A group of Vermont colleges, universities, and high schools has signed an agreement with a Chinese group to promote the schools to Chinese students seeking to study abroad, as well as opportunities for Vermonters to study there.Last week, Education Vermont USA, Shanghai Overseas Affairs Service Center, and North American High-Tech Center, signed an International Memorandum of Understanding at the Equatorial Hotel in Shanghai to jointly promote Sino-US cooperation and investment.“This agreement opens the door for the parties to begin discussing and developing new mutually beneficial projects that link education to economic development in China and Vermont,” said Ali Sarafzade, Director of International Trade at the Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development.This event was part of the trade mission from the State of Vermont led by Governor Jim Douglas. Douglas attended the signing ceremony in support of this initiative to promote educational exchange, investment and business cooperation between China and Vermont.“It is an honor for me to be here today to participate in this groundbreaking event,” Douglas told the participants. “I wish you well and look forward to supporting your efforts to create opportunities that benefit our respective students, states and countries.” Education Vermont USA is a consortium of more than 20 colleges, universities and high schools from the State of Vermont. The schools are among the best in United States and offer many options for Chinese students from liberal arts to professional studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels.The institutions have a shared vision to promote global citizenship and sustainable economic development through international education.The three-party Sino-US IMOU is intended to promote Vermont’s educational institutions to Chinese students interested in high quality education combined with the opportunity to live and study in a State that values environmentally sustainable economic development. The IMOU is also intended promote opportunities for students at Vermont institutions to study Chinese language, culture, business in China.Shanghai Overseas Affairs Service Center, a leading overseas affairs company with more than 20 years experience in overseas study and investment, will be aggressively promoting the student exchange.North American High-Tech Center in both the United States and China can use its influence with American and Chinese industry to promote synergies between industry, academia, research and investment. It will better supplement the traditional knowledge delivery by academic institutions.“This initiative is a truly unique partnership that promotes both inbound and outbound mobility, includes secondary and postsecondary students, private and public institutions and partners with government and business to support innovation and economic development,” said Education Vermont USA President James Cross, who is also Associate Provost for Education Abroad and Senior International Officer at Champlain College.Chairman of Shanghai Overseas Affairs Service Center, Mr. Jieming Wang said that the tri-party cooperation between the two countries will increase the demand for U.S. education and investment.“We will work with our partners, making efforts to promote Vermont’s secondary and higher education,” said Ms. Ying Zhao, Education Promotion Representative from North American High-Tech Center. “Only by encouraging more students to go out and come in, becoming more aware of each other’s culture, society and history, will we help students from both countries know each other better.”The tri-party partners agreed to provide students with better services and to develop more skills for the global economy.Education Vermont USA is a consortium of secondary and postsecondary schools, state government, and businesses committed to expanding international education collaboration that helps prepare students to become actively engaged global citizens and leaders.Member schools are Bennington College; Burlington College; Castleton State College; Community College of Vermont; Champlain College; Green Mountain College; Johnson State College; Lyndon State College; Marlboro College; Middlebury College; New England Culinary Institute Norwich University; St. Michaels College; Sterling College; Southern Vermont College; Vermont Technical College; Vermont Law School; St. Johnsbury Academy; Lyndon Institute; Vermont Academy; The Putney School and the University of Vermont.Source: State of Vermont. 10.27.2010.
THUMBS UPThere are 84,000 dams in the U.S. that provide flood control, drinking water, agricultural irrigation, hydropower, and recreation. Dams are engineered structures—like roads, bridges, and railroads—that make our high quality of life possible. Most dams that exist in the U.S. were constructed between 1950 and 1990. As with much U.S. infrastructure, many existing river dams are aging and in need of repair, rehabilitation, or even removal if they have out-lived their original purposes.Hydropower is one of the crucial uses for dams, but less than 3 percent of existing dams produce hydroelectricity. Hydropower is the largest source of renewable electricity in the U.S. In addition to providing baseload and peaking power, hydropower projects also keep electrical transmission systems working smoothly.The potential adverse impacts of dams are well documented, to be sure. These may include altered stream flow, habitat degradation, blockage of the upstream and downstream migrations of fish, mortality of fish passing through turbines, and lower rates of dissolved oxygen downstream of dams.Over the last several decades, however, an extensive regulatory system has been developed to detect and correct such problems. For example, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) operates a voluntary certification process that identifies hydropower projects that have reduced their impacts and are investing in improvements in their local rivers. LIHI evaluates projects based on specific criteria: water release patterns below the project, water quality, fish passage, protection of threatened/endangered species, cultural resources, recreation, and requests for dam removal. More than 100 projects in 27 states have satisfied all of the LIHI criteria.The fact that dams have the potential for adverse effects cannot be denied, but many of these can be reduced or eliminated with good siting and operation, plus modern mitigation practices. When dams are well managed, their net benefits are strongly positive.Dr. Michael J. Sale is the executive director for the Low Impact Hydro Institute.THUMBS DOWNWild rivers—ones that run free from headwaters to confluence—have nearly been wiped from the map and from our imagination. “Working” rivers—rivers with dams—have been replacing them. Modern dams, permanent and concreted, are the most charismatic of the giant water projects: nameable, decorated, architectural, triumphant, wired. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation have practiced other similar techniques of reshaping terrain, including levees, canals, pipelines, jetties. Dams might be the most devastating.Dams disrupt natural systems and thwart the work of rivers. Dams block fish runs and seasonal flood patterns—thus also their redistribution of nutrients, like marine nitrogen delivered by salmon to feed forests far inland. Hydroelectricity and irrigation are far more expensive when we count down-the-line costs of blocking forest regrowth, aquifer recharge, and topsoil renewal. Instead, dams encourage unsustainable growth, such as the mirage-metropolises of Phoenix and Las Vegas. Out-of-place agriculture makes deserts bloom briefly, but then leaves fields salted, palms wilting.Dams displace people, often indigenous people and powerless people, from their river lifelines. In Tennessee and Kentucky, I grew up loving TVA lakes, not knowing that those lakes had drowned fertile bottomlands, homes, graveyards, living creeks, and human memories. The lakes were controlled and speedboat-clogged, with stinking bathtub-rings of stripped chert and shale.The same story can be found across the country and around the world. In California, the Winnemem Wintu tribe fights a Shasta Dam add-on that will flood vital sacred sites. The Winnemem’s ongoing displacement is mirrored in language endangerment; only a few fluent speakers remain. In China, Three Gorges dam has displaced over one million people. Worldwide, dams also displace democracy. Dams are built as required elements of World Bank and IMF deals that rarely benefit the local people. Most of the generated hydropower is delivered to big cities, not the rural villages displaced by the dams.Dams are made to fail. Huge reservoir surfaces mean terrible annual evaporation losses. Even the largest reservoirs silt up; Hoover Dam’s reservoir has less than 100 years left. Because of dams’ intense resource concentration, it’s an expensive failure. And dam collapse is nightmarish: catastrophic release of scouring grit, heavy metals, and tainted mud down-river.Dams are not the solution to our energy crisis. Solar and wind can provide far more reliable, long-term energy than hydropower with far fewer environmental costs.Wild, free-flowing rivers also provide the best recreation, whether you’re an angler, whitewater paddler, or swimming hole enthusiast. Rather than hordes of pollution- spewing speedboats on artifical lakes, the waters of Appalachia can once again run free and clean. The Blue Ridge is one of the world’s most ideal spots for wild, free-flowing rivers enjoyed by anglers, kayakers, and hikers—as well as by healthy, intact, abundant ecosystems.It’s hard to see our way past dams to rivers that will really work again. But dam removal projects are gaining popularity. Once dams go, we’ll rediscover the wonders of wild, clear rivers teeming with fish.July Cole is co-editor of Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground.
Press Release, Public Health, Results, Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced several additional steps the commonwealth is taking to help combat the opioid addiction crisis. These steps will help tighten the rules under which medication such as buprenorphine can be prescribed under the Medicaid program.“Success in the fight against opioid crisis requires that we address the issue from all angles,” said Governor Wolf. “Not only must we make sure that quality treatment options are available from Pennsylvanians suffering from an opioid use disorder, we must also make sure that we are doing everything we can to make sure treatment is appropriate and that we keep unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of those who are fighting the disease of addiction.”In order to help make sure that medication is used appropriately, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will take the following actions for Medicaid providers:Require all ordering, prescribing or referring providers who are identified on claims be enrolled in the Medicaid program. This will prevent current cash providers who are not enrolled in the Medicaid program from having their prescriptions filled at the pharmacy;Work with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) to cease allowing providers to accept cash payments from Medicaid recipients;Audit and potentially un-enroll providers who prescribe medication such as buprenorphine without an office visit;Encourage Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to terminate poor providers that do not meet certain quality metrics;Implement standardized prior authorization guidelines similar to those most recently implemented for the Medicaid Fee-For-Service Program; andRefer high-volume providers with poor quality records to DHS Bureau of Program Integrity for review and action.“We are tightening the medication rules to ensure that the Medicaid providers writing these prescriptions are thoroughly treating the individual, coordinating care, and getting folks the counseling services they need while going through this treatment,” said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “Our physical health, behavioral health, and pharmaceutical providers need to work together to provide the best care possible.”“If you, or someone you love, is receiving treatment from an Medicaid-enrolled provider, you should not pay out of pocket for that treatment. We ask that you refer the provider to DHS’ tip line at 1-844-DHS-TIPS,” said Governor Wolf.In addition to the latest actions, the commonwealth has:Strengthening the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) so that doctors are required and able to check the system each time they prescribe opioids;Developed nine new prescribing guidelines to help doctors who provide opioid prescriptions to their patients;Created the warm handoff clinical pathway to facilitate referrals from the emergency department to substance abuse treatment;Established a new law limiting the amount of opioids that can be prescribed to a minor to seven days; andDesignated 45 Centers of Excellence, central hubs that provide navigators to assist those with opioid use disorders with behavioral and physical health care, along with medication-assisted treatment, as needed.New investments in battling the opioid epidemic in the 2017-2018 budget include:$10 million to expand access to naloxone for first responders through competitive grant funds will be awarded through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).$3.4 million to expand specialty drug courts in PCCD to expand treatment strategies to divert offenders into more meaningful treatment and recovery.$26.5 million in federal Cures Act funds beginning in 2017-18 that will be used to expand access to treatment services, particularly for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured.Continued investments in battling the opioid epidemic in the 2017-2018 budget include:$20.4 to continue the 45 Centers of Excellence throughout Pennsylvania which will help coordinate holistic treatment for people suffering from substance use disorder.$45 million to continue to fund services to address heroin and opioid addition through the Single County Authorities.Over $3 million for PDMP, which allows medical practitioners to see what their patients are being prescribed, and to make sure that, what they are prescribing is not at odds with that person’s health. It will also allow a medical practitioner help a person get into treatment if they believe they have identified a patient suffering from a substance use disorder.If an individual needs treatment for substance use disorder, and they are on Medicaid, they should call their MCO to determine a provider that is in their network. If the person is in the fee-for-service program, they can call DHS at 800-692-7462 for assistance in locating a provider.For more information, visit www.pa.gov. Pennsylvania Tightens Medication Rules to Help Combat Opioid Crisis March 06, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter