Senator Patrick Leahy reports that General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, which maintains an engineering division in Burlington, has been awarded a $94.6 million order from the US Army to continue production of reactive armor for 440 Bradley Fighting Vehicles.General Dynamics’ reactive armor system uses special tiles that fasten to the exterior of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles, allowing them to better withstand direct hits from a variety of anti-armor munitions.As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, Leahy was instrumental early on in promoting the concept of Bradley reactive armor tiles. He sought funding for the project each year in five successive defense budget bills, securing more than $93 million for the project from 2003 to 2006. The Army offered the current contract for competitive bids, and the contract was won by General Dynamics.A substantial proportion of the work will be completed in Vermont, totaling about $27 million. Leahy said the work will sustain 10 General Dynamics program management and engineering jobs in Burlington. He said additional work under the contract will sustain about 60 production jobs at Vermont Aerospace Manufacturing of Lyndonville, which manufactures the outer shell of each tile. Earlier this month the Lyndonville firm announced it had become 100 percent employee owned with the assistance of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, an organization Leahy has helped with federal grants that are used to provide technical assistance to Vermont firms.‘This armor program directly supports our troops and their missions,’ said Leahy. ‘In securing these early investments, I believed that the armor program would prove its value, and it has. The Bradley reactive armor program has become a mainstay in the President’s budget requests to Congress. General Dynamics has put these contracts to good use for our troops and for Vermont’s economy, creating and keeping good jobs in Burlington and the Northeast Kingdom.’Source: Leahy. 11.23.2010
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享GreenTech Media:Three weeks since the storm, still only about 17 percent of Puerto Rico is with electricity. The lack of power has severely exacerbated a humanitarian crisis. Food sits rotting on shelves, the majority of hospitals are relying on generators, and with 40 percent of the island still without running water, the likelihood for disease has increased.While the U.S. president has literally thrown paper towel rolls at the problem, private citizens and industries have stepped in to coordinate efforts. The renewable energy industry, for one, has seen aiding in the crisis as both a moral imperative and an opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of its technology. Though some in the renewables industry have cautioned against putting the cart before the horse when so many lives are still in peril, many have also raised questions about the future. Several companies and experts have seized on the power outages as a segue to discuss longterm resilience and the potential for distributed energy to protect island grids. Cecilio Aponte, a current fellow at the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, said the destruction has compelled him to consider a future rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s grid. When I catch up with Alejandro Uriarte, president of San Juan-based solar company New Energy, he’s just returned from a meeting with cell phone providers about how renewables might power cell towers now running solely on diesel. When Uriarte describes the status of electrical distribution on the island, he speaks of complete devastation. “Everything is gone,” he said. Renewable installations, though, fared a bit better. Uriarte said all of his solar installations sustained some damages, affecting maybe 10 to 15 percent of the panels. That’s a much better percentage than the estimated 80 percent of transmission lines taken down. But Uriarte notes that because nearly all existing renewable systems were connected to the island’s now-destroyed grid, most are still unable to produce energy.“Our work has certainly changed from selling grid interconnected solar equipment to selling storage for those systems that were already installed, or selling solar-plus-storage to be off-grid until the grid comes back,” said Uriarte. “Then we can talk about interconnecting them.”Most renewable companies with a presence on the island are in immediate repair mode. Although Puerto Rico, like all Caribbean islands, relies heavily on fossil fuels for power, the island did have 215 megawatts of solar before the storm. Companies such as Sunnova, Tesla (New Energy is a certified Tesla installer), and Sonnen have residential and small-scale projects. Sonnen said all its systems fell offline after the hurricanes. It’s working on stabilizing its existing fleet, and has started working with solar installer Pura Energía to provide new microgrid systems for sale and some for free. Sunnova was also working to repair parts of its 10,000 installed systems. Many other companies and clean energy trade associations have also pledged to divert supply to help in the short-term. After a call for coordinated efforts, the Solar Energy Industries Association received 160 responses with offers for help. The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) is coordinating micro-grid deliveries from three manufacturers with funding from United Wind. And on Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke on the phone with Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, about how the company’s solar and battery technologies can contribute to immediate relief efforts, and possibly remake the grid entirely. Clean energy manufacturers and resilience experts are asking what can be done to harden the island’s grid even in the initial stages of Puerto Rico’s recovery.“Typically, investments that are made right after a storm, almost in emergency mode, you can see ten years later those investments have remained,” said Roy Torbert, principal at the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Islands Energy program. “Ask these questions now, so the investments you make for the long term are the right way to go.”Though renewable installations on islands like Puerto Rico did sustain damage, renewable companies and advocates say distributed sources that could function apart from the grid would be easier to repair and get back online than centralized power and distribution. To brace for a storm, Torpert said nacelles on wind turbines can be tilted down and the blades turned away from the wind so they don’t overspin.Even before the storm, Puerto Rico’s electric grid was a delicate system. Its utility and sole electricity provider, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), has become notorious for its $9 billion bankruptcy and poor management. The Puerto Rico Energy Commission (PREC) enshrined its issues in a 2016 report, writing “the severe outages, deferred maintenance, and a lack of experienced staff have resulted in an increasingly brittle transmission system.” According to Torbert, the aftermath of the hurricane “requires an immediate reckoning” with PREPA’s difficulties. Almost everyone interviewed for this story expressed concerns with the functioning of the island’s utility.“The entire organization, PREPA, stem to stern, top to bottom, is incapable of carrying out its mission,” said Tom Sanzillo, director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “It’s largely a function of upper management and the toxic effect it has on morale and competencies of the workers.”Uriarte, too, expressed frustrations, specifically about the lack of commitment he sees from PREPA on transitioning to clean energy. “They have never come out against renewables,” he said. “They always say they’re friendly to renewables. But in practice, they are not.” The 2016 report from PREC notes much of PREPA’s work had become “triaging” in the place of preventative maintenance. In 2016, President Obama signed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act. That act created a board that this summer rejected a restructuring deal for PREPA’s debt.“That decision was encouraging in that it suggested support in Washington for an actual path to recovery for the power authority,” Sanzillo wrote in an opinion for the Hill. More: Can the Clean Energy Industry Protect Puerto Rico From Maria-Scale Damage? Frustration in Blacked-Out Puerto Rico With Electric Company’s Resistance to Change
Post-pandemic energy investments could give green hydrogen a big boost FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Hydrogen has long been touted as a clean alternative to fossil fuels. Now, as major economies prepare green investments to kickstart growth, advocates spy a golden chance to drag the niche energy into the mainstream of a post-pandemic world.Green hydrogen was pushed to the fore last week when Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said the technology was “ready for the big time” and urged governments to channel investments into the fuel.Some countries, including the Netherlands, Australia and Portugal, have already begun investing in the technology. Now investors, politicians and businesses are pushing the European Union and others to use its post-crisis recovery plan to support hydrogen in areas like trucking and heavy industry.The promise of hydrogen as a fuel to help power vehicles and energy plants has been a talking point since the 1970s, but it is currently too expensive for widespread use. Proponents say infrastructure investment and more demand from transport, gas grids and industry will bring the cost down.Most hydrogen used today is extracted from natural gas in a process that produces carbon emissions, which defeats the object for many policymakers. But there is potential to extract “green” hydrogen from water with electrolysis, an energy-intensive but carbon-free process if powered by renewable electricity.EU officials, one of whom described green hydrogen as the “holy grail,” said it could replace fossil fuels in sectors that lack alternatives to align operations with the EU’s Green Deal plan to reduce net emissions to zero by 2050.[Nina Chestney, Kate Abnett, Sonali Paul, Aaron Sheldrick]More: Green hydrogen’s time has come, say advocates eying post-pandemic world
The ongoing effort by Guatemalan security forces to modernize their equipment received a boost recently when the United States, the Central American country’s partner of choice in the battle against organized crime, donated six helicopters. The new equipment will help Guatemala in its battle against international drug traffickers, security analysts said. In January 2012, Otto Pérez Molina was sworn in as Guatemala’s president. During his inaugural speech, Pérez Molina, who spent 30 years in the Guatemalan Army, vowed to crack down on organized crime and drug traffickers. Guatemalan security forces have captured several important alleged traffickers since then: • In September 2013, Guatemalan anti-narcotics agents with the Public Ministry and investigators with the National Civil Police (PNC) captured Waldemar Lorenzana Cordón, who is suspected of being a high-ranking member of the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization. He is the son of Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, the alleged leader of the drug trafficking organization. He is known as “The Patriarch.” In recent years, the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization has collaoborated with the Sinaloa Cartel, which is led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, to smuggle thousands of tons of cocaine from Guatemala to Mexico and the United States. • In 2011, Guatemalan security forces captured The Patriarch, at the request of U.S. authorities, who suspect him of working with El Chapo. The Patriarch is wanted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. In July 2013, a Guatemalan appeals court denied the last of The Patriarch’s legal motions to avoid extradition. An extradition date has not been set. • Also in 2011, Guatemalan security forces captured another of The Patriarch’s sons, Elio Elixander. He is wanted in the U.S. on federal charges of drug trafficking, conspiracy, and money laundering. No date has been scheduled for his extradition to the U.S. Improving operational capacity The donations of helicopter and other equipment were “a vote of confidence for Guatemala from the United States,” Pérez Molina said. The helicopters can seat up to 13 people and have 1,800 horsepower, officials said. They are the same model that U.S. military forces used during the Vietnam War. The helicopters will allow Guatemalan security forces greater mobility, Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla said. “We are setting the tone that we are a serious and responsible country that has the capacity to develop whatever process of receiving cooperation on these terms, to mobilize and keep them within the standards that the US demands,” López Bonilla said. “For us it is a great privilege to receive these six helicopters and be able to have greater mobilization.” The donations of the helicopters and other gear is not the first time the U.S. has provided equipment to Guatemala. In April 2013, the U.S government donated 42 vehicles, J8 Jeeps, to help Guatemala in the shared fight against transnational criminal organizations. The vehicles, which are worth about $5.5 million, were donated to the Ministry of Defense during a visit by Maj. Gen. Frederick S. Rudesheim, the commanding general of U.S. Army South. The Lorenzana family Guatemalan security forces have made good progress against the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization, but they must remain vigilant, Alarcón said. “Since Pérez Molina took power, the government has made some important captures,” the security analyst said. “However, the problem persists and what has happened is simply a reshuffle of the arrangement of forces between national and international drug cartels; new alliances and conflicts between these groups have increased.” Guatemala is a key transshipment point for international drug traffickers. About 90 percent of the cocaine that drug traffickers smuggle into North America passes through Central America, according to the United Nations Narcotics Control Board. New alliances and conflicts The helicopters and other donated equipment should help Guatemalan security forces seize more drugs, authorities siad. In 2009, security forces seized 6,936 kilos of cocaine, according to the Interior Ministry. Security forces seized less than half that amount – 3,292 kilos – in 2012, according to the Interior Ministry. Between January and October 2013, Guatemala security forces seized 2,236, kilos of cocaine, authorities said. The donated helicopters will be used in training and in operations against drug traffickers nad other organized crime groups, López Bonilla explained. “Principally, there are two things that for us are really key,” López Bonilla said. “The helicopters are (available) for permanent training. And they will give us 24-hour operational capacity. The crews are ready to use night vision visors and have all the tools to fly during the night. We can be in any part of the country as needed, and are not limited by day or night.” The donated cranes will be used to build landing strips for helicopters and airplanes, Pérez Molina said. “We want to have a strong state that has the framework to stop drug trafficking and international organized crime,” the president said. By Dialogo November 17, 2013 Training and operations The donated helicopters are worth an estimated $11 million. The helicopters were not the only equipment the U.S. donated to Guatemala to help fight drug traffickers. The U.S. also provided night vision devices and other military equipment. In addition to the military equipment, the U.S. gave Guatemala cranes, which will be used to improve the country’s infrastructure. Altogether, the donated equipment is worth about $40 million, according to a press release by the Guatemalan government. The equipment should help Guatemalan security forces conduct operations against drug traffickers and other organized crime groups, said Adolfo Alarcón, a security analyst at the Guatemalan think tank ASIES. “Whatever help that strengthens the operational capacity of security forces in Guatemala is welcome,” said Alarcón said. “The [military donations] can help if they are utilized in the framework of a policy and an integral strategy for combatting this problem to modernize the security forces, which don’t have complete resources to stop international drug trafficking.” Drug seizures A vote of confidence
However, in addition to views of the city, in the Train Museum visitors can see some symbols of the city of Zagreb, such as a model of the Sljeme trail that stretches over three square meters with snow, skiers, support services working on the trail, but also what Sljeme already long missing – by cable car. The model also depicts the spirit of Advent in Zagreb, so there is a permanent exhibition of the Museum and a mini skating rink with about 20 skaters who are always on the move. Photo: Backo Train Museum The model is the fruit of entrepreneur and innovator Antun Urbić Back, who iscreated with his team a real educational – traffic rarity of this partThe Old Continent, and a project that is almost 85 percent a Croatian productand the fruit of domestic wisdom and innovation. The Vlakić Backo Museum is located in the center of Zagreb, more precisely in Gundulićeva Street no. 4, and with its opening it has certainly enriched the tourist offer of our capital. More than impressive, especially for children, ie as a great content for families. Five years of painstaking and diligent modeling work resulted in the Backo Mini Express – the largest model railway in Southeast Europe (the fifth largest in Europe), becoming the Zagreb Train Museum. “Every year, our Museum is visited by more than 20 visitors, and we are especially looking forward to the children who grow up with us just as our exhibition content grows. Visitors love trains, they stay with us on average from an hour to an hour and a half, in order to learn a lot of useful things about modeling, traffic, but also other facilities offered by our unique museum. We also have our educated modeling team that provides expert guidance on tours and visits to museums, introducing all visitors to technical, software, modeling and railway – traffic information, according to which our project is special in this part of the world.explained Antun Urbić Backo, owner and founder of the Zagreb Train Museum. More information about the Backo Train Museum can be found HERE The museum brings a reduced reality in a ratio of 1:87, and a model every daythere are more than 140 trains on as many as 1.500 meters of tracks, of which it is a partburied and ten inches into the floor, and some are even at a height of threemeter. As Urbić Backo points out, in addition to domestic guests, the Museum has the most visitors from neighboring countries (Serbia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), guests from the EU come from Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Sweden, and most overseas countries. fans of mini – trains arrive from the United States, Chile, Japan, Korea, China, Australia and New Zealand. We are constantly talking about quality content in the destination, and the city of Zagreb is richer for just such content. It is the Backo Train Museum, which is located on an impressive 350 square meters of indoor space and consists of over 1.500 m of rails. The Train Museum is spread over two floors and more than 350 square meters of indoor space, and what is extremely important, with a great wealth of details of real life in the city of Zagreb, through the story of the railway. So, an authentic story and depiction of the city of Zagreb.
“Each time we are faced with a new infectious disease, our union is forced to address staffing, protection equipment and training.”Santini, who has three decades of experience, spoke to AFP at one of a dozen events in California, Illinois and Georgia held by the country’s largest nursing union. Last week the 150,000-strong National Nurses United issued the result of a survey denouncing the “disturbing” lack of preparation at many hospitals and clinics in the face of the deadly outbreak.Over a third of respondees did not have access to protective masks, and half had not received any information on the novel coronavirus from employers. US nurses staged a day of action Wednesday calling for better protection in the fight against coronavirus, warning that medical chiefs had failed to learn from previous deadly global health crises.”We need the proper protection… if we aren’t safe, our patients and our community aren’t safe,” warned Marcia Santini, an emergency room nurse at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) medical center.”The virus is just the latest in a long string of infectious disease crises that we have dealt with in recent years, including SARS, H1N1 (swine flu) and Ebola,” she said. Mary Beth Soscia told AFP that her ambulance in Los Angeles does not have any specific protective equipment against coronavirus.Mike Hill, at a protest in Oakland near San Francisco, said resources and training should have been stepped up when the virus first broke out in Asia.”We’ve known about this for quite a while, leading up to this — we should have been more prepared,” he said, as nurses dressed in bright red and holding balloons gathered outside a hospital chanting “Keep us safe!”- ‘My family at risk’ -Advice on handling and testing potentially infected patients has varied from county to county.Northern California’s Placer, Yolo and Sacramento are among those which no longer advise people exposed to the virus — including health care workers and first responders — to quarantine themselves for two weeks.For Andrea Peregrin, an emergency nurse based in southern California’s Santa Monica, that guidance is at odds with her own training. “I think that anyone who has been exposed to a potential patient needs to be quarantined, and that’s why we need adequate staffing to prepare for that,” she told AFP.UCLA must “create a plan to not only prevent exposure, but to ensure that we have adequate staffing in all of our facilities,” she said, pointing to another California hospital where over 100 medics are currently quarantined.Estela Villegas, at UCLA’s pediatric intensive care unit, agreed that mixed messages were a cause for major concern.Days earlier an 18-month-old infant who showed signs of coronavirus had arrived without any notification, and had to be placed in isolation.”We had not been trained beforehand,” she said.”I think about the health of my patients, but I also want to be able to go home without telling myself that I’m putting my family at risk.” Topics :
A prominent US pandemic model on Monday significantly increased its coronavirus death forecast after parts of the country began reopening.The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) now foresees 134,475 deaths by August 4, up from 72,433 projected in an April 29 estimate. On Monday the United States had recorded around 68,000 deaths linked to COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. A government document cited on Monday by two US newspapers forecasts that new coronavirus cases will surge to around 200,000 per day by June 1 and the daily death toll will rise to roughly 3,000. The White House said the data did not reflect modeling or analysis done by the president’s coronavirus task force. Topics : Previously criticized for being too optimistic, the model’s projections will now be more in line with those of other estimates, several of which have already forecast that the United States would exceed 100,000 deaths by the beginning of June.IHME’s new estimate takes into account the lifting in some states of restrictions on movement and gatherings, as well as residents’ mobility during confinement, thanks to anonymous data provided by phone apps and other platforms.”The social distancing that has occurred has actually, in most settings, been quite effective,” said Christopher Murray, director of IHME based in Seattle at the University of Washington.”There have been many, many states where mobility is starting to go up, even before the social distancing mandates are coming off. So we’re seeing a rise in mobility” which over the last seven to 10 days “is likely leading to some increased transmission,” Murray told reporters.
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by Doug FeinbergAP Basketball WriterNot much has come easily for C. Vivian Stringer during her Hall of Fame coaching career.So it was fitting that it took her five tries to become the fourth women’s basketball coach to have 900 victories. She finally reached the milestone Tuesday night with Rutgers’ 68-56 win over South Florida.“When I look back on my life, this team, probably this year, best reflects what 900 has been,” she said. “It helped me to remember that it was never easy. But unless you really have a passion, unless you really know how fortunate you are not to have had a lot of major injuries to a lot of players, which is what happened to this team, and unless you remember how fortunate you are to be able to get to those special places.”Stringer joined Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt and Sylvia Hatchell in the exclusive club. Maybe a half dozen more women’s coaches might gain entrance over the next few years. Only three Division I men’s coaches have reached 900 victories: Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight and Jim Boeheim.“I am fortunate to call Vivian my friend and could not be happier that she has reached the 900-win milestone in her career. I have great respect and admiration for Vivian and consider her one of the great pioneers of our game,” Summitt said in a statement. “She has had an incredible journey, and I hope she adds many more to her ‘W’ column!”Stringer, who was the first coach in men’s or women’s basketball to take three different schools to the Final Four — including Rutgers in 2000 and ’07 — fought back tears as her team celebrated their coach’s achievement.“I think it’s beyond words,” said Stringer, whose record stands at 900-330 in 42 seasons. “I’m happy that it’s over. I can hardly breathe. It’s over and now I can just coach and smile, and get back to what I love to do because it’s never been about numbers.”During the four-game losing streak, Stringer admitted she was tired of talking about when she’d get No. 900. She was getting worn out by it, even snapping at reporters during a media session.Her demeanor changed after a loss to St. John’s on Saturday, the game before Tuesday’s landmark victory. Stringer said she received a call from Hatchell, who reached 900 wins on Feb. 7.The longtime friends talked about the pressures their players faced while trying to get that 900th win. It took Hatchell’s team two tries to get her that victory.“She is probably one of the few people I would talk to about it,” Stringer said, “and she was just saying it was highly stressful for her, too. Finally when they were over it, (the players) were much better because they were really uptight.”With the weight of the milestone lifted, Stringer can only hope her team will use it as a springboard for the rest of the season. Stringer, in her 18th season at Rutgers, has been focused on making an 11th-straight trip to the NCAA tournament. Beating a surging South Florida team will definitely help the Scarlet Knights’ resume.“Everything will take care of itself,” Stringer said, dismissing a question related to her team’s postseason fate. “This was a major win, and it’s important to win down the (stretch) as it is right now.”The Scarlet Knights (15-12, 6-8 Big East), who are 10th in the conference, finish off the regular season against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh — two of the bottom teams in the league.As the game ended, a crowd of 1,304 at the Rutgers Athletic Center saluted Stringer with chants of “900” and “C-V-S” and Scarlet Knights athletic director Tim Pernetti was among the first to greet her with a framed No. 900 jersey. Rutgers’ cheerleaders unfurled a banner that read “Congratulations Coach Stringer – 900 wins,” and her players took turns hugging their emotional coach at midcourt.“If it’s something special for all the generations of players and coaches that I’ve been a part of, then, yeah, I’m happy,” she said. “But I’m looking forward to more.”Rutgers had lost four straight games since beating Cincinnati for Stringer’s 899th career victory.“It’s more than a game, it’s about a preparation for life,” said Stringer, who is in her 18th season at Rutgers. “It’s about understanding that when things are rough you may get knocked down and there may be doubters but you’ll still rise.”Senior guard Erica Wheeler scored 24 points to lead Rutgers.“It’s almost a little heartbreaking because she gives her heart out when she coaches,” Wheeler said. “So to not get her that 900th win as soon as we needed to, I cried a couple times at night. It was important tonight to definitely get her that win.”Editor’s Note: Stringer is a native of Edenborn, Pennsylvania (Fayette County) about an hour south of Pittsburgh. She is also a graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Stringer and her late husband, William D. Stringer, have three children: David, Janine and Justin. MILESTONE–Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer celebrates with her players on Feb. 26, in Piscataway, N.J., after defeating South Florida 68-56 for Stringer’s 900th win. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)