Trump threatens to halt federal disaster relief funding for California wildfires

January 11, 2019 by  
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President Trump has threatened to withhold federal disaster aid from California after a series of deadly wildfires devastated the state. For months, the POTUS has accused California of bringing the wildfires on itself because of poor forest management. But in a recent tweet, he took things further by threatening to halt federal aid, and this drew criticism from lawmakers in his own political party. “Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen,” Trump tweeted just one day after Western governors asked for greater federal funding for wildfire prevention. “Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!” the president wrote, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. However, this appears to an empty threat, because President Trump lacks the authority to cut funding under federal statutes. One law specifically bars the president from delaying or impeding disaster relief once there has been a disaster declaration. The research shows that the growing rate and intensity of California wildfires is largely because of the prolonged drought in the state, which is a symptom of climate change . But the Trump administration has downplayed the role of climate change in the worsening wildfires. The president’s recent tweet drew criticism from California’s top republicans, like Senator Jim Nielsen and Assemblyman James Gallagher, who said in a joint statement that Trump’s threats are “wholly unacceptable.” They added that people have lost everything in the fires, and they expect the federal government to follow through on its promise to help. In November, Trump toured the Camp Fire zone and promised to “take care of the people who have been so badly hurt.” FEMA said that it can’t respond to questions about Trump’s order because of the partial government shutdown. Federal agencies manage more than half of California’s 33 million acres of forest lands, with state and local agencies controlling only 3 percent. The rest of the forest lands are privately owned. Via Reuters Image via Peter Buschmann

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Trump threatens to halt federal disaster relief funding for California wildfires

Century-old Japanese townhouse reborn as Blue Bottle Coffees first Kyoto location

June 6, 2018 by  
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Japanese architecture firm Schemata Architects has unveiled Blue Bottle Coffee’s first outpost in Kyoto  – and it’s housed in a century-old building. Following the aesthetic of the previous Schemata-designed Blue Bottle cafes in Tokyo, the newest location features a minimalist and modern design that takes inspiration from the surrounding urban fabric. The two-story structure was carefully overhauled to allow for new functionality while preserving and exposing historic elements. Completed in March this year, the Blue Bottle Coffee Kyoto Cafe is located near the base of Kyoto’s forested Higashiyama mountains and along the approach to Nanzen-ji Temple, a Zen Buddhist temple and one of the historic city’s top tourist attractions. The cafe was built inside a traditional Japanese townhouse (known as ‘machiya’) consisting of two separate buildings. Schemata Architects renovated the buildings into a ‘Merchandise building’ and a ‘Cafe building’ with a total floor area of nearly 3,500 square feet. As was typical of traditional Japanese architecture at the turn of the 20th century, the original floors of the machiya were raised nearly 20 inches off the ground. To create a seamless appearance and to accommodate patrons with special mobility needs, the Blue Bottle Cafe’s architects demolished the raised wooden floors and made them level with the ground. The new floors feature terrazzo containing the same type of pebbles used outside. The same terrazzo material was also used in the counters and benches. Related: Tokyo capsule hotel gets a Finnish-inspired refresh and sauna “The floor inside the counter is also level with the customer area to maintain the same eye level between customers and staff following the same concept as the other shops, while integrating Japanese and American cultures at the same time,” said the architects. “The continuous white floor is stripped of all unnecessary things and the structure is stripped of existing finishes to expose the original roof structure and clay walls, and one can see traces of its 100-year old history throughout the large, medium and small spaces in the structure originally composed of two separate buildings.” The second floor has been converted into an open-plan office with glass frontage. + Schemata Architects Images by Takumi Ota

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Century-old Japanese townhouse reborn as Blue Bottle Coffees first Kyoto location

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