WEST TEXAS: Fighting wildfires

first_img Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Martinsville, VA Nature Conservancy firefighters watch as smoke billows from wildfire in basin below. Photo courtesy of Dan Snodgrass[Diocese of West Texas] It began when a clap of dry lightning exploded on the parched “sky island” high in the Davis Mountains of West Texas. With no rain to douse the sparks, the wind-fanned smoldering embers quickly grew into a runaway wildfire, feeding on the tinderbox of dried grasses, piñon pines and juniper.Volunteer firefighters from the Fort Davis area battled the blaze before calling for reinforcements from the Texas Forest Service. Among the hundreds of responders were two from St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Blanco , a vibrant mission in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.Neither knew the other was there, much less that they were both wildland firefighters.As associate director of land conservation for The Nature Conservancy, Dan Snodgrass oversees all 37 Nature Conservancy properties in Texas. When that bolt of lightning struck on April 24, 2012, he took a special interest in it. The fire was on the Davis Mountains Preserve — one of his preserves.The Davis Mountains Preserve is among the most unique and majestic areas of Texas. With elevations from 5,000 feet to the 8,378-foot summit of Mount Livermore, the preserve is an isolated “sky island” of diverse plant and animal life surrounded by the expansive Chihuahuan Desert.Since 1997, The Nature Conservancy has managed to cobble together a 32,000 acre tract carved out of the U Up U Down Ranch and other properties. Another 70,000 acres are protected in conservation easements adjacent to the preserve.Snodgrass, like many Nature Conservancy employees, has undergone the same rigorous wildland fire fighting training and certification that professional firefighters undertake. “We slip right in with them,” he said.So when he received word that the fire was burning his preserve, he grabbed his Nomax protective clothing, hardhat and headed to the fire from his home in Johnson City, Texas.As Snodgrass rushed to the fire, a call went out to Hunter Wistrand, a retired U.S. Forest Service ranger and firefighter now in his second year as bishop’s warden at St. Michael. The Texas Forest Service calls Wistrand when a fire gets big enough to require extensive mobilization.A wildland fire fighting operation is akin to a military campaign, complete with strict rules of engagement and a top to bottom command structure. At the top of the Davis Mountains command structure was Paul Hanneman, who himself has a link to St. Michael. His mother-in-law is Janet Smith, a long-time member of St. Michael.Wistrand was assigned the job of operations section chief, which gave him the responsibility of making day-to-day fire fighting assignments. Based on his recommendations, the fire fighting resources were doubled.Aircraft ranging from large tankers to single-engine planes and helicopters were brought in to drop water and retardants on the fire. Hot shots – those 20-person crews that cut fire lines by hand – arrived from as far away as Virginia and started scratching out a six-mile fire break to keep the blaze from spreading. A professional caterer was even called in to feed hundreds of empty stomachs.Dan Snodgrass, left, and Hunter Wistrand, right. Photo courtesy of Dan SnodgrassOn this fire, Snodgrass and other Nature Conservancy employees supported the operation by providing water, housing and strategic advice about how to fight the fire on preserve property.The biggest threat was to the isolated Davis Mountains Resort, an eclectic subdivision of 250 permanent residents and 400 absentee landowners adjacent to the Nature Conservancy and downwind from the fire.One morning, as Snodgrass reviewed the action plan for that day’s fire fighting, he noticed Wistrand’s name. “I saw his name there and thought, ‘I know that name,’ but couldn’t place it. Then at the morning briefing I saw Hunter,” Snodgrass said.“I looked out in the crowd and saw Dan,” Wistrand said. “I shook his hand and asked him what he was doing there.”Snodgrass asked Wistrand what he was doing there.“He didn’t know I worked for the Texas Forest Service and I didn’t know he worked for The Nature Conservancy,” Wistrand said.“Wildland fire fighting is a small world,” Snodgrass said. “Here you are out in the middle of nowhere and you have three people – me, Hunter and Paul Hanneman – all associated with one little Episcopal church.”When the Livermore Ranch Complex fire was finally out, it left 13,665 acres burned in and around the Davis Mountains Preserve and another 10,576 acres charred around nearby Spring Mountain. No structure was lost or damaged at the Davis Mountains Resort.Although fire is “mostly a good thing” for the environment, Snodgrass said the preserve “lost quite a few ponderosa pines we’d rather not have lost.” But the land’s generational recovery will present huge opportunities for researchers to study its rebound, he said.The son of lifelong Episcopalians, Snodgrass grew up in Brownfield, Texas, attended Texas Tech University, majored in wildlife management and has been at the Conservancy for some 15 years. Johnson City doesn’t have an Episcopal Church, so he, his wife Aylin, two children, mother and brother drive 15 miles south to church in Blanco’s St. Michael.Wistrand, also a lifelong Episcopalian, grew up in Colorado City in the rolling grass and scrub brush of West Texas where there wasn’t a forest and barely a tree in sight.How did he end up fighting forest fires?“When I was in ninth grade, they gave us an aptitude test. Mine showed that I had an aptitude for either a forester, game warden or dentist,” he said. “I knew I didn’t want to spend my career looking down somebody’s throat. So I went into forestry.”After graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University in the Piney Woods of East Texas, he went to work for the U.S. Forest Service. His first assignment was spraying Southern pine beetles with insecticide. “I’d come home drenched in insecticide,” he said. “I’m lucky I don’t have cancer.”His next job was hauling trash and cleaning restrooms. “That was a step up from spraying pine beetles,” he said.The year he got out of college, he went on his first fire in the Santa Fe National Forest, doing the grueling work of cutting fire lines by hand. “When you’re 22, you don’t even think about how hard it is,” he said.As he advanced in his career, he had a variety of forest service assignments that took him from Texas to Florida to New Mexico before ending up in Flagstaff, Arizona, where his entire job was centered on fire fighting.After a 29-year career, he retired in 2001 and moved with his wife Virginia to Spring Branch south of Blanco to be near family. His daughter Laura has taught Sunday school at St. Michael for two years and Virginia serves on the altar guild and as an acolyte. The Wistrands bring a passel of grandkids to church with them.In addition to responding to calls from the Texas Forest Service, Wistrand teaches fire training courses across the nation. He finds life as a semi-retired fire fighter enjoyable.“There’s no conference calls, no budget meetings, no staff meetings. No meetings of any kind,” he said with a smile.Despite the rigorous work, fighting fires “is a lot of fun actually,” Snodgrass said. “Most everybody who does it enjoys it. It’s hard work. It’s exciting. It’s a real sense of accomplishment. It’s a finished product, if you will.”Although devote Episcopalians, neither has much time to think about spiritual matters while on a fire. “There’s no opportunity for church or prayer,” Snodgrass said. “Usually it’s a two-week detail, all day, every day. It’s all about fire.”In the quietness of an evening, though, Wistrand does take a moment or two to ponder the immensity of nature around him. “I make the connection with God by sitting on a mountain,” he said. “This may sound odd, but sitting on a peak at night time there is nothing prettier than watching the sparkle of a wildfire burning on a hillside with the stars above.”“Fire is a natural force like tornadoes, hurricanes and volcanos,” he said. “I don’t think the good Lord put these forces here to harm us. I look at fire as a beneficial thing, not a destructive force.”When he looks at the power of a fire burning through the lands, “that kind of scenery really puts things in perspective about how little influence we have as a single person and who’s really running things here.”In his reflections, Snodgrass thinks about environmental stewardship. “I love the outdoors. The church makes me think about that. It’s a way to fulfill both my personal and church missions,” he said.— Mike Patterson is a freelance writer and member of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Blanco. He is a regular contributor to The Church News, a publication of the Diocese of West Texas. In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 July 2, 2012 at 10:09 pm Good article……………be careful and we’ll be praying for you………………….. 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VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Featured Events Director of Music Morristown, NJ Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector Collierville, TN Associate Rector Columbus, GA WEST TEXAS: Fighting wildfires Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Belleville, IL Submit a Job Listing Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Knoxville, TN Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Press Release Service Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Albany, NY An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Smithfield, NClast_img read more

KPCC Chief, Southern California Public Radio Founding President, CEO Bill Davis Steps Down

first_imglatest #1 KPCC Chief, Southern California Public Radio Founding President, CEO Bill Davis Steps Down From STAFF REPORTS Published on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 | 6:33 pm Business News Subscribe Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Make a comment Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Herbeauty10 Female Celebs Women Love But Men Find UnattractiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHow To Lose Weight & Burn Fat While You SleepHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHe Is Totally In Love With You If He Does These 7 ThingsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThe Most Heartwarming Moments Between Father And DaughterHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Wear Just Anything If You’re The President’s DaughterHerbeautyHerbeauty First Heatwave Expected Next Week Top of the News center_img Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS More Cool Stuff The Board of Trustees of Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) announced today that Bill Davis, President and CEO, has decided to step down and begin the leadership transition process for the organization. Davis, who will continue in his current responsibilities through December 2019 or until his successor is appointed, will work closely with the SCPR Board to identify a new President and CEO for the organization.The SCPR Board also announced that Davis will assume the newly-created role of President Emeritus of SCPR following the transition period.Davis joined SCPR in 2001 as its Founding President and over his nearly 20-year tenure led its transformation from a struggling, underperforming public radio station into a powerful community voice serving a growing and diverse audience across Southern California. Davis significantly expanded SCPR’s audience, membership and financial performance and recruited and developed a top-notch staff at all levels—establishing an ethical and inclusive culture that attracts outstanding journalists and creative talent.“The pride I have in Southern California Public Radio’s success during my tenure as CEO will always pale in comparison with the many accomplishments of our team and the lasting value of my friendships with colleagues on the Board of Trustees and the staff,” said Mr. Davis. “Through the years, SCPR has benefited from an exceptionally engaged Board, which has supported me and our management team every step of the way.”“I am blessed to have the opportunity after 19 years to leave SCPR at its peak, with an outstanding team in place ready to take the organization to new heights,” Davis added. “I begin this transition with a vigorous commitment to ensuring SCPR continues to grow and prosper. I look forward to working with the Board to further refine our strategic path and to identify a leader who will build on SCPR’s excellence and its commitment to serving the diverse and growing Southern California audience.”Ana Valdez, Chair of the SCPR Board of Trustees, said, “Southern California Public Radio is in the best shape in its history thanks to Bill’s initiatives and community-first ethos. With a strong and diverse management team in place, a growing audience and expanding membership base, and the best financial results in its history, SCPR is poised not only for more growth and success, but also to continue its vitally important public service mission.“SCPR will continue to benefit from Bill’s vision and expertise, as we search for the best possible new leader to build on our accomplishments,” Valdez added. “The Board also looks forward to working with Bill on the completion of our strategic planning process during the transition period. Working together, we will further the diverse, inclusive and ethical culture that has thrived at SCPR for nearly two decades of rapid change in the industry and in the communities we serve. We are committed to ensuring a seamless and successful transition for SCPR and its audiences, members, employees, and partners.”A nationally known and respected broadcast professional, Davis led the production of a wide range of local news and public affairs programming and the development of compelling content across a range of broadcast, digital and live event platforms. In addition to its public radio network, SCPR interacts with audiences through its web site, mobile and social media channels and through live events and has become a nationally recognized leader in public service journalism and civic engagement.These initiatives and investments resulted in impressive audience growth and an equally impressive expansion in membership and funding. SCPR’s audience has grown from 200,000 in 2000 to 800,000 in 2018, and it has added a digital audience that now totals 800,000. Current memberships at SCPR are also at an all-time high of 73,196 members. SCPR’s revenues are projected to reach $32.5 million in 2019, also a record. Community News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Community News ShareShareTweetSharePin it last_img read more

An Outlook on the Housing Market

first_imgHome / Daily Dose / An Outlook on the Housing Market  Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Related Articles Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Subscribe An Outlook on the Housing Market About Author: Radhika Ojha Rick Sharga, EVP, Carrington Mortgage Holdings discusses some of the pressing issues facing today’s housing market and the trends that are likely to shape it in 2019. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Previous: What did S&P Say About Mortgage Defaults? Next: Searching for Leadership in Washington, D.C.center_img Tagged with: Carrington Foreclosure Homes HOUSING Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Carrington Foreclosure Homes HOUSING 2018-10-22 Radhika Ojha Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas. The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago October 22, 2018 1,536 Views Share Save Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agolast_img read more

Grange Residences to deliver premium townhomes on infill site

first_imgGrange Residences.Kedron Brook is a 29km watercourse with a much-loved bikeway, walkway and series of parks that link many of Brisbane’s northern suburbs to the Brisbane Airport.Mr Livingstone said many of the townhomes has been designed for adaptable housing with provision for a lift, wider door widths, improved circulation, flat entries, reinforced bathrooms for the installation of grab rails and provision of natural light on three sides.“We’ve done a lot of thinking about the modern Brisbane way of life and we believe Grange Residences offers an active, healthy lifestyle but also the opportunity for ageing in place,” he said.“The Grange Residences site has allowed us to create a high quality product — with a great aspect and abundant open space and catchment access to premier local schools such as Wilston State School.” Grange ResidencesThe 41 northeast facing townhomes on 1.15ha in Agincourt Street, Grange, will come in two, three and four-bedroom layouts with the majority of yards fronting Kedron Brook.JGL Properties managing director John Livingstone said the vision for Grange Residences was to create an inner-city product that appealed to a range of buyers — young professionals and families, but also downsizers who wanted to remain in the local area close to family and friends. Grange Residences.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours ago“Our brief to Arkhefield was to design something they’d be proud to live in, and we have been careful to underdevelop rather than overdevelop the site,” he said.“We’re delivering a product that offers the benefits and scale of a house, with enviable open space at your doorstep and the architectural flair Arkhefield have been renowned for over the past 25 years.“This style of product is virtually unrepeatable due to the rare nature of this premium infill site, we are targeting local downsizers with this one off opportunity.” Grange Residences are getting the lifestyle balance right, close to the CBD but right on the much-loved Kedron Brook with plenty of space to play.WITH a design brief to ‘design something you’d be proud to live in’, Grange Residences overlooking Kedron Brook is sure to hit the right notes as a luxury boutique development.Developer JGL Properties is launching Grange Residences to market this month, in a private appointment campaign, with the official public release to take place next month. Grange Residences.The development, to be constructed by Hutchinson Builders, will include a pedestrian and bike path thought the site to join up with Kedron Brook, and will also include extensive native landscaping.JGL Properties has a good reputation for innovation and quality, with its $200 million Newstead Series, a boutique townhome and apartment project, nearing completion.last_img read more

10 states now represented at US 36, Bethany IMCA openers

first_imgIMCA Executive Director of Competition Dave Brenn heads up tech inspection at Osborn. OSBORN, Mo. – Opening night events this weekend at US 36 Raceway and Bethany Speedway bring IMCA drivers from across the nation to the Show-Me State. IMCA Modified, IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car, IMCA Sunoco Stock Car and Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod entries are also in hand from Colorado, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas, as well as Missouri.  As previously announced and emphasized by Boller, social distancing guidelines will be maintained in the pits and grandstand each night. Track officials will ask all race teams to stay within their respective pit area and that everyone attending wear a mask or other appropriate facial covering. Questions about the season-opening weekend can be directed to Boller at 816 752-3645.center_img “We had more than 100 cars practice last Saturday. Once we got to 100, we stopped counting,” continued Boller, looking forward to watching the stars of IMCA vie for the only IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, regional, E3 Spark Plugs State and track points to be awarded in Missouri this weekend. “We’ll take as many cars as we can get in the pits using social distancing.” “We’re expecting to get drivers from a couple more states, too. It seems like the number of entries goes up every time I look at my phone,” said promoter Jon Boller Jr., who noted the strong contingent of RaceSaver Sprint Cars making the trip from out east.  IMCA drivers from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana join competitors from closer to home on season-opening cards Friday, May 8 at Osborn and Saturday, May 9 at Bethany.last_img read more