Your mail just got a little bit greener

first_imgThe recent conversion of a Harvard Mail Services truck to a hybrid electric vehicle has dramatically reduced fuel consumption. As a result, the eight-month pilot program has cut the vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 22 percent. Now, in addition to delivering thousands of pieces of mail across the University, the van is also delivering a win for the environment.In June 2013, Harvard Fleet Management joined with Boston-based XL Hybrids to retrofit the Mail Services Chevrolet Express van with an innovative, hybrid electric powertrain. The new technology increases efficiency and reduces fuel usage without sacrificing performance.“We chose to pilot the use of this hybrid technology so that we can do our part to support Harvard’s commitment to sustainability, including the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across campus,” said David Harris Jr., director of Harvard Transit and Fleet Services. “Instead of buying a brand-new hybrid vehicle we were able to save money and increase the fuel efficiency of our existing fleet, resulting in an immediate return on investment.”To convert the Mail Service van, XL Hybrids added an electric motor with a lithium ion battery pack and cutting-edge control software that increases fuel efficiency by charging the battery when drivers brake and releases energy to the motor when drivers accelerate. A review of the van’s on-road operational data showed a nearly 22 percent fuel and greenhouse gas emissions reduction over conventional cargo vans, yielding an annual CO2 reduction of over one metric ton per vehicle. Read Full Storylast_img read more

OVERTIME 8-7…A-Rod, Paula Patton, ‘Johnny Football’

first_imgActress Paula Patton attends the premiere of “2 Guns” on Monday, July 29, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP):03 So you know what the movie review is this week don’t ya? And for the first time in your life, you want me to give it to ya. Here it is. The movie “2 Guns” gets 2 basketballs . . .way too predictable and it shows Denzel, well being Denzel, and Wahlberg next to Denzel even a not so good Denzel can’t carry his Oscar. But Paula naked, well that’s “10” basketballs on a scale of 5. That alone is worth the ticket price. (Fellas, go alone…please enjoy yourself.):02 The Game Part II. Coming to the new Thelma Lovette YMCA, Aug. 17, 2 p.m., The Savoy All-Stars vs. The Champion All-Stars. Proceeds benefit the YMCA and Champions Safe Summer programs. Here’s the deal. If you support the Champions come to the game in black and gold. If you support the Savoy, come in your black and orange. Yep, that would be the loser’s colors. Now – Let’s – Get – Ready – To – RRRRUUUUMMMMBBBBLLLLEEEE!!!!:01 Steeler preseason is here…game time Aug. 10, at 7:30 p.m. against the NY Giants. Now you know what you thought you knew. Your comments are welcome. Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlDownload our mobile app at http://www.appshopper.com/news/new-pittsburgh-courier BILL NEAL:10 Here’s when you know you got juice…A-Rod aka Alex Rodriguez, he of the New York Yankees and the owner of 647 home runs, No. 5 on the hit list and 2,901 hits soon to be 3,000, if he’s allowed to play…he told baseball what the deal is not, not the other way around…but Barry Bonds is the devil huh? (Oh this just in hot off the press. A-Rod just got 241 game suspension….but guess what he’s still playing!:09 I don’t know if it gets any easier to fix than this…Johnny Manziel, I know you’re the Heisman Trophy winner, but if you do one more thing, you’re off the team…Texas A&M will roll without you…that’s it end of story. What!:08 You either forgot or don’t want to remember that Tiger Woods has won five tournaments this year. Yeah, I know, no majors, but none the less…and still ranked No. 1 in the world. C’mon man!:07 That being said. I would tell you what Kevin Cameron’s prediction is for Tiger in the upcoming PGA Tournament, but as you all know, Mr. Cameron only makes his predictions after the games are played…Huh? Oops! My bad. Did I say that out loud? By the way, did you all know that Kevin Cameron is a baseball “Purist”? I don’t know what it is either, but if Kevin says he’s one, I believe him. I am just saying!:06 The…I am sorry, your Pittsburgh Pirates took 4 out of 5 from the St. Louis Cardinals, the best team in baseball. Would you please just shut up and enjoy the ride!:05 Speaking of Johnny Manziel, aka Mr. Football, and I was if you were paying attention. If he was busted getting paid for signing autographs, I ain’t mad at him for that. Everybody should be able to get paid for the use of their name! That’s a double C’mon man for ya. (Rare, but it happens.):04 Eric “Crusher” Jefferson’s sister…ah, ah, ah, c’mon, you know who I am talking about. Anyway, she’s in the Locker Room now. Thanks for reading. (OK, the real reason I forgot her name is cause I saw her at the movies, but I have to admit I had Paula Patton on my mind at the time. I guess ya’ll know she’s naked in the new Denzel – Wahlberg movie “2 Guns.” WOW!!! Just WOW!last_img read more

Westport Winery Earns Medals at Grand Harvest Awards

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Westport WineryElk River Riesling, crafted with grapes from Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA, earned a gold medal. This wine offers a spine-tingling aftershock of flavor that is luscious, bright and penetrating. In the winery’s restaurant it is paired with their homemade wilted spinach salad. Suggested listening while enjoying this wine is the song The River by Garth Brooks. A portion of the proceeds from this wine benefits the Twin Harbors Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.Surfer’s Syrah, made with grapes from Discovery Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, earned a silver medal. The winery says this is the Edgar Allen Poe of wine as it is dark, brooding and intense. It pairs especially well with Surf and Turf at the winery while listening to Pipeline by The Ventures.This wine benefits South Beach EMS and fittingly features winery co-owner Blain Roberts on the label when he was a competitive surfer on Maui in the 1970s.Fleur de Lis Pinot Gris earned a bronze award with grapes from Airfield Vineyard. This wine offers a floral kaleidoscope of jasmine, melon and white tigers on the nose and palate. The winery’s homemade vegetarian broccoli bisque offers the perfect complement while reminiscing with As Time Goes By as sung by Louis Armstrong. This wine benefits 7th Street Theatre in Hoquiam.Westport Winery and Vineyards By-the-Sea with the unique outdoor sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. Westport Winery was named Best Northwest Wine Destination in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.Westport’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the winery. The tasting room, gift shop, plant nursery and bakery are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at www.westportwinery.com.last_img read more

Tis the Season for Stormy Weather

first_imgFacebook12Tweet0Pin0As the latest stormy weather moves out of the area, it’s a reminder that storm and flood season is here and inclement weather will soon return.Rain, wind and cloudy weather is forecast again for Thursday, December 10, and a revised forecast for periods of rain and showers tapering off in the evening, will allow the rivers to recede below flood stage.Thurston County Emergency Management encourages everyone to take this break in the weather as an opportunity to improve their preparedness and safety. A primary preparedness tip includes storing enough food and water to be on your own for at least 72 hours. There are many preparedness links on the Emergency Management website at www.co.thurston.wa.us/em or you can email [email protected] of unincorporated Thurston County can call the Roads Maintenance division at (360) 867-2300 to report flooded roads. Residents are urged to only use 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies and any downed power lines. For power outages, please contact Puget Sound Energy at 800-225-5773 to ensure they are aware of the outage.Thurston County Emergency Management officials urge drivers to use caution in wet weather and stay away from flooded roads. “It only takes 18 inches of water to float a small car, so even if a roadway isn’t officially closed, the only safe bet is to avoid flooded roads and find an alternate route,” says Sandy Johnson, Thurston County Emergency Management Manager. Do NOT drive around road barricades!For more emergency information, visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/em/EI/EI.asp or call 360-867-2800. Stay connected with TCEM with social media and get Thurston County Emergency Management updates on Facebook and Twitter:Facebook: ThurstonEMTwitter: @ThurstonEMlast_img read more

Special economic zone for SA’s plantinum belt

first_imgA special economic zone (SEZ) is to be established in the Rustenburg platinum belt in the North West, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies announced last week.“The purpose of this SEZ will be to develop industries that use platinum as an input,” Mr Davies said. “These include jewellery, catalytic converters and fuel cell technology.”Davies announced the SEZ in his keynote address on reindustrialisation in South Africa and the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) as part of the Japan Seminar held at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg last week. The seminar was hosted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in South Africa and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).Davies said his department had made “significant gains” through iterations of Ipap since its inception in the 2007-08 financial year. Achievements were made in the clothing and textile, automotive, agro-processing and film sectors.Private-sector consultation“Ipap is neither a policy document nor a wish list,” he said. “It is a set of time-bound actions which have to be undertaken by different parts of government. These have been successful because they are developed in consultation with the private sector.”He said that, through Ipap, the government had succeeded in developing finance institutions and introducing a suite of incentives to support manufacturing and the competitiveness of companies.The theme of the seminar was Local Industrialisation in South Africa and the Contribution of Japanese Businesses – Lessons from East Asia.Japanese foreign direct investments are steadily increasing in South Africa, the DTI said. Japanese investments in the country have generated around 150 000 jobs. Companies such as Toyota are increasingly becoming involved in supplier development programmes, which are significantly raising the capacity of local manufacturers.The DTI said it had signed memoranda of understanding with JETRO as well as Japanese banks through its Trade and Investment Division.The objective of the agreements is to support the increase of trade between Japan and South Africa and to assist Japanese investors entering the local market.Source: The Department of Trade and IndustryRelated stories:Call for Africa to beneficiate its minerals Zuma announces measures to jump-start economylast_img read more

Avian influenza turning into epidemic

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After hearing the latest news of more devastating cases of poultry losses in his state, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad called the current avian influenza (AI) outbreak an “epidemic.”On May 1, Iowa declared a state of emergency due to the problem. The latest detections in Iowa involved three turkey farms and a chicken laying operation of about 1 million birds. Over 5.5 million birds have been lost in Iowa alone, the nation’s top egg producing state. Minnesota and Wisconsin had already declared emergency status in April. Nationwide total AI losses are more than 20 million birds.“AI has been percolating relatively quietly in the poultry industry for most of the year. In early March, the first case of the highly-pathogenic H5N2 strain of AI in the Mississippi flyway was confirmed by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on a commercial turkey operation in Minnesota,” said John D. Anderson, Deputy Chief Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation. “Looking ahead, the big question is whether or not highly-pathogenic AI will impact the broiler industry. So far, broilers have not been impacted significantly. The two commercial chicken operations to have confirmed AI cases have both been layer operations. Of course, there are substantial numbers of broiler facilities along the Mississippi flyway, mostly in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri. As the migration season winds down, the likelihood of a full-blown outbreak in the broiler sector should be diminishing, but the possibility remains a real source of uncertainty for the livestock sector this year.”Three worrisome strains of avian flu have been detected in U.S. birds so far. The strains are related to a virus that circulated in Asia and Europe in 2014. In December 2014, they were detected in the Pacific Migratory Bird Flyway, in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. These viruses are classified as highly pathogenic, meaning they are extremely infectious and fatal for birds. Since then, the problem has exploded nationally.“This is obviously a very troublesome situation for the producers affected. We are working very closely with state ag officials and producer groups,” said Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary. “We want to make sure folks are using every bit of biosecurity they can to prevent this from happening. We have a booklet that is available through APHIS that lays out the strategies people can take to prevent this from occurring. We want to make sure that when it does occur it is detected as quickly as possible so we are in a position to depopulate the affected flocks, provide reimbursement and make sure we sanitize the area properly to contain this the best we can. We are also working on vaccines, but AI has a way of mutating and we are hoping we do not see an eastern impact and we hope that export markets remain as open as they can be. We are concerned that 11 or 12 countries have proposed a countrywide ban on poultry from the United States. We don’t think that is consistent with science or international regulations. We will continue to work as best we can to make sure export markets remain open.”The current avian influenza outbreak has not been found in Ohio, but is a concern.“Our highest priority at this time is on protecting our flocks through heightened biosecurity measures that will help prevent introduction of this disease on Ohio’s farms,” said Jim Chakeres, with the Ohio Poultry Association. “Those of us in the egg and poultry farming community remain deeply concerned about the continued spread of avian influenza. While there is no risk to humans from the disease, and eggs, turkey and chicken remain safe to eat, the impact on the nation’s flocks and on the industry overall is devastating,”This has been strictly an avian disease outbreak — human illness has never been reported in relation to this outbreak in North America, Europe or Asia, and poultry products such as chicken and turkey are safe to eat. Still, producers and poultry owners should take all necessary measures to protect their birds, said Mohamed El-Gazzar, poultry veterinarian for Ohio State University Extension who is also an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine.“The first thing is to try to avoid direct contact between any domestic or captive type of bird and wild migratory birds,” El-Gazzar said. “Producers are generally very good about protecting their birds, but they need to be aware that there’s an increased risk.”Backyard poultry owners should consider keeping their birds in enclosed covered runs until the threat from the viruses passes, he said. Poultry owners should not be complacent about these viruses even though they have not been detected in the Midwest, El-Gazzar said.Samples from wild birds collected during the recent hunting season have not yet been analyzed, and few additional samples will be collected until summer. So, although there is no evidence that these viruses might be circulating in Ohio, authorities can’t be certain the state is completely free of them, he said.“While we don’t think there are these highly pathogenic viruses in the Mississippi flyway, we don’t really know for sure,” he said.Anyone who keeps or breeds raptors should also be aware of these viruses, as they have been detected in birds of prey out West, too, El-Gazzar said. Other precautions El-Gazzar recommends include:In addition to avoiding direct contact between migratory and domestic birds, it’s important to prevent indirect contact, as well. “For example, if there’s an open body of water nearby that attracts wild birds, don’t go out, potentially step in fecal material, and then come back to your birds and transmit an infection,” he said.Protect birds from other poultry populations. “We don’t encourage mixing flocks, mixing ages or mixing species,” El-Gazzar said. “Visitors to your bird flock, whether they’re from the neighborhood or from other farms, are highly discouraged.”Commercial producers or backyard poultry owners should boost insect and rodent control efforts. “Make sure your houses are animal-proof, so that raccoons, opossums or any varmints can’t get in, and bird-proof so that wild birds can’t get in.” Such biosecurity measures also include keeping feed and water clean.It’s especially important to protect domestic birds from wild duck populations, El-Gazzar said, because they often don’t show any signs of disease even if they are carrying the virus.“If you’re a poultry owner and have ducks and chickens and turkeys in the same flock, that is a highly risky situation,” El-Gazzar said. “Particularly if ducks are involved, that requires increased biosecurity for the time being.”Even if poultry owners cannot isolate their flocks from migrating birds and other poultry species, it’s at least important to be aware of the increased risk of the virus, El-Gazzar said.“At the first sign of a problem, alert authorities so things can be checked out,” he said. “If you notice increased mortality in an alarming manner, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture. They will speak with you and determine if what you’re seeing matches the pattern of the highly pathogenic influenza.”The animal disease hotline at ODA is 800-300-9755 or 614-728-6220. Updates on the Pacific flyway avian influenza outbreak is online at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website, at www.aphis.usda.gov. For additional information on poultry biosecurity measures, see the service’s poultry biosecurity website at www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/birdbiosecurity/biosecurity/basicspoultry.htm. OSU Extension also has a fact sheet, Biosecurity for Poultry, online at ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0009.html.“We’re not trying to scare anybody,” El-Gazzar said. “Currently we don’t have any problems with this group of viruses here in Ohio, that we know of.“We’re just saying be aware of the problems out west, which might represent some risk to the Ohio poultry producers and backyard poultry owners. Just be aware and do everything you can to protect your birds.”last_img read more

Set up anti-trafficking units, HC tells W.B.

first_imgThe Calcutta High Court has directed the West Bengal government to set up an anti-human trafficking unit headed by a specially trained officer, preferably a woman, in every district of the State.Any FIR registered under the sections of Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956, and sections 370, 372, 373 of the Indian Penal Code or under the provisions of the POCSO Act, involving commercial sexual exploitation of women, should be investigated by the anti-human trafficking unit, the High Court said in its order. The police station where the FIR is registered will hand over such cases to the unit in 24 hours, stated the order delivered last week by a Division Bench of Justices Ravi Krishan Kapur and Joymalya Bagchi.Alarming numbers The direction assumes significance as Bengal has recorded the maximum cases of trafficking in the country. According to the latest NCRB data, Bengal in 2016 recorded 3,579 cases of human trafficking (44%) among 8,132 cases recorded in the country. The Bench gave the order while cancelling the anticipatory bail granted to Sangita Sahu, owner of a hotel in Joka area, by a lower court.She is accused under ITPA, POSCO Act and sections of IPC dealing with human trafficking. The Bench noted that “the menace of trafficking of women and minors have assumed alarming proportions”, and expressed concern over the “lackadaisical manner in which offences involving commercial sexual exploitation of women and children like the present one are investigated, prosecuted and/or pursued”. The High Court’s direction has been welcomed by a number of non-government organisations working against commercial sexual exploitation of children and women.Saji Philip, director of operations, International Justice Mission, Kolkata, the organisation which aided the investigative agencies in the raid at Ms. Sahu’s hotel in September 2017 where 30 people were arrested, called the order a “fresh lease of life in dealing with cases relating to trafficking of children and women”. “This order will strengthen existential directives and aim at fixing the lacunae in each step of trafficking cases, including rescue, rehabilitation and prosecution,” Mr. Philip said.last_img read more