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How This One Woman Is Turning Her City Into a Solar-Powered Ecovillage

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How This One Woman Is Turning Her City Into a Solar-Powered Ecovillage

By Zenobia Jeffries

Shamayim Harris ran three times for city council in her hometown of Highland Park, Michigan. Each time the voters rejected her. "They didn't want me," she said, with a smile. But that didn't stop her from fulfilling her plans to give Highland Park residents new opportunities, starting with her own block on Avalon Street.

Shu's son Chinyelu helps the construction team with the Homework House and volunteers as security at Avalon Village events.Zenobia Jeffries

The city of Highland Park is in the middle of the much larger city of Detroit and could easily be mistaken for another of its neglected neighborhoods. Highland Park has been without a library for 14 years. Its high school was permanently closed by the state last year, leaving just one school, a K–8 program, within its borders. In 2011, utility company DTE Energy removed all the street lights; local and national headlines read some variation of Highland Park goes dark: City removes lights to pay bills. The city has struggled financially for over a decade and was one of several financially challenged local units of government in Michigan where Gov. Rick Snyder took control of operational and fiscal duties away from local elected officials and gave it to appointed "emergency managers."

These were the conditions Harris, widely known as "Mama Shu," considered when tossing her hat in the political ring. Her desire, she said, wasn't simply to be in office or hold any political titles. It was simply to "make things better" for the residents of Highland Park. "I'm looking at the conditions and wondering what can I do, intimately understanding what's going on?" she said.

Her tone is reflective. But Shu, a business owner and ordained minister, is not resentful. The vision she had for the city over a decade ago is finally coming to fruition with Avalon Village, an ecologically sustainable project being built in four phases, beginning with a study center for local children. "We want what any community wants," said Shu. "All these other cities have all these wonderful things. Why can't we?"

With that spirit, and with the help of contributors from around the world, in May she raised more than $240,000 days on Kickstarter. Prior to that campaign, the project received a $100,000 donation from the Big Sun Foundation, a nonprofit founded by members of the Grammy award-winning band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

That seed money went to Moon Ministries, a nonprofit organization. Then Shu used it to purchase more than 10 properties on her block, including vacant lots and salvageable abandoned homes, and to start renovating Homework House, which she describes as a place where children will be able to get meals and help with schoolwork.

A totally redesigned 2,400-square-foot two-family home, Homework House will have a computer center and a lab for specialized help in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as a recording studio and a commercial kitchen. In the yards outside, children will have three recreational courts to play basketball, tennis and volleyball.

Moon Ministries is handling all the funds associated with the project for now, but Shu says she's submitted the paperwork to make Avalon Village itself a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Once that's approved, the resulting group will handle the costs of running the village over time.

The greening of Avalon Street began in 2014, with the installation of a solar street light in front of Shu's home. The rest of the block will soon have more solar lights. Homework House will have geothermal heating and cooling, as well as a metal roof designed to save on cooling costs. The project received an $18,000 in-kind donation from Luma Resources, a company that manufactures shingle-style solar panels for rooftops.

Meanwhile, local contracting firm Ako Building Corporation volunteered to help with construction and design.

The support for Avalon Village continues to roll in with big names like Ellen Degeneres, who on her show in September surprised Shu with a $100,000 prefab energy-efficient home from Cocoon 9. Shu points to the area where it'll go as if it's already there, adding that the space will be used for Avalon Village's offices.

But before the big names and money started to come in, Shu depended on her friends and family and her weekly check from the charter school where she worked as an office administrator. It was this combination of funds that helped her to purchase her home for $3,000 in 2009.

"I didn't have $3,000," she said, "but I put it together."

A former neighbor who asked that her last name not be used, Ashaki said her mother still lives on Avalon Street. She explains that her sister used to live in the lower unit of what is now Homework House. "It got really bad over the years," she said. "It's good what she's doing."

Ashaki and another neighbor, named Tyrone, who's lived in the same house on Avalon for 50 years, remember the days when Highland Park was a vibrant community. "It was called the City of Trees," said Tyrone. "You don't see many trees now." But he said that Shu is bringing life back to the block. "They keep the grass cut," he said. "It's looking good."

A Difficult Journey

Mama Shu's two-story brick home sits on the corner of Avalon Street and Woodward Avenue. It's been a welcome center of sorts to Highland Park and Detroit residents for the seven years that she's lived there—one of seven occupied homes amid blighted houses and vacant lots. The street's bright colors, green grass and activity today are all things she said she used to envision when driving past on her way to work. The houses appeared dilapidated, and mattresses, tires, toilets, bricks and other discarded items filled the vacant lots. Her now warm and inviting home was boarded up and occupied by squatters.

"They kept it clean, though," she said, laughing. The wood floors were still in good condition, but all the plumbing had been torn out. After she moved in, in 2009, callers kept coming by, expecting to find someone else there. She recalls performing a cleansing ceremony—with incense, oils and sage—on the third night.

That time was the end of a long transition for Shu and her family. To see her infectious smile today and hear her laughter, one wouldn't suspect the trauma she's endured: In 2007, at only "two years, one month, and six days" old, her younger son, Jakobi Ra, was killed by a neighbor speeding down the street.

Shu and her then-husband were at work, and her boys—Jakobi and his older brother, Chinyelu, who was 10 at the time—were outside playing under their neighbors' supervision. She tears up when talking about what happened. "They were walking across the street when my neighbor … turned the corner and blew the stop sign and … the impact just snatched Jakobi out of Chin's hand."

Shu recalls thinking that she wouldn't make it. "My girlfriends and I would say things like, 'I'd die if something happened to one of my children.'" But when she woke up the next day, after her son had passed, she said, "Damn, I didn't die." And today, she said, Jakobi is still with her. The Jakobi Ra Park, named in 2011 after Shu's son, was the first venue of what eventually would become Avalon Village. And at the September ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project—held on the same day her son was killed nine years ago—a headstone was unveiled in his memory.

It's his spirit, she said, and the energy and help of her family, friends, and all the project's volunteers that help her to keep going.

Here are the four phases of the project:

Reposted with permission from our media associate YES! Magazine.

Asian elephants have been added to a list of species that need migratory protection. Steve Evans / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

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Vampire bats avoid other bats when they're feeling unwell. Uwe Schmidt / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 4.0

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Do you feel embarrassed due to the foul odor coming from your mouth? Or your oral hygiene isn't as good as before, and you are suffering from gingivitis (inflammation of gums)?

Well, these oral problems are skyrocketing, and even young people are suffering from oral issues that result in a lack of confidence.

It's common to change your toothpaste by seeing the TV commercials that claim to free you from bad breath or sensitive teeth, but these products don't always work.

Fighting oral issues isn't that easy, even if you religiously follow what your primary school teacher has taught, to "Brush two times a day!"

Well, there is a much-hyped supplement in the market that claims to help you fight all of these oral issues: The Steel Bite Pro.

Steel Bite Pro is an oral supplement that claims to cure bad breath and other such oral issues like sensitivity and gum problems.

But does the supplement really work, or is it just like the useless toothpaste that you tried before? Let's find out in this review.

Who Should Use Steel Bite Pro?

The best part about Steel Bite Pro is that anyone can use the supplement to get rid of oral issues. The supplement contains natural ingredients such as turmeric, zinc, alfalfa, jujube seeds, and much more, so there are no chemicals at all.

No matter whether you are 20 or 60, you can use this supplement to overcome oral issues and get the confidence back that you are missing due to bad odor and sensitive teeth.

Steel Bite Pro Review: Overview of the Supplement

Steel Bite Pro is an all-natural supplement that contains a mix of natural supplements to rebuild your gums and teeth.

The supplement contains 29 different foods that help you reduce the gum pain and other dental problems you have been facing for years.

More than 55,000 people have used Steel Bite Pro till now, and the results of the supplement are pretty impressive. Furthermore, the supplement is prepared in an FDA-approved facility in the USA.

It is available in the form of pills that you can consume anytime, so using the supplement is incredibly convenient. There are numerous benefits of using the Steel Bite Pro as it solves a plethora of dental problems.

Click here to Get the Best Deal on Steel Bite Pro from the Official Website.

Pros and Cons: Steel Bite Pro

To understand the supplement better, it is essential to know about its pros and cons.

Pros

Convenient to Use

The dietary supplement is convenient to use as it comes in the form of pills. You can take the pill anytime, even when you are in your office or somewhere else. Now there is no need to use multiple kinds of toothpaste and splurge money by visiting a dentist.

All-Natural Ingredients

All the ingredients present inside the supplement are natural, and there are no chemicals that can harm your teeth or gums.

Affordable

When you compare the cost of 1 bottle with the cost of a special toothpaste with the fee that your dentist charges, Steel Bite Pro will seem much more affordable. The supplement is available in multiple packages, so you will find it affordable to use.

No Side Effects at All

There are no side effects to using Steel Bite Pro, so you can rest assured that you won't face any headaches or other issues while curing the oral issues. The reason why Steel Bite Pro has no side effects is due to its natural ingredients.

Designed by Experts

The supplement is designed by experts that have been in the industry for years.

No Additional Medicines Are Required

When you are using Steel Bite Pro, you can avoid using other medicines that you have been taking to cure oral issues.

Attacks on the Pain

There are several ingredients present in Steel Bite Pro that attack tooth and gum pain so that you get some instant relief with the supplement.

Comes With a Money Back Guarantee

The supplement comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, so you can claim a full refund if you find the supplement isn't working for you, or if it isn't doing what the manufacturer has promised.

Cons

You Can Purchase It From the Official Site Only

The supplement is only available for purchase from the Official Website. Sometimes the supplement gets out of stock, so you have to wait for it to get back in stock.

A Single Bottle Costs More

If you buy a single bottle of the supplement, it'll cost you more than other packages with multiple bottles.

Ingredients in Steel Bite Pro

All the ingredients present in Steel Bite Pro are natural and have proven benefits for humans. Here is a list of supplements explained in detail and how they can benefit you if you start using Steel Bite Pro.

Turmeric

As per a study, there are innumerable benefits of using turmeric on your teeth. The natural herb has antimicrobial properties that help remove the plaque effectively from the teeth, exterminate bacteria and help cure sensitivity.

Moreover, turmeric is good for fighting oral inflammation issues. When applied on teeth, the ingredient gives instant relief from pain and is effective in curing mouth ulcers as well.

Berberine

Berberine is a natural herb with proven antioxidant power to help you get rid of microorganisms developing inside the mouth. Furthermore, the ingredient has anti-inflammatory properties and is good for curing oral issues caused due to viruses and bacteria.

Yarrow

It is another natural ingredient that is used in a range of health supplements due to its healing power. The ingredient naturally heals the gums and the damage caused to the teeth by bacteria and microorganisms.

As per a study, it helps reduce the infection, oral pain, and cures other dental issues.

Milk Thistle

Your liver has a significant impact on your oral health, and that's where milk thistle works. The natural ingredient eliminates toxins from the liver and detoxifies your mouth as well.

Here is a study that proves how milk thistle is beneficial in detoxifying the liver.

Alfalfa

The decaying of teeth is the initial phase of damage caused by bacteria thriving inside your mouth. Alfalfa works by reducing tooth sensitivity drastically and repairs the tooth decay caused by the bacteria.

It even stops the bacteria from growing further so you can expect good oral health.

Ginger

A lot of natural supplements for teeth contain ginger because of its benefits on the teeth and the stomach. This ingredient present in the Steel Bite Pro reduces nausea and inflammation.

As per this study, there are umpteen other benefits of ginger as well, such as it maintains the pH inside your mouth.

Jujube Seeds

Jujube seeds are good for boosting the immunity. Also, the ingredient has excellent antioxidant properties and is rich in Vitamin C, which is beneficial for the teeth and overall oral health.

Dandelion

Dandelion is a natural ingredient extracted from herbs. The ingredient is rich in minerals and has immense benefits such as fighting the bacteria and preventing the infections occurring inside your mouth.

Zinc

Zinc is essential for teeth, and that is why many toothpaste brands advertise that their product contains a good amount of zinc. Further, zinc is a natural immunity booster and fights against bacteria to prevent gum disease and cavities.

Moreover, zinc repairs the enamel on your teeth that's damaged due to toothpaste or any other reasons. Here is a study that shows the benefits of zinc for your teeth and mouth.

Chicory Root

Chicory root acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other ingredients. The reason why you get instant relief from pain after using Steel Bite Pro is due to the presence of chicory root in the pills.

Celery Seeds

Bacteria result in bad odor and can create cavities in the teeth. Furthermore, some bacteria result in tooth decay and harm the gums. The celery seeds fight these bacteria and prevent further growth.

Yellow Dock

To stay healthy, the teeth need to absorb the minerals present in the saliva. When your teeth are damaged for any reason, they stop absorbing the minerals, and the damage continues further.

Yellow dock helps the teeth to absorb the minerals while reducing the inflammation. Various studies have proven the efficacy of yellow dock for teeth and gums, and it is a natural and effective ingredient to keep the teeth healthy.

Raspberry, Chanca Piedra, and Artichoke

These three natural ingredients have similar properties and contribute a lot to the effectiveness of Steel Bite Pro. The ingredients have good amounts of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin K, Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate.

The purifying agents will remove bacteria and other impurities from the mouth so that the other ingredients work well by repairing the teeth and gums.

Feverfew

The worst thing about oral issues is the pain that you have to go through. Steel Bite Pro claims to help with the pain as it contains feverfew, which is a natural pain reliever. The ingredient suppresses oral and dental pain so you will feel better instantly.

As per a study, there are some other benefits of feverfew, because it is a medicinal plant that suppresses other pains as well. Also, there are no side effects of feverfew at all.

Burdock Root

The root of the burdock plant comes loaded with antioxidants that improve the gum health and the overall health of your mouth.

The best thing about Steel Bite Pro is that the ingredients are present in exact quantities, so you can rest assured that there will be no side effects. Every ingredient is tested in the labs for its efficiency, and that's what makes the Steel Bite Pro a considerable option if you want to improve your oral and dental health.

Click here to See the full list of ingredients in Steel Bite Pro on the official website.

How Does Steel Bite Pro Work?

It is crucial to understand how the supplement works so that you can decide whether to invest in it or not. Below is a step by step process that will help you understand Steel Bite Pro on the go.

Step 1:

When you start consuming the supplement, the pills break down in your mouth. The ingredients then mix with saliva to perform their particular actions.

Step 2:

The ingredients fight the bacteria and heal issues such as wounds while reducing the inflammation caused in the mouth.

Step 3:

The supplement cements the root of the teeth so that there are no further oral and dental issues. Also, it heals the gums and repairs the enamel to provide you relief from sensitivity.

The minerals present in these ingredients strengthen the crown area of the teeth while repairing the cracks so that the damage can be stopped.

Step 4:

The supplement also has some impact on your overall health as the ingredients detoxify the liver by flushing away the toxins.

Step 5:

Consuming the supplement regularly will help you maintain the shield on the teeth that fights against bacteria and microorganisms. Also, it improves the condition of the teeth and curtails bad breath.

The working of Steel Bite Pro is really simple, as there are no complex ingredients present in the supplement. It is easy to use, and all you have to do is consume the pill regularly to keep your oral and dental health up to the mark.

Benefits of Steel Bite Pro

There are many benefits of using Steel Bite Pro since it is an all-natural supplement that has no side effects at all. Here are some benefits you need to consider before buying it.

Prevents Bleeding and Improves Gum Health

The reason why your teeth bleed is due to the loose gums. The space between the tooth and the gum results in bleeding, and that's where Steel Bite Pro helps. The supplement tightens the gums so that there is no bleeding at all.

Whitens the Teeth Naturally

The ingredients present in the supplement, such as zinc and milk thistle, whiten the teeth naturally. There is no need to invest in expensive teeth whitening toothpaste if you are using Steel Bite Pro.

Reduces Bad Breath

The supplement contains ingredients that improve the overall health of the teeth, and it automatically reduces bad breath.

Helps Cure Tooth Pain

Steel Bite Pro has feverfew, which is a natural pain reliever ingredient. The ingredient cures tooth and gum pain and can have instant results after you consume Steel Bite Pro.

Click here to Learn more about the Benefits of Steel Bite Pro on the official website.

Side Effects of Using Steel Bite Pro

You may find it surprising, but Steel Bite Pro has no side effects at all as the supplement contains natural ingredients and has exact quantities so that there are no ill effects on your health. If you keep using the supplement as prescribed, then it can have some excellent results.

Who Should Refrain from Steel Bite Pro?

Steel Bite Pro is an all-natural dietary supplement to improve your dental and oral health.

Anyone can use the supplement, including pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. There are no harms of using the supplement.

However, it would be great to consult a doctor before using the supplement to find out if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.

Dosage and Tips to Start

To get the most from Steel Bite Pro, you should consume two pills with water every day. Take both capsules together anytime that's convenient for you.

To get the best results, follow a brushing regime, and massage your teeth regularly with some good-quality oil to increase the effectiveness of the pills.

Where to Buy Steel Bite Pro, and Guarantees?

You can only buy Steel Bite Pro from the Official Site, as the supplement is not available anywhere else for purchase. You can choose from three available options:

●1 bottle (60 pills) $69

●Three bottles (180 pills) $117

●Six bottles (360 pills) $294 (Best Deal)

You get a 60-day money back guarantee with all the packages, no matter if you go for one bottle or six bottles. You are eligible to claim the full refund within 60 days of the date of purchase.

Steel Bite Pro Reviews: Closing Thoughts

After this definitive review, it will be easier for you to find out whether you should use Steel Bite Pro or not. The supplement contains a mix of 29 natural ingredients that have proven benefits and are tested in labs.

It is essential to get rid of oral and dental issues before things get out of control and you have no option left despite visiting a dentist.

Getting a good quality supplement is essential, so Steel Bite Pro is a viable option if you need a supplement with no side effects.

Anyone can use this supplement irrespective of age, sex, and medical conditions. Lastly, buy the supplement only from the official site so that you can easily claim the refund if required.

Click here to Get the best deal on Steel Bite Pro from the official website.

A pumpjack in North Dakota. Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo / Moment / Getty Images

North Dakota has found a controversial use for federal coronavirus relief money: using it to fund fracking.

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A ghost forest in Nags Head Woods, North Carolina on Oct. 16, 2017. NC Wetlands / CC BY 2.0


Along the Atlantic coast, ghost forests provide haunting signs of sea-level rise. These stands of bleached and broken tree trunks are all that remain after salty water inundates a forest.


Matt Kirwan is with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He says ghost forests are not a new phenomenon, but they're moving inland faster as seas rise.

"Eventually they'll fall apart and become stumps surrounded by marshland," he says. "And so when you see a ghost forest now, you're seeing where the marsh will be in the future."

Marshes are valuable ecosystems, so in some ways, that's positive.

"Ghost forests are a surprising indicator of ecological resilience in coastal systems," Kirwan says. "They mark how marshes naturally migrate in response to sea-level rise."

But that migration comes at a cost.

"Places that people have lived for hundreds of years are becoming too wet and too salty to grow crops on, in some cases," Kirwan says. "And of course, the forest resources are being lost. And in some cases, people are forced to move from their homes as the land becomes too flooded."

So ghost forests have become eerie symbols of rapid change.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

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