Final PFC testing site in Shelburne shows results below limits

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Governor Peter Shumlin today shared the last set of results from a statewide plan to test for perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) at sites where the harmful chemicals may have been used. The former location of Harbour Industries in Shelburne was the final site tested for PFCs. Three out of four groundwater monitoring wells showed the presence of the chemicals PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), which are types of PFCs. PFOA levels ranged from 8 to 430 parts per trillion, and PFOS levels ranged from 9 to 300 parts per trillion. The Vermont health advisory limit is 20 parts per trillion. PFOA and PFOS are suspected carcinogens that were used widely in the US in a number of industrial processes.“The investigation has confirmed that any contamination is contained to very specific sites in the State,” the governor said. “Vermont is known for some of the cleanest drinking water in the country. Vermonters should continue to have confidence when they turn on the tap that their water is clean.” The vast majority of area residents and businesses are served by clean municipal sources of drinking water and are not impacted by the contamination. Three drinking water wells located within one mile of the site all tested clean for PFCs. Anyone who has a private drinking water well within a one-mile radius of the site at 4740 Shelburne Road that has not been tested should contact the Department of Environmental Conservation at (802) 828-1138.As with other sites where PFCs have been detected in groundwater supplies, the former Harbour Industries property will undergo a site investigation to determine the extent and degree of contamination in the area.”We remain committed to addressing any contamination that was discovered throughout this process,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Alyssa Schuren.Statewide testing was launched after PFCs were found in Bennington, North Bennington and Pownal earlier this year. To date, 524 wells have been sampled in Bennington and North Bennington, and 259 have PFOA above the health advisory level of 20 parts per trillion. A municipal system serving Pownal, Fire District #2, was found to have PFOA at 27 parts per trillion. A filtration system has been placed on that municipal system, and area residents and businesses now have access to clean drinking water.Of the original plan to test eleven sites statewide, PFCs were found at five: the Vermont Army National Guard base (South Burlington); former Hercules Incorporated site (Colchester); IBM (Essex Junction); and Pittsford Fire Academy (Pittsford); and the former Harbour Industries site (Shelburne). In all cases, area private drinking water wells tested clean and/or clean municipal drinking water sources are available.The State has no plan to expand the testing of PFCs at this time. Precautionary testing will be required if information surfaces that indicates potential historic use of PFCs at any property.last_img read more

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Ironman 70.3 Japan sells out in 12 hours

first_img Related Twelve hours was all it took for the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Centrair Tokoname Japan event to sell out on Tuesday 20 April. According to World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), huge interest came in from all over Japan and the world for Ironman 70.3’s Japanese premiere, to be held on Sunday 19 September.Although the individual age group quota of 650 has now been reached, for those still wishing to compete at Ironman 70.3 Japan, a limited number of special places are on offer to athletes purchasing travel packages, as well as the relay team category.Situated near the city of Nagoya – the third largest incorporated city in Japan – the race unfolds around the Tokoname City precinct surrounding the Centrair International Airport, a spacious and scenic area south of the city.The Centrair International Airport will act as the activity hub of the race course that will traverse the Tokoname City and surrounding environs. The event expo, race office and awards banquet will be located inside the airport terminal itself, offering what will be a unique Ironman 70.3 experience for athletes and fans alike.With general entry to Ironman 70.3 Centrair Tokoname Japan now sold out, competitors wishing to compete in 2010 at an Ironman 70.3 event in the Asia-Pacific region are invited to look to the following events:Ironman 70.3 Philippines www.ironman703phil.comIronman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, Phuket, Thailand www.ironmanphuket.comAustralian Half Ironman Series Six races around Australia www.australianhalfironmanseries.comwww.ironman703.jplast_img read more

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Your WaterOne board election primer

first_imgAdvance voting in person began Monday, Oct. 28 in Johnson County and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov 5. As residents start heading to the polls to cast their ballots for the WaterOne board and other races, we’re putting together our election primers to give people an easy way to find out where the candidates stand on the issues.SHAMELESS PLUG: No other news outlet devotes as much attention to giving Shawnee Mission area voters a way to find out where candidates running for local office stand on the issues facing our community. If you value having a news outlet provide this kind of coverage, we hope you’ll consider becoming a subscriber if you aren’t already.Who’s on the ballotAll four of seats up in this election have contested races. Candidates are listed below. We’ve linked to their campaign websites when possible.Water District Board Member 1Terrence Frederick (incumbent)Melanie KraftWater District Board Member 2Robert Olson (incumbent)Greg MitchellWater District Board Member 6Ullyses WrightWhitney WilsonDave Vander VeenWater District Board Member 7Chris StelzerMark Parkins (incumbent)Candidate QuestionnairesEarlier this month, we published the candidates’ responses to the questionnaires we developed with input from our readers. You can find each of the three questionnaire items linked below:Question 1: Degradation of the Missouri River bed has become an increasing concern for the water district in recent years. What steps should Water One be taking to address the issue? Read the answers here.Question 2: What statewide water policy issues are most important to WaterOne’s operations? How can the organization play a key role in addressing those issues? Read the answers here.Question 3: What relevant experience would you bring to the position, and what is your primary motivation for seeking a seat on the water district board? Read the answers here.last_img read more

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Why fact-based decisions are better than intuition

first_img 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Michael Cochrum Michael has worked in the consumer lending industry since 1989. In 1999, he joined the credit union industry, working for the Texas Credit Union League’s credit union. Mr. Cochrum … Web: www.cudirect.com Details Over the past several years, credit union leadership has been challenged by regulators to document processes that heretofore had been credited to experience.  It is understandable that leaders with successful track records would be frustrated by such a demand, but one would have to agree that the economic crisis that left many of us still uncertain about our future has made us question our experience and intuition.  One might also be surprised to learn that recent studies have proven that our intuition can actually be a detriment to our decision making.  For this reason, increasingly more financial institutions are using fact-based analysis to guide decision making today.  In fact, the majority of financial institutions, as reported by FICO, are making improvements to their risk and decision management technologies a top priority in 2014.In the early days of my financial career, I was assigned to the collections department of a large regional bank.  Everyone I spoke to over the course of two years was delinquent on their account for one reason or another.  One can imagine, then, how difficult it was for me to transition to the lending area.  When asked to assess the risk of default of an applicant (this was before credit scoring was widely used), intuitively, I could almost always come up with a probable scenario where even the most credit worthy borrower could default.  This is what Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and author, calls Availability Bias.  Our “intuition” is biased by the availability of information we have on the topic.  For me, the availability of information I had on defaults outweighed my information on good payers, and I was biased toward a more risk-adverse response.In his book, Think, Fast and Slow, Mr. Kahneman introduces the theory that our intuition, while relatively helpful, is almost always flawed and therefore fact-based decision making is superior.  This is what analytics brings to loan portfolio risk management.  When we have a fact-based architecture for decision making, our risk of falling victim to human biases is reduced.  Analytics informs those fact-based decision models.Consider what many credit unions refer to as a “Post Mortem” review of charge-off loans.  When conducting a review after the fact, it seems relatively easy to see the factors that contributed to the default that should have been picked up in the initial review of the application.  However, the “Post Mortem” is conducted in isolation, not in the context of a dozen or more other applications reviewed that day by the same underwriter.  If you throw in a couple of other variables, things might not be quite so clear.  Let’s say on the day the application in question was approved, there were eleven other applications that were declined by the same underwriter, and this was the best of the breed.  Let’s also consider that the underwriter started their morning with a meeting in which the necessity for loan growth was discussed at length.  These other factors create a bias that could make an otherwise bad decision look better in the proper context.Kahneman also coins an acronym in his book, WYSIATI, or What You See Is All There Is.  For many credit unions, this has played out with specific products, such as RV lending for example.  A credit union has experienced high losses in RV lending, so they cease all RV lending.  In reality, however, the high losses experienced may have only been related to an isolated number of loans.  By eliminating all lending in the sector, the credit union stifles loan growth and is unable to meet certain members’ needs.  If the credit union was to analyze the performance of all loans in the portfolio, it could isolate the characteristics of the loans that went bad and create fact-based decision models that allow them to continue lending in that sector.Increasingly, lenders are using data to make informed decisions, eliminating the bias that exists naturally in our intuitive thought process.  This is the battle line where a competitive edge will be lost or gained in the coming months and years.  Getting a good handle on loan performance data,  and employing the analytics to create informed decision models, will determine which lenders win the battle and which lenders do not.last_img read more

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Minnesota closes out regular season with a win and loss

first_imgMinnesota closes out regular season with a win and lossThe Gophers lost to Penn State Friday but bounced back Saturday against Rutgers.Courtney DeutzRedshirt Junior Taylor Morgan spikes the ball on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at Maturi Pavilion. David MullenNovember 26, 2018Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintComing into the final weekend, the Gophers volleyball team was the only undefeated team left in the Big Ten. Although No. 3 Minnesota (25-3, 19-1) dropped one match this weekend, they bounced back Saturday — leaving a statement as the team heads into the NCAA tournament this week. “Honestly, it kind of put into perspective that every day isn’t going to be rainbows and ponies,” middle blocker Taylor Morgan said. “We gotta get down in the dirt and we gotta climb.” After dropping their first Big Ten match of the season against Penn State Friday night, the Gophers rebounded and swept Rutgers in three sets in New Jersey: 25-13, 25-14 and 25-20. Minnesota was led by outside hitter Adanna Rollins, who had 11 kills and six digs in the match. “I thought we were in control of the things we should be in control of,” head coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “Good serving [and] I thought our passing was good. I thought offensively we made a lot of good choices. I think we hit for pretty good numbers.”From an early 13-2 rally, Minnesota never looked back and took the opening set 25-13, which was led by a Rollins offensive surge where she made five kills. The middle set began like the first where Minnesota started on fire: they took an early 5-1 lead after two service aces by senior setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson. The Scarlett Knights, again, couldn’t do much on the offensive side of the net, as they lost the set 25-14 and had a .067 hitting percentage. Although Rutgers fought until the end, Minnesota took the set behind Morgan’s six kills in the set 25-20 — ending their regular season in hopes of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.It was a “nice performance, happy to get way with a 3-0 victory, and more importantly finish the Big Ten 19-1, it’s an unbelievable season for us,” McCutcheon said.  First loss in more than two months Minnesota came into the night undefeated as they traveled to State College, Pennsylvania to match-up against No. 7 Penn State.For Minnesota, they would leave winless for the 14th straight season in Pennsylvania as they were upset by the Nittany Lions in five sets: 25-20, 21-25, 28-30, 26-24, 12-15. “That’s a good team obviously, Penn State playing well at home in front of a good crowd, so yeah it was a lot,” McCutcheon said. The Gophers have not won at Penn State since 2004.  Minnesota was fighting for survival in the fourth set as they fell in a hole early 7-3. Although the two teams would exchange a few points, the Gophers took the fourth set 26-24 and forced their third five-set match of the season. Minnesota looked poised to take the match as they were ahead 5-2 early in the final set. However, after a Penn State timeout, the Nittany Lions answered and took the set 15-12. The Gophers will find out their NCAA fate in a selection show at 7:30 p.m., on ESPN U. “We’ve had the luxury of playing … the toughest conference schedule,” McCutcheon said. “I would hope we are worthy of a top-four seed; I think we’ve earned the right to be there.”If Minnesota gets a No. 1 seed, it could potentially host every tournament match in Minneapolis, as the final-four is being hosted at the Target Center in December.last_img read more

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Trilogy Partners buys 12KSF warehouse in Chandler

first_imgCommercial Properties, Inc., Arizona’s largest locally owned commercial real estate brokerage, announced the sale of 2915 West Fairview Street, Chandler, Ariz.  Leroy Breinholt represented the buyer and Jeff Hays, Chad Neppl and Ryan Steele of CPI’s Tempe Industrial Group represented the seller in this transaction.The ±12,000 SF, freestanding warehouse building is located just south of Frye Road, and east of Price Road in the Chandler industrial submarket.Neppl commented, “The property offers the new owner/user, Trilogy Partners, LLC, a building with heavy power and a 4/1000 parking ratio for their landscaping company.  The building sits on approximately ±1.19 Acres of land and Trilogy Partners, LLC, (SiteWorks) is doubling their building square footage.”The sale was valued at $1.2 million ($100.00 per foot) based on ±12,000 SF.last_img read more

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The Importance of Sharing Experiences

first_imgThe Atlantic: Given the choice between going to a bar with Jessica Alba and going to a bar with our same group of friends, most of us would probably pick the date with the onetime “Sexiest Woman in the World” and impresario of eco-friendly baby-products. But perhaps we should rethink that choice and opt for another night of beers with the gang.A recent study in Psychological Science suggests that unusual experiences have a social cost, in that they alienate us from our peers. “Extraordinary experiences are both different from and better than the experiences that most other people have,” the authors note, “and being both alien and enviable is an unlikely recipe for popularity.”To test this hypothesis, the researchers treated a group of university students to a movie screening. The 68 participants each reported to the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory and were broken into groups of four. One person from each group was sent to a cubicle to watch an interesting video of a talented street magician performing tricks for an appreciative crowd. The other three were assigned to watch a mundane clip of a low-budget cartoon. Everyone was told whether they were assigned to watch the boring video or the interesting one.Read the whole story: The Atlantic More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

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Global COVID-19 cases pass 10 million, deaths top half million

first_imgGlobal COVID-19 numbers crossed two grim thresholds yesterday, with cases passing 10 million and deaths topping 500,000, with cases still rising in a number of hot spots and countries that have controlled their outbreaks battling pockets of resurgence.The world has been adding about 1 million COVID-19 cases a week, and today the total reached 10,199,798 cases, and 502,947 people have died from their infections, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.Outbreak approaches 6-month markAt a World Health Organization (WHO) media briefing today, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said reaching the 6-month mark and the staggering numbers is a moment for the world to reflect on the progress made and the lessons learned. He said the pandemic has brought out the best and worst in humanity.”All over the world, we have seen heartwarming acts of resilience, inventiveness, solidarity, and kindness,” he said. “But we have also seen concerning signs of stigma, misinformation, and the politicization of the pandemic.”Over the weekend, a pledging event hosted by the European Commission and Global Citizen raised money for the COVID-19 battle, including for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, designed to speed the equitable distribution of vaccine, drugs, and diagnostics. Tedros said though a vaccine is an important long-term goal, countries need to take five steps now to save lives, the first of which is empowering communities to slow the spread by, for example, observing physical distancing, practicing hand hygiene, and wearing masks when appropriate.”You may be in a low-risk category, but the choices you make could be the difference between life and death for someone else,” Tedros said. The other steps include suppressing transmission by improving surveillance, saving lives through early identification and clinical care, accelerating research, and strong political leadership.Tedros said the measures have been shown to slow, but not stop, the virus, and he warned that some countries are experiencing resurgences as they reopen their economies, given that many people are still susceptible to the virus.The hard reality is that the pandemic is not close to being over, and the world is in the situation together for the long haul, Tedros said. “We have already lost so much – but we cannot lose hope,” he said.In another WHO development today, in response to a question about finding the zoonotic source of the outbreak, Tedros said the WHO is sending a team to China next week to collaborate on the investigation. “Knowing the source of the virus is very important,” he said. “We can fight it better when we know everything about it.”Hot spot totals climbingAt today’s briefing, Mike Ryan, MD, who leads the WHO’s health emergencies program, said countries in the Americas make up about half of the global cases and nearly half of the deaths.Brazil continues to report more than 30,000 cases a day and has an epic challenge on its hands. However, he emphasized that Brazil has a proud history of battling infectious diseases and has excellent scientific institutions. Though the WHO encourages Brazil to take a more coordinated federal and state response, he said no country is without faults or challenges.Over the past week, the United States has also averaged roughly 30,000 new cases each day.Elsewhere, India reported nearly 20,000 cases for a second day in a row, and health officials extended a lockdown in Mumbai for another month, Reuters reported. Maharashtra state in the western part of the country, where cases are rising in the cities of Mumbai, Pune, and Aurangabad, also extended its lockdown until the end of July.In New Delhi, officials partly opened a COVID-19 treatment center, the biggest in India, CNN reported. The facility, open now with 2,000 beds, will have capacity to treat 10,000 patients.Meanwhile, the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region passed the 1 million case mark yesterday, its office said in a statement. Cases and deaths are increasing in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Territory, and Oman. The WHO also said that it is worried about COVID-19 spread in war-torn countries such as Syria, Yemen, and Libya, with their already fragile health systems weakened by conflict.Ahmed Al-Mandhari, MD, PhD, the head of WHO’s regional office, said the million-case milestone is concerning, coming at a time when many countries are relaxing their restrictions. He urged communities to remain vigilant and also be aware of the risk of resurgence after borders reopen. “Sadly, we cannot behave as if the situation will go ‘back to normal.’ In the coming period, we need to see a shift in attitudes and actions,” he said.Limited approval for Chinese vaccineA COVID-19 vaccine developed in China by CanSino Biologics announced that the Chinese military has conditionally approved it for use, marking the first COVID-19 to receive any regulatory approval, Reuters reported.The vaccine, called Ad5-nCoV, was shown to be safe and potentially effective in clinical trials. It is one of eight Chinese COVID-19 vaccine in development.The military’s approval is in effect for 1 year and is limited to military use.Lockdown for Hebei province countyIn another Chinese COVID-19 development, a lockdown has been ordered for a county in Hebei province—located about 93 miles from Beijing—to stem a COVID-19 cluster related to an outbreak linked to a large wholesale food market in Beijing, the Taipei Times reported.The lockdown in Anxin County affects nearly 500,000 people. About 14 cases have been reported from the area, including 11 reportedly linked to the Beijing market.Beijing reported 14 new cases in the outbreak, raising the total to 311.last_img read more

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Caribbean Project Pipeline Reset With Coronavirus, Hurricane Season

first_img More deaths from COVID-19 recorded in CARICOM countries,… (bnamerica) Just days into hurricane season, the Caribbean is mounting efforts to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic while preparing and adjusting electric power services ahead of a rising number of expected storms. Electricity demand may be down overall but residential demand has spiked with stay-at-home orders, and utilities still have much to do to prepare before the big storms arrive in the coming months, said Ricardo Case, engineering services director at Jamaican utility JPS. Read more at: bnamericas Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak Oct 16, 2020 “A lot of demand curves have shifted and it may not return to pre-COVID.” Oct 16, 2020 You may be interested in…center_img Standing on the front lines ahead of the hurricanes will be Caribbean power utilities and work crews, which will have to adapt to new social distancing guidelines just as the US NOAA weather service predicts a 60% chance of higher-than-usual hurricane activity in the Atlantic this year. Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC Oct 15, 2020 Standards, Codes Critical to CARICOM Energy Sector… “With COVID, basically we had to tear down what we had and rebuild it based on a new reality,” said Case on Wednesday during a panel hosted by the OAS and the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas.  Oct 15, 2020 Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

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