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Showing posts from September, 2012

Alabama Power purchases electricity generated by wind in Oklahoma, Kansas | al.com

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Alabama Power purchases electricity generated by wind in Oklahoma, Kansas | al.com: BIRMINGHAM, Alabama --- Alabama Power Co. is adding more wind energy to its power portfolio, a deal with an attractive cost that further diversifies the company's mix of fuels.
With the most recent deal, approved this month by the Public Service Commission, the utility eventually will be bringing in 404 megawatts of electricity generated at wind farms in Oklahoma and Kansas. That amounts to about 3 percent of the electricity consumed by its customers.
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Environmental group says Mulberry Fork site on Warrior River unsuitable for mines | al.com

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Environmental group says Mulberry Fork site on Warrior River unsuitable for mines | al.com: after several years of fighting the mines through the conventional permit processes, the environmental group saw the petition as a way to address the fundamental question of whether coal mines belong on river stretches officially designated as public water sources.
"We think it is an effective tool, particularly in situations like this," said Eva Dil�lard, staff attorney for the group. "Is this the right thing to do for our source drinking water?"
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UAB professor gearing up for a year celebrating Proust | al.com

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UAB professor gearing up for a year celebrating Proust | al.com: Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of "Swann's Way," the first volume of what would become a sprawling seven-volume novel, Proust's masterpiece "In Search of Lost Time."
In preparation for surging interest in Proust, Carter will be updating and enhancing his Proust website, where subscribers can take a self-paced tour through the novel with Carter's lectures to guide them.
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Alabama landfill rules make dumping easy process | al.com

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Alabama landfill rules make dumping easy process | al.com: To some, Alabama appeared poised to become a dumping ground for the nation's trash. Local governments were hungry for the money being offered by landfill developers; landfill operators in Alabama offer low rates to their customers compared to more densely populated and highly regulated states to the north; and the state offers a relatively simple process for getting a permit to operate a landfill.
In the face of the mounting controversy, Gov. Robert Bentley issued a moratorium on new landfills shortly after he took office, and the Legislature later enacted another temporary moratorium. With the moratorium set to expire in May 2014, a team of experts from Auburn University, under contract with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, is conducting a series of public forums around the state to talk with residents about the state's system for issuing landfill permits and solicit suggestions for improving it.
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Alabama bogs come alive with butterflies at summer's end

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By Ben Raines
Alabama bogs come alive with butterflies at summer's end (photos) | al.com: As summer begins to fade, the pitcher plant bogs of Mobile and Baldwin Counties come alive with butterflies and moths. There are more than 100 species that call Alabama home. A dozen species could be seen during a walk of about 200 feet Thursday afternoon at the Weeks Bay Reserve.
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Birmingham-grown green living expert to speak at UAB | al.com

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Birmingham-grown green living expert to speak at UAB | al.com: BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Ed McMahon, now an internationally known expert in sustainable development, grew up in Birmingham at a time when people equated polluted skies with a thriving economy.
His first job was at Operation New Birmingham in the early 1970s, when Birmingham's downtown concentration of retail and offices were feeling the early heat of competition from malls and suburban office parks. Tonight, McMahon, the Urban Land Institute's senior fellow for sustainable development, returns to his native city in a very different era.
He'll speak at UAB, where he earned his master's degree, on "The Dollars and Sense of Sustainable Development" at 7 p.m. tonight at the UAB Hill Center has changed in the U.S.," McMahon said.
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Vincent site added to EPA's Superfund list | al.com

Vincent site added to EPA's Superfund list | al.com: The EPA announced today that it has added a Shelby County site to the Superfund list.
The contaminated site of a former electro-plating company in Vincent has been added to the national priorities list of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program.
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Sand Island, restored a year ago, disappears after Hurricane Isaac (video) | al.com

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Sand Island, restored a year ago, disappears after Hurricane Isaac (video) | al.com: Sand Island is gone.
Sunk.
Disappeared beneath the waves.
And poor Sand Island lighthouse is once again a lonely brick pillar sitting on a pile of rocks with the nearest dry land about three miles away.

Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform

Fascinating story that has profound implications:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/09/17/161159263/teachers-expectations-can-influence-how-students-perform?sc=ipad&f=1001
Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform
by Alix Spiegel
NPR - September 17, 2012

Expectations effect teachers' moment-to-moment interactions with the children they teach in a thousand almost invisible ways. Teachers give the students that they expect to succeed more time to answer questions, more specific feedback, and more approval: They consistently touch, nod and smile at those kids more.
"It's not magic, it's not mental telepathy," Rosenthal says. "It's very likely these thousands of different ways of treating people in small ways every day."

EPA urges Army Corps of Engineers to reject Northern Beltline permit | al.com

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EPA urges Army Corps of Engineers to reject Northern Beltline permit | al.com: BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A permit application to begin construction of the proposed Northern Beltline should be rejected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a letter issued this week to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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Ancient forest lies 10 miles off the Alabama coast (video, gallery) | al.com

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Imagine the Gulf 120 feet shallower than it is today and a shoreline far to the south of the current coast.
Environmental Reporter Ben Raines recently dove down 60 feet, 10 miles from shore to explore an Ice Age forest.

Ancient forest lies 10 miles off the Alabama coast (video, gallery) | al.com: Sixty feet beneath the green waves of the Gulf of Mexico, ten miles from the nearest land, stands an ancient forest of giant trees.

Leading Scientist E.O. Wilson accepts Alabama Humanities Award | al.com

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Leading Scientist E.O. Wilson accepts Alabama Humanities Award | al.com: BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Alabama Humanities Foundation presented its top annual award Monday to one of the world's foremost scientists, E.O. Wilson.
Wilson, who spent his academic career at Harvard University, grew up around Mobile and graduated from the University of Alabama. He described himself to the audience gathered at The Club as "an Alabamian who went up North to get work."
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$246,800 in grants aid in Jefferson County recycling expansion | al.com

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$246,800 in grants aid in Jefferson County recycling expansion | al.com: BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Alabama Environmental Council and Jefferson County Health Department have been awarded $246,800 to expand recycling in the county, including the creation of five more drop-off sites and the addition of plastic foam recycling at the downtown recycling center.
It's the third straight year the partnership, which also includes cooperation with UAB and other cities, has secured a grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
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Mr. P's in Bluff Park

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Very large sandwiches and great butcher shop.

Red Mountain Park plan wins national honor | al.com

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Red Mountain Park plan wins national honor | al.com: The master plan created to guide the development of Birmingham's Red Mountain Park will be recognized as one of the top design and planning projects for 2012 by the American Society of Landscape Architects. It was one of 37 honored out of 620 entries from around the world.
Recognized in the analysis and planning category, the park plan was described by the ASLA Professional Awards Jury as a "bold" effort to reclaim a mined-over mountain site, preserving history while uniting what have been geographically and socially separate communities on the north and south sides of the mountain.
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John Archibald tribute to Birmingham gadfly Gene Edelman

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Birmingham gadfly Gene Edelman was last of his breed | al.com: I won't remember Gene for his clothes. They were merely his plumage, the costume he wore to fight whatever battle he chose for the day. Most often, it was a fight to give children a better chance for a better world.