7 Best Botanical Gardens in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

7 Best Botanical Gardens in the U.S.

What do you do if you want to enjoy the beauty of blooming flowers, trees and plants, but you don’t have much of a green thumb? Do you struggle to plant your own garden with varying levels of success? Or do you opt to just visit a gorgeous botanical garden and leave the planting and horticulture to the experts? If you’re team B, who wants nothing to do with potting soil and toiling away in the yard, then you need to add these seven botanical gardens to your must-see list.

New York Botanical Gardens (The Bronx, NY)

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To be fair, there are two botanical gardens in New York City, the other being the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. But the city’s official garden is in the borough that’s home to hip-hop and the Yankees — the Bronx. The New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG) spreads over 250 acres with indoor and outdoor exhibits. It is also an official historic landmark. Depending on the time of year that you visit, you can catch some beautiful seasonal exhibits. Over the winter holidays, the NYBG puts on its annual model train show. In the spring months, you can visit the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden where over 650 varieties are in bloom. An added bonus, the New York Botanical Gardens are literally across the street from the Bronx Zoo, which makes for a wonderful day trip on the 2 train.

Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix, AZ)

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Does anything bloom in the desert? The answer is yes, and you can find out exactly what kind of plants thrive in the beautiful Desert Botanical Garden located in Phoenix, Arizona. The garden is nestled in the Papago Buttes within the Sonoran Desert. You can check out more than 50,000 plants spread across the garden’s 140 acres. This particular botanical garden focuses on plant life that you would find in desert conditions. Be sure to check their calendar for seasonal events as the Desert Botanical Garden also serves as a live event space for concerts and performing arts.

Missouri Botanical Gardens (St. Louis, MO)

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If you prefer places with historical significance, then the Missouri Botanical Gardens is the perfect spot. This particular botanical garden opened its doors in 1859 and is the oldest continuous operating garden in the United States. The garden is set on 79 acres and features a variety of interesting exhibits. Enjoy a stroll through one of the nation’s largest Japanese gardens, on 14-acres. You can also visit their year-round domed Climatron greenhouse without columns that houses a lush tropical rainforest. Fun fact, the Missouri Botanical Gardens is the second largest botanical garden in North America, second only to the Bronx’s New York Botanical Gardens.

United States Botanic Garden (Washington, D.C.)

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While the Missouri Botanical Gardens is considered the oldest operating U.S. botanical garden, the United States Botanic Garden is also quite old. Established in 1820, this garden was actually designated as part of the National Mall. Although the United States Botanic Garden isn’t one of the largest in the nation, it’s a great way to take a break when you’re exhausted from the museums and monuments. The garden is home to 60,000 various plant species, including several that are endangered.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (Dallas, TX)

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Where can you see 17 specialty gardens in one place? If you guessed Texas, you’re right! This garden sits on 66 acres and features a variety of gardens and walking paths. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is home to some very fun and festive-themed seasonal exhibits. For example, during the fall, they create a Pumpkin Village that incorporates over 90,000 pumpkins and 150,000 fall blooms.

Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA)

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If you happen to take a trip to Philadelphia, then it’s worth making a slight detour to visit Longwood Gardens. This massive botanical garden is located a short hour outside of Philadelphia and boasts an impressive list of indoor and outdoor gardens as well as gorgeous lily pad ponds. The Longwood Gardens were created by the magnate Pierre Du Pont as a sort of homage to the gardens of Versaille. In the winter you can stick to the four and a half acres of indoor gardens. But in the summer, be sure not to miss their weekly illuminated fountain and fireworks displays that take place every weekend.

International Rose Test Garden (Portland, OR)

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If you like only one particular kind of flower and that flower happens to be a rose, then Portland’s International Rose Test Garden should be on the top of your list. Did you know that Portland is actually nicknamed the City of Roses? And once you stroll through this beautiful garden, it will all make sense. The International Rose Test Garden began as a sanctuary for European roses to grow in safety during World War I. Today, the garden still serves as a research facility where breeders send their seeds. The rose garden is home to more than 650 species of roses and can sometimes offer as many as 10,000 bushes in bloom during the prime season.

So, the next time you have an urge to enjoy the beauty of mother nature, you don’t have to run to your local home improvement store. Ditch the gardening gloves and terra cotta planters and hit the road. There are plenty of beautiful gardens across the nation where you can enjoy nature and leave green thumbs to the pros.

5 Fastest Growing U.S. Cities

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

Fastest Growing U.S. Cities

For jobs, lifestyle choices, weather, cost of living, retirement — you name it — we’re moving a lot. Using census data, trends surveys rely on myriad criteria and methodology to determine the fastest growing areas, often breaking down information based on small, medium and large cities. Not to mention use of precise definitions for metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions and so on. Confused yet? Not to worry. The overall trends are driven by a few easy to understand factors.

People are still moving to take jobs in coastal tech hubs. Then there are inland cities growing due to “tech dislocation,” places with rapid tech sector growth due to the exodus of workforces from more expensive cities. Another huge factor is retirement (think Florida and Arizona). Note that the cities on this list are all large, and made the top five based on pure volume of growth. Meanwhile, many small and medium cities had a higher percentage of growth. Based solely on overall growth numbers released in May by the United States Census Bureau, the five fastest growing cities in the country are highlighted below.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California

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Perhaps the poster child for urban sprawl, Los Angeles grew by 18,643 people since the last annual count, for a total 2017 population of 3,999,759. That’s just over 50 people per day. With a mild year-round climate of near-perpetual sun, weather has to be one of the biggest enticements for new residents. The Southern California mega-city has long been a draw for free spirits, artists and aspiring actors, along with being a domestic melting pot with large Hispanic and Asian populations. Hollywood, the center of the television and film industry in the U.S., accounts for much of the city’s industry, along with the music biz.

Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

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With its recent growth, Fort Worth has overtaken Indianapolis, Indiana, to become the 15th largest city in the country. For a city that started as a trading post for cowboys at the end of the Chisholm Trail, Fort Worth has come a long way. The city in North Central Texas grew by 18,644 for a total population of 874,168. Cowboy heritage is retained here, where the Fort Worth Stockyards are still home to some of the nation’s largest rodeo events, and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame honors early pioneers. It’s not all about country culture, however, as this metropolitan city is home to international art institutes like the Kimbell Art  Museum. Considering a move or visit to Fort Worth? A great resource is the city’s website, fortworthtexas.gov.

Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas

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Long the commercial and cultural hub of north Texas, Dallas is a modern metropolis sprouted from western roots. After all, the city’s NFL franchise is called the Cowboys. The culture and charm of Dallas — which grew by 18,935 to an overall population of 1,341,075 — are highlighted by the Lake and Garden district in East Dallas (parks, lakes, an arboretum and gardens), Deep Ellum (a former warehouse district turned nightlife hotspot), the Arts District (largest urban arts district in the nation, in the core of downtown) and Highland Park (high-end shopping and dining in North Dallas). Potential Dallas transplants and visitors will find great information at the visitdallas.com.

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Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

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The capital of Arizona, Phoenix grew by 24,036 residents to reach a population of 1,626,078. Retirement and the resort lifestyle are keys to the area’s growth, with aging baby boomers flocking for year-round sun and warmth. Ritzy resort spas and world-class golf courses, among them a Jack Nicklaus design, are attractive to a crowd with plenty of expendable income and leisure time. Beyond the country club gates, Phoenix offers everyone cultural pursuits, with a vibrant nightlife fueled by glitzy nightclubs and dive bars alike, along with a cosmopolitan culinary scene. Spring training baseball and abundant outdoor recreation are additional draws, while the city’s Desert Botanical Garden showcases the abundance of life that flourishes amidst harsh growing conditions, with displays of hearty cacti and native plant species.

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

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Whether or not they “remember the Alamo,” folks are flocking to San Antonio, which grew by 24,208 to reach a population of 1,511,946. The major city in south-central Texas is steeped in colonial history, including the Alamo, the 18th-century Spanish mission preserved as a museum to commemorate the infamous 1836 battle for Texan independence from Mexico. Tracing the contours of the San Antonio River for miles through the heart of the city, San Antonio’s River Walk is its most prominent modern landmark, an alluring pedestrian promenade of shops, restaurants and bars. Future residents and vacationers can grab a great perspective on the city atop the 750-foot tall Tower of the Americas, which overlooks the entire city from its location in HemisFair Park.

Phoenix Mayor Apologizes After Video Of Police Drawing Gun On Family Over Stolen Doll

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS)

 

Phoenix Mayor Apologizes After Video Of Police Drawing Gun On Family Over Stolen Doll

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego pictured here in September 2018. On Saturday, Gallego apologized to the city following an outcry over footage showing police officers pointing a gun and yelling at a family as part of an investigation into a claim that a doll was shoplifted from a Family Dollar store in Phoenix.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

The mayor of Phoenix is apologizing to the city following recently released video showing police officers pointing their guns and threatening to shoot a 22-year-old father who was with his pregnant fiancée and two young daughters. Police say they were investigating allegations that one of the children had shoplifted a doll from a Family Dollar store.

Viral footage of the incident captured by bystanders has already prompted an internal police probe, a $10 million civil rights claim and a chorus of fury on social media. Now, Phoenix Kate Gallego says the police officers’ actions were “completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional,” calling the recordings “beyond upsetting.”

“I am deeply sorry for what this family went through, and I apologize to our community,” Gallego said on Twitter Saturday evening. “This is not who we are, and I refuse to allow this type of behavior to go unchallenged.”

The episode happened last month when Dravon Ames, 22, his fiancée, Iesha Harper, 24, along with their two young daughters, London Drake, 1, and Island Drake, who is 4, visited a Family Dollar store. Unbeknownst to the parents, one of their daughters had swiped a doll from the store without paying for it.

Police say they were tipped off about the alleged shoplifting by a store employee just as the family’s car was leaving the parking lot, and police followed the car. Police eventually cornered the vehicle in the apartment complex of the family’s babysitter.

A heated standoff ensued.

Cell phone videos taken by witnesses show officers shouting profanities at the family as officers order that they put their hands up. If they did not comply, an officer can be heard saying, “You’re gonna f***ing get shot. Get your f***ing hands up!”

Police wrote in an incident report that they feared the mother was “hiding something,” or was reaching for a gun (No weapons were recovered from the family).

In the parents’ civil rights claim, they say when Harper exited the vehicle, officers injured her 1-year-old daughter by pulling on one of her arms when Harper would not follow an officer’s order to hand over her baby.

The filing from the family alleges that Ames was thrown against a vehicle and kicked so hard that he collapsed before a police officer “kept his knee between the father’s legs. He punched the father very hard in the back for no reason,” the parents’ lawyer, Thomas Horne, wrote in the claim.

Harper passed off her baby to a bystander before police handcuffed her and her fiancé and they were placed in police patrol car.

“I could have shot you in front of your f***ing kids,” an officer said to her, according to the family’s claim.

Horne alleges that the incident violated the family’s civil rights by committing battery, unlawfully imprisoning them and causing the parents and their kids emotional distress. The claim is seeking $10 million in damages.

Since the it happened, the family’s 4-year-old has been experiencing nightmares and wetting the bed out of distress, according to the filing.

Phoenix Police Department Chief Jeri Williams told the public an internal investigation is being conducted over the incident.

“I, like you, am disturbed by the language and the actions of our officer,” Williams said in a video the police department posted to Facebook. “I assure you that this incident is not representative of the majority of Phoenix police officers who serve this city.”

The doll was returned to Family Dollar, officials said. And though nobody faced charges stemming from the alleged shoplifting, authorities issued Ames a traffic ticket for driving on a suspended license and impounded his car.

His lawyer says he is limping from having been roughed up by police, and he now has no way to drive to his job as a warehouse worker.

Gallego, the Phoenix mayor, said in response to the incident, the city will be speeding up its implementation of police body-worn cameras across the entire police department. She has also scheduled a public meeting with the police chief for the community to air its thoughts about the troubling footage of the police interaction.

“We owe it to our residents,” she said. “To give them an open forum to discuss their concerns with us and to propose solutions.”

Trump Says “Trust Me” On Afghanistan: Is It Even Possible To Trust Him On Anything?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Trump to ask Americans to trust him on Afghanistan

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Donald Trump is expected to discuss Afghanistan strategy Monday night
  • The President’s first major security address is expected to be from Fort Myer
  • His speech comes after a divisive news conference he gave last week

(CNN) Donald Trump will ask Americans Monday to trust him on his new Afghanistan strategy, exercising a president’s most somber duty, a decision on waging war, at a time when his own political standing is deeply compromised.

Trump will make his first prime-time broadcast on a specific policy issue to the nation as president at 9 p.m. ET to unveil his new plan, and a potential escalation of the nation’s longest war, after a lengthy period of deliberations that carved deep splits within his administration.
The speech will test the President’s capacity to convince Americans that he has settled on the right course of action on a major national security issue, and to unify the nation around it, despite his own depleted approval ratings and behavior that has alienated many voters in his first seven months in office.
Trump’s first major national security address will also begin to show whether the credibility that the President has squandered, with his provocative rhetoric and frequent resort to falsehoods, will hamper his capacity to lead.
Monday’s address, from Fort Myer, in Arlington, Virginia, represents a chance for Trump to leverage the symbolism of his office to stabilize a presidency that has threatened to spin out of control over the last two weeks.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said Sunday that Trump’s policy review on the war and the entire US approach to South Asia — i.e. Washington’s tortured relationship with Pakistan and complaints that Islamabad is tacitly encouraging extremists — had been finalized.
“He wants to be the one to announce it to the American people,” Mattis said. “He now needs the weekend to collect his thoughts on how he’s going to explain it to the American people.”
While Trump will be unveiling a crucial national security decision, it will be impossible to divorce his speech from its political context. His inflammatory news conference last week in which he equated white supremacists and counterprotestors who clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia, triggered a stampede away from the President by senior Republican lawmakers, corporate CEOs and others that left him more isolated that ever before. His remarks also hit his own bottom line — a long list of charities has now canceled plans to host events at his Florida resort at Mar-a-Lago.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who is now a CNN national security analyst, said that after off-the-cuff moments like the Trump Tower press conference, attention will be focused on how the President presents his case — as well as the content of his new strategy.
“There is a lot of pressure on him and hopefully we will see the teleprompter President Trump tonight,” Clapper said on CNN’s “New Day,” arguing that the presidency had been “seriously, seriously, wounded” by the President’s remarks at Trump Tower last week.
The decision on Afghanistan also sets up a test for Trump with his own political base in the wake of the departure of his senior strategist, Steve Bannon, who opposed sending more troops to the war and was the closest link to the isolationist, populist beliefs of the President’s core supporters.

Trump’s long-awaited Afghanistan strategy

Trump repeatedly questioned the purpose of America’s continued involvement in Afghanistan during his campaign, but he also contradicted himself on whether the war should have been fought.
Officials say that the President remains deeply skeptical about the notion of a continued presence in Afghanistan but is concerned that if the US comes home, it will leave a vacuum that could be exploited by terror groups.
But his doubts about escalating the war come up against the determination of hawkish generals in his inner circle, including national security adviser H.R. McMaster, not to give up on a war that has demanded more than a decade-and-a-half of painful American sacrifice.
Trump delegated authority to adjust troop levels to Mattis early in his administration, but he has been presented by the Pentagon with a range of options for the path forward, including a complete troop withdrawal and the deployment of up to 4,000 more soldiers to add to the more than 8,000 American forces that are already there.
Hopes that the US could finally leave Afghanistan have been checked by the Kabul government’s struggle to preserve order under a resurgent challenge from the Taliban and inroads made by extremist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.
In June, Mattis gave a blunt assessment on the state of the war in a hearing for the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. And we will correct this as soon as possible,” he said.
Trump’s appearance Monday night follows the most polarizing chapter of a presidency that has continually exacerbated political divisions.
His handling of the aftermath of violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville earlier this month has sparked outrage and accusations that Trump has irrevocably tarnished the moral authority of his presidency.
A measure of the damage that his conduct has inflicted on his political fortunes is reflected in the continued ramifications of his news conference days afterward. A flood of CEOs distanced themselves from Trump, forcing the closure of several White House advisory councils. Some senior Republicans, including Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, publicly questioned his fitness for office. And few senior GOP figures have been willing to publicly defend Trump, raising new questions about his capacity to enact his agenda in Congress.

Speech, then rally

Should Trump succeed in staking out a more conventional presidential posture Monday night, any political gain could be short-lived, as he is scheduled to hold a major political rally in Arizona on Tuesday night.
A vintage, pyrotechnical performance by Trump could revive the issue of his temperament following the Charlottesville drama and further anger Americans who are already disgusted by the President’s antics.
The rally offers Trump an early chance to show that despite the departure of Bannon, he remains committed to the issues and the political style that has won him steadfastly loyal support from his political base.
The issues likely to please a fervently pro-Trump crowd in Arizona are those that proved most effective for Trump in his campaign — including on illegal immigration and the need for a border wall — but which also cause the most alarm outside his core supporters.
In many ways, the Charlottesville episode has offered a reminder of why Trump was so controversial — by tearing at the societal and racial divisions in American life — but also why he was elected, since it shows how he connects with the often unspoken political instincts of a sizable slice of the country.
But in two crucial days for his administration Monday and Tuesday, Trump has to navigate two sides of his position — the duty to rally a nation behind a foreign war and a political imperative to solidify support among his most enthusiastic voters. It is not clear that either aim is compatible with the other.

Pastor Greg Laurie To Headline Phoenix ‘Super Bowl Of Evangelism’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

Tens of thousands of people across the nation are expected to attend or watch what evangelist Greg Laurie has referred to as the “Super Bowl of evangelism” this Sunday.

Screenshot Pastor Greg Laurie sharing the Gospel with 100,000 people Harvest America 2016 at Texas AT&T stadium

Laurie, senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, and Harvest Crusades will be hosting the annual Harvest America revival event in Glendale, Arizona, which this year will feature a number of well-known Christian musical talents, a Gospel message from Laurie and a sneak peek at Laurie’s upcoming documentary on the faith of Hollywood icon Steve McQueen.

The event, which is billed as “the nation’s largest one-day evangelistic outreach,” will be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium and begins around 4:30 p.m. It will be livestreamed online and telecast on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

The show will feature performances from “The Voice” star Brennley Brown, “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks, Christian bands MercyMe and NEEDTOBREATHE, contemporary Christian musician Phil Wickham and Christian rapper Trip Lee. The night will be capped off by a sermon and call to profess faith in Christ from the 64-year-old Laurie.

“Super Bowl Sunday, which for many now is a religious holiday, is a day when many of us watch a football game on TV. It is something we all do across the country at the same time. There will be Super Bowl parties where you will invite people over to your home and then watch the game,” Laurie told The Christian Post in an interview this week.

“I use that as a picture to describe what Harvest America is,” he continued. “Yes, it happens in one place — Phoenix, Arizona — but the reason we call it Harvest America is there are thousands of host sites around the nation in places ranging from church sanctuaries to movie theaters to open fields to front rooms. We ask everyone simultaneously to watch this event as it happens live in Arizona.”

Harvest America 2016 was hosted at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and was attended by over 82,000 people while an estimated 180,000 people across the world watched the event at 7,000 different simulcast hosting locations. An estimated 25,000 people made professions of faith at the end of the night.

As Laurie has maintained that America is in need of a “spiritual awakening,” this year’s Harvest America coincides with Laurie’s declaration earlier this year that 2017 is “the year of Good News.

“I think that right now there is a real anxiety in many people. There is a fear in the air,” Laurie told CP. “Recently, I read that the No. 1 phrase typed in the Google search engine was ‘Is World War III near?’ because of a nation like North Korea threatening to nuke us in doing missile tests. I think that people are agitated, they are concerned, they are wondering the answers to those age-old questions. I think we need to be there with answers from the Bible.”

(Photo: Trever Hoehne for Harvest Ministries)Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California and Harvest Orange County in Irvine, California, shares the Gospel with a sold-out crowd of 19,000 for Harvest America at the American Airlines Center and Victory Park in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 5, 2014.

“As we have gotten away from that [biblical] virtue and those moral absolutes because we have gotten away from God’s Word and we have gotten away from God Himself, we have a nation in need, a nation in crisis, a nation where the family is breaking down, a nation where we have riots in our streets and racial unrest,” the evangelist added. “The answer is we need another spiritual awakening.”

Laurie said that since the event will be televised on TBN and livestreamed on Harvest America’s website, it creates an opportunity for people across the nation to invite their friends and neighbors to their homes and churches to watch the event in fellowship with their communities.

“When I am calling people to Christ in the University of Phoenix Stadium, I will be calling them to Christ wherever you are,” Laurie said.

An aspect that will be entirely new to this year’s Harvest America is Harvest’s partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board’s Crossover Phoenix 2017, an outreach event in which believers will be trained and expected to evangelize people on the streets of Phoenix.

“They felt like they needed an event, sort of a catalyst to wrap it around,” Laurie said of NAMB’s Crossover. “I thought it was a perfect fit. We, like NAMB and the SBC, are passionate about evangelism and about calling people to Christ and so we agreed.”

Laurie said that experienced evangelism leaders associated with Harvest will conduct a training class for people who plan to take part in the Crossover event on Friday.

“We are hands-on involved in training and we do a lot of this sort of thing,” he explained. “We train people and take them out in the streets all year long. So this is in our wheelhouse. This is a perfect cooperative effort between Harvest Ministries and NAMB because we all have the same objectives.”

Laurie said that it remains to be seen if the Crossover evangelism efforts will lead to an increased attendance at Harvest America but knows that the partnership will help Harvest have a greater impact on the Phoenix community.

“People are coming in from around the country and they are being trained in sharing their faith. They are going to go out and engage people,” Laurie stated. “Even if people don’t come to the event itself, the fact that we are sending people out into the community to talk to people about their faith is, in itself, a really great thing. The fact that we are coordinating with the crusade itself is an even better thing.”

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The West’s largest coal-fired power plant is closing. Not even Trump can save it

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

The West’s largest coal-fired power plant is closing. Not even Trump can save it

February 14 at 6:51 PM

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised to help revive the struggling coal industry.

It’s looking like a tough promise to keep.

In the past three weeks, owners of two of the nation’s biggest coal-fired power plants have announced plans to shut them down, potentially idling hundreds of workers. One plant in Arizona is the largest coal-fired facility in the western United States.

“[We’re] bringing back jobs, big league,” President Trump said Tuesday after signing legislation that would scrap requirements for natural resources companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. “We’re bringing them back at the plant level. We’re bringing them back at the mine level. The energy jobs are coming back.”

Yet even with his efforts to roll back Obama-era energy regulations, a lot of coal jobs won’t ever return, mainly because of harsh economic realities.

Case in point: The decision this week by the utilities that own the Navajo Generating Station outside Page, Ariz., to decommission the plant at the end of 2019, decades earlier than expected.

The 2,250-megawatt plant has faced increasing financial pressure in the face of record-low natural gas prices, which have made it more expensive to produce electricity at the facility than to purchase it from cheaper sources.

“The utility owners do not make this decision lightly,” said Mike Hummel, deputy general manager of Salt River Project, which operates the plant and owns it along with several utility companies and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

“NGS and its employees are one reason why this region, the state of Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area have been able to grow and thrive,” he added in a statement. “However, [its owners have] an obligation to provide low-cost service to our more than 1 million customers, and the higher cost of operating NGS would be borne by our customers.”

Environmental activists welcomed the prospect of closing the plant, one of the biggest polluters in the country. The Navajo Generating Station was third on a 2014 Environmental Protection Agency list of major carbon-emitting facilities.

But its closure would deal its community a significant economic blow. Between the plant itself and the Kayenta Mine — located roughly 80 miles away, it provides all the coal for the generating station — nearly 800 workers could find themselves out of work. Many are members of the Navajo and Hopi tribes, which also receive royalties from the plant. In their announcement, the plant’s owners said the tribes or others could still step in to operate the facility beyond 2019.

Less than three weeks ago, Dayton Power and Light reached an agreement with the Sierra Club to close its Killen and Stuart coal-fired power plants in Ohio due to economic reasons. The plants would close in June 2018, the company and nonprofit said.

The Stuart plant, built in the early 1970s, has a capacity of 2,440 megawatts. The Killen plant, built-in 1982, has a capacity of 666 megawatts.

Dayton Power and Light submitted a closure plan for approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The utility said it would develop solar and wind projects generating at least 300 megawatts of power no later than 2022. It also proposed a variety of energy-efficiency steps and grid improvements.

The Sierra Club applauded the moves, which it said would save $37 million a year in health-care costs by avoiding more than 1,200 asthma attacks, 100 heart attacks and nearly 100 deaths linked to the two plants’ emissions. Both facilities are among the largest sources of pollution in the United States, affecting residents as far away as the Atlantic coast.

“The economics of coal are increasingly bad,” said Bruce Nilles, a Sierra Club lawyer. State governments and utilities commissions “will do a lot to prop up” ailing plants, he said, but “it gets increasingly expensive.”

Dayton Power and Light is a subsidiary of Virginia-based AES Corp.

Trump’s ability to save the Navajo plant and others like it is limited, despite his rhetoric. Even if his administration follows through on its promises to relax regulations on the coal industry, those changes aren’t likely to change coal’s fading market.

And if the owners of coal-fired plants lose money when they operate their facilities, keeping them running makes little economic sense.

Recent Immigration Raids in U.S. Cities

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS AGENCY)

What to Know About Recent Immigration Raids in U.S. Cities

10:26 AM Eastern

Hundreds of undocumented immigrants were arrested in raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in cities across the U.S. this week — the first widespread enforcement of President Donald Trump’s policy aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

Trump campaigned on a promise to take action against illegal immigration, pledging to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants by targeting those with criminal records. Notably, experts have challenged Trump’s estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of crimes.

The raids took place at homes and workplaces in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, the Los Angeles area, North Carolina and South Carolina, the Washington Post reported, citing immigration officials.

Here are some key details to know:

This action follows Trump’s executive order on immigration
Trump signed an executive order last month aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. It set a priority of deporting any undocumented immigrant who had been charged with a crime, convicted of a crime or had “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

But immigration officials said the recent raids were a “routine” enforcement practice.

“These are existing, established fugitive operations teams. ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately,” said Gillian Christensen, acting press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, according to CNN. “ICE only conducts targeted enforcement of criminal aliens and other individuals who are in violation of our nation’s immigration laws.”

Raids caused panic in immigrant communities
Recent arrests and deportations have affected people who were not considered a priority for deportation under the Obama administration.

Protests broke out in Phoenix this week over the deportation of a mother who had lived in the U.S. for 21 years and was arrested during a routine meeting with ICE on Wednesday. She had been convicted of a felony in 2008 for using a fake social security number to gain employment, but she was not previously considered a deportation priority.

Officials conducted similar raids during Obama’s presidency but prioritized immigrants who were deemed a threat to national security or public safety. Still, more than 2 million people were deported under Obama, leading some critics to label him “Deporter in Chief.”

The raids this week caused fear and confusion in immigrant communities, and immigrants’ rights advocates argued it was different than typical law enforcement action. Some groups issued guidance for dealing with ICE officials. In Austin, Texas, teachers handed out flyers to students, explaining “what to do if ICE comes to your door,” the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Democratic leaders and lawmakers spoke out about the arrests
“Angelenos should not have to fear raids that are disruptive to their peace of mind and bring unnecessary anxiety to our homes, schools, and workplaces,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday. “The Administration should take a just, humane, and sensible approach that does not cause pain for people who only want to live their lives and raise their families in the communities they call home.”

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro confirmed there was a “targeted operation” taking place in the state and said he was “concerned” about the raids.

“I am asking ICE to clarify whether these individuals are in fact dangerous, violent threats to our communities, and not people who are here peacefully raising families and contributing to our state,” he said in a statement.

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