A new arsenal of cleaner, quieter, and climate-friendly landscaping equipment will soon join the electric carts and hybrid police cars already traversing Harvard Yard. Campus Services is equipping crews in the Yard with electric, battery-powered leaf blowers, grass trimmers, and tree pruners. These tools are much less noisy than conventional equipment and emit no air pollution. The move follows last year’s successful pilot program on the Science Center Plaza where workers found the commercial battery-powered versions performed just as effectively as those using gasoline.“Our hope is that as technology improves we can expand the pilot to other parts of campus and incorporate battery-powered mowers and chainsaws,” said Wayne Carbone, Manager of Landscape Services. While some workers across campus still use gas-powered tools, they operate at a reduced decibel level and at limited times of the day.Implementing best practices in sustainable operations and acting on climate are two key commitments in Harvard’s University-wide Sustainability Plan, which is focused on enhancing the wellbeing of people and the planet. The Plan includes a commitment to develop Sustainable Landscaping Standards by 2020 based on Campus Services’ award-winning Organic Landscaping Program.
US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on Friday toured the State Department’s new Vermont Passport Agency office under construction in St. Albans, as Vermont prepares to join the ranks of fewer than two dozen states with such passport offices. During the visit State Department officials told Leahy that they expect to open the new facility to the public early next year, in February.The new office will occupy St. Albans’ ornate former Post Office building on South Main Street. The renovation of the 6,650 square-foot facility is funded with $2.3 million of the $15 million for new passport agencies that Leahy included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It is expected to employ 17 people, and most will be hired locally.‘This new office will save countless Vermonters the long drive to Boston and back to iron out their passport issues,’ said Leahy, who chairs the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations, which oversees U.S. passport operations. ‘With the Canadian border right on our doorstep, it makes sense to have a passport office here in Vermont.’Leahy also welcomed the current and future jobs that the project is bringing to Vermont. ‘In the Appropriations Committee, I included funds for ready-to-go passport agencies in the stimulus bill because they meet a compelling public need, while quickly creating local jobs. Vermont’s new passport office perfectly fits the bill, creating jobs now during construction, and on into the future, when it opens to serve the public.’‘I am especially pleased that this new office and its staff of 17 will be hosted in an historic Vermont downtown,’ Leahy said. ‘This retired Post Office and its handsome lobby are a real treasure in downtown St. Albans, and it is perfectly suited and situated to continue serving this community and all Vermonters in a new century.’In its first year, the Vermont Passport Agency will issue U.S. passport books and passport cards onsite to qualifying customers who plan to travel within 14 days or who have life or death emergencies, and the State Department projects that the Vermont Passport Agency will issue 15,000 passports, including 2,500 to customers served at its public counters.Last fall Leahy announced that the State Department had selected St. Albans as the home for one of five new passport agencies to bring the total to 23 agencies across the country. Other new passport agencies will be opening in Buffalo, El Paso, Atlanta and San Diego as part of the Leahy funding provision and the State Department’s efforts to improve access to passport services. Currently the closest passport office for Vermonters is in Boston.Since June 1, 2009, all U.S. citizens have been required to provide a U.S. Passport, U.S. Passport Card or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-acceptable document when traveling through land and sea border points from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The demand for U.S. passports and passport cards has been at historic highs over the past couple of years and is expected to remain strong. Source: Leahy’s office. ST. ALBANS, Vt. (FRIDAY, Oct. 22, 2010)
Ali added that the tendency to lessen punishments for graft convicts could paint a negative image of the country’s legal system as a whole.Read also: Supreme Court seeks to limit disparities in graft sentences through regulation“As the vanguard of justice, the KPK believes that this phenomenon will contribute to a poor public image […], which in turn will erode public trust in legal institutions,” he said, adding that corruption eradication efforts required a strong commitment and a shared vision within the legal system.Ali called on the Supreme Court to issue a regulation on such matters to ensure fair legal outcomes.A petition for judicial review contributed recently to the reduction of a prison sentence for National Awakening Party (PKB) lawmaker Musa Zainuddin, who was convicted of graft in 2017, from nine years to six years. (rfa)Topics : The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has criticized the Supreme Court’s recent record of granting judicial reviews of graft cases that have often led to lighter punishments than what was originally decided.According to the KPK, at least 20 graft cases handled by the commission between 2019 and 2020 were “botched” by the Supreme Court’s supposedly lenient rulings.“The KPK is dismayed by the Supreme Court’s mounting approvals of case review requests,” KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri said in a statement on Monday as quoted by tribunnews.com.