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Health reform in the crosshairs

first_imgThe American “social contract” includes a floor below which the poorest cannot fall and a ceiling above which wealthiest should pay more in taxes, but there is little agreement in between — which is where health care reform and other knotty social issues lie, a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) policy analyst said Friday.Robert Blendon, HSPH professor of health policy and political analysis, said that unlike European nations where citizens agree that health care should be part of their basic social contract, Americans are deeply divided over the issue, with many feeling that the federal government shouldn’t inject itself into the medical profession.That helps explain why the federal government appeared so dysfunctional over the past two years, Blendon said. In that time, Americans got what they voted for, a Congress with members who arrived with a mandate to shrink domestic programs, and to avoid compromising with the president on complex issues, including health care reform.“They were elected to cut spending and cut taxes, not play nice with the president,” Blendon said.Still, recent polls show that public dissatisfaction with Congress is at historically high levels, and anti-incumbent sentiment is soaring.Blendon made his comments during a session of The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health. The hourlong panel discussion, which was webcast live, focused on Congress’ failure to reach a budget agreement and the prospects for health care reform.The session included Blendon, David Cutler, the Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics and professor in the HSPH Department of Global Health and Population, John Rother, president and chief executive officer of the National Coalition on Health Care, and Gail Wilensky, an economist and director of Medicare and Medicaid under President George H.W. Bush. The event, moderated by Reuters Boston Bureau Chief Ros Krasny, was sponsored by HSPH in collaboration with Reuters.Though there is disagreement over what health care should look like in America, Blendon said that polls show that Americans’ priorities for government programs differ from those that dominate in Washington. While Americans are worried about the deficit and the national debt, they’d prefer to cut America’s overseas activities and raise taxes on the wealthy before cutting Medicare or Social Security.Still, Cutler said, health care delivery in this country has to change if the nation is to deal with its fiscal problems. That’s because a great deal of the rapidly growing gap between government revenues and spending is due to health care costs, mainly because the baby boomers are retiring and going on Medicare. Not all of the savings has to come from health care cuts, Cutler said, but given the size of the problem, health care has to be on the table. Looking closer at health care spending, Cutler said, about a third goes to administrative costs, waste, and other areas where efficiencies can be found. Cutler said the heart of the battle over health care reform should be focused there.With the failure of a congressional supercommittee to come up with budget-balancing cuts, there is great uncertainty over the immediate future of federal health care programs, Wilensky said. Medicare is facing a mandated 2 percent cut, but given Medicare’s share of the problem, that may wind up being a smaller cut than the program would have suffered under a congressional agreement. Still, Wilenksy said, coming on top of cuts already mandated by the Health Care Reform Act, another 2 percent trim could hit health providers hard. She is particularly worried about payments to physicians, which she said is the most badly broken part of Medicare.A failing of the reform act is that it didn’t go far enough, panelists said. Though there are alternative health care models out there that show ways to improve care and lower costs, the reforms stopped short of mandating that one or another of them be adopted. The law does allow any successful pilot program to be scaled up dramatically.Though Americans disagree over how to solve these questions, Blendon said the coming election should show which direction the nation wants to go.last_img read more

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Pay to Play? User Fees Vs. Firefighting and Timber

first_imgIt took Barrett Dodds—straddling a mountain bike at the trailhead of some of Pisgah National Forest’s most iconic tracks—just a few minutes to come around to the conventional view.He wasn’t crazy about the idea of paying to ride in Pisgah, he says at first. It’s a forest, not a bike park. He doesn’t like trails groomed like Disney rides, and raw, rugged terrain is “what makes Pisgah such a gem.”But then Dodds’ riding buddies pointed out that even natural trails can become too rocky and rutted for good riding, that such conditions promote the erosion blamed for clouding mountain creeks and rivers, and that the rangers’ tiny maintenance budget must accommodate a flood of users like them: out-of-town mountain bikers who have come to think of Pisgah almost like the holy ground it’s named after.“I guess I wouldn’t be highly against it,” concludes Dodds, 24, a registered nurse who drives from Greenville, S.C. at least once a week to ride in Pisgah. “With destination status comes a lot of wear and tear on the trails.”The idea of levying fees for mountain bikers and equestrians in Pisgah Ranger District slipped out at a meeting in November. It landed less as a bombshell than as a plea from a favorite charity. The forest needs us, the users say. Of course we’ll give.But they should also be aware of the broader view, say environmentalists. They see the growing dependence on user fees—Pisgah Ranger District is one of 35 sites of possible new or increased fees in National Forests in North Carolina alone—as cover for decades of misguided spending priorities by federal lawmakers and Forest Service managers.Too much goes to promote logging, which is ultimately a loser for taxpayers, and to fighting fires, some of which should just be allowed to burn, they say. Too little goes to creating sustainable, inviting forests for hikers, climbers, paddlers, hunters, anglers, cyclists and horse riders—the recreational users who not only make up the bulk of forest visitors, but who, by far, create the most jobs and pump the most cash into surrounding communities.“Recreation needs are going to continue to be shortchanged by fire funding and road maintenance that supports logging, unless and until Congress does its job,” says Sam Evans, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center. “I don’t think that fees are inevitable, and I don’t even see that they are necessarily desirable.”Evans is at least partly right, says David Casey, the head ranger of the Pisgah Ranger District, the popular 171,000-acre block of forest west of Asheville. The fee program he’s considering is far from inevitable—not even a formal proposal at this point, he wrote in an emailed response to questions, but a “concept.” It faces an exhaustive review process, including public comment. And if the district does start charging users, the collection and spending of this revenue is strictly limited by federal law, especially the 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.Entry fees for national forests, unlike for national parks, are forbidden, so nobody needs to worry that Pisgah’s famous stone gateway will suddenly sprout a toll booth.The decades-long practice of charging for campgrounds, however, is allowed under the act. So is levying fees for day-use sites such as the Sliding Rock swimming area. And though the Forest Service cannot collect fees from hikers in general, the same provision enables the Forest Service to impose fees at popular hiking trailheads, such as Whiteside Mountain in the Nantahala National Forest.The possible fees for mountain bikers and equestrians would be allowed by the same provision that enables the agency to charge $5 daily or $30 annually for ATV riders at the Brown Mountain OHV (off-highway vehicle) Area; all are considered “specialized uses,” which include activities that require specific trail designs, Casey wrote.The act also requires that money collected goes not to the federal Forest Service budget but to local improvements: habitat restoration, shoring up trails and access roads, building information kiosks, paying law enforcement officers.And though nobody has set a fee amount, it should certainly be within the budgets of its targets, says Rick Calvert, an officer with the Backcountry Horsemen of North Carolina.“I think if you can afford a mountain bike or a horse, you can afford a $30-a-year fee,” he says.It’s especially reasonable, a wide variety of users say, considering the clear need.A comparison of two recent nationwide Forest Service user surveys in 2011 and 2015 shows a 42 percent increase in park visitors who called mountain biking their primary activity. Closer to home, mountain bikers visit Nantahala and Pisgah forests 435,000 times per year, according to a 2017 report by the Outdoor Alliance.And though Forest Service surveys show modest growth in horse riding, it’s booming in Mills River, where the overflow of horse trailers in parking lots regularly spills out onto a popular access point, Turkey Pen Road, Calvert said. Meanwhile, the peak-season jam of trucks and cars—many of them carrying mountain bikes—sometimes extends more than a mile back from the park exit on U.S. 276 near Brevard, says veteran mountain biker Wes Dickson.“Five years ago, you could drive right out of the forest on a Saturday. Now it’s backed up to the Ranger Station,” says Dickson, 41, owner of two Sycamore Cycles bike shops near Pisgah. “We’re seeing increased traffic in the shops. We’re seeing increased traffic on the trails.”Just as obvious is the rangers’ struggle to manage the impact of all users—too few bathrooms and too few clean ones, law enforcement stretched too thin to stop illegal, trash-dumping roadside campers or to make Dickson feel at ease when he sees his wife set off for a trail run—and the impact specific to mountain bikers and equestrians.The condition of Turkey Pen is “horrible … it’s in need of major repair,” says Tom Thomas, the Backcountry Horsemen’s statewide president, who added that some nearby, washed-out stretches of trail have been reduced to little more than webs of exposed roots. Pisgah’s trails are prone to such erosion because many of them were built by loggers for direct access and without switchbacks to divert water flow. The silt and sand carried by such degraded trails and other sources “is probably the number one pollutant of mountain streams,” says Andrea Leslie, a biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.“A healthy mountain stream has clean gravel and clean boulders,” which are needed to support healthy populations of salamanders, trout and the insects they feed on, she says. “Sediment can bury habitat.”Jeff Furman, a guide with Davidson River Outfitters in Brevard, watches it happen after every heavy rain.“Even 10 years ago, the Davidson River would get a little dingy for four to eight hours at the most,” he says. “Now it’s like one or two days, and it gets so dirty you can’t see the bottom of the river. I mean, it looks like chocolate milk.”Anglers, through license fees and equipment taxes, pay for restoration work in the forests, he says. So should cyclists.“They’re able to do whatever they want out there, without having to contribute any money to save the forest.”Mountain bikers and horse riders do pay, they say. The Backcountry Horsemen and Pisgah Area Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) contribute thousands of volunteer hours and a vast majority of the trail work in Pisgah.Since 2013 SORBA has raised $423,000 in grant money for trail improvements, including the recent, highly praised reconstruction of Pisgah’s Lower Black Mountain Trail. Mountain bikers also drop about $30 million per year into the local economy during visits to Nantahala and Pisgah, according to the Outdoor Alliance report, and combined with paddlers and rock climbers create a total annual economic impact of $115 million. Figure in the impact of other outdoor enthusiasts, and the contributions are even more dominant. Of the 4,950 jobs created or supported by national forests in North Carolina, according to a 2014 Forest Service report, nearly 4,000 could be tied to recreational opportunities.The idea of adding user fees to recreationists’ current contributions of cash, labor and economic impact might give them another reason to get on board with the fee program: political clout.“If you want to have a seat at the table,” says Andy Stahl, executive director of the non-profit Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, “it helps to say we pay the freight.”Too often, the Forest Service, or at least the lawmakers that help determine its funding, seem stuck in the days when forest town were built around timber and paper mills while they now serve primarily as “recreation gateways,” Evans says. “Is the overall budget mix disproportionally skewed to the timber industry? The answer is an absolute yes.”“Recreation needs are going to continue to be shortchanged by fire funding and road maintenance that supports logging, unless and until Congress does its job.” —Sam Evans, attorney, Southern Environmental Law CenterHarnessing the political power of recreational users and agreeing how to direct it is notoriously tricky. Different users favor different management policies. National forests contain greatly divergent ecosystems and are surrounded by a wide variety of development patterns. And even full-time naturalists emphasize varying approaches to two of the Forest Service’s main traditional operations, selling timber and fighting fires.But Chad Hanson, co-founder of the John Muir Project, speaks for many environmentalists when he argues for more fire and less fire fighting.In the early 20th century, he said, fire consumed as much as 30 million acres of the nation’s woodlands, which means that the 10.1 million acres that burned in 2015 was not, as is frequently claimed, a record.“It wasn’t even close,” Hanson says.Fires, even ones that destroy mature trees, are a natural reboot for aging, fuel-clogged forests, he said. And hunters, who are often allied with logging interests because of their preference for open, clear-cut landscape, he said, would find that fire leaves similar “early successional” landscape, except that it’s far richer in wildlife.Unlike logging, fire doesn’t leave debris—essentially “kindling,” Hanson says—that renders forests more vulnerable to future fires. And it doesn’t require the roads that are hard to justify by modest timber harvests—down from more than 12 billion board feet per year in the late 1980s, to less than 3 billion annually now—and leave forests with heavy economic and environmental burdens.Though the poster children for wasteful road building are the largest, wildest forests, especially Tongass National Forest in Alaska, and though roads in Pisgah provide undeniable recreation benefits, the gravel paths built for logging there often end up gated and neglected, blocking natural water flow and therefore impeding the path of aquatic wildlife, Evans says. According to a 2012 agency report, the cost of maintaining them comes to more than $3 million annually while the annual allocation for this work is only a small fraction of that amount, leading to a large and growing backlog.“Deferred maintenance continually accrues on the road system, but more importantly, it is not possible to maintain practices required to adequately protect water quality and associated aquatic life,” explains Evans.The Forest Service revealed just how much it spends on fires, and how much this expense drains other operations, in a widely publicized 2015 report. Because of encroaching development and fire seasons extended by climate change, the share of Forest Service funds devoted to fire operations nationally ballooned from 16 percent to more than 50 percent of the agency’s budget in the previous 20 years and was forecast to consume as much as two-thirds of the budget by 2015.Funding for the agency’s Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness programs, meanwhile, has shrunk by 15 percent, the report says. “The decrease in funding resulting from increased fire costs has limited the agency’s ability to provide vital recreational opportunities on Forest Service lands, which jeopardizes the thousands of jobs that are part of a growing recreational economy.”Logan Free, recreation program manager for national forests in North Carolina, says that the local funding impact of fires isn’t quite that simple.The costs of fighting big fires, including the estimated $35 million to battle the 2016 blazes in North Carolina, comes out of a different fund than operational budgets. And in the state’s national forests, the amount devoted to Recreation, Heritage and Wilderness—the main source of recreational funding—has remained mostly stable in recent years.Even so, it accounts for less than 20 percent of a roughly $20 million annual budget for the state’s national forests. And the amount earmarked for trail maintenance and upgrades has remained consistently miniscule. In 2017 it came to $431,000 statewide, leaving a mere $52,000 for the job of maintaining 380 miles of trails in the Pisgah Ranger District.“That’s beyond impossible,” says Jeff Keener, president of Pisgah Area SORBA. “It’s absolutely absurd.”Even if all user groups join forces, they must buck powerful forces both inside and out of the Forest Service, Stahl says.Images of raging fires terrify residents, especially in the rural West, he says, and the Forest Service has found the surest way to secure funding is by framing its work as a “war on fire.”“Wars are great,” he says. “Wars get blank checks. Trail maintenance, on the other hand—it’s tough to make that sound like a war. Nobody got elected to Congress by campaigning on the basis of well-maintained trails.”A look at current proposals in Washington seem to bear this out. Of two major forest-management bills before Congress, one is the so-called Resilient Forest Act, which opponents say is a misleadingly named effort to open vast areas of pristine forest to lightly regulated and costly logging while limiting public input. And President Trump has proposed reducing the previously mentioned, entirely inadequate federal trail maintenance budget from $78 million per year to less than $13 million.But there’s also a sign of hope—a bill that would insulate environment restoration and recreation funds from the expense of fighting major fires by designating them as specially funded emergencies. It has received support not only from fire suppression advocates but environmentalists, many of whom also agree that the logging and restoration of certain previously disturbed forests, especially those that don’t require the building of miles of new roads, can be profitable and environmentally beneficial.Shawn Jenkins, an avid mountain biker who until recently served as a regional director for the National Wild Turkey Federation believes that with better communication, users could probably find more such common ground.“If interest groups really knew what the others were trying to accomplish,” he says, “they might find that they can be partners rather than seeing each other as enemies or threats.”last_img read more

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Historic Visit by President Obama Marks New Era in U.S.-Cuban Relations

first_imgAfter decades of failed Cold War policies, President Obama decided to change course, focusing on advancing American interests and values and supporting the ability of the Cuban people to gain greater control over their own lives and determine their country’s future. U.S. President Barack Obama left Cuba on March 22nd, after a three-day visit to the island nation that marked the beginning of a new era in U.S.-Cuban relations. The historic visit, the first by a sitting U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge in 1928, was a demonstration of the president’s commitment to chart a new course for U.S.-Cuban relations and connect U.S. and Cuban citizens through expanded travel, commerce, and access to information. An important part of the president’s trip to Cuba was to expand the people-to-people interaction and commercial enterprise. Today, more Americans are visiting Cuba than any other time in the past 50 years, and the warming of ties between the two nations is a big opportunity to advance progress in this area. On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba would begin a new chapter and take steps to normalize relations. Since then, significant steps have been made in opening up relations between the two countries. In August 2015, diplomatic relations were restored when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Cuba to raise the American flag over the U.S Embassy. Since talks began between the United States and Cuba, the number of authorized American visitors to Cuba has gone up sharply, enabling increased people-to-people engagement. In February, the U.S. and Cuban governments reached an agreement that restored direct flights between the two countries, a change that eventually will allow up to 110 direct flights to Cuba from the United States each day. By Dialogo March 23, 2016 “Creo en el pueblo cubano,” he said, then repeating himself in English: “I believe in the Cuban people […] This is not just a policy of normalizing relations with the Cuban government. The United States of America is normalizing relations with the Cuban people.” Speaking to the peoples of the Americas, Obama said, “We’ve been a part of different blocks of nations in the hemisphere, and we will continue to have profound differences about how to promote peace, security, opportunity, and human rights, but as we normalize our relations, I believe it can help foster a greater sense of unity in the Americas. From the beginning of my time in office, I’ve urged the people of the Americas to leave behind the ideological battles of the past. We are in a new era.” Obama did not shy away from criticizing Cuba’s lack of political liberty, saying that the future would not depend on the United States but on homegrown change. “I believe that every person should be equal under the law. Every child deserves the dignity that comes with education, health care and food on the table, and a roof over their heads. I believe citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear, to organize and to criticize their government and to protest peacefully, and that the rule of law should not include arbitrary detentions of people who exercise those rights. I believe that every person should have the freedom to practice their faith peacefully and publicly. And yes, I believe voters should be able to choose their governments in free and democratic elections. Not everybody agrees with me on this, not everybody agrees with the American people on this. But I believe those human rights are universal. I believe they are the rights of the American people, the Cuban people, and people around the world.” Speech to the Cuban people center_img Immediately after the speech, Obama left to meet with dissidents who have been harassed and sometimes arrested under Castro’s rule including Berta Soler, the leader of the Ladies in White, and veteran activist Elizardo Sanchez. Each call for greater freedoms received applause, an extraordinary event in a theater where Castro and his officials sat watching. Changing course “I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas,” Obama said. “I have come here to extend the hand of friendship to the Cuban people […] In many ways, the United States and Cuba are like two brothers that have been estranged for many years, even as we share the same blood.” President Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raúl Castro both vowed, during a joint press conference on March 21st in Havana, to set aside their differences in pursuit of what the U.S. president called a “new day” for the long bitterly divided neighbors, AFP reported. Obama vowed that “Cuba’s destiny will not be decided by the United States or any other nation.” That sentiment was echoed by Castro, who acknowledged “profound differences between our countries that will not go away,” but vowed to work on “those things that bring us closer”. On March 22nd, Obama earned repeated cheers and applause from the audience when he delivered a speech at the ornate Gran Teatro in Havana, which included Cuban President Castro, as millions of Cubans watched live on state-run television. Later that day, Obama and Castro sat side-by-side for a symbolism-laden game of baseball between Cuba’s national team and the U.S. Major League’s Tampa Bay Rays. The game reminded Americans and Cubans of their shared histories and cultural connections. While most of Latin America is football-mad, Cuba and several Caribbean islands have long followed the U.S. lead, adopting and excelling in baseball, perhaps the quintessential U.S. sport. The expansion in travel will seek to empower the nascent Cuban private sector and make it easier for Cuban citizens to have access to certain lower-priced goods to improve their living standards and gain greater economic independence from the state. The warming of ties will also bring about important changes in the Cuban people’s access to information. Currently, Cuba has an internet penetration of about five percent, one of the lowest rates in the world. The cost of telecommunications in Cuba is exorbitantly high, while the services offered are extremely limited. Now, telecommunications providers will be allowed to establish the necessary mechanisms, including infrastructure, in Cuba to provide commercial telecommunications and internet services.last_img read more

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East Northport House Fire Injures Woman, Kills 3 Dogs

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 51-year-old East Northport woman was seriously injured in a house fire Thursday afternoon that killed three of her dogs, Suffolk County police said.Suffolk County police Arson Squad detectives and the Huntington Town Fire Marshal are investigating the 2:40 p.m. blaze at 9 Barnett Place. When Second Precinct officers arrived they found the rear of the home fully engulfed, police said. The woman, who was outside with five of her dogs at the time, was attempting to put out the fire with a garden hose so that she could rescue three other dogs that were trapped inside, police said. Two officers entered the burning home to look for the dogs but were pushed back by heavy heat and smoke. Police said the three dogs perished in the fire. East Northport Fire Department also responded and extinguished the blaze. A fire department ambulance transported the woman to Stony Brook University Hospital where she was treated for serious burns, police said. The five dogs that were with her when police arrived were taken to a veterinary hospital. The two officers that attempted to rescue the trio of dogs were treated at Stony Brook for smoke inhalation and then released. The Arson Squad is investigating the fire, but police said the blaze appears to be non-criminal.last_img read more

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Beware of COVID-19 transmission on planes: Epidemiologist

first_imgNational flag carrier Garuda Indonesia director Irfan Setiaputra said previously that the air circulation system in the airline’s planes was safer than those in home and office settings. Garuda, he said, used high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, devices made of extremely tightly knit fibers that capture and remove impurities from the air.“The HEPA filters clean up the air circulation. Furthermore, the air within the cabins circulates vertically, so it doesn’t spread,” Irfan said on July 24.Read also: SE Asia airlines think outside box to surviveWith HEPA filters, Irfan said pathogens in the cabin could disappear, as air within the cabin would be discarded to outside.Internationally, the airline industry has established three new health and safety initiatives to reassure passengers, AFP reported in August.Along with making masks obligatory on flights, airlines are also taking other unprecedented precautions to reassure travelers that they can once again take to the skies.The three initiatives are blocking out middle seats, spraying aircraft with ultra-powerful disinfectant and providing special elbow doorknobs.The middle seat in a row of three has always been something of a nightmare for people flying alone. If you are unfortunate enough to have had the experience, you will no doubt remember being hemmed in on one side by a lucky passenger with a view of the sky and on the other by someone who could at least take advantage of extra space in the corridor to stretch his or her legs.American Airlines has just received an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorization to spray aircraft in its fleet with a new generation anti-microbial product that can effectively eliminate the coronavirus on surfaces for up to a week. For its part, All Nippon Airways (ANA) is experimenting with a new device to make going to the bathroom on its flights an entirely hands-free experience.The new innovation is currently being tested in Tokyo’s Haneda airport, where travelers are being asked what they think of it. If the feedback is positive, it could soon be installed in all of ANA’s planes.The overall goal is to create a restroom door that can be opened and closed by passengers using their elbows. The prototype on show at the airport slides from left to right instead of folding open and shut on hinges, as airplane doors usually do. (nkn) Despite the pandemic, the government is allowing people to travel as long as they comply with COVID-19 health protocols. However, an expert has suggested that people who travel by airplane be extra careful about possible virus transmission in the cabin. “Viruses can multiply quickly in an environment like an airplane cabin,” epidemiologist Tifauzia Tyassuma said, as quoted by tempo.co on Thursday.  Topics : She added that closed-off areas without ventilations and with little sunlight put occupants at high risk of transmission. Airplanes were one such infectious area.“Airplanes are among the unhealthiest places [during the pandemic],” said Tifauzia, adding that travelers should stay alert to possible transmission. All airlines in Indonesia have applied strict health protocols on their operations, including the mandatory use of masks throughout the trip and the requirement that travelers present nonreactive or negative COVID-19 test results. The Transportation Ministry has also limited planes’ occupancy to 70 percent of their typical capacity to facilitate physical distancing.  #covid19taskforce #mothermessage #wearmask #keepyourdistance #washyourhand #socialdistance #avoidcrowd #usesoaplast_img read more

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Tim Nolan Taking the Reins of TOTE

first_imgTim Nolan has been named the next President and CEO of TOTE Inc., the parent company to TOTE Maritime and TOTE Services.Nolan, who currently serves as the President of TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, has been with the TOTE family of companies since 2013.He will take over the helm July 16 from Anthony Chiarello who announced his retirement earlier this year.“We are pleased that Tim has accepted the role of President and CEO for TOTE. His strong leadership at TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico and more than 20 years in the transportation and logistics industry made him a natural choice to lead Saltchuk’s largest line of business,” Tim Engle, President of the company’s parent, Saltchuk, noted.Image Courtesy: TOTE/ Tim NolanAs informed, over the coming months, Nolan will work closely with Chiarello to ensure a smooth transition for the entire TOTE organization.The announcement is being made as TOTE puts its containership project at Philly Shipyard on hold. Namely, the duo has decided not to extend the letter of intent for the construction of four eco-friendly boxships with planned deliveries for the first pair in 2020 and the second pair in 2021.The decision to halt the shipbuilding deal was made as TOTE’s plans to enter the US mainland to Hawaii containership service were temporarily stopped as a result of its Phase 1 technical review of Piers 1 and 2 in Honolulu Harbor.Philly Shipyard said that it still intends to resume the project, but as there are no assurances that would be the case, in case of its cancellation, the yard would have to write-off up to USD 20 million for the project.The shipyard laid off around 10 percent of its employees in the first quarter of 2018 and started idling parts of its facilities as a means of adjusting its business operations to the lack of new orders.The company said it was continuing to seek new orders, however, should it fail to obtain more work, more layoffs would follow.last_img read more

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House rules set for capitol lights visitors

first_imgAccording to Raymundo, around 1,000 people – mostly students, employeesand families – flock the capitol complex every night since the lights wereopened to the public. Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. wants to maintaincleanliness and at the same the security in the area after the capitol’s redevelopedfacade and Christmas lights decoration attracted a big crowd during itsunveiling on Monday. The GSO has allotted P800,000 for itsprocurement, he added. Raymundo said the provincial government has planned to implement the “nofood allowed” inside the capitol but he admitted it is difficult to stop peoplefrom doing so. It also disallows bicycles and skateboards which could possibly harmother people while discouraging the public to step on the frog grass as it isstill sensitive.    They were also told to avoid being near the fountain and the mural topreserve its designs. GLOW IN THE DARK. Glowing Christmas lights attract people to the Iloilo provincial capitol on Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City.The provincial government officially switched on the holiday lights last night, Dec. 2, 2019. Ian Paul Cordero/PN According to General Service Office (GSO) head Aaron Raymundo, they want to step up security measures to ensure the sustainability of the cleanliness and orderliness in the area.  The house rules don’t allow smoking, spitting, littering, and vendorsinside the complex. But Raymundo said vendors are allowed to sell outside thecapitol. He had advised parents to watch out for their kids and to avoid themfrom being near electrical lines connected to the lights – saying that asidefrom entrance and exit guards, security officers were also hired to rove aroundand ensure safety among them.    Raymundo said they are aiming to buy additional closed-circuittelevision (CCTV) for the mural, adding the provincial government has procureda total of 24 CCTVs to monitor the area surrounding the capitol.   “Sa sulod tani no food allowedinside galing kay ti indi mo gid namapunggan pero gina-remind sila nga angputos kang ila mga plastics da ihaboylang nila sa basurahan,” Raymundo added. The capitol lights are open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night but itwill be lighted for a longer time when Christmas nears.        ILOILO – No smoking. No chewing gum. No vendors.These are just some of the dos and don’ts the provincial government enforced insidethe Iloilo provincial capitol starting Wednesday. He said people are already getting used to it, as putting up lights inthe capitol during the Christmas season has already become an annualtradition./PNlast_img read more

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Repeat winners are Saturday story at Canyon

first_imgBy Tony SteelePEORIA, Ariz. (March 17) – Repeat winners were the story Saturday at Canyon Speedway Park.Jason Noll wasted no time following a Leading Edge IMCA Modified restart and made what proved to be the race-winning pass of Ryan Roath to the inside when the green flag flew. Chaz Baca had a strong run going until a misstep allowed Joey Moriarity to get by to the inside, putting both MRT Racecar teammates on the podium.For the first time in almost a full year the race fans at Canyon were treated to a full Allscapes IMCA Stock Car battle between Cody Center and George Fronsman. It seems between the two it’s been one of them having some type of mechanical problem over the last six or so races. At last, both cars held up to full strength and the fight raged on.Much of the race was led by Fronsman on the low side while Center continued to chip away on the cushion. Center finally got the run he needed to get by Fronsman and did look back.For the third time this season, Joe Peterson recovered from an early trip to the hot pits en route to vic­tory lane in the Desert Restorations IMCA Hobby Stocks.Billy Ayres Jr. captured his second win of the year in the brand new Mach-1 Sport Compact divi­sion.Next up at Canyon Speedway Park on Saturday, March 31 will be the Easter Eggstravaganza, featuring the Leading Edge IMCA Modifieds and Arizona Differential IMCA Northern SportMods.last_img read more

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Cricket News Ishant Sharma shines, Kuldeep Yadav stakes claim for Antigua Test

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Ishant Sharma continued his fine form in red ball cricket with a brilliant spell of bowling on the second day of the warm-up game between India and West Indies A at Coolidge, Antigua. Ishant took three wickets and was ably assisted by Kuldeep Yadav (3/35) and Umesh Yadav (3/19) as India bowled West Indies A out for 181 and got a lead of 116 runs. India batted again in the second innings but Ajinkya Rahane’s form continued to be of concern as he scratched around for an unbeaten 20 off 95 balls. Rahane looked horribly out of touch during his 35 overs at the crease. His 20 not out had three boundaries but he played more than 80 dot balls, a testimony to his struggles while Hanuma Vihari looked solid in his knock of 48 as India took their lead to 200. However, the performance of Kuldeep and Umesh highlighted India’s problem of plenty in the squad. Umesh, who hasn’t been among the top three pacers in the starting line-up, also gave a good account of himself rocking the A team’s middle-order. However, with Bumrah, Shami and Ishant being the top-three choices, it will be difficult for him to break into the side unless Virat Kohli decides upon playing four specialist fast bowlers. For Kuldeep, getting three wickets will keep him in a good headspace and if India happen to play five bowlers with two spinners, he is sure to play his part.The toss-up for the spinner’s spot will be interesting. Ashwin has been plagued by fitness issues during the England and Australia series and his last Test was in December 2018 in Adelaide. Following the Test, Ashwin did not play in the subsequent Tests due to injury while Kuldeep took 5/99 in the Sydney Test to underline his growth in the team. Ashwin did not bowl much in the warm-up game and Virat Kohli might be tempted to field Kuldeep in addition to Ishant, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. The situation with Umesh is bizarre. After a stellar home season in 2016/17, Umesh played in just three out of six Tests against Sri Lanka while he took 10 wickets against West Indies in Hyderabad but still did not get a regular place in the team. In the England and Australia series, Umesh played in one Test in Birmigham and Perth respectively. Looking at his good record against West Indies, Umesh is the dark horse to be in the side but with Bumrah, Ishant and Shami performing well overseas, it will be an uphill struggle for him.Brief Scores: India 297/5 decl and 84/1 (Hanuma Vihari 48 batting, Ajinkya Rahane 20 batting). West Indies A 181 in 56.1 overs (Ishant Sharma 3/21, Umesh Yadav 3/19, Kuldeep Yadav 3/35).  highlightscenter_img Umesh Yadav played only one Test in England and Australia.Kuldeep Yadav took 5/99 in the Sydney Test against Australia.Ravichandran Ashwin has been plagued by fitness issues in England and Australia.last_img read more

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Duquesne faces tough test vs No. 5 Dayton

first_img Associated Press BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Dayton’s Obi Toppin has averaged 19.4 points and 7.7 rebounds while Jalen Crutcher has put up 14.4 points and 4.7 assists. For the Dukes, Marcus Weathers has averaged 14.6 points and eight rebounds while Sincere Carry has put up 11.6 points and five assists.OFFENSIVE THREAT: Carry has had his hand in 49 percent of all Duquesne field goals over the last three games. Carry has 14 field goals and 21 assists in those games.SCORING THRESHOLDS: Duquesne is 16-0 when it limits opponents to 69 or fewer points, and 2-7 when opposing teams exceed 69 points. Dayton is 22-0 when holding opponents to 76 points or fewer, and 2-2 whenever teams score more than 76 on the Flyers.THREAT BEHIND THE ARC: Duquesne’s Tavian Dunn-Martin has attempted 162 3-pointers and connected on 36.4 percent of them, and is 12 for 32 over the past three games.DID YOU KNOW: Dayton is ranked eighth among all Division I teams with an average of 80.6 points per game. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditDuquesne (18-7, 8-5) vs. No. 5 Dayton (24-2, 13-0)University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio; Saturday, 2 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: No. 5 Dayton presents a tough challenge for Duquesne. Duquesne has played a ranked team only once this season and lost. Dayton has won all 13 games against A10 opponents this season. February 20, 2020center_img Duquesne faces tough test vs No. 5 Dayton ___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comlast_img read more