Healing a Mountain: Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Gap

first_img“Hold your nose; we’re gettin’ near Palmerton!” Dan Kunkle was talking about a factory town in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Gap, where the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) descends from the Kittatinny Ridge to cross the Lehigh River. It was impossible to hold your breath for the entire car ride past it, but we tried anyway, because the place “stank real bad.”However, my chat with Dan was no joke. He was telling how he and other locals took the region’s biggest environmental liability and built an asset.A CONTROVERSIAL MOONSCAPEI experienced my first big hike in the Gap on a day in the 1970s when the air was clear. I didn’t know why the mountain we were climbing was bare; I just thought it was cool. Void of vegetation, nothing blocked the view. It was as if we were above treeline but without the high-altitude wheeziness or plantlife. Since I’d never known anyone to be outraged or shocked about the condition, I thought all was fine.However, things were very wrong. For almost a century, smelting at the Palmerton Zinc Factory emitted sulfur dioxide (which became sulfuric acid smog) and tons of zinc, lead, cadmium, and arsenic every year. Vegetation died; soil washed away. What remained, including 449 acres of National Park Service (NPS)-managed land around the A.T., couldn’t support life because it was heavily dusted with metals. In 1983, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated the scene as a National Priority Superfund site.Palmerton residents, though, felt the EPA could keep its super-polluted judgment; their loyalties remained with the factory. They were grateful to the New Jersey Zinc Company for their town, hospital, school, borough hall (now doubling as a hikers’ hostel), and prosperity. Plant employees even refused to let their grassless yards be tested for fear of further tarnish to the company’s reputation. An unforeseen ecosystem collapse did not represent the company they knew.Through mergers and provisions in the Superfund law, a media giant that never smelted zinc–CBS Corporation Inc.–became responsible for the cleanup. Thousands of acres of steep slopes needed fixing, most with high winds and eroded soil. The site sat for years.Then, in the late 1990s, EPA engineers spread and seeded manufactured soil on an 800-acre section. Although vegetation grew, 60 miles-worth of expensive and undesirable switchback roads had to be built to get it done. The site sat again.Meanwhile Dan Kunkle, a school teacher, and his cohorts were looking for a place to build an environmental education center. Eventually, they acquired toxic land within CBS’s liability area for the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. A team of area residents along with John Dickerson, retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, hatched a plan for CBS to get something growing on the Center’s piece of the moonscape. They wanted to spread warm-season grass seed with a crop duster. The project was ambitious in that it needed experts to try something they didn’t think would work, yet it was simple in that it gave control to nature.Dan quit his 28-year teaching job, gave up his tenure and full pension, and took on a 70-hour-per-week workload to keep the mountain-healing dream alive. “Somebody had to do this full time or it would fall apart,” Dan said. Amid strong skepticism, he convinced CBS to try. The seed was scattered, nature chipped in some rain, the mountain turned green, and the community smiled.Still, the A.T.-crossing ridgeline, east and west of Lehigh Gap, remained barren. Eventually, the National Park Service used 70 fenced-in acres near the trail to give 15,000 seedlings protection from hungry deer.COLLABORATION SUCCESSCharlie Root, the site’s original remedial project manager, described his experience with the Center as uniquely collaborative. Plus, he said, “One of the most satisfying outcomes at any of my sites in my 20-year career at EPA is to have an actual environmental education center on a site where people can actually come in and see the progress we’ve made and learn about Superfund and environmental science at the same time.”The Center is A.T.-accessible via the Woodpecker Trail. Hiking north, after crossing the river and then under power lines on the re-ascent, orange blazes on the right take you a half-mile to the building. There you can see historic photos of the factory and the moonscape, get some water, and maybe even meet Dan.The work is still not done. Even the educators are learning as they conduct research to watch nature’s reaction. Still, their story is a shining example of how people can care enough to heal mountains.last_img read more

FA Cup: Chelsea Turn to Nottingham Forest for Succour

first_imgAfter dropping two points on home ground against Southampton, defending champions, Chelsea begin their FA Cup campaign against Nottingham Forest to looking to move a step closer to retaining the trophy that they lifted with victory over Manchester United in May last year, while Nottingham Forest make the trip to Stamford Bridge having returned to winning ways with a 4-2 triumph over Leeds United on New Year’s DaySeven points from four games over the Christmas period with an injury list which got longer by the match was not the worst return for Chelsea, but it has left Maurizio Sarri with problems heading into the rest of January.The Blues must find a way to cope with a fixture schedule which brings a double-header with Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup semi-finals at the same time when they also have to contend with three important games in the Premier League. Sarri’s side now only sit three points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal after Wednesday’s goalless draw with Southampton, and more of his players are beginning to pick up minor muscle injuries after a busy schedule on both the domestic and European scene.Chelsea have already played 31 competitive matches since Sarri’s arrival in July but even though the Italian has a large squad at his disposal, he has not taken the chance to rotate his players over Christmas.There were signs against the Saints that some of the members of his squad are ready for a weekend off, but whether that materialises against a strong Forest side remains to be seen.Alvaro Morata made his first start since December 13 in midweek, but the Spaniard continues to look short of confidence in the final third and Chelsea have a decision to make regarding his long-term future.Cesc Fabregas has barely been used by Sarri all season, and an appearance against Forest on Saturday could mark the playmaker’s final appearance at Stamford Bridge ahead of a transfer away from the club.Whoever is selected by Sarri will be given the responsibility of trying to end a run of 10 matches where Chelsea have failed to score more than two goals in a game in any competition.Nottingham Forest manager, Aitor Karanka went into the game with Leeds earlier this week aware that a defeat may result in Forest terminating his contract, but the Spaniard has been given a reprieve due to his side’s dramatic triumph against the Championship leaders.There is an argument that Karanka should not be under as much pressure as has been reported, but the 45-year-old has at least brought himself some time to prove that he remains the man to deliver promotion to the Premier League.Just five points have been recorded from their last half-a-dozen outings at the second tier, although it is a period which has included games against the top two in the standings and fierce rivals Derby County.That period followed a run of 11 points from five matches and although Forest sit four points adrift of the playoffs, they at least remain firmly in the promotion hunt at a time when the club’s hierarchy will look to strengthen the squad.The trip to England’s capital to play Chelsea will be regarded as an opportunity rather than a fixture where a result is required at all costs, and that may play into Karanka’s favour.There will be changes to the starting lineup after such a run of fixtures, but Karanka has already used 25 players in the league this season and he will have confidence in whichever team he selects at the weekend.Forest have already had success against Premier League opposition this season, with a dramatic 3-2 win being registered over Newcastle United in the second round of the EFL Cup.The East Midlands outfit received their fair share of luck during the closing stages, but that occasion is one of many this season where they have risen to the occasion in big matches and that could prove to be the case this weekend.Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking tow make it five wins from five as interim Manchester United boss when his side welcome Reading to Old Trafford today.The Red Devils get their FA Cup campaign underway in the third round and will be expected to progress with minimum fuss against their Championship opponents.United have already been knocked out of one cup competition at home to a Championship outfit this season, but there is a completely different air around the club now following Jose Mourinho’s exit last month.Facts• Today’s meeting will represent the 93rd competitive contest between the two clubs, with Chelsea winning 38 times in comparison to 26 victories for Forest.• The teams have only squared off on three occasions since the turn of the Millennium, and each game has been played in either the FA Cup or League Cup.• Chelsea have prevailed in all three encounters, with the most recent victory coming by a 5-1 scoreline in last season’s EFL Cup.FA Cup Third RoundTodayBournemouth v Brighton 12:30Burnley v Barnsley 12:30Man Utd v Reading 12:30Sheffield Wed v Luton Town 12:30Shrewsbury v Stoke City 12:30West Brom v Wigan Athletic 12:30West Ham v Birmingham City 12:30Accrington v Ipswich Town 15:00Aston Villa v Swansea 15:00Bolton v Walsall 15:00Brentford v Oxford United 15:00Chelsea v Nottingham Forest 15:00Derby County v Southampton 15:00Everton v Lincoln City 15:00Fleetwood v Wimbledon 15:00Gillingham v Cardiff City 15:00Middlesbrough v Peterborough 15:00Blackpool v Arsenal 17:30Bristol City v Huddersfield 17:30Crystal Palace v Grimsby Town 17:30Newcastle v Blackburn 17:30Norwich City v Portsmouth 17:30SundayFulham v Oldham 14:00Man City v Rotherham 14:00Millwall v Hull City 14:00Preston v Doncaster 14:00QPR v Leeds United 14:00Sheffield v Barnet 14:00Woking v Watford 14:00Newport County v Leicester City 16:30MondayWolverhampton v Liverpool 19:45Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Little Lawler has big game

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald photoErika Lawler may be the smallest person on the ice, but she often has the biggest impact.Listed generously at an even five feet, Lawler has consistently made her presence felt on the ice, despite her small stature. “If you watch us play, you will notice her,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “And that is a good thing.”Even though Lawler often plays against opponents who are more than a foot taller than her, she hardly notices the difference.”I never think about how much shorter I am than someone else,” Lawler said. “Although on a faceoff it can be kind of funny when I am lining up against someone a lot bigger than me and I am at their stick length. But usually, I really never think about it, and if I did think about it, it would probably just hurt me rather than help me.”Though she was never the tallest kid growing up, Lawler has been destined to play hockey from a young age.”I come from a family that plays a lot of hockey,” Lawler said. “My dad played hockey in college, and my aunt played hockey in college, so it is just a family thing I guess. My dad coached me when I was younger, and I have just loved playing hockey ever since I can remember.”The Badgers were lucky Lawler committed to Wisconsin. Originally from Fitchburg, Mass., Lawler never thought she would come to UW. However, she visited Madison by chance when she came to watch the Badgers play the Gophers and figured she should give Wisconsin a look.”Wisconsin was my fifth choice originally,” Lawler said. “When I came here I was like, ‘Wow. This place is amazing.’ Whether it is the coaching staff, the facilities or the campus, everything about this place had a great feel to it.”Ever since coming to UW, the junior has experienced plenty of success. During her freshman campaign, Lawler scored 32 points, sixth best on the team. The next season, she led all sophomores with 38 points. But perhaps best of all, her team won the NCAA Championship both years.Despite her success, Lawler is not concerned with her point totals.”I am not thinking about how many stats I am putting up,” Lawler said. “As long as I can look myself in the mirror after the game and know that I tried my hardest, I consider it a good game. I try not to let points scored define me as a player.””She always seems to be in attack mode,” Johnson said. “She is a very good skater. She likes to have the puck, and when she doesn’t have the puck, she will go and get it.”Equally important has been Lawler’s leadership on and off the ice. As a junior and one of the team’s more experienced players, Lawler has embraced the increased responsibility.”Erika is definitely a leader,” fellow linemate Meghan Duggan said. “Not only is she an upperclassman, but she is a really vocal person on the ice. She knows hockey probably better than anyone on this team. Often times before coach comes in the locker room, she will say ‘Guys, we really need to do this,’ and then Coach (Johnson) will come in and say the exact same thing.””If you look at our forwards, she has probably been our most consistent forward since the beginning of the year,” Johnson said. “She plays every game like it is her last one and she plays tenaciously. I think that rubs off on the other players and helps them learn.”Besides her play on the ice and her leadership off it, Lawler may have helped UW with a little recruiting of her own. Duggan, a sophomore and last year’s WCHA Rookie of the Year, went to the same boarding school as Lawler — Cushing Academy — and roomed with Lawler during high school.”Just because I am here, it does not mean that [Meghan] decided to come here,” Lawler said. “However, I would always talk to her about how much I loved it. So when she is talking to someone who keeps raving about their school, she might have thought that it was worth checking out.”Once you get here and see how amazing this place is, it is an easy decision.”last_img read more

After spinal injury to Norton, Luther College community bonds

first_img No. 17 Arkansas at No. 18 South Carolina Prediction: South Carolina 23, Arkansas 14 In a battle of conference foes, the Gamecocks will come out best in this fight. South Carolina’s road ahead will start at home against the Razorbacks. Published on November 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm Comments The play happened so fast, many of Chris Norton’s teammates missed it. It started when Norton, a freshman special teams player, took the field for a kickoff. He lined up while his team, Division III Luther College, was losing to Central College. The play ended with a call for an ambulance and Norton staying on the field. Jordan Grimm, a senior and the Norse’s linebacker and placekicker, didn’t even notice Norton was down at first. But then to Grimm, it quickly became clear that something felt wrong. It took a long time to get Norton off the field. After that, the team felt distracted, Grimm said. ‘It was kind of just really tough,’ Grimm said. ‘We were supposed to go out and play right after that. It kind of went downhill from there.’ Luther lost that Oct. 16 game to No. 15 Central, 45-26. The ambulance that carried Norton went to Decorah Medical Center in Decorah, Iowa. Doctors diagnosed him with a neck and spinal cord injury. Because of the injury’s severity, a helicopter took Norton to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he required a three-hour surgery. Since Norton’s injury, the team and local community around Luther have responded to his loss, as Norton began the road to recovery. Right after the game, head coach Mike Durnin addressed the team. He told them the news and told them they would have to keep going.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘Keep your prayers and thoughts with Chris and his family,’ Durnin told the team. In the weeks that followed, a local Decorah church held a service for Norton. Another service took place in his hometown. Luther established a fund for parents to donate to his recovery fund. ‘This has definitely been a case of the greatest of human nature standing up and supporting each other,’ Durnin said this week. As the Luther community tried to rally, so did Norton, with the help of a few others. Durnin and his wife went to the Mayo Clinic, as did Luther President Richard Torgerson and his wife. When Norton’s family finally arrived, they spotted a man wearing Luther gear, who was neither Durnin nor Torgerson. Just a Luther alumnus who went to the Oct. 16 game, saw Norton’s injury and wanted to offer his family a place to stay. A neurosurgeon called the Norton family into a small, dim room and told them to expect a long surgery, probably eight to 10 hours, said Norton’s sister, Alex. ‘The other thing is, do not expect he will have any movement from the neck down,’ the surgeon told the family, Alex said. The surgery took just three hours. After that, Alex began a blog about him and his road to recovery. She linked a donation fund to the blog so readers could contribute after they read about Norton. ‘It was a way everyone could see the information,’ she said. ‘That day of the accident and the day after, we couldn’t keep up. We were getting phone calls, texts. It was overwhelming. We kind of set up the site so people could keep up.’ Soon after the site went live, Norton wiggled his shoulders. As the team moves forward, the squad continues to feel Norton’s spirit. The team receives updates on his condition often. Luther (4-4) will face two more opponents before the end of the season. And while keeping the game in perspective, Luther’s players want to win for Norton.   ‘We’ve got a renewed sense of passion for the game, passion for life, knowing that every play could be our last,’ Grimm said. ‘Every day could be our last, you never know what life is going to throw at you.’ Grimm admits he thinks about Norton’s accident often. He tries to put it out of his mind when he approaches a kickoff. ‘It’s scary, it’s definitely scary,’ Grimm said. He tells himself that the odds are too small. That Norton just suffered a strike of bad luck. ‘It’s given us inspiration to play for Chris and to give yourself to something bigger than yourself,’ Grimm said. As for Norton, he continues to defy the first prognosis. Sensation continues to return to his body. Hopefully he can make a recovery and return to campus as a student next semester, his sister said. Each day, Norton undergoes physical therapy. His father has taken over blogging duties. On Tuesday, while in a wheelchair, therapists attached Chris’ legs to a stationary bike. The bike is powered by electricity and the motion helps rebuild Norton’s leg muscles. His father wrote, ‘I know the look he had on his face, it was his game face. He was ready to go.’ Games of the Week Louisville at Syracuse Prediction: Syracuse 30, Louisville 24 Last time the Cardinals came to the Carrier Dome in 2008, Syracuse came out on top 28-21. With the Orange winning five of its last six games, this year should be much the same. Syracuse gets its seventh win of the season and becomes bowl-eligible. No. 4 TCU at No. 6 Utah Prediction: Utah 32, TCU 28 In the week’s best matchup, the unbeaten Horned Frogs will journey to Salt Lake City to take on the unbeaten Utes. Last season, the Frogs demolished Utah 55-28. But the Frogs have lost the last two games at Salt Lake City. Look for Utah to continue the trend this week. No. 13 Arizona at No. 10 Stanford Prediction: Stanford 20, Arizona 17 Look for offense to topple defense. Stanford brings in a great offensive package, led by quarterback Andrew Luck. The Wildcats boast a No. 10-ranked defense, but luck should hold out for Stanford. No. 5 Alabama at No. 12 LSU Prediction: Alabama 30, LSU 14 Alabama rules over this series, 45-23-5. Expect that again this week. Alabama brings quarterback Greg McElroy to try and beat the Tigers. Even at home, LSU will not last past the Tide.center_img [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more


first_imgCOMMUNITY ALERT: Have you seen this lorry, which was stolen in Manorcunningham last night.It was seen being driven towards the border.If you can help please ring 086 4043248.  COMMUNITY ALERT: HAVE YOU SEEN THIS LORRY STOLEN IN MANORCUNNINGHAM was last modified: December 9th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:lorry stolenmanorcunninghamlast_img read more

Opinion Volunteering isnt hard you can just sit and have tea with

first_imgI HAVE A friend, we don’t go out for drinks, we don’t talk football, movies, girls or TV. He loves listening to music, but not what I would listen to – Daniel O’Donnell definitely is not my taste. He loves the bog, really loves the bog, and I could think of no worse place to spend my summer.You would think we have nothing at all in common, and yet our friendship means so much. When he laughs at something I’ve said or done that is a special moment, after a few hours with him I go home feeling fulfilled, a feeling I’ve done good. But he does more good for me than I do him.My friend is four years older than I am but is intellectually disabled. He can’t walk that well either, and any time we go out needs a wheelchair. Despite this he is such a happy wonderful person to be around. Intellectually disabled doesn’t mean simple, doesn’t mean he’s stupid. He knows he’s not like everyone else he knows he has to rely on others, and yet he’s such a happy person.We became friends We didn’t choose each other as friends. In fact from his point of view I was just landed on him and he was told I was going to be his friend. From my point of view, it took Garda clearance and a few one day courses, and I was then introduced to him.We became friends, because I wanted to do something that would change someone’s life for the better. I volunteered to become a one-on-one mentor. Yes, volunteered. I have to give my own time, unpaid. But that’s no big deal, we don’t get paid to spend time with friends anyway.Many people I talk to about it, say they wouldn’t have the patience, but why? You don’t have to go every day, you can do as much or as little as you want. Is it because they wouldn’t have patience to deal with someone not like them? You don’t need patience to have tea with someone, to talk, to listen, to have a laugh.We don’t go to the pub, we don’t talk football, cars or films. Our musical tastes vary wildly, and yet we have a very pure, amazing friendship. He asks nothing of me but time, I ask nothing of him, just the hope I make his day that little better.I probably get more out of our friendship than he doesHe shares a house with a woman with similar disability, and although I’m his buddy, she likes to have a new face come to the house. She doesn’t have a buddy who can bring her out, though, and it’s a pity because she too is a wonderful, kind, amazing person.The day I went for my induction there were two other volunteers starting, and this was considered to be a big intake. This was the first “group” in over six months.It’s probably not for everybody, lots of people think they wouldn’t have the patience – and at first I was unsure too – but volunteering to mentor someone, to be a friend, is so rewarding. Selfishly I probably get more out of our friendship than he does, but it’s hard not to.Mark Farrell lives in Kildare with his wife Carrie and their dogs.Read:  Could you be the first point of contact for a child who wants to talk?last_img read more

The holidays are a time for shoppers to reap the b

first_imgThe holidays are a time for shoppers to reap the benefit of online deals—and for hackers to leverage software vulnerabilities in retail systems and applications. In order to prepare for this year, IT monitoring experts suggested developers and operations teams incorporate adequate security testing as part of their holiday preparedness checklist.The biggest mistake organizations make when preparing for holiday sales is decreasing the required amount of security testing of their web and mobile applications in favor of tight release deadlines, said global director of application security strategy at Checkmarx, Matt Rose.“Proper security testing is a must and should not be overshadowed by the need for enhanced features or functionality that may not even be utilized if an application is hacked or down to a DDoS attack,” he said.(Related: How DevOps security is lacking)Organizations might look to cut testing processes because of their shorter release deadlines. Sometimes, security testing is cut because “cool” application features are seen as generating revenue, whereas security testing is not, said Rose. It’s a narrow-minded view, because if the application has security issues, the new revenue-generating feature may never be available to the user, he said.Different organizations can assign different levels of responsibilities to developers during the holiday season, but all companies should review how developers would support operations during critical times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to Michael Butt, senior product marketing manager at BigPanda. And, just like those in operations, developers need to understand how much stress peak shopping times will have on systems during the holiday season, he said. Developers can also prepare for the holiday season by properly testing their applications for stability and security, because the “potential for unanticipated load or exposure to hackers is a real threat,” said Rose.If developers fail to do this, retailers can expect worst-case scenarios like being blacklisted by users, he said, especially if they fear that a platform is unstable and their personal information is at risk.“The holiday selling season is a very short time period, and any downtime or instability of their web or mobile applications could potentially have very damaging implications to a retailer’s bottom line,” said Rose. “If an application fails to meet the consumer’s expectations, they will simply take their business somewhere else.”Mobile applications have changed the world of digital business and e-commerce, and now that organizations are going to a mobile-first world, all of that mobile traffic adds to the holiday load, said Butt.Just the nature of these mobile applications and how they have developed opens a new category for risk, said Rose. Many organizations outsource mobile application development to third parties, and if these third parties do not know if proper security testing was done to applications, it increases the chances of hackers attacking, according to him.“The third parties are paid to develop these mobile apps based on a set of functionality criteria,” said Rose. “If security requirements are not properly defined by the outsourced development teams, they will probably not be included in the application, which is a huge risk to organization contracting the third party.”last_img read more