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ASPE Life Member Jim Capell PE (Muscle Shoals) Passes Away

James H. Capell, affectionately known to his friends as “Jim”, went home to be with our heavenly Father on October 30, 2012. He was a quiet gentle man; loved by all who met him and lived a true example of Christ’s love for us. He was an Eagle Scout and earned his Electrical Engineering degree from Auburn University in 1948 and was a Mason for over sixty years. He retired from Sheffield Utilities Department. He had been a resident of Mt. Pleasant, TN for the last year and was a long time member and former deacon of First Baptist Church of Sheffield and former member of Muscle Shoals Baptist Church and current member of First Baptist of Columbia, TN. He was preceded in death by his parents, James Jackson and Mary Salter Capell.

Visitation will be Thursday, November 1, 2012 from 11 until 1 p.m. at Muscle Shoals Baptist Church. His funeral service will follow in the church sanctuary with Rev. Doug Farris and Rev. Billy Kimbrough officiating. Burial will be in Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens.

Survivors include his beloved wife, Helen C. Capell; two daughters, Dr. Jamine C. Rogers of Sheffield and Mrs. Tere Capell Gardner and husband Dr. Benny A. Gardner of Mt. Pleasant, TN; five grandchildren, Ryan and his wife Kristen, and Somers’ Gardner, James Paul and his wife Lisa, Christopher and Jenifer Rogers; one great grandson, Alex Rogers and three step great grandchildren, Kaelyn, Kimberly Wright and Sofia Wesner.

Pallbearers are Ryan Gardner, J. P. Rogers, Christopher Rogers, Dean Lesley, Steve Clark and Kenny Galloway.

Honorary pallbearers are Doug Myers and Bradley Carpenter.

An online guest registry is available at morrisonfuneralhomes.com

Published in the Florence Times Daily on October 31, 2012

ASPE Mourns the loss of friend and colleague, Rodney Summerford PE

(DAPHNE, AL) Rodney Wade Summerford, age 73, a native of Winfield, AL. and a resident of Daphne passed away Thursday, August 16, 2012. He retired from Volkert & Associates after 44 years of service in 2007. Rodney loved his family, his church, Alabama football and golf. He was a member of Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church where he was serving as an active Elder, he previously served as a Deacon at Westminster Presbyterian and Springhill Presbyterian church in Mobile . Rodney was a graduate of the University of Alabama with a B.S, in Civil Engineering . He served as President of A.S.C.E. and A.S.P.E. Rodney was honored as outstanding fellow of the Dept. of Civil Engineering, as a Distinguished Fellow for the college of engineering at the University of Alabama. He served as president of Skyline Country Club, and of the Capstone Engineering Society for University of Alabama and Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Lucy Summerford of Daphne; one son, Dennis (Marguerite) Summerford of Fairhope; one sister, Susan (Mark) Burleson of Hamilton; three grandchildren, Ryan, Lauren and Ashley. Nieces, nephews and other loving family and friends. A Celebration of his life will be Monday, August 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM at Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church. A reception at the church will follow after the service. In lieu of flowers the family suggest donations to the Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church or your favorite charity .

Ban on texting while driving wins final approval in Alabama Legislature

BY:  DAVID WHITE, The Birmingham News                                                                                                              Published on AL.COM : Thursday, April 26, 2012, 6:57 PM

MONTGOMERY – Texting while driving would be banned, with some exceptions, for all drivers on public roads and highways in Alabama, under a bill that won final legislative approval today.

The House of Representatives voted 95-0 for a compromise version of the bill and the Senate voted 28-0 for it.

The plan, House Bill 2 by Rep. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, will become law unless Gov. Robert Bentley objects.

Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, the Senate sponsor of the proposed ban, predicted Bentley would let the bill become law. ”It’s a no-brainer,” Waggoner said.

The bill would ban anyone from operating a vehicle on a public road or highway while manually using a cellphone or other wireless device to communicate by text message, instant message or electronic mail.

But the ban would not apply to:

• A driver obtaining emergency services.

• A driver whose motor vehicle was parked on the shoulder of a road or highway.

• A driver getting directions from a navigation or global-positioning system.

The bill would take effect July 1 or Aug. 1 if Bentley approves it, depending on when that happens.

Anyone violating the proposed ban would face a fine of $25 for a first conviction, $50 for a second and $75 for each later conviction.

Each conviction also would carry a 2-point penalty on a person’s driving record. A person’s driver’s license is suspended for at least 60 days if he or she gets 12 or more points in a two-year period.

House Bill 2 would not ban people from talking on cellphones while driving.

Thirty-seven states already ban text messaging for all drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association in Washington.

Rules Will Restrict Attendance of Government Employees at Trade Shows

by Matt Alderton, for Successful Meetings, 30 September 2011

Proposed regulations released this month by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) would prohibit most federal government employees from attending the trade shows of the industries they regulate — including most of the nation’s 10,000 annual exhibitions, according to Steven Hacker, president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, who released the following statement last week opposing the proposed rules:

“The proposed rules released recently by the Office of Government Ethics represent the latest and the most serious assault on American business, large and small, businesses that must be permitted to power and grow the U.S. economy. This reckless intrusion into commerce, if adopted, would further isolate regulators from the industries they must understand. The learning and communications that routinely take place during trade events are among the most important ways that government officials and business leaders can exchange views and ideas.

The very predictable results of this kind of Orwellian measure is to ensure that the U.S. economy will continue to be mired in uncertainty and fear that will only prolong the destructive levels of unemployment and economic malaise that have characterized the last three years.

All responsible leaders of the business community, for profit companies as well as not for profit associations, must view this latest attack by the federal government on business as a call to arms. We must come together to reject this absurd and potentially harmful set of rules or we will have only ourselves to blame.”

OGE announced its proposed rules on Sept. 13, when it suggested amending regulations governing standards of ethical conduct for federal employees concerning the acceptance of gifts from registered lobbyists and lobbying organizations.

Currently, non-appointed federal executive branch employees may receive small individual gifts from lobbyists or lobbying organizations as long as the items accepted are worth no more than $20, and as long as the aggregate amount of gifts accepted by an individual employee totals no more than $50 per calendar year. Likewise, under most circumstances, employees are allowed to accept free admission to “widely-attended gatherings” (WAGs) sponsored by registered lobbying organizations — including trade associations.

By executive order, President Barack Obama in 2009 established a new rule prohibiting federal political appointees from accepting gifts of any kind from lobbyists, including free registration to lobbyist-sponsored events (unless they receive the offer on the day of the event when they are speaking or presenting information in an official capacity). OGE’s proposed rules would permanently extend the president’s rule from political appointees to all federal employees, eliminating the ability of all government workers to accept small gifts — including meals and entertainment provided at meetings — and restricting their free attendance at trade shows.

According to the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), it’s unclear how the proposed rules would impact associations. On the one hand, OGE has recommended excluding “nonprofit professional associations, scientific organizations and learned societies” from the definition of registered lobbyist or lobbying organization, which would allow government officials to accept an invitation from a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization to attend a training or professional development program, but not a “purely social event,” such as a gala ball, fundraiser or party. On the other hand, however, the proposed rules also specifically ban government officials from attending any WAG sponsored by a trade association.
“Trade associations may sponsor educational activities for their members and even the public, but the primary concern of such associations generally is not the education and development of members of a profession or discipline, which is the focus of the proposed exclusion,” read OGE’s proposed rules.

To read OGE’s proposed rules in their entirety, visit www.gpo.gov. OGE is accepting written comments on the proposed regulations until Nov. 14, 2011. Comments may be emailed to usoge@oge.gov with “Proposed Amendments to Part 2635″ in the subject line of the message.

Alabama Drivers Rank Among Nation’s Best

(NORTHBROOK, Ill.) — Alabama residents — specifically those in Huntsville — are among the nation’s best drivers, according to the seventh annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report” released Thursday. Huntsville ranked in the top 10 out of America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency, defining an auto crash as any collision resulting in property damage.

Huntsville drivers ranked No. 5, averaging 12 years between collisions. Huntsville drivers were found 18.9 percent less likely to have an accident than the national average.

Mobile and Montgomery drivers were close behind, coming in at No. 26 and No. 27, respectively.

Fort Collins, Colo. was ranked at the top as the city with the country’s safest drivers — its second consecutive year at No 1. Fort Collins drivers experience an auto collision every 14 years on average, and are 28.6 percent less likely to have an accident than the national average of 10 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

“100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s”

Excerpted from Jean Carper’s newest book:
“The idea that Alzheimer’s is entirely genetic and unpreventable is perhaps the Greatest misconception about the disease,” says Gary Small, M.D., director of The UCLA Center on Aging. Researchers now know that Alzheimer’s, like heart Disease and cancer, develops over decades and can be influenced bylifestyle Factors including cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, depression, education, Nutrition, sleep and mental, physical and social activity.
The big news: Mountains of research reveals that simple things you do every day might cut your odds of losing your mind to Alzheimer’s. In search of scientific ways to delay and outlive Alzheimer’s and other Dementia, I tracked down thousands of studies and interviewed dozens of Experts. The results in a new book: 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent
Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Loss (Little, Brown; $19.99).

Here are 10 strategies I found most surprising.

1. Have coffee. In an amazing flip-flop, coffee is the new brain tonic. A large European study showed that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day in midlife cut Alzheimer’s risk 65% in late life. University of South Florida Researcher Gary Arendash credits caffeine: He says it reduces dementia-causing amyloid in animal brains. Others credit coffee’s antioxidants. So drink up, Arendash advises, unless your doctor says you shouldn’t.
2. Floss. Oddly, the health of your teeth and gums can help predict dementia. University of Southern California research found that having periodontal disease before age 35 quadrupled the odds of dementia years later. Older people with tooth and gum disease score lower on memory and cognition tests, other studies show. Experts speculate that inflammation indiseased mouths migrates to the brain.
3. Google. Doing an online search can stimulate your aging brain even more than reading a book, says UCLA’s Gary Small, who used brain MRIs to prove it. The biggest surprise: Novice Internet surfers, ages 55 to 78, activated key memory and learning centers in the brain after only a week of Web surfing for an hour a day.
4. Grow new brain cells. Impossible, scientists used to say. Now it’s believed that thousands of brain cells are born daily. The trick is to keep the newborns Alive. What works: aerobic exercise (such as a brisk 30-minute walk every day), strenuous mental activity, eating salmon and other fatty fish, and avoiding obesity, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, heavy drinking
and vitamin B deficiency.
5. Drink apple juice. Apple juice can push production of the “memory chemical” acetylcholine; that’s the way the popular Alzheimer’s drug Aricept works, says Thomas Shea, PhD., of the University of Massachusetts . He was surprised that old mice given apple juice did better on learning and memory tests than mice that received water. A dose for humans: 16 ounces, or two to three apples a day.
6. Protect your head. Blows to the head, even mild ones early in life, increase odds of dementia years later. Pro football players have 19 times the typical rate of memory-related diseases. Alzheimer’s is four times more common in elderly who suffer a head injury, Columbia University finds. Accidental falls doubled an older person’s odds of dementia five years later in another study. Wear seat belts and helmets, fall-proof your house, and don’t take risks.
7. Meditate. Brain scans show that people who meditate regularly have less cognitive decline and brain shrinkage – a classic sign of Alzheimer’s – as they age. Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says yoga meditation of 12 minutes a day for two months improved blood flow and cognitive functioning in seniors with memory problems.
8. Take D. A “severe deficiency” of vitamin D boosts older Americans’ risk of Cognitive impairment 394%, an alarming study by England ‘s University of Exeter finds. And most Americans lack vitamin D. Experts recommend a daily dose of 800 IU to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3.
9. Fill your brain. It’s called “cognitive reserve.” A rich accumulation of life experiences – education, marriage, socializing, a stimulating job, language skills, having a purpose in life, physical activity and mentally demanding leisure activities – makes your brain better able to tolerate plaques and tangles. You can even have significant Alzheimer’s pathology and
no symptoms of dementia if you have high cognitive reserve, says David Bennett, M.D., of Chicago ‘s Rush University Medical Center .
10. Avoid infection. Astonishing new evidence ties Alzheimer’s to cold sores, gastric ulcers, Lyme disease, pneumonia and the flu. Ruth Itzhaki, PhD., of the University of Manchester in England estimates the cold-sore herpes simplex virus is incriminated in 60% of Alzheimer’s cases. The theory: Infections trigger excessive beta amyloid “gunk” that kills brain cells.
Proof is still lacking, but why not avoid common infections and take appropriate vaccines, antibiotics and antiviral agents?
What to Drink for Good Memory A great way to keep your aging memory sharp and avoid Alzheimer’s is to drink the right stuff.
a. Tops: Juice. A glass of any fruit or vegetable juice three times a week slashed Alzheimer’s odds 76% in Vanderbilt University research. Especially protective: blueberry, grape and apple juice, say other studies.
b. Tea: Only a cup of black or green tea a week cut rates of cognitive decline in older people by 37%, reports the Alzheimer’s Association. Only brewed tea works. Skip bottled tea, which is devoid of antioxidants.
c. Caffeine beverages. Surprisingly, caffeine fights memory loss and Alzheimer’s, suggest dozens of studies. Best sources: coffee (one Alzheimer’s researcher drinks five cups a day), tea and chocolate. Beware caffeine if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, insomnia or anxiety.
d. Red wine: If you drink alcohol, a little red wine is most apt to benefit your aging brain. It’s high in antioxidants. Limit it to one daily glass for women, two for men. Excessive alcohol, notably binge drinking, brings on Alzheimer’s.
e. Two to avoid: Sugary soft drinks, especially those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. They make lab animals dumb. Water with high copper content also can up your odds of Alzheimer’s. Use a water filter that removes excess minerals.
5 Ways to Save Your Kids from Alzheimer’s
Now Alzheimer’s isn’t just a disease that starts in old age. What happens to your child’s brain seems to have a dramatic impact on his or her likelihood of Alzheimer’s many decades later.
Here are five things you can do now to help save your child from Alzheimer’s and memory loss later in life, according to the latest research.
1. Prevent head blows: Insist your child wear a helmet during biking,skating, skiing, baseball, football, hockey, and all contact sports. A major blow as well as tiny repetitive unnoticed concussions can cause damage, leading to memory loss and Alzheimer’s years later.
2 Encourage language skills: A teenage girl who is a superior writer is eight times more likely to escape Alzheimer’s in late life than a teen with poor linguistic skills. Teaching young children to be fluent in two or more languages makes them less vulnerable to Alzheimer’s.
3. Insist your child go to college: Education is a powerful Alzheimer’s deterrent. The more years of formal schooling, the lower the odds. Most Alzheimer’s prone: teenage drop outs. For each year of education, your risk of dementia drops 11%, says a recent University of Cambridge study.
4. Provide stimulation: Keep your child’s brain busy with physical, mental and social activities and novel experiences. All these contribute to a bigger, better functioning brain with more so-called ‘cognitive reserve.’ High cognitive reserve protects against memory decline and Alzheimer’s.
5. Spare the junk food: Lab animals raised on berries, spinach and high omega-3 fish have great memories in old age. Those overfed sugar, especially high fructose in soft drinks, saturated fat and trans fats become overweight and diabetic, with smaller brains and impaired memories as they age, a prelude to Alzheimer’s.”
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Most Dangerous Metro Areas for Pedestrians

Birmingham-Hoover makes Transportation for America‘s top 20 list!

The decades-long neglect of pedestrian safety in the design and use of American streets is exacting a heavy toll on our lives. Nationwide, pedestrians account for nearly 12 percent of total traffic deaths. But state departments of transportation have largely ignored pedestrian safety from a budgetary perspective, allocating only about 1.5 percent of available federal funds to projects that retrofit dangerous roads or create safe alternatives.

Read the full story and see the list of all 52 major metropolitan areas >here<.

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A Guide to 9/11 Sites and Lower Manhattan

by Leanne Italie, Associated Press, posted on August 10, 2011 in MeetingNews

NEW YORK (AP) — Out of the ashes of 9/11 has risen a vibrant neighborhood packed with new restaurants and hotels, places to live and spots to shop, along with many ways to pay respects to an area some worried would never come back.

The neighborhood now has 18 hotels with more than 4,000 rooms, up from six hotels and 2,300 rooms on Sept. 11, 2001. For many tourists, it’s a must-see, right up there with Times Square and the Statue of Liberty.

Read the full story >here<.

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Expanded tarmac-delay rules take effect next week

by Bill Poling for Travel Weekly, posted August 16, 2011

Enhanced and updated consumer-protection rules from the Transportation Department are slated to go into effect on Aug. 23, including an expansion of the tarmac-delay rule and an increase in denied-boarding compensation for bumped passengers.

Although several of the DOT’s consumer-protection initiatives have been delayed or challenged in court, a number of key provisions are slated to take effect as scheduled on Aug. 23.

These include an expansion of the existing tarmac-delay rule to virtually all U.S. airports and, for the first time, to foreign carriers.

Read the full story >here.<

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Seattle Inches Toward Decision on $3.1-Billion Tunnel Project

by Kim Murphy, posted in The Los Angeles Times on August 16, 2011

One of the scariest days in recent Seattle memory occurred just over a decade ago, when the 6.8-magnitude Nisqually earthquake crumbled old masonry walls and set swaying the two-level viaduct that carries automobile traffic along the downtown waterfront.

The viaduct was damaged, but didn’t collapse. That was only by fortuitous accident, engineers said later. Had that 2001 earthquake been a bit stronger or lasted, say, 20 seconds longer, the elevated roadway would have pancaked like a deadly house of cards.

The issue: Should the viaduct be dismantled and replaced with a $3.1 billion deep-bore tunnel project that will carry traffic under and through downtown — that’s what the state Department of Transportation and most of the City Council want to do — or should the city pursue a much cheaper network of improvements to surface streets and Interstate 5 that will carry traffic around downtown?

Read the full story >here.<

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American Cancer Society Ends Fight Over Smoking at Las Vegas Convention Center

by Matt Alderton, for Successful Meetings, posted Auguest 16, 2011

The American Cancer Society has thrown in the towel in its fight against smoking at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Sun reported this month.

Read the full story >here<.