MANCHESTER, England — Robin van Persie ushered Manchester United into the Champions League quarterfinals — and potentially saved his manager’s job — with a hat trick in a 3-0 victory over Olympiakos that completed one of the competition’s greatest comebacks on March 19.On one of the memorable European nights at Old Trafford, Van Persie scored three times in a 27-minute span either side of halftime to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg.A slew of brilliant saves by David de Gea were also key to a famous win for the English champions — and a vital one for their manager, David Moyes.Moyes’ position had come under intense scrutiny after United’s humiliating 3-0 loss to fierce rival Liverpool in the Premier League on March 16, the latest in a string of dreadful results in his first season in charge.An early exit in Europe could have stretched the patience of fans and United’s hierarchy beyond breaking point — but Moyes is left hoping this can be a watershed moment in his United career. “I don’t want to come out here and say this is the moment,” Moyes said, “but at the same time, I really hope it is.”A nerve-shredding night ended with Olympiakos captain Giannis Maniatis on his knees and in floods of tears, and Moyes saluting home fans and wearing the broadest grin.The under-fire United manager was saved by the goal-scoring qualities of Van Persie, who converted a penalty in the 25th minute, side-footed home his second goal in first-half injury time and curled in a free kick in the 52nd. And he also had words of praise for Ryan Giggs, who at the age of 40 delivered a tireless performance in midfield.Giggs lasted the full match, despite having played only 81 minutes since Jan. 7, and played a crucial role in Van Persie’s first two goals. “His all-round play was very good,” Moyes said. “He defies his age.”Van Persie was carried off on a stretcher in the final minutes after hurting his leg in a challenge but Moyes said he didn’t think it was a serious injury.Olympiakos slumped to its 12th straight away defeat in England and missed out on securing a place in the last eight for the first time since 1999.The Greek champions had their chances — some of De Gea’s saves were breathtaking — but defensively they were chaotic and they became only the sixth team to squander a two-goal lead from the first leg of a Champions League match. “We were unlucky,” Olympiakos midfielder David Fuster said, “and we’re pretty upset about it.”In the other last-16 match, Borussia Dortmund advanced 5-4 on aggregate despite losing the second leg 2-1 at home to Zenit St. Petersburg. The draw for the quarterfinals is held on March 21.“We probably now will go into it as underdogs,” Moyes said. “If we play to our capabilities, which we have not done too often, then I think we will be a match for any team.”Moyes insisted on the eve of the biggest game of his reign that his position was not under threat, saying United’s vision was “long term,” the board was still supportive and stressing that he was in a six-year contract.Fans appeared to be starting to waver, although the banner reading “The Chosen One” — a nickname given to Moyes after he was hand-picked for the job by predecessor Alex Ferguson — remained hung up high in the Stretford End as Olympiakos kicked off.Initially, United was gripped by panic — misplacing passes, diving into tackles and showing no shape defensively — but the nerves were settled by Van Persie’s penalty.The Netherlands striker tumbled after being barged in the back by Jose Holebas after bringing down a cross-field pass from Giggs, and he got up to convert his penalty unerringly.Giggs was the architect of the second goal, too, floating another pass to Wayne Rooney, who crossed for Van Persie to caress his finish under goalkeeper Roberto’s dive.The aggregate score was now 2-2 and Moyes greeted the goal with repeated fist-pumps and marched back to the dressing rooms, breaking into a jog at one point.He was celebrating again within six minutes of the second half when Van Persie curled home a free kick from just outside the area, with Roberto earning the wrath of his defenders for not trusting his wall and vacating the area near where the ball crossed the line.With Olympiakos attacking relentlessly in the final 25 minutes, the final whistle was met with relief as much as joy by home fans. Languishing in seventh place in the Premier League, the Champions League remains a potential source of silverware for United this season.(Steve Douglas, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shares
Continue Reading Previous Seco: heterogeneous processing systems based on Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoCsNext Infineon: TRENCHSTOP IGBT7 and EC7 diode tailored for industrial drives applications Renesas Electronics announced the new “RX Functional Safety” solution for industrial applications that reduces the complexity of IEC 61508 SIL3 certification, an international standard for functional safety. Based on the RX family of microcontrollers, the new solution provides advanced functional safety for industrial equipment, including functions for chip self-diagnostics, the world’s first SIL3-certified functional safety software and reference documents for users to develop the safety part of industrial applications. The complete functional safety support for industrial applications allows users to shorten the certification acquisition process by a year or more.Featuring a dual-MCU configuration, the RX Functional Safety will support all Renesas MCUs based on the RXv2 core to enable simple safety verification and a highly efficient diagnostics software. With the SIL3-certified software, the solution eliminates the need for users to develop functional safety software dependant to Renesas MCUs and allows them to focus on development of software for their own application components.When starting on a new functional safety system, developers face a large number of difficult technological problems, including the interpretation of difficult standards, acquiring methods for constructing dual-structure MCUs, and selecting third parties for support. Users experienced in configuring functional safety systems are also challenged with development burdens such as acquiring software certification and the recertification associated with the expansion of system functions.To resolve these issues, Renesas has developed a comprehensive, software -based solution combining: RX Functional Safety – Self-Test Software Kit: Performs self-diagnostics at the individual MCU level, self-diagnostics software library, safety manual, user guide.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components
Sardar Singh’s retirement from the international hockey didn’t come as a surprise to many as the veteran player’s performance had always been under the scanner since he was blamed for being too slow to be in the team.Amid all kind of speculation, former coach Sjoerd Marijne made him captain of the team for the Azlan Shah Cup at the beginning of the year. But a dismal performance and a fifth position finish in Malaysia pushed Marijne to drop the 32-year-old from the squad for the Commonwealth Games under the pretext of stiff competition.Sardar said it was a low point in his career where he was lacking in self-belief. But a 15-20 minutes pep-talk with Sachin Tendulkar helped the Haryana man to stage a comeback in the squad for Champions Trophy.”I want to say thank you to Sachin paaji for helping me get back my mental strength when all chips were down,” Sardar said during media interaction here. “Whenever I called him, he took my calls and never rushed during any conversation. After getting dropped from CWG squad, I asked him how to prove myself when others are doubting me, tab unhone meri 15-20 minute class lagayi (he counselled me for 15-20 minutes).”He asked me to watch my old videos and analyse my game. He told me to visualise the game in my head before going into a match. It really helped me and I managed to stage a comeback and it showed in my performance during the Champions Trophy.”advertisementAt this time when senior team coach Harendra Singh is also under pressure due to the horrendous show at the Asiad, Sardar vowed support for his former coach, who brought him in the junior then senior set up at the beginning of his career.”I think it’s not right to doubt Harendra Singh because he is one of the best. He has worked hard a lot to reach here. He has done all the FIH courses needed for a coach and proved himself with the girls’ team and with us during the Champions Trophy,” said the midfielder.However, he didn’t deny the importance of having the best of the foreign coaches by giving examples of Roelant Oltmans, Terry Walsh, who improved the standard of Indian hockey players, especially their fitness.”Of course having best names among coaches training you makes you better. In modern hockey, the fitness of a player is of paramount importance. Roelant Oltman, Terry Walsh and Barry Dancer were some great coaches we had, who won India some big trophies and also improved player’s fitness level with their modern hockey knowledge.But he added, communication with foreign coaches especially during a match has been a perennial issue.”But yeah, communicating with foreign coaches during a match used to be an issue. Especially with the introduction of quarters, where tactical change by a coach during the breaks was not always well understood due to the language barrier. Even the pre-match meetings used to go on for hours due to translation, so concentrating on that for long was another issue,” he quipped.Sardar himself has admitted that he wants to try a career in coaching as he is planning to play club hockey in Europe for next two years and start his coaching courses.
Touch Football affiliated competitions across Queensland have additional reasons to celebrate, as major sponsor Harvey Norman commenced delivery of vital competition equipment to 80 affiliated competitions across the state. The â€˜Go Harvey Goâ€™ packs include footballs, kit bags, ball pumps and more and are a welcome support for the more than 110,000 Touch Football players across Queensland that enjoy the game year round. A large percentage of Queenslandâ€™s junior Touch Footballers have this week converged on Hervey Bay to compete in the Queensland Junior State Championships. The annual event has drawn 210 teams and approximately 3,500 participants to the region from throughout Queensland. Former Queensland Origin representative and Clive Churchill medallist, Scott Prince, who now represents Queensland and Australia in Touch Football, joined Touch Football junior participants and committee members from Hervey Bay Touch Football Association on Thursday to deliver one of 80 packs that have been distributed throughout Queensland to affiliated competitions.Harvey Norman Chief Operating Officer, John Slack-Smith said the company was delighted to once again be providing playing equipment to hundreds of Touch Football affiliated competitions across Australia. â€œThis is the second year in a row that Harvey Norman has provided footies, training kits and more to benefit thousands of Touch Football players,â€ said Slack-Smith. â€œTouch Football has one of the largest national sporting footprints and it is important that players, coaches and referees receive the equipment they need to continue to participate, from grassroots right through to the elite level.â€ Queensland Touch Football CEO, Jamie Oâ€™Connor thanked Harvey Norman for their ongoing support of the game and said â€œhaving partners like Harvey Norman that are invested in the growth and health of our sport is fantastic. The support that they provide to the grass roots through the Go Harvey Go packs provides vital resources to our participants and assists our members in offering sustainable and affordable competitions in their communities. â€œThe benefits of this investment can be seen in Hervey Bay this week where more than 210 junior teams from all across the state have descended on the Fraser Coast to take part in the Queensland Junior State Cup. â€˜We have a record number of teams competing this year as the event continues to grow year on year. This year we have several affiliates who are competing for the first time; affiliates such as Roma, Brothers and Arana are small affiliates who are establishing themselves in their community. The Go Harvey Go packs being provided to these new affiliates allows them to allocate resources into developing their competition and into providing their participants the opportunities the play in events like the Junior State Cup. Without the support of Harvey Norman these players might not be afforded such an opportunity,â€ Oâ€™Connor added. Further information on the packs and the Queensland Junior State Cup can be found online at www.qldtouch.com.au Harvey Norman has been the major partner of Touch Football Australia since 2013.Related LinksGo Harvey Go Packs
zoom The Review Panel for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project has changed the end date of the comment period regarding the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the Marine Shipping Addendum submitted by Canada’s Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.The deadline to submit comments was changed from October 14, 2016 to October 28, 2016.The panel has provided this additional time to allow participants to modify or augment their submissions in response to additional information received from the proponent on the coastal geomorphic and ecosystem models and other topics.The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority proposes the construction and operation of a new three-berth marine container terminal located at Roberts Bank in Delta, British Columbia.The project would be located next to the existing Deltaport and Westshore Terminals. The environmental assessment includes a consideration of the proposed project and of marine shipping associated with the project.In June, Indigenous groups, government bodies, the public and other interested parties, were invited to submit comments to the Review Panel on the sufficiency and technical merit of the environmental assessment.They were also invited to make recommendations to the panel on additional information that it should receive prior to proceeding to a public hearing for the project.The Review Panel will consider all submissions, including those that have already been sent by participants in relation to the environmental assessment of the project.The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is also being assessed under the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act, and requires other permits and authorizations before it can proceed.Subject to environmental permits and approvals and a final investment decision, construction could begin in 2018 and would take approximately five-and-a-half years to complete.Port Metro Vancouver has shortlisted five candidates out of more than ten companies and consortia which had initially submitted their bids to operate the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2.Abu Dhabi Terminals, Grup TCB / Mitsubishi Corp consortium, Ports America, PSA International, and Terminal Link / CMHI consortium were selected to move forward to the Request for Proposals stage.Once chosen, the terminal operator will be in place for a period of up to 40 years and will be responsible for terminal facilities, equipment and ongoing container handling operations.The new container terminal is expected to provide 2.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units of container capacity per year.
El Reno (US): An apparent tornado killed at least two people as it destroyed a motel, roared through a nearby mobile home park and caused other significant damage in the Oklahoma City area, officials said Sunday. El Reno Mayor Matt White said during a news conference that officials were working to notify relatives of the two people who were killed. He didn’t say how or where they died and he said search and rescue efforts were ongoing. The suspected twister hit El Reno, which is just west of Oklahoma City, on Saturday night as a powerful storm system rolled through the state, Rick Smith, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Norman, told The Associated Press. The American Budget Value Inn was levelled. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Images from the scene showed emergency crews sifting through rubble after part of the motel’s second story collapsed into a pile of debris strewn about the first floor and parking lot. Elsewhere, overturned cars and twisted metal could be seen briefly as intermittent lightning flashed across the sky and the wailing sirens of approaching emergency vehicles were heard in the distance. Trailers at the Skyview Estates mobile home park adjacent to the motel also were damaged, as was part of a nearby car dealership. “We have absolutely experienced a traumatic event,” White said during an earlier news conference Sunday. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaWhite said several people were transported to hospitals in Oklahoma City, but did not give an exact number. “We’re doing a search and rescue right now … we have all hands on deck,” White said. Saturday night’s storm in El Reno comes after a week of tornados, severe rain and flooding in the Southern Plains and Midwest, including a tornado that hit Jefferson City, Missouri. The recent spate of bad weather and flooding in the region has been blamed for at least nine deaths. Tweety Garrison, 63, told the AP that she was in her mobile home with her husband, two young grandchildren and a family friend when the storm hit. She said when she heard the storm coming she immediately hit the ground.
Lucknow: Welcoming the Uttar Pradesh Law Commission-drafted Bill against lynching, BSP supremo Mayawati Saturday pitched for a stringent, pan-India legislation to arrest the spread of this “dreadful disease”.In a statement issued by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) here, Mayawati said, “Mob lynching has emerged as a dreadful disease (bhayanak bimari) across the country, and the loss of lives in it is a matter of serious concern.” “In this regard, there is a strong need for a strigent countrywide law, but the Centre’s approach towards it is lackadaisical,” she said. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!She welcomed the submission of a draft Bill by the UP Law Commission in this regard, which recommended up to life imprisonment for the crime. Taking cognisance of incidents of mob lynching, including those by cow vigilantes, the Uttar Pradesh Law Commission on Wednesday submitted to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath the draft Bill recommending up to life imprisonment for the crime. “This disease is a gift of the intention (niyat) and policy (niti) of the governments of not allowing to establish the rule of law. As a result, not only the Dalits, tribals or the religious minorities, but even the people from all sections of the society and police are also becoming a victim to it,” Mayawati said. “In this situation, the submission of a draft Bill by theUP Law Commission, recommending up to life imprisonment for the crime is welcoming,” she added.Giving a piece of advice to the BJP, Mayawati said, “Along with drafting strong laws, the BJP will have to develop a strong willpower like the BSP, to strictly enforce the laws. Only then will this disease will be curbed.”
APTN National NewsIn Ottawa, a much anticipated House of Commons committee review of the Harper government’s proposed anti-terror bill has begun.Bill C-51 is under the microscope.APTN’s Annette Francis has this story.
India’s PMK MP Anbumani Ramadoss said he was ready to quit the BJP-led NDA alliance if his decision could help find a permanent solution to the problems of the Sri Lankan Tamils.Reacting to TNCC president E.V.K.S. Elangovan who asked why he was continuing in the NDA when India supported the “diluted” resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a probe into the war crimes, Mr Anbumani said the Congress leader was only diverting the issue. “If it helps the Sri Lankan Tamils, I am ready to leave the NDA. India’s stand shocked me and I have returned a disappointed man,” Anbumani, who attended the UNHRC meeting in Geneva a few days ago, said, according to The Hindu newspaper. “An international inquiry will bring out the truth because the report had described the killing of Tamils as a system crime,” he said.Anbumani said even now it was not late for Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to hold an all party meeting to prevail upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put pressure on the international community to get justice for the Sri Lankan Tamils. He said even though the UNHRC Commissioner’s report had not used the word “genocide” to describe the crime against Tamils in Sri Lanka, there was adequate evidence that pointed to genocide.
Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index headed higher in late-morning trading, helped by the energy sector as the price of oil gained ground.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 64.76 points at 16,463.99.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 177.99 points at 26,296.01. The S&P 500 index was up 21.18 points at 2,927.45, while the Nasdaq composite was up 67.81 points at 7,941.97.The Canadian dollar traded for 75.35 cents US compared with an average of 74.95 cents US on Tuesday.The October crude contract was up US$2.03 at US$55.97 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was up 3.5 cents at US$2.393 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was down US$1.50 at US$1,554.40 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 5.75 cents at US$2.5855 a pound. The Canadian Press
Source: ITV News WestCountry/Twitter No (5827) 22,977 Views WATCH: Just what happens when @BorisJohnson asks a fortune teller for her #GeneralElection prediction. It’s not great news… pic.twitter.com/fLDM506Ai1— ITV News WestCountry (@itvwestcountry) June 7, 2017 Thursday 8 Jun 2017, 12:31 PM 67 Comments AS THE UK goes to the polls today to vote in its general election, Conservative and current Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Boris Johnson will be taking a break from asking fortune tellers for a free reading: Poll: Have you ever used a fortune teller? Give it to us straight. Honest answers only. No but I predict I will in the future (449) Image: Shutterstock/Cherries By Fora Staff Share4 Tweet Email Image: Shutterstock/Cherries Short URL Poll Results: https://jrnl.ie/3433104 Jun 8th 2017, 12:31 PM YesNoNo but I predict I will in the futureVote Yes (4463) So we know where she stands on the immediate future.Have you ever gone to a fortune teller? Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Videos Articles Facebook Match announced for next week’s 205 Live, 8-Man Elimination from TLC PPV in 2015 Kickoff Show match set for No Mercy, Look back at Sting vs. Seth Rollins WhatsApp Now Playing Up Next Twitter Google+ Brian Fritz of Sportingnews.com passed along a new interview with international women’s wrestling star and new WWE signee, Kana, about her decision to sign with the company. Here are some excerpts from the interview:Kana on the decision to sign with WWE:“I have been in this business for 10 years and have accomplished almost everything there is to accomplish. I was looking for a new challenge and when the opportunity came up with WWE, the timing just felt right. Even though I was in Japan the majority of my career, I was always captivated by the allure of WWE and their worldwide appeal. There is no bigger stage in sports entertainment, so it has always been in the back of my mind.”Kana on how working American independents will help with the transition to WWE:“Having already experienced American crowds I think will definitely help me with the transition. No matter where the crowd is, it is always about getting some sort of reaction, and I don’t think I will have any problem with that.”Sportingnews.com: International superstar Kana on signing with WWE, looking for new challengeRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipSeth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate OccasionsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:03Loaded: 100.00%0:03Remaining Time -0:27 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Seth Rollins Kurt Angle Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Now Playing Up Next WWE Rescheduling San Jose NXT Pinterest Cesaro Now Playing Up Next Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Interviews with Bobby Roode, Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles WWE Lists The Shields Top 10 Wins Is WWE Losing Its Audience? Cesaro Hopeful WWE Will Reunite The Bar
By Makutu MannehKanifing Municipal Council in collaboration with Reliance Financial Services Company has launched a hundred-million-dalasi women empowerment project called ‘Dollel Jigeen’.This project is targeting business women within the Kanifing Municipality, supporting them through loans, to enhance their sources of income. The event was held at the KMC Chamber on Wednesday 15th May 2019, attended by Women groups and officials from both Institutions.Musa Bah Deputy Mayor of KMC said when women are empowered, everybody benefits from it. He added that without good health and money, life is difficult.He said Mayor Bensouda came up with the idea that mothers and sisters in the compounds should be given support.He added that this makes the Mayor to work with Reliance since the institution has long been helping women in the Gambia.He said they are giving D100 million to the women groups who are registered with Reliance to be able to unify their businesses.”I have no doubt that the women of KMC only want the way forward”, he said.Alh. Baboucarr Khan RFS Managing Director said empowering women is not a new thing to his institution.“Women involved in the programme since the beginning know the benefits”, he noted.Anna Jobe Serrekunda Branch Manager said Reliance has been helping women for many years in the rural area and now they decide to bring it to the urban area.She said they help women to manage their money and the kind of business they are to engage in to improve their livelihood.Some beneficiaries of RFS Dollel Jigeen testified to the numerous help and benefits they got from Reliance.Aja Awa spoke on behalf of Bakau Kambeng Kaffo to testify on the benefits they got from Reliance. She said they have been working with Reliance for 6months but they are very pleased with their work.
Emerald Expositions has agreed to acquire GLM Markets for $335 million from Providence Equity Partners.The deal, announced this morning, is expected to close in January. The acquisition will be funded with about $200 million of debt and a $140 million equity investment from Onex Partners.Onex Partners acquired Emerald—then known as Nielsen Expositions—in June. GLM CEO Charles McCurdy and Providence Equity Partners acquired GLM from the U.K.-based Daily Mail & General Trust in September 2011 for $173 million. McCurdy says of the deal with Emerald, “We see healthy growth with GLM and the market seems to be realizing the value of tradeshows in a way it wasn’t a few years ago. Multiples have expanded and my investment partners saw the value of a transaction.”McCurdy would not disclose information about GLM’s current financial situation. However, he did point out that GLM’s previous owners said annual revenue was about $75 million when he acquired the company three years ago, “and we’ve grown at a double-digit rate every year since then.””It’s meaningfully bigger than it was back then,” he says.McCurdy, who was CEO of Canon Communications before acquiring GLM, says he will begin looking for his “next project” once this deal closes next month.GLM’s events include, among others, NY NOW, International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition and Surf Expo.Emerald, based in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., produces more than 65 tradeshows and events each year.Emerald Expositions CEO David Loechner says in a statement, “This acquisition expands upon our position as a leading tradeshow organizer in the United States.”
Sitka’s Electric Department is in crisis. There isn’t enough money to both keep up with bond payments on the Blue Lake Dam and address needed infrastructure repairs. To fix this, the Assembly plans to increase rates by another 5% rate increase this year and draw money from other funds. (Blue Lake Expansion photo by Desiree Brandis)The city of Sitka is struggling to pay off the Blue Lake Dam in a big way. The project was largely funded through bond proceeds. But due to a major decline in electric usage by Sitka customers, the city doesn’t have enough money to meet the bond payment. This is true not only for this year, but in the coming year as well should electric usage in Sitka plateau and voters fail to approve a ballot question raising the mill rate.Listen Now Faced with this shortfall in the electric fund – which is nearly $3 million this year – the Sitka Assembly debated their options during a work session last night (09-27-16). To fix this, the Assembly plans to increase rates by another 5% this year and look to other funds to cover the rest.On September 11th, 2012 and the Assembly was trying to decide whether to move ahead with the Blue Lake Dam expansion project. The bid exceeded its cost estimate by $40 million and during persons to be heard, the lone voice of dissent was former Mayor Marko Dapcevich.“If you look at where the utility rates are going in this town, I think you’re going to find that the demand that you’re hoping from that dam is not going to be there. There will be less utility accounts, less people, less business, less a lot of things,” Dapcevich said.Flash forward to today and that concern is shaking out to be true. All the decisions about the dam’s design – from the turbines to raising the wall by 80 feet – were predicated on an assumption that Sitka’s electrical demand would remain the same or increase.Chief Administrative and Financial Officer Jay Sweeney and Utility Director Bryan Bertacchi walked the Assembly through the revenue crisis facing the electric department during Tuesday night’s meeting.Jay Sweeney: The whole premise of the dam was based on the premise that there was going to be a continued demand at 110 million kwhr/year.Bertacchi: And we’re actually at 104 million kwhr/year. A giant spread between where they thought they would be when they approved the dam and where we are today.Projected Electric Load in Sitka (1973-2028)In 2008, D. Hittle and Associates projected that that electric usage in Sitka would rise. The Blue Lake Dam was built on this assumption. If Sitka were at 130M-kwrs as projected, rather than the current actual 105M-kwhrs, the city would have an additional $3.75M in revenue and would be cutting rates rather than increasing them.Actual Electric Load in Sitka (2011-2016)In the four years since the dam was approved, usage has declined to 104 million kwhr/year. This amounts to a loss of $1 million for the electric fund. (Graph from CBS Utility Department)The drop in Sitka’s electric usage amounts is for a number of reasons. The winters have been warm. A lot of customers are going back to wood stoves or diesel power due to the falling price of fuel. But the result is that the city doesn’t have the money it thought it would to pay for the dam. The deficit within the electric fund is $2 to $3 million this year, which is far more than the city projected when it finalized its budget in the spring.Now, the Assembly could raise rates to pay for it all. An increase by 20 or 22% would do it. But such a prospect did not sit well with them. Many at the table were worried that rate increase of 20% would drive customers to use even less electricity.City Administrator Mark Gorman said, “We’re going to stimulate conservation, which pushes us deeper into the hole. It’s kind of a damned into if you do, damned if you don’t scenario.”This is crux of the problem before the Assembly: If they raise rates too little, they risk defaulting on the bond agreement. If they raise rates too much, usage could nosedive even further.“Mr. Brewton used to call that the utility death spiral,” remarked Deputy Mayor Matthew Hunter. Chris Brewton is the former Utility Director. Assemblyman Steven Eisenbeisz responded, “I feel we’ve jumped off that cliff already.” Both paused and took deep breaths. There were a lot of moments like this during Tuesday night’s meeting.If the Assembly were to trim city government this year instead of raising rates, the cut would be $2 million. That option wasn’t palpable for Hunter, who said, “I don’t think that’s easy to do in a way that doesn’t drastically impact our citizens by services or personnel. I don’t know. This is an interesting…a very interesting problem. This isn’t going to be fun few years here guys.”There’s two other pressure valves attached to this problem:1) The bond agreement. Until 2030, Sitka can only pay interest on those bond proceeds for the Blue Lake Dam and the Jarvis Street Solar Turbine Project and they must do so exclusively with cash flow. The payment due this year is $10 million and it’s a deadline Sweeney said the city has to meet under these very specific constraints. “Until that point in time that you have to pay the specific amount of money, you have to pay interest payments on that. You can’t pay them early,” Sweeney said.2) Parts of the city’s electrical infrastructure are in desperate need of repair. Bertacchi and his team have developed a 10-year-plan to do this (Memo Electric Department 10 Year Capital Plan). Top priorities include creating a backup for the Marine Street Substation – which supplies power to 80% of Sitka’s customers – and an overhaul of the Green Lake Power Plant. “The more we look at Green Lake, it’s the 1990s since it’s been overhauled. It’s a great facility. Huge value to this community. And we just can’t let it go without an overhaul in the next 10 year window,” Bertacchi said.Taking all this in stride, the Assembly chose a more modest rate increase of 5% for this year. Their ordinance (Ord 2016-38)- passed unanimously on first reading – also eliminates the first residential tier for customers who use under 200 kwhr. Their bills would go up by $6. Furthermore, it increases the monthly harbor fee to pay for replacement marine grade meters and eliminates the city’s policy of putting hangers on people’s door knobs when they are delinquent on the bills.To help the electric fund, the Assembly agreed to another 5% increase this year. That would bring rates to 14.03 kwhr/month (on average). This would make utilities in Sitka more expensive than Juneau and Ketchikan. (Graph from CBS Utility Department)The ordinance closes the gap in the electric fund somewhat, but the city is still short $1.3 million. And for that, the Assembly directed city staff to go looking elsewhere for that money before raising rates by 20%.Eisenbeisz: I’m really not willing to throw a 20% increase on people right now, but without any other money coming in, we have no option. So, I think we need to do our due diligence in finding some other ways to fund this definitely.Swanson: If we go with a rate increase right off the bat, we can just kiss that mill rate goodbye.Swanson was referring to the next Tuesday’s ballot question, which would raise the cap on property taxes by 2 mills and consequently raise $1 million for the electric fund.For their next meeting on October 11th, City Administrator Mark Gorman will talk about pockets the Assembly can draw from to save the electric fund. Those include the Southeast Economic Development Fund, the Permanent Fund, the Bulk Water Fee Fund.None of these area ideal. The whole point of a fund is that it pays for itself. But that’s just not the reality when it comes to the electric utility in Sitka. The dam is built. It has to be paid for. The question is how.Gorman said, “We’re entering kind of an emergency situation, a crisis situation, when it comes to managing our electric utility and the affordability of it. So we have to find ways of relieving that pressure on the citizens without compromising our economic integrity.”It’s a crisis the Assembly wants to try to solve in-house before taxing citizens any further. They’ll meet next on October 11th in the new Harrigan Centennial Hall.
Snowy roads in Anchorage. Photo by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage.After back-to-back storms in Anchorage tapered off last night, some residents and local officials are annoyed roads still aren’t clear of snow, claiming the state is shirking it’s winter-weather responsibilities. But the municipality – 1,969 square miles – is bigger than the state of Rhode Island – 1,212 square miles – and plowing miles of roads requires money that’s already been cut out of budgets.Listen nowLast fall, the mayor’s administration warned Anchorage Assembly members that the state was trying to re-work its commitment to plow stretches of road maintained by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. This could be a massive public safety problem, given that the state is responsible for the main traffic arteries across the city.“Basically the DOT is responsible for the Glenn Highway, the Seward Highway, Muldoon, Tudor, Minnesota, A and C Street, Ingra and Gambell,” Alan Czajkowski said. Czajkowski is the city’s Director of Maintenance and Operations, which oversees the snowplow fleet.Both the state and the municipality have the same strategy for how they clear roads, Czajkowski explained: start at the highest traffic corridors and work your way down to residential roads.“They have limited resources, and they have priorities,” Czajkowski said.For the state’s plows, that actually means starting outside of town proper, along the Seward and Richardson highways.“It’s designed that way for safety. The first thing you want to do is keep police and fire-trucks and ambulances moving, so you do the largest first to handle the largest volumes of traffic, and then you work backwards to the least used roads,” Czajkowski explained.On top of a perception of inadequately prompt snow-removal, there’s been a tangible drop in resources for clearing roads. The Assembly approved a budget in November that put less money towards snowplowing in Anchorage. And according to Shannon McCarthy, spokesperson for DOT’s Central Region, the department has been trying to make due with a reduced funding from lawmakers in Juneau.“Our maintenance is funded through general fund dollars: those are state dollars,” McCarthy said Tuesday. “State funds have gotten more scarce over the last two years, we’ve had budget reductions. And that’s reduced the number of positions we’ve had, the number of equipment operators, and as a result the number of pieces of equipment. ”The deal between Anchorage and the state over who’s responsible for which sections of roads goes back to 1991, when the two entities worked out the Transfer of Responsibilities Agreement.“Because of a patchwork of ownership, it makes more sense in terms of efficiency for both organizations, and the TORA is how we do that,” McCarthy said.That agreement was being re-worked late last year, according to McCarthy, with the state preparing to reduce the number of miles it plowed inside the municipality. But that revised TORA was never signed, leaving the original agreement in place. The fact of the matter, McCarthy said, is budget cuts have reduced staff and equipment to just four or five state operators at a time clearing some of Alaska’s busiest roads.
Explore further Back in 2011, an international team of researchers conducted a study of rogue planets and reported evidence suggesting that there are approximately twice as many rogue Jupiters as main sequence stars. In this new effort, the researchers took a new census gain a more accurate estimate.Identifying rogue planets is difficult, of course, because they do not emit any light of their own—against the black of space, there is nothing to see. But when they move past light emitted from a distant star, a lensing phenomenon can occur. This happens when light from the blocked star is magnified by the planet’s gravity, causing a lensing halo effect that can be seen by instruments here on Earth. The size of the planet can also be calculated by noting the lensing duration. The researchers with this new census winnowed down the millions of stars in the dataset to just 2,617 high-quality microlensing events. This represented a much larger sample size than the one used by the team in 2011—they analyzed just 474 events.The researchers conclude that Jupiter-sized rogue planets are far rarer than the earlier census claimed. But they note it is possible that are more Earth-sized rogue planets roaming around than currently believed. The data also showed that of the big rogue planets roaming the Milky Way, approximately 25 percent of them are likely gas giants, with the remaining 75 percent represented by rocky or ice giants. Citation: New survey suggests far fewer Jupiter sized rogue planets than thought (2017, July 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-07-survey-jupiter-sized-rogue-planets.html An artist’s impression of a gravitational microlensing event by a free-floating planet. Credit: J. Skowron / Warsaw University Observatory © 2017 Phys.org Simulations suggest Planet Nine may have been a rogue More information: Przemek Mróz et al. No large population of unbound or wide-orbit Jupiter-mass planets, Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nature23276Planet formation theories predict that some planets may be ejected from their parent systems as result of dynamical interactions and other processes. Unbound planets can also be formed through gravitational collapse, in a way similar to that in which stars form. A handful of free-floating planetary-mass objects have been discovered by infrared surveys of young stellar clusters and star-forming regions as well as wide-field surveys, but these studies are incomplete for objects below five Jupiter masses. Gravitational microlensing is the only method capable of exploring the entire population of free-floating planets down to Mars-mass objects, because the microlensing signal does not depend on the brightness of the lensing object. A characteristic timescale of microlensing events depends on the mass of the lens: the less massive the lens, the shorter the microlensing event. A previous analysis of 474 microlensing events found an excess of ten very short events (1–2 days)—more than known stellar populations would suggest—indicating the existence of a large population of unbound or wide-orbit Jupiter-mass planets (reported to be almost twice as common as main-sequence stars). These results, however, do not match predictions of planet-formation theories and surveys of young clusters. Here we analyse a sample of microlensing events six times larger than that of ref. 11 discovered during the years 2010–15. Although our survey has very high sensitivity (detection efficiency) to short-timescale (1–2 days) microlensing events, we found no excess of events with timescales in this range, with a 95 per cent upper limit on the frequency of Jupiter-mass free-floating or wide-orbit planets of 0.25 planets per main-sequence star. We detected a few possible ultrashort-timescale events (with timescales of less than half a day), which may indicate the existence of Earth-mass and super-Earth-mass free-floating planets, as predicted by planet-formation theories. Journal information: Nature (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Warsaw University Observatory, Ohio State University and the University of Warwick has found evidence that suggests there are far fewer Jupiter-sized rogue planets roaming the Milky Way galaxy than prior surveys have shown. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes using data compiled from the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment to analyze light curves of approximately 50 million stars for the period 2010 to 2015 and what they found by doing so. The gravity of a free-floating planet may deflect and focus light from a distant source star when passing closely in front of it. Owing to the distorted image the star temporarily seems much brighter. Credit: J. Skowron / Warsaw University Observatory The researchers conclude by suggesting their findings jibe with logic—there are likely to be fewer rogue giant planets because they would have a stronger gravitational connection to their original star system. Smaller, Earth-like planets, on the other hand, could be flung off with relative ease. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Senco Gold & Diamonds, the largest jewellery retail chain of Eastern India, announced the launch of ‘Mayurakshi Collection” – an Indo-Western jewellery collection for men.The collection consisting of chains, cufflinks, and kurta buttons was launched by Mayurakshi star Prosenjit Chatterjee alongside Sankar Sen, Managing Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds.Starring Prosenjit Chatterjee and veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee, Mayurakshi is an intense journey of the 84-year-old father and his USA based son, who visits his father in India for a 5 days span. Story narrates the emotional attachment and relationship values prevailing between them. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSpeaking at the launch, Prosenjit Chatterjee said, “My upcoming movie narrates a tale of emotional attachment behind a relationship. It speaks of how father and son are emotionally close despite staying far away from each other. Simultaneously, I think that every Bengali also has an emotional attachment to jewellery. And so, I am delighted to launch the ‘Mayurakshi Collection” which is designed in sync with the theme of our movie. It’s an Indo-western collection that anyone can wear in everyday life. I congratulate Senco Gold & Diamonds for coming up with a new range of men’s collection which is affordable for the masses as well as elegant in design.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSankar Sen, Managing Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds, said: “The ‘Mayurakshi Collection’ range is a part of our men’s collection and it has been designed to reflect the emotional attachment behind every relationship. It’s an Indo-Western jewellery collection which can be used in daily life as well as in parties. Products like-Chains, Cufflinks and Kurta buttons are on demand since ages and we recreated the design keeping in mind the youth fashion trend.”