Puerto Rico Braces for Tropical Storm Dorian
Puerto Rico, still recovering from 2017's devastating Hurricane Maria, is now facing down Tropical Storm Dorian.
This visible satellite animation from NOAA’s #GOES16 shows #TropicalStormDorian moving closer to the #VirginIslands… https://t.co/J7rWKxxWps— NOAA Satellites - Public Affairs (@NOAA Satellites - Public Affairs)1566997385.0
The storm is expected to reach the island at near hurricane strength Wednesday, CNN reported. In preparation, the governor declared a state of emergency Monday. President Trump also approved a request for a federal emergency declaration, which will enable federal agencies to coordinate relief, The New York Times reported.
"There's already so much damage on the ground from (Maria) that this isn't going to take a lot to make a significant amount of damage, especially flooding," CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. "Some of these power lines are not held up by very much—70 mph would bring them back down."
Even if the winds don't reach hurricane strength, the storm could dump more than six inches of rain on the island, causing potentially severe flooding, The New York Times reported.
Puerto Rican authorities have worked to assure the island's residents that they are prepared for the storm and have enough emergency supplies. The former governor, Ricardo A. Rosselló, was toppled by protests sparked partly by his inadequate response to Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people and left some parts of the island without power for up to 11 months. Current Gov. Wanda Vázquez only assumed power three weeks ago.
"I am confident that the people of Puerto Rico are prepared," she said at a press conference reported by The New York Times. "We are going to move forward."
The government has around 360 shelters ready with a capacity of 48,500, CNN reported. They have also prepared around 70 hospitals to deal with emergencies. But island residents are still nervous, and some are leaving the island ahead of the storm.
"I'm so insecure here with the power, the food, the security—so I'm leaving," one person told CBS News.
Others stocked up on bottled water, as Krystle Rivera tweeted.
This is crazy! Ridiculous shouldn't there be some type of limite so everyone can get some #PuertoRico #water #crazy https://t.co/aU5f9YLb6q— krystle rivera (@krystle rivera)1566750638.0
The Department of Homeland Security came under fire Tuesday for transferring more than $150 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund to temporary immigration courts on the southwest U.S. and Mexican border, The New York Times reported.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the move a "brazen theft" and "stunningly reckless," HuffPost reported
.@realDonaldTrump’s brazen theft of disaster relief funding to pay for an inhumane family incarceration plan is cru… https://t.co/2XXHAF5gNG— Nancy Pelosi (@Nancy Pelosi)1566958694.0
In addition to striking Puerto Rico, Dorian could bring wind and rain to the eastern Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands, according to The New York Times. It is also expected to make landfall as a category 1 hurricane on the east coast of Florida Saturday, CNN further reported.
"Based on the current track of Tropical Storm Dorian, all residents on the East Coast should prepare for impacts, including strong winds, heavy rain and flooding," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday, as CNN reported.
Returning the ‘Three Sisters’ – Corn, Beans and Squash – to Native American Farms Nourishes People, Land and Cultures
By Christina Gish Hill
Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.
Abundant Harvests<p>Historically, Native people throughout the Americas bred indigenous plant varieties specific to the growing conditions of their homelands. They selected seeds for many different traits, such as <a href="https://emergencemagazine.org/story/corn-tastes-better/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">flavor, texture and color</a>.</p><p>Native growers knew that planting corn, beans, squash and sunflowers together produced mutual benefits. Corn stalks created a trellis for beans to climb, and beans' twining vines secured the corn in high winds. They also certainly observed that corn and bean plants growing together tended to be healthier than when raised separately. Today we know the reason: Bacteria living on bean plant roots pull nitrogen – an essential plant nutrient – from the air and <a href="http://www.tilthalliance.org/learn/resources-1/almanac/october/octobermngg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">convert it to a form that both beans and corn can use</a>.</p><p>Squash plants contributed by shading the ground with their broad leaves, preventing weeds from growing and retaining water in the soil. Heritage squash varieties also had spines that discouraged deer and raccoons from visiting the garden for a snack. And sunflowers planted around the edges of the garden created a natural fence, protecting other plants from wind and animals and attracting pollinators.</p><p>Interplanting these agricultural sisters produced bountiful harvests that sustained large Native communities and <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eam.2015.0016" target="_blank">spurred fruitful trade economies</a>. The first Europeans who reached the Americas were shocked at the abundant food crops they found. My research is exploring how, 200 years ago, Native American agriculturalists around the Great Lakes and along the Missouri and Red rivers fed fur traders with their diverse vegetable products.</p>
Displaced From the Land<p>As Euro-Americans settled permanently on the most fertile North American lands and acquired seeds that Native growers had carefully bred, they imposed policies that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/ahr/87.2.550" target="_blank">made Native farming practices impossible</a>. In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the <a href="https://guides.loc.gov/indian-removal-act" target="_blank">Indian Removal Act</a>, which made it official U.S. policy to force Native peoples from their home locations, pushing them onto subpar lands.</p><p>On reservations, U.S. government officials discouraged Native women from cultivating anything larger than small garden plots and pressured Native men to practice Euro-American style monoculture. Allotment policies assigned small plots to nuclear families, further limiting Native Americans' access to land and preventing them from using communal farming practices.</p><p>Native children were forced to attend boarding schools, where they had no opportunity to <a href="https://doi.org/10.5749/jamerindieduc.57.1.0145" target="_blank">learn Native agriculture techniques or preservation and preparation of Indigenous foods</a>. Instead they were forced to eat Western foods, turning their palates away from their traditional preferences. Taken together, these policies <a href="https://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-0802-7.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">almost entirely eradicated three sisters agriculture</a> from Native communities in the Midwest by the 1930s.</p>
Reviving Native Agriculture<p>Today Native people all over the U.S. are working diligently to <a href="https://www.oupress.com/books/15107980/indigenous-food-sovereignty-in-the-united-sta" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reclaim Indigenous varieties of corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and other crops</a>. This effort is important for many reasons.</p><p>Improving Native people's access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods will help lower rates of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aian-diabetes/index.html" target="_blank">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/native-american/obesity" target="_blank">obesity</a>, which affect Native Americans at disproportionately high rates. Sharing traditional knowledge about agriculture is a way for elders to pass cultural information along to younger generations. Indigenous growing techniques also protect the lands that Native nations now inhabit, and can potentially benefit the wider ecosystems around them.</p>
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