Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General TJ Donovan announced the start of the 2nd Annual “Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive,” a collaboration between the Office of the Attorney General, the Vermont Bar Association, and the Vermont Foodbank. The Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive will run from September 10th through 21st. September is designated National Hunger Action Month by the Vermont Foodbank. Twenty-four Vermont law firms and offices have signed up in advance to participate in the event. The Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive aims to raise awareness and fight hunger in Vermont.“Studies by the Vermont Foodbank show that one in four Vermonters turn to food shelves and meal service programs to feed themselves or their families,” said Attorney General Donovan. “Vermonters are being forced to make tough choices every day to try and keep food on the table. It remains more important than ever that we continue to do what can to help make sure that no one in our state needs to go hungry. That’s why I am happy to once again join with the Vermont Bar Association, Vermont Foodbank, and so many Vermont law firms and offices to try and help.”Attorney General Donovan held the first-ever Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive event last fall. During just the two weeks of the inaugural event, Vermont law firms and offices raised over $15,000 and collected over 4,400 food items that went directly to the Vermont Foodbank to help those in need.During the 2nd Annual Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive, participating law firms and offices will be collecting shelf-stable, non-perishable food items and/or monetary donations. Food and money collected will go to helping stock the shelves of over two hundred Vermont Foodbank partner food shelves and meal sites around Vermont. Law firms and offices who raise the highest totals during the event will be recognized by the Attorney General at the Vermont Bar Association’s Annual Meeting at the end of September.Law firms and offices participating in the Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive include:Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick, LLPBiggam, Fox, Skinner, L.L.P.Bradley D. Myerson Law OfficesDowns Rachlin Martin P.L.L.C.Gravel & Shea P.C.Langrock, Sperry & Wool, L.L.P.Maley and Maley, P.L.L.C.Massucco Law Office, P.C.McNeil, Leddy & Sheahan P.C.Office of the Vermont Attorney GeneralPaul, Frank + Collins P.C.Primmer, Piper, Eggleston & Cramer P.C.Robert Appel, Attorney at Law, P.L.C.Sheehey, Furlong & Behm, P.C.Stitzel, Page & Fletcher, P.C.U.S. District Court/U.S. Bankruptcy CourtVermont Bar AssociationVermont Department of Financial RegulationVermont Legal Aid (Burlington)Vermont Legal Aid (Rutland)Vermont Public Utility CommissionVermont Trial Lawyers AssociationWelford & Sawyer, P.C.Winburn Law OfficesSource: Vermont AG 9.10.2018
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Henry MeierIn the immortal words of Elaine from Seinfeld is it time for you to attempt conversion?Right now card issuers are liable for the costs of POS fraud involving both credit and debit cards. In October 2015 Visa and MasterCard shift this liability to merchants that can’t process chip based EMV transactions. This creates a huge incentive for merchants to invest in new terminals but the benefits aren’t quite as clear-cut for your credit union. After all if the vast majority of merchants can accept EMV by next October than you will be as liable as you are right now for card fraud.To find out more about conversion issues yesterday I attended an excellent conference on EMV technology hosted by Covera. (Full disclosure: Covera is an affiliate of the Association). The most important lesson I learned is that, if you start planning today, credit unions have more flexibility than I thought they did in deciding when and how to make the migration to EMV. Deciding on how much of a push your credit union should make is ultimately an individual decision unique to each credit union’s circumstances. The more time you give yourself the better off you will be. Here are some of the key questions I would ask after attending the conference.What is your timeframe for migrating to EMV? It’s going to take more than six months (optimistically) to roll out chip based cards. If you aren’t planning now than your plan is not to convert anytime soon. continue reading »
Study shows loss of smell and taste among COVID-19 patientsA study yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine of more than 2,000 Europeans diagnosed as having mild to moderate COVID-19 shows that 87% reported loss of smell, and 56% reported taste dysfunction. The study suggests olfactory symptoms and taste disorders may be a common feature of COVID-19 infection.The study was based on surveys completed by 2,013 patients diagnosed as having COVID-19 in one of 18 European hospitals from Mar 22 through Apr 23. Only 8% of participants required hospitalization for their infections, and none required intensive care.Most patients reported a loss of smell after experiencing other general and otolaryngologic symptoms, the authors said. The patients reported smelling-related symptoms for a mean of 8.4 days, with 60.9% of patients regaining their sense of smell 5 to 14 days after the onset of smell loss.”These findings highlight the importance of considering loss of smell and taste in the diagnosis of mild to moderate COVID-19,” the authors concluded. May 26 Ann Intern Med study Household, frequent contacts at highest risk of secondary COVID-19, study findsThe secondary COVID-19 attack rate in presymptomatic people in Guangdong province, China, was 16.1% among household contacts, 1.1% among social contacts, and 0 for workplace contacts, according to a study published yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases.The researchers analyzed contact-tracing surveillance data gathered from Jan 28 to Mar 15 on 38 asymptomatic people and 369 of their close contacts. The secondary attack rate (SAR) is the percent of those who become infected by a primary, or index, case-patient.The investigators determined an overall SAR of 3.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9% to 5.6%). Contacts 60 years and older had the highest SAR, at 8.0%, versus 1.4% to 5.6% in younger contacts. The SAR for asymptomatic index patients was 0.8%, rising to 3.5% in mildly symptomatic people, 5.7% in those with moderate symptoms, and 4.5% in those with severe disease.Household contacts were at 12 times the risk of infection, while those with more than five contacts with the index patient in the 2 days before they tested positive were at 29 times the risk of infection.The baseline reproduction number (R nought [R0)]) was 0.3 (95% CI, 0.2 to 0.5), much smaller than the previously reported overall R0 of 2.2, which could be attributed to active surveillance, centralized quarantine, and stringent social-distancing, the authors said. The R0 indicates how many people a single person will infect.The study “underlines the need for prompt contact-based surveillance and social distancing,” the authors wrote. The researchers also noted that asymptomatic people were less likely to transmit the virus than those with symptoms. “However, this finding should not discourage isolation and surveillance efforts,” they said.May 26 Emerg Infect Dis study Poll sees increased US demand for flu vaccineAbout 60% of US adults plan to be vaccinated against flu in the upcoming season, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, which is above the 45.3% uptake in adults that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported for last season.The flu vaccine isn’t expected to provide any protection against COVID-19, but experts say vaccination could prevent coinfections and lessen the burden on the healthcare system, especially during fall and winter respiratory illness season.Researchers conducted the poll of 4,428 adults from May 13 to 19, and it has a margin of error of minus or plus 2%. Those most likely to say they would be vaccinated included Democrats, white respondents, those with higher household incomes and college degrees, and those who live in suburban or urban areas.In a related development, US pharmacies are scaling up their plans to address a surge in demand for flu vaccine, according to a separate Reuters report. The Rite Aid chain said it has increased its order for flu shots by 40% for the upcoming season, and other chains such as CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens are also expecting more demand. Australia-based flu vaccine maker CSL Ltd said demand from its customers is up 10%, and GlaxoSmithKline said it is ready to expand production as needed.May 26 Reuters story CDC flu vaccine coverage for the 2018-2019 season May 26 Reuters story on pharmacy plans Amivas: US FDA approves injectable artesunate for severe malariaDrug maker Amivas today announced US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of injectable artesunate for the initial treatment of severe malaria in adults and children.Injectable artesunate, an artemisinin derivative, is on the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines.Artesunate has been available in the United States since 2007 only through an expanded-access investigational new drug program managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It was developed by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the US Army Medical Materiel Development Activity.Two clinical trials on artesunate treatment of 6,886 adults, children, and pregnant women showed that the drug reduced the death rate by 34.7% and 22.5% versus the injectable standard-of-care drug, according to Amivas’ press release. Another study, involving 92 malaria patients treated with artesunate from January 2007 to December 2010, found a death rate of 6.9%.Amivas said that the CDC will continue to offer artesunate until Amivas, headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, makes it available nationwide in the coming months.About 2,000 people in the United States are diagnosed as having malaria each year. Untreated, the mosquito-borne disease causes severe disease in about 15% of infected people, in whom the death rate is nearly 100%.May 27 Amivas press release
The National Weather Service forecasts today’s high in Los Alamos near 48 with showers before 8 a.m., then showers and possibly a thunderstorm between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., scattered showers after 2 p.m. with tonight’s low around 34. Courtesy/NWS
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As part of an ongoing replacement regime, British company Commercial Recycling (Southern) has updated most of its Volvo equipment for new models at its Dorset recycling facility including, for the first time, a new Volvo EW240E Material Handler.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# Commercial Recycling has updated most of its Volvo machinesCommercial bought the machines through SMT GB, which markets Volvo Construction Equipment products in Great Britain.“In line with our policy of keeping our equipment as fresh and up to date as possible, last year we made some significant investments in our mobile plant, as we needed to replace our three year old excavators and five year old loading shovels,” said operations director Bill Watson.The EW240E MH takes over from a smaller three-year-old EW210E to provide greater handling capacity, as well as the ability to turn high-sided bulkers around in faster cycle times. It is powered by a six-cylinder Volvo engine, developing 171 net hp.Supporting the EW240E is a reduced swing radius ECR145E crawler excavator, while also being welcomed is a 12 t L60H, complete with rehandling bucket and top clamp.In addition, Commercial Recycling has replaced an L120H and L150H with brand new versions of the same models, while a 20 t EC200E crawler excavator has replaced a slightly larger EC220E for various activities around the plant and recycled aggregates area.
WHAT DO you do when you have converted over 5000 route-km of metre-gauge line to broad gauge, and have an fleet of relatively modern rolling stock surplus to requirements? That was the question Indian Railways posed to Rail India Technical & Economic Services.Rites was asked to find new uses for the best of the 700 diesel locos and 6000 coaches from the metre-gauge network, notably the YDM4 Co-Cos powered by IR’s standard 6-cylinder Alco 251-D engine. Following the lease of 30 YDM4s to Malaysian Railways in 1995-96, another 10 have departed for Tanzania on a wet lease earning over US$5m in foreign exchange. A further 10 are set to cross the Indian Ocean to Myanmar, although this time as an outright sale.The latest idea is to rebuild some to broad gauge. Southern Railway’s central workshops in Tiruchirapalli has converted a trial YDM4 to take standard-gauge bogies, widening the main frames by 169mm and extending them 731mm to take new buffer beams. The result is a more modern 1400hp replacement for the ageing 700hp broad-gauge WDS4 shunters, which could also release some 2600hp WDM2s from engineering trains. Using bogies from accident-damaged WDM2s helped to keep the conversion cost below Rs500000. Rites is now canvassing industrial railway operators to buy conversions rather than new WDS6 shunters from the Diesel Loco Works at Varanasi.
SWITZERLAND: Swiss Federal Railways has started work on a major capacity improvement programme between Genève and Lausanne. Announcing the launch of the SFr3bn ‘Léman 2030’ project at a ceremony in Renens station on November 22, SBB said that traffic on the route along the shore of Lac Léman is expected to double to 100 000 trips a day by 2030.Work entails laying a fourth track between Renens and Lausanne, platform lengthening for 400 m long trains, and capacity enhancements at Lausanne, Renens and Genève Cornavin, where the project dovetails with the CEVA cross-city link now under construction. The start of work marks the culmination of five years of planning since a preliminary funding agreement was signed with the Vaud and Genève cantons in December 2009; most of the money will be provided by the federal government under the Finanzierung und Ausbau der Bahninfrastruktur strategy approved by referendum in February 2014.Less than a week later the Zürcher Verkehrsverbund submitted plans to the federal government for a further stage in the Zürich S-Bahn expansion programme. This too is intended to absorb a forecast rise in traffic by 2030 with the introduction of inner-suburban and express outer-suburban S-Bahn services. Among major projects required to achieve this is construction of the Brüttener tunnel between the Glatt valley and Winterthur. This could be up to 10 km long, depending on the choice of alignment.
EUROPE: The European Commission has published a study into criteria used to classify railway assets and activities as environmentally sustainable, and to provide insights into potential ‘greenwashing’.This is intended to facilitate the rail sector’s access to ‘green’ bonds, which the Commission believes could be used to finance a significant share of future rail investment.The Development of a Methodology to Assess the ‘Green’ Impacts of Investment in the Rail Sector study was undertaken by COWI Denmark on behalf of the Commission. It considers technical screening criteria and metrics, the scope of CO₂ emissions to be included, an approach to emissions accounting and potential thresholds. It also assesses the degree to which different criteria will have an impact on investments in rail, and how they could incentivise sustainable choices.The study points out that while rail is generally more sustainable than other modes, some activities are less environmentally-friendly than others. It says investments linked to the transport of fossil fuels should not be considered green, and that diesel trains are ‘controversial in environmental terms’ and should either be excluded or stringent thresholds used to classify only the most efficient as being ‘green’. While the EU’s long-term energy strategy expects the electricity generation mix to become greener, the present electricity mix in specific countries means that ‘it may also be misleading to claim that electrified trains have zero green house gas emissions during operation’.