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Daily Archives: December 10, 2013

Analysis – Successful Push to Restore Europe’s Long-Abused Rivers

From Britain to the Czech Republic, European nations have been restoring rivers to their natural state — taking down dams, removing levees, and reviving floodplains. For a continent that long viewed rivers as little more than shipping canals and sewers, it is a striking change, by Fred Pearce:  “…Britain, for instance, has promised to restore some 1,500 kilometers of rivers. It has 2,700 projects in its National River Restoration Inventory, 1,500 of them already completed. One of Spain’s largest rivers, the Duero, is being cleared of dams and other man-made obstacles. On France’s longest river, the Loire, where two decades ago activists from all over Europe successfully battled to prevent construction of the Serre de la Fare dam near Le Puy, engineers are now tearing down existing dams, such as the Maisons-Rouges. Denmark’s largest river, the Skjern, is getting back some of the marshlands at its mouth, after meanders were reinstated and artificial banks lowered to allow seasonal flooding of arable fields that have now been returned to grass meadows…The Danube, which runs west to east, from Germany’s Black Forest to its delta on the Black Sea, is the most international river in the world, with a catchment that includes 19 countries. The river has been cut off from 80 percent of its floodplain. But today much of the floodplain is slated for restoration.”

Bankrate – Income analysis shows widening gap

By Judy Martel • “As Americans continue to climb out of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, many experts are taking note of a widening gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Federal income data over the past 20 years show a growing divide in income among all age groups. Bankrate’s analysis of the data… Continue Reading

Google – Feast your eyes on new works added today to the Cultural Institute

Google Official Blog: “At the Cultural Institute we’ve been taking a break from our holiday shopping to feast our eyes on a different kind of gift—the gift of ingenious art that plays tricks on our eyes. Called Trompe l’oeil, which means “fool the eye” in French, these techniques require complete control over every detail of size, color, light and… Continue Reading

Agencies Issue Final Rules Implementing the Volcker Rule

“Five federal agencies on Tuesday issued final rules developed jointly to implement section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Volcker Rule”). The final rules prohibit insured depository institutions and companies affiliated with insured depository institutions (“banking entities”) from engaging in short-term proprietary trading of certain securities, derivatives, commodity futures and… Continue Reading

NOAA asks for public comment on proposed Deepwater Horizon oil spill early restoration plan

“NOAA and its federal and state trustee partners today urged the public to provide comments on a draft plan to restore the Gulf after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The plan outlines and describes 44 proposed restoration projects, totaling approximately $627 million. The plan was released by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees for theDeepwater Horizon oil spill, nine federal and state… Continue Reading

UN – Slum Dwellers to double by 2030

“Nearly one billion people alive today – one in every six human beings – are slum dwellers, and that number is likely to double in the next thirty years, according to UN-HABITAT’s new publication – The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements 2003. Unprecedented urban growth in the face of increasing poverty and social… Continue Reading

UN – Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility

Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility – Global Report on Human Settlements 2013 “Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility argues that the development of sustainable urban transport systems requires a conceptual leap. The purpose ‘transportation’ and ‘mobility’ is to gain access to destinations, activities, services and goods. Thus access is the ultimate objective… Continue Reading

America’s Rental Housing: Evolving Markets and Needs

Evolving Markets and Needs, Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University, December 9, 2013. “Rental housing has always provided a broad choice of homes for people at all phases of life. The recent economic turmoil underscored the many advantages of renting and raised the barriers to homeownership, sparking a surge in demand that has buoyed rental… Continue Reading

Issue Brief Examines the Evidence on Medicare Patients’ Access to Physicians

“The ongoing congressional debate about the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate, a payment formula that lawmakers have overridden repeatedly to avoid big payment cuts to doctors, may resurrect familiar questions about whether physicians are willing to take Medicare patients. A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides some answers. This review and new analysis of physician data… Continue Reading