What’s News In This Story?
-Miami Shores Vice Mayor Sean Brady has installed a solar panel system on his roof, a step that he hopes encourages others to get on board with the technology.
-When he was elected to the village council in 2017 Brady said that he was challenged by a resident about what he had actually done on climate change.
-The resident said to Brady: “I really don’t want you doing this pie in the sky stuff, what have you personally done to be able to reduce your carbon footprint?”
-Brady said that he was glad he was able to tell the resident that he was pursuing a solar panel system at his home.
-Brady said that the system has been running since the end of April and that it usually generates more power than he uses on a typical sunny day.
-Brady should make up for the price of the system in 7 years time due to his lower monthly electric bill. He eventually wants to be off of the FPL grid entirely.
-Brady said that Florida’s regulatory environment is not conducive for consumers who are interested in going solar.
-As a result, Brady said that he wants Miami Shores to lead the way by making things easier for residents to install solar units.
-An example of this is the fact that the village has waived permitting fees for panels for the next year.
-There is also a local Northern Miami-Dade Solar Co-op that Brady hopes can build enough scale to make a difference. Miami Shores has signed on as a partner with the co-op.
-Brady said that he wants Miami Shores to eventually put solar panels on all of the village’s municipal buildings and he hopes to see change in state laws so that homeowners can have more choices on the issue.
——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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#VestGate: UK University Challenge Program Ignites Controversy Over What It Means To Be “Intelligent”By Mariam Ansar
University Challenge, hosted by Jeremy Paxman and witness to the UK’s most intelligent of students going head to head to represent their universities, is a show which can clearly be seen to favour substance over style.
Focused on providing only the most gruelling of questions, its reputation is one of baffled English home-audiences rejoicing when answering correctly between themselves, university pride, and the classic jumper-collared-shirt combo. However, one episode, which aired last week, hosted one contestant whose choice of attire raised more than a few eyebrows.
Kamel Shah of King’s College, Cambridge, injected a certain amount of controversy into the show courtesy of his leather vest and gold chain.
Raising questions on the idea of propriety, some argued that the values of BBC 2, typically home of the straight-edged middle-class crowd, had been compromised. For many, the clothing choice was regarded as a sign of disrespect, aligned on ideas of good manners and appropriate attire which being on a show as esteemed as University Challenge supposedly demands:
— The Weirwolf (@jon_weir) September 7, 2015
However, the issue of the vest could be seen to prompt a much deeper discussion. When it comes to representations of intelligence, is there something inherently problematic in disputing the decency of someone who refused to toe the line of what many see as an out-dated ideal?
Shah in his leather vest, dragging #universitychallenge kicking and screaming into the late 1990s.
— Ali (@AliBonce) September 7, 2015
King’s Shah – brave choice of vest-top, defying usual boring clothes expectations for #universitychallenge. Nice one!
— Ted Loveday (@TedTalksUK) September 7, 2015
It is no secret that questions on the University Challenge appeal to an educational standard more at home with the privately-educated than anything else; which isn’t to say that its audience must simply be privately-educated. It simply suggests that when questions are focused on, for example, literature of the 17th century, Latin translation, or minimalism in music, one wonders at the concept of common knowledge, and knowledge in itself.
An example of previous University Challenge questions:
“Your starter for 10: A schoolboy play-on-words between Latin and English, what jocular translation is usually given to the phrase semper ubi sub ubi?
Three bonus questions on the opening lines of novels:
(a) Which novel, first published in serial form from 1914 to 1915, begins “Once upon a time and a very good time it was…”?
(b) “It was a dark and stormy night”’ are the first words of the 1830 novelPaul Clifford by which writer, whose other works include Eugene Aramand The Last Days of Pompeii?
(c) The novels Midnight’s Children, The Thirty-Nine Steps, Robinson Crusoe and Tristram Shandy all open with which word?”
What does intelligence mean and what is it measured by? When contestants famously previously failed to recognise a musical question sampling the modern R&B sounds of Frank Ocean, one must wonder as to what extent the non-typical, but very valid, contributions of the rest of the world are unnoticed by the majority’s standards.
It is very likely that Shah’s vest is improper, a fashion faux-paux which does not do well to read too much into. We cannot be sure that he donned the chain and the vest to question the legitimacy of educational standards. However, it is also clear that the impropriety can be interpreted as a sign of defiance. Within the elitist environment with which we both patrol the playground of the deemed intelligent and set the standard, there are remnants of inequality which would favour the symbolism of, for lack of better words, of the jumper-wearer over the vest-wearer.
#GeekAndGangsta. The hash-tag speaks for itself. It’s clear our clothes feature their own identities, can speak without saying of our cultural awareness. But as culture is so easily manipulated, the inference of what this can mean cannot be easily decided upon.
The conclusion is that Shah chose to don non-typical attire on a game show set to test intelligence and provided the ripples of an aftermath which suggest that clothing is not just clothing: the underlying current of values being tied up with appearance, and in this case intelligence, is definite.
Cover Photo: Iain Weir/TwitterPost Views: 863
What Do You Think?
By Morgan Parker
With the 2016 presidential election quickly approaching, it’s about time I raise my hand and toss my two cents onto the table.
Because I’m Canadian, so I think I have a reasonably unbiased view of the dramatics and posturing going on down there.
Also, when I look at the economic climate and political culture happening in your country, I see some similarities with what the US is dealing with today and what we dealt with a year or so ago.
Allow me to state my disclaimers.
I’m not a politics guy.
My wife holds a bachelor’s degree in political science (in my defense, I didn’t discover that ghost in her closet until after we were engaged), which offsets my own ignorance. And, as mentioned above, I’m Canadian.
But my specialty is economics and common sense, which have nothing to do with my nationality.
There are two obvious parallels between the US today and Canada in 2015 when we hit the polls.
The first parallel is that when we elected Justin Trudeau, our economy was pretty strong.
Not the kind of economy where you felt it was 2007 all over again. But it was strong enough.
Despite some soft jobs numbers for May, the US economy is doing alright.
So JT (Justin Trudeau, not Justin Timberlake who would also make for a pretty cool president, or “prime minister” as he’s officially known in Canada, and kudos to my wife for the clarification) had the tailwind of a strong economy at his back just as Trump does today.
But more importantly (and this would be the second parallel) JT used the nation’s political discontent to push him over that line into the prime minister’s office.
Canada’s political system was broken in 2015, just like yours is right now, and as voters we were fed up with it.
And that is exactly what’s working in Trump’s favor today. It’s what got Barrack Obama elected; I remember sitting in front of the television with wide eyes and thinking that BO had something nobody else had: an argument for accountability and transparency.
The problem with BO is that accountability and transparency have no place in the political domain.
To incorporate those things into your campaign is like promising the return of unicorns and Vikings with free rides for everyone (cotton candy on weekends, anyone?).
Anyway, as Canadians, we sent a pretty strong message in 2015.
Oh yeah, we elected a kayak instructor to the prime minister’s office. In fairness, JT was also a school teacher but in the same way we think of Trump as a real estate developer first and a TV personality second, I think of our prime minister as a kayak instructor first and a teacher second, not that either of those careers qualifies him to run a country.
My common sense tells me the reason we elected JT had little to do with wanting to learn how to tackle white water rapids, and even less to do with our paranoia about children-drowning incidents on family canoeing trips.
My spidey senses suggest we elected a pretty boy because we were fed up with the status quo.
Our conservative government not only lacked personality, but our minority government called elections whenever someone couldn’t get along—now, JT smacks people into line, according to the media.
Plus we were tired of going to the polls during hockey season.
I’m worried that’s the same mistake my US neighbors might make.
A lot of people like Trump and, in their defense, if BO couldn’t bring back unicorns or the Vikings, much less deliver on his promise of accountability and transparency, how much trouble can Trump cause for the greatest nation on the planet?
You’ve had celebrity presidents before (one with an airport, schools, libraries and maybe even movie theaters named after him).
On a serious note, times have changed. Celebrities might no longer have what it takes to serve as the face of your nation. Think about it: Our economy is global now. Domestic actions come with global consequences. Remember the financial crisis? It crippled entire countries, many of them larger than Rhode Island.
The world also makes the US an easy scapegoat.
Today, everyday Americans have incredible power, and sending a message to the White House that you’re tired of a lack in accountability and transparency (like we are in Canada), you’re fed up with the rhetoric and abuses of power (like we are in Canada), you’re no longer willing to take the heat for your politicians’ blunders and inadequacies (like we are in Canada) is not an easy solution.
Trust me, my kayaking-lessons-for-life card doesn’t count for much when I’m visiting Florida in the winter.
In Canada, I wish we had united better.
I wish we’d had the foresight to see how the world would view our young, inexperienced leader when he advises on nuclear strategies, military actions, economic sanctions, and any other very real thing that has very real consequences somewhere else.
People, we’re not kayaking down the Mississippi with a pound of weed in our backpacks singing kumbaya to make things better; we’re sitting at the table with the world’s most powerful leaders, people who don’t take “you’re fired” very lightly.
This November, think it through.
Make informed decisions about your leadership. Times have changed, and it’s more important than ever that your great nation takes a stand and sends the right message, not just to the White House, but to the globe.
Morgan Parker spent twelve years sifting through boxes of research before sitting down and writing a novel titled 1986. Parker has written seven other novels since 2012 (including the popular Violets & Violence and Surviving Goodbye) and is praised for his unique voice and storytelling ability. For more info on Parker visit, www.officialmorganpar
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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What Do You Think?
By Allyn Farach
Hobe Sound, FL is a sleepy town in Martin County where people work, play, and enjoy a quiet life.
But for over twenty years, the people of Hobe Sound lived alongside an important piece of history that they little about: an inactive cemetery hosting over twenty graves.
Down Kingsley Road, what’s informally known as Gomez Cemetery rests quietly alongside a small neighborhood.
The cemetery was part of the Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church, and resided in Hobe Sound in 1910 and closed in 1991.
Captain Lloyd Jones, a retired captain of the Martin County Sheriff’s Department, has a personal connection with the cemetery.
“My father, Isiah Jones, is interred in the cemetery, and as a boy, I grew up in the same church where he attended and my mother attended,” Jones said in an interview with RISE NEWS.
The church resided in Hobe Sound until it burned down in 1992, according to a Palm Beach Post article from that time.
The church itself relocated to Jacksonville afterwards, but the cemetery stayed.
“I think at that point in time, when the church services ceased, I think that began the time when the deterioration of the cemetery began,” Jones said.
Photos dating back to 2007 show the graveyard surrounded by weeds and brambles, and registers display the various states of damage that some of the headstones and graves are in.
“There’s people out there,” Boldenow said. “You just don’t want to see them not have their proper respects.”
“It’s a really sad thing if you’re hearing this about other cemeteries around the country and around the state as well, but I don’t know if any of them have been in this type of disrepair,” Kevin Boldenow, a photographer who concentrates on disappearing Florida landmarks.
A local showed Boldenow Gomez Cemetery, and he took some pictures of the cemetery before an initial cleanup and posted them on social media to encourage people to become involved in Gomez Cemetery’s restoration.
“There’s people out there,” Boldenow said. “You just don’t want to see them not have their proper respects.”
Regarding attempts to preserve the cemetery, Boldenow explained, “Cemeteries, they’re walking museums, they tell stories. If we let them go, if we neglect it like we have been, those stories disappear.”
There is engagement in the restoration of the cemetery.
Pastor James Gibbons of the AME South Conference has also been involved in the cemetery’s renovation.
“There [is] other work that we also handle as conference trustees, entrusted by the Church to assert that all properties of the AME church is safeguarded and taken care of as much as possible,” Gibbons said in a phone interview.
Gomez Cemetery falls under the jurisdiction of the 11th District African Methodist Episcopal South Conference, which extends from Fort Pierce to Key West.
As a member of the Conference, Gibbons volunteered to be the coordinator of Gomez Cemetery’s cleanup.
In Gibbons’ case, this involves working with local organizations like Keep Martin Beautiful and organizing the cleanup.
For the folks who have worked hard to cleanup the long forgotten cemetery, they do it out of duty as Rev. Patricia Wallace, vice chair of the Board of Trustees of the AME South Conference explained in a phone interview.
“We are happy to be working with Martin County and its other partners as we do the cleanup and restoration of the Gomez Cemetery property,” Wallace said. “We take pride in the work that we do on behalf of the AME church. It is our responsibility, it’s given to protect and take care of our properties, as entrusted into the hands of others on behalf of the AME church.”
Jones, the retired captain from the Martin County Sheriff’s Department vast connections around Martin County enabled him to help in the cemetery’s restoration.
There are ways that other people can help.
Call 782-781-1222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to help with the cleanup of Gomez Cemetery.
Cover Photo Credit: Kevin BoldenowPost Views: 1,529
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