Becki Jeren | The Observer The 10th annual Loyal Daughters and Sons (LDS) show, a student performance exploring sexuality, gender relations and relationships, previewed at Saint Mary’s in Little Theatre last night. The show will open on Notre Dame’s campus Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Carey Auditorium in Hesburgh Library.The production, which consists of monologues adapted from anonymous interviews and written submissions from students about their past experiences, is intended to start a dialogue about sexuality and sexual violence on campus, said Notre Dame alumna Emily Weisbecker Farley ‘07, the show’s creator, in a statement included in the show’s program.“I wanted to challenge the audience and make them think, and I wanted the material to be undeniably real and honest and relevant,” she said. “Drawing from the campus community and including as wide a range of experiences as possible was a way to try to give each audience member something to connect with, which might in turn leave them more receptive to hearing and digesting the rest.”Senior Skyler Hughes, co-executive producer of the show, said the show’s theme this year, “What’s Next?” is intended to recognize the progress still needed.“We were thinking, okay, so LDS has been around for 10 years now [and] it started a conversation on a lot of issues, but now that there’s a conversation going, what’s next?” he said. “What’s next on dealing with sexual assault as a community, but also, what’s next on LGBT issues? What’s next for gender relations?”The show highlights the community’s need to move forward with this conversation, sophomore co-writer Dominic Acri said in an email.“Writing [and] editing the stories for stage helped me realize that no matter how much we spread awareness about these topics, we can only see change if we are willing to ask, ‘what’s next?’” he said. “Now that we are comfortable sharing our stories and hearing the stories of others, it is time for us to move forward and continue to conversation.”Senior Anthony Murphy, the show’s director, said he credits the students willing to share their stories with the community for the production’s success.“What I’ve learned in the past week, even, is just how important the stories are,” he said. “It’s not the acting, it’s not my direction — the stories are what hold this performance up.”This year’s show was able to feature a balance of monologues about different subjects due to the increased number of student submissions, Hughes said.“This year, we got more submission than we have in the past couple years,” he said. “We were lucky that it covered a broad range of issues and we were able to show that onstage.”The performance is framed as a tour of Notre Dame’s campus for prospective students, with each location mentioned featuring two or three monologues relevant to that specific place. This aimed to emphasize the fact that these stories all come from members of the Notre Dame community, Murphy said.“The objective was kind of to make these topics salient, based on location,” Murphy said. “These things do happen on campus and that our friends, our classmates, our colleagues, are walking around with this baggage and maybe we’re not all alone. We’re not all so different.”While LDS is a helpful step in addressing issues surrounding gender and sexuality at Notre Dame, the community needs to take specific action, Hughes said.“I think that Loyal Daughters and Sons can be a really good part of how we move forward on these issues as a community, but it does take action outside,” he said. “Part of what somebody can do is come and hear these stories, and then that helps them learn more and know more and know what needs to be addressed. But there also needs to be concrete action taken … There are actionable steps and this show, I think, is a starting point in a conversation, but it’s definitely not an end in itself.”“What’s Next?” runs until Saturday and will feature a panel discussion at 3:30 p.m. after the Saturday matinee performance.Tags: LDS, loyal daughters and sons, What’s Next?
(By Ed Barna, Vermont Business Magazine. 4.14.2010.) With the construction industry hit harder than most by the Great Recession and its “jobless recovery,” issues surrounding the anticipated $75 million reconstruction of the Champlain Bridge linking Vermont with New York, have had interested parties scrapping like drought-stricken animals at a waterhole. Just this week, Douglas rejected New York State’s plan for a PLA, citing factors that could hurt Vermont’s mostly non-unionized construction companies. In response, other politicians and labor unions said that it could save the project millions.Senator Vince Illuzzi, R-Essex-Orleans, Chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee said, “We should be exploring this opportunity, not just shutting the door without attempting to negotiate a resolution.” He, Senator Peter Shumlin, D-Windham, and others said that the state could save $1.75 to $3 million. They have introduced a resolution today (see below) in the Senate to ask the governor to reconsider his decision. Vermont’s congressional delegation also supported the PLA.Meanwhile, representatives of construction companies see Douglas’ rejection of the PLA as positive news for Vermont workers and taxpayers.“Vermont Governor Douglas is standing up for workers and businesses by opposing this proposed union-favoring agreement for the Lake Champlain Bridge project. If a project labor agreement (PLA) is placed on this job, it will discourage, if not bar entirely, 9 out of 10 Vermont construction workers from competing. Our state needs job creation, not more unemployment,” said Mark Holden, president of the local Vermont chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.BackgroundTo some degree this debate simply might have resulted because New York will manage the project, as it has managed maintenance, even though Vermont and New York will share the non-federal part of the cost (80 percent federal-10 percent Vermont-10 percent New York). A similar but opposite situation applies to the Rouse’s Point Bridge to the north: both sides pay, but Vermont manages.The furor has arisen over whether non-union contractors, which prevail in Vermont, will be on the same footing as union contractors, which predominate in many parts of New York. Specifically, the controversy has focused on the likely use of a “Project Labor Agreement,” or PLA for short, to govern hiring, pay, conflict resolution and other matters during the construction of a new bridge.PLAs have been around for about 60 years in the public sector, and longer in the private sector. Both Bush administrations rejected them, the Clinton administration supported them, and most recently, in February of 2009, they were reinstituted under the Obama administration. This alternation, between labor-friendly Democratic presidents and management-minded Republican presidents, gives some idea of where the conflict lies.Both the Vermont and New York chapters of Associated General Contractors oppose the use of a PLA on the Champlain Bridge project, as do the two states’ chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors (the former’s members typically are more involved in road and bridge construction, while the latter’s membership includes more residential and commercial contractors). Maintaining the contrary position on PLAs are unions, and backing them have been Vermont’s congressional delegation: Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernard Sanders, and Representative Peter Welch.The three issued a joint statement on January 25 saying, “While it’s up to the State of New York to decide whether it will pursue a Project Labor Agreement, we believe the Champlain Bridge must be completed on time, on budget, and with fair wages and benefits paid to workers. Project Labor Agreements have consistently been shown to provide stability, efficiency, and productivity while ensuring fair compensation to all. These agreements will not prevent any Vermont contractor from successfully bidding on this project. We stand committed to putting Vermonters to work at decent paying jobs.”But the contractors’ organizations say that what happens after making a successful bid is so slanted toward the unions and so unworkable in terms of normal construction practice that Vermont companies may very well decide not to bid at all.Immediately following the Leahy-Sanders-Welch release, Brent Tewksbury, vice president of FR Lafayette, Inc in Essex, told the Burlington Free Press, “What really irked us is our congressional delegation went ahead and supported a project labor agreement and didn’t speak to any of us.”The AGC and ABC are urging the State of Vermont to take a more active role in preparations for the bridge project, to make sure the state’s overwhelmingly non-union contractors (said to be 96 percent) do indeed get an equal chance. According to New York sources, a possible PLA was going back and forth between the New York State Department of Transportation (NYS-DOT) and the Federal Highway Administration as of mid-March, the terms of which had not been revealed.So What Is A PLA?PLA’s were re-instituted by President Obama, with input from the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council, through Executive Order 13502 on February 6, 2009. An introductory section of the order states that “it is the policy of the Federal Government to encourage executive agencies to consider requiring the use of project labor agreements in connection with large-scale construction projects ($25 million or more) in order to promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement.”These pre-hire agreements require exact bidding (no overruns, no surprises), and prohibit strikes and lockouts and other work disruptions. They “set forth effective, prompt, and mutually binding procedures for resolving labor disputes arising during the project labor agreement,” and “provide other mechanisms for labor-management cooperation on matters of mutual interest and concern, including productivity, quality of work, safety, and health.”Any PLA must “allow all contractors and subcontractors to compete for contracts and subcontracts without regard to whether they are otherwise parties to collective bargaining agreements;” as much as to say, it is indeed true that non-union companies can bid.In its prefatory material, the Executive Order observes that on large projects involving many contractors, “A labor dispute involving one employer can delay the entire project. A lack of coordination among various employers, or uncertainty about the terms and conditions of employment of various groups of workers, can create frictions and disputes in the absence of an agreed-upon resolution mechanism.”The other rationale would not seem to apply well in Vermont: “Construction employers typically do not have a permanent workforce, which makes it difficult for them to predict labor costs when bidding on contracts and to ensure a steady supply of labor on contracts being performed.” Vermont firms do have such workforces, plus in a recessionary environment they may have laid-off personnel they can call back. Beyond that, typically they have subcontractors with whom they have worked before, so that the effective size of a project workforce expands and contracts in a way that is both efficient and well-coordinated.Having such subcontractor relationships, and having well-worked out supply chains and project management, are keys to making competitive but realistic bids. But on a PLA job, say the critics, all hiring must be done through the union hall. If employees temporarily become part of the union to find work, then they will pay union fees for retirement, training, lobbying, etc that they will have to leave behind when they drop their union memberships.According to Fred B Kotler, associate director of the Construction Industry Program at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the all-union provision hasn’t been that strictly interpreted in practice.“Hiring is conducted through union referral procedures,” he wrote, but “nonunion subcontractors are often permitted to retain a defined percentage [“core” group] of employees outside of referral procedures.”The Executive Order describes a PLA as “a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with one or more (emphasis added) labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project.” Conceivably, ongoing negotiations regarding the specific PLA for the Champlain Bridge may be trying to establish a middle ground along such lines.At The Fight, A Hockey Game Broke OutThe conflict over the use of PLAs subdivides into specific issues, themselves much contested.For non-union contractors, it may seem to defy common sense to say that PLAs help bring down the cost of major projects. (Note that the foregoing does not say “public projects;” PLAs have also been employed, so to speak, in the private sector, for instance by British Petroleum, General Motors, Toyota, and Disney, observes the NYS Building and Construction Trades Council.) Isn’t higher pay the main rationale for paying union dues? Isn’t it true that on union jobs, an idle worker can’t assist at another work site because of contract work rules?The website TheTruthAboutPLAs.com, maintained by the ABC, asserts that “A 2006 study conducted by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University found that the use of PLAs on school construction projects in New York increased the cost of the projects by 20 percent.” A 2001 study by Ernst & Young commissioned by Erie County in New York found that “bidder participation was diminished because the county chose to utilize a PLA…the use of PLAs strongly inhibits participation in public bidding by non-union contractors and may result in those projects having artificially inflated costs.”Jeff Potvin, president of the Vermont Building and Construction Trades Council, countered in a newspaper commentary, “There are well over 20 studies by academia that show PLAs deliver responsible economic development and do not drive up costs.” And they can help local development by keeping hiring local: “Where was the AGC when the Richmond Bridge, Vermont’s first American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project, was built by an out-of-state contractor who was under no obligation to use local workers?”Cornell’s Kotler said, “PLA opponents argue that PLAs limit the pool of bidders and that this drives up costs. There is no evidence to support these assertions. While there are many reasons why contractors – both union and non-union – may choose not to bid on particular projects, there are no studies demonstrating that a PLA in the bid specifications is itself responsible for a decrease in the number or bidders; there is also no analysis showing that fewer bidders translates into higher actual project costs.”Kotler took note of, but blasted, the aforementioned Beacon Hill study.“One particularly vocal critic of PLAs is the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University [Massachusetts], a “free-market”-oriented think-tank founded in 1991 by Massachusetts millionaire and politician Ray Shamie. Beacon Hill published a study in 2006, Project Labor Agreements and Public Construction Cost in New York State, which analyzed 117 public school construction projects conducted in New York State since 1996. Of the 117 projects, 19 were conducted using PLAs.”“Beacon Hill’s conclusions should be dismissed as not credible for these reasons: 1) the study focuses on bid costs not actual costs; and 2) it fails to segregate labor costs or account for various factors that influence project costs,” Kotler went on. Including bids that could have been rejected as unrealistic based on the bidder’s background, and failing to compare labor costs with those of other projects, slanted the conclusions, he said.“The 14-page report is notable for what it does not include,” Kotler continued. “There are, for example, no data broken down by the 117 schools it claims to have sampled, no detail about the nature and size of each project, no comparison of similarly-situated projects performed with and without a PLA…Beacon Hill focused on the size of the project in square feet but did not account for such important determinants of cost as these: whether the work involved new construction or renovation, site preparation, laboratories, classrooms, kitchens, lunchrooms, gymnasiums, auditoriums, or audio/visual facilities…(T)he study didn’t account for the likelihood that many PLA projects will be more complex, involve more amenities, be larger and operate under time constraints that can impact costs and that these same considerations are at issue when PLAs are authorized in the first place.”“What PLA opponents have consistently failed to demonstrate is that the PLA is itself responsible for a project’s increased costs,” Kotler concluded. That was also the case for a project in Beacon Hill’s back yard: the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel (“Big Dig”), then the largest public works project in American history, estimated at $2.3 billion in 1983 and pegged at $13.6 billion in 2000. “PLA opponents, including the Beacon Hill Institute, sought to pin the project’s mounting costs and overruns on the project’s PLA. This was not only simplistic. It is not true. The Massachusetts Transportation Authority conducted an extensive post-job analysis in 2007, a history of the project’s costs. At no point are labor costs or the PLA identified as responsible for the project’s increased costs. A US Department of Transportation fifty-page Task Force report in 2000, written in response to concerns about the project’s escalating costs, also found no correlation between the PLA and the cost increases.”As an example of how PLAs save money, Kotler cited New York City’s Department of Education 2005-2009 $13.1 billion School Construction Authority Five Year Capital Program. Consultant Hill International determined that by the end, taxpayers had been saved more than $221 million.Concerns over rights and fairness have also motivated opponents of PLAs. Statements by area construction executives may illustrate the tenor of the reaction.Don Wells of DEW Construction in Williston has said, “People that run open shops take a lot of pride in what they do and the services and benefits they provide to their employees. Typically what happens in a Project Labor Agreement is you lose your right to negotiate with your own employees.”Andrew Martin of Pizzagalli Construction in South Burlington has said that PLAs cost non-union workers when part of their pay goes to support union programs unrelated to the project.“You’re going to have to pay as an open-shop contractor into those benefits set up in the PLA, but you’ll never see any of those benefits if you’re not in the union,” he said.On the New York side, Ted Luck of the Luck Brothers highway contracting company in Plattsburgh predicted that “(l)ike the Global Foundries chipfab plant in Malta, a PLA on the Champlain Bridge project will guarantee that labor is imported from far away since there isn’t enough local union labor to meet the ambitious time schedule on the bridge. Why should my employees at Luck Brothers be denied the right to participate in this project just because they are nonunion?”In a release from the Empire State Chapter of ABC, president Rebecca Meinking alleged that “Special interest PLAs result in increased costs and reduced competition. PLAs deny taxpayers the accountability in public works projects they deserve from government.”“This area of New York State – Essex and Washington Counties – and the State of Vermont are largely served by nonunion contractors,” Meinking said. “More than 70 percent of the construction workforce in this area of New York and 95 percent of Vermont’s construction workers do not belong to a construction labor union, according to government data. The use of a PLA will actually mean that the majority of local labor will be shut out of the opportunity to work on this bridge replacement project in a time when the unemployment rate in the construction industry is 24.7 percent nationwide, and even higher in the areas where this bridge project is located.”Mark Holden, president of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc, based in Concord, NH, said that he sees a larger pro-union agenda in the use of PLAs.“Project labor agreements, established years ago to create harmony and reduce disruptions among construction trade unions on union-only projects, have today become politically motivated market recovery programs for the construction trade unions. In Vermont, statistics for 2009 show total construction trade employment at 13,987 with 625 or 4.5 percent being union members. A project labor agreement is authorized discrimination against nine out of 10 Vermont construction workers who choose not to join a union. Great news with construction employment at over 20 percent.”Holden pointed out that a PLA is not necessary to govern wages on the Champlain Bridge project, because it would fall under the federal Davis-Bacon Act. Since the 1930s, that law has required that workers on federal projects be paid the prevailing wage in that county – which would probably be to Vermont’s advantage if the bridge project was deemed to be based in New York.Critics of PLAs are likely to cite a study by John R McGowan, professor of accounting at St Louis University, titled, “The Discriminatory Impact of Union Fringe Benefit Requirements on Nonunion Workers Under Government-Mandated Labor Agreements.” (The title is somewhat misleading: PLAs are “encouraged,” not mandated, says Kotler – the word used in the Executive Order – and for one to be used in New York, “(t)he burden is on the New York public owner to demonstrate, typically through a consultant’s feasibility or due diligence report, that a PLA has a proper business purpose, that it will provide direct and indirect economic benefits to the public and promote the particular project’s timely completion.”)In the executive summary to his 2009 report, McGowan said that, “The economic disadvantages faced by nonunion employees and employers related to a PLA’s fringe benefit requirements explains why many nonunion construction companies are discouraged from participating in the bidding process for government-mandated, union-only PLA projects.” The problems came in three areas, he said:– Nonunion workers lost $184-$613 million in pay for all federal PLA projects, the figure depending on assumptions. Money sent to union pension funds, etc reduces take-home pay about 20 percent.– Nonunion contractors pay extra costs, by a factor of 25 percent or more, to work under PLAs. Had the Executive Order been in effect during 2008, such losses would have amounted to $230-$767 million, again depending on assumptions.– “Nonunion contractors will face increased and unnecessary exposure to pension fund liability if they perform work under PLAs, including possible withdrawal liability when the project is completed.”VBM asked the offices of Vermont’s two Senators and Representative if there was someone on their staffs who could explain their support for PLAs and respond to anti-PLA assertions about them. The only such source was someone connected with Senator Bernard Sanders, but he does not go on record to make statements, and in any case he was out of the office and unavailable. The question was referred to Jeff Potvin, president of the Vermont Building and Construction Trades Council.Potvin agreed that PLAs support unions, but said that was not a bad thing.“They can look at it that way, I suppose,” he said, “but it could be a lot better than that. (Nonunion contractors) could just sign as unionized contractors and their employees would get all those benefits.”In Potvin’s view, the higher labor costs said to exist on PLA contracts are the same as paying local workers living wages. Those workers are also members of the general public, and the money benefits people generally when it goes into local circulation and has an economic multiplier effect.The higher cost argument can be turned around to say that nonunion workers are being exploited in non-PLA projects, he said. Were construction workers being exploited in Vermont? “In some cases, not in all cases,” Potvin said. The worst problem comes when, on non-PLA jobs, workers are brought in by out-of-state contractors and those in the region get paid nothing on that job, he said. He prefers the term “community workforce agreement,” under which “you have to hire from within the community.”It’s wrong to think that Vermont’s trade union are working at cross purposes to the interest of contractors, Potvin said.“I work hand-in-hand with my contractors,” he said (Potvin is the business manager of UA Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 693 and serves on the Vermont Apprenticeship Council, as well as heading the Building Trades Council). Notably, hourly pay includes 70 cents that goes toward union-run professional training for the workforce, he said.“We’re just trying to do the right thing for our workers and for our contractors,” Potvin said. “They want to be able to hold their own on a level playing field.”And VTrans?“We are on record with New York as thinking that a PLA is not necessary,” said Secretary of Transportation David Dill. New York does think that if a PLA is justified, it must be managed so as not to be unfair to Vermont’s overwhelmingly nonunion companies, he said.“I just don’t see a PLA as being a part of this process.” He added, “I may be wrong.”Potvin may have spoken for many when he said, “I’m waiting to see what happens.” Holden, too, may have expressed the general feeling when he said, “The devil’s in the details.”In any case, there may be plenty of non-PLA work to go around in the near future, at least if the Obama administration can persuade Congress to continue making infrastructure improvement the keystone of economic recovery. According to the VTrans 2009 annual report on structures, of 2,688 bridges in the state, 464 are “functionally obsolete,” 494 are “structurally deficient,” and 139 have posted restrictions due to structural problems.Ed Barna is a freelance writer from Middlebury.Senate ResolutionBy Senator Shumlin,Senate resolution urging the Douglas administration to reconsider its decision to reject the implementation of a Project Labor Agreement for the new Lake Champlain Bridge.Whereas, the construction of the new $75 million Lake Champlain Bridge between Crown Point, New York and Chimney Point, Vermont is one of the largest transportation projects in Vermont in decades, andWhereas, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has proposed that the two states adopt a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) to ensure that work proceeds effectively and without conflicting labor contract provisions, and at the lowest possible cost, andWhereas, a PLA is a negotiated, pre-hire, collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project, and pursuant to President Obama’s Executive Order 13502, federal agencies are encouraged to use PLAs in connection with large-scale, federally financed construction projects, andWhereas, according to testimony before both the Senate Committees on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs and on Transportation, harmonizing conflicting labor agreements takes on added importance on the Lake Champlain Bridge project because many of the trades working on the project are expected to be union trades, each with its own collective bargaining agreement with terms that may conflict with agreements of the other trades, andWhereas, before issuing the draft PLA, the NYSDOT commissioned Arace & Company Consulting, LLC, an outside expert firm with no financial stake in the project to conduct an analysis of the PLA’s impact, and the analysis concluded a PLA will harmonize conflicting contracts on this particular project, and save an estimated $1.75–$3.0 million, andWhereas, the cost savings achieved with a PLA result when labor unions agree to forego overtime and other contract benefits in exchange for an opportunity to work on a project, andWhereas, without a PLA, there is no guarantee that Vermonters and New Yorkers will be employed on the $75 million project, thus preventing qualified Vermonters who work in the building trades from benefiting from a major employment opportunity in this region, andWhereas, PLAs have been used successfully in other states, andWhereas, the Douglas administration has directed the Vermont Agency of Transportation not to negotiate a PLA, andWhereas, this refusal is based on the mistaken premise that the PLA will prevent nonunion Vermont subcontractors from applying for work on the project, andWhereas, some Vermont subcontractors have opposed the PLA on “philosophical grounds,” now therefore be itResolved by the Senate:That based on available information, the proposed Project Labor Agreement will reduce the overall cost of the project and help to ensure Vermont and New York residents will obtain some of the work on the project, and be it furtherResolved: That the Senate of the State of Vermont urges the Douglas administration to reconsider its decision not to attempt to negotiate a Project Labor Agreement for the new Lake Champlain Bridge, and be it furtherResolved: That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Secretary of Administration.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From the Associated Press:The amount of coal that China is using is tumbling as its electricity consumption falls and that decline may help the country’s greenhouse gas emissions peak a decade earlier than expected, according to a new analysis.China is the globe’s largest consumer of coal, burning more than three times that of the U.S., and it’s the world’s leading carbon dioxide emitter, the leading driver of climate change.But after pledging last year to cut its emissions to tackle climate change, China is showing signs of reducing its reliance on fossil fuels: the country’s electricity demand grew by 0.5 percent in 2015 while its coal consumption fell 5 percent and its coal imports fell 35 percent, according the analysis by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a nonprofit group focusing on global energy.“Data from the China National Energy Agency confirms that the country is successfully diversifying away from thermal power generation at a far-faster-than-expected rate,” the report says. “Wind, solar, hydro and nuclear continue to gain share at coal’s expense, consistent with a trend established in 2011.”Thermal power capacity — the amount of electricity China can produce from burning fossil fuels — fell by 9 percent last year, from 54.1 percent of its power supply in 2014 to 49.4 percent in 2015.“The model for their economy is changing from a far more industrial one to a more service-oriented economy,” Tom Sanzillo, IEEFA director of finance, said. “As a function of that, you demand less electricity, you burn less coal.”The implications of the changes are huge, the analysis says.“China’s total emissions are on track to peak potentially a decade earlier than their official target of no later than 2030,” it says.A Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis shows that China’s emissions may have fallen by 2 percent in 2015 because of its declining use of coal. Bloomberg also reported that China’s investments in renewables and energy efficiency rose 17 percent in 2015 to $110 billion, doubling U.S. investments in renewables, which totaled $56 billion.The U.S. is also seeing a decline in coal consumption, falling 10 percent last year as natural gas competes with coal as the leading fuel for electric power generation.Beyond climate concerns, China’s notoriously bad urban air pollution is one of the biggest reasons the country’s coal use is falling, Sanzillo said.“China is responding somewhat to the greenhouse gas issue, but they’re much more responding to an internal pollution problem,” he said. “If the people are choking, then the government is not doing its job. They need to reduce coal consumption for the people to be able to live in major cities.”China’s Coal Use Declines As Electricity Demand Falls Flat As China Evolves Into a Service Economy, Its Coal Use Slows
The Panama Canal Authority has launched an investigation into a collision involving two bulkers, which occurred in the morning hours of March 11.According to media reports, the vessels in question are the 37,700 dwt, 2018-built SE Nicky, and the 63,400 dwt Iolaos, built in 2016.The units, operated by Taiwan’s Sincere Industrial and Greek Lavinia Corporation, respectively, made contact in front of the locks of Pedro Miguel, according to La Prensa.However, the collision did not affect ship transits and both vessels continued their transit through the waterway. There were no reports of injuries to the vessels’ crews.“After attending the case according to security protocols, and as dictated by the operating rules of the Panama Canal, an investigation has been initiated to determine the causes of the incident,” the ACP said via social media.The vessels were transiting in the same direction. Following the incident both SE Nicky and Iolaos sailed to Panama’s Limon Bay Anchorage. AIS data provided by Marine Traffic shows that Iolaos is still anchored off Colón, while SE Nicky continued its voyage towards Port of Mobile, US. World Maritime News Staff
Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (2) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. -3 Vote up Vote down redfanx2 · 267 weeks ago Thank you and now if Mr. Jones would work on the cemetary needs(money has been paid for that too!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 267 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Local · 267 weeks ago The road is wonderful now! Thank you. Report Reply 0 replies · active 267 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Submitted to Sumner Newscow â€” The Wellington Street Department has completed its work on H Street between 16th and Hillside. H Street is now open to the general public.“We appreciate everyoneâ€™s patience during this project,” said Jeremy Jones, Wellington Director of Public Works.Follow us on Twitter.
27 Jun 2017 MacIntyre to tee off the European Amateur World number nine Robert MacIntyre will get the European Amateur Championship underway tomorrow at Walton Heath Golf Club, Surrey. The Scot will hit the first shot at 6.30am, in the company of German’s Maximilian Schmitt and Ireland’s Stuart Grehan. They’re the first of 48 groups which will tee off until 1543 in the afternoon. The world-class field of 144 players will follow in the footsteps of such past champions as Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. Spectators are very welcome to watch the action unfold on the renowned Old Course and entry is free on all four days. Among the groups which will prove popular with talent spotters are: 0641 – Scott Gregory, the 2016 Amateur champion from Corhampton, Hampshire, and world number six, will play with last year’s European Amateur runner-up Viktor Hovland of Norway and Min Woo Lee of Australia. 0652 – David Boote, the highest ranked Welsh player in the world and a member of Walton Heath, is grouped with Australia’s Dylan Perry, the runner-up in last weekend’s Amateur Championship, and world number eight, Connor Syme of Scotland. 0703 – Defending champion Luca Cianchetti of Italy will play with world number seven Sean Crocker of the USA and Craig Howie of Scotland. 0736 – Jack Davidson of Wales is the Spanish amateur champion and individual winner at the European Nations Cup. He plays with Gregory Foo of Singapore and John-Ross Galbraith of Ireland. 0842 – Lytham Trophy winner Jack Singh Brar (Remedy Oak, Dorset) will play with the Portuguese amateur champion, Sami Valimaki of Finland, and Victor Veyret of France. 1130 – South American amateur champion Paul Chaplet of Costa Rica plays with Victor Pastor of Spain and Albert Venter of South Africa. 1203 – St Andrews Links Trophy winner Matthew Jordan (Royal Liverpool, Cheshire) is grouped with Slovenian champion Simon Zach of the Czech Republic and Michael Hirmer of Germany. 1225 – French open champion Josh Hilleard (Farrington Park, Somerset) plays with Ryan Lumsden of Scotland and Evan Griffith of Wales. 1331- New Amateur Champion Harry Ellis (Meon Valley, Hampshire) plays with Matthias Schmid of Germany and Nicolai Oxenboll of Denmark. The European Amateur Championship takes place from tomorrow, 28 June, to Saturday, 1 July. After three rounds the field will be cut to the leading 60 players and ties. Click here to view all the tee times Caption: Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre will hit the first shot in the European Amateur (image © Leaderboard Photography)
By M. J. Alvarez |You don’t need any special equipment to enjoy an escape from the heat of the sun during summer. A pair of running shoes will be enough to help you enjoy the canopy-covered trails of our area. Here are just a few trails Monmouth County Park System offers.Hartshorne Woods contains trails that provide a more vigorous workout. The Grand Tour Trail running through the Monmouth Hills when combined with the contiguous Rocky Point Trail provides a challenging 5.4-mile hike with a number of ups and downs in a remote part of the park. The Rocky Point Trail will reward hikers with numerous elevated views of the Shrewsbury River and Sea Bright. The Cuesta Ridge and Laurel Ridge trails provide easier walks. Hartshorne trails are multiuse trails. Hikers should expect to share them with mountain bikers.The Pond Walk is a half-mile wooded walk in Holmdel Park. Photo courtesy MCPSHolmdel Park offers a number of trails for both casual walkers and serious runners. The Cross Country Trail is a 3.1-mile trail that is especially suited for runners and includes a challenging uphill stretch known locally as “The Bowl.” This trail is also the site of many high school cross-country races. For a more balanced workout, try the 0.8-mile Fitness Trail, a loop trail that includes exercise stations. Families can enjoy the 0.4-mile Pond Walk trail around the lower pond and Beech Glen an approximately half-mile wooded walk.The southern section of Holmdel Park, also known as the Ramanessin section, includes three trails of moderate difficulty – the Ramanessin Trail which runs along the Ramanessin Brook, the Steeplechase trail and the Homestead Trail and Fern Path. These trails cross less developed parts of the park through fields and wooded areas and are little used.Huber Woods in Rumson provides a number of moderate trails through wooded fields and mountain laurel valleys. Valley View, Claypit Run and Meadow Ramble are all moderate wooded trails. The Many Log Run Trail located in the northwest section of the park off of the Meadow Ramble Trail is a challenging 1.2 mile trail with a number of sharp hills to get your heart pumping. As with Hartshorne Woods, all of the Huber woods trails are multiuse trails so expect to share them with mountain bikers.Manasquan Reservoir in Howell contains the Perimeter Trail, a 5.1-mile flat, dirt trail popular with joggers, walkers and bikers, looping around the entire perimeter of the reservoir and crossing a number of wetland areas. This trail will give the walker a sense of the breadth of the reservoir and may even reward with a view of the bald eagles nest which is alleged to exist near the northwest corner of the reservoir. A shorter 1.1-mile scenic nature trail around the Environmental Center is suitable for families with young children.Thompson Park, located in the Lincroft section of Middletown, contains both paved trails for bikers and walkers, dirt trails traversing fields and wooded areas and a track loop around a rugby pitch. The Reservoir Loop is the longest trail in the park at 4.8 miles and runs along Marlu Luke located in the northwest section of the park and loops around the Swimming River Reservoir. The Paved Trail is a popular trail for walkers, runners and bikers that runs around the perimeter of the park along Longbridge Road, Cross Road and Route 520.Experienced hikers and trail runners know that tick season is in full swing in the Two River area. When venturing into any wooded area, stay on the maintained trails, wear loose clothing with long sleeves and pants and inspect arms and legs after a walk in the woods. Be especially careful inspecting children and pets for ticks. Sunscreen and a bottle of water in a small backpack will also make your day more enjoyable.And hit the trails on June 3 – National Trails Day.This article was first published Summer Kickoff section in the May 25-June 1, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
According to evolutionists, modern man appeared 200,000 years ago, but civilization appeared only 8,000 years ago. We examine their explanations.An interesting question was asked on Quora and reproduced on Forbes.com: “Why Haven’t We Found Civilizations Older Than 7,000 – 8,000 years?” Taking the bat was Adam Wu, an evolutionary neurosurgeon from Saskatchewan. Here’s a synopsis of his answers:Civilization requires Edenic conditions with a large food surplus to get started, but there was no such place.Farming can only produce a food surplus in a very narrow range of environmental conditions.Civilization also requires a minimum population density.Early modern humans were coming out of an Ice Age 200,000 years ago, so few places for civilization existed.Early modern humans were tall and strong, making hunting and gathering preferable to farming in places of low population density.A genetic bottleneck occurred about 60,000 years ago, possibly due to the Toba supervolcano.The Ice Age didn’t end until about 20,000 to 12,000 years ago.As the weather warmed and population grew, conflict and famine created more pressures for humans to “think about” civilization.It’s not clear that anybody critiqued Wu’s answers, so we will.This list has all the makings of special pleading and confabulation. Where’s his evidence? The whole account is based on the absence of evidence. It’s a just-so story. He’s determined to preserve Darwin, so he makes things up out of his own head. What we do know is that civilization appears suddenly (see Gobekli Tepe, for instance, to say nothing of Ur), with intelligent people already making artwork, and soon keeping accounts with symbols on clay tablets. The timeline fits the Bible’s Table of Nations, not Darwinian evolution. Let’s reason why from the evidence we have about human capabilities.If modern humans lived 200,000 years ago, their brains and bodies were fully as capable as ours. Yet evolutionists expect us to believe that for over 20 times the time of all known human civilization, during which people went from simple villages to landing on the moon, these smart, strong, intelligent people did nothing but hunt and gather. Is that credible? Human beings are tremendously adaptable to handle any contingency. They can migrate (and indeed, they did—from Africa to Asia to Europe and beyond). They can build boats. They can make tools. They can skin animals and get comfortable at any temperature. They can invent things. They can look at a horse and think, “Hmmm; what happens if I hop on its back?” They can speak in abstract concepts, and communicate with semantic language (not just the hoots and hollers of apes).So let’s revisit Wu’s list with some critical thinking.Civilization does not require Edenic conditions. Humans today build villages in all kinds of habitats: Nepal, deserts, and remote islands.See #1. People farm in all kinds of conditions. Look at the farms of the southwest Native Americans in 1000 AD. Remember Mesa Verde? Chaco Canyon?Any family can civilize with a few individuals. Ever hear of the Pilgrims?Few places during Ice Age? Ridiculous. Africa was not affected, but that’s where Homo sapiens emerged, evolutionists say.Well, if they were tall and strong, they would have made great farmers. They were also sensible, remember?Population could recover fairly rapidly after a disaster, and it would not have affected people far from the volcano, e.g. in Africa or Asia. Why doesn’t he apply that excuse to animals and birds? The more reasonable human genetic bottleneck occurred at the Flood (8 people). Soon after, Noah’s descendants were building cities.Wu can’t keep blaming the Ice Age. Humans are smart enough to move to warmer areas. Egypt was pretty nice before the Sahara sands came.Conflict and famine has always been with mankind. That is not the motivation to civilize; it certainly is not the only one. There could be many peaceful motivations to civilize. People like to trade. People are inventive. They find new ways to do things and make their lives easier.Our responses are generous, considering only the time of “modern humans.” But evolutionists tell us that Neanderthals, Homo erectus and other upright large-brained humans were using tools, cooking food over controlled fire, and migrating long distances two million years ago. That’s close to 200 times the history of civilization! During all that time, nobody ever thought to settle down? There are even reports that Homo erectus crossed the ocean on watercraft. Certainly Homo sapiens without benefit of large civilizations made it to all the South Pacific islands in short order. If our ancestors were smart enough to do those things, they were smart enough to construct permanent dwellings, trade, cooperate and invent conveniences.Written records and artifacts show that civilization began in the Fertile Crescent—in multiple locations in that region almost simultaneously—about 6,000 years ago or less (8,000 years or more requires auxiliary assumptions and questionable dating methods). The tangible evidence fits the record in Genesis of the dispersion after the Tower of Babel, when language groups were motivated to move apart because they could no longer understand one another. They took their city-building skills with them. For more evidence, see the new film Is Genesis History? that airs again on March 2 and 7 in selected theaters.Quora and Forbes propagate and perpetuate Wu’s ridiculous answer, because no criticism of King Charles is allowed. That’s why we need sites like Creation-Evolution Headlines, to do the work that journalists should be doing. 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(Image: Pixabay)Johannesburg, Monday 11 April 2016 – South Africans want to be “constantly informed about current affairs within their communities and country,” finds Brand South Africa’s 2015/16 Domestic Perceptions study.The study further suggests that citizens want easy accessible information provided to them, with the most reliable and trusted sources being family, friends/colleagues, followed by mainstream media sources like television and news radio broadcasts.In order to understand the extent to which South Africans trust sources of information, respondents were asked to rate the various information sources available at their disposal. Family, friends & colleagues; television news; and radio news are the top three trusted sources of information. Online social networking and related sources of information are the least trusted of all possible sources.Of 2,536 respondents who participated in the survey, over 60% said that they have access to the internet. Of these, 80% use the web for social media, 61% for research purposes, 37% for applications and 33% for access to current affairs and news.Other media consumption factors from the study included that 92% of respondents own a cell phone, 30% use laptops and 9% use tablets. Just over half the respondents indicated that they listen to radio everyday with Metro FM, Lesedi FM and Umhlobo Wenene being among the most popular radio stations.A quarter of the population read newspapers every day, with the most commonly read publications being the Daily Sun at 34%, Isolozwe at 8%, the Sunday Times at 5%, Beeld at 4%, Sowetan at 4% and The Citizen at 3%.There is consensus that the media portrays more negative than positive information and stories about South Africa, with over 62% of respondents indicating that the media in South Africa is too negative about the country.Brand South Africa’s CEO Mr Kingsley Makhubela, reflecting on the outcomes of the study, said: “It is encouraging that freedom of media, speech and access to information remains one of the greatest successes of our 22 years of democracy. The right to information is a pillar of any free society and South Africans must continue to embrace this fundamental freedom in our country.”Follow the conversation on @Brand_SA #SANationBrand
Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… David Curry Follow the Puck 27 percent of all homeowners in the United States have purchased an Internet of Things (IoT) device for their home, according to a new “smart home index” report.Wink, a home automation platform for hardware and software, published the report earlier this month. It shows a growing interest in the U.S. for smart home devices, though customers are still worried about the overall cost to make their home smart.See Also: Amazon makes it even cheaper for Alexa developers to use AWSA survey, conducted by Harris Poll, found that 71 percent of people wish they could monitor what is happening at home while they’re away. Home security was cited as the most important reason for in-home monitoring, followed by checking on pets and family members.One of the reasons smart home technology is not more prevalent has to do with the perceived cost of installation. In the Wink report, 34 percent of respondents said it would cost $5,000 to make their home smart, nine percent said it would cost $20,000.That is an extreme valuation, but it stems from the idea some consumers have that a smart home must be fully autonomous, or it is not that smart. In reality, a few smart devices can make a major difference on house valuation, security, and productivity.Renters interested, tooWink notes that the average user of its platform has spent $200 on four devices, and already has the benefits of a safer, more secure home. Even at the high-end of the smart home spectrum, $20,000 seems a bit steep for the devices currently on the market.It is not just homeowners that are looking to make their home smart, renters are interested too. The Wink report said that 36 percent of renters would pay five percent more per month to have connected devices in the house. That would add $750 to annual rent nationwide.Another advantage not considered by the report is insurance. Several home insurance firms have lowered prices for customers that own a Nest smoke detector and other smart home devices. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Related Posts Tags:#Connected Devices#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#Smart Cities#smart home#top#wink