USTDA backs 100 MW PV project in Ghana

first_imgUSTDA backs 100 MW PV project in GhanaUSTDA awarded a grant to a Ghanaian solar power developer to bring a 100 MW PV project in Ghana towards financial close. May 23, 2016 pv magazine Installations Markets Markets & Policy Share U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a US $704,815 grant to a Ghanaian solar power developer Home Energy Africa that will help to build a 100 MW PV plant in the village of Nyimbale-Sankana, Ghana.According to the grant agreement signed at the U.S. Embassy in Accra last week, the developer will use the money to finance the technical assistance of the project. This includes preparation for power purchase agreement negotiations, services contracts and financing arrangements. Home Energy Africa has selected Brooklyn-based GreenMax Capital Advisors to provide the service.“Lack of power is a challenge we see across sub-Saharan Africa. Two out of three people in this region lack access to electricity. That hinders business, and it hinders prosperity. We’ve made increasing access to power one of the top priorities for our bilateral relationship”, said the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Robert P. Jackson.The new PV plant in Nyimbale-Sankana is expected to generate enough clean electricity to power 80,000 average homes in Ghana. According to the local media, construction of the facility will start in 2017.The lack of sustainable power supply is a main hurdle in Ghana’s economic growth. The government is currently targeting 5GW of installed power generation in the country, including 10% from renewable sources.In early April, Ghana’s first solar module manufacturing plant, with an annual production capacity of 30 MW, was opened in Kpone. A week later, a Chinese company Beijing Xiaocheng powered a 20 MW plant near Accra, which is the country’s biggest operating PV facility to date.This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: [email protected] content ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. The re… Submarine cable to connect 10.5 GW wind-solar complex in Morocco to the UK grid Emiliano Bellini 22 April 2021 pv-magazine.com UK-based Xlinks is planning to build 10.5 GW of wind and solar in Morocco and sell the power generated by the huge plant in the UK. 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The re… Submarine cable to connect 10.5 GW wind-solar complex in Morocco to the UK grid Emiliano Bellini 22 April 2021 pv-magazine.com UK-based Xlinks is planning to build 10.5 GW of wind and solar in Morocco and sell the power generated by the huge plant in the UK. This should be ma… Solar park built on rough wooden structures comes online in France Gwénaëlle Deboutte 26 April 2021 pv-magazine.com French company Céléwatt energized its 250 kW ground-mounted array, built with mounting structures made of raw oak wood.April 26, 2021 Gwénaëlle Debo… The weekend read: PV feed in, certified pv magazine 1 May 2021 pv-magazine.com As more renewable energy capacity is built, commissioned, and connected, grid stability concerns are driving rapid regulatory changes. In the Europea… Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. The re… 123456iAbout these recommendationsShare pv magazine The pv magazine editorial team includes specialists in equipment supply, manufacturing, policy, markets, balance of systems, and EPC.More articles from pv magazine Related content ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German enginee… The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Orig… Chinese PV Industry Brief: Another massive polysilicon deal, heterojunction module factory begins production Max Hall 30 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Polysilicon manufacturer Xinte Energy has signed a deal to supply 181,000 tons of poly to module manufacturer JA Solar f… SEIA releases tool aimed at increasing solar supply chain transparency David Wagman 30 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The document is written to have “universal application” across product lines intended for export to the U.S. market, and… Higher performance with bigger modules a ‘no brainer’ Sandra Enkhardt 26 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Jan Bicker, who replaced Steve O’Neil as the CEO of REC on March 1, says that one of his top priorities is the ongoing d… No bifacial solar in West Africa? 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Cracking the case for solid state batteries pv magazine 29 April 2021 pv-magazine-australia.com Scientists in the UK used the latest imaging techniques to visualize and understand the process of dendrite formation an… iAbout these recommendations Leave a Reply Cancel replyPlease be mindful of our community standards.Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. 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New coal mine planned for Mpumalanga halted for the moment

first_img Finance and Policy Until January 2021, the proposed mining areas also fell within the Mabola Protected Environment, a protected area declared under the Protected Areas Act in 2014. That protected status meant commercial mining could only take place with joint permission from the Environment Minister and the Minerals Minister. Sign up for the ESI Africa newsletter Have you read?South Africa: Environmental group takes government to court over IRPEnvironmentalists contest the amendment of air pollution standards in court There are five other court challenges of permits granted for the proposed mine pending before the High Court. The Coalition will shortly launch a sixth court challenge asking the High Court to review and set aside MEC Shongwe’s deproclamation decision. Protecting strategic water source areas is crucial for South Africa’s water security and for the ability to provide water for people and the country’s economic activity. The Coalition defending the Mabola Protected Environment comprises the Mining and Environmental Justice Communities Network of South Africa, groundWork, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, BirdLife South Africa, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) and the Bench Marks Foundation. The Coalition is represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights. The interdict was issued to allow the legal challenges of the proposed mine’s permits to be decided first, before harm is done to strategic and important water sources. The proposed coal mine would fall with a Strategic Water Source Area, one of only 22 areas where more than 50% of South Africa’s freshwater originates. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA TAGSair pollutionclimate change goalscoalMiningSouth Africawater supply Previous articleResearch breakthrough for structural energy storageNext articleUSEA sways Uganda’s energy mix with diversification strategy Theresa SmithTheresa Smith is a conference producer for Clarion Events Africa. Have you read?Eskom must comply with minimum emission standards, says GreenpeaceClose energy poverty gap by empowering women with clean energy RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Allowing a new coal mine undermines South Africa’s global commitments to the Paris Agreement Elton Thobejane of the Mining & Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa, stated: “Coal Mining has also meant loss of land and livelihoods for so many communities living on the Highveld, with particular hardship born by women.” Interdict ties into litigation around deadly air BRICS Bobby Peek, groundWork director, added: “Allowing a new coal mine to proceed in this pace, at this stage of the climate crises, simply because one mining company made a bad investment decision, will not only go against South Africa’s global commitments, but further exposes the people of this country who are already disproportionately vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Coal is South Africa’s past, not its future.” In South Africa, the Pretoria High Court has issued an interdict prevent coal mining company Uthaka Energy from starting mining and related activities in a Strategic Water Source area. Have you read?No silver bullet but many ways to renew Mpumalanga’s economy Featured image: Stock Both the recognition of the area as a Strategic Water Source Area and its declaration as a protected area were the result of more than a decade of government supported and funded research and planning, and were spearheaded by government departments such as the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Department of Environmental Affairs, and a number of government agencies like the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), the Mpumalanga Tourism & Parks Agency, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Water Research Commission. Robby Mokgalaka, coal community campaigner with environmental justice group groundWork, commented: “Decades of mining and burning of coal has caused toxic air pollution and water pollution on the Mpumalanga Highveld, which has meant ill health and premature death for thousands of people living here.” Generation UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development Since 2015, a coalition of civil society organisations has been working to undo the approvals given for the mine. The coalition brought an interdict application before the High Court on 5 March 2021, after the mining company gave notice of its intention to start mining activity on 24 March 2021. The Coalition asked the High Court to order Uthaka Energy to not start mining until other pending legal proceedings have been determined. The High Court’s order prevents and restrains Uthaka Energy from conducting any mining activity or mining-related operations and activities including preparatory, ancillary or incidental to mining at the Proposed Yzermyn coal mine near Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga. Except for survey pegging of the surface infrastructure and wetlands demarcation pegging of the approved pan, that is. groundWork is one of the applicants in the Deadly Air case about the health impacts of the poor air quality on the Highveld. This case will go to court in May 2021. In January 2021, Mpumalanga MEC Vusi Shongwe revoked the protected area status to allow the proposed coal mine to proceed with that permission.last_img read more

Menendez: I’ll work to ensure ‘equitable, safe, & accountable’ N.J. cannabis…

first_img Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter BayonneCommunityHobokenJersey CityKearnyNewsNorth Bergen/GuttenbergPolitics & PolicySecaucusUnion CityWeehawkenWest HudsonWest New York Bayonne By John Heinis – February 22, 2021 4:30 pm 0 U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) says he’ll work to ensure an “equitable, safe, and accountable” New Jersey cannabis marketplace in light of Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signing a bill that will finally allow legal recreational marijuana in the Garden State. By John Heinis/Hudson County View“Today, Governor Murphy signed legislation into law that reflects the will of New Jerseyans who made their voices loud and clear last November when they voted to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults,” Menendez said in a statement.“As always, the needs of our state will guide my work in the U.S. Senate, and I stand ready to advocate for federal policies that respect and protect the ability of local enterprises and law-abiding citizens to do business in a cannabis marketplace that is transparent, equitable, safe and accountable.”As a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, Menendez has been pushing to open up the insurance and banking industries to legal cannabis businesses operating in states that have legalized medical and adult recreational use.Currently, cannabis businesses operating under state laws that have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana have been mostly denied access to the insurance market and banking system because insurance providers and banks can be prosecuted under federal law.Without access to insurance products such as property, casualty and title insurance, businesses remain vulnerable, and employees, customers and the community face safety risks.Additionally, without the ability to access bank accounts, accept credit cards or write checks, these businesses must operate using large amounts of cash, creating safety risks for businesses and surrounding communities, and making it more difficult for local and state governments to collect taxes.The governor signed two marijuana-related bills earlier today: one that immediately decriminalizes the individual possession of less than six ounces of marijuana, while the other paves the way for legalization – though it will take the state about six months to set up their legal market. TAGSmarijuana legalizationrecreational marijuana SHARE Bayonne RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter Previous articleProsecutor: Jersey City man pleads guilty to his role in 2019 Newport Centre Mall shootingNext articleChaparro proof of payment bill would eliminate $75 fines for light rail riders who forget stamp John Heinis CarePoint Health reaches deal for Cigna Health Insurance to join their network Bayonne Bayonne man pepper sprayed, arrested after punching cop in the face, authorities say Bayonne man busted with cocaine, heroin, semi-automatic handgun after fleeing from cops Menendez: I’ll work to ensure ‘equitable, safe, & accountable’ N.J. cannabis marketplacelast_img read more

Human Resource Consultant Assistant 1

first_imgAssociate’s Degree; ANDOne year of full time experience Human Resources office.ORHigh School Diploma or equivalent; ANDThree years of full time experience in a customer serviceoriented office environment with at least one of the years beingfull-time experience in a Human Resources office. Qualifications Ability to:Communicate effectively and persuasively (verbally and inwriting) with a variety of individuals from various socio-economic,ethnic and cultural backgrounds in a manner that is understandable,persuasive, and appropriate for the audience;Extract and analyze data from applicable databases in anintegrated computerized environment, and presentsummarized/detailed information effectively;Demonstrate a high degree of detail orientation whenentering/tracking personnel/payroll data;Compile and maintain accurate, and in some cases, highlyconfidential, records and files;Read, interpret, apply and explain applicable laws, codes,regulations, policies and procedures;Use initiative, independent judgment and problem solving withestablished procedural guidelines;Prepare clear and concise reports, correspondence (letters andemail), procedures and other written materials;Organize work, set priorities in alignment with managementdirectives, and meet critical deadlinesProficiently use Outlook and MS Office Suite (WORD, EXCEL, MailMerge). Supplemental InformationAPPLICATION PROCEDUREYour online application must include the following to be consideredcomplete: Preferred QualificationsExperience working in a Higher Education setting;Experience with PeopleSoft.center_img Knowledge of:Customer service approaches when communicating with employees,students and visitors,in person, via email and over the phone;Automated/integrated personnel/payroll system. A detailed resume that addresses the MINIMUMQUALIFICATIONS of the position;A letter of application/cover letter (two-page maximum,recommended) that addresses your ability to meet theQUALIFICATIONS, and KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIESfor the position;A one-page response to the Supplemental Question.CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:• National Criminal Background Check may be required;• This position is covered under the Washington Public EmployeesAssociation (WPEA) bargaining agreement.NEED APPLICATION HELP?Should you have any difficulties uploading your documents ornavigating the application process, please contact NEOGOV TechnicalSupport at 1-855-524-5627, Monday – Friday 6:00 AM to 6:00 PMPacific Time.HIGHLINE COLLEGE IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYERHighline College is an equal opportunity employer. The Collegeis committed to enhancing the diversity of our faculty and staff,as well as our student population. We strive to create a workingenvironment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic,sexual orientations, and gender identity diversity. We stronglyencourage applicants to apply without regard to race, color,religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age,marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legalprotected status.REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONSThe College complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.Applicants needing accommodations in the application process in analternative format may contact the Human Resources office at (206)592-3812. Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may dial 711 toplace a call through Washington Relay, the state’s freetelecommunication access service.TITLE IX COMPLIANCE Highline College complies with Title IX regulations. For details onour policies, see our website https://humanresources.highline.edu/faculty-and-staff/policies/title-ix/ General SummaryAbout Highline CollegeFounded in 1961, Highline College is situated in a diversecommunity just 15 minutes south of Seattle. The college annuallyserves more than 16,500 students –– a student population of over70% students of color, representing 35 nations and more than 100languages. The college embraces equity, inclusion and socialjustice, with core goals of student attainment, diversity,community Engagement and sustainability. The student body atHighline College is made up of Transfer students, Running Startstudents, Professional-Technical students, International students,Comprehensive Transition Program for students with intellectualdisabilities, Adult Basic Education and English Language Learners.In addition, we offer six bachelor of applied science, four-yeardegrees.Mission and VisionAs an essential part of our mission andvision , diversity, equity and inclusion are promoted andfostered in all aspects of college life.Under general supervision, the Human Resources Consultant Assistant1 (HRCA1) performs a variety of HR support functions andassignments such as preparing documents, and responding to employeeinquires. This position is assigned to the front desk of the HumanResources Department and is the primary point of contact tovisitors to the office. The HRCA1 is essential to providingcustomer service to Highline’s faculty, staff, and studentemployees.The HRCA1 is expected to initiate, assess, evaluate, and reconcileinformation by running reports and information audits for pay andother related personnel/payroll activity. The HRCA1 must keep thePayroll Program Manager and/or Assistant Director of HumanResources apprised of issues as they occur and communicate statusof actions on a regular basis.This position is a classified full-time position and is eligiblefor overtime. Schedule: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Salary Information :The above salary reflects the starting step (Step C) Range 36 forthis classified position and includes a 5% King County compensationprovision. As a newly employed classified employee, based on annualincrements, it will take 5 years to reach Step L on the salaryschedule. This does not reflect any contractual changes,legislative mandated salary increases or Cost of Living Increases(COLA’s) that may be approved in the futureEssential TasksUnder the direction of the Human Resources Assistant Director,this position will:Greet visitors to the Human Resource, Payroll and BenefitsDepartment and respond to inquiries from faculty, staff, studentsand campus visitors;Answer the Human Resources main phone line, answering generalquestions and routing calls accordingly;Respond to inquiries regarding HR procedures and employeebenefits;Clerical duties – opening and distributing mail; maintain andprocess the ordering of supplies and other similar duties asassigned;Receive and process student employee job referrals;Complete, process, enter personnel transactions data intoPeopleSoft;File employee paperwork, maintain the filing system for allemployee records and documents;Run reports and perform audits, supporting HR/Payroll/BenefitsStaff;In conjunction with other HR staff, process and mail facultyand staff contracts;In collaboration with the IT Department, assign new employeesto appropriate distribution lists;Review and fulfill requests for employment verifications;Track and place applicant background checks through athird-party vendor;Support recruitment and onboarding processes as needed;Perform work in support of the college’s Human ResourcesDepartment, as assigned.last_img read more

Opening doors and windows to new challenges

first_imgThe Vapor Ricon Europe name is well-established in the accessible minibus area, but now the rebranded firm is targeting big buses with a range of doors and quick-release window glazingDoors and windows for mainstream PCV market is where FCVE is lookingThings are changing at Faiveley Vapor Ricon Europe (FVRE), and not just in terms of the Loughborough-based company’s name.Previously known as Vapor Ricon Europe, the brand revision came about via a group reorganisation following Vapor Ricon’s purchase of American rail specialist Faiveley.The Vapor Ricon name is established in the wheelchair-accessible minibus sector, but now FVRE is turning its attention to full-sized PCVs, too, and door and window systems in particular.“We’re not like the major, established players in the door market,” says Business Unit Manager Paul Hemingway.“At the moment in Europe, we are building a reputation and working with smaller companies by doing one-offs. Then, when those products work, we hope that they come back for more.”Transferring expertiseAs a group, Faiveley Vapor Ricon is already established in the door market and it works with Alexander Dennis on North American sales of the Enviro500.FVRE aspires to establish a presence in the UK with major bus builders in 2017. Standard inward-gliding doors are likely to be the first product that it offers, and they will be followed by plug types, for use at the centre of dual-doored buses.“At the moment, 90% of bus doors in the market are operated pneumatically,” says Paul. “We do those, but we also do electric examples too, and pneumatic models can be converted to electric easily in the future.”A common difficulty with an electrically-operated door is incorporating an emergency release, which is more awkward than with air-actuated models. FVRE has tackled that problem with a mechanical release.Simple thingsWhy would operators specify FVRE doors over other manufacturers? There are a number of reasons, says Paul.The company is already working with ADL on North American Enviro500s“We offer products that are reliable, have aftermarket backing and upfront engineering support. Buyers will not deal with agents; they will deal with us.“In the UK accessible sector, the established Vapor Ricon Europe brand has a reputation that is second-to-none and we intend to continue that in new markets. We are taking our engineers and training them to deal with doors.”In the case of a fault, Paul says that the company will either courier parts to the operator or send them overnight, or dispatch one of its engineers to deal with the problem.But he is confident that problems will be rare; both electric- and pneumatically-operated doors are tested to 1m cycles.A clear viewWindows are another area of the bus market where FVRE is planning to establish a presence, and its parent company has a great deal of experience in this sector in Canada and the United States.“We do bus windows in North America, but the market there is very different to that in Europe and those products are not suited for use here,” says Paul.“In the UK, we will be launching a patented quick-release window in the summer. It is a new system that has a variable width and that can be adjusted to the body thickness. It can also be retrofitted to existing buses.”The glazing can be supplied with a covering that prevents ‘scratchitti’ and it is suited to applications that are either straight-edged or curved; it will be sold directly to operators, but vehicle OEMs are the immediate priority.“At the moment the quick-release glazing can only be used in windows where the glass is flat, which limits its use as a windscreen. But it can be used where hoppers or sliders are part of the unit and also where double-glazing is used.”FVRE is targeting the whole PSV market with the new glazing, and not just buses. Paul says that when productionised, five minutes will be enough time to remove a damaged pane and replace it with a new one.That compares well with conventional bonded glazing, which can see the vehicle off the road for many hours while the adhesive cures. But the quick-release product is also bonded; the adhesive is within the frame, and it is the complete unit that is replaced.To showcase all of it products, FVRE is in the process of completing a demonstration trailer. It has examples of the quick-release glazing and both the gliding and plug doors, and will be displayed at a variety of shows and events.And another thing…Faiveley Vapor Ricon’s efforts in the bus sector are likely to deliver results in the short-term, but it is also involved in an area of the passenger-carrying market that has a longer gestation period.That product is Olli, made by Local Motors. Similar to the Navya Arma (routeone, news, 1 February), it is a fully-autonomous minibus that is built in Arizona and Berlin and Faiveley Vapor Ricon is hopeful that it will see a similar level of success as the Arma.Its involvement with Olli is indicative of where Faiveley Vapor Ricon is looking: To the future. Doors and windows form part of that, but it is also working on its wheelchair access range, which will very soon see a super lightweight lift added to complement a CNC-cut floor.“We have grown our bus business so far with niche builders, but in 2017 we are planning to establish a presence with the major manufacturers,” says Paul. “We can do volume products and we can tackle niches. It’s up to the buyer.”vaporricon.co.uklast_img read more

Cheating does not help the Union

first_imgI think the article does not fully reflect how shameful it is that the only EU institution elected directly by European citizens was denied access to information. How can citizens be expected to support the EU and get involved in its activities when their representatives are ‘cheated’ by another EU institution? In this context, the slogan chosen for the 50th anniversary of the Union, “together since 1957”, seems completely inappropriate: citizens are not together, institutions are not together and member states are not together.Ana YerroNavarra, Spainlast_img read more

Burton gains ground at Pocono; Friesen squarely on playoff bubble

first_imgLONG POND, Pa. — Coming into the Gander Outdoors Truck Series Gander RV 150 at Pocono Raceway, Stewart Friesen looked to be in a comfortable spot to point his way into the eight-driver playoff. On the other end, Harrison Burton appeared in need of a win or some help to close the gap on the cutline.Fast forward roughly two hours — with a third-place finish, Stage 2 win and a 52-point day for Burton combined with a Lap 1 exit for Friesen — and the gap has shrunk considerably (down to 13 points) with two races left in the regular season.RELATED: Chastain scores Pocono win | Full race resultsFriesen, who entered the race second in the point standings and 60 points ahead of Burton, spun and wrecked on the opening lap, collecting Anthony Alfredo in the process. The damage was too much and he finished last — 32nd on the day.“It sucks. I don’t even know how to put it in words. It’s that frustrating,” Friesen said.The result left Friesen as the last driver in the provisional eight-driver playoff field with Eldora and Michigan remaining before the field is set.“We’ll just go race as hard as we can,” Friesen said. “Whatever happens, happens. We’ll try as hard as we can to win a race and it is what it is.”As frustrating as Friesen’s day was, Burton’s was inversely fruitful. His third-place run continued a stretch where the 18-year-old has come into his own in the series with four top-five finishes in the past five races and a rise to fifth in the point standings. Because of wins by drivers behind him in the standings, that leaves him as the first driver on the wrong side of the cutline.RELATED: Updated series standingsThe early exit of Friesen also helped shape the strategy of Burton’s No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports team. After finishing third in Stage 1, crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. elected to have the young driver stay out to score his first stage win of the season and bag an additional 10 points on the day.“That definitely affected the decision making,” Burton said on pit road after the race. “I think we probably would have pitted under green there coming from second and not gotten the stage win and set ourselves up for the win at the end. We almost won anyway. We were coming hard — needed a couple more laps at the end.”Now, with two races to go in the regular season, Burton finds himself in a spot where he might not have to win to get in — although the recent results suggest that victory may not be far off.For the son of 21-time Cup winner and NBC broadcaster Jeff Burton, the mission is simple.“I’m gunning for a spot in the playoffs and once we get there, I think everyone should look out,” Burton said.last_img read more

Students respond to potential Waddick’s renovation

first_imgAbigail Piper | The Observer Students frequent Waddick’s, a popular cafe in O’Shaughnessy Hall. In response to rumors of potential renovations to the facilities, senior Susan Lefelhocz started a petition to oppose changes.Lefelhocz said she did not anticipate the petition would be very successful, but it soon went viral among students and Notre Dame groups on Facebook, receiving nearly 500 signatures.Junior Lydia Costello shared the link on Facebook, saying, “Some issues are nonpartisan. Saving Waddick’s, the ultimate Arts & Letters retreat, is one of them.”Junior Frank Hagan, a self-dubbed “Waddick’s aficionado,” made a plea in the Class of 2019 Facebook group that garnered plenty of attention.“The administration wants to deface [Waddick’s] pristine beauty and replace it with just another cog in the oppressive corporate machine,” Hagan said in the post.He then appealed to the common values of Notre Dame students, urging, “if you care about liberty and individuality, about small business and croissants, join the fight.”Like many students, Hagan said Waddick’s is a part of his weekly routine.“Waddick’s is a little community, you know, there’s a family spirit here,” he said. “Every Tuesday and Thursday I get an iced coffee and a croissant. The coffee here’s cheaper and the coffee here’s better.”Campus Dining said Waddick’s would not be removed, but did not disclose an exact plan for the coffee shop.“The one thing I can share is that there are no plans to permanently close Waddick’s and it is being considered for renovation,” Luis Alberganti, director of retail dining, said in an email. “There will be an announcement about this coming soon, it is a project that we are very excited about. Some of the details are still being worked out, stay tuned for more information.”Lefelhocz said modifying Waddick’s would be one of many changes, such as the six-semester housing mandate, that represent a bigger trend on campus.“There’s all these changes happening that the school says we wanted, but students didn’t ask for, and now one of them is Waddick’s,” she said.Lefelhocz and Hagan said they both heard from non-student sources that Waddick’s was going to be remodeled.“I was talking about it with a friend in Waddick’s and someone said ‘I see you in here a lot. This change really is happening,’” Lefelhocz said.Both Hagan and Lefelhocz also said they heard food services would be scaled down and it might expand into the art gallery across the hall.“I come here for the food and iced coffee, and both of those things are apparently on the axe,” Hagan said. “I think you could just get more seating but also keep all the food and coffee and stuff.”“I heard it would just be a coffee machine,” Lefelhocz said.Lefelhocz said she was asked to close the petition, which had gained 476 signatures, until she had a discussion with a dean about renovations.“I was told that if we don’t accept the renovations, we can reopen the petition,” Lefehlocz said. “If they need to expand it, then I understand that, but to completely remodel it and do away with the things that people love, I’m not on board with that.”Tags: AAHD. O’Shaughnessy Hall, breakfast sandwiches, Campus DIning, coffee, iced coffee, O’Shag, petition, renovations, Waddick’s In the past couple weeks, students have shown concern over the future of Waddick’s, the campus cafe inside O’Shaughnessy Hall. Rumors about possible renovations to the popular dining and coffee spot sparked major backlash among its frequenters.One such student, senior Susan Lefelhocz, began a petition “to keep the unique and beloved coffee shop Waddick’s unchanged.”“I posted a Facebook status update about them thinking about changing Waddick’s and I got, like, 60 responses of people saying, ‘I love this coffee shop,’ and even alumni saying, ‘I graduated but this used to be my favorite place,’” she said. “I was like, OK, maybe I can make this into a petition.”last_img read more

Bar alters market strategy for long-term investments

first_imgWith an expectation that inflation and interest rates will begin returning to normal levels, the Bar’s Investment Committee has recommended and the Board of Governors has approved revisions to the market strategy for the Bar’s long-term investment portfolio.Committee Chair Ian Comisky told the board at its Sarasota meeting that the Bar’s investment advisors, Morgan Stanley, recently completed a seven-year projection of the U.S. and global economies.“Their view is interest rates [which have been near zero] have to go up,” Comisky said, noting that this upturn has implications for bond investments because as interest rates rise, the price of a bond goes down.“They also believe that inflation has to increase because it has been at a historic low,” he added. “And that means commodity prices will rise.”Currently, the Bar’s investments are divided into 16 different categories, such as large-cap equity, emerging markets equity, and fixed income, and then invested with various managers or funds within those categories. There is a targeted goal for each category, plus a minimum and maximum level for which that category can range, Comisky said.Morgan Stanley also helps the Investment Committee review the performance of the various managers and funds that oversee the Bar’s investments, he said. Investment performances are measured against an index in each category and managers and funds are expected to outperform their benchmarks over a significant amount of time.The largest category for the Bar will continue to be fixed-income securities. Under the previous guidelines, the goal was to have 29 percent of the portfolio invested there, although that could fluctuate between a minimum of 20.3 percent and a maximum of 37 percent. Under the new guidelines, that will be reduced to a goal of 22 percent with a minimum of 15 percent and a maximum of 29 percent.The new allocation guidelines slightly reduce investments in U.S. large-cap stocks and inflation-protected securities and increases it slightly in mid- cap stocks, emerging market equities, and commodities. It also, Comisky said, adds a new category of “liquid alternatives” — mutual funds that are traded daily — and this category will initially have a targeted goal of 3 percent of the portfolio and an allowed range between 0 and 6 percent.The Bar’s investment portfolio continues to be conservative, he noted, and is designed to be much less volatile that the overall market. “This is diversified, and it’s balanced,” Comisky added.Overall, he said the Bar’s long-term portfolio — which contains funds the Bar does not need for immediate operations — has more than $39 million and is up 4.5 percent year to date.Comisky said the committee will continue to review the investment policies and was to make additional recommendations at the board’s next meeting. Bar alters market strategy for long-term investments Bar alters market strategy for long-term investmentscenter_img August 1, 2013 Regular Newslast_img read more

Activity in brain’s thinking and problem-solving center linked to avoiding anxiety

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Pinterest Share on Twitter Boosting activity in brain areas related to thinking and problem-solving may also buffer against worsening anxiety, suggests a new study by Duke University researchers.Using non-invasive brain imaging, the researchers found that people at-risk for anxiety were less likely to develop the disorder if they had higher activity in a region of the brain responsible for complex mental operations. The results may be a step towards tailoring psychological therapies to the specific brain functioning of individual patients.“These findings help reinforce a strategy whereby individuals may be able to improve their emotional functioning — their mood, their anxiety, their experience of depression — not only by directly addressing those phenomena, but also by indirectly improving their general cognitive functioning,” said Ahmad Hariri, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. The results are published Nov. 17 in the journal Cerebral Cortex.center_img Email LinkedIn Previous findings from Hariri’s group show that people whose brains exhibit a high response to threat and a low response to reward are more at risk of developing symptoms of anxiety and depression over time.In the current work, Hariri and Matthew Scult, a clinical psychology graduate student in the department of psychology and neuroscience at Duke, wanted to investigate whether higher activity in a region of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex could help shield these at-risk individuals from future mental illness.“We wanted to address an area of understanding mental illness that has been neglected, and that is the flip side of risk,” Hariri said. “We are looking for variables that actually confer resiliency and protect individuals from developing problems.”The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is our brain’s “executive control” center, helping us focus our attention and plan complex actions. It also plays a role in emotion regulation, and well-established types of psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, engage this region of the brain by equipping patients with strategies to reframe or re-evaluate their emotions.The team drew on data from 120 undergraduate students who participated in the Duke Neurogenetics Study. Each participant completed a series of mental health questionnaires and underwent a type of non-invasive brain scan called functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) while engaged in tasks meant to activate specific regions of the brain.The researchers asked each participant to answer simple memory-based math problems to stimulate the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Participants also viewed angry or scared faces to activate a region of the brain called the amygdala, and played a reward-based guessing game to stimulate activity in the brain’s ventral striatum.Scult was particularly interested in “at-risk” individuals with the combination of high threat-related activity in the amygdala and low reward-related activity in the ventral striatum. By comparing participants’ mental health assessments at the time of the brain scans, and in a follow-up occurring on average seven months later, he found that these at-risk individuals were less likely to develop anxiety if they also had high activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.“We found that if you have a higher functioning dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the imbalance in these deeper brain structures is not expressed as changes in mood or anxiety,” Hariri said.The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is especially skilled at adapting to new situations, the researchers say. Individuals whose brains exhibit the at-risk signatures may be more likely to benefit from strategies that boost the brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal activity, including cognitive behavioral therapy, working memory training, or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).But, the researchers warn, the jury is still out on whether many brain-training exercises improve the overall functioning of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, or only hone its ability to complete the specific task being trained. Additional studies on more diverse populations are also needed to confirm their findings.“We are hoping to help improve current mental health treatments by first predicting who is most at-risk so that we can intervene earlier, and second, by using these types of approaches to determine who might benefit from a given therapy,” Scult said.last_img read more