Black entrepreneurs in the spotlight

first_imgMany years before Uber and Lyft, there were jitney cabs: ride-share services created by and for black Americans discriminated against by taxi companies. It was a business idea that originated in the black community, as well as an innovation in the marketplace. It’s also just one example of a successful black industry excluded from the narrative of the business world. Even at Harvard Business School, the successes of black entrepreneurs were largely invisible in business case studies. Fewer than 80 out of 10,000 business cases taught to students featured black business leaders — until Steven Rogers took action. He was eager to partner with Baker Library to help students realize the value of data to support their business ideas.Professor Rogers created the “Black Business Leaders and Entrepreneurship” course to highlight the accomplishments of black protagonists and to identify, celebrate, and recognize black brilliance. In addition to studying business cases, students in the course are also challenged to find markets in the black community that are not being served. They are asked to come up with an idea and a solid business plan for a product or service that addresses a proven need. Read Full Storylast_img read more

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Visiting poet kicks off series at Saint Mary’s

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Poetry Club hosted Austin Segrest, poetry editor of “The Missouri Review” and the club’s first poet of its inaugural poet speaker series Wednesday. Senior Susan Head, a member of the Poetry Club, introduced Segrest, who was chosen to speak in the series under the guidance of English professor Dionne Bremyer, one of Segrest’s friends who has encouraged students in the Saint Mary’s community to attend literary events and bring more speakers to campus. Segrest, born in Birmingham, Alabama, said he studied classics at Emory University. Head said his poetry is influenced by many of the classical poets, such as Ovid and Virgil, and their use and creation of myth. Segrest said he was also influenced by his study of language, his time studying abroad in Rome, his love of music and dance, and his mother, the subject of most of his elegies. “I’m fascinated by the challenge of how we can approximate what music can do in words while still using sound,” Segrest said. “That whole adventure is endlessly fascinating to me.” Segrest said he felt excited to be at Saint Mary’s, detailing how he believes he is “traveling east to west through his life,” a metaphor coined by poet John Donne. “It is really great to be in a place where I can tell there is such a love and care for the written word, and it’s a real honor for my poetry and my writing to be a part of this.  It really means the world,” Segrest said. Segrest said he has used psychoanalysis to revisit his personal and family past and to investigate the roots from which he sprung and the steps he has taken thus far in life. “My mother died when I was first coming into my own as a writer, so it was very influential on me, and it’s no surprise that it’s something I explored a lot in psychoanalysis,” Segrest said.   “There were just a few confluences that came together in my life, like I had just graduated from Emory University, I was working a research job, and actually living with my mother; I had moved in back home and so I think there were a lot of intersections coming together that then came up in the therapy that followed.” Junior Elizabeth Kenney said she enjoyed Segrest’s reading and liked learning his background. “As a writer, I thought it was really interesting to hear about his techniques and the subjects he chooses to use in his writing,” Kenney said. “I liked the rhythm in his poetry and the honesty and how it sounded just like a conversation.  I think he made an impression on many of the students in attendance, because he was so casual about his poetry but it reached very deep and touched on many topics people could relate to. “I thought his use of classical references were breathtaking, and having studied abroad in Rome, also, I liked making these connections and thinking of what the allusions mean for myself and then within his poems.” Founder of the poetry club, junior Claire Bleecker, said she began the club this year in order to learn more about poetry and to expose herself and other students to more types of this art. “We were excited to have Segrest come to Saint Mary’s, because I think it’s so important for young writers to know that becoming a poet is a plausible thing,” Bleecker said. “Poets aren’t just these mythological creatures but very genuine and kind people.” Contact Kelly Konya at kkonya01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

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Muddy Water: The Dirt on Stream Sedimentation and Forest Roads

first_imgThen there’s the cost of filtering muddy water. Many of these streams are sources of drinking water in towns throughout Western North Carolina. For example, Catheys Creek in Pisgah Forest is the sole water source for Brevard. Sediment that enters this creek from nearby Forest Service roads requires additional filtration at the treatment plant before it is safe for consumption. These increased costs at water treatment facilities are paid for by state taxes. As a result, we find ourselves paying for the impacts of sedimentation in more ways than one. What YOU Can Do As for recreational access roads that outdoor enthusiasts frequently find themselves on, regular inspections occur. Barry Jones, the Engineering Staff Officer with the National Forests in North Carolina states, “major culverts and bridges are on an inspection cycle every two years”. However, much damage can occur to road infrastructure between inspections. Culverts can become clogged with debris and soil in a matter of days if the conditions are right. When you’re driving to your next adventure, take a moment to notice potential sources of sedimentation and the condition of your favorite streams. Sedimentation issues are a priority for the Forest Service, and reporting this information can be the difference between thousands of pounds of soil entering our waterways or effectively conserving our aquatic natural resources. As travelers on gravel roads nearly every time we venture into the forest, we can serve as the eyes and ears for the USFS through these simple actions. Nick Holshouser, a local in the Brevard area, has had success in contacting various organizations regarding sedimentation from a logging operation in Pisgah National Forest. “You could clearly see brown water flowing off the site and into the river. Just above that, the North Fork was running clear.” Holshouser contacted the Southern Environmental Law Center, who then contacted the U.S. Forest Service. The Dirt on Sedimentation Working Culvert Some culverts are so damaged or buried that they can be overlooked during inspection. Additionally, with an estimated 1.7 million recreational vehicles traveling USFS roads daily, degradation can occur much more rapidly than on logging roads. So, in addition to the USFS monitoring, Jones continued, “early reporting [by citizens] of road damage is always helpful.” As demonstrated by Holshouser, keeping an eye out for these issues while visiting recreational areas of the National Forests can make a huge difference. This is bad news for wildlife in the streams. By reducing sunlight and clouding up the water, sedimentation disrupts the aquatic food web. Plants are unable to photosynthesize, while insect, fish and amphibian eggs are smothered. Many fish, including our native brook trout, can’t find food in the murky waters. In short, the impacts of sedimentation are felt throughout the aquatic food web and cause some of the most treasured species in our region to suffer. He also posted pictures to social media which were picked up and featured in a story by the Transylvania Times. “From there, the Forest Service reached out to me, and I went to the site with them several times. I continued monitoring throughout the logging, and they continued to address my concerns.” The Forest Service’s role Citizens Can Play a Key Role in Improving the Health of Streamscenter_img Soil enters our waterways through a process called sedimentation. It isn’t well-known, but sedimentation is the primary water pollutant in our region. The main source of sedimentation in the clear streams of Western North Carolina’s National Forests is gravel roads managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS). Holshouser’s story also indicates that while the USFS works hard to prevent sedimentation issues, instances occur where a single site can have a large impact. Although the USFS has drastically increased the amount of recreational areas in recent decades, logging has historically been their focus and its impacts continue to be more well monitored and studied. The report, conducted by North Carolina Forest Hydrologists Brady Dodd and Dick Jones, concluded that 97% of the USFS practices resulted in streams with no visible sediment. While demonstrating promise that the USFS is effectively mitigating many potential sources of stream sedimentation during logging operations, logging roads make up only a portion of the total USFS roads and are not used by the public.  Many of these roads, which in total stretch 380,000 miles nationally, are the gateway into some of our favorite natural areas. The proximity of these roads to streams, paired with damaged culverts, causes excess soil to enter our water. Many of us are called outdoors by the sound of rushing water. In Southern Appalachia, there is no shortage of clear, flowing streams back-dropped by the beautiful hardwood forests and rolling mountains that define our region. Damaged Culvert We’ve all noticed these same streams rushing rapidly after a hard rain, now characterized by a light brown cloudy appearance caused by soil erosion. After several dry days, the water regains its typical character, yet the questions still exist: where did all that soil come from, what are the impacts, and how can I help? Think like a scientist. Collect information as you travel along forest roads that will help inform the proper authorities of what you notice. Take GPS coordinates with your smart phone and write notes so the responders have the right equipment to fix the issue. Document what you see with photographs. Scientists and engineers in our area have known that forest roads are a major source of sedimentation for almost a century. Since the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in Otto, NC, was established in 1934, experts have been conducting research to assess the impacts of these roads on local streams. In 2018, a ten-year assessment was released on the condition of logging roads in Croatan, Uwharrie, Pisgah, and Nantahala National Forests. Send the information you collect to multiple authorities. Sometimes federal or state agencies can be slow to respond. When you notice an erosion issue on a USFS road, you can contact local environmental organizations such as MountainTrue, the Forest Keepers Alliance, the Southern Environmental Law Center, Trout Unlimited, or Conserving Carolina in addition to the appropriate Ranger District. Consider bringing a “tool kit” along when you hike, bike, climb, or fish. This can include a small shovel, a handsaw, and flags. The shovel and handsaw can be used to clear built up soil, leaves, and other large debris from the entrance of a blocked culvert. The flags are useful to mark the location of a damaged culvert or other potential issues so that the responding authority knows the location of the site.last_img read more

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Death of Broward County Firefighter Ruled Homicide

first_imgThe Broward County Sheriff’s Office have ruled the death of a Coral Springs firefighter a homicide.The Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department confirmed over the weekend that a body found in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea was 39-year-old firefighter and paramedic Christopher Randazzo.BSO deputies found Randazzo’s body early Saturday morning.He was last seen alive round 1 a.m., on Saturday, according to BSO.The homicide took place between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. in Lauderdale By The Sea, authorities said.Randazzo had been with the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department since March.Randazzo attained his firefighter certification and his paramedic certification in 2018, according to Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department.Randazzo was honored by fellow firefighters Tuesday as his body was transported to a local funeral home.“Anyone with information is urged to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.”“A reward of $3,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest.”last_img read more

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