Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have announced a new batch of shows throughout the Northeast as part of their 2019 fall tour, including a trio of Halloween performances with Andy Frasco & The U.N. and Goose.Related: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Celebrate 10th Annual Domefest With 5 Sets, Cover-Filled Domefest All-Stars SessionAnnounced on Tuesday, the high-energy funk-rock outfit will set up shop for two shows in Philadelphia beginning with a show at The Foundry on October 4th, and The Fillmore with support from Aqueous on October 5th. They’ll return to action a few weeks later with a Halloween performance (10/31) at the House of Blues in Boston, MA alongside Andy Frasco & The U.N., followed by the Playstation Theatre in New York, NY (11/1) and College Street Music Hall in New Haven, CT (11/2), with the latter featuring support from Goose.From there, the band will continue their previously-announced fall schedule with more shows throughout the northern Midwest and Colorado before heading to Texas just ahead of Thanksgiving.The band did not announce what their Halloween theme would be for this year’s run to go with Tuesday’s announcement. Fans will remember last year’s “Red Hot Sgt. Peppers” Halloween theme which meshed the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Beatles into original PPPP material.Pre-sale for the four new shows begin this Wednesday, July 31st, at 10 a.m. EST, with general on-sale beginning on Friday, August 2nd, at 10 a.m. Head to the band’s website for tickets and tour info.
“Several individuals and businesses have asked how they can help rebuild the softball field. The most significant way to help is to donate to the Softball Rebuild Project.”Donations can be made by check or credit card and must be made payable to LSCPA. Checks can be mailed or delivered to the Carl Parker Center.The address for mailing donations is Softball Rebuild Project, LSCPA Softball Program, Box 310, Port Arthur, TX 77641. Those seeking to donate by credit card should call 409-984-6291.“We’re appreciative of the people who have donated so far and hope other people consider making a gift to the softball program,” Street said. Lamar State College Port Arthur is still working to repair damage to Martin Field, the Lakeshore Drive home of the Seahawks softball team, after Hurricane Delta last month.The storm packed winds as high as 100 miles per hour and caused destruction of the roofs on both dugouts, demolition of the fencing around the outfield and malfunctions with the scoreboard.“Like most of Southeast Texas and Louisiana have experienced in the past few months, Hurricanes Laura and Delta did damage to our softball field,” Scott Street, Director of Athletics at LSCPA, said.“It looks like damages are in excess of $50,000 and we want people to know we do have a need for their help. The Seahawks had their spring 2020 season stopped midway through by the outbreak of COVID-19. They are scheduled to open 2021 play Jan. 22 at a tournament in San Antonio. The first of seven home double-headers is set for Feb. 26, against Kilgore College.After Delta’s rapidly swirling winds blew through downtown Port Arthur from north to south on the afternoon of Oct. 9, school officials found the outfield fence wind screens blown across home plate, the press box overturned and topless dugouts.“We never did find the roof of the first base dugout,” Street said. “I assume it blew into Lake Sabine.”
by Anne Galloway vtdigger.org The House Appropriations Committee approved a $1.3 billion fiscal year 2013 General Fund budget Monday evening on a 7-4 vote along party lines.Democrats lauded the Big Bill as a fiscally responsible plan; Republican members rejected the expenditure proposal because they said it accelerates state spending.Representative Martha Heath. Photo by Josh Larkin/VTD.Representative Martha Heath, chair of Appropriations, is proud of the work of committee members who try to reach consensus on tricky details of the money bill. She pointed to the $16 million set aside in reserves as evidence that the budget prepares the state for future uncertainties with regard to federal funding and possible revenue downgrades. Last year, the put about $10.88 million in reserve for changes in revenues, and the state spent about $7 million of the total.Heath is unhappy with the partisan split.‘I am disappointed in the vote,’ Heath said. ‘I think we did a good job. I think we have room for the future. I understand my definition of planning for the future and can be different from others’ definition of planning for the future.’The General Fund budget pays for the state’s government operations from the prisons and preschool subsidies to game wardens and social workers. The governor submits the original budget proposal after asking each department in state government to make an appropriation request. The House and Senate then each take up the Big Bill and tweak the administration’s proposal.The governor’s budget and the House proposal are just $7 million apart, with lawmakers budgeting the slightly higher amount. The biggest factor is the $5.1 million in set-asides for federal cuts. In addition, the governor wanted to reduce Temporary Assistance for Needy Families by $927,000, but it turns out the plan to count Social Security payments to individuals as part of the program formula was illegal. There were $700,000 in other changes due to Medicaid costs going down and debt service bonding going up.Total spending would increase by 5.8 percent in 2013, if the measure is approved. In 2012, General Fund spending went up by 6.1 percent; in 2011, the total was 6.9 percent above 2010 expenditures.The state would have an operating deficit of $8.73 million.The budget includes a number of new/reinstated positions. A breakdown of just how many and how they are classified was not made available.The budget-writers set aside $75 million in reserves, but several members of the GOP felt the spending bill didn’t go far enough to protect taxpayers from future economic uncertainties, including recent revenue downgrades totaling $14 million, federal cuts to state programs, further reductions to the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program that could run between $6 million and $12 million, and a mistake in the corporate tax economic forecast calculation that reduces revenues by about $5.8 million this year and next.All of these factors caused Rep. Joe Acinapura, R-Brandon, who has over the last few years voted with the Democrats on the budget, to reject the 2013 plan. He could accept the revenue downgrades, the corporate tax mistake and the fact that the federal government will likely take a bite out of state programs, but Acinapura couldn’t abide the idea of increasing state spending by 5.8 percent. What bothers him most is the way the Joint Fiscal Office plans for budget increases. JFO typically projects a 3 percent or 3.5 percent bump in expenditures when, Acinapura says, spending goes up by at least 5 percent annually.The projected budget gap for fiscal year 2014, for example, is $22.3 million, he says, when it could be at least $26 million higher, if JFO’s base spending increase estimate was 5 percent, not 3 percent. JFO estimates show a $39 million base rate growth at 3 percent.‘So next year, we’re going to have to find more money by raising taxes or cutting dramatically,’ Acinapura says.The 2014 budget projects $83.2 million in tax revenue growth. The estimated expenditures for that year include $45.5 million in one-time budget fixes carried over from 2013.Steve Klein, chief of JFO, explained to lawmakers that the percentage increase in this year’s budget would have been 2 percent lower but for a change in the enhanced Medicaid match increase of $20.5 million, additional state pension contributions for teachers and state workers of $13.6 million and a shift in $6 million toward the tobacco fund.‘You’re not just paying for growth in spending,’ Klein said. ‘You’re also paying for things like federal FMAP declines.’Heath said Vermont’s Medicaid match has increased because the state’s unemployment rate has dropped.‘The FMAP can swing both ways, it’s a calculation done every year, one that doesn’t have anything to do with what’s happening in Washington, it has to do with how well we’re doing.’The Big Bill goes on notice tomorrow, portions of it will be read by each member of the committee on Wednesday and it will be taken up by the House for second reading on Thursday.Other details:Appropriations has put $2.1 million into the budget for the working landscape bill, which promotes agricultural and rural economic development.The Legislature’s budget goes down by $500,000. That’s because lawmakers went home in 17 weeks last year instead of the 18 it budgeted for and it looks like they’ll leave early again this year. A week costs the state about $250,000.Other direct applications and revisons in the budget includes a $80,000 reduction from the Sargent at Arms office, $25,000 from Legislative Council, $25,000 from the Agency of Agriculture, $900,000 from the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration and $2.7 million in new funding from the Attorney General Office’s mortgage settlement windfall.The committee’s wish list for cuts that could be restored in the budget when it reaches Senate Appropriations includes: $22,000 for agricultural fairs, $100,000 for conservation districts; $33,000 for Vermont Legal Aid (leads to equivalent cut in federal funds), $165,000 to lift a cap on dental services for Medicaid patients (comes with $208,000 federal match).vtdigger.org March 20, 2012
Expenditure changesThe House did reject the governor’s proposals to fund higher-education savings accounts for children and the Step-up program, which provides a free semester of college classes to first generation and low-income students to encourage them to pursue higher education. The House also cut the governor’s proposed $1 million for additional security at state facilities, but may include it in the annual bill to fund long-term construction, maintenance, and improvement projects. The House added a 2 percent increase for designated regional mental health agencies that ensure services throughout the state, and $1 million for the child care subsidy program, which helps low-income families pay for child care. The $1 million is a small step toward funding the additional $9.2 million the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) needs to operate at current market rates as estimated by the Department for Children and Families.Revenue ChangesThe House agreed with many of the governor’s spending recommendations, but rejected several of his revenue and savings initiatives, including a proposal to shorten the process to involuntarily medicate certain mental health patients and a $17 million assessment on dentists and independent doctors. The House did embrace the governor’s proposal to increase the fee on mutual funds, but went further than the governor’s proposal, to bring in an additional $7.6 million. This change brings the fee more in line with what other states charge and will be passed on to mutual fund investors. Providers of ambulance services would pay a new assessment, which will generate $1.2 million annually, if the House version stands. This change was supported by the Vermont Ambulance Association.Some employers who don’t provide health insurance also would see a fee increase. Currently, employers with four or more full-time equivalent employees not covered by the company’s health insurance plan pay an annual assessment for each uncovered employee to help defray the state’s costs for uninsured individuals. The House plan would raise the base fee and change to a tiered system where businesses with more uncovered employees would pay higher fees. This change is estimated to add $4.8 million to the General Fund. Public Assets Institute The House passed its fiscal 2017 budget along with tax and fee bills raising approximately $49 million in new revenue to support it. The House budget came in at $5.81 billion, approximately $1 million above the governor’s recommendation. Overall, the House made minor changes to the governor’s spending plan. The House bills are H.571 (driver restoration), H.872 (fees), H.873 (tax changes), H.875 (appropriations), and H.877 (transportation funding). Source: Public Assets Institute, Montpelier. http://publicassets.org (link is external)Vermont Business Magazine photos.
FEDERAL UPDATESNET NEUTRALITYThe recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission to roll back Net Neutrality rules adopted by the FCC in 2015 has sparked outrage from many observers. On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee heard a brief overview from legislative counsel on what this means for Vermont, as well as steps other states are considering as a response. While the final FCC order has yet to be released, it’s clear that this will be a hot topic during the 2018 legislative session as legislators determine what, if any, steps Vermont could take on the issue of Net Neutrality.FEDERAL TAX CHANGES With the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by Congress, the Vermont Department of Taxes, legislative Joint Fiscal Office (JFO), and state economists are working to determine how changes to the federal tax code may impact state tax revenues. The House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee this week took testimony from Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom and staff from JFO on this subject. The general consensus is that there is still a great deal of uncertainty about how individuals and corporations will choose to adapt to the new tax structure. It may be quite a while before the state fully understands what the impact on revenues will be. Click here for a one page overview(link is external) of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act prepared by JFO.HEALTH CARE The House Health Care Committee and Senate Health and Welfare Committee started the 2018 legislative session by looking at the impacts pending federal issues may have on health care policy in Vermont. The most immediate pressure on the state budget stems from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Federal funding for CHIP expired in September of 2017 and while there are proposals in both the United States House and Senate to continue the program, state fiscal analysts warned lawmakers it is unlikely to be funded at previous levels. If CHIP is not reapproved the Vermont General Fund faces a $1.9 million shortfall in FY18 and $21.6 million shortfall in FY19. Other federal policies that will likely impact health care in Vermont include the elimination of the individual health insurance mandate in the recently passed federal tax bill, potential changes to Medicaid eligibility resulting from how adjusted gross income is calculated and directives from the Trump administration that alter subsidies for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. STATE OF THE STATEThursday afternoon Governor Scott gave his second State of the State address to a joint assembly of the House and Senate. In his speech, Governor Scott reiterated his commitment to solving the challenges facing the state without raising taxes and fees on Vermonters, including property taxes. The governor then identified a shrinking workforce as being a primary problem and indicated that his upcoming budget address will feature proposals to grow the state’s workforce. He mentioned expanding adult vocational training and encouraging members of the National Guard to remain in Vermont once they complete their service. Two concrete policies to achieve this goal are paying college tuition for members of the Vermont National Guard and eliminating state income taxes on military pensions. Another theme in the governor’s speech was a call for civility in politics. He encouraged members of the legislature to put partisanship aside to solve the state’s problems. The full transcript of the governor’s State of the State address can be found here(link is external). NEW MEMBER SHUFFLEFormer state Senator and Auditor of Accounts Randy Brock was sworn in as the “new” Senator from Franklin County on Wednesday. Senator Brock replaces Senator Dustin Degree, who resigned to take a position with the Scott administration. In a special session in June 2017 Senator David Soucy, R-Rutland, was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former Senator Kevin Mullin, who left when he was appointed chair of the Green Mountain Care Board. On Wednesday, Senator Brock took Senator Degree’s seats on the Senate Finance and Transportation Committees, while Senator Soucy was appointed to the Senate Institutions and Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committees. Senator Carolyn Branagan, R-Franklin, moved from the Senate Institutions Committee to the Senate Education Committee.Three new House members were also sworn in Wednesday. Chris Mattos of Milton replaced Rep. Ron Hubert, Edward Reed of Fayston replaced Rep. Adam Greshin (now Commissioner of Finance) and Kelly Pajala of Londonderry replaced Rep. Oliver Olson. The following committee assignments were made to accommodate the new members:Rep. Jim Harrison of Chittenden – Committee on Government OperationsRep. Chris Mattos of Milton – Committee on EducationRep. Edward Read of Fayston – Committee on General, Housing and Military AffairsRep. Kelly Pajala of Londonderry – Committee on Human ServicesRep. Paul Poirier of Barre City – Committee on Agriculture and ForestryRep. Amy Sheldon of Middlebury – Committee on Commerce and Economic DevelopmentRep. Robert LaClair of Barre Town – Vice Chair, Committee on Government Operations. Leonine Public Affairs(link is external) The 2018 legislative session started on Wednesday, January 3 and legislators wasted no time getting to work. The House Judiciary Committee voted to move the marijuana legalization bill to the House floor in the morning of the first day of the session. The bill was debated at length and several amendments were offered over the course of the morning. All this occurred before Governor Phil Scott delivered the State of the State address at 2pm on Thursday, January 4. (Vermont Business Magazine and vermontbiz.com are again publishing the weekly legislative updates from Leonine Public Affairs, based in Montpelier.) By Friday it was already clear where some of the major sticking points will be between the executive and legislative branches. Before the 2018 session it was anticipated there would be significant debate about the budget, school spending and growing Vermont’s economy. Those were the major themes in both the governor’s State of the State address and the agendas set out by legislative leaders. While their stated goals are similar, the challenge will be finding compromise between the Republican governor and the Democratically controlled legislature on which policies will best achieve these goals.With significant disagreements on how to address affordability and economic growth, elected leaders will need to better understand the implications on Vermonters of recent federal legislation and determine if it is necessary or prudent to take action to address those changes this year. This process will be challenging as lawmakers start unraveling how federal legislation such as the tax reform bill will affect the state budget and programs.It’s also clear that the political honeymoon is over. Last year both the governor and the legislature kept their disagreements to a minimum and for the most part refrained from public disputes. That will not be the case this year as there have already been multiple jabs taken by each side as they establish a tone for the 2018 session. Vermonters can expect more conflict and tension but could also see many more initiatives moving in 2018 than they did in 2017, which was a relatively light year for new legislation. MARIJUANA LEGALIZATIONThe first bill to pass the House in the 2018 legislative session was H.511, an act relating to highway safety, which as amended focuses on the issue of legalizing marijuana for adult use. H.511 was amended by the Senate to include legalization language during the June veto override session and sent to the House for consideration. However, there were not enough votes to suspend rules and take up the bill for consideration so H.511 remained on the House calendar to be taken up in January. Representatives were on the floor late Thursday evening debating the bill and several amendments. As passed by the House, H.511 legalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older, and allows individuals to grow up to two mature plants and four immature plants. The bill does not allow for a tax and regulate system similar to what has been implemented in Colorado and Washington State. The Senate is expected to take up and pass H.511 next week and Governor Scott has indicated he will sign the bill if no further changes are made. FORCED ARBITRATIONOn Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony on S.105, which relates to contract provisions that require disputes between parties to be submitted to arbitration in lieu of court litigation. The bill addresses concerns that many such arbitration provisions are contained in contracts where there is unequal bargaining power between the parties, and the terms of the arbitration provisions are unfair to the party with less bargaining power. It would create a presumption that an arbitration provision is unconscionable and therefore unenforceable if it contains terms such as specifying an inconvenient location for the arbitration proceeding or that a claim be brought much earlier than what the applicable statute of limitations would otherwise require.TOP #VTPOLI TWEETS Finally, a big thank you and congratulations to Terri Hallenbeck for her years of service in the Vermont press corps. Best of luck on your next adventure! SEE ALSO: Legislative Preview: Budget, Congress and pot make their marksSource: Leonine Public Affairs, Montpelier, 1.5.2018. leoninepublicaffairs.com(link is external) DATA BROKERSPursuant to legislation enacted during the 2017 session the Attorney General’s office and the Department of Financial Regulation issued a report in December that made recommendations for legislation concerning so-called “data brokers.” On Wednesday the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee got an overview of the report from Attorney General TJ Donovan, members of his staff and representatives from the Department of Financial Regulation. The committee intends to develop a “committee bill” reflecting the report’s recommendations and plans to take testimony on the issue from privacy advocates and industry next week. Notably, the report states that a consumer facing business that collects and sells data concerning personal information should not be considered a data broker. Instead, the report calls for regulation of businesses like credit reporting agencies that do not have a direct relationship with consumers. However, the “devil is in the details” and until there is actual bill language it is unknown what the scope of the proposed regulatory scheme will be.
Taylor’s report suggests hundreds of millions will be required to improve graduation rates and standardized test scores in Kansas.The release of the long-awaited report on how much of an investment may be needed to achieve improved outcomes for Kansas’s K-12 system Friday left many lawmakers in shock as the deadline for responding to the Supreme Court’s latest ruling nears.With just weeks to go before the legislature must pass a new K-12 funding approach to address the court’s finding that Kansas schools have been insufficiently funded, the report by Texas A&M professor Lori Taylor suggests the state needs to inject between $1.7 and $2 billion in new funding into state schools by 2022. Taylor was commissioned by Republican legislative leaders to assess how much money might be required to address the court’s ruling.You can see the full report here. We’ve also got it embedded at the bottom of this post.We asked members of the Shawnee Mission area delegation to the legislature for their reaction to the report:Rep. Cindy HolscherOur schools are underfunded. The Supreme Court, educators, parents, education advocates, and pro-public school legislators (like myself) have been saying this for years. Now, even the firm that was hand picked by far right legislators (who have for years shirked their responsibility to our kids) has indicated our schools need more funding.My hope is my colleagues on the far right will finally come to the table ready to address the issue. No more dodging the main responsibility of our state government. Our kids and teachers have had to wait far too long.Rep. Nancy LuskNow is a moment of truth. After the confirmation from this study and the two previous school finance studies, there should no longer be any denial that the amount of money invested in the education of our kids directly affects the quality of their academic achievement outcomes.Rather than dragging our feet and whining about the Kansas Supreme Court’s directive – like a deadbeat parent who has been ordered by the court to pay up past-due child support – we in the legislature should rise to the challenge of this opportunity to do the right thing, and fund K-12 public education for excellence.Rep. Jarrod OusleyIt is tempting to find it amusing that an expert hired explicitly by conservative leadership with the hopes of finding no additional funds were necessary, then found that roughly three times what was previously estimated is needed, and then also provided that there is a direct correlation between money invested in public education and the resulting education received by students, something consistently denied by those who supported Brownback’s tax experiment. Unfortunately, nothing about this funny. We have a generation of children who have received educations in underfunded Kansas schools for roughly eight years. It’s time to get to work fixing this, with a constitutional formula. There is no reason to cannibalize other departments, or other vital state services. Had the Brownback experiment never been implemented, budget estimates last year indicated we would have had the $2 billion necessary to fix this. It’s time to eliminate the remainders of the Brownback experiment, and return to responsible governance.Sen. Mary Pilcher-CookAny study done on spending for education would have a different result, which is why I opposed the study from the beginning. There are numerous subjective variables that would have to be taken into consideration, and each one would vary depending on the subjective opinion of the individual doing the study. The Legislature already has a study and it is called the Kansas citizens. They alone know how much of their hard-earned money should be spent for education. Not the courts and not another study.Rep. Melissa RookerOn Friday, the state received the long-anticipated cost study commissioned by the Legislative Coordinating Council, at the request of Senate leadership in December. Today, Dr. Lori Taylor will spend several hours briefing the House K-12 and Senate Education committees in a joint session.For people thinking they were shopping for an expert to tell them they were already spending enough money on K-12 education, this report was a major shock. For some of us, it was simply a reality check.There is no doubt the funding targets set forth in this report are sobering, but its time we all take a collective breath and get to work. Even in its draft version, the report contains a wealth of incredibly important and useful data. The analysis is thorough and based on the performance measures and goals set by our Kansas Department of Education – and the many stakeholders who helped shape the Kansans Can Vision. The work done by the department received high marks, our schools were deemed to operate with a high level of efficiency and the student performance benchmarks are both achievable and measurable. The report recommends a five-year timeline for investing in our schools to foster long-term strategic planning and quality decision-making.The new cost study shifts the debate by focusing on student outcomes and educational goals. Rather than working backwards from an arbitrary dollar amount, the study evaluates the cost of achievement. In which outcomes do we need to invest? How much of an increase in student educational performance do we want? Do we value these outcomes enough to provide the necessary resources?The deadline looms large, so from here our job is to set aside our ideological differences and focus on the task at hand. While the initial reaction from some of my colleagues was to dismiss this document outright because it did not deliver the desired results, or they did not believe we should commission it in the first place, that’s simply the politics of this project. The policy work lies ahead and will require intense collaboration to deliver an appropriate remedy to the court by the April 30 deadline. Our kids are depending on us.Rep. Jerry StogsdillThe two billion dollar figure proposed in the school finance report was a shock to everyone in attendance at the meeting on Friday in the Capitol It certainly points out, in facts and figures, the total mismanagement, educational neglect and fiscal irresponsibility inflicted on the people of Kansas by the Brownback / Colyer / Kobach administration in Topeka and their ultra-conservative loyalists in the legislature. Their disdain for our public schools and their unwillingness to properly fund public education, support our teachers and value our children has led to this financial mess. Our public schools and institutions of higher education have always been a major attraction for bringing families and businesses to Kansas. Quality public schools are not only about educating our children they are the main incentive for economic development in Kansas. As this report points out, fixing our public school system, which has been under attack and underfunded for the past seven years, is not going to be fast or cheap, but, we have to do it for the future of our children and the economic future of the state.I have been working with a group of legislators in Topeka to come up with a plan to fully fund our schools in a responsible manner that spreads the financial burden across every sector of the Kansas economy. The Brownback / Colyer / Kobach administration has put way too much emphasis on property taxes and sales taxes in order to give big income tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy. We need to get Kansas back to a place where property taxes, sales taxes and income taxes are more evenly balanced. If we do that we will have the ability to properly fund our schools, build our economy and make Kansas a great place to live and do business.We will certainly have a group of distractors in the Executive Branch and the ultra-conservatives in the Legislature who will want no part of fully funding our schools, balancing our tax structure and supporting economic development. They will simply want more of the Brownback years. I will certainly fight to make sure that does not happen. If you think going back to the Brownback years is a bad idea you can do three things. The first is to contact the ultra-conservative leadership in the House and Senate and demand that they fix our public schools. Two, you can get informed, get involved and make sure you are prepared to vote for candidates this fall that support our schools, support a fair and balanced tax structure and support returning Kansas to its place of national prominence pre-Brownback. Finally, be prepared to support the people in Topeka who are working hard every day to fix our political system, to fix our schools and to fix our economy. This is not going to be fast and there are going to be some painful moments, but, with all of us working together we can make this happen. As always, thanks for your support, your questions and your suggestions.[gview file=”http://shawneemissionpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Kansas_Adequacy-Study_Cost-Function-Approach_20180315-FINAL.pdf”]
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. 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. 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 ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL — Tina Pawelczak has been promoted to marketing manager at Penray. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement As marketing manager, Pawelczak will be responsible for helping Penray improve its overall market strategy and product position. She will also be a key element in the development of new products, from inception to distribution. Pawelczak has held various positions at Penray since joining the company 15 years ago. Most recently, she held the position of sales and service manager, where she coordinated and stabilized Penray’s pricing and margins. Pawelczak is based in Penray’s sales and marketing office in Elk Grove Village, IL. She resides in McHenry, IL, with her husband Ron. For more information about Penray, visit: http://www.penray.com.,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 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.
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos is hosting Youth Exchange student Gabriel Dufal from France, posing here with his father. Dufal arrives Aug. 8, just in time to participate in the Los Alamos County Fair and Rodeo Parade with Rotary members. He will attend Los Alamos High School. Courtesy photo
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The Acorn CCS Project is a scalable CCS scheme which will enable the cost-efficient capture and storage of carbon emissions from the onshore gas facilities at St Fergus terminal in Scotland, and is also a key enabler for the Acorn Hydrogen project where North Sea natural gas will be reformed into clean hydrogen for blending into the gas grid.The system is designed to enable other capture and storage projects including provision of CO2 shipping facilities in Peterhead Port and repurposing the existing Feeder 10 pipeline to enable capture of CO2 from Central Scotland. The current phase of the project is led by Pale Blue Dot Energy, supported by study partners Shell, Total and Chrysaor and part funded through BEIS and INEA as a European Project of Common Interest.Acorn is designed to be built quickly, taking advantage of existing oil and gas infrastructure and a well understood offshore CO2 storage site which has the first UK CO2 appraisal and storage licence to be awarded by the Oil and Gas Authority.The reuse of existing high capacity on and offshore pipelines will save up to £750m on the overall Acorn project. The St Fergus gas terminal is located close to a high concentration of offshore CO2 storage sites making it an ideal hydrogen production and CCS hub.Costain is providing concept design and front-end engineering design support, including onshore gas flue gas collection, CO2 capture integrations, CO2 compression and conditioning located at St Fergus and offshore subsea systems design including repurposing of the existing Goldeneye pipeline and a new CCS hub located near the Goldeneye Field.“Hydrogen and CCS play a fundamental role in decarbonising gas for domestic and industrial heating, powering industry and large-scale transport,” said Rob Phillips, Costain’s Energy Sector Director.“Large-scale and relatively cost-effective carbon capture at the source of production is key to unlocking this potential and is one of the many low carbon solutions Costain is progressing as part of leading the decarbonisation of the UK footprint and driving clean growth across the UK.”“Acorn is a critical project for realising the UK and Scotland’s Net Zero commitments,” said Russ Gilbert, Project Director at Acorn CCS.“We are working extremely hard alongside our study partners: Chrysaor, Shell and Total to deliver the different phases of this project to a timeline that is fully aligned with the Government’s emission reduction targets and show achieve first injection of CO2 into the Acorn store by 2024.”Read more like this – subscribe todayEnjoyed this story? Subscribe to gasworld today and take advantage of even more great insights and exclusives in industrial gases.Visit www.gasworld.com/subscribe to access all content and choose the right subscription for you.