by Anne Galloway | March 15, 2012 vtdigger.org State workers will move back to Waterbury and the replacement facility for the Vermont State Hospital will be 25 beds.Governor Peter Shumlin announced the double-whammy decisions today at a hastily called press conference with a phalanx of Democratic leaders and members of key committees standing behind him. In remarks, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, lauded the plan.Governor Peter Shumlin. VTD/Josh LarkinShumlin said lawmakers and his administration have agreed to replace the state office complex that was damaged by Tropical Storm Irene with ‘Plan B,’ the option presented by the architectural firm Freeman French Freeman last Friday that calls for restoration of the historic buildings on the Waterbury campus and construction of a new ‘state of the art’ facility.The Waterbury compound offices had been home base for about 1,500 workers from a handful of agencies. The new state offices would accommodate 900 employees, all from the Agency of Human Services. About 100 Department of Health employees would remain at offices in the Burlington area and 300 workers with the Agency of Natural Resources would be moved to the National Life office complex in Montpelier. About 200 AHS and Department of Public Safety employees have already returned to buildings in Waterbury.The original pricetag for Plan B was roughly $135 million. Shumlin said he would be asking architects to go back to the drawing board and design a smaller ‘state of the art’ facility that could be constructed at a much less cost. He declined to name a target figure for the project, except to say it would be greatly reduced.The state’s insurance company has offered $15 million to $20 million for replacement and renovation costs. FEMA reimbursements would be similar. That could leave the state with $40 million to $50 million in out-of-pocket costs, depending on construction estimates.Shumlin told reporters: ‘I want it to be as cheap as possible.’‘We’re going to push as hard as we can with Freeman French Freeman to lower the costs that came forward,’ he said.The House is working on a capital bill that is supposed to be voted out of committee in the next week. Shumlin said the administration will work as aggressively as possible to nail down costs this legislative session.‘I do want to suggest it’s quite possible we won’t have all numbers we need before the Legislature adjourns,’ Shumlin said. He said legislative leaders need to find a way to work together to approve figures after adjournment.The governor wants renovations to start immediately and he hopes to start construction in the fall. He said the construction will be phased, starting with renovations, and moving forward with razing damaged buildings.The governor had pushed for a 16-bed psychiatric facility to replace the Vermont State Hospital, which was located on the Waterbury state office complex campus and was also ruined by floodwaters. He maintained that the federal government would only provide operating funds for a 16-bed facility.Lawmakers have been wrestling on the right size for the hospital, which under federal law is an institute for mental disease. The administration has said the state would not be eligible under Centers for Medicare and Medicaid rules for operating funds for a facility larger than 16 beds. The House voted for a 25-bed facility; the Senate and the administration wanted 16 beds.At the press conference, Shumlin announced he had negotiated an agreement with Kathleen Sibelius, the secretary of the federal Department of Human Services, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday that will allow the state to continue to receive federal reimbursements through 2013.‘We have an agreement from CMS that we will be unaffected by any reimbursement issues, should we build a 25-bed facility until that global commitment waiver expires 2013,’ Shumlin said.After that, he said CMS will allow the state to pull its license for 25 beds if the federal agency decides against a waiver for a 16-bed facility.The administration is looking at sites in Berlin near the Central Vermont Medical Center. FEMA would pay for 90 percent of the cost of the replacement facility for the Vermont State Hospital. March 15, 2012 vtdigger.org
Cameron Group developer Tom Valenti was back in town Wednesday to pitch the Mission council on his latest public finance incentives requests.Tom Valenti is hoping the fourth time’s a charm for him embattled Mission Gateway project.The Syracuse, N.Y.,-based developer was back in Mission last night to lobby the city council to approve his most recent project plan as well as the public finance incentives he says are necessary to move forward. At Wednesday’s city council meeting, Mission held the public hearings required by law before the council is able to consider Valenti’s proposals: a fourth amended tax increment financing project plan and a request for the creation of a slightly altered community improvement district.In a presentation to the council, Valenti emphasized the benefit to Mission’s tax roles of having the Gateway development up-and-running, saying that Mission would see more than $1 million in new revenue starting around 2020 — though he included nearly $600,000 per year in stormwater infrastructure debt repayments his company owes the city in that figure.Valenti’s figures show that once the TIF period expires after 20 years, the city can expect around $4 million in annual revenue from taxes and fees generated by the development.Valenti had no new information to report about the tenant mix the city could expect to see in the development since he last appeared in Mission two months ago, save to say that the company was making “excellent progress in our leasing efforts.”“We are getting closer to finalizing some additional deals,” he told the council. “We had some excellent meetings as recently as last night and one again today. But we’re not done yet and we’re not ready to announce.”The current plan calls for the construction of two large buildings on the east side of the property. One would have an “entertainment” tenant. Potentials uses of the other building have not been revealed.Councilmembers gave no indication of whether Valenti would have the support he needs when the governing body votes on the project plan and CID districts at its Sept. 20 meeting, engaging in no serious dialogue with him during the hearing. Just one member of the public spoke before the hearing was closed, questioning whether Valenti’s 20-year financial projections held water.You can see the full deck Valenti used in his presentation to the council embedded below:[gview file=”https://dfv6pkw99pxmo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/17084131/Gateway-TIF-Plan-Presentation-8-16-17-Version-2.pdf”]
JVC Professional Video has added social media features to its CONNECTED CAM 500- and 900-Series camcorders with its latest firmware update. As the first camera manufacturer to provide streaming directly from the camera, JVC’s 500-Series cameras now include SNS video streaming with vertical and square guidelines on the viewfinder to ensure an ideal image capture on a variety of platforms and devices. The company is adding setup functionality, allowing GY-HC500 users to stream to Facebook Live and YouTube Live with one click. The firmware also incorporates RTMPS protocol for its GY-HC900 cameras.With this update, JVC’s 500-Series cameras can also produce streams in vertical (606×1080 and 404×720) and square (1080×1080 and 720×720) formats. This includes not just safe markers, but actual streams with vertical and square resolutions. Previously available on the JVC GY-HM250, the Easy Setup Facebook Live feature can now also be utilized by GY-HC500 users for real-time broadcasting on individual, business and media pages. This allows users to stream in seconds versus having to type in and adjust a range of settings beforehand. The new firmware also incorporates an Easy Setup YouTube Live feature, which not only provides direct-to-YouTube capability, but also enables users to schedule streaming with a specified start time.
Study: Written reports help dentists reduce antibiotic prescribingA new UK study has found that dentists prescribe fewer antibiotics to their patients after receiving a report on their past prescribing habits.According to the study, published yesterday in PLoS Medicine, dentists prescribe roughly 10% of the antibiotics dispensed in UK community pharmacies, often in the absence of clinical need. Using dental prescribing and treatment claim data routinely collected by the UK National Health Service (NHS), researchers with the RAPiD (Reducing Antibiotic Prescribing in Dentistry) trial set out to determine whether an individualized audit and feedback intervention could have an impact on prescribing habits.The trial included 795 dental practices in Scotland, with 632 practices in an intervention group and 163 in a control group. The intervention group was further subdivided into two groups: one that received a line graph showing an individual dentist’s monthly prescribing rate, and another that received a line graph with a written “behavior change” message containing national guidelines for dental antibiotic prescribing.At the start of trial, the rate of antibiotics prescribed per 100 NHS treatment claims was 8.3 in the control group and 8.5 in the intervention group. After 12 months, the researchers found that both groups were prescribing fewer antibiotics. But the drop in the prescribing rate in the intervention group—from 8.5 to 7.5—was 5.7% greater than it was for the control group. And the subset of dentists who received a written message saw their prescribing rate drop by an additional 6%.The authors of the study wrote that the findings are significant because they indicate that a “relatively straightforward, low-cost public health and patient safety intervention” could help the entire healthcare system address antimicrobial resistance.Aug 30 PLoS Med study Review outlines economic incentives for antibiotic developmentLimited commercial returns are considered a primary factor in why pharmaceutical companies are not investing in antibiotic development. That’s why a “constellation of economic incentives” will be needed to promote antibacterial drug development going forward, according to an article published yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases.The article, written by members of the Trans-Atlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR), is a review of the various economic incentives identified in policy documents, peer-reviewed publications, organization proposals, and government-sponsored reviews that have addressed the question of how to spur new antibiotic development. In October 2015, TATFAR agreed to make an informed recommendation on a package of economic incentives to be considered and implemented in the future.In those documents, the authors found a consensus around the idea that economic incentives must contain both “push and pull” mechanisms that will guarantee return on investment. Push incentives include subsidies (in the form of grants, public-private partnerships, and tax credits) to fund early-stage development of antimicrobials, which is often risky and expensive. The idea is to provide incentives to academic institutions and companies by providing up-front money for research and development.Pull incentives, on the other hand, are meant to encourage antibacterial drug development by promising a substantial financial reward to companies that successfully develop new antibiotics. Examples include large milestone or prize payments, patent buy-outs, advanced market commitments, and extended market exclusivity.Pull incentives, the authors found, will be most successful if they rely on a “de-linkage” model that would remove the motivation for pharmaceutical companies to market and oversell their product. Negating the need for high product sales, they argue, would ensure that new antibiotics are not overused, thereby linking new antibiotic development to conservation and stewardship.Finally, the authors found widespread agreement that global coordination will be needed to administer the funding of these incentive programs. Aug 30 Clin Infect Dis literature review Growing polymyxin resistance reported in CRE in BrazilBrazilian researchers are reporting increasing resistance to polymyxin antibiotics in clinical Klebsiella Pneumoniae strains that are already resistant to carbapenem antibiotics.In a letter to Emerging Infectious Diseases, the researchers report on an analysis of more than 3,000 K pneumoniae isolates recovered from patients at 10 private tertiary-care hospitals in Sao Paulo from January 2011 to December 2015.The analysis showed a dramatic increase in carbapenem resistance in the K pneumoniae isolates—from 6.8% in 2011 to 35.5% in 2015. And among the carbapenem-resistant K pneumoniae isolates, polymyxin resistance rose from 0% in 2011 to 27.1% in 2015. Polymyxin resistance among carbapenem-susceptible K pneumoniae isolates also rose, from 0.7% in 2011 to 3.9% in 2015.The authors said the findings are worrisome because carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are more deadly than carbapenem-susceptible strains, and carbapenem-resistant K Pneumoniae bacteria are endemic in Brazil. Furthermore, most resistant infections are treated with polymyxins.Aug 30 Emerg Infect Dis letter
NMHU News:LAS VEGAS, NM — Christopher Ulibarri, a student government leader at New Mexico Highlands University, is the university’s newest student regent.New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham made Ulibarri’s appointment official March 13. Ulibarri’s term extends to the adjournment of the next regular session of the New Mexico State Legislature in 2021.Ulibarri, a 19-year-old from Buena Vista, north of Las Vegas, has earned a 3.93 GPA to date as a triple major in political science, environmental geology and history. His expected graduation date is December 2022.“Christopher is a courageous leader who is respected by his peers,” said Kimberly Blea, dean of students at Highlands. “Christopher has a passion for service to others and is very hard-working. This is evident by his commitment to volunteering with Amnesty International and the fact that he is a triple major.”Blea said Ulibarri’s calm demeanor will help him handle difficult situations as a regent.“Christopher was also a recent participant in Highlands’ Legislative Fellowship program, an experience that will serve him well in his new role as a regent,” Blea said.Ulibarri said Highlands provided him with many opportunities.“I wanted to become a student regent to contribute back to Highlands,” Ulibarri said. “While the other regents represent Highlands, none of them continuously work or study on campus. Being a student puts me in the unique position of representing both the student body and faculty on the Board of Regents.”Ulibarri said the COVID-19 pandemic is driving his priorities as a new regent.“My most immediate goal as a student regent is to help come up with solutions to the problems that Highlands faces during the COVID-19 crisis, working with both the student body and the faculty,” Ulibarri said.Ulibarri said being a student senator at Highlands was a valuable learning experience.“Representing other students taught me about the values students hold and how to be an advocate for them,” Ulibarri said.Ulibarri enrolled full-time at Highlands when he was 17.“I was amazed at just how much everyone cares at Highlands. If it wasn’t for the quality education I’ve received here, I would never have had the skills that it takes to be a student regent. Being a triple major gives me a broad understanding of the academic programs at Highlands,” Ulibarri said.Ulibarri has taken a number of classes from Highlands geology professor Michael Petronis.“Christopher is one of those students that come along now and again that shines very brightly above the rest,” Petronis said “He is exactly the type of person academia needs: motivated, brilliant and personable. He will be an outstanding student regent, leading the university forward.”Outside the classroom, Ulibarri volunteers as a legislative coordinator for Amnesty International, lobbying members of the U.S. Congress on pressing national and international human rights issues.When he’s not juggling his triple-major and other responsibilities, since 2016 Ulibarri has worked 20 to 35 hours a week in his family’s business, Ulibarri Farms Candy Shoppe in Las Vegas.“I assist customers in the store, on the phone and online. I also built a website for our family company and am our graphic designer. I make decisions that impact our company’s future,” Ulibarri said.Looking ahead, Ulibarri has his sights set on a legal career as an environmental attorney.“Growing up on a small ranch with the Mora River and two acequias running through it, I learned how powerful corporate ranchers can block the river illegally, limiting water downstream. I want to be an attorney that helps people like my family and my Buena Vista community when these kinds of injustices occur,” Ulibarri said.
The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons held its annual Bow Wow Meow Ball on Saturday, August 17, in East Hampton. An evening of cocktails, dinner, dancing, and auction items was held to raise funds to support animals in need. At the Bow Wow Meow Ball, fashion designer and entertainer Isaac Mizrahi received the Champion of Animals Award. Share
The East Hampton Chamber of Commerce is focused on local recovery efforts and appreciates the efforts of the local, county, and state officials who are working tirelessly to secure much-needed resources for the region. The offices are currently closed. Members of the community can book a 30-minute virtual appointment to gain assistance while applying for these funding opportunities, for sole proprietors, LLCs, or nonprofits. As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, small businesses may apply for two Small Business Administration loans — the Economic Injury Disaster Loan may be accessed at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance, and Paycheck Protection Program at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp. For updates call 631-324-0362 or email info@EastHamptonChamberofCommerce.com. Share
Over the last two months the rudders of several types of vessels were given an Ecoshield protective coating at yards in China, the US, Poland and the UK.Among them were three container vessels, an oil tanker, a tug boat and a vehicle carrier.Most of these ships belong to different owners, but they all experienced the same problems. Cavitation corrosion damage had appeared on the rudders of their ships. Often a rudder is not given the proper protection against cavitation and the resulting erosion and corrosion damage. In those cases the financial consequences can be extensive for the owner.Tests in a flow channel, carried out in Grenoble, have confirmed that Ecoshield performs extremely well under severe cavitation. The coating will prevent corrosion damage from reoccurring on an existing ship or can protect the rudder(s) of a newbuild vessel against cavitation and corrosion damage from the very start for the life of the vessel. It is the only known coating that can provide this type of full protection.[mappress]Press Release, December 20, 2013
Say again?Malcolm Venter and Jean BranfordPharosReview: Brian JossIt’s a given that South African English (SAE), apart from the accent, is unique, and though we have borrowed phrases and words from other languages, we have coined our own. Say again? delves into the other side of English, the English that we invented. Phrases like yes-no, come right, sweet, sharp sharp and graze will be familiar to most of us. Robot too is another word, elsewhere in the world they’re described as traffic lights. And along with robot we have our own unique car guards. When it comes to food then we can pick up a walkie talkie, (in Joburg walkie talkies are called runaways), or a smiley for supper on our way home from work. Then there is also the famous gatsby, a Cape Town speciality, and from Durban we get Bunny Chow. And if you don’t know yet, February 27 is National Milk Tart (melktert) Day. Melktert is a classic South African dish, probably brought here by the 17th Century Dutch settlers. Other phrases that are our own are: where do you stay (live)?; pavement special or Heinz 57, a mixed breed of mongrel dog. The authors, however, left out “stoepkakkertjie”. Other examples of SAE include the Blue Light Brigade, reservoirs (elsewhere an artificial lake), here a dam or a portable container filled with water which is sometimes referred to as a Rainbow Reservoir. Other South Africanisms include come again, meaning please repeat what you said, another one is Toby threw the cat with a stone, a common linguistic error that Afrikaans speakers make when they speak English. Each of the 12 chapters features words and phrases from different aspects of life with examples of their usage. Matricless is another word and it’s thanks to Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the chief operating officer of the SABC, that it has earned a place in the SAE lexicon. You would expect a book like this to be as dry as dust. It’s not, it’s lively and the amusing sketches add to the entertainment value. You’ll want to dip into it again and again, when you’ll learn something new. To borrow from *Horace: “the book instructs and delights”. Branford has a PhD in Dialect Lexicopgraphy and is the compiler of A Dictionary of South African English (reviewed) and Venter, a former principal of Edgemead High School, has a Doctorate in Linguistics. *Quintus Horatius Flaccus was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus, aka Octavian, and what he said was “either to instruct or delight”. Say again? does it in spades.
Supreme Court job adSource: Michael Cross Supreme Court job adAn application pack for new justices has been published today with the court clarifying it wants a ‘balance of expertise, professional experience and background within the court’.The statutory minimum qualification is to have held high judicial office for a period of at least two years, to have satisfied the judicial appointment eligibility condition on a 15-year basis or to have been a qualifying practitioner, solicitor or barrister, for at least 15 years.A deputy president as well as two new justices are being sought.Lord Mance, deputy president of the court, will retire in June 2018, while Lord Hughes and Lord Sumption are due to retire in August and December 2018 respectively. If one of the serving justices is appointed deputy, a third new justice will be recommended from the applications.Applications are being sought ‘from the widest range of eligible candidates’, particularly those who will increase the diversity of the court, the application pack says.Of the 12 judges currently on the bench, only two are women, Lady Hale and Lady Black. None is from a black or minority ethnic background.When he announced his retirement last year, former president Lord Neuberger revealed plans to improve diversity at the court. Meanwhile, current president Lady Hale said the fact that the profession is split into barristers and solicitors had contributed to the UK judiciary lagging in diversity.According to the court, recommending candidates the selection commission will ensure a selection must be on merit, and that the commission must ‘ensure that between them the judges will have knowledge of, and experience of practice in, the law of each part of the UK’.The closing date for applications is midday on Wednesday 26 January. Appointments are expected to take effect between June 2018 and January 2019. The Supreme Court has said it wants a ‘balance of expertise’ and more diversity on its benches as it looks to recruit a deputy president and two justices.The UK’s top court has had one solicitor judge in its ranks since it was established in 2009, Lord Collins.