The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will hold three public meetings, from November 14th to 17th, regarding the Vermont Public Transit Policy Plan. Last completed in 2007, the Public Transit Policy Plan outlines the State’s transit policies and goals and develops strategies to meet current and emerging public transit challenges. VTrans is updating this plan, and seeks public input in this second round of meetings to review the draft of the final report and receive input and comments. The public meeting times and locations are: November 14, 20117:00 p.m. Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, 110 West Canal Street, Suite 202, Winooski, VT 05404; Telephone: (802) 846-4490 November 16, 20114:00 p.m. Vermont Interactive Television ‘ 13 sites (Randolph Ctr. and Waterbury not available) across the state, see www.vitlink.org(link is external) for info. and directions to the sites. November 17, 20116:30 p.m. Rutland Regional Planning Commission, The Opera House, 67 Merchants Row, Third Floor, Rutland, VT 05702; Telephone: 802-775-0871. The Public Transit Policy Plan focuses on public transit services, specifically fixed route, paratransit, transportation brokerage, user-side subsidy, and rideshare/ride-match programs. The plan also addresses coordination and connections among public transit services and with other public transportation modes such as intercity bus and passenger rail, commercial aviation services, and park and ride locations. However, VTrans has separate policy plans for Airports, Rail, Highways, and Pedestrian and Bicycle. In conjunction with these other policy plans, the Public Transit Policy Plan provides the basis for the Vermont Long Range Transportation Business Plan. All members of the Vermont public are invited to attend and provide their input on the draft Public Transit Policy Plan. The draft plan will be available on the project web site by the end of October. To view the plan and additional information please visit the project website, http://www.kfhgroup.com/vermonttransitplanupdate.htm(link is external), or contact Scott Bascom of the Policy and Planning Division at VTrans by email at email@example.com(link sends e-mail) or by phone at (802) 828-5748.
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Desmond Parks, Navy Public Affairs Support Element July 01, 2016 Leadership aboard Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), alongside Commander, United States Southern Command Adm. Kurt Tidd and U.S. ambassador to Panama John D. Feeley, hosted a Panama Canal Expansion ceremony while in port Balboa, Panama, June 25. The ceremony marked the opening of a $5.4 billion expansion of the Panama Canal that spanned over the course of a decade, allowing larger ships to pass through the canal and significantly improve long-term global trade. “The Panama Canal is the most important economic feature of this region,” said Adm. Tidd. “It connects the economic livelihood of nations all around the world.” In preparation for the expansion, ports on the East Coast of the U.S. and in the Gulf of Mexico have invested over $30 billion in deepening channels and building new loading docks to prepare for greater traffic and increased trade, according to the American Association of Port Authorities. Although there isn’t an expectation for immediate improvement in global trade, the expansion is expected to directly benefit both security and trade within the region. In addition to guest speakers, Adm. Tidd and Ambassador Feeley, U.S. Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden also attended the ceremony and met with Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and U.S. embassy officials to celebrate the Panama Canal expansion. “Oak Hill is extremely proud to be able to participate in this historic event,” said Cmdr. Orlando Bowman, commanding officer aboard Oak Hill. “The ability to represent the U.S., as well as continuing to strengthen our partnership with Panama is an incredible experience for the crew.” “U.S. Southern Command is the organizer for one of the largest multinational exercises involving over 21 nations this year engaged in the security of the Panama Canal,” said Adm. Tidd. “All of the countries of the region and beyond have a shared responsibility working hand-in-hand with the government of Panama to secure this important economic item.” PANAMAX brings together partner nations to participate in training scenarios from various U.S. locations to increase interoperability among participating nations. The main focus of the exercise is to guarantee safe passage through the Panama Canal, ensure Panama’s neutrality and respect its sovereignty. For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy. For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.
continue reading » The NAFCU Board today will meet with Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to discuss various regulatory issues affecting the credit union industry and the bureau’s 2019 priorities.NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Carrie Hunt and Regulatory Affairs Counsel Kaley Schafer will join today’s meeting.The bureau’s rulemaking agenda indicates several rulemakings next year covering payday lending, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), debt collection and the TILA/RESPA integrated disclosure (TRID) rule. NAFCU also recently met with the bureau to discuss qualified mortgages – a rule Mulvaney has indicated the bureau would review to reduce regulatory burden – and has previously outlined credit union issues the bureau should address. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Retail sales showed a small recovery in August and rose 0.6 percent, following a revised 0.9 percent rise in July and an 8.6 percent increase in June. NAFCU’s Curt Long stated that, although retail sales growth continued to grow in August and is now up a “respectable” 2.5 percent from a year prior, concerns remain.“For one, even though the goods market has rebounded, spending on services (which is not reflected in retail sales) has been more tepid,” said Long, NAFCU’s chief economist and vice president of research, in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. “Secondly, fiscal stimulus appears to be a key spending driver, particularly via enhanced unemployment benefits. JPMorgan Chase estimates that an astounding 73 percent of those payments were spent by recipients.“With those benefits having mostly ceased and Congress still deliberating over a new spending package, the concern is that many households are dipping into savings or taking on debt in order to maintain spending levels,” said Long. “NAFCU expects retail sales growth to be relatively flat the rest of the year.”Recovery has slowed in most sectors, with some exceptions. When compared to last month, the food service and drinking sector led the pack with a 4.7 percent rise, followed by clothing stores (+2.9 percent), furniture stores (+2.1 percent), and building material stores (+2 percent). Sporting goods stores saw a 5.7 percent drop. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The disease has infected many deer herds in Wyoming, and it spread to Montana in 2017. Both states are adjacent to Yellowstone, so experts are concerned that the deadly disease could soon makes its way into the park’s vast herds of elk and deer. The absence of wolves throughout much of the West may also have allowed the disease to take off. “Taking the sick and weak removes chronic wasting disease from the population, because any animal showing any signs of it will get killed and eaten by the wolves,” Dr. Dobson said. “The rest of the carcass gets cleaned up by the coyotes, the bald eagles, ravens and bears.”“Without predators and scavengers on the landscape, animal components last much longer, and that can definitely have an impact on the spread of disease,” Ms. Brandell said.Restoring the population of predators in national parks and wild lands would go a long way toward healthier ecosystems with less disease, Dr. Dobson said. Chronic wasting disease, a contagious neurological disease, is so unusual that some experts call it a “disease from outer space.” First discovered among wild deer in 1981, it leads to deterioration of brain tissue in cervids, mostly deer but also elk, moose and caribou, with symptoms such as listlessness, drooling, staggering, emaciation and death.- Advertisement – It is caused by an abnormal version of a cell protein called a prion, which functions very differently than bacteria or viruses. The disease has spread across wild cervid populations and is now found in 26 states and several Canadian provinces, as well as South Korea and Scandinavia.The disease is part of a group called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the most famous of which is bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease. Mad cow in humans causes a variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and there was an outbreak among people in the 1990s in Britain from eating tainted meat.Cooking does not kill the prions, and experts fear that chronic wasting disease could spread to humans who hunt and consume deer or other animals that are infected with it. The origin of the disease is unknown. Andrew P. Dobson, a professor of ecology and epidemiology at Princeton who has studied predator cleansing, believes the illness is largely the result of ecosystems with too few predators and scavengers.He speculates that the disease may have come from deer living in proximity to sheep in Colorado or Wyoming, where it was first identified. Sheep have carried scrapie — effectively mad cow disease for sheep — for centuries. Dr. Dobson has theorized that after a contaminated animal died, it may have lain on the ground for a while in the absence of predators and scavengers, which would usually clean up carcasses.Elk and deer must have calcium, he said, and they may have eaten the bones of a contaminated animal and spread the disease. – Advertisement – Unless, perhaps, the park’s 10 packs of wolves, which altogether contain about 100 individuals, preyed on and consumed diseased animals that were easier to pick off because of their illness (The disease does not appear to infect wolves).“Wolves have really been touted as the best type of animal to remove infected deer, because they are cursorial — they chase their prey and they look for the weak ones,” said Ms. Brandell. By this logic, diseased deer and other animals would the be most likely to be eliminated by wolves.Preliminary results in Yellowstone have shown that wolves can delay outbreaks of chronic wasting disease in their prey species and can decrease outbreak size, Ms. Brandell said. There is little published research on “predator cleansing,” and this study aims to add support for the use of predators to manage disease.A prime concern about the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Yellowstone region is the fact that Wyoming maintains 22 state-sponsored feeding grounds that concentrate large numbers of elk unnaturally in the Yellowstone region. And just south of Grand Teton National Park lies the National Elk Refuge, where thousands of animals, displaced by cattle ranches, are fed each winter to satisfy elk hunters and tourists. Many wildlife biologists say concentrating the animals in such small areas is a recipe for the rapid spread of chronic wasting disease.When cases of the disease among deer ranged from 5 to 50 percent in Wisconsin and Colorado, those states were considered hot spots. But if the disease gets into game farms like the ones in Wyoming, “prevalence rates skyrocket to 90 or 100 percent,” said Mark Zabel, associate director of the Prion Research Center at Colorado State University.Prions are especially deadly. Unlike bacteria and viruses, prions can persist in soil for 10 years or more and live on vegetation. Even if a herd dies out or is culled, new animals moving in can become infected. Ken McDonald, Chief of the Wildlife Division of Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks, expressed doubts that wolves would prevent chronic wasting disease.“Wolves help remove sick animals, but animals don’t get visibly ill for about 2 years,” he said. “So they are carriers and spreaders but don’t get the classic symptoms.”Mr. McDonald said that maintaining a large enough wolf population outside of Yellowstone to control chronic wasting disease would require so many wolves that it would be socially unacceptable, especially to ranchers and hunters.The state’s approach to controlling the disease, he said, is to increase the number of deer that can be killed in places where the disease is growing.Ms. Brandell, however, said that wolves may detect the disease long before it becomes apparent to people, through smell or a slight change in the movement of prey, which could be beneficial.“Wolves wouldn’t be a magic cure everywhere,” she said. “But in places where it was just starting and you have an active predator guild, they could keep it at bay and it might never get a foothold.” Are the wolves of Yellowstone National Park the first line of defense against a terrible disease that preys on herds of wildlife?That’s the question for a research project underway in the park, and preliminary results suggest that the answer is yes. Researchers are studying what is known as the predator cleansing effect, which occurs when a predator sustains the health of a prey population by killing the sickest animals. If the idea holds, it could mean that wolves have a role to play in limiting the spread of chronic wasting disease, which is infecting deer and similar animals across the country and around the world. Experts fear that it could one day jump to humans.- Advertisement – “There is no management tool that is effective” for controlling the disease, said Ellen Brandell, a doctoral student in wildlife ecology at Penn State University who is leading the project in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service. “There is no vaccine. Can predators potentially be the solution?”Many biologists and conservationists say that more research would strengthen the case that reintroducing more wolves in certain parts of the United States could help manage wildlife diseases, although the idea is sure to face pushback from hunters, ranchers and others concerned about competition from wolves. – Advertisement –
Julie-Anne and Ashley Peel and their children are selling their home in Thorneside and moving 700m down the road because they love the suburb so much. Picture: Nigel Hallett.Manly is undoubtedly the jewel in the bayside’s crown, boasting the largest marina in the southern hemisphere, with the house price record for the suburb broken twice in the past two months.A waterfront, five-bedroom home at 497 Royal Esplanade, Manly, recently went under contract for a massive $3.89 million, blitzing the previous record of $2.7 million set just a month earlier.Agent Marc Sorrentino of Place, who sold both houses, told The Courier-Mail the area had seen a surge that was unlikely to stop any time soon, and he was seeing more interstate parties wanting to buy in to the market. The outlook from Thorneside as the sun sets across the bay.Mr Marsden said the suburbs offered good access to Brisbane and larger blocks of land.“There are boat ramps in Thorneside — people don’t even know that,” he said. Mr Marsden said he had also noticed a trend among homeowners on acreage properties in Redland Bay, Gumdale and Chandler looking to the bayside to downsize.Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella said buyers priced out of the southern markets were beginning to recognise the lifestyle appeal of Brisbane’s bayside suburbs, particularly the lesser known suburb of Thorneside.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus23 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market23 hours ago“Thorneside offers waterfront living and is a suburb that caters to young families very well with great parks for families to enjoy, as well as a thriving social scene with a craft brew house, wine bar and numerous eating outlets,” she said.“It has avoided attention from developers thus far, but that may change as its popularity becomes more well-known. “Once people buy here they are reluctant to leave, usually staying on average for 11.1 years.” GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Ms Mercorella said nearby Redland Bay would also soon be home to a major new development, called Shoreline, with Redland Council recently approving the first 205 residential lots. Julie-Anne and Ashley Peel have lived in Thorneside for the past decade and raised their three children there.The couple are selling their five-bedroom home at 11 Baywalk Place for overs offer $1 million and are moving 700 metres down the road to a bigger house. Julie-Anne and Ashley Peel and their children are selling their home in Thorneside and moving 700m down the road because they love the suburb so much. Picture: Nigel Hallett.IT’S no Noosa and it’s definitely not Mermaid Beach, but that’s the way home buyers on Brisbane’s bayside like it.The once “forgotten peninsula” is suddenly attracting interest from far and wide for its big properties with cheap price tags close to the water.And it’s not just the bayside suburb of Manly that’s attracting attention.The unassuming bayside suburb of Thorneside tops the list of the best performing suburbs in Queensland, as named by property analytics company CoreLogic, with homeowners there pocketing close to $1500 a week on average in the past year just sitting on the couch.And in the past five years, houses in the suburb have grown in value by nearly 40 per cent — proving it pays to be beside the seaside.But that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune to get a foothold in the rising market. PLENTY TO BID ON AT BRISBANE AUCTIONS BRISBANE MAKES BEST CITIES LIST RECORD APARTMENT RESALE IN ABIAN Only 17km east of Brisbane’s CBD, Thorneside is hard to beat for affordability, with a median house price of $505,000.Houses in neighbouring Birkdale have a median price of $532,500, while the average house price in Wynnum is $648,500.Ray White East Brisbane agent Justin Marsden described the pocket of Thorneside and neighbouring Birkdale as “a forgotten peninsula”.“People have looked at Wellington Point on one side and Wynnum/Manly on the other and that pocket of Thorneside and Birkdale have been overlooked,” Mr Marsden said. “It’s elevated, has beautiful views and there’s only a limited amount of homes there, so I think it’s starting to find its identity.” This home at 11 Baywalk Plc, Thorneside, is for sale. Picture. realestate.com.au.“We just love the location,” Mrs Peel said.“It was more that we’d outgrown the home and we just didn’t want to leave where we were.”Mrs Peel said she was not surprised that the suburb had seen such strong capital growth.“It’s so quiet, it’s close to everything — it’s like a hidden gem,” she said.“You don’t get to be this close to the water, have the beautiful bay breezes and enjoy this lifestyle and not start be noticed.”
Chris Whebell and Chloe Clarke are saving money on their power bill thanks to Tesla Powerwall technology. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.HARRIS Crossing residents are rejoicing after receiving their latest electricity bill thanks to their Tesla Powerwall installation. The developer behind the Townsville estate, Maidment Group, offers home buyers the option to install a Tesla Powerwall 2 Home Battery System for a fraction of the normal retail price.READ MORE This renovated Queenslander is the epitome of luxury living Chris Whebell and Chloe Clarke are saving money on their power bill thanks to Tesla Powerwall technology. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.Chris and Chloe Clarke who have lived at Harris Crossing for almost 6 months said they were glad to have opted for the Tesla powerwall promotion after receiving their most recent electricity bill of $19.11 for the month. “We decided to include the Tesla system into our build as we liked the idea of reducing our power bills, and hopefully getting rid of them entirely some day,” Mr Whebell said. “Getting the Tesla solar system was important to us, as we believe spending that little bit extra now on technology, in the long run can help us save. “Using the app can help us monitor our output and help us save, not only money, but power and save carbon emissions.”Mr Whebell said the Telsa Powerwall has saved them a huge amount of money in the short period they had been living at the estate.“Since moving in, our electricity bills keep getting lower and lower each month, especially now that it’s coming into summer with the longer days and more sunlight,” Mr Whebell said. “We are also critical of when we use our power and try to use high energy appliances such as the washing machine, dishwasher or oven while there is still daylight. “For us it was definitely worth getting, we recommend just asking around and doing your research so you can maximise the amount of power you can save.”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 Maidment Group Glen Maidment said almost every buyer at Harris Crossing had opted to have a Tesla Powerwall installed in their new home.“We’re seeing a lot of residents get their money back in about 12 months from the savings they’re making on their power bills,” Mr Maidment said. “Close to 97 per cent of buyers at the estate are opting for the inclusion of the Tesla Powerwall in their new home build. “What we are seeing people do is sell established homes in Townsville and build a new property at Harris Crossing because the money they are saving on their electricity bill is saving them a huge amount of money on their home loan.”The promotion has been running since the launch of Harris Crossing and will continue to be offered in the next stages of the estate.Buyers can secure a Tesla Powerwall and 6kw worth of solar panels for $4950 dollars. North Ward units on the move READ MORE
“We protest this belated and untimelyadjustment in the strongest terms,” Leonardia lamented, pointing out that the original quota was “alreadyshort of our need” and thousands of families had already been made tobelieve that they can expect assistance from the nationalgovernment. The mayor further said that it was “madeclear to us previously that the quota of 103,658 families excludes thosealready enjoying their social amelioration grants” such as PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries, and those receiving similar grantsfrom the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Labor and Employment. According to Leonardia, the change in thequota means barangay captains “will now have to eliminate” 5,515families from their lists which were prepared on the basis of the originalquota. BACOLOD City – The local government unit hereis urging the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to“reinstate” the original number of beneficiaries in this city eligible for thesocial amelioration program. Mayor Evelio Leonardia said he was “shocked”after being informed by local social services head Pacita Tero that the quotaof 103,658 beneficiary-families in Bacolod that were supposed to receive thegrants had been slashed. He requested for an immediate writtenexplanation from DSWD 6 director Evelyn Macapobre on why the quota was cutwithout any warning, and after the barangay captains had already identified thefamilies concerned who are, by now, naturally expecting their share. The local social services office initiallyprovided a target number of beneficiaries, but it was later reduced to 98,143,according to Tero. “This is excruciatingly painful to thebarangay officials who will have to make this cut and, more so, to thosefamilies whose expectations will be crushed,” stressed Leonardia. Under Republic Act No. 11469, or theBayanihan to Heal as One Act, 18 million low-income families willreceive a subsidy of P5,000 to P8,000, depending on the region. In MetroManila, low-income households will receive the maximum of P8,000 per month forApril and May, given the higher minimum wage in the region./PN
ILOILO – Most of the cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in this province are not indigenous or locally transmitted, according to Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. * more stringent criteria in determining LSIs to avoid unintended migration They are mostly locally stranded individuals (LSIs), he stressed while calling on the National Task Force Against COVID-19 to extend the moratorium on the return of Ilonggos stranded elsewhere around the country. Lorenzana is the chief of the National Task Force Against COVID-19. “If we are to expect more LSIs and repatriated overseas workers, our handling should be at our maximum level. Crucial to us therefore is the condition of our quarantine facilities and the capacity of our frontliners. It is in this regard that we appeal for additional suspension of the return of LSIs to the province,” Defensor implored Lorenzana. “You remember the scenario last June 26 and June 27? The last two LSI voyages naton before the moratorium…around 700 ang nag-abot. Indi naton gusto ang scenario sa pier (in Manila) nga ang aton mga kasimanwa madungan abot didto, gutok, wala social distancing. Kon mag-amo na ang sitwasyon, sila ang una nga malatnan,” said Defensor./PN Defensor said he also wanted LGUs to improve first their quarantine facilities. “We really would like to welcome back stranded Ilonggos. However, we are presently constrained to earnestly request for a further suspension of their return until July 27 until we are able to execute the intended additional protocols,” read part of Defensor’s letter to Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense. * LSIs should be subject to real time-reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test before travelling to Iloilo The governor made it clear that while the provincial government wants stranded Ilonggos back, the LSIs should also make sure they are virus-free to protect their respective homes. The moratorium took effect on June 28. Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed Iloilo’s total COVID-19 cases at 219 as of yesterday. Of these, 61 were indigenous while 158 were repatriates (LSIs and repatriated overseas workers). Likewise, he added, “we are reorienting our healthcare workers, Philippine National Police, responders on infection control protocols.” “We are now conducting an inventory of space, review personnel capacity, and adjustment of physical facilities,” Defensor informed Lorenzana. Community quarantine fatigue has adversely affected their execution of disease prevention and control measures, thereby leading to incidences of transmission, he explained. * organized return of LSIs for better observation of social distancing at the point of origin and during the voyage, and for better anticipation and handling by the local government units (LGUs) of their arrival and quarantine The additional protocols which Defensor wants to institute are the following: “After four months of community quarantine, we want to afford our frontliners a much needed break while reviewing the basics,” according to Defensor.