[PBS NewsHour] ‘Protectors of the coast’ — what the northward march of mangroves means for fishing, flooding and carbon

A fourth-generation fisherman, charter boat captain Zach Timmons has navigated the Old City’s waterways since he was a child. Timmons has watched mangroves advance into areas like downtown St. Augustine, even spotting some farther north.

“A lot of people just don’t know what they are,” Timmons said. “The fact that the mangroves are working their way out here is a big indication that something is changing.”

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[Forbes] 'Diversity' Isn't Just A Feel-Good Word: How One CEO Is Changing The Corporate Conversation

Creating a work culture that welcomes inclusivity is something that many top corporations seem to have trouble doing. Ethnically diverse companies have been proven to outperform less diverse companies, as per a Mckinsey 2018 report that found that businesses with the most ethnically diverse executive teams were 33 percent more likely to be profitable than their counterparts.

Still, minorities remain sorely underrepresented cross-industries, with blacks making up only 12 percent of the total U.S. workforce. 

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[The Rivard Report] A Change in the Air: Earlier Springs Bring Allergies and Asthma to Hard-Hit San Antonio

Angela and Jason Bartels’ children are sensitive to the plant pollens that fill the air around their home in San Antonio. In past years, their symptoms have felt akin to asthma, leaving them coughing and sometimes struggling to breathe, their mother said.

“This year, it’s their eyes,” Bartels, 36, said of her two oldest children, ages 8 and 6. “Their eyes are so puffy, red, and just itchy.”

San Antonio is one of the most challenging cities for spring allergy sufferers, and rising temperatures are making it worse.

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[Climate Central] A Change in the Air: Earlier Springs Bring Allergies and Asthma to Hard-Hit San Antonio

In low-income, urban areas, at least a quarter of residents can suffer from asthma, says Louisias — more than double the overall national average. The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine also found in a 2012 study on health disparities that asthma mortality rates are nearly three-fold higher in non-Hispanic blacks than non-Hispanic whites.

“These communities, in addition to having higher prevalence rates of asthma, tend to also have worse outcomes,” Louisias said. “They are more likely to be hospitalized, more likely to go to the ER, more likely to die.”

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[Climate Central] ‘Protectors of the Coast’ — What the Northward March of Mangroves Means for Fishing, Flooding and Carbon

Chapman thinks warming could push the uppermost range of mangroves into Georgia within a decade. Pointing to evidence that “hurricanes push mangroves northward,” she said recent storms mean individual mangroves may already be taking root even further north on Florida’s coastline.

“We are preparing for that and thinking about how to educate people living in areas where they haven’t been before,” Chapman said. “I think that we need to get used to our ecosystem shifting with climate change. And this often makes us sad, and it makes us uncomfortable.”

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[The Florida-Times Union] Northward march of mangroves impacts fishing, flooding and carbon

Florida legislators regard the trees as storm buffers and coastal habitat, and the Mangrove Preservation and Trimming Act safeguards mangroves and forbids their trimming by anyone lacking arborist certification. More than 500 violations have been issued since the legislation passed in 1995, with some businesses and residents hit with fines of tens of thousands of dollars each. On average, researchers have estimated mangroves protect $13 billion worth of property in the U.S. annually from storm and flood damage.

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[WJCT Jacksonville] 'Protectors of the Coast' What Mangroves Northward March Means for Northeast Florida

Walking along a wooden path winding through Nease Beachfront Park in St. Augustine, Danny Lippi pointed to coastal trees sprouting from the shrubbery around him. The exotic species were brought here by warming temperatures — bringing business opportunities for the local arborist.

“All of these are mangroves,” Lippi said, surrounded by the young perennial plants, blooming with hues of green and golden yellows. “You can actually see that line where the upland vegetation just stops.”

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[Forbes] The 30 Under 30 Founder Using Machine Learning To Curb Billion-Dollar Cloud Waste

 “It was like, akin to a murder mystery when you're trying to figure out AWS,” says Jadavji.

It was then that the CEO realized how colossal of a problem cloud costs could be. With the responsibility for infrastructure fractured across individual developers and development teams, it was tough enough to identify where fluctuating spend may come from. Another major issue had to do with predictability: how much would every new customer end up costing? This also proved to be tricky to predetermine because of the variability involved.

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[Forbes] 30 Under 30-Founded Canvassing App Raises $2.5 Million

With 2020’s United States presidential election looming ahead, all eyes are turned to those who have announced their intention to run, and those expected to join in on the big money race. While deep pockets are an unspoken requirement for the contest, when push comes to shove in the final stretch, other deciding elements come into play. Like receiving the highest number of electoral college votes, for one, and winning the popular vote, for another (but as history shows us, the latter isn’t always a prerequisite in acquiring the position of power).

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[WJCT/Climate Central] How a Green New Deal Could Affect Storms, Flood and Heat in Jacksonville

When Hurricane Irma destroyed the house that Tom Davitt was renting on Jacksonville’s Westside, it also wrecked tens of thousands of dollars worth of his uninsured possessions and forced him to find a new home. “I rolled out of bed because I thought it was my alarm and it was a tornado warning - and I stepped into a foot and a half of water,” the yacht broker said.

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[Forbes] AI-Powered Contract Management Platform Raises $4.5 Million Seed

We live in a world where automation is swiftly becoming a given. Such a mindset is what Jerry Ting has embraced in his role as CEO and cofounder of 30 Under 30 Evisort; a cloud-based contract management system that uses artificial intelligence to extract legal terms and relevant data. In the span of six seconds, the application can pull out key information from a 30-page contract.


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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[New Times Broward-Palm Beach] Airport Workers Push for Healthcare Coverage After Broward Commissioners Support a Living Wage Increase

Heart failure is what landed Fort Lauderdale Airport wheelchair attendant Sandra Smith in the hospital three years ago. In an alarming brush with death, she slipped into a seven-day coma. It was in that single week that her overnights and treatments racked up thousands of dollars in hospital bills. Unable to afford her employer's health insurance on her salary, Smith woke up from her coma to find that she had not been covered by a policy at the time.

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[Forbes] The Art Of AI Storytelling: How One Scientist Is Teaching Devices To Make Assumptions

Picture this: it’s an ordinary workday. Upon arriving at home, you walk in your front door and engage in a natural conversation with your voice assistant, Alexa. You tell the machine that you’re in pain because you accidentally twisted your ankle at the office. It then instantaneously responds with empathy and logic, much like a human would: “Oh, I’m so sorry,” the artificially intelligent system says. “How much does it hurt? Do you want me to make a doctor’s appointment for you?”

Machine intelligence like this wouldn’t merely do pattern recognition, but would need to have a true understanding of what's going on. Only, how would that work? Is such a level of cognition woven into our everyday technology feasible?

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Ayurella Horn-Muller
[Forbes] 30 Under 30 Nonprofit Lobbies Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill Of Rights Into New York Law

History was made on Friday, December 21, by Rise, a 30 Under 30-founded nonprofit advocating civil rights for sexual assault survivors. The team celebrated a crucial accomplishment: their lobbied Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights was signed into law by New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo. Amanda Nguyen, Forbes 30 Under 30 alumni and 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is the founder and CEO of the organization responsible for the legislation. “This bill represents 6.8 million survivors receiving basic civil rights and equality under the law,” says Nguyen.“For many of our Risers who were betrayed by a broken criminal justice system, it means the closest thing to closure and justice they will ever experience.”

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Ayurella Horn-Muller