Vermont Business Magazine A new scholarship advancing addiction recovery in Vermont has been established to support the Vermont Foundation of Recovery (VFOR) by Dominion Diagnostics, a leading national medical laboratory with a two-decade long history in the state and deep roots in its treatment and recovery community. The Dominion Diagnostics VFOR Scholarship, which will be initially established with $9000, will begin in January 2019 and offers VFOR the opportunity to provide accessible recovery housing for individuals transitioning from addiction treatment, to recovery, to independent living.Dominion’s scholarship addresses a recommendation of the Vermont Governor’s Opioid Coordination Council (OCC) to expand access to quality, affordable recovery housing, which supports the company’s long-time commitment to discovering and developing new ways to enhance the treatment community at varying stages in care.Many individuals reentering their communities after treatment struggle financially and are unable to cover initial deposit and first month’s rent for housing. Their alternative all too often is to return to the environment that fueled their substance use to begin with. Dominion’s scholarship will allow VFOR to offer those critical funds to recovering individuals for a safe, nurturing start in one of VFOR’s five recovery residences.”We are keenly aware of the need for safe and sustainable housing for individuals as they leave treatment and are in the early stages of their recovery,” says Mary Hauser, Dominion Diagnostics Vice President of Addiction Services.The scholarship will have a pay-it-forward concept designed to support personal agency and service work which is a hallmark of an effective recovery program. As recipients regain independence from one of the five VFOR homes, they will be gently encouraged, if able, to pay back all or part of the scholarship received to support others who will follow. Chittenden County Opioid Alliance Executive Director Christine Johnson looks forward to seeing the results of what she is calling a ‘promising pilot’ and says the scholarship will help to fill a need that many people will utilize. “Housing for people in recovery is a vital component of what is needed for someone to overcome substance use disorders,” Johnson says. “Being able to receive a scholarship to take that step towards stable housing is a huge benefit and being able to pay it forward to others is a great opportunity.”Dave Riegel, VFOR’s Executive Director and Board President for the Vermont Alliance of Recovery Residences (VTARR), could not agree more. “The need is so great,” he says. “This act of kindness will allow the most vulnerable access to a safe, stable, sober living environment.”According to Riegel, VFOR will compile data on the effectiveness and sustainability of this pilot as a model to achieve the overarching goal of supporting all Vermont recovery residences. It is Dominion Diagnostics’ hope that this scholarship become a call-to-action for other Vermont businesses and organizations to support recovery residences in their geographic area.”Lack of safe housing is one of the greatest challenges and highest risks for many clients as they leave treatment,” Dominion’s Hauser said. “By supporting VFOR with this new scholarship, we believe we are making a meaningful contribution to individuals and the recovery community.”For more information on the Vermont Foundation of Recovery, visit: http://vermontfoundationofrecovery.org/(link is external)For more information on the Opioid Coordination Council, visit: www.healthvermont.gov/response/alcohol-drugs/governors-opioid-coordination-council(link is external)For more information on the Chittenden County Opioid Alliance, visit: www.ecosproject.com/chittenden-county-opioid-alliance(link is external)About Dominion DiagnosticsDominion Diagnostics is a national medical laboratory that provides clinical drug monitoring solutions, actionable clinical information and innovative support solutions. For over two decades, Dominion Diagnostics has been a recognized leader in the industry working with addiction treatment centers, pain management centers, primary care centers, hospital systems and other specialties. Dominion Diagnostics is supported by a world-class team that shares a commitment to clinical excellence, compliance, and integrity. For more information, please visit www.dominiondiagnostics.com(link is external).SOURCE: WILLISTON, Vt., Dec. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Dominion Diagnostics www.dominiondiagnostics.com(link is external)
Before making its racing debut, new Australian pro cycling team GreenEDGE Cycling signed a multiple year contract with leading high performance bicycle and accessories brand Scott Sports.Under the agreement, Scott, whose bikes were ridden to six stage victories at the 2010 Tour de France, becomes the official bike supplier to all teams under the GreenEDGE banner: the men’s elite Pro Team squad, women’s Pro Team and men’s Continental road racing team.GreenEDGE shall be using the F01 aero road bike and Plasma 3 time trial machine. Helmets will also be supplied by Scott for both Pro Teams.GreenEDGE General Manager, Shayne Bannan, said, “The main priority in striking a deal with a bike manufacturer was to ensure the team was getting the best equipment that would give the riders an edge on their competitors.”Scott’s enthusiasm to join forces with GreenEDGE demonstrates the growing interest and confidence in the team’s bid to reach the highest level of world road cycling.“Joining forces with a new generation and international team like GreenEDGE is very exciting for us,” said Scott Sports, Vice President Pascal Ducrot.“Shayne Bannan has a long and very successful history in cycling as the Australian national team coach. His knowledge, paired with a solid financial foundation, will allow them to build a very dynamic and successful team and Shayne’s vision of pushing technology as well as his demand for the best hi-tech equipment is the challenge we need in order to keep our leading position.”www.scott-sports.com Related
Last month, we asked our readers what issues they wanted to hear the candidates running for local office address ahead of this fall’s local elections primary. Based on the input we received, we developed a three-item questionnaire for candidates running for governing body in Westwood.Today we publish the candidates’ responses to item two:Progress has been stalled on the reconfiguration of the Westwood View-Dennis Park-former Entercom property sites for a few years now. What’s your hope for progress on that idea? What needs to happen for things to start moving forward?MayorDavid WatersWestwood View Elementary is one of our City’s most important and valuable assets, and our residents expect that our leaders will work to ensure its continued strength and viability. Having served on the Planning Commission and the City Council, and with both of our children currently attending Westwood View, I know how important Westwood View is to our City’s history and our future.In 2016, the Shawnee Mission School District acquired the former Entercom property for the stated purpose of building a new Westwood View. As shown by our comprehensive planning process in 2017, our community strongly supports that development. I do as well. Westwood residents also value parks and green spaces, and we have opportunities to expand and improve our park amenities.That being said, the City’s economic development and park planning has been “paused” for too long and needs to move forward. At this time, the City does not have a clear message from the School District as to whether a new Westwood View will be built on the former Entercom site, or whether the School District will renovate the existing Westwood View, or whether the School District might need property from the 5050 Rainbow site in order accommodate its plans.First and foremost, the City must continue to work with the School District—and not against the School District—to emphasize the importance of Westwood View and the need in our community for strong and modern facilities that will serve our growing population. Westwood View is itself a catalyst for housing redevelopment, the attraction of new families, and investment from the business community in our commercial corridors. Any efforts to discourage improvements for Westwood View are inconsistent with our City’s vision and our great working relationship with the School District.Second, Westwood should move forward to the extent we can with City planning for multiple projects, including park expansion (and ADA accessibility), housing, deferred maintenance on our City Hall or planning for new facilities, and expected commercial expansion. In order to appropriately budget, engage the community in planning, and present development strategies to our residents and businesses, we need confirmation that a new Westwood View is coming to the former Entercom property, and when that will be. The School District can and should be the City’s partner in these efforts, so that our neighborhood school remains a distinguishing feature of our community.Lastly, it is important that our Westwood View family stakeholders be part of the process. Our Friends of Westwood View, our PTA, the Educational Enhancement Fund, and our current and former parents should all have a seat at the table. As Mayor, I will also work with the leaders of our other Westwood View feeder cities—Mission Hills, Fairway, Westwood Hills, and Mission Woods—to help bring these projects to fruition.City Council (at-large)Laura SteeleSince there is new leadership within the Shawnee Mission School District and there will be new leadership in Westwood, my hope is that the lines of communication between the residents, City, school board members and district staff remain open and candid and that the relationship between these groups stays strong and committed to the best interest of the students and school staff.The underlying theme I hear from almost everyone that I speak with during my campaign is that families move here for the school and since my son started kindergarten at Westwood View this past Fall, I can certainly attest to the high value the school brings to the community. While it would be nice to hear concise plans on what the district plans to do with the school property, it’s also important to realize the intricacies of the situation from their end. The other consideration is making sure that the district realizes the value in moving at a pace that is conducive to Westwood’s municipal, residential and student goals. I feel the bottom line is making sure the school community knows that their concerns around this issue are being heard and that they are being advocated for by the City to the most appropriate district board members and staff.Lastly, I would like to take a moment to commend the amazing teachers and staff at Westwood View who make take care of our children every day. The appreciation and respect I have for educators and staff in a district as large as the Shawnee Mission School District is immeasurable – you have our future in your hands so thank you for the care and development of our children.Holly WimerWestwood has a great opportunity when the reconfiguration of these properties happens. The Shawnee Mission School District purchased the former Entercom property in 2016 as a potential rebuild site for the school. For things to move forward, we would need to know what the district plans to do regarding our 50 year old school building and this property they purchased. At that point, Westwood will be able to make progress on plans to expand park space and proceed with other potential development. If a rebuild of Westwood View does happen, students could stay in session on the current site until a new school rebuild is complete on the Entercom property. I do realize the impact a school rebuild on this property will have on many neighbors surrounding the property, so considering school design and traffic flow will be important.With community involvement and input, I would love to see the city explore opening up the property on Rainbow for compatible small scale commercial and or residential development. Furthermore, the city could potentially purchase some of the property where the current Westwood View sits, pushing the park space away from Rainbow to a safer and more peaceful location. I would love to see the mature trees of this area preserved and a park designed with our whole community in mind including amenities like a playground, walking trails and a shelter.Our community has a long history of valuing education and supporting our Westwood View School. Having this excellent public school in our city gives value to each and every resident who lives here by retaining and increasing property value and being a hub of community connection. Continuing this legacy of excellent education through Westwood View is of the utmost importance to our city and top priority when considering city planning and potential reconfiguration.Jayme TebowI’m very excited and look forward to having a new Westwood View school whether it is constructed on the Entercom lot or on the current school site. The school is a vital asset to our community! When I moved to Westwood in 1989, closing the school was being discussed due to low attendance. I fought along with my neighbors to ensure that this would not happen. Closing our school was NOT an option for us!Recently two of my Westwood neighbors and I met with Superintendent Fulton and Deputy Superintendent Atha. It’s my understanding from that meeting that our new school might not be built for many years. They said that things could always change but for now there are no plans to build a new school in Westwood. That’s why it’s critical for city leaders to build and maintain clear communication with the Superintendent’s office.Westwood recently completed a master plan process where there was extensive input from residents regarding the exact areas mentioned in your question. Unfortunately, the master plan was completed without a cohesive plan being proposed. There has been plenty of feedback as to what residents want to see on those parcels and, yes, it would be helpful if we had a firm commitment from the school district. We don’t have that commitment—yet. I fully intend to keep the lines of communication open with the district so that we as a city can move forward as soon as possible. We need to re-read those master plan responses and act according to what residents have already expressed.
The long-planned visitors center at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens may cost $1.4 million more than the $17.25 million already planned because of increases in construction costs, city council members learned Wednesday.At the community development committee meeting, councilmembers took up the visitor center discussion for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, when the design was in the early stages. However, now that the design has been more fully developed, councilmembers were told that some changes, along with the general increase in construction costs, would make the project more expensive.Much of the project will be paid by private donations from the Arts and Recreation Foundation of Overland Park. That group has pledged $10 million for development that includes not only the center building but garden space, a circular “wedding lawn” and ponds and drives. The center has been in the works since 2013.A rendering of the proposed arboretum amphitheatre and visitors center.Not included in the plan is the amphitheater and lawn proposal that was controversial with neighbors a year ago. That part of the arboretum master plan has been delayed to an undetermined time in the future.Private fundraising nears goalVicki Lilly, executive director of the foundation, told the committee that $9.6 million has already been raised from 150 donors, and that fundraising won’t stop once the foundation hits its goal amount. She said groundbreaking is likely to prompt more donations.“The visitors’ center is going to turn the arboretum into a true destination used by thousands more residents and visitors each year,” that will bring in more revenue, Lilly said. “We totally understand that it is costing more than anticipated, but I think we can all agree that it will never cost any less to build than it will today. We are convinced that trimming the project would be a disservice to the community.”Bryan Toben, assistant director of recreation services, said the biggest driver of the cost increase was $550,000 for structural steel for the building. Other contributors to the cost increase, he said, included adjustments made to deal with rock that must be drilled through to make way for sewer lines for the building, changes to make the restrooms unisex and the addition of a driveway.The committee gave the staff direction to move ahead with the project. Several more steps will have to be taken by the city council and planning commission before any dirt is turned.Discussion about impact on budgetCouncilmember Faris Farassati voted for the project to move ahead, but only on the condition that the committee’s direction doesn’t yet obligate the city to add the extra money into the capital budget. That spending plan covers a variety of building projects about five years into the future. The original $17.25 million is already included in the city’s capital improvements budget.Farassati said he was open to a conversation with the foundation about the project, but is cautious about the financial impact of the pandemic.Councilmember Stacie Gram said she is enthusiastic about the project. “I think that it will be a great asset for the city long term,” and will benefit the city and businesses economically, she said.Groundbreaking could be as early as summer of next year, once full approval is given.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, new data published today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) provides a glimmer of good news on the infectious disease front.A study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the incidence of infections caused by four multidrug-resistant (MDR) organisms (MDROs) decreased in US hospitals from 2012 through 2017, with the declines ranging from 20% to 39%. While the burden of MDR infections in US hospitals remains substantial, and more work is need to sustain the progress that’s been made, the authors of the study say the findings, which formed the basis for the CDC’s 2019 report on antibiotic resistance, are encouraging.”For some resistant pathogens, encouraging reductions have been observed in recent years, suggesting that current prevention efforts, particularly infection control interventions focused on healthcare settings, are yielding important benefits,” lead author John Jernigan, MD, of the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, told CIDRAP News. In another study today in NEJM, a different team of CDC researchers reported that the national burden of Clostridioides difficile infection and associated hospitalization decreased by nearly a quarter from 2011 through 2017, largely owing to a decline in healthcare-associated C difficile infections.Declines in 4 MDR pathogensFor the study on MDR infections, Jernigan and his colleagues used electronic health record data from 890 US short-term acute care hospitals to generate a national case count and examine temporal trends for infections caused by the primary MDR pathogens associated with healthcare: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter species, MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae.In 2017, these pathogens, which are considered urgent or serious threats by the CDC because they can cause severe, hard-to-treat invasive infections and spread easily in healthcare settings, caused an estimated 622,390 infections among hospitalized patients. Of these cases, 83% (517,818) were community-onset (either obtained in the community or within the first 3 days of hospitalization) and 17% (104,572) were hospital-onset.From 2012 through 2017, the researchers found that the incidence decreased for infections caused by MRSA (from 114.18 to 93.68 cases per 10,000 hospitalizations), VRE (24.15 to 15.76 cases per 10,000 hospitalizations), carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter species (3.33 to 2.47 cases per 10,000 hospitalizations), and MDR P aeruginosa (13.10 to 9.43 cases per 10,000 hospitalizations). There was no significant change on the incidence of CRE infections (3.36 to 3.79 cases per 10,000 hospitalizations).Although the study did not determines the reasons for these declines, Jernigan says it’s likely that improved infection prevention and control efforts in hospitals have contributed to reducing the spread of these pathogens, particularly MRSA and VRE, which tend to be prevalent in patients who’ve had a lot of healthcare exposure. The incidence of hospital-onset MRSA and VRE declined nearly twice as fast as in community-onset cases.”During the past decade, healthcare decision makers have placed increased emphasis on infection control in healthcare, including efforts to improve implementation of strategies for preventing device- and procedure-related infections and general infection control measures such as hand hygiene,” he said. “In addition, there has been widespread implementation of MDRO-specific measures designed to prevent healthcare transmission of the pathogens we studied, and many healthcare systems have increased emphasis on antimicrobial stewardship as well.” Neil Clancy, MD, an associate professor of medicine and infectious disease specialist at the University of Pittsburgh who was not involved in the study, says the data are a welcome bright spot as the nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.”Taken together, these data suggest that national efforts over the past decade in antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention, many led by CDC, are making a positive impact on AMR [antimicrobial resistance] in this country,” Clancy said. He’s particularly encouraged by the declines in two of the most worrisome MDR gram-negative (GN) pathogens—carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter and MDR Pseudomonas. “Although infections by these pathogens are less common than those caused by MRSA, there are fewer antibiotics active against MDR-GNs,” he said. “Moreover, these bacteria are often acquired by very sick patients in the hospital, so their impact on death and poor outcomes in general is high.” Notes of cautionBut there’s some bad new with the good news. The study also found a 53% rise in incidence of infections caused by ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae, largely driven by an increase in community-onset infections. The authors hypothesize that this increase could be linked to Escherichia coli sequence type (ST)131—an epidemic MDR E coli strain that has become a primary cause of antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide and is the most common cause of urinary tract infections.”More widespread emergence of ESBL bacteria, particularly among otherwise healthy people who are not in the hospital or nursing homes, but rather living in the community, is a potential public health nightmare,” said Clancy, noting that infections caused by ESBL bacteria are also problematic because there are currently no active oral antibiotics for treating them. Clancy also pointed out that, with 83% of the MDR infections found to be originating in the community, it’s not only the sick people in hospitals who need to worry about those infections. “The study serves as a reminder that antimicrobial resistance, over the long-term, is as big a public health threat as emerging viral pandemics,” he said. In an editorial that accompanies the study, infectious disease experts from the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego, say the results of the study suggest that when it comes to antibiotic resistance, the glass is half full. While the observed reductions indicate that progress is being made, the rise in community-onset MDR infections, and the dwindling pipeline of new antibiotics, underscore the challenges that remain and the need for innovative approaches.”We cannot afford to be complacent about recent progress in the health care setting, because resistant pathogens are still too common in most institutions, and favorable trends can be readily reversed,” they write. “Moreover, the continued presence of MDR organisms and the rapid emergence of antimicrobial resistance to recently introduced agents mean that new strategies for the treatment of infections by MDR organisms must continue to be a high priority.”Jernigan agrees.”Innovative interventions and strategies, tailored for the spectrum of healthcare and community settings, will be needed to sustain progress in combating antibiotic resistance,” he said.Declines in C diffThe decline in C difficile infections may be another sign of improved infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship in US hospitalsC difficile, a bacterium that causes severe diarrhea, is the primary cause of hospital-associated diarrhea and is linked primarily to broad-spectrum antibiotic use, which can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut. Reduction of C difficile prevalence has been among the goals of efforts to improve infection prevention and antibiotic use in US hospitals over the past decade.To assess progress in reducing C difficile infections, CDC researchers used data from the Emerging Infections Program (EIP), which conducts C difficile surveillance in 35 counties in 10 states. As with the other study, they classified infections as either healthcare-associated or community-associated. Although primarily considered an infection that affects hospital patients, C difficile infections in people with no recent hospital or nursing home stays have been on the rise.The researchers also adjusted their findings to account for increased use of nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) over the study period. NAAT is more sensitive than other types of C difficile testing but cannot distinguish between colonization and infection, which has raised concerns about overdiagnosis. The percentage of cases diagnosed using NAAT at the EIP hospitals increased from 55% in 2011 to 83% in 2017.The initial estimate showed a small decline in the total national burden of C difficile infection—from 476,000 cases (154.9 cases per 100,000 population) in 2011 to 462,100 cases (143.6 cases per 100,000 population) in 2017. But after adjusting NAAT use to the 2011 rate of 55%, total C difficile infections fell by 24% from 2011 through 2017, driven by a 36% decrease in healthcare-associated infections.Total hospitalizations for C difficile infection fell by 24%. The adjusted estimate for community-associated C difficile infections—which accounted for 50% of all infections in 2017—saw no change.The authors of the study say the reductions in healthcare-associated C difficile could be linked to better adherence to recommended infection-prevention practices, as well as to reduced use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in hospitals.
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. 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. TROY, MI — Gary Ruff, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Intermet Corp., has resigned. Ruff joined the company in 1999 and became chairman and CEO in 2004. A reason for his departure was not provided. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement The company’s board of directors has elected Gil West as interim CEO and Jeff Mihalic as interim president, effective immediately. West and Mihalic are from Q Investments, a Fort Worth, TX, investment Firm, which is an investor in Intermet. Prior to joining Q Investments, West held senior leadership positions at TIMCO Aviation Services, Northwest Airlines and United Airlines. Prior to joining Q Investments, Mihalic held senior leadership positions at Bombardier Aerospace and United Airlines. For more information about Intermet, go to: http://www.intermet.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 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 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.
LANGHORNE, Pa. — Eastern Catalytic has appointed Charles Pantano to head up its emissions certification efforts. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement The announcement was made by George Schafer, president of Eastern Manufacturing, who noted, “As a leading manufacturer of world class catalytic converters, it is extremely important for us to be able to quickly and effectively meet the ongoing requirements of global emissions. Charles Pantano comes to us with a great deal of engineering and design experience and expertise, as well as a strong, hands-on knowledge of the automotive business. We will be looking to him to provide us with the leadership to address our certification needs and further expand Eastern’s catalog of certified catalytic converters.” In this new role, Pantano will be responsible for assuring that Eastern Catalytic products are designed to meet the testing requirements and performance compliance criteria established for catalytic converters by various regulatory agencies, including CARB and EPA. His duties will include: defining production exhaust configurations; technical liaison to component suppliers; qualifying technologies and ensuring performance, durability, and quality compliance; supporting catalyst development and certification programs, production selection of catalyst, product verifications and validation and assistance of commercial launch for new converters. Before joining Eastern Catalytic, Pantano enjoyed a successful career as an electro-mechanical engineer. Most recently, he worked as a product design engineer for Advent Design (Bristol, Pa.) from 2006-2009 where he designed and manufactured high speed automated assembly equipment for various industries. From 2004-2006, Pantano was a senior mechanical engineer at Ocean Power Technology (Ewing, N.J.) and was responsible for the designing and fabricating of large-scale ocean buoys that generate renewable energy through wave power. Prior to that, he spent five years as an electrical/mechanical engineer with Alpha Automation (Trenton, N.J.). Advertisement In addition to his career activities, Pantano is also an automotive performance buff and active NHRA drag racer. Since 1982, Pantano has designed and built various engines for local racers. He has an NHRA competition license and competes locally in NHRA events. He also holds an Amateur Radio Operator Advance Ticket.
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[mappress] June 2, 2013 Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered its first KFELS Super A Class jackup rig to the Luxembourg-headquartered Discovery Offshore S.A. Discovery Offshore, a drilling contractor focused on ultra high-specification jackups is managed by NASDAQ-listed Hercules Offshore, Inc.Named Discovery Triumph at a ceremony yesterday, the first KFELS Super A Class jack-up has been delivered 46 days ahead of schedule and with a perfect safety record.The ultra high-specification jack-up rig has been designed for the harsh environmental conditions of the UK sector of the North Sea. According to Keppel, the rig’s enhanced leg design incorporates “Keppel’s proven and reliable high capacity rack and pinion jacking system which ensures that the rig is able to jack up and stand firm in a secure and safe manner even in challenging environments”.Wong Kok Seng, Managing Director (Offshore), Keppel Offshore & Marine and Managing Director, Keppel FELS said, “In developing the KFELS Super A Class, we have brought together the winning features of our proven jackup rig designs to provide operators with a robust and cost-effective drilling rig for harsh environments and cold climate areas. We are pleased that Discovery Offshore has selected this design for their first two harsh environment rigs.“Although it is a new design, our expertise and strong engineering, construction and project management experience has enabled us to deliver it ahead of schedule while achieving an excellent safety record. We look forward to delivering the second KFELS Super A Class to Discovery Offshore just as efficiently.”Developed by Keppel FELS’ R&D arm, Offshore Technology Development (OTD), the KFELS Super A Class is an enhancement of the successful and proven KFELS A Class design. Discovery Triumph has been customised to meet the requirements of Discovery Offshore and is capable of operating in water depths of 400 feet and drilling depths of 35,000 feet. John T. Rynd, CEO of Hercules Offshore added, “With the strong demand for rigs capable of working in the North Sea, we believe the KFELS Super A Class is a value proposition rig with leading performance compared to ultra high specification jack-ups of its class. It provides higher variable load, better drilling capabilities, better cantilever load performance and a larger deck space. Keppel-designed rigs have a strong track record of being industry benchmarks and we are confident that Discovery Triumph will be just as successful and exceed the expectations and requirements of all our customers.“As this North Sea-compliant rig is able to operate efficiently in virtually all parts of the world outside Norway and the Arctic, we also see many opportunities for it to be deployed in other parts of the world to generate maximum utilisation. With another KFELS Super A Class rig about to join Discovery Triumph later this year, we are well positioned to become a strong player in harsh environment drilling.”Keppel FELS is currently building another KFELS Super A Class jackup rig for Discovery Offshore as well as another three for Ensco.For greater operational safety, the KFELS Super A Class is equipped with the state-of-the-art pinion overload detection, rack phase difference detection, and brake failure and overload protection devices. In addition to having strong drilling capabilities and cantilever load performance, the KFELS Super A Class has a two million pound hook load drilling system and includes a spacious deck and amenities to accommodate 150 men.
Appeal – Commissioners – Stamp duty Lancer Scott Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners: Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) (Judge Colin Bishopp): 10 January 2012 The taxpayer company had purchased five flats. Contracts were exchanged on 2 October 2009 and the consideration was paid in full on 9 October. Land transaction returns were submitted on 20 November, 42 days after completion of the transaction. The First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) (the FTT) concluded that the returns had been submitted late, and a penalty of £100 for each return had been due. The FTT had further found that there had been no reasonable excuse for the late returns. The taxpayer appealed the decision. The taxpayer contended that the FTT had wrongly treated 9 October 2009 as the date from which its time to submit the returns had begun, and that the FTT should have taken a date in December 2009, since until its title was registered by the Land Registry, the taxpayer was not the lawful owner of the flats. In support of that submission, the taxpayer relied on section 44(5) of the Finance Act 2003 (the 2003 act), which provided that a contract was substantially performed when: ‘(a) the purchaser, or a person connected with the purchaser, takes possession of the whole, or substantially the whole, of the subject matter of the contract; or (b) a substantial part of the consideration is paid or provided.’ The appeal would be dismissed. The appellant’s argument was untenable. The FTT was right to conclude that the effective date was 9 October 2009. The inference to be dawn from the facts was that the contracts exchanged on 2 October contemplated completion, and in particular payment of the price, on a later date, in the event 9 October. Since the entirety of the consideration was paid on 9 October that was the effective date. Further, paragraph (a) of section 44(5) of the 2003 act referred to ‘possession’ rather than ‘ownership’ and there had been no impediment to the appellant taking possession. By paying the contractual price, the appellant had secured the right to be registered as owner and what had followed had not undermined that substantive right (see ,  and  of the judgment). The parties made written submissions only.