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Good News Tuesday: Safety for Children and Animals, Ending Chronic Homelessness, London Air Quality, and Hidden Figures Recognized

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Sensor Detects Children and Animals Left in Vehicles

A small, inexpensive device, developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo, can detect unattended children or animals in a car. The device is 100% accurate and uses a combination of radar and artificial intelligence. It’s designed to be attached to the rear view mirror or mounted on the ceiling. I know we shouldn’t have to depend on sensor. We all need to be mindful of safety for those who depend on us to take care of them. But this sensor can help the ones who are vulnerable.

Here are the details: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/ai-sensor-to-save-kids-left-in-cars-could-be-installed-by-2020/

Ending Chronic Homelessness

Three US cities have ended chronic homelessness and nine have ended chronic homelessness for veterans.

“By ending homelessness, we mean getting to a place where it’s rare, brief, and it gets solved correctly and quickly when it does happen.”

Rosanne Haggerty,  Community Solutions,

 

The following article explains a program, Built for Zero, a program that uses systemic data to track homeless community members in real time to identify and coordinate services.  The success appears to be related to focus, monitoring, and commitment.

You can click here for the details.

Central London Air Quality Has Improved with New Rules

the Ultra Low Emissions Zone was established in central London, toxic emissions have fallen by 36%.  The city created a toxicity charge for older vehicles that don’t meet standards in the zone.  A big motivator for creating the ULEZ was an increase in children suffering chronic illness and lung damage as a result of air pollution.

“I am determined to stop Londoners breathing air so filthy it is damaging our children’s lungs and causing thousands of premature deaths,” Khan says. “The ULEZ shows what we can achieve if we are brave enough to implement such ambitious policies.”     ___London Mayor Sadiq Khan

For more information, visit this article from NPR.

 

Women Who Inspired “Hidden Figures” to Get Congressional Gold Medals

In October, the US Congress passed the The Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act to award Gold Medals to Katherine Johnson and Dr. Christine Darden and posthumously  to Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.  The women are being nationally recognized for their significant contributions to NASA during the “Space Race” of the 1960s. The US Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian recognition in the United States.

You can  read more about these courageous pioneers in   this CNN article, 

and in this article from Black Voice News

Below are two great scenes from the movie, Hidden Figures, based on the book, Hidden Figures, The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly.  The women who were once hidden figures had to overcome both entrenched sexism and racial prejudice.

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Good News Tuesday: Animal Cruelty Legislation, A Message from a Father, and Prison Reform’s Early Release

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

US House Votes to Make Animal Cruelty a Federal Offense

The US house of representatives voted unanimously to approve a bill to make animal cruelty a federal offense with a penalty of up to seven years in prison.

Republican co-sponsor, Vern Buchanan said in a statement that the bill’s prospects of becoming law were favorable.

“This is a landmark bill that establishes for the first time a federal offense against the malicious torturing of animals,” Mr. Buchanan said. He added, “We are optimistic it will pass the Senate, which has already supported the bill in two previous sessions of Congress.”

Representatives recognize that animal cruelty is closely related to abuse of children and domestic violence. We are making progress.

Here’s the story from The New York Times

 

Fathers and Daughters: A Comforting Answer Four Years Later

Chastity Patterson lost her father in 2015. She continued to send text messages to his phone number for four years about what was going on in her life: overcoming challenges, graduating from college, and her continuing love. On the eve of the fourth anniversary of her father’s death, 23 year old Chastity was ready to let go with a final message when she received a response. It was from a father who had lost his daughter.

Please read this story from the Good News Network.

Prison Reform Early Release

527 prisoners were released in Oklahoma yesterday. The release was part of the state’s criminal justice reform which made drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony. All the sentences commuted were for low level crimes like drug possession and property theft. Here’s more:

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Good News Tuesday: Video Games for Peace, Electricity from Sound, Homes for Canadian Veterans, and an Elephant Finds Sanctuary

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Former Refugee’s Video Game for Peace

“Peace is something that is built over time,” Mayen said. “It’s not about people coming together and signing cease-fires and so on. It’s a generation of change. It’s a change of mindset. It’s a change of attitude toward each other.”

Lual Mayen was born in war torn South Sudan. Shortly after his birth, his family treked 225 miles to a refugee camp in Northern Uganda. His two older sisters died on the journey.  While still a refugee, he developed the first version of his video game, Salaam, which means “peace” in Arabic. Mayen is now launching his company, Junub Games which includes newer versions of Salaam. The game involves surviving as a refugee in a war zone and buying food, water, and medical supplies with real money which is then donated to help real life refugees.

You can read more about Lual Mayen’s story in this article from The Washington Post

High School Students Generate Electricity from Sound

A group of 11th graders from the Philippines have invented a device that uses sound waves to generate electricity. The device would cost about $4 and currently can provide enough electricity for a small light. However, the potential exists to generate greater amounts of electricity from noisy places like airport runways.  Here’s more from the Good News Network.

Homes for Heroes

A complex of 15 tiny homes for Canadian veterans is now complete. The complex includes mental health support and family space. This news report from CTV News includes a video with perspectives from veterans.

Chile’s Last Performing Circus Elephant is at Her Sanctuary!

After 50 years in the circus and being isolated from her own kind, Ramba has been rescued and has been in a temporary space while waiting to go to the Global Sanctuary for Elephants.

These are the final steps of a journey that began over 7 years ago. In 2012, Ecopolis—a Chilean animal welfare group—contacted the Global Elephant Sanctuary (GSE) to help rescue Ramba from her abusive circus owners.  GoodNewsNetwork

 Tuesday morning update: The Global Elephant Sanctuary Facebook Page says,

“Ramba is Home!”

You can learn more about Ramba and her rescue on her GES Rescue Page. 

This video is from a couple of weeks ago when they were trying to get her used to the transport crate for the final part of her journey to sanctuary.

 

Many thanks to Ecopolis, Global Sanctuary for Elephants, and those who help rescue animals from abuse and exploitation.

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Good News Tuesday: Recycling for Bus Fare, Timely Rescue, Women in Space, and a Missing Dog Found After 12 Years

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

When in Rome You Can Recycle for Transit Fare

In Rome you can pay for a subway or bus ride with plastic bottles! Thanks for this story go to to Ana at Timeless Wisdoms  where you can find an abundance of positive news stories!

Rescued Just in Time

Utah State Trooper Ruben Correa rescues a man from car right before a train hits it.

You can watch the video included in this story from Good Morning America:

https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/news/story/utah-state-trooper-rescues-man-tracks-seconds-train-66329895

Successful Mission for First All Female Space Walk

Christina Coch and Jessica Meir completed the first all-female space walk to replace a controller that distributes power to the international space station.  The job went off “without a hitch” and took 7 hours and 17 minutes. In addition to replacing the battery component, they completed other tasks.

“As much as it’s worth celebrating the first spacewalk with an all-female team, I think many of us are looking forward to it just being normal,” veteran astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson said on NASA’s live coverage of the spacewalk.

“I think if it signifies anything,” she added, “it is to honor the women who came before us, who were skilled and qualified — and didn’t get the same opportunities we get today because it is so normal.”

The above was excerpted from this report from NPR. 

 

Missing Dog Found After 12 Years

Next week: video games for peace.

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Good News Tuesday: Green Progress, Help on the Run, and the Subway Soprano

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Carbon Emissions Dropping in 30 Major Cities

We have a long way to go, but this article from Good News Network shows what can happen when cities make a commitment.   The C40 analysisshows that these 30 cities have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 22%.”

Here are the cities: Athens, Austin, Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Venice, Warsaw, and Washington, D.C.

Plastic Bag Use Down 90% in England

“Sales of plastic bags in England’s largest supermarkets have fallen by 90% in the four years since the government introduced a 5p levy.”  Francis Ball/Economia

I don’t know if an added fee for using plastic would pass in the US, but I do like that some health food chains are giving a discount for bringing your own reusable bag. This article from Economia tells more about the UK’s progress in reducing plastic bags.

Runner Helps Exhausted “Rival.”

At the World Track and Field Championship last month in Qatar, Braima Suncar Dabo of Guinea-Bissau saw that Jonathan Busby of Aruba was near collapse. Dabo slowed down and helped Busby finish the race.

This brief story includes a moving video.

Homeless Opera Singer and Musician Gets Recording Offer

Emily Zamourka had been paying her bills by playing violin in the street. But after the violin was stolen, she became homeless. A California police officer shared a video of her singing opera which dubbed her the “Subway Soprano.” This recently led Grammy nominated record producer Joel Diamond to offer her a recording contract not to mention a successful Go Fund Me campaign.

Got good news? Please share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal.


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Good News Tuesday: Forgiveness and Perseverance

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Just two stories today, but the first one is pretty powerful. It starts with bad news and offers hope for something better.

Brandt Jean Asks to Hug His Brother’s Killer, and the Judge Lets Him

After a long shift, Dallas police officer Amber Guyger walked into the wrong apartment and killed Botham Jean who was in his own apartment eating ice cream.  It was a horrible mistake that could have been easily prevented. I’ve been thinking a lot about this case. What would I have done as a juror? As the police officer? But I think what Botham Jean’s brother did was more important. After Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison, Botham’s 18 year old brother,  Brandt Jean, made a statement of forgiveness. Then he asked if he could hug his brother’s killer. Judge Tammy Kemp broke with protocol by allowing the hug and later by giving Amber her Bible. 20 years ago, I would have been objecting strongly to that act, now I admire Judge Kemp’s compassion.

This first video moved me to tears and the hope that maybe greater good can come from this tragedy.

In the second video, Brandt talks about what made him ask for the hug. There is an important distinction made between forgiveness and justice.

Jimmy Carter is Amazing

At the age of 95, Jimmy Carter is the oldest living former US president. He lives in a modest house and shops at Dollar General. After a recent fall, he was back to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. What a role model!

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Good News Tuesday: Banks on Board, Bus Driver Initiative, Tree Top Barbie, and Brain Implant for Blindness

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

130 Banks Commit to Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Banks responsible for one-third of the global banking sector committed to aligning their business with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals. This was part of the “newly-signed Principles for Responsible Banking, which was launched one day ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.  Here’s the story from the Good News Network.   

 

School Bus Driver Comes Back to Mow the Grass

Jerry Martin drives a school bus in Texas. When he saw students waiting at a bus stop in weeds and tall grass, he took it upon himself to return with a lawn mower.

Thank you, Mr. Martin!

Here’s the the story also from the Good News Network. 

 

Meet the Woman who Started Tree Top Barbie

Nalini Nadkarni has a passion for studying the canopy. In the early 2000s Mattel turned down her idea for a tree top Barbie, so she made it on her own. 15 years later, after telling Nalini she was infringing on their brand, Mattel reportedly started to include tree top Barbie in their explorer series. When I did a search for tree top Barbie, I didn’t see her, except on International Canopy Network which said they are no longer producing the doll. So, I’ve sent a message to Mattel asking how I can find Tree Top Barbie to buy  for my granddaughter. We’ll see if I can find her. In the meantime, please watch this video about Nalini Nadkani. I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

Brain Implant Restores Vision Perception

Jason Esterhuizen lost his sight in a horrible car accident seven years ago. Now, the native of South Africa is the second person to receive a new brain implant developed at UCLA which helps him see light and movement. He is now able to do things like sort laundry and cross the street more safely. This video explains how the implant works.

Got good news? Please share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal.