Crime & Courts | Mental Health | SouthcentralExperimental Oasis project gives inmates ‘something different in prison’September 28, 2017 by Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media Share:Spring Creek Superintendent Bill Lapinskas poses with one of the murals in the segregation housing at the Correctional Center. (Photo by Anne Hillman/Alaska Public Media)The Department of Corrections is the largest mental health care provider in the state, and the administrators at Spring Creek Correctional Center want to make it one of the most effective, too.They’re treating inmates who have mental illnesses with new innovations — porches and paintings.During his three years at Spring Creek, inmate Kaleb Summitt has been in and out of segregation because of fighting.“I’ve been out of seg for seven months. My new record!” he said excitedly one afternoon.Summitt said it used to be really hard to rejoin the prison community every time he left segregation, where he was locked in a cell for 23 hours per day.“’Cause you’re locked down and you’re nervous being around people,” he said.Interacting with other people was already a challenge because he has bipolar schizoaffective disorder and his medications weren’t adjusted correctly.But this time when he left, instead of going straight from segregation to open housing, called a mod, he first transitioned to a room with an indoor “porch” in the mental health mod.In Spring Creek, the cells line the edges of one main room. The porches are like large cages around the doors of the cells. They provide a space for inmates to leave their rooms, walk around, and talk to people, but they can’t just wander freely in the communal area or have much physical interaction.Inmates are allowed out of their cells and onto the porches for at least three hours a day and eventually more.It may not sound like much, but Summit said it gave him time to adjust to social interactions. “It’s a lot better to interact you with the mod, not just throw you out the door.”It also gave him the chance to talk to the mental health mod mentors.The mentors are inmates from the general population who live in the mental health mod and are paid to provide guidance and support.It’s a pilot program for Spring Creek.Originally three people filled the role, but two were dismissed because they caused problems.Kent Matte is an inmate mentor in the mental health housing unit at Spring Creek Correctional Center. (Photo by Anne Hillman/Alaska Public Media)One mentor, Kent Matte said he understands what people leaving segregation are going through – he once spent three years in solitary confinement.Every time he left his cell he was fully restrained with two guards.“I’m an outgoing person and it affected me enough to where I thought I was starting to get a little crazy in my head,” he said.When Matte speaks with people on their porches and other inmates in the mod, he tries to be a role model and help them learn to trust people.“The best way to reach them is to talk to them,” he said. “Communicate like they’re real. Not like they’re below you.”Summitt said it helps him to talk to Matte.He tells Matte about problems that he doesn’t feel comfortable reporting to staff.But sometimes just chatting with Matte or even the mental health counselors isn’t enough to calm him down.Then he turns to another innovation at the prison – the Oasis.“I love that room,” Summitt said. “It is awesome. It takes me out of the zone, like I’m not in jail anymore for a while.”Inmates painted a room in the mental health housing unit at Spring Creek Correctional Center called the Oasis. It helps people calm down and regroup. (Photo courtesy of Department of Corrections)The Oasis is a regular cell with no bunks or toilet. The walls are painted with brightly colored murals of beach scenes. Waves lap onto sandy shores next to dense, flower-filled bamboo forests.Inmates can take a sound machine with them and sit on soft couches.When Summitt said when he leaves the room he feels “refreshed. Ready to try again. I get stressed out sometimes so I just press a button – even at night- and the officer will take me over.”Superintendent Bill Lapinskas decided to create the Oasis as an experiment.The institution didn’t have money to do anything fancy, but he wanted to have a place where prisoners could just be people for a while.A team of inmate artists worked together to paint the room.“This is what we could do here, right now to see if we could enact a change in behaviors and in mindsets,” he said. “Just give them something different than prison.”A similar project is being tested for inmates in segregation at the Anchorage Correctional Complex, but it includes a large screen TV showing nature videos in a room painted green.Spring Creek inmates have painted murals in other parts of the prison as well, making some areas look like living rooms or storefronts.The intake area for seg has a large painting of a bird and flower that helps calm people down.The porches, the paintings, and the mentors are all part of Lapinskas’ larger mission for Spring Creek: to imbue the institution with more humanity and try to help the inmates, not just punish them.Want to hear more Solutions Desk stories? 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Freight delays are expected at Shanghai Pudong Airport after a cargo worker was found to have tested positive for Covid-19.The airport said today: “Due to the diagnosis of a new Covid-19 patient at the West Terminal of Shanghai Pudong Airport, the terminal is now closed and it requires Covid-19 testing for all involved persons. All import and export cargo movements will be affected and operations maybe delayed.”The airport listed the affected airlines as Emirates, China Airlines, China Southern, China Cargo Airlines, Nippon Cargo, Korean Air Lines, Silkway West and ASL.Local media said the Covid-19 patient worked at the West Cargo Terminal and all sites he visited had been closed and disinfected. By Alex Lennane 09/11/2020 © Ninlawan Donlakkham
Previous articleLaois Gardai were diverted to Drogheda to tackle gang feudNext articleFuneral details announced for Portlaoise man who died suddenly in Spain Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. GAA Facebook Facebook GAA Laois’s newest secondary school set for significant expansion 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin WhatsApp Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By Alan Hartnett – 17th October 2019 WhatsApp Twitter Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory TAGSDunamase College Dunamase College Due to the growth in student numbers at Dunamase College planning has commenced to make the Further Education and Training Centre across the road at Tower Hill part of the school facilities from September 2020 to meet the demand for places.This will see a refurbishment of the ‘old CBS’ buildings to meet current post-primary standards with additional specialist rooms for Science, Technology, and Home Economics.Speaking on the plans, Principal Aoife Elster explained that this will give certainty to those applying to enrol at Dunamase College that the necessary accommodation will be place.She said: “We have a fantastic building at Railway Street that is now full to capacity and we need additional accommodation to cater for the demand until such time as the permanent building for the school on the Timahoe Road is developed.“The fact that we will now be able to provide this accommodation in a building that has a long history of use for second-level provision is great news for the school.”Huge numbers of prospective students and their parents attended the recent open evening at the school with many parents enquiring how the school would cater for the increasing enrolment.Aoife said: “Our emphasis on science, technology, and the arts means that there is a strong interest in enrolling at Dunamase College.“The planned expansion to Tower Hill will give certainty to the school community that we can now meet that demand in the short-term in advance of our move to the Timahoe road.”LOETB, the managing body for Dunamase College, confirmed that work has already started to ensure that refurbishment of the facilities at Tower Hill will be completed in time for the new school year.Options for expansion were limited given the location and site restrictions at Railway Street and the proximity of the facilities at Tower Hill to the existing school building was a critical factor in making the decision.Chief Executive, Joe Cunningham, said that all the programmes and services currently being provided at Tower Hill will continue to be provided in Portlaoise.She said: “There has been strong growth in our Further Education and Training provision in Portlaoise in recent years and we are actively pursuing a number of options to ensure that the necessary facilities to maintain that provision in Portlaoise are in place for September 2020”.The permanent building for Dunamase College will be built on lands behind the Equestrian Centre on the Timahoe road and, following consultation with Laois County Council, it is planned to have access both from the Timahoe road and from the roundabout at the school campus that is home to Portlaoise Educate Together, Gaelscoil Phortlaoise, and Maryborough primary schools.A key feature of the development for Dunamase College will be a dedicated ‘park and stride’ facility that will allow parents of students attending all schools in the area to drop off and collect their children in a safe manner and allow students walk to and from their destination school.Dunamase College is a post-primary school in Portlaoise under the patronage of LOETB. The school opened in September 2017 and one hundred and ten students this September.The school also has an Aonad Lán-Gaeilge which allows students to study all curricular subjects as Gaeilge.SEE ALSO – Former Laois footballer announced as new Laois Ladies boss Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results GAA Home News Education Laois’s newest secondary school set for significant expansion NewsEducation Pinterest Twitter
British Embassy Manila convenes Philippine private sector ahead of COP26 Manila, Philippines – A virtual gathering of Philippine business leaders discussing climate change and sustainability was convened recently by the British Embassy in Manila, in partnership with the Department for International Trade.During the Embassy-hosted Philippine Green Business Leaders virtual roundtable, keynote speaker Nigel Topping, the UN’s COP26 High-Level Champion for Climate Action, discussed his role in galvanising new, more ambitious and most credible climate action from companies, investors, cities, states and regions, and referenced the UK’s own journey in driving down emissions while at the same time growing its economy.With 15 companies represented across the business spectrum, senior Philippine corporate executives highlighted the importance of pursuing and embedding sustainability in their operations, while at the same time tackling the significant challenges posed by COVID-19.The Philippine Green Business Leaders virtual roundtable followed closely on the heels of the Embassy’s Earth Hour events and other COP26 related meetings, and showcased the strong commitment of the Philippine business sector to tackle the challenges of climate change mitigation, adaptation, resilience and sustainability.Daniel Pruce, British Ambassador to the Philippines said:At the core of the UK’s clean growth leadership is delivering for countries most vulnerable to climate change. This of course includes the Philippines which has witnessed stronger and more destructive typhoons throughout the years. If we are to be successful in achieving a cleaner future, the role of private investment is paramount.Ambassador Pruce reiterated the need of a whole-system approach to address climate change in the country.On 1 to 12 November , the British Government will welcome heads of state and climate policy experts and negotiators in Glasgow, Scotland for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26). The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.Nigel Topping, the UN’s COP 26 High-Level Champion for Climate Action said:COP26 is the first real test of the Paris Agreement, which set our long term goal to net zero and a process of ratcheting ambition every five years. When you as business leaders raise your ambition, it sends a very strong signal to political leaders and makes it easier for policy makers to be bold. And when bold policy comes, it makes it easier for your peers to intensify their own [climate] ambitions. We call this the ‘ambition loop’, and hope it delivers a real step up in climate action from governments and the private sector alike.During the event, Mr. Topping encouraged local businesses to embrace and join the Race to Zero initiative, the flagship global campaign to rally leadership and support from non-state actors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that creates decent jobs, prevents future threats, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.As part of the British Embassy in Manila’s contribution, the Embassy will organise a series of thematic sessions in the lead up to COP26. These sessions will include representatives from Philippine government, civil society, academia, and industry leaders. The Philippine Green Business Leaders roundtable was the opening forum in this series, and set a positive tone for the events to come.For businesses interested in joining the Race to Zero campaign, please send an email to RaceToZero /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Ambassador, British, climate change, Earth, Government, International trade, leadership, Manila, Paris, Philippines, resilience, Scotland, sustainability, sustainable, UK, UK Government, UN
Canada invests in laboratories to support science and research in Canada From: Public Services and Procurement CanadaThrough Laboratories Canada, the Government of Canada is providing federal scientists with world-class, innovative and collaborative facilities to ensure they can keep pace with the transformative changes facing science today and into the future.Strengthening research excellence in priority areas serving CanadiansThrough Laboratories Canada, the Government of Canada is providing federal scientists with world-class, innovative and collaborative facilities to ensure they can keep pace with the transformative changes facing science today and into the future.Today, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced $58.9 million in investments to support new laboratory space for the National Research Council of Canada and Natural Resources Canada’s centres of expertise for advanced materials in Mississauga and Hamilton. The new facilities will support collaborative deployment of materials acceleration platforms (MAPs), a new approach to clean energy materials discovery and development, their scale-up and their commercialization, all of which will help Canada meet its emission reduction targets and grow the clean energy and manufacturing sectors.Construction at the Hamilton laboratory facility is expected to be completed in May 2021 while construction at the Mississauga facility is expected to be completed in summer 2023.The Laboratories Canada strategy aims to provide federal scientists with leading-edge, green, collaborative facilities to position Canada to be at the forefront of new discoveries and delivering on research priorities, while supporting Canadian jobs. Additional Laboratories Canada sites across the country will be announced over the coming months.Quotes“Science plays a crucial role in improving the lives of Canadians. Providing modern, sustainable and collaborative facilities will best position our scientists and researchers to tackle the critical challenges of our time, including health protection, sustainable resource development and transportation safety.”The Honourable Anita AnandMinister of Public Services and Procurement“Supporting science and the important work of federal researchers is a priority for our government. Our long-term vision for Laboratories Canada is to provide modern collaborative facilities where Canada’s most creative minds can come together to solve today’s biggest challenges and make the discoveries of the future. With these investments, federal scientists will be better equipped to collaborate with diverse talent from academia and industry across Canada.”The Honourable François‑Philippe ChampagneMinister of Innovation, Science, and Industry“Laboratories are where the next generation of Canadian scientists find solutions to tomorrow’s problems. Supporting science creates jobs. Science drives innovation, lowers emissions and builds renewables. Science gets us to net-zero.”The Honourable Seamus O’ReganMinister of Natural Resources“Shared Services Canada is pleased to support Laboratories Canada by providing modern IM/IT services to meet the Government of Canada’s evolving science and technology needs. SSC empowers the federal science community through information technology, data management, and collaboration services that are secure, reliable and easy to use. We’re working closely with Laboratories Canada to plan and deliver IM/IT infrastructure and services for new laboratories and science hubs.”The Honourable Joyce MurrayMinister of Digital GovernmentQuick factsThe laboratories in Mississauga and Hamilton will support the TerraCanada science and innovation hub, which will focus on three sciences priorities: sustainable land and resource development; a low-carbon economy; and the safety and health of Canadians.The facilities present an opportunity to partner with leading artificial intelligence research organizations, academia, other government departments, and industry partners to serve the clean energy, transportation, manufacturing, and other industry sectors.MAPs are a potentially revolutionary, artificial intelligence-driven, robotic technology with the demonstrated potential to reduce the time required to discover and develop clean energy materials by a factor of 10. These MAPs will be applied to materials for hydrogen, battery, carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies, and other important areas.The government has consulted with federal scientists to ensure they are engaged throughout this long-term plan, and federal scientists will be playing a key role in shaping the design of their new facilities.About Laboratories CanadaLaboratories Canada is a 25-year strategy that will deliver on its vision to strengthen federal science in Canada. Budget 2018 launched the first phase of this strategy with an investment of $2.8 billion to support federal scientists with the important work they do for Canada.The first phase also included the development of five science hubs across the country that will support science program synergies in the context of security and regulation; health and safety; resource management and a low-carbon economy; transportation safety; cultural heritage and preservation; and the protection and sustainability of Atlantic fresh water and coastal ecosystems.To date, over $146.6 million in investments have been made as part of the first phase of the Laboratories Canada strategy to renovate or replace outdated federal laboratories and equip federal scientists with the modern facilities and tools they need to better collaborate with their partners, including academia and the private sector. Public Services and Procurement Canada and its partners continue to advance planning and work on other Laboratories Canada locations, including the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre project in Moncton, New Brunswick. This Centre will modernize and expand the existing heritage structure to facilitate collaboration and bring together federal scientists and external parties to collectively advance coastal aquatic ecosystem research. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:artificial intelligence, Canada, carbon capture, clean energy, coastal ecosystems, cultural heritage, Government, Hamilton, health and safety, infrastructure, intelligence, Public Service, research council, Scientists, sustainability, sustainable, technology
Press Gaggle by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Aboard Air Force One En Route Plains, GA The White HouseMS. JEAN-PIERRE: Hey, everybody. Happy 100 Days. I’m going to start with something at the top here for folks. The key components of the American Families Plan that the President unveiled last night are incredibly popular because they deliver for the American people. Fifty-eight percent of Americans support universal pre-K. Fifty-eight percent also support expanding Affordable Care Act subsidies for low- and middle-income Americans to buy health insurance.Seventy-three percent of Americans, including sixty percent of Republicans, support expanding access to childcare for working families. Seventy-five percent of Americans, including sixty-four percent of Republicans, support ensuring all workers have access to paid leave. And 62 percent support an extension of the Child Tax Credit expansion.And the President’s proposals for paying for these investments are also widely supported by the public. Sixty-nine percent of Americans support raising taxes on the wealthy. Sixty-four percent agree that they — that the very rich should contribute an extra share of wealth each year to support public programs. Fifty-nine percent of respondents, including sixty-six percent of independents and sixty-eight percent of Republicans, opposes gas taxes. And 86 percent of respondents supported increasing — increased IRS enforcement, including 84 percent of Republicans.The American Families Plan is a combination of popular public investments, pop- — and popular ways to pay for them. It’s no surprise that the plan already has bipartisan support among the American people.And the administration and the President’s newly announced Families Cabinet are going to spend the coming days continuing to make the case for why Congress should act on these vital investments in the economic security of the middle class.For — as for our trip today, on the President’s 100th day in office, he and the First Lady are returning to Georgia to talk about getting America back on track. Thanks to the Rescue — to the American Rescue Plan, more than 150 million Americans have received direct checks, including more than 6 million adults and nearly 3 million children in Georgia.Schools now have the resources they need to safely reopen and get kids back — kids — kids and teachers back into the classroom. Small businesses have the support they need to keep their doors open.When the President came into office, he set the ambitious goal of getting 100 million shots into arms by today. We’ve now more than doubled that: Over 220 million vaccine shots have been administered across the country. Ninety percent of Americans now live within five miles of a vaccination site.The economy created more than 1.3 million jobs — more new jobs in the first 100 days than any President on record.The American Rescue Plan provided two years of lower health insurance premiums for those who buy coverage on their own. In Georgia, that means nearly 200,000 uninsured people will gain coverage and more than 260,000 will save hundreds of dollars per year on premiums.The President has delivered for our country. The country is starting to get back on track. But there’s more work to do to build back not just to the way things are, but to build back better.Today, the President will talk about the need to seize this opportunity to invest in our competitiveness, our economy, and our families with the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. And he’ll acknowledge the crucial role Georgia’s voters have played in allowing this to become a reality not just by electing him President, but also electing Senator Warnock and Senator Ossoff, who, in their first few months in office, have also proven to be two tireless champions for Georgia’s working families.We’re looking forward to being back in Georgia to highlight clearly to Georgians the tangible outcomes of the Build Back Better agenda they voted for and are already seeing take shape.Today’s positive GDP report is another welcome sign that our economy is healing, and the — and that America is on the move once again. This economic recovery is the result of a robust vaccination program that has helped us get the pandemic under control, and an economic strategy that puts America’s hardworking families first and rebuilds from the bottom up.With that, Zeke, you got the first one.Q Yeah, just a couple for you. First off, who is paying for the rally this evening? Is that a White House event? Is it a DNC event? Is it a Biden campaign event?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: The rally this evening is a DNC event.Q Okay. Thank you. And then, on the — on the virus: Has the White House seen New York City Mayor de Blasio announce that the city is going to reopen to 100 percent on July 1st? That’s restaurants, bars, nightclubs — the works. Does the President believe that that is prudent and founded in science?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, here’s — here’s what I can say: You know, as far — the timeline that we see for — for ourselves, for the country — we don’t have a new timeline to share. You know, we believe that we need to continue to listen to experts, to listen to science, to listen to the — to the medical experts. So, we’re going to continue to have those conversations with them.You know, I just talked about how in the first 100 days, we exceeded our goals of 200 — of 200 [million] doses. Our first goal was 100 [million], now we’re at over 220 [million]. So, we’re going to continue to do that. Our — we see our goal — or our job is to continue to get doses in the arms of Americans and also to make sure that people just get fully vaccinated so that we can fully open and get to a place that we’re closer back to normal.Q So is Mayor de Blasio not following the science if he’s doing this — taking this action now?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, he’s the — that’s — he’s the city of — the mayor of New York City. I’m assuming that he’s listening to the experts on this. We leave that decision to him. We can only speak for what we’re trying to do as an administration, which is making sure that people get vaccinated and follow the CDC guidelines and follow the experts.Q And just one last one. On the speech last night: There were only 200 people in the room for the speech. Many of them — most of them were vaccinated. The President lingered, clearly, in close contact with many of those people. Do you believe — does the White House believe that the message sent the right — that the speech sent the right message to the American public about the promise of vaccines, given that it was so sparsely attended, even though most of the people there were vaccinated and masked?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, Zeke, if I have the numbers right, there’s normally — for a joint session or State of the Union, there’s 1,600 people in that room. Last night, you just said — stated that there was 200 people. So, it was done in a COVID — you know, protocols — in a regulated way.And we trust the Speaker. The Speaker ran the night, last night, on who was invited and how the protocols were met. And we respect that decision.Look, as you know, the President, for the last 100 days, has talked about following the experts, listening to science. This is an administration that follows science, and that’s what we did. He walked in, had his mask on, and only took it off to speak, which we have seen him do over and over again. So, there’s nothing new there. People were socially distanced.And — and so we believe in continuing to follow that COVID protocol. And it seems like, to me, everything was done right. If you have 1,600 people in the room normally and 200 — a little bit more than 200 — that is — that is following COVID protocols. That is a major change to what we saw last night.Q Has the President invited Senator Scott to the White House to talk about police reform? And why did he set a deadline of next month to have a compromise on this?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah. So, as you know, when he spoke the night — when he spoke the night that Derek Chauvin’s conviction came through, he talked about this being a moment — a moment that we need to act. And he has supported the Geo- — the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act from — from the moment that he was able to as President.He’s put out a statement of support for that act. And he wants to continue to encourage Congress to push that forward. As we know, it went through the House and now it’s in the Senate. And the way that he sees it is: He’s using — you know, we talk about how — how is he — you know, how is he going to move things forward? He used his platform last night.He used one of the most important moments of his first 100 days, his joint address, a primetime opportunity, to talk about the police — policing reform because that’s how much he believes in it. And he thinks we need to move quickly. We shouldn’t hold — we need to move quickly. And he’s talked about this. He’s gotten to know the George Floyd family. He talks about how much he respects their — their courage and their strength.And — and so he believes that we need to move quickly for a community — brown and Black community that has been suffering through this when it comes through, you know, policing. And so, we need to see reform, and he believes that we need to act now.Q But beyond talking about in his speech last night — that’s an incredibly tight turnaround to get this done by May 24th, like he said —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, we’ll see —Q What will he do now? And is he going to meet with Senator Scott at the White House?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, he — he has — in the first 100 days, he has met with about 130 congressional members in the White House — not himself, I should — I should be clear here — himself and staff. So — and, he’s done — he’s done bipartisan meetings throughout these first 100 days. And when he has those meetings with congressional members, they clearly are talking about an array of issues.And so, he’s going to continue to do that. We know that this is a President that believes in bipartisanship. He believes in reaching across the aisle and making big things happen, which we’ve seen him do when he was senator, we’ve seen him do when he was Vice President.And so, this is what he’s going to continue to do. He’s happy to have conversations with Republicans who want to move this forward and just have a conversation — or about the American Families Plan or the American Jobs Plan, which he has been doing already.So, that’s how he sees this — is to continue to have those bipartisan conversations. He’s going to have congressional members over to — over to the — to the Oval Office in the next upcoming weeks.We’ve set a date — May 12th — with the — with bipartisan — bipartisanship leaders from both chambers to come in on May 12th in the Oval Office to have a conversation with the President about an array of issues. But clearly, we have the American Jobs Plan that we’re trying to push through and the Americans Families Plan.Q What is happening on May 12th? Sorry.MS. JEAN-PIERRE: There’s a — we confirmed yesterday that the President, on May 12th, is going to be sitting down with the “big four,” if you will, but — the bipartisan leaders in both the House and the Senate. So that’s what’s happening on May 12th. So, this is a continuation of him holding bipartisan meetings with Congress.Q There’s no specific outreach to Tim Scott, in particular. I mean, on this (inaudible)–MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Andrea, I don’t have anything for you — to preview for you right now, is what I’ll say to that answer. But I’m saying that he has been more than willing, as we’ve known for the past 100 days, to sit down and have conversations with both Democrats and Republicans.Q Did he have any feedback yesterday from Republicans outside of the, sort of, public comments? Like, you know, just — did he kind of walk away feeling like he’d gotten the message across? Or is it sort of more of the same?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I think he got the message across. I mean, look, last night, as we — I’ve already stated — was a big night, right? It was a joint address, a primetime event. It was — it was the bookend, almost, to his first 100 days.And he used that opportunity to speak not just to the people in the — in the room — the 200 people in the room and Congress — but also to the American people and to talk about the last — the last year and what we’ve had to endure with the pandemic. And the first — his first 100 days — the successes that we have seen: the doses in arms, the American Rescue Plan — which we see right now is actually making a difference, and we have evidence of that. And so he — that’s who he was talking to as well. And he laid out his American Families Plan, which is an important, critical investment in people — right? — in families and kids.Go ahead, Nancy.Q Can you explain how involved the President was in the decision to ban menthol in cigarettes, and why he felt it was important to take that step?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, with menthol, you know, this is a public health decision that will hurt — that will help curb addiction and save lives — the decision that was made on the FDA menthol and flavored cigars ban.But let’s be clear here, if implemented, these rules affect only commercial activity. And so, FDA does not regulate the possession of tobacco products by individuals for personal use, and this rule would not make individual consumer possession or use of menthol cigarettes a crime, nor change enforcement standards. So, this was an FDA rule.Q And as one of the authors of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, what exactly is the Vice President’s role in these ongoing negotiations? We know there’s a meeting on Capitol Hill this afternoon. Will she be involved in that in any way? What is her role here?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: As you know, the Vice President plays a partner role with the President. She spoke the same night that the — that the verdict came in with Derek Chauvin. She talked in a very, you know, passionate way, and talked about, as you mentioned, her role as being a coauthor. And I think she’ll continue to do that, be a co- — a copartner with him as this moves forward.Q But she doesn’t — she doesn’t see a need to get involved in the actual negotiations on Capitol Hill right now?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, the negotiations that are happening are negotiations that are happening with Tim Scott, you know, I think, congression- — Congresswoman Karen Bass, because she has the House version of the bill, and so — others.So that’s where the negotiations are going to happen — not at the White House; they’re going to happen on the Hill. We’re just — what the President is doing is, is using his platform. Right? He’s using his voice to support the bill and encourage Congress to continue to work on it.Q And then, I’m sure the President has been briefed about this reported direct energy attack that took place at the Ellipse. What can you tell us about that incident, and whether any additional precautions have been taken since then?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, the health and wellbeing of American public servants is a paramount priority for the Biden administration. We take all reports of health incidents by our personnel extremely seriously. The White House is working closely with departments and agencies to address unexplained health incidents and ensure the safety and security of Americans serving around the world.Given that we are still evaluating reported incidents and that we need to protect the privacy of individuals reporting incidents, we cannot provide or confirm specific details at this time.Q You can’t tell any — tell us anything about how that person is doing now?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I can’t share anything at this time.Q Karine, (inaudible) —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah.Q Why is he going to see Jimmy Carter today, and is the former President having any health issues or —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: (Inaudible) the President — the President and the First Lady have had a longstanding friendship with — with the President Carter and Mrs. Carter.President Biden actually spoke to them — President Carter — the night before inauguration. As we all know, they were not able to attend. And so this is part — this is part — they had said on that call that they would try to connect after the inauguration. And since they’re both — and since they’re both in Georgia, they wanted to stop by and say hello.Q (Inaudible) connected to Walter Mondale’s death at all?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, this is just — this is, like I said, a longstanding friendship. They were — they said that they were going to see — try and see each other after inauguration. Clearly, the Carters were not able to make it, and so — and I’ll add anoth- — and I’ll add another nugget: Joe Biden was the first U.S. senator to endorse then former Governor Carter when he ran for President. So they have a longstanding relationship that goes a few decades.Q We’d love for the Carters to peek their heads out if they could. We’d love for the Carters to peek their heads out, and say “Hi” to us, if they could.MS. JEAN-PIERRE: We’ll look into that. We’ll get back to you on that.Q Then, to menthol, Reverend Al Sharpton has said that it unfairly targets Black smokers. I mean, are you all afraid of any kind of backlash or political backlash or overreach for — for doing that?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah, I mean, we’re totally — we are aware of that, and we take that — we take that seriously — the concerns that have been raised about discriminatory polic- — policing.And so addressing racial bias in policing is a priority, as you — as you’re all aware of; we were just talking about the George Floyd Policing Act for this administration. And so this is why he strongly supports the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and we need legislation to directly address police reform, even as it — as we regulate tobacco industry practices that harm Americans.Q And then, is there any update on the meeting with Putin? Will it be after the G7 or —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I don’t have anything to preview for you right now. No updates on timing, location, or — or even confirming that the meeting is happening right now. So I don’t have any updates.Q And then, lastly, President Biden, last night in his speech — his highest-profile speech so far in the office — he declared white supremacy terrorism. Can you say what went into the calculus for him to decide to do that?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, he’s been very clear, when you think about — even during the campaign, he talked about four crises that we’re all facing currently. And, one, he talked about the economic crisis, right? He talked about the pandemic. He talked about climate. And he talked about racial inequality and injustice, and how this country — and, kind of, the — the blinders coming off. And he said that in his speech when he talked with — when Derek Chauvin — the conviction for Derek Chauvin came through. And he talked about how we need to make change now. We need to take action.And even — if you even go back to when — when Charlottesville happened, and he wrote a letter — an op-ed about Charlottesville and the soul of the nation, which prompted him to run for office back in April of 2019. So this is something that has been, kind of, at the core of how he has been even seeing where we are today as a country, and the work that needs to be done.And so — and — if you look at the last 100 days, he’s been taking on racial equity. Right? If you look at the executive orders where he is looking at federal government (inaudible) executive order to make sure that federal government are practicing — are looking into racial inequities within the agencies. Like, that has never been done.So this is something that’s top of mind for the President; something that he’s called out many times — not just as President, but during his candidacy — and he’ll continue to do it.Q Has he been briefed on any imminent threat on white supremacist groups?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I don’t have anything to share with you on that.Q Karine, can you say why Kurt Campbell is on this trip?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m so sorry.Q Why is Kurt Campbell on this trip? What — is there — is he getting a briefing on India and some of those efforts or —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, I can give more on that later, but we usually have — we usually have an NSC — a national security person traveling with the President.Q And then, just on that —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: But that’s nothing — that’s nothing unnor— unusual.Q Okay. I was wondering if there was a special, sort of, you know —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: (Inaudible) going on.Q Okay. And then, just on that climate change stuff. There was some discussion about having an executive order on climate change disclosure — disclosure of climate risks. It’s been, sort of — it hasn’t come out yet. So, I’m wondering if you have any sense of the timing of when that will happen.MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah, I don’t have anything more on that — on that executive order, in particular, or timing. I’m happy to talk to our team and get back to you. And I will have someone connect with you.Q That’s great. And then, just one more on (inaudible) and the vaccine issue. There’s been some significant engagement by the USTR on this issue. She’s been meeting with, you know, the executives of Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax. Can you give us an update on what is happening with that vaccine effort, and whether you’ve made a decision now, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, on the waiver?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, I’ll tell you this: We put out a factsheet, I believe, last night. So, I’ll give you a little bit of a follow-up. The first of two assistance — assistance flights left the U.S. for India at around 8:00 p.m. and midnight last night, which was April 28. The planes carried the first tranche of the assistance, which includes oxygen cylinders, rapid diagnostic tests, and N95 masks to protect frontline workers.Additional flights carrying the remaining assistance, including oxygen generators and concentrators, are scheduled to depart in the upcoming days. We will have more details as they — as they develop. And so that is — that is — so that is the update there on the help that we’re providing for.Q That’s on India. I was asking about the vaccines and the waiver —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Oh, I’m sorry.Q — the WTO waiver.MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Oh, I’m so sorry.Q No, I’m sorry. That’s okay. It’s —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I didn’t hear you. Oh, the noise, it’s so — I’m so sorry. I thought you said “India.” And I was like, “Oh, India.”Q I think I was trying to kill two birds with one stone. So — (laughter).MS. JEAN-PIERRE: You’re talking about the intellectual properties? Okay. I’m so sorry.Yeah, so the W- — the WTO is meeting next week. Is that what you’re talking about? I am so —Q It’s — well, there’s — there’s a meeting tomorrow.MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Okay. I’m so sorry. I totally missed that. We’re going to do what — what’s in the best interest of ending the pandemic. We are already engaged in steps to increase vaccine production.Moderna announced that it will — it will not enforce its COVID-19-related patents against those making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic. We recently secured a new partnership between Sanofi and Moderna to manufacture 200 million doses.And — and I want to be clear that no option is off the table and our guiding principle is getting safe vaccines fast.Q Did you say no option is off? Or what —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah, no option is off the table.Q Karine, could you talk a little bit about the Vice President’s role leading on broadband, on infrastructure. How did that come about? What will she be doing? And why just broadband? Like how do you take that out of it and put her in charge of that effort if it’s part of the broader thing?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I mean, I’ll say this: You know, we have a Jobs Cabinet in place, which is in charge of implementing the American Jobs Plan.The President asked the Vice President to work with the Jobs Cabinet to lead the effort ensuring broadband access for all Americans. As we know, one of the things that we saw this past year with this pandemic is the inequalities with broadband access and how that affected young people, that affected almost, you know, all Americans regardless of age.And so this is a critically important issue that she’s working on and — but, all in all, as we know, she is a partner with the President, as I just mentioned earlier, and this is just a key component that she’s going to be, kind of, help — working closely with the Jobs Cabinet on.Q (Inaudible) make sure it gets in the bill that’sbeing written now? I mean, why isolate this if it’s part of a larger $2.3 trillion package?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I think — I think the issue is such an important issue. I mean, all of them — all the elements of the Jobs Plan clearly are. And I think this is something that was important to her, that she wanted to take on specifically. I don’t have anything more on that.Q Karine, it looks like there’s a report that the U.S. troops have started withdrawing from Afghanistan. Isthere any comment the administration can offer on that?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: (Inaudible.) So, the drawdown is underway, as you just stated, Eli. Last week, Secretary of Defense approved a request from U.S. Central Command for the temporary deployment of additional military assets into the CENT- — CENTCOM AOR in order to support a safe and deliberate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.The B-52H Stratofortress aircraft were for- — were forward deployed to the CENT- — CENTCOM area of responsibility — that’s what “AOR” stands — “AOR” stands for — to protect U.S. and coalition forces as they conduct an orderly drawdown of our forces in Afghanistan.Additionally, the Secretary has directed that a carrier strike group will provide sustained additional force protection capabilities in the CENTCOM AOR throughout the withdrawal. Initially, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower strike group will continue its current mission and is now scheduled to complete its deployment in July.Finally, elements of an Army Ranger task force will temporarily deploy to Afghanistan to assist with the force protection of forces on the ground as they initiate withdrawal operations.Let me just say this: In the weeks and months ahead, the U.S. Central Command will continually assess force protection requirements in coordination with U.S. Forces Afghanistan and has the flexibility to move additional capabilities in the AOR into and out of Afghanistan as required. While these actions will initially result in increased forces levels, we remain committed to having all U.S. military personnel out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021.The President’s intent is clear: The U.S. military’s departure from Afghanistan will not be rushed or hasty; it will be deliberate and conducted in a safe and responsible manner that ensures the protection of our forces.Potential advers- — adversaries should know that if — if they attack us — our withdrawal — we will defend ourselves, our partners with all the tools at our disposal. These deployments represent some of those tools.Q Karine, yesterday, the President said that the threats have moved on since Afghanistan and that you’re keeping a close eye on it. Can you highlight — tick for us where you think the next big trouble spots are or where the — what the source is of that foreign terrorism?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah, I don’t have more on — on that to share as it relates to Afghanistan. But like I said, you know, we’re going to keep an eye. We’re going to do this not in a hasty way. We’re going to be very — work — work alongside with the government and just — and just be — you know, just be smart.Q In that region, we still have Austin Tice — is — Austin Tice, the journalist, is still being held in Syria. Is there any chance of getting him out?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I can get back to you on that one. Yeah, I’ll talk to our team about (inaudible).Q One last one. Since we’re going to Georgia, the — since we’re on our way to Georgia, a local — one issue there: Stone Mountain.A commission appointed by the governor recommended bringing down the Confederate flag at Stone Mountain, but stopping short of bringing down Confederates’ icons, iconography, and statues, and the like. Does the President believe that goes far enough? Or when he’s down there, does he intend to weigh in on the subject?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I — I don’t believe that he will weigh in on the subject today. But his — you know, his position stays the same when it comes to statues and Confederate flags. I’m happy to get back to you on any update that we may have.Q And he’ll be meeting with the senators?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So the senators stayed in town for — to do some votes. They are going to try to make it to Georgia after they’re done voting for some critical votes. And so — and so that’s going to be — that’s — we’re going to see if they make it. (Laughs.)Q Any — any other guests that he’ll be meeting with?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: He’ll probably — Stacey Abrams will be there. The mayor — the mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, will be there. So we’ll be — you know, we’ll be — it’ll be good to see them.Q Will voting rights be a big theme? Voting —MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m so sorry.Q — voting rights be a big theme?MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, you know, when we were here the last time, clearly that was a conversation that — a meeting that he had with Stacey Abrams about that — who’s been a leader on voting rights not just in Georgia, but nationally.But, you know, this — this trip, as I was saying before, is really focusing about the American people, about the American Jobs — Jobs Plan, and the American Families Plan, and what we need to do next now that we’re past this first 100 days to really do the big once-in-a-generation investments in families, in kids, you know, in infrastructure. And — and, really — as it comes to the American Jobs Plan, really create jobs.And that’s going to be his focus today. And he’ll talk about the successes of the American Rescue Plan, which really met the moment, as we know, in this crisis — this pandemic that we’re dealing with. And so that’s going to be his focus today.Q (Inaudible) obvious request — sorry — we’d love to be able to ask the President about the meeting with President Carter afterwards. So if there’s any chance that we could get to have (inaudible), that would be perfect.MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I know you guys — I know. I know. I heard. (Laughter.) Well, we’ll get to it. We’ll look into it. (Laughter.) Q Thank you.Q And obviously, if we would be able to get a shot ofthe President and the First Lady walking into the house.Q Thank you.MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Okay, we’ll look into it. Thanks, everybody.Q Thank you, Karine. We appreciate it.12:35 P.M. EDT /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Afghanistan, america, Capitol Hill, CDC, Democrats’, FDA, G7, GDP, Georgia, Government, India, New York, Republicans, Syria, U.S., United States, White House, WTO
Intelligent Design Tagsaerobesaerobic lifebiologyChildren of LightCNS NewsDiscovery Institute Pressearthelectro-magnetic spectrumgravitygreenhouse effectinfrared radianceintelligent designlightNASAParker Solar Probeplanetary fine-tuningPrivileged SpeciesStonehengesunVenus,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Michael Denton, Discovery Institute biologist and author of the newly released Children of Light, reflects on the journey of the Parker Solar Probe. Launched on August 12, the NASA space vehicle today looped past Venus, gathering momentum for entry into the atmosphere of the Sun. NASA reports, “These gravity assists will help the spacecraft tighten its orbit closer and closer to the Sun over the course of the mission.”Our relationship to this most familiar star is something that, as light-dependent aerobes, we often blithely take for granted. The ancients were more perspicacious, as Sun-aligned monuments like Stonehenge confirm. Writing at CNS News, Denton summarizes the “miracles of fortuity” — the amazing good fortune, or could it be intelligent design? — reflected in our enjoying the set of near-countless precisely tuned parameters that allow for “light eating” intelligent beings like ourselves on a planet such as Earth.The Secrets of the SunDenton asks:What if our atmosphere absorbed a slightly different region of the electro-magnetic spectrum? For example, imagine it shifted ever so slightly from its current position so that the atmosphere absorbed all the visual light and all the infrared and let through instead the adjacent ultraviolet. Then not only would photosynthesis be impossible, but the world would have suffered a runaway greenhouse effect. It would be a hot hell-house like Venus because our air would absorb all the sun’s infrared radiance.In such a scenario, no carbon-based life could survive on the Earth’s surface, and certainly no air-breathing aerobes like ourselves.Or, if we imagine it shifted slightly the other way, then all the visual light would still be absorbed by the atmosphere, again making life for air-breathing aerobes like ourselves impossible.That the slice of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun and the slice allowed through the atmosphere should both be largely restricted to the same tiny useful regions is an extraordinary example of a special fitness in nature for our type of aerobic life on a planetary surface. The fit is truly stunning.Notice too that our atmosphere not only allows for life. It also allows us to see and study the stars, a privilege crucial to the birth of science.Read the rest here. Denton’s new book, Children of Light: The Astonishing Properties of Sunlight that Make Us Possible, is well timed, as the Parker craft gets ready to explore the secrets of the Sun close up. Denton’s work continues the Privileged Species series from Discovery Institute Press. It’s an opportunity to renew your wonder, guided by an expert scientist with the heart of a most humane philosopher.Editor’s note: This post was updated on October 8, 2018.Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben, via NASA. “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Physics, Earth & Space Parker Solar Probe Sweeps Past Venus, as Denton Renews Our Wonder About the SunDavid [email protected]_klinghofferOctober 3, 2018, 2:50 PM Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Recommended Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Share
Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. HELENA – The Senate Judiciary Committee is taking up Attorney General Steve Bullock’s proposal to crack down on repeat drunk-driving offenders.The committee is hearing the so-called “24/7” sobriety program Thursday morning after the bill passed the House last month on a 96-3 vote.The program would require repeat drunk drivers to undergo twice-daily breath tests at their own expense as part of getting bail. Supporters say the program has been effective elsewhere ensuring repeat drunk drivers sober up, and doesn’t cost the state anything.A number of DUI reform proposals are working through the Legislature after several high-profile deaths have put the state’s dangerous highways in the spotlight.
Email Sitting around the table at Woolen Collectibles in Kalispell, four women did what artisans have traditionally done for centuries: knitted and chatted, making no big deal of the amazing creations spooling into being at their fingertips.But instead of the typical treasures made with yarn, such as sweaters or hats or scarves, the rhythmic click-clack of needles heralded something simple yet sincerely meaningful, in the way only a gift to a complete stranger can be.And because of the inherent intimacy of these gifts, they’re all the more special: each woman knitting at the table was creating a cotton breast prosthesis, to be sent to a breast cancer survivor who has undergone mastectomies or other procedures to the breast.Woolen Collectibles is now the site of Montana’s outlet for Knitted Knockers, a national organization of volunteer knitters making soft, comfortable, and beautiful prosthetics for free to anyone who requests them.Tammy Thompson, owner at the shop, said she decided to start the program here because her mother heard about it from a friend whose daughter recently passed away after a battle with breast cancer.“I noticed no one in Montana was doing it,” Thompson said, her hands keeping pace with her knitting while she made eye contact with a visitor.Each prosthetic is made from cotton or acrylic yarn with a polyfill batting, making them lightweight, breathable, and soft. Other prostheses are usually expensive, heavy, can get sweaty, and can be uncomfortable, and they can require special bras or camisoles.Knitted Knockers are about comfort, Thompson said, while also maintaining the shape and general feel of a breast. They can be made for cups sizes A through E, and the wearer has the latitude of customizing it for their life; the pieces are adjustable, and can facilitate more or less batting or added weight.As the sole Knitted Knockers group in the state so far, Thompson’s stable of volunteer knitters will send the cotton prostheses to anyone in Montana who requests them. Having just started up in March, they sent their first set out last week to a person in Ronan.“It’s all totally free,” she said.Woolen Collectibles hosts a weekly gathering for those interested in knitting for the program, meeting from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Last week, the participants included Karen Lauer, who said she heard of the opportunity through a ski buddy.“It just sounded like one, a worthy cause, and two, a fun group,” Lauer said. “And it’s kind of fun to tell people you’re making knockers.”Jo Ann Jensen said she’s been coming to the open knitting sessions for a while now, and had just decided to try out the knockers’ pattern.“I haven’t done the Knitted Knockers yet, this is new,” Jensen said. “I think it’s great.”Thompson said anyone interested in participating doesn’t necessarily have to come to the weekly sessions to knit. The patterns are available online and at Woolen Collectibles and can easily be done at home, she said.“It takes people, once they get going, about three hours,” Thompson said.Each woman at the knitting table said they know someone who has been affected by breast cancer, and that awareness is important, but so is action. So being able to help through a hobby they already love is a win-win situation, they said.Regular knitters might also find another benefit to making these special pieces, Thompson said.“They’re kind of fun to knit, and you can use up your [yarn] stash,” she said, laughing.For more information on Knitted Knockers, visit www.knittedknockers.org. Woolen Collectibles is located at 183 First Ave. E in Kalispell; for more information, visit www.woolencollectibles.com or call 406-756-8746. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.