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Winners Announced: Green Mountain Environmental Leadership Awards

first_imgA celebration took place on Thursday evening, April 14, at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, where individuals and organizations were recognized for their leadership and contributions to Vermont’s environment. Green Mountain Environmental Leadership Award recipients: (left to right)Citizen Scientist Award: Lori Fisher, Lake Champlain CommitteeWhat a Great Idea! Award: Richard Travers, Freeaire RefrigerationCourage in Leadership: Sarah Dopp, S. Burlington Land TrustFourteen finalists from around the state were present at the first annual Green Mountain Environmental Leadership Awards that drew close to 150 people and was hosted by both ECHO and FreePressMedia.    All of the guests were treated to a keynote address by David A. Donath, president and trustee of the Woodstock Foundation, which owns and operates the Billings Farm & Museum and is the primary operation partner of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. His address touched upon Vermont’s leading role in environmental stewardship and this rich heritage which has created a state that is now the epicenter of the green movement.  The awards presentations immediately followed Mr. Donath’s remarks with Phelan Fretz, ECHO’s Executive Director acting as emcee. Close to fifty submissions were received for this first year and these were whittled down to 14 finalists for three categories: What a Great Idea!, Courage in Leadership, and Science Citizen.  And the winners are: WHAT A GREAT IDEA! Award ~ RICHARD TRAVERS, Freeaire Refrigeration In the 1970s, Richard Travers wondered why refrigerators couldn’t use the ample supply of Vermont’s cold, outdoor air to help keep the food cold. Today, Freeaire Refrigeration, based in Waitsfield, supplies refrigeration equipment to warehouses, retailers and other businesses that take advantage of cold outdoor air. Because of this design, the units use less electricity than traditional refrigeration. COURAGE IN LEADERSHIP Award ~ SOUTH BURLINGTON LAND TRUST, Sarah Dopp In 2008, the city of South Burlington decided to build a new police   station on a centrally located, municipally owned piece of land.  The South Burlington Land Trust swung into action, letting voters know that the land, now known as the Wheeler Nature Park, is the city’s largest natural area and includes hardwood forest, ledge, wetlands and wildlife. The message resonated with the community, and the police station project was relocated. CITIZEN SCIENTIST Award ~ THE LAKE CHAMPLAIN COMMITTEE, Lori Fisher The blue-green algae that appear in parts of Lake Champlain in the summer is disgusting   — and deadly. While UVM has a regular lake wide monitoring program, more monitoring was needed along the shoreline where people and animals play. In 2003, the Lake Champlain Committee organized citizen scientists to take weekly samples along the Missisquoi Bay and have added other locations. The data are used to understand what triggers the algae blooms and determine when beaches should be closed to prevent health hazards. Each winner received a check for $1000 plus a hand blown glass carafe made by Simon Pearce Glass Blowers of Vermont. Each carafe, which symbolizes the natural elements of fire, earth, air and water, was etched with the name of the award and the year it was received.ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center is located at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, on Vermont’s Burlington Waterfront. ECHO features 70 live species, more than 100 interactive experiences, changing and permanent exhibits and seasonal events ‘ all exploring the Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity for stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin. The 2.2 acre Leahy Center environmental campus is also highlighted by the Lake Champlain Basin Program Resource Room, UVM’s Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, Lake Champlain Navy Memorial, ECHO’s Eclectic Gift Shop, and ecology-themed Café, managed by Sugarsnap. Open year-round, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day. For more information visit echovermont.org, call (toll-free)1.877.324.6386, or write to ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, One College Street, Burlington, VT 05401.last_img read more

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Gang of Baggage Handlers at Brussels Airport Was Receiving Cocaine from Colombia

first_imgBy Dialogo December 21, 2010 Eight employees of the Brussels airport luggage service, implicated in trafficking significant amounts of cocaine originating in Colombia, have been detained by the Belgian judicial police, several daily newspapers reported on 20 December. According to the police investigation, which lasted a year, the individuals implicated obtained these jobs at the airport specifically for the purpose of carrying out their trafficking activities. Eight of the baggage handlers were brought before an instructing magistrate, and “at least four” — one Belgian and three Moroccans — were charged and jailed after confessing, the De Morgen and La Dernière Heure newspapers specified. The baggage handlers were informed in advance about the suitcases to be received; they intercepted them, removed the drugs, returned the suitcases to the conveyor belt, and left the airport with the cocaine in their personal bags without attracting attention. Each operation brought them around 39,000 dollars. The baggage handlers were caught because of a suspicious circumstance: they arrived for work at the airport in luxury cars that they could not have acquired on their official salaries.last_img read more

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Suffolk Bank Robbery Spree Suspect Nabbed

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Edward WallerA suspect wanted for robbing four banks in the past three months has been apprehended this week, Suffolk County police said.Edward Waller, 42, of Deer Park, was arrested and charged with four counts of robbery.Police said the suspect allegedly robbed the New York Commercial Bank on Grand Boulevard in Deer Park on Sept. 5 and Oct. 11.He also allegedly robbed the TD Bank on Deer Park Avenue in North Babylon on Oct. 27 and the TD Bank on Portion Road in Lake Ronkonkoma on Nov. 10.Waller will be arraigned Thursday at First District Court in Central Islip.last_img read more

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Zappos’ service commitment shines through on tour

first_imgCampus visit illustrates how the online retailer’s core values align with those of CUs.by: Ted GoldwynA trip to Zappos’ corporate headquarters confirmed for Lori Vana that the online retailer shares two core values with the credit union movement: customer service and prioritizing people.Vana, business development manager at $339 million asset Linn Area Credit Union in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, participated in “The Ultimate Zappos Experience” in Las Vegas last week with a select group of CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference attendees.The special preconference event included a private tour of the company’s downtown campus and a one-hour presentation by a Zappos “culture expert.”Vana’s takeaways include “incorporating ‘wow’ experiences into your credit union’s incentive plan”—an approach her credit union already employs.Linn Area instituted a program where management and peers attempt to catch a teammate in a “WOW”—a moment in which a team member provides service above and beyond expectations. Positive member comments and surveys also count toward a WOW. continue reading » 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Stuck in the middle

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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In race for vaccine, safety trumps speed

first_imgThe halting of clinical trials for one of the most advanced experimental COVID-19 vaccines shows the importance of safety in developing new medicines despite overwhelming international pressure, experts said Wednesday.Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford said Tuesday they were “pausing” trials of the vaccine after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.AstraZeneca said in a follow-up statement that a participant in Britain had been taken ill during large-scale Phase 3 testing. Several candidates”While we share with everyone the need to move fast, we can’t risk the safety of the [trial] participants,” Bruno Hoen, director of medical research at Paris’ Institut Pasteur, told AFP.The WHO says there are currently 35 candidate vaccines for COVID-19 in human trials and another 145 in the pre-clinical stage.”The more candidates we have that use different techniques, the greater the chance of having a vaccine that works and which is well-tolerated,” said Daniel Floret, vice-president of France’s technical committee for vaccines.Ohid Yaqub, senior lecturer at the University of Sussex’s Science Policy Research Unit, said AstraZeneca’s pause may in fact end up benefiting the search for COVID-19 immunization.”Suspending the trial gives time to investigate whether the incident is related to the vaccine or is happening by coincidence,” he said. “In some senses, it is good that such a routine event is being publicized because it helps to build trust as it provides an opportunity for people to see the procedures at work.”Amid the frantic race, the European Medicines Agency sounded a note of caution. It said that we may see no widely available vaccine for COVID-19 until “at least” the beginning of 2021.In order to officially endorse it, the EMA said it “will need to have strong evidence from clinical trials on the safety, efficacy and the quality of this vaccine.” Phase 3 trials see experimental vaccines tested among tens of thousands of volunteers to check if they are effective and safe on a large scale.Fischer said an inquiry would determine if the volunteer in question got sick because of the vaccine or from something else. Topics :center_img It called the move to pause the trial “a routine action”, but the setback briefly spooked markets as the world races for a vaccine that could signal the beginning of the end of the pandemic. “It’s a totally reasonable measure of caution,” immunologist Alain Fischer told AFP.”This should be seen as the proper functioning of a vaccine evaluation system.”The vaccine in question is one of nine that are undergoing the final phase of clinical testing, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  Pressure David Lo, a professor of biomedical sciences at University of California, Riverside, told AFP that there had been reports of mild side effects among volunteers during previous trial phases.”During the earlier stages of the clinical trial into this vaccine, patients reported side-effects classed as mild and moderate, but none that were severe,” he said.Lo said that it was common for trials to be paused when one volunteer experienced adverse effects to allow time to see if any other participants also fall ill. “Probably right now it’s just being cautious — it’s a pause, it’s not the same thing as saying, ‘We can’t move forward,'” said Lo.While the developers appear to be exercising caution, the pause comes at a time when scientists are under enormous pressure to push through a COVID-19 vaccine.Competition is fierce and the stakes could hardly be higher. Russia has already approved a vaccine — albeit with some question marks from international observers — and the European Union on Wednesday reserved another 200 million doses of a potential vaccine from AstraZeneca rivals, BioNTech-Pfizer.last_img read more

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Dutch cabinet agrees with unions on DC pensions switch

first_imgThe Dutch cabinet and the social partners have reached an agreement on the elaboration of the country’s pensions accord of last June, said Social Affairs’ minister Wouter Koolmees.In a statement released on Friday, Koolmees said that in the new system, pensions will no longer be guaranteed, but will rise and fall in line with markets, shifting risk to participants.Although no details have yet been released about the new pensions contract, the players have been discussing defined contribution (DC) arrangements, albeit with individual pension claims on collective assets.As a result, pension funds will no longer be constrained by a coverage ratio largely dictated by a discount rate for liabilities, which has significantly declined in the past years due to continuously falling interest rates. Projected returns on investment will become the criterion for establishing a participant’s expected pension level instead.As part of the new agreement, Koolmees said that “because of the current extraordinary economic situation”, the temporary reduction of the minimum required funding level – from 104.3% to 90% – will be extended until the end of 2021. New arrangements need to be agreed later.The minister and the social partners claim that, as a result of the new accord, the pensions system will become more transparent and increasingly geared up for a tailor-made approach.Koolmees said the new system will offer the chance of a better pension sooner than under the current rules.He added that contributions for employers are to remain stable, indicating that contributions will become age-independent, while annual pensions accrual will decrease with age.He also said it will become easier for self-employed workers (ZZP’ers) to accrue a pension.However, the conclusions of the negotiations about the entire reform package haven’t yet been made public either.Citing a leaked summary of the new agreement, Dutch pensions publication Pensioen Pro said pension funds will be allowed to adopt the new rules as of 2022.As the new arrangements have to be introduced no later than 2026, the social partners must provide their respective pension funds with clarity about their new pension plan in 2024.Pension funds must in principle merge existing pension rights with new pensions accrual.However, there will be an opt out for schemes than can show that merging rights can’t be implemented in a balanced way for all participants.The summary further suggested that the tax-facilitated pensions contributions were to be capped at more than 30% of the pensionable salary.The social partners of employers and unions are to consult their rank and file before the minister tables the proposals in a framework note for parliament before the summer.The players said that subsequently, consultations would be held on a regular basis in order to monitor the reform process.The only direct and concrete result of the initial pensions accord of last year was a slowdown of the rise of the retirement age of the state pension (AOW).Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

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​Sweden boosts buffer funds’ ownership cap to 15% from 10%

first_imgBesides the blow dealt to cashflows, the fall in income was also reflected in losses in company income statements, the government department said in the proposal, which it said had dented the businesses’ long-term ability to repay loans.“It is primarily up to existing owners to inject new capital themselves or with other private financiers,” it said.The legislative amendment is scheduled to take effect on 1 November this year and expire at the end of June 2021.According to the proposal, if AP funds 1-4 end up with more than 15% of the voting capital in any company as a result of a share issue, the excess portion must be liquidated “as soon as appropriate taking into account the market conditions”.However, this sale of shares also has to take place when it can be done without loss to the AP fund, the proposal goes on.The part of a holding over and above the current limit of 10% of voting rights will have to be wound up no later than seven years after the acquisition of shares through a rights issue, according to the draft, which is now out for consultation until 10 August. Under a new COVID-related proposal from the Swedish Finance Ministry, the big four buffer funds behind the country’s state pension are to be given permission to hold larger stakes than usual in the companies they invest in for the next few years.The ministry’s Financial Markets division published the draft legislation yesterday, as a temporary change to the investment rules for AP1-4 contained in the General Pension Funds Act (AP Funds) – specifying in the title that it was being made due to COVID-19.The cap on votes the individual AP funds may hold in any single listed company is being raised temporarily to 15% from 10% – as long as the excess equity is acquired via a new share issue.Explaining the background to the proposal, the Financial Markets division said COVID-19 and measures taken to counteract its spread had resulted in sharply reduced revenues for many Swedish companies.last_img read more

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Townsville’s Marina Residences development hits the market

first_img New development wired up for the future More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020Managing director at M Property Glen Maidment said the development had already secured interest from potential buyers. “We have had numerous Townsville locals contact us, and register their interest, and we have pre-booked appointments to visit the display suite this weekend,” Mr Maidment said. “The majority of inquiries we’ve been getting have come from professionals with kids, and business people.” Managing director Glen Maidment at the site for Marina Residences. Picture: Evan MorganWith 11 multi-level executive homes and 16 boutique luxury apartments on offer, Townsville’s latest residential development, Marina Residences, is a site with something for everyone. The new $50 million waterfront complex, developed by Maidment Group, officially goes to market today, with its four-level display suite opening to the public this morning at 10am. An exclusive preview on Wednesday night showcased a scaled-down version of individual areas throughout the homes and apartments.MORE NEWS: Lowest home loan rates revealed MORE REAL ESTATE NEWScenter_img “We are also expecting it will be of interest to people toward the end of their careers, and even retirees who are just looking for the ultimate premium residential address.”Located on the Mariners Peninsula, the site features unrivalled views of The Strand, Magnetic Island and Cleveland Bay. “The peninsula has direct access to The Strand, and proximity to the CBD — it also offers absolutely sensational views,” Mr Maidment said. “If you’re looking for the best address in Townsville with the very best views, arguably this site has it all.”Prices for the lower-level apartments will start at about $1.25 million, with the marina homes and high-level apartments ranging up to about $2 million. last_img read more

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Smacking link to adult cancers improbable

first_imgNHS UK News 14 November 2012Smacking increases cancer risk’, the Daily Express boldly reports, while The Sun believes that smacking can also increase the risk of asthma or heart disease. These reports exaggerate a piece of research that has significant limitations.The news is based on a study that asked a sample of Saudi Arabian adults with cancer, asthma or heart disease how frequently they had been physically punished or verbally insulted as a child (referred to in the papers as smacking and shouting). The researchers then looked at whether there was a link between the two, comparing these adults with healthy controls. They found that reported physical punishment and insult was associated with an increased risk of developing adult cancer, asthma and heart disease.http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/11November/Pages/Smacking-link-to-adult-cancers-improbable.aspxlast_img read more