Couple’s tiny home ‘Ohana’ overlooks picturesque Vancouver

August 28, 2019 by  
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Clearly, good things do come in small packages. At just 100 square feet, the Galiano 100 is a tiny home affectionately dubbed “Ohana,” meaning family in Hawaiian, by its owners. The compact house overlooks the Strait of Georgia and the lights of downtown Vancouver. Situated on Galiano Island, British Columbia, the tiny home was completed in 2018 by Vancouver-based design firm Trim Studio. The lucky couple, Alicia and Kris Alexander, planned to get married on the Ohana property and live in the tiny cabin after tying the knot. Related: Solar-powered seaside cabin blends prefab design with traditional building techniques During the initial planning stages, the couple shared with Trim Studio’s principal Rodrigo Munguia that they also wanted Ohana to be a vacation home , where they could spend time with family and friends. While Ohana may certainly seem simple to some, the tiny cabin does have everything the couple requested and more: a kitchenette, bathroom and bedroom, patio, log storage, living area, an outdoor shower and even an outdoor hot tub. Not only can the residents gaze through the tiny home’s floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors and enjoy the cozy, wood-burning stove , but they also reap the rewards of the rustic cabin’s setting. The spacious deck, where the hot tub is located, is ideal for relaxing and taking in many a starry night without interruptions. With the tiny cabin’s minimalist design , beautiful forest views, outdoor entertaining area and other innovative amenities, it’s easy to see why Alicia and Kris wanted to settle here. Ohana not only packs a sleek architectural punch, but the tiny house meets the couple’s needs from top to bottom, inside and out. Magical yet practical, Ohana is a place that Alicia and Kris will undoubtedly call home-sweet-tiny-home for years to come. + Trim Studio Via Dwell Photography by Jarusha Brown via Trim Studio

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Couple’s tiny home ‘Ohana’ overlooks picturesque Vancouver

Behind the scenes at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

August 28, 2019 by  
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Gwyneth stands upright, supported by one member of her medical team as another scrapes away what looks like blue cotton candy from the cracks in her shell with a pointed metal tool. The yellow slider is stoic, silently opening her mouth, whether wishing to bite or scream. Gwyneth is a turtle, one who has endured a lot of medical attention at the Georgia Sea Turtle Rescue Center since being hit by a car on Jekyll Island. The impact fractured both her carapace and her plastron — her top and bottom shells. The guide on the behind the scenes tour, AmeriCorps worker Stacia Dwelle, explains that the blue stuff is bioglass and costs $175 for a small jar. It works “like scaffolding for the tissue in the fracture site,” she says. Other treatments are lower tech and lower cost, such as the jug of honey and chunks of honeycomb the staff use for its antimicrobial value. Related: Small cruise line treats the whole world as one ocean While the hospital is called the Sea Turtle Rescue Center, they don’t discriminate here. The fully functioning center cares for any type of injured turtle and also works on other reptiles and birds . Public Awareness and Education The center’s founder, Dr. Terry Norton, grew up in Utah far from sea turtles, but his affection for reptiles grew during his residency in Gainesville, Florida. In the early 2000s, Norton worked on Saint Catherine’s Island, 40 miles north of Jekyll. Part of his wildlife health program was developing a global assessment of sea turtle health. He saw the need for a sea turtle hospital on the Georgia coast and opened the Jekyll Island facility in 2007. Since then, he and his staff have treated more than 3,000 patients and welcome 100,000 visitors annually. Why involve the public in turtle medical care? The center “wanted to raise awareness and educate the public as well,” says Dwelle. Five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles swim through waters along Georgia’s 100 mile coastline, all either threatened or endangered . Jekyll Island is prime nesting territory, especially for the Loggerhead sea turtle. Leatherbacks and Green sea turtles occasionally nest here. Kemp’s Ridley and Hawksbill turtles also pass through Georgia waters. This year, center staff identified 198 loggerhead nests on the island, with about 120 eggs in each nest. During July and August, the hatchlings fight their way out of their shells, then pour out of nests on the beach and trek to the sea just before sunrise. Most visitors to the turtle center opt for the $9 ticket, which gets them into an exhibit area with interactive displays. They can peer through a large microscope and learn about trash in the ocean. They can also visit the rehab area, a sultry building full of turtles in tubs or look through a window into the medical treatment room. Behind the Scenes in the Hospital Devoted turtle lovers— and those with a little more cash to spend on their travels— can join one of the other tours the center offers. Depending on the month, visitors may be able to accompany staff to nesting sites at night or in the early morning, and there’s a sea turtle camp for kids. Instead of watching the treatment from behind glass, groups of six can stand right in the treatment room and watch Dr. Norton assess turtles. Visitors can also learn about the nebulization chamber where snakes with fungal infections inhale a mist of medicine . Most of the center’s patients stay two to six months before being released. The staff here sometimes give future turtles a helping hand by transferring wild-laid eggs into an incubator. This is especially true when turtles lay their eggs too close to the road on the causeway that connects Jekyll Island to the mainland. The causeway is “a high, dry place those ladies like to look to build their nests,” says Dwelle. “But unfortunately, who else is out there on the causeway? We are. In our cars.” Human transportation is hard on turtles. While on land, they risk being hit by car but in the sea, boat strikes are a top hazard. The center also participates in other reptile-related projects, such as radio-tracking the island’s Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes. Turtle Gourmets “So our sea turtles might be eating better than us,” says Dwelle serving the turtles mackerel, shrimp and blue crab, which is considerably restaurant -quality seafood. New patients get their food filleted for them but once they’re stronger they get whole seafood and live fiddler crabs just before being released. Staff arrange greens in a PVC pipe with holes cut out, which they sink to the bottom of turtle tubs. This way the patients remember to look for seagrass on the ocean floor when they eventually return to the sea. Each turtle gets a personalized diet, sometimes fortified with special vitamins and calcium. Helping Turtles Many of the hospitalized turtles could easily have escaped injury if humans had been more careful. Keeping your distance from nests ensure that hatchlings stand a better chance at survival. And most importantly, don’t litter. “When you’re on the beach, be careful with fishing lines,” says Mary Van Gundy, a volunteer vet technician at the center. “Make sure you gather them up and throw them away.” She’s amazed by the trash she finds, especially cigarette butts. Slowing down, whether in a boat or a car, will prevent many accidents. Maybe that’s what the stoic Gwyneth is trying to tell me as she silently opens her mouth. Images via Inhabitat

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Behind the scenes at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Playful gable-roofed home in Atlanta champions the power of CLT

May 17, 2019 by  
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Jennifer Bonner , architectural designer and director of MALL, has completed Haus Gables, a new ground-up residential project that was built almost entirely out of cross-laminated timber (CLT), an exceptionally strong wood material made from glued layers of solid-sawn lumber. Located in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2,200-square-foot, two-story home is one of only a few residences constructed from cross-laminated timber in the United States. Named after its cluster of six steep gable roofs that form a singular roofline, Haus Gables delineates its interior spaces according to the ridges and valleys of the roofline, creating what the press release said is a floorplan resulting from the roof. “The underbelly of the gable roofs creates an airy, lofty space filled with ample natural light in what is actually a small building footprint,” noted Bonner. The single-family house has an “uncharacteristically slim” width of 18 feet on the 24-foot-wide plot. The residence’s exterior and interior walls as well as the floors and roof were built of solid, custom-cut CLT panels that were hoisted into place and assembled in just 14 days. Although it has been presented as an alternative to traditional stick frame construction, the home lifts inspiration from the American South vernacular with its playfully colorful faux-finishes that clad the exterior and parts of the interior. For instance, faux bricks made of shimmering stucco dash cover two sides of the facade, while black terrazzo is applied as a thin tile indoors. Related: Tham & Videgård Arkitekter designs Swedish “vertical village” built from CLT Bonner dressed the interiors with furnishings by female designers, including the likes of Ray Eames , Jessica Nakanishi of M-S-D-S Studio, Stine Gam of GamFratesi Studio, Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell and more. The modern furnishings pop against the “color blocking” style applied throughout, which creates areas of gray concrete, yellow vinyl marble and black terrazzo. + Jennifer Bonner Photography by naaro via Jennifer Bonner

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Playful gable-roofed home in Atlanta champions the power of CLT

Looking to make your mornings greener? Try these 7 tips for a sustainable morning routine

May 17, 2019 by  
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We all have our favorite ways to start the day, but how eco-friendly is your morning routine? You might be surprised to learn that most people waste a lot of energy and resources in the first few hours they are awake. Luckily, you can make your mornings more eco-friendly with a few easy steps. From drinking a more sustainable cup of coffee to saving on water, here are seven ways you can go green in the mornings. Sustainable Coffee A hot cup of coffee has become the staple of many morning routines. In fact, many people rely on the caffeine boost to help jumpstart their day. If coffee is something you cannot live without, there are ways in which you can make it more sustainable . A great idea is to start brewing your favorite beans in a thermal carafe. This will help keep the coffee warm for longer periods, which cuts down on the need to brew more later in the day. You should also consider investing in an efficient travel mug instead of disposable cups, even when you fill up at your local coffee shop. If you drink coffee on a regular basis, ditching the waste can really add up over time. You can also purchase coffee in bulk whenever possible. This will help cut down on packaging and is easier on your budget. Related: These are the best tips to help you establish an eco-friendly laundry routine Enjoy Some Sunlight Syncing your day with the sun is a great way to become more eco-friendly in the mornings. By getting up when the sun rises every morning, you are more likely to go to bed when the sun goes down. This allows you to use less energy at night because you are not relying on lights deep into the night. This, of course, is only applicable if you have a daytime work schedule and can easily adjust your mornings and evenings. If you do wake up with the sun, take advantage of the warmth by opening up the blinds and trapping the energy inside. Save Water It does not take much to waste water in the mornings, especially when it comes to showering. A lot of people wander off while they wait for the shower to warm up, which can waste significant amounts of water over time. Instead, stay close to the shower and jump right in as soon as the water is hot. If the water takes a bit to reach a desired temperature you can consider lowering the temperature of your water heater, as this will help save energy and is better for your skin. Healthy Breakfast Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, so why not make it as healthy as possible? One way to eat healthier in the mornings is to go vegan or vegetarian. Sub out meat products with fruit and veggies, tofu or even cereal. When shopping for the perfect breakfast ingredients, consider choosing items that are completely organic. Non-organic food is bad for the environment and not as healthy as organic products. You can also find great deals on organic food and should not have to break your budget to eat healthier. Switch Up Your Commute If you live within a reasonable distance from your job, consider walking or riding a bike a few days every week. Walking or biking to your place of employment will get your daily workout out of the way and make you more alert throughout the morning. This also helps cut down on vehicle emissions and traffic, which are two of the biggest concerns for cities around the world. You can also consider carpooling with your co-workers to help curb harmful emissions . If you are looking to buy a new vehicle, take a look at an eco-friendly option, such as a hybrid or a small car. These vehicles are much better for the environment and can generate considerable gas savings on an annual basis, both of which will make your eco-friendly morning routine complete. Eco-Friendly Bathroom Bathroom products are one of the worst offenders to the environment . Not only do they contribute to the growing problem of plastic waste, but they are packed with harmful chemicals that eventually find their way into our water sources. You can help curb some of these issues by choosing products that are eco-friendly. The only downside is that these products tend to be a little more expensive than their counterparts. But considering how many of these chemicals are linked to poor health, you will probably save on medical bills down the road. Related: 8 tips to make your exercise routine more eco-friendly Reusable Living One of the easiest ways to go green in the mornings is to reuse whatever you can. From coffee mugs to water containers, having something you can reuse on a daily basis can really cut down on excess waste. Reusing containers can also save you a few bucks every month. If you pack your own lunch to work, you should also consider investing in a reusable lunchbox or bag and avoid single-use plastics . It may be tempting to throw everything in a grocery bag, but these types of plastics are terrible for the environment and are filling up landfills at an alarming rate. Via Livegreen Recyclebank , The Fun Times Guide Images via Shutterstock

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Looking to make your mornings greener? Try these 7 tips for a sustainable morning routine

Georgia considers plan to build America’s first truck-only highway

February 13, 2018 by  
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Georgia is exploring the feasibility of designating an entire highway just for trucks . The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is considering the 40-mile stretch where cars wouldn’t be allowed to drive – and WABE Radio says it would be the first of its kind in America. 4,317 people perished in crashes where large trucks were involved in 2016, the most recent federal statistics ready from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to WABE Radio. A separate highway for trucks could boost safety for both regular cars and freight operators, according to GDOT’s fact sheet on what’s called the I-75 Commercial Vehicle Lanes. Related: Siemens debuts first electrified eHighway in the US The toll-free truck-only highway would stretch from Atlanta to Macron and would consist of two barrier-separated lanes. GDOT’s fact sheet says the project is “projected to reduce delay on I-75 by 40 percent in 2030” and could also lower maintenance costs on the lanes for passenger cars. It would be northbound, per WABE Radio, with its own entrances and exits. Atlanta-area truckers have shown support for the project. WABE Radio spoke to trucker Afori Pugh, who transports around 20,000 pounds of construction materials on his trips. He said it can be difficult; when drivers cut in front of a truck, they rarely realize how much danger they’re in and they don’t understand his industry. He thinks a truck-only highway could “unclog a lot of the traffic .” Georgia governor Nathan Deal also seems to support the project, saying the truck-only highway is “an important part of what our future transportation system should and will look like” in a Georgia Transportation Alliance meeting. But some people are balking at the estimated cost of $1.8 billion. U.S. Public Interest Research Group listed the state’s truck-only lanes among the worst highway projects in America in 2017, saying it “would represent a giveaway to the trucking industry, while undermining a rail -based approach to freight movement in Georgia that is intended to get trucks off the roads.” GDOT could choose a general engineering consultant by the end of this year; that person would be expected to be in charge of project development and seek public input in the environmental process. Construction could commence in 2025. Via WABE Radio Images via Rhys Moult on Unsplash and Ken Lund on Flickr

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Georgia considers plan to build America’s first truck-only highway

Gigantic murals of local flora sprout on buildings around the world

February 13, 2018 by  
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These larger-than-life plant murals bring buildings back to nature – and they’re popping up all over the world. Muralist Mona Caron creates these intricate artworks by selecting plants native to each city and teaming up with local and international organizations to bring them to life, while also bringing a variety of social and environmental causes to public attention. The San Francisco -based artist selects plants that she finds in each city where she paints and uses them as symbolic references to local history and social issues. Her work both celebrates nature and examines current issues. She describes her Weeds series as a tribute to the resilience of all those beings who no one made room for, were not part of the plan, and yet keep coming back, pushing through and rising up. Related: Artists are turning the U.S.-Mexico border fence into the world’s longest peace-themed mural “Weeds break through even the hardest cement, the most seemingly invincible constraints, reconnecting earth to sky, like life to its dreams,” Caron explains. “It’s happening everywhere at the margins of things, we’re just not paying attention.” + Mona Caron Via This is Colossal

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Gigantic murals of local flora sprout on buildings around the world

Clothing company removes 1,000,000 pounds of trash from global waters

February 13, 2018 by  
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Fast fashion is a dirty business, and the apparel industry is considered one of the world’s most toxic, second only to the oil industry when it comes to pollution. Some big labels are keen to tout their greenwashed textiles or “responsible” material sourcing, but few have taken measures to reduce waste. Enter  United By Blue , a sustainable fashion line that not only uses eco-friendly materials in the manufacturing of its products but has made a commitment to removing one pound of trash from global oceans and waterways for every product sold. The model, which was introduced in 2010, has so far led to the removal of 1,039,456 pounds of trash across 27 states—and counting. The initiative is wholly backed by United by Blue’s employees and like-minded volunteers looking to make a difference. Over 200 cleanups have been organized thus far, and everything from  plastic bottles , tires, appliances, to abandoned trucks have been scooped out of rivers, streams, creeks, and beaches. What’s more, United by Blue has budgeted time, resources, and money into its business plan for cleanups, and employees are paid for their contributions. Related: Billions of pieces of plastic trash are sickening the world’s coral reefs As it stands, eight million tons of plastic enter oceans each year with plastic bottles accounting for 1.5 million tons. There is almost no part of the world that has been untouched by the pollution , which endangers sea life and ends up in our food when we consume seafood that has unwittingly ingested plastic. Even scarier, in a recent study , researchers looked at more than 124,000 corals from 159 reefs in Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia, and found that plastic has ravaged the reefs. “We came across chairs, chip wrappers, Q-tips, garbage bags, water bottles, old nappies,” Joleah Lamb, a marine disease ecologist at Cornell University and lead author of the study, told the Atlantic . “Everything you see on the beach is probably lying on the reef.” Nearly 90 percent of corals that come into contact with plastic will get some sort of infection. Lamb and her colleagues reported that almost every time they lifted a piece of plastic shrouding coral, the coral was riddled with disease. Here’s hoping that more clothing companies follow United By Blue’s model so we can end this scourge once and for all. + United by Blue Via Treehugger

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Clothing company removes 1,000,000 pounds of trash from global waters

Snhetta unveils designs for worlds first energy-positive hotel in the Arctic Circle

February 13, 2018 by  
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Snøhetta has revealed designs for the world’s first energy-positive hotel in the Arctic Circle —an incredible proposal given the region’s below-freezing temperatures. Located at the foot of Svartisen, Norway’s second largest glacier, the circular Svart hotel will offer panoramic 360-degree views of the fjord and use solar panels to produce more energy than it needs. The sustainable building is being developed in collaboration with Arctic Adventures of Norway, Asplan Viak and Skanska. Set partly on shore at the foot of the Almlifjellet mountain, Svart also extends into Holandsfjorden fjord’s crystal-clear waters where kayakers can paddle beneath the circular building . Elevated off the ground for low-impact, the hotel’s V-shaped timber structure is a nod to the local vernacular architecture, more specifically the form of the A-shaped fiskehjell, a wooden device used for drying fish and the local fisherman “rorbue” house. A boardwalk built into the timber structure serves as a walkway for guests in summer or as boat storage in winter. “Building in such a precious environment comes with some clear obligations in terms of preserving the natural beauty and the fauna and flora of the site,” said Founding Partner at Snøhetta, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. “It was primordial for us to design a sustainable building that will leave a minimal environmental footprint on this beautiful Northern nature. Building an energy positive and low-impact hotel is an essential factor to create a sustainable tourist destination respecting the unique features of the plot; the rare plant species, the clean waters and the blue ice of the Svartisen glacier.” Related: Jaw-dropping hotel made of ice and snow opens in Sweden The new hotel aims to reduce its yearly energy consumption by approximately 85% as compared to an equivalent hotel built to modern building standards in Norway. Snøhetta hopes to reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint by topping the rooftop with solar panels produced with clean hydro-energy and by using materials with low-embodied energy like timber over energy-intensive materials such as structural steel and concrete. Extensive site mapping informed the placement and design of the hotel to best exploit solar energy during the day and minimize unwanted solar gain. + Snøhetta Images via Snøhetta

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Snhetta unveils designs for worlds first energy-positive hotel in the Arctic Circle

BIG and CRA break ground on greenery-infused Singapore skyscraper

February 13, 2018 by  
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Bjarke Ingels Group and Carlo Ratti Associati have broken ground on a new nature-infused skyscraper that’s bringing Singapore a step closer to its ‘City in a Garden’ vision. Located in the heart of the financial district, the 280-meter-tall Singapore Tower will be one of the city’s tallest and offer a mixed-use program including an “office of the future,” residences, and retail. Greenery is integrated into the multiple parts of the building from a public rainforest plaza and park on the ground floor to a multi-level green oasis visible from the outside. Commissioned by CapitaLand, the 51-story high-rise comprises a podium of retail and restaurants beneath eight floors of serviced residences. Residents will enjoy access to a wide variety of facilities and landscaped spaces such as an outdoor pool, jacuzzi, jogging track, and barbecue pits. Offices will occupy the building’s top 29 floors and look out to panoramic views of the Singapore River and Marina Bay. Separate lobbies will service the offices and residences. Sensors, Internet-of-Things and artificial intelligence are embedded into the smart tech building for the benefit of tenants. “BIG’s design seeks to continue Singapore’s pioneering vertical urbanism with the 280m tall diverse community of places to work, live and play inside as well as outside,” said Bjarke Ingels. “At multiple elevations, the facade peels open to reveal urban oases for its users and the surrounding city – animating the elegant smoothness of modern architecture with the ubiquitous tropical nature.” Singapore Tower’s glass-and-steel facade appears to pull open at the base, core, and rooftop to reveal glimpses of tropical greenery within. Related: A rainforest-like green heart grows within Singapore’s Marina One Lush landscaping can be enjoyed at the ground floor park that transitions into the 19-meter-tall City Room in the tower’s mixed use podium. A four-level Green Oasis occupies the core of the building—between the residences and offices—and houses a 30-meter open-air garden with winding walkways, diverse seating, jungle gym, treetop cocoons, sky hammocks, and a cafe. The Singapore Tower is expected for completion in 2021. + Bjarke Ingels Group + Carlo Ratti Associati Images via Bjarke Ingels Group, Exterior images by Bjarke Ingels Group and VMW

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BIG and CRA break ground on greenery-infused Singapore skyscraper

"Bomb cyclone" to slam East Coast with more bitterly cold weather

January 3, 2018 by  
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A massive winter storm known as a “bomb cyclone” will smash into the US East Coast this week. This powerful weather event will bring an even deeper freeze to a region that has suffered bitter cold weather for the past 10 days. The storm in question, which will impact coastal areas from Georgia to Maine, is given its extreme name because of the predicted rapid pressure drop, an indication of the storm’s strength. The bomb cyclone is described as being similar to a winter hurricane, with accompanying freezing rain, ice, snow, and powerful winds. Although the effects of the storm will be acutely felt by East Coast residents, the most extreme weather conditions are expected to remain offshore. The storm is expected to particularly impact New England , off the coast of which it is expected to be the strongest the region has seen in decades. Boston is expected to receive up to seven inches of snow, in addition to powerful winds capable of knocking down trees and power lines. The temperatures in Boston are expected to drop to 27 degrees below the average for this time of year. When the storm has ended, the entire coast is expected to be hit with another wave of frigid air. Related: Storm ‘unfreezes’ North Pole, causing temps 50 degrees higher than normal Further south, the storm’s impact will still be substantial. Coastal Georgia and even areas of North Florida are expected to receive some snow, as are coastal cities further north in the Southeast. In Charleston, South Carolina, one to three inches of snow and sleet are expected. By the time the storm reaches New England, its central pressure will have dropped 53 millibars in only 24 hours, an astonishing pressure drop unheard of outside of a hurricane -strength storm. After the weekend, the East Coast is expected to enjoy a respite from winter’s deep freeze when temperatures warm up. Via Washington Post Images via Depositphotos and Ryan Maue/weather.us

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"Bomb cyclone" to slam East Coast with more bitterly cold weather

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