Solar installation in Killington in 2017. Courtesy photo.by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Climate Action report was published online July 31. It sets forth many goals on how to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with the consequences of climate change. It also contains discouraging news about the rise of GHG emissions in Vermont, which will make achieving ambitious goals even more challenging and perhaps unlikely.Climate Action Commission Delivers Final Recommendations to Governor VERMONT CLIMATE ACTION COMMISSION FINAL REPORT(link is external)MONTPELIER – The Vermont Climate Action Commission will deliver a final report containing 53 recommendations (SEE MAIN STORY) to the Governor for his consideration August 20 (it was supposed to be July 31, but the meeting was not properly warned so had to be delayed; however, the final report was published online July 31). The commission brought together 21 business, civic, nonprofit, and state agency leaders with the goal of developing concrete recommendations to reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions and spur economic growth.The Commission’s recommendations cover five core areas that touch Vermonters’ everyday lives: homes and workplaces, getting around, communities and landscapes, carbon sequestration, and jobs and the economy. The report includes recommendations to advance low income weatherization, vehicle electrification, advanced wood heat, agricultural soil carbon storage, and Vermont climate businesses, among many other topic areas.“I am deeply grateful to the Commission members for committing a significant amount of time, expertise, and resolve to help move Vermont forward to achieving our climate change goals by developing climate strategies that collectively provide solutions for all Vermonters to reduce their carbon impact,” said Peter Walke, Commission Chair and Deputy Secretary for the Agency of Natural Resources. “I also want to thank the hundreds of Vermonters who have engaged with the Commission over the past year.”Governor Scott also invites the public to review and provide additional input on the report over the next two months. Information on how to comment can be found below. Following the informal public comment period, the Governor will review the public’s input alongside the report as he determines how to move forward.For Vermonters who would like to provide their input for the Governor, the report and a web-based form to comment on the report can be found at the Commission’s website(link is external). Comments can also be emailed to ANR.VCAC@vermont.gov(link sends e-mail) or mailed to the following address:Agency of Natural Resources1 National Life Drive(link is external)Davis 2Montpelier, VT 05620-3901In July 2017 Governor Scott issued an executive order creating the Vermont Climate Action Commission. This follows on from several years of the state and environmental organizations developing strategies to both reduce GHG emissions (carbon), as well as deal with the inevitable repercussions of climate change in Vermont.The commission’s draft report(link is external) and amendments(link is external) already had been made public. The electric grid and the effort made with the growth in distributed renewable generation by the local electric companies, in particular, was a highlight of the report.However, renewable resource development is slowing as incentives have receded.Transferring end-user energy from fossil fuels to electricity, especially in transportation, is a major emphasis of the report. Electric vehicles are encouraged for consumer and public transportation. Grants for electric public transportation buses and school buses are recommended.However, commuter rail was downgraded in favor of buses for public transportation: “Commuter rail is not yet viable; increasing capacity of bus transit is more flexible and cost-effective.”RELATED STORY: Rise in emissions threatens carbon goalsThe wide-ranging recommendations (see below) include encouraging a shift in wood heating systems from cord wood or chips to wood pellets, because of greater economic opportunity as a manufacturing product.There is also much discussion about electric vehicles and supporting the used EV car market. EV batteries have a limited life span and are expensive to replace, which has led to a weak market for used vehicles.There was general agreement that vital Vermont industries, particularly related to tourism, could suffer greatly from climate change. Public health is harmed by the rise in tick population. Flooding threatens infrastructure.But opportunities exist with new technologies to enhance, in particular, the renewable energy industry.As for the personal effort in fighting climate change, not all the findings were encouraging.For instance, while Vermonters overwhelmingly agree that there is a climate change problem, we’ve been actually losing ground.From the Commission’s July 12 minutes: “In early July 2018, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources released its latest greenhouse gas inventory report. This analysis provided an update from the most recent 2013 report and showed that, in years 2014 and 2015, despite strong state goals and a focus on transforming our energy system – our electricity system in particular – Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased dramatically. Since the last analysis, GHG’s have risen by 10 percent; cumulatively now up 16 percent from the statutory target of 1990 levels. The inventory highlights, in particular, that the unregulated fuel sectors – transportation and residential, commercial and industrial fuel use – are the two most GHG intensive sectors.”After some debate and the rejection of more aggressive recommendations, the Commission moved forward with this: “Based on this new information, the Commission urges that, unless there is significant progress in GHG reductions Vermont should institute additional wide scale measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions informed by the JFO study and other emergent information. Such measures can be used to advance economic activity to answer the climate challenge.”The proposed wording that was rejected said: “Based on this new information, the Commission urges that, unless there is significant progress in GHG reductions over the next three years, by 2021, Vermont should institute a cap on greenhouse gas emissions with a gradual, staged reduction of emissions in future years. Such a cap can be used to generate revenue to advance economic activity to answer the climate challenge. In preparation toward that potential end, the Governor’s administration should begin an evaluation this year of existing structures and potential partnerships with other states and provinces.”Because the ANR report came only at the beginning of July (http://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/aqc/climate-change/documents/_Ver…(link is external)), commissioners (in a divided 7-11 vote) felt it was too late in the process to recommend a carbon cap and revenue plan. Co-Chair Peter Walke described the GHG report as “substantial changes” just a couple weeks from presenting the final report.The revised language was approved 15-3. There are 21 commissioners.The Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) is commissioning a study of potential decarbonization options due in January 2019.The disappointing GHG numbers are blamed on relatively low fuel costs, but consumer behavior and a simple desire for larger vehicles is likely also a contributing factor.ANR staff told the Commission “that the reported increase in emissions was driven by increases in the transportation and building thermal sectors. The decrease in oil price has likely contributed to changes in heating fuel use and vehicle purchase decisions.”So, people are less concerned with how warm they keep their homes and are steering away from lower mileage vehicles.The commission writes: “Reducing GHG emissions will require Vermont and Vermonters to reimagine their personal and business transportation needs and how to pay for the transportation system. Vermonters collectively spent over $1 billion on transportation energy in 2015. Driving on electricity could cut this cost by 65 percent to about $350 million, with more of the electricity dollars staying local to Vermont.“These recommendations come as Vermont is considering how to allocate the funds associated with the settlement the federal government agree to with Volkswagen (VW) to mitigate the impact of its installation of software “defeat devices,” which allowed the subject vehicles to emit, in some cases, forty times the allowed emissions standard for nitrogen oxides. Vermont’s allocation of the federal trust is $18.7 million, with electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure eligible for 15 percent ($2.8 million) and the replacement or repowering of eligible heavy-duty equipment accounting for the remainder.”The ANR report states: “Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions remain at levels well above its reduction goals established in state statute (10 V.S.A. § 578) and in the Comprehensive Energy Plan. Each successive year of increasing emissions levels makes achieving the state’s emission reduction goals significantly more difficult.”While of the seven GHG producing sectors, only waste management (1.7 percent) showed a reduction, the overall increase trends with transportation most closely, which makes sense given that transportation represents the highest individual sector (43.3 percent) and its share of GHG emissions also is increasing.The trend toward driving lower-mileage vehicles isn’t just a Vermont issue.Looking at the national picture in this regard, Ford Motor Corporation plans to phase out nearly all its cars, including its small EVs, in favor of SUVs and trucks.From the washingtonpost.com April 26, 2018: “After more than a century-long run, giant automakers like Ford can no longer escape the obvious: The demand for traditional cars is beginning to dry up, thanks to the evolving tastes of millennials and baby boomers, experts said.“Ford announced plans late Wednesday to eliminate some of the company’s most well-known cars in North America, including the Fiesta subcompact, Fusion midsize sedan, Taurus large sedan and the C-Max van, according to Ford’s quarterly earnings statement(link is external). The decision followed years of declining car sales.“Ford said eliminating most of the company’s cars except for two models will allow the company to focus on their “winning portfolio” in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Detroit automaker plans to keep the Ford Mustang sports car and a new Focus crossover that the company plans to release next year.“The changes will also allow the company to devote more resources to SUVs and trucks, vehicles that have surged in popularity as consumers continue to lose interest in passenger cars, which no longer have a monopoly on good gas mileage. Ford also plans to bring 16 battery-electric vehicles to market by 2022.”While the larger vehicles have become more efficient and are converting more toward hybrids and perhaps even full-EVs, they’re still not yet as efficient as smaller vehicles.Sweltering through this Vermont summer, the environmental problem might seem obvious. As described by the commission’s Website (climatechange.vermont.gov):Total annual rainfall in Vermont has increased over the last fifty years(link is external), and storms have increased in intensity(link is external), causing costly flood damage in many communities. Scientists expect these trends to continue.Our winters are getting warmer and shorter(link is external), threatening winter sports and tourism, and making Vermont more habitable to ticks that carry Lyme disease. Summer days are getting hotter(link is external).State government is advocating many of the same economic and personal behavior changes many environmental organizations are advocating: Electric vehicles and hybrids; public transportation; weatherization; renewable energy; composting and recycling; establishing and maintaining healthy forests, wetlands and floodplains; and preparing for the infrastructure and health risks associated with climate change.Such changes, they say, will necessarily create new economic opportunities, some of which can be seen in the renewable energy industry.Opportunities exist to:Save households thousands of dollars each year in energy costs, and create new jobs.Use cleaner, home-grown energy(link is external) to heat homes and power cars, keeping more of the $2.3 billion we spend to import oil in our local economy.Build a more reliable electric grid(link is external) resilient to extreme weather.Provide safer, easier transportation options(link is external).Protect(link is external) our buildings, roads, bridges, and farms from floods.Reduce air pollution and improve respiratory health(link is external).Protect the health and enjoyment of our lakes, ponds, and forests(link is external).Leaders are necessary for change, but we are all part of the solution. Learn more about changes in our climate(link is external). Explore Vermont’s climate goals(link is external) and initiatives(link is external), and find out how you can take action(link is external).With a deadline bearing down, the Commission presented the following recommendations and proposed amendments ahead of the final report:Report Recommendations Review Co-chair Walke requested that any non-substantive changes and edits (e.g. typographical and grammatical errors) that commissioners have identified be e-mailed to him. Meeting discussion will be focused on substantive changes.Proposed changes:• Reference to the “threat to world civilization” should be edited to make more local.• Add a section to describe the Vermont business-as-usual case.• Include citations to sources of data and metrics and provide rationale for estimates if not from another source.• Include acknowledgement of the report recommendation limitations and that additional work and actions are required (Commissioner Miller will draft text).• Infographic key reference to “feasibility” should be changed to “ease”.• Replace “infographic” with a more descriptive term.Co-chair Walke noted that the recommendations are not presented in order of priority.After review of the first recommendation, the commission agreed to review the recommendations by topic instead of one-by-one. Comments on the recommendations follow, organized by topic. Comments on the recommendations are in italics. The commission agreed to have the co-chairs make the proposed changes to the recommendations.Homes and Workplaces 1. Double Low-Income Weatherization through the State Weatherization Assistance ProgramThis is the first recommendation in the list but has a low GHG impact estimate. As stated above a sub-group will be reviewing the impact estimates for all recommendations and revising as appropriate. 2. Accelerate the Adoption of Advanced Wood HeatRemove wood-to-energy reference in the background section, as this recommendation is specific to wood for thermal energy. 3. Encourage Cost-Effective Investment and Customer Use of BuildingsAdd Building Electrification to title 4. Adopt and Implement a Roadmap for All New Buildings to be Net Zero by 20305. Increase Building Energy Labeling6. Increase Low-to-Moderate Income Homes Weatherized through EEU Programs7. Expand Vermont’s State Energy Management Program to serve MUSHWith the proposed changes, these recommendations were approved unanimously.Getting Around (Transportation)Governor Scott last October at an electric vehicle promotional event at the Burlington Electric Department. VBM photo.8. Provide a State-funded or State-facilitated EV purchase incentive that applies to new and used EVsAdd explicit reference to new and used EVs in action step. As discussed earlier, add use of VW settlement funds for EV incentives to recommendation. 9. Strengthen the used EV market10. Make special EV pricing purchase and lease deals more visible and available to the public11. Use VW Settlement funds for jumpstart a transition from diesel to electric transit and school buses12. Investigate and utilize grant funding and finance strategies to help overcome the high upfront cost of electric transit buses13. Implement recommendations in VTrans corridor study to provide DCFC within 30 miles of all Vermonters14. Develop and execute strategy for deployment of VW Settlement funds for EV charging15. Conduct research/analysis needed to support the PUC workshop on issues relating to the charging of plug-in EVs required by Vermont Act 158 of 201816. Leverage and enhance Drive Electric Vermont to maximize the impact of education and outreach campaigns and stakeholder engagement to build awareness and encourage purchase consideration for EVs17. Implement “ride and drive” events to give Vermonters a chance to test drive or experience EVs18. Work collaboratively with auto dealers on developing and deploying strategies to effectively engage customers who are interested in purchasing an EV19. Make EVs available through traditional car rental, car share or ride-hailing service to provide drivers ready access to an EV with no ownership or lease commitment20. Increase use of public transit with more public transit infrastructure, trip planning tools, and enhanced service with more efficient vehicles and routes21. Increase efficiency of school transportation and promote active transportation to school22. Increase programs and public infrastructure to support walking and biking in Vermont23. Explore the viability of commuter rail service in VermontStaff noted that previous studies and commuter rail pilot projects indicate that commuter rail is not yet viable; increasing capacity of bus transit is more flexible and cost-effective. Commissioners noted that the action step associated with this recommendation was on the topic of development around the state’s train stations. After discussion, the commission agreed to move this recommendation to the action step section of Recommendation 24. 24. Implement programs and policies to increase multi-modal transportation25. Improve infrastructure to support safe and efficient multi-modal travelWith the proposed changes, these recommendations were approved unanimously.In regard to these and other recommendations that call for increased use of electricity, the co-chairs will draft text in the introduction or elsewhere to acknowledge that additional electricity generation is assumed to come from renewable sources.Communities and Landscapes26. Measure and Report Statewide Development IndicatorsTo reflect the need to continually update this data set, amend title to “Measure, Report and Maintain Statewide Development Indicators.” Commissioners noted that there is no action step in this recommendation for reporting or data analysis. 27. Develop Smart Growth Impact Metrics28. Expand Interagency and Intergovernmental Support to Communities to implement Smart Growth PrinciplesIn title, change “Expand Interagency…” to “Provide Interagency…” In action step 5 (Conduct Smart Growth audits) provide more information about the proposed step (e.g. “provide for 3rd party review of municipality development and land use practices and policies”). 29. Leverage Health Care Partnerships30. Align Smart Growth Policies for an Evolving Transportation System31. Targeted Land Conservation32. Maintain Large Forested Blocks by Implementing Act 171 Intergenerational Transfer Report Recommendations33. Expand Natural Resource Planning and Bylaws that Address Forest Blocks, Habitat Connectivity and River Corridors34. Align Regulation with Location-based ImpactsWith proposed changes, these recommendations were approved unanimously.Sequestering Carbon on Vermont’s Farms and Forests35. Document goals and mitigation contributions from agricultural sequestration and create a best practice guide for farmersIncorporate a recognition of net emissions from agricultural sector. 36. Investigate opportunities for the sale of carbon offsets and other mechanisms that leverage private finance37. Develop an accurate baseline of carbon sequestration on agricultural soils38. Design and implement a way to track the sequestration benefits of water quality practices that are being tracked through ANR’s reporting to EPA. Determine levels of adoption and the additional, voluntary practices.39. Develop and use consistent messaging to farmers about the carbon-capturing co-benefits of the water quality improvements, including the cost benefit to the farmer40. Use the new “BMP Challenge” program as an opportunity to evaluate incorporating sequestration into water quality projects prioritization and tracking.41. SoV should expand urban forestry initiatives42. Continue funding the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board for conservation easement purchases on forestland; prioritize projects that emphasize aggregation to maximize conservation and set the state for carbon offset projects.43. Re-assess funding needed to continue agricultural practices, especially after 2019, for continued water quality improvements that also sequester carbon and lessen or avoid flood damage.Change title from “Re-assess funding…” to “Assure funding…”. 44. Incorporate land transfer and changes in parcel sizes and boundaries into ANR’s environmental mapping tool.Commissioners noted this recommendation overlaps with Smart Growth recommendations. Motion approved to delete this recommendation With the proposed changes, these recommendations were approved unanimously.Jobs and the Economy 45. Restructure Regulated Electricity Rate DesignRevise recommendation title to “Create an Environment for Grid Innovation” Revise action step 3 to “Initiate rate design reforms” 46. Provide Access to Smart Meter Data for Clean Grid Modernization Companies.Revise title to “Provide Cost-Effective Access to Smart Meter Data for Clean Grid Modernization Companies”. 47. Determining the Value of Grid ModernizationChange action step 1 to “Conduct an analysis to assign a value to grid modernization in Vermont”. Delete action step 2. In last sentence in background, change “public dollar” to “state”. Commissioners noted that the preferred funding source for the recommended analysis is the general fund. 48. Establish a $1 Million Innovation FundDelete existing action step 2 – typographical error. Co-chairs to re-draft this recommendation to focus on establishment of this fund, including support for an appropriation and definition of the fund specifics. If established, the executive branch would be tasked with implementation. 49. Create a Small Business Innovation Research Grant Matching Program50. Enhance the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive for Clean Grid Modernization BusinessesEdit action step 1 to make explicit what two changes are proposed 51. Create a Fully Refundable research and Development Tax Credit52. Create a new Student Loan Repayment Program53. Support for Free Legal Services to New Climate Economy EntrepreneursExisting action steps are incorrect and will be corrected Expanding AWH Production Facilities IntroductionAdd text to note that currently most cordwood/chipwood is produced locally; the greatest opportunity for economic growth is with wood pellet manufacturing. 54. Reduce Electric Costs for Wood Pellet ManufacturersDelete action step 2; typographical error. 55. Streamline the Permitting Process for Wood Pellet Production PlantsCo-chair Costello reported on the subgroup discussion regarding grid modernization, and offered three proposals to clarify that actions apply to innovation in grid modernization, distributed generation, and energy storage: 48 – add to eligible expenses “in innovative businesses in clean energy, grid modernization, distributed generation and storage.” 49 – add in background section, SBIR awards “or research and development in distributed generation and storage businesses.” 50 – In title, add “Distributed Generation and Energy Storage” to list of businesses51 – In background, add “…distributed generation and energy storage…” to list of businesses. Motion to amend as above approved. With proposed changes, these recommendations were approved unanimously with one abstention.Commission MembersPeter Walke, Commission Chair, Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Natural ResourcesPaul Costello, Commission Co-Chair, Vermont Council on Rural Development,Michael Schirling, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community DevelopmentJune Tierney, Commissioner of the Department of Public ServiceMichele Boomhower, designee of the Secretary of the Agency of TransportationMarie Audet, Audet’s Blue Spruce FarmLinda McGinnis, Energy Action NetworkJoe Fusco, Casella Waste SystemsBob Stevens, Stevens and AssociatesKristin Carlson, Green Mountain PowerMary Sprayregen, Vermont Energy Investment CorporationJohanna Miller, Vermont Natural Resources CouncilMatt Cota, Vermont Fuel Dealers AssociationLiz Gamache, Mayor of St. AlbansAdam Knudsen, DynapowerBill Laberge, Grassroots SolarBethany Fleishman, Vital Communities/Upper Valley Transportation Management AssociationTom Donahue, BROC Community Action in Southwestern VermontStuart Hart, Co-Director, Sustainable Innovation MBA program, UVM Grossman School of BusinessHarrison Bushnell, 2018 U-32 High School GraduateRobert Turner, Consulting Forester.Source: Vermont Climate Action Commission(link is external). see DRAFT (July 5, 2018)(link is external). see DRAFT annotated minutes of July 12, 2018 meeting(link is external)
The work was created by Mission artist Rachelle Gardner-Roe.If you are riding the streetcar in downtown Kansas City, you might be taken by the public art that has graced the stops along the line.One of the artists commissioned for the “Art on the line” project is Mission’s Rachelle Gardner-Roe. She is a multi-media artist who works out of a small studio at her Mission home on some projects and at a family farm south of Kansas City where she has a larger sculpture studios.“I’m a visual artist,” says Gardner-Roe. “I consider most of my works to be lace work.” In the piece that can be found at the northbound Power & Light District stop, she has depicted two figurative portraits that are created by layers of overlapping and radiating text.The text, she says, comes from a meditation manual. The work shows that it is still possible to make a connection – even on a streetcar. The piece required her to create all of the text. When a rider is sitting at the stop, the can see the detail, she says, but it also has an effect from a distance.The work is expected to be at the stop until sometime in late September.|Rachelle Gardner-Roe
BenQ has launched the EW800ST, an education projector with Google cloud account integration, screen-mirroring and wired as well as wireless connectivity for K-12 classrooms. Using its Dust Guard technology and Lamp Save mode, the short-throw projector also includes X-Sign Broadcast, a centralized messaging and display-scheduling system.The 1280×800 resolution 1-chip DLP EW800ST’s user interface is optimized for education and interaction, providing intuitive content navigation in addition to the traditional projector remote control. Featuring intuitive human interface device support, EW800ST lets students and teachers navigate educational content not only with a traditional mouse or keyboard, but also from any device via the BenQ Smart Control app. Equipped with the onboard BenQ Suggest app store, users can also download a variety of smart apps, including web browsers for lessons generated right from the projector. For example, teachers can perform instant internet searches without accessing a separate computer and disrupting the flow of the class.The EW800ST is equipped with BenQ’s Lamp Save Mode for up to 15,000 hours but it does use a 200-watt UHP lamp — it’s not laser. It’s specified at 3,300 lumens.More information on the full line of BenQ products is available here.
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The NCUA Board will hear the quarterly report on the state of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund at an open meeting today and will discuss a proposed interagency rule on flood insurance, as well as a proposed rule on corporate credit unions.The board may also discuss whether it expects to assess a share insurance premium for 2014 based on the fund’s status.The proposed interagency rule comes from NCUA, CFPB and federal banking regulators and would implement the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act, requiring lenders to accept private flood insurance.The agencies, in their October 2013 proposal, solicited comments on whether they should adopt additional regulations on the acceptance of flood insurance policies issued by private insurers. That proposal would also require regulated lending institutions to escrow payments and fees for flood insurance for any new or outstanding loans secured by residential improved real estate or a mobile home – not including business, agricultural or commercial loans – unless the institutions qualify for a statutory exception.NAFCU commented on the proposal in December. It said credit unions in rural and underserved areas have concerns with maintaining escrow accounts as it is an added cost that could ultimately limit consumer options. continue reading »
LinkedIn Teenagers with higher levels of physical fitness were found to have better developed selective attention and concentration abilities by a new Frontiers in Psychology study.Physical activity is known to benefit cognitive functioning by increasing oxygen flow to the brain. This effect can be observed after exercising and in people who exercise regularly. At the same time, physical fitness serves as a sign of regular physical activity and it is reasonable to assume that it should be associated with greater cognitive capacity. In the present study, researchers tested whether physical fitness is associated with selective attention and concentration functions in teenagers.The study included 210 teenagers (between 11 and 15 years old) from Spain. All participants completed a psychological assessment of selective attention and concentration abilities. The level of physical fitness was measured with a shuttle run test and a horizontal jump test. Share on Facebook Share Pinterest The study found that participants’ physical fitness was strongly correlated with their selective attention and concentration capacities. This effect is likely due to the benefits of regular physical activity needed to develop fitness for brain functioning. Specifically, previous research documented that level of physical fitness was related to the volume of gray matter in some regions of the brain.Additionally, researchers examined gender differences in the association between fitness and measured cognitive capacities. While the relationship was found in both girls and boys, researchers note that fitness is a stronger predictor of selective attention and concentration capacity in boys than in girls. The within-gender analyses indicate that fit boys and girls scored higher on selective attention and concentration test compared to boys and girls with lower physical fitness respectively.Based on the documented findings, researchers recommend developing physical fitness in teenagers as a way to improve their cognitive abilities as well as social adaptation and intellectual abilities.The study, “Physical Fitness Level Is Related to Attention and Concentration in Adolescents”, was authored by Rafael E. Reigal, Luna Moral-Campillo, Rocío Juárez-Ruiz de Mier, Juan P. Morillo-Baro, Verónica Morales-Sánchez, José L. Pastrana and Antonio Hernández-Mendo. Share on Twitter Email
Apr 25, 2011Sampling prompts food recalls for Salmonella, ListeriaPositive findings on routine microbiological tests recently triggered four food recalls, three involving fresh produce and one that applies to smoked salmon, according to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall notices. No illnesses have been linked to any of the recalls. Jonathan Sprouts, based in Rochester, Mass., first recalled certain shipments of six types of its alfalfa sprouts because of possible Salmonella contamination on Apr 19, and then expanded the action to all sell-by dates and product codes 3 days later. The company’s sprout products were distributed to 11 northeastern states. The potential contamination was identified in routine sampling conducted through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Microbiological Data Program.Apr 22 FDA sprout recall notice updateAlso on Apr 22, L&M Companies, Inc., based in Raleigh, N.C., recalled one lot (1,590 cartons) of cucumbers that were sold to wholesalers in five states and a retailer with distribution centers in four more, after random FDA testing detected Salmonella on products that were stored in a cooler at a Florida produce company.Apr 22 FDA recall noticeMeanwhile, Satur Farms, in Cutchogue, N.Y., on Apr 20 recalled 138 pounds of cilantro after routine USDA tests detected Salmonella. Further tests were under way to determine if the seeds are the source of the contamination. The cilantro was sold to food service customers in New York City.Apr 20 FDA recall noticeIn another development, Woodsmoke Provisions, LLC, based in Atlanta, recalled 40 pounds of smoked salmon on Apr 18 after the Florida Department o Agriculture found possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination in routine sampling. The 4-ounce packages of Fresh Market Signature Collection Atlantic Smoked Salmon were distributed to The Fresh Market, Inc., stores in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee.Apr 18 FDA recall noticeUSDA draft targets pathogen reduction in ready-to-eat meat and poultryThe USDA today released draft guidelines to help small and very small meat and poultry manufacturers reduce bacterial contamination in ready-to-eat foods. The USDA said in a press release that the guidance doesn’t reflect new requirements for the two groups, but will assist them in meeting current Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations. Al Almanza, administrator of the FSIS, said in the press release that the guidelines highlight the recommended best practices for producing food items that consumers don’t usually cook before eating. “Our goal it to help industry apply some of the recent lessons we have learned,” he said. The USDA said several foodborne illness–related recalls in 2010 prompted the USDA to improve its guidance. For example, it said in some instances pathogens were introduced—such as during spice or sauce application—after products were processed. The USDA is seeking public comments on the draft document, available on its Web site, over the next 60 days and will update the guidance based on the feedback it receives. The public can submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov or through the mail.Apr 25 USDA press releaseApr 22 USDA guidanceStudy suggests avian flu risk low in falconersThe risk of contracting avian influenza is low in falconry, according to a field study that involved a group of German falconers, their falcons, and the birds’ avian prey. The study, which appeared an Apr 23 early online edition of Virology Journal, followed 43 falconers during two hunting seasons from 2006 through 2008 in an area that included 11 of the country’s 16 states. The falconers collected tracheal and cloacal swabs from 1,084 prey birds. Researchers took blood samples from 54 falcons, as well as the falconers. Researchers found evidence of avian influenza exposure (H6, H9, or H13) in 4.1% of gulls and 3.8% of ducks. The remaining prey birds tested negative, as did the falcons. Testing done on the falconers showed all had been exposed to influenza A, with further tests negative for H7, H7, H6, H9, and H13. Researchers concluded that though H5N1 has been detected in falcons before, the risk of avian influenza transmission to those who handle falcons and their prey appears to be low.Apr 23 Virol J abstractFDA approves meningococcal vaccine for children under 2 years oldThe FDA recently approved the use of the Menactra vaccine to prevent certain forms of invasive meningococcal disease in children 9 through 23 months old, which the agency said will protect some of the children most vulnerable to the disease. The vaccine—previously approved for people aged 2 through 55 years—is designed to prevent meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, Y and W-135, the FDA said in an Apr 22 announcement. N meningitidis is a leading cause of meningitis in young children, and the highest rate of meningococcal disease occurs in children under 1 year of age, the agency said. The safety of Menactra in children as young as 9 months was evaluated in four clinical trials in which more than 3,700 participants received the vaccine, the FDA reported. The most common adverse events in children who received the vaccine at 9 months and 12 months were injection-site tenderness and irritability, the statement said. Occurrence of fever was comparable to the pattern seen with other vaccines routinely recommended for young children. Menactra, made by Sanofi Pasteur, is given as a two-dose series beginning at 9 months, 3 months apart.Apr 22 FDA press releaseTick-borne hemorrhagic fever may have longer incubation than thoughtA small subset of people bitten by carrier ticks may experience a much longer incubation period before developing Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) than previously thought, according to a study in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. Turkish researchers analyzed data from 825 patients with CCHF from a single hospital from 2007 through 2010 and found that 312 had “undoubtedly” received a tick bite. Of those, 12 had an incubation period longer than 12 days, the previously reported maximum. In those lab-confirmed cases, the incubation period ranged from 13 to 53 days, with a mean of 24 days. The authors conclude, “Physicians serving in endemic regions should be aware of these longer incubation periods after a tick bite. It is suggested that they perform more follow-ups on clinically and serologically highly suspected patients than they currently do.”Apr 21 Int J Infec Dis abstractIndigenous chikungunya cases reported in FranceA new report in Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) describes two indigenous (autochthonous) cases of chikungunya virus infection in young girls in southeastern France. The two girls, who live in Var department and were close friends, got sick at the same time, 3 days after they had spent the night at the same home and reported getting many mosquito bites. Neither girl had recently traveled to an area with endemic chikungunya. But their illnesses occurred about 3 weeks after another young girl, who lived 2.5 km from one of the patients, got sick with chikungunya shortly after a visit to India. Her case was classified as imported. None of the patients suffered complications, but all three had persistent weakness and joint pain 3 months after the acute phase of illness. A molecular study of isolates from the imported case and one of the other two cases showed that both belonged to a cluster closely related to strains from India, suggesting that the isolate from the autochthonous case might have been derived from an Indian strain introduced by the other patient. Following intensive local mosquito-control measures, no further cases were indentified in active surveillance for 45 days after the autochthonous cases. The authors say reinforced surveillance for both chikungunya and dengue virus infections should become a higher priority in Europe.Apr 22 EID report
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 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. 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. SOUTHFIELD, MI — Bill Foy, of Novi, Mich., has been named vice president at DENSO International America, Inc. (DIAM), the North American headquarters for Japan-based automotive supplier DENSO Corp. Previously, Foy, who has been with DENSO for eight years, had been director of Daimler/Chrysler Sales for DIAM since 2001. Prior to that position, he served as senior manager of DIAM’s General Motors Sales. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement In his new role, Foy will lead DaimlerChrysler sales for DIAM; including global coordination of Mercedes business with DENSO Automotive Deutschland GmbH in Eching, Germany; and add responsibility for Logistics, which includes Material Management, Accounts Receivable and Distribution for Big 3-related business. He is a member of Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Detroit Economic Club. For more information about DENSO, visit: www.densocorp-na.com. _______________________________________ 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 With 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.
The ninth opening of the Point of View exhibit opened Saturday evening at the Fuller Lodge Art Center and features 58 works selected from nearly 100 submissions and carefully selected by a panel of jurors. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Another photo by Justin Ramsey showing his infrared technique. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Mother and daughter duo Shashi and Joy Charles perform during the art opening Saturday evening at Fuller Lodge Art Center. Photo by Bonnie Gordon/ladailypost.com In conjunction to Point of View, Justin Ramsey opened his solo exhibit The Secret City in an Unseen Light in the Portal Gallery Saturday evening at Fuller Lodge Art Center. A photographer for more than 10 years, Ramsey finds that photography, ‘Forces him to see the beauty in the world’. In the works for over a year, this show features Los Alamos entirely in infrared photography. Being from here, Ramsey is looking to see and portray Los Alamos in new and exciting ways in order to keep a fresh perspective on such a familiar landscape. Pictured is Ramsey speaking with a visitor about his works and the infrared technique he uses to produce his photos. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Teralene Foxx, left, speaks with a friend about a work of art in the exhibit. Photo by Bonnie Gordon/ladailypost.com A visitor ponders the photo of the Valles Caldera taken by Justin Ramsey using his infrared technique. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Two young artists at work during the opening of the gallery exhibit. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDiocese should hold mass in parking lotsThis virus has stricken thousands, taken so many lives and interrupted facets of people’s lives that no one was prepared for or ever expected.It’s surreal what America has gone through in only several weeks. To hear that church was not on anyone’s 2020 calendar is odd to say the least.I understand congregations and churches around the world are doing their best to be there for believers.Virtual mass has become the norm for those who choose to participate. Mass gives many people hope and something to look forward to, a feeling of community.I understand we need to make sure everyone is healthy and stays that way. We shouldn’t be getting people sick.On Easter Sunday, I think it’s time to break what has become the norm. I’m asking the Albany Catholic Diocese to hold masses in parking lots — gatherings where people can stay in their cars and participate.It’s far-fetched, but something along these lines is appropriate.The idea that the only option is to stay home, at this point, isn’t what Christian believers, non-believers and Americans have characterized in the past.If the diocese can pull this off, a sense of community and support will be strengthened.The virtues, principles and teachings of all religions will be emboldened. Mass in parking lots. Stay in your car, with or without communion. It’s time to stop and say there are more options than what is being laid out in front of us.That can start with the church.David PetersAmsterdam Need deposits for return of old glovesWe all know why the nickel deposit stopped empty containers littering our environment.Now we need a deposit on plastic/rubber gloves. Go to any place still open during this COVID-19 crisis and you will see parking lots littered with used gloves.James KownackSchenectadyGovernor, take sick people with youAndrew Cuomo, if you want to take supplies and equipment downstate then take your sick people with you. We don’t want sick people up here. You are the one telling us to stay put and not to go out and about to keep it contained. So follow your own advice. If need be, open up prisons that are shut down if you need more space. This is why upstate needs to be free from the city and you can go down there and have a good life.Scott AndersonScotiaStefanik needs to address health careCongresswoman Elise Stefanik’s latest mailing proclaims she is opposing “The Green Light Law” and “Dangerous Bail Reform Policies.” To my knowledge these are New York state legislative issues and policies.As such she has no legitimate legislative input. On federal legislation such as health care reform and the Trump administration’s holding up the CHiPS” funding in 2017, Rep. Stefanik was and has been silent. Rep. Stefanik’s input on the Affordable Care Act was to repeal with no replacement. I saw no mailing boasting about her positions on those legislative actions at the time. We need Rep. Stefanik to speak about her current positions on health care. We can no longer tolerate her silence on this issue.Jim NovotnyGloversvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Make a game plan for voting. Do it now.EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Take a role in police reformsFoss: Schenectady homeless assistance program Street Soldiers dealing with surge in need
Subscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.