first_imgAtlanta visitors bring lots of money to town, but they leave lots of waste behind. To help the city’s downtown hotels make better use of their refuse, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the University of Georgia and other state agencies joined the hospitality industry to form the Georgia Hospitality Environmental Partnership. One of the partnership’s projects is helping hotels get rid of soap barrels. Nine barrels a month don’t sound like much for a large hotel like Atlanta’s Westin Peachtree Plaza to worry about. But over a year, those barrels add up to more than a ton of garbage in local landfills. Managers at the Westin, one of GHEP’s pilot hotels, chose not to ignore the bright blue and white plastic barrels, which hold concentrated laundry detergent. Instead, they decided to use them. “It was a simple concept, but hard to implement,” said Jeff Darrow, DCA’s GHEP program manager. First, the Westin reused as many drums as they could as recycling cans and trash cans. But they soon ran out of ways to reuse them. GHEP and the Westin worked with the supplier to return the barrels to the detergent manufacturers for reuse. The supplier had a program to allow for their return. But the Westin would have to stockpile 30 barrels before sending them back. Storing that many of the 55-, 25- and 5-gallon drums was too cumbersome. Storage was a problem for recycling them, too. The barrels filled the recycling container and left no room for the hotel’s other plastics. Bobby Wilson, a Fulton-DeKalb County extension agent with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, heard of the problem. He offered another solution — gardening. First, Wilson and other metro extension agents used barrels to create irrigation systems in demonstration gardens and community gardens in low-income neighborhoods. For less than $20 — enough to buy a spigot and some tubing — they could turn two of the 55-gallon drums into a drip irrigation system. The agents used other barrels as composting bins. For some of the bins, they simply cut the tops off of the barrels and drilled holes in them to provide air circulation. For others, they drilled holes in both the tops and bottoms. Then they cut a door in the side and placed the barrel on a stand with a rod running through the center. This allowed them to mix composting materials easily by rotating the barrel. The composting bins are at work now in the demonstration and community gardens. The Extension Service can provide plans so others may reuse barrels in similar ways. Finally, Wilson and the other agents used the old barrels to create “Circles of Gardening.” They cut the tops and bottoms off of each barrel. Then they cut each into three 11.5-inch rings. They placed old newspapers or cardboard on the ground, then set the rings on top of them. The agents filled the rings with compost and used them as bottomless planters. The first to develop this concept, the DeKalb County agents are spreading the method and its benefits throughout the country. The Urban Gardening Program in Jackson, Miss., is already using the idea. The detergent drums are readily available. They’re used not only by hotels, but also by hospitals and others. The Extension Service uses more barrels than the Westin can provide, so Emory and Crawford Long hospitals and the Emory Inn and Conference Center are pitching in, too. “This is a perfect example of how partnership should work,” Darrow said. “The Westin had a problem waste stream, and the Extension Service saw an opportunity. Now they’re sharing their experience so other businesses and organizations can see the opportunities, too.”last_img read more


first_imgBRO: Where did your first backpacking trip take place?CG: I car camped a lot with my family growing up, but the first real backpacking trip I can remember happened in my freshmen year of college when I joined an outdoor program trip to Joyce Kilmer forest in Western North Carolina. We hiked among the old growth trees and up onto a ridge that was shrouded in storm clouds. It rained on us all night, and we hid in our tents playing cards. There was a lot of misadventure on that trip, but it proved to me how quickly close friendships can form during those shared adventures. I came away from that trip with a couple of good friends who became my camping buddies during college.BRO: What was the main lesson you took away from the AT?CG: Whenever I go to the trail I feel like it’s teaching me to slow down and pay attention. I usually set out from the trail head over-loaded and at break-neck speed, but after a couple of days I begin to settle into the pace of the forest and walking the trail. Time on the trail always helps me to get in touch with what really matters in life, and it refreshes my imagination and creative capacity.BRO: What is the main lesson that you want viewers of this film to come away with?CG: I hope that people are inspired to get out and spend time on their local trails (and also to be invested in protecting and stewarding wild places in our communities). It’s easy to forget about and overlook the heritage of wild places that we’re blessed with as Americans–I need fairly constant reminding myself about how good the wild places are for us and how important it is for me to spend time in them. The legacy of wilderness in America is ongoing, and there are still so many important ways for people to get involved in stewarding and protecting our trails, forests, and streams. So that’s my hope: 1) that people watch the film and immediately want to go out and spend time on a trail or a river, and 2) that through that they are led to a deeper engagement with environmental conservation and stewardship in their community.Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.59.09 AMWhere & When: Saturday, May 30 – Asheville Community Theatre, 7:30PMTickets are $7 and available at the theater box office (35 East Walnut Street, Asheville, NC 28801), by phone (828-254-1320), and online http://qrs.ly/k74otdb.There will be a raffle of outdoor gear and prizes to benefit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in celebration of the ATC’s 90th anniversary. Facebook event page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/878363225571811/Online ticket sales link: www.tinyurl.com/ATmovie Photos Courtesy of Chris Gallaway Former BRO dispatcher Chris Gallaway has completed his long awaited documentary about the trials and tribulations of his Appalachian Trail thru-hike. The film is photographically stunning and emotionally compelling, but it also weaves in interesting tidbits about the long-standing history of the Appalachian Trail. Check out an exclusive, six minute sneak peak of the film below, and don’t miss Chris’ next screening at the Asheville Community Theater this Saturday at 7:30 p.m in Asheville, North Carolina.Chapin from Horizonline Pictures on Vimeo. We recently caught up with Chris to get an inside look at what drove him to complete this long-awaited project.BRO: When did you begin contemplating an AT Thru-hike?CG: I had casually toyed with the idea of doing a thru-hike for much of my 20’s, but I didn’t get serious about it until I met Sunshine, my then-girlfriend and now-wife. Sunshine had done two thru-hikes on the AT in 2004 and 2005, and hearing her stories really lit up my imagination and started me thinking about what it would be like to do it myself. A month after my 30th birthday in 2013 I started on the trail in Georgia with hopes of reaching Mount Katahdin in Maine.Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.58.54 AMBRO: What was the hardest thing about the journey?CG: There were plenty of physical challenges, from deep snow and sub-zero temperatures in the Smoky Mountains to horrible mosquito swarms in New England. One of the things I struggled with most on the trail was learning how to slow down and pace myself. I’m a fairly competitive person; so the challenge aspects of the trail easily get a hold of me. In Virginia, when the terrain leveled out some, I charged hard for two weeks walking long miles each day under a heavily-loaded pack, and I ended up with deep blisters and nerve damage in my feet. That pain was so depressing and defeating. I was determined to go on, but I was emotionally depleted and miserable as I limped down the trail each day. Thankfully, Sunshine met me on the trail for a few days near Daleville, Virginia and helped me to slow down and recover. My feet healed up, and I resumed my hike with a more patient, steady outlook.BRO: Tell us about your outdoor background. What kind of activities were you into growing up?CG: My parents had us out hiking, fishing, and camping as kids. Those early adventures in the woods developed an explorer’s imagination in me—I am happiest and most engaged when traveling a trail or a river and anticipating what will be revealed around the next bend. After college I delved into whitewater kayaking and spent several years exploring the class V rivers of the Southeast. Then in my later 20’s a backpacking trip with my older brother Ben reawakened me to the excitement of life on the trail (and also the intriguing culture of the AT). That trip put me back on a track towards many more hiking trips and eventually the AT thru-hike.Screen shot 2015-05-27 at 12.27.05 PMlast_img read more


first_imgSouth Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has agreed to pay a $75 million penalty as part of a settlement agreement reached with the U.S. Justice Department over bribery investigation related to a 2007 drillship construction involving Petrobras and drilling contractor Pride.“[Samsung Heavy Industries] has agreed to pay total penalties of more than $75 million to resolve the government’s investigation into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) arising out of a scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to officials in Brazil,” the DOJ said last Friday.“Samsung Heavy Industries paid millions of dollars to a Brazilian intermediary, knowing that some of that money would be used to bribe high-level executives at Petrobras and obtain a lucrative shipbuilding contract,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger of the Eastern District of Virginia said that Samsung “caused millions of dollars in corrupt bribe payments to be paid to foreign officials to win business, upsetting what should have been a level playing field for other companies that followed the rules.”According to admissions by Samsung Heavy Industries, as shared by DOJ, beginning in 2007 and continuing until 2013, Samsung provided approximately $20 million in commission payments to a Brazilian intermediary, knowing that portions of the money would be paid as bribes to officials at oil company Petrobras.The bribes paid caused Samsung to secure improper business advantages, as Petrobras then entered into a drillship charter contract with Pride (now part of Valaris) to whom  Samsung Heavy Industries then sold the drillship for this contract.“Samsung Heavy Industries took actions in furtherance of the bribery conspiracy from its branch office located in the United States,” the DOJ said.Samsung and the DOJ also reached a three-year Deferred Prosecution Agreement. Upon successful completion, the DOJ will seek to dismiss the deferred charge, which relates to a drillship known as the “DS-5,” Samsung said. The rig in question, delivered in 2011, is now owned by Valaris, and is stacked without a contract in Spain.Commenting on the DOJ settlement Samsung Heavy CEO Joon Ou Nam said: “We deeply regret the company’s involvement in these events, which is contrary to our values and ethical standards,” “Many of the events described in our agreement happened more than a decade ago, and the individuals involved are no longer with the company. Over the past years, we have taken extensive steps, at our own initiative, to strengthen our anti-corruption compliance program to meet the highest standards of compliance and ethics.”last_img read more


first_img Press Association Hoffman was one of just 12 players to record an under-par round on Thursday as many struggled with two-time major winner Martin Kaymer firing a 10-over-par 82. It was also a disappointing day for Graeme McDowell who was forced to withdraw from the tournament with an ankle injury. The Northern Irishman suffered the problem during practice on Wednesday and, although he managed to play his opening nine holes on Thursday, he pulled out of the tournament before setting his sights on getting fit for the Masters which begins on April 9. McDowell, tweeted: “Apologies to everyone at @valerotxopen for my withdrawal. Strained my lower left leg/ankle area practicing y/day and played with heavy strapping on it in the pro am and this morning. “With The Masters upcoming I decided that getting fit is imperative. Don’t like WDs. “The week here at @valerotxopen had everything I wanted. Great people and great course. Disappointed this has happened. Thanks to everyone.” Back out on the course, Hoffman took advantage of calmer winds in the afternoon to record five birdies and finish the day a shot clear of Australia’s Aaron Baddeley. The American picked up shots on the second, third, ninth, 11th and 17th to post the round of the day but the shot of the day undoubtedly belonged to the man a shot behind him. With the wind behind him on the 336-yard par-four 17th, Baddeley took on the green but missed left and had to go back to the tee after finding an unplayable lie. That presented the 34-year-old with no problem, though, as he holed what was his third shot to record an improbable birdie. Charley Hoffman carded a blemish free 67 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Valero Texas Open on a day when the wind played havoc in San Antonio. That had put him in the lead at the time following birdies on the first, second, eighth and 15th and a single bogey on seven but Hoffman overhauled him. A birdie-birdie finish from Max Homa saw him move into third a further shot back as he overcame a poor start. The 24-year-old dropped shots at one and five but birdies at six and eight saw him reach the turn level and four birdies and a single bogey on the back nine catapulted him into contention. Phil Mickelson also had a birdie-birdie finish to get to two under alongside Ryan Palmer after a broken club had briefly contributed to him slipping over par on the back nine. The five-time major winner reached the turn one under after a bogey and two birdies and dropped a shot on 10 before putting his tee shot on 12 into a bunker. His club head then snapped off the shaft upon impact as he played his bunker shot and he dropped a further shot before birdies on 14, 17 and 18 saw him finish strongly. There was then a group of seven players at one under including Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson. last_img read more


first_imgINDIANAPOLIS? Michael Flowers would have made a great cornerback.Flowersintercepted a pass intended for Drew Neitzel with 30 seconds left, and hisdriving layup was the difference in No. 8 Wisconsin’s 65-63 victory overMichigan?State on Saturday that sent the Badgers to the Big Ten titlegame. Well, Flowers’ strip and score and a whole bunch of fouls.TheBadgers were able to overcome a rough day offensively thanks in part to theSpartans’ foul trouble. No. 19 Michigan?State was called for 30 fouls andhad four players foul out ? three in one 56-second span alone.“I’mvery disappointed in the outcome,” said Michigan?State coach TomIzzo, who was so upset he had to stop several times to compose himself in hispostgame news conference. “I don’t plan on getting over this today. Idon’t plan on getting over this tomorrow. On Monday I’ll get over it.”TheBadgers, meanwhile, are just happy to keep playing after rallying from 12 downin the second half. They reached the Big Ten tournament championship for asecond straight year, and the fourth time in five years. Wisconsin (28-4) willplay either Illinois or Minnesota, both of which need to win the title to getan NCAA bid.Wisconsinhas now won nine straight, and 22 of 24.“Idon’t think words can really describe what the guys did in the comeback,”Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. “Probably the best way to describe it is toput a DVD on, watch it again and make your own observations.”TheSpartans (25-8) certainly have their thoughts about the outcome, but they’renot fit for the public. They were in foul trouble from the start of the game,averaging a foul a minute at one point in the first half. Leading scorer RaymarMorgan, and big men Goran Suton, Drew Naymick and Idong Ibok all fouled out,and Isaiah Dahlman was the only one of the 12 Spartans who played who didn’tget at least one foul.Michigan?Statehad more fouls (14) than field goals (11) in the first half, and Izzo wasforced to cobble together lineups that rarely are seen outside of practice.Despiteall that, Neitzel and freshman Kalin Lucas not only kept the Spartans in thegame, they almost pulled off the victory. Neitzel, who has had an up-and-downyear, had his second big game in a row, leading all scorers with 26. Lucas had18.“For(Neitzel) to play the way he did the last two days, I’ve always said goodthings happen to people who work hard and stick to it,” Izzo said, chokingup. “I think he deserved what he got as far as his play. I don’t think hedeserved what he got as far as the game went.”Neitzelconverted a three-point play, and Lucas sandwiched two jumpers around a freethrow to give Michigan?State a 63-61 lead with two minutes to play. MarcusLandry tied it with a pair of free throws with 1:41 left.Aftera Wisconsin turnover, the Spartans were trying to get the ball in Neitzel’shands. But Flowers, a member of the Big Ten’s all-defensive team, read thefreshman point guard perfectly, stepping in and grabbing Lucas’ pass before itgot anywhere close to Neitzel.“Iknew they were probably looking for Drew Neitzel,” Flowers said. “Ifhe doesn’t have the ball, he can’t score, so I over-covered him.”Flowerstook the ball in for the easy layup, and Wisconsin had a 65-63 lead with 27seconds left.TheSpartans were hoping to get the ball to Neitzel again, but Wisconsin’s stingydefense wasn’t giving them anything. Lucas finally put up a layup, but itrattled off the rim and Brian Butch grabbed the rebound. Michigan?Stategot one more chance after Jason Bohannon missed a pair of free throws andTravis Walton got the rebound, but Neitzel had the 6-foot-11 Butch in front ofhim and his 3-pointer missed bounced off the rim.“Wewere down (12), and we were saying, ‘It’s going to come on the defensiveend,’” Butch said.Butchled the Badgers with 19 points, and Landry had 18. Joe Krabbenhoft had hisfourth double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Wisconsin isnow 11-3 against Michigan?State since Ryan arrived in 2001, including twowins this year.“Rightnow, we’re trying to be the most opportunistic team in the country,” Ryansaid. “We don’t care who gets (the ball) or where, but if we can getwithin 15 feet in, you’ve got a better shot at getting to the free throwline.”Wisconsinwasn’t making its free throws early, and the frequent stops-and-starts seemedto keep the Badgers from getting into any kind of rhythm. Despite Naymick andSuton picking up their third fouls in the first three minutes of the secondhalf, the Spartans opened with a 10-2 run that put them up 39-29 with 15:26 toplay. They would later push the lead to 53-41 on 3-pointers by Neitzel andLucas and a pair of free throws from Morgan.Butthings unraveled in the 56-second span from 6:06 to 5:10 when Ibok, Naymick andSuton all fouled out. The Badgers made six of seven free throws, and Butchadded a 3-pointer to pull Wisconsin to 55-54 with 4:23 to play.last_img read more