Paul Tafelski - April 2020

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April 2020

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Ways I De-Stress Keeping Calm in Difficult Times

With April being Stress Awareness Month, and with the considerable amount of anxiety people around the world are feeling, I thought I’d share some ways I keep myself calm. I’m not saying I’m an expert on keeping a still mind, but if there are two professions that force you to confront stress on a regular basis, they’re being a lawyer and a business owner. Securing the future of both your clients and your employees is no small matter, but I’ve found a few techniques to reduce the pressure. For me, it all starts with exercise. A growing body of research shows how working out can have all sorts of mental benefits on top of keeping you in shape, but I discovered this de-stressing technique on accident. I’d begun exercising on the elliptical in the mornings for my physical health, but I soon came to notice that on the days I managed to get a work out in, things felt far less hectic than on the days I skipped. Now I have twice the motivation to get up and exercise because I know my day will be that much better because of it. But to have the time to exercise, I need to have room in my schedule. That’s where planning comes in. Taking the time to get organized is more efficient in the long term than trying to “If you find yourself sinking into concern due to a legal matter, ask yourself ‘What do I need to do today?’”

today?” Focusing on the long-term“what ifs” is a recipe for undue stress and paralysis that can bleed into your everyday life. By recognizing that you can only control so much and taking action on those factors you do have some say in, you can keep yourself grounded and your stress levels in check. This leads to my last observation. In general, we humans have a tendency to dwell on the worst-case scenario. In moments of uncertainty, be they personal or international in scope, our minds are easily drawn to the bleakest futures. That’s why, in moments of stress, I challenge my mind to ask “What if it’s not that bad? What if it all works out for the better?” It’s far from easy, but consciously choosing to see a brighter future can make moving forward that much less daunting.

just jump into a load of work without a game plan. So, whether I do it at the outset of my workday or the night before, I try to lay out everything I hope to get done. Having that clear road map not only helps me focus but also keeps my mind grounded when it comes to the challenges I’m actually facing. This is something I see many clients struggle with. Being confronted with a legal issue is a great source of uncertainty, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s no wonder the most frequent question we attorneys get is some variation of “What’s going to happen to me?” It’s natural to wonder, but it can easily lead to a downward spiral of worry and doubt. After all, even the best lawyer on earth can only offer an opinion of how things will shake out in your case. As much as we’d like to set your mind 100% at ease, we don’t have a crystal ball.

Here’s to brighter days,

-Paul J. Tafel ski

If you find yourself sinking into concern due to a legal matter, ask yourself “What do I need to do

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SOMETHING IN THE WATER WHY ROB BILOTT TOOK ON DUPONT

property provided water for all the cattle and wildlife in the area. Since the sale, the stream had become frothy and discolored, and the animals that drank from it were sick, malformed, or dead, including 153 of Tennant’s 200 cows. When Bilott stumbled upon a letter from DuPont to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the real horror story began to emerge — one that went far beyond the boundaries of Tennant’s farm and into the drinking water of every American. The letter mentioned a mysterious chemical called PFOA, and Bilott requested documentation from DuPont to find out more about it. However, the company refused, so Bilott requested a court order. Soon, dozens of disorganized boxes filled with thousands of 50-year-old files arrived at Bilott’s firm.

Rob Bilott never should have agreed to represent Wilbur Tennant’s case.

The cattle farmer had presented evidence of the strange malady plaguing his cattle to lawyers, politicians, and veterinarians in Parkersburg, West Virginia, but no one took Tennant’s case seriously.

in the mess of documents, but soon, his time as an environmental lawyer helped him see the bigger picture. It became clear that DuPont had orchestrated a massive cover-up regarding their use of PFOA. PFOA is used in the manufacturing of Teflon, and the company had knowingly exposed workers and the Parkersburg water supply to it. Bilott filed a class-action suit as a medical monitoring claim on behalf of the people of Parkersburg, and, as of 2011, a probable link between PFOA and six health conditions, including two types of cancer, has been found.

But when Bilott saw the evidence for himself, it was clear that something was wrong.

The videos and photographs Tennant had collected showed cattle with patchy fur, growths and lesions, white slime coming from their mouths, and staggering gaits. Tennant told Bilott that the abnormal behavior and physical deformities had started after his brother Jim sold his property to DuPont, a chemical company with a big presence in Parkersburg. Jim’s property bordered on Wilbur’s, and a stream running from Jim’s

He was worried he wouldn’t be able to find anything incriminating or even conclusive Because of the medical monitoring claim, plaintiffs can file personal injury lawsuits against DuPont. So far, 3,535 people have. If it weren’t for Bilott and Tennant, the public might have never known the dangers of PFOA. DOYOUR PART TO KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL And Maintain Green Living Spaces for Everyone

jogging and picking up litter, which takes care of your health and keeps your community clean. Anybody can do it: Just throw on your running shoes, grab a bag, head out the door, and pick up any stray bits of trash you see on your morning jog or evening walk.

to better the place you live in. Here are three ways to show your appreciation for a green America this month.

Have you ever walked through a park and seen a plastic bottle or wrapper lying on the ground? If so, did you pick it up and properly dispose of it? You might not have realized it, but in that moment, you took a small step toward keeping your community — and, by extension, America — beautiful! April is Keep America Beautiful Month, and folks who celebrate aim to help each community in every state stay clean and green. Created by the nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful, this holiday offers a perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and work

TAKE ACTION ONLINE.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, it might be difficult to get outside and participate in a few community cleanup programs. But that doesn’t mean the public still can’t participate in Keep America Beautiful Month. April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and to celebrate, Earth Day Network is providing digital events for everyone around the world to take part in. Follow Earth Day Network’s social media accounts and stay updated on efforts to keep the Earth green or participate in an event yourself! For more information, visit EarthDay.org.

IMPROVE RECYCLING THROUGH EDUCATION.

An important goal during Keep America Beautiful Month is to spread awareness about recycling. There are various ways to educate those around you about recycling and encourage them to do their part. At work, for example, you can volunteer to lead a recycling initiative by printing off guides and fostering discussions on why recycling is so essential. At home, you can make a commitment with your family to fulfill the three R’s of recycling: reduce, reuse, recycle. To discover more ways to participate in Keep America Beautiful Month, visit their website at KAB.org today!

START PLOGGING.

If you’re passionate about staying active and cleaning up your neighborhood, then this is the perfect activity for you! Plogging combines

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TAKE A BREAK

Few things change faster than the internet, and how we connect with the internet is constantly evolving. When it comes to wireless capabilities, fourth-generation (4G) networks have been the norm for 10 years. But 4G couldn’t meet demands forever, and there’s already talk of a fifth-generation (5G) network taking center stage. So, what makes 5G different from 4G, and how will it affect consumers and their internet-enabled devices? SO, WHAT IS 5G? A New Horizon in Wireless Technology

WHAT ARE THE BASICS?

Simply put, 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology that enables mobile devices like cellphones and stationary devices like desktop computers to send and receive data without being physically connected to a network via cables. As technology improves and more connection points are established around the globe, new network generations are “released” to represent significant advancements in speed and reach.

HOW POWERFUL WILL IT BE?

Consumers will notice the rise of 5G mostly with their smartphones. Apps and services that function using the internet will have fewer delays, faster loading times, more reliable internet access in remote locations, and more stable downloading and uploading capabilities. Experts predict that 5G will provide download speeds of up to 10,000 megabits per second, which is roughly 100 times faster than 4G. While it can take a 4G network upward of 15 seconds to download a simple 5-megabyte music file, a 5G network will be able to download an entire movie in less than two seconds.

EASY DEVILED EGGS

While the kids hunt for Easter eggs in the yard, whip up this easy deviled egg recipe for a hearty snack that’s sure to satisfy any craving.

Ingredients

WHAT’S NEXT?

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste

2 tbsp milk

These network updates are all about speed, but that doesn’t mean you should rush to switch your cellphone over to 5G. Many providers are still testing the service with select markets, and a full rollout of 5G isn’t expected until later this year. Check with your network provider about the options they currently offer and get ready to connect with the world like never before.

1 tsp dried parsley flakes

12 large eggs, hard-boiled

1/2 tsp dill weed

Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish

1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 2. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites. 3. In a small bowl, mash yolks. 4. Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. 5. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. 6. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.

Inspired by TasteOfHome.com

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1

Keeping Calm in Difficult Times

The Lawyer Who Took on a Multibillion-Dollar Company Keep America Beautiful

2

Easy Deviled Eggs 5G Made Simple

3

4

The History of Libraries in America

THE OLDEST LIBRARIES IN AMERICA A STORY OF MANY FIRSTS

A FEW MORE FIRSTS

What’s the oldest library in America? It’s an easy question to ask, but it has an unexpectedly complicated answer. Before the Industrial Revolution generated greater interest in public services, a library’s function and purpose varied widely. Several libraries in the United States claim to be the country’s “first,” but for different reasons.

During the 1700s, a few more “first” libraries were established. In 1731, Ben Franklin and a few others started the first subscription library in the United States. Members of subscription libraries could pay to buy books or borrow them for free. In 1757, 60 men founded the Library Company of Burlington in New Jersey, and Thomas Rodman received a charter from King George II to operate the business in 1758. The library still operates under that charter today. The Library of Burlington was the first library to operate out of its own building after a prominent resident donated the land in 1789.

COLLEGES AND THE CLERGY

Hampshire, at a town meeting. It was the first tax-supported free public library in the United States and in the world. Not long after that, the Boston Public Library, known as the “palace for the people,” became the first municipal public library in the country. The Boston Public Library was also the first library to have a space specifically for children. Out of all the “first” libraries in the country, these are the most probable progenitors of most libraries today — even if they weren’t exactly “first.”

Some believe Harvard University hosted the first library in the United States. Harvard was the first university in the United States, founded in 1636, and clergyman John Harvard seeded the library with a 400-book collection. Soon after, however, Thomas Bray, another clergyman, began establishing the first free lending libraries throughout the colonies to encourage the spread of the Anglican Church. Not surprisingly, most of the libraries’ holdings were theological.

BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE

In 1833, just as the Industrial Revolution was picking up steam, the Peterborough Town Library was founded in Peterborough, New

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