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Last Word

first_imgWhen he asked a group of firefighters in Columbia, S.C., what a lawyer could do for them, most respondents said “handle speeding tickets” and “divorce.” But handling speeding tickets didn_t feel quite right, and each divorce called for specific details. He wanted to do something for a larger population. As he talked to the firefighters, he was surprised to learn how many of them had done no estate planning, including rudimentary wills. Denver Health wouldn’t comment on Loop’s and Nugent’s behavior. But we will: EMS officers should lead by example. What kind of example is this?! “This is the best program I’ve ever created,” says Hayes. “There’s lots of personal satisfaction.” Where There’s a WillAttorney Anthony Hayes was looking for a contribution he could make to the fire service after 9/11. He had worked at the World Trade Center before he went to law school, so he felt a special need to do something in response to the terrorist attacks. Instead of firing Loop, Nugent simply reassigned him to a position in the dispatch center that didn’t require the credential. In October, Nugent left Denver Health to head the state’s Office of Traffic Safety, and Loop was terminated Oct. 29 after someone anonymously alerted Denver Health administrators to Loop’s status. When asked to comment, Denver Health provided a short list of facts and dates, plus a written statement saying, “Denver Health never knowingly allows uncertified paramedics, or any other uncertified or unlicensed health care professional, to care for patients.” Talk about being ahead of the curve! The Wills for Heroes Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization, oversees implementation of the program across the country. Each state program depends on local attorneys familiar with the state laws and regulations. The foundation has an exclusive agreement with LexisNexis to provide free HotDocs software and development services to bar associations participating in the Wills for Heroes program. Oh (Big) Brother!Negotiations between AMR and its union stalled late October when a concealed camera and listening device were found in the conference room where talks were taking place. Jimmy Gambone, a union negotiator for National Emergency Medical Services Association, found the surveillance devices while checking a smoke detector at the regional AMR office in West Hartford, Conn. In a statement, AMR claimed it “has been concerned about some vandalism, theft and other inappropriate conduct that had been occurring on the property,” and that a well-intentioned supervisor “used an inexpensive video monitor to try to identify the culprits.” The union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint, calling this incident “a new low for AMR.” Lapses in LeadershipDenver Health EMS Operations Supervisor Robert Loop messed up: He let his paramedic certification lapse in March 2008. Then he made matters much, much worse: Instead of taking advantage of Colorado’s six-month grace period to bring in his paperwork, he allegedly created a false credential.center_img 20 of 12In 2008, Tucson celebrated 20 years of transmitting 12-lead ECGs from ambulances to an emergency department. “We felt pretty good when the docs around town started yelling about the necessity of prehospital 12-leads,” says Terence Valenzuela, MD, medical director for the Tucson Fire Department. “We told them just to look in the fax machine.” For the full story click here. In business since January 2002, Wills for Heroes now provides free estate planning and will preparation for first responders and their spouses in 15 states. Several other states are still forming their programs. As part of the program, volunteer local attorneys provide individualized service to members of a requesting department. So far, more than 10,000 first responders have participated. An estimated 80-90% of first responders don’t have even simple wills, which is odd considering the dangers first responders encounter on the job. But Hayes’ organization is setting out to reduce that figure. On Sept. 16, the state EMS office notified Mike Nugent, Denver Health’s Paramedic Division chief at the time and turned the case over to the state attorney general’s office. In early September, a Denver Health Paramedic Division training coordinator, routinely checking certification documents against the state database, reported the discrepancy to the state EMS office. “We opened an investigation and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the document had been tampered with,” says Colorado EMS Director Randy Kuykendall. According to Kuykendall, Loop, who had been a Denver Health paramedic for 13 years, didn’t provide patient care during the six months he worked on the fake credential. Instead, he helped plan for the Democratic National Convention this past August. We applaud Hayes’ initiative in finding a way to contribute his skills and inspiring other attorneys across the country to offer a critical service to first responders. For more information, visit the foundation’s Web site at www.willsforheroes.org. JEMSlast_img read more

Former Prisoner of North Korea Builds University for his Former Jailers

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreDecades after being imprisoned by North Korea on espionage charges, Dr. Kim Chin-Kyung is opening the first privately funded university in that country as a way to increase dialogue with the closed-off country.He recalled what happened during the war in 1950, “I told God that if I survived, I would return the love to my enemies,” he says – his enemies at the time being North Korean and Chinese soldiers.Read the story, featured in the new Making a Difference section of the CS Monitor. ..AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

St. Michael’s College becomes first fair trade college in Vermont

first_imgFair Trade principlesFair Trade focuses on strict economic, social and environmental criteria in the production of trade and agricultural products such as coffee, tea, cocoa, bags and clothing, therefore Saint Michael’s College takes the following steps:·Saint Michael’s recognizes that what we purchase, eat, and drink impacts producers and the environment.·Saint Michael’s hopes to improve working conditions of farmers and producers of agricultural and trade goods around the world.·Through this project, Saint Michael’s aims to curtail the evils of child and slave labor which have been found to be prevalent in the production of chocolate and clothing.·Through Fair Trade, Saint Michael’s supports sustainable farming techniques that protect the environment.·Saint Michael’s commits additionally to educate the campus about the importance of Fair Trade.·Saint Michael’s aspires to build on its Fair Trade status by making other Fair Trade products available over the longer term to the members of its campus community. Participants in the Fair Trade Café forum include: Fair Trade Café sponsoring groups include: Saint Michael’s Food Justice, Green-Up, and Peace and Justice Clubs; Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Council, Political Science Department and Environmental Studies Program, and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Fair Trade accepted by students, faculty and administration To be declared a Fair Trade College, Saint Michael’s passed and agreed to a campus wide Fair Trade Resolution and Fair Trade Procurement Policy. These were accepted by the SMC Student Association (10-11-11), the SMC Faculty Assembly (10-21-11), and the SMC Administration (Cabinet) (10-31-11).‘The Food Justice club hammered this resolution out first, and got it passed by the Student Association,’ said Political Science Professor, Dr. Jeffrey Ayres, adviser to the club. ‘Being a Fair Trade College fits our mission of social justice,’ he said. As a Fair Trade College, Saint Michael’s resolves to1.    Work with the college food service contractor to make Fair Trade coffee, tea and bananas available in the dining facilities at all times.2.    Work with the food service contractor to make Fair Trade coffee and tea available for college held events.3.    Commit to integrate Fair Trade information and events into the programs and culture of the college, and ensure that the principles of Fair Trade continue to be part of the policy and social fabric of our communitycenter_img Saint Michael’s College has been named a Fair Trade College, the first in Vermont, and will be granted that official status at a Fair Trade Café ceremony as sanctioned by Fair Trade Universities on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in St. Edmund’s Hall Farrell Room (#315). The community is invited to the Café which includes a forum of speakers, a sampling of Fair Trade products and the signing of the Fair Trade College certificate by President Jack Neuhauser. ·Sandy Wynne’Burlington Fair Trade Network and SMC Alum·Rob Michalak’Ben and Jerry’s Global Director of Social Mission·Gabriela Ochoa Brenneman’Peace and Justice Center Program Director and Burlington Fair Trade Network·Andrew Driscoll’Equal Exchange and SMC Alum About Saint Michael’s College, The Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, www.smcvt.edu(link is external). Saint Michael’s provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns. Identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s Best 376 Colleges, and included in the 2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges, Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s top-100, Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report rankings.St. Michael’s College. 2.8.2012last_img read more

ISO-NE frets over reliability as winter approaches

first_imgA price on carbon is viewed as the most efficient way to achieve clean energy goalsby Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Gordon van Welie’s “foremost challenge” as President and CEO of ISO New England is grid reliability. ISO is “responsible for keeping electricity flowing across the six New England states and ensuring that the region has reliable, competitively priced wholesale electricity today and into the future.”Last winter offered a challenge for Holyoke, MA-based ISO. A severe cold snap in December and January led to a fear of rolling blackouts. New England disproportionally relies on electricity generated by natural gas. But home heating has dibs on gas. To make up the difference, ISO fired up oil burning plants.The threat of rolling blackouts turned out to be just a scare, but the cold snap was a costly reminder of the reliance on the limits of natural gas supply. Because of constraints in the pipeline system, New England can’t get enough of it.ISO-NE CEO Gordon van Welie at the REV conference. VBM photo.Van Welie, during a keynote address to the REV conference in South Burlington on October 18, told the packed-in audience that New England burned through 2 million barrels of oil in two weeks during that cold period. New England usually goes through about one million barrels in an entire year. Coal is another potential stand-in for natural gas.Overall, grid reliability is pretty good, according to Van Welie. Van Welie is a native of South Africa and you don’t have to listen hard to hear it.The transmission lines have gone through a generation of upgrades in recent years, including in Vermont. Energy efficiency is now an official energy resource, as the region is consuming less electricity and renewable energy is making a significant impact.Overall consumption peaked in 2005 and has fallen since, except for steep drop during the Great Recession followed by a one-time increase as the economy bounced back.While New England has the highest electric rates in the nation, the region is in the middle of the pack for residential electric bills; Vermont has the fifth lowest residential electric bills of any state in the nation.Distributed energy, including home solar panels, have benefitted reliability. New Hampshire and Maine, perhaps reflecting their more conservative politics than the rest of the region, have negligible solar production, with Vermont joining the hotbed of solar producing states in southern New England.Tom Dunn, President & CEO of Vermont Electric Power Company, introduced Van Welie at the REV conference. Van Welie is well respected across the region. The packed house gathered to hear Van Welie’s remarks included not only Dunn among Vermont energy leaders, but also Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power and Don Rendall, Vermont Gas CEO.Along with praise for Van Welie and ISO-NE, Dunn mentioned that they “don’t always agree.” Undoubtedly there was a lot of local head nodding.Dunn told VBM later that VELCO’s issue with ISO-NE mostly was how ISO previously calculated the impact of solar and conservation efforts.“We felt the energy efficiency estimate was too low,” he said, likewise with solar photovoltaic generation.Van Welie acknowledged that was indeed the case.The solar “duck curve.” ISO graph.Van Welie spoke at length about the “duck curve” with solar PV in the region. During the summer months solar PV pushed down baseload electric requirements significantly during the middle part of the day. This was good, he said, as air conditioning got cranked up.But the challenge was during the late afternoon when it was still hot and people had the AC blasting, just as the solar PV quickly waned. At that point ISO-NE has to ramp up traditional electric generation to meet the late-day requirement, which is itself a challenge.Nuclear, meanwhile, with only two operating plants in New England going forward, still represents a vital baseload component. Millstone in Connecticut is a 2,111 MW plant and Seabrook, NH, is a 1,250 MW plant. Pilgrim in Plymouth, MA, is scheduled to close next year with a nameplate capacity of 677 MW. By comparison, Vermont Yankee was a 605 MW output plant. So, Van Welie said, the economic health of those plants is important to electric reliability in the region.Van Welie said during the REV conference that a price on carbon would be the most efficient way to achieve clean energy goals, but that it’s a matter for policy makers to decide. He said ISO will work the states to implement those goals.“A price on carbon, I think, will go a long ways to supporting the existing nuclear fleet in the region…. If you look at the winter energy profile, the two remaining nuclear units produce a quarter of all the energy in the region.”The impact of shutting down either one of the nuclear plants would have a profound impact on the region’s energy portfolio and undermine the carbon reduction goals of the states, he said.“One way out of that problem,” Van Welie said, “is to put a real price on carbon and I think it’s consistent with the broader goals that have been espoused by policy makers to de-carbonize the economy by 2050.”Even in Vermont there appears only modest interest among political leaders for instituting a carbon tax in any form.Governor Phil Scott opposes it outright. Democratic leadership in the Legislature supports it, but the rank and file of lawmakers are less interested because of the cost to constituents.Nuclear plant generators maintain that they should be compensated for their carbon-free environmental attributes. A carbon tax could also support renewables. It would help level the cost structure between sources, in what carbon tax advocates call the “true cost of carbon.”The nuclear industry wants a carbon tax because nuclear is an expensive energy source that produces relatively little carbon even when assuming mining and transportation.But nuclear can’t compete in the marketplace against much cheaper natural gas in New England and oil or coal nearly everywhere else.Entergy didn’t shutter Vermont Yankee in December 2014 because of retribution for former Governor Peter Shumlin’s opposition to the Vernon nuclear plant, but because it was losing money.The State of New York had to beg and offer a $17.6 billion bailout to keep three upstate, money-losing plants online. Governor Cuomo wants to keep hundreds of jobs and the carbon-free power as “a bridge” to renewables.Vermont’s carbon emissions are on the rise and have already missed initial goals (25 percent reduction of 1990 levels by 2012) and it seems unlikely future goals can be met (40 percent below by 2030), unless there is an extraordinary change in current conditions.Vermont carbon emissions peaked in 2004 and then took a deep dive that would have met the 2012 targets if the descent had stayed on course. But it didn’t. Emissions flattened and then in 2013 Vermont carbon emissions actually began to rise.While no one seems to know exactly why, speculation centers on consumer behavior.Following the end of the Great Recession two things happened, consumers became more confident and the price of oil came down. Smaller cars have become less popular as the nation has developed a greater taste for SUVs (Ford intends to abandon nearly its entire fleet of smaller vehicles). Home heating also appears to have increased.The trend line for carbon emissions started going up before Vermont Yankee stopped producing electricity.Energy usage in New England. ISO graph.Part of the future solution to the region’s energy needs, Dunn said, will include increasing use of energy storage.GMP, for instance, is promoting battery storage, both in the home and at large solar facilities.Dunn noted that old-fashioned energy storage also could be part of an innovative future. For instance, he said, large reservoirs in western Massachusetts kick in as needed, providing significant hydro power during peak events.Water is pumped up to the reservoirs (“pump storage”) during low energy needs and then lies in wait for when it’s needed. The two facilities built in the 1970s can supply almost 2,000 MW of capacity within 10 minutes.While that is a short-term solution to a spike in electricity needs, it is also a powerful one that amounts to more than three-times the output of what Vermont Yankee produced.The Trouble of Long TransmissionFormer Governor Peter Shumlin separately had a beef with ISO-NE. Shumlin famously supported ridgeline wind power development across the state. Wind is relatively cost effective, but also poses several practical and political challenges.Shumlin was frustrated by ISO-NE for not taking all the Vermont wind generation available, thus reducing revenues for the owners, on the one hand, and on the other using what he considered less desirable power sources, like nuclear and fossil fuels.Shumlin sent a letter in July 2013 to Van Welie regarding GMP’s wind farm in Lowell: “I am writing to express my concern at ISO New England’s decision to curtail Kingdom Community Wind’s energy production during last week’s heat wave. While I understand ISO-NE’s reliability mission, I urge you to ensure that it is exercised with clear regard for the clean energy goals of Vermont and the region. As you know, the State of Vermont has implemented policies to increase the production of clean, local, renewable energy projects including wind. ISO-NE’s curtailment of renewable resources at a time when it instead asked for generation from our oldest and dirtiest power sources to shoulder the burden during peak energy usage runs counter to these goals.”Van Welie answered Shumlin that August by saying: “GMP’s decisions regarding the location, design, construction, and interconnection of its KCW project have resulted directly in the need for ISO to curtail the project’s output in order to maintain reliability.”GMP subsequently installed a $10 million condenser in hopes of alleviating ISO-NE’s reliability fears.GMP spokesperson Kristin Kelly told VBM that the condenser has “largely resolved the issue.”While there is still some curtailment from ISO or even from ice on the blades, she said, the KCW’s energy output is meeting its targets and is a cost-effective electric supplier for the state’s largest utility.Van Welie always leans on reliability of the entire system. Wind, even on a good day, can be intermittent and is being carried on transmission lines a long way from the greatest need in southern New England.The remote nature of wind – as opposed to solar which is largely local – also creates an issue with VELCO. Transmission lines are expensive to build and maintain. Running a new line into a rural area well off the grid can make the resulting power simply too expensive, Dunn said.Shumlin also faced wind-farm opposition from local residents and some environmentalists (others, like the Vermont Public Interest Research Group and Middlebury’s Bill McKibben and his 350.org, support big wind).Wind turbines impact sightlines and creates what opponents describe as unhealthy noise pollution.New noise-level standards in Vermont adopted last year very likely will make new, large wind developments impossible.New hydro from Quebec also poses issues in transmission as it travels hundreds of miles.Dunn, among many, is skeptical of the Massachusetts renewable plan that put out bids last year for more than 1,000 MWs of energy.After a New Hampshire power line proposal was rejected after permitting problems, a Maine option tapping into Quebec renewables was chosen last March.While the strength of the Maine line is that it’s cheaper than some of the other proposals at $950 million, versus $1.1 billion for National Grid (through Northeast Kingdom from Quebec on its way to New Hampshire) and $1.6 billion for the TDI and Eversource (New Hampshire) plans, it still needs several permits and time appears to be running out.The TDI plan would run a transmission line 100 miles under Lake Champlain before taking a hard left across existing rights-of-way in Vermont.Because of the iffy nature of the Maine plan, Dunn isn’t totally counting out TDI eventually getting the Massachusetts RFP, but the TDI powerline or any other massive project won’t be built without a contract in hand, of that he’s sure.“They would not be built on speculation,” he said.REV Conference October 2018 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Burlington. VBM photo. CORRECTION. This story corrects the current nuclear capacity in New England.last_img read more

HITS Triathlon Series adds Grand Junction, Colorado, to 2014 schedule

first_img Related Boasting the ‘a distance for everyone!’ mantra, HITS Triathlon Series will offer five distances in Grand Junction, including the Sprint, Olympic, Half, and Full, as well as the popular HITS Open, and will cap each at 500 athletes. Athletes will again enjoy a calm-water swim at Highline Lake, and bike and run courses at the foot of the Colorado mountains for the Sprint, Olympic, Half and Full distance events.“The bike course is certainly a high point for this race,” said Heather Gollnick, a five-time World Champion who won the 2013 HITS Grand Junction Half for the women. “Climbing out against the wind and then getting to turn around and just fly is perfect.”All 2014 HITS Triathlon events will offer qualifying opportunities for HITS Athlete of the Year Awards, which will be presented at the HITS Championship in Palm Springs, California, on 7-8 December 2014.www.hitstriathlonseries.com Following a successful first outing in 2013, registration is now open for the 2014 HITS Triathlon Series event in Grand Junction, Colorado, on 17-18 May of next year. In 2013, after past successes with Colorado Parks & Wildlife, HITS introduced its Grand Junction event at Highline Lake State Park – ‘winning over both serious competitors and first timers alike.’From course layout to available parking, HITS Race Director Mark H Wilson admits that HITS Triathlon Series may have found a permanent home in Colorado at Highline Lake State Park. “We have been looking for the right place for some time and we think we found it this year,” he said. “The Colorado community is so supportive of what we strive to accomplish and, based on the athlete feedback, there are so many opportunities for this event to grow.”“This reminds me of the way racing used to be – in gorgeous parks like this,” said Tim Hola. Hola won the 2013 HITS Grand Junction Half. As one of the sport’s most accomplished age-group athletes in the US and a Team Timex member, Hola said that he wants to be a part of anything that is good for the sport of triathlon. “These grass-roots events make for a healthier sport and I love to be able to race in new places.”last_img read more

SHIFT scoops Drum Content Award for ‘Return Of The Goat’ campaign

first_imgThe ‘Return Of The Goat’ campaign, created by Bath-based agency SHIFT Active Media, has beaten entries from ITV, Havas Group and The Guardian to scoop a Drum Content Award.SHIFT, billed as ‘the world’s leading specialist cycling agency’, was announced as one of the winners at the Drum Content Awards, held at the Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel in London. The global awards celebrate content as a separate and emerging branch of marketing, and of growing importance in the industry.The ‘Return Of The Goat’ campaign, created for international mountain bike brand YT Industries, won the hotly-contested Travel/ Leisure/ Sports Content Marketing Strategy/ Campaign category, beating campaigns for Dubai Tourism, HSBC and Manchester United Football Club. Related YT Industries wanted its CAPRA MKII bike launch to build on its ‘unconventional reputation and generate genuine excitement’. Deliberately shunning traditional launch formats, SHIFT created a 12-minute horror movie, backed by posters, social teasers, a trailer and unique press pack – all underpinned by display, search and sponsorship activation.Wayne Brown, Managing Director of Play Sports Group (SHIFT’s parent company), said “We’re delighted to win the Drum Content Award. It was an awesome campaign to work on for everyone at the agency. Our client’s rightly proud of the work and the results, but it’s also great to receive this endorsement!”The SHIFT Active Media team is working on its next campaigns for YT Industries, and teased… ‘watch this space – you won’t be disappointed!’www.shiftactivemedia.comlast_img read more

Two live-attenuated Zika vaccines advance

first_imgIn Zika vaccine developments, two different live-attenuated vaccine candidates progressed, with one research group reporting promising findings in mice and the other announcing that the first trial has been launched in humans.Also, a study on breastfeeding mother and babies didn’t have enough information to say if the virus can be passed through that route.Vaccine fully protects miceThe animal study evaluated a live-attenuated vaccine containing a deletion in the Zika virus genome (10-del ZIKV), an approach that has been used to develop a dengue vaccine that is now in phase 3 trials. Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the Evandro Chagas Institute in Brazil reported their preclinical trial findings yesterday in Nature Medicine.Pei-Yong Shi, PhD, senior author and professor in UTMB’s department of biochemistry and molecular biology, said in a UTMB press release, “Such live-attenuated vaccine has the advantage of single-dose immunization, rapid and strong immune response, and potentially long-lived protection.” He added that a balance is needed with this type of vaccine between fast, durable immunity and safety.Inactivated vaccines may be safer but may initially require several doses and periodic boosters. “Therefore, a safe live-attenuated vaccine will be ideal in prevention of Zika virus infection, especially in developing countries,” he said. The initial target of the vaccine is childbearing-age women, their sexual partners, and children younger than 10 years old.Public health experts have said multiple Zika platforms will probably be needed, such as a DNA-based product for outbreaks or use before travel and a live-attenuated vaccine for protecting people in areas where Zika is endemic. Attenuated vaccines are typically contraindicated in people with weakened immune systems, and health officials are eying DNA-based vaccines as a safer option for use in pregnant women.In mice, a single dose prompted sterilizing immunity in mice, preventing all Zika infection. The team said sterilizing immunity is crucial for preventing viremia and birth defects.When researchers looked at viral loads in different mouse organs, they found low and transient viral loads. They also observed limited weight loss and lack of deaths, suggestive of a promising safety profile.They concluded that the findings support advancing the study of the vaccine to nonhuman primate trials.Human trial launchMeanwhile, Themis Bioscience, a biotech company based in Austria, announced today the launch of a live-attenuated recombinant Zika vaccine in humans. The vaccine, called MV-ZIKA-101, is based on vaccine vector technology that uses a measles virus as its backbone. Themis said in a statement today that it had earlier used the same technology to develop a candidate chikungunya vaccine.The goal of the phase 1 trial is to identify the most suitable dose regarding immunogenicity, safety, and tolerability. One group will receive one injection of high-dose vaccine, and the other two will receive two doses of either high-dose or low-dose vaccine. Up to 48 healthy volunteers will be enrolled in Vienna, comparing the three regimens with a placebo.Themis said the trial is the first to test a live-attenuated vaccine in humans and that the measles vaccine model has a proven efficacy and safety track record over the last 30 to 40 years. Results are expected in the next 6 months.Breastfeeding questionsIn other Zika developments, a case review of breastfeeding women with symptomatic Zika virus infection within 3 days of delivery didn’t have enough data to conclude that Zika transmission occurred through that body fluid, researchers reported yesterday in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.Researchers from Cornell University in New York and the World Health Organization based their review on two medical literature reports that included three mother-child pairs: two in a case report from French Polynesia’s Zika outbreak and the other a case report on a pair from New Caledonia.In two of the three cases, newborns had evidence of Zika infection. Zika virus was detected in breast milk of all three mothers, one of which was positive by culture.Researchers said despite the breast milk findings, the data aren’t sufficient to confirm Zika transmission through breastfeeding and that more evidence is needed to distinguish transmission through that route from other perinatal transmission possibilities.Earlier this year, a team from Brazil reported on four Zika-infected breastfeeding mothers from that country, finding no illnesses in the babies except for fever and rash in one that was related to chikungunya infection. One of the mothers’ breast milk samples yielded infectious virus.That group said Zika transmission by breast milk is questionable and might be less efficient for transmitting the virus than other body fluids.See also:Apr 10 Nat Med abstractApr 10 UTMB press releaseApr 11 Themis press releaseApr 10 PLoS Negl Trop Dis studyFeb 9 CIDRAP News story “Studies highlight microcephaly data, Zika spread by breast milk, saliva”last_img read more

CCJ Upholds COTED Decision on Cement Tariff Increase

first_img CARICOM Formulating Energy Security Strategy May 25, 2020 Oct 6, 2020 For more information please contact:The Public Education & Communications UnitTel: (868) 623-2225 exts. 2296, 2246Email: [email protected] Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… On June 17, 2019, COTED, the organ of CARICOM responsible for altering or suspending the Common External Tariff (CET), approved the application of Barbados to suspend the CET of 5% on other hydraulic cement in order to replace it with a tariff of 35%. The suspension was authorised for a period of two years and not the five years requested. The full judgment of the Court and a judgment summary are available on the Court’s website at www.ccj.org. On the other hand, the Court decided to declare that Barbados and CARICOM had failed to ensure that Rock Hard was consulted before the application for the suspension was approved. Because the consultationrequired for an application of this type was limited to obtaining information as to the impact of the proposed tariff increase, the Court decided that the effect of the failure to consult did not call for annulment of the decision. The Court expressed dismay that CARICOM had failed to maintain an effective system of consultations at the national and regional level as required by Article 26 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC). The Court noted that the agreed procedures for the processing of requests to COTED, such as this one made by Barbados, had not yet been formally brought into force. The Court found that this was a weakness in the system.The Court concluded by stating that it is a matter of Barbadian domestic policy whether that State wished to adopt measures to facilitate the importation of cement produced extra-regionally or encourage locallyproduced cement manufactured by Arawak Cement Company Limited. The Court emphasised, however, that any such measures and the processes accompanying them must comply with the rule of law. Aug 17, 2020 CCJ upholds COTED decision on cement classification…but urges actions to help protect regional cement manufacturers (Guyana Chronicle) THE Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Tuesday delivered a judgment which upholds the classification decision of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (‘COTED’) on cement, known as Rock Hard Cement, imported and/or distributed within CARICOM by…August 7, 2019In “Barbados”COTED must position itself to address rapidly changing trade environment – ChairThe rapidly changing trading environment demands that the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) find an “appropriate mix of methodologies and strategies” to address the Council’s expanding agenda. This is according to the Hon. Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration of Antigua and Barbuda, who…May 16, 2018In “Antigua & Barbuda”Aspiring Attorney Loses Challenge at CCJ(Caribbean Court of Justice Press Release) – The legal challenge alleging that the Law Schools’ admissions process discriminates against holders of non-University of the West Indies (UWI) law degrees was dismissed this afternoon in a judgment delivered at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). In July 2018, Mr. Jones filed…November 9, 2018In “CARICOM”Share this on WhatsApp The CCJ declared, however, that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Barbados failed in their respective duties to conduct prior consultation withthe importers, Rock Hard Cement Limited (“Rock Hard”). The Court’s decision was given in the original jurisdiction matter of Rock Hard Cement Limited v The State of Barbados and The Caribbean Communityand Arawak Cement Company Limited, Intervening [2020] CCJ 2 (OJ). The judgment was delivered by the full Bench of the CCJ comprising the President, the Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders and the Honourables Justice Jacob Wit, Justice Winston Anderson, JusticeMaureen Rajnauth-Lee, Justice Denys Barrow, Justice Andrew Burgess and Justice Peter Jamadar. Mr. Allan Wood, QC and Ms Symone Mayhew, QC appeared for Rock Hard Cement Limited. Ms Gayle Scott and Mr Jared Richards appeared for the State of Barbados. Dr Corlita Babb-Schaefer and Mr O’Neil Francis appeared for the Caribbean Community and Mr Eamon Courtenay, SC and Mr Raphael Ajodha appeared for Arawak Cement Company Limited. The Court held that, in order for Rock Hard to succeed in the Court’s Original Jurisdiction, the alleged representations that gave rise to its expectation must have come from CARICOM, but there was no claimor evidence that it was COTED that made the alleged representations to Rock Hard. The Court held that subsequent knowledge by COTED of the alleged representations could not make COTED a party to them as those representations had not been made on COTED’s behalf. Rock Hard imports other hydraulic cement manufactured in Turkey into Barbados. Rock Hard was not consulted or notified before the application to raise the tariff was made or granted although both Barbados and COTED were aware of the impact the COTED decision would likely have had on that company. Rock Hard claimed that the decision to raise the tariff should be annulled because it had a legitimate expectation that Barbados would keep the tariff steady at the CET rate of 5%. The basis of this legitimate expectation was alleged representations made to Rock Hard by Barbadian officials in 2015 when Barbados reduced the tariff from 60%, where it stood in 2015, to the CET rate of 5%. (Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) – In a judgment released Wednesday, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) upheld the decision of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) to raise the tariff on “other hydraulic cement” imported into Barbados. 13th Annual Caribbean Plant Health Directors Forum to be… About the Caribbean Court of JusticeThe Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was inaugurated in Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on 16 April 2005 and presently has a Bench of seven judges presided over by CCJ President, the Honourable Mr Justice Adrian Saunders. The CCJ has an Original and an Appellate Jurisdiction and is effectively, therefore, two courts in one. In its Original Jurisdiction, it is an international court with exclusive jurisdiction to interpret and apply the rules set out in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC) and to decide disputes arising under it. The RTC established the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). In its Original Jurisdiction, the CCJ is critical to the CSME and all 12 Member States which belong to the CSME (including their citizens, businesses, and governments) can access the Court’s Original Jurisdiction to protect their rights under the RTC. In its Appellate Jurisdiction, the CCJ is the final court of appeal for criminal and civil matters for those countries in the Caribbean that alter their national Constitutions to enable the CCJ to perform that role. At present, four states access the Court in its Appellate Jurisdiction, these being Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana. However, by signing and ratifying the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice, Member States of the Community have demonstrated a commitment to making the CCJ their final court of appeal. The Court is the realisation of a vision of our ancestors, an expression of independence and a signal of the region’s coming of age. Guyana’s Role as Caribbean’s ‘Breadbasket’ Under Spotlight The Court also dismissed Rock Hard’s claims that the COTED decision was arbitrary or irrational. The Court stated that the rationale and justification presented to COTED by Barbados were supported by the factual circumstances and that in any event the grounds on which the request was approved clearly fell within a category which allows COTED a broad discretion and where the scope for the Court’s intervention is narrow. Region must harmonise measures, digitise processes to… Aug 10, 2020 You may be interested in…last_img read more

Hoping For A Bustling Downtown

first_imgSouthampton Town is emphasizing design over use when it comes to revitalizing downtown Hampton Bays, and plenty of residents had things to say about both during a community update this week.Proper placement of businesses, bringing in ones that can help the area compete with online retailers, and encouraging those that would draw young people downtown, were some of the topics brought up before nearly 100 people packed inside the Hampton Bays Community Center on Ponquogue Avenue September 17. Currently, the town is in a rezoning transition — along Good Ground Road to the south of Good Ground Park, between Springville and Ponquogue roads along Montauk Highway to the Hampton Bays train station — with an eye toward turning properties zoned for highway business to commercial use.Listening to the wants and needs of residents, town Planning and Development Administrator Kyle Collins said he believes the plan put forth, while taking a long-term approach, will yield the results residents hope for.“In order for a downtown to compete with online shopping, it needs to create a place where people want to be,” Collins said, agreeing with residents in attendance who shared similar opinions. “If it’s not a place where people want to be, they’re going to sit on their couch and buy things online. It’s really critical to create a downtown with a sense of place.”Hampton Bays resident Kevin McDonald sided with the panel of Collins, town Principal Planner Janice Scherer, and Nelson, Pop and Voorhis Senior Partner Carrie O’Farrell who said creating better traffic flow through the downtown district, creating more pedestrian access with walkways, and attracting storefronts designed with character were all ways in which the town is heading in the right direction for drawing people in. But he also had other opinions to share, especially when it came to placing businesses across from the park.“What about sidewalks that enable café-style dining?” he asked, adding that he doesn’t want to see businesses like a nail salon or a wood-chipping facility taking up space that could be better suited for other stores. “If you have a coffee shop where you can sit outside, and not up against a car grill but up against something pleasant, or you had a view overlooking the park — that’s what we’re hoping for at this conclusion,” he said. “Maybe even a micro-brewery like they have in Patchogue.”While there isn’t space for this currently along Montauk Highway, where stores such as 7-Eleven, Chase Bank, and Advance Auto Parts currently sit, the streets that run north and south, and the north side of the district facing Good Ground Park, will have the 10-foot setback and 10-foot façade zone needed to accommodate outdoor dining and larger sidewalks. The zoning change will not affect pre-existing businesses, according to Scherer, but will be mandatory for new buildings or when a current business is looking to expand or make modifications.“Your vision near the park is the same as ours,” Collins responded. “We would like to see complementary uses.”Bruce Doscher, a resident who spearheaded an effort to incorporate Hampton Bays into a village, made another comparison to Patchogue and Farmingdale.“They put in huge apartment complexes, that is what is driving the economic activity to make it all happen,” he said. “There needs to be some economics being generated. More density is the only way.”Scherer said the town is contemplating mixed-use spaces with a residential component, but said a supplemental environmental impact study is being developed to find what the thresholds are in terms of traffic and school district impact.“We want to come to a number that everyone is comfortable with, and not just unfettered density,” she said. “I don’t want the message to get lost there. We do need an activated downtown where people live, work, and recreate, but we also need to do it in a way that is sensitive to our surroundings.”Other residents disagreed that density was an issue. Many said it’s just about having stores that locals want to shop at, and ways in which to draw higher-end buyers in. Having the railroad station nearby, coupled with a vibrant downtown that would entice outsiders to stop, could also do just that.Looking into what types of shops residents would like to see, Nelson, Pope and Voorhis have found a demand for businesses relating to clothing and shoes; jewelry, luggage, and leather goods; books and music; general merchandise; and specialty foods like meat markets. Other gaps found included grocery stories, gas stations, health and personal care, and florists. “The uses contemplated are focused on things that aren’t high-order goods that would require a larger site,” Collins said, using a car dealership as an example. “We want it to be pedestrian friendly.”[email protected] Share Southampton Town officials presented a list of planning recommendations detailing what residents would like to see along Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays as part of a revitalization project. Independent/James J. Mackinlast_img read more

Settlement Announced for Passaic River

first_imgActing Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin announced yesterday that Occidental Chemical Corp. has agreed to pay the State $190 million to resolve its liability for past cleanup and removal costs, natural resource damages and other costs and damages related to contamination of the Passaic River.The Occidental agreement represents a proposed settlement, and is subject to a public comment period and review by a Superior Court Judge. Should the settlement be approved, it will bring to $355.4 million the total amount recovered by New Jersey as a result of the Passaic River litigation. Among other terms, the proposed Occidental settlement calls for $50 million of the company’s payment to be used for natural resource restoration projects in and around the Newark Bay Complex.“If approved, this is an important legal outcome for the residents of New Jersey, and for our environment,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “The citizens of our state should not be forced to shoulder the cost of repairing damage to one of our most precious natural resources – the Passaic River – by industrial polluters. Our objective throughout the Passaic River litigation has been to hold accountable those legally responsible for contaminating the river, and we have done so.”“The cleanup of the lower Passaic River is vital to the health and safety of people who live and work along the river, and is one of the State’s top environmental priorities,” Commissioner Martin said. “The parties responsible for the pollution should be accountable for the expense of the remediation, and not the taxpayers of our state. We have stood firm in that commitment and strongly support the settlement being announced yesterday.”Occidental is the legal successor to Diamond Shamrock Chemicals Company, and the lone remaining defendant sued by the State over contamination of the Passaic River that had yet to settle.[mappress]Press Release, September 16, 2014last_img read more