first_imgGaming operations brought in the highest revenue overall at $259.9m, an increase from $208.2m compared to Q1 in 2020. Email Address Red Rock Resorts saw a 24.8% rise in gaming revenue year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, but impairment costs and difficulties elsewhere due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic led to an overall revenue decline and a loss for the quarter. Food and beverage revenue came in second with $46.8m, a decrease of 46.9% compared to the first quarter of 2020. This was likely due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions. The decrease in room revenue from $40.0m to $21.9m, a decline of 45.2%, would also be explained by the restrictions. 5th May 2021 | By Marese O’Hagan Read the full story on iGB North America. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: US Nevada Topics: Uncategorized AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Red Rock Resorts enjoys 24.8% gaming revenue growth but posts $71m loss Tags: Red Rock Red Rock Resorts Uncategorizedlast_img read more

first_imgBK Group Plc ( listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Banking sector has released it’s 2019 interim results for the first quarter.For more information about BK Group Plc ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the BK Group Plc ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: BK Group Plc (  2019 interim results for the first quarter.Company ProfileBK Group Plc formerly (Bank of Kigali Limited) is Rwanda’s largest commercial bank by assets and licensed by the country’s banking regulator, National Bank of Rwanda. It offers a full spectrum of products and services for retail banking, corporate banking and central treasury. Bank of Kigali SA commenced operations in 1967; initially as a joint venture between the government of Rwanda and Belgolaise, with each owning 50% of the ordinary share capital. In 2007, the government of Rwanda acquired the Belgolaise shareholding which increased its direct and indirect shareholding in the Bank of Kigali to 100% of the entire Issued Shares. The Bank changed its name to Bank of Kigali Limited in 2011 under a new law relating to companies. Bank of Kigali Limited now has 79 branches located in the main towns and cities of Rwanda with its head office in the capital city, Kigali. BK Group Plc has a primary listing on the Rwanda Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchangelast_img read more

first_imgWhy this billionaire hedge fund investor sees a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Enter Your Email Address Image source: Getty Images. I’ve seen many articles recently naming the current state of the financial markets as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.Indeed, it’s not every day that so many shares crash so hard and so far. But the last time we saw a pandemic was around 100 years ago, so few of us have experience of recent events.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Is it really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?However, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the air about how fast economies and businesses can recover from the crisis. And it’s easy to use the phrase ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ without really believing it. Indeed, when stocks have plunged it’s natural for people to feel wary of the markets.But last week I came across an article describing how a billionaire hedge fund investor described current market conditions as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Marc Lasry founded investment firm Avenue Capital and explained his view of the investment landscape to Yahoo Finance.Lasry’s company specializes in investments in distressed businesses. And, admittedly, he was talking about the opportunity for debt investors when he made his ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ comment. He thinks Avenue Capital can do “extremely well” by making loans to distressed companies.I know that most ordinary investors don’t have the resources to get involved in the debt market like that. But I think we can interpret Lasry’s bullishness for shares. He went on to explain that in the US “you’ve actually got an economy that’s fine, and you’ve got a Fed pumping trillions of dollars in”.I reckon he’s implying the US government will help companies to survive the immediate crisis by stimulating the economy. And we are seeing the UK government take similar actions.Lucrative marketsMeanwhile, Avenue Capital manages total assets worth over $9bn. In the past it has invested in struggling US brands such as Macy’s and J.C. Penney. Lasry explained the company can issue senior debt that takes priority when a company begins to pay off its loans, or cede ownership. “So, you’ll either get paid out, or you’re going to end up owning the equity of this company”.Sounds great! And I reckon we can use a similar investing theme using shares. Indeed, it seems to me that as the coronavirus crisis evolves we are getting more information about which companies are financially robust. For example, the housebuilding sector appears to have shrugged off the worst the crisis has thrown at it.And other sectors are performing well too. So rather than helping distressed companies with loans, we can hunt financially strong companies with distressed share prices. And with help from all the fiscal stimulus being applied to economies by governments, we could see underlying trading in these businesses recover and thrive.Indeed, I reckon Lasry and others who describe the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they see in the markets today could prove to be correct. Either way, I reckon it’s a great time to invest in shares with a long-term investment horizon in mind. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Kevin Godbold has no position in any share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.center_img 5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50 Click here to claim your free copy of this special investing report now! 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Kevin Godbold | Saturday, 11th July, 2020 Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic…And with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.Fortunately, The Motley Fool is here to help: our UK Chief Investment Officer and his analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global lock-down…You see, here at The Motley Fool we don’t believe “over-trading” is the right path to financial freedom in retirement; instead, we advocate buying and holding (for AT LEAST three to five years) 15 or more quality companies, with shareholder-focused management teams at the helm.That’s why we’re sharing the names of all five of these companies in a special investing report that you can download today for FREE. If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away.last_img read more

first_img “COPY” Projects CopyAbout this officeGabriel Verd ArquitectosOfficeFollowProductsSteelConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousingIznájarHousingResidentialSpainPublished on January 09, 2014Cite: “18 Social Houses in Iznajar / Gabriel Verd Arquitectos” 09 Jan 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogFaucetshansgroheKitchen MixersVinyl Walls3MExterior Vinyl Finish – DI-NOC™ Fine WoodPartitionsSkyfoldVertically Folding Operable Walls – Zenith® SeriesCultural / SportsPENT FitnessFitness Equipment – BANKA™ Weight BenchSignage / Display SystemsGoppionDisplay Case – B-ClassConcreteKrytonCrystalline Waterproofing – KIMMetal PanelsTrimoQbiss One in OfficesBricksFeldhaus KlinkerFacing Bricks – Waterstruck VascuWood Boards / HPL PanelsInvestwoodViroc Nature for FurnitureCurtain WallsMetawellFacades – Aluminum Curtain WallsHeatingFocusFireplaces – PaxfocusPatios / TerracesGlas MarteGlass Pavilion – GM Pavillon360More products »Save世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream Save this picture!© Jesús Granada+ 20 Share Spain 18 Social Houses in Iznajar / Gabriel Verd Arquitectos ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard photographs:  Jesús GranadaPhotographs:  Jesús GranadaSave this picture!© Jesús GranadaRecommended ProductsEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesIsland Exterior FabricatorsCurtain Wall Facade SystemsEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesFranken-SchotterFacade System –  LINEAEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesRodecaRound Facade at Omnisport Arena ApeldoornEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesAlucoilStructural Honeycomb Panels – LarcoreText description provided by the architects. Just between the provinices of Granada, Málaga y Córdoba, the village of Iznájar stays in a hill on the river Genil and the stream of Priego. This locality gives name to the reservoir situated down the village; for its dimensions it is considered the lake of Andalusia . Save this picture!© Jesús GranadaLooking to the uses of the soil, the olive monoculture is predominant in the whole territory. Of punctual form this landscape is interrupted by forest spaces of the hill (enclave that for its high slope and rocks prevent its agricultural use) and by the reservoir. Placed in an area of recent urbanization, the set borders towards the North on a royal glen, towards the South on solar others where similar actions of housings will be realized, toward East with houses already ended and toward west with a transformation centre.Save this picture!© Jesús GranadaThe action is divided in two plots, the R1 (B), the most western, by 11 housings and the R2 (B), by 7. The morphology of the plot is characterised by a very pronounced slope with a difference of level between an end and the other one of 12 meters .Save this picture!© Jesús GranadaThe access to the house is realized by the south front across the garage. At this level there is the day-zone, the kitchen and an interior court whose sight remains veiled by the outside with two front-door gratings to support its private character. This court is the natural expansion towards the private exterior of the house like the traditional Andalusian housing.Save this picture!SectionThis succession of juxtaposed spaces has been got also for the interior of the house. The living room has been thinked as the principal room, who articulates the interior spaces. The double height bathed by the zenithal light, puts in relation the day-zone at the ground floor with the night-zone at the first floor.Save this picture!© Jesús GranadaThe strict program of 70 util square meters has been enriched by the emptying of the interior volume of the housing, extending the minimal heights and obtaining roofs that go from the 7m in the zone of the dining room down to the 4m in two of the three bedrooms; all this without damage of the final budget of execution. Year:  Year:  Save this picture!© Jesús GranadaMoving back the façade and the alternation of empty and full, we could play with the lights and the shadows of an effective and profitable way in these latitudes. The disposition of the cover not only makes the light of the morning go inside the house but it get too that from the old hull you can only see the roofs and nothing of the fronts. Moving back the façade allows that the set should adapt naturally to the great slope of the street. At the west ends of every lot the rhythm of the fronts changes to adapt itself to the singularity of the edge of every lot and to propose in this way an element of break or interruption of every series. The tiles and the white color of the walls in contrast with the red carriage of the top shutters will be the finishes that will help to integrate this promotion in the beautiful set of Iznájar’s village.Save this picture!SectionProject gallerySee allShow lessAbrante Lookout / Jose Luis Bermejo MartínSelected ProjectsVIDEO: Peres Center for PeaceMiscProject locationAddress:14970 Iznájar, Córdoba, SpainLocation to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Share 2008 2008 Photographs ArchDaily “COPY” Architects: Gabriel Verd Arquitectos Year Completion year of this architecture project 18 Social Houses in Iznajar / Gabriel Verd ArquitectosSave this projectSave18 Social Houses in Iznajar / Gabriel Verd Arquitectos ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard CopyHousing•Iznájar, Spain Housinglast_img read more

first_imgLily Heinemann, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Community Investment at Royal Mail, said:“We are really pleased to be marking the 30th anniversary of payroll giving with a postmark. Our employees are incredibly supportive of payroll giving, raising over £58 million over the last three decades. Last year alone saw more than 20 per cent of our employees give through the scheme contributing more than £2.4 million for good causes. We hope that the postmark continues to raise awareness and encourages other employers to offer this scheme to their own employees.”  207 total views,  1 views today  208 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis9 Panikos Efthimiou, chair of the Association of Payroll Giving Organisations said:“On behalf of the Association of Payroll Giving Organisations I would like to thank the Royal Mail Group for recognising and celebrating the 30th anniversary of payroll giving in such a very special way. Donations from payroll giving have made a significant contribution to the charity sector over the years which have made a genuine difference to a multitude of good causes. Royal Mail Group has been at the forefront of promoting payroll giving amongst its staff right from the start.“Royal Mail was one of the first companies to provide a payroll-giving scheme for its employees. Over the years, employees have raised over £58 million, supporting over 1,400 charities. Tagged with: payroll giving Payroll Giving Scheme Royal Mail Royal Mail is honouring 30 years of payroll giving with a special postmark. The postmark – which says ‘Royal Mail proudly supports 30 years of Payroll Giving’ – appeared on millions of items of UK stamped mail nationwide, landing on doorsteps between Monday 10th and Saturday 15th July.Launched in 1987, payroll giving allows employees to give to charity straight from their wages or pension without paying tax on it. Over the last three decades, the scheme has raised over £2 billion for good causes. Last year payroll givers donated more than £130 million. Royal Mail marks 30 years of payroll giving with special postmark About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis9 Melanie May | 18 July 2017 | Newslast_img read more

first_imgThe racist, neofascist Ku Klux Klan hit the headlines on Nov. 5 when a group alleging to be Anonymous hacker-activists released a list of KKK members, naming prominent U.S. politicians, including four U.S. senators and five big-city mayors.Minnie Bruce Pratt anti-Klan demonstration, Washington, DC, 1982.Photo: Joan E. BirenThe list was quickly called “dubious” by big business media, and some named politicians have voted in ways at odds with Klan goals. The shaky factual basis of the list raised the possibility the release was a cyber-disinformation move by right-wing forces to discredit an Anonymous-sponsored Operation KKK campaign. That culminated Nov. 6 with the “Million Mask March,” a 600-city global day of action protesting censorship, corruption, war and poverty. The turmoil over the accuracy of the list obscures the long and deep connection of U.S. politicians — and local, state and national government — with hate groups whose primary tenets are racist, anti-immigrant, anti-woman and anti-lesbian, -gay, -bisexual, -trans* and -queer. (Trans* is used with an asterisk to indicate the spectrum of all the different genders of people who do not conform to the either/or of male/female.)Many U.S. politicians have ties to the Council of Conservative Citizens, which was formed in the 1980s from the mailing list of the White Citizens’ Council, the “businessmen’s Klan” that strategized resistance to the Black civil rights movement. At its heyday in the 1960s, the Citizens’ Council claimed a million members. (Jackson Free Press, June 22)The current CCC is on the Southern Poverty Law Center list of white-supremacist hate groups. Dylann Roof, who murdered the Charleston Nine in a racist massacre in June, cited CCC website content as one source for his murderous action. Call for Workers Defense Guards against the Klan by UE Local 203, Burlington, VT.Recently serving U.S. Senators Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz have received campaign contributions from the CCC. Former U.S. Senator and majority leader Trent Lott spoke at their conferences many times. Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour appeared at a CCC fundraiser. Congressperson Bob Barr of Georgia delivered the keynote speech to a CCC national convention, later saying he had “no idea” what the group stood for. (New York Times, June 22)In 2014, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip from Louisiana, admitted he had spoken to a “European-American Unity and Rights Organization” conference organized by David Duke, former head of the KKK. In the ensuing furor, Duke told critics to back off, saying he had “hosted both Democratic and Republican legislators at everything from conferences to his children’s birthday parties.” (Huffington Post, Jan. 2)These names are but the smallest indication of current and historical ties between U.S. government and right-wing hate organizations.The unified University of Missouri football team on strike against racism, Nov. 6, 2015.Photo: Gary PinkelIn the U.S. in the 1920s, between 4 million and 7 million people belonged to the Klan. Active in every state, the KKK was typically Democratic in the South and Republican in the North. Helping to elect state and local officials as well as at least 20 governors and U.S. senators, the Klan controlled the legislatures of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, Oregon and much of the South. (Washington Post, Jan. 7)During this era, future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was a Klan member, receiving a special life membership known as a gold “grand passport.” By the 1940s, U.S. Senate majority leader Robert Byrd was getting his political start organizing a KKK chapter, recruiting 150 friends to join and getting elected “Exalted Cyclops.” (Washington Post)The link between U.S. politicians and white supremacy continues. The racist, anti-immigrant and anti-woman ravings of Donald Trump would have earned him a place as “Grand Cyclops” in the 1920s’ KKK.U.S. government, capitalism, KKK go hand in handWhy the enduring links between U.S. politicians and white supremacy?Speaking at the end of the historic 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march for voting rights, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. explained the roots of the mass mobilization of racism after the Civil War. Addressing the marchers from the steps of the Alabama Capitol, King said: “The segregation of the races was really a political stratagem employed by the emerging Bourbon interests in the South to keep the southern masses divided and southern labor the cheapest in the land. [Bourbons were Southern Democratic Party laissez-faire capitalists.] … “If it may be said of the slavery era that the white man took the world and gave the Negro Jesus, then it may be said of the Reconstruction era that the southern aristocracy took the world and gave the poor white man Jim Crow. …“And when his wrinkled stomach cried out for the food that his empty pockets could not provide, he ate Jim Crow, a psychological bird that told him that no matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than the black man. … And when his undernourished children cried out for the necessities that his low wages could not provide, he showed them the Jim Crow signs on the buses and in the stores, on the streets and in the public buildings. And his children, too, learned to feed upon Jim Crow.” ( This analysis was extended into the contemporary era by Sam Marcy, a founder of Workers World Party, in his pamphlet, “The Klan and the Government: Foes or Allies”: “Even in the so-called best of times the capitalist government not only tolerates terrorist organizations like the Klan, but once the class struggle of the workers and oppressed people takes on the character of a genuine mass upsurge, the capitalist government is more likely than ever to encourage and promote the likes of the Klan and other mediums of repression.”He adds: “If the growth of the KKK and the Nazis … were not supported, encouraged and promoted by formidable sections of the ruling class, they would be merely a sterile and stagnant combination of racist thugs. … But that is not at all the case. The growth of fascism everywhere has been securely tied to big business; that is its lifeline.”These analyses make clear: The only answer to white supremacy, in the KKK or in government, is anti-racist solidarity of white workers with all oppressed workers of color.  FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

first_imgHome Indiana Agriculture News Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Bring Green to the Statehouse Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Bring Green to the Statehouse SHARE SHARE By Gary Truitt – Dec 4, 2015 Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter On Friday, Governor Mike Pence and First Lady Karen Pence welcomed more than 300 K-5 students to the Statehouse for their annual tree lighting event. “The Governor and I enjoyed welcoming Hoosier children to the Statehouse today,” First Lady Karen Pence said. “The experiences and memories we create year after year during this annual holiday tradition are ones which the Governor and I have come to cherish.  We were thrilled to once again this year spend  time with the students in attendance by helping them decorate an ornament to take home with them – a memento the children and their families will be able to enjoy for years to come.”Each grade level was designated a different ornament—specially designed by the First Lady—to make during the program. After the decorating was complete, a student representative from each school in attendance helped light the trees in the Statehouse Rotunda.Trees were donated by the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association and the wreath hanging above them was hand-crafted and donated by the Friends of the Indiana State Archives.Students included in today’s program were from Maplewood Elementary School, Burge-Terrace Home Educators,  Zion Lutheran School,  Saint Philip Neri Catholic School, Greenwood Christian Academy, Stinesville Elementary and Rural Community Academy.Also during today’s festivities, Governor Pence read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to students and the Kingsway Christian School sang holiday favorites. Previous articleClosing CommentsNext articleChina Top Customer for U.S. Ethanol Exports in October Gary Truittlast_img read more

first_img Your local health and human services news is made possible with support from: Tagged: dog bite, rabies, tchd, tompkins county health department ITHACA. N.Y. –– The Tompkins County Health Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a dog that bit a person on S. Geneva St. Tuesday afternoon.The dog bite occurred near the Henry Saint John Building in the City of Ithaca around 3 p.m. The dog is described as a white, possibly cattle dog mix, with tan spots. It was wearing a blue nylon harness and accompanied by a man approximately 5’8,” in his late 20’s, early 30’s with shoulder length blonde hair, and no shirt.TCHD is looking to verify the vaccination status and health of the biting dog over a ten-day period. If the dog can be located and is healthy, the risk of rabies infection can be ruled out and rabies post-exposure treatment for the person who was bitten will not be necessary.Anyone with information regarding this dog is urged to call the Tompkins County Environmental Health Division at (607) 274-6688. Anna Lamb Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice.Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] More by Anna Lamblast_img read more

first_imgBrad Johnson(FORSYTH, Ga.) — A beloved educator’s wish at her funeral for backpacks filled with school supplies has attracted attention as far away as Great Britain.Georgia teacher Tammy Waddell, 58, died June 9 after a long fight with stomach cancer.In lieu of flowers, Waddell’s obituary suggested that donations be made in her memory to Project Connect, a local program that provides backpacks to needy students.A number of teachers lined up at Waddell’s June 13 funeral services, all bearing knapsacks filled with school supplies.Waddell’s cousin and fellow educator, Brad Johnson, tweeted the heartfelt images.“She was very inspirational in me achieving all that I have,” Johnson told “Good Morning America.” “She was as quick to give a hug as she was quick to give supplies to students who needed it.”Johnson’s tweet received thousands of retweets and replies from users who were touched by Waddell’s humble request.Waddell had worked in Forsyth County Schools in Georgia for 30 years.She was recognized in 2003 as the county elementary school teacher of the year.Her son, Kevin Waddell, 35, who is also a teacher in Forsyth County Schools, told “GMA” it was no shock to learn the backpacks were one his mother’s final requests.“Part of what I loved about my mom was the passion she had as a teacher. It’s one of the inspirations that led me to the profession,” he said.His mom’s story has reached as far as Great Britain, he said, where people are offering to send school supplies in honor of the late educator.“She lived life by loving others and she was never worried about attention … she was just focused on the love,” he added. “The message she would try and deliver at this point is donate to your local schools. It doesn’t have to be here specifically.”Waddell is also survived by a husband of 41 years, another son, B.J. Waddell and four grandchildren.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

first_imgpoco_bw/iStock(HOUSTON) — A massive chemical fire south of Houston, Texas, triggered an emergency order for locals to shelter in place even after a dangerous chemical was detected in the air.Local officials and public health experts say most of the risk from the Deer Park fire has passed and that further testing didn’t find elevated levels of the dangerous chemical after a release this morning.But activists say the nearly week-long incident brought attention to the risk to communities located near facilities in the U.S. that use dangerous chemicals on a daily basis.“We’re all being completely violated in a way that we’re really not talking about,” Yvette Arellano, an activist with Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, or TEJAS, told ABC News earlier this week.She said TEJAS has been pushing for a more comprehensive air monitoring system around the chemical facilities near Houston, harsher enforcement of violations, and more transparency about the impact of fires like this on the surrounding area.The group says this week’s fire brought attention to incidents they see all the time.The Houston Chronicle reported in 2016 sees an incident at a facility working with hazardous chemicals every six weeks on average.“This is the reason why, whenever there’s a fire people finally get to see what the home of the largest petrochemical complex looks like only when this sort of thing happens and then they turn a blind eye,” said Anna Parras, another member of the group.After Hurricane Harvey, storm-related damage triggered a separate toxic fire that prompted calls for companies to be more prepared for disasters and other unexpected scenarios that could cause problems for the public.Local officials insisted the order to stay inside was a precaution and that further testing didn’t find elevated levels of the chemical. Benzene has been linked to leukemia and other health problems but the concern is typically for long term exposures.Officials from the company, Intercontinental Terminals Company, said the chemicals were released when trying to cover a compromised tank of chemicals early Thursday morning but no additional emissions were detected.But throughout the week exposure to the chemicals, smoke, and small particles from the fire led to concern about the health impacts to children, older populations, and people with chronic illnesses.Susan Arnold, an occupational health professor at the University of Minnesota, agreed with local officials that the public health threat from the smoke earlier in the week and the benzene release was probably limited and not a greater concern if tests haven’t continued to show high levels.“We want people to be informed but not inappropriately alarmed and what we know about benzene, the cancers we know about typically occur from exposure over a long period of time,” she told ABC.Some activists are still skeptical about the comments from officials and say they still want more federal oversight of chemical facilities. Arellano said she’s still concerned and wants more information from state officials on whether residents should be concerned about exposure to chemicals or ash from their homes, pets, or even swimming pools.“Our biggest concern that folks take protective measures post everything to make sure they’re not exposed to any residue,” she said.Environmental groups conducted their own monitoring after Hurricane Harvey and found Benzene levels they said were cause for concern after the Arkema fire, even though it didn’t go over Texas’ recommended limit, according to reporting from ProPublica and the Texas Tribune.Texas has a higher limit for when Benzene released into the air triggers public health warnings than other states like California, which has some of the most stringent environmental regulations in the country. Activists who have been involved in suing to force the Trump administration to implement new rules on chemical facilities say that’s one reason there should be more federal oversight.“I know everybody says well this is a matter for states but if you think about the public health threats it’s silly to think residents in California need to have lower benzene than people in Texas,” said Daniel Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.But a former EPA official who worked as deputy administrator for the agency in Texas said EPA only takes a big role in these situations when local officials ask them to, or if there’s an extenuating circumstance. Stan Meiburg, former deputy administrator for EPA Region 6, said Texas officials are very experienced in dealing with these kinds of incidentsBut he said it’s crucial for officials to communicate clearly with communities who may not have a lot of trust in government officials, especially in Texas where the state agency has been accused of close ties to industry. He said its especially important in a situation like this for government to communicate with and help communities that are disproportionately affected by pollution or have fewer resources.“One thing government can do is make sure communities in close proximity to these facilities are being protected in the same way people with more advantages are,” he told ABC.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more