News Briefs

City To Raise Pride Flag

Good news again to everyone, the time has come to raise the Pride Progress flag!

The City of Revere will be hosting a flag raising ceremony for the Pride Flag at Revere City Hall Plaza on Thursday, June 1 at 4 p.m.

The City will celebrate  Pride with a speaking program and raising of the flag.

Sharks Spotted in Atlantic

After a 12-foot white shark was spotted off Cape Cod over the weekend, New England Aquarium scientists are urging the public to report shark sightings and be aware of their surroundings as the holiday weekend approaches.

The shark was seen feeding on a seal off of Provincetown, MA, on Saturday. This is the time of year that scientists expect to see white sharks returning to the inshore waters off of Massachusetts, where the animals hunt seals into the fall months.

“Though white shark bites on humans are rare, the sighting serves as a reminder to beachgoers and boaters to be mindful of the presence of these ocean animals,” said John Chisholm, adjunct scientist in the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life. “It’s important to be aware of sharks’ presence in shallow waters, to avoid areas where seals are present or schools of fish are visible, and to stay close to shore where rescuers can reach you if needed.”

As part of a partnership between the New England Aquarium and Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, Chisholm serves as the Citizen Science Coordinator for the Conservancy, documenting accounts of shark-seal interactions and verifying shark sighting reports made by the public through the Sharktivity app. Sharktivity provides information and push notifications on white shark sightings, detections, and movements to raise awareness and help people and sharks co-exist. The app sightings are input by researchers, safety officials, and others who upload photos and video, essentially crowdsourcing critical data on where sharks are spotted.

“There is a real public concern around beach safety, and we recognize the need to respond to that,” said Nick Whitney, senior scientist at the Aquarium and chair of the Anderson Cabot Center’s Fisheries Science and Emerging Technologies program. “That’s why we’re excited to continue this partnership with the Conservancy to help provide accurate, timely information on shark sightings in the region.”

The New England Aquarium has a team of nine scientists who study shark species, from porbeagles and nurse sharks to sandbar and sand tiger sharks. Many shark species reside in Massachusetts waters. Aquarium researchers’ work focuses on monitoring of these animals using innovative tagging technologies including satellite, acoustic, accelerometer, and camera tags to track the sharks’ habitat use, life history, and impacts of bycatch during commercial and recreational fishing activities.

NFPA Offers Grilling Safety Tips for Holiday

Often considered the unofficial kick-off to summer, Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with outdoor celebrations and cookouts. With the holiday just around the corner and the warmer months upon us, the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) is working to ensure that people understand where potential grilling risks exist and ways to minimize them.

“Because outdoor grilling involves the use of a fuel source to generate an open flame, it inherently presents potential fire risks that needs to be taken seriously,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA.

NFPA data shows that between 2017 and 2021, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 11,421 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues, including 5,763 structure fires and 5,659 outside or unclassified fires. These fires caused an annual average of two civilian deaths, 176 reported civilian injuries, and $172 million in direct property damage. July was the leading month for grilling fires (16 percent), followed by June (14 percent), May (12 percent) and August (11 percent); grilling fires in November through February accounted for 4 percent or less each year.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), for the same fire-year period, an annual average of 22,155 patients went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills. Nearly half (47 percent) of the injuries were thermal burns, including both burns from fire and from contact with hot objects. These burns typically occurred when someone, often a child, bumped into, touched or fell on the grill, grill part or hot coals. In fact, children under five accounted for an average of 2,820 of the contact-type burns (46 percent) per year.

“These numbers reinforce that grilling fires can and do happen. However, there’s no need to avoid grilling during Memorial Day or in the months ahead,” said Carli. “Instead, by following simple safety precautions, people can greatly reduce the risk of experiencing a grilling fire.”

NFPA offers a wealth of tips, recommendations, and resources for grilling safely, including these key messages: 

• For propane grills, check the gas tank for leaks before use in the months ahead. (Watch NFPA’s video on how to check for leaks.)

• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

• Place the grill well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

• Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area.

• If you use starter fluid when charcoal grilling, only use charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. When you have or are finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing in a metal container. • Never leave your grill unattended when in use.

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