Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon to Star in NYC Staging of Beckett’s All That Fall

first_img View Comments Trevor Nunn’s critically acclaimed mounting of Samuel Beckett’s radio play All That Fall will play a limited engagement at New York’s 59E59 Theaters. Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon will star in the production, which runs from November 5 through December 8, 2013. BAFTA and Emmy Award winner Atkins is a four-time Tony Award nominee with stage credits that include Doubt, The Retreat From Moscow, Indiscretions, The Night of the Tribades, Vivat! Vivat Regina!, The Promise and The Killing of Sister George. Gambon earned a Tony nomination in 1997 for Skylight; the four-time BAFTA winner is known for his screen credits including The Singing Detective, Maigret and the Harry Potter series. Joining Atkins and Gambon in the off-Broadway show will be original London production cast members Ruairi Conaghan, Catherine Cusack and Frank Grimes. Additional casting will be announced. Nunn directs, with design by Cherry Truluck and sound by Paul Groothuis. Specially commissioned by the BBC as a radio play, All That Fall is set in rural Ireland and follows an aging woman (Atkins) who sets off to meet her blind, short-tempered husband (Gambon). Along the way, she encounters a handful of eccentric characters who offer “an inimitably idiosyncratic and at times hilarious perspective on loss, grief and old age.” The production had two sold-out runs in London in 2012last_img read more

No Man’s Land & Waiting For Godot, Starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, Extend Before Opening

first_img No Man’s Land Star Files Written by Samuel Beckett, Waiting For Godot tells the story of two wanderers who wait by a lonely tree to meet with Godot, whom they hope will change their lives forever. No Man’s Land, written by Harold Pinter, tells the story of two elderly writers who meet in a London pub and continue drinking throughout the night—until their relationships are exposed by the return of two younger men. View Comments In addition to the British knights, Waiting For Godot and No Man’s Land stars Tony winners Shuler Hensley and Billy Crudup. Godot features Stewart as Vladimir, McKellen as Estragon, Crudup as Lucky and Hensley as Pozzo. No Man’s Land features Stewart as Hirst, McKellen as Spooner, Crudup as Foster and Hensley as Briggs. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on March 30, 2014 Good friends (Sir) Ian McKellen and (Sir) Patrick Stewart have been making the rounds all over New York—and now you have an extra month to see them on the Great White Way! The Broadway repertory season of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot has just been extended and will now play through March 2, 2014. Directed by Sean Mathias, the plays will open on November 24 at the Cort Theatre. Patrick Stewartlast_img read more

Will British Stage & Screen Star Ben Whishaw Rock Out as Freddie Mercury in New Queen Biopic?

first_img Star Files Looks like drummer Roger Taylor and his Queen bandmates have found “Somebody to Love!” The much-buzzed-about Queen biopic has been without a Freddie Mercury since Les Miserables film favorite Sacha Baron Cohen departed the production earlier this year, but the legendary rock band thinks they’ve finally found their star. The band is eyeing Skyfall’s Ben Whishaw to take on the role of the charismatic frontman, according to The Hollywood Reporter.During an interview on BBC’s One Show, Taylor was asked who he might like to star in the new film, and he responded that the man’s initials were “B.W.” When asked further if he was referring to Whishaw, Taylor agreed, saying, “Well, we hope so.”So, what does Whishaw have that Cohen hasn’t got? According to Classic Rock magazine, Queen’s guitarist Brian May believes it’s the ability to fully embody Mercury, the vibrant lead singer who died from complications from AIDS in 1991. “We felt [Cohen]’s presence in the movie would be very distracting,” he said. “We thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. The man who plays Freddie—you really have to believe is Freddie. We didn’t feel that could really happen with Sacha.’Whishaw’s British theater credits include His Dark Materials, Hamlet, Mercury Fur, The Seagull, Leaves of Glass, Cock, The Pride, Peter and Alice and Mojo. He made his off-Broadway debut in the 2010 production of The Pride at MCC Theater. His film and TV credits include The Tempest, The Hour, Skyfall, I’m Not There., Cloud Atlas, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and Bright Star.But on to the most important question of all: Can Whishaw sing? You be the judge! Click below to see him (very briefly) singing Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares For Me” at a press event. View Commentscenter_img Ben Whishawlast_img read more

Weekend Poll Top Three: As You Wish! Fans Want Aaron Tveit to Play Westley in The Princess Bride on Stage

first_img View Comments 3. Justin Matthew Sargent – 15% As your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Sargent rescues Mary Jane Watson from atop the Chrysler Building and from Arachne’s cocoon eight times a week, so battling every terror in the Fire Swamp should be a breeze for the former Rock of Ages and Bonnie & Clyde star. Also, if anyone can make a cadaverous Westley still seem pretty hot—it’s definitely JMS. 2. Corey Cott – 18% He’s the king of New York, after all! Cott is a pro at playing the witty, street smart and rebellious Jack Kelly in Newsies, so he would have no trouble channeling the natural-born leader energy required to pull off Westley. If he can lead the NYC newsboys strike of 1899, then he can assuredly lead Inigo and Fezzik into Humperdinck’s castle to stop the wedding. 1. Aaron Tveit – 34% Tveit already played the wild and beautiful Enjolras in the Les Miserables film and lead the insurrection at the barricade—so it’s easy to imagine him wielding another sword to fight for the love of his life. The heartthrob has appeared on Broadway in Wicked, Next to Normal and Catch Me If You Can, and has made TV audiences swoon on Graceland and Gossip Girl. Disney recently announced that William Goldman’s cult classic film The Princess Bride is headed to the stage, and because the Mouse House is behind a few of Broadway’s biggest hits, we can’t wait to see what they do with the story of Buttercup, Westley, Inigo Montoya, Prince Humperdinck, Vizzini, Fezzik and more! Broadway.com reached out to our readers to find out who they would like cast in the role of brave and beloved farm boy Westley. The votes are in! Find out which Broadway vets fans hope head to lands of Florin and Guilder.last_img read more

Soldier and Family Assistance Center (SFAC)

first_img2601 Indiana Ave.24/7 Hotline 270-498-4319Office 270-798-6383/270-412-5497http://www.sharp.army.mil/index.aspxHours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through FridayThe SHARP program is dedicated to eliminating sexual harassment and sexual assault within the Army Family through robust prevention and training, direct leader engagement in support of the SHARP Program, and consistent team coordination that can inspire trust in the SHARP response system. SHARP staff can offer Information and support to victims of sexual assault. SHARP classes that will satisfy the annual training required of all civilian employees are provided monthly.last_img read more

Administration

first_imgThe Administration Department’s primary mission is to provide support for all military personnel regarding military pay issues. Located in Headquarters Building 1401, Room 112, it is the focal point for all incoming and outgoing military personnel assigned to NAS Whiting Field. Additionally, civilian personnel assigned to the installation should also report to the Administration Department for assistance in the check-in process. The NAS Whiting Field Administration Department is also responsible for managing the command’s directives, correspondence, alpha roster and personnel security clearance process.last_img read more

Families Overcoming Under Stress Project

first_imgFamilies Overcoming Under Stress Project (FOCUS) provides resiliency training for military families. Transitions associated with the military lifestyle can bring about changes in roles and duties. Family members may take on new responsibilities, and children may have different reactions when separated from a caregiver. Many adapt well, but changes in behavior are normal and expected. Children often lack the words to express their feelings and experiences. Additionally, couples may experience some stressors that may overwhelm their ability to cope. While many couples know how to manage these challenges, some experience periods of miscommunication and stressors that can make their connection feel distant. FOCUS helps families plan for these challenges by developing a personalized toolbox of skills specifically designed to meet their needs. FOCUS uses the family training techniques to highlight areas of strength and resilience in the family and promote family growth to help address current challenges. FOCUS also provides structured activities to bridge gaps in shared family understanding that may follow stressful experiences and separations. Family members are taught skills to improve emotional regulation, problem-solving, goal-setting, and communication. FOCUS is in Little Hall, north side, second floor, 2034 Barnett Ave. For more information, call 703-784-0189.last_img read more

Favero Assioma, the lightest road pedal power meter you’ve never heard of

first_imgAt the Giro last spring we spotted some dummy Favero BePro pedals on Bardiana-CSF’s team bikes, likely because a new model was in the works. Now a year later, we see Favero’s latest road pedal-based power meter – the new Assioma – promising improved performance, easier usability, and get this… lower prices.Favero Assioma: lightweight, trouble-free power meter pedalsc. FaveroThe newest true left/right power meter pedal setup from Favero promises segment leading tech & performance, all at a price that looks pretty easy to justify.Even though you’ve likely never heard of them and their company is relatively new to cycling, Favero Electronics has been making electronic sports equipment for more than thirty years. So starting their power meter project with the original BePro almost a decade ago wasn’t a big stretch. As something of an outside, they set about designing a more robust pedal power meter that offers some features we’re not used to seeing.What makes the Assioma power meter pedals unique?Like most premium pedal-based power meter, the new Assioma offer simple setup, Bluetooth & ANT+ communication, reliable/consistent data output and temperature compensation.But beyond that the Assioma claims to be the only true pedal power meter that uses a pedal body entirely free of electronics. Favero tucks all of their electronics into the housing around the pedal axle where it is protected from impacts, so you end up with a pedal that is easy and affordable to maintain. (Crash replacement pedal bodies also only cost 60€.)Favero also fills the entire inside of the Assioma’s protected electronics housing with resin making them absolutely waterproof (IP67 certified) & shock proof. The body gets no openings to the outside – no replaceable battery, but also no charging slots even, instead using magnetic charging tabs. So there’s literally so room for moisture to get inside, so ride through as deep of water as your bottom bracket bearings (and your poor mechanic) will allow!They even say that by using a proper built-in, rechargeable lithium-ion battery (uncommon in power meter pedals), the Assioma reports much more accurate remaining charge data to your paired device, to make sure you don’t run out of juice on a big ride. The pedals claim 50+ hours of ride time, with easy battery monitor with the Favero Assioma app, and a 8 hour energy remaining warning on your paired GPS.Favero also calls the Assioma the “lightest pedal-based power meter ever made” at 150g per pedal (or 128g for a dummy pedal), also with the lowest pedal power meter stack height at just 10.5mm.Tech detailsThe Assioma claims class-leading ±1% power accuracy thanks to instantaneous angular velocity (IAV) measurement with Assioma’s on-board gyroscope. While many power meters calculate power based on the average angular velocity of the crank arm through each rotation, the IAV solution detects much more detailed power data, and is especially more accurate when using elliptical/oval chainrings where crank arm speed varies widely through each rotation.This new version of Favero’s power meter housing is also lower profile than before, knocking 3.5mm off to 33.5mm diameter to eliminate the rare cases where some wide, flat shoes could rub the housing.In addition to regular wireless connectivity, the Assioma will connect & transmit to two devices as once (one Bluetooth, one ANT+) to let you take advantage of virtual training apps like Zwift, while separately logging your ride data.Power & pedal data metricsWith strain gauges measuring directly at the pedal axles, the Assioma power meters claim exceptionally accuracy data of the real power you are laying down. Metrics include true left+right power output, real left/right balance, pedaling cadence, torque effectiveness, pedaling smoothness, as well as pretty much any proprietary data extrapolated from true two-sided power measurement.Easy to install, easy to swap bike-to-bikeA big update over the previous BePro generation, the new Assioma is design for a Plug&Play lifestyle. No special tools are needed, nor is any dynamic calibration once installed. So you can simply pop them off with an 8mm allen key like you would with any standard pedal, and swap them from one bike to the next in seconds. Once on hit the calibration option on your cycling computer for a manual re-zeroing in, then it takes “a few tens” of pedal rotations (say pedaling down the block) until the Assioma pedals perform an internal self-calibration, and are reporting at full accuracy again. The entire process should take just a couple minutes.As easy to swap, the Assiomas use a double micro-USB cable to efficiently charge both sides at once. Just snap the special magnetic charging dongles over the electronics housing on either pedal, plus the micro-USBs in, and they’ll be juiced up again from complete discharge in six hours.Pricing & availabilityThe Assioma power meter pedals were designed, and now are made entirely in Italy – available in two configurations. For 695€ you get the Assioma Duo two power metering pedals for real left/right data. But if you want to save a few bucks, for 445€ the Assioma Uno gives you a power metering left pedal with a matching dummy right pedal. Each includes 6° float cleats, but is also compatible with original Look Kèo cleats as well. Both versions are available now direct from Favero, with even some special color-logo-ed editions running with the Giro too.cycling.Favero.comlast_img read more

Elite Cycling celebrates Earth Day with new biodegradable Jet water bottles

first_imgThis Earth Day, Elite Cycling is hoping to make things just a tiny bit better with a new water bottle. How is a bottle going to help the earth? Well, even if it’s a reusable bottle like most cycling bottles, eventually it will reach the end of its life.At that point, the bottle will likely end up in a landfill. With that in mind, Elite has created the new Jet bottle which uses a special BPA-free plastic that is treated with an additive to allow it to decompose far more quickly than the average plastic. Elite states that, “thanks to this additive, the microorganisms responsible for the biodegradation of materials attack the polymeric chain of the plastic, thus significantly reducing the time it takes for the bottle to degrade.” Their claim is that the Jet bottle will take between 3 months – 5 years to bread down whereas regular plastic will take between 100 – 1000 years.The bottle itself includes the Elite cap that is included with their lightweight Fly bottle, which has a simple push-pull high flow nozzle. Measuring 74mm in diameter, the bottle is designed to be used with standard water bottle cages.Offered in 550, 750, and 950ml sizes and four colors, the bottles are dishwasher safe and available now.elite-it.comlast_img read more

Clothing Roundup: Rapha is a tease, Café Suzi shines, and Santini warm & cozy

first_imgMid winter riding means staying warm and dry, but also a sunny outlook towards spring. Café du Cycliste wants to keep the spirit bright (and dry) with a new Suzette rain jacket. Santini is still deep in the mountains and knows their Vega line will keep riders warm for the several months of remaining winter riding. And Rapha just wants to tease us with gravel ready road shoes, better women’s bib shorts, fancy special editions, and more cargo pockets….Café du Cycliste Suzette keeps you dry & seenc. Café du CyclisteThe bright new yellow rain jacket from Café du Cycliste is named Suzette. This 100% waterproof jacket isn’t your old rubber rain slicker, but a breathable, cycling cut jacket that can pack down small into a jersey pocket when not in use.Suzette gets a 3-layer construction with a super thin membrane inside to find that perfect balance of water resistance & breathability. 20:20 performance – 20,000mm water column waterproofing and 20.000 g/m2/24hr breathability.Taped seams, waterproof zipper, anti-leak wrist closures, and a light & bright ripstop exterior with a DWR treatment. High tech water protection isn’t cheap, but its $288 / 230€ pricetag is competitive. Find Suzette in Nice, London & Mallorca Café du Cycliste shops starting today, or online direct.Santini pedals through the coldest days in Vega winter kitc. SantiniRight now in Italy, the Days of the Blackbird are about to forecast how long winter will stick around (think: Groundhog Day in the states). But Santini is prepared for anything with their Vega winter riding collection to keep you warm & cosy. The 230€ Vega Xtreme jacket with its Polartec Windbloc & alpha fabrics makes up the core of keeping winter roadies warm.Then throw in a set of matching 150€ Vega bibtights, 60€ Vega shoes-cover, and 50€ Win XF gloves to round out your first line of defense against whatever the blackbirds throw your way. Insulate up with a techy, seamless long-sleeved wool blend baselayer, cozy Primaloft/wool/synthetic blend PRLX socks, and accessories like the Windstopper X-Free 300 XF Underhelmet cap, and you’ll stay warm out on the road until the spring thaw arrives.Oh, and since we’re already mid-way through winter, Santini is offering around 25% off some of this new winter kit now.Rapha teases 2019 kit: all-road shoes, cargo shorts & more!c. RaphaRapha is totally a tease. Just as much as they continue to crank out high-end classically styled, understated road riding gear they are not afraid of the absurd. My favorite line out of the teaser PR is about those cargo shorts, “They might have been labelled ridiculous but they’re quickly becoming ubiquitous.”New for 2019 Rapha promises a new top-level carbon Explore road shoe with unique lacing as “the world’s most comfortable” that can also handle putting a foot down in the dirt. Actually, we just got word to actually expect two styles of new road shoes. One will be a Classic sole with road cleat compatibility, and the other an Explore sole for SPD mountain bike cleats to suit more gravel!Back to clothing, there’s a complete overhaul to the women’s pro bib shorts with a new nature break friendly magnetic clasp design & all-new women’s chamois. And yes, more cargo shorts are coming to the affordable Core range for both men & women.Plus there will be an RCC collaboration with designer Paul Smith, a limited edition Brevet Insulated vest with stitched contours, and special edition Nelson “The Cheetah” Vails & Marco Pantani memorial Il Pirata kit too.Then plenty of off the bike kit too. Keep your eyes peeled, as we will detail the more interesting or innovative bits when they do make it to market.last_img read more

Felt Bicycles Puts Bikes Under Olympic Hopefuls at UCI World Cycling Center

first_imgPRESS RELEASE: Felt Bicycles has partnered with the International Cycling Union (UCI), the world governing body of cycling, to supply a full stable of road, time trial, track, mountain and BMX frames to the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland. The architecturally renowned World Cycling Centre opened in 2002 and houses the offices of the UCI staff as well as elite training facilities for Olympic cycling hopefuls from around the world. The WCC also functions as a training center for national-level cycling coaches, team directors and other management roles within the sport.“We’re pleased to be a sponsor of this incredible facility and the athletes who train there,” said Felt President Bill Duehring. “We’re especially proud to support those athletes from developing nations that might not have the resources or elite level of support to help them chase their Olympic dreams.”Located in the Swiss Alps and surrounded by roads and trails that are ideal for road and mountain bike training, the World Cycling Centre was created to help develop the sport globally. To that end, WCC coaches identify riders from countries that lack fully funded national teams and invite them to live in Aigle to train at the WCC. In 2009, more than 83 riders from 38 different countries benefited from the WCC facilities. Since opening, the WCC has hosted 717 athletes from 113 countries.UCI President Pat McQuaid expressed appreciation for the sponsorship. “The World Cycling Centre is delighted with this new partnership, which will benefit promising young riders in all the disciplines promoted at the WCC,” he said. “The UCI’s training and coaching center would simply not be able to fulfill its missions without the support of all its partners, and one of the most important of these is Felt.”Athletes who have trained at the WCC range from Olympic champions to unknown riders with untapped potential. American Sarah Hammer, a two-time world champion who is sponsored by Felt, currently lives in Aigle and trains at the WCC.The WCC facilities include an indoor 200-meter velodrome, an Olympic-style BMX course and a fully equipped gymnasium. In addition to training athletes, there are coaching programs as well. In some cases, a coach is invited along with an athlete so that, together, they can take what they learn back to their home country. Beyond that, the WCC also recently introduced programs aimed at training team directors. It’s all part of the mission to improve cycling opportunities all around the world.Felt’s sponsorship of the WCC began January 1, 2010 and continues through December 31, 2012last_img read more

Pebble Watch Now Speaks To Map My Tracks App, Reports Live Stats

first_imgUK based Tinderhouse has found great success in their Map My Tracks OutFront app for both iOS and Android users. In addition to being an all-around training tool its ability to track your realtime location and statistics via your phone’s GPS has many event organizers promoting its use to livestream your route-progress on the Map My Tracks website for the benefit of friends and family following your events and races.Now Tinderhouse has upped the game even further. Map My Tracks (Android v. 1.4) is now compatible with Pebble using the watch’s in-built sports app. No more bulky smartphone on your bars; your Pebble watch can now monitor speed, pace, and distance direct on its face. Find the new version 1.4 for Android here – iOS version is slated to be release in the next days.last_img read more

NAHBS – DeSalvo Custom Cycles

first_imgNAHBS 2010 – DeSalvo Custom Cycles only had a couple of bikes on display, and all I have are a few photos…not much in the way of descriptions or info.  Just eye candy.last_img

Shimano Curtly Quashes Di2 Trickle Down Rumors – UPDATE: It’s Coming!!!

first_imgEver since the Di2 was introduced, at prices that most mortals would need a mortgage re-fi to afford, there have been rumors flying (OK, make that wishes being aired) that the line-topping electronic groupset would beget a cheaper Ultegra version. Which would, undoubtedly, be a coup for the Japanese company, and confirm its leading position in terms of consumer products vis à vis its Italian rival.But, so it seems, the rumors have no basis in fact. Shimano Europe has released the following short-and-sharp press release: “On the Internet some information was published about Shimano Ultegra Di2. Please note that this is not official Shimano information.”Now. BikeBiz (the source of this info), is taking this denial as a sign that there may in fact be some substance: why should notoriously tight-lipped company need to deny anything… are some execs feeling a little jumpy, perhaps?Think you that the lady doth protest too much? (With apologies to Shakespeare.)UPDATE: We’ve heard rumor from an anonymous industry source that the current model will actually become the electronic Ultegra and that Di2 is the one getting some new-ness…smaller, lighter battery, perhaps?UPDATE #2: We just heard actual confirmation from an absolutely reliable industry source that it’s happening! Even better, it should be around half the price 0f Di2, which means it could very well put a hurt on the standard Dura-Ace mechanical group, especially at OEM…more as we get it!last_img read more

Prototype Specialized SL3 ‘Project Black’ Roubaix Spotted at Paris Roubaix

first_imgJames Huang over at BikeRadar captured some pics of a prototype Specialized ‘Project Black’ bike that’s looking to be a 2011 S-Works Roubaix, likely with the SL3 moniker.  They’ve got a full gallery of photos (including both of these, which are ©James Huang/BikeRadar) and speculation, but here are the Cliff’s Notes on visible improvements and changes over the current SL2 version:Internal derailleur and rear brake housing with caps that should make it Di2 internal wiring compatible.Larger Zertz damper inserts in both the seat stays and fork legs.Seat tube gets much wider, squarer toward the bottom bracket.Huge downtube flows more consistently (smoothly) under the BB for larger overall cross section.Thinner seatstays, but HUGE chainstays.Miniscule alloy rear dropouts.Specialized has hinted they’ll be showing a couple new items, including at least one frame and some tires, at Sea Otter, but I doubt they’ll be showing this bad boy off so early.  The Paris-Roubaix is this coming Sunday, April 11, and the bike you see here will be piloted by Saxobank’s Stuart O’Grady.  Watch the race on Versus at 6pm EST.last_img read more

Keep ‘Er Clean and Safe with Velo Gold’s New Chain Keeper Tools

first_imgThe CK1 is Velo Gold’s simplest chain keeper and the most universal. It works on all bikes with standard dropouts and any axle width, as it only clamps to the drive side. This model holds the chain with a single-slot fixed position roller, so it does not offer the ability to shift gears while cleaning and tuning your drivetrain. The CK1 is made of 6061 aluminum, and comes with either a polished or knurled grip finish. Either option sells for $65 USD.The CK2 is a more deluxe model ideal for professional or home mechanics. The quick-release unit works as a travel spacer or chain keeper with a mobile roller that allows the rear derailleur its full range of movement for easy ‘wheel-off’ drivetrain maintenance. The CK2 fits both 130 and 135mm rear ends with no need to disassemble or switch parts around and includes a good quality skewer (Velo Gold’s website actually states “We despise crappy skewers!”). The CK2 is available in 6061 aluminum with a knurled grip for $85, or in a cheaper Delrin model for $65.Not forgetting the off-road market, Clark has created a chain keeper for mountain bikers too. The CK3 is a chain keeper device that fits over a 12mm axle. Its large handle allows you to easily pull the chain into position and slip the axle through. The CK3 is made of Delrin, and the handle can be customized with knurling, grooves, steps or thread patterns. The CK3 sells for $30, and a full-length travel spacer version is on the way.Clark is already working on other designs including derailleur alignment tools, so keep an eye on Velo Gold as their tool line expands. All of Velo Gold’s tools come with a lifetime replacement warranty against wear and tear or defects.velogoldbicycles.com Bike-specific tools are great when they make maintenance easier, and even better when they do double-duty and protect your bike too. A chain keeper does both- For those who travel regularly, its the best way to keep your chain tight and in position to prevent in-transit damage to your frame. In the shop chain keepers make it easier to clean the bike and drivetrain by replacing the rear wheel, thus providing plenty of space for working hands.Velo Gold Bicycles is a full service shop in Fort Worth, Texas that also offers custom machining services. Shop owner Joshua Clark is now producing Velo Gold bicycle tools and accessories, which are all hand made in his garage workshop. Clark has just announced three different chain keeper tools, including one for mountain bikes with 12mm rear axles.Get your peepers on Velo Gold’s keepers below the break…last_img read more

Off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre Announces Complete 2018-2019 Season

first_imgAlan Cumming(Photo: Bruce Glikas) A slate of three exciting new works has been announced to comprise the 2018-2019 season of off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre. The lineup includes a pair of New York premieres and a previously announced world premiere co-production with The New Group starring Alan Cumming.Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern said, “We are thrilled to announce a season of extraordinary premiere plays by some of most exciting new voices in the theatre—Ngozi Anyanwu, Jeremy O. Harris and Mara Nelson-Greenberg—all making their Vineyard mainstage debuts. Their plays wrestle with complex themes—the process of grief, the mysteries of connection, the power of imagination, the erosion of empathy—in compelling, funny and potent ways.”Kicking off the season will be the New York premiere of Ngozi Anyanwu’s Good Grief, directed by Awoye Timpo. The play follows Nkechi, a first-generation Nigerian-American, as she navigates Pennsylvania’s suburbs alongside her childhood crush, would-be-philosopher brother and immigrant parents. The production will begin performances in fall 2018 at the Vineyard’s East 15th Street venue.The Vineyard season will also include the New York premiere of Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s dark comedy Do You Feel the Anger?, directed by Margot Bordelon. The play centers on Sofia, who is hired as an empathy coach at a debt collection agency. Do You Feel the Anger? will begin performances in spring 2019 at the Vineyard.The centerpiece of the Vineyard season will be Jeremy O. Harris’ world premiere play “Daddy,” a previously announced co-production with The New Group, set to begin performances in February 2019 at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Tony winner Alan Cumming will star. Set in the L.A. hills, Franklin, a young artist, finds himself seduced by wealthy “daddy” André (Cumming). Their erotic connection deepens from a naughty fetish to an irresistible bond, but when Franklin’s Christian mother decides that her son is in peril, she enters into a deeply moving battle of wills with André over the soul of their baby boy. Danya Taymor will direct.The Vineyard Theatre is dedicated to developing and producing bold new plays and musicals by both emerging and established artists. The theater is committed to creating an artistic home for daring and diverse artists and to nurturing their unique voices. Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 18, 2018 Related Showscenter_img Good Grief View Commentslast_img read more

See Jeff Daniels, Celia-Keenan Bolger and the Original Broadway Cast of To Kill a Mockingbird Take Their Final Bow

first_img Erin Wilhelmi All rise! The original Broadway cast of To Kill a Mockingbird took their final bow at the Shubert Theatre on November 1. Tony winner Celia Keenan-Bolger and Tony nominees Jeff Daniels and Gideon Glick, along with Will Pullen, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Frederick Weller, Dakin Matthews, Erin Wilhelmi, Danny Wolohan and Phyllis Somerville, played their final performance in Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of the Harper Lee classic novel. The second year cast of To Kill a Mockingbird, led by Ed Harris as Atticus Finch, will begin performances on November 5. Check out the photo of Daniels and the cast at their last curtain call to celebrate their incredible work, and be sure to book your own visit to Maycomb, Alabama soon. View Comments To Kill a Mockingbird Related Shows Jeff Daniels Gbenga Akinnagbe LaTanya Richardson Jackson Dakin Matthews Gideon Glickcenter_img Star Files Celia Keenan-Bolger from $69.00 View All (10) Frederick Weller Jeff Daniels, Celia Keenan-Bolger and the cast of To Kill a Mockingbird (Photo: Julieta Cervantes) Danny Wolohan Will Pullenlast_img read more

Lucas Hnath’s Dana H., Starring Deirdre O’Connell, Sets Dates for Off-Broadway Bow

first_img Star Files Production dates have been announced for Dana H., a new play by Tony nominee Lucas Hnath, arriving at off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre this winter. The previously announced drama, directed by Les Waters and starring Deirdre O’Connell, will begin previews on February 7, 2020 and officially open on February 25.Adapted from interviews conducted by Steve Cosson with Hnath’s mother, the play tells the true story of Dana (played by O’Connell), the former chaplain of a psych ward where she met a charismatic patient, an ex-convict searching for redemption. Dana was held captive in a series of Florida motels for five months.Dana H. will feature scenic design by Andrew Boyce, costume design by Janice Pytel, sound design by Mikhail Fiksel and lighting/supertitle design by Paul Toben.The production will play a limited engagement through March 15, 2020. Deirdre O’Connell Related Shows Dana H.center_img Deirdre O’Connell(Photo: Caitlin McNaney for Broadway.com) Show Closed This production ended its run on March 29, 2020 View Commentslast_img read more

Closing Time! Last Chance to See the Original Royals of Frozen, Erika Henningsen in Mean Girls & More

first_img View All (4) David Byrne’s American Utopia David Byrne Frozen Aladdin FEBRUARY 16: The End of a ReignFor almost three years, Caissie Levy and Patti Murin have been breathing new life into Princesses Elsa and Anna in Frozen as they led the new musical from its world premiere run at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado to Broadway’s St. James Theatre. On February 16, the leading ladies will travel to Arendelle for the final time. Although Levy and Murrin’s reigns may be ending, it’s just the beginning for Ciara Renée and newcomer McKenzie Kurtz who will take on the roles of Elsa and Anna, respectively. Joe Carroll, who took over the role of Hans from original cast member John Riddle, will also take his final bow on February 16 and be replaced by Ryan McCartan. Erika Henningsen in “Mean Girls,” Major Attaway in Aladdin, Caissie Levy and Patti Murin in “Frozen” (Photos by Matthew Murphy, Deen van Meer, Joan Marcus; Composite by Ryan Casey for Broadway.com) Major Attaway as Genie in Aladdin.(Photo: Matthew Murphy) FEBRUARY 22: Too Grool for SchoolBroadway’s original home-schooled jungle freak Erika Henningsen has set her Mean Girls graduation date for February 22. Henningsen has been bringing Cady Heron to life on stage since the show’s 2017 world premiere at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C before it landed at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre. During her time in the Tony-nominated hit musical, Henningsen took Broadway.com viewers behind-the-scenes as a vlogger and was even named the 2018 Broadway.com Star of the Year. Although we don’t currently know who the next mathletes champion will be, we do know that she’ll be grool.  Erika Henningsen as Cady and the cast of Mean Girls. (Photo: Joan Marcus). from $57.50 Related Shows Mean Girls Patti Murin Major Attawaycenter_img Show Closed This production ended its run on March 11, 2020 David Byrne and the cast of American Utopia. (Photo: Matthew Murphy) FEBRUARY 16: Utopia UnlockedDavid Byrne’s American Utopia has been bringing audiences to their feet at the Hudson Theatre since October and will play its final night on Broadway on February 16. Named after the 2018 studio album, American Utopia goes through Byrne’s greatest hits from both his solo career and his time as the frontman of rock band Talking Heads. Assisted by a diverse group of artists and musicians, including #LiveAtFive guests Tendayi Kuumba and Chris Giarmo, American Utopia is truly a must-see night on Broadway. Show Closed This production ended its run on March 11, 2020 Star Files View Comments from $299.00 Caissie Levy FEBRUARY 16: One Last WishAladdin audiences only have until February 16 to get their wishes granted by Major Attaway, who has been the show-stopping Genie since September 2019. This marked Attaway’s second full-time stint in the show after making his Broadway debut as a stand-by for original company member, Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart. Fear not, Michael James Scott, a veteran of the Broadway, Australian and London productions, is returning to Agrabah to take over lamp duties.  Erika Henningsen Caissie Levy as Elsa, Patti Murin as Anna and the cast of Frozen. (Photo: Deen van Meer) Broadway is about to multiply with all the upcoming shows hitting the boards this season, but before you lose yourself in the Six cast recording and camp out for Darren Criss’ Broadway return, be sure to learn all about the performances that are coming to an end. This month audiences will have to say goodbye to three leading ladies, a genie and a can’t-miss Broadway debut. Keep reading to learn all about who and what is leaving the stage in February. View All (5)last_img read more

Emmy Winner Joe Pantoliano Sets Stage Return in New Off-Broadway Drama Drift

first_img Emmy-winning Sopranos star Joe Pantoliano has signed on to headline William Francis Hoffman’s world premiere play Drift. Bobby Moresco, an Oscar-winning screenwriter of Crash, will direct the off-Broadway production, set to begin previews on February 29 and open on March 16 at New World Stages.Set in the blue collar, urban landscape of the 1950s, Drift is described as a hard-hitting new drama where secrets come to a head, difficult choices must be made and devastating consequences must be faced.Known for his Emmy-winning turn as Ralph Cifaretto on HBO’s The Sopranos, Pantoliano made his Broadway debut in 2003 as Johnny in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. In 2016, he made an appearance in off-Broadway’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit.In addition to Pantoliano, the cast of Drift will include Patrick Brennan (Of Mice and Men), Richard R. Henry (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Alex Mickiewicz (True West) and Griffin Osborne (The Ferryman).The production will feature scenic design by Edward T. Morris, costume design by Gina Ruiz, lighting design by Emily Clarkson, sound design by Sean Hagerty and original music by Rolfe Kent. Drift View Comments Joe Pantoliano(Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images) Related Showscenter_img Star Files from $79.00 Joe Pantolianolast_img read more

Nick Cordero, Tony-Nominated Actor of Bullets Over Broadway, A Bronx Tale and More, Dead at 41

first_img View Comments Nick Cordero (r.) with Zach Braff in Bullets Over Broadway (Photo: Paul Kolnik) Nick Cordero, an accomplished talent who won over audiences in a slew of notable roles on the New York stage, nabbing a Tony nomination for his turn in Bullets Over Broadway, died on July 5, his wife Amanda Kloots announced on social media. The actor was hospitalized in Los Angeles for over three months with complications resulting from COVID-19. Three days ago, CNN reported that the actor would likely need a double lung transplant. Cordero was 41.On April 1, Kloots announced on Instagram that he had “been sick for awhile” with what they originally thought was pneumonia but now they believe he was “misdiagnosed” and is fighting COVID-19. Cordero was in a medically induced coma to help his body receive enough oxygen. After having several issues with ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machines and blood-thinners that caused blood clots and internal bleeding, the decision was made to amputate Cordero’s right leg on April 18. On May 12, announced the news on Instagram that Cordero had woken up from his medically induced coma.Born on September 17, 1978, in Ontario, Canada, Cordero went on to attend Ryerson University for two years before leaving to perform with the band Lovemethod. He made his first splash on the New York stage in 2009 as the title role in the off-Broadway musical The Toxic Avenger, which was adapted from the cult film. He arrived on Broadwaym in 2012, taking on the role of bar owner Dennis in Rock of Ages, a role he’d previously played on tour. Nick Cordero Cordero went on to originated the role of Cheech, a strong-armed gangster with a surprising knack for writing for the stage, in the 2014 musical version of Bullets Over Broadway. For his performance in the role (which had memorably been played on-screen by Chazz Palminteri), Cordero earned 2014 Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations and won Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards.Cordero originated two additional roles on Broadway, appearing as Earl in Waitress, then leaving to premiere the musical adaptation of Palminteri’s autobiographical A Bronx Tale ; as Sonny, Cordero echoed his turn from Bullets, taking on a role that had been originated on screen by Palminteri. Cordero’s performance earned him a second Drama Desk Award nomination.Cordero’s other acting credits include a turn in the off-Broadway musical Brooklynite, a performance as Orin Scrivello D.D.S. in the Kennedy Center’s Little Shop of Horrors and a recurring role on the CBS drama Blue Bloods.While performing in Bullets Over Broadway, Cordero began dating castmate Kloots; the couple married in 2017 and welcomed a son, Elvis Eduardo, in 2019. Cordero is survived by both. Star Files Nick Cordero(Photo by Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com)last_img read more

Vermont Public Radio wins seven regional Edward R Murrow Awards

first_imgVermont Public Radio,Vermont Public Radio has been honored with seven regional Edward R Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). VPR received awards in the following categories: news series, breaking news coverage, sports, documentary, use of sound, newscast, and writing.”These awards truly represent a team effort, particularly the coverage of Tropical Storm Irene,’said John Van Hoesen, VPRâ s vice president for news and programming. “As a public broadcaster, we are accountable to the community we serve.  We are honored to receive these awards because they go to the heart of VPRâ s mission to provide an essential and trusted independent voice for news and information in our region.âThe winning coverage includes:UVM At  A Crossroads (News Series)A collection of news pieces in the days following Tropical Storm Irene (Breaking News)A profile of the pitcher from Stowe who inspired the Bruce Springsteen Hit â Glory Daysâ  (Sports)The Irene Effect (Documentary)A primer on how to call an auction (Use Of Sound)A newscast from the morning after Tropical Storm Irene (Newscast)A story about the theremin, an obscure musical instrument, and one manâ s work to renew appreciation for it(Writing)In all, 14 awards were made in the small market radio category for the region, which includes all of the New England states. Vermont Public Radio will be honored at a ceremony this spring and it will now be entered in all of these categories for the national awards.The RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization exclusively serving the electronic news profession, consisting of more than 3,000 news directors, news associates, educators and students. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, the association is dedicated to setting standards for newsgathering and reporting. Although news techniques and technologies are constantly changing, RTDNA’s commitment to encouraging excellence in the electronic journalism industry remains the same. VPR. 4.12.2012last_img read more

Nearly quarter million dollars in grants awarded to Vermont farms by Historic Preservation

first_imgCountyTownProjectBrief DescriptionCaledoniaBarnetJoes Brook FarmRepair roof, frame, flooring, siding; replace windows and doorsRutlandBrandonCedar Rail FarmRepair frameWashingtonCalaisAdamant Hills FarmRepair frameOrangeCorinthHutchinson FarmRepair posts, piers, foundation and sillOrleansCraftsburyRainbow  FarmRepair cupolaWindhamDummerstonLeonard FarmRepair frame; replace roof and foundation; improve drainageGrand IsleIsle LaMotteJarvis BarnReplace roofLamoilleMorristownCrystal Spring FarmRepair foundation, frame and windowsWashingtonMoretownBliss RidgeReplace roofAddisonOrwellBrookside Stock FarmRepair foundation, frame, roof and siding; improve drainageFranklinSheldonKittell FarmRepair frame, roof and cupola; replace windows and sidingGrand IsleSouth HeroHambaloney AcresRepair roof, frame and foundation; improve drainageFranklinSwantonGarrett BarnRepair roof, frame and floor; replace foundation, windows and doorsOrangeTunbridgeAnother Button FarmRepair frame and foundation; replace roof, windows and doorsWindhamWilliamsvilleYoung Family FarmReplace roofWindhamWilmingtonWellman FarmReplace roof; improve drainage State grants totaling $222,424 to help restore and repair historic barns have been awarded to more than a dozen Vermont farms today at the Statehouse.The state Division for Historic Preservation and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation today announced matching grant awards to 16 recipients at a Vermont State House ceremony.  Projects awarded funding are located in ten counties throughout Vermont.Agricultural buildings, both historic and contemporary, provide a visual record of rural life in Vermont over the past two hundred plus years and represent Vermontâ s agricultural heritage to current and future generations.  The preservation of our historic agricultural buildings not only protects Vermontâ s architectural legacy, it also generates jobs, supports independent businesses, increases civic participation, and bolsters  a communityâ s sense of place while also enhancing the experience of visitors to our state interested in enjoying the beauty displayed in the heritage of our built environment.â We know that Vermontâ s farms are important not only to our past, but also critical to our current and future agricultural renaissance,’said Gov. Peter Shumlin.  â Protecting these historic barns ensures that we honor our past as we look to the future.  The efforts of this yearâ s grant recipients to preserve their barns demonstrates their commitment to a vibrant Vermont economy.âGrant projects range from roof replacements to foundation, frame and cupola repairs.  Almost 40 applications were submitted this year.â As we have for the many years this program has been active, we received a variety of excellent applications from across the state,’ said State Historic Preservation Officer Giovanna Peebles of the Division for Historic Preservation.  â Vermont is fortunate to have so many people who are committed to preserving their historic barns for future generations.âEstablished in 1991, the state-funded grant program annually awards matching grants for building improvement projects that promote the public enjoyment of Vermontâ s agricultural heritage.  Properties must be listed on or be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in Vermont.For more information, visit www.historicvermont.org(link is external).2012 Historic Barn Preservation Grant Recipientslast_img read more

Shumlin says Montpelier is making right decisions ‘to help people grow jobs’

first_imgby Alan Panebaker vtdigger.org Governor Peter Shumlin took the opportunity to celebrate what seem like signs of an economic recovery at the Vermont Business and Industry EXPO Wednesday.According to statistics released last week by the Vermont Department of Labor, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for April 2012 was 4.6 percent, a decrease of two-tenths of a percent from the revised March rate.That 4.6 percent rate puts Vermont at the fourth lowest in the country.That decrease in unemployment has received some criticism as well. According to one think tank, the Public Assets Institute, notes that the total number of jobs in the state is shrinking.According to Vermont labor force statistics, there was a decrease of 1,500 jobs in April from the revised March data. A large decrease in leisure and hospitality jobs, according the the Vermont Department of Labor came from the abrupt end of winter that happened when the state experienced an early spring heat wave in March. State labor statistics also reported a decrease in the labor force of 1,100 people from March to April.Despite the naysaying, Shumlin said the unemployment numbers are still good news.â There are no statistics that wise people canâ t criticize,’he said. â In fairness, these unemployment numbers, theyâ re 4.6 percent, are measured exactly same way theyâ ve been measuring them for years. That rate was 8.2 percent at the peak of the recession. What Iâ m hearing from employers across Vermont more and more, theyâ re not saying to me things are tough weâ ve got to lay people off. Instead, theyâ re expressing optimism.âShumlin credited the Legislature for helping the economy by balancing two consecutive budgets without raising broad-based taxes. He also praised lawmakers for passing a law that would put a moratorium on a state sales tax on cloud computing software.â Weâ re making the right decisions in Montpelier to help people grow jobs,’he said.Shumlin said one place where the state needs to improve is income growth.â There are signs in last few numbers weâ ve seen that incomes starting to rise in Vermont,’Shumlin said. â For me thatâ s really going to be the measure of our success.âAccording to a survey by the US Census Bureau, between 2008 to 2010, median household income in Vermont was $53,490 in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars ‘making Vermont 15th in the nation.Shumlin said he is not campaigning until after Labor Day, but he did say he was humbled by a recent poll by Vermont Business Magazine, WCAX and WDEV showing he would likely win 60 percent of the gubernatorial vote if the election were held today.SEE POLLWhile Shumlin patted his administration on the back for working to promote jobs, Randy Brock, who is running for governor, chatted with local business owners at the Expo.Brock, a Republican senator, is not so convinced lawmakers are doing what is best for business.The top issue on his campaign website says: â As your governor, I will: Change Vermontâ s heavy-handed regulatory environment so businesses can create and keep jobs.âShumlin said he has focused on job growth.â I do not believe that anyone with a straight face can say that my team has not been focused on jobs and raising incomes of those who have jobs in Vermont with the exception of rebuilding Vermont better than Irene found us, and Iâ m like a broken record thatâ s what we do every day,’he said. May 23, 2012 vtdigger.orglast_img read more

GMP begins groundbreaking heat pump pilot program in Rutland

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,Green Mountain Power kicked off what is believed to be the first utility-sponsored heat pump rental program in the country today, a pilot effort centered in Rutland and intended to save customers money and demonstrate the comfort air-source heat pumps can provide in a cold-weather climate. The rental program includes installation of air-source heat pumps in homes and businesses with no up-front costs for the customer, and is expected to save participants hundreds of gallons of heating fuel and thousands of dollars each year. ‘We believe air-source heat pumps can dramatically change the way Vermonters heat their homes, and reduce economic costs and environmental impacts of burning foreign oil,’GMP President and CEO Mary Powell said.  ‘This program will help demonstrate that value, while creating jobs for installers and freeing up customers’cash for other purposes.’ Cold climate heat pumps, also known as mini-split heat pumps, are ductless heating systems that also provide air conditioning during hot weather.  Installed in less than a day, a heat pump includes an outdoor unit that works as a heat exchanger, like the compressor in a refrigerator, and is connected with copper tubing to a small interior unit. In cold weather, gas within the copper tubing extracts heat from outdoor air down to temperatures of about 13 below zero, and the warmth is brought inside.  In hot weather, the process reverses to cool the building.  GMP plans to heat its Energy Innovation Center largely with air-source heat pumps. ‘The pilot is intended to provide support for our expectation of customer and environmental benefits, and help jumpstart this new heating option in Vermont,’said Steve Costello, GMP’s vice president for generation and energy innovation.  ‘With our low carbon energy mix, we can slash air emissions from heating, and we expect participating customers will find dramatic improvements in home comfort, both summer and winter.’ Under the pilot program, GMP will pay to install heat pumps in up to 200 customers’homes and small businesses, and rent them to the property owners for $45 to $50 per month.  GMP plans to focus on enrollment in Rutland and surrounding towns, though other customers may also participate. Customers interested in enrolling in the pilot, or who would like more information, may call Bruce Bentley at (802) 345-6470, Kirk Shields at (802) 770-4246 or Amanda Beraldi at (802) 353-9241 in the Energy Innovation Center. Through a heat pump summit last fall and a program with Efficiency Vermont and NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to package weatherization with heat pump incentives, GMP has developed relationships with numerous installers in the HVAC, plumbing and home performance industries.  Six models are available through two manufacturers, Mitsubishi and Daikin. About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which serves more than 250,000 customers, has set its vision to be the best small utility in America.last_img read more

Mt Philo Inn named a Fodor’s Choice Hotel

first_imgVermont’s Mt Philo Inn was recently designated a Fodor’s Choice Hotel, a ‘best of the best’ list of properties that Fodor editors have chosen for ‘providing a remarkable experience in their price range or category.’Originally built as an inn in 1896, the property has until recently functioned as long-term apartment rentals. Innkeepers and owners David and Jane Garbose opened the Mt. Philo Inn to overnight guests in August, the first time in 50 years, after a major three-year renovation.The Mt. Philo Inn exudes ‘the ideal blend of historical and contemporary boutique décor,’ wrote the Fodor’s reviewer who stayed at the Inn in the fall. In their renovations and redesign, the Garbose’s preserved the inn’s original woodwork, sourced local building materials, commissioned artwork from local artisans, and decorated with a minimalist and eclectic style.The result is an inn that offers the privacy and comfort of a country home with the amenities of a boutique hotel. The four suites range from 1,300 to 1,800 square feet, and are located in separate wings of the building, each with private entrance, porches and parking. Suites include modern kitchens, a refrigerator stocked with a breakfast basket of Vermont products, and bathrooms that feature showers and vanities made from Vermont marble. Anichini sheets add a luxurious touch to the handcrafted beds.‘If you’ve grown tired of the ubiquitous floral wallpaper of so many traditional New England inns, Jane and Dave Garbose’s charming Mt. Philo Inn is a good place to check out,’ wrote the Fodor’s reviewer. Charlotte, VT (February 5, 2014) ‘ Mt Philo Innlast_img read more

After lawmakers compromise, governor will sign cell phone driving ban

first_imgby Tom Brown vtdigger.org(link is external) Vermonters will no longer be able to talk on hand-held cellphones while driving if the Senate agrees with a compromise reached Wednesday. House members voted 129-6 to accept a conference committee agreement on S.314, a department of motor vehicles bill that included the ban. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure Thursday, where it is likely to pass, several lawmakers said. Governor Peter Shumlin, who has opposed the bill from the beginning, now intends to sign it, a spokeswoman for the administration said Wednesday.Related storiesCompromise under consideration.(link is external)Cellphone ban stalls.(link is external)Senate rejects House effort.(link is external)Lawmakers hear personal appeal.(link is external)The governor now approves of the compromise version that eliminated points against a driver’s license for a first offense of driving while using a hand-held cellphone. Hands-free use is permitted under the law. A first violation for driving while using a hand-held device carries a fine of $100 to $200 but no points. The penalty for texting while driving still carries the fine and two points against a driver’s license. Accumulation of 10 or more points in a two-year period results in automatic license suspension.“Gov. Shumlin wanted to ensure the bill made sense for Vermont, wouldn’t increase Vermonters’ insurance rates, or harm their driving records,” aide Susan Allen said in a statement. “He appreciated the Legislature’s willingness to compromise on this bill, and expects to sign it.”The law would take effect Oct. 1 and requires a public information campaign to inform motorists of the change. Vermont banned texting while driving in 2010 and police have complained that it is difficult to enforce because drivers who are stopped simply said they were calling, not texting.Rep. David Potter, D-Clarendon, signs a conference committee report Wednesday on a measure that would ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving. Photo by Tom Brown/VTDiggerThe Department of Public Safety would launch an informational campaign by Aug. 1 or sooner under the bill. That could include public service announcements and roadside displays, lawmakers said.The measure had broad support in the House but stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee and appeared dead until it was attached to the transportation bill.House members were pleased that a compromise was reached.“It’s a great first step,” said Rep. Patrick Brennan, R-Colchester, chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “Right now (texting) is a feel-good bill that can’t really be enforced … this bill kind of completes the circle. Law enforcement will have no issues making a stop based on somebody holding a phone up to their ear. I think the bill will change driving habits and save lives.”Debate over the bill caused a rift between Democratic Sens. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, who opposed it, and Dick Mazza, D-Chittenden/Grand Isle, who supported it. Both were members of the conference committee that rescued the bill and said there were no hard feelings.“We’ve been friends for 22 years and we’re still friends,” Sears said. Both men said they have hands-free devices in their own cars.Sears said Wednesday he still opposes the bill and did not sign the conference committee’s report.According to the Associated Press, the New Hampshire Legislature also passed a ban on hand-held cellphone use while driving Wednesday, forwarding it to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, who has not said whether she will sign it.Twelve other states prohibit drivers from using hand-held cellphones and 41 states ban text messaging, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Council.last_img read more

Okemo starts making snow

first_imgOkemo Mountain Resort,During the overnight hours between November 1 and 2 when most people were relishing an extra hour of sleep due to the end of daylight-saving time, Okemo Mountain Resort’s snowmakers were hard at work. At the same time Mother Nature was delivering her first dusting of natural snow, Okemo’s snowmakers were initializing the resort’s energy-efficient snowmaking system and engaging HKD tower guns along several upper-mountain trails. Okemo is based in Ludlow, Vermont.Following a $1 million investment in its snowmaking system last year, Okemo added another 100 tower guns to its arsenal this season. Utilizing energy-efficient, state-of-the-art technology allows Okemo to maximize its water-pumping ability and snowmaking potential. With the continuation of favorable conditions, Okemo will begin the 2014/2015 ski and snowboard season on its target opening date of Nov. 15.This year’s investment brings Okemo’s HKD tower gun count to 1,125, mountain-wide. Okemo also utilizes hundreds of snowmaking guns of varying types, but it is the HKD SV series of guns that will be making a big impression on early-season skiers and riders this winter – allowing Okemo to open more terrain early in the season and improving Okemo’s ability to recover more rapidly from unfavorable weather situations throughout the season.HKD’s variable flow snow guns raise the bar for low-energy snowmaking technology. The multi-chambered, modular tower gun utilizes a double valve configuration with advanced variable flow nozzle design. The rugged frost-free valve allows the operator to achieve four levels of water flow, making the tower gun capable of a smooth transition from low-flow, high-temperature performance to high-flow, low-temperature production without the need for changing nozzles. Source: Okemo: 11.2.2014 www.okemo.com(link is external).last_img read more

Weekly unemployment claims fall back under 400

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims in Vermont fell below 400 again last week, consistent with typically low summer totals. There were 364 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont, a decrease of 55 from the previous week’s total and 15 more than they were a year ago. Generally, claims have been running below last year’s totals. Claims were down slightly in nearly all regions of the state and in most industry categories.Altogether 4,308 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 62 from a week ago, and 276 fewer than a year ago. The Department processed 0 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08). The total for all programs was 4,308 claims, 62 fewer than last week, and 276 fewer than the same time last year.For the week by industry, Services claims were slightly in number as the prior week and still represent the preponderance of claims for any one sector, at 52 percent of all claims. Manufacturing claims were down from the prior week and from last year both in number and percentage, while Construction claims were up slightly as a percentage of the total but about the same in actual numbers of claims. By region, there was little change, with most areas of the state about the same as last week and down noticeably from last year. Barre was the only Labor Market Area that saw an increase from the prior week and the prior year.The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)Vermont’s unemployment rate held at 3.6 percent in June, as total employment grew and unemployment fell. SEE STORY.NOTE: Employment (nonfarm payroll) – A count of all persons who worked full- or part-time or received pay from a nonagricultural employer for any part of the pay period which included the 12th of the month. Because this count comes from a survey of employers, persons who work for two different companies would be counted twice. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed. Persons may receive pay from a job if they are temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute. This count is based on where the jobs are located, regardless of where the workers reside, and is therefore sometimes referred to as employment “by place of work.” Nonfarm payroll employment data are collected and compiled based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor. This count was formerly referred to as nonagricultural wage and salary employment.last_img read more

Matt Dunne releases campaign finance disclosure

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for governor, today voluntarily released a campaign finance disclosure to the public at an event outside the Secretary of State’s office, making good on a pledge to give voters and the media open access to all campaign fundraising and spending activity. Dunne said he believes the public has every right to see this information before early voting begins on June 25.“Vermonters deserve to know how a candidate’s campaign is funded,” Dunne said in prepared remarks. “I’m proud to be running a people-powered campaign, focused on restoring the public’s trust in government. That starts by rejecting corporate campaign contributions and opening our books so that voters can make an informed decision when they go to the polls on August 9th.”Today’s campaign finance disclosure reported a total of $717,855.53 raised from 2,626 contributors, the vast majority of which, 1,849, gave donations of $100 or less. The campaign has spent $394,523.34 to date. This leaves the campaign with $323,332.19 on-hand, according to the campaign.Last month, Dunne announced his comprehensive plan for ethics reform, challenging all candidates in the race to join him in rejecting corporate campaign contributions and releasing voluntary monthly campaign finance disclosures. Dunne said that while the other Democrats in the race followed his lead, returning corporate money when it had been received and refusing to accept future corporate contributions, they have not pledged to provide the public with vital information about how their campaigns are funded outside of the state’s required deadlines.“Eliminating corporate campaign contributions is just the first step toward a truly transparent process. I will continue to disclose my campaign’s finances every month, because voters deserve to know what kind of campaign we are running,” said Dunne.Dunne is running for the nomination against Sue Minter and Peer Galbraith. The winner would face the Republican nominee in the general election in November, either Phil Scott or Bruce Lisman.last_img read more

Vermont ranks in top 10 most politically engaged states, but trending down

first_imgVermont Business Magazine November is just around the corner, which means it’s almost time for Americans to go out and vote. However, there is wide disparity in voter turnout across the 50 states. In 2014, some states had as little as 33 percent voter participation while others had as high as 61 percent. SmartAsset analyzed voter turnout, voter registration and campaign donations to determine the most politically engaged states, and Vermont takes the eighth spot. While Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton her biggest test for the Democratic Party nomination, voter turnout in the Green Mountain State is trending down. In 2010, Vermont had the 5th highest voter turnout at 55 percent. That number fell to 42.5 percent in 2014. The state still managed to rank in the top 10 thanks to high donations per capita relative to income.Voting is really a two-step process: first you register to vote and then you cast your ballot. Someone who registers to vote but doesn’t actually vote can still be considered more politically engaged than someone who never registered at all. And, of course, voting isn’t the only way to be an engaged citizen, you can also donate to campaigns and volunteer. So states with high numbers of voter registration, voter turnout and campaign donations can be said to be politically engaged.With these factors in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find out which are the most politically engaged states.Data and MethodologyTo determine the level of political engagement in each state we looked at data on six separate factors. (Note: We included additional factors this year, so this study is not directly comparable to the 2014 study.)2014, 2012 and 2010 Voter Turnout – Voter turnout is the percentage of resident citizens who actually cast a ballot. The data is from the U.S. Census Bureau.2014 Voter Registration – Voter registration is the percentage of resident citizens who registered to vote. The data is from the U.S. Census Bureau2012 and 2008 Presidential Donations (per capita donation as a percent of median income) – Data on campaign donations comes from the Center for Responsive Politics and is available at opensecrets.org.After collecting data on these six factors, we ranked every state according to each factor. So, for example, the state with the highest 2012 voter turnout was ranked first in that category, while the state with the lowest 2012 per capita donation as a percent of median income was ranked last in that category.The index, on a 100-point scale, was calculated based on each state’s ranking in each of the six factors.Key FindingsEngaged New England – Politics are a big deal in New England. Of the six states which make up New England, five are in the top 10. The odd man out is Rhode Island which ranked 24th.Apathetic South – The only state south of the Mason-Dixon line to break into the top 10 was Maryland. Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia all ranked in the bottom 15 for political engagement.The President Matters – Due to the visibility and attention given to the quadrennial presidential election, voter turnout is much higher in presidential election years. In Mississippi, for example, the difference in turnout in 2012 and 2014 was as big as 30%.1. ColoradoColorado is one of the closest races during this year’s presidential election and, as a result, is one of the key swing states. It ranks highly in all the engagement categories we looked at. According to metrics like voter turnout, Colorado is becoming more engaged. The state ranked 9th in voter turnout in 2010 and 2nd in 2014.Coloradans are generous, too. After controlling for population and income, we found that Colorado citizens donated the 5th most in the 2012 presidential election. That year, Colorado had an impressive 70.4% voter participation.2. MassachusettsMassachusetts is an interesting place, politically speaking. Judging by its presidential voting record, one would assume Massachusetts is a very liberal state. But since 1991 it has only had one democrat for governor. The Bay State came into national focus when former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012 and he was forced to step back from the liberal-leaning health care reforms he helped put into place. That year 70% of the state’s voters turned up at polls.Want to retire? Find how much you should be saving.(link is external)3. MaineMaine, like Colorado before it, will have the opportunity to legalize marijuana this year. It will be interesting to see if that mobilizes the citizenry in the same way it did in Colorado. In the meantime, Maine is already a very politically engaged state. It ranked first for voter turnout in 2014 and 2010, with 61.5% and 59.4% of the citizenry coming out to vote, respectively. Curiously, Mainers do not get as energized by presidential elections as some other states. In 2012, Maine had a voter turnout of 68% – only good enough to rank 9th in the country that year.4. OregonOregon voters tend to be engaged no matter the scenario. In 2010 and 2014, its voter turnout was around 56%, while in 2012, a presidential election year, the turnout rate jumped up to 67%. Many states saw a large drop in donations from 2008 to 2012. Not Oregon. Oregon residents gave an estimated $2.61 per capita in 2008 and that figure only decline 12 cents to $2.49 in 2012. Compare that to New Mexico, where donations per capita was $7.06 in 2008 and dropped all the way to $2.82 in 2012.5. MarylandIf Maryland did a better job of turning registered voters into actual voters it would probably find itself higher in our study. Maryland had the 3rd highest level of registered voters in 2014, with 72% of citizens registered to vote but only 48% of citizens actually went to the polls. Like Washington and Oregon, Maryland tends to go for Democrats and FiveThirtyEight gives Hillary Clinton a 99.8% chance of winning the state this year.6. WashingtonWashington shares more than just a border with Oregon – it also shares its political engagement temperament. Overall its voters are mostly engaged but it does not get as big as a boost in turnout during presidential election years as other states do. The fact that the Evergreen State tends to be solidly Democrat may explain the somewhat lackluster turnout during presidential elections, there’s simply not as much at stake compared to states like Colorado.7. MinnesotaMinnesotans are rabid voters who tend to keep their money in their wallets. According to our data, Minnesota ranked no lower than 6th in voter turnout in 2010, 2012 and 2014 but ranked no higher than 30th for donations in 2008 and 2012. Minnesota is one of the tighter races during this election, according to FiveThirtyEight. The site gives Clinton a 81.6% chance to take the 10 electoral votes in the state.8. VermontVermont Sen. Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton her biggest test for the Democratic Party nomination. But voter turnout in the Green Mountain State is trending down. In 2010, Vermont had the 5th highest voter turnout at 55%. That number fell to 42.5% in 2014. The state still managed to rank in our top 10 thanks to high donations per capita relative to income.9. New HampshireWhile close geographically, Vermont and New Hampshire share little in terms of political engagement. Vermont tends to have lower turnout with high relative donations while New Hampshire has the opposite. In 2012, New Hampshire’s voter turnout was 69.4% – tying it with Iowa for the sixth highest in the country. But in terms of donations, New Hampshire only ranked 19th that year. The state also tends to be more unpredictable in terms of presidential elections. FiveThirtyEight gives Trump a 25.8% chance to win there, which makes it an important state to watch come November.10. ConnecticutConnecticut appears to be made up of some of the most giving citizenry in the country judging by campaign donations. The Constitution State ranked in the top 5 for donations in both years we analyzed the data. Unfortunately when it comes to actually showing up at the polls, the state is lagging. In 2010 and 2014 – the two non-presidential voting years we analyzed – Connecticut did not even crack 50% voter turnout.Moving to Connecticut? Find out what your taxes will be.(link is external)Note: The FiveThirtyEight election forecasts mentioned in this article are from October 4, 2016.last_img read more

PAI: At year-end for workers, it’s ho ho ho hum

first_imgPublic Assets Institute Nonfarm payroll jobs decreased in November to 315,000 —a drop of more than 1,000 jobs since January. But the total number of employed Vermonters, both payroll workers and those who are self-employed, has held steady for most of 2016, up less than 1 percent since the start of the year.Race mattersNewly released US Census data show that nearly a quarter of black Vermonters live in poverty, as do 20 percent of those who check two or more races on the Census form. More than a quarter of the 1,900 American Indians and Alaska Natives in Vermont are poor—the highest percentage of any category.The poverty rate is lowest for white Vermonters: 11 percent.Although the sample size for nonwhites is small, the estimates take in five years of data, increasing the reliability of the picture.More college degreesMore Vermonters had high school diplomas in 2015 than a decade earlier. Since 2005, the proportion of Vermonters without a high school degree has shrunk, while the share with a four-year college degree has grown. The U.S. as a whole has also seen improvement in both the share completing high school and those finishing college, but Vermont remains better educated than the nation. Source: Public Assets Institute publicassets.org(link is external) 12.16.2016last_img read more

Heady Topper brewer recognized for water treatment excellence

first_imgVermont Business Magazine More beer, more visitors, cleaner water, less waste? That’s what the team at The Alchemist have accomplished with their new brewery in Stowe, and they were recently recognized for their environmental success with an award from the Green Mountain Water Environment Association (GMWEA). Steve Miller, Lead Cellar and Water Operator for The Alchemist, was presented with the award at GMWEA’s spring meeting at the Killington Grand Hotel on Thursday, May 25. Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation nominated the Alchemist for the award, which is presented each year for demonstrated commitment to clean water and pollution prevention, including implementation of water or wastewater treatment changes to address problems common to similar industries.The Alchemist opened its new brewery and visitor center in Stowe last summer with a state-of-the-art water treatment system designed to reduce waste throughout the brewing process. Their moving-bed biofilm reactor, built by World Waterworks, allows them to exceed state standards for wastewater, and surpasses environmental management standards in the brewing industry. Their million-dollar investment in water management has allowed them to dramatically reduce their high-strength effluent load into Stowe’s water and sewage system.“We are honored to receive this award,” said Jen Kimmich, co-owner and General Manager of The Alchemist. “This was an incredible collaboration with our consultant, Chief Water Operator Gary Audy; Stowe’s water treatment team; the State of Vermont; and our staff, who all worked together to help us dramatically reduce our wastewater. Clean, fresh water is critical for great beer and we believe that Vermont’s brewers can lead in reducing water waste and keeping water pure for generations to come.”ABOUT THE ALCHEMISTThe Alchemist, founded in 2003 by John and Jen Kimmich, operates in Waterbury and Stowe, Vermont, They are known for their award-winning Heady Topper and Focal Banger IPAs as well as a rotating selection of distinctive ales and porters available at their 16,000-square foot brewery and visitor center in Stowe. They employ 51 people and distribute their beer only within 25 miles of its manufacture. Learn more at www.alchemistbeer.com(link is external)Source: Stowe, VT – June 1, 2017 – Alchemistlast_img read more

Vermont Medical Society adopts neutral stance on medical aid-in-dying

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Compassion & Choices is praising the Vermont Medical Society for dropping its 14-year opposition to doctors writing prescriptions for terminally ill adults who request medication to end unbearable suffering and die peacefully. The society posted a resolution recognizing medical aid in dying as a legal option that could be made within the doctor-patient relationship at its annual meeting earlier this month, 4-1/2 years after the state authorized medical aid in dying in May 2013 by passing the Patient Choice at End of Life Act (Act 39)(link is external).”Even when physicians use all the tools at hand to care for pain and suffering, a small number of patients still suffer,” says the new policy position posted on the Vermont Medical Society website at: bit.ly/2zJ2DQM(link is external). “Each of these patients is unique; each one of the patients will challenge the caregiver’s skills in the extreme; and each one’s care should be highly individualized and decided in private amongst the patient, physician and family. The Vermont Medical Society recognizes that medical aid in dying…is a legal option that could be made in the context of the physician-patient relationship.”Vermont is among six states that have explicitly authorized medical aid in dying (California(link is external), Colorado(link is external)Montana(link is external), Oregon(link is external), Washington(link is external)) along with the District of Columbia(link is external). Collectively, these seven jurisdictions represent 18 percent of the nation’s population and have 40 years of combined experience with this end-of-life care option.”We commend the Vermont Medical Society for recognizing medical aid in dying as a legitimate option for terminally ill adults to peacefully end unbearable suffering and for their commitment to ensuring that all Vermonters receive good, comprehensive palliative care,” said Rebecca Thoman, M.D., Campaign Manager for Doctors for Dignity for Compassion & Choices.The Vermont Medical Society is among nine American Medical Association state chapters that have dropped their opposition to medical aid in dying and taken a neutral stance on the practice, including eight of them in the last two years. The others are the California Medical Association in 2015,(link is external) Colorado Medical Society in 2016(link is external), Maryland State Medical Society in 2016(link is external), Medical Society of the District of Columbia in 2016(link is external), Maine Medical Association in 2017(link is external), Minnesota Medical Association in 2017(link is external), Nevada State Medical Association in 2017(link is external), and Oregon Medical Association in 1997(link is external).Numerous national and state polls(link is external) show strong support for medical aid in dying among both U.S. physicians and Americans across the ethnic, political and religious spectrum.Compassion & Choices is the oldest nonprofit working to improve care and expand options for the end of life in the United States, with 450,000 supporters nationwide. For more information, visit:www.CompassionAndChoices.org(link is external).SOURCE MONTPELIER, Vt., Nov. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Compassion & Choices CompassionAndChoices.org(link is external)last_img read more

Sportsmen ‘airlift’ 30 round AR-15 magazines

first_imgVermont Buisness Magazine In anticipation of a legislative ban on standard capacity rifle magazines, the editors of RECOIL magazine have worked with MAGPUL Industries to facilitate the delivery and distribution of 30-round PMAG rifle magazines free of charge to the citizens of Vermont in an overnight operation dubbed the “Green Mountain Airlift.”In order to support the law-abiding gun-owners of Vermont and blunt the assault on their Second Amendment rights, RECOIL’s Executive Editor, Rob Curtis, will give away 1,200 30-round PMAGs on Saturday afternoon in front of the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier starting at 2:30pm.”We invite the public to track the shipment of magazines from MAGPUL’s Cheyenne, WY facility to Vermont using the following FedEX tracking number: 771880807512. Should the shipment be delayed, the distribution will shift to 2:30pm on the date the shipment arrives,” Curtis said in a press release.https://www.fedex.com/apps/fedextrack/?action=track&tracknumbers=771880807512&clienttype=ivother(link is external)“We’re grateful to MAGPUL’s Duane Liptak for spearheading the overnight donation of 400 pounds of freedom to the Green Mountain State,” says Curtis. “His swift action means we will get the magazines here before Governor Phil Scott signs S.55 (link is external)into law, trampling the rights of law-abiding Vermonters.”The Vermont Legislature has passed of S.55, a gun control bill that raises the age for long gun purchases to 21, requires mandatory background checks on nearly all non-commercial private firearm transfers, bans standard capacity rifle magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and outlaws bumpstock devices. The bill now goes to Governor Scott, who has indicated that he will sign it.RECOIL and MAGPUL invite the citizens of Vermont to the Statehouse steps at 2:30pm on Saturday March 31st to receive a free 30-round PMAG standard capacity rifle magazine and show their support for the Second Amendment of the United States. A representative from the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs will be on hand to accept donations that will fuel the legal challenge to the new restrictions.WHO: RECOIL Magazine and MAGPUL IndustriesWHAT: Will be giving away 1,200 standard capacity MAGPUL PMAG rifle magazines free of charge to Vermont citizens (one per person, while supplies last) and accepting donations to the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.WHEN: 2:30pm Saturday, March 31 until all magazines are distributedWHERE: The distribution will take place on the Statehouse steps or from the back of a red Ford F-150 in the parking spaces on State Street in front of the Vermont Statehouse.last_img read more

Weinberger appoints Darren Springer as GM of Burlington Electric

first_imgBurlington Electric Department,Darren Springer photo by Adam Rabin, BED.by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the appointment of Darren Springer as General Manager of the Burlington Electric Department at a press conference Tuesday morning at BED. Springer brings extensive experience in the energy field to the position, including at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Effective immediately, Springer will serve as acting GM, and Weinberger will ask the City Council to consider confirmation of the appointment at its October 15 meeting.Handsome, tall and tanned, the former Floridian, 38, joined BED last year. He previously worked in the Shumlin Administration, rising to chief of staff. Springer has also worked for Senator Bernie Sanders. His predecessor, Neale Lunderville, who moved over to City Hall last May to lead the Community & Economic Development Office, at one time worked for Republican Governor Jim Douglas. He also was appointed by Weinberger.If Springer is confirmed by the City Council, his salary will be in the range of $175,000-$229,000, which will be determined by a formula that includes experience and educational attainment. Weinberger chose to stay in-house for the appointment after a national search for a new GM. “There were a lot of qualified candidates,” the mayor said.“The Burlington Electric Department is enjoying a sustained period of customer affordability, financial improvement, positive labor relations, innovation, and progress towards some of the most ambitious climate goals in the entire American power industry,” said Weinberger.  “Darren has the temperament, experiences, and skills to ensure that BED continues to advance in all of these areas, continues to transform into an outstanding 21st century utility, and continues to lead Burlington’s efforts to become a Net Zero Energy City.”Springer already knows BED well, having served as the Chief Operating Officer and Manager of Strategy and Innovation at BED since January 2017. In that role, he managed 35 employees across five divisions and led innovative initiatives, such as BED’s efforts to offer a first-ever rebate for electric vehicles, which includes an enhanced incentive for low and moderate-income customers. Springer’s work at BED has included development of an RFP to create a Net Zero Roadmap, which will analyze different paths for the City to achieve the Net Zero Energy vision and detail economic and environmental outcomes. Springer has also served in a leadership role in the progress BED has made towards creating a District Energy System.Prior to his work at BED, along with being Governor Shumlin’s chief of staff, Springer served as Deputy Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Public Service. While in state government, Springer successfully led efforts to advance significant solar legislation and Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard, policies that now provide the regulatory foundation for several of BED’s innovative programs. Across his professional experience, Springer has led staff with diverse professional backgrounds, managed significant budgets, and shown commitments to renewable energy and public service.Springer holds a Master of Studies in Environmental Law and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School.Darren Springer; Scott Moody, vice chair of the Burlington Electric Commission; and Karen Paul, city councilor, listen as Mayor Weinberger introduces Springer as the next BED GM. VBM photo.“I am excited to serve as the next General Manager of Burlington Electric Department, and want to thank Mayor Weinberger for this opportunity,” said Darren Springer. “Burlington Electric has a strong record of providing affordable and reliable electricity, while leading the way when it comes to energy efficiency and renewable energy. That is a testament to the strong team at BED, and I am grateful to serve with that team as we work to take the next steps to achieve the Net Zero Energy City goal.”Maintaining BED’s reliability record and keeping rates stable will be ongoing goals with the Net Zero effort, he said.Building on Past Success at BEDSpringer will lead a department with many recent successes, including:·         Making Burlington the first American City to source 100 percent of electricity from renewable generation in 2014;·         Completing two comprehensive labor agreements with BED employees in 2015 and 2018 without resorting to arbitration;·         Receiving a December 2016 Moody’s Investors Service credit rating upgrade to “A3,” affirmed in November 2017, as a result of forward-looking financial policies, renewable power supply, competitive rates, and strong management;·         Completing an extensive re-organization that resulted in millions of dollars in cost savings for ratepayers;·         Achieving a decade of rate stability;·         Leading a six-fold increase in the number of Burlington solar installations from 2012 to 2017.The department also has ambitious future goals, including:Becoming a Net Zero Energy City across the sectors of electric, thermal, and ground transportation over the next 10 to 15 years;Advancing the District Energy System, which would capture the heat generated by the Joseph C. McNeil Generating Station biomass plant and distribute it to customers as a heating service;Finding new ways to encourage people to move away from transportation that’s powered by fossil fuels, and toward electric vehicles, electric buses, and other modes of transportation that are powered by renewable energy.Personal BackgroundSpringer grew up in Florida, and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a B.A. in History and a Minor in Business Administration. He moved to Vermont in 2002 to attend Vermont Law School where he met his wife Stephanie.  In 2005 Springer earned a Juris Doctor and Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. During law school he served as managing editor of the Vermont Law Review and clerked for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee.Following law school, Springer worked for four years at the National Governors Association as a Policy Analyst and later directed its program on Energy & Transportation, assisting governors and states with energy and climate policy development. From 2009 to 2013 Springer served as a Senior Policy Advisor and later Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. During that time, Springer worked to advance legislation that ultimately brought a $1 million energy efficiency financing program to Burlington Electric. Following his move back to Vermont, Springer served as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Service, helping to manage a staff with diverse professional expertise. Springer worked on a range of topics at the Department including energy legislation, utility rate cases, and developing new programs such as the Heat Saver Loan Program. As Chief of Staff to Governor Shumlin, Springer served as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and helped to manage 24 agencies and departments as well as the executive office staff and budget. Springer and his wife Stephanie married in Stowe, Vermont in 2007, and returned to Vermont permanently after spending eight years living and working in the Washington, D.C. area following law school. Springer, Stephanie, and their boys (8 and 4) live in the New North End of Burlington, and their children attend school in Burlington.In addition to his professional work, Springer has demonstrated a personal commitment to clean energy. As BED customers, Springer and his family have installed solar electric and solar water heating panels at their home, as well as energy efficient appliances and cold-climate heat pumps that provide efficient electric heating and cooling.As he states in his cover letter, “As a Burlingtonian…I have seen first-hand the pride our community takes in our municipal electric utility. That pride is a result of the hard work of the BED team.”Springer is a member of the Vermont Bar, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Energy Action Network and the Vermont Natural Resources Council. He also has served as a Policy Fellow on Climate Change and Renewable Energy at the University of Vermont, and in that capacity authored a law journal article on the future of utility regulation published earlier this year in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review.Extensive SearchThe Mayor’s office began its search for a new BED GM in July 2018. The extensive process included:Meeting with BED employees to understand their priorities for the next leader of the Department.Posting the position locally, state-wide, and nationally in July 2018, a process that included targeting diverse communities and conducting supplemental recruitment efforts.Reviewing resumes that met minimum requirements and initial interviews of both in-state and out-of-state candidates by the following search committee, led by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Jordan Redell: Tom Dunn, President & CEO of the Vermont Electric Power Company; Jim (Duke) Dutra, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Chief Steward; Sabina Haskell, Electric Light Commissioner; Mike Kanarick, Manager of Customer Care and Communications; Scott Moody, Electric Light Commissioner; Karen Paul, City Councilor; Mark Stephenson, Owner & General Manager, Vermont Energy Contracting & Supply; Lynn Reagan, Human Resources Manager for BED.Interviewing three finalist candidates presented to the Mayor for consideration by the search committee.At the conclusion of the search, Springer’s skills and experience working with regulatory bodies and leadership on many of BED’s top priorities made him an outstanding candidate to continue the momentum and progress of the City’s ambitious agenda to become a Net Zero Energy City.Broad Support“My congratulations to Darren on his appointment as the GM of BED,” said City Councilor Karen Paul, a member of the BED GM search committee and former Chair of the Electric Commission, who joined the Mayor and Springer for the announcement. “I have no doubt that he will be a visionary leader for this amazing public asset that we all value so dearly. There is much work to be done and the road ahead, while exciting and filled with opportunity, will have its challenges. Electric power is a competitive industry and those who are nimble, deliberative, innovative, and collaborative will excel in the years ahead.  Now is the time for bold leadership tempered with seasoned knowledge and the ability, above all, to bring people together. Darren’s deep commitment to BED, to our City, and to each employee’s contribution to the greater good will serve all of us well as he leads BED for the years to come.”“Darren Springer is an outstanding choice to lead the Burlington Electric Department,” said Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power. “It has been a pleasure and an inspiration to work with Darren at this exciting time of transformation and innovation in all things energy to benefit customers. The planet needs energy leaders like Darren Springer.”“Having worked with Darren Springer for years, I know that he has a great skill for understanding the complexities, legally and technically, of our evolving clean energy economy,” said Senator Chris Bray, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee. “Perhaps even more importantly, he has the ability to take that knowledge and find opportunities to develop innovative programs that deliver both economic and environmental benefits to customers. The Mayor has chosen well.”Source: BED 10.2.2018last_img read more

Warranty Direct sponsors GB Biathle

first_imgDuncan McClure Fisher, Warranty Direct Managing Director, said “We are very happy to back a sport which gets little exposure, but has produced some fantastic all-round athletes who have gone on to great things while representing their country. We hope that our support will help Pentathlon GB produce more athletes to compete for the British Team in Future Olympics.”Howard Jones, Pentathlon GB Biathle Director, said “We’re absolutely delighted to have Warranty Direct on board for 2013. Following the Olympics there has been an increase in people wanting to take up sport at this level and their support enables us to help encourage more people to take part. It’s going to be an exceptional season of competition.”Warranty Direct-sponsored prizes will be awarded for the GB Biathle Race Series competitions across the country, with the first events set to take place at Millfield School in Somerset on 5 May.www.pentathlongb.org/biathle/www.warrantydirect.co.uk Related Warranty Direct – the UK’s leading provider of direct consumer warranties – will sponsor the GB Biathle Series and National Biathle Championships, supporting ‘run-swim-run’ format events across the country.With categories for all ages from 9 years up to 70+, biathle competitions see athletes starting together in a group and running for up to 1500m, swimming for up to 200m and finally completing another run of up to 1500m to the finish line.Organised by Pentathlon GB, biathle is a natural starting point for those who later move on to the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon. Samantha Murray – who, by claiming silver, won TeamGB’s final medal of the London 2012 Olympic Games – competed in Biathle series events before graduating to pentathlon.Murray said “GB Biathle is a friendly, well-managed and competitive organisation that provides a pathway into Modern Pentathlon. As a youngster, I competed in a few biathles in the North West, which helped my progress into the pentathlon field.”Warranty Direct’s support will enable organisers to double the number of competitors who receive prizes as well as providing kit, equipment and contributing towards event costs.last_img read more

Rudy Project unveils special edition Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team…

first_img Related The Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team has teamed up with cycling eyewear crafters Rudy Project to launch two new special edition glasses celebrating the team’s achievements at the 2016 Tour de France. First debuted by the riders in early July, the Special Edition Tralyx performance and Spinhawk casual models are now available ‘for anyone looking to perform like the pros’.The award-winning Tralyx has been reportedly been praised by the Etixx – Quick-Step riders, who were the first to debut the limited edition colour scheme at this year’s Tour de France. In addition to a striking blue and yellow combination, this sunglass comes standard with the brand new Tralyx XL lens. Featuring a longer lens profile and additional ventilation along the bottom edge, the Tralyx XL is aimed at being ideal for larger faces and those looking for more coverage.This year’s Tour de France has already called for several podium celebrations honouring Etixx – Quick-Step, where riders such as Julian Alaphilippe have worn the all new Special Edition Spinhawk.As Rudy Project’s top-selling casual sunglass, the Spinhawk was seen as an ideal model to redesign with the Etixx – Quick-Step’s signature graphics. Featuring a sturdy crystal frame, and Multilaser Orange lenses, these shades aim to turn heads while boasting comfort and clarity.The special edition Etixx – Quick-Step Tralyx and Spinhawk are available now on e-rudy.com.www.e-rudy.comlast_img read more

Step on: 2017 Balega Impi Ambassador Team

first_imgBalega, a leading performance sock brand in the run and outdoor specialty market, has opened the application portal for its third annual ‘Impi’ influencer team. The Impi members will represent Balega as brand ambassadors to help ‘illuminate Balega’s core pillars’ – performance, excellence, harmony, creativity and community – while continuing to highlight the products and position Balega as a leader in run.Impi is a Zulu word roughly translating to mean ‘warrior’. The 2017 team will once again be made up of approximately 100 men and women athletes from across the United States who will act as an ‘army of Balega warriors’. These running enthusiasts will help spread the word on Balega across their social media channels, at races and in their day-to-day lives through creative activations.“The 2016 team blew us away with their dedication, motivation and passion about the Balega brand,” said Tanya Pictor, VP of Marketing of Implus Specialty. “We are looking to build up the 2017 team with equally passionate individuals who are ready to carry the Balega name with pride, enthusiasm and dedication to the run industry. We invite anyone who truly believes in the Balega difference to apply to be part of the 2017 Balega tribe.”Balega Impi members will represent the brand’s core values and share the brand’s South African heritage and ‘sole’ while positioning Balega as a leader and innovator in quality footwear within the run specialty market. Impis will receive a variety of socks over the course of the year, get a first-look at new product introductions as part of first-round product testing, and take part in sharing the Balega brand with their local and social communities. They will further benefit from the various other product categories out of the Implus stable of brands.“We’ve seen an incredible group of people come together from different backgrounds to help spread the Balega love,” said Casey Lewis, Marketing Specialist at Balega. “It’s been exciting to see our Impi’s make a difference in their local communities and we cannot wait to see what the 2017 team brings.”The application period for the 2017 Balega Impi Team opens today and applications will be accepted through Friday 16 December 2016. The team will be announced by the second week of January.As a leading performance sock brand in the run specialty market, Balega is a designer and manufacturer of technical performance socks and is part of the Implus family of brands. With a American-South African initiative, the company develops its product in both South Africa and North Carolina production facilities ‘utilizing the best performance yarns produced in the United States’.Headquartered in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, Implus has evolved to become an innovative provider of footwear, outdoor and fitness accessories to its retail partners. Implus’ family of brands includes Sof Sole, Yaktrax, apara, Airplus, Sneaker Balls, Sof Comfort, Little Hotties, Perfect, TriggerPoint, ICETrekkers, FuelBelt, Harbinger and Balega. From insoles, socks and shoe care to seasonal accessories and fitness solutions, Implus distributes its brands to thousands of retail locations across the United States and worldwide.www.balega.comwww.implus.com Relatedlast_img read more

Novotel London Canary Wharf gets into bed with Pop-Up City Triathlon

first_imgDirector of Sales and Marketing for Novotel London Canary Wharf, Louisa Daxer-Robbins said “We were impressed with the Pop-Up City Triathlon concept when it launched last year and were keen to be involved with the innovative event. The launch of our new contemporary hotel presented a natural opportunity to partner with the event – raising awareness of the venue with the local city audience and triathlete market. We hope to add a creative twist and offering to the event including morning runs and a grand final cocktail evening at BŌKAN.”Located in the heart of London’s Docklands, the new Novotel glass skyscraper offers 39 storeys with 360° views of the London skyline. Hotel guests can immerse themselves in designer style rooms and choose from three contemporary options for food and drink: the BŌKAN restaurant, bar and rooftop terrace. Business guests can enjoy the hotel’s meeting rooms, each with a bespoke style inspired by Docklands heritage, and featuring the latest technology. With free Wi-Fi, a New York style gym and a pool added into the mix, the hotel adds that it ‘offers all you need and so much more’.Teams of three can sign up to the Pop-Up City Triathlon – all in support of Macmillan Cancer. The event at Montgomery Square has slots available for lunchtimes and after work on Monday 24 April to Thursday 27 April inclusive and a grand final on the Thursday evening. There are prizes for the four runners up and winning team including £1k towards a charity of the winning team’s choice.All entry fee proceeds (£250 per team) will go directly to the Castle Triathlon Series Official Charity Partner, Macmillan Cancer Support.www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk/the-series/pop-up-city-triathlon/www.canarywharf.com Related Novotel has partnered with the Pop-Up City Triathlon (24-27 April 2017), which returns to Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, London again this year. The support from the hotel chain forms part of last month’s new opening of the Novotel London Canary Wharf hotel and, like the Pop-Up City Triathlon, is ‘set to become a regular part of the lives of business people and visitors to the City’.The new Novotel London Canary Wharf comes complete with 360 degree views, a roof top BŌKAN restaurant, bar and New York style health club. Tapping in to the popularity of the Pop-Up City Triathlon, which is produced by the team at the Castle Triathlon Series, Novotel London Canary Wharf will host a winner’s party. The winning team members will also all receive complementary brunch, for them and their families, and the hotel will be ‘helping corporates stay ahead of their banking rivals with free early morning group training runs’.The Pop-Up City Triathlon is taking place for a second year and brings together over 100 teams (300 athletes) both new and seasoned, to take part in a static triathlon in the heart of the city. Set within a pop-up environment with swimming in an Endless Pool for 3 minutes, 4 minutes on a cycle ergometer and 3 minutes running on a treadmill, the staged triathlon challenges teams to cover as much distance as they can over these set times. The event has already attracted the likes of KPMG, Credit Suisse (defending its winning title from last year) and Morgan Stanley.last_img read more

Zwift announced as Official Training Partner of L’Etape du Tour

first_img“Is there an amateur cycling event quite as renowned as L’Etape du Tour?” said Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “The chance to experience one of the most beautiful, and challenging stages, of the Tour de France is why this has always been such a popular event and why it’s such an incredible occasion for any cyclist.“It’s a real challenge, but this is what makes it such a fantastic event to complete. We, at Zwift, are really excited to be able to support entrants in their training. Zwift is a fantastically convenient way to train, making it possible to ride more often than ever before. We want to deliver entrants to that start line in the best shape, so they can enjoy the experience as much as possible. I hope to catch some of you in the Group Workouts!” Yann Le Moenner, CEO of A.S.O added, “We are really excited to further broaden the reach of L’Etape du Tour with Zwift.“Zwift is a great way to train and helps bring together cyclists from all over the world. For those who cannot travel to L’Etape du Tour, the Zwift L’Etape du Tour rides will be a great way to experience the challenge of L’Etape du Tour from the comfort of your home.”The Zwift L’Etape du Tour training programs will commence later this year.Zwift is offered as non-contract, monthly subscription priced at US$14.99 / £12.99 / €14.99 per month. A seven-day free unlimited trial is automatically offered to all new account holders.www.zwift.comwww.letapedutour.com Relatedcenter_img Zwift and A.S.O.’s L’Etape du Tour have today announced a partnership that will see Zwift become the Official Training Partner of L’Etape du Tour.For its 29th edition, next year on 21st July, L’Étape du Tour 2019 will be enjoying a foretaste of the route between Albertville and Val Thorens that will comprise the 20th stage on the Tour de France.The latets partnership will see Zwift deliver the official training plans for L’Etape du Tour 2019. The training plans will be developed by Zwift’s renowned coach Kevin Poulton, coach to Paris-Roubaix winner, Matthew Hayman.Bringing the training program to life will be the L’Etape du Tour Training Club, open to the first 30,000 members who enrol. Following a similar model to that used for Zwift’s Academy Program, the aim will be to create a training community of Zwifters who share the same goals, further aiding motivation to train.Those enrolled in the L’Etape du Tour Training Club will be able to track their progress and unlock unique in-game items as they advance helping keep motivation high, and ensuring they reach July in peak form.In addition to the structured workout plan, Zwift will also be hosting a series of Group Workouts. Group Workouts are unique to Zwift and enable participants to perform a structured workout session together in a group. All participants are kept together in a peloton by the game. Zwift notes that ‘No matter whether you have an FTP of 400 watts, or 200 watts, you’ll always have company… Studies have shown training in groups to be far more motivating than training alone.’Outside of the training plans, Zwift will also be hosting exclusive L’Etape du Tour rides in game. Ahead of L’Etape du Tour 2019, there will be select Zwift Ride to Win events with starting bibs for L’Etape up for grabs. During the summer, longer Zwift L’Etape du Tour rides will provide a challenge for those cyclists unable to attend the real-life event in July.last_img read more

Percussive massage therapy brand Theragun files patent infringement lawsuit

first_img Related Theragun, a specialist in percussive massage therapy, has filed separate patent infringement lawsuits in the state of California against manufacturers and sellers of massage devices. The lawsuit was filed against Hyperice, Massage Guns and Alyne for allegedly violating Theragun’s various patents.The lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction to prevent the defendants from selling any products infringing Theragun’s patented technology.Officially launched to market in 2016, Theragun from its inception has introduced products in the emerging percussive massage space, launching five products and nine attachments. Theragun noted that it created the new product category over 10 years ago, and remains the industry leader and lead innovator, investing extensively in research and product development.The Theragun G3PRO is Theragun’s award-winning flagship device, and is endorsed by a number of physical therapists, athletic trainers, professional sports teams, and sports medicine experts worldwide.“We have invested a significant amount of money in research and development to advance our leading percussive therapy devices and attachments,” said Benjamin Nazarian, CEO of Theragun.“We work with some of the best mechanical engineers and sound engineers from MIT to develop our proprietary technology and designs. As the industry leader with over 35 patents, Theragun has always invested in cutting edge technology backed by science and medicine to improve how we treat our bodies.“Our patents help protect our technological and scientific advancements and we will not let other companies simply copy our products. We will vigorously defend our intellectual property rights in court.”www.theragun.comlast_img read more

ITU awards 2022 Multisport World Championships to Ibiza

first_img Related The Executive Board of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) has decided to award the island of Ibiza, Spain, as the host of the 2022 World Triathlon Multisport Championships. The Mediterranean island, which hosted the European version of the championships in 2018, will welcome triathletes from all over the world for 10 days of racing.“The Multisport World Championships has been incredibly successful in the last few years since we launched this product, and we have seen not only a great interest from cities to bid to host this event, but also from athletes willing to compete,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado.“And we are extremely proud of Ibiza willing to host this event, as a clear proof of the legacy of our events, returning to the island only a few years after hosting the European event.”The World Championships will see duathlon, long distance triathlon, aquathon and cross triathlon championship races organized together during a week-long festival. This allows for athletes to compete in various multisport races, as opposed to electing only one each season. And participants can even vie for the ‘Multisport Legend’, a title reserved for those who compete in all four events.Ibiza was elected after presenting its bid to the members of the ITU Executive Board, who had the opportunity to compare the proposal from the Spanish island and from the city of Pesaro, in Italy, which was ‘encouraged to continue bidding in future editions’.The World Triathlon Multisport Championships made its debut in the ITU calendar in 2017 in Penticton (Canada). This was followed by Fyn (Denmark) in 2018 and Pontevedra (Spain) in 2019. Next year the event will travel to the city of Almere (Netherlands), to be followed by Townsville (Australia) in 2021.www.triathlon.orglast_img read more

Images from TOUGHMAN NY Championship

first_imgThe 13th running of the TOUGHMAN NY Championship had an increased international flavour this year. Encouraged by the TOUGHMAN brand’s expansion in Latin America, there were 50 athletes from Chile racing in New York. 15 athletes from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic also raced.Taking place on Sunday, September 15, 2019, the TOUGHMAN Series Championship in Stony Point New York, 25 miles north of New York City, offers over US$30,000 in age-group awards, a US$4,950 cash purse (top 5) for qualifiers, a scenic bike course, and over 1,400 race support volunteers. The South America TOUGHMAN races that form the southern circuit for the event brand are: Futrono, Copiapo, Arica, Quillon and Iquique.Five overall winners from TOUGHMAN Chile raced in the elite wave, targeting the US$4950 prize purse. In addition, 12 kids from TOUGHKids Chile Arica raced in the TOUGHKids Championship on Saturday, September 14. This event had over 360 young athletes on the start liine.This year’s TOUGHMAN NY Championship was also the USAT NE Regional Youth Championship.www.TOUGHMANTri.comwww.TOUGHKidstri.com Relatedlast_img read more

Hutchinson unleashes the Kraken

first_img Related Leading tyre manufacturer Hutchinson Tires has launched the latest addition to its MTB range, the Kraken Racing Lab – the French brand’s new XC / Trail tyre.A new addition to the Hutchinson’s XC / Trail range, the Kraken Racing Lab is the result of close collaboration between designers, engineers and XC Hutchinson athletes. The company’s objective has been to develop a fast, agile and reliable tyre… ‘thanks to the addition of high lateral knobs to allow maximum confidence in cornering or upon rough terrain.’The architecture of the Kraken’s knobs has been inspired by the Skeleton, which is billed as ‘the ultimate tyre in terms of performance.’ Developed in 29 x 2.30, the volume of the Kraken allows riders to run lower pressures to bring ‘maximum comfort and calm in the most chaotic moments.’The ultimate goal with the Kraken was also to design a tyre that would not be exclusive, only for XC athletes say, but to expand its use to any mountain bike addict and trail lover.Available in two constructions, ‘ultra-light 127 TPI’ or ‘ultra-versatile 66 TPI’ coupled with Hardskin bead-to-bead reinforcement, the Kraken Racing Lab aims to meet the needs of performance addicts as well as XC marathon competitors or trail enthusiasts.The Kraken complements Hutchinson Racing Lab’s range, inaugurated last year with the Griffus.Prices are: Racing Lab without Hardskin Reinforcement: £39.95; and Racing Lab with Hardskin Reinforcement : £44.95.www.hutchinsontires.comlast_img read more

Therabody partners with ‘RED’ in fight against two pandemics

first_imgTherabody, formerly known as Theragun, has announced a new partnership with ‘RED’, the organization founded in 2006 to fight AIDS.Through a campaign titled ‘RECOVE(RED)’, Therabody is launching a range of ‘(THERABODY)RED’ products. These products will help to raise funds for the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response and (RED)’s fight to end AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.For every RED co-branded Theragun purchased, 2% of the purchase price goes directly to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response to reduce the threat of COVID-19 in communities and critical HIV/AIDS programs. The (PRODUCT)RED Theragun is available exclusively on Therabody.com as well as select retail locations for purchase.Jennifer Lotito, President & Chief Operating Officer at (RED), said “Therabody products are hugely popular with people around the world, and we are more than delighted to see these wellness products now do double-duty by also fighting pandemics with each and every purchase.“We’re grateful to the team for creating such a striking (RED) range, and excited to get these into people’s hands this fall.”Benjamin Nazarian, Chief Executive Officer at Therabody, said “We are proud and thrilled to be a partner of (RED). Giving back and supporting causes we believe in is rooted in our company’s DNA, and is a key pillar of our culture at Therabody.“As a tech wellness company, Therabody provides solutions that can help everybody live a fuller, healthier lifestyle. With (THERABODY)RED, we are not only supporting everyday needs through our wellness offerings, but we are also creating a unique opportunity for our community to give back through their purchase by providing essential life-saving medicine and access to healthcare to those that are in need.”The (PRODUCT)RED Theragun collection includes:(PRODUCT)RED Theragun PRO – RRP £549(PRODUCT)RED Theragun Elite – RRP £375(PRODUCT)RED Theragun mini – RRP £175In addition to (PRODUCT)RED Theragun, in early 2021 Therabody will also release a (PRODUCT)RED version of its USDA Certified Organic line of CBD products, TheraOne, with 2% of the purchase price going to support (RED)’s operations in the fight to end AIDS.www.therabody.com Relatedlast_img read more

Northeast Johnson County morning roundup

first_imgPhoto via SM East Athletics Twitter account.SM East boys tennis eeks out regionals win. SM East’s boys tennis team will look to three-peat as state 6A champions next week after edging out Blue Valley North for the regionals title Saturday. SM East took both first and second place in the singles competition, with senior Brooks Kendall defeating SM East sophomore Jack Santilli in the title match. The state tournament is this Friday and Saturday at Riverside Tennis Complex in Wichita.SM East girls swim team are Sunflower League champs. SM East’s girls swim and dive team earned their tenth straight Sunflower League title Saturday. With 330 team points, the Lancers had enough to hold off second place Lawrence Free State, who finished with 318. SM East’s 200 medley relay team of Sarah Allegri, Annie Mann, Bonnie Longan and Madeline Peters took first place with a 1:50.38, and Logan won the 100 backstroke with a 58.36. State competition will be May 23 and 24 in Topeka. SM East has won the state title each year since 2010.Roeland Park man finds live grenade in box of items from grandfather. A Roeland Park man’s discovery of a live grenade in a box of items his grandfather had brought him Sunday led emergency crews to evacuate eight homes in the vicinity as a bomb squad diffused the explosive. [Man finds live grenade in his home — KCTV5]Leadership Northeast celebrates 25th graduating class. The Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Northeast program recognizes its 25th anniversary this week — and the chamber is hoping alumni will help year’s graduates celebrate. The program’s 25th class will graduate this Thursday during the program’s traditional closing luncheon. The featured speaker is Ed O’Malley, CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center and a former state legislator. The event will be Thursday, May 15 at the DoubleTree of Overland Park. The lunch will run 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The cost is $35. RSVP to Lauren Vaughan at 913-262-2141 or lvaughan@nejcchamber.com.last_img read more

SM North NJROTC team sweeps qualifier event, headed for regional championships

first_imgThe SM North NJROTC Armed Regulation drill team competing in Oklahoma City qualifier.The SM North NJROTC team took the overall title at the Navy JROTC academic, athletic and drill regional qualifying meet in Oklahoma City this week by placing first in nine of the 11 events and second in the other two events.The win qualifies the SM North team for the regional championships in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Feb. 14. With a win in New Mexico, the team would mark its ninth consecutive regional championship in the 64-team region. A win at the regional championship also would qualify SM North for the National Championships for the 10th consecutive year. SM North placed second only in armed exhibition and the shuttle relay.SM East NJROTC students compete on a combined team with SM South and SM West. That team, which competes as SM West, finished fourth overall in Oklahoma City and also qualified for the regional championship. The team had a second place in armed regulation, and third in both academics and armed exhibition.The SM West NJROTC Unarmed Exhibition team (with SM East students) competing at the meet.last_img read more

St. Ann students selling raffle tickets for school’s largest fundraiser

first_imgSt. Ann Catholic School students are preparing for one of their community’s biggest celebrations of the year.The annual Tiger Trot raffle helps the school community pay for upgrades to St. Ann facilities and support programs at the school. Students are out selling $25 raffle tickets for the grand prize drawing to be held next Friday, April 29, at 2:30 p.m.The holder of the winning raffle ticket will win $2,500 — and the student who sells the winning ticket gets a $50 prize. There will also be a drawing for a $100 and a $250 prize. Weather permitting, St. Ann families will be gathering on the east side of the building for the big event next week where there will be a disc jockey playing music and an obstacle course set up for the students to run.You can find more info about purchasing Tiger Trot tickets here.last_img read more

Results of 2016 election show Interstate 435 the clear political boundary in Johnson County

first_imgA breakdown of last month’s presidential election vote further reinforces the sharp political boundary the Interstate 435 beltway has become in Johnson County.“When you look at Johnson County over the last decade the big divide is the 435 loop,” said Patrick Miller, a political science professor at the University of Kansas. “Clinton won most of the territory within that area.”It’s a very different Johnson County south and west of I-435. That sprawling area is solidly Republican although Miller said a bit of blue is creeping across 435.“That will be a trend to watch,” he observed.The overall Johnson County vote had President-elect Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton with 46.7 percent of the vote vs. 44.1 percent.Trump’s greatest level of support in Johnson County was 78 percent in one Overland Park precinct, his lowest was 20 percent in a Roeland Park precinct.Clinton’s best performance was 68 percent in one precinct in Fairway, her lowest was 24 percent in an Overland Park precinct.In the Third District Congressional race, which includes Johnson, Wyandotte and part of Miami counties, incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder defeated his challenger Jay Sidie with 51.3 percent of the vote vs. 40.6 percent.Sidie failed to win his own home turf of Mission Woods, losing to Yoder by 11 votes, 61-50.The average voter turnout for the county was 73 percent. It ranged from a high of 85 percent in one Mission precinct to a low of 53 percent in one precinct in Overland Park.Miller attributed the difference in voting patterns between Northeast Johnson County and the rest of Johnson County to different demographic patterns. Northeast JoCo has a comparatively higher education and income level, he said.And people have different preferences about how and where they want to live.“People who tend to identify themselves as more conservative look at bigger home lots, aren’t as interested in pubic transportation, larger cities or walkable communities,” he said. “They look at areas like Olathe, Gardener and south Overland Park.”Those choosing to live inside the 435 loop tend to be more interested in walkable neighborhoods and being close the big city amenities of Kansas City. The area also has a younger and more diverse population, Miller said.“People look for different kinds of cities and unconsciously form different ideologies,” he said.Miller also said what’s happening in Johnson County also is occurring in other metropolitan areas around the country with more Democrats being found in the older suburbs while Republicans trend toward the exurban area.last_img read more

Shawnee Mission students show strong at Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair

first_imgStuti Dalal receiving her award at this weekend’s Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair. Photo via Twitter.Two Shawnee Mission West students will advance to the Kansas BioGENEius Challenge finals later this year after taking Grand Awards in the Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair over the weekend.Register to continuelast_img

Merriam mayoral candidates on the issues: What’s the biggest issue facing the city?

first_imgToday we continue publishing the Merriam mayoral candidates’ responses to our general election questionnaire. Here’s the third and final item:What’s the biggest challenge facing Merriam today, and what will you do over the next four years to address it?Ken Sissom (incumbent)The City of Merriam has a diverse grouping of residential communities. While there are a couple of exceptions, the majority of homes in Merriam were built more than 40 years ago and this fact can create special challenges going forward. As a city, we must do what we can to maintain, or in some cases, improve the integrity of our neighborhoods. As a city we must encourage our residents to maintain their properties and neighborhoods. We want to continue to attract new young families to Merriam because it is a great place to live. But we will not be successful if we allow blight to take hold, which tends to lead to increases in crime.We recently created a Neighborhood Services Manager position in City Hall in order to reach out to offer help and guidance for these communities. This employee acts as liaison between the neighborhoods and City Hall in an effort to solve code problems or nuisances through cooperation, to reduce the need for enforcement. We are searching for solutions to problem area by working alongside with residents. Our challenge will be to make sure that our streets, sidewalk, parks and facilities are highly maintained while building and improving relationships with our neighborhoods so that we can influence the necessary changes that will improve property values and the quality of lives for our residents.Eric JacksonThe biggest challenge facing Merriam today is the continuation of frivolous spending under the theory that our sales tax will somehow bail us out. That approach can only end badly for us. Instead, spend wisely and focus on our basic needs (which many citizens say are not being met) and infrastructure. A related concern is over-use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF). I will work to curtail this practice. I’ve seen estimates that our city is losing 35% of potential income in TIF dollars. The difference is made up by the average wage earner.That was our final question for the Merriam mayoral candidates. Thanks to both for their participation.last_img read more

Democrats vying for Yoder’s seat in Congress spell out priorities at candidate forum

first_imgForum attendees enduring a lack of air conditioning after a power outage from a storm the morning of the forum.Six candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the Kansas Third Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives gave their take on the country’s major issues and how to solve them.Democrats and supporters gathered Saturday afternoon in the auditorium of Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church to hear from each of the candidates at the forum, which was hosted by the group Swing Left. Despite the power loss and lack of air conditioning caused by an early-morning thunderstorm, the room was packed for nearly two hours while supporters greeted the candidates and heard their political stances on topics including climate change, healthcare, social security funding and campaign finance laws.Here’s a summary of the priorities the candidates discussed.Sharice DavidsHoping to bring diversity and a new voice in Congress, Davids spoke of “changing the face of Kansas politics.” Davids said she would sponsor the bill to expand and improve Medicare, but she stressed the need to elect a president who will actually sign it. She supports funding schools in an equitable way and investing in preschool education opportunities.“As somebody who spent time in transportation, I will fight tooth and nail to get us to invest in our infrastructure so that we can have the pathways to opportunity,” Davids said. “because transportation touches every aspect of our lives.”Davids recommends protecting Social Security by electing new members of Congress. She added that the phaseout of Social Security is “troubling” because people who make less money end up paying more into their Social Security than others who make six figures. She also spoke against recognizing corporations as people with First Amendment rights and looking into publicly financed elections.Mike McCamonWith experience in the tech and nonprofit sectors, McCamon stressed the need for all elected officials to know when to stand their ground and when to compromise in order to accomplish things. McCamon said he would advocate for the U.S. to have half of all of its energy by renewable resources by 2030 and to outlaw gasoline- and diesel-powered automobiles “entirely.”Citing the complex issue of healthcare, McCamon said he would seek realistic options by first advocating to negotiate better prices with Medicare and also provide freedom of choice in healthcare options. Funding Social Security and Medicare are important, but constituents in the 3rd District are concerned about accountability and transparency issues around the budgeting, McCamon said.“I think the thing we’re all sick and tired of is the gridlock in Washington,” McCamon said, adding that he would work with other members of Congress to resolve the issue and fund Social Security.“It’s very simple to see that Social Security should be well funded; it’s your money. It’s not an entitlement,” he said.McCamon would also like to see candidates “go on a diet” by limiting their campaign spending, especially in the primary election.Tom NiermannAs an educator with concerns about gun violence and healthcare, Niermann emphasized the importance of electing a middle-class officer to represent the middle and working classes. Niermann recommended taking the lead on climate change as a global issue by ending subsidies and tax incentives for the fossil fuel industry — and use that money to encourage renewable energy sources such as wind power.He also supports universal healthcare, citing massive debts by Americans who are still paying for healthcare. He recommended equity in public education “because that is the basis for opportunity;” and he said he would advocate for federal funding for infrastructure projects.The first step in addressing campaign finance law issues is to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, which allows corporations to have unlimited political spending.“That court case allows billionaires and corporations to purchase legislators, and I think our current representative is a classic example of a legislator who has been purchased by billionaires,” Niermann said, adding that he hopes to take the money out of politics.Jay SidieBased on his previous experience running for the Third Congressional District seat in 2016, Sidie recommended seeking votes from unaffiliated voters who are less engaged with politics than Democrats or Republicans. Sidie wants to push economic efforts for green energy and remove subsidies tax breaks for the nonrenewable energy industry. He said he thinks fixing America’s healthcare problem is not that complicated because “other countries are doing it very successfully.” The key is driving costs down without upheaving the whole system.Sidie said he believes income and equality are major factors that touch every facet of American opportunity, such as education and healthcare. He supports Social Security, and “to pull the rug out at this stage of their lives is deplorable.”“If I’m elected to Congress, I’ll make sure I fight for the people that deserve their Social Security — because it’s just horrible that we’re even talking about it,” Sidie said. “There’s ways to fix it. It wasn’t that Social Security was a problem; they just spent your money. They’ve spent the money on unfunded wars and given tax breaks to rich people. Why should the people that put all that money in pay for those mistakes? It can’t happen, not on my watch.”Sidie also suggested designing publicly funded elections.Brent WelderAn advocate for workers’ rights and the underserved, Welder spoke of his experience working with President Barack Obama and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Stressing that “science is real,” Welder believes “unfettered corporate greed” causes climate change.“The giant corporations, the billionaires, that do not care about you, that do not care about your children, would rather poison our drinking water, would rather poison the air that we breathe, than to spend a little bit of money to be able to dispose of their waste in an environmentally conscious way,” Welder said.He also said he would support universal healthcare, a $15 minimum wage, debt-free college and early childhood education opportunities. Reforming campaign finance laws is Welder’s top priority, he said, citing Bernie Sanders’s campaign and advocating to “ban big corporate money altogether from politics.”Sylvia WilliamsAfter learning that she earned only half of what her male counterparts made in corporate America, Williams came out strongly in favor of equal pay and paid family leave. She said she would like to reinstate the Paris Climate Agreement, make changes to Environmental Protection Agency operations (such as hiring a new director) and investing in clean resources in Kansas, such as wind energy. Williams said she would support expanding healthcare, but also recommended government oversight of the pharmaceutical drug industry.Williams supports modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act and finding ways to fix Social Security funding now.“It is the perfect time to do it,” Williams said. “Large corporations just got the biggest tax cut — more than they ever dreamed of getting — so we actually have an opportunity here. Now is the time to say we’re lifting the cap on the employer side of FICA. That is how you save Social Security and Medicare.”Williams suggested reforming campaign finance laws by removing tax-exempt status for 501(c)4 organizations. By doing so, the Internal Revenue Service would have audit oversight, and donors would “be a lot more nervous” about donating to these corporations.Primary is August 7First time voters can still register to vote in the in the August 7 primary through July 17.You can find information about how to register to vote in the primary elections via the Johnson County Election Office website here.last_img read more

Dub and Jules Siegel of Sublime BBQ take home grand championship at 38th Great Lenexa BBQ Battle

first_imgJules and Dub Siegel (center) of Sublime BBQ took home the grand championship at the 38th annual Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle. Also pictured are the Siegels’ sons Liam and Ronan, and family friend Cody Farmer (right). Photo credit city of LenexaFor two years in a row, Dub and Jules Siegel of Sublime BBQ were reserve grand champions — also known as second place — at The Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle, but they hadn’t yet taken home the grand championship.This year, that all changed.Dub has been going to watch the BBQ battle every year since he was a teen. He remembers great teams like Slaughterhouse Five achieving the highest accolades in the local competition.Now, his team is one of them.“For me, it was like a bucket list item, one of those contests I had to win at some point,” he said. “It’s just amazing to finally get this one.”The Siegels, alongside their two sons, Ronan and Liam, and family friend Cody Farmer, all had a hand in the 38th annual barbecue competition. As a result, the Olathe family made top marks in chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket.“Both of our sons were there helping, and having us all together there to win, they know what a big deal it is,” Jules Siegel said. “Both of them getting to be there with us and celebrate was a lot of fun.“It’s a great community; we have a lot of friends that make it a lot of fun to go out and do it year after year. We call them barbecue family.”The Siegels have been competing in The Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle for the past six years. At first, Jules wasn’t really interested, but after the first competition, she began leaning into it more and took a barbecue class. The very next year, they ranked in the top 10.“This was our hobby. A lot of people go to the lake or they do other things besides sit in parking lots and cook barbecue,” Dub said. “I grew up around barbecue here in Kansas City, so it’s something I knew that I wanted to do.”Jules said they started to have “real success” when Dub began building the smokers they compete on. He built the grand championship smoker in two weeks before competing in the American Royal World Series of Barbecue last year. He has built smokers for other teams as well.“You put in all this hard work and labor to mold something from the raw materials into a finished product, and you get to go out there and use it,” Dub Siegel said. “You’ve got people telling you how nice it looks and all that, and then you get to show them how well it actually functions.”Winning the grand championship was also a bittersweet moment for Dub.“The bitter part was just falling short of winning the contest the last two years, and the sweet was persevering through to the win,” he said. “It takes a lot of time and dedication from the moment you start planning and preparing for a contest all the way down to the turn ins for the four main KCBS categories.”last_img read more

Best Bets for the Weekend: Fall festivals, Michael J. Fox, party at the library

first_imgThe Overland Park Fall Festival in downtown.There are definitely no shortage of ways to celebrate this fall, whether it’s venturing out to an autumnal festival or gathering around the television cheering on our amazing Chiefs. Here’s some of the most fun things happening this weekend in our Northeast Johnson County neck of the woods…The Overland Park Fall Festival is always a great time, but especially when it actually feels like fall. Check out the parade through Downtown Overland Park, the sweet arts and crafts fair, the always lovely Farmers’ Market, three stages of concerts and lots of food on Saturday.We’ve always found Pumpkin Hollow at Deanna Rose to be a nice and low-key experience to grab pumpkins and have some fall fun. It starts this weekend.It’s about time we all took another visit Back to the Future. On Saturday Shawnee Mission Park hosts Evening in the Park, with food, drink and M-80’s, a 1980’s tribute band. Additionally, September is Deaf Awareness Month and JCPRD welcomes members of the Deaf Community to enjoy closed captioning for the movie.I honestly don’t know what we’d do without the Johnson County Library. It would be hard for me to overstate the impact it has had on our family’s life. This Saturday is the library’s major fundraiser, Library Lets Loose. It’s a great way to have fun and support this wonderful community resource.last_img read more

Overland Park considers overhauling regulations for business, residential signs

first_imgOverland Park officials are considering a slew of changes to the rules governing all kinds of signs – from digital displays to real estate and political signs.The city’s planning staff presented the results of over three years of work overhauling the city’s sign ordinance on Monday to a joint meeting of city council and planning commission members.The most noticeable change involves a new category of “incidental signs” that would include the ubiquitous leasing signs at apartment complexes. The proposed ordinance requires a permit for those types of signs and allows them to be 20 square feet, building or ground mounted and non-illuminated.Existing signs that don’t meet the new requirements would have to be removed by Jan. 1, 2022, under the proposed new rules.Governing digital signsThe rule is meant to give some uniformity to a type of sign that may have started out as temporary but ends up staying on display, said city planner Danielle Hollrah.“We’re seeing some of these year after year. They are permanent but not necessarily maintained,” she said. The new rule would put some design standards on those types of signs.Other rules under consideration would address the evolution of technology and the law. For example, the city would not categorize sign rules based on content and would no longer restrict the content or message on signs.Changes in sign technology also were a factor. Over the past three years, council members and planners have struggled to decide what types of digital light displays should be allowed, since that technology didn’t exist when the current ordinance was written.The proposed change would allow residents to have up to three stake signs, like the ones used for political candidates or garage sales.The brightly lit drive-thru menu boards at fast food restaurants, digital monument signs at the BluHawk development and the large light displays atop the City Place buildings were all subjects of prolonged debate before being approved.The new proposed ordinance codifies those types of signs, with some restrictions. Building-mounted displays like those at City Place require permits, a setback from the highway and are limited to 10 percent of the façade, with other restrictions on movement and brightness.Monument signs like those at BluHawk also would require permits, spacing and restrictions on the brightness and hold times.Other proposed changesGas stations and residential developments also would have some new rules. The monument signs at gas stations would become a thing of the past, but they could be replaced by incidental signs, or a digital display on the canopy. Residential developments would no longer be able to have subdivision signs in entry medians.Existing signs at gas stations and residential developments wouldn’t have to come down, though. Under the proposal, they could stay as “nonconforming” signs that must be maintained, but could not be replaced.Other proposed changes:Residents could have up to three “stake signs” (like a garage sale or political sign) for a total of nine square feet, with an additional sign possible for corner lots and a for sale or lease sign.Commercial and office buildings could have more signs on their façades, with more flexibility for whether the building is multi-story or multi-tenant.Billboards would get longer special use permits, going from the current three years to five. Overland Park has fewer than ten billboards, Hollrah said.The meeting Monday was informational only. The Planning Commission is set to discuss the ordinance Nov. 9 and the full City Council is scheduled to take it up Dec. 7.last_img read more

SYNNEX Raises Over $2 Million for South Carolina Charities in 2019

first_imgSYNNEX’s Share the Magic fundraiser initiative topped $2,063,680 in 2019 for four South Carolina-based charities, including A Child’s Haven, Clement’s Kindness, Make-A-Wish South Carolina, and Pendleton Place. In the last eight years of holding this fundraiser, Synnex has raised more than $12 million cumulatively.“We are very proud of surpassing the $12 million milestone — an achievement that would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of our associates, local organizations and individuals and business partners,” Peter Larocque, president of North America Technology Solutions at Synnex Corporation said. “By rallying together, we continue to have a lasting impact while helping four deserving Upstate charities better serve children and families.”Here are some of the Share the Magic Milestones:A Child’s Haven opened an additional classroom providing the opportunity to treat more children daily and deliver nearly 13,000 hours of group therapy each year.Clement’s Kindness has been able to transform the level of care of pediatric oncology and hematology patients across the Upstate. Additionally, they have been able to fund $50,000 more towards a therapy dog at the St. Francis Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Center and donate more than $430,000 to build the Dr. Cary E. Stroud Camper Care Center at Camp Courage.Make-A-Wish South Carolina granted 209 wishes in 2019, providing kids with hope, renewed energy and strength, while aiding them in facing their conditions and in healing. The transformational experience of a wish also unites communities and brings families closer together.Pendleton Place opened Greenville’s first Youth Drop-in Center for homeless, at-risk youth and provided hundreds of healthy meals to teenagers in foster care.See related  And That’s a Wrap(up)! Highlights from the SYNNEX LAVNCH DaysSYNNEX Share the Magic is an annual fundraising initiative created by SYNNEX Corporation to provide the much-needed funding for Upstate, South Carolina children and youth facing incredible challenges such as life-threatening illnesses, abuse, neglect or developmental delays. Since its inception in 2011, more than $12 million has been raised to fund programs that give Upstate children and their families the tools and resources they need to build better lives.Here is more information about Share the Magic.last_img read more

Want to Learn More About the Industry’s Only Proposed AV-over-IP Standard, IPMX?

first_imgThe Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) launched a new website Monday dedicated to the alliance’s Internet Protocol Media Experience (IPMX) proposed set of open standards and specifications.“The IPMX website makes it easy for anyone to learn more about this exciting approach to AV over IP,” said David Chiappini, working group chair, Pro AV Workgroup at AIMS. “In addition to outlining the fundamentals of IPMX and the benefits it enables, the website provides up-to-date information on related events and presentations by industry experts. The site is a one-stop shop for those interested in finding out more about IPMX and how it can be implemented within their operations.”Implementing a standards-based approach built on SMPTE ST 2110, IPMX proposes open standards and specifications designed to enable carriage of compressed and uncompressed video-, audio- and data-over-IP networks. The proposed IPMX roadmap also includes specifications beneficial to ProAV installations, such as AMWA NMOS IS-04 for discovery and registration and AMWA NMOS IS-05 for connection management and others for copy protection and security.The new AIMS website details the proposed IPMX road map, provides further information about the standards on which it is based and offers educational and reference materials including AIMS presentations, news and white papers focusing on IP for the media and ProAV industries.last_img read more

Esports Education Investments Endure and Grow Amid Budget Restrictions

first_imgBy Chris Bull Futuresource ConsultingThroughout 2020, esports has been one of the most notable champions amid stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies. The industry has thrived, but it has certainly changed course from its pre-COVID trajectory, and even more so for its application in K-12 and higher education.When we talk about esports and education, most market activity happens within higher education. This happens both as part of formal vocational engagement through business and event management modules, but also as undergraduate courses with the study of esports as a subject at the fore. It also presents itself informally via student societies, nonprofit league events and through educational integrators. The varying degree against which these elements are emphasized also reveals the regional differences that explain the development of esports within the education segment.Western Europe and North America as Most Developed Esports MarketsAccording to Futuresource Consulting’s latest esports report, Western Europe and North America are, at present, the two most mature and developed esports education markets. As of 2020, they account for approximately 60% of global install base of dedicated esports computing hardware. Despite rapid projected growth from the APAC region, these two Western markets are receiving a COVID-related boost, as higher education seeks out new drive factors for student engagement and courses that will attract and retain prospective students. Successful emerging undergraduate courses at both Salford and Chichester University in the U.K. are demonstrating the potential for other universities to formally integrate and produce an esports offering.The Differing Drive Factors Between APAC and Western MarketsThe drive factors for the APAC region are distinct from those in Western markets. In APAC, education integrators play a much greater role as they seek to augment the already existing curriculum using gaming as a tool, rather than having gaming as the subject in and of itself. Organizations such as Code Warriors in India and SCOGA in Singapore are active in this application and focus on K-12 interactions. These partners work directly with schools to demonstrate the educational value of gaming in the classroom and help open up the sector to consider more formal integrations of esports generally.However, the overwhelming majority of esports market growth within APAC is accounted for by the Chinese market — as a rapidly growing commercial opportunity too. A nationwide study of esports in China published by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security found that on average, 81% of those working in the esports industry had salaries approximately three times higher than that of the local average. Alongside this, the study also showed that approximately 15% of those within the industry held an undergraduate university degree or higher. There are clear concerns about whether the educational supply of skilled graduates can presently accommodate the soaring demand of the esports industry, which is continuously soaking up talent and work. This explains why there is a large scale and sustained investment in esports programs and courses, particularly at the Shandong Lanxiang Vocational School, but also at the Beijing Geely University. This will continue following investments in the commercial sector, as well as through China’s growing internet café industry, which takes its lead from South Korea’s similar PC-Bang culture.See related  Here’s How the Corona Tag Can Get Us Back to Work SafelyTightened Budgets in LATAM and EMEA in light of COVID-19The developing world in both LATAM and MEA has been heavily impacted in terms of esports educational investment; this is the result of tightening budgets following each country’s COVID-19 response and a comparatively low level of device penetration within the classroom. This does not mean that it has stalled however, as the focus point will move away from desktops and mobile-PCs, pivoting towards smartphone usage. This is already popular in these markets in the commercial sector and will account for the main method of interaction for gamers generally to interact with esports. Smartphone usage drastically cuts the entry cost for consumers to engage with esports and presents a simple, quick way to setup an esports enabled classroom environment.Around the world every market is embracing esports with variance according to the particularities of digital infrastructure and labour market qualities related to local conditions. Some markets are emphasizing higher education integration, particularly in markets where esports is established as a mature commercial industry, while others are using it as a tool for augmented learning outcomes and engaging students that otherwise struggle to remain invested in education. The integration of esports into the education segment will also include a wide range of devices, from smartphones and high-powered workstation desktops through to mid-range PCs for less competitive gaming.last_img read more

Vivitek Adds Two New New Wireless Collaboration NovoProjectors

first_imgVivitek has announced that it is launching two NovoProjectors, the DH3665ZN and DH858N, both of which feature integrated NovoConnect wireless collaboration capabilities. These projectors are designed to be all-in-one solutions and feature on-board wireless presentation and moderator function, making them ideally suited for the BYOD era without additional equipment. It’s possible to display up to four screens simultaneously, allowing for up to 64 people to participate in a meeting. In addition, the new projectors provide cross-platform compatibility with Windows, MacOS, Ubuntu, Android, iOS and Chromebook. Internal meeting participants can connect via the app or the NovoConnect software, while guests can use the Plug & Play USB Launcher. A new connection option, available throughout the entire NovoConnect range, is the possibility of direct mirroring of content via a web browser on this NovoConnect site.Both NovoProjectors feature Full-HD 1080p resolution, as well as DLP and BrilliantColor technology with a light output of 4,500 lumens. The Vivitek DH3665ZN uses a laser light source, while the Vivitek DH858N is a classic lamp projector.The NovoProjector DH3665ZN is ideal for long-term applications. With its laser light source, it has a service life of up to 30,000 operating hours at constant brightness and can easily guarantee 24/7 operation. The lamp-free design also has the advantage of high standard IP6X/IP5X anti-dust compliance. It also boasts excellent color performance of Rec 709 (95%) and virtually instantaneous image reproduction with a 360° projection angle.Vivitek says the NovoProjector DH858N is ideally suited for use in multiple rooms. By utilizing image correction via geometric adjustment of the four image corners and horizontal/vertical keystone correction as well as a 1.5x zoom ratio. The installation effort for this projector is reduced to a minimum, resulting in a seamless set-up process and deployment. Furthermore, it can be controlled either remotely via the IT network or, thanks to the new On-Screen-Display (OSD), directly on the device. The lamp has a service life of up to 4,000 operating hours, and, with viviBlack, the black level is increased, thus improving the contrast ratio.The purchase of every NovoProjector also includes a free LauncherOne included in the price until the end of the year. The LauncherOne enables guests or team members to connect instantly by establishing a secure wireless connection from laptops to the NovoProjector. The LauncherOne is specifically designed for companies with a strict Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy. It prevents unauthorized data transfer, keeps company’s information protected and ensures safe wireless communication with AES-256 encryption.The Vivitek DH3665ZN is available immediately at an RRP of GBP 1,690.00 (excl. VAT) and the Vivitek DH858N at an RRP of GBP 1,250.00 (excl. VAT).Learn more about Vivitek’s NovoConnect product line here.last_img read more

Home of the Second Chance: ‘We don’t judge; We help’

first_imgby. Adam MertzOver the last seven years, St. Louis Community Credit Union has gained prominence for its ambitious and solution-driven approach to serving low- and modest-income consumers in a market full of them.The $237 million asset credit union, which boasts 51,712 members, won the 2013 CUNA Community Credit Union of the Year award among institutions under $250 million in assets. Paul Woodruff, vice president of community development for St. Louis Community, discusses with Credit Union Magazine the philosophies that have earned the credit union respect throughout the movement.Credit Union Magazine: Why did St. Louis Community CU dial up its efforts to serve the underserved?Woodruff: We were turning away hundreds of people a month who wanted access to the mainstream accounts, but they couldn’t get it. We also started to see an increase in members who used payday loans and lenders, which strips wealth out of the community.If there’s no alternative to that, people are going to keep using those services, and make the situation even worse. And a part of that is, if they’ve got loan obligations with us, and all their money’s being taken by the payday lenders, that’s a losing proposition for our institution. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

T-Mobile wants to eat your lunch

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by. Robert McGarveyNew mobile competitors are calling, and they want your lunch.How many nibbles can a credit union absorb before its sustenance is devoured by hungry competitors?  That’s the question financial tech guru Jim Marous, senior vice president, business development at New Control, asks.“You can’t sit there and do nothing. The marketplace is changing completely. You need to take action to defend yourself,” Marous said.That is why Marous pointedly asks: Does T-Mobile want to steal 30% of your customers?Mobile Money, introduced by T-Mobile in late January, is the immediate threat. A mobile app coupled with a prepaid Visa card, the product does not presently involve paper checks but, beyond that, it can do much of what a conventional share draft account can do. continue reading »last_img read more

Migrant workers find an ally in California

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CU takes measures to protect this vulnerable population.For Roxy Ostrem, the last straw was when the check-cashing truck pulled up to the edge of the Boskovich Farm in 2010, enticing migrant workers with quick cash, only to supply them with a raft of counterfeit bills.That’s when Ostrem—the farm’s quality control manager, chair of the Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU) board of directors, and co-founder of the World Council of Credit Unions’ Global Women’s Leadership Network—decided it was high time to protect this largely unbanked population.VCCU leapt into action with an aggressive outreach program spearheaded by CEO Joe Schroeder and Ostrem. It has made a giant impact in the agricultural hotbed, which relies heavily on migrant workers to churn out $2 billion of berries and other produce annually.“We just said, ‘Enough is enough,’” explains Natalie Bradley, community development manager for the $660 million asset credit union in Ventura, Calif.The credit union promises to break down more barriers in coming years after expanding in 2013 to serve five additional employer groups and a sizable population of indigenous workers from Mexico. continue reading »last_img read more

Mobility Matters: Death of the branch

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by. Robert McGarveySurvey results make clear exactly how fast branches are becoming obsolete.Three in 10 Americans have not visited a bank or credit union branch in the past six months, according to a survey conducted for Bankrate.com.What is dazzling is that there are not significant generational differences, said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst. continue reading »last_img read more

In a subprime bubble for used cars, borrowers pay sky-high rates

first_imgby. Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael CorkeryRodney Durham stopped working in 1991, declared bankruptcy and lives on Social Security. Nonetheless, Wells Fargo lent him $15,197 to buy a used Mitsubishi sedan.“I am not sure how I got the loan,” Mr. Durham, age 60, said.Mr. Durham’s application said that he made $35,000 as a technician at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, N.Y., according to a copy of the loan document. But he says he told the dealer he hadn’t worked at the hospital for more than three decades. Now, after months of Wells Fargo pressing him over missed payments, the bank has repossessed his car.This is the face of the new subprime boom. Mr. Durham is one of millions of Americans with shoddy credit who are easily obtaining auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers’ abilities to repay. The loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers. The surge in lending and the lack of caution resemble the frenzied subprime mortgage market before its implosion set off the 2008 financial crisis. continue reading » 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Military credit unions cast watchful eye on DoD Lending Rule

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Marc RapportCredit unions and the military have a long shared history, and financial institutions based on bases are paying particular attention to proposed new rules some worry could limit how they extend credit to credit-challenged service members.Now in the comment phase, here’s how the changes are described in the September announcement from the Department of Defense “The new proposed actions are designed to apply the protections of the Military Lending Act to all forms of payday loans, vehicle title loans, refund anticipation loans, deposit advance loans, installment loans, unsecured open-end lines of credit, and credit cards.”The NCUA says the changes go beyond that agency’s own rules and could shut down some alternative lending programs that credit unions currently offer service members. Military-focused credit unions generally say they’re in a wait-and-see mode on the new rules, and several told creditunions.com their products wouldn’t run afoul of the new rules anyway.However, many are working with the trades and the DoD to offer input and limit the potential fallout from the rules, which could take effect sometime next year. A leader in that effort says credit unions on and around military installations already do the right thing, especially in protecting members against predatory lenders. “We feel the rules in place today have been effective,” says Arty Arteaga, president/CEO of the Defense Credit Union Council. continue reading »last_img read more

Briefs

first_img Briefs ROSENTHAL & LEVY RECENTLY hosted a contribution drive on behalf of United for Families. The drive yielded baby items including furniture, toys, clothing, and diapers. The donations were collected at Rosenthal & Levy’s Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach offices and donated to United for Families for use by the community-based agency’s foster care homes and providers. “This agency fills a crucial and specific need on the Treasure Coast,” said the firm’s Steve Simon. “My law firm is committed to partnering with community based organizations that make a difference.” United for Families was created in 2002 to provide foster care and related services to all children known to have been neglected or abused in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties. Its mission is to break the cycle of child abuse through a diverse network of community partners and innovative services. THE PALM BEACH COUNTY BAR recently honored five local middle and high school students with its Second Annual Mediation Poster and Essay Contest. “The contest was held in conjunction with Mediation Week as a way to educate students on the meaning of this legal process, which is an alternative to solving disputes without hiring a lawyer and without going to court,” said Jay Hunston, chair for the PBCB’s Alternative Resolution Committee. More than 165 students researched the concept of mediation and submitted their artwork depicting the process. The students also wrote short essays describing the meaning of their posters. The three high school winners are: First place, Sarah Blanc, 11th grade from Dreyfoos School of the Arts; second place, Errol Sabinano, 11th grade from Dreyfoos School of the Arts; and third place, Veronica Valega, 12th grade from South Tech Academy. Britney Tomsula from Boca Middle School received first place in the middle school category; and Lorena Lopez from Congress Middle School received second place. Winners each received a certificate, along with a cash prize of $75 for first place and $50 for second and third place. Also present are Charles Damsel, Dr. Bernard Shulman, Catherine Eaton, and Manny Farach, president of the Palm Beach County Bar. ABA BUSINESS LAW SECTION recently held its Legal Opinion Risk Seminar in New York, the first major conference on legal opinions since the Silverado Conference 17 years ago. The invitation only program was limited to 100 attendees and was chaired by Arthur Field of New York and Judge Thomas Ambro of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section was one of the co-sponsors. Leonard Gilbert (Tampa) served as a member of the planning committee. A follow-up program will be held in New York in April. Also included are Field, Robert Pass of Tallahassee; Philip Schwartz of Miami; Gilbert of Tampa; and Karen Mathis, president of the American Bar Association. THE ANNUAL REAL PROPERTY PRO BONO SEMINAR, cosponsored by Legal Aid, the Dade County Bar Young Lawyers Section, and Real Property Committee, was recently held at the Dade County Courthouse and explored topics such as real estate closings, landlord/tenant issues, predatory lending, ethics, and litigation. More than 68 attorneys attended, and most agreed to take a pro bono case in lieu of an admission fee. The speakers included Ana Camacho, Barbara Lanshe, Alain Lecusay, Oscar Sanchez, Aida Lanela, Carlos Ruga, and Barnaby Min. ORANGE COUNTY JUDGE Antoinette Plogstedt and Orlando Commissioner Phil Diamond participated in Florida’s attempt to break the record for the largest number of people to read the same piece of literature aloud, simultaneously, in multiple locations, according to Guinness World Records. Judge Plogstedt and Diamond, a lawyer, certified the results of a middle school in Orlando. From 11-11:30 a.m. on September 28, tens of thousands of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in Florida schools and libraries, watched a live public Web cast from Disney’s MGM Studios. During the program, Gov. Jeb Bush led a statewide read-aloud using an excerpt from the book Peter and the Starcatchers. December 1, 2006 Regular News Briefslast_img read more

Proposed e-servce rule

first_imgwho have designated an email address for service. < p> (2) When a final judgment is entered against a party in default, the court must mail a conformed copy of it to the party. The party in whose favor the judgment is entered must furnish the court with a copy of the judgment, unless it is prepared by the court, and with the address of the party to be served. If the address is unknown, the copy need not be furnished. < p> (3) This subdivision is directory and a failure to comply with it does not affect the order or judgment, its finality, or any proceedings arising in the action. (b) Service; How Made. When service is required or permitted to be made upon a party represented by an attorney, service must be made upon the attorney unless service upon the party is ordered by the court. < p> (1) Service by Electronic Mail (“Email”). All documents required or permitted to be served on another party must be served by email, unless this rule otherwise provides. When, in addition to service by email, the sender also utilizes another means of service provided for in subdivision (b)(2), any differing time limits and other provisions applicable to that other means of service control. < p> (A) Service on Attorneys. Upon appearing in a proceeding, an attorney must serve a designation of a primary email address and may designate no more than two secondary email addresses. Thereafter, service must be directed to all designated email addresses in that proceeding. Every document filed by an attorney thereafter must include the primary email address of that attorney and any secondary email addresses. If an attorney does not designate any email address for service, documents may be served on that attorney at the email address on record with The Florida Bar. < p> (B) Exception to Email Service on Attorneys. Service by an attorney on another attorney must be made by email unless excused by the court. Upon motion by an attorney demonstrating that the attorney has no email account and lacks access to the Internet at the attorney’s office, the court may excuse the attorney from the requirements of email service. Service on and by an attorney excused by the court from email service must be by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2) October 15, 2010 Regular News (i) All documents served by email must be attached to an email message containing a subject line beginning with RULE 2.516 SERVICE OF PLEADINGS AND DOCUMENTS Proposed e-service rule ________________________ . Unless the court otherwise orders, or a statute or supreme court administrative order specifies a different means of service, every pleading subsequent to the initial pleading and every other document filed in any court proceeding, except applications for witness subpoenas and documents served by formal notice or required to be served in the manner provided for service of formal notice, must be served in accordance with this rule on each party. No service need be made on parties against whom a default has been entered, except that pleadings asserting new or additional claims against them must be served in the manner provided for service of summons. service by email, service may also be made upon attorneys by any of the means specified in this subdivision (b)(2). Service on and by all parties who are not represented by an attorney and who do not designate an email address, and on and by all attorneys excused from email service, must be made by delivering a copy of the document or by mailing it to the party or attorney at their last known address or, if no address is known, by leaving it with the clerk of the court. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. Delivery of a copy within this rule is complete upon: < p> (A) handing it to the attorney or to the party, < p> (B) leaving it at the attorney’s or party’s office with a clerk or other person in charge thereof, < p> (C) if there is no one in charge, leaving it in a conspicuous place therein, < p> (D) if the office is closed or the person to be served has no office, leaving it at the person’s usual place of abode with some person of his or her family above 15 years of age and informing such person of the contents, or < p> (E) transmitting it by facsimile to the attorney’s or party’s office with a cover sheet containing the sender’s name, firm, address, telephone number, and facsimile number, and the number of pages transmitted. When service is made by facsimile, a copy must also be served by any other method permitted by this rule. Facsimile service occurs when transmission is complete. < p> (F) Service by delivery after 5:00 p.m. must be deemed as if it had been made by mailing on the date of delivery. < p>(c) (E) Format of Email for Service. Service of a document by email is made by attaching a copy of the document in PDF format to an email sent to all addresses designated by the attorney or party. Service; Numerous Defendants. In actions when the parties are unusually numerous, the court may regulate the service contemplated by these rules on motion or on its initiative in such manner as may be found to be just and reasonable. < p>(d)center_img (2) Service by Other Means. In addition to, and not in lieu of, the certificate is taken as prima facie proof of such service in compliance with this rule. < p> (g) Service by Clerk. Service of notices and other documents required to be made by the clerk must also be done as provided in subdivision (b). < p> (h) Service of Orders. < p> (1) A copy of all orders or judgments must be transmitted by the court or under its direction to all parties at the time of entry of the order or judgment. No service need be made on parties against whom a default has been entered except orders setting an action for trial and final judgments that must be prepared and served as provided in subdivision (h)(2). The court may require that orders or judgments be prepared by a party, may require the party to furnish the court with stamped, addressed envelopes for service of the order or judgment, and may require that proposed orders and judgments be furnished to all parties before entry by the court of the order or judgment. The court may serve any order or judgment by email to all attorneys who have not been excused from email service and to all parties not represented by an attorney Attorney” (a) Service; When Required Filing. All original documents must be filed with the court either before service or immediately thereafter, unless otherwise provided for by general law or other rules. If the original of any bond or other document is not placed in the court file, a certified copy must be so placed by the clerk. < p> (e) Filing Defined. The filing of documents with the court as required by these rules must be made by filing them with the clerk, except that the judge may permit documents to be filed with the judge, in which event the judge must note the filing date before him or her on the documents and transmit them to the clerk. The date of filing is that shown on the face of the document by the judge’s notation or the clerk’s time stamp, whichever is earlier. < p> (f) Certificate of Service. When any attorney certifies in substance: < p>“I certify that a copy hereof has been furnished to (here insert name or names and addresses used for service) by (email) (delivery) (mail) (fax) on. ….(date)…… Proposed e-servce rule (i) An email is deemed served on the date it is sent. < p> (ii) If the sender learns that the email did not reach the address of the person to be served, the sender must immediately send another copy by email, or by a means authorized by subdivision (b)(2) of this rule. < p> (iii) Email service is treated as service by mail for the computation of time. of this rule. < p> (C) Service on and by Parties Not Represented by an Attorney. Any party not represented by an attorney may serve a designation of a primary email address and also may designate no more than two secondary email addresses to which service must be directed in that proceeding by the means provided in subdivision (b)(1) of this rule. If a party not represented by an attorney does not designate an email address for service in a proceeding, service on and by that party must be by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2) of this rule. < p> (D) Time of Service. Service by email is complete when it is sent. the words “SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT” in all capital letters, followed by the case number of the proceeding in which the documents are being served. < p> (ii) The body of the email must identify the court in which the proceeding is pending, the case number, the name of the initial party on each side, the title of each document served with that email, and the sender’s name and telephone number. < p> (iii) Any document served by email may be signed by the “/s” format, as long as the filed original is signed in accordance with the applicable rule of procedure. < p> (iv) Any email which, together with its attached documents, exceeds five megabytes (5MB) in size, must be divided and sent as separate emails, no one of which may exceed 5MB in size and each of which must be sequentially numbered in the subject line.last_img read more

One lawyer’s close encounter with fraudster Scott Rothstein

first_imgOne lawyer’s close encounter with fraudster Scott Rothstein November 15, 2010 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News One lawyer’s close encounter with fraudster Scott Rothstein Senior EditorA real estate broker colleague’s tip about a new investment opportunity landed Florida lawyer Alan Sakowitz in the glitzy Ft. Lauderdale office of Scott Rothstein, talking business. Sitting on an alligator-skin couch, Sakowitz eyed the trophies of success that hung from the walls, including a picture of Rothstein’s wife holding six shopping bags from expensive stores.Taking in a breathtaking view of the ocean from the 16th floor, Sakowitz listened to Rothstein’s smooth spiel:Rothstein’s 70-attorney law firm had won several significant settlements in sexual harassment cases for clients. The clients had pressing bills and wanted lump-sum payouts, and there were great investment opportunities to buy funded settlement agreements. A niche market had emerged: Three $900,000 settlements could be purchased for $660,000 each — a $240,000 profit in three months.But the numbers didn’t add up to Sakowitz. The real estate developer in Bay Harbor Islands, with an LL.M. in federal taxation, would soon see through Rothstein’s too-good-to-be-true sales pitch for what it was: a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.Eighty-four days in 2009, as Sakowitz describes it, would take him through “an exciting, terrifying, intense drama involving the largest fraud in the history of South Florida, and I would witness greed and its blinding powers in truly stunning ways, as well as the dangerous collusion between business and politics.”Eventually, Sakowitz gathered the courage to call the FBI as a whistleblower, so no one else would be hurt.It’s all chronicled in Miles Away.. . Worlds Apart, a self-published book that juxtaposes the greed-fueled world of politically connected, charismatic, phony philanthropist, and master manipulator Rothstein — now serving a 50-year sentence in federal prison for racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud, and wire fraud — with Sakowitz’s own Jewish community near North Miami Beach, “where wealth and fulfillment is not measured in dollars, but in deeds,” where people look out for each other, and kindness is bestowed without fanfare.Riveting details of Sakowitz’s first-person account dealing with Rothstein are juxtaposed with life lessons learned from rabbis, family, friends, and legal colleagues.“I want to spread the message that leadership and community and family and integrity are things that are not only important, but make a person happier,” says Sakowitz.Detailing how the scheme unraveled before his eyes, while asking Rothstein a lot of questions that reaped unbelievable answers, Sakowitz writes: “[I]t was all simple arithmetic, which obviously no one else had taken the time to do.. . . Once people saw the pot of gold they would receive from Rothstein, they were not about to let the facts interfere with their decision.”But the facts shouted to Sakowitz and his two friends who had three meetings with Rothstein.“We quickly learned that our $50 million would not even plug a small hole in Scott’s investment world,” writes Sakowitz, who clearly details a dozen red flags that waved them away from investing a dime.On Amazon.com, 54 reviewers give Sakowitz’s book four out of five stars. One reviewer from Salt Lake City, Utah, wrote: “It’s guys like Scott Rothstein that give attorneys a bad name. And it’s guys like Alan Sakowitz that prove that humanity is, at its heart, good.”(To buy the book and for more information, go to www.LegacySeriesPress.com. )last_img read more

Judge uses a race car in Justice Teaching activity

first_img February 1, 2011 Regular News Judge uses a race car in Justice Teaching activity JUSTICE TEACHING VOLUNTEER Judge John Phillips recently generated great interest in his Justice Teaching sessions at The Royal Palm School when, to the amazement of the students, he roared up in his self-built race car. Co-volunteer Sheri Hazeltine said: “The kids were awestruck. I don’t think they had ever really seen such a car like this before. Needless to say, everyone is looking forward to his next visit.” The Royal Palm School has the largest population of disabled students in Palm Beach County. According to Hazeltine, many of the students are in wheelchairs due to various physical movement limitations. Although at times it can be difficult for them to communicate, these students are intelligent and can understand the Justice Teaching material being presented to them, she said. To learn more about becoming involved in Justice Teaching, visit www.justiceteaching.org .last_img read more

Advertising Update

first_imgKeep your faith in Recent Decisions of the Board of Governors on AdvertisingThe Board of Governors of The Florida Bar considers appeals from opinions of the Standing Committee on Advertising. The Board’s decisions on advertising issues at its most recent meeting are as follows: 1. Misleading Language in AdvertisementsRule 4-7.2(c)(1) provides that “A lawyer shall not make or permit to be made a false, misleading, deceptive, or unfair communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services.” A communication violates this rule if it: (A) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law[.]”The board determined that the use of plural pronouns by a sole practitioner is false, misleading or deceptive in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1).The board affirmed the committee’s decision that the following statements in a lawyer referral service advertisement which refers viewers to lawyers in car accident cases is a false, misleading or deceptive communication about the lawyer referral or services offered in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1) because it implies the viewer may be entitled to money above the $10,000 PIP allowance: thousands of dollarsin injury and lost wage benefits. 2. Direct MailThe board affirmed the committee’s decision in which the committee determined that the word “advertisement” in red must appear on the lower left hand corner of the envelope pursuant to Rule 4-7.4(b)(2)(B) despite the filer’s argument that the envelope does not indicate that it is from a law firm.3. Filing RequirementThe board affirmed the committee’s decision in which the committee determined that the lawyer advertising rules apply to Internet advertisements that appear in response to a search where the lawyer has paid the search engine to cause the advertisements to appear when specific key words are used in the search engine. Thus, each advertisement must contain the name of the lawyer responsible for the advertisement’s content under Rules 4-7.6(d) and 4-7.2(a)(1) and the geographic location by city or town, under Rules 4-7.6(d) and 4-7.2(a)(2). Additionally, each separate advertisement must be filed for review.4. Quality of Legal ServicesThe board affirmed the committee’s decision determining that the URL, which appears in the advertising attorney’s direct mail advertisement, describes or characterizes the quality of the services being offered and therefore is prohibited by Rule 4-7.2(c)(2).Recent Decisions of the Standing Committee on Advertising March-September 2011At the committee’s recent meetings it made the following decisions on appeals from staff opinions on lawyer advertising:1. Misleading Language in AdvertisementsRule 4-7.2(c)(1)(A) provides that “A lawyer shall not make or permit to be made a false, misleading, deceptive communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A communication violates this rule if it: (A) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law[.]” In addition, “[a] communication violates this rule if it: (C) fails to disclose material information necessary to prevent the information supplied from being false or misleading[.]”The committee determined that the statement “You may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in benefits, possibly much more.. . Your fault or not!” is a misleading statement in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1), because of their prior standard that any amount that is not $10,000, which is connected to the PIP statute, is misleading because there is no basis to make that statement.The committee determined that the following statement is misleading for a lawyer referral service to advertise: Injured…can’t work…you may be entitled to Super Lube, Super Suds Carwash, Stewardship Drycleaners, Crepevine, 1 Fresh Stir Fry, Crystal River Seafood, Bagel Bagel Cafe Advertising Update Dec 01, 2011 Prepared by the staff of the Standing Committee on Advertising Advertising Updates Even if you’re out of work, can’t pay your bills, and don’t have a vehicle, 1-800-Need-Help is here. super heroes A majority of the committee members commented that a proposed website is a lawyer referral service under Rule 4-7.10, Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, based on its proposed operational model: 1) lawyers, law students, expert witnesses, and the public could use the website at no charge as an information, communication, and networking hub to post information such as resumes and job openings; 2) at no charge members of the public could use search engine technology to ask law-related questions, seek law-related information, or run a search for lawyers; 3) the website would charge lawyers a fixed, periodic fee to participate in the website’s “find a lawyer” feature which would show standardized information such as a lawyer’s name, physical address, telephone number, email address, areas of practice, bar admissions, years of experience, and board certifications to members of the public seeking a lawyer; and 4) the website would sell advertising space.The information provided in this article is for educational purposes. The content of any advertisement noted in this article may constitute the intellectual property of the advertising lawyer or another person and use of any of the content of the advertisements may require permission of the copyright holder. If you have any questions regarding lawyer advertising, call the Ethics Hotline at 1-800-235-8619 and we will be happy to assist you. In addition, the key tags entitle you to a 15% discount at the following local businesses: . Some super heroes prefer fighting crime wearing a business suit.[name of attorney] Law Firm defends investors from fraud; patients from dangerous drugs and devices; consumers from identify theft; whistleblowers from retaliation; and employees from discrimination.The committee members commented that removing Super Lawyers Magazine and/or adding a disclaimer stating that “[Attorney] is not an actual super hero” will not resolve the violation.Additionally, the committee determined that the phrase “Call The Wizard” characterizes the quality of legal services in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(2).The committee also determined that the reference to the advertising attorney’s book, “The Key to Hiring a Great Bankruptcy Lawyer,” characterizes the quality of legal services in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(2) because it is a self-published book offered by the filer to prospective clients.3. Promising ResultsRule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G) prohibits any statement in lawyer advertising that promises results the lawyer can achieve. The committee determined that the statement Avoid Probate & Taxes promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G).A majority of the committee commented that the statement Learn How to Avoid Probate and Taxes in the context of an advertisement for a seminar on estate planning promises results. The committee commented that the filer could add may be able to avoid probate and help minimize taxes to make the advertisements compliant.The committee affirmed staff’s opinion determining that a law firm’s slogan, Your Life A New Way, promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G).The committee determined that the following language promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G):You can be entitled to tens of thousands of dollars in benefits for your pain and suffering.You may be entitled to up to $10,000 or more depending upon the circumstances.The committee commented that the filer must state the following for the language to comply:You may be entitled to up to $10,000 in medical benefits and lost wage benefits.In response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that the following language promises results, in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G):Save My Home Law GroupSave My Homehelp.savingmyhome.infoIn addition, in response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that the firm name “Stop Taking Our Property, PLLC” is impermissible as it promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G).The committee determined that the following language is permissible under Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G) because it does not state that prospective clients will obtain any specific result:Trial Lawyers Get: Responsive to all your needs & questions Effective; our goal is the best results for your case Steadfast; we stand by you Understanding your concerns Loyalty; we are on your side Tenacious; we will support you with all our resources Success; what you’re looking for when you put your case into our firm’s hands.The committee also determined that the following italicized language does not promise results:Victims of automobile and motorcycle accidents deserve to be compensated. In order to get every dime you are entitled to from the insurance company, sometimes you need an attorney who has the experience, expertise and ability to try that case.Look after a car accident you don’t want just a lawyer, you want an experienced advocate –an expert attorney who can guide you through the claims process and help maximize your recovery from the insurance company. I’m [name of attorney], call me. 4. TestimonialsR ule 4-7.2(c)(1)(J) prohibits language which contains a testimonial. The committee reversed staff and determined that the following statements in a television commercial in which a person with a microphone in hand interviews pedestrians do not contain testimonials in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(J) as long as a prominent disclaimer appears on the screen stating it is a dramatization:Interviewer:…[W]ho would you call?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: If you were in a car or motorcycle accident…?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERSInterviewer:. …injured and it wasn’t your fault?Pedestrian: 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: If you needed a lawyer, who would you call first?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: For car accidents?Pedestrian: 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: When you’ve been injured?Pedestrian: 1-800-LAWYERS. 1-800-LAWYERS! They’re for me!Interviewer: So, what would you do if you needed one?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERS. 1-800-LAWYERS…good lawyers for accidents. 1-800-LAWYERS…experienced lawyers! 1-800-LAWYERS! They’re for me!However, the committee did determine that the phone number, “1-800-LAWYERS,” is considered a trade name under Rule 4-7.9(b) in the context of these advertisements.5. SolicitationIn response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that it is impermissible in-person solicitation in violation of Rule 4-7.4(a) for an attorney advertisement containing a firm’s name, city, website to be printed on wristbands that are given out at facilities where all admittance is over 21 years old to identify members of a special group, such as bachelorette, birthday or other special occasions, would not identify any particular area of practice. The committee members stated that a factor in the decision is that the attendees would be required to wear the wristband in order to attend the event.However, the committee commented that it is permissible for an attorney to advertise on a pizza box because the advertisement would be one of 5 or 6 ads for different businesses, would be attached to the pizza box, regardless of whether it is picked up or delivered and the advertisement would be limited to a photograph of the attorneys, the firm name, address and fields of practice.6. Give AwaysThe committee reversed staff’s opinion and determined that the following language is not prohibited by Rule 4-7.2(c)(14) because the lawyer does not offer something of value to someone for recommending the lawyer’s services and is not providing financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation in violation of Rule 4-1.8(e): They’ll even provide transportation to your appointments and take care of your ticket.The committee noted that a lawyer referral service cannot use a third party to do something lawyers cannot do pursuant to Rule 4-8.4(a).In addition, the committee determined that it is misleading in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1) and A-09-1 for an attorney, who is a retired circuit court judge, to be identified as “Trial Resolution Judge [John Doe]” in a print advertisement and photograph promoting his private voluntary trial resolution business, despite section 44.104, Florida Statutes which provides for a method of private trials. It is also misleading for an attorney to wear a black judge’s robe in a print advertisement photograph promoting his private voluntary trial resolution business.In response to staff’s request for guidance a majority of the Standing Committee on Advertising members commented that it is misleading under Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(C) for a law firm that hires nonlawyers and out-of-state lawyers to represent clients as advocates before the Social Security Administration to fail to include a disclosure that nonlawyers and out-of-state lawyers will represent the clients in advertisements for social security disability matters.2. Quality of Legal Service sThe committee determined that the following italicized language relating to an attorney selected for inclusion in Super Lawyer Magazine describes or characterizes the quality of the services being offered and therefore is prohibited by Rule 4-7.2(c)(2): In response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that a direct mail communication that is mailed to developers congratulating them on new construction contracts including a G-clip (golf clip with tees and ball marker) and golf balls, is not a violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(14) which prohibits a lawyer from offering something of value to someone for recommending the lawyer’s services and is not providing financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation in violation of Rule 4-1.8(e).7. Lawyer Referral Serviceslast_img read more

Federal JNC seeks U.S. district judge

first_img March 1, 2012 Regular News Federal JNC seeks U.S. district judgeThe Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission is now accepting applications for a vacancy for a U.S. district judge in the Southern District of Florida. The vacancy was created by the elevation of Judge Adalberto Jordan to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.The revised Rules of Procedure for the federal JNC, applications with instructions, and the names and addresses of the commission members are available at the following websites: 1) The Florida Bar ; 2) U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida ; 3) U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ; and 4) U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. These materials also may be obtained from the commission’s chair, John M. Fitzgibbons, The Law Offices of John M. Fitzgibbons, 707 North Franklin Street, Suite 700, Tampa 33602; phone (813) 221-8800.Completed applications must be received by the commission chair and each commission member as specified in the rules by 5 p.m. March 26. Applicants selected for personal interviews will be interviews on April 27 in the Judges Conference Room, 14th Floor, Willie D. Ferguson, Jr., U.S. Courthouse, 400 North Miami Ave., Miami. Those selected for interviews will be posted on the above websites on or before April 18. Federal JNC seeks U.S. district judgelast_img read more

Proposed board actions

first_img March 1, 2014 Regular News Proposed board actions Proposed board actions Pursuant to Standing Board Policy 1.60, the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar publishes this notice of intent to consider the following item at its March 28, 2014 meeting in Palm Coast. This is governed by Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. If approved by the board, these amendments must still be formally filed with the Supreme Court of Florida, with further notice and opportunity to be heard, before they are officially approved and become effective. Additionally, non-substantive edits to conform to the Supreme Court style guide are not noted in the summary. To receive a full copy of the text of any of this proposed amendment, email jgreen@flabar.org or call Janellen Green at (850) 561-5751. Reference any requested proposal by its title or item number and date of this publication. RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR Chapter 4 Rules of Professional Conduct RULE 4-7.22 LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICESWithin subdivision (a), adds new subdivision (4) that prohibits lawyers from accepting referrals from a lawyer referral service that directly or indirectly requires the participating lawyers to refer clients to another person or entity for other services or places economic pressure on the lawyer to make such referrals and renumbers other subdivisions accordingly. Within subdivisions (a)(5) and (a)(6) [new subdivisions (a)(6) and (a)(7)], adds “at its headquarters address in Tallahassee” after “The Florida Bar”. Within subdivision (a)(7) [new subdivision (a)(8)] adds that a lawyer who has notified the bar of a relationship that the lawyer is accepting referrals may not accept referrals from a service who has not responded to bar inquiries only after being notified by the bar of the service’s failure to respond. Within subdivision (a)(8) (new subdivision (a)(9), changes “subject” to “approved by The Florida Bar pursuant.” Within subdivision (a)(10) [new subdivision (a)(11)] adds “and other communications to consumers.” Adds new subdivision (a)(13) prohibiting lawyers from accepting referrals from a lawyer referral service unless the service discloses to the consumer at the time the referral is made the location of the lawyer’s bona fide office by city, town or county. Adds new subdivision (a)(14) prohibiting lawyers from accepting referrals from a lawyer referral service unless the service uses a name that is not misleading to the public and does not use any name that would lead consumers to believe the service directly provides legal services. Within subdivision (b), exempts Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8 from lawyer’s responsibility for advertising by the lawyer referral service. Adds new subdivision (b)(2) requiring lawyers to notify the bar within 15 days of agreeing to accept referrals from a lawyer referral services, except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(3) requiring lawyers to notify the bar within 15 days of terminating a relationship with a lawyer referral service, except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(4) requiring lawyers to designate a lawyer in a law firm that is responsible for compliance with bar rules and for responding to bar inquiries regarding a lawyer referral service when the agreement is between the service and a law firm, except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(5) requiring lawyers to pay an administrative fee to be set by the bar for administering the program and enforcing these rules except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(6) prohibiting lawyers from making the initial contact in person, by telephone, telegraph, facsimile or any written communication that does not comply with the direct mail rules with a consumer after the referral is made. Adds new subdivision (b)(7) prohibiting a lawyer from referring clients to any person or entity in exchange for receiving referrals from the service. Adds new subdivision (b)(8) prohibiting lawyers from accepting referrals if the lawyer referral service interferes with the participating lawyer’s professional judgment, including if the lawyer referral service requires the lawyer to refer the lawyer’s clients to the lawyer referral service, an owner of the service, or an entity owned by the service or the service’s owner. Adds new subdivision (b)(9) prohibiting participating lawyers from referring clients to the lawyer referral service, an owner of the service, or an entity owned by the service or the service’s owner unless the requirements of rules 4-1.7 and 4-1.8 are met and the lawyer provides written disclosure to the client of the relationship and obtains the client’s informed consent, confirmed in writing. Adds new subdivision (b)(10) requiring lawyers to disclose in writing to clients at the outset of representation who are referred by a service that the lawyer received the referral and, if the lawyer paid the service for referrals, that the lawyer paid the service for referrals. Adds new subdivision (b)(11) prohibiting lawyers from charging referred clients any higher fee or cost than if no lawyer referral service were involved. Adds new commentary defining what constitutes an improper division of fees. Adds commentary explaining that lawyers may not charge referred clients a higher fee or cost to offset the lawyer’s cost of doing business with the lawyer referral service. Additional non-substantive changes are made for consistency and conformity with the Supreme Court of Florida style guide.last_img read more

April 15, 2015 Letters

first_img April 15, 2015 Letters L etters Malpractice Cases I could not help but notice in the March 15 News that there were four prominent ads soliciting legal malpractice cases.Either legal incompetence is on the rise or with the proliferation of lawyers, new areas of law are being explored.Terence A. Gross Pensacola April 15, 2015 Letterslast_img

Rewrite of the family law rules almost complete

first_imgRewrite of the family law rules almost complete November 1, 2015 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Rewrite of the family law rules almost complete Senior EditorAfter years of discussion followed by four years of hard work, the Bar’s Family Law Rules Committee is putting the finishing touches on a complete rewrite of family law procedural rules.The rewrite ends all references to the Civil Procedure Rules, by incorporating all of those passages into the family rules and tweaking some to meet the unique demands of family practices. The rewrite does not change references to the Rules of Judicial Administration that cover topics common to all practice areas. Elizabeth Blackburn, immediate past chair of the Family Law Rules Committee, and one of several committee members who chaired the redrafting subcommittee, said the goal was to make the rules easier to use, both for practitioners and pro se litigants who are common in family law cases.The effort, though, has sparked a discussion about whether the committee went too far in eliminating all references to civil rules and whether procedural rules should have as many common elements as possible or be more specialized.Blackburn said one of the concerns leading to the rewrite is that family practitioners had to keep on hand three sets of procedural rules: family law rules for issues specific to family law cases; Civil Procedure Rules for when the family law rules say an issue will be governed by civil rules; and the Rules of Judicial Administration for items common to all practice areas, such an e-filing, court procedures, and protection of confidential information.“If the Civil Procedure Rules Committee makes a change and the Supreme Court ultimately approves the change, then family law rules are automatically bound by that change,” Blackburn said. “What has happened over time is sometimes those changes have not been suitable for family. What we have done in this proposed amendment package of rules is we are not making changes willy-nilly. In many instances the language of the existing civil rule is carried over in its entirety.”What the subcommittee did, she said, is take all of the civil rules that were referred to in the family rules and put them in the family rules, ending all civil references.“It gives us the ability to not have to react when another rule body makes a change that impacts us,” Blackburn said. “In family law, some things are unique.”As an example, she cited discovery issues, where family law had some of its own rules and others still referred to civil rules.“We have unique discovery obligations,” Blackburn said. “We already had a rule over what has to be disclosed. We also have general discovery rules that govern our practice. We had to be careful and cautious about what, if any, changes we made.”Another concern was self-represented parties, who make up a large portion of family law cases.“Our practice more than any other is impacted by pro se litigants and it will continue to be impacted,” Blackburn said. “Perhaps the goal isn’t to make sure every pro se litigant knows what to do, but we do have to be mindful to make the process accessible.. . . “Now [except for the RJA matters] you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth between a family law rule and a civil rule. It’s all going to be in one place. We are hoping it makes it easier.”The rewrite effort has earned the endorsement of the Family Law Section, which made suggestions for minor improvements and were accepted by the rules committee, when the tentative rewrite was published for comment in the August 1 Bar News. The revised rules will be published again for comment in the News before the rules are submitted to the Bar Board of Governors. Any comments the board makes will be submitted with the rules rewrite when it goes to the Supreme Court, and it will again be noticed for comment.“It’s been a really collaborative effort,” said Family Law Section Chair Maria Gonzalez. “We’re pleased with all of the hard work that’s been put into this. I do believe it’s going to be a good and favorable product for all of the practitioners in the field. It gives more clarity. Any time it gives more clarity to specific rules, I think it can only assist practitioners.”Two outside issues may draw extra attention to rewrite of the family law rules. One is an interest expressed by the Supreme Court in reducing the size of procedural rules, perhaps by as much as 50 percent. The Board of Governors Program Evaluation Committee is studying procedural rules and ways to simplify them and could have a report by the end of the year.The second issue is an ongoing debate over how specialized specific procedural rules should be, as opposed to having more rules in common between the various rules sets.Both issues were discussed at the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee meeting when it met September 18 at The Florida Bar’s Fall Meeting – immediately after the Family Law Rules Committee met and adopted its modifications to the new rules.The RJA Committee discussed an ongoing review by the Board of Governors Program Evaluation Committee on the procedural rules and ways of simplifying them and rejected a motion to recommend that the Board of Governors appoints a special committee with “knowledgeable members” to explore that issue. The RJAC instead took no action beyond its discussion.The committee had an extensive discussion about the revised family rules directly incorporating civil rules and ending the references to civil rules.RJA Committee member Paul Regensdorf said what the new family rules do is “with the absolute best of intentions take about 15 to 20 basic rules of procedures, contexts that every lawyer uses, and copy them or tweak them.. . and now they’ve put them in a whole new rule.”That rule, he said, will inevitably be interpreted by judges and differences will creep in between the family rules and similar rules in other practice areas, ultimately creating a more complex rule structure for lawyers who practice in several areas and for judges who handle different kinds of cases.“The civil rules are a basic set of concept rules,” Regensdorf argued. “A deposition is a deposition is a deposition. In the motion rules, a motion is a motion is a motion. It doesn’t need to be written in a second place.”In a computerized world, he added, it’s easy for practitioners to flip back and forth between electronic family, civil, and RJA rule sets.The RJAC rejected a motion to develop a committee response to the new Family Law Rules and instead voted to instruct Chair Amy Borland to prepare a comment, based on a subcommittee’s review of the new rules and how they deviate from past practices, for when the rules are submitted to the Supreme Court.last_img read more

Judicial term limits heads to House floor

first_imgJudicial term limits heads to House floor Judicial term limits heads to House floor /DIVCOM/JN/jnnews01.nsf/8c9f13012b96736985256aa900624829/d5c5b45e7e06894185257f5300495944!OpenDocument” data-layout=”button_count”> Senior Editor A proposed constitutional amendment to limit service of Florida’s Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges to two terms passed out of its third House committee February 4, in a 11-6 vote along party lines. Rep. John Wood, R-Winter Haven, the sponsor of HJR 197, bristled at insinuations at the House Judiciary Committee that he was carrying out the agenda of Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, an attorney who called for judicial term limits during his acceptance speech as House speaker-designate. “The genesis of this bill was Thomas Jefferson. He warned us that the biggest mistake that we made in the Constitution was creating these gods with unlimited service for the rest of their lives,” said Wood, a lawyer himself. “That’s where this bill comes from. This bill comes about from transformation. It doesn’t come from the Speaker-D. It comes from an idea that the Speaker-D has endorsed. It wasn’t given to me,” Wood said. The inspiration for his bill, Wood said, is the notion that lawyers should aspire to the appellate bench as public service, not as lifetime career choices, and it would help avoid the abuse of power when governors appoint younger people to the appellate bench to “create a legacy.” “When a governor appoints somebody in their 40s to the Supreme Court — and Lawton Chiles comes to mind — and they are going to serve there for another 28 or 30 years, is that right? Is the power of that governor so absolute that we all have to just live with his decision forever?” Wood asked. “I don’t think so. I think we are talking about returning the power to the people.” The separation of powers and the equality of the branches government should be the focus, said Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Palm Springs, an attorney and former police officer voicing his opposition. “It’s not so much the content of this bill. It’s the concept of this bill. It’s knowing that we as legislators, as a co-equal branch to our colleagues in the judiciary, we have limitations on our power.. . . To me, this has the flavor of retribution.. . This House resolution goes way too far in overstepping our authority. Term limits as a proposition is something we should not be attempting to impose on those in the judiciary.” The Florida Bar opposes term limits for the judiciary, either on the trial or appellate bench. The proposed constitutional amendment would only impact appellate judges and would not be retroactive. Only if the proposal garners three-fifths of the vote in both the House and Senate, could it wind up on the ballot in 2016 for Florida voters to decide, and would then apply to appellate judges appointed by the governor after that date. The amendment would have the effect of limiting appellate judges to no more than two appearances on the merit retention ballot, which, depending on when they were appointed, would give a maximum term of between 12 and 15 years. “When The Florida Bar comes out and unanimously opposed this, it’s like I could not have bought that publicity any better,” Wood said. “The people know the Bar doesn’t represent their interests. The people know that power resides with them.” Christopher Carlyle, chair of the Bar’s Appellate Practice Section, said his executive council voted to unanimously oppose this proposal, as did the Bar’s Business Law Section. “It doesn’t make sense to take experienced people who are doing their jobs, who have gained some expertise and knowledge and wisdom for a period of time, and arbitrarily get rid of them for no good reason,” Carlyle said. “With experience comes consistency, and that’s what business lawyers will tell you is important to their clients.” When the measure was heard January 21 in the House Appropriations Committee, Wood called his proposal an enhancement of the “proper role of the judiciary” in our “republican form of government.” Retired Supreme Court Justice Major Harding testified: “You talk about the proper role of the judiciary. I could not help but think that one of the proper roles of the judiciary is to have qualified judges.. . . “I really have a significant fear that, in my conversations with people that have served on judicial nominating commissions, to find that there are numbers of unqualified people who are seeking judicial appointments because they are unable, in the practice of law, to make what a judge would make.” Most qualified judicial candidates, Harding said, take pay cuts from their law practices to become appellate judges, and they expect to stay on the bench until the Florida Constitution requires them to retire at 70. Harding gave the example of his good friend, retired Justice Stephen Grimes, who told him he was making $70,000 in 1973 as an attorney at Holland & Knight “when he felt a call to the judiciary” and applied for a position on the Second District Court of Appeal, where the pay at that time was $30,000 a year. Grimes, who would go on to serve on the Florida Supreme Court, told Harding that he never would have taken such a pay cut without the “expectation of devoting the rest of his legal life to the judiciary.” The 13-6 vote went along party lines. Rep. Cynthia Stafford, D-Opa Locka, an attorney who cast one of the “no” votes, said: “I believe there is value in experience. I believe that value will be diminished with term limits. We already have forced retirements. We have the merit retention process. Now we are adding term limits to that mix. And it chips away, I believe, at the importance of the independence of the judiciary. And that is very concerning.” Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, said: “I wonder if, in fact, term limits will help prevent inappropriate behavior or if, in fact, part of the intent and the goal here is to sidestep decisions that we as a Legislature or any other decision-making body.. . don’t agree with.” Corcoran, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, called Wood’s proposal “a great bill.” “When you go back and look at the founding documents, when they were putting together the Federalist Papers, Jefferson, who was the founder of the Democrat party, Thomas Jefferson was in ardent opposition to lifetime appointments for judicial candidates,” said Corcoran. The “days are long gone,” he said, of appellate judges only serving 11 years, as Harding did on the Supreme Court, after more than two decades as a trial judge. “Now, if you look at the United States Supreme Court, you look at the appellate judges, the ages in which we appoint them are getting earlier and earlier.. . . It’s a legacy thing for a president or a sitting governor,” said Corcoran, weaving back and forth between federal lifetime judicial appointments and Florida’s system of requiring retirement at age 70 for judges. “There are only two checks: the selection process, which is very minimal at its best, and the impeachment process, which has never been used [In the 1970’s two Florida Supreme Court justices resigned before impeachment processes were completed].. . . And then you have somebody with a lifetime commitment who can serve 20 and 30 years on the bench, you are losing on accountability.. . . “Left to our own devices, we will seek our own self-interests. I think the court, left to its own devices, unaccountable for this many years, has allowed itself to create that self-interest, which has it doing things that are encroaching on the separation of powers,” Corcoran said. In closing on his bill, Wood thanked Corcoran and said, “We all understand why you are the speaker-designate with those kinds of thoughts. They reflect, I think, my motivation behind this bill.. . . This bill and this proposal is something that is being talked about around the country. It is something that I think is the future, and that is a government totally responsive to our society.” Wood pointed out there are term limits for the president of the United States, governors, legislators, and some county commissioners. “To make the argument that somehow the judiciary is different just doesn’t seem to reflect how our government is set up,” Wood said. The Senate companion (SJR 322) has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing. But that may not mean the bill is dead, Jim Daughton, chief legislative counsel, told The Florida Bar Board of Governors when they met in Tallahassee on January 29. “Tallahassee is a great place for political chatter. If anyone thinks, through the political chatter, that the Senate is not going to act on the term limits, that the issue is dead for this year, I need to disabuse you of that notion,” Daughton said. “We’re in a very dynamic process. Last year, we all know the dysfunction the Legislature had. What they are going to try to do is remedy last year. They are not going to ignore one another’s proposals. When the speaker-designate tells you that term limits is a critical issue to him, that ‘this is something I’m really going to work to get done,’ the Senate is not going to ignore that.” Senior Editor Gary Blankenship contributed to this report. February 15, 2016 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter

first_img December 15, 2016 Rayven Wright Regular News Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter Special to the News On the eve of her 21st birthday, Brittney and her mother Tina were shocked to receive a notice of noncompliance from their property manager. According to the notice, Brittney’s emotional support animal, Panga, was in violation of the community’s height and weight guidelines under the pet policy. If Panga was not removed in seven days, Brittney and Tina were told they would face eviction from their home of six years. “Our reaction was utter devastation and chaos and sadness,” Tina said. “I know, physically, I was in hives over it. [Brittney] had some major manic attacks.” Brittney suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Her 40-pound Labrador-mix, Panga, provides emotional support through periods of depression and anxiety. According to Tina, Panga has been instrumental to her daughter’s well-being. Since living with Panga, Brittney has not been Baker Acted, nor has she harmed herself. Tina and Brittney had been going back and forth with their property manager prior to being issued the notice, and their therapist connected them with Pamela Fields of Legal Aid of Manasota. After they received the notice, Fields connected them with pro bono attorney Merissa Mort the very same day. “I just can’t even express how thankful and grateful I am that there are people like Merissa who will fight for those who can’t fight,” Tina said. “[Pro bono lawyers are] good people fighting for good people. I think there is not enough of that in the world.” Fields discussed this case with Mort because she had recently tackled a similar case through Legal Aid of Manasota and had a successful outcome. “I asked [Fields] if I could take [Brittney and Tina’s] case because I am passionate about housing rights,” Mort said. Brittney and Tina live in a federally subsidized housing complex with a 20-lb. weight restriction on dogs. However, under the Fair Housing Act, comfort animals, like Panga, are exempt from any community rules including breed, size, pet limits or no pet policy. Mort wrote a demand letter to the property manager explaining that the notice was in violation of Brittney’s rights under the Fair Housing Act. Two days later, the community’s attorney responded with a letter stating that Brittney’s disability meant she would be granted reasonable accommodations regarding Panga and that the seven-day notice would be withdrawn. “It was a godsend.” Tina said. “I think if things had not turned out that way, if legal aid did not accept our case, if they didn’t find Ms. Merissa Mort, I think we would be homeless today, for sure. It was happy birthday to Brittney.” This is the second case Mort has handled through Legal Aid of Manasota. Mort feels fulfilled knowing that through pro bono she can help change someone’s life in their greatest time of need by simply doing what she loves to do. “JFK said it best,” Mort said. “‘For those to whom much is given, much is required.’ As attorneys, we have the unique ability of helping people in life-changing matters. Pro bono work doesn’t have to be time- consuming. Sometimes pro bono cases take months to complete, and sometimes they are resolved through one simple letter.  We should do what we can, when we can, to help others in need.” Brittney says she is thankful to everyone involved in providing legal aid to those who need it, calling them true heroes. “My life has been a whole lot brighter because someone stepped in and spoke up for me,” Brittney said. “It’s an amazing thing to feel whole again.” RayvenWright is an intern from the University of Central Florida assigned to The Florida Bar Foundation.last_img read more

Bill aims to reform eyewitness identification procedures

first_imgBill aims to reform eyewitness identification procedures April 15, 2017 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News Bill aims to reform eyewitness identification procedures Senior Editor Eyewitnesses don’t always get it right. Just ask James Bain, Orlando Boquete, Larry Bostic, Alan Crotzer, Cody Davis, Wilton Dedge, Luis Diaz, William Dillon, and Frank Lee Smith. They served a total of 180 years in Florida’s prisons for crimes they did not commit. Eyewitness misidentification was a contributing cause in all of their wrongful convictions. Eventually, DNA evidence came to the rescue to exonerate them. In 2010, the Florida Innocence Commission studied how unreliable eyewitness identification can be, the psychological reasons why witnesses seem so certain even when they’re wrong, and reforms other states have taken in the way law enforcement conducts photo or live lineups. Seven years later, Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, and Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, are sponsoring CS/SB 312 and HB 643 and hope to pass the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act that would require state, county, municipal, or other law-enforcement agencies that conduct lineups to follow specific procedures to ensure a fairer process. “As many of us who have served in the House, we remember this legislation back in 2011. It passed the Florida Senate and made all the committees in the House, but did not make it to the floor,” Baxley said, in closing on his bill in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on February 21, where it passed unanimously, and later passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously on March 14. HB 643 unanimously passed both the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on March 15 and the Judiciary Committee on March 27. “I’m really surprised it’s been this long before we got back around to seeing it again. It is my privilege to present it. I think it’s a good move for justice, and it will protect law-enforcement, state attorneys, and the accused from being mistakenly identified,” Baxley said. Michelle Feldman, a state policy advocate for the national Innocence Project, said, “Nationally, eyewitness misidentification is the No. 1 cause of wrongful convictions proven by DNA. This bill would not only protect the innocent, but it would protect public safety, because when the wrong person is convicted, the real perpetrator can be out harming others.” Of 349 DNA exonerations nationwide, she said, 71 percent involved eyewitness misidentification, and the real perpetrators identified in those crimes went on to be convicted of 100 additional violent crimes, including 64 rapes and 17 murders. Baxley explained that he took recommendations from the Florida Innocence Commission, created by then-Chief Justice Charles Canady, and crafted these uniform procedures: “It will require eyewitnesses to acknowledge their instructions about the lineup procedure, and they will be told that the investigation will continue, and that the individual may or may not be there. “These disclaimers and this process, many, many law-enforcement agencies already use,” he said. An individual not involved in the case, called a “blind administrator” who is not seeking a specific outcome, will administer the lineup, so the person does not either inadvertently or purposely give cues about which photo or person the witness should pick. “We advocate for best practices endorsed by the National Research Council, the U.S. Department of Justice, the International Association of Police Chiefs, and many others,” Feldman said. “That is blind administration that is required in this bill. If you can’t find a blind administrator, you can use an alternative technique, a really cheap one: The folder-shuffle method. You put the lineup photos in folders and shuffle them and hand them to the witness one at a time, so that the administrator can’t see which one is being viewed.” Two other best practices not in the bills, she said, use “fillers” that match the description of a perpetrator, so the suspect doesn’t obviously stand out. The other is witness confidence statements, where at the time an eyewitness identification is made, the administrator asks the witness about their level of certainty, in order to document at the moment of the identification how confident the witness is. “By the time the court case comes up, when there is media exposure and talking to investigators, sometimes the witness becomes a lot more confident over time,” Feldman said. “We would ask that you also include the fillers and the witness confidence statements.. . . There are really zero costs associated with this legislation. The only cost is training.” Nineteen states have adopted the best practices advocated by the Innocence Project. Feldman said the Innocence Project has a certified eyewitness identification trainer to give statewide training at no cost. She said wrongful convictions by eye-witness misidentification have cost taxpayers in Florida more than $6 million in civil lawsuits.last_img read more

Seasoning, health helping Gophers to early dual success

first_imgLast year, half of the people in Minnesota’s starting lineup were from its heralded redshirt freshman class. This year, those wrestlers started the season with experience.“Last year we had a lot of freshmen in the lineup, so we weren’t as tight as a team,” Konrad said. “And this year we’ve all been through a season. So I mean, we’re all real close now, wrestling as a team.”Minnesota also had to endure a slew of injuries that complicated continuity.C.P. Schlatter missed the first two months of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Tommy Owen missed the majority of the first two months with a neck injury and Gabe Dretsch was out until the end of January with a groin injury.Add in various injuries to Bobbe Lowe, Roger Kish and Josh McLay as the season progressed, and Minnesota struggled to set its lineup all year.But the Gophers are completely healthy this season, Konrad said. Robinson attributed the better health to better, harder training.The Gophers also struggled to put serious contenders in the 149-pound and 157-pound weight classes, going 1-7 in those classes in the first four dual meets and getting outscored 36-3.But this season, Schlatter has teamed with younger brother true freshman Dustin Schlatter to bolster those two classes, in which Minnesota is 7-1 this season while outscoring opponents 31-3.“Last year we couldn’t get our whole lineup together until the Big Ten Tournament,” Konrad said. “That hurt us a lot last year, but now everything’s good.” Seasoning, health helping Gophers to early dual success David McCoyNovember 30, 2005Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintMinnesota wrestling coach J Robinson said he’s “not so sure” his team is off to a better start than last season.But after a 4-0 start in dual meets, the fifth-ranked Gophers have shown a marked difference thus far that goes far beyond their record.And what Robinson did say explains why:“Last year, we had a lot of injuries and stuff. I think that the guys are just older, they’re more mature, they know what to expect, they’re excited about their team and I think they think they can win and I think that confidence makes a big difference.”All those factors have a couple of his grapplers saying what their coach didn’t quite want to say.“I think we’re a little bit ahead of where we were last year,” 133-pound sophomore Mack Reiter said. “Last year we started the season with Oklahoma State at home and we had a rough dual there. But I think we’re definitely looking good early this year.”That’s the first contrast. The Gophers lost 28-10 to the Cowboys in their first dual meet of the season last year ” a team Minnesota couldn’t quite solve all season.But before this dual season began, No. 4 Minnesota 165-pounder Matt Nagel and second-ranked heavyweight Cole Konrad knocked off two defending national champions from No. 1 Oklahoma State, Johnny Hendricks and Steve Mocco, at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic on Nov. 21.Those wins were huge for another factor Robinson referred to ” confidence.“It did a lot for the confidence of the team, letting them know that they are definitely beatable,” Konrad said. “We’re right up there, at least the same caliber. Actually, I was looking on the Internet and on a poll they have us as the top team to beat them. Even little things like that are big for us motivation-wise, because other people see it too.”last_img read more

Minn. bats hushed in 3-2 loss to Ohio State

first_imgMinn. bats hushed in 3-2 loss to Ohio StateApril 4, 2009Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAfter Friday nightâÄôs 7-5 win over Ohio State, Minnesota head coach John Anderson talked about how hard it is to win two straight against a team like the Buckeyes. HeâÄôs been around long enough to know just how competitive the matchup is, so perhaps it was a matter of managing expectations. Maybe he was simply trying to be realistic. Whatever it was, he was on to something. Minnesota played flawless defense and got a pair of solid pitching performances from senior Tom Buske and freshman Austin Lubinsky, but the 25th-ranked Gophers (15-9 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) couldnâÄôt find that clutch hit and fell to No. 18 Ohio State 3-2 Saturday at the Metrodome. âÄúItâÄôs becoming obvious that we have a young team offensively,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúIt takes time to learn how to be a complete hitter and obviously, thatâÄôs the book on us.âÄù Neither team had an impressive day at the plate, especially with runners on base. Minnesota was 3-for-20 with runners on the basepaths; the Buckeyes (22-6, 3-2) were hardly better, going 3-for-16. Combined, the teams stranded 21. But two swings were all Ohio State needed. Justin Miller belted a two-run homerun off Buske in the top of the first inning to stake the Buckeyes an early lead. Then, a solo shot in the seventh by Michael Stephens off of Lubinsky proved to be the winning run. The GophersâÄô inability to respond to Ohio StateâÄôs homeruns squandered otherwise outstanding performances by Lubinsky and Buske. After their early hiccups, neither man could be touched. âÄúWhen we canâÄôt put up more than three runs, itâÄôs not going to win the game,âÄù redshirt freshman first baseman Nick OâÄôShea, who went 3-for-4, said. âÄúWe had our chances today and didnâÄôt make some adjustments at the plate. We were swinging at a lot of balls, too.âÄù Of course, the Buckeyes deserve plenty of credit. Dean Wolosiansky, Drew Rucinski and Jake Hale combined to allow a mere six hits. Minnesota threatened on multiple occasions and had baserunners in eight of nine innings, but stranded seven in scoring position and was 0-for-15 in RBI opportunities. In the bottom of the ninth and trailing by one, the Gophers were coming to the top of the lineup. Senior Matt Nohelty led off with a walk and moved over on a sacrifice bunt by redshirt freshman AJ Pettersen. Junior second baseman Derek McCallum stepped to the plate to try and knock in his second run of the game. Hale forced him to fly out to right field. Then Michael Kvasnicka, MinnesotaâÄôs cleanup man whoâÄôs batting .404 on the season. He went down on strikes to end the game. The opportunity was there, just like it was there for Ohio State on Friday night. But also like Friday night, defense and pitching clamped down when it needed to. âÄúWe had the right guys up there a few times today and we had the right guys up there in the last inning,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúGive [the Buckeyes] credit. Hale did a good job of executing his pitches and we got a little anxious up there. We took a run at them the last three innings and couldnâÄôt get that last hit. Give them credit.âÄùlast_img read more

Gophers struggle to fourth-place Big Ten finish

first_imgGophers struggle to fourth-place Big Ten finishA tough weekend resulted in Minnesota’s worst finish since 1989.Erin Westover Samuel GordonFebruary 27, 2011Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintFor the first time since 1989, the Minnesota menâÄôs swimming and diving team failed to finish in the top three at the Big Ten championships . The Gophers tallied 505.5 points and finished fourth behind Ohio State, Indiana and Michigan, which won its third championship in four years. Despite that fact, head coach Dennis Dale was pleased with the way his athletes performed. âÄúWe were very excited. We had a lot of lifetime bests,âÄù Dale said. âÄúAt a meet like this you hope for 100 percent lifetime bests, but you never get it. Every athlete on our team did at least one lifetime best performance.âÄù One of those athletes was senior Michael Richards, who became the first Big Ten swimmer since 1962-63 to repeat as champion in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. Richards crushed the school, meet and conference records in the 50 freestyle prelims Thursday, clocking in at 19.10. He went on to win the event with a time of 19.19, bettering the second place finisher by more than half a second. âÄúIâÄôve had my sights set on that for the last two years,âÄù Richards said of the record. âÄúI was a bit peeved that I didnâÄôt get that last year, so this year I crushed it, and I was pretty happy with that.âÄù The All-American and Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships completed the freestyle sweep Saturday night with a win in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 43.20. âÄúIt shows you how tough it is to repeat in those two events,âÄù Dale said about RichardsâÄô performance. âÄúPeople have repeated in the 100, people have repeated in the 50, but nobody since 1963 has repeated in both of them, so that was special, and he also was a stalwart on our relays.âÄù Richards, along with senior Curt Carlson, junior Zach Bolin, and freshman Derek Toomey set a new Big Ten record in the 200-yard freestyle relay Friday, clocking in at 1:16.78, the first sub-1:17.00 in Big Ten history. Richards improved his 50-yard freestyle record to 19.05 with his split, giving the Gophers a nice-sized lead heading into the second leg. Carlson swam his split in 19.28, with Bolin following in 19.25. Toomey posted a 19.20 in the final leg to cement the victory and record . âÄúIt was incredible. I donâÄôt even know how to describe it. We have some of the best 50 freestylers on our team,âÄù Toomey said. âÄúIt was awesome just to be able to anchor that relay with four really strong guys. It meant the world to me. It was a really good bonding kind of experience.âÄù There were plenty of other bright spots for Minnesota aside from Richards and the relay team. Senior Ivan Gutesa swam his way to a school record and third-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:55.36. Junior Kris Jorgenson and senior Drew Brown finished second and third, respectively, in platform diving, finishing behind Diver of the Championships and Olympian David Boudia of Purdue. Toomey scored in all three of his events, recorded a personal best in the 100-yard freestyle and became the first Gophers freshman since 2004 to win a conference title with the victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Minnesota finished exactly where the rankings projected it would. The Gophers were the fourth of six Big Ten teams that were ranked nationally. The Big Ten champion Wolverines also finished accordingly, as they were the highest ranked Big Ten team. âÄúWe went into the meet knowing that there are three teams ranked ahead of us in the conference. We were hoping that we could knock one or two of them off, but that wasnâÄôt the case,âÄù Dale said. âÄúWe were excited by the outstanding performances that [our team] put up. Yet we know that if we want to compete for the Big Ten championship, weâÄôve got to do a better job recruiting outstanding athletes.âÄùlast_img read more

Gophers head to coach’s alma mater for tournament

first_imgGophers head to coach’s alma mater for tournamentHead coach Jessica Allister was a four-year starter while at Stanford. Matt GreensteinMarch 5, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintHead coach Jessica Allister will head back to a familiar place this weekend.She’s traveling to her alma mater, but this time she’ll be managing from the opposing dugout.Allister started all four years as a catcher at Stanford and led the Cardinal to two Women’s College World Series.“College was the best four years of my life. I enjoyed every second of it, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” she said.She’s in the Stanford record books’ top-10 in nearly every batting statistic and earned multiple accolades along the way.As well as her on-the-field recognitions, Allister was a leader among her teammates.“She’s just a fierce competitor. She’s the leader on the field and works extremely hard,” said John Rittman, Allister’s coach at Stanford.Her competitive drive dictates the intensity of the Gophers’ practices, which are run at a very fast pace and are never dull.Both Allister’s mother and father were coaches, so the coaching gene is in Allister’s makeup.“You take a little bit and learn from all of your experiences. I think coach Allister has probably done the same with her career,” Rittman said. “That’s one of the things that good coaches can do. They learn the game, and it’s very evident that she’s done a great job.” Throughout Minnesota’s season, Allister has preached to her team to control the controllable, and her motivating and competitive nature has rubbed off on the Gophers.“Coach says it all the time, ‘[We] can’t have any expectations. [We] just have to go out there and compete,’” sophomore pitcher Sara Groenewegen said.The last time Allister traveled to her alma mater was two years ago for a tournament where the Gophers won three of five games.One of their two losses went into extra innings when Minnesota fell to Stanford 2-1 in the eighth.“Once the game started, you don’t really think about it. But before and after the game, it’s definitely a weird feeling to know that someone you coached and coached with is now a successful coach of her own program,” said Rittman, who has since left Stanford.Not only was Allister a coach for the Gophers, but before Minnesota, she was an assistant coach under Rittman.She spent three years as an assistant coach and helped Stanford reach three consecutive NCAA tournaments and two super regional appearances. “The opportunity to coach with John Rittman, who I just think the world of, and to be able to come home and represent my alma mater, it was a dream come true,” Allister said.Before coming to Minnesota, Allister also made stops at Georgia and Oregon, but she has since changed her shade of red after taking over at Minnesota five years ago.“She’s had a lot of success in a short amount of time, and nobody is more deserving than coach Allister,” Rittman said.last_img read more

CJ Smith looking to fulfill big dreams

first_imgAdditionally, Smith said he considered becoming a politician someday.“If that was an option after a lot of years of practicing law, I think that would be pretty interesting thing to be involved with,” Smith said. “It is not an easy path to take, especially in the U.S. It takes a lot of money, and it takes a lot of connections to get involved with at a high level. But I think that it would be great to have an influence on not just on my friends but the nation as a whole.”Kaci Smith said she believes her son would be a great politician.“I could definitely see him go down that path,” Smith’s mother said. “He’s very composed, and he also does his homework, too. What I mean by that is he doesn’t just go give an opinion on something unless he has checked out what that opinion really means. I think that’s really important for a politician.”Smith’s younger brother, Grant, a swimmer for Davidson, said his brother represents himself very well.“CJ always knows when to take a backseat and be an observer,” Grant Smith said. “He also knows when to speak his mind. A lot of people look up to him for that. I don’t know if he realizes how many people look up to him, but he’s just a natural born leader.”Swimming dreamsBesides taking a year off to prep for the LSAT, Smith will be training to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics.He said the trial is a little bit away, but it comes up soon, and he wants to be ready for it. “Right now, even if I am a few seconds behind [a qualifying time], obviously I don’t want to cut myself short. The big goal for me has always been to represent the United States. I don’t want to quit swimming knowing that I feel like I have the potential to reach that,” Smith said.Grant Smith said if his brother does realize his goal of representing the United States in the Olympics, he wouldn’t know how to describe his feelings exactly. In high school, he said his brother wasn’t in contention to qualify for the Illinois state meet, but he left as one of the best 500-yard freestylers.“I think there would be so much joy knowing that his work really did pay off,” Grant Smith said. “Even if he doesn’t make the Olympics, he should be proud of what he has accomplished in the sport of swimming.”But before the Olympic trials, Smith has another important meet to focus on. He’ll have about three weeks off before the NCAA championships.However, no matter how he performs or what the legacy that Smith may leave behind at Minnesota, his parents will always be proud of him.“We are extremely thankful for the opportunity that he has been given,” said Smith’s father, Chris. “It means a lot to us that he is very devoted to the program. He has probably got as much out of it as he has given back. I think he wants to leave the program better than [when] he came there, and I hope that’s what happens.” CJ Smith looking to fulfill big dreamsSenior swimmer CJ Smith is an All-American for the Gophers.James HealyCJ Smith will compete in his fourth consecutive NCAA championships later this month. Danny ChenMarch 4, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintIt takes a lot of commitment to become an All-American at the Division I level.For senior CJ Smith, his desire to be the best started before he even stepped on campus.As a high school swimmer, Smith didn’t miss a single practice in all four years of his career.“I’ve never seen somebody who has been so dedicated and works hard on his own. We never, ever, ever had to tell him to go to practice. Not once in his entire life,” said Kaci Smith, CJ’s mother.Smith’s commitment to swimming has taken him to his fourth-consecutive NCAA championships, where he’ll compete later this month.“He just continues to do for the Gophers what he [has done] for the last three years, finishing up his fourth year,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “There is no question about it that he is dependable. He’s a heck of a swimmer, and I know he’ll finish his career strong in the NCAAs.”Smith completed his final Big Ten championships last month, and he has one more collegiate meet that could add on to his legacy here at Minnesota.Beyond that, Smith has already made plans — law school.Career aspirationsRecently, Smith has spent summers working at the State Fair in the entertainment department.“I got to meet some of the agents for musicians,” Smith said. “I know that I want to be in the field of law, and I have set my sights on it; and that is one of my goals.”His acquaintance with the agents sparked his interest in representing athletes in the future.“Being an agent is a really interesting line of work,” Smith said. “It’s one of those things where the effort you put in is what you are going to get out. You chase people, and you want to represent them. And if you show them that you have a real passion for it, then they are going to let you represent them as an agent.”Chris and Kaci Smith, CJ’s parents, said they support his decision whole-heartedly.“We learned to never doubt his ability or his desire to want to pursue something,” Chris Smith said. “He’s always been so focused on things that if [being a sports agent] is what he wants to do, we know that he will be successful at it.”Smith said after he graduates, he will use the following year to study for the Law School Admission Test or LSAT.last_img read more

Big Ten drug policies differ among schools

first_imgAmong Big Ten schools, the penalties for failed drug tests vary between the first, second and third offenses. “The NCAA’s doping policy is outdated, and there needs to be more consistency among schools,” Hainline told the Wall Street Journal. “Our first priority is that we’re providing great care from a health and safety standpoint because we’re really worried about their well-being,” she said. Across the NCAA, student-athlete drug policies differ, a problem the association’s administration wants to fix. But creating one uniform policy might not be as easy as it seems.  He said the educational counseling component of the disciplinary action is overlooked but important. “There are issues that are more prevalent in different areas of the country, so they could possibly be handled more efficiently at the institutional level than waiting for the minutiae and bureaucracy of the NCAA,” said Chris Hawthorne, a Big Ten representative for the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a formerGophers football player.  Several other Big Ten schools including Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin don’t require a suspension on the first offense. If the student-athlete fails his or her first NCAA-issued drug test, the penalties are much more  stringent and include the loss of a year of eligibility and a full-season suspension. “In my opinion, it makes no sense to punish a kid if you’re not going to allow and encourage them to learn from the experience,” Hawthorne said. If a student-athlete at Rutgers failed a drug test for the first time, he or she may be suspended for up to two weeks. Brian Hainline, who was named the NCAA’s first chief medical officer in 2012, said it’s time to find common ground, taking the responsibility out of individual school’s hands. center_img The group shares it by email with all student-athletes before the school year. It’s also in the student-athlete handbook, and all freshmen are educated on it in their orientation, said deputy athletics director Beth Goetz  At Minnesota, a group that includes the athletic department’s sports medicine staff, sports psychologists and officials from Boynton Health Service reassess the school’s drug policy for student-athletes each year. The men’s basketball program at Syracuse also received heavy sanctions from the committee in March for failing to abide by their drug policy, among other violations. Many student-athletes may not realize usage of Adderall could lead to a failed drug test, Hawthorne said. Still, he said student-athletes shouldn’t put themselves into that risky situation. NCAA spokespeople did not return calls for comment for this story. Big Ten drug policies differ among schools Sam KraemerApril 30, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintWith the amount of change the NCAA has undergone in recent years, rectifying inconsistent drug policies from school to school may be next on the docket. Just last week, the NCAA Committee on Infractions put Oklahoma State’s football program on a one-year probation after concluding the team failed to follow the school’s own drug policy for student-athletes. For example, if a student-athlete at Minnesota failed a drug test for the first time, he or she would be required to do 20 hours of community service. The same applies for Iowa.  Hawthorne referenced the abuse of Adderall — the prescription drug that enhances concentration —  by students and student-athletes alike during exam periods. With all of the differences, Hainline told the Wall Street Journal he hopes for the autonomy conferences to draft a collective policy, rather than the current school-by-school basis. “If you’re a student-athlete, you’re coming to school for academics and athletics. There’s no place for abusive drugs to occur in my opinion,” Hawthorne said. “There’s a culture of abuse right now, and we need to do a better job of combating it.”last_img read more

Jeremy Lynn hopes to bounce back

first_imgNow, Lynn is focused on making adjustments to pick up his first victory at the team’s next tournament. “I don’t know what it’s about yet,” Lynn said. “I’ve just been enjoying the process of how to do it. I love movies, always have, and it’s cool to start doing it.” Jeremy Lynn hopes to bounce backThe junior started the year without a singles victory for the Wildcat Invite. Jack WhiteOctober 14, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintJunior Jeremy Lynn started the 2015 season going 2-0 in doubles with senior Ruben Weber and 0-2 in singles at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational over two weeks ago.   Now approaching his second tournament of the year — the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regionals — Lynn will look to get his first singles victory. Lynn said he’s made a short video for one of his film classes and is looking forward to making a 10-minute spot by the end of the semester. “[In high school] I thought he had a really good forehand with a really good serve,” Young said. Lynn went 2-3 in doubles as a freshman but only competed in one doubles match last year, which he lost. “He’s working on some new things in his game,” head coach Geoff Young said. “I don’t think he played his best tennis in [the Wildcat Invitational], but I think that ever since then, he’s been playing better.” Off the court, Lynn originally thought he would be a business major, but he is currently studying film and media.center_img To start his junior season, Lynn was defeated 6-2, 6-1 by Jason Jaruvang of Arizona at the Wildcat Invitational. In the consolation round, he was defeated 6-4, 6-2 by Felix Schumann of Northern Arizona University. Lynn joined the Gophers from Joplin, Mo., where he won the state championship in high school in 2013. Young said he is optimistic Lynn will bounce back at the next tournament. “I’m looking to become a more well-rounded player and be able to get into the net a little more, be more aggressive,” Lynn said. “So I’ve been working on my sway on my backhand. I think it can be an effective shot and throw people off.” Lynn has seen playing time in all three of his collegiate seasons, finishing 3-11 in singles as a freshman but improving to 7-7 as a sophomore. “I love to watch movies and [want to] eventually start making movies,” Lynn said. “He’s been working on his slice backhand and coming to the net more,” Young said. “I’m really excited the rest of the fall, watching him play.”last_img read more

TCF Bank Stadium turns to ice

first_imgA second layer of decking was then added to provide a foundation for the rink before the ice sheet is built. TCF Bank Stadium turns to iceThe football arena will host the state’s first outdoor professional hockey game Sunday afternoon.Maddy FoxCrew members work to set up the hockey rink that will be used for the upcoming NHL Stadium Series game between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks inside TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21. Emily PolglazeFebruary 17, 2016Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAfter waiting eight years, 12 stadiums and 13 games, Minnesota will finally get its chance to host an outdoor NHL game on Sunday. The two-day event will mark the first time the football stadium is transformed into a hockey rink since the Gophers’ men’s and women’s teams played there on Jan. 17, 2014. Former Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly skated at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 and will have a chance this weekend to play outdoors with the Wild, which signed him in July.  Each venue poses its own challenges, but the setup process takes about the same amount of time everywhere, said Executive Vice President of Events for the NHL Don Renzulli, who has worked on every Stadium Series game so far. “There’s a lot of pressure, but you have to have fun with the guys,” said Dan Craig, senior director of facilities operations for the NHL, which handles all aspects of construction and setup for the Stadium Series instead of the University’s regular crew. “Just like a hockey team, we create a team of our guys.” The rink’s framework and boards started to go up late last week, but flooding the rink is a slower process.  To keep the ice at a cool 20 degrees at all times, a refrigerated truck pumps fluid through the decking underneath the rink as warm air travels back to the truck to be cooled and compressed like a standard refrigerator.  The former All-American has played in the team’s last four games after being called up from the AHL. By last Tuesday, the NHL crew had begun work on the stadium, putting down a layer of aluminum decking over the field’s AstroTurf that will be used with the cooling system to balance temperatures. The crew had to battle cold temperatures last week as it built the rink, but an ice system will keep the rink in good shape, as temperatures will likely creep above freezing Sunday. The Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks will play at 2:30 p.m. at TCF Bank Stadium, with an alumni game featuring former players from both teams taking place the day before. The finishing touches include hanging banners and painting the ice, which happened early this week. Gophers head coach Don Lucia said he still remembers the wind when his team played outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014.  “I’m sure the NHL is going to do a great job to get the best ice sheet that they possibly can,” Lucia said. “I think more than anything the ice will be fine. It just depends what kind of day you’re having. The wind plays into it more than anything else.” The NHL will also oversee a free spectator plaza outside Gate A of the stadium with games and live music and the chance for fans to skate on the ice Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. While temperature rarely poses an issue for the crew, Craig said, wind can. “We take our time. We can really get it done in three days, but we take five,” Craig said. “Because the same people that are building it are here for team skates, the alumni game, rehearsals and the main game. We have to make sure the staff is healthy and ready to go.” “You grow up on the ponds, so in a sense it’s nothing really new or difficult to you,” Reilly said at a press conference for the event in August. “You kind of feel at home playing outdoors.” The arena will then have to return to being a football stadium, but Renzulli said all the hard work will pay off in the end when outdoor professional hockey comes to Minnesota for the first time. “Over the years, I think players like to come out and see 50,000 people. They don’t get that experience all the time,” Renzulli said. “They’ve all remarked about that and have said, ‘This is cool. This is once in a lifetime.’ ”last_img read more

Last time between Minnesota and Illinois…

first_imgLast time between Minnesota and Illinois…The Illini ran wild over the Gophers last year. Nick JungheimOctober 1, 2019Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintFinal:Illinois 55, Minnesota 31The Gophers defense had no answers for Illinois’ rushing attack last season as Minnesota failed to build off its first Big Ten victory of the season the previous week against Indiana. Combining to average 12.3 yards per rush, quarterback AJ Bush Jr. and running backs Reggie Corbin and Dre Brown torched Minnesota for 430 yards, dropping Minnesota to last place in the Big Ten West standings. The 55 points Illinois scored was the most Minnesota allowed in a game since 2011, but the second time in three weeks the Gophers conceded over 50 to an opponent.Big plays doomed Minnesota as Corbin rushed for a 72-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage. After a touchdown from Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim tied the score, Brown matched Corbin with a 72-yard rush of his own to put Illinois ahead 14-7 on the ensuing possession.Trailing 17-7 in the second quarter, Ibrahim cut Minnesota’s deficit to three points with another score. But lightning soon struck again for the Illini as Bush connected with senior Ricky Smalling for a 67-yard touchdown pass.Senior kicker Emmit Carpenter brought the Gophers back within a touchdown with a short field goal just before the half, but Illinois would score the game’s next 24 points, including another 77-yard touchdown run from Corbin.Defensive backs Jordan Howden, Coney Durr and Chris Williamson were three of Minnesota’s top four tacklers on the afternoon, illustrating just how often Illinois’ running backs were able to get to the second level. The Gophers parted ways with defensive coordinator Robb Smith the following day. After that defeat, Minnesota’s defense saw a resurgence under new defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, allowing only 59 points in their next four games. Since falling to the Illini last year, the Gophers have gone 7-1. Conversely, Illinois has lost its last two games but was idle last week, giving them extra time to prepare.Illinois no longer has Bush at quarterback. Instead their signal caller is now junior Brandon Peters who doesn’t offer as much in the running game as Bush. However, the Illini still have Corbin and Brown, who are both seeing productive seasons.For the Gophers offense, sophomore receiver Rashod Bateman will hope to duplicate the success he had last year in this matchup. Bateman had his best game of 2018 against Illinois, catching seven passes for 175 yards and touchdowns of 61 and 86 yards.Quotables from the game:“This is a very, very disappointing loss … one of the most disappointing losses I’ve been around,” head coach P.J. Fleck told the media.“Execution and tackling has been a problem we’ve been dealing with all year defensively … it turned out to be a disaster, that’s probably the nicest way I can put it,” linebacker Blake Cashman told the media.“We didn’t tackle anybody tonight, [we] had people in a lot of holes just diving at the ankles instead of biting the ball,” Fleck told the media. “I think some of the speed on our defense was exposed in a lot of areas where they were able to run away from us and we couldn’t catch them.”last_img read more

Sundt hires Nicole Calamaio as director of Total Rewards

first_imgNicole Calamaio recently joined Sundt Construction, Inc. (www.sundt.com) as the general contractor’s new corporate director of total rewards.In this human resources role, Calamaio directs the planning and administration of Sundt’s total rewards program, helping to achieve the company’s strategic objectives. Calamaio’s extensive background in total rewards, including compensation, benefits, recognition programs and talent management systems, will support Sundt’s employee-owners as the company continues to grow.Calamaio brings nearly 20 years of experience working in human resources, 15 of which she spent as director of compensation, benefits and human resource information systems for another prominent construction company. She earned a Master of Arts degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in human resource management from the University of St. Thomas.last_img read more

PICOR reports recent transactions

first_imgCODAC Behavioral Health Services purchased the 18,606 square foot office building located at 1025-1075 E. Fort Lowell in Tucson from Ventura Canyon Property, LLC. Tom Knox, SIOR and Paul Hooker, with Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, represented the buyer. Dan Wesson with The Waterfall Group represented the seller in this transaction.Marana Health Center, Inc. leased 16,243 square feet, filling nine suites at 3690 S. Park Avenue in Tucson from William Lee, LLC. Ron Zimmerman, Commercial Specialist with Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, represented the landlord in this transaction.last_img read more

California investor purchases Westwood Business Park for $7.4M

first_imgCassidy Turley announced the $7.4 million ($80.88/psf) sale of Westwood Business Park, a Class B office development at 2222-2228 West Northern Avenue in the Northwest Phoenix Submarket. California-based LBK Trust III purchased the property from Nebraska-based MJA Holdings, LLC.Cassidy Turley Executive Managing Director Eric Wichterman and Senior Vice President Mike Coover negotiated the transaction on behalf of the seller, while Edward Nelson of Marcus & Millichap represented the buyer.Built in 1981, Westwood Business Park is a ±91,491 square foot office complex consisting of four two-story buildings on 5.40 acres. The property is located conveniently in the heart of North Central Phoenix west of 19th Avenue and Northern Avenue. Westwood Business Park is minutes from the Interstate 17 and the Loop 101 freeways and in close proximity to shopping, restaurants, hotels, high-end communities, recreational parks and corporate centers. The business park was 82% leased at the time of sale.last_img read more

Sand Capital acquires Four Peaks Plaza

first_imgEarlier this month, Sand Capital acquired 29 CVS stores in 12 states and six shopping centers in three states. Sand Capital, a privately-held real estate investment company, located in Scottsdale, Ariz., has just closed on 140,390 square foot Target-anchored power center in Fountain Hills. Sand Capital is the financial arm and sister company to Sandor Development Company, which was founded in 1963 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Today, Sandor owns and manages over 8 million square feet of shopping centers in 25 states throughout the United States. Once acquired, Sand Capital assets are managed and leased by Sandor. Four Peaks Plaza at 16735-16845 East Shea Boulevard is located in the northern Phoenix suburb of Fountain Hills. The center is comprised of 28 units and three outlots. Some of the major national tenants include Ross Dress for Less, Petco, Pier 1 Imports, Hi Health, Dollar Tree, Starbucks, Subway and O’Reilly Auto Parts. The leasing flyer is attached.last_img read more

Work underway on first phase of Skyline Regional Park

first_imgSkanska has started work on phase one of the 8,675-acre Skyline Regional Park in Buckeye.The $3.95 million project for the City of Buckeye includes roadway construction, park features including entry gate house, entry gate monument and gates, ramadas, rest rooms and a pedestrian/equestrian bridge across the Skyline Wash.The work consists of subgrade preparation, pipe and reinforced concrete box culverts, asphalt paving, new entry gate house and restrooms, curb, gutter and sidewalks, parking areas, decomposed granite roads and parking, landscaping, riprap, erosion control, park monument wall and sign, signing and striping, and other related incidental work.“From the beginning of this project the Skanska team has performed like seasoned professionals, committed to quality, reacting quickly to every request for information, providing solid value engineering and dedicating themselves to completing this project on time,” said Christopher Williams, manager, construction and contracting division, for the City of Buckeye. “Each member of the Skanska team, from the top to the bottom, has impressed me and I look forward to working with them on many more projects for the City of Buckeye.”“This project will provide numerous amenities to Valley residents and visitors,” said Skanska’s Phoenix Civil Construction Division Manager Chris Halpin. “We appreciate the teamwork from the City of Buckeye and our partners in making Phase One happen.”The park features views from the top of its mountain ridges overlooking the valley floor toward downtown Phoenix and south toward the Gila River.The park will also offer opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and other passive recreation activities such as wildlife viewing and camping. New programs will be offered for families to enjoy, including stargazing, fitness hikes and informative programs on the many natural and cultural resources found in the park.In July 2013, Skanska, which is active in both the building and civil construction markets, announced it had moved its building operations to 4742 North 24th Street in Phoenix, just south of Camelback Road. Skanska’s civil construction unit, formerly located in Peoria, Ariz., has co-located with the building group at the 24th Street location.last_img read more

LGE completes Pomo at Gilbert’s Heritage Marketplace

first_imgLGE Design Build has completed tenant improvement construction for the 2,600-square-foot Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana at Heritage Marketplace in Gilbert.The restaurant features a 6,000-pound, wood-fire pizza oven imported from Italy with hand-crafted stone. In addition, the authentic Italian restaurant features a bar and outdoor seating.“As one of the restaurant hotspots in the Valley, Heritage Marketplace attracts a young crowd and creates a vibrant atmosphere. It is the perfect location for our fourth Valley restaurant. We’ve been busy since day one with happy guests,” said Stefano Fabbri, CEO and a partner of Pomo Restaurant Group.The Pomo Restaurant Group also owns Pomo restaurants in Glendale, Scottsdale and Phoenix. Pomo at Heritage Marketplace opened in July.Heritage Marketplace, also developed by LGE Design Build, is a family friendly, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development in downtown Gilbert located on the northwest corner of Gilbert Road and Vaughn Avenue. The development is an integral part of Gilbert’s historic Heritage District.LGE Design Build launched Heritage Marketplace’s Phase 2 in June. The phase includes two buildings totaling 32,000 square feet with ground floor restaurant and retail space, and second floor office space. The north building is about 10,000 square feet and the south building is about 22,000 square feet.In Phase 1, LGE has completed 31,000 square feet of a dynamic mixed-use office/retail/restaurant project. Tenants include Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, Pomo Pizzeria, Barrio Queen, Zinburger and Petersen’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream.“Heritage Marketplace is bustling with restaurant and business activity, becoming one of the Valley’s premier destinations for dining and commerce,” said Dave Sellers, LGE Design Build president.last_img read more

OTL installs architectural water feature as centerpiece of Papago Park Center

first_imgOutside the Lines (OTL), a design-build construction company that specializes in creating one-of-a-kind water features, rockwork and themed environments, has announced its role in the construction of an architectural fountain for the central plaza of The Grand at Papago Park Center, a new 3.2 million-square-foot, Class A mixed-use project on the last developable parcel within the 350-acre Papago Park Center business park in Tempe, Arizona.Located at 1151 W. Washington St. in Tempe, Arizona, The Grand at Papago Park Center at build-out will total 60 acres with over 2.3 million square feet of Class A office space built by Lincoln Property Company, Alliance Residential’s Broadstone at The Grand luxury apartments, and complimentary hotel, retail and restaurant space. One of the main features of the Center is a recreational pathway featuring four stunning steel bridges to accommodate walkers, runners and bikers. The pathway also features sophisticated LED lighting design that won an IES Illumination Award and lighted signage that features historic quotes from Theodore Roosevelt and others who helped build the legacy of the Valley.GBtwo Landscape Architecture has designed the property’s centerpiece roundabout park, featuring a signature water feature designed by WET Design. The fountain is a tribute to the Theodore Roosevelt Dam (which is located on the Salt River 70 miles northeast of Tempe) and its place in Arizona history. Situated just yards from the Grand Canal, a source of water from the Salt River to the Phoenix valley since the 1870s, OTL is installing the water feature’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems which will simulate the energy and power of a dam releasing water.The water feature project is being built by general contractor JE Dunn Construction Company, who has assembled a stellar team of local subcontractors to handle trades such as concrete, waterproofing, and masonry. OTL’s experience in building complicated fountains will ensure that the specialized fountain equipment designed and manufactured by WET delivers the project’s desired effects.“Having previously built WET fountains, OTL is able to anticipate areas of concern, which can be planned in advance with the general contractor and the other trades performing the work in concert with our crews,” says Wick Zimmerman OTL’s co-founder and CEO.  “This very complex water feature requires high levels of coordination amongst the entire team. Hard work and experience are required to meet the demands of this project successfully.” Zimmerman adds that each aspect of the fountain is designed to hide all visual traces of equipment and the intricate mechanical system used to create the effects, so that viewers can focus purely on the water, the finish materials, and the effects created where the two interact.OTL’s project executive in charge, John Cunningham, and project manager Kevin Bright are working closely with JE Dunn to ensure proper sequencing of the different trades and tasks involved. One of the more atypical coordination items the project team had to address is the fact that the project sits below the water level of the adjacent Grand Canal; in order to avoid risking water from the canal flooding the work areas, the water level in the canal has been dropped in conjunction with the construction schedule.To provide flexibility for the developer and owner, WET has designed the water feature in such a way that one of the reflecting pools at the base of the “dam” is able to quickly drain away to a storage tank so that the flat deck can be used for a variety of purposes.“The fountain will provide an iconic focal point for the entire development because it is capable of creating large-scale water-release effects that are visually stunning,” says Zimmerman. “The water feature has a prominent location in a central traffic circle, meaning that it will be visible from several of the newly built Class-A office buildings.”With approximately one-half mile of frontage on the Red Mountain 202 Freeway, The Grand at Papago Park Center has near-immediate access to Arizona State University and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Interstate 10, the Loop 101 and State Route 51 freeways are all within minutes of the site, providing easy access to all of the area’s major commercial corridors and residential communities throughout metropolitan Phoenix. The Grand also has a light rail station at its northern boundary, and the Center Parkway station is within walking distance. Arizona State University is just moments away using one of the two light rail stops within the project, providing easy access to a highly educated labor pool.Papago Park Center is home to the corporate offices of Salt River Project and First Solar. Other regional offices include DHL, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Sonora Quest Labs, WSP USA (formerly WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff), and State Farm Insurance. Nearby amenities include Papago Park, Rolling Hills golf course, Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Garden, Tempe Town Lake, and Mill Avenue restaurants and shopping. The area surrounding Papago Park Center is a high-growth region. With Class A office vacancy rates below 2 percent, Tempe is one of the most in-demand office markets in the Valley.last_img read more

Phoenix has added more construction jobs than all other metros

first_imgThe Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area added the most construction jobs of any metro area in the nation during the past twelve months, according to an analysis released by the Associated General Contractors of America today. As local construction firms expand their payrolls, the national association and its local chapters are taking steps to prepare the next generation of construction workers amid significant construction worker shortages.“Phoenix has gone from being the poster child for the construction depression to the best job market for construction workers in the country,” said Brian Turmail, national spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America. “Yet the construction industry in Arizona and across the country faces significant and costly workforce shortages.”Turmail noted that the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area added 13,800 new construction jobs between March 2018 and March 2019, an 11 percent increase. He added that the area added the most construction jobs among the 358 metro areas the association tracks. There are 134,900 people working in construction in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area today, up from a post-recession low of 80,000 in March 2011.The association spokesman said the Phoenix area was not alone when it comes to adding construction jobs. Nationwide, 218 out of 358 metro areas added construction jobs during the past year, including the Tucson, Prescott and Flagstaff metro areas. But he cautioned that the 2019 Construction Hiring & Business Outlook the association released earlier this year found that 78 percent of contractors report having a hard time finding qualified workers to hire.Turmail noted that construction employment is expanding in most parts of the country at a time when many older workers are retiring and too few young adults are considering high-paying careers in construction. He noted that one reason for that is that public investments in career and technical education have declined significantly for much of the past several decades. That is why the association released its new Workforce Development Plan, which outlines a series of steps federal officials should take to make it easier to establish construction training programs, he added.The plan calls for doubling federal funding for career and technical education programs over the next five years. It also calls on federal officials to evaluate schools based on how many students graduate into high-paying jobs like those available in construction, in addition to how many enter college. And the plan calls for comprehensive immigration reform that allows more individuals with construction skills to legally enter the country, a path to legal status for workers already in the country and measures to secure the border.Turmail added that the association is also working to recruit more young adults in the construction industry. He noted that the association recently launched a targeted digital advertising campaign in Phoenix and other fast-growing metro areas designed to attract a broad range of younger people into the industry. And he noted that the association’s local chapters, the Arizona Chapter, AGC and the Arizona Builders Alliance, as well as the broader local business community, are taking steps a range of steps to address workforce shortages.“Phoenix would be adding even more new construction jobs if our member firms could find people to hire,” said David Martin, the president of the Arizona Chapter, AGC. “Yet one of the surest paths to a good career and middle class life style is working in the state’s construction industry,” he added, noting that construction jobs pay 10 percent more than the average job nationwide. “Arizona’s education system is not producing enough builders,” said Tom Dunn, the president of the Arizona Builders Alliance. “But too few people appreciate the many benefits of pursuing construction careers, which is why we are working with a broad business coalition to launch a new region-wide construction recruiting campaign later this year.“Unless we can find a way to encourage more young adults to pursue high-paying careers in construction, contractors in Arizona and across the country will face significant workforce shortages,” the construction association spokesman added.last_img read more

Court rulings depend partly on when the judge last had a snack

first_imgThe Economist:AROUND the world, courthouses are adorned with a statue of a blindfolded woman holding a set of scales and a sword: Justice personified. Her sword stands for the power of the court, her scales for the competing claims of the petitioners. The blindfold (a 15th-century innovation) represents the principle that justice should be blind. The law should be applied without fear or favour, with only cold reason and the facts of the case determining what happens to the accused. Lawyers, though, have long suspected that such lofty ideals are not always achieved in practice, even in well run judicial systems free from political meddling. Justice, say the cynics, is what the judge had for breakfast. Now they have proof..Read the whole story: The Economist More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Police officers at risk of memory loss after physical exertion

first_imgMetro News:Just 60 seconds of adrenaline-pumping activity can ‘seriously damage’ their recollection of the event, according to UK scientists.They say forgetfulness is often triggered by high-energy events like chasing a suspect.Lorraine Hope, from the University of Portsmouth, believes her findings, published in journal Psychological Science, flag up the potential problems with witness statements.She said: ‘Police officers are often expected to remember in detail who said what and how many blows were received or given in the midst of physical struggle or shortly afterwards.‘The results of our tests indicate it may be very difficult for them to do this.’Dr Hope added: ‘As exhaustion takes over, cognitive resources tend to diminish. The ability to fully shift attention is inhibited, so even potentially relevant information might not be processed.’Read the whole story: Metro Newslast_img read more

Petraeus affair: Why do the powerful cheat?

first_imgUSA Today: David Petraeus is not your run-of-the-mill husband with a wandering eye. He’s not just another philandering politician or celebrity cheater, like so many others whose indiscretions have come to light in recent years.He’s a retired Army general who designed and led the military surge in Iraq and was top commander in Afghanistan. He had been deployed much of his career until he was named CIA director last year. His abrupt resignation amid news of his extramarital affair with a married Army Reserve officer brings a new wrinkle into an old story of why yet another powerful man risks so much for a woman.Yes, Petraeus joins the list of wayward sons: Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards, Mark Sanford and Eliot Spitzer — just to name a few.Petraeus is another, says Frank Farley, a psychologist at Temple University who studies such behavior.Read the whole story: USA Today More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

The Biology of Kindness: How It Makes Us Happier & Healthier

first_imgTIME: There’s a reason why being kind to others is good for you— and it can now be traced to a specific nerve.When it comes to staying healthy, both physically and mentally, studies consistently show that strong relationships are at least as important as avoiding smoking and obesity.  But how does social support translate into physical benefits such as lower blood pressure, healthier weights and other physiological measures of sound health?  A new study published in Psychological Science, suggests that the link may follow the twisting path of the vagus nerve, which connects social contact to the positive emotions that can flow from interactions.Read the whole story: TIMESee Barbara Fredrickson at the 25th APS Annual Convention. More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Professors are Prejudiced, too

first_imgThe New York TimesIN the world of higher education, we professors like to believe that we are free from the racial and gender biases that afflict so many other people in society. But is this self-conception accurate?To find out, we conducted an experiment. A few years ago, we sent emails to more than 6,500 randomly selected professors from 259 American universities. Each email was from a (fictional) prospective out-of-town student whom the professor did not know, expressing interest in the professor’s Ph.D. program and seeking guidance. These emails were identical and written in impeccable English, varying only in the name of the student sender. The messages came from students with names like Meredith Roberts, Lamar Washington, Juanita Martinez, Raj Singh and Chang Huang, names that earlier research participants consistently perceived as belonging to either a white, black, Hispanic, Indian or Chinese student. In total, we used 20 different names in 10 different race-gender categories (e.g. white male, Hispanic female).Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Your Fellow Diners’ Size May Affect How Much You Eat

first_imgNPR:Your dining companion may have more influence over your eating habits than you realize. We’ve known that people often have friends with similar body weights, but new research suggests that dining with an overweight companion may make us more likely to eat more unhealthful food.A study in the appropriately named journal Appetite finds that undergraduates who were offered pasta and salad while eating near a 5-foot-5-inch, 126-pound woman would eat more pasta when she was zipped into a fat suit adding 50 pounds, or about 8 points, to her body mass index.“We’ve long known that what a person [you’re with] orders can influence what you order,”Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and one of the study’s authors, tells The Salt. “We haven’t known as fully how the size of the person who you might be with, how they influence us.”Read the whole story: NPR More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Croatian family tourism as the best example of good practice in Europe

first_imgAt the invitation of the European Association of Family Accommodation (EHHA), of which it is a recent member, the Family Tourism Association presented at the World Tourism Fair (ITB) on March 9 in Berlin a model of regulation and organization of family accommodation as an example of good practice.”Croatian family accommodation is recognized as a successful model in the countries of the European Union. Half of all tourist beds are in private accommodation, which has grown by 25 percent in the last ten years”, Said the director of the HGK Tourism Department Leila Krešić-Jurić in the introductory part of the presentation and stated that family accommodation and related services earn two billion euros a year, which gives a value of 170.000 jobs, and the state collects 50 million euros a year from various taxes. . She pointed out that family accommodation last year brought 35 percent of all overnight stays to Croatian tourism, while the most numerous guests are from Germany, so family accommodation is the generator of a large increase in the number of overnight stays in Croatia in recent years.”The tradition of household accommodation dates back to Roman times and spa treatment, nurtured by proud citizens of Dubrovnik who resisted the sale of family real estate on which they build their present and future, and this model developed especially in the 60s on the Adriatic and represents the beginning of the economy sharing the modern age. With such a history and existing strategic documents of Croatian tourism, which respect the specifics of culture and tourist offer, Croatia is an example of how to easily regulate this activity“, Pointed out Krešić-Jurić and presented the legal and fiscal framework of family tourism and promotion through the tourist community.During the presentation, the role of the Family Tourism Community established at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce was emphasized, at the regional level in 1997, then at the national level in 2010. In three years, 10 regional sections have been established throughout Croatia for stronger lobbying, exchange of experiences, development of quality standards, branding and promotion, through national, regional and local forums visited by more than 10.000 citizens.Photo: HGKDuring the presentation, the President of the Family Tourism Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Nedjeljko Pinezić, additionally presented the socio-demographic dimension of this type of accommodation and its impact on the Croatian economy. “Europe is the world’s number one destination. Tourists from all over the world want to come to Europe and experience the lifestyle of the locals. If we do not allow the local population to continue living in their area in the traditional way, we will lose the basic attraction that makes tourists come to Europe. The solution is to enable people to provide accommodation services in their homes. They thus remain attached to their homes”, Pointed out Pinezić and added that this creates additional jobs, for example, for taxi drivers, traders, caterers…”Household accommodation is an important issue in the European Union that requires fair and simple regulation. Croatia has gone through its difficult period in recent history and can offer its experience and its model of household accommodation management to other EU members as an example of good practice in all the above parameters.”, Said Pinezic. The presentation was held as part of a round table organized by EHHA, during which the impact of the sharing economy on tourism trends was discussed.Berlin is an example of a city where many visitors use real estate outside the law. The influx of tourists using household accommodation in major cities in Europe has caught city administrations unprepared and is now fighting to legally prevent tourist rental apartments. However, such attitudes provoke protests of citizens about freedom of movement and freedom of inclusion in modern economic trends. The discussion was attended by leaders of political parties in Berlin and the German Association of Family Accommodation and the director of Novasol Bernd Muckenschnabel, who was impressed by the Croatian model and announced with great pleasure his arrival at the next national Family Accommodation Forum.last_img read more

Blue Lagoon in search of seasonal workers

first_imgOn Saturday, May 13, the team of the Plava laguna tourist group (Plava laguna dd and Istraturist Umag dd) presented employment opportunities in Istrian destinations in two Osijek locations – on Ante Starčević Square and in the Portanova center. These are companies that employ a total of about 3 workers, and for the peak season itself, jobs are being offered for another 200 seasonal workers.”The Blue Lagoon Group annually employs about 2.000 thousand seasonal workers. Most of them have been employed since the Easter holidays, and about 200 jobs are still open. The companies Plava laguna and Istraturist operate in Istria and offer quality opportunities for acquiring work skills, gathering work experience and meeting interesting people. Jobs have been created in Poreč and Umag, accommodation and three meals a day are at the employer’s expense, and in addition to a secure and regular salary, incentives for work in July and August have been provided. “, say the Blue Lagoon group, adding that they need about 200 more seasonal workers, from waiters, chefs and other support staff.The fact that we already have a large number of seasonal workers who return to us from year to year speaks volumes about the quality of work in the Blue Lagoon. On the contrary, this year 78 new contracts were concluded for permanent seasonal workers, who are actually workers with a permanent contract, but in practice they usually work for less than twelve months while their length of service and pension insurance are paid throughout the year. This year we have invested in an additional 300 beds for personal accommodation, with a continuous increase in quality for existing accommodation. e hereIf you are looking for a seasonal job, apply for a job in the Blue Lagoon herelast_img read more

Study: This is your teen’s brain behind the wheel

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter LinkedIn Share on Facebook “He found that peers significantly increase risk-taking among teens,” Telzer said. “I wanted to know whether we could reduce risk-taking by bringing a parent into the car.”Telzer and her colleagues observed that teens driving alone found risky decisions rewarding. Blood flow to the ventral striatum, a “reward center” in the brain, increased significantly when teen drivers chose to ignore a yellow stoplight and drove through the intersection anyway.Previous research has demonstrated that the ventral striatum is more sensitive to rewards in adolescence than during any other developmental period, Telzer said.“The prevailing view is that this peak in reward sensitivity in adolescence underlies, in part, adolescent risk-taking,” she said.A mother’s presence, however, blunted the thrill of running the yellow light, Telzer and her colleagues found.“When mom is there, the heightened ventral striatum activation during risky decisions goes away,” Telzer said. “Being risky, it appears, is no longer rewarding in the presence of mom.”Not surprisingly, teens stepped on the brakes significantly more often at yellow lights when their moms were present than when they were alone.“The teens go from about 55 percent risky choices to about 45 percent when their mom is watching,” Telzer said. “That’s a big effect.”Another brain region, the prefrontal cortex, kicked into gear when the teens put on the brakes – but only when their mom was watching, the researchers found. The PFC is important to behavioral regulation, also called “cognitive control,” Telzer said.“When they make safe decisions, when they choose to stop instead of going through that intersection, the prefrontal cortex comes online,” she said. “It’s activated when mom is there, but not when they’re alone.”The PFC (the control center) and the ventral striatum (the reward center) are key brain regions involved in adolescent risk-taking behavior, Telzer said. But in the absence of a well-developed control center, adolescents are more susceptible to the stimulating allure of risky behavior.“Here we’re showing that mom reduces the rewarding nature of risk-taking and increases activation of the prefrontal cortex during safe behavior,” Telzer said. “And so these two mechanisms help adolescents to think twice before running the intersection. A parent’s presence is actually changing the way the adolescent is reasoning and thinking about risk – and this increases their safe behavior.”center_img Email A new study of teenagers an d their moms reveals how adolescent brains negotiate risk – and the factors that modulate their risk-taking behind the wheel.In the study, reported in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 14-year-old subjects completed a simulated driving task while researchers tracked blood flow in their brains. In one trial, the teen driver was alone; in another, the teen’s mother was present and watching, said University of Illinois psychology professor Eva Telzer , who led the study.Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology at Temple University, developed the driving task and evaluated how the presence of peers influenced teen risk-taking, Telzer said. Sharelast_img read more

Positive reinforcement plays key role in cognitive task performance in ADHD kids

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Email The findings come out of a novel study published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions that collectively examined two leading theories on ADHD, combining what previous work had mostly looked at separately.One of those theories suggests that lower-than-average cognitive abilities contribute to symptoms associated with ADHD, such as inattentiveness. The other theory favors motivation over ability, focusing on whether kids with ADHD have an increased sensitivity to reward.“When asking whether the performance difference we see is the result of ability or motivation, this research has more of an answer than any study that comes before it,” says UB psychologist Larry Hawk, the paper’s principle investigator.The results of the research conducted by Hawk, Fosco, UB graduate student Michelle Bubnik and Keri Rosch of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, have clinical parallels as well.Behavioral therapy, which uses positive consequences to increase the likelihood of achieving certain behaviors, is among the leading psychosocial interventions for children with an ADHD diagnosis.The authors point out that the benefits of reward are not specific to children with ADHD.“The major difference is that typically developing kids usually perform well even when simply asked to do their best,” says Fosco. “But kids with ADHD typically need an external or an additional reinforcement to perform their best.”It’s a tricky area of research area, according to Hawk, since some of the subjects are being tested on tasks on which they have a demonstrated history of poor performance.There is also a degree of variability between the two groups. The authors say that having a diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t necessarily mean that a child will perform poorly on any given task, and neither does the absence of a diagnosis mean that the child will perform well on any given task.“You can’t say kids with ADHD respond more to reinforcement because they were doing poorly to begin with,” says Hawk. “We showed that was not true. It was greater motivation to obtain external rewards that drove the effects we observed.” A little recognition for a job well done means a lot to children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – more so than it would for typically developing kids.That praise, or other possible reward, improves the performance of children with ADHD on certain cognitive tasks, but until a recent study led by researchers from the University at Buffalo, it wasn’t clear if that result was due to heightened motivation inspired by positive reinforcement or because those with ADHD simply had greater room for improvement at certain tasks relative to their peers without such a diagnosis.“Our results suggest that the motivation piece is critical,” says Whitney Fosco, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences. “Kids with ADHD showed more improvement because they are more motivated by the opportunity to gain rewards, not because they simply did worse from the beginning.”center_img Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Twitterlast_img read more

How marriage has morphed into a means of supporting intensive investments in children

first_img“In a gender-specialized economy, where men and women are playing very different productive roles, you need the long-term commitment to protect the vulnerable party, who in this case is the woman,” explained Lundberg, UCSB’s Leonard Broom Professor of Demography. “But when women’s educational attainment increased and surpassed that of men, and women became more committed to jobs and careers, the kind of economic disparity that supported a division of labor in the household eroded.”If this scenario is true for people across the economic spectrum, Lundberg posited, then statistics should show a broad-based retreat from marriage. Evidence, however, bears out something entirely different.“What we see is a striking adherence to traditional marriage patterns among the college educated and those with higher professional degrees,” Lundberg said. “While marriage rates have declined consistently over time, they have declined far more among people whose education level is high school or some college.”Also, college graduates tend to marry before they begin families and, when they do wed, their marriages are more stable than those of couples with less education. This puzzled Lundberg and Pollak.The researchers hypothesized that now — in the 21st century — a primary function of marriage is to provide a long-term stable home for children, which suggests that investments in offspring have become a driving force in preserving the institution of matrimony. Lundberg noted that mothers at all economic levels spend more time with their children now than was common 30 years ago.“In terms of time and money, the well-educated, higher-income parents have increased their investments in children much more than those with lower incomes,” Lundberg said. “They have the know-how and the resources and they expect to help their children become economically successful in a way that may seem out of reach for parents with much lower levels of resources.”According to Lundberg, the playing field is not level and the focus for low-income parents is on keeping their children safe and healthy. “When the joint project of intense investments in children seems out of reach, it may not seem worth putting up with the disadvantages of marriage,” Lundberg said.“One possible implication if we are right — and I should say that this is a speculative argument — is that it may be possible to encourage investing in children among lower-income parents by devoting more social resources to early childhood, enabling parents to see a brighter future for their children,” Lundberg added. “These societal investments could, in turn, make longer-term commitments among these parents more feasible and advantageous.”One aspect of marriage that hasn’t changed much over the years is that most men and women eventually do marry. “If you look at the fraction of people 50 years old who have ever married, the differences between the education groups are very, very small,” Lundberg said. “What is really distinctive is the timing of marriage and the very high proportion of women with a high school diploma or some college who have their first child either on their own or within a cohabitating relationship, which is extremely rare among people with a college degree or higher.“The timing is extraordinarily suggestive,” Lundberg concluded. “Almost everyone wants to get married eventually. The question is when, and do you wait until you get married before you have a child?” Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Emailcenter_img Pinterest Marriage as an institution is not what it used to be. Since the 1950s, the number of couple exchanging “I dos” has dropped steadily. And while most Americans do marry at some point in their lives, many are choosing to do so later.A new study by UC Santa Barbara demographer Shelly Lundberg and economist Robert Pollak of Washington University in St. Louis examines Americans’ changing sensibilities about marriage, using economics as a measuring tool. Lundberg and Pollak contend that families with high incomes and high levels of education have the greatest incentives to maintain long-term relationships. Their findings appear in the journal The Future of Children.The researchers argue that, since the mid-20th century, marriage has morphed from an institution based on gender specialization — the man earns the income and the woman stays home to take care of the children — to a means of supporting intensive investment in children. LinkedInlast_img read more

Decline in cognitive ability leads to fear of upfront costs

first_imgShare Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Facebook Emailcenter_img In 2014, 75.4 million Baby Boomers lived in the United States, according to Pew Research. As this generation continues to age, dialogue will increase on how to manage concerns associated with aging, such as the decline in cognitive ability and retirement decisions. Now, a researcher at the University of Missouri has found that older individuals with lower cognitive abilities are susceptible to behavioral biases, such as being adverse to upfront costs. Michael Guillemette, an assistant professor of personal financial planning in the University of Missouri’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, says that risk aversion, along with lower cognitive ability among older Americans, might explain the lack of demand for certain retirement savings products.“Some financial products, such as annuities, have upfront costs,” Guillemette said. “With a pure-life annuity, an individual will pay an upfront cost that is typically $50,000 or higher and in exchange will receive monthly payments for life. The risk associated with annuities comes from the uncertainty of death. If the full amount of the annuity is not paid out prior to the death of the recipient, the money is lost. In our study, an upfront cost caused people with lower cognitive abilities to shy away from future risky decisions.”In the study, Guillemette and his coauthors Chris Browning and Patrick Payne from Texas Tech University, measured participants’ cognitive function by evaluating respondents’ working memory and numeracy. The analysis considered two hypothetical risky financial prospects, both with equivalent expected returns, but one situation included an upfront cost and the other had no upfront cost. Share on Twitter Results from the study show that individuals with lower cognitive ability exposed to the perceived upfront cost were less willing to take subsequent risk. Results from the study might help explain the low demand for annuity products among older Americans. The results might also explain why companies choose to break up upfront costs in order to increase sales. For example, a large phone company now has a program where you pay for the full cost of the phone over several years.Baby Boomers, on average, have insufficient retirement assets, and a strain on the Social Security System leaves questions for how this generation will support themselves as they age. Annuities can play an important role for older Americans. Serving as a type of insurance, annuities can help protect people from running out of money before death. However, results from this study reveal that the upfront cost associated with annuities might deter older individuals from purchasing these products. Guillemette says that the industry could improve the demand for annuities by breaking the large upfront cost into incremental payments over time. The researchers also say that financial advisors often describe annuity products as investments, but they might be more appropriately framed as insurance products that protect against loss.“The perfect storm is created as individuals age,” Guillemette said. “When they get into their 60s and, especially, 70s it is natural to experience cognitive decline. This becomes detrimental when combined with the fact that as individuals age, they also become more confident in their choices. A Certified Financial Planner who is a fiduciary could be beneficial because he or she could recognize those cognitive shortfalls and work in the individual’s best interest in terms of proper financial decisions.”This study was published in Applied Economics Letters.last_img read more

Paying people to raise money for charity makes them less persuasive, study finds

first_imgShare on Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Facebook People who receive a financial incentive to raise money for a charity they care about are actually less effective in soliciting donations, even when potential donors have no idea that incentives were involved, according to new findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The research suggests that incentives may have this effect because they result in the fundraisers coming off as less sincere to the people they’re trying to persuade.“We show that incentives make persuaders less effective at communicating sincere concern for a charitable cause, which means the incentive is having harmful effects on the very activity it was designed to improve,” says psychological scientist and study author Alixandra Barasch of the Stern School of Business at New York University. “This is important because it helps us understand the costs and benefits of incentives in the context of philanthropy.”Although financial incentives can provide motivation to perform a task well, Barasch and colleagues Jonathan Z. Berman (London Business School) and Deborah A. Small (the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania) wondered whether paying people to advocate for a cause that they were already motivated to support might have unintended negative consequences.center_img Email Share In one study, the researchers recruited 36 “persuaders” at a community event intended to raise money for an organization supporting breast cancer research and awareness. The persuaders were asked to make a video pitch for the organization, doing their best to persuade potential donors to contribute. Some of the persuaders were offered a personal incentive: For every $10 donated in response to their video, they would receive $1.Later, 243 participants were randomly assigned to watch one of the video pitches. In addition to the standard $10 participation fee, they received an extra $3 that they could keep for themselves or donate to the cause promoted in the video.The data showed that participants donated less of their extra cash in response to pitches from persuaders who had received an incentive compared to pitches from persuaders who hadn’t been incentivized. This occurred despite the fact that the participants had no idea that the persuaders might have received incentives.A second study, in which college students made video pitches for community-service organizations, showed similar results. Again, persuaders who received an incentive were less effective in soliciting donations; moreover, participants rated the videos of incentivized persuaders as less sincere.The researchers hypothesized that the inherent conflict between benefits to others, or altruism, and benefits to the self might inhibit persuaders from behaving in a sincere manner. Additional data from a follow-up study supported this idea: Persuaders who were given a charitable incentive — any money raised from their pitch would be matched by the researchers – seemed to be just as effective in raising funds as those who received no incentive. In this case, the incentive didn’t benefit the persuaders personally, and so it didn’t inhibit them from being sincere.Together, the findings underscore the notion the incentives compromise persuaders’ ability to convey sincerity. Barasch and colleagues are currently planning follow-up studies to examine the cues – both verbal and nonverbal – that might convey sincerity.Even if incentives do have a negative effect on sincerity, the researchers note that there may be other reasons to use incentives in the context of fundraising campaigns:“Incentives may engage people who would otherwise not help at all, and they may help recruit better talent within a competitive landscape,” says Barasch.last_img read more

How authentic are photographic memories?

first_imgMomentous eventsMany of us have experienced momentous personal or world events for which even years later, our memories seem just as vivid and detailed as a photograph taken on the day. Yet studies show that these so-called “flashbulb memories” are far from photographic.In one study, American students were surveyed the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York in 2001 and asked to document the circumstances in which they first heard the news of these attacks, plus details of an everyday event they had recently experienced. Then either one, six, or 32 weeks later, the students were surveyed about the same two events again.Exceptional memoriesThe results showed that participants judged their everyday memories as less and less vivid over time. Their reports of these memories also became less detailed over time, and less consistent with their initial reports. In contrast, participants reported their 9/11 memories to be equally as vivid after 32 weeks as on the day after the attacks. But importantly, the memory reports showed that these “flashbulb memories” had in fact lost just as much detail over time as the everyday memories, and gained just as many inconsistencies.If our flashbulb memories aren’t photographic, then what about other highly compelling kinds of memories? For example, there are many historical and contemporary cases of people with astounding memory capabilities, who can visually absorb seemingly impossible amounts of information with very little effort, as if snapping mental photographs for later review in the mind’s eye. But by and large, these so-called “memory athletes” appear to hone their skills through intense practice and age-old memorising techniques, rather than mental photography. Only very rarely have apparent exceptions to this rule been identified, and these cases can serve as particular conundrums for sceptics.Setting memory athletes aside, we might instead consider another exceptional group of people: those with so-called “highly superior autobiographical memory” (HSAM), who appear capable of remembering each day of their lives since childhood in incredible, often verifiable detail.As more and more of these people have been discovered, many have been the subjects of scientific studies, which suggest that their memory abilities are not a result of practice but are largely unintentional. This ability is indeed amazing, but sceptics might argue that even these people’s memories cannot be called photographic. Indeed, one study of 20 people with HSAM found they were just as susceptible to false memories as a group of control participants of a similar age.Photographs fadeSo we might be willing to concede to sceptics, then, that although memories sometimes seem incredibly detailed, accurate, and consistent, few if any of them are truly like photographic records frozen in time.But on second thoughts, don’t all these findings tell us that our memories, in fact, are very much like photographs? After all, even long before the terms “post-truth” and “fake news” gained currency, photographs were never wholly reliable sources.Like our memories, vividly detailed photographs can turn out to be doctored and distorted; they can misrepresent the events that occurred. Like our memories, we don’t always view photographs with an objective eye, but through the lens of our personal agendas and biases. And like our memories, a printed photograph will fade over time, even though we might continue to value it just the same.In all of these respects at least, it’s easy to see that every single one of us has photographic memory, just maybe not in the way we first thought.By Robert Nash, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Aston UniversityThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Since the invention of photography itself, people have used photograph-themed metaphors when thinking and talking about memories and remembering. When we want to retain memories of everyday events for example, we take “mental snapshots”, and when we think back to momentous events, we regard them as “flashbulb moments”. But are memories ever truly like photographs?A large number of people certainly believe so. In fact, in one recent survey of the general public from the US and UK, 87% agreed —- at least to some degree —- that “some people have ‘true’ photographic memories”. Yet, when the same statement was put to members of an esteemed scientific society for memory research, only a third of the participants agreed.The many scientists who are sceptical about the existence of photographic memories know, of course, that plenty of memories do seem highly photographic to people. However, for these sceptics, none of the available evidence so far is enough to fully convince them. Share on Twitter Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Pinterest Share LinkedInlast_img read more

Differences in the rhetorical styles of candidates in the 2016 US presidential election

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share LinkedIncenter_img Email According to several overall stylistic indicators, candidate Trump used a simple communication style, avoiding complex formulation and vocabulary. The authors analysed lexical density – or how much actual information there was in the words spoken. Trump scored the lowest for lexical density, and he also reused the same phrases more than other candidates.Former governors (Bush and Kasich) tend to use “we” more frequently than “I.” Usually Senators (Cruz, Paul, Clinton, and Sanders) tend to prefer using the pronoun “I.”Donald Trump presents an atypical figure, employing short sentences, a reduced vocabulary, repeating the same arguments with simple words. He is the single candidate to have the pronoun “I” in the second rank (after the article “the”).Hillary Clinton can also be characterized by a large use of the pronoun I. The candidates who stayed longer in the campaign had a clear preference for “I” over the “we.” When considering overall stylistic indicators, Clinton, O’Malley, and Sanders presented a high lexical density value as well as a higher number of long and complex words than the mean.Long sentences were preferred by O’Malley, Clinton, and Sanders. A relatively high lexical density percentage indicates a more complex text, containing more information. Using the transcripts of the TV debates, the lexical density values varied from 36.6% (Trump) to 44.6% (Cruz).The percentage of long or complex words varied from 18.3% (Trump) to 26.4% (Cruz, and Sanders). Senators Cruz and O’Malley had a more sophisticated communication style, employing longer sentences, and a more complex lexicon.An analysis of the top ten most specific terms per candidate reveals interesting specifics about their campaigns. Top terms used by Jeb Bush included “proven,” “status,” and “brother.” Top terms used by Martin O’Malley included “actually” and “Maryland.” Sanders preferred “Wall Street,” “wealth,” “class,” and “billionaire.” Top Clinton words included “comprehensive,” “affordable,” and “try.” Among the top ten specific words used by Trump in the course of his campaign were “I,” “Mexico,” “deal,” and “tremendous.”“As Trump won the primaries and the general election, does that mean that efficient communication must be based on tweet-like rhetoric and this form will dominate the future elections?” asked lead author Jacques Savoy. “Clearly the rhetoric evolution goes towards to short communication messages, but this also implies simplistic analysis and solutions? If the answer is affirmative, I see a real risk of the democracy.”The paper “Analysis of the Style and the Rhetoric of the 2016 US Presidential Primaries” is available at: https://academic.oup.com/dsh/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/llc/fqx007/2993886/Analysis-of-the-style-and-the-rhetoric-of-the-2016?redirectedFrom=fulltext A new paper published in Digital Scholarship in the Humanities reveals and quantifies dramatic differences in the speaking styles of candidates in the 2016 United States presidential election. Lexical analysis indicates that President Donald Trump had a distinct communication style, and it was far more direct than any of the other candidates.The most frequently used thematic words are very similar across politicians, with ‘people’ appearing in the top 4 for 7/9 candidates, and ‘say’ for 5/9. Trump and Hillary Clinton had 3 out of 4 most-used words the same.Researchers here analyzed the transcripts of the TV debates involving Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Martin O’Malley, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump.last_img read more

Research suggests amygdala neural circuits drive pleasure-inducing behavior

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Email Pinterest Scientists have long believed that the central amygdala, a structure located deep within the brain, is linked with fear and responses to unpleasant events.However, a team of MIT neuroscientists has now discovered a circuit in this structure that responds to rewarding events. In a study of mice, activating this circuit with certain stimuli made the animals seek those stimuli further. The researchers also found a circuit that controls responses to fearful events, but most of the neurons in the central amygdala are involved in the reward circuit, they report.“It’s surprising that positive-behavior-promoting subsets are so abundant, which is contrary to what many people in the field have been thinking,” says Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience and director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.center_img Share Share on Twitter Tonegawa is the senior author of the study, which appears in the March 22 issue of the journal Neuron. The paper’s lead authors are graduate students Joshua Kim and Xiangyu Zhang.Driving behaviorThe paper builds on a study published last year in which Tonegawa’s lab identified two distinct populations of neurons in a different part of the amygdala, known as the basolateral amygdala (BLA). These two populations are genetically programmed to encode either fearful or happy memories.In that study, the researchers found that the neurons encoding positive and negative memories relay information to different parts of the central amygdala. In their new work, they set out to further clarify the connections from the two BLA populations to the central amygdala, and to determine the functions of the central amygdala cells that receive information from the BLA.First, the researchers analyzed the genetic profiles of the central amygdala neurons and divided them into seven groups based on the genetic markers they express and their anatomical location. They then used optogenetics, a technique that allowed them to control neuron activity with light, to investigate the functions of each population.The researchers found that five of these populations stimulate reward-related behavior: When the mice were exposed to light, the mice repeatedly sought more light exposure because these neurons were driving a reward circuit. These same populations all receive input from the positive emotion cells in the BLA.Another population of neurons underlies fear-related innate and memory behaviors, and the last population was not required for either fear- or reward-related behavior.This finding contradicts the consensus that the central amygdala is involved primarily in fear-related behavior, the researchers say.“Classically people have generalized the central amygdala as a fear-related structure. They think it’s involved in anxiety and fear-related responses,” Kim says. “However, it looks like the structure as a whole mainly seems to participate in appetitive behaviors.”The researchers cannot rule out the possibility that some yet-to-be-discovered cells in the central amygdala control negative behavior, they say. “However, the cells that we have identified so far represent more than 90 percent of the central amygdala,” Tonegawa says. “If there are some other cells for negative behavior, it’s a small fraction.”“Most of the research on the amygdala during last 20 years has focused on the role of the central amygdala of the nucleus in mediating aversive responses,” says Richard Palmiter, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the research. “The Tonegawa lab has put together an amazing paper that will change the way scientists think about the central nucleus of the amygdala.”Surprising circuitsIn another surprising finding, the researchers discovered that the fear-linked neurons they identified in the central amygdala do not send messages directly to the part of the brain that is believed to receive fear-related input from the central amygdala. This part of the brain, the periaqueductal gray (PAG), is located in the brainstem and plays a role in responding to pain, stress, and external threats.Still unknown is where those central amygdala cells send their output, and whether it eventually gets to the PAG after stopping somewhere else. Tonegawa’s lab is now trying to trace these circuits further to find out where they go.The researchers are also studying the role of BLA neurons in fear extinction, which is the process of rewriting fearful memories so that they are associated with more positive feelings. This approach is often used to treat disorders such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the JPB Foundation.last_img read more

Particular personality traits are linked to economic ideologies

first_imgShare on Facebook Email Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Twittercenter_img Share Particular personality traits are linked to economic ideologies, according to new research, but this relationship appears to be influenced by a person’s income.The findings were published in the journal Political Psychology.“In my PhD, I studied the associations between people’s personality and their preferences about politics,” said study author Bert N. Bakker of the University of Amsterdam. “Many studies have shown direct associations between a person’s personality and their position towards politics on a scale from left (liberal) to right (conservative) as well as their positions towards social issues such as immigration and abortion.”“Yet, the association between personality and people’s preferences towards economic issues such as income redistribution were less clear,” Bakker said. “In this project, I set out to study whether the associations between personality and a person’s economic preferences might be stronger or weaker conditional upon another factor, namely their income.”The research was based on the Big Five model of personality, which breaks personality down into five traits: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. For his study, Bakker examined data from studies conducted in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He found that people with more conservative economic attitudes tended to be more conscientious, but less agreeable and less neurotic than their more liberal counterparts.In other words, people who disagreed with statements such as “high income earners do not pay enough taxes” were more likely to score higher on a measure of Conscientiousness, and lower on measures of Agreeableness and Neuroticism.“Yet, the association between personality traits and economic preferences is attenuated by income,” Bakker told PsyPost. “Specifically, I find that the association between the personality trait Agreeableness and economic preferences is weaker among poor people compared to wealthier people in all three countries.”“Low income also attenuates the association between economic ideology and the traits Openness (in Denmark), Extraversion (in the United Kingdom) and Neuroticism (in the United States). As such, this study shows that personality traits are associated with economic preferences and that some personality traits are weaker associated with economic preferences among citizens with a lower income.”The study found some differences between Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States. But it is unclear if this is because of cultural and political differences, or differences in the methodologies of the studies examined.“I conducted this study in three countries,” Bakker said. “I relied upon data from Denmark and supplemented this with data from the United Kingdom and the United States. The data from the U.K. and U.S. was collected by other researchers and as such the measures employed are not exactly the same as those used in Denmark.”“Perhaps some of the differences that I find across the studies are due to the differences in the measurement of personality and/or the economic preferences. Future research using fully comparable surveys in multiple countries would be beneficial.”The study was titled: “Personality Traits, Income, and Economic Ideology“.last_img read more

Study finds a link between mood and the experience of creativity in those with bipolar disorder

first_imgThe different mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are associated with different levels of self-reported creativity, according to a new study published in Psychiatry Research.An estimated 5.7 million Americans have bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness characterized by recurrent periods of mania and depression. Manic episodes typically include hyperactivity, euphoria and insomnia.“Although some studies have looked at objective measures of creativity in bipolar disorder, we also thought it would be useful to understand how people diagnosed with bipolar disorder understand their own creativity and how this may be related to their mood,” said study author Tania Perich, a lecturer at Western Sydney University. Share on Facebook LinkedIn The researchers surveyed 397 individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder regarding their recent symptoms and their perceptions about their own level of creativity.Those reporting symptoms of depression tended to report feeling significantly less creative. But participants who reported mania symptoms did not view themselves as more creative than those who did not report any symptoms.“There is a relationship between mood and the experience of creativity for people living with bipolar disorder. When depressed, people experience lower perceived creativity,” Perich said.Some of the findings run contrary to previous research, which had found a relationship between mania and creativity. But the disparity could be the result of measuring creativity in different ways.The creativity measure in the new study asked participants to rate their creativity in a variety of specific domains, such as acting, crafts, dancing, money management, solving personal problems, and writing. The previous study, on the other hand, used a more general measure of creative achievement.“Further research is needed to better understand how creativity may help in living with bipolar disorder and how it may assist in improving well-being,” Perich said.The study, “Depression, mania and self-reported creativity in bipolar disorder“, was authored by Natalie Miller, Tania Perich, and Tanya Meade. Emailcenter_img Pinterest Share Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Our creative ideas are viewed as a window into our true selves

first_imgShare on Twitter “Then the agent shared a candle scent idea that was so inappropriate that it stopped the conversation completely. That got me thinking — are the ideas we share revealing of our true selves? Does being creative feel personally self-disclosing? So, my coauthor, Josh Katz and I turned that experience into the series of laboratory experiments.”The research consisted of five separate experiments.In three experiments with 600 participants in total, the researchers found that people who were asked to generate creative ideas — compared to typical or conventional ideas — were more likely to believe those ideas revealed something about themselves.Their fourth experiment, which included another 399 participants, indicated that focusing on one particular category of creative ideas tended to produce greater feelings of self-disclosure. In particular, people asked to brainstorm new scents for candles believed their ideas revealed more about themselves when asked to generate only new fruit scents compared to any type of scent.“This result seems consistent with a growing stream of research suggesting that creativity not only demands cognitive flexibility but also focused persistence,” the researchers wrote in their study.In the fifth and final experiment, 326 participants generated ideas and then shared them with one another. The researchers found that participants believed they disclosed more about their personality after sharing creative ideas compared to conventional ideas. The participants also felt that their partner revealed more personal information when sharing creative ideas.“The instruction to be creative is very common in organizations but it is not benign. In the process of being creative, you rely on your own idiosyncratic point of view and unique preferences, thus making the ideas you share revealing of your true self,” Goncalo told PsyPost.“More importantly, other people listen to your ideas and make judgments about you. We found that when people heard another individual’s creative ideas, they became more confident that their judgments about their personality were accurate. People are not just judging your ideas, they are making personal judgments about you based on your ideas.”The findings could have some important implications for personal relationships. But, currently, the relationship between creativity and social bonding is unclear.“We found that people use creative ideas to judge another person’s personality but we found no effect on how much they liked the person. It remains an open question as to whether hearing a person’s creative ideas can pave the way for either rejection or bonding,” Goncalo explained.“For instance, one person shared creative candle scents ideas like ‘Zombie Apocalypse’, ‘Spoiled Milk in a Hot Car’, ‘Dog Farts’ and ‘Guilt, Guile and Gore.’ You probably formed an image of this person based on these ideas. But whether you like this person or not will probably depend on whether your preferences match.”“My lab is doing more and more work on the consequences of creativity so I hope to have more findings to share in the near future,” Goncalo added.The study, “Your Soul Spills Out: The Creative Act Feels Self-Disclosing“, was authored by Jack A Goncalo and Joshua H Katz. Share Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Pinterest LinkedIn Creative ideas are perceived to be revealing of the self, according to research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The findings provide new insights into the psychological and interpersonal consequences of creativity.“Most research on creativity has assumed that creativity is almost inherently positive and so most of the focus has been on how to boost creative output. More recently, I have become interested in the consequences of expressing creative ideas,” said study author Jack A. Goncalo, a professor and the Robert and Helen P. Seass Faculty Fellow at the Gies College of Business.“The link to self-disclosure came about through a conversation I had with a real estate agent who was showing my family homes and we remarked on the variety of different candle scents that we had smelled throughout the day. This conversation turned into an impromptu brainstorming session — everyone started sharing various ideas for candle scents (e.g. Vanilla, Freshly Baked Cookies, Orange Grove).”last_img read more

News report says multiple Saudi hospitals treating nCoV cases

first_imgMay 7, 2013 (CIDRAP News) – A media report late yesterday suggested that the 13 novel coronavirus (nCoV) cases reported in Saudi Arabia in the past few days are not confined to just one hospital, contrary to a May 5 statement from the Saudi health ministry.Malek al Moosa, executive director of a small hospital in Hofuf, in the country’s Eastern province, said the hospital has treated many of the nCoV patients but that it was not the only hospital treating such patients, the Wall Street Journal reported.Also, a man who is a cousin of three patients in the current case cluster, including one who died, said his cousins went to three different hospitals in the province, the newspaper said. The story did not name the man.The 13 cases, with 7 deaths, have all been reported since May 2. On May 5, Ziad A. Memish, MD, deputy minister for public health, reported that transmission of the disease seemed linked to one healthcare facility. He said there had been no transmission in the community.But Moosa denied that his hospital was the center of the outbreak, according to the Journal. “We have maybe paid the price of being transparent,” by testing patients and reporting the results, he said.The unidentified man whose cousins were infected told the newspaper that the Saudi health ministry “just wants to close the books” by saying the recent cases are limited to one hospital.Reports of the hospital cluster have stirred concern about possible person-to-person transmission of the virus and have prompted experts to recall how hospital outbreaks spurred the spread of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), another coronavirus infection, a decade ago.The novel virus is believed to be spreading to humans from some unidentified animal source. But person-to-person transmission has been clearly shown once before, when two family members of an infected UK man caught the virus from him after he returned sick from a trip to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Other small case clusters also have occurred, but human transmission has not been proved in those.In other developments, the Saudi government has invited an international team of experts to help investigate the outbreak, the Journal story said. The team is expected to arrive this week.Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) released guidance yesterday on infection prevention and control in caring for confirmed or probable nCoV case-patients.The 9-page document recommends assigning probable or confirmed cases “to be cared for exclusively by a group of skilled [healthcare workers] both for continuity of care and to reduce opportunities for inadvertent infection control breaches that could result in unprotected exposure.”The WHO also advises that relatives and visitors in contact with nCoV patients be limited to those “essential for patient support” and should be trained to use the same infection control precautions as healthcare workers use.The agency also recommends, among other things, that all staff members and visitors approaching within 1 meter of nCoV patients wear a medical mask, eye protection, gown, and gloves, and perform hand hygiene before and after patient contact.The WHO previously published recommendations on surveillance and clinical management for nCoV cases.Also today, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published a brief epidemiologic update on the nCoV cases in Saudi Arabia.See also: May 6 Wall Street Journal storyMay 6 WHO infection control guidanceMay 7 ECDC epidemiologic updatelast_img read more

News Scan for Aug 28, 2015

first_imgSalmonella outbreak tied to pork grows to 152 cases as recall expandsA salmonellosis outbreak tied to pork products grew by 18 cases, to 152, as a slaughterhouse in Washington state expanded a prior recall to more than 500,000 pounds of pork products and whole hogs after environmental sampling revealed insufficient sanitary conditions.The new case numbers were posted in an update today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency said that 24 people have been hospitalized because of their illness, an increase of 8 cases since the CDC’s previous update on Aug 14. Illness-onset dates range from Apr 25 to Aug 12.Meanwhile, Kapowsin Meats in Graham, Wash., recalled 523,380 pounds of pork products that may be contaminated with the outbreak strain, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-, according to an update yesterday from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).Products affected by the expanded recall include bagged or boxed Whole Hogs for Barbecue and bagged or boxed fabricated pork products including various pork offal products, pork blood, and pork trim. The original recall, announced on Aug 13, involved about 116,000 pounds of pork products.Recalled products have the mark “Est 1628″ in the USDA seal of inspection. Pork products were shipped to Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and may still be in freezers. Consumers and establishments should throw away or return any pork affected by the recall.FSIS found unsatisfactory sanitary conditions in the Kapowsin Meats facility after beginning environmental and pork sampling processes on Aug 13, and the slaughterhouse has voluntarily suspended operations.Aug 28 CDC update Aug 27 FSIS update Case of 28-year poliovirus shedding reported in UKA man living in the United Kingdom (UK) has been shedding highly evolved, vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) serotype 2 for 28 years, according to a case report yesterday in PLoS Pathogens.Researchers at the UK National Institute for Biological Standards and Control analyzed more than 180 stool samples from the man from 1995 to this year. The man received a full course of childhood polio immunizations, including oral polio vaccine (OPV) administered in 1986, and was later diagnosed as having common variable immunodeficiency, which reduces the digestive tract’s ability to kill viruses.All stool samples were positive for a high titer of iVDPV (VDPV in an immunodeficient person) strains that had reverted to neurovirulent phenotypes capable of causing paralytic polio disease.The initial samples gathered in 1995 showed iVDPV strains had undergone antigenic drift of 9.9% to 11.3% from the Sabin serotype 2 poliovirus included in the live-attenuated OPV. By March 2015, strains drifted 17.7% from the Sabin 2 poliovirus.The iVDPV strains from the stool samples also contained a high proportion of nucleotide mutations that made them different from circulating VDPV type 2 strains and wild type 2 poliovirus. The samples did not show evidence of iVDPV derived from the Sabin types 1 or 3 poliovirus strains.All iVDPV isolates were capable of causing paralytic disease in transgenic mice with human poliovirus receptors. Although investigators said that most sites on the iVDPV strains did not react with monoclonal antibodies, an antibody reaction occurred at antigenic site 3b on all strains, suggesting that antibody activity at this site could be enough to neutralize the iVDPV strains in humans.The man represents the longest period of VDPV shedding currently known, and the only person identified as a chronic shedder of highly evolved VDPV, the authors said. Aug 27 PLoS Pathog case report Iowa reports H1N1v illness in person with swine contactA person in Iowa was infected with a variant H1N1 influenza strain (H1N1v), the CDC reported today in its weekly FluView update.The patient required hospitalization and reported close contact with swine in the week before he or she became ill. The agency said that no human-to-human transmission was associated with the case. No timetable or disease outcome was disclosed.”Early identification and investigation of human infections with novel influenza A viruses are critical so that risk of infection can be more fully appreciated and appropriate public health measures can be taken,” the agency said.The case is the third confirmed H1N1v infection this year. The first was reported in January in Minnesota, and the second was reported in May in Ohio and proved fatal. After the CDC confirmed more than 300 cases of variant H3N2 (H3N2v) in the summer of 2012, the annual number of variant influenza cases has dropped dramatically.Aug 28 CDC FluView report Mumps outbreaks reported on two Midwestern campusesHealth officials at the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa have reported mumps outbreaks on campuses as students return for the fall semester, according to local news reports.The University of Illinois has confirmed 101 cases of mumps, and ill students are still being tested, the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette reported on Aug 26. The university is offering free vaccination clinics for any students or staff who have not received two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.The Iowa City Press-Citizen on Aug 14 reported that six students at the University of Iowa have been diagnosed as having mumps. The Johnson County Public Health Department confirmed the surge in mumps cases, saying that it has received 15 reports of mumps diagnoses in 2015, compared with no cases in 2014 and 1 case in 2013.The University of Iowa Student Health and Wellness division issued a mumps health advisory to students on Aug 7. The advisory warns that the virus is highly contagious and can spread through saliva and mucus, also asking that students or staff with mumps symptoms such as swollen salivary glands and muscle aches remain home and ensure they have received both doses of the MMR vaccine.Aug 26 Champaign-Urbana News Gazette story Aug 14 Iowa City Press-Citizen report Aug 7 University of Iowa health advisorylast_img read more

WHO notes 3 Ebola cases in Guinea as UK nurse improves

first_imgThe World Health Organization (WHO) today reported three Ebola cases in Guinea, one of which is new, while a UK nurse is showing promising signs of recovery after nearly dying from meningitis caused by a relapse—not a re-infection—of the virus, hospital officials said.Sierra Leone, meanwhile, has now gone 5 weeks with no new cases, the WHO said in its weekly update.No registered contacts in 2 casesOne of the new patients in Guinea is in the capital, Conakry, while the other two are in Forecariah district, where some of the most recent cases have been detected. The case in Conakry and one of the other cases were reported by the media on Oct 16.As noted then, the Conakry patient, a 21-year-old man, is not part of a known transmission chain. And genomic analyses suggest he was not infected with the virus strain responsible for the most recent cases in Conakry and Forecariah, the WHO said today.The WHO also reported that the newly reported case, which was detected only during post-mortem testing, also was not a known contact of any previously reported case. “Therefore there remains a near-term risk of further cases among both registered and untraced contacts,” the agency said.The fatal case involved a 35-year-old woman, and genetic analysis showed she is part of the same chain of transmission as the four cases reported in Forecariah in the WHO’s Sep 30 update. Guinea had gone more than 2 weeks between those cases and the two reported last week.The third case is the 3-month-old child of the dead woman. Officials are monitoring 246 contacts in Guinea, 70 of whom are considered high risk. The WHO said an additional 253 contacts identified in the past 6 weeks remain untraced.Sierra Leone has now gone 5 weeks without a case, and all contacts linked to its two most recently active transmission chains have completed 21 days of follow-up. As well, the last patient to receive treatment was confirmed free of Ebola virus after a second consecutive test on Sep 25 was negative. Two high-risk contacts, however—one in Bombali and one in Kambia—remain untraced, and officials are still trying to locate them.The country will be declared free of the disease on Nov 7 if no further cases are reported.Signs of improvement after meningitisIn related news, Pauline Cafferkey, the Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola last December in West Africa before recovering in late January, came close to death from meningitis caused by the virus, her doctors said today. Her condition, though, has now improved enough for her to converse, use an iPad, and sit up in bed, The Guardian reported today.BBC News reported that Michael Jacobs, MD, who is treating Cafferkey at the Royal Free Hospital in London, said, “Pauline has become unwell by meningitis caused by the Ebola virus. But to be very clear about this, she hasn’t been re-infected with the Ebola virus.”This is the original Ebola virus that she had many months ago, which has been lying inside the brain, replicating at a very low level probably, and has now re-emerged to cause this clinical illness of meningitis. And this is obviously a serious thing.”Neurologic complications due to meningitis caused life-threatening disease while Cafferkey was being treated at the specialist isolation unit at Royal Free, Jacobs said. “I think she has a long recovery ahead of her and will be with us for quite a while still.”See also:Oct 21 WHO updateOct 16 CIDRAP News story “Guinea reports two more Ebola cases; review sheds light on CNS complications”Oct 21 Guardian storyOct 21 BBC News reportlast_img read more

Studies find prior dengue worsens Zika but hint at vaccine potential

first_imgA pair of studies today probing the complex antibody reactions between Zika and dengue infection have both bad news and good news: that earlier dengue infection can worsen Zika infections, but a certain antibody against dengue can also neutralize Zika virus, raising the possibility of a vaccine target.In other developments, more Zika-related birth defects were reported in the United States, along with a steep rise in the number of Puerto Ricans infected by the virus.Drawbacks, benefits of dengue-Zika similaritiesThe two studies were done by the same team of researchers from Imperial College London, the Pasteur Institute, and Madihol University in Bangkok. Also, both were supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council, and other groups.The team published the study on cross-reactions and enhanced Zika infection in Nature Immunology, while the report on the antibody with the potential to neutralize both viruses appeared in Nature.The authors noted that the lab findings in the first study are in the early stages, but in a nutshell, their work suggests that previous dengue exposure enhances Zika infection. Theirs is the second study to hint that prior dengue infection might be a cofactor in Zika infection. In late April, a team from Florida Gulf Coast University found that dengue monoclonal antibodies cross-react, don’t neutralize, and enhance Zika infection.In the new study, researchers also used antibodies collected from people who had been infected with Zika virus. When the group added the antibodies to cell culture, along with Zika virus, they found that the dengue antibodies recognize and bind to Zika, but they can also worsen Zika infection through a process called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Identified earlier in dengue studies, ADE is thought to trigger more serious infections following a first dengue infection.Juthathip Mongkolsapaya, PhD, from Imperial College London, said in a press release that the next step is to investigate if ADE helps Zika virus cross the placenta. She said the team also found a group of antibodies (EDE1) that can bind to certain dengue virus sites and block Zika virus from entering immune cells.In the second study, the researchers confirmed that EDE1 antibodies bind efficiently to Zika virus and can neutralize infection, as they do for dengue virus. Using x-ray crystallography, they determined that the binding site on the viral envelope is the same for both viruses, which they said could one day lead to a universal vaccine that protects against both of them.In their experiments, the investigators tested two antibodies that were already known to neutralize dengue virus. One of them was even more effective at blocking Zika virus, suggesting a high level of closeness between the two viruses that surprised the team.Jeremy Farrar, MD, PhD, director of the Wellcome Trust, said in the Imperial College press release that the viruses come from the same flavivirus family and share many genetic, transmission pattern, and immune response characteristics.”These new studies suggest that prior infection with dengue doesn’t offer any protection against Zika, and may in fact predispose people to a more severe infection,” he said. “We can’t say yet whether this interaction is playing a role in the current outbreak, but if confirmed it’s likely to have important implications for the control and global spread of Zika, and for the development of any vaccine for the virus.”Farrar said there are still more questions than answers about Zika virus, including why explosive transmission hasn’t been seen in Southeast Asia and Africa, where the virus has caused disease for several years. “This is what the international research effort needs to work out, and quickly.US Zika birth defect totals riseIn outbreak news two more birth defects have been reported in US pregnant women infected with Zika virus, raising the total to eight as of Jun 16, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in a regular update. One was related to a live birth and the other in a pregnancy loss situation.The CDC also reported the first birth outcome information in pregnant women infected with Zika virus who live in US territories. So far one pregnancy loss with birth defects had been reported as of Jun 16, which may reflect a case reported by Puerto Rico on May 13. Microcephaly was detected on ultrasound, and it wasn’t clear if the woman miscarried or had an abortion.Information on birth outcomes is from two different CDC Zika pregnancy registries: one that includes US states and the District of Columbia, and one based in Puerto Rico.The pregnancy registries also show rising numbers of pregnant women infected with Zika virus. So far 265 have been reported from US states as of Jun 16, an increase of 31 from the previous week, and 216 have been reported in US territories, up 27 from the last report.Puerto Rico Zika spike; more GBS, sexual transmissionThe CDC also reported a steep rise in the number of Zika infections in US territories where the virus is circulating, with a steady rise in the number of US residents who have traveled to affected areas.Zika-affected US territories reported 418 more cases since the CDC’s report last week, boosting the total to 1,854, most of them in Puerto Rico. For comparison, the total rose by 135 the previous week. The CDC last week warned of a rapid Zika rise in Puerto Rico, based on what it is seeing with blood center test results. The territories also reported one more Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) case, putting that total at seven.Meanwhile, the CDC reported 63 more infections in travelers as of Jun 22, increasing that total to 819. One more GBS case was received, with four now reported.The number of sexually transmitted Zika cases stayed the same, at 11 as of Jun 22, but the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) yesterday reported its first case, involving a 61-year-old woman from Lucas County whose husband had traveled to a country with active Zika transmission. The ODH said local officials are increasing mosquito assessment and control in the areas to reduce the risk of local mosquitoes becoming infected.Funding, outbreak spreadEarly this morning the US House of Representatives approved a $1.1 billion bill to fund the Zika virus response, but Democratic senators have threatened to sink the measure when it comes up for a Senate vote, because the bill includes $750 million in budget cuts to other health programs, USA Today reported. The vote came during an unrelated sit-in by House Democrats to protest lack of a House vote on gun control bills. The House is now adjourned until after the 4th of July holiday.Anguilla, a British territory in the Caribbean, is the latest location to report local Zika virus transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today in its weekly situation report. It also noted that Guadeloupe has reported one more patient with a severe neurologic condition, raising its total to four. The number of countries reporting microcephaly, sexual transmission, and GBS remained the same as last week. The WHO said its risk assessment hasn’t changed and that overall Zika activity isn’t declining, though cases have fallen in some countries and in some parts of countries.The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today awarded $742,000 to three health centers in American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands to help battle Zika virus. The two US territories are reporting local spread of the virus. HHS said in a statement that the money is meant to help expand preventive and primary care services, outreach, patient education, and screening. The health systems have 12 delivery sites that served nearly 26,000 patients in 2014, including 6,000 child-bearing-age women.See also:Jun 23 Nature Immunol abstractJun 23 Imperial College London press releaseJun 23 Nature abstractJun 23 Pasteur Institute press releaseJun 22 CDC update on birth outcomes in pregnant women infected with Zika virusJun 22 CDC update on Zika infections in pregnant womenJun 22 CDC update on Zika virus in the USJun 22 ODH news releaselast_img read more

Microcephaly case series points to need for expanded Zika screening

first_imgMicrocephaly screening for Zika complications in newborns might miss some birth defects, according to a long-awaited analysis of the first 1,500 suspected cases in Brazil, which revealed instances of brain damage in babies with normal head circumference, a team from Brazil reported yesterday.In the largest case series to date, published in The Lancet, researchers from Brazil said screening criteria should be adjusted to include signs and symptoms of brain abnormalities.In a related research development, pathology examination of postmortem samples from infants and fetuses from Brazil at US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labs revealed Zika antigens, cell damage, but no sign of Zika outside of the central nervous system and no indication that other pathogens are involved.Defects in babies with normal head sizeIn the surveillance study, the researchers analyzed investigations completed as of Feb 27 by medical teams of 1,501 live-born babies with suspected microcephaly.Using clinical data from Brazil’s Ministry of Health, they grouped the cases into five categories based on neuroimaging and Zika virus lab findings. Categories ranged from definite microcephaly to discarded. The team also looked at head circumference, first-week mortality, and history of maternal rash.Of the total, 899 cases were discarded. Among the remaining 602, 76 were definite, 54 highly probable, 181 moderately probable, and 291 somewhat probable. Compared with the discarded cases, definite or probable ones had small head circumference, and mothers were more likely to have had a rash during pregnancy (21% vs 61%). Infants in the definite and probable groups were also four time more likely to die during the first week of life.The analysis also revealed brain abnormalities in babies with normal head size who were born to mothers who had a Zika-like rash in late pregnancy. The investigators noted that cranium development is generally complete by week 30 of gestation, so infants can be born with normal head size and still have brain damage. They also said the findings raise the possibility that Zika infection in newborns might lead to brain damage.Cesar Victora, MD, PhD, the study’s lead author, said in a Lancet press release, “Although we believe that the underreporting of microcephaly cases is rare during the epidemic, newborns infected with the virus late in pregnancy may go unreported due to their head size being within normal range.” He also noted that about a third of the mothers of babies in the definite and probable group reported no rash during pregnancy.Examination of all newborns during epidemic waves should be considered, Victora said, and he warned that because southern Brazil experienced a wave of Zika in early 2016, the country could see a second spike in microcephaly at the end of the year.In a related commentary in the same Lancet issue, two experts from Brazil said adding new neurologic symptom criteria to detect Zika cases would be useful for identifying all affected infants, but many medical settings don’t have the specialized personnel. The authors are Jorg Heukelbach, MD, MPH, PhD, a community health specialist from the School of Medicine at Federal University of Ceara, and Guilherme Loureiro Werneck, MD, PhD, with the epidemiology department at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.Another option would be incorporating an accurate serologic test into routine prenatal care, and they said validation of such a test should be a research priority.Damage in postmortem and placental samplesIn the pathology study, also published yesterday in The Lancet, researchers from the CDC and collaborators in Brazil analyzed tissue from three babies born with microcephaly who died and two placentas from mothers who miscarried at 11 and 13 weeks’ gestation. In all five instances, the mothers reported Zika symptoms during their first pregnancy trimesters.In the three fatal cases, investigators found Zika antigens in neurons and glial cells. Brain tissue analysis showed cell damage, calcium deposits, and death. Unlike for other infections such as herpes, they found no sign of substantial inflammatory response or specific structural effects.No evidence of Zika virus were found in other organ systems, and the three babies showed a range of birth defects and brain abnormalities.In placental samples from the two miscarriages, investigators found Zika virus antigens. For all five cases, tests ruled out other infectious causes.The authors said the mechanism that causes the birth defects still isn’t clear, but it is probably related to the virus attacking the nervous system, resulting in brain damage and muscle impairment.In an accompanying commentary, two US-based experts said though the CDC has concluded that Zika virus causes microcephaly, detections of Zika virus in tissues are scarce. The authors are Drucilla Roberts, MD, a pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Matthew Frosch, MD, PhD, a neuropathologist at MGH and Harvard University.They said more detailed pathology studies are needed to identify the full spectrum of Zika virus infection and to confirm the link to perinatal complications. Roberts and Frosch also recommended that future studies should include histopathologic examination of tissue at different gestational ages.”This report highlights that we can learn much about the pathogenesis of Zika virus congenital infection through careful pathological investigation, but leaves us with many questions for study,” the two wrote.Other developmentsThe CDC today reported 4 more Zika-related birth defects in US pregnant women, raising the total to 12 as of Jun 23. Three of the new cases involved live births, and one involved a pregnancy loss. The number of Zika-related birth defects in the US territories remained the same, at one. In other numbers updates, the CDC reported 22 more Zika infections in US pregnant women (raising the total to 287), and 34 more in pregnant women in the US territories (raising the total to 250). Regarding infections in the general population, the CDC reported 166 more cases in US territories where the virus is spreading locally, most of them in Puerto Rico. The total in the region stands at 2,020 now, and 3 more Guillain-Barre syndrome cases were reported, boosting the total to 10. US states reported 115 more Zika illnesses in travelers, increasing the total to 934, plus 2 more sexually transmitted Zika cases, putting that number at 13.Though most Americans have heard of Zika virus, only 13% are aware of the impact on adults and only half know that the virus can spread sexually, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported today in a health tracking poll for June. The poll also found widespread support for Zika funding, including assistance with reproductive services for women in outbreak areas in and outside of the United States.The CDC on Jun 28 added Anguilla to its level 2 travel notice for Zika virus. There are now 49 countries or territories listed among the CDC’s Zika travel advisories.See also:Jun 29 Lancet report on Zika microcephaly surveillanceJun 29 Lancet related commentaryJun 29 related Lancet press releaseJun 29 Lancet report on Zika birth defect pathologyJun 29 Lancet related commentaryJun 29 related Lancet press releaselast_img read more

Genetic tests reveal more about new H5N6 reassortant

first_imgThe latest analysis of reassortant H5N6 avian flu viruses from South Korean wild birds and domestic ducks shows that the strain is a close relative of an H5N6 virus that first turned up in Greek poultry last season, but it has two mutations that might alter its susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors, according to an expert familiar the test results.In other avian flu developments, the animal health officials in the United Kingdom (UK) issued a new risk assessment for avian flu in Europe, and French veterinary authorities reported another low-pathogenic H5N3 outbreak in poultry.H5N6 mutations might lower susceptibilityViruses from recent outbreaks in South Korea underwent further analysis at the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency of the Republic of Korea and the International Reference Laboratory in the UK government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency lab at Weybridge. And a reliable but anonymous source outlined the findings yesterday in a post to ProMED Mail, the online reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.Earlier this week, the Netherlands became the fifth country to report the H5N6 reassortant, which is different than the one that has caused human infections in China and has been found in poultry outbreaks in a few Asian countries. In November, South Korea reported its first outbreak involving the reassortant, which was quickly followed by detections in Japan and Taiwan.According to the source, phylogenetic analysis showed that the recent H5N6 virus from South Korea differs from the strain implicated in outbreaks last winter. Also, all genes except neuraminidase are from the European H5N8 lineage that triggered widespread outbreaks last season and is still causing sporadic outbreaks.The neuraminidase gene, most similar to the H5N6 reassortant detected in Greece last winter, is related to low-pathogenic Eurasian influenza A virus circulating in wild birds. The expert said, however, there are differences between the neuraminidases in the Greek and South Korean isolates, and one of the viruses can’t determine the risk for the whole lineage. “Indeed, the Korean isolate has 2 mutations, which might confer altered susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors.”The findings point to ongoing H5 lineage circulation in multiple geographic regions, likely spread by wild birds.Though so far sequence analysis doesn’t show that the virus poses a zoonotic threat, heightened vigilance should be maintained for potential spread from wild birds to poultry, the expert said. The source added that the findings also underscore the complex evolution of H5 clade 2.3.4.4 viruses that will likely have different phenotypic properties in a range of hosts, possibly including humans.DEFRA weighs H5N6, H5N8 threatsIn a new outbreak assessment update, the UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the recent H5N6 outbreak in the Netherlands probably reflects a new incursion into Europe, given that the only previous detection on the continent was the earlier poultry outbreak in Greece.The agency added that the same farm in the Netherlands was struck by an H5N8 outbreak last year. So far, early analysis suggests it is a reassortant between H5N8 and low-pathogenic H5N6.DEFRA also weighed in on the H5N8 threat, saying that since late October, outbreaks have continued, but at a lower rate than last season in just four countries: Russia, Italy, Germany, and Bulgaria.Wild migratory waterfowl have arrived from Asia for overwintering in northern Europe and the UK, and compared with this time last year, the outlook is more favorable for central Europe, with relatively fewer cases in wild birds. However, DEFRA added that it’s possible that wild birds have asymptomatic infections or are immune after exposure to the virus last season. Also, it’s possible that local birds could be maintaining the H5N8 virus, which could spread by other routes.With uncertainty about H5N8 prevalence in wild birds and the new development with the H5N6 ressortant, DEFRA is keeping the risk level at “medium” for now, with the risk staying at “low” for individual poultry farms.Low-path H5N3 in FranceIn outbreak developments, veterinary officials in France reported another low-pathogenic H5N3 outbreak, the second involving the strain this month, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).The new outbreak began on Dec 2 at a turkey breeding farm in Maine-et-Loire department in west central France. Farm workers noticed an excessive death rate and a drop in egg production in one of the facility’s four pens. The virus killed 30 of 9,200 turkeys, and the remaining ones are slated for culling.See also:Dec 12 ProMED Mail postDec 11 DEFRA reportDec 11 OIE report on H5N3 in Francelast_img read more

News Scan for Dec 27, 2019

first_imgThree MERS cases confirmed in Qatar’s capitalQatar has reported three more MERS cases to the World Health Organization (WHO), the WHO said yesterday. The three cases are related, and all case-patients are from Doha.The first case-patient is a 67-year-old woman who developed symptoms of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection at the end of November, and died on Dec 12. The source of her illness is still under investigation.”The patient had neither a history of contact with dromedary camels nor recent travel. Follow up and screening of seven household contacts and 40 healthcare worker contacts is ongoing and two asymptomatic secondary cases have been identified so far,” the WHO said.The woman’s son, age 50, and a 32-year-old case contact have also been diagnosed as having MERS-CoV. Both patients were asymptomatic and identified during contact tracing. The WHO said a total of 47 identified contacts of the patient have been monitored daily for the appearance of respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms for a period of 2 weeks following their last exposure to the patient.From 2012 through Nov 30, 2019, a total of 2,494 laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases and 858 associated deaths have been reported to the WHO, the vast majority in Saudi Arabia.Dec 26 WHO report Six countries report more polio cases; WHO extends polio emergencyIn the latest global polio developments, Afghanistan and Pakistan reported more wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases, and four African nations reported more circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases, according to totals reflected on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) tables, which include data reported as of Dec 24.The GPEI didn’t publish its full report with paralysis onsets, noting that the weekly updates will resume on Jan 9.ProMED Mail, the online reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID) compiled a report on the recent cases compared to the previous weekly polio totals. It said for WPV1 cases, Afghanistan has two more, one each from Fara and Kandahar provinces, raising its total for the year to 26. Pakistan has 10 more cases from Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, and Islamabad provinces, pushing its number for 2019 to 111.Meanwhile, four African countries reported five new cVDPV2 cases, including two from Angola and one each from Central African Republic, Chad, and Ethiopia.GPEI WPV1 cases as of Dec 24 GPEI vaccine-derived polio cases as of Dec 24 Dec 26 ProMED Mail postIn other polio developments, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) polio emergency committee met for the 23rd time on Dec 11, and after hearing from experts and representatives from polio-affected countries unanimously agreed that the risk of international spread remains a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).The WHO said in a Dec 20 statement on the deliberations that the committee voiced grave concerns about the significant rise in WPV1 cases this year, along with widespread transmission, vaccine refusal, and detection of vaccine-derived cases in Pakistan and challenging security and inaccessibility problems in Afghanistan.Regarding vaccine-derived polio, the group said multiple outbreaks in four of the WHO regions are very concerning, noting that since its last meeting, seven new countries have reported outbreaks. WHO emergency committees typically meet every 3 months or sooner if needed.Dec 20 WHO statement WHO details yellow fever outbreak in MaliThe WHO yesterday released more details about a yellow fever outbreak in Mali that has so far resulted in three confirmed cases, plus nine suspected and three probable infections.The initial case-patient is a 15-year-old girl from Koulikoro region who had not traveled outside of her district and had not been vaccinated. The other confirmed infections are in two men ages 17 and 25 from Ivory Coast who are living in Bouguimi district in Mali’s Sikasso region. Two of the people with confirmed infections died.The suspected and probable cases are all from Bouguimi district, and there are three deaths among the suspected infections.The WHO said mass yellow fever campaigns have been underway in Mali since 2008, but coverage is still below herd immunity thresholds and there are pockets of low immunity, with high population movements within and outside of the country possibly diluting population immunity.The district where the first patient is from is near Bamako, Mali’s capital and home to 2 million people. The district where the two other patients lived is near the Ivory Coast border. The WHO said the risk of yellow fever spread within Mali due to disease activity is high, the risk of regional spread is moderate, and the threat of global spread is low.Dec 26 WHO statement Dec 9 CIDRAP news scan “Health officials confirm 3 yellow fever cases in Mali, Ivory Coast”last_img read more

News Scan for Aug 31, 2020

first_imgUS cell phone data: Staying home amid lockdowns may stem COVID-19US counties with large declines in cell phone activity at workplaces, transit stations, and stores and concomitant increases in home activity during COVID-19 lockdowns had lower rates of coronavirus infections 5, 10, and 15 days later, according to a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.The researchers made 22,124 to 83,745 daily observations of cell phone location data from 949 to 2,740 counties, depending on data availability, from Jan 22 to May 11 and compared them with COVID-19 growth rates.Growth of COVID-19 cases was 45.5% lower in counties in the lowest quartile of activity in retail stores than in those with the highest quartile, while counties with the most residential activity had a 19% lower COVID-19 growth rate at 15 days than those with the least.Overall, cell phone activity outside the home increased roughly 0.5% compared with in-home activity per day that the stay-at-home measures were in place, suggesting waning adherence over time.After adjusting for county population, case rates, and state-level factors, rural counties had smaller reductions in cell phone activity at workplaces, transit stations, and stores and greater reductions in visits to parks and home activities than did urban counties.Counties in states with higher proportions of older adults, children, black residents, and people living in poverty; more per-capital hospital beds; and lower population density had the smallest reductions in workplace cell phone activity. Conversely, county residents stayed home more in states with a lower proportion of older adults, higher population density, greater economic productivity, lower rates of the uninsured, greater proportion spent on healthcare, fewer people living in poverty, and higher case rates.”Reductions in workplace activity and increases in residential activity were higher in counties and on days where/when there was a greater number of new cases, and thus there was likely a higher perceived risk of infection,” the authors said. “Counties with a high rate of cases were likely to also have more restrictions in place.”The researchers said that their findings support cell phone location monitoring to predict pandemic trends.Aug 31 JAMA Intern Med study Multicenter study suggests stealthy COVID-19 spread by childrenTwenty of 91 children (22%) diagnosed as having COVID-19 in a South Korean study had no symptoms, and most symptoms in clinically ill children went unrecognized or developed only after diagnosis, suggesting that this age-group may silently spread coronavirus in the community.The study, which involved pediatric contacts of people with COVID-19 at 22 medical centers from Feb 18 to Mar 31, was published late last week in JAMA Pediatrics. Of the 71 symptomatic children, 47 (66%) had symptoms that went unrecognized as coronavirus symptoms, and 18 (25%) developed symptoms only after diagnosis, while only 6 (9%) were diagnosed at the time of illness onset.Of the 91 children, 22 (24%) had lower respiratory tract infections. RNA from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was found in upper respiratory samples for a mean of 17.6 days among all patients and for a mean of 14.1 days in children with no symptoms. Mean duration of virus RNA detection was not different for children with upper versus lower respiratory tract infections (18.7 days vs 19.9 days). All patients recovered from their infections.Median patient age was 11 years, 53 (58%) were boys, and 6 (7%) had underlying medical conditions. Fifty-seven children (63%) were infected by household members.The authors called for heightened surveillance with COVID-19 testing to allow detection of the virus in children with no, mild, or nonspecific symptoms.In a commentary in the same journal, Roberta DeBiasi, MD, MS, and Meghan Delaney, DO, MPH, of George Washington University pointed out that most ill children had symptoms for as long as 28 days before diagnosis, although they were presumably being monitored because they were a contact of a COVID-19 patient.”This highlights the concept that infected children may be more likely to go unnoticed either with or without symptoms and continue on with their usual activities, which may contribute to viral circulation within their community,” they said.Aug 28 JAMA Pediatr study and commentary Ebola sickens 2 more in DRC outbreak, 109 total, with 47 deathsTests confirmed Ebola infections in 2 more people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Equateur province outbreak, raising the total to 109 cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office said today on Twitter.No new deaths were reported, keeping the fatality count at 47.The outbreak, the DRC’s 11th involving Ebola, was first detected in early June in the same area where the country’s ninth outbreak occurred in 2018.Health officials are concerned about the latest outbreak, as responders grapple with COVID-19 and other health challenges and stretched resources. Also, the outbreak is occurring across a wide region, which includes both difficult-to-access areas and Mbandaka, the provincial capital.Aug 31 WHO African regional office tweetlast_img read more

New mission to explore bottom of Belize’s Great Blue Hole

first_img They’re planning to take submersibles including a manned Aquatica Stingray 500 to the bottom of the hole to chart what lies deep down below. Caribbean Aims to Become World’s First Climate-Smart Zone In 1971, underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau put the Blue Hole on the map when he first explored its depths.Nearly half a century later, despite becoming a scuba hotspot, the Blue Hole’s exact features remain mostly unknown. But Cousteau’s grandson, Fabien Cousteau, is on the case. He’ll be joinging Branson — who runs Ocean Unite, a leadership initiative that aims to help protect the ocean — and a team of scientists, explorers and filmmakers from the Aquatica Foundation. Aug 10, 2018 New GEF-Funded Blue Economy Initiative begins in Caribbean(Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism Press Release)—A new US$46M initiative to promote Blue Economic priorities in the Caribbean gets underway with a two-day inception workshop on 5-6 March at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The initiative is in support of the sustainable use and conservation of…March 5, 2020In “Agriculture”Sustainable use of our marine resources: Caribbean Community at UN Ocean Conference – Day oneThe global High Level Conference which will seek agreement on a Call For Action to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development opens Monday at UN Headquarters in New York. Day One  of the five-day Conference will feature several activities with strong participation by Caribbean…June 5, 2017In “Barbados”Strong CARICOM participation on Day One of UN Ocean ConferenceCaribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States sent a strong signal about their commitment to saving the oceans by taking lead roles in a number of the activities on Day One of the UN Oceans conference in New York, Monday 5 June, 2017. Grenada facilitated two strongly supported events on the Blue…June 6, 2017In “Barbados”Share this on WhatsApp Dec 27, 2017 Devastation brought out generosity, spirit of togetherness… Read more at: CNN Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Virgin Atlantic takeover of LIAT? May 7, 2019 The Blue Hole Belize 2018 Expedition, as it’s been titled, will be broadcast live on the Discovery Channel on Sunday December 2, 2018. You may be interested in… CNN) — Virgin billionaire Richard Branson is joining a new mission to solve one of the most captivating mysteries of the ocean — what lies at the bottom of the Great Blue Hole in Belize? The Great Blue Hole in Belize is the largest sinkhole in the world — a giant cavern measuring 300 meters (984 feet) across and around 125 meters deep.last_img read more

Tech Company to launch Facebook developer circle in Guyana

first_img(Kaieteur News)Trifinity Solutions, a local tech company is set to collaborate with Silicon Valley tech giant Facebook to help build a developer community in Guyana through the launch of a local chapter. The Facebook Global Developers Circle (DevC) is set to launch in Guyana on 21st September at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre. Attendees will enjoy panel discussions and networking sessions with local talents and representatives from the Facebook team; they will also interact with the local DevC lead, Samantha Sheoprashad. You may be interested in… May 28, 2020 According to Sheoprashad, the Founder of Trifinity Solutions, believes that collaboration is the key to community development. “With such community development in our country, we will be able to develop and nurture tech talents for local and International opportunities. Read more at: Kaieteur News Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Market Region as Safe Haven – Business Leader center_img Jun 4, 2020 Use crisis to propel Region into future – business leader Commonwealth Secretary-General to attend CARICOM summitClimate change, indebtedness, protecting migrant remittances and banking systems, and the consequences of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on small and vulnerable economies are priority concerns for the Commonwealth Secretary-General as she heads to Guyana for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Conference of Heads of Government. Twelve of…July 1, 2016In “Anguilla”App development critical to Single ICT Space – CARICOM officialPowered by flickr embed. Gratis Botón Facebook like generador Gratis Botón Facebook like generador The development of applications such as the recently launched CXC Connect, is critical to the CARICOM Single ICT Space. Speaking at the Guyana launch of the application on Monday, 31 July, 2017, Deputy Programme Manager ICT4D…August 2, 2017In “Antigua & Barbuda”CARICOM, GPL join Guyana Solar ChallengeSolar Head of State (SHOS) and the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) are pleased to announce the new partnership with Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC), Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), CARICOM, Guyana Power and Light (GPL), MPC Capital, Guyana Ministry of Environment, Public Service International (PSI), and Guyana Energy Agency (GEA)…October 7, 2019In “Business”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

Bermuda to accept digital currency – CARICOM Business News

first_img Guyana Waives Banking Fees for Rest of 2020 – CARICOM… Oct 7, 2020 Please see the latest edition of the CARICOM Business newsletter which comprises information culled from news entities in the Caribbean and beyond and includes a Foreign Exchange Summary, a Stock Exchange Summary and International Oil Prices CARICOM Business 18 October 2019 CARICOM Business 18 October 2019 Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Oct 7, 2020 UK appoints New Special Trade Envoy to Caribbean Aug 25, 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Standards, Quality Still Important You may be interested in… BOJ Developing Digital Currency as Legal Tender –… BOJ Developing Digital Currency as Legal Tender – CARICOM Business NewsPlease see the latest edition of the CARICOM Business newsletter which comprises information culled from news entities in the Caribbean and beyond and includes a Foreign Exchange Summary, a Stock Exchange Summary and International Oil Prices. CARICOM-Business-July-312c-2020DownloadAugust 3, 2020In “Barbados”Barbados modernises immigration services – CARICOM Business NewsPlease see the latest edition of the CARICOM Business newsletter which comprises information culled from news entities in the Caribbean and beyond and includes a Foreign Exchange Summary, a Stock Exchange Summary and International Oil Prices. CARICOM Business 14 December, 2018December 17, 2018In “Antigua & Barbuda”Barbados fiscal accounts on track – CARICOM Business NewsPlease see the latest edition of the CARICOM Business newsletter which comprises information culled from news entities in the Caribbean and beyond and includes a Foreign Exchange Summary, a Stock Exchange Summary and International Oil Prices. CARICOM Business 9 August 2019August 12, 2019In “Barbados”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

WORLDPAC Names New CEO, COO

first_imgWith more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement NEWARK, CA — WORLDPAC President Tom O’Hare has been promoted to CEO of the company. O’Hare will remain on the board of directors. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Filling the position that has opened as a result of O’Hare’s promotion, John Mosunic, vice president of finance, has been promoted to president of WORLDPAC. He has also been named COO. “John’s promotion is a direct result of his business sense, progressive ideas, and ethical standards he has demonstrated in the past three years with our organization,” said O’Hare. _______________________________________ Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain.last_img read more

Northwood University to Honor Eight Aftermarket Professionals with Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award

first_imgLAS VEGAS – Northwood University honored eight automotive aftermarket leaders with its annual Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award on Tuesday, November 2, during a luncheon at AAPEX.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Those being honored are: Stephen Crowley, president and CEO, VIPAR Heavy Duty, Crystal Lake, Ill.; James Franco, president and CEO, Autologue Computer Systems Inc., Buena Park, Calif.; Martin Gold, president, S-G Imported Car Parts, Inc., Farmington Hills, Mich.; John Grote, vice president of sales and marketing, Grote Industries, Inc., Madison, Ind.; Michael Lambert, president, Automotive Distribution Network, Germantown, Tenn.; William Rhodes III, chairman, president and CEO, AutoZone, Memphis, Tenn.; Ronald Rossi, director of market research, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Bethesda, Md.; and Susan Ulrey, executive director of customer sales operations and e-commerce, Tenneco, Inc., Monroe, Mich. The Northwood Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award is given to individuals in the Automotive Aftermarket field who have made noteworthy contributions to education, on any level, inside or outside of the industry. They are people of stature and the award is recognition of substantial dedication over a number of years to the educational process and the field of automotive aftermarket.last_img read more

Plans For Gas Station Property Not Yet Announced

first_imgZRG Investments pulled a commercial demolition permit in August for the gas station at the corner of Diamond Drive and Sandia, across the street from Los Alamos High School. The plan for the property has not yet been made public but check back at ladailypost.com for updates. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.comlast_img

Water Distribution Affects Exoplanets Habitable Zone

first_imgWarmer temperatures and more surface water both cause more water vapor to enter a planet’s atmosphere. If more heat is coming into the atmosphere in the form of solar radiation than the amount of heat that is being expelled as outgoing planetary radiation, the planet gets hotter. This causes more evaporation and more water vapor, subsequently trapping more heat and causing a runaway greenhouse cycle. The researchers used three-dimensional models to simulate the different ways a set volume of water on land planets could be distributed. In one model, the water was distributed closer to the planet’s poles. In the other, water was scattered away from the poles. Mars is an example of a potentially Earth-like planet that lost its liquid water and atmosphere. Courtesy/NASA/JPL/USGS “Our results showed the inner edge of the habitable zone is not a single, sharp boundary, but a border whose location changes depending on the planetary surface environment,” said Takanori Kodama, an astrophysicist at the University of Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France, and lead author of the new study. AGU News: Distance to the central star, thickness of the atmosphere, and the amount of water on a planet can affect where its habitable zone lies. The new research in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, finds where water is distributed on land also impacts how close some types of planets can be to their central star without losing all their water. Water in the habitable zone “Small differences in the amount of water cause significant differences in planets’ climates,” Kodama said. Earth is an example of an aqua planet that maintains its water in a habitable zone. This image of Earth taken by the spacecraft Galileo shows its vast Pacific Ocean. Courtesy/NASA/JPL The new study finds land planets, which have equal to or less than 10 percent of the volume of Earth’s water, can remain habitable at a closer distance to their host star if most of their water is at the planet’s poles. This means the habitable zone for these types of planets may be different than previously assumed.center_img They found land planets with more water at their equator have wetter atmospheres, sending them into a greenhouse state. Land planets with water near their poles have drier atmospheres around their tropical regions, because the water vapor does not circulate up to the equator. Those land planets can maintain their water when they are closer to their central stars. Because life on Earth requires liquid water, researchers looking for life beyond Earth’s solar system search for exoplanets that orbit their star within a “habitable zone” where the planet is neither frozen in ice nor completely dry. Kodama previously established the total amount of water a land planet has can affect how close it can be to its central star before the amount of water vapor thickens the atmosphere and sends the planet into a runaway greenhouse state. After this water vapor threshold is reached, all the planet’s water eventually disappears through evaporation caused by heat accumulation. On habitable planets, incoming solar radiation and outgoing planetary radiation are balanced. Aqua planets, like Earth, have narrow habitable zones because their water-heavy atmospheres limit outgoing planetary radiation while insulating solar radiation, creating a buildup of heat. Land planets have a wider habitable zone, because they have less water in their atmospheres. The new study examines how water distribution on land planets influences how close they can exist to their host star without entering a runaway greenhouse state. The new results indicate that how close a planet can be to its host star and remain habitable also depends on the planet’s surface water distribution in addition to its overall amount of water. Land planets with drier equators can live closer to their stars. Earth-like exoplanets with dry tropical regions can remain habitable at a closer distance to their host star than previously thought, a new study suggests. The amount of water a planet has limits how close it can be to the heat of its star. Water vapor in the air traps heat like a greenhouse, insulating the planet and making its surface much warmer than it normally would be.last_img read more

Obituary: Robert W. (Bob) Turner

first_imgROBERT W. (BOB) TURNER Feb. 3, 1926 – Dec. 26, 2019Robert W. (Bob) Turner/AA5VD, was born February 3, 1926, Orchard, NE, to William W. & Alice M. Tomlinson Turner and died December 26, 2019 in Los Alamos.  Bill and Alice preceded Bob in death as did his Sister, Billie Maxine Turner Thomson.  Bob  is survived by his two sons, Roger W. Turner, Menifee, CA and Philip L. Turner, of Albuquerque, NM; two grandsons, Ivan Turner and his wife Cheri, San Jacinto, CA, and Trevor Turner Lucero, Albuquerque, NM; Three great grand daughters, Haley Lynn, Amber Elaine and Emily Jean Turner, San Jacinto, CA.;Bob was a registered, professional architect in Nebraska, graduating from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 1950. He served in the U.S. Army, Coast Artillery Corps in the USA and 36th Infantry Division and 7th Army Hqtrs/G-3, in Europe during WWII; U.S. Army Signal Corps Enlisted Reserve in the USA and the 5th RCT/S-3, 24th Division Army Infantry in the Korean War in Korea.  Bob moved to Los Alamos, NM with his Family in 1959, where he worked in the Facilities Engineering Division of the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 30 years. He then retired and lived in Los Alamos until his death. He was a Christian since the age of 12, a past member of the First Baptist Church, Los Alamos, NM, and a charter member of the White Rock Baptist Church, Los Alamos, NM. Bob was active in the Prison Fellowship at the PNM in Santa Fe for several years;  a member of the Los Alamos Amateur Radio Club (W5PDO); Life member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL); Life member of the American Legion, Post 90; Life member of the Good Sam Club; Life member of the 24th Taro Leaf Div. Assoc, 5th RCT.Burial in the Guaje Pines Cemetery, Los Alamos, which will include a brief graveside memorial service with Pastor Chuck McCullough officiating. The family of Robert W. (Bob) Turner has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley. 505-747-7477 – www.devargasfuneral.comThe Crown of Life2 Timothy 4:1-8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me on that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. – Verse 8.last_img read more

County Clerk Naomi Maestas Files For Re-Election

first_imgLos Alamos County Clerk Naomi Maestas, a Democrat, files today for re-election. She is shown here with her husband Sammy and son Isaiah in Council Chambers. ‘I was elected to this office in 2016 but I started working in the Clerk’s Office in 2005. I am a strong advocate for democracy. I want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. I want to continue our progress in the Clerk’s Office … we have a great team.’ Photo by Bonnie Gordon/ladailypost.comlast_img

Ellie Norman Spending Time At Mesa Public Library Tuesday

first_imgEllie Norman, 2.5, spending time Tuesday at Mesa Public Library, is the daughter of Robin and Jason Norman. Photo by Jenn Bartram/ladailypost.comlast_img

New Mexico COVID-19 Cases At 1,711 With 7 New Deaths

first_imgSTATE News:SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials announced this afternoon 115 additional positive tests for COVID-19. The number of positive tests for COVID-19 in Los Alamos County remains at 6.The update today also includes seven additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.Per the New Mexico Department of Health, the most recent cases announced today include:24 new cases in Bernalillo County2 new cases in Chaves County2 new cases in Cibola County1 new case in Colfax County7 new cases in Doña Ana County2 new cases in Eddy County1 new case in Grant County51 new cases in McKinley County8 new cases in Sandoval County14 new cases in San Juan County1 new case in Santa Fe County2 new cases in Valencia CountySeven additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19:A male in his 70s from Bernalillo County. The individual had underlying medical conditions and was a resident of the La Vida Llena facility in Albuquerque.A female in her 80s from Bernalillo County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.A second female in her 80s from Bernalillo County. The individual had underlying medical conditions.A female in her 90s from Bernalillo County. The individual had underlying medical conditions and was a resident of the La Vida Llena facility in Albuquerque.A female in her 50s from Sandoval County. A male in his 80s from San Juan County. The individual was hospitalized.A male in his 40s from Socorro County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.The number of deaths of New Mexico residents related to COVID-19 is now 51.The Department of Health has identified positive COVID-19 cases in residents and/or staff at the following congregate living facilities:Advanced Health Care of Albuquerque in AlbuquerqueAztec Health Care in AztecBeehive Homes in FarmingtonCentral Desert Behavioral Health in AlbuquerqueLa Vida Llena in AlbuquerqueLegacy Santa Fe in Santa FeLife Care Center of Farmington in FarmingtonThe Neighborhood in Rio RanchoUptown Genesis in AlbuquerqueThe case numbers reported previously included one case from Bernalillo County that was not lab confirmed – the error has been corrected.Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 1,711 positive tests for COVID-19:Bernalillo County: 514Catron County: 1Chaves County: 21Cibola County: 32Colfax County: 4Curry County: 10Doña Ana County: 65Eddy County: 9Grant County: 13Lea County: 2Lincoln County: 1Los Alamos County: 6Luna County: 3McKinley County: 316Otero County: 3Quay County: 1Rio Arriba County: 10Roosevelt County: 1Sandoval County: 301San Juan County: 243San Miguel County: 2Santa Fe County: 80Socorro County: 20Taos County: 15Torrance County: 12Valencia County: 26County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.As of today, there are 96 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.As of today, there are 382 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.The Department of Health has detected community spread in Bernalillo, Doña Ana, McKinley, Otero, Sandoval, San Juan, and Santa Fe counties and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing: Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers; andSymptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath. New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns also can call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.last_img read more

New Mexico Congressional Delegation Applauds Over $2 Million In CARES Act Funding For Safe, Affordable Housing

first_imgNEW MEXICO CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION News:WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $2,138,253 to housing authorities across 15 New Mexico counties from the CARES Act funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.The grant is funded by the $850 million provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for administrative and other expenses incurred by public housing authorities to implement key programs such as the Housing Choice Voucher program and Tenant Based Rental Assistance. The state has previously received $1,621,186 in similar funding for housing authorities across the state, in addition to over $16.7 million for emergency housing funds to keep more people in homes during the dual economic disruption and public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Affordable and reliable housing is critically important during this pandemic when physical distancing is the best measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “In the Senate, I am continuing to fight to protect New Mexico renters from eviction and to fully fund state and city budgets. Meanwhile, housing authorities across New Mexico are helping our communities stay healthy and safe, yet all too often lack the necessary financial resources as state and local budgets are strained. As we continue to grapple with the effects of this pandemic, I will continue to fight for safe and affordable housing for all New Mexicans.”“The last thing New Mexico families should be worrying about right now is how they will keep a roof over their heads,” Heinrich said. “I am proud to support this critical funding from the CARES Act for programs that help families in New Mexico access affordable housing during these difficult months. I will continue fighting for resources that promote housing security and a broad economic recovery across New Mexico.”“Public housing authorities are working hard to meet New Mexicans’ housing needs during this public health emergency. These critical investments will allow them to cover essential costs and bolster their ability to continue serving their communities,” Luján said. “I’ll keep working alongside my fellow members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation to ensure our local governments and housing authorities receive the resources they need to continue supporting New Mexicans during these challenging times.”“Housing is essential during this pandemic, but the Trump Administration and Senate GOP allowed federal relief and eviction protections to lapse. Many families worry about keeping their families fed, clothed and supported during this pandemic, the last thing they need to worry about is not having a place to live. That’s why we included important housing funding in the CARES Act, and now that this funding will get to New Mexico organizations that help people with affordable housing, families will start to see some relief. I will continue to pressure the Senate to pass the HEROES Act, which includes vital housing, rental, and utility assistance for New Mexicans,” said Haaland, Vice Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.  “As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, families across New Mexico are struggling to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. Meanwhile, state and local governments are facing strained budgets, making it difficult to provide the ample support families need. Safe, affordable housing is critical to providing stability for families and workers and reducing the spread of the virus in our communities. This funding is critical to support our local housing authorities, and I’m continuing to work to secure the federal funding families need to make it through this crisis,” Torres Small said.Regional housing authorities in New Mexico are responsible for the planning, finance and creation of affordable housing. In addition, they operate federal programs such as Section 8 or Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Low Rent Program, also referred to as public housing.Breakdown of Grants: City of Albuquerque Housing Authority, $656,285Clovis Housing and Redevelopment Agency, Inc., $61,753Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority, $190,483Housing Authority of the City of Gallup, $6,037Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority, $221,457Housing Authority of the City of Truth or Consequences, $20,683Housing Authority of the City of Tucumcari, $11,096Housing Authority of the County of Rio Arriba, $2,482Housing Authority of the County of Santa Fe, $61,910Bernalillo County Housing Department, $406,143Housing Authority of San Miguel County, $19,855Eastern Regional Housing Authority, $157,011Housing Authority of the County of San Juan, $46,446Western Regional Housing Authority, $117,976El Camino Real Housing Authority, $78,090Northern Regional Housing Authority, $59,002City of Albuquerque Housing Authority, $8,719Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority, $4,261Housing Authority of the City of Truths and Consequences, $2,955Housing Authority of the County of Santa Fe, $5,609last_img read more

Feeling the Silverburn

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HBOS rules out bid for Quintain for time being

first_imgThe stock exchange announcement triggered a 9.6% fall in Quintain’s share price to 818p a share. Quill said: ‘In response to recent speculation regarding its stake in Quintain, Quill Securities Limited confirms that it has no current intention to make an offer for Quintain.’However, It said it would still reserve the right to make or participate in an offer if a separate offer for the company was made or if ‘an agreement or recommendation from the board of Quintain is forthcoming’. In July, Quintain chairman John Plender called for the UK Takeover Panel to impose a deadline on HBOS to end the uncertainty which could have an adverse impact on the company. HBOS was subsequently given until Sept. 10 to make a bid.last_img read more

Aberdeen raises $80m for Asian purse

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Strutts partners inject £5m after 79% fall in profits

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First restructures £240m of debt

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Last chance to submit your essay and win £500

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2017 Predictions: maintaining momentum for an aspirational retirement key

first_imgAudley Retirement’s Mote House – Source: Audley RetirementThis year has also experienced its fair share of volatility following the vote to leave the EU, but also opportunity in the form of Philip Hammond’s announcement in the Autumn Statement that investment was needed in all forms of housing. For too long, there has been a distorted focus on first-time buyers, and it is a relief to see this view start to change because the demand for quality retirement housing is only growing.However, there is still a gaping hole when it comes to the older generation: a staggering lack of measures to address care. The NHS and care system is struggling at the lack of appropriate housing for those who don’t need to be in hospital and this is putting a huge strain on available beds.The fact that there are now plans to increase council tax to bail out social care services for the elderly is itself evidence of how far the situation has been allowed to spiral. Further pressure will come as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU. For a sector so dependent on an EU migrant workforce, it’s hard to underestimate the impact these workers being forced to leave could have.Retirement stock map across the UK – see full infographic hereSo while there is movement in the right direction, far more has to be done to combat both the care crisis, and lack of aspirational retirement properties. We need to incentivise people to downsize, live in their own homes and maintain their independence, but with the knowledge that flexible care is there as and when they need it.Over 65s are the fastest growing proportion of the population and by 2039 there will be more than a million people aged over 90 in UK. If we continue to talk about it, but take no further action, we can only expect the pressure to worsen.   It is absolutely vital that as we enter 2017, we maintain momentum. The Chancellor has made the first move by broadening the housing spotlight, and we need to ensure this commitment is kept.Nick Sanderson, CEO, Audley Retirement Villageslast_img read more

Industry and academics call for cross-party committee to tackle housing crisis

first_imgSource: Shutterstock/Serhii KrotThe new report from businesses including Argent, Berkeley Group and Clarion Housing Group as well as academics from Saïd Business School at Oxford University, UCL and LSE said an independent, non-departmental body was needed to advise on how to provide housing to meet needs in all sections of society, plan long-term to deliver housing for a zero-carbon economy and reduce risk and uncertainty around the delivery of new housing.Other findings in the report titled “The Housing Sprint: How to Solve the Housing Crisis”, included that just a “small proportion” of the £2tn it would cost to hit government’s targeted six million new homes in the next 20 years would need to be paid for by the state and would require building on, “at most”, 1.5% of England’s undeveloped land. It suggested developing around 2% of the country’s greenbelt would deliver between 12-20% of space needed for the required homes and added that extra provisions could be made for green schemes on this land.“We have no choice but to build our way out of the current crisis,” said the report. “In doing so, we are likely to spend £2 trillion over the next twenty years. Spent without careful thought and consultation, that money will fuel arguments in every corner of the country.”The group also suggested a Housing Advisory Committee should explore the replacement of both Section 106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) with new land value capture mechanisms that are fairer, provide better commercial incentive and reduce the administrative burden on both the public and private sectors.“Both [CIL and S106] are highly dependent on professional expertise and skills which are patchy and uneven across the country, and further hampered by a lack of transparent, comparable information,” the report said.However the group added that “until a better methodology can be established” it supported the continued use of Section 106 and the CIL.More liberal use of Compulsory Purchase Ordered was also suggested, encouraged by changes to the current system that would make CPOs “resented less and consequently applied more frequently”.These changes include public bodies paying “only a fair quantum sufficient to incentivise development” where land constitutes a potentially “large part of a significant housing development”, coupled with “speeding up the CPO process by creating a greater sense of both fairness and certainty”.The group recommended a total budget of £100m a year for the advisory committee, to pay staff and external consultants across 10 hubs nationwide. The committee, it said, should be implemented for a starting period of 12 years to make sure it outlasted individual governments.”£100m is a large sum but an essential cost,” said the report. “It would only be one thousandth of the £100bn to be spent per year to deliver 300,000 homes and their supporting infrastructure.”last_img read more

Spin class: bull genius

first_imgWhen I hear them prattling on about how clever they are, I want to remind them: “Don’t confuse genius with a bull market.” Or, as I learned this week from the CFO of the new Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield: “NAVs are a lazy metric for lazy people.”This is particularly pertinent for one of my listed clients, who barely does a deal, saying haughtily that the market is overpriced. Yet, his year-end NAV goes up thanks to market forces and he picks up a big bonus. I always worry that he might come in for criticism at the AGM or a journalist might question his worth, but so far he’s got off scot-free. That doesn’t stop him questioning my worth, of course, but that is the PR’s lot in life.“Henrietta, we need to sit down and talk about doing something for [insert name of lazy client],” says my colleague, Charlotte.“OK, but he’s not doing anything, and if he’s not doing anything, we can’t do anything,” I protest. “Let’s get him to sponsor a conference and then he will get a speaking slot and we will be kept busy for a while.”“If we do that, he’ll be spending money from his marketing budget and won’t increase our fee.”“Well, what then?”“It’s got to be time for some S&M,” I respond. “Social media. We’ll set him up on Twitter.” . .last_img read more

More funding, less planning could get us out of housing crisis

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Students among group placed in quarantine following latest COVID case in Grenada

first_img Grenada’s COVID-19 regulations state that a person who contravenes or fails to comply with the measures shall be guilty of an offence and on summary conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding EC$10,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents). Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Steele said that it appears, some people are of the belief that they were not aware that they did not have to remain at the safe facility until the all-clear is given by a health official but could depart once the PCR swab is conducted. St. Lucia records more cases of COVID More deaths from COVID-19 recorded in CARICOM countries,… CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak However, after he was swabbed by health officials, he departed the facility before receiving his result. By the time he was picked up by the authorities at his home, he had already attended a mass social gathering event that was not granted permission by the authorities. Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC Story via CMC Health Minister Nickolas Steele Tuesday confirmed that several students are among 30 people who have been placed in quarantine after the island recorded its first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) after a three month period. Oct 16, 2020 Oct 15, 2020 “The entry protocol says it’s for a minimum of four days not until you are swabbed,” he said, adding that the quarantine can go beyond four day period. “As of this morning based on the one positive case who escaped from quarantine, we have 13 direct individuals and 17 indirect individuals that have been put in isolation/quarantine as a result,” Steele told reporters. Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shawn Charles, told a news conference that the 32-year-old man from the village of Tivoli, St Andrew entered Grenada on an Air Canada flight on October 5. As mandated, he was temporarily residing in a safe quarantine facility in the south of the island until he received the on-island PCR test. “We will keep these individuals in quarantine and observation for at least four days before we test them to see if they were exposed or infected by the individual,” he added. Health authorities said that the island’s 25th case is a national returning from Canada who breached the mandatory quarantine period for persons returning from medium risk destinations. St. Kitts And Nevis Confirms Two COVID-19 CasesNATIONAL STATEMENT ON COVID-19 By the Hon Wendy Colleen Phipps Minister of State with Responsibility for Health March 25, 2020 In my capacity as Minister of State with Responsibility for Health, it is my duty to inform you that as of 11:03 pm on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Federation…March 25, 2020In “CARICOM”CARICOM SG commends regional response to COVID-19CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, has commended the health emergency response mechanism engineered by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to keep the Community free of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Secretary-General LaRocque said the inter-agency collaboration that was taking place was another example of the co-ordination required to address the…February 18, 2020In “31Intersessional”21 quarantine patients to be discharged todayA group of 21 Guyanese who returned from Barbados recently are heading back home to their families after being medically cleared. They were placed in mandatory isolation by the Ministry of Public Health. Another seven persons who were on home quarantine have also been cleared. These disclosures were made by…April 10, 2020In “General”Share this on WhatsApp “The other individuals that caused a breach in quarantine, I am told by the Commissioner that they have been charged so too is one other from Monday morning for attempting to breach protocol,” he said. Oct 15, 2020 Steele said that the persons who assisted the young man in breaching the COVID-19 regulation have now been charged. Oct 16, 2020 You may be interested in…last_img read more

Eighteen Industry Professionals Receive AAP, MAAP Certificates In Las Vegas

first_imgMIDLAND, MI – The University of the Aftermarket awarded Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) and Master Automotive Aftermarket Professional (MAAP) certificates to 18 industry veterans at the 2013 Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas, NV.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementThe University of the Aftermarket’s AAP and MAAP designation programs recognize long-term commitment to the aftermarket and professional development through programs and courses offered by the University and its association partners. Developed in partnership with AAIA, AASA, AWDA and Northwood University, these programs highlight both the educational and professional achievements of each recipient and, by extension, demonstrate the resulting competitive advantage for their employers and the aftermarket industry.AAP and MAAP certificates were presented by University of the Aftermarket Director Brian Cruickshank, MAAP, and Northwood University President and CEO Dr. Keith Pretty at Northwood University’s annual graduation and awards luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Venetian. The 2013 graduates of the program are:AAP Recipients:Jamie Ardis, AGS CompanyLindsey Ehlert, NGK Spark Plugs, Inc.William Flaherty, Jr., Stant CorporationRichard Guirlinger, Bourke Services, LLCSteve Handschuh, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA)David Haun, Gates CorporationThomas Litzinger, Motown Automotive Distributing Inc.William Long, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA)Gary McCoy, Fairway CommunicationsLarry Northup, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA)Stephen Novak, ZF Services NA, LLCMAAP Recipients:Ron Aparicio, Walker Products, Inc.Margaret Beck, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA)Cal Coburn, NGK Spark Plugs, Inc.James Eady, GOJO Industries, Inc.Stephen Horn, ATP Inc.Eric Liebovitz, Marathon Sales & MarketingBrent Windom, Uni-Select USA, Inc.last_img read more

Auto Care Association Launches Auto Care Careers Website

first_imgCREF Director of Development, Brandon Eckenrode noted, “We are excited about how this one event will bring together 90 I-CAR volunteer committees nationwide and through their local promotion of the event, the more support can be raised for collision schools. As collision instructors and students need the industry’s support now more than ever, we didn’t want the fact that in-person fundraisers not being possible to stop us from coming together for the future professionals of the industry.” Advertisement The 90 I-CAR volunteer committees will be promoting this fundraiser not only to their local industry members, but also the general public as the more local virtual golfers that participate, the more funding will be raised for their local collision school programs. Also, with the event being virtual, zero golfing skill is required, and golfers can play from the comfort of their home.Advertisement Ford Performance Racing School has donated two passes, a $4,000 value, that will be awarded to the virtual gofer with the best score at the end of the tournament. Tom Wolf, CREF board of trustees chair and PPG Automotive Refinish director of business development noted, “PPG is proud to continue supporting CREF’s efforts to help collision programs, students, and instructors and this is a creative way to get not only the industry, but general public supporting their local schools. While we are limited on the number of golfers that attend our annual CREF summer golf fundraiser, this virtual event allows for thousands to participate, knowing that their registration fee will be reinvested back into their local schools.” I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne said, “What a fantastic way to support an important cause. A couple I-CAR committees worked with CREF to innovate their normal golf outing fundraisers in the face of COVID earlier this year with great success, and the same can be expected here. I-CAR committees across the U.S. are increasingly focused on supporting career technical schools as our industry seeks more qualified and capable talent.  This event will be a fun and easy way to support that goal.” center_img Registration is now open online. Industry members not located near one of the participating I-CAR Volunteer Committees can select “CREF General Fund” when registering and their registration fee will help CREF collision school programs, instructors and students nationwide. Registrants can download the free TopGolf online game to their phone, tablet, or desktop and start practicing their virtual golf swing prior to the Nov. 20 tee-off, when registered players will be given instructions on how to access the private in-game tournament. Questions regarding the fundraiser can be directed to CREF director of development  Brandon Eckenrode. To help raise additional funds for local collision school programs, when paying their $25 registration fee online, golfers will be able to select one of the 90 participating I-CAR volunteer committees and $20 of their registration fee will be reinvested into collision schools in that specific market.  BETHESDA, Md. – The Auto Care Association has launched a new auto care careers website, www.autocarecareers.org, to educate young people about, and attract them to, careers in the auto care industry. The website, created as part of the association’s Education Committee Auto Care Careers initiative, features resources and information highlighting the variety of professional positions, fast growth potential and dynamic career paths available in the auto care industry.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementAmong the valuable materials on the website are downloadable factsheets in the “Resources” section, designed for a variety of key audiences, including secondary students, parents and counselors, college students and graduates, military and technicians. The factsheets detail the wide range of potential job titles and the skills required for industry positions, and present individual testimonials and key data about the industry.The website “Careers” page features a custom-built, interactive career accelerator featuring five industry segments: retail/wholesale, manufacturing, distribution, industry-wide positions and service/repair. Users can click on their preferred path to learn more about the positions, advancement opportunities and career trajectories available in the auto care industry.“The auto care industry has the ability to provide exactly what young people are looking for in the workforce – fast career advancement, a job for just about every professional interest and interesting and exciting work,” said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “The auto care careers website is our first big step in communicating the value and potential of our industry to outside stakeholders, and the potential employees that will be the future of the auto care industry.”The association encourages member companies to link to the new site at www.autocarecareers.org and use it as a resource in their recruitment efforts. Members also are encouraged to download and print the factsheets as useful handouts for potential employees about the industry and its careers. The association adds that plans are already underway to communicate with additional non-industry audiences about the site, and the variety of resources and opportunities available in the auto care industry.,To raise additional support for high school and college collision school programs, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) will be collaborating with 90 I-CAR volunteer committee groups nationwide on a winter virtual golf fundraiser, exclusively sponsored by PPG Automotive. This event will be a private tournament within TopGolf’s online game, which will be held from Friday, Nov. 20 through Sunday, Dec. 20. Golfers will be able to play an unlimited number of rounds of virtual golf during those 30 days, while viewing an in-game leaderboard to see how they are doing compared to others golfing from around the country. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementlast_img read more

Minimizer Adds 2 New Territory Managers

first_imgMinimizer has announced the addition of two new territory managers – Northeastern Territory Manager Kyle Hamm and West Territory Manager Royce Johnson.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement“Kyle has spent time as a route driver and more recently as head of fleet maintenance for a large wholesale distributor in the Eastern region of the U.S.,” said Greg Renberg, Minimizer senior director of sales. “This experience gives Kyle unique insight into what drivers are looking for in terms of keeping them productive while operating their vehicles. It also gives us a clue in how fleets need to be efficient in maintaining their vehicles.”Hamm’s territory includes New York, New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont.Johnson is based in the San Francisco area, and brings valuable experience to his role with Minimizer.“Royce’s experience is critical as we continue to develop this large business area for Minimizer,” said Renberg. “His history with current and potential new customers in this territory will help us deepen our relationships with customers in this region of the U.S.”Johnson’s territory includes California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii.Both Hamm and Johnson started at Minimizer in mid-March. To contact them, visit minimizer.com.last_img read more

Photos: It’s All About Family In The Automotive Aftermarket

first_img Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America, speaking at the Bosch Mobility Experience, where Bosch demoed current and future vehicle technology at the Bosch Proving Grounds in Flat Rock, Michigan. L to R: Ambassador award winners Al Kucera, Kay Walker, Dan Kruzic, Shane McNallie, [Wendi Damron for Mark Cappucci] Brake Parts Inc and Remy Power Products employees volunteered for a “Day of Caring” and spring cleaning at the Pioneer Center for Human Services PADS Homeless Services Day Center in Woodstock, Illinois. Left to Right: Ben Wang, Megan Johnson, Jim Hodges, Tracey Tantillo, Debby O’Donnell, Megan Buccola, Debra Ivarson, Andy Ortega, Lee Rico, Ryan Oddo, Eileen Thomas, Meg Johnson, a local Woodstock area resident, Zach Rasmussen, Cinthia Melesio, Angie Smola, Colin Gambaro We often hear those in the automotive aftermarket saying that it’s the people who make it all worthwhile. And whether you are part of a multi-generation, family run business, or your company just treats you like their own, this week’s AMN People photo gallery shows it’s all about family in the automotive aftermarket.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementClick on any image below to scroll through the full image gallery.To submit your event images and details for consideration in a future issue of AMN People, email AMN Editor Amy Antenora at aantenora@babcox.com. (L to R): Rusty Bishop, CEO, Federated Auto Parts; Michael Cardone III, executive chairman, Cardone Industries; and Bo Fisher, chairman, Federated Auto Parts. Cardone III accepted the Federated Hall of Fame award on behalf of his father, Michael Cardone Jr. Left to Right: Brad and Susan Johnston, Edie and Sandra Cifuentes, Al and Danielle Torcini, JC Washbish, John and Kathy Gustafson, Tim and Amy Lassila, Jason and Stephanie Kozak, Charlotte Grimmett Congratulations to the newly elected WIN board for 2018-’19! Left to Right: Corvette Winners Jason Kool, Donald Addison, and Jason Kozak In honor of its 120th anniversary, Stant is hosting celebrations with its employees at locations around the globe. On May 23, Tim King, senior vice president of global sales for Stant, visited the Stant plant in Ostrava, Czech Republic. (L to R): Tim King, senior vice president global sales, Stant; Sergio Perini, senior commodity buyer, Roechling; Sebastiano Pagano, OV sales engineer, Stant; Wolfgang Toegel, senior commodity buyer, Roechling; Karin Hajkova, plant manager, Stant; and Vincent Dupuis, OV sales engineer, Stant. Dayco Products, LLC helped kick-off Northwood University’s Aftermarket 101 course last week by hosting a YANG Regional Meet-up attended by nearly 50 young aftermarket professionals. Stant employee Shandra Smith helps with face painting during Stant’s family day event held May 5 at Stant’s Pine Bluff, Arkansas plant. Adrienne Wilson rides the mechanical bull during Stant’s family day celebration held May 5 at Stant’s Pine Bluff, Arkansas plant. During the 12th Annual WIN Educational Conference “Racing to Connect,” which was held May 7-9 in Indianapolis, Beverly Rook-Twibell (right) of Safelite Solutions was recognized as the 2018 recipient of this prestigious award by Petra Schroeder, outgoing WIN Chair.last_img read more

Modine Announces CEO Transition Plan

first_imgModine Manufacturing Co., a diversified global leader in thermal management technology and solutions, announced today that Modine’s Board of Directors has launched a search for a new president and CEO. Thomas A. Burke will be stepping down from both his position as president and CEO and as a member of Modine’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement “I am honored to have served as Modine’s president and CEO,” said Burke. “I would like to thank the entire Modine team. It has been a privilege to work with all of the Modine employees for the past 15 years. I believe we have done tremendous work together, including transforming the business to be a more diversified thermal management solutions provider. Modine has a bright future and I look forward to seeing its continued success.”   Lucareli concluded, “I would also like to thank Tom for his mentorship and leadership over the fifteen years I have worked with him at Modine. I strongly believe in the future of Modine and its vision of being a stronger, more diversified thermal management company. I remain committed to this strategy and am honored to lead this effort during the current transition period.” Williams continued, “In 2015, Tom launched our transformational, Strengthen, Diversify and Grow (SDG) strategy. That platform gained Modine a foothold in new, growing markets and resulted in the acquisition of Luvata HTS in 2016. The addition of Luvata’s industrial-based portfolio of products significantly diversified our technological capabilities and customer mix, while making Modine a global leader in coils and coatings. Lastly, Tom has been instrumental in leading Modine through the COVID-19 crisis and has positioned the business to emerge stronger. Tom has made an indelible mark on Modine’s rich history of innovation that spans more than a century and we are grateful for his historical leadership.”  Williams added, “As Modine works to complete the divestiture of its legacy Automotive business and further pivots towards its long-term vision to become a true industrial thermal management solutions provider, we have reached a natural inflection point. Now is the right time to find a new leader that can drive our industrial transformation strategy, while accelerating the Company’s future growth. A global search is underway to help us find that leader. The Board has extreme confidence that Mick and our experienced senior leadership team will continue to execute against our strategic vision until that leader is in place.”Advertisement Marsha Williams, lead director of Modine’s Board of Directors added, “On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to thank Tom for his more than 15 years of service with Modine and his more than 12 years as our President and CEO. Tom accepted the CEO position in the midst of the 2008-2009 financial crisis and acted with a sense of urgency to fortify Modine’s operations and ensure that the company weathered the economic downturn.”  Advertisement The board has named Mick Lucareli, the company’s vice president, finance and CFO, as interim president and CEO, effective today. Burke will remain with the company in a senior advisory role until Aug. 28, to ensure a smooth transition. last_img read more

Halcyon Days

first_imgRoman Fine Art in East Hampton presents “Halcyon Days,” a solo exhibition of new works by Polaroid photographer Alex Moore. Moore’s first solo exhibition at Roman Fine Art features new figurative and landscape works from his most recent travels. The exhibit will continue through June 24. There was a reception for the artist on Saturday, May 25. Sharelast_img

Hamptons Takes Over At National Lifeguard Comp

first_img Independent/Nicole Starr Castillo Share Independent/Nicole Starr CastilloHamptons Lifeguard Association’s junior and adult groups can hang with the best of them.The participants returned from last week’s United States Lifesaving Association national competition with top-place finishes, some boasting multiple medals.Standouts included Emma Hren’s first-place finish in the distance run for 14 to 15-year-olds, and Corrina Castillo’s and Colin Shaefer’s tie for third. Brodie Schneider finished third in the distance run for 12 to 13-year-olds. In the distance swim, Sophia Swanson placed third in the under-19 bracket. She also placed third in the same division in the ironguard and the run-swim-run, and came in second in the board rescue race open with Amanda Calabrese. Calabrese placed first with Molly Mamay in the 4×100 relay open.Other first-place finishers included Ryan Paroz in the surf-ski-race open, and Nicky Badilla and Tenzin Tamang in the rescue relay for 14 to 15-year-olds.Liam Knight placed first in the ironguard for 11-year-olds, as did Daisy Pitches for nine-year-olds. Lyla Metz crossed the finish line second for 10-year-olds. Pitches also placed second for nine-, 10-, and 11-year-olds in the board race. Luke Castillo came in second in the same event for 12 to 13-year-olds.Pitches was also a member of the nine, 10, 11 swim relay that came in third. Knight, Ginger Griffin, and Elizabeth Daniels rounded out the quartet. Calabrese also came in second in the open beach flags. Bella Tarbet finished second and Jack Duryea third in the under-19 division. Julia Erickson claimed second for 14-year-olds and Colin Schaefer second for 15. Castillo came in third for 12-13, Luke Rossano second for 11-year-olds, Even Schaefer first for 10-year-olds, and Myla Schneider second for nine-year-olds.desiree@indyeastend.comlast_img read more

A Rosé Cocktail For National Rosé Weekend

first_imgIndependent/Jessica Mackin-CiproIn celebration of National Rosé Weekend in the Hamptons, I’ve created a Rosé cocktail.Ingredients (Serves 1 in rocks glass)1/2 oz gin1/2 oz Campari1/2 oz orange liquorJuice of half a lemon1/4 c rosé1/4 c club sodaCrushed iceAdd gin, Campari, orange liquor, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake and pour into a glass a quarter of the way full of crushed ice. Pour in the rosé, then the club soda. Enjoy! Sharelast_img

Linde announces profits

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Gladstone LNG contract award

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QuestAir completes purifier testing

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John Raquet of Spiritus Consulting – Crystal ball gazing, or common sense?

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Air Liquide completes acquisition of Middle Eastern company

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Horizon Pulp & Paper receives €1.9m order from Indonesian firm

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Air Products to build ASU in Texas

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Stormproof and confident – A positive day for The Linde Group

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BOC launches fuel-cell powered portable generator

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Sierra launches new cryo flow metre

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Linde wins California’s highest environmental honour

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New release: Photoacoustic infrared gas monitor

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Linde partners in German hydrogen refueling plan

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CGA celebrates 100 years of gas safety

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SERVOPRO Chroma proves argon recovery capability

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Hydrogen landmarks for Air Products

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Registration open for Pittcon 2015

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Norris Cylinder names new VP of Global Sales & Marketing

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LNG discussions at International Congress

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Exclusive: Myles Dempsey on acquisition strategies and brand consolidation

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Toshiba starts fuel cell system in Japan

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HFT introduces the PurgEye® 1000

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Coronavirus: Global update

first_img“All operational factories are focused on producing all of our LifeGuard Safety hoses but particularly our high pressure and cryogenic hoses to support the high demands on the oxygen production industry,” the company said.Full story here.10:30 – ACWA Power contributes SAR 50m to coronavirus effortsSaudi Arabian utility developer ACWA Power has pledged a contribution of SAR 50m to support national health endeavours and efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.More here.10:00 – No reason for an oxygen shortageExclusive insight: Covid-19 versus oxygen supply – the status on supply and demandIn an exclusive for gasworld in the last few days, Publisher and CEO John Raquet explained why there should be no reason for alarm over the critical supply of oxygen on the front line of the fight against Covid-19.Responding to mounting speculation in the mainstream press, he wrote, “There is no doubt that a few hospitals have experienced low levels of oxygen or a lack of cylinders but it would be wrong to assume there will be national shortages of oxygen. It is important to understand both the current supply situation and the measures the gas companies are taking in order to supply the significant increase in demand due to Covid-19.”Read the full story here09:45 – Siemens makes its AM Network available to global medical communitySiemens revealed last week that it is making its Additive Manufacturing (AM) Network along with its 3D printers, available to the global medical community to speed design and production of medical components.The AM Network connects users, designers and 3D-print service providers to enable faster and less complicated production of spare parts for machines like ventilators.“To help fight Covid-19, we have opened our AM Network for hospitals and other health institutions needing spare medical parts to efficiently manage their design and printing requests.”Full story here.09:00 – As the world continues with its varying stages of lockdown, here’s the news you’re waking up to this morning: Covid-19 (coronavirus) cases worldwide have escalated over the course of the last weekThere are now more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide; fatalities number almost 70,000The situation has accelerated most notably in the US, where there are now almost 338,000 confirmed cases, and approaching 10,000 fatalitiesIn Europe, confirmed cases have reached 128,000 in Italy, 131,000 in Spain, 100,000 in Germany, 93,000 in France, and 48,000 in the UKThe rate of new cases and fatalities in both Spain and Italy, however, is showing signs of slowingIran remains the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, with 58,000 confirmed cases and a significant death toll (3,600); Saudi Arabia has a recorded 2,400 casesIn Asia-Pacific, confirmed cases have reached 82,000 in China, 3,600 in Japan, 10,200 in South Korea, 3,600 in Malaysia, 2,200 in Thailand, 1,300 in Singapore, 3,200 in Pakistan, 4,300 in India, and 5,600 in Australialast_img read more

MAN to Provide Propulsion for GC Rieber’s Seismic Vessel (Norway)

first_imgMAN Diesel & Turbo recently signed a contract for the supply of 8L32/44CR B.2 engines as part of a complete propulsion package to power a seismic vessel ordered by GC Rieber Shipping of Norway.The contract contains an option for an extra vessel. Four of the engines, along with 2 × 2-speed Flender Twin-In/Single-Out reduction gears and MAN Alpha Twin Screw CP propellers in AHT nozzles, will power the vessel. The seismic vessel is graded as Ice Class 1A*, which provides a good basis for operating in Arctic areas.The vessel design is an ST 324 XT from Skipsteknisk of Aalesund, Norway whose hull will be constructed in Poland with outfitting subsequently carried out at the Myklebust shipyard north of Aalesund. The propulsion plant is scheduled for delivery by May 2014 with vessel delivery following in March 2015.Expertise in ice has long been a GC Rieber Shipping trademark with an emphasis on delivering customer solutions for demanding operations in sensitive environments where quality, safety and environmental concerns are crucial. These tough requirements also apply to the propulsion plant and the shipyard’s previous, positive experience with MAN Diesel & Turbo engines was decisive in finalising the propulsion package.Propulsion packageThe four-stroke 8L32/44CR B.2 common-rail engines with a high-powered 600 kW/cylinder will be constructed and tested in Augsburg, Germany – headquarters of MAN Diesel & Turbo. The common-rail B.2 engine is one of the most advanced in the company’s product portfolio, has a second-to-none SFOC, and has gained a solid foothold in the offshore business.The reduction gears from Siemens-Flender are specially designed such that – at constant engine speed (750 rpm) – two different propeller speeds can be selected (155 rpm or 120 rpm), allowing the propellers to have a much wider silent-operation window. The TI/SO gears are also provided with 2 × 2,600 kWe PTOs each.The MAN Alpha VBS1100 Mk5 CP propellers utilise, courtesy of up to six operating modes, the flexible propeller-output speed to operate at the optimum efficiency in all modes. Suppressing cavitation on the propellers is an important design criterion since, especially on the pressure side, the noise deriving from cavitation can disturb seismic sonar readings.The ø4200 CP propellers operate in Alpha High Thrust (AHT) nozzles, which further help to increase propeller performance by offering higher thrust at low vessel speed, and reduce cavitation noise through selection of the optimum nozzle L/D ratio.The Alphatronic 2000 remote-control system facilitates the most favourable propulsion-plant control in all operating modes. A special feature of the new seismic vessel is an ‘ice operation mode’ since the DNV Ice 1A* only applies when one engine is engaged to each propeller shaft. The complete propulsion plant at 100% MCR is classed as fully MCR certified by DNV for operation in areas with no ice.Finally, as part of the overall deal, MAN Diesel & Turbo will provide two years of online service and PrimeServLab (stringent quality control for engine operating fluids) on board in order to obtain valuable performance data for seismic high-load operation.[mappress]Press Release, June 28, 2013; Image: skipsteknisklast_img read more

DONG to Use Maersk Resolve in Danish North Sea Drilling Ops

first_imgMaersk Drilling has been awarded a contract from DONG Energy for the jack-up Maersk Resolve for drilling operations in the Danish North Sea.The contract is expected to commence in August 2013 in direct continuation of its current contract in the UK. The duration of the new contract with DONG Energy is expected to be nine months until June 2014, where the rig after a planned yard stay will commence another five well firm contract with DONG Energy awarded in March 2012 expected to last approximately two years. The estimated value of the new nine month contract is USD 58 million.“We are very pleased to enter this contract with DONG Energy, one of our key customers in the North Sea area,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group.“Maersk Resolve will now work for DONG Energy through to the end of third quarter of 2016 and we look forward to co-create value with DONG Energy on their many interesting prospects including the high profile Hejre field development which requires the drilling of a number of deep and complicated High-Pressure-High-Temperature wells. With its high tech equipment the Maersk Resolve is ideally suited to meet these demands.”Maersk Resolve is the third in a series of four High Efficiency 350 ft jack-up rigs in Maersk Drilling’s fleet. Since its delivery in 2009 the rig has been employed in the Danish and UK North Sea.[mappress]Press Release, July 9, 2013last_img read more

UAE to Host Third International Counter Piracy Conference

first_imgThe UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, global ports operator DP World and Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) announce they are co-convening the third international counter-piracy conference in Dubai on 11-12 September. Their joint hosting of the conference demonstrates the vital importance of public and private sector coordination in the fight against maritime piracy both on and off shore.More than 500 participants comprising foreign ministers, senior government officials, executives of global maritime-sector companies, and leading experts will convene for the two-day event entitled: Countering Maritime Piracy: Continued Efforts for Regional Capacity Building.Building capacity in the region includes addressing piracy in the short term through effective security initiatives, including co-ordination between international navies and merchant vessels, and longer term initiatives that support the development of local economies.The humanitarian impact of piracy on seafarers and their families continues to be a focus, and a highlight of this year’s conference will be a discussion with Captain Juwaid Saleem, a former captive of pirates in Somalia, and his family, who will share their experiences. Captain Juwaid and his crew were held for more than two years and his two daughters featured in a documentary premiered at last year’s conference highlighting the humanitarian cost of piracy, when he was still a prisoner. He and seven of his crew were released six weeks after the 2012 conference; the remaining 15 crew members are still missing in Somalia.Key themes of the conference will include:• Continuing to build awareness of the humanitarian and economic cost of piracy, including support for seafarers;• Injecting new momentum in the search for an effective and enduring solution to piracy through collaboration across political, military, financial and legal sectors;• Encouraging a comprehensive approach that can deliver a long term sustainable solution to counter piracy, including land-based solutions;• Highlighting cooperation between industry and government sectors through joint strategies emphasising sustainable long-term solutionsHis Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, said: “While the international community has made great strides in fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia, the UAE believes that maritime piracy, notably in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean, remains of serious global concern. We are convinced that successfully countering piracy can only be achieved if the international community enhances its efforts to build capacity in the region. With that in mind, we have chosen “Countering Maritime Piracy: Continued Efforts for Regional Capacity Building” as the theme for this year’s conference.”His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, said: ”I am delighted that DP World will again play a major role in continuing the dialogue on countering piracy. We all continue to be affected by the ramifications of piracy and it is vital that we keep the issue on the radar so that public and private sector remedies can be implemented both now and for future generations. We at DP World, together with our industry colleagues from around the world, look forward to cementing the achievements of previous conferences and discussing building capacity in the region, analysing state legitimacy issues and seeking long term solutions to the problem.”His Excellency, H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Chairman ADPC, added: “Abu Dhabi Ports Company is pleased to continue to support the efforts of industry and governments around the world to counter maritime piracy at this event.“While much has been achieved through the last two conferences and the number of incidents has dropped – the pirate groups still exist, the threat is still present and the devastating human consequences of pirate attack or armed robbery at sea still remains.“We applaud the tactical and short term success achieved by industry and governments so far. We welcome the next steps to develop a comprehensive long term strategy, which strengthens and supports the local communities and eradicates piracy on shore. Counter piracy remains a top priority for the emirate as maritime security is an important factor in the economic growth of the GCC region.”[mappress]DP World, August 14, 2013last_img read more

Seascape Surveys Bags $55 Mln Subsea Job in Indonesia

first_imgPT Seascape Surveys Indonesia has been awarded a two years long contract, with a one year option, to provide offshore Inspection, Repair and Maintenance (“IRM”) services to a major Indonesian based upstream oil and gas operator.The estimated contract value for the initial term is USD 55 million and will utilise the Indonesian flagged DP2 vessel, M.V. ‘Endeavour’, which is on long-term charter to Seascape. Seascape will be directly providing full service air diving and remotely operated vehicle (“ROV”) spreads for this IRM campaign through in-house resources.“For Seascape, this is our first diving contract, which will be performed directly by Seascape through in-house resources. We believe this a tremendous accomplishment for Seascape and appreciate the trust that our client has in Seascape to undertake this project”, said Peter Reichlmeier, Managing Director of Seascape.[mappress] September 16, 2013last_img read more

Dockwise Vanguard to Transport Costa Concordia Wreck?

first_imgDockwise Vanguard may be the solution for the transportation of Costa Concordia wreck to the scrapyard, since the owner of the cruise ship Carnival Cruises commissioned the transport ship, the Italian media reported.Dockwise Vanguard is a semi-submersible heavy transport vessel (SSHTV) and currently the largest of its kind. The vessel is built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Ulsan for the Dutch shipping company Dockwise, owned by Boskalis.The refloating of the Costa Concordia wreck is the last phase of the salvage operation and it would probably happen in the spring.World Maritime News Staff, September 20, 2013; Image: Dockwiselast_img read more

Statoil Announces Exciting Exploration Plans for NCS in 2014

first_imgStatoil announces an exciting exploration programme in Norway also in 2014, building on the exploration successes of recent years.Statoil plans to drill 20-25 exploration wells on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) in 2014, of which around two-thirds will be Statoil-operated.“Statoil’s exploration success rate on the Norwegian continental shelf has been over 70% the last five years, compared to an industry average of 49%. This confirms that our exploration strategy is paying off,” says Gro G. Haatvedt, senior vice president for NCS exploration in Statoil.Statoil has a diversified exploration portfolio on the NCS targeting both growth prospects, opportunities in frontier areas and selected prospects in mature areas which can be tied into existing infrastructure.“We believe that our competence and experience throughout the value chain give us an advantage when prioritising the right prospects, performing efficient exploration and ensuring value creation,” says Haatvedt.Barents Sea campaign continuesStatoil will continue the exploration campaign in the Barents Sea in 2014 with 5-7 new wells. The company will test the potential in the Hoop area and continue exploration drilling around the Johan Castberg discoveries (Skrugard and Havis).Statoil is a partner in the OMV-operated Wisting Central discovery in PL537 announced in September, which opened a new oil play in the Hoop area. During Q2-Q3 of 2014 Statoil will drill the Atlantis and Apollo prospects in PL615, approximately 50 kilometres north of PL537.“The Apollo well will target the same geological formation as the Wisting Central well. We have a solid understanding of the subsurface and are well prepared to conduct safe and secure operations in this area of the NCS,” says Haatvedt.In the Johan Castberg area the Skavl prospect is currently being drilled, followed by the Kramsnø and Drivis prospects late 2013/early 2014.“We still believe we can find more oil in the Johan Castberg area to make the field development project more robust. Currently we are evaluating several prospects around Johan Castberg for drilling in 2014,” says Haatvedt.Hunting high-value barrels“In the North Sea our plan is to further explore around the King Lear discovery and continue our hunt for barrels in the greater Utsira High area. We will also pursue our exploration effort around existing infrastructure in order to discover timely high-value barrels for the new fast-track developments,” says Haatvedt.In the Johan Sverdrup/greater Utsira High area, the Geitungen appraisal will be drilled in PL265 at the turn of the year and Statoil will also drill the Tastaveden prospect in PL628.In 2012 Statoil made a significant gas and condensate discovery in the King Lear prospect. In 2014-2015 two new wells will be drilled in PL146/PL333. The Romeo prospect will test the potential north of King Lear, while the Julius prospect will both appraise the King Lear discovery and test additional potential south of the find. This is a high temperature and high pressure (HTHP) area, which Statoil has a strong record in handling.In the Norwegian Sea the focus next year will be to mature the deep-water exploration campaign in the Aasta Hansteen area which is planned to start in 2015.“We are confident there are new, exciting opportunities to be explored on the Norwegian continental shelf going forward,” concludes Haatvedt.Press Release, November 07, 2013last_img read more

Navios Acquisition Closes Offer of First Priority Ship Mortgage Notes Due 2021

first_imgNavios Maritime Acquisition Corporation announced today that the Company and Navios Acquisition Finance (US) Inc., its wholly owned finance subsidiary, completed the sale of $610 million of 8 1/8% first priority ship mortgage notes due 2021. The Notes were offered and sold in the United States only to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and in offshore transactions to non-United States persons in reliance on Regulation S under the Securities Act.The Notes are secured by first priority ship mortgages on 12 vessels aggregating approximately 2.6 million deadweight tons owned by certain subsidiary guarantors. The Notes are guaranteed by each of Navios Acquisition’s direct and indirect subsidiaries.The net proceeds of the offering will be used to fund its current tender offer and consent solicitation for certain outstanding notes and pay related fees and expenses, to discharge and redeem any of such notes that are not purchased in the tender offer after all conditions to the tender offer are satisfied or waived, including the payment of any related fees and expenses and any redemption premium, to fund the repayment of outstanding borrowings under a term loan secured by two of the mortgaged vessels, which are expected to be repaid immediately prior to the closing of the offering using cash on hand, and if any remain, for general corporate purposes.The Notes and related guarantees have not been registered under the Securities Act or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to or for the benefit of U.S. persons unless so registered except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable securities laws in other jurisdictions.This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the Notes or any other securities, and does not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale of any Notes or other securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. Any offer of the Notes was made only by means of a private offering memorandum. This press release is being issued pursuant to and in accordance with Rule 135c under the Securities Act.[mappress]Navios Maritime, November 14, 2013last_img read more

Gazprom, Enagas Discuss LNG Supplies to Europe, Latin America

first_imgGazprom’s Chairman Alexey Miller met in Moscow with CEO of Enagas Marcelino Oreja where they discussed cooperation in liquefied natural gas supplies, particularly from the Baltic LNG project to the European and Latin American markets.The meeting noted that Spain had a potential to become one of the major consumers of LNG from the project, Gazprom said in a statement.At present, Gazprom supplies LNG to more than ten countries. The company’s goal is to build up its presence in the promising markets, to be achieved, at first place, through increasing its own production.The company’s Vladivostok-LNG project, which has an annual production capacity of 10 million tons with the potential for further expansion, entered the investment stage in February 2013. The project Investment Rationale will be completed in the first half of 2014. The plant with the capacity of up to 10 million tons a year will start commercial production in 2018.[mappress]LNG World News Staff, December 13, 2013; Image: Gazpromlast_img read more