Israel’s coalition deal: Political stability with pitfalls

first_imgIsrael’s coalition deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz breaks a year-long deadlock but has pitfalls — from power sharing mechanisms to West Bank policy and the premier’s corruption charges.Monday’s agreement for a unity government, signed by Netanyahu and parliament speaker Gantz after three inconclusive elections in less than a year, seeks to give the Jewish state desperately-needed political stability as it confronts the coronavirus pandemic.  “After a year and a half of political stalemate and as the country endures one of the most severe economic crises in its history, it is high-time for Israel to have a functioning government,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute think-tank.  Implementing the deal will require majority support in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset. That is likely to happen, assuming it is backed by Netanyahu’s unified right-wing bloc and most of Gantz’s supporters. Netanyahu will serve as prime minister through the first 18 months of the three-year deal. Gantz will first serve as “alternate prime minister,” a new position that must be created through an amendment of Israel’s so-called Basic Laws. Passing that amendment is a key part of the coalition deal.After 18 months, Gantz takes over as prime minister, with Netanyahu serving as his alternate. Through the first six months, the government will be defined as an “emergency” body focused primarily on containing the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating the economic devastation it has caused. Israel has more than 13,800 confirmed virus cases, including over 180 deaths, and a nationwide lockdown has left huge numbers of people without an income.Cabinet portfolios are split between the two camps. Key ministries assigned to Netanyahu’s side include finance and interior, while Gantz’s side will control the justice ministry and the position of foreign minister will rotate.The former army chief announced Tuesday evening he would serve as defense minister. Ministers can only be fired if there is agreement from both sides, and the prime minister cannot sack his alternate.  Power sharing  Topics : Netanyahu’s trial The prime minister was due to face trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust last month. The trial’s start date was postponed to May 24 because of the pandemic. Under Israeli law, a prime minister can continue to serve while under indictment, but a regular cabinet minister cannot. With his trial, including possible appeals, expected to last several years, the veteran premier did not want to be forced out of government when his term expired. His expected transition to alternate prime minister in 2021 likely solves that problem. Netanyahu’s Likud party also retained significant say over the appointment of judges and prosecutors, influence that could help the prime minister as his case moves forward. Legal cases have also been filed by non-government groups seeking to block an individual under indictment from serving as prime minister. Under the coalition deal, if Israel’s top court bars Netanyahu from serving, his agreement with Gantz is dissolved and another election will be called.  West Bank annexationsFor Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump’s plan for Middle East peace offered Israel an “historic” opportunity. The plan — rejected by the Palestinians and condemned by much of the international community — gave Israel the green light to annex Jewish settlements and other strategic territory in the occupied West Bank. Such annexations would violate international law and likely inflame tensions in the volatile region. Gantz had praised Trump’s controversial plan but was more cautious regarding its implementation. The coalition agreement says that any measures regarding Trump’s plan would be executed “in full agreement of the United States,” while maintaining “international dialogue” and “the need to maintain regional stability”.At the same time, with Gantz’s permission, Netanyahu can bring Trump’s annexation plan to cabinet and parliament for discussion and approval from July 1.Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday condemned the formation of an “Israeli annexation government,” saying it marked the end of the two-state solution. But he warned that the Netanyahu-Gantz deal risks creating a government “without a grand vision or clear goals” that would be vulnerable to being bogged down with “cumbersome political agreements.”Here are the main points of the deal:last_img read more

Wolf Administration Investing $25.1 Million in Projects to Protect and Improve Pennsylvania Water Resources

first_img May 18, 2016 Environment,  Government That Works,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced today the selection of 114 projects to receive $25,143,294 in funding from Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), for the protection of Pennsylvania’s water resources. The selected projects enhance watersheds, mitigate acid mine drainage, and support water pollution cleanup programs.“The Growing Greener program, and this year’s funding, is an investment in our future and proof that when state government works collaboratively, we achieve long-lasting results,” said Governor Wolf. “The Environmental Stewardship Fund has helped spark innovation and coordinate partnerships to tackle some of the most challenging environmental issues in our state.”The 114 selected projects range from a wetland basin restoration in Chester County to sustainable outreach programs in Erie County. Projects focus on both statewide initiatives, like improving the health of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay, and local projects, such as riparian buffer enhancement and erosion prevention in Four Mile Run, Westmoreland County. Every project supports DEP’s mission of protecting Pennsylvania’s waters.“DEP is proud to support local and regional water quality projects throughout the state,” said Secretary John Quigley. “These investments are essential to protecting and conserving the rivers, streams, and watersheds of Pennsylvania.”The grant awards are made possible by the Growing Greener Grant Program, the largest single investment of state funds that address Pennsylvania’s environmental concerns. Growing Greener encourages partnerships between counties, municipalities, county conservation districts, watershed organizations, and other organizations to restore and protect the environment.The Growing Greener program is supported by the Environmental Stewardship Fund, which receives its funding from landfill tipping fees. Twelve projects this year received their funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 319 Nonpoint Source Grant Program, created by the Clean Water Act to reduce water pollution. Four projects received funding from the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Set Aside Program, funded by the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act and designed to abate AMD pollution. Of the 208 grant applications received for consideration this year, more than half of the proposed projects were awarded grant funding.For more information on the Growing Greener Grant Program, click here or email GrowingGreener@pa.gov.The organizations that were awarded are listed below, by grant type and alphabetically by county, with the project name and funding amount.GROWING GREENER:Adams• Adams County Conservation District, Beaverdam Creek Stream Bank Stabilization: $16,878Allegheny• Allegheny County Conservation District, Montour Run Watershed Assessment and Implementation Plan: $94,065• Allegheny County Parks Foundation, South Park Green Parking Solution: $77,130• Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens, Kentucky Hollow AMD Treatment System: $369,007Armstrong• Armstrong Conservation District, Garretts Run BMP Grant: $245,000Beaver• Allegheny County Conservation District, Raccoon Creek Streambank Remediation: $54,395• Beaver County Conservation District, North Fork Little Beaver Stabilization / Habitat Project II: $25,667• Stream Restoration Incorporated, Raccoon Creek Bank & Buffer Project: $99,785Berks• Berks County Conservation District, Establishing a Berks County Mushroom Environmental Initiative: $111,350• The Trust for Tomorrow, The Maiden Creek Tributary Stream Restoration Project: $116,000Blair• Blair County Conservation District, Blair County – Priority Streambank Restoration Projects: $82,000Bradford• Wysox Creek Watershed Association, Inc., Comprehensive Watershed Conservation in Parks and Bullard Creeks: $758,452Bucks• Heritage Conservancy, Hart’s Woods Preserve Riparian Buffer Restoration: $17,048• Lower Southampton Township, Brookside and Pennsylvania Boulevard Basin Naturalization Projects: $103,777• Township of Bensalem, Cornwells Basin and Constructed Wetland: $173,170Butler• Butler County Conservation District, Little Buffalo AG BMP Grant: $220,500Cambria• Cambria County Conservation District, Emeigh Run Streambank Stabilization Project: $4,505• Stream Restoration Incorporated, Puritan AMD Full Treatment: $538,944Centre• Penns Valley Conservation Association, Upper Penns Creek Watershed Stream Restoration: $172,600Chester• Chester County Conservation District, Restoration of an Unnamed Headwater Tributary to Leech Run: $105,500• Valley Forge Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Installation of Infiltration Trench on Dayleview Road: $150,000• West Goshen Township, Extended Detention Wetland Basin Retrofit-Restoration & Demonstration: $296,400Clearfield• Trout Unlimited, Inc., MR Tuff/MR Frog Rehabilitation & Improvement Project: $91,385• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Knisley Land Restoration-AMD Reduction: $211,778Crawford• Borough of Cochranton, Cochranton Borough Stormwater BMP and Demonstration: $22,840• Crawford County Conservation District, Response to Hydrilla Infestation in Pymatuning Reservoir: $191,833Delaware• Pennsylvania Resources Council, Inc., Darby-Cobbs Stormwater Initiative: $89,883• Rose Valley Borough, Ridley Creek Stabilization and Restoration: $39,046Erie• Environment Erie, Service Learning Projects : $31,050• Environment Erie, BeginANEW Stormwater Education and Management: $48,285• Erie County Conservation District, VinNES Sustainable Outreach and BMP Program: $364,610Fayette• Fayette County Conservation District, Stony Fork Ag BMPs Project: $13,373• Fayette County Conservation District, Meadow Run Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant: $27,864• Trout Unlimited, Chestnut Ridge Chapter, Glade Run Alkaline Sand Addition Project: $64,115Franklin• Franklin County Conservation District, Agriculture Planning in UNT Muddy Run: $50,323Greene• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, SGL 223: Whiteley Creek Riparian Planting: $27,800Huntingdon• Huntingdon County Conservation District, Warriors Mark Run Agricultural BMPs (Cox and Conrad Farms): $237,205• Huntingdon County Conservation District, Little Juniata River Agricultural BMPs (Ormsby Farm): $225,352• Huntingdon County Conservation District, Saddler Creek Agricultural BMPs (Metz Farm): $133,403• The Trust for Tomorrow, The Brown Farm at Sadler Creek Stream Restoration Project: $33,000Indiana• Stream Restoration Incorporated, Neal Run Restoration Project – Phase II: $100,000Jefferson• Headwaters Charitable Trust, Howe Creek Coalition of Clarion and Jefferson: $95,587• Headwaters Charitable Trust, Filson 1/2 & Glenn 17 Passive Treatment Systems-Operation, Maintenance & Replacement: $258,217Lackawanna• Congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, IHM Center Meadow Brook Watershed Protection Project: $262,158Lancaster• City of Lancaster, Intermunicipal Watershed Action Plan: $40,000• Lancaster Farmland Trust, Pequea Creek Watershed Agricultural BMP’s: $482,592• Octoraro Watershed Association, Bells Run Conservation Plan and BMP Assistance: $64,500Lawrence• Lawrence County Conservation District, Slippery Rock Watershed Agricultural Restoration: $810,283Lebanon• Lebanon Valley Conservancy Inc., Quittapahilla Creek EPA 319 Watershed Implementation Plan: $26,250Lehigh• City of Allentown, Livingston Watershed Green Stormwater Infrastructure: $300,000Luzerne• Butler Township, The Wash Sediment Abatement Project: $170,000• Earth Conservancy, Bliss Bank Reclamation Phase II: $734,600• Luzerne Conservation District, Luzerne County 2015 Ag and Stream Protection Projects: $504,542Lycoming• Lycoming County Conservation District, Agricultural Stormwater BMPs: $150,000McKean• McKean County Conservation District, Upper Allegheny Ag BMP’s Project: $278,986Monroe• Paradise Township, Paradise Creek Restoration Project: $693,596Montgomery• Abington Township, Sandy Run TMDL Projects: $186,000• Lower Gwynedd Township, Lower Gwynedd Basins and Dam Naturalization: $60,850• Upper Gwynedd Township, Wissahickon Headwaters Green Stormwater Infrastructure: $305,000• Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, Wissahickon Headwaters Stream and Riparian Restoration Project: $369,600Montour• Montour County Conservation District, Mahoning Creek Restoration Project: $611,037• Montour County Conservation District, Sitler Roof and Manure Storage Project: $139,165Northampton• Wildlands Conservancy, Inc., Oughoughton Creek Watershed Restoration Project: $106,000Northumberland• Northumberland County Conservation District, Chillisquaque Creek Streambank Stabilization Project: $20,055• Point Township: Kapp Heights Stormwater Management Project – Phase 1: $611,703Philadelphia• Philadelphia City Treasurer, City of Philadelphia Water Department, Germantown Green Bowls on Park Sites: $300,000Schuylkill• Mahanoy Creek Watershed Association, Packer 5 AMD Treatment Design: $85,581• Schuylkill Conservation District, Good Spring Creek Floodplain Restoration Phase 1: $459,445• Schuylkill Conservation District, Mill Creek AMD Watershed Restoration Plan Development: $64,857• Schuylkill Conservation District, Delaware Watershed Agricultural Planning Initiative: $30,000• Schuylkill Conservation District, Animal Heavy Use Area Protection Project: $321,817Snyder• Snyder County Conservation District, Snook Barnyard Improvement Project: $275,000Tioga• Mill Cove Incorporated, Mill Cove Streambank Stabilization Project: $93,000Union• Union County Conservation District, Buffalo Creek Stream Corridor and Wetland Improvement Project: $33,500Warren• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Brokenstraw Creek Watershed Improvement Project: $95,770Washington• Washington County Conservation District, Raccoon Creek Watershed Agricultural BMPs: $81,608• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Blaine Township Park Restoration: $113,200Westmoreland• Loyalhanna Watershed Association, Inc., Fourmile Run Restoration Project: $328,000• Westmoreland County Conservation District, Turtle Creek Ag BMPs – Steel’s Run: $22,965• Westmoreland County Conservation District, First Presbyterian Church of Murrysville, Murrysville Volunteer Fire Company: $102,893• Westmoreland County Conservation District, Beaver Run AG BMPs #2 – Rebitch Farm: $15,655• Westmoreland County Conservation District, Sloan Elementary School: $129,085Wyoming• Mehoopany Creek Watershed Association, Inc., Rogers Hollow Stream Restoration – Phase 1 Construction: $397,998Multiple Counties• Bucktail Watershed Association, Defending Native Plants in the First Fork: $24,130• Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, Stream Restoration and BMP Implementation: $354,972• Northwest Pennsylvania Eminent Community Institute, Management & Continuation of the Northwest PA Greenways Implementation Block Grants: $400,000• Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc., PACD Engineering Technical Assistance Program: $1,528,516• Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, TreeVitalize XII: $250,000• Pennsylvania State University, PaOneStop Manure Management & Nutrient Balance Modules: $168,208• Pocono Northeast Resource Conservation & Development Council, C-SAW-Consortium for Scientific Assistance to Watersheds (1X): $820,000• Stream Restoration Incorporated, Datashed 3: $105,718• Stream Restoration Incorporated: Passive Treatment O&M Technical Assistance 3: $180,000• Stroud Water Research Center, Inc., Delivering the Berks-Chester RCPP: $249,922• Trout Unlimited, Inc., West Branch Susquehanna Recovery Benchmark II: $128,515• Trout Unlimited, Inc., AMD Technical Assistance Program: $225,000• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Community Riparian Restoration Education Project: $57,635• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Driftwood Branch Sinnemahoning Creek Riparian Restoration: $65,458• Wildlands Conservancy, Inc., Black Creek Watershed AMD Restoration Plan: $70,191TOTAL: $20,694,678319 NONPOINT SOURCE GRANTS RECIPIENTS:Allegheny• Pine Creek Land Conservation Trust, Crouse Run Stream Restoration: $13,800Bedford• Broad Top Township, Sandy Run SA0-D10 AMD Remediation: $400,000Berks• Berks County Conservation District, Surface Water Assessment in the Maiden & Sacony Creek Watersheds: $60,080Clearfield• Clearfield County Conservation District, Deer Creek AMD Treatment Construction: $883,174Cumberland• Cumberland County Conservation District, Middle Spring Creek WIP Implementation Phase II: $62,912Delaware• Villanova University: VUSP – PaDEP – Stormwater Best Management Practice National Monitoring Site: $323,366Indiana• Indiana County Conservation District, WIP SW Region Ag Initiative: $285,092Lancaster• West Lampeter Township, Groff Property Floodplain Restoration: $198,950Mifflin• Mifflin County Conservation District, Upper Kishacoquillas Creek and Hungry Run Surface Water Assessment: $72,692Schuylkill• Schuylkill Headwaters Association, Inc., Reevesdale #2 AMD Restoration Project Phase 2 – Optimization: $485,722Westmoreland• Jacobs Creek Watershed Association, Mt. Pleasant Plaza Storm Water Retrofit (Green Infrastructure): $233,299• Jacobs Creek Watershed Association, Mt. Pleasant Shop N Save: $235,926TOTAL: $3,255,013ACID MINE DRAINAGE (AMD) SET-ASIDE GRANTS RECIPIENTS:Elk• Headwaters Charitable Trust, Kyler Hollow AMD Passive Treatment System – ALD 1 & ALD 2 Rehabilitation: $618,118• Headwaters Charitable Trust, Hayes Run & Backside Hayes AMD Passive Treatment Systems – Modifications/Improvements: $384,918Fayette• Mountain Watershed Association, Inc., Rondell-Correal AMD Treatment System: $123,543Schuylkill• Schuylkill Conservation District, Upper Swatara Creek QHUP AMD Monitoring Project: $67,024TOTAL: $1,193,603GRAND TOTAL: $25,143,294# # # SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Wolf Administration Investing $25.1 Million in Projects to Protect and Improve Pennsylvania Water Resourceslast_img read more

Ellsworth 9-10 softball claims District 1 crown with win over Machias

first_imgELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth 9-10 softball team defeated Machias 13-3 on Friday to complete a dominant tournament run and win the District 1 championship at DeMeyer Field.Ellsworth outscored its opponents 38-8 over three games to win the tournament. The team had beaten Acadian Little League 11-1 on June 29 to begin the tournament and also beat Machias 14-4 on July 1 in what proved to be a preview of the title game.With the victory, Ellsworth qualified for the state championships in Scarborough, which begin this weekend. The team’s first game will be at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 15.At the 11-12 level, the Acadian Major League team saw its softball season come to an end Saturday with a 9-1 loss to Scarborough. Acadian finished its season as the District 1 champion and had a 1-2 record in the state tournament.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textEllsworth’s 9-10 baseball team was eliminated with a 15-14 road loss against Calais on July 1. The 11-12 team can clinch the District 1 title with a victory against Machias at 5 p.m. Monday, July 10.last_img read more

XC : Whelan hopes to build off recent success at John Reif Memorial

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm Joe Whelan has been running some of the best races of his career. The sophomore’s hard work and dedication to cross country is beginning to pay off at Syracuse.And with just one race left to go before the men’s team runs at the Big East championship in Louisville, Ky., on Oct. 29, Whelan’s looking for it to pay off on a greater stage.‘Joe is a really, really great high school runner, so we have high expectations for him,’ head coach Chris Fox said. ‘We expect him to be the next Pat Dupont or Tito Medrano. He needs to be in our top five, and he needs to be a scorer.’Whelan, a 2008 Foot Locker finalist at Hamburg (N.Y.) High School, has shown his value by finishing in the top five for SU in all three of the races that he has participated in this season. He said he is excited for the challenge of garnering another title in two weeks, but he is using the John Reif Memorial race on Saturday in Ithaca as a final tune-up.While Whelan’s been successful, the two-time defending conference champion men’s team as a whole has been in a slump. But this weekend’s race is an opportunity to gain some momentum before the high-stakes conference championship.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd, as Whelan said, the struggles that are happening now do not need to have a greater effect on Syracuse’s results for the season.‘We’re always looking towards the end of the season, championship season, because that’s when the best performances are,’ Whelan said. ‘We don’t really put too much emphasis on the early season meets because we already know what the goals are for the rest of the season.’Although the races in the first half of the season don’t matter much, Whelan has still taken the first few races seriously to show consistency is his key to success.At the Colgate Invitational, Whelan finished third on the team with a time of 25:34. Two weeks later, Whelan finished fifth on the team at the Paul Short Invitational. He then went on to claim the third-place spot on SU at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational last weekend with a time of 24:50, just 14 seconds behind Pat Dupont, the Orange’s top finisher.Whelan said he looks up to Dupont, a senior, as a leader and role model because of the tremendous amount of experience and success he has under his belt. Dupont described Whelan as a guy that takes what’s handed to him and makes the best of it.‘I think he’s a really talented guy and when we need someone to step up, he usually fills that role,’ Dupont said.One of the biggest setbacks for Whelan is the number of serious injuries he has had to overcome during his career at SU. He had a femoral stress fracture that cut back his training time last season. This year, Whelan came back with a fractured knee that required surgery.‘For me, everything has been a little comeback, but I feel like I am at the same level as everyone else now,’ Whelan said. ‘At men’s Big East, I want to try and be in the top 15 and hopefully get All-Big East.’Whelan was a freshman on the 2010 SU men’s cross country team that won its second consecutive Big East title last season. He knows what the feeling is like. He sees the Big East championship as the biggest meet of the season because the Big East rivalries are so strong and the teams in the conference are top-notch competitors.Villanova, Providence and Georgetown are the longstanding rivalries, but schools like Notre Dame and Louisville are also on the Orange’s radar going into the Big East championship.At the John Reif Memorial, the last pre-championship season race this Friday, the men’s top runners will not be running. But Whelan is an exception to this claim, as he will be looking for one more strong result before the biggest meet of the season to date.And regardless of the meets that have occurred thus far in the season, the men’s team still has high expectations and has not lost sight of its season goal: defending its Big East title.‘We want to do our best to step in there and try to defend our title,’ Fox said. ‘Right now we’re not one of the favorites, but we still have the people and the personality to try to win the meet.’acptachi@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img read more