Clearing the air

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.Asked about her new job as a health communications specialist for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alicia Nelson, M.P.H. ’20, hesitated.“I was hired to do substance abuse messaging,” she said after a moment. “Then COVID happened.”Nelson started work at the consortium — a nonprofit aimed at addressing the health needs of Alaska Native and American Indian people — in late January, after earning a degree in health policy from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s M.P.H.-65 program. Now she’s working in the organization’s so-called “situation unit,” a team that helps manage the response to the fast-moving pandemic.Nelson said that her Harvard Chan School training in risk communication is proving invaluable. “Before coming to Harvard Chan School, I didn’t know there was a science to it,” she said. “But when it comes to COVID, setting up the right dialogue between experts and the community saves lives.”Skill buildingAfter majoring in sociology with a minor in public health at the University of Minnesota, Nelson accompanied her husband, a naval submarine officer, to various duty stations, including Kings Bay, Ga. Through the National Health Corps Florida, an AmeriCorps program, she completed a service term at a substance abuse clinic with a caseload of pregnant and postpartum women. She did her best to translate scientific literature into a recovery curriculum, but she wasn’t sure she fully understood what she was reading. “I needed more skills to do right by my clients,” she said. She decided to seek a master’s degree, and chose Harvard Chan School because she was impressed with the School’s rigorous quantitative training and its strong global network.She struggled through courses such as statistics and decision science, but now says she’s grateful for the training. “The quality of education I got at the School prepared me to participate in very high-level discussions on COVID response,” she said.,A problem that was personalA high point of Nelson’s Harvard Chan School education was her summer 2019 practicum, which gave her a chance to work on an issue that hit close to home. The practicum came about by accident. In late 2018, Nelson flew home to Alaska for winter break to find the outdoor temperature in the usual subzero range. However, the indoor temperature in her home was unusually and uncomfortably cold. Nelson’s family had stopped heating the house after they received a letter from state officials telling them that, because of poor air quality in the area where they lived — a town called North Pole, near Fairbanks — they were risking a fine of $1,000 for using their woodstove during a four-day “burn ban.” These are bans on using solid fuel-burning devices, such as woodstoves, and they’re issued intermittently each winter in the Fairbanks area depending on air quality forecasts. State officials knew that Nelson’s family had been burning wood during the ban because an air quality official had driven by and taken a picture of their chimney.Although many homes can also be heated by fuel oil, this option is often much more expensive than using a woodstove, Nelson said.Distressed that the burn ban would not expire until 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Nelson reached out to local community members to learn more. She was aware that air quality was a public health issue, but she also knew that burning wood or coal was how many people in North Pole and the surrounding region heated their homes and businesses.“Fairbanks is one of the most polluted cities in the nation in terms of fine particulate matter,” she said. “Between the temperature inversion, wood-burning stoves in the winter, and wildfires in the summer, Interior Alaska struggles with air quality year-round.” Nelson wondered if there was a way she could fashion a practicum aimed at bridging the divide between Alaskans accustomed to heating with wood or coal, and state and federal environmental officials who were trying to keep air pollution within federal limits. She wanted to help people in the community understand the serious health impacts of air pollution and to suggest alternative heating methods. But she also wanted government officials to be more thoughtful in how they communicated with people about air quality laws and regulations. “Fairbanks is one of the most polluted cities in the nation in terms of fine particulate matter. Between the temperature inversion, wood-burning stoves in the winter, and wildfires in the summer, Interior Alaska struggles with air quality year-round.” — Alicia Nelson, M.P.H. ’20 She hosted a “public comment” party — “it was sort of like a science fair,” she said — at the North Pole public library to share easy-to-digest information about federal air quality regulations, and to encourage residents to share written comments about them to the EPA. Nelson was thrilled that more than 30 people submitted comments, which prompted coverage in the local paper. “It was possibly the most rewarding day of the entire summer,” she said.Support from the Rose Fellowship also enabled Nelson to travel to Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 2019 to present her practicum work at the Arctic Circle Assembly, an annual event where representatives from governments, corporations, nonprofits, universities, think tanks, environmental groups, indigenous communities, and others discuss the future of the Arctic. “That’s one of the reasons I went to Harvard — because it provides a platform to connect with people all over the world,” she said.‘The right spot’The Fairbanks-area air quality issue is ongoing. “I didn’t change the tide of anything,” Nelson admits. “But I may have convinced some people to think about the ways they heat their homes. Some of my friends and family filled out applications for the woodstove change-out program, which offers people reimbursements for replacing their woodstoves. My mother-in-law even went with me to look at propane tanks. I consider that a victory!”Nelson is grateful that she finished her studies at Harvard Chan School before COVID-19 hit in full force, for how well the School prepared her, and for her current role. Recent projects have included compiling a document for tribal health leaders with clinical data on how COVID-19 is impacting Alaska Native patients, as well as a messaging campaign to promote diagnostic and antibody testing.“It’s extremely rewarding to use my education at home in Alaska,” she said. “I wish COVID wasn’t happening. But I never feel like my training and skill set aren’t useful here. I’m exactly where I should be.” “Alicia is really passionate about building connections and understanding through civil engagement and civil dialogue,” said Nancy Turnbull, senior lecturer on health policy and senior associate dean for professional education, who was Nelson’s adviser. With Turnbull’s encouragement, Nelson applied for and received a Rose Traveling Fellowship to support a practicum in Alaska. Funded by a gift from Deborah Rose, S.M. ’75, the Rose Fellowships supports students and postdoctoral fellows at Harvard Chan School to travel in the U.S. or abroad for internships, research, or other academic projects.During her practicum, Nelson worked with a team from the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s Division of Air Quality. She learned everything she could about the impact of PM2.5 pollution on health and the local economics of the air quality issue. Over the course of the summer she met with state and federal officials, as well as other stakeholders, such as local electricity suppliers, people from local hospitals and universities, and small business owners. Some of her meetings were so-called “Alaska formal” — very casual — occurring over activities like fly fishing or digging septic lines.She worked on developing a communications strategy to disseminate information about the local PM2.5 health burden. “I wanted to translate information about air quality in a way that my family could understand,” she said. “Not everyone in North Pole, Alaska, wants to look at the 2,000-page State Air Quality Control Plan.” “I didn’t change the tide of anything. But I may have convinced some people to think about the ways they heat their homes.” — Alicia Nelsonlast_img read more

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Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Roanoke, Virginia

first_imgYou don’t have to venture outside city limits to find world-class adventure in Roanoke.The Blue Ridge Parkway runs right through Star City, offering endless outdoor opportunities in town. The Roanoke River and Greenway are also close by, and so is the Murray Run Greenway. But the most celebrated outdoor oasis is Carvin’s Cove Nature Preserve. This preserve—the second largest municipal park in the nation—is only minutes from I-81 and less than eight miles from downtown Roanoke. Visitors to Carvin’s Cove have access to an 800-acre lake with available boat rentals and more than forty miles of well maintained multiple use trails.The Mill Mountain Star Trail is a 3.4 mile out-and-back that takes hikers along the Roanoke River to the summit of Mill Mountain, Roanoke’s highest point. Atop Mill Mountain you’ll find 500 acres of public parkland and impressive vistas stretching as far as 60 miles.Just beyond Roanoke is even more epic adventure. The George Washington and Jefferson National Forest is a beloved biking destination, and many of the country’s top runners flock to Roanoke each year for the Blue Ridge Marathon.Cudas_IB_0814_2DID YOU KNOW? Roanoke won last year’s Best Outdoor Towns contest; can it pull off a repeat?Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!last_img read more

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A four-storey riverfront retreat at East Brisbane has hit the market

first_img35 Laidlaw Pde, East BrisbaneJames and Anna Stephanos bought their 35 Laidlaw Pde home in East Brisbane about 17 years ago. They’ve since raised their four children on the property, but as the younger family members grow older, they have decided it is time to move, downsize and travel a bit more.Mr Stephanos said it was the view that first attracted them to the riverfront home. Also appealing was that it was very close to Churchie (Anglican Church Grammar School).During their ownership, Mr Stephanos said they had renovated twice.The first project involved the addition of an extra bedroom, installing a new kitchen, a cinema room and a fourth office level in 2012.James and Anna Stephanos at their home in East Brisbane. Picture: Annette Dew“Then, in 2014, (we) renovated the outside (of the home), including a new deck, paved to the river, glass fencing, jetty and we put in a new 10m pontoon,’’ Mr Stephanos said.While the inside of the home was beautiful, Mr Stephanos said one of his favourite places to spend time was on the rooftop deck.From here they have views across the Brisbane River.The view from Laidlaw Pde, East BrisbaneMore from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoIn fact there are expansive views from all the living areas, with two reaches of the Brisbane River and the Brisbane CBD as a backdrop.“Directly across (the river) is Merthyr Park, and to the left is Mowbray Park, so we see a lot of greenery as well,’’ Mr Stephanos said.“It’s a very liveable house and everyone has their own space.’’Imagine relaxing poolside with this view in front of you.The home is one of only 22 along that stretch of the Brisbane River.It spans four levels and has six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a media room, home office and a study.There are large separate living spaces and an entertainment deck with a swimming pool. There is also in-built seating in this area and a fire pit.The master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe and its ensuite features a spa bath.The home is on 384sq m of land and is within walking distance of Mowbray Park and the CityCat ferries.A private pontoon is plumbed and powered.35 Laidlaw Pde, East BrisbaneMarketing agent Henry Hodge said inner-city riverfront homes of this nature were tightly held.“We have plenty of interstate and inner city buyers looking for the right riverfront home, but there is a good mix of local buyers too,’’ he said.“This is one of the best and most solid constructs I’ve ever seen.”last_img read more

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Richmond woman arrested in connection with suspected hit-and-run at ‘Canal Days’

first_imgMetamora, In. — The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department made an arrest in connection with a suspected hit-and-run at the Canal Days festival on Saturday.A report from the sheriff’s department says around 3:50 p.m. deputies responded to a report of a three-year-old that had been run over by a van in the intersection of Clayborn Street and Hollands Alley.The investigation determined the van was southbound on Hollands Alley when she ran over the child’s foot despite warnings from the woman to stop. The driver, Shirley McKinney, 54, of Richmond, told the woman she would park and return to the scene, but she did not.A short time later police found McKinney in Metamora and took her into custody. McKinney has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injury and driving while suspended with a prior conviction. If convicted she could receive one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.The child was treated for non life-threatening injuries.last_img read more

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Amir Khan once again accuses Kell Brook of “running away” from a fight

first_img 2 months ago Amir Khan mourns shock, tragic death of newborn nephew, fellow fighters offer condolences “It made people feel like it’s me, the one running away from him. But it’s not because it’s Kell Brook who has, in a way, has not said he wants to fight me but moves up a weight and just avoids the fight, keeps avoiding the fight in different ways, you know, instead of verbally saying ‘I don’t want to fight you.’ He’s avoiding it by moving up in weight. By moving up in weight he shows he doesn’t want to fight me.” 5 months ago Amir Khan could quit boxing after coronavirus pandemic leaves him away from young son Written By 4 days ago Times When Raveena Tandon Worked With Salman Khan; Check Out The List Also Read l Boxing news: Tyson Fury calls out Deontay Wilder amid speculation of trilogy fight getting postponed Also Read l Boxing news: Tyson fires warning to Roy after obliterating training mitts with 5-punch comboImage credits: Amir Khan/ Instagram WATCH US LIVE SUBSCRIBE TO US 4 months ago Amir Khan pledges to help families in need in Pakistan amid COVID-19 crisis FOLLOW US First Published: 3rd September, 2020 18:53 IST WE RECOMMEND Adil Khan COMMENT LIVE TV 4 weeks ago Aamir Khan lands in Turkey to begin shooting for ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, see pics Amir Khan once again took a hit at Kell Brook this week, accusing his arch-rival of “avoiding” a mega-fight against him. Amir Khan and Kell Brook have been going back and forth for years but have never faced each other in the boxing ring. In 2018, Amir Khan signed a three-match contract with Matchroom Boxing, with the final bout expected to be against Brook. However, that failed to materialise as Khan opted to fight Terence Crawford, where he was stopped in six rounds by the WBO welterweight champion.Also Read l Boxing news: Evander Holyfield boasts stellar transformation as talk of boxing return gathers paceAmir Khan, who has not fought since June 2019, recently talked to Fight Hub TV where he revealed why a fight with Kell Brook never materialised and claimed that he’ll go after Manny Pacquiao if he’s given a chance to pick his next opponent. Amir Khan claimed that Kell Brook is “going nowhere” and the two could fight in the future. “At this time we’re talking to the likes of Kell Brook, there’s Manny Pacquiao. My first choice would be Manny Pacquiao, he’s such a legend in the sport,” Amir Khan added.Also Read l Boxing news: Mike Tyson participates in intense training session with Kurt AngleAmir Khan on why Khan vs Brook never happenedAmir Khan claimed that he was supposed to fight Kell Brook after Phil Lo Greco, but the latter moved up to 154lb (super welterweight) and that’s why he ended up fighting Terence Crawford. Amir Khan stated that people thought he was running from the fight, but in reality, it was Kell Brook. Amir Khan added that Kell Brook is scared of him, which is why he moved up in the weight class. Amir Khan then asked his rival to make it clear that he doesn’t want to fight him. Last Updated: 3rd September, 2020 18:53 IST Amir Khan Once Again Accuses Kell Brook Of “running Away” From A Fight Former unified light-welterweight world champion Amir Khan once again took a hit at Kell Brook, accusing his arch-rival of “avoiding” a mega-fight against him.last_img read more

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