirmed    Large Localized
Suffolk    Roth Pond    Confirmed with High Toxins    Widespread or Lakewide
Suffolk    Roth Pond    Confirmed with High Toxins    Widespread or Lakewide
Suffolk    The Lake in Central Park    Confirmed with High Toxins    Widespread or Lakewide
Suffolk    Wainscott Pond    Confirmed    Widespread or Lakewide
Sullivan    Montgomery Lake    Confirmed    Widespread or Lakewide
Sullivan    Pleasure Lake    Confirmed    Small Localized
Ulster    Seewackamano Lake    Suspicious    Small Localized
Warren    Friends Lake    Confirmed    Small Localized
Warren    Friends Lake    Suspicious    Large Localized
Washington    Champlain Canal    Suspicious    Small Localized
Westchester    Croton River    Suspicious    Small Localized
Westchester    Lake Lincolndale    Confirmed    Not Reported
Westchester    Lake Lincolndale    Suspicious    Small Localized
Westchester    Sheldrake Lake    Confirmed with High Toxins    Widespread or Lakewide
Westchester    Sheldrake Lake    Suspicious    Widespread or Lakewide
Wyoming    Java Lake    Confirmed    Open Water
Yates    Keuka Lake    Suspicious    Small Localized
   Harlem Meer    Confirmed with High Toxins    Large Localized
New York    Turtle Pond    Confirmed    Large Localized

https://www.syracuse.com/news/2019/08/60-toxic-algae-blooms-reported-across-new-york-state.html
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