Rooftops Newsletter: New Research Shows Continued Growth in Senior Hunger

9.6 million seniors faced the threat of hunger in 2013 in the U.S.

The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) has released a new study entitled The State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report, which revealed that 15.5 percent of seniors or 9.6 million individuals in the United States faced the threat of hunger in 2013, the most recent year for which the data were available.

Read the press release

In examining the extent of the threat of hunger among seniors in 2013, the report also provides the rates of senior hunger in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Below are the top ten worst states for senior hunger.

View the rates of senior hunger by state.



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AmericanTown’s Heroes: Adelphi Students Camp Out for Soldiers

It was only one night. Not enough to call a sacrifice, but the students wanted to do without comforts to show empathy for the daily routine of soldiers, so they coordinated an event called Sleep Out for Soldiers

What made it more cozy is a fraternity group teamed up with a sorority group this year and…

Read more Adelphi Students Camp Out for Soldiers.



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Apr 29,2015: The Steppas


One good thing about music is when it hits you feel no pain, impressionable words chanted by inspirational reggae legend Bob Marley. Reggae music has fed generations of musicians, singers and songwriters. One such birth from this is a Pacific Island band known as The Steppas. The name serves as a reminder to step and move forward.

Comprised of Rick Star (lead vocals/lead guitar), Na’ea Kaopua (vocals/percussion/keys), Kekolu Pavao (bass), Busy Legaspi (drums) and Markana Rosetti (keyboards), these five musicians have recreated the landscape of reggae music in Hawaii. The passion to play music with the message of peace and love through roots reggae music has never been more evident.

The Steppas have self-produced their album releases which include, The Steppas EP (August 2012) and The Love Shack EP (March 2013). This Second EP entitled The Love Shack debuted at #2 on iTunes reggae charts also hot shot debut at #6 on reggae billboard charts. Fresh off their 2013 tour covering secen states and more than 30 U.S. cities, they have teamed up alongside Leslie Bimwala who’s credentials include producing the likes of The Green, Kimie, Jboog to create the much anticipated first full length album to be released in March 2014. So step and move forward, Roaches up with The Steppas!



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Apr 29,2015: Don Friesen

Don Friesen: Smart Savvy Highly-Caffeinated Comedy

If you missed Don’s hit Showtime one-hour Special, “Ask Your Mom,” you’ve got to catch him Live!   Engaging, clever, and just flat-out funny, Don captures the irony of parenting, marriage and everyday absurdities through characters, voices, parodies and some of the best written routines around. 

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says “Friesen will leave a lasting comic impression,” and describes him as “offbeat, satirical, self-deprecating and slightly out of control.”

As the only two-time winner in the 39-year history of the prestigious San Francisco International Comedy Competition, Friesen ignites the stage with a playful, high-energy spoof of his life as a modern suburban dad trying to get through the day with a bit of money in the bank and a scrap of dignity intact. 

Friesen’s credits include appearances on Showtime, Comedy Central, NBC, CBS…. He was featured in TBS’ “The Comedy Festival” in Las Vegas and is a wildly popular on KLOS’ 5:00 Funnies and XM Sirius satellite radio.



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Apr 25,2015: Law

Free: See How You’re Listed

On Yahoo, Yelp, SuperPages, AmericanTowns and 25 other directories!



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Apr 25,2015: Hermosa Beach Farmers Market

Market Hours:
Year Round
Friday  12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: 11th Street, 1035 Valley Dr., Hermosa Beach, 90254



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AmericanTown’s Heroes: Ryan Johnson Ran In To Help

When a tractor trailer stacked with cars crashed into a restaurant, many people rushed to the scene to see if they could help. It was a something you might see in a blockbuster movie, the result of a high-speed car chase, but that was not what happened.

The driver of the trailer lost control coming down a hill and crashed into a restaurant occupied with people, killing a young woman who worked there. It took a few seconds to realize what happened…

Read more Ryan Johnson Ran In To Help.



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Earth Talk: Are We Past the Point of No Return on Climate Change?

Dear EarthTalk: What is the best way to measure how close we are to the dreaded “point of no return” with climate change? In other words, when do we think we will have gone too far?

                                                                                                            – David Johnston, via EarthTalk.org

 

While we may not yet have reached the “point of no return”—when no amount of cutbacks on greenhouse gas emissions will save us from potentially catastrophic global warming—climate scientists warn we may be getting awfully close. Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution a century ago, the average global temperature has risen some 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Most climatologists agree that, while the warming to date is already causing environmental problems, another 0.4 degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature, representing a global average atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) of 450 parts per million (ppm), could set in motion unprecedented changes in global climate and a significant increase in the severity of natural disasters—and as such could represent the dreaded point of no return.

 

Currently the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (the leading greenhouse gas) is approximately 398.55 parts per million (ppm). According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the federal scientific agency tasked with monitoring the health of our oceans and atmosphere, the current average annual rate of increase of 1.92 ppm means we could reach the point of no return by 2042.

 

Environmental leaders point out that this doesn’t give us much time to turn the tide. Greenpeace, a leading environmental advocacy group, says we have until around 2020 to significantly cut back on greenhouse gas output around the world—to the tune of a five percent annual reduction in emissions overall—if we are to avoid so-called “runaway” climate change. “The world is fast approaching a ‘point of no return’ beyond which extremely dangerous climate change impacts can become unavoidable,” reports the group. “Within this time period, we will have to radically change our approach to energy production and consumption.”

 

In a recent lecture at Georgetown University, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim reported that whether we are able to cut emissions enough to prevent catastrophe likely depends on the policies of the world’s largest economies and the widespread adoption of so-called carbon pricing systems (such as emissions trading plans and carbon taxes). International negotiators meeting in Paris next December are already working to hammer out an agreement mandating that governments adopt these types of systems to facilitate emissions reductions. “A price on carbon is the single most important thing we have to get out of a Paris agreement,” Kim stated. “It will unleash market forces.”

 

While carbon pricing will be key to mitigating global warming, Greenpeace adds that stemming the tide of deforestation in the world’s tropical rainforests and beyond and adapting our food systems to changing climatic conditions and increasingly limited resources will also be crucial to the health of the planet.

 

“Without additional mitigation, and even with adaptation, warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread and irreversible impacts globally,” reports the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international group of leading climate experts convened by the United Nations to review and assess the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information on global warming. Indeed, there’s no time like the present to start changing our ways.

 

CONTACTS: NOAA, www.noaa.gov; World Bank, www.worldbank.org; Greenpeace, www.greenpeace.org; IPCC, www.ipcc.ch.

 

 

EarthTalk® is produced by Doug Moss Roddy Scheer and is a registered trademark of Earth Action Network Inc. View past columns at: www.earthtalk.org. Or e-mail us your question: earthtalk@emagazine.com. 

 



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Apr 24,2015: Ease Up

Free: See How You’re Listed

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Apr 23,2015: Rufus Wainwright


The last few years have been quite a journey for Rufus Wainwright. Creatively, he put pop music aside and concentrated on his other interests, from his Grammy-nominated recreation of Judy Garland’s fabled Carnegie Hall concert to the 2009 premiere of his opera, Prima Donna. Wainwright’s personal life has been even more dramatic, witnessing the birth of his daughter, Viva; the death of his mother, singer/songwriter Kate McGarrigle; and his engagement to partner Jorn Weisbrodt.

All of these experiences inform his seventh studio album, Out of the Game, along with the input of a new collaborator, celebrated producer Mark Ronson. The results are the loosest, most accessible music of Wainwright’s career, retaining his distinctive narrative sense and wry wit while adding classic pop pleasures.

“What I wanted was a warmth and a depth in terms of quality of sound, and a certain clarity that’s still easy on the ears,” he says. “I’ve done that whole ponderous, pseudo-genius thing, so it was fun to get in there and work really fast and do something that was more about the songs.”

Wainwright and Ronson knew each other socially, but the idea of matching them in the studio was the idea of their mutual friend and publicist Barbara Charone (who, in turn, is paid tribute on the album’s track “Barbara”). Ronson—winner of the 2008 Grammy for “Producer of the Year,” known for his work with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Christina Aguilera—says that initially he was unsure why the singer was turning to him, but that he was instantly inspired by the demo recording of the song that would become the album’s title track.

“Hearing ‘Out of the Game’ set this warm, ’70s, slightly Laurel Canyon-meets- Young Americans tone,” he says. “I started to hear sounds and ideas as soon as I heard that demo.”

Wainwright and Ronson both credit the influence of the great recordings of the 1970s on Out of the Game. They reference such giants as Elton John, Harry Nilsson, and Steely Dan, and the genre-blending and sense of songwriting ambition that characterized the best music of that era.

“We were both born in the ’70s and that’s the first music that we heard,” says Wainwright. “I think it kind of gives us a right to pull from that, because our generation really was the last one that was actually there.”

After the brief, initial demo session, they spent six months reviewing the new songs and listening to some of Wainwright’s older, unreleased material. By the time the recording began, they had enough preparation and, as Wainwright says, “were getting along like a house on fire,” and found that they were able to work at a very productive pace, tracking sixteen songs in just eight days.

“There was nothing precious about the recordings,” says Ronson. “The band was playing live, with Rufus singing on a couch in the control room. For the most part the songs are what was recorded in that take, and it feels like you’re sitting there with the band.”

The sounds on Out of the Game range from the grand horns-and-strings arrangement of “Jericho” to the sparse, hypnotic “Montauk.” On “Rashida,” Ronson displays his signature love of doo-wop/girl group harmonies, while Wainwright says that “Bitter Tears” allowed the producer to “flex his dance muscles a little bit.” He describes “Welcome to the Ball” as the rare pop song that “goes on a serious journey through different musical perspectives.”

“I know some stuff about pop music, but I’m really more centered in the classical world, so I was ready to deliver the goods to Mark and have him take over,” says Wainwright. “I think I sound the best of any album I’ve made—I’m hitting a plateau with my voice that’s very exciting.”

Ronson, who brought in many of the same players he used on sessions with such modern soul masters as Winehouse and D’Angelo—including the hardhitting Dap-Kings—plus guests like Sean Lennon and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs says that Wainwright made an indelible impression. “These guys are the best musicians I know of my generation, but they don’t get excited,” he says. “And they were saying, ‘This is the best album I’ve ever played on.’ For the backing vocals, we used three soul singers that I’ve used before, but having Rufus’s ear for harmonies, they were kind of blown away, singing harmonies and chords they’d never sung before.”

Wainwright’s relationship with Weisbrodt is explored in “Song Of You” and “Respectable Dive,” but the spirit that looms the largest over Out of the Game is Kate McGarrigle, who passed away in early 2010 following a long battle with cancer. “In a lot of ways, while my mother was still alive, I was singing to her,” says Wainwright. “She was my toughest critic and my biggest fan. With her not having been around for this album, there was a kind of release, a necessity to get to the next step.

“There’s a famous saying that your mother gives birth to you twice—once when you’re born and once when you die. So having a slightly tougher, wiser attitude on this record, I think I only could have done that after her passing.”

With grace and humor, craft and confidence, Out of the Game is a remarkable return to the pop world for Rufus Wainwright. The scope of sounds and styles is unified by both his incomparable voice and the lucidity of his vision. “Because I’m older and I’ve had different experiences, there’s a diversity in my life that I wanted the record to express,” he says. “Maybe in the past, it would get a little confusing to people, but this time we were able to maintain that mountain range of an existence with something tying it together, a certain sound or warmth, which makes all the difference.

“That’s always been my mission,” Wainwright concludes, “to make albums with variety and a sense of perspective on all that music can be.”



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