Stephanie Yu – Public Assets Institute, Vermont Business Magazine A rally Monday evening in Montpelier is intended to press Governor Phil Scott to commit to signing two pieces of legislation that are key for a “Movement Toward a Moral Economy:” raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and establishing a paid family and medical leave insurance program for the state of Vermont. The event was organized by the Vermont Interfaith Action. The VIA and allied organizations have worked for two years and maintain that these two initiatives are at a critical point in the legislative process and are marching towards a goal of getting the governor’s signature.Paid family and medical leave and increases in the minimum wage are part of Vermont Interfaith Action’s Movement Toward a Moral Economy campaign which launched in 2014 with a series of regional gatherings to present a theologically-based, interfaith platform for addressing the growing gap between the rich and the poor, even in progressive Vermont. They say the two efforts support working families in the state.The event will feature a presentation of the research behind these economic issues and stories of how people are personally affected by them.WHO: The event is open to the public and organizers are expecting a large crowd in attendance. The speakers for the event include:Rev. Earl Kooperkamp – Vermont Interfaith Action, Elise Greaves – Rights & Democracy, Ashley Moore – Main Street Alliance Testimonies from members of the publicWHEN: Monday, April 23 from 6:30 PM to 7:45 PMWHERE: Christ Church, 64 State Street(link is external) in Montpelier, VT
STUDENTS AT NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’S Shepard Broad Law Center donated 8,200 cans of food to Feeding South Florida (formerly the Daily Bread Food Bank) that were collected through the law school’s “Canned Immunity” food drive in late November. As part of the food drive, first-year law students who donated cans in their classes received “immunity” from being called on by the professor for that class. Drop box locations were also set up in the atrium of the law center. January 1, 2010 Regular News NSU students donate 8,200 cans of food
Share Share on Twitter Doctors commonly recommend patients increase their intake of calcium as a means of combating osteoporosis for aging bones.But calcium also plays an essential role in the neurological functioning of the brain, where it must be tightly regulated and not rise to excessive levels. A signaling molecule, calcium enables learning, cognition and the retention of memories. Calcium also facilitates communication among nerve cells and transports molecules to the many branches of the nerve cell.Building on scientific evidence implicating disturbed calcium regulation in brain aging accumulated through the past 30 years, a research team in the University of Kentucky Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences led by principal investigator Philip Landfield has found a connection between unhealthy brain aging and a protein responsible for regulating calcium at the molecular level, called FKBP1b. The team’s groundbreaking research, which was published July 29 in the Journal of Neuroscience, identifies a molecular mechanism occurring within the cell that appears to cause unhealthy brain aging. The research suggests the absence or addition of the FKBP1b protein is a strong determinant of functioning in the hippocampus region, a part of the brain responsible for cognition and memory retention. LinkedIn Unhealthy brain aging is defined as a reduction in brain function resulting in memory impairment. Excess calcium in brain cells appears responsible for important aspects of unhealthy brain aging, and may also increase susceptibility to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s and vascular dementia. Until now, the precise molecular cause of the disturbed calcium regulation in brain aging has remained unknown to scientists.After learning about the FKBP1b protein’s recently uncovered role in the heart, the UK researchers wondered whether FKBP1b in the hippocampus region declines with brain aging. They then found evidence of reduced FKBP1b gene expression with aging in the hippocampus. This discovery prompted the researchers at the University of Kentucky to test whether boosting FKBP1b in the hippocampus region could reverse or prevent brain aging linked to memory loss.“It is well-recognized that normal aging is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, but nobody knows why,” Landfield, a professor in the department, said. “It’s possible this (decreased FKBP1b) is the missing link.”The team used an advanced gene therapy approach to inject harmless virus particles, which created additional copies of the FKBP1b protein, into the hippocampus of aging rats. The memory abilities of three groups of rats were tested two months after the injections. One group of young rats received a control injection, one group of aged rats received a control injection and one aged group received an injection of the FKBP1b-producing virus particles. The aged group with raised levels of FKBP1b showed restored calcium regulation and dramatically improved cognitive function, allowing them to perform the memory task as well as or better than the young rats. In addition, the researchers have repeated and extended the results in a subsequent study being prepared for publication.The research provides evidence the manifestations of brain aging can be reversed, and cognition and memory function restored, by altering levels of FKBP1b. This finding is also significant for Alzheimer’s patients as the researchers found a decline in the FKBP1b protein in the hippocampus of people who had early-stage Alzheimer’s. The research has implications for preventing brain aging associated with the progression of Alzheimer’s, and opens the door for pharmaceutical development aimed at sustaining levels of FKBP1b and keeping calcium in check.“We showed FKBP1b is a master regulator of calcium in brain cells, and when we restore it, it restores the regulation of calcium and dramatically improves learning in the aged animals,” Landfield said. “In all my years of doing research, I’ve never seen a compound this effective; it’s rare that tests of a hypothesis satisfy each of the criteria that have to be met.”The UK team is the only known group studying FKBP1b in brain aging. As a next step, the researchers are interested in investigating why FKBP1b declines with age. Landfield said there is promise to regulate the protein through Vitamin D, which is known to restore calcium deficiencies in other cells.The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging and was published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience. Email Share on Facebook Pinterest
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE. – Kirtland has raised its Health Protection Condition (HPCON) level to B-plus in response to the spread of COVID-19.The decision to implement a higher HPCON was taken to stay in step with the Air Force and state and local authorities.There are no cases of COVID-19 on Kirtland AFB.The Installation Commander, Col. David S. Miller, has directed the elevation of the condition level to align with existing precautionary measures, and education of base personnel in preventing a potential widespread outbreak.The HPCON B-Plus increase implements base measures that defines heightened exposure risk. The new recommendations include increasing the measures of HPCON A: vigorous hand-washing, self-monitoring for symptoms and self-isolating, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. HPCON B expands these measures to include: strict hygiene, self-isolation if exposed even if not symptomatic, careful cleaning of common-use items/areas, and staying away from large gatherings.The new condition level also directs maximum use of telework for non-essential personnel, to limit in-person meetings, as well as restriction of movement for individuals who have recently traveled to impacted areas. For Team Kirtland mission partners, the implementation of the measures will be decided by their respective commanders.For the latest information on COVID-19, see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. For Kirtland specific information and updates, see the Kirtland Public Web site at www.kirtland.af.mil and download the Kirtland app.
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Oilfield service company ROMAR International has appointed STEP Oiltools as its agent in the Caspian region, in a two year agreement.STEP Oiltools already promotes ROMAR’s range of magnetic separation products in Norway, South East Asia and the Middle East in a highly successful arrangement between the two companies.As well as the new deal for the Caspian, a result of continued success in South East Asia, ROMAR has increased its presence in the region to cover Malaysia, as part of the agreement with STEP Oiltools. Last month, a swarf handling contract worth a six figure sum with a major oil and gas operator was secured for ROMAR and work will commence in Q3 2014.ROMAR’s core business activities revolve around its innovative designs using magnetic separation technologies which provide value-added solutions for its clients. The company has developed a range of products and services tailored to suit various demands and applications across the offshore oil and gas markets worldwide.The latest deal will involve ROMAR’s products being introduced to the Caspian region, targeting Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Iran.ROMAR International Commercial Director Robbie Gray said: “International work now accounts for 35% of our business and we are confident this agreement with STEP Oiltools will dramatically increase our presence in the Caspian region. Working with STEP Oiltools these past two years has been exceptionally beneficial; together, we have secured a number of global contracts which have significantly increased company turnover.“As demand for our products continues to rise in South East Asia, Malaysia was identified as a key region for our international business strategy moving forward and are happy that our agreement with STEP Oiltools now covers Malaysia. Having already secured a contract for this year is very promising and confirms the demand for our products.“Exceeding our company targets for the first half of 2014 is in part due to our strategic relationship with STEP Oiltools and we look forward to continuing this valuable affiliation.”Alan Steedman, Vice President Europe STEP Oiltools, said: “ROMAR’s product line is a proving a valuable addition to our product offering. Due to the predicted increase of well plugging and abandonment in the Caspian region in the next few years, we are sure there will be a strong demand for ROMAR’s products in achieving reliable and efficient means of disposing swarf waste, both on and offshore.”“Our latest agreement with ROMAR is a testament to, not only, the strength of our relationship, but our considerable progress as a team. Over the past two years we have worked hard with ROMAR to significantly expand into its target locations, including South East Asia and the Middle East, and we were delighted to secure a contract in Malaysia, with an oil and gas operator, earlier this year.”Since 2001 the company has grown in size and currently provides products in many oilfield industry provinces including the UK and Norwegian North Sea, West Africa, Gulf of Mexico, South East Asia, the Middle East and South America. Its success is reinforced by its ability to set up strategic partnerships in regions where ROMAR’s products will be well utilised. [mappress]Source: Romar, May 22, 2014
The platform, manufactured by Delft-based Amplemann, will allow the ship to install transition pieces (TP) for wind turbines.The ship will be able to carry nine TPs, each weighing around 285 tonnes, stowed vertically in the hold. Jumbo Javelin will position next to the monopile of the wind turbine foundation to lift the TP from the hold, onto the monopile and adjust it to required horizontal level.According to a statement by Jumbo, this will be the first time that TPs will be placed on monopiles from a free-floating ship. The advantage of using a heavy lift ship is that it allows the transport of the TPs, fast transit to the site and the installation on the monopile
The service to Spain will commence with the sailing of Höegh Seoul this month.The increased Spanish offering will be served by PCTC vessels, able to carry automobiles, construction and agricultural equipment, boats, and a wide range of project and breakbulk cargoes. www.hoeghautoliners.comwww.jaxport.com
THEREGIONAL government of Valencia is to spend Pts8bn on extending FGV metro Line 3 from Mislata to Manises Airport. The new tunnel section is expected to open by 2005 at the latest, putting the airport within 15min of the city centre.A new department has been created within FGV to manage investment by the regional government. This will also take on any debt incurred by rail projects, such as metro Line 2 and Line 5 under construction between Alameda and Parque Ayora.
The European Union must enforce the spirit of its First Railway Package if the revitalisation of rail freight is to be achieved, argues Tony Berkeley, Chairman of the Rail Freight Group UK and a Board Member of the European Rail Freight Customer PlatformTHERE WAS a chilling reminder at the CEE Rail conference in Budapest (RG 11.06 p697) of just how far the European goal of open access and on-rail competition for freight traffic remains from reality.The European Commission and member states have all signed up to the First Railway Package, and should have implemented the regulations at least two years ago. The Commission has produced evidence that competition leads to growth, better customer service and more competitive prices, as we have seen in the UK already.But as well as the problems in the CEE countries mentioned last month, some states in ‘old Europe’ seem to be making little progress. In a number of countries, notably France, there is a serious lack of independence of the timetabling organisation from the train operators. With incumbent operators running the timetable, they inevitably give themselves the best slots as well as getting prior knowledge of their competitors’ plans.Some member states still structure access charges with a large lump sum and a lower mileage charge, which again favours operators who can spread the lump sum over a larger number of trains. Again and again we heard about problems of new entrants crossing borders, where restrictive practices should have been abolished so that operators can be treated equally. There is an ongoing problem over access to terminals and marshalling yards. Whereas some intermodal terminals have been open-access since they were developed, this is not the case generally for wagonload traffic, which is why the First Railway Package requires such terminals to be open-access. Too many incumbent operators are scrapping wagons or locomotives, rather than selling them to potential competitors. Since these will have been purchased with public money or state aid, it could be argued that such disposal is an abuse of this provision. It demonstrates a serious failure by the member states to encourage liberalisation in a positive manner.And finally, a court in Germany has recently ruled that monopoly provider DB can supply electric traction power and diesel fuel to its competitors at any price it wants, without having to declare the price it charges to itself. How transparent is that?Rail freight customers remain deeply concerned. The current situation is fragile. New entrants face multiple problems, often caused by lack of fair implementation or application of the Directives. Few have the resources to fight endless procedural battles, or to start legal action against an incumbent operator able to call on government support. I therefore believe that it is essential that the Commission takes urgent action to require member states’ governments to deliver and implement the full agenda, and deploys sufficient staff to initiate infringement or anti-competitive actions against offending member states. It is not sufficient to pass EU legislation and then sit back and hope that everything will happen as planned. A competitive marketplace requires nurturing and encouraging in detail as well as in policy, and it needs to be done proactively. Without the private sector demonstrating quality and creativity, there is every prospect of rail freight dying across Europe. With the private sector setting an example, incumbent railways will also be encouraged to change their ways, so that the rail industry and society alike will benefit.