by Taylor Dobbs | June 29, 2012 vtdigger.org Wind proponents are a bit flustered this week after the Northeast Vermont Development Associationâ s board passed a resolution that recommends a three-year suspension on â new construction of industrial size wind turbines in excess of two hundred feet.âThe suspension is an effort to slow down wind development in the northeastern part of the state, where projects like First Wind in Sheffield have polarized communities.â Theyâ re completely dividing our communities â ¦ theyâ re pitting towns against each other,’said Dave Snedeker, planning manager at NVDA. NVDA is the regional planning commission and the economic development corporation for 55 communities in the Northeast Kingdom.The resolution says the three-year freeze would allow the NVDA to analyze the effect of wind projects on the communities and economy within Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties.â I think we really donâ t know the impact of these things,’he said.But Gabrielle Stebbins, executive director of Renewable Energy Vermont (REV), says she does know the impact, and she offered to speak before the NVDA board multiple times and was denied.â If NVDA were really interested, if there was a lot of concern about learning the facts, and if a third party comes to them and says â Look, I can give you a lot of facts that are neutral’â ¦ and they do not put me on the agenda and there was time during the meeting, that says something, there, to me,’she said.Stebbins also said she was frustrated at the rhetoric of the debate at the NVDA board meetings.â When speaking, many statements were made as if they were fact,’she said. Stebbins referred to one speaker mentioning that noise from the windmills can cause birds’heads to implode.â Thatâ s not a fact, and it was presented as if it was a fact,’she said.Though the resolution recommends a three-year suspension on industrial wind projects in the region, it carries no legal weight and could not by itself keep such a project out of the region. That decision remains under the Public Service Boardâ s purview, and that group ‘though they must hear concerns from municipalities, regional planning committees and the public ‘does not answer to the NVDA.Snedeker acknowledges that the Public Service Board could ignore the resolution altogether and green-light a large industrial wind project, but he hopes NVDAâ s involvement in the board process will keep big wind out of the Northeast Kingdom for the next three years.â Itâ s our belief that they would take into consideration the recommendation of the regional planning board,’he said.Though the suspension has the potential to hinder the alternative energy economy in northeastern Vermont, Snedeker says it could save another, more important aspect of its economy.â If weâ re allowing the continued development of these large wind projects, how is that going to impact the tourism part of our economy?’he said.Elizabeth Miller, commissioner of the Department of Public Service, said that while the proposed suspension is not enforceable because the Public Service Board is ultimately responsible for project approval, the board is required by statute to at least consider input from municipal and regional planning bodies.â I understand, and I know the Governor understands, the deeply held opinions in this state regarding large scale wind projects,’Miller wrote in an email statement. â Town and regional energy and development plans, and stances on particular projects brought forward by interested parties, play an important role in Section 248 proceedings in front of the PSB.âThe boardâ s process gives special consideration to public groups that have a specific interest in a given project.â They can become an interested party if they demonstrate their individual interest, and obviously towns â ¦ and regional planning commissions often do that,’Miller said in an interview. This would allow the group to submit comments such as this weekâ s recommendation for consideration in the Public Service Boardâ s process. June 29, 2012 vtdigger.orgPhoto: Sheffield Wind, by Vermont Business Magazine
Dan Walker and his mother Sharon were presented with the other Homecoming King candidates at halftime of the Homecoming football game. Walker was crowned King the following night.As we get perilously close to the end of 2014, we figured the moment had presented itself for a bit of reflection. It was a year that saw a lot of triumph — and a good deal of heartbreak — here in northeast Johnson County. Here’s a look at the year that was:Mission Chateau eked out an approval from the city of Prairie Village, but groundbreaking on the site is uncertain.January: On its second trip before the Prairie Village City Council, the controversial Mission Chateau senior living community proposal got the approval it needed from the city when Mayor Ron Shaffer broke a 6-6 tie in favor of the Tutera Group. But the group of area homeowners who had organized against the 325,000 square foot development quickly brought legal action against the project, making the project timeline murky at best. [On second try, Tutera gets Mission Chateau approval; opponents say appeal likely]February: Local residents watching the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochii, Russia, saw a few familiar faces when an ad by Chevrolet featured a clip from the Lancer Lipdub video SM East produced last year. [Lancer lipdub goes national! SM East students featured in ad aired during Olympic opening ceremony]March: A group of young students from The Pointe, the dance studio founded by Tiffany Mogenson, the woman killed a few blocks from her Prairie Village home in an October 2013 crash at 75th Street and Roe Avenue, won the “Powerhouse Award” at the NexStar National Talent Competition, fulfilling a dream of Mogenson’s by putting together a full production act performance. [‘Dance like Tiffany is watching’: Young performers realize PV woman’s dream after her death]Steve Schowengerdt edged council Dave Shepard to become Mission’s new mayor.April: Mission voters by the slimmest of margins elected former city councilor Steve Schowengerdt to replace Laura McConwell as mayor. Schowengerdt, a proponent of strict fiscal discipline on the campaign trail, defeated councilor Dave Shepard by just 19 votes. [Steve Schowengerdt becomes new Mission mayor with 19-vote winning margin]May: Propelled by a nine-strikeout performance from pitcher Joey Wentz, SM East’s baseball team earned its first trip to the state tournament since 2011 by beating Olathe East in Regionals. The Lancers couldn’t keep the momentum going, though, falling in the first round of state play to Maize. [STATEBOUND! Joey Wentz pitches 6 scoreless innings as Lancers win regional]Spencer Collins appeared before the Leawood City Council after his family received threat of fines for having a Little Free Library in their yard.June: The Collins family’s decision to plant a Little Free Library in the front yard of their north Leawood home sparked a national outcry after they faced the threat of citation from the city for violating a ordinance prohibiting detached structures. [Leawood man faces citation for putting Little Free Library in his front yard]July: SM East graduate Mark Harken and Paul Henson YMCA life guard Clay Miller were killed when the Ford Explorer Harken was driving with four other northeast Johnson County friends lost control on a county road near Clinton, Mo. Investigators determined that excessive speed caused the wreck. [2012 SM East graduate Mark Harken killed in wreck; 4 NEJC natives injured]August: The owners of the Village Shops, Corinth Square and the Fairway Shops announced that they had agreed in principal on a deal to sell the properties to First Washington Realty, a Maryland-based real estate company. The move came just short of four years after the Prairie Village city council approved Community Improvement Districts that helped fund the redevelopment of the Village Shops and Corinth with a 1 percent sales tax. [Maryland-based real estate company enters contract to buy Village, Corinth and Fairway shops; PV council will be asked to reassign CIDs]Meadowbrook Country Club, which opened in 1954, closed in October.September: VanTrust announced that Meadowbrook Country Club would close at the end of October, paving the way for a proposal to fully redevelop the land. The club opened in Prairie Village in 1954. [Meadowbrook Country Club will close on October 31; development plan expected this year]October: SM East students elected Dan Walker, a special needs student, its 2014 Homecoming King. [Dan Walker named 2014 SM East Homecoming King]November: Mission Gateway developer Tom Valenti came before the Mission City Council with a vastly scaled down proposal for the property. The mixed use development that had included tenants like Sprouts Farmer’s Market and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill was essentially replaced with an expanded Walmart. [New Mission Gateway plan vastly changed; apartments, most retail gone; Walmart gets bigger, hotel added]And SM East won its first state football title in school history. [NO UNFINISHED BUSINESS LEFT: SM EAST BEATS HUTCH FOR SCHOOL’S FIRST-EVER FOOTBALL TITLE]December: The Shawnee Mission School District announced it intends to build a new state of the art aquatics center on the ground south of SM South District Stadium. The proposal preserves the Environmental Education Lab that sits on the east side of the SM South campus. [Shawnee Mission aquatic center will be built next to SM South stadium, avoiding environmental lab land]
U.S. News & World Report (Healthday):Reading a book can satisfy the crucial human need for belonging, a new study has found.The research involved 140 university students who were given 30 minutes to read a selected passage from either the vampire novel Twilight or the wizard novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The passages focused on the lives of either vampires or wizards.Read the whole story: U.S. News & World Report (Healthday)
Salmonella outbreak tied to eggs grows to 35 cases in 9 statesTwelve more people in five states have been sickened with Salmonella from eggs produced by an Indiana farm, bringing the outbreak total to 35 cases in nine states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in an update yesterday.Patient ages range from 1 to 90 years, with a median age of 65. Illness-onset dates range from Nov 16, 2017, to Apr 14, 2018, the CDC said, while reporting no newly affected states. Of 28 people with available information, 11 (39%) have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.New York and Virginia have confirmed the most cases, at 8 each, while Pennsylvania has had 6 and North Carolina 5. As the CDC noted in its initial outbreak report on Apr 16, the outbreak strain is Salmonella Braenderup.”CDC continues to recommend consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, serve, or sell recalled eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County farm,” the agency said in the update. “Throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.” Rose Acre Farms, of Seymour, Ind., has recalled more the 200 million eggs sold under multiple brand names, including Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, Food Lion, Glenview, Great Value, Nelms, Publix, Sunshine Farms, and Sunups.May 10 CDC update Center for Health Security warns: Prepare for next pandemic pathogenThe next pandemic pathogen to plague the world will most likely be respiratory, contagious during its incubation period and before symptoms develop, initially cause only mild symptoms, and have microbial characteristics that together substantially increase disease spread, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.The report, “The Characteristics of Pandemic Pathogens,” establishes a framework for identifying naturally occurring microorganisms that pose a global catastrophic biological risk (GCBR) and makes recommendations for improving preparedness efforts. “GCBRs are events in which biological agents could lead to a sudden, extraordinary, widespread disaster beyond the collective capability of national and international governments and the private sector to control,” the center said in a press release.”Health security preparedness needs to be adaptable to new threats and not exclusively wedded to historical notions,” said Amesh Adalja, MD, project lead and senior scholar at the Center for Health Security. “A more active-minded approach to this problem will, in the end, help guard against a GCBR event occurring.” To prepare the report, the authors interviewed more than 120 subject matter experts and convened a meeting with some of them to analyze data the authors had gathered. The experts identified RNA viruses as the biggest threat because of their high ability to mutate.Key preparedness recommendations detailed in the report include having a focused approach with some flexibility, improving surveillance for respiratory-borne RNA viruses, developing antiviral agents, pursuing a universal flu vaccine and other vaccine, fully funding appropriate research, and devising better diagnostic tests.May 10 Center for Health Security news release May 10 Center for Health Security full report As US flu continues at low levels, CDC reports 2 more pediatric deathsPost-epidemic influenza activity in the United States continues at much reduced levels, but CDC officials today confirmed 2 new flu-related deaths in children, bringing the number of pediatric fatalities this season to 165, the highest recorded since 2012-13.The percentage of clinical visits for influenza-like illness stayed the same as the previous week, at 1.5%, well below the national baseline of 2.2%. Likewise, the number of states reporting geographically widespread flu remained the same, at three (Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York).The overall rate of hospitalization for flu, a marker that often lags other indicators, also held, at 106.0 per 100,000 population. For seniors, the number rose from 457.2 to 459.7 per 100,000 population.As is common late in the flu season, respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza B continued to strongly outpace influenza A, totaling 65% for the week. (Over the season, however, influenza A has been twice as prevalent as influenza B, and the H3N2 strain has constituted 85% of “A” viruses that were subtyped.)The two new pediatric deaths were both recorded in March, one caused by H3N2 and one by influenza B. The 2012-13 season saw 171 pediatric flu deaths, according to CDC data.May 11 CDC FluView update WHO says Nigeria’s Lassa fever outbreak is containedCases have been declining over the past 6 weeks on Nigeria’s largest Lassa fever outbreak, and with only a handful of cases reported in recent weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that the critical phase of the outbreak is under control.For the week ending May 6, only 3 new cases were reported, edging the number of cases since the first of the year to 423, including 106 deaths. The WHO said case numbers have dropped below levels considered to be a national emergency when compared with data from earlier outbreaks.Ibrahima-Soce Fall, MD, MPH, regional emergencies director for Africa, said in the WHO statement that Nigeria is to be congratulated for reaching this important milestone. “But we cannot let our foot off the pedal. We must use the lessons learnt to better prepare at risk countries in our region to conduct rapid detection and response,” he said.The WHO said it will continue to support Nigeria’s stepped-up response to the outbreak, which it says led to 37 infections in health workers, highlighting the need to implement standard infection prevention and control practices with all patients and a high index of suspicion, regardless of health status.Lassa fever is a viral infection mainly transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine, feces, or blood. The virus can pass from person to person through direct or indirect contact with an infected person’s body fluids.May 10 WHO statement
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[mappress]seaspan, April 1, 2014 New York-listed Seaspan Corporation has exercised options for the construction of four 10,000 TEU class containerships at Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and Jiangsu Yangzi Xinfu Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.The vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2016 and will be constructed using Seaspan’s fuel-efficient SAVER design.Seaspan expects to sign long-term time charters for these vessels with one of the major container liner companies in the near future. These vessels remain subject to allocation in relation to Seaspan’s right of first refusal agreement with Greater China Intermodal Investments LLC, an investment vehicle established by Seaspan, an affiliate of global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group, and Blue Water Commerce, LLC.The company’s managed fleet consists of 109 containerships representing a total capacity of over 840,000 TEU, including 35 newbuilding containerships on order scheduled for delivery to Seaspan and third parties by the end of 2016.Seaspan’s current operating fleet of 72 vessels has an average age of approximately seven years and an average remaining lease period of approximately five years.
Norwegian offshore vessel owner Siem Offshore saw an improvement in the North Sea spot market for Offshore Support Vessels towards the end of the second quarter of 2016.The growth was particularly felt in the anchor handling tug and supply vessel rate levels, Siem Offshore, which runs a fleet of 46 vessels, said on Thursday.Presenting its quarterly results, the company posted a drop in operating revenues. Revenues were $99.6 million for the quarter, down from $124.4. million a year ago.Siem Offshore’s net loss narrowed to $7.9 million, an improvement from last year’s second quarter loss of $45 million.While stating that the North Sea market somewhat improved in the later part of the quarter, Siem Offshore also said that market will remain volatile for both the AHTS vessels and PSVs for an extended period, with a number of rigs having been cold-stacked as end-clients continue to focus on cost-cutting and cash preservation.
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Copies of all guidance referred to in this article are available at the LS website. Know the level of service the broker will provide and expect the broker to meet it; Know how much the broker will charge and how much commission it will receive; Understand what is meant by sub-broking chains and associated costs; Ask the broker to which insurers they have direct access; Know if the broker will be conducting a fair analysis of the market that is available to the type of law firm; Ensure your proposal form is only seen once by any insurer; Make sure the broker provides details about insurers’ financial security; Know all the costs associated with the policy, including the annual premium, excess, run-off and extended indemnity period premium; Check for penalties if the policy is cancelled before 1 October; Consider the benefits of maintaining good long-term relationships; and If a firm is not getting the most out of its broker, it can always find another one. It will be a business decision whether or not to change brokers or insurers this renewal, with advantages and disadvantages to continuity in service. Many solicitors have built a long-standing relationship with their existing broker. This relationship can be beneficial if it means that the broker has insight into how the law firm is run, its risk management practices and its claims history. A specialist PII broker will be able to use this knowledge and experience to the law firm’s advantage by presenting the firm in a way that demonstrates to insurers that it represents a ‘good’ risk. If a firm’s current broker provides access to an existing insurer that a law firm may not be able to access through another broker then it is worth considering the benefits that continuity can provide, for example, avoidance of coverage disputes that may arise between insurers in different policy years. Transparency is important as knowing what level of service to expect can help solicitors find an appropriate broker to meet their requirements. It also gives solicitors the option of ‘shopping around’. Equally, it may help solicitors to see the benefits of continuity in the broker and insurer that they currently use. This month, the European Commission introduced proposals to make the disclosure of any commission and fees received by insurance brokers mandatory across member states. While this would not happen for another five years, it would mean that all brokers, PII included, would automatically need to reveal details of commissions and fees received. But why wait five years to get your broker to disclose this information? In the UK, the Financial Services Authority requires brokers to reveal details of commissions they receive, if asked. Why do you need to know details of these payments? Insurance agents and brokers are commonly compensated by the insurer in the form of a commission on the premiums paid to that insurer. Commissions are generally a specified percentage of the insurance premium generated in each transaction. Some intermediaries who also undertake work on behalf of insurers (for example, administrative work, claims handling or sometimes even underwriting activities) may also receive additional commission because of this ‘work transfer’. Brokers can also be compensated by a fee agreed with the solicitors’ practice which is not driven by the volume of premium. By asking for details of these payments, solicitors should consider whether or not a broker is delivering the quality and value of service commensurate with that remuneration. It might be that a firm is happy with the service the broker provides, or it could prompt a firm to look elsewhere, but it is better to make that decision with all the available information to hand. The Society’s 2012 PII Buyers’ Guide was developed with a heavy focus on the relationship between solicitor and the intermediaries they use to find the right insurance partners. The guide gives insight into the relationships between insurers and intermediaries, as different brokers provide different types of services which will be reflected in their remuneration. Useful tips: Elliott Vigar is head of regulation at the Law Society There is now a great deal of information and guidance available to help legal practices find the right professional indemnity insurance (PII) package for their needs. I hope that legal practices will not go into the renewal process without using this free advice. The Law Society aims to make the PII renewal process as easy as possible, while at the same time encouraging greater transparency in the process. With those goals in mind, for the first time the Law Society has created a PII composite form, which some insurers and many brokers are signing up to. This will hopefully lead to an industry-supported common proposal form. The composite form is just one element of a suite of PII initiatives we are providing for members. This year it is mandatory for qualifying insurers to disclose credit and financial strength ratings. They must state any rating and the name of the agency that has provided the rating. Insurers must also state if they are unrated. The existence of a rating is another tick in the transparency box, and is an important factor which legal practices should consider when choosing an insurer. The rating demonstrates that the insurer has undergone an independent financial security assessment. Although it should be remembered that ratings do not guarantee an insurer’s financial solvency, our insurers’ guide may assist solicitors in understanding more fully what ratings do (and do not) mean. We also have a practice note which outlines the potentially severe regulatory consequences in the event of a firm’s chosen insurer becoming insolvent. Other important changes to the minimum terms and conditions are outlined in the Law Society’s PII practice note, which includes an update on changes to the reimbursement provisions and cover for defence costs. The Law Society’s 2012 Insurers Guide provides a ‘market map’ that outlines the segment of the market being written by the majority of qualifying insurers. It also outlines whether these insurers can be accessed directly or through a broker. The results from the Society’s annual PII survey suggest that, while a firm may be able to get ‘a better deal’ by approaching all insurers in their available market for a quotation, the level of premium should not be a firm’s sole consideration. There are other factors to consider, such as insurers’ financial stability and maintaining a relationship with your existing insurer, which may provide benefits with respect to claims handling and avoiding coverage disputes. A legal practice may need to use more than one broker to gain access to the full range of qualifying insurers that are willing to offer PII. Whether multiple brokers need to be used or not depends on the size of the firm and its area of practice. It also depends on the chosen broker and the number of insurers which it can access. The exclusive arrangements that exist in the solicitors’ PII market mean that some insurers can only be accessed directly through a single broker in particular segments of the market. It may still be possible to access these insurers ‘indirectly’ via sub-brokers. You will have to check with your broker to see if this is the case. The Society’s proposal form is designed to assist members to access these different markets. While it is recognised that there is some way to go before it receives complete support from the industry, the list of those who have indicated they will accept the form (although some insurers may require supplementary questions) is growing. If solicitors intend to use multiple brokers to access their full available market, it is important to ensure that no proposal form is sent to the same insurer twice, as this could prove counterproductive. Many insurers work on a first-come, first-served basis, but there is a danger that if a scattergun approach is taken to proposal forms without proper vetting of the information sent, it will result in a declinature and reduce a firm’s chance of getting insurance. The Society’s PII Buyers’ Guide has tips about managing these relationships. Brokers – disclosure of commission and fees
DustKill, a soy-based product applied by DustKill East of Paradise, Pennsylvania, is a safe, biodegradable alternative to chemical and petroleum-based dust suppressants. The product penetrates dirt road surfaces, binding loose gravel to dust and creating a compacted surface similar in texture to asphalt. Because soybean oil is not water soluble like some traditional dust suppressants, it’s a non-toxic, environmentally friendly product that lasts longer and doesn’t run off into ground water. A full-rate DustKill application, which lasts about a year, effectively holds down dust, improving air quality and reducing sediment and airborne erosion from roads into streams and waterways. PDadvertisementadvertisement—From Pennsylvania Soybean Board news release The thousands of showgoers that attended Ag Progress Days in Rock Springs, Pennsylvania, from Aug. 16-18 could breathe a little easier thanks to the state’s soybean growers. That’s because the Ag Progress Days staff, working with the Pennsylvania Soybean Board, controlled the dust from the show’s gravel roads through a soy-based dust control agent known as DustKill.