athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, physical fitness, sports, training

Zika is Spreading in Florida

For those who have been following the news recently, the zika virus has been everywhere, both in terms of media coverage as well as countries. What started in Africa quickly made its way to South America and became an epidemic. The virus has already taken hold of South America, leading to a number of countries being placed on lists designating them as dangerous travel destinations, and has been slowly but surely working its way north as governments and scientists don’t know how to stop it. Now it turns out that the virus has made its way multiple states within the United States of America, with Florida being hit amongst the worst of them.

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As I write this, 7 counties in Florida are now under a state of emergency due to the zika virus and there is a very real possibility that more will follow and be placed under similar states of emergency. Why is this happening? Florida is already fertile ground for mosquitoes due to the temperature and climate and as global warming progresses, more and more diseases and illnesses from other countries will be making their way to the United States. There is a real chance that Florida will see most of these sooner rather than later due to its climate and its proximity to South America and the Caribbean islands. 16 people have been infected, that we know of, and Broward, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Santa Rosa and St. Johns counties are all under a public health state of emergency.

While for most people infected with it, zika does nothing more than give the symptoms of a mild cold (the body can also deal with it pretty easily), there is a strong possibility that the disease is linked in microcephaly in pregnant women. Brasil is currently investigating 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly and whether or not there is a link between any true cases of it and mothers who were infected with zika. Regardless of whether or not there is connection, and regardless of how much less of a big deal zika is than, say, ebola, it’s what it symbolizes that is terrifying. This is unfortunately a new reality of global warming and as it gets worse and worse, we will be dealing with more and more situations like this.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

from Bryan Lockley’s General Site http://ift.tt/1KciNmg

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Florida Prepares for Presidential Campaigns to Arrive

While Florida may make the news for a variety of reasons that rarely every have to do with politics (hello Florida Man), it is still one of the most important states in the union, politics speaking. Florida is probably the most important primary state in the race for the Republican nomination, as well as the general election — but let’s not even worry about the general election yet. It turns out that winning Florida during the Republican primary will award about 100 delegates to the victor, a massive number and enough to either more or less win the race, or at least make a comeback.

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This week is going to be huge for both Florida as well as the candidates rolling through it in an attempt to win support and shore up their numbers before the primary election that will take place two months from now. On Monday, as in today, Marco Rubio will be in Sarasota, stumping for one of the first times in his home state. Wednesday will see Donald Trump in Pensacola, speaking in a stadium that can fit 10,000 and, knowing him, very possibly filling it. With other candidates also showing up to stump in the state, Florida is going to be full of politicians for the next two months.

For candidates like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, Florida is both their home state as well as their last chance to make an attempt to stay in a presidential race in which they have underperformed and polled terribly. For candidates like Cruz and Trump, who are currently polling at the top of their field, they will be aiming to shore up support and win over voters who aren’t already on their side. If neither Jeb nor Rubio perform as they hope to and bolster their numbers, there’s a very good chance that they will no longer be valid actors in this performance that has become the GOP primary race.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

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Prison Health Care in Doubt as Contract Ends Early

There is no denying that prison is bad and rarely anything good happens while you’re in there. When people go to prison, it’s to pay their debt to society and reform, not be coddled or treated like royalty. However, one of the basic rights in prison is that you will receive free, fully comprehensive health care. Unfortunately, the health care that most prisoners receive is falls far from the adequate care people require and with the current situation in many US jails (overcrowded prisoners, understaffed guards and medical professionals, and violence directed at all), it’s even more difficult for both prisoners to receive health care and doctors/nurses to administer it. prison

Now, Florida is facing an even larger crisis in regards to prisoner health care. The private company responsible for the largest amount of prisoner health care has decided against renewing its contract, worth $1.1 billion, with the state. This means that the state has only 6 months to find comprehensive health care for the around 74,000 prisoners currently incarcerated within the state and relying on the prisons for their health needs. Not only is this a huge task without any sort of deadline, the fact that in 6 months there will be no health care in any of Florida’s 111 prisons is adding extra pressure to a situation that is already full of it.

So why did this vital contract pull out? The Department of Corrections Secretary, Julie Jones, ordered the contract to be renegotiated in February due to frequent inmate maltreatment, chronic understaffing and rising numbers of unnatural inmate deaths. Not only were more prisoners dying than ever before, but the deaths were frequently unexplained and unstudied — 346 inmates died in Florida prisons last year and 176 had no immediate cause of death. Since Florida Governor Rick Scott has been trying to privatize the prison health care industry, this cancellation of the contract is a big blow to his efforts and may end the issue once and for all. As for now, the prisoners are covered for 6 more months and if nothing is found after that, they should try to not get hurt.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

from Bryan Lockley’s General Site http://ift.tt/1TsHzyx

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Florida’s Bear Has Ended With 295 Bears Culled

Hunting is always going to be a controversial topic amongst people from all parts of society. On one hand, you have animal rights activists and others arguing that hunting is rude, crude, and unnecessary. That it harms animals without need and should be more regulated — that nature can be enjoyed without a gun in your hand. On the other hand, you have people and hunters arguing that hunting is an important tradition and allows people to keep in touch with mother nature in a way more raw and realistic than people who just want to observe. Regardless of which side you take, I’m sure you have opinions.

This Sunday, the first bear hunt in Florida in 21 years ended with a grand total of 295 bears culled. Originally slated for a total of 7 days with a final quota of 320 bears, the hunt ended in only two days because of the speed at which hunters were approaching the quota and fears that it would be overshot by a large number. When 112 bears were killed in the first day in the eastern part of the panhandle (an area of 13 counties that was supposed to have a quota of only 40), officials immediately began realizing that too many bears might be killed. To that end, they began shutting down hunting sites in the hope that the bear population (which was finally taken off of the endangered species list in the state in 2012) wouldn’t be too harmed.

This hunt, like many others across the country, faced its own fair shares of anger and controversy. Most of this was aimed at the fact that many people felt as though a cull so soon after the animals were taken off of the endangered species list in the state would put their numbers right back in jeopardy. On the other side, government officials and hunters said it needed to happen due to the spike in bear-human interactions that were occurring all over the state. Regardless of your stance, the cull brought in $376,900 through the sale of hunting licenses and all of that money is going to go towards better education and prevention for bear-human interaction.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

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Donald Trump and ACN: Presidential Endorsement of a Scam

It should be known that there is absolutely nothing illegal about network marketing and multi level marketing companies and how they function. Both network marketing and MLM companies are growing in the US economy and prospering despite negative stereotypes and this is important to remember throughout this article. ACN is one of the largest MLM firms in the country and specializes in telecommunications and technology, just through the MLM and network marketing framework.

bryan lockeyl, donald trump
The headline of the article in the August 2015 issue. — Success From Home

However, ACN has dealt with accusations of luring potential clients into making promises they can’t keep. Their income comes primarily from recruiting new members instead of selling actual products. Hiring Trump to endorse their business. At $450,000 a speech, Trump served as an advertiser for ACN.  Trump has since claimed “I’m not familiar with what they do or how they go about doing that, and I make that clear in my speeches.”  This didn’t stop him from making millions of dollars from the company.

A leader in the business world, Trump’s involvement with ACN surely threatens his credibility.  Trump has been quoted, “ACN has a reputation for success, success that’s really synonymous with the Trump name and other successful names, and you can be a part of it.” ACN may have a reputation for success, but their reputation is also clouded with scams.  Trump’s success, too, is mired by four unsuccessful ventures that ended in bankruptcy.  Despite these blemishes, Trump acted as an effective celebrity sponsor for the marketing firm.  

Early last week, ACN claimed a “long-standing, respected business relationship with Donald Trump” but have since removed Trump from their website.  However, this erasure (intended to protect Trump’s campaign) can’t disguise the Trump’s influence as a household celebrity name from his first appearance with the company in 2006.  ACN’s attempt to distance themselves from the Trump name likely correlates with an intention to stay out of the spotlight during Trump’s presidential campaign.  

ACN has been accused of “deceptive and misleading trade practices,” with the defense that price-spike problems occur across the industry.  As Trump and ACN go separate ways, maybe they both will commit to developing an honest business model that prioritize its customers over profit. 

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

from Bryan Lockley’s General Site http://ift.tt/1OfwQrp

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athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, physical fitness, sports, training

Florida Diver Finds Millions in Sunken Treasure

People have always had pipe dreams and desires about sunken treasure and finding it. The thoughts of pirates burying their loot have been played out in literature, movies, and fantasies for centuries. While it might not seem like it, Florida is actually one of those perfect spots for treasure hunting and it’s been paying off. This has been quite the month for Florida and the treasure hunters who dive its coasts in the search of ancient artifacts that can be sold for lots of money. Under a month ago, it was announced that the Schmitt family had found treasure that is worth $1 million. And now, a man named Brent Brisben has announced that he has found sunken treasure that is worth $4.5 million.

A photo of sunken treasure found in Florida; Bryan Lockley is not in the picture.
The S/V Capitana crew of Dan Beckingham, Jonah Martinez, William Bartlett and Brent Brisben show the treasure (Photo: 1715 Fleet/Queens Jewels LLC)

So why is Florida such a hot spot for sunken treasure with massive payoffs? Florida used to be owned by the Spanish Empire during the height of its power. The Spanish used to send massive treasure fleets to all of their colonial holdings to pick up gold, silver, and the various spices and other luxury goods the colonies produced before traversing the globe to Spain itself. Due to the dangerous nature of ocean travel at the time, many of these treasure ships were lost off the coast of Florida, leading to a literal wealth of treasure that is up for the finding.

Brisben and his crew just happened to come across one of those wrecked ships and it has paid off. They found over 300 coins that have a combined value of around $4.5 million, a massive haul for such a small find. The coins are linked to a treasure fleet of 11 Spanish ships that had left Havana for Spain before being sunk on July 24th, 1715 with all hands lost — over 1,000 people died. Brisben owns the exclusive salvage rights to the ships that sunk during the 1715 hurricane but even he didn’t expect a haul like this. Luckily for him, he was also part of the earlier Schmitt haul (they had contracted his company), leading to the possibility that the ships he has salvage rights for having even more treasure waiting to be found.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

from Bryan Lockley’s General Site http://ift.tt/1JqRJvo

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Florida Expects More European Tourists

Florida’s tourist economy is doing quite well for itself. The industry is worth $25 billion continues to rise as tourists from around the world decide that Miami is more worth their time and money when compared to other, more traditional destinations. So what has lead to this most recent tourism boom and why are hordes of Europeans deciding that Miami is more worth their time than other places? The answer is complicated and has a lot to do with the current state of global affairs, both political and economical. With Miami is one of the few places in the world that has an international tourist population that makes up literally half of all visitors a year, these sorts of events are vital to its success.

So where do the Europeans who are now going to Miami usually vacation? Two of the most popular tourist destinations for Europeans are Greece and Tunisia, both of which are undergoing the sort of chaos that will drive tourists away very quickly. Both Greece and Tunisia are close enough to mainland Europe and have weak enough economies that they were prime vacation spots for Europeans in the past. Both are exotic locales with different cultures, centuries of impressive history, and lax and liberal attitudes towards foreigners coming in and having a good time.

However the Greek economic troubles are leading Europeans to fear future political instability and the recent terrorist attacks in Tunisia are forcing Europeans to look at different countries and cities to get away to. Miami has consistently been at the top of the list and now, it seems to be moving higher as people both want to visit the United States as well as enjoy some truly world class beaches in a world class city. While the recent instability in parts of the world that were traditionally tourist speaks to the increased interest in Miami vacations, it should be noted that it isn’t the only cause. Foreign tourism to Miami has been steadily rising over the past few years and seems like it’s going to continue to do so. With beaches, nightlife, food, and culture to rival (if not top) most other major hubs in the United States, Miami seems like the place to be taking your next vacation to.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

from Bryan Lockley’s General Site http://ift.tt/1JcPlFd

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athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, physical fitness, sports, training

Florida County Votes to Refly Confederate Flag

On June 17th, 2015, a white man named Dylann Roof walked into the historic Emanual African Methodist Church and waited an hour before opening fire on the congregation and killing 9, including a U.S. senator. The racist ties and influence Dyalnn Roof had were quickly found online (and in his manifesto) and one striking image continued to show itself time and time again: the battle flag of the Confederate State of America (CSA) during the U.S. Civil War. These images and blatant ties have reignited a debate that has been lying dormant for the past few years, even though it flares up periodically; namely, the need for states across the Union to take down the Confederate battle flag from public territory.

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What most people see as the “Confederate flag” was never actually adopted as the flag by the short-lived Confederate government. The Stars and Bars, as it’s known, was only carried into battle by Confederate soldiers and never held any official representation. After the war, it was quickly adopted by racist and anti-north groups like the Klu Klux Klan and used to terrorize black people across the south and remind them of the inherent racism of the CSA. Now, due to the connections between Roof, the shooting, and the flag, state governments are moving to take down any remnants of the Confederacy from the public ground and it’s causing backlash.

Now, in a move surprising most people due to the racism inherent in both the flag and what it represents, officials in Marion County, Florida have voted unanimously to reinstate the flag on public ground. The argument “Heritage Not Hate” is frequently used to defend the flying of the Confederate battle flag and while respecting one’s heritage is important, there’s no denying that the heritage of the Confederacy is built on hatred. Whether the flag stays up in Marion County remains to be seen but as of now, Marion is going to remind people that some are ok with being known as racist.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

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athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, physical fitness, sports, training

Syrian Rebels Take Major Military Base

The world has been dealing with all sorts of crazy news as it lurches back and forth from one horrible even to another. Lest we forget, things are still horrible in Syria and the new report of Syrian rebels taking a major military base from the government of Bashar al-Assad should go far to remind us that things in Syria are still very, very bad. Even though the Syrian Civil War hasn’t been in the news as often as the current war against ISIS, it is still raging and veering back and forth between the Syrian government and the rebels who are struggling to overthrow it.

This latest news is just another in a series of defeats for the Syrian Army, as Bashar al-Assad’s government seems to be losing more and more ground every day. Facing onslaughts from Western-backed Syrian rebels, unaffiliated Islamist groups, and ISIS itself, the government has lost city after city. The fall of the base (known as Brigade 52) comes after the government lost the town of Palmyra, a crossing point into Jordan, and the city of Idlib, all within the past 3 months. The base contained a number of vehicles, including tanks and aircraft, both of which might be used in further fights again al-Assad’s forces.

The main push for the base was lead by Western-backed rebels and hopefully they manage to hold on to the base and prevent it from falling back into Syrian hands or, potentially even worse, the hands of radical Islamists or ISIS-affiliated militants. With a death toll of over 230,000 since the Civil War began in 2011, all sides (and those caught in the middle) are hoping that peace returns to the area sooner rather than later.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

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The US is Training Syrian Rebels to Fight ISIS

The war against ISIS is continuing and increasing in desperation and violence as Iraqi forces have begun to strike back and take back land that they had once lost. While that is happening in Iraq, Syrian government forces are fighting against both ISIS and the various rebel factions that are currently carving the country apart. The Syrian rebels themselves are split between pro-ISIS Islamists, anti-ISIS Islamists, and secular rebels who just want an egalitarian society; this is also not taking the Kurds into account. Now, in an effort to continue to hurt ISIS where it can, the US has announced that it has begun training Syrian rebels to fight ISIS.

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The initial class is small, made up of only 90 fighters and is being seen as a test to see just how possible this step of US strategy is. A second and larger group is going to be trained in a few weeks; both groups are hidden away from both allied and enemy forces to make sure they’re as safe as possible. This training of Syrian rebels is a key part of the regional US strategy that aims to strike at ISIS first and, if possible, the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad second. While ISIS is without a doubt the main target for these rebels, it would be silly to assume that the US and anti-Syrian forces are hoping the rebels will take what they learned and bring it to the original fight of the Syrian Civil War. That being said, the official US stance is that the rebels aren’t being asked to fight against Assad.

Hopefully this strategy of training works. The Free Syrian Army is probably the only rebel force that has any sort of support from western powers, other than the Kurds who are engaged in their own life-or-death dance. Turning the FSA into a worthy, standalone fighting force that doesn’t need anything other than arms would go very far towards helping achieve US goals in the region and stabilizing at least Syria. Ideally the FSA will be able to work in tandem with the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi army/militias to finally destroy ISIS once and for all.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

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