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October 19, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgJames Rickman, a Libertarian, files for a seat today on Los Alamos County Council. ‘I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of living in Los Alamos most of my life and I’d like to ensure amenities that I’ve enjoyed are around for the next generation. I want to keep County services top notch. I retired from public affairs at LANL after 24 years. I served on the council from 1996 to 2000 … there’s a pretty steep learning curve and I’ll be able to hit the ground running. With my background in media, I’m a strong advocate for openness in government.’ Photo by Bonnie Gordon/ladailypost.comlast_img read more

October 18, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgBut far from jetting off to exotic climes for a pre-season getaway, the team spent three weeks touring England to take the property industry’s pulse from different regions.Fittingly, infrastructure was the key theme at this year’s BPF roadshow.It was an interesting period to be traversing the country, with some of the sessions taking place prior to the EU’s referendum and others after the vote for Brexit.However, if anything, the referendum result served only to amplify the main message that had already emerged from earlier roadshow pit stops.Public and private sector participants in all six cities visited were unanimous in their call for the government not just to maintain its focus on transport infrastructure, but to put the pedal to the metal.Across the M62 corridor, speakers enthused about the benefits that upgrades to links between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds would bring, not to mention the arrival of HS2.Manchester (15 June) – integration is the way to transport successAt the Manchester seminar, the panellists focused largely on transport, led by TfN’s head of policy and strategy, Amy Harhoff.TfN aims to improve rail and road connections and halve travel times between the core cities of Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Liverpool.“That will transform the economic geography of the north and allow businesses to function in a more integrated way,” said Harhoff.TfN’s economic vision is that, while there is capacity and impetus for the north to grow, infrastructure is needed to capitalise on the opportunities.“The north can perform on the world stage, but we need to be consistent in our approach and in the way we communicate with overseas businesses,” she said. Plan Sur in Valencia – an international example of infrastructure-led development highlighted at the Leeds roadshow – Source: BPFAlso banging the drum for more money to be spent on improving infrastructure in the north was Owen Michaelson, chief executive at developer Harworth Group, who talked about the need to open up land for development.“A lot of development land is constrained because of a lack of infrastructure,” he said.He highlighted examples of public and private sector money being invested to great effect, including the 4km-long FARRRS road, which links the M18 to Doncaster airport and was 60% funded by the private sector with the rest coming from the public purse. “It’s only a short road, but £26m has pump-primed hundreds of millions of pounds of development,” he said.Michaelson added that central government should not change its planning policy for another 10 years, as everyone “has to stop and learn for three years what they’ve done”.The good news for the likes of Harworth is that infrastructure improvements are high on the agenda for the newly formed public body Transport for the North (TfN), the driving force behind infrastructure improvements.Amy Harhoff, TfN’s head of policy and strategy, said the organisation recognised that the region’s economic output could be better. But she added: “We lag behind the performance of the rest of the UK and that’s something that we’re looking to improve.”In Bristol, meanwhile, the council’s head of property waxed lyrical about the nearer-term upgrade to the Great Western Railway.Bristol (29 June) – maintenance costs won’t hold back development“Devolution deals are the main game in town: you are either in or you are out, and you will only get your hands on the £30m-per-year funding if you are in.”That was the view of Robert Orrett, service director, property, at Bristol City Council – and it set the tone for the BPF’s session in the South West.Extra cash was urgently required to maintain existing infrastructure and facilitate development, Orrett said.“The public sector has as much of a problem maintaining and operating infrastructure as it does funding it in the first place,” he reasoned, alluding to Bristol’s famous floating harbour. “That costs £2m just to operate, so we don’t want to think about replacing parts.”However, he stressed the council understood that “the quality and quantity of infrastructure in a city is directly related to development” and was therefore a priority.The point drew nods of agreement from Robin Dobson, director of retail development at Hammerson, the developer behind Bristol’s Cabot Circus shopping centre. The first questions Hammerson asked before investing in a city related to infrastructure, he said.“We need to know if the right road, public transport and public realm infrastructure is in place,” he added. “Cabot Circus has taken 15 years to develop and is still ongoing. The next phase will involve getting the infrastructure right for the highways and bus networks.”The panel noted that Bristol and the wider South West received infrastructure funding below the national average. However, they were not overly concerned that investment in high-speed rail had been designed to provide a boost to the Midlands, the North West and Yorkshire. The electrification of the Great Western Railway, said Orrett, would reap economic benefits far sooner.“The reduction in journey time is not as much as HS2 will deliver, but the process is 20 years ahead,” he said. “The quality of the trains is just as important as their speed. The electrification is an outstanding feature for Bristol’s office and employment prospects.”Perhaps the most compelling voice was to be heard in Birmingham. Some experts have cast doubt on the new government’s commitment to HS2.It would be a massive mistake to step off the gas now, says the organisation’s programme director for construction, who argues that the Brexit vote makes investment in transport infrastructure more important.Birmingham (7 July) – HS2 can unite the country post-BrexitBrexit has made the much-anticipated arrival of HS2 all the more important, according to the speakers at BPF’s Birmingham seminar.Construction on the first phase of the high-speed line, linking London Euston to a new station at Curzon Street in Birmingham, is due to begin next year and complete in 2026. “HS2 will be a catalyst for growth across Britain,” HS2’s programme director for construction Mike Lyons said.“With the UK deciding to leave the EU, that is suddenly even more important than it was a few weeks ago,” Lyons added. “The stimulus for growth for the Midlands and the north is even more important than ever to rebuild and unify the country. The catalyst for growth starts now.“We are spending millions of pounds driving the project and working with partners in this region and beyond. Businesses are expanding and changing their plans already and companies are relocating here to be close to HS2.” Liverpool (15 June) – investing in a brighter future for the northIn Liverpool, a congregation of soggy property professionals – who had braved a downpour of biblical proportions to attend the event – heard from representatives from TfN, Peel Land & Property and Deloitte.“It’s heartening and important at this time in the evolution of the UK that the north is emerging with a single voice,” said Simon Shrouder, TfN’s head of stakeholder engagement and communications. “Serious investment north of Watford has been long awaited and much needed.”By creating synergies across the region between road, rail, air and sea, TfN hopes to build a case for lasting sustainable development that helps maintain and improve employment levels in the north.Cathy Wignall, urban strategist at Deloitte, talked through the three steps for successful infrastructure-led development, starting with the “incredibly important aspect” of aligning partners in what can often be complex projects involving various stakeholders.“Secondly, create value uplift,” she said. “Whether you’re a private sector or public sector partner, it’s necessary to see where value can be derived from a development.” Lyons said the government’s decision to locate HS2’s headquarters in Birmingham’s Snow Hill, employing 1,000 people in the city, meant the process of rebalancing the economy had “already begun”. In total, the construction of HS2 is expected to create 52,500 jobs across the Greater Birmingham area.Tony Bray, area director for the West Midlands team of the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, added that the rebalancing of the UK economy needed to go beyond major cities.Plans to extend the Midland Metro tram line were given the go-ahead by the government last month, with completion scheduled for 2019.Bray said regional towns and cities both on and off the HS2 route should be following suit and making long-term investments in their transport hubs to make sure they too benefit.However, he admitted that “we don’t really know what is going to happen” following the Brexit vote.The vote revealed some deep divisions, not just between north and south, but between London and pretty much everywhere else, he notes. In that context, investment in projects that bring us closer together takes on a symbolic as well as an economic value.Newcastle (22 June) – project funding likely despite power struggleWhen the BPF roadshow stopped off in Newcastle, the talk was as much about politics as it was about infrastructure. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise when the big-ticket items promised by the government in connection with its ‘northern powerhouse’ agenda won’t do much for the North East.However, the speakers were not unduly negative. “There has been a move from the substantial to the conceptual, with the northern powerhouse more concept than substance,” said Ian Baggett, founder and chief executive of regional developer Adderstone Group, which is behind the first build-to-rent scheme in Newcastle. “However, if this marketing push draws investment to the region then it will be successful.”More local political issues were also on the agenda. Infighting between the seven councils that make up the North East Combined Authority has delayed progress on the devolution of powers to the region and is an ongoing area of concern for the property industry.Baggett urged the audience to “avoid negative PR and grumbling about regional discrepancies”. Transport for the North’s Amy Harhoff spoke at the BPF Roadshows in Manchester and LeedsPete Gladwell, head of public sector partnerships at Legal & General, spoke of the importance of viewing property and infrastructure as a single entity. “We create a false dichotomy when we view property and infrastructure separately,” he said. “The two are so inter-related now that, for the success of our industry, we need to view them as a whole.”He added that in the past, society had not appreciated that new infrastructure made property more valuable, and that the model needed to change, with greater private sector investment.“There’s no point us sitting in London and hoping someone else is going to do it. Actually, we have a corporate, social role to invest in it ourselves and to try to make it happen,” he said.Cushman & Wakefield director Caroline Baker said she believed that significant infrastructure improvements were absolutely critical for various sectors of the property market, including industrial, retail and residential.She recognised that much had been done already to improve connectivity but said “there is still a long way to go in terms of making sure we have efficient mechanisms in place to support businesses to thrive”.center_img Urban strategist at Deloitte Cathy Wignall highlights examples of successful infrastructure-led developments – Source: Anna DooleyShe also stressed the importance of maximising the impact of infrastructure-led development, which could enable investors to justify and prioritise projects involving infrastructure over others that do not.The north/south divide was addressed by Richard Mawdsley, development director at Peel Land & Property, the developer behind the Wirral Waters regeneration project.“Our ethos is to make the north a stronger, more economically vibrant place in which to live and work,” he said.“The south propping up the north is not good for anybody and so there is a drive to make sure that the northern powerhouse does happen.” Leeds (21 June) – the message is clear: ‘Infra-Penny, Infra-Pound’Infrastructure was also the main talking point during the BPF roadshow’s pit stop in West Yorkshire in a seminar entitled ‘Infra-Penny, Infra-Pound’.Angela Barnicle, director at Deloitte, highlighted several transport-based developments in the UK and overseas that are looking to use multiple partners to maximise the impact of infrastructure improvements and push up local property values. These include the Mayfield Quarter in Manchester and York Central in York.“Mayfield is a redundant station that will be opened up for development by the arrival of HS2,” said Barnicle. On York Central, she said the dearth of grade-A space in the city could be addressed by the new development, providing the “infrastructure needed to allow York to continue on its economic trajectory”. Addlestone Group’s chief executive Ian Baggett at the BPF Roadshow in Newcastle – Source: Addlestone GroupLocal authorities’ concerns that the government’s devolution plans could undermine their autonomy were also addressed.Tim Foster, head of economic advice at TfN, said that the establishment of TfN wasn’t about overruling councils, but was about facilitating partnership working. “TfN’s focus is not on pulling powers away from local authorities, but about the north coming together to make decisions that are best for its growth,” he said. “The region’s local authorities have a seat on TfN’s shadow board.”Foster added that the North East would benefit from transport investment, even if it won’t be directly affected by major projects announced by government.“As well as major infrastructure projects such as the Trans-Pennine Tunnel and northern powerhouse rail [HS3], we are concerned about connectivity between local areas, and how that fits in with the bigger projects,” he said.Investment was likely to flow into the North East in any case, said Baggett, as “there is recognition that investors can’t find value in London, and the North West is beginning to overheat with much more development”.last_img read more

October 7, 2020 | |Post a Comment

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

October 7, 2020 | |Post a Comment

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

October 6, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgMarine Assets Corporation (MAC) has signed four contracts for construction of Offshore Supply Vessels (OSV) with Fujian Mawei Shipyard, SE China, valued at $125m.This will bring the current MAC order book to 25 vessels, due for delivery between May 2014 and June 2016, ranging in size and specification from 60m PSVs up to 500-man Flotels.The recent signing relates to 2 additional 60m PSVs, to follow on from the successful launch of the current two, slated for delivery in July 2014 and two newly designed 89m MAC MOTELs which will feature 240 beds, a crane and walk to work gangways.The motels will be the first OSVs to be delivered with the revolutionary OMPECO Garbage Convertor, which reduces garbage in volume by 70% and converts to inert sterile dust.Also to be installed is the EPIC POB Monitoring system, which will electronically track POB, both on the vessel, and across the gangway, so enabling the Master to know the exact whereabouts of ship based personal at any given time, an invaluable solution during an emergency muster.[mappress]MAC, April 30, 2014last_img read more

October 6, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgEdinburgh-based engineering firm Quoceant is testing its inflatable hull technology as part of the novel wave energy technology project for Wave Energy Scotland.Quoceant is developing a novel concept to introduce the ability to change the machine hull volume on command.Selectable hull volume change would allow a WEC to grow substantially to absorb more power during most of the year, while reverting to a smaller, robustly survivable form during storms.The technology, dubbed Ectaci-Hull technology, uses inflatable volumes to cost effectively provide a gross increase in volume around a rigid load bearing core, according to Quoceant.For testing at FloWave, the company is using a line-absorber type of WEC to test the technology, but Quoceant states the concept is applicable to many other WEC types as well.Quoceant is testing the ‘inflated’ and ‘deflated’ versions of the same model in order to confirm the survivability and performance of Ectaci-Hull.Demonstrating the differences in response between the two states will be a key outcome of the testing program, the company informed.Ultimately, Quoceant is aiming to quantify the expected reduction in levelized cost of energy (LCOE), taking into account integrated capital cost, impact on annual average yield, operational costs and availability.To remind, Quoceant was one of 8 technology developers selected by Wave Energy Scotland to receive £300,000 each through its second funding call to develop novel wave energy converters.[mappress mapid=”906″]last_img read more

October 6, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgImage courtesy of GabadiGabadi of Spain said it has signed an agreement with a Chinese HRDD Shipyard (Huarun Dadong Dockyard) for the repair of liquefied natural gas carriers. This is the third such agreement, the company informed through its social media channels on Monday.Gabadi added that it had previously signed similar agreements with companies in Qatar and Canada.The Shanghai-based HRDD Shipyard, involved in ship repair activities, aims to capture business opportunities in repair services for LNG carriers and retrofitting of LNG-fueled vessels.Gabadi is the first subcontractor licensed to provide installation services of GTT’s containment technology to shipyards.last_img read more

September 29, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgAs education architects, our focus for the last 10 years or so has been on creating spaces for interaction and communication. With the emphasis on wellbeing and creating better connections for students and staff, this is exactly what we should have been doing. But now that we’ve created, and continue to create, these great spaces for collaboration, I’ve started to wonder: have we lost the in-depth learning spaces that define many students’ experience of higher education? When we go to university, we have the opportunity to take our studies to a new level, focusing more and delving deeper than we ever had the chance to at school. That ability to zoom in and focus is an important part of the university experience, and one I’m afraid we may be neglecting in our current mission to create spaces for social interaction and learning. The more we’ve focused on collaboration and breakout spaces, the less we’ve focused on spaces where people can truly immerse themselves and can reach the levels of deep thought that define academic study. We’re seeing serious mental health issues at universities, shocking statistics that can’t be ignored, and we need to make sure we’re getting the balance right for their health and wellbeing.“There has to be a spectrum in design between the welcome, social spaces and the private spaces”To address the connection and interaction issues, many universities are investing in student centres, a campus “living room”, so to speak. While it’s important for students to have these spaces, it’s also important for them to not feel pressured to constantly be in them. For thinking and creativity we need spaces with no distractions and no other people to interrupt our thoughts. We need somewhere to go for quiet and for space to ourselves. In this age of social connectivity, it’s even more important that we have somewhere we can really focus on the task at hand and become completely immersed in our subject matter.There has to be a spectrum in design between the welcome, social spaces and the private spaces. I think we’ve assumed young people don’t want these spaces, but we need to celebrate that’s it’s okay to want them. It’s okay to be quiet and serious sometimes. My challenge to us all, as designers and estates directors, is to bear this in mind when we’re designing higher education buildings and address the full spectrum between the open and closed, social and private, fun and serious.Students today are under immense pressure to be seen to be succeeding and to succeed. They feel like they need to be part of a group, to fit in. But students also need to know it’s okay to be by yourself, and that reaching new heights of academic, individual study is an important, and celebrated, part of being at university. We need to get the balance right between individual, supported, private study and social learning. We need to recognise that designing for wellbeing isn’t just about connected, light, airy spaces – sometimes it’s about creating cocoons for people seeking out spaces where they feel comfortable to study. Over the last decade it’s become increasingly ‘uncool’ to create these individual learning spaces, and we need to challenge that. Despite being social animals, we all crave our own space sometimes, and that’s okay. Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely – it can mean having time to think, focus and discover new things about ourselves and the world. This dichotomy is what makes university a unique, once in a lifetime experience. We need to ask ourselves: are we doing what’s fashionable or what’s right? And when it comes to students’ health and wellbeing we need to always do what’s right.Helen Groves is architect director at Atkinslast_img read more

September 26, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgChadian President Idriss Deby could get a go ahead to rule the West African nation until 2033 under constitutional changes recommended by a national conference.The proposed changes, if passed, would also grant him greater powers.The country’s opposition has however condemned the move, saying it is aimed at creating a “monarchy”.A two-week forum attended by about 800 politicians, business leaders and traditional chiefs issued the report late on Tuesday, recommending eliminating the post of prime minister and creating a fully presidential system.Opposition politicians did not attend the forum.The forum proposed the re-instating of presidential term limits that were scrapped by a 2005 referendum/ The reforms would still let President Idriss Deby, who came to power in a rebellion in 1990, stay on well into old age.It recommended six-year rather than five-year presidential terms, limited to a maximum of two terms, effective from the next presidential election in 2021. That would mean Deby could stay in power until 2033, when he will be 81.Deby pledged before the 2016 election to reinstate term limits, bucking a regional trend that has seen the presidents of Rwanda and Congo Republic remove term limits to stay in office.The forum’s proposals are expected to be taken up by parliament this year.last_img read more

September 26, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgEntertainmentLocalNews Five More to be Inducted into Calypso Hall of Fame by: – February 14, 2020 237 Views   no discussions Share The Dominica Calypso Hall of Fame will induct five candidates during its special 2020 Ceremony on Friday, 14 February at Fort Young Hotel.The inductees are Mr. Andrew “Scrunter” Bazil, Mr. Valentine “Young Bull” Cuffy, Fr. Brancker “De Brakes” John, Mr. Patrick Roland “PJ” John and Mr. Julian “Superior Pickey” Lockhart.The candidates who have been chosen have attained an appreciable review in the areas such as longevity/consistency and achievement as these relate to the development and practice of Calypso.  Some candidates have also produced/written/performed timely and timeless songs, and all of them have been dedicated to the art, practice, integrity and spirit of Calypso. They also show leadership and management of Calypso, and have impacted or changed the art form for the better.The Induction Ceremony has been held every four years since 2008.The 2020 candidates will join Slinger “The Might Sparrow” Francisco, Osborn “Ossie” Lewis, Patrick “Pembo” Pemberton, Roosevelt “Mico” Williams, Kelly “Ras Kelly” Williams, Norman “Ency” Cyrille, Roland “Spider” James, Hayden “Tokyo” Desire, Ulrick “Idol” Jackson, Melvin “Solo” Constant, Cleveland “Hurricane” Jean-Jacques, Gregg “Breaker” Bannis, Pat “Musician” Aaron, Vaughn “Shakey” James and The Swingin’ Stars Orchestra in the Dominica Calypso Hall of Fame canon. Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Tweetlast_img read more