zzgoqiql

Town forest recreation and stewardship plans due June 1

Posted on

first_imgTown Forest Recreation Planning Community Assistance ProgramVermont Business Magazine The Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program (VT UCF) is seeking to work with 10 communities to support the development of town forest recreation and stewardship plans. This program will provide technical planning assistance to Vermont communities interested in addressing issues and opportunities in the use and stewardship of their town forest, a value of up to $10,000 per town. Participating communities will receive technical assistance from a multi-disciplinary consultant team for the development of a town forest action plan. Applications are due June 1, 2017.      Community Assistance Program Overview(link is external)  Community Assistance Program Application (link is external)Eligibility RequirementsCommunities and potential projects must meet the following criteria: The parcel must be publicly owned or in the process of becoming publicly owned.   Letter of support from selectboard, municipal official, or municipal board, that identifies willingness to fully engage in this effort and officially adopt the action plan developed through this program.  Please include a letter of support with the application. Community demonstrates the necessary local leadership and capacity for carrying out the planning and implementation of this initiative. Example structures include existing volunteer citizen advisory groups such as town forest or conservation commissions, or through the establishment of a new or ad hoc committee to steer and guide this initiative.Interested in applying?  Here’s how to get started:STEP 1.  Submit An Application. Communities are asked to submit an application that provides a short overview of needs, describes community support and readiness to engage in this community planning process, and identifies desired outcomes of the planning process. Don’t forget to include supporting materials with the application, including a letter of municipal support, maps, related documents, etc… Applications are due June 1, 2017.Download Application(link is external)Please note: Please be sure you fully open the application before you begin filling it out (depending on your browser, you may need to download it completely). When finished, click on “Submit Your Application”.  A small window should pop up labeled “Send Email”. If you do not get the new window “Send Email” and complete the last steps it calls for, you have not actually submitted your application. If you have any questions regarding the submission of your application, please contact jenny.lauer@vermont.gov(link sends e-mail).STEP 2.  Community Presentation and InterviewA select group of applicants may be asked to provide a 10-minute presentation to the review committee. This presentation can be done in person, on the phone, or online.  The presentation/interview will be scheduled for July 18th or 19th. Please mark your calendars now!All applicants will be notified of final decisions by August 1, 2017.If you have questions, please contact Kate Forrer at katherine.forrer@uvm.edu (link sends e-mail)or 802-476-2003 ext 210.This program is being offered in partnership with FPR Recreation Program, the Agency of Commerce, and Community Development, and UVM Extension’s Vermont Tourism Research Center, and was funded in part by a grant from the USDA Forest Service.last_img read more

Westwood mayoral candidates on the issues: Building on community inclusion

Posted on

first_imgAs part of our continuing coverage on candidates for public office, we start our questions to the candidates for mayor in Westwood. Today we feature responses to the first question for the candidates. Today’s question is:The comprehensive plan that is now in development has invited Westwood residents to participate in the planning process. How would you build on that inclusion once the plan is complete?Jim DonovanJames DonovanGetting the neighbors of Westwood to participate in deciding what their city looks like is my priority.  Westwood’s comprehensive plan will represent the blueprint for many years to come and as such must represent the voice and views of its citizens.This effort will be furthered through a number of work sessions starting with the steering committee and continuing through the planning commission and the governing body.  The final document must be consistent with the public’s wishes.As mayor, I would consider the people of Westwood my bosses.  It’s important to me that we all decide what our city looks like together to ensure our family-friendly neighborhoods remain a valued and cherished part of Westwood.John YéJohn YéThere has no doubt been a loud unified voice that the City needs to do better; more new ways and more frequently.  More frequent letters and postcards to homes need to be incorporated into a City wide effort to enhance outbound communication.  Current communication efforts far and away exceed anything that was done prior to 2008 and anything done under my opponent’s 3 preceding terms.  This includes weekly email blasts, social media to include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Nextdoor.com and other forms of electronic media. We also send quarterly print newsletters and occasional written letters from the Mayor.  But we need to reach every house with more details.  I plan a three pronged approach with the understanding that the plan needs to be continually evolving with improvements:1.     Accountability – Business and Community Affairs committee should be in charge of the PR/Communication initiative.  In this way Westwood will have a central area that can be held accountable for the effort and will also be responsible for reporting on the efforts publicly each and every month at the City Council Meetings. They will work in tandem with the Mayor, department heads and block captains to create and deliver a strategy of timely communications to garner community input.  This may include but won’t be limited to periodic meetings (by block), routine town hall meetings held at City Hall, organizing and recording surveys, etc.2.     Block Captain Initiative – the ‘block captains’, once a great intention has fallen flat and needs to be revitalized.  We need to completely reconstruct the volunteer force and outline in great detail the objectives and expectations of each captain. They will need to be outfitted with the right tools to help serve the community block-by-block and serve as a liaison to the B&C Affairs committee.  However they must be objective; without ulterior motive and available to all in their area of service.  They should also contribute in the recruitment of their replacement so we can consistently manage transitions.3.     Mayor  and Staff – The Mayor is ultimately responsible for the delivery of communication and the welcoming of community input.  The City should be the one who initiates and pushes information to the public. If we are truly to have an ongoing dialog with meaningful content that is inclusive, everyone needs to be willing to set aside petty differences and ulterior motives. “Exclusive & Closed” behavior from City officials will not create a conducive environment that welcomes community outreach and input. Likewise “Torch & Pitchfork” behavior also must be left at the gate.  Trust must be earned but fear and innuendo should be replaced with facts that figures.Ultimately, we as a community all need to evolve.  We must understand that Westwood still works as a representative government. The elected officials will make decisions they truly think are in the best interest of their constituents and the success of Westwood.  We cannot make daily decisions by referendum, it makes for an inefficient an ineffective system, but we can construct a much more open and transparent culture that begins with trust and integrity; this is my commitment.Tomorrow’s question: Woodside Village changes the complexion of housing in the city. What is the next step for Westwood in terms of its residential community?last_img read more

Microdosing reduces depression and mind wandering but increases neuroticism, according to first-of-its-kind study

Posted on

first_imgEmail Share on Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest A new exploratory study has attempted to systematically measure the psychological changes produced by microdosing — or taking very small amounts of psychedelic substances on a regular basis. The findings, which appear in PLOS One, suggest that microdosing can improve several aspects of psychological functioning — but the effects are not necessarily what people expect.“Over the last few years there has been intense media interest in microdosing. There are thousands of news stories and personal accounts online that describe a wide range of benefits associated with microdosing but there is very little scientific evidence on the topic. We wanted to see whether these claims were justified or whether the effects of microdosing could be explained by expectations or placebo,” said study author Vince Polito, a research fellow at Macquarie University.The researchers recruited 98 microdosers, who provided daily ratings of their psychological functioning over a six week period. The participants, who microdosed LSD, psilocybin and mescaline, also completed a comprehensive questionnaire at the start and end of the six week period.center_img Share Share on Twitter There were several positive short-term effects. The participants reported heightened levels of connectedness, contemplation, creativity, focus, happiness, productiveness, and wellbeing on days they microdosed. The researchers also observed some long-term effects. Depression decreased and attention increased during the six week period, but neuroticism slightly increased as well. People with high levels of neuroticism are more likely to experience negative emotions. There were no significant changes in mindfulness, mystical experience, positive personality traits, creativity, sense of agency or overall quality of life from the beginning to the end of the study.“This was very preliminary research, so our findings need to be taken cautiously. But we found indications that microdosing had a range of effects. We found reductions in depression, stress and mind wandering; and also increases in focused attention. We also found an increase in the experience of unpleasant emotions so the effects of microdosing appear to mixed,” Polito told PsyPost.The researchers conducted an additional study with 263 participants to compare microdosers’ expectations to the actual effects experienced by participants in the main study.“We also looked at people’s beliefs around microdosing and found that although people did have strong predictions about what they thought would happen, these beliefs did not match the actual psychological changes we saw when we tracked the experience of microdosers. This indicates that it was not just expectations that explain our results,” Polito said.In particular, the participants expected that neuroticism would decrease rather than increase. They also expected that creativity, wellbeing, and mindfulness would increase.“Because microdosing is illegal in most parts of the world we had to adapt our study design. This was not a direct, lab-based experimental investigation of microdosing. Instead we systematically tracked the experiences of people already microdosing using an anonymous online system,” Polito explained.“This means that our results rely on the accuracy and honesty of participants’ reports. As such these results highlight some important possible effects of microdosing but more careful follow up research is needed to confirm these findings.”The study, “A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics“, was authored by Vince Polito and Richard J. Stevenson.last_img read more

Methods Machine Announces Key Management Appointments

Posted on

first_imgMethods Machine Tools Inc., a North American supplier of precision machine tools and automation, has announced two key management appointments. Company President Jerry Rex has been named president and CEO and Dale Hedberg has been promoted to vice president of operations. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementMethods’ board of directors appointed Rex to his new position after having served as president since April 2017. Prior to that, he was Methods’ chief operating officer.“Methods is pleased to appoint Jerry as president and CEO. With his strong skill set, machine tool industry knowledge and energetic management approach, we are looking forward to moving the company ahead through his continued leadership, positioning Methods as the industry’s leading supplier of machine tool technology and automation for our customers throughout North America,” said Scott McIver, Methods chairman and third-generation owner.Rex has an extensive amount of machine tool industry and leadership experience, including hands-on manufacturing, engineering, sales and executive management. He also has served for many years as a member of The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) board and as chairman of the board of directors of AMT until April 1, 2016. He has carried the CMTSE designation since 1997 and remains an active committee member.Spanning 40 years, Rex’s manufacturing career began with a machinist position at GE Locomotive and he steadily rose from roles in engineering and applications to production and sales management, and executive positions at manufacturers and machine tool organizations. Before joining Methods, he served as executive vice president of Concept Machine Tools. Prior to that, Rex was president of Hegman Machinery LLC, a Morris Group Co., from 2013 to 2015. For the 20 years prior he held roles including president of Morris South in Charlotte, North Carolina, vice president of Gosiger Inc. in Dayton, Ohio, and regional manager of J&H Machine Tools in Richmond, Virginia. AdvertisementMethods also has announced that Dale Hedberg has been promoted from director and national product manager to vice president of operations. Hedberg is now responsible for all of Methods’ operations including production, shipping and receiving, inside sales, trade shows and continuous improvement. A machine tool industry veteran, Hedberg has been a Methods’ employee for nearly 20 years in engineering positions, and most recently as product manager for a high-performance CNC Machining Line. Prior to Methods, Hedberg was production manager at a tooling systems company for 10 years.“Dale’s proven skills for strategically managing Methods’ product lines and a deep knowledge of Methods’ infrastructure, as well as his extensive machine tool experience, made his promotion to vice president of operations a logical one,” said Rex. “He will play a key role on our management team.”In addition to these management moves, 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of Methods’ founding. To commemorate its anniversary milestone, Methods will be hosting open houses, holding technology events and introducing new product lines throughout the year.last_img read more

SOXAL invests €35 million in Singapore oxygen and nitrogen

Posted on

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Airgas launches new healthcare brand

Posted on

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Green Giant Makes Maiden Call to APM Terminals Zeebrugge

Posted on

first_imgThe second of United Arab Shipping Company’s (UASC) six ordered 18,800 TEU capacity Ultra-Large Container Ships (ULCS), the LNG-ready Al Muraykh, called APM Terminals Zeebrugge on October 16 on its maiden voyage to Europe.Part of the UASC’s Asia/Europe Container Service 1 route (AEC1 ), these vessels are the largest ones to be able to operate powered by either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or conventional heavy fuel oil. They are also the first to have received DNV GL certification of compliance with the latest LNG regulations.“United Arab Shipping Company is setting a new world standard in environmental performance for liner services, as well as fleet growth, and we are very proud to be a part of this historic process,” said APM Terminals Zeebrugge Managing Director, Carla Debart.Currently the world’s 15th-largest shipping line, with a fleet of 56 vessels representing an overall capacity of 482,617 TEUs, UASC has embarked on a program of expansion which includes pending deliveries of 4 x 18,800 and 6 x 15,000 TEU-sized vessels, which will add approximately another 170,000 TEUs, increasing the company’s fleet capacity by 35%.As of September 1, there were 31 vessels of 18,000 TEU capacity or above in service in the global container fleet, with 72 more awaiting delivery.last_img read more

Bar Council chairman talks about plans to combat potentially ‘devastating’ threats

Posted on

first_imgStability and modernisation are the key themes of Nick Green QC’s tenure as the recently installed chairman of the Bar Council. Stability in respect of the publicly funded bar, and modernisation in so far as the bar must urgently adapt to a ‘fast-moving and changing legal landscape’. In his inaugural speech as bar leader, Green spoke of the ‘accumulation of storm clouds’ that are darkening the outlook for barristers. Legal aid cuts, the ‘ambitious’ expansion into advocacy of the Crown Prosecution Service, and the growth in competition from solicitor higher court advocates all present serious challenges: ‘The effect of such pressures coming to bear upon the bar at the same time is potentially devastating,’ he stresses. In the spacious surroundings of Brick Court Chambers, Green vents his spleen over the way the government has behaved over criminal legal aid fee cuts. The bar is ‘furious’, he says, because after telling the profession to ‘trust Carter’ during the reform process, the government has effectively torn up the recommendations. ‘Carter set a fair rate, and now across the criminal defence profession we’re being asked to accept cuts of 18% below a fair rate,’ he explains. Green concedes that public spending cuts are inevitable in a recession, but claims the bar has been singled out for ‘unfair treatment’ and ‘irrational’ economies. When others in the public sector face a pay freeze or negligible increase, he emphasises, lawyers at the sharp end of the administration of justice are being forced to stomach a fall in their remuneration of nearly a fifth. Such cuts are ‘irrational’, he adds, because the government has no evidence of – or seeming interest in – the unintended consequences of ‘squeezing the pips out of defence lawyers’. ‘The bar has a difficult job to do, because selling the notion of the efficient administration of justice is not as alluring as the Florence Nightingale image of the nursing profession,’ says Green. ‘You get the popular press who say the money is paid to people to defend criminals who ought to get banged up.’ The truth, Green says, is that legal aid barristers deal with many of the most vulnerable and dispossessed people in society and it is fundamental to our democracy that they are treated properly and fairly. Unfortunately, he adds, ‘that is not a sexy thing to tell the public – not in the months in the run-up to an election’. Perhaps as a sign that their patience has run out, the Bar Council and Criminal Bar Association last week instructed solicitors to take the first steps towards judicial review proceedings regarding the Ministry of Justice and Legal Services Commission consultations on fees, on the basis that they are ‘inadequate and unfair’. Nicholas Green attended King Edwards Grammar School in Birmingham, spending a good portion of his formative years with his head under chlorinated water as an international swimmer specialising in the 100 and 200 metre freestyle and butterfly events. He took a law degree at Leicester University, followed by a masters in Toronto. Green later taught for four years at Southampton University while doing a PhD, before ‘escaping poverty to come to the bar’. A specialist in EU competition law, Green took silk in 1998 and became a recorder in 2004. He is married, has two children and lives in Islington. His interests – as well as swimming – include collecting 18th century British art. Modernisation agendaSurely the most significant development of last year, however, was the Bar Standards Board’s decision to allow barristers to practise in partnership with other barristers or in legal disciplinary practices, subject to the necessary rule changes being approved by the LSB. In this regard Green says he is on a mission to ‘lead our troops into modernisation’. The bar – and not just the publicly funded bar, parts of the civil bar too – needs greater flexibility, he believes, and barristers need to wake up to the opportunities the new rules will give them should they wish to take advantage. He is not convinced that many of his colleagues will be keen to go into partnerships, because the conflict rules make it unattractive: ‘Moreover, there is a very strong feeling at the bar that they like being self-employed and independent.’ But there are, he suggests, lots of other things the bar can do. The idea that has gained the most currency recently is that of establishing procurement companies. ‘It’s a very unglamorous name, but it simply means using corporate or commercial vehicles to wed together advocacy, litigation, advisory and other legal skills.’ He explains that procurement companies would be commercial vehicles that would not themselves provide legal services, but rather administer and bid for legal services. They would enable barristers to practise in the traditional chambers model, and set up a separate company with other barristers or solicitors to bid for bulk contracts from volume purchasers of legal services, such as the Legal Services Commission, insurance companies or local authorities. Such purchasers want to contract for a composite service, covering advice, litigation and advocacy. So if you want to compete for that work you will have to be able to provide all of it, Green explains. At present barristers are excluded from this bidding process, but a procurement company would provide them with a vehicle through which they could engage and take control. ‘We’ll bid for the work, but we’ll have our own panel of solicitors and we’ll instruct them, not the other way round – you reverse the normal order of things,’ says Green. Over the last 12 months Green says he has spoken to a large number of barristers around the country and been impressed, and pleasantly surprised, by the thought that many have given to the impact of the Legal Services Act and what it will mean for them. ‘I asked as many as I could for their business plans for the next two or three years. A lot of them said “what on earth are you talking about?”, but a surprising number agreed to tell me and had really very detailed blueprints,’ he says. ‘It really surprised me how many sets are really thinking about what they need to do for the future, and have actually sat down and thought about the corporate implications, the tax implications, the employment implications and have ready-made solutions which they will roll out once they are allowed to,’ he adds. In summary, then, Green is in for a testing stint as the bar’s titular chief. And what of the future? ‘My clients won’t all go away – some of them will come back – I hope. God forbid I might have to go and become a judge,’ he smiles. In the swim CPS expansionAnother headache for Green and his bar colleagues is the CPS and its rapid expansion into the world of advocacy. In the interests of conciliation, however, Green is slightly more diplomatic on this subject. ‘I want to do a deal with the CPS on prosecution work,’ he confirms. To that end, the bar has been participating in a series of confidential discussions with the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC. The CPS introduced its strategy to increase in-house advocacy in 2004. According to its annual report, points out Green, in the Crown court the CPS now does around 27% of cases by value and 50% by number. If this expansion continues, he says, there is a risk that the damage to the self-employed bar will be permanent. ‘In our discussions we have to find a way of reconciling the fact of life that the CPS is in the court advocating, and stability for the self-employed bar,’ he adds. Once that stability is secured, he says, there will be benefits for both sides, such as joint training, secondments and the emergence of ‘revolving doors’ between the CPS and the self-employed bar. At the moment, however, Green says the bar is ‘psychologically scarred’ and therefore unwilling to help, because barristers ‘see the CPS as just constantly taking away their work’. For Green, one of the most regrettable consequences of this dispute with the CPS is that it has caused a fracture between the self-employed and the employed bar: ‘Colleagues are falling out with former colleagues and that’s very sad.’ Despite the challenge presented by the success of solicitor higher court advocates, which inevitably also takes work away from the self-employed bar, Green has little to gripe with solicitors about. ‘Bob Heslett [Law Society president] said to me we were disappointingly ad idem on a lot of issues. And we agreed that the Ministry of Justice had succeeded in binding us together in a way that no-one or no other issue has,’ says Green. The bar chairman believes it will be important for the two branches of the profession to stand together in 2010 on a number of fronts. One important task will be for them to agree on their relationship with the Legal Services Board. ‘The Law Society and the Bar Council are the [approved] regulators, not the LSB. The LSB has a valuable role to facilitate and to encourage, but it is not to take decisions.’ Although he emphasises that he does not intend to cross swords with the LSB if he can help it, he notes: ‘We have to carefully draw the lines of demarcation.’ ‘I’ve agreed with David Edmonds [chairman of the LSB] that if we have a real spat we’ll talk about it, as there is no sense in regulators litigating with each other,’ he says good humouredly. The professions, he says, could also work on a joint approach to raising funds for litigation, following Lord Justice Jackson’s recommendation that success fees and after-the-event insurance premiums should no longer be recoverable from losing defendants in civil cases. For example, there will be a decline, he says, in access to justice, with personal injury victims unable to get financial support. In his view it is in the legal profession’s interest to try and find alternative ways of raising funds for litigation. He suggests the Law Society and Bar Council could put their heads together and form a working group to look at raising funds in the market place for litigation. ‘We both have an interest in access to justice and in protecting funding for litigation and the profession. If we come forward with sensible, worked-out proposals that we jointly agree on, frankly there’s no reason why a government shouldn’t grab them with open arms.’last_img read more

Devilish details

Posted on

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

House prices cool for summer

Posted on

first_imgReading over the latest output figures from the Office for National Statistics it appears that construction continues to perform strongly in the first quarter of 2017. The industry grew by 0.2% in Q1 compared with the final quarter of 2016. However, looking at the monthly data in the first quarter it is clear that some momentum was lost in March, with output down by 0.7% compared with February. However, overall the start of the year has shown the market conditions remain favourable.It is interesting that new housing continues to be the area of construction that fuels growth and this is demonstrated by the fact that output in the sector increased by 0.2% in the first quarter and it also grew in March when other sectors did not. This is set against a backdrop of a housing market that appears to be softening. The Nationwide House Price Index has detected house price falls in both March and April and the Halifax index recorded the first quarterly fall in house prices since 2012. While both of these indices are based on asking prices, the ONS report on sold prices shows that house price inflation across the UK was 4.1% in March, down from 9.4% in June 2016. For clues as to why this is falling, it is worth looking at the regional growth in house prices.With rampant house price inflation cooling, you may expect some impact on the new build market as the returns available for developers lessenLondon, so often the centre of housing activity and the main contributor to UK-wide average price growth, has annual house price growth of 1.5%, down from 16% in 2014. It is the east of England which is now the region with the highest rate of house price growth, with a rate of 6.7%.So, with rampant house price inflation cooling, you may expect some impact on the new build market as the returns available for developers lessen. However, both output and new orders for housing remain strong. What is happening is that there is more interest in the regions with the highest price increases, which is understandable.However, if price growth elsewhere in the UK starts to moderate as it has done in London, it will be interesting to see whether housing construction continues at its current pace.Michael Dall is an economist at Barbour ABIBarometer onlineYou’ll find interactive, sortable league tables of contract wins on our Barometer site:Sort top contractors by region or sectorFind out who the top consultants and architects areGet latest data for 10 sectors, including public housing and offices in the CPA/Barbour ABI IndexDownload raw data www.building.co.uk/barometerlast_img read more