Oct 22,2014: Exhibition

On Sept. 11, 2001, New York City was shaken to its core when two jet airliners crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. In the wake of the chaos, New York-based Irish photographer Nicola McClean responded in the only way she knew how: she picked up her camera and took to the streets to try and capture the confusion and panic that surrounded her. At the same time, a young police captain in New York named Paul McCormack, rushed to downtown Manhattan, and worked in the rescue and recovery effort at Ground Zero. 

Courtesy, Nicola McClean

During that time, McClean took thousands of photographs near Ground Zero and the surrounding neighborhoods, working to capture the chaos engulfing the city, as well as the work of emergency workers, police officers, firefighters and others. Over the following 10 years, McClean and McCormack worked together to create “Ground Zero 360: Never Forget,” a stunning panoramic installation of photographic images, visuals and audio clips that provides a unique insight into the hearts and minds of New Yorkers in the days that followed the attacks.

Their unique exhibit comes to Holocaust Museum Houston this September, opening on the 13th anniversary of that fateful day. HMH members are invited to a free preview reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 11, in the Museum’s Mincberg Gallery, Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St. in Houston’s Museum District. To renew a membership or to join and attend, visit the Museum Web site at www.hmh.org, e-mail membership@hmh.org or call 713-527-1640. The exhibit remains on view through Jan. 11, 2015.

General admission is $12 for nonmembers and $8 for seniors and active-duty members of the military. Admission is free for Museum members and students with valid ID. The Museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Visitors will be able to discover the startling aftermath of one of the most tragic events in American history – seeing what McClean, hearing the stories she heard and meeting the people she met, particularly the heroic men and women of the New York City Emergency Services. Through harrowing visuals, heartbreaking “missing posters” and a unique panoramic installation, “Ground Zero 360” invites viewers to step into the past and feel what 8 million New Yorkers were feeling in the days that followed the attacks. 

Visitors will also be able to hear the city’s previously unreleased emergency radio calls from that morning, and touch a fragment of twisted steel I-beam and broken granite from the World Trade Center. Also on view will be personal artifacts on loan from families of a police officer and a firefighter who lost their lives at the World Trade Center, as well as crosses cut from the steel by ironworkers and a flag that flew over Ground Zero.

The lives of three Jewish firefighters who were killed in 9/11 also will be commemorated.

“Most fled the city in fear of their lives, but New York’s finest and bravest were not among them. On 9/11, I was Commanding Officer of the NYPD’s 41st Precinct,” McCormack said. “Police officers see danger often, but nothing prepared us for the chaos and death of that day. I worked with other first responders to locate survivors at Ground Zero. There were few. We in the NPYD still remember the thousands of innocent souls we couldn’t save. We will never forget the sacrifice of the rescue workers who died.”

“Yet, he added, “one of the most uplifting moments of my career was seeing crowds lining the streets, cheering for police officers, firefighters, ironworkers and health care workers reporting to work at Ground Zero. I felt we were all united in love of our country.”

McClean recalled that on the morning of 9/11, “dust was falling so thickly I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. As the sandy powder fell, police and fire fighters appeared, disappeared and reappeared. I felt a deep sense of loss, and an intense feeling of good versus evil. A tangible sense of wrongdoing seemed to fill every molecule of air. Though it was so quiet, every grain of dust also seemed to be wailing, and slowly signaling the end of the world and the end of our vibrant New York, as once we had known it,” she said.

“This exhibition is dedicated to all victims and their families, whose lives changed completely and forever on September 11, 2001. It is our responsibility to never forget,” she added.

Because of injuries sustained in the line of duty, McCormack retired from the New York Police Department. He and McClean eventually married, and are now raising their family in Ireland.

Whether an adult or a child when it happened, 9/11 was a defining moment. The City of New York continues to evolve and change, but the memory of those extraordinary days and weeks will always remain. Ground Zero 360 allows the onlooker to experience the enduring events of 9/11 and celebrate the tremendous courage and dignity of a nation under fire.

Location : Mincberg Gallery

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Oct 21,2014: Exhibition

On Sept. 11, 2001, New York City was shaken to its core when two jet airliners crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. In the wake of the chaos, New York-based Irish photographer Nicola McClean responded in the only way she knew how: she picked up her camera and took to the streets to try and capture the confusion and panic that surrounded her. At the same time, a young police captain in New York named Paul McCormack, rushed to downtown Manhattan, and worked in the rescue and recovery effort at Ground Zero. 

Courtesy, Nicola McClean

During that time, McClean took thousands of photographs near Ground Zero and the surrounding neighborhoods, working to capture the chaos engulfing the city, as well as the work of emergency workers, police officers, firefighters and others. Over the following 10 years, McClean and McCormack worked together to create “Ground Zero 360: Never Forget,” a stunning panoramic installation of photographic images, visuals and audio clips that provides a unique insight into the hearts and minds of New Yorkers in the days that followed the attacks.

Their unique exhibit comes to Holocaust Museum Houston this September, opening on the 13th anniversary of that fateful day. HMH members are invited to a free preview reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 11, in the Museum’s Mincberg Gallery, Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St. in Houston’s Museum District. To renew a membership or to join and attend, visit the Museum Web site at www.hmh.org, e-mail membership@hmh.org or call 713-527-1640. The exhibit remains on view through Jan. 11, 2015.

General admission is $12 for nonmembers and $8 for seniors and active-duty members of the military. Admission is free for Museum members and students with valid ID. The Museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Visitors will be able to discover the startling aftermath of one of the most tragic events in American history – seeing what McClean, hearing the stories she heard and meeting the people she met, particularly the heroic men and women of the New York City Emergency Services. Through harrowing visuals, heartbreaking “missing posters” and a unique panoramic installation, “Ground Zero 360” invites viewers to step into the past and feel what 8 million New Yorkers were feeling in the days that followed the attacks. 

Visitors will also be able to hear the city’s previously unreleased emergency radio calls from that morning, and touch a fragment of twisted steel I-beam and broken granite from the World Trade Center. Also on view will be personal artifacts on loan from families of a police officer and a firefighter who lost their lives at the World Trade Center, as well as crosses cut from the steel by ironworkers and a flag that flew over Ground Zero.

The lives of three Jewish firefighters who were killed in 9/11 also will be commemorated.

“Most fled the city in fear of their lives, but New York’s finest and bravest were not among them. On 9/11, I was Commanding Officer of the NYPD’s 41st Precinct,” McCormack said. “Police officers see danger often, but nothing prepared us for the chaos and death of that day. I worked with other first responders to locate survivors at Ground Zero. There were few. We in the NPYD still remember the thousands of innocent souls we couldn’t save. We will never forget the sacrifice of the rescue workers who died.”

“Yet, he added, “one of the most uplifting moments of my career was seeing crowds lining the streets, cheering for police officers, firefighters, ironworkers and health care workers reporting to work at Ground Zero. I felt we were all united in love of our country.”

McClean recalled that on the morning of 9/11, “dust was falling so thickly I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. As the sandy powder fell, police and fire fighters appeared, disappeared and reappeared. I felt a deep sense of loss, and an intense feeling of good versus evil. A tangible sense of wrongdoing seemed to fill every molecule of air. Though it was so quiet, every grain of dust also seemed to be wailing, and slowly signaling the end of the world and the end of our vibrant New York, as once we had known it,” she said.

“This exhibition is dedicated to all victims and their families, whose lives changed completely and forever on September 11, 2001. It is our responsibility to never forget,” she added.

Because of injuries sustained in the line of duty, McCormack retired from the New York Police Department. He and McClean eventually married, and are now raising their family in Ireland.

Whether an adult or a child when it happened, 9/11 was a defining moment. The City of New York continues to evolve and change, but the memory of those extraordinary days and weeks will always remain. Ground Zero 360 allows the onlooker to experience the enduring events of 9/11 and celebrate the tremendous courage and dignity of a nation under fire.

Location : Mincberg Gallery

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Houston among fastest-moving housing markets nationally

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Earth Talk: Plastic Bag Bans

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the latest on efforts to ban plastic bags? How many U.S. locales have instituted some kind of ban, and have these initiatives made a dent in the amount of plastic litter?  M.C.


California made big news recently when it announced the first statewide ban on plastic shopping bags set to kick in during the middle of 2015. Beginning in July, large grocery stores, pharmacies and other food retailers in the GoldenState will no longer be able to send shoppers home with plastic bags, while convenience markets, liquor stores and other small food retailers will join the ranks a year later.

 

Back in 2007, San Francisco became the first U.S. municipality to ban plastic shopping bags. In intervening years upwards of 132 other cities and counties in 18 states and the District of Columbia instituted similar measures. Of course, Americans are late to the party when it comes to banning plastic bags: The European Union, China, India and dozens of other nations already have plastic bag bans or taxes in place.

 

But the trend here toward banning plastic shopping bags comes in the wake of new findings regarding the extent and harm of plastic in our environment. Since plastic isn’t biodegradable, it ends up either in landfills or as litter on the landscape and in waterways and the ocean. Plastic can take hundreds of years to decompose and releases toxins into the soil and water in the process.

 

Littered plastic is also a huge problem for the health of wildlife, as many animals ingest it thinking it is food and can have problems thereafter breathing and digesting. The non-profit Worldwatch Institute reports that at least 267 species of marine wildlife are known to have suffered from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris, most of which is composed of plastic; tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals and turtles die every year from contact with ocean-borne plastic bags. A recent European Commission study on the impact of litter on North Sea wildlife found that some 90 percent of the birds examined had plastic in their stomachs.

 

Another reason for banning plastic bags is their fossil fuel burden. Plastic is not only made from petroleum—producing it typically requires a lot of fossil-fuel-derived energy. The fact that Americans throw away some 100 billion plastic grocery bags each year means we are drilling for and importing millions of barrels worth of oil and natural gas for a convenient way to carry home a few groceries.

 

It’s hard to measure the impact of pre-existing plastic bag bans, but some initial findings look promising. A plastic bag tax levied in Ireland in 2002 has reportedly led to a 95 percent reduction in plastic bag litter there. And a study by San Jose, California found that a 2011 ban instituted there has led to plastic litter reduction of “approximately 89 percent in the storm drain system, 60 percent in the creeks and rivers, and 59 percent in City streets and neighborhoods.”

 

Environmental groups continue to push for more plastic bag bans. “As U.S. natural gas production has surged and prices have fallen, the plastics industry is looking to ramp up domestic production,” reports the Earth Policy Institute. “Yet using this fossil fuel endowment to make something so short-lived, which can blow away at the slightest breeze and pollutes indefinitely, is illogical—particularly when there is a ready alternative: the reusable bag.”

 

CONTACTS: Worldwatch Institute, www.worldwatch.org; Earth Policy Institute, www.earth-policy.org.

 

 

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com.

 

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Oct 20,2014: CleanEdison BPI HEP Energy Auditor Training TX

CleanEdison’s BPI Energy Auditor course aligns with the standards piloted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and administered by the Building Performance Institute (BPI). This course will provide individuals with the knowledge, skills and certification needed to take the next step as an energy auditor.

Why Take This Course:

The BPI Energy Auditor Certification was piloted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to be the next step in the career ladder for BPI Building Analysts.

This BPI Certification is specifically tailored to the job task of energy auditing, as opposed to the fundamentals of building science covered under the Building Analyst course.

This certification shows a comprehensive knowledge of all the skills and tools needed to perform residential energy audits as well as provide the next steps towards energy reduction.

Audience:

There are prerequisites for this certification (see below)

Our BPI Energy Auditor course is ideal for:

Energy auditors

Insulation professionals

Home inspectors

HVAC technicians

Anyone  interested in a career in energy auditing.

What You’ll Learn:

CleanEdison’s 5-day Energy Auditor training for BPI Certification closely follows the NREL Energy Auditor Job Task Analysis.

Course Topics

Demonstrating professional conduct

Collecting information about the building

Conducting air quality tests

Evaluating model data

Advanced energy analyses

Recommending Solutions

What’s Included:

Five days of live instruction

All course materials and handbooks

CleanEdison Pass Guarantee: if you do not pass the certification exam on your first try, you may re-take the course at no additional cost

BPI Certification:

The Energy Auditor course prepares students to sit for BPI’s written exam and field exams. Passing both exams will earn the candidate the BPI Energy Auditor certification, which meets the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO 17024) benchmark for quality personnel certifications.

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Watch the implosion of downtown's former Houston Club Building (Video)

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Dec 04,2014: Jon Wolfe


The best introduction to Jon Wolfe is the basic yet not so simple fact that he’s a country singer and songwriter. Country music, as it was, is and always should be, with boots firmly standing on the bedrock of tradition and an eye focused on taking it into the future. And that, as any fan of true country knows, is no simple proposition.

At heart, it’s all about being a great singer and storyteller. Hence the other best introduction to Jon Wolfe is to hear him sing and share the stories in the songs he performs and writes. And to learn his life story — from small town Oklahoma to the bustling big city commodities trading floor to the dancehalls and honky-tonks of Texas and Oklahoma to Music Row, to give the highlights — and witness his faith in the power of music and determination to touch the hearts of others with something that means so much to him.

It’s world class country music from the American heartland, informed by the great singers that inspired Wolfe — like George Strait, Garth Brooks (a fellow Okie), Clint Black, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson and Dwight Yoakam, to name a few — yet fired by his own contemporary energy and vision.

It takes a unique conviction to give up a lucrative career as an oil commodities trader for British Petroleum, as Wolfe did, to pursue the dream of becoming a country singer. But music has been a vital force in Wolfe’s life from early on, and it’s already made him a rising star in the dancehalls and honky-tonks of Texas and Oklahoma.

Wolfe’s 2010 album “It All Happened in a Honky Tonk” introduced a modern country singer/songwriter whose music struck a perfect balance between the best country traditions and contemporary energy and vision. His gift for getting to the heart of a song reflects the unique life journey that led him to realizing his dream of a career as a country music artist. While Jon has done over 400 shows during his career in Texas and Oklahoma, he has spent years writing with some of the best songwriter’s in the business, while spending countless hours searching the catalogs of country music’s most prolific songwriters.

Warner Music Nashville is proud to present the 2013 Deluxe Edition re-release of “It All Happened in a Honky Tonk”. This album is born and bred deep in the heart of Texas, and soaked with dancehall sweat and swagger. You’ll find Jon Wolfe as a co-writer on half of the album along with country music’s finest songwriters, from the modern day hit writing trio known as the “Peach Pickers” to sure to be hall of fame writers like Tim Johnson (“I let her lie” Daryle Singletary, “He must have really hurt you bad” George Strait), James Dean Hicks (“Goodbye Time” Conway Twitty, “National Working Woman’s Holiday” Sammy Kershaw) and Jon Robbin (“I Breathe in, I Breathe out” Chris Cagle).

“We’ve really started zeroing in on my own recipe,” Wolfe says. “I’ve got little hints of my heroes, but this album is me. It definitely feels refreshed and updated, but it’s country, and that’s the deal.

“For years I prayed to be in country music, but I didn’t know how,” Wolfe recalls. Now that he’s done so, he intends to remain true to all that country music means to him. “I like songs that deal with core emotions. I like people to listen to my music and be able to relate it to what they’ve experienced in their lives.

“I feel connected with the tradition,” Wolfe concludes. “There’s something a little bigger than just my dreams going on in country music. That’s why I feel so strongly about doing what I do.” And to make it all even sweeter, “I’m doing what I love.”

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Katy Fire EMS Fund Raiser Dinner

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Oct 19,2014: Urban Harvest Farmers Market

Hours:
Year Round
Sundays, 10 am – 1 pm

Location: 3000 Richmond Street, Houston, TX

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