Obama pledges more US solar buildings and jobsThe White House has already invested $2 billion in energy efficiency in federal buildings and is now pledging an additional $2 billion by 2016, doubling the program, with much of the funding going into PV systems. May 12, 2014 Charles W. Thurston Installations Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share U.S. President Barack Obama dodged labor protestors Thursday to take the stage at a Walmart store here in Mountain View, California, where he pledged $2 billion more in funding energy efficiency in federal buildings and pledged to train 50,000 new solar workers by 2020. He also singled out venue host Walmart as a model corporation for its solar adoption program, with a goal of generating 7 billion kilowatt hours from its roof tops by 2020. “We know that making buildings more energy efficient is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to create jobs, save money and cut down on harmful pollution that causes climate change. It could save our businesses tens of billions of dollars a year on their energy bills — and they can then use that money to grow and hire more folks. It would put construction workers back to work installing new systems and technologies. So this is what you call a win-win-win, said Obama. His administration has already invested $2 billion in energy efficiency in federal buildings, and the pledge of an additional $2 billion by 2016 doubles the program, with much of the funding going into PV systems. The U.S. government is estimated to own 500,000 buildings in the country. Obama recently had the vintage solar system on the White House upgraded to a 6.3 kW system using all-American components. Obamas pledge to train another 50,000 solar workers is part of his Building a Skilled Solar Workforce program, led by the U.S. Department of Energys Solar Instructor Training Network, which supports training programs at community colleges. This also builds upon work done by DOEs SunShot program, the Solar Instructor Training Network, which involves close to 400 community colleges in 49 states that have trained over 22,000 people to join the solar industry since 2010, according to the White House. A third solar initiative Obama supported in his 14-minute speech is the Better Buildings Challenge, initially launched in 2011. Its an ambitious plan to make commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next 10 years and accelerate private sector investment in energy efficiency, Obama said. Thus far, some 300 businesses and schools have committed to the program, which represent some 3 billion square feet of affected space. Obama had high praise for Walmarts solar leadership within the Challenge. Walmart has already got the most installed on-site solar capacity of any company in America. And now youve announced plans to double that capacity. And its all part of your goal to buy or produce 7 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy by 2020 — something that could save Walmart $1 billion a year in energy costs, he said. Outside the store, protesters and labor union supporters demonstrated against Obama’s choice of Walmart to promote renewable energy in view of the retail giant’s labor practices, noting that the company has kept unions out of its stores and wages and benefits low. Perhaps one reason Obama chose Mountain View as a solar rallying point is the extensive PV research and development being conducted in the city, located at the northern end of the Silicon Valley. For example, less than four miles away, Cogenra Solar launched its T14 concentrating solar product in November, which can generate electricity for as little as five U.S. cents per kilowatt/hour, according to Mani Thothadri, the vice president of products for the company. “We are commercializing the fourth generation of the technology now. We have a 1 MW demonstration plant almost done at the University of Arizona that will be interconnected this month by Tucson Electric, he says. This project was funded by Washington, D.C.-based Washington Gas, the non-utility arm of the company, and we will be doing more projects with them in the United States, he says. The T14 system concentrates light 14 times, which is double the closest competitor, SunPowers C7 technology, that concentrates light seven times, Thothadri says. The T14 uses less expensive flat mirrors to reflect sunlight than the C7, which uses curved mirrors, he explains. The light is focused on the companys proprietary receivers built from 24 percent efficient Japanese cells, which are unusual outside of Japans residential market, he says. The system is mounted on proprietary single-axis trackers built from off-the-shelf components, he notes. The combination of these elements makes us the lowest cost producer in the country on a singe axis, he claims. Since January, the T14 is being sold at a per-watt installed cost of 50 cents; we are cheaper than the cheapest Chinese modules, he reckons. Meanwhile, on Friday, SunPower announced a 5.1 MW rooftop solar power installation at the Los Angeles headquarters of fashion retailer Forever 21. The project is “proof that companies like SunPower also realize the importance of helping businesses impact the presidents energy agenda and simultaneously generate substantial electricity savings over the life of a solar power system,” said SunPower spokeswoman Amy Smith. At completion, the SunPower solar system at Forever 21 will be Los Angeles County’s largest single-rooftop installation. It’s also the first project to utilize both of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) local solar programs — the FiT100 Set Pricing Program and the Solar Incentive Program. 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Cracking the case for solid state batteries pv magazine 29 April 2021 pv-magazine-australia.com Scientists in the UK used the latest imaging techniques to visualize and understand the process of dendrite formation an… 123456Leave a Reply Cancel replyPlease be mindful of our community standards.Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. 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Google+ UPDATE: New details released on South Bend shooting that killed gas station clerk Facebook (Photo supplied/ABC 57) A South Bend gas station clerk died after being shot during an apparent armed robbery attempt at a Phillips 66 gas station in South Bend.South Bend Police were called to the gas station in the 3400 block of Lincoln Way West, near Ryer St., just before 11 p.m. after receiving 911 hangup call.Officers arrived to find the clerk in the parking lot suffering from a gunshot wound.He was later identified as Baljeet Singh, 24 of South Bend.Singh was transported to a local hospital where he later died.An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow, Sept. 20, at 9 a.m. in Fort Wayne.Police K9s were brought in to help search for the suspect.The St. Joseph Metro Homicide Unit has taken over the investigation. Twitter Pinterest Google+ By Jon Zimney – September 19, 2019 0 635 WhatsApp Facebook WhatsApp Previous article“No fetal remains” found at former Klopfer-run clinic in South BendNext articleButtigieg reveals “Medicare for all who want it” plan Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. Pinterest Twitter IndianaLocalNews
Secretary of State for European Affairs Alexander Chaliy admitted this week that Kiev’s relations with the EU could enter a “grey area” of uncertainty unless Brussels takes the initiative now to signal a new spirit of cooperation with the country.Although Ukraine’s existing partnership and cooperation agreement (PCA) with the Union is not due to expire until 2007, Chaliy argues that work on its replacement must start now and that its status should be upgraded to an ‘association’ agreement.This is normally seen as the precursor to a country becoming a formal applicant to join the EU. Chaliy believes Ukraine’s aim to become an associate member of the Union is realistic. He cites moderate enthusiasm expressed recently by Rome and Berlin and is cautiously optimistic about the cross-border implications of enlargement.Whereas it can currently take travellers up to two hours to cross through the heavily-policed checkpoint on the Ukraine-Polish border, “after Poland enforces the Schengen regime [post enlargement], the crossing should take hardly five minutes…provided we adopt the same professional culture which is typical for the present day German-Polish frontier”, said Chaliy.He added: “If Ukraine makes serious headway in adjusting its own legislation and fighting cross-border crime, then it will legitimately expect to enjoy a most favoured regime status.”Ukraine is currently gearing up for its parliamentary elections (half proportional and half direct) on 31 March.The eventual winners are likely to be either the centre-right Our Ukraine party or the far-left Communists. “Any new agreement or major strategy document will have to be ratified by 20 or more member states,” said Chaliy.“This is a lengthy procedure, likely to take at least four years.“If we want to ensure legal continuity, we need to have a new agreement replacing the current PCA already in place by 2004-2005,” he said.The comments reflect a new mood in Ukraine. President Leonid Kuchma declared recently that his strategic goal is full integration into the EU.But the country’s slow pace of reforms and concerns over human rights abuses mean that is an unlikely prospect in the short term.Nevertheless, Brussels has demonstrated that it wants to keep Kiev engaged in EU affairs.
The time is near and the mission’s never been more clear! On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 11th and 12th, Phish will open up their 2019 summer tour with a pair of performances at St Louis, MO’s Chafeitz Arena, located on on the campus of Saint Louis University.Related: Phish Announces 2019 Summer Tour WebcastsPhish—comprised of Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and Page McConnell—has had some monumental musical moments both with the band and outside of the band since their last full tour in the fall in 2018. On Halloween night, Phish succeeded in executing one of the biggest pranks in the band’s 35-year-career at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, presenting a “cover” of ultra-obscure Scandanavian prog-rock album, í Rokk by Kasvot Växt, that turned out to be a collection of new original music written in character as the fictional band. Phish knocked it out of the park as they pulled off this stunt, executing 10 brand-new songs with precision and confidence. Those songs quickly entered the Phish repertoire during their ensuing NYC and Mexico runs in late 2018 and early 2019, respectively.In April, Trey debuted his new Ghosts of the Forest project, which included Fishman, Trey Anastasio Band members Jennifer Hartswick, Tony Markellis, and Ray Paczkowski, and vocalist Celisse Henderson. The new project served as a grieving process for Trey, after losing his lifelong friend, Chris “C Cott” Cottrell, to a battle with adrenal cancer. Trey and Chris had been the best of friends since they were 15 years old and the new material is packed with raw emotion. Although Ghosts of the Forest may not perform in a live setting again, Trey has started to run through the songs with his solo outfit.With a heap of new material to draw from and plenty of recent practice under their belts, things are looking extremely bright for Phish and their devoted phans this summer. Beyond Phish’s MSG New Year’s Eve run and Mexico destination event in February, this tour will be the band’s first chance to properly experiment with Kasvot Växt material and welcome Ghosts of the Forest tunes into their expansive and ever-evolving catalog.As we anticipate what’s to come this summer, we’re taking a look back at past Phish memories in the various places the band will stop on this tour.St Louis, MO – Chafeitz Arena – June 11th & 12thPhish has a longstanding history with St. Louis dating back to the early 90s, but have surprisingly only played The Gateway City twice since returning from their hiatus in 2009. The band offered up an extremely intimate performance at the gorgeous Fox Theatre on their 2009 summer comeback tour (6/16/09), followed by an exploratory show at Chafeitz Arena in 2012 (8/28/12).Phish – “Limb By Limb” – St. Louis, MO – 8/28/12[Video: PhrankieC87]Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo – June 14th & 16thAlthough Trey, Mike, Fishman, and Page had played Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival with various side projects prior to 2009, the band had never played the festival as a uni until returning from their breakup. Phish’s 2009 Bonnaroo appearance included a late-night set on Friday and a two-set headlining performance on Sunday. The band busted out AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” for the first time since 1997 during their late-night, followed by a Bruce Springsteen sit-in during their Sunday show. Phish returned to the Farm on 6/10/12 following their tour-opening shows in Worcester for a show that saw them welcome Kenny Rogers and dust off “Shafty” for only the fifth time-ever!Phish w/ Bruce Springsteen – “Glory Days” – Bonnaroo – 6/14/09[Video: robe5k]Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage – June 18thPhish has only played one show in Toronto since 2000, perhaps due to the headaches of crossing the border while on tour. The band’s originally scheduled show on 7/9/13 at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre was postponed due to, “insurmountable transportation and public safety issues resulting from the power outage in Toronto after severe downpours in the city.” They utilized an off night 13 days later on 7/22/19 to make up for the unfortunate postponement.Phish – “David Bowie” [Pro-Shot] – Toronto, ON – 7/22/13[Video: Phish]Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center – June 19thPhish always brings the heat to Cuyahoga Falls, OH’s Blossom Music Center, located outside of Akron. The band’s 2019 appearance at Blossom will mark their ninth show at the venue and the first since 2015. In 2011, the band debuted “Steam” at their one-off performance, which they went on to use as their New Year’s Eve gag later that year. In 2015, Trey gave a shout-out to Ween‘s Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo (aka Gene and Dean Ween), encouraging them to get Ween back together. Whether or not Trey’s plea had an impact, Ween did ultimately wind up reuniting the following year.Phish – “Steam” – Blossom – 6/4/11[Video: shinepigeon]Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion – June 21stUnfortunately for fans in the South, Phish’s upcoming performance in Charlotte is their closest thing to a “hometown” show this summer. Formerly the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Phish has played this shed five times since regrouping in 2009. Here’s hoping the South gets some extra special treatment this summer—like they did when Phish pulled out Gamehendge rarities like “Col. Forbin’s Ascent” > “Fly Famous Mockingbird” and “Icculus” there in on 6/17/11.Phish – “Icculus” – Charlotte, NC – 6/17/11[Audio: John Philbin]Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion – June 22nd & 23rdColumbia, MD’s Merriweather Post Pavilion has become a favorite of the band’s in their 3.0 era. Other than 2012, 2016, and 2017, Phish has played Merriweather at least once every summer since 2009. When most people think of Phish and Merriweather’s recent connections, “Tweezer” immediately comes to mind. Fans have dubbed the Phish’s 7/27/14 show at Merriweather Post Pavilion as “Tweezerfest,” while the band’s 8/12/18 performance at Merriweather has been known to go by “Threeprise“.Phish – “I Been Around” – Merriweather Post Pavilion – 7/27/14[Video: Phish]Bangor, ME – Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion – June 25th & 26thLocated not far from Jon Fishman’s home in Lincolnville, Phish will return to Bangor, ME’s Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion for the first time since 2013, and only the second time ever. Their only other stop in at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion came on the opening night of their 2013 summer tour.Phish – “Wolfman’s Brother” [Pro-Shot] – Bangor, ME – 7/3/13[Video: Phish]Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion – 6/28-6/30Phish will offer up their first three-night run of the summer at Camden, NJ’s BB&T Pavilion, a venue with which the band’s become extremely familiar with over their illustrious career. Due to corporate sponsorship changes, the venue has gone through a series of names including the E Centre, the Tweeter Center at the Waterfront, and the Susquehanna Bank Center. In 2009, the band debuted “Sugar Shack” and “Joy” in Camden. In 2010, Phish honored Michael Jackson on the one-year anniversary of his death with a “Billie Jean” jam.Phish – “2001” > “Billie Jean” jam > 2001″ – Camden, NJ – 6/25/10[Video: Phishfunk78]Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center – 7/2 & 7/3Saratoga Performing Arts Center, affectionately referred to as “SPAC,” has been a favorite summer shed for Phish since 1992—and a favorite lot scene for fans for just as long. Located on the grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park, the band has played the venue every summer since 2009 aside from 2011, 2015, 2017, and 2018, offering up a number of memorable performances. Even before that, SPAC played host to a number of all-time Phish moments—like this monster “Piper” from 6/19/04.Phish – “Piper” – SPAC – 6/14/09[Uploaded by weekapaug986]Boston, MA – Fenway Park – June 5th & 6thFollowing a day off to celebrate America’s Independence Day, Phish will return to Boston’s beloved Fenway Park for the first time in 10 years. Phish opened up their 2009 summer tour with a one-off performance at the home of the Boston Red Sox. Clad in Red Sox jerseys, the band began their Fenway 2009 show with a special a capella “Star Spangled Banner” performed from the pitcher’s mound.Earlier in the summer, on June 24th, Fenway will host a special “Phish Night” at a Boston Red Sox game in honor of the band’s impending visit. While the band themselves were not included in Fenway’s Phish Night announcement, they do not have a show scheduled for that evening as they make their way from Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD to Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, ME—a route that takes them right through Boston on June 24th. Will Phish make an appearance to reprise their National Anthem performance at the Boston Red Sox’s Phish Night? Stranger things have happened. We’ll have to wait and see.Phish – “The Star-Spangled Banner” – Fenway Park – 5/31/09[Video: notmkdevo]Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena – 7/8 & 7/9Phish will offer up their debut performances at Uncasville, CT’s Mohegan Sun Arena in July. The band has a longstanding history playing in Connecticut dating back to their early days, their only CT stops since 2009 have been in the state capital of Hartford. However, many of those Hartford performances have produced notable highlights—like the 6/18/10 show that ended with a double dose of “Tweeprise” after the band neglected to “Reprise” their “Tweezer” at Hershey Park a few days prior. Arguably the toughest tickets of the tour, fans can look forward to an entertaining two nights indoors at the casino resort.Phish – “Tweezer Reprise” > “Tweezer Reprise” – Hartford, CT – 6/18/10[Video: HarpuaFSB]East Troy, WI – Alpine Valley Music Theatre – July 12th, 13th, & 14thPhish is set to return to East Troy, WI’s iconic Alpine Valley Music Theatre for the first time since 2015. Situated on the side of the ski mountain (or rather, hill), Alpine Valley seems to always bring out the best in the band. Following their two-night run in 2010, Phish released Live at the Legendary Alpine Valley Music Theatre, which contains their entire performance from 8/14/2010 (“AC/DC Bag” through “David Bowie” and “Ghost” through “Quinn the Eskimo”), as well as bonus footage from 8/15/2010. In their last of three 2015 Alpine shows in 2015, Phish delivered a first set comprised entirely of tour debuts and rarities including just the second-ever “The Very Long Fuse”, “Col. Forbin’s Ascent” > “Fly Famous Mockingbird”, “Saw It Again”, “Esther”, “Weigh”, “The Sloth”, “Sanity”, and “Split Open And Melt”.Phish – “Reba” – Alpine – 8/14/10[Video: ohkeepahblog]Commerce City, CO – Dicks Sporting Good Park – 8/30, 8/31, & 9/1What can we say about the magic of Phish Dicks that hasn’t already been said? Phish will close out their summer tour with a three-night run at Commerce City, CO’s Dicks Sporting Goods Park, a venue that has become an annual staple for the band to celebrate Labor Day Weekend. Despite almost always taking a break between the main leg of the tour and Dicks, the band finds a way to harness the energy of the Rocky Mountains to produce some of best jams of the year (and often some setlist shenanigans, taboot). Phish’s ninth tour-closing run in a row at Dicks should be nothing short of incredible.Phish – “Light” – Dicks – 9/1/12[Video: Phish]For more information on Phish’s summer tour, head here. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you out there!
The University announced the Johnson family — Todd, Susan, Matthew and Hilary Johnson of Minnesota — made a large donation that will go towards the construction of a women’s residence hall that will be located east of Flaherty and Dunne Halls, Notre Dame announced in a press release on Friday.“The Johnsons, an exceptionally generous family, have exhibited that generosity in making possible this hall at Notre Dame bearing their name,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “We are extremely grateful for this residence hall, a place for building community and contributing to the education of our students’ minds and hearts.”The dorm will be home to the Valkyries, a community of women currently living in Pangborn. It will house approximately 225 residents.Todd Johnson is the CEO of Capstan Corporation, a family business. He earned his bachelor’s degree in construction engineering management from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1981, according to the release.Susan Johnson is a speech-language pathologist, and earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1987, the release said.Together, the Johnsons are members of Notre Dame’s Cavanaugh Council, Badin Guild and Boldly Notre Dame campaign cabinet.The Johnson children, Matthew and Hilary, each graduated from Notre Dame.Matthew Johnson graduated in 2012 and 2019 as part of the one-year accelerated MBA program. While on campus he was a tour guide and served as a a weekly reader to University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, the release said.Hilary Johnson graduated in 2015 from the University, and is attending Midwestern University to get her masters degree in biomedical science. She was a resident assistant in Lyons Hall while attending the University, as well as a weekly volunteer at Saint Mary’s Convent.Johnson Family Hall will be the 32nd residence hall on Notre Dame’s campus, and the 15th women’s hall. The dorm is expected to be opened in the fall of 2020, and will be nearly 70,000 square feet, the release said. The design of the building will be “unique, integrating elements of campus architecture and Notre Dame residence hall traditions, including a chapel, courtyard and various spaces for studying and socializing,” the release said.“We are deeply honored to share our family’s blessings with the University of Notre Dame for being the lead gift for the new women’s residence hall on campus,” Todd and Susan Johnson said in the release.Additional benefactors contributed to the construction of Johnson Family Hall. They include Celeste and Kevin Ford of Portola Valley, California, Carol and Bill Hoffmann of Minnetonka, Minnesota, Molly and Geof Meyers of Ottawa Hills, Ohio, Clare and Jerry Richer of Southborough, Massachusetts and Shayla and Chip Rumely of Atlanta, Georgia.“As the University continues to invest in strengthening our undergraduate residential communities and improving the quality of hall life for our students, we are extraordinarily thankful to Todd, Susan, Matthew and Hilary for the addition of Johnson Family Hall,” vice president for student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said in the release.Tags: Donations, Johnson Family Hall, women’s residence hall
Alice Ripley (Photos: Emilio Madrid-Kuser for Broadway.com) View Comments Star Files Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 35:47Loaded: 0%00:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently behind liveLIVERemaining Time -35:47 1xPlayback RateChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedEnglishAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Tony winner Alice Ripley is once again stepping into the shoes of Trisha Lee, a Christian widow whose daughter recently came out as genderqueer, in Elise Forier Edie’s The Pink Unicorn. Originally running at off-Broadway’s Episcopal Actors’ Guild in May 2019, Ripley is now starring in the solo show at The Cell Theatre through August 25. “The script has changed a little bit; it’s improved,” Ripley told Paul Wontorek in a recent interview on Broadway.com’s #LiveAtFive. “The story is really Trisha’s journey about finding strength and enough clarity to go forward with what she knows is right. We have an open conversation; it is by no means the final word.”Taking on this project was personal for Ripley, who sees it as a chance to promote advocacy, awareness and inclusion. “I have always been an ally [to the LGBTQ community],” she said. “Recently, I’ve learned the difference between ally and advocate. It was after the Pulse tragedy that something dawned on me about being an advocate. When this play came to me, I saw it as a chance to help as an advocate, too.” While Ripley says she views The Pink Unicorn as a comedy, she also sees similarities to her Tony-winning turn in Next to Normal. “Next to Normal broke people’s hearts open and this is doing the same thing,” she said. “I could see people physically change, and that’s happening here. It’s exciting for me because, again, this is another world I didn’t really know. I’m taking on a voice, and I’m humbled that I get to be the one to be Trisha’s voice just to start the conversation.”Ripley has appeared in several acclaimed Broadway productions and she is returning to a beloved show from early in her career for a short stint later this summer. “I’m playing Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at the North Shore Music Theatre,” she said. “I’ve been singing ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’ because it’s just my personality. Norma’s pretty layered. It’s a short run; it’s like a free sample. It’s a perfectly baked five-star version, but a sample of the true core of Norma.”Check out Ripley in The Pink Unicorn through August 25!Watch the full #LiveAtFive interview below! Alice Ripley
by Bruce Lisman Good public policy badly executed is not better than bad public policy executed well. The outcome is often the same for Vermont citizens—bad. And, of course, bad ideas executed badly are a special hell for Vermonters. We’ve just re-elected a government that has made bad ideas, bad management, and bad leadership seem ordinary. No whining here. The people voted to return many of them to office—but protested by withholding support for our Governor and reducing the ruling party’s majorities in the House and Senate.It’s a rebuke and a fair warning to those just elected. The Governor is wrong: we don’t want ‘bold’ leadership; we want competent leadership. We expect them to act as fiduciaries for the public’s money. We want them to take seriously the embedded philosophy of Vermont that would offer a helping hand or a comforting hand to those in need but balanced with those other great Vermont characteristics, frugality and commonsense.My colleague, Tom Pelham has written and spoken often of our government’s unwillingness to restrain their passion to spend money without regard to the state’s constrained resources, its modest economic growth and the obvious uncertainties in the broader economy.The Governor proposed budget increases that averaged 4.8% over the past three years; he and the Legislature reached agreement on budget increases that averaged 4.5%. Of course, those increases far outstripped economic growth and could only be accomplished by using one-time stopgap funds, cost shifts and other budgetary gimmicks. With disappointing tax receipts, the Governor was forced to rescind $20 million of spending and employ yet another $10 million in one-time funds and, 5 years into an economic recovery now faces a more than $100 million deficit. Worse, our government doesn’t have the capacity to invest in the very priorities they’ve outlined. Delusional leadership. Vermonters pay the price.Now, everyone seems to know about the education funding/property tax crisis after thirty-five towns voted down their school budgets in protest, with more protests likely to come next March. We don’t expect our elected leaders to predict the future, but we don’t expect them to create a future crisis, either. That’s exactly what the Governor and the Legislature did in 2011 when they transferred $27 million to the general fund that should have gone to the education fund. It caused the growth rate of property taxes to accelerate, even as they hung more mandates on school budgets. A lack of transparency and short-term thinking gave us long-term problems. The Governor is now proposing consolidation but without data that would support that strategy; and the Speaker of the House has a secret plan. That’s like someone breaking your leg and then offering you a crutch. It’s the people who pay for bad ideas.Vermont Health Connect is a catastrophe of major proportion—its poor execution is already legend; the $100 million spent is astronomical, the loss of credibility is nearly complete. However, those Vermonters who use the system are paying the price – incredible delays, lost information, uncertainty, questionable access to services and medicines, and higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for many.Campaign for Vermont believes that our government has an obligation to tell taxpayers not only where money is spent, but how well it’s spent. Our government can’t do that. Our leaders don’t have critical information when analyzing current challenges, so they make decisions blindly. They can’t manage our government to serve the people.And, the implications of this are significant. Problems cannot be properly analyzed, the costs of the cure cannot be measured, and the benefit value of real solutions for real people cannot be evaluated. I know of no successful enterprise that operates without data to support decision-making, the capacity to execute policy, and the willingness and ability to measure outcomes. Because of such dysfunction, Vermont leaders and managers in our government are handicapped and Vermonters pay for their failures.Bruce Lisman lives in Shelburne and is a co-founder of Campaign for Vermont Prosperity, Inc.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Army National Guard (VTARNG) is seeking out caterers available in the Northern Vermont area that are willing to provide catering services for training sessions that last between two and four weeks. Generally, VTARNG has between 75 to 125 students that require 3 meals a day during each session. Typically the VTARNG has 9 or 10 sessions a year.Vendors providing catering service to the VTARNG need to be able to provide all food, equipment, and staff to setup and run a cafeteria style dining operation. The VTARNG will provide the space for vendors to set up their feeding operations.All interested vendors will have to be registered in the governments System for Award Management (www.sam.gov(link is external)) and accept electronic funds transfers (ETF) using Wide Area Work Flow (WAWF) e-business suite (https://wawf.eb.mil(link is external)).Government solicitations to vendors above $25,000 must be advertised on the Governmentwide Point of Entry (GPE), which is primarily Federal Business Opportunities (https://www.fbo.gov(link is external)) or FedBid (www.FedBid.com(link is external) which is not a government agency).For technical help with small and startup businesses, visit the Small Business Administration (https://www.sba.gov(link is external)) and/or the State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s: Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at (http://accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/programs/ptac(link is external)).In the near future the VTARNG is planning on posting solicitations between $15,000 and $25,000 on the VTARNG public website (www.vtguard.com(link is external)).
It was Career Day for Corinth Elementary kindergarteners on Friday, so we thought we’d check in with the children who are our future to find out where they see themselves in 30 years, and why.Here we go…Chase, astronaut: “You get to walk on the moon and you get to go in rocket shops and also you can float.”Ryder, construction worker: “I want to ride in the trucks. And I like to knock down houses.”Augie, football player: “I like running.”Max (left) and Nicholas, police officers: “We get to handcuff people and put them in jail!” said Max. “We get to wear badges and stuff,” added Nicholas.Aisley and Eden, doctors: “Because they help people,” said Aisley. “Yeah, I want to help people,” added Eden.Claire, Blake and Ashley, ballerinas. “I want to be a prima ballerina because I want to dance on stage,” said Claire. “Me too,” said Blake. “I want to dance,” added Ashley.
Since the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its emergency operations center for the Ebola outbreak on Jul 9, it has fielded clinical questions about 650 people, with 61 (9%) tested for the disease, according to a new report today profiling the agency’s work with clinicians.Of the 61 tested, only four were positive for Ebola: the Liberian man who died in October in Texas, two nurses who cared for him, and Craig Spencer, MD, a health worker who got sick after he returned from serving in Guinea. The CDC published the report, which covered inquiries about Ebola that it received through Nov 15, in today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).Among patients who underwent testing, symptom history was available for 60 of 61, and 56 had at least one Ebola sign or symptom. Of 33 tested who had recently traveled, alternative diagnoses were available for 13, and the most common were malaria (5) and viral illness (4) including flu. In some of the cases, health providers reported that the Ebola workup delayed testing and diagnosis for other conditions.Of the 650 cases the CDC was consulted on, 138 patients had traveled to an outbreak country, 22 had potential exposure to an Ebola patient or his or her body fluids in the United States, and 490 had neither risk factor.Clinical queries to the CDC averaged about 10 per week until Sep 30, when the first patient was diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, after which weekly questions surged, peaking at 227 in mid- October. Most were related to patients who had no risk factors for the disease.A total of 2,263 people arriving from the outbreak countries had undergone enhanced entry screening through Nov 15, and none had any symptoms during travel. Only one went on to develop Ebola, presumably Thomas Duncan, the Liberian who died in Texas.The CDC said 107 of the 650 inquiries were made after active monitoring of people entering the United States from the outbreak countries began in late October. Only 17 of the 107 people who prompted the questions had been to an Ebola-affected country, and of the 9 who were tested, none had Ebola.The CDC said it’s important for clinicians to have a high index of suspicion when travelers from Ebola-affected countries report symptoms, though the likelihood of Ebola, even in symptomatic people, is very low. It added that since procedures should be in place in hospitals to protect health workers from Ebola, consideration of the disease should not delay workup and starting appropriate care for other medical conditions.Another response worker sickened, two more recoverA United Nations (UN) peacekeeper has been sickened by Ebola in Liberia and will be flown to the Netherlands for treatment, the Associated Press (AP) reported today, citing the Dutch health ministry. The UN worker is a Nigerian soldier who is expected to be flown to the Netherlands over the weekend for treatment at University Medical Center Utrecht.The man’s illness is the third Ebola case in a UN worker, and he will be the first to be taken to the Netherlands for treatment.The UN mission said 16 people identified as contacts of the Nigerian solder have been quarantined, according to the report.In related developments, a Ugandan doctor who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone has recovered and has been discharged from a German hospital, the AP said today in a separate report. Frankfurt University Hospital said yesterday that the man was released Nov 19.He was admitted on Oct 3 and had been critically ill during his stay at the hospital. The doctor was the third patient airlifted out of the outbreak region to be treated in Germany. The others were a World Health Organization (WHO) scientist who recovered and a UN medical worker who died.Meanwhile, Swiss officials today said a Cuban doctor infected with Ebola while working in Sierra Leone will leave a Geneva hospital soon, since a blood test has shown no more signs of the virus, Reuters reported today.Other developmentsAccording to an update today from the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Guinea-Bissau’s government announced yesterday that it would reopen its border with Guinea within the next 5 days. It closed its border in August to curb cross-border transmission. Also, a ceremony planned yesterday to break ground for a new Ebola treatment center (ETC) in Conakry’s Matoto commune had to be scrapped after local youth groups ransacked the site. UNMEER said the groups oppose the ETC, because they believe it will result in a spike in cases in their community. In Liberia, UNMEER said, officials are worried about a rise in the number of cases in Grand Cape Mount County, which has prompted the WHO to consider moving a mobile lab from Lofa to the area. In the overall outbreak region, the illness total has reached 17,256 cases, along with 6,113 deaths.The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced yesterday that it has awarded the first of several rapid-response grants to further basic Ebola virus research. The grants vary in size and scope and last 1 year. The mechanism the NSF used to award the grants is one it has used for environmental disasters. In a press release, the group said it invited research proposals in October, and in-house subject matter expert from various backgrounds evaluated them, coordinating with other federal agencies. The NSF said research projects are designed to answer questions about how the Ebola virus interacts with other substances, how it spreads, and how communication and perceptions affect public safety during an epidemic.See also:Dec 5 MMWR reportDec 5 AP storyDec 5 AP story on Ugandan doctorDec 5 Reuters storyDec 5 UNMEER reportDec 4 NSF press release