China Pollution Goals To Cut Coal Consumption FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:SHANGHAI—China’s heavily polluted industrial province of Hebei has pledged to cut concentrations of hazardous smog particles by 14 percent by 2020, part of China’s ongoing efforts to improve air quality in the region.Following a meeting this week, the provincial government promised to cut small, airborne particles known as PM2.5 to an average of 57 micrograms per cubic metre by 2020, down from 65 micrograms in 2017, according to a notice issued by the local environmental bureau on Thursday.Smog-prone Hebei, which surrounds the capital Beijing, is a major front in China’s ongoing “war on pollution,” and it is desperate to promote cleaner forms of growth and cut fossil fuel use, especially coal.The province has been under heavy pressure to bring smog under control this winter, shutting factories, curbing traffic and converting coal-fired heating boilers as part of a state anti-pollution drive that committed 28 northern Chinese cities to reduce PM2.5 concentrations by at least 15 percent from October 2017 to March 2018.Hebei, China’s biggest steel-producing region, also said this week that it would accelerate efforts to restructure its heavy industrial economy, promote innovation, expand tourism and service sectors and increase forestation in the next three years.The province aims to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its total primary energy mix to 10 percent by 2020, up from 5 percent in 2015 – still falling short of the national target of 15 percent for the period.More: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-pollution-hebei/chinas-hebei-pledges-to-cut-pollution-by-14-percent-by-2020-idUSKBN1EU07W
Virginia reconsiders approval of water permit for Mountain Valley Pipeline FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The Virginia State Water Control Board might cancel a state-issued Clean Water Act Section-401 water quality certification for the 2-Bcf/d Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC natural gas transportation project after the state sued the developer for water-related environmental violations.The board voted to hold a hearing to “consider the revocation” of the permit at a meeting in Richmond, Va., on Dec. 14. According to a news release from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the board will decide on the process and schedule in the next few weeks. Losing the permit could hamper construction on the pipeline in the state.The move came after Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality announced a lawsuit against Mountain Valley for what the state said were as many as 300 environmental violations in several counties along the pipeline route. The violations of federal and state law involved erosion, sediment and stormwater standards, and many of them occurred after significant rainfall, the state said.A Mountain Valley spokesperson said the developer has tried to design a route with the least impact to communities and the environment and has worked closely with state and federal agencies. “We will continue to work with the VA DEQ and the [State Water Control Board] to address any additional concerns,” Natalie Cox said Dec. 14.The Virginia board’s action is one of many permitting and legal challenges for the pipeline project. More ($): Virginia considers revoking water permit for Mountain Valley gas pipeline
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Portugal News:The production of electricity from renewable sources supplied 51 percent of national consumption in 2019, with wind power representing 27 percent, the highest share ever.Photovoltaic solar energy was, according to REN, the source that grew the most last year, having exceeded for the first time the value of a terawatt-hour (TWh) of annual production. The hydroelectric production index stood at 0.81 (below the average of 1) in 2019, with the last two months of the year improving dam production. In December, the production index reached 1.77. In turn, the wind production index registered 1.05 in 2019, and 1.13 in December.“The combination of these factors allowed a period of 131 consecutive hours, the longest ever, with renewable production exceeding consumption,” said REN.Thus, in December 2019, all renewable production supplied 76 percent of national consumption (including export balance) and non-renewable production the remaining 24 percent.The balance of trade with foreign countries relating to renewables was exporting (more was sold to Spain than was bought) and “was particularly high” in the last month of the year, equivalent to 19 percent of national consumption.More: Renewables supply 51% of electricity in 2019 Renewable energy provided 51% of Portugal’s electricity needs in 2019
These brothers be howlin. The Howlin’ Brothers kicking it.January. Snow. February. Snow. March. Snow. Like you, we are ready for spring. For green. For wide open trails, peaks to climb, rivers to paddle, downhills to bomb.For now, that’s just wishful thinking. So, in the meantime, we leave you with Trail Mix.We kick off this month with a track from The Howlin’ Brothers, a Tennessee trio that bends and stirs rag time, old time, and country blues into a rip roarin’ good time. Their latest release, Howl, was produced by Brendan Benson, a founding member of The Raconteurs.Trail Mix is also excited to include a track from Anthrax, one of the biggest names in heavy metal music over the last three decades. This month, Anthrax is releasing Anthems, an eight track EP featuring covers from some of the band’s favorite tunes from the 1970s. We offer you the title track from that release, a cover of Rush’s “Anthems,” though you will notice it is marked “stream only.”Stream only tracks are new for Trail Mix; from time to time, we will be adding tracks for stream that will not be available for download. Historically, we have been able to give away everything we offer on Trail Mix. The music business being what it is, not all tracks can be given away for free. We understand that and are totally cool with it. Instead of denying those artists involvement in Trail Mix, however, we have decided to drop in a stream only track from time to time and turn you folks on to great stuff that, heretofore, we have not included.Also on this month’s mix are brand new tunes from British folk rocker Bobby Long, enchanting songstresses Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, Caitlin Rose, Heidi Talbot, and Shannon Labrie, roots rockers The Nadas, Fat Opie, and Todd May, noted singer/songwriter Steve Forbert, and longtime rockers from Great Britain, The Waterboys.March also finds us showcasing a couple tunes from two new releases on the fabled Alligator Records label. We are happy to be working with the fine folks at Alligator and offer new tracks from Anders Osborne and Jesse Dee.Make sure to check out a couple great Virginia bands – Weird Mob, out of Charlottesville, and Scratch River Telegraph Company, from way out in the mountains of Wise County – the rollicking one man blues of Montana’s Smokestack & The Foothill Fury, and the beautiful harmonies of Duluth, Minnesota’s Low.Trail Mix is rounded out with tracks from Rolling Nowhere, Jacob & The Good People, Jacco Gardner, Smoke Fairies, Nakia, and Maston. All great songs, all great artists.Make sure to download and stream as often as you would like. Tell your friends and neighbors. Mention a song or two that really strikes your fancy. And, as always, reach out and buy a record or two from these tremendous artists. Supporting them shows your appreciation for their support of Trail Mix. Happy listening!Download Trail Mix March 2013 here.Click here to open the player in a new window.Download more music from month’s past here! They never go out of style.No flash player!It looks like you don’t have flash player installed. Click here to go to Macromedia download page.March 2013 Trail Mix by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine on Grooveshark
The community of Eden is usually paradise. It’s nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge north of Winston-Salem and Greensboro along the bucolic Dan River. However, this week, it was also home to the third largest coal ash disaster in U.S. history. Duke Enerrgy’s coal-fired power plant spilled 80,000 tons of coal ash—enough to fill 32 Olympic swimming pools—into the Dan River, endangering water supplies for thousands of area residents. Coal ash is laced with toxic heavy metals, including mercury and arsenic, which persist for decades. The river, grey and filled with sludge for miles downstream of the spill, may be severely compromised in its ability to support fishing, recreation, and aquatic life for years to come. It’s especially tragic because of the efforts that Eden has been making to grow it’s outdoor recreation opportunities. Eden has been a popular new recreation spot in the Southeast, and the Dan River is a big reason for drawing outdoor enthusiasts there.A postal worker in Eden first alerted officials that the river was running black. It took 24 hours for Duke Energy and the Department of Natural Resources to acknowledge the spill, which still is not fully contained.Coal ash ponds are ticking time bombs. They are usually located beside major waterways and they are largely unregulated. Leaks and spills are inevitable, and Southern Appalachia has already been hit hard by coals ash spills in recent years.Whatever you think about coal-fired energy, it seems absurd to dump coal ash in unlined ponds beside rivers that supply our drinking water. Most residents of the South live within 100 miles of a coal-fired power plant and get their water from a waterway threatened by a coal ash pond.View aerial footage of the Dan River spill here.
I think nutrition is over-rated. Hold off on those angry letters until I explain. Sure, a nice hot lunch with vegetables, a protein source and maybe a glass of H2O has been an important part of the work day for, I don’t know, as long as people have worked. If we’re being honest with ourselves, lunch is probably the highlight of your 9 to 5—a beautiful respite between those mindless TPS reports we have to file.But I think you should start skipping lunch, or at the very least, redefine what lunch is. Yesterday, lunch for me was a beer and a Clif bar, scarfed down on the chair lift at my local resort outside of town. There was barely enough nourishment there to fuel my frantic laps of the 700-vert resort, but it was the best damn lunch I’ve had in months. I took a long mid-day break and spent an hour yo-yoing up and down my local hill, giggling the entire time because I felt like I was getting away with something. Because I wasn’t sitting in a restaurant, or worse yet, working through a sandwich at my desk like I normally do.It was a Tuesday, and there was a thin, but fresh blanket of snow on the mountains. I’ll be damned if I choose nutrition over an hour of semi-freshies on a work day. I call it the “LunchSki” (trademark applied for), as in today, I think I’ll have a “LunchSki.” You need two things for a proper “LunchSki”: snow and a beer. But the same principle can be applied to any adventurous pursuit—a ride on your in town trail system, a run through the neighborhood…as long as there’s sweating, a change of scenery, and a beer involved. The beer is key, here. I can’t stress that enough. A mid-day beer after some strenuous exercise is like a mini vacation. It’s rejuvenating. (Note: If you operate public transportation for a living, please disregard this advice). The idea is to take back that hour in the middle of the day. That’s your hour, damn it. Make it useful. Make it something you can really look forward to.As for the lunch itself, I chose a peanut crunch Clif Bar and a can of Action Man, a lager from Howard Brewing, which operates somewhere on the eastern edge of Pisgah National Forest. Action Man is a hell of a lager—creamy, smooth, incredibly drinkable—the perfect daylight beer. And it paired well with that Clif Bar and that fresh blanket of snow. My only regret is that I only brought one of them for lunch.
There is a storm brewing along the spine of the Snowbird Mountains. Dark purple skies are rolling about us here at 5,000 feet, where our small car sits dwarfed by vast mountains in the Hooper Bald parking lot. We are packing up the last of our items for a three day trip into the headwaters of Big Snowbird Creek and an isolated 9,000 acre chunk of wildness known as the Snowbird Wilderness Study Area.A large caliber bullet hole resides in the center of the trailhead sign, and all of the other signs have been torn off of their posts. Graham County, North Carolina, where the Snowbird Wilderness Study Area is located, is eighty percent federally owned and is flanked on its western sides by one of the largest concentrations of roadless land in the east, surrounded by Joyce Kilmer – Slickrock Wilderness, Citico Wilderness, and the half-million acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park.We walk to the top of Hooper Bald, searching as we go for the trail to the headwaters of Big Snowbird Creek. Eventually we see an overgrown path that could be our trail, though it is nothing more than a faint break in the forest floor marked with old blue plastic flagging. We pick our way down over fallen birches, losing the trail occasionally, unsure we are even on it. I begin to think that the flagging could be directions for a meth lab or pot field. I don’t worry about wild animals out here; I worry about wild people. However, the more we enter this wild place, the more I relax. People for the most part stay near roads, and given the overall health rating of most Americans, the farther I am from a road, the better I feel.Several piles of fresh coyote scat mark the trail. My neighbors shoot coyotes for sport and because they believe coyotes are out to kill their lap dogs and house cats, are destroying wild game populations, and will soon take over the planet and implement a socialist dictatorship. I, for one, am happy that they are here.Our dog Izzy looks about nervously as we put up the tent and clear a place out for cooking. The fugitive Eric Rudolph claims to have hid out in these woods for a while, and this would seem as likely a spot as any. No one seems to have been here in years.A deep loneliness permeates this place. Some of it has to do with the remoteness and lack of human presence, but something else calls as well. I have always felt an intrinsic melancholy in these mountains, something that is perhaps the result of hundreds of millions of years of birth, death, and decay. This was the last part of western North Carolina to be descended upon by white settlers and is the place where the Cherokee leader, Tsali, and his fellow renegades fled during the Trail of Tears. Their descendants now live in the Snowbird Cherokee Community that borders the Snowbird Wilderness Study Area.Photo by Nicholas A. TonelliAngela tells me that she had no idea that this was such a beautiful place, though I have told her about it for several years. We could move to Graham County, she says, and then we could be close by and have much better chances for success in protecting it. Most Americans are already familiar with Graham County unknowingly; it’s where the movie Nell was filmed; Harrison Ford rappelled down the nearby Cheoah Dam for the movie The Fugitive; and it was featured in the Discovery Channel’s series Moonshiners. It’s also the last dry county in western North Carolina; if we moved here, I tell her, we’d be driving 50 miles for a six-pack of beer.As we are preparing supper, I open up a box of Bandit Brand Merlot, which has “Ten Good Reasons to Buy Wine in a Box” broadcast on its side. Among my favorites: #3: Lower Shipping Weight = Less Fuel Emissions; #7: One truckload of Empty Bandit Boxes = 26 Truckloads of Glass Wine Bottles; #10: You Can Crush it on Your Forehead When Done. We finish the wine after a dinner of Indian rice, along with some wild ramps I picked on the way down, but we have no inclination to smash the box on our foreheads, even after a couple of shots of good local moonshine. Tired, full, and a little drunk, we turn in early, but neither of us can sleep.Izzy squirms about at the end of the tent, dreaming of coyotes, and I lie and talk to Angela about jobs, music, dreams and lost dreams, and the work required to permanently protect a place like this. I’m 52 and I’ve been working to protect wilderness for decades. I am tired of fighting, but still the wilderness calls me on. Wilderness. The word has been so divisive that I sometimes think we need a new word to replace it. Why not? The Cherokees had no word for it, so couldn’t I too learn to treat the whole planet as wildness lost? Forget the categories? Yet the word itself has power, and it still fires my imagination.Wilderness was first used in the eighth century to mean self-willed, uncontrolled terrain. By the 17th century, the word wilderness was a curse to everything civilized. Puritan ministers arriving in the new world railed against the howling wilderness that had to be conquered in the name of Christianity. Yet as the woods were felled and the natives conquered, wilderness became less reviled and more revered, especially by city dwellers. A deep divide about wilderness remains today. Rural Americans stereotype environmentalists as naïve city slickers who know nothing of working and living off the land, while environmentalists stereotype wilderness opponents as insensitive, selfish, and ignorant of the impacts they are making on places that environmentalists are trying to protect.Yet I don’t believe all wilderness advocates can be characterized this way. Even early wilderness advocates like Aldo Leopold saw the landscape in its entirety, and sought to understand the interdependency of all living things. Farming and logging could be done in a way to preserve the long term health of the land. And wilderness could serve as a baseline for understanding how nature worked when protected from the heavy and manipulative hand of modern humans. The word today has become so politicized and culturally polarized, attacked by hunters, fishermen, mountain bikers, trail clubs, off-road vehicle riders, and the very agencies that are supposed to support it, that to be an advocate for it is to place yourself on the margins and at odds with most user groups. It’s an idea that people seem to have fallen out of love with after almost fifty years of its codification into law with the 1964 Wilderness Act. Yet run a Google search on the word ‘wilderness’ and you will see that we use it as a marketing tool for just about any type of consumer product, everything from mustard to off-road vehicles, dog food, soap, and deodorant.Though protecting wild places has never been without some controversy, it wasn’t always as divisive as it is now. When Congress passed the Wilderness Act in 1964, it passed the House and Senate unanimously—an unimaginable legislative scenario here in the early 21st century. What has changed since 1964 that has made permanently protecting a fraction of our public lands from resource extraction, road building, and mechanized recreation and equipment such a controversial action? One shift has been that since 1964, our oil addiction as a nation has been expanded to weedeaters, chainsaws, and other mechanical means of lawn maintenance and woods work. Trail clubs, which supported the Wilderness Act’s passage in 1964, have become dependent upon these tools to care for trails, and the problem is compounded with aging membership and the lack of youth recruitment and interest. Opposition to wilderness from trail clubs has been the hardest pill for me to swallow.Photo by Mary Anne BakerAlso, other trail user groups have emerged since the Wilderness Act’s passage. Mountain bikes, non-existent in 1964, are now as common in the national forest as the dark eyed juncos flitting about our camp. Mountain biking is one of the most highly organized recreational uses in the nation, and many bikers have a hard time accepting that they aren’t allowed in wilderness. Often they do not support any new designations, and they would like to have the act revised to allow bikes.Another user group, riders of off-road vehicles (ORVs), didn’t exist in 1964, so the highly organized opposition they muster on wilderness designations today did not exist then either.A large percentage of hunters feel that wilderness limits the logging they believe will produce more game. Crafters of the Wilderness Act made sure to impose no limits on hunting, and large sportsmen organizations were strong supporters of the act’s passage. Yet state game agencies who manage much of the land that surrounds wilderness have convinced many hunters that wilderness limits their management options, thereby leading to a decrease in game.When Snowbird was declared a Wilderness Study Area by Congress in 1984, it set the stage for a future wilderness designation here, but the Forest Service basically walked away from it. Dwindling recreation budgets have led to the abandonment of many trail systems such as Snowbird’s, and without a local volunteer club to maintain them, they are soon overgrown in an area that can receive a hundred inches of rain a year. The area’s remoteness is also a factor.If I were to ask any of the Graham County locals what they thought of more wilderness, many of them would feel that there is an overabundance of federal land here, and that the best outcome for their economy would be to sell some of it – or to sell it all. One local sawmill owner told me that he had to go to other counties to buy timber. He turned out to be a very respectful and accommodating logger who was willing to talk and seek common ground between wilderness and logging. But I was still an outsider, and it was clear to him and to me that there was an enormous gulf between us in both our historical and current perspectives. Though I have lived in these mountains for most of my life, I will never know what it is like to have grown up in this remote and provincial place with such deep generational ties to the land, where many of the elders still remember the Forest Service buying much of the cutover county in the 1930s.I want to work with Graham County locals to figure out how to protect places like Snowbird, and still get timber off the local National Forest without destroying its last big wild places. But it will be a tough road. Most people here believe that a proposed four lane highway will bring them economic prosperity, though evidence points to the contrary. If Graham Countians don’t like outsiders’ attitudes, the last thing they need is a four lane to cut straight into the heart of their rural landscape, bringing with it low-wage jobs with outside ownership—not to mention the environmental damage done to this last great dark spot on the map.After two days of hiking, we have still seen no one. Big Snowbird Creek will soon be filled by spring rains. We’re walking out ahead of them and listening to a Blackburnian warbler as we go. It’s thin and high pitched, and I can barely hear it above the wind. Angela can’t hear it at all, so maybe I don’t really hear it either. Maybe all that matters is the wanting to hear it.I don’t know when I’ll get back to Big Snowbird again. This barely discernible path will be completely grown over in a few more weeks, and there is a high likelihood that no one will attempt to make this journey down into the Big Snowbird headwaters for the remainder of the spring and summer. Perhaps the coyotes will keep the trails open enough to see where to put my feet the next time I have an opportunity to venture into this largely pathless land. “There, that was a Blackburnian warbler that time,” I say, but Angela shakes her head and walks on up the path towards home.–Brent Martin
By Dialogo February 19, 2009 The Federal Police of Bolivia and Brazil signed an agreement Wednesday to strengthen bilateral cooperation in combating organized crime, including actions against drug trafficking, money laundering, and weapons smuggling. The Convention on Police Cooperation Strategy of 2009 was signed by Luiz Fernando Correa, the general director of the Federal Police (PF) of Brazil, and General Wilge Abel Obleas, the National Planning Director of the National Police of Bolivia, in Campo Grande in the of state Mato Grosso do Sul. According to a note from the PF, police hierarchies of both countries agreed to “perform a series of actions aimed at combating organized crime, principally drug trafficking, arms trafficking, money laundering, and related crimes.” It emphasizes the actions of “logistical support” for joint or isolated operations, training agents, and the exchange of intelligence information in the fight against organized crime. The police corps from both countries will evaluate the possibility of appointing Brazilian federal police officers to act as “official links” to the Special Force to Fight Drug Trafficking in Bolivia. Moreover, Bolivia is committed to carrying out operations aimed at the “eradication of marijuana and excess coca plants in their territory” with the help of logistical support from Brazilian officials. The agreement, which is valid for one year, includes technical visits and missions to enhance joint investigations and exchange data relating to laws against drug and weapons trafficking and money laundering.
By Dialogo July 28, 2009 RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) 7/23/2009 — Rio drug traffickers are operating makeshift medical clinics in the slums they control so wounded gang members don’t have to risk arrest by seeking treatment at hospitals, police said Thursday. “It’s the first time we’ve found clinics like this,” a civil police spokesman said Thursday. “We can’t say how long they’ve been used — we assume for some time.” He spoke on condition of anonymity, per department rules. Officers discovered the first clinic Wednesday in the Manguinhos slum in northern Rio. Inside a two-room shack, police found surgical scissors stained with blood; morphine, anesthesia, antibiotics and other medicines; medical equipment such as IVs and X-rays. Police found bandages with fresh blood on them and surmised that a gunman wounded in a shootout with officers sought treatment at the clinic just minutes before it was discovered. Police then went looking for other rudimentary facilities — and quickly located one in the nearby Jacarezinho slum, stocked with similar medical supplies. Police chief Allan Turnowski said an unspecified number of doctors and nurses who worked in the clinics have since been arrested. “They were making a lot of money” by treating drug gang members, Turnowski said. Rio’s sprawling slums are the site of frequent, bloody shootouts between police and the gangs that dominate the neighborhoods — with innocents often caught in the crossfire. A United Nations report last year found that police kill an average of three people a day in the city. Police killed one suspect during Thursday’s operations in Jacarezinho and another suspect in Manguinhos. Wounded drug traffickers know that if they seek treatment in a regular hospital, they risk being handed over to authorities, Turnowski added. “So they’ve made the investment of setting up these facilities where they can get proper treatment inside of their slum and avoid arrest.” Police have previously arrested doctors who traveled into the slums to treat drug gang leaders, the spokesman said.
By Dialogo April 27, 2010 Hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) deployed to Haiti January 20 to March 10, 2010, in support of USSOUTHCOM’s Operation Unified Response to provide immediate and critical medical care to survivors of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated much of the Caribbean nation January 12. The ship departed Baltimore January 16 and arrived in Haiti January 20, where the crew contributed to U.S. relief efforts led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). *I. About Comfort’s relief mission:* _Mission:_ Comfort was sent to Haiti to provide critical medical care to those affected by the 7.0-earthquake that struck Haiti January 12, 2010, in order to help alleviate human suffering and save lives in the immediate aftermath of the devastating disaster. _Deployment Dates:_ Comfort departed Baltimore January 16th and arrived off the coast of Haiti just after midnight January 20th. Comfort completed her mission in Haiti March 10th and departed Haiti on its eventual return to its homeport in Baltimore. *Crew (Embarked):* A cumulative total of more than 1,400 military and civilian personnel were part of Comfort’s crew during the mission, including more than 1,200 during the peak of the ship’s humanitarian operations. Comfort’s crew included more than 700 military and civilian medical personnel. *Medical Team Onboard:* U.S. military and civilian doctors, nurses, corpsmen, technicians and support staff provided a host of medical services to include primary care, trauma care, pediatric care and orthopedic care. *Family Members and Escorts:*Patients who were escorted on board Comfort by a family member or friend were permitted to remain on board while loved ones received treatment. There were a total of 185 escorts who were provided beds, food and other amenities. *Follow-Care:* Comfort donated 218 pallets of donated and excess medical supplies to support the medical supply needs to USAID. By the time COMFORT departed there were more than 160 new sites (fixed sites and mobile clinics) where primary care was provided by 55 international non-governmental organizations (NGO). *Relief Mission Data:* • Total patients treated: 1,025 • Date first patients were received: On January 19th, two patients were transferred to Comfort from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) • Highest number of patients on board: 411 on January 28th • Total surgeries performed: 862 • Total Haitian patients referred to U.S. for further treatment: 77 • Total babies born aboard: 9 *Host Nation Participation: *The crew of Comfort worked in cooperation with Haiti’s Ministry of Health, in support of USAID and alongside healthcare providers from the international community, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and the government of Haiti. *NGO Participation: *More than 240 volunteers from: • American Red Cross • Project Hope • Operation Smile • Orthopedic Trauma Association • National Nurses United • University of Michigan • Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine • University of California, Los Angeles • Military translators: 65 • American Red Cross volunteer translators: 104 *Translator Support:* Comfort translators maintained a patient hotline where friends and relatives could obtain information on the status of patients aboard the ship. The translators took more than 130 calls, placed more than 190 calls, and facilitated 18 reunions aboard the ship. *II *. *About USNS COMFORT :* A converted San Clemente-class supertanker, Comfort was delivered to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command December 1, 1987. This is the third ship to bear the name – previous Comforts served during the world wars. A crew of about 70 civil service mariners operate and navigate the ship while Navy medical personnel and their partners staff the shipboard hospital. • Length: 894 feet • Beam: 106 feet • Speed: 17.5 knots • Displacement (full): 69,360 long tons • Medical facilities: The hospital has a full spectrum of surgical and medical services including four X-rays, one CAT-scan unit, a dental suite, an optometry and lens laboratory, a physical therapy center, a pharmacy, an invasive angiography suite, two oxygen-producing plants, 12 operating rooms, and 40 intensive care units. Embarked Helicopters for this Mission: Two MH-60S Seahawk helicopters *III . Prior assistance to Haiti:* _Continuing Promise 2009_ – USNS Comfort previously deployed to Port-au-Prince, Haiti for 12 days in April 2009, as part of Operation Continuing Promise 2009 — a four-month humanitarian and civic assistance deployment to seven countries (including Haiti) in the Caribbean, Central and South America. During the Haiti mission, Comfort’s medical staff treated 6,731 patients, performed 161 surgeries, and filled 15,504 prescriptions. _(Current as of 23 April 2010)_