New resource to protect public assets

first_imgThe line of mountains that etches across the sky in northern Vermont forms some of the most iconic images of our state. Mount Mansfield is part of the Vermont crest and Camel’s Hump is featured on our state quarter. These mountains are more than a scenic backdrop. They are key to the character of Vermont and a mainstay for tourism, one of our largest industries. But what happens when buildings go up along scenic roadways that obscure these views for the general public? What can we do to protect these assets? Views to the Mountain: A Scenic Resource Manual, just published for the towns of Essex and Jericho by Smart Growth Vermont, details a scenic assessment process and provides solutions towns can adopt.The towns of Essex and Jericho joined forces to address these issues by performing a comprehensive scenic assessment of their roads. The Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission assisted with mapping and data analysis. Based on the information they gained, and recommendations for bylaw language and scenic overlay districts provided by Smart Growth Vermont, the towns have put the platform in place to protect their scenic views for future generations.‘This is groundbreaking work for the protection of scenic viewsheds in Essex and Jericho,’ said Essex Community Development Director Dana Farley. ‘The views to Mount Mansfield are emphasized in both towns, but the data collection and photo-inventory captured many features typical to roadside scenery across Vermont. The manual can be model for all our communities.’ The assessment, bylaw language and solutions for everything from parking to recommended siding and roof colors have been pulled together into which can be downloaded from the Smart Growth Vermont website.Smart Growth Vermont is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to forging growth and conservation solutions for Vermont communities and working rural lands. We work both on-the-ground in communities and at the state level to help develop and implement land use legislation designed to foster growth that works to strengthen our downtowns and village centers while conserving our working landscape and open areas. For more information, please visit Smart Growth Vermont’s website at is external).###last_img read more

Reported murders, suicides of trans people soar in Brazil

first_imgTopics : The number of transgender people killed in Brazil this year has risen by 70% over last year, according to research underscoring the South American country’s rank as the world’s deadliest place for trans people.The 129 trans people murdered since January already exceeds the total killings in 2019, according to a report by the National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals (ANTRA), a local activist organization.The number of trans people – 16 – who died by suicide in the first six months of 2020 is a third higher than last year as well, ANTRA said. “The outlook is bleak,” said Bruna Benevides, a trans activist and author of ANTRA’s report, via messaging service WhatsApp.”The death of trans people … starts long before the trigger is pulled. It’s in the insults, the evictions from home, the lack of job opportunities, it’s at school where gender is never discussed,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Brazil has made a number of strides in transgender rights in recent years, such as a Supreme Court ruling last year that transphobia and homophobia are criminal offences.A 2018 ruling by the highest court allowed trans people to change their names and gender on official documents without undergoing surgery.center_img Despite the legal recognition, gay and trans Brazilians face prejudice and widespread violence in the socially conservative country where powerful Evangelical churches are highly critical of LGBT+ rights.The nation of some 200 million people regularly ranks as the deadliest country worldwide for trans people, according to the Trans Murder Monitoring research project.Activists say social prejudice has grown under right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro who regularly speaks out against “gender ideology,” a conservative term used to condemn progressive ideas on sex and gender.”People feel legitimized expressing the hate that has been encouraged in every speech, in every lack of action, in every manipulation of public opinion against the boogeyman of gender ideology,” Benevides said.The coronavirus pandemic has made matters worse, activists say, with trans people locked out of jobs or trapped in unsupportive or abusive home lives during lockdown measures.A pandemic hot spot, Brazil has registered 4.15 million cases of the coronavirus and the official death toll has soared past 126,000 people, according to Health Ministry data.A survey published in June found a quarter of unemployed gay and trans Brazilians had lost their jobs during the pandemic, and that joblessness among LGBT+ Brazilians was almost double the nation’s overall rate.”This whole scenario creates a process of sickness caused by the lack of public policies to prevent suicide and transphobic violence,” Benevides said.The report from ANTRA, published late on Monday, was based on reports of killings in local media, on social networks and from partner groups.However, the authors said the true number of murders could be much higher than what has been reported.last_img read more

Pardew remains resolute

first_imgAlan Pardew is even more determined to turn things around at Newcastle after finding his family and friends caught in the crossfire amid a furious debate over his future. The manager admitted in the immediate aftermath of the game that he expected to hold discussions with the billionaire – who, it was revealed on Thursday, has increased his stake in Rangers to almost nine per cent – this week, although club sources later insisted there would be no “crisis” talks. Pardew said: “I spoke to Mike and the chief executive [Lee Charnley], and the message is very much, ‘How can we support you?’. “I would not expect any different, even if they were thinking differently privately. They have been very solid and I appreciate that. “It’s getting lost in the wash a little bit, that I’m here out of arrogance or Mike’s being stubborn about it to annoy people. “We’re not. We’re just trying to get what is right for the team and it’s obvious that the team isn’t functioning very well at the moment. “But there is no lack of fight and that is something which is important. There have been some harsh words on the training ground and that is where they’ll stay. We need a bit more.” Asked if this is the most difficult period he has had in his managerial career, Pardew replied: “Yeah, it probably is. But I have had difficult periods before.” The Magpies boss at least received a boost on Thursday afternoon when midfielder Cheick Tiote re-affirmed his commitment to the club after quotes emerged in his native Ivory Coast suggesting he would seek a move in January. Tiote, the subject of a rejected summer bid from Lokomotiv Moscow, told Newcastle’s official website, “I saw the quotes that appeared yesterday, but they are not accurate. “Yes, there was some interest in me over the summer and that can be a bit distracting, but nothing came of it. “I’m back to full fitness and only thinking about doing my best for the team. We are not in a good position in the league right now and I want to get us up to where we should be. “I am as committed as I have ever been to Newcastle.” He said: ‘It’s not something that I’m used to, in the past two or three weeks. I’m going about my business as I normally do. “My family and friends worry me a little bit, because it’s started going past football media a little bit at times. That’s not nice. “But that makes me more determined and that’s just the make-up that I have. I don’t shy away from it. I’ve been out and about all week. I’ve been out in town and I will continue to do that.” Pardew, who revealed he has had fans express their hope that he will fight his way through as well as some who have been less supportive, heads for Swansea on Saturday knowing another defeat would further fuel the fires of his increasingly vocal critics. However, he is refusing to walk away from a job he insists he treasures. He said: “You have to understand that this is my business. I love this football club. “The players are feeling a little bit of the stress and the heat that is upon them. They are a young group and I need to help them. I will do that until such point where it comes that I can’t help them anymore.” Owner Mike Ashley, whose tongue-in-cheek threat to sack Pardew if he lost at the Britannia Stadium prompted fresh headlines last week, was there in person to witness the latest setback to a team which was substantially, although perhaps not as extensively as it might have been, remodelled during the summer. The 53-year-old remains in charge at St James’ Park despite a 1-0 defeat at Stoke on Monday evening which left the club second from bottom in the Barclays Premier League without a win this season and having collected three points on only five occasions in 2014. Pardew has had to endure vitriolic calls for his head from sections of his own club’s support in recent weeks and while he admits that has been tough, he is unhappy that others have been affected too. Press Associationlast_img read more