Heavy snow knocks out power to more than 20,000 CVPS customers

first_imgThe back-to-back winter storm system that is working its way across New England knocked out power to more than 20,000 CVPS customers last night and this morning, and the storm is expected to continue throughout the day. However, this is only the first wave of the storm, as another system with potentially damaging high winds is expected Thursday and into Friday. As of noon today, CVPS had 10,500 customers still without power. Crews are working as quickly as they safely can today to make repairs, but CVPS continues to take additional outages as the heavy snow keeps coming down. The Rutland-based utility said it has 30 outside contract tree and line crews either on site or on the way today, and is working to secure more in anticipation of the second wave of this storm coming tomorrow afternoon and into Friday.Outages were scattered across the state, with Addison, Rutland, Windham, Windsor and Franklin counties hardest hit thus far.“The heavy wet snow really began to pick up throughout the night, and outages started ramping up early this morning,” said CVPS spokeswoman Christine Rivers. “Crews were out working through the night, and our full compliment of crews, assisted by outside contractors will continue to work to restore power throughout the day. Some customers from this wave will most likely be without power through tomorrow.”Additional outages are expected, as another 6 to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow is expected to fall today.“We will work as quickly as we safely can to restore power to customers today,” Rivers said. “But we also have our eye on Thursday and Friday’s storm, and are anticipating the possibility of additional widespread outages.”CVPS offered several safety tips for coping with the outages:· Treat any downed line as if it is live.  Report the line to your local utility and fire department, stay at least 30 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away as well.· If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting the generator.  Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure.  Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews must work.· Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.· If power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances except one light so you’ll know when service returns.  Then, turn equipment back on slowly.Source: Central Vermont Public Service. 2.24.2010last_img read more

What’s your digital destination? It’s up to you

first_imgMuch has been written about digital segmentation for financial institutions, with terms like “leaders” and “laggards” bandied about. At Fiserv we generally position financial institutions into one of four digital segments representing varied levels of emphasis on digital banking as part of their overall strategy. Although an organization’s size can influence which segment they fall into, it’s their aspirational goals that define them. For many organizations, meeting those goals entails a move up to the next level on the digital banking spectrum.Knowing the attributes of each segment can help you determine where your financial institution currently fits on the spectrum, and if your institution is ready to increase its focus on this area. Where you want to arrive is for you to decide.Digital LeadersDigital is at the center of the business strategy for these financial institutions. Digital is a key driver to differentiate themselves from their competitors and they truly believe the future of banking relies on digitally acquiring and servicing customers. They leverage digital to dramatically reduce operational costs, which then helps them fund even more digital innovation. Digital leaders leverage digital to create an omnichannel experience that cost-effectively maximizes customer touchpoints, drives more valuable digital engagements and improves the level of the institution’s relationship with customers. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The two biggest innovation killers in banking today

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Digitalization is having a massive, generally positive, impact on banking customers’ experience. Mobile and online services are taking accessibility to a new level and speeding up processing. Artificial intelligence and process automation will allow more personalization and customization of services.In sharp contrast to that picture, digitalization is having a generally negative impact on banking employees’ experience. Stress and burnout are on the rise as digital technology allows employees to be constantly connected and interrupted resulting in longer hours and higher stress. The days lost to work-related stress in banking are even higher than during the crash of 2008, according to Personnel Today. Compared to other sectors banking employees feel less in control of their well-being.Innovation Killer No. 1: Constant ConnectivityThe same mobile technology that allows customers to access their bank at any time and from anywhere also allows employee to work anytime and anywhere. With mobile devices many employee’s work day ends with a quick check of emails just before going to bed, and then looking at the them again before even getting out of bed in the morning. The work day is spread across all waking hours, with only a break to sleep. There is hardly time left in most people’s day when work is not on their mind. continue reading »last_img read more

350 Pigeons Removed from North Merrick Home

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Investigators removed nearly 350 pigeons that were flying freely inside a North Merrick home, which was condemned after two feet of bird droppings was found piled up the floors Thursday, officials said.Authorities did not identify the 68-year-old owner of the Abbott Avenue home, who was hospitalized at Nassau University Medical Center for unspecified injuries. It is unclear what charges may face, but Hempstead Town Building Department Inspectors deemed the house unfit for human occupancy and an unsafe structure.“This house was essentially a pigeon coop,” said Gary Rogers, a detective and spokesman for the Nassau County SPCA, the lead agency on the case. “A person shouldn’t be living in a situation like that and the birds should not be living in a situation like that.”Rogers noted that the agency has removed more than 800 animals from hording situations in the county this summer, including a house in Bellmore that was full of hundreds of assorted animals, two houses packed with dozens of dogs and several cat hoarding cases.As for the North Merrick bird house, Rogers said the investigation began after Hempstead town received a complaint about overgrown bushes at the home. Nassau SPCA investigators later discovered the bird infestation and secured a search warrant from the district attorney’s animal abuse unit.The bird droppings were so deep that doors were stuck open and the refrigerator was stuck closed, Rogers said. Today marked the first time that many of the birds were outside, he added.“This has been going on for years and years and years,” Rogers said. “He started out being a regular pigeon person and I guess it just took off.”The birds, some of which appear to have neurological problems, will be evaluated by veterinarians and will be placed in homes, Rogers said. He noted that one of the investigators suffered head lacerations when he fell in a hole in the backyard.To report animal cruelty, the Nassau SPCA asks tipsters to call 516-THE-SPCA or email [email protected]last_img read more

Sonardyne Adds Chelsea

first_imgSubsea technology developer Sonardyne has acquired maritime and marine science technology specialist Chelsea Technologies Group.Sonardyne said that this acquisition is part of its long-term growth strategy to diversify into markets where it sees an opportunity to build on its core technology base and expertise in underwater acoustic and optical communications, navigation and autonomous monitoring systems.In acquiring Chelsea (also known as CTG), Sonardyne believes it will both strengthen its presence in the maritime, marine and ocean science sectors and create new opportunities in the water environmental, defence and process control markets. Chelsea will gain access to Sonardyne’s research, production, testing, compliance and global distribution capabilities, allowing the company to access many more international territories.Chelsea will remain an independent business, as part of the Sonardyne group of companies. Chelsea’s Brian Phillips will become Executive Chairman of the company, while Stephen Fasham will move from a senior management role at Sonardyne to become Managing Director at Chelsea. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.“Chelsea, like Sonardyne, is a UK-based, privately-owned, technology driven company with a deep understanding in software and sensor development,” says Sonardyne managing director John Ramsden. “They have strong footholds in shipping, hydrographic and ocean science markets, which complement our capabilities. In addition, Chelsea operates in the water environmental, process control and defence markets. We believe there are exciting opportunities for us in these sectors, which will be part of our future growth.”last_img read more

Some party-list seats are up for sale, bares Comelec exec

first_img“I am personally against the gaming of the party-list rules because a lot or some of them sell their seats after they win,” says Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon. ABS-CBN NEWS “It is not correct to say that the rule is they can change anytime of the year. Anytime even if there’s only three months left in their term,” Guanzon said. According to Guanzon, nominees could only withdraw, replace, or change the order of their nominees only up to election day or at the close of the polls. “Now if there is a vacancy, they go through their lists because we are required to submit to the speaker who those are going to be on the list, the next on the list,” Guanzon said. Guanzon also said that the Commission on Elections issued a minute resolution in 2012 stating that a party-list could only submit a new list of nominees if there was a vacancy declared by the Speaker. MANILA – Elections commissioner Rowena Guanzon bared that some party-list groups that won during the 2019 midterm elections are selling their seats in the House of Representatives. “There is a law, the Party List Act, and our rules that say they can submit, they can change their list up to close of polls or election day,” she added. “That’s when they can change their nominees or they can add to it if their lists are already exhausted.” “I am personally against the gaming of the party-list rules because I’m sorry to say that, in truth, a lot of party-lists or some of them sell their seats after they win. They change their representatives or nominees,” she added. Guanzon said during the Senate hearing on the pending bills on the conduct of elections that this was done due to the substitution of party-list representatives or nominees. “There must be a vacancy. The representative must have assumed officer and then resigned, or died, or withdrew,” she added./PNlast_img read more

Bolt backs Sebastian Coe’s ‘bold’ changes

first_imgTHE president of track and field’s world governing body has received the backing of the sport’s biggest name – Usain Bolt.Lord Sebastian Coe, during a special congress, laid out significant constitutional reform aimed at weeding out the corruption that has rocked the sport of track and field over the last few years.Coe received backing from 95 per cent of the member federations, who supported operational changes such as limits on the tenure of a president, an independent anti-doping management system, wider distribution of power, increased commercial value and greater gender balance and influence of athletes.“I notice that Seb Coe is trying to make track and field more transparent and ensure that no one person is fully in control; so for me, that’s a big move, that’s a bold move for him as the IAAF president,” said Bolt in response.last_img read more

5 things Warriors fans will want to know about D’Angelo Russell

first_imgSo here is the first of five things Warriors fans need to know about … Sunday was a rough day to be a Warriors fan. Hoping for the best, they got, well, not the best.D’Angelo Russell is hip.Russell? Sunday morning he was an All-Star on an ascendent Brooklyn Nets team. By sundown he was a Golden State Warrior, moved to make room for the head-spinning influx of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan. Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.last_img read more

Monarch Butterflies Do Not Have to Migrate

first_img(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 When 101 butterfly genomes were compared, there were surprises.Most people know about the amazing migration of Monarch butterflies across North America to their wintering grounds in Mexico, but not all may know that there are non-migrating species, too.  Why do some make the spectacular journey?  Is the secret in the genes?To find out, Marcus Kronforst, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, analyzed the genomes of 92 Monarch butterflies and 9 other closely related species, Elizabeth Pennisi relates in Science Magazine.  “The samples came from different parts of North America, from places in South and Central America where the local monarchs stayed put all year round, and from elsewhere around the world.”  What he found was contrary to everyone’s expectations:“He [Kronforst] and his colleagues grouped the genomes by how similar they were to build a family tree. That tree revealed that, contrary to expectations, all the monarchs arose from a population in the southern United States or northern Mexico.”“The researchers expected that to make their long trips North American monarchs would need a lot more collagen” than the sedentary variety.  “Instead, the gene was less active in the migrants,” Pennisi writes.  Apparently, genes for efficient flight help the migrants more than genes for strength, National Geographic surmises.“Kronforst and Zahn’s team also sequenced genomes from Hawaiian monarchs, which come in white and orange forms. From breeding experiments, other researchers learned that a single gene was responsible for the color loss. Zahn and Kronforst expected that this gene would be involved in pigment-generating pathways. But instead, their analysis shows it was a gene that codes for myosin, a protein essential for muscle contraction. The butterfly myosin gene resembles a myosin gene that is mutated in a mouse strain that has light instead of dark fur. In the mouse, this myosin helps transport pigments into the hair, so Kronforst thinks the white morph’s myosin may fail to transport orange pigment into the wing scales.”These results will be interesting to compare with other butterfly genomes as they become available, Pennisi says.  In the meantime, the study goes to show that expectations can be controverted by evidence.  There’s no substitute for data.In addition, it shows that Monarch butterflies apparently do not need to migrate those thousands of miles.  The ones that don’t seem to get along just fine.  The migratory varieties may have been the original ones, from which the sedentary ones derived.  If so, “sedentary populations cannot easily restore migrating monarchs once the latter are lost,” making conservation efforts worthwhile.The story was also covered by Science Daily and by National Geographic. The latter includes a video clip about the Monarch migration, with pictures of their Mexican retreat, and makes an appeal for conservation by encouraging people to plant the milkweed on which the butterflies depend.A recent article on PhysOrg says that insects that undergo metamorphosis, like butterflies, tend to diversify more.  It does not explain, however, the origin of metamorphosis.  The extent of the diversification is also not specified.  Presumably, it refers to coloration patterns and other variations on the existing hardware and software.  Researchers at the University of New York recognize the importance of metamorphosis in diversification, but cannot explain its evolutionary function, even though the process has been studied since Darwin’s time.  “It might reduce competition between larvae and adults, it might promote dietary specialisation, it might reduce development times, it might improve survival in times of hardship, or something else,” Dr. Peter Mayhew, a senior lecturer at the university, speculated.  “Future work needs to address this question.”  In evolutionary thinking, apparently “might” makes right.Meanwhile, with a more design focus, the BBC News posted an audio presentation from the Natural History Museum about how butterflies produce shimmering colors by structural properties of their wing scales.  Scientists there are working on ways to culture cells from butterfly wings to produce iridescent colors in the laboratory. “It’s really quite intricate,” the speaker said of the process.  It would “really reduce the energy requirements of our industries” to imitate the methods butterflies use.  A butterfly-mimic material “would never fade” as well, he said.Monarch butterflies are featured stars in the Illustra film we highly recommend: Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies.  The genetic news does not tell an evolutionary story or help it in any way.  It also offers no Darwinian solution to the miracle of metamorphosis.  The film shows how metamorphosis makes a powerful argument for intelligent design.  If you haven’t ordered the film, get it and share it… it’s beautiful, especially in a home theater with Blu-ray and 5.1 surround sound.  You will not be disappointed to watch it and to share it with thoughtful nature lovers.last_img read more

Q&A with Fruit South Africa on new SA-China agreement

first_imgThe newly signed agreement between South Africa and China will mean more jobs in the export agriculture sector says the Fruit South Africa CEO Dr Konanani Liphadzi.The South African and Chinese governments recently signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the market access for fruit. South Africa’s exporters are expected to increase their produce from 110 000 tons fruit to 350 000 tons within the next five years. (Image: Supplied)Melissa JavanSouth African farmers and cooperatives will export more of their fruit harvest after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the South African government and the People’s Republic of China earlier this month.The MOU was signed in Beijing, China, by Willem Bestbier, vice-chairperson of Fruit South Africa (Fruit SA) and his counterpart, Wang Xin, vice-chairperson of the Chinese Quarantine and Inspection Association (CIQA) on 1 November 2016.South Africa’s fruit exporters are mainly from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga provinces. (Image to illustrate: Brand South Africa)For now negotiations are underway to increase market access for South African pears. Avocados and other fruit will be considered in the next round of negotiations.Last year China imported 3.8-million tons of fruit, of which 110 000 tons were from South Africa. The Chinese fruit market is valued at US$ 5-billion (about R71-billion), and within 5 years South Africa’s access will be one and half times greater.Dr Konanani Liphadzi, chief executive officer of Fruit SA shares insights on the impact of the MOU on agriculture in South Africa.Dr Konanani Liphadzi is chief executive officer of Fruit SA. She says the fruit industry will increase job creation because of the new agreement between China and South Africa relating to exports.Dr Liphadzi, what does this new agreement with China mean for South Africa?Liphadzi: In regards to the new MOU, this means the initiative is broadening market access. Secondly, we could share technical information like quarantine issues and also assist them with information needed. It goes both ways.We also have a partner on the ground in China, who can share things like policy changes.This partnership builds on the foundation we already have with China.Lastly, there will be a lot of job creation, from hand pickers in South Africa to people doing packaging that will be hired, because of increased demand.What fruit do we export to China?KL: The three main produce we supply to the Chinese market are apples, citrus and table grapes.How many fruit suppliers in South Africa currently export to China?KL: Currently there are 12 companies that supply to China.How many people are employed currently within the fruit industry?KL: Currently 50% of our fruit produce are being exported. This is to 87 countries worldwide, with China being one of them. Overall 2.7-million tons fruit are exported globally, and 110 000 of it go to China. That is 300 000 jobs locally in the fruit industry, that’s along the value chain, from the farm to where it ends with the consumer.Tell us about the South African exporters.KL: The 12 companies include the following:We have companies that buy fruit from the farmers;Other produce their own fruit and buy from different farmers;Lastly, we have cooperatives, a group working together producing fruit. Then they have a marketing company advertising for them.The exporters are mainly from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.The major producers come from the Western Cape, because it has a unique environment.Are any of the fruit sent to China being genetically modified?KL: We don’t produce genetically modified fruit in South Africa.How can an entrepreneur or any other farmer(s) get their fruit exported?KL: There is room for new exporters, especially in terms of transformation. The Fresh Produce Exporters’ forum is an association for developing new entries within the export market. It is a challenging process to get into exports, because it is not an easy industry.Anyone interested in exports, can contact me.Will China export any of their fruit to South Africa?KL: They also want to send fruit. We are counter season to them. So, when we are harvesting, they have winter there. Selling fruit to them won’t be a major issue. Our department of agriculture is considering citrus from them. We are not competing with them.Is there anything you would like to add?KL: In regards to the new MOU, this means the initiative is broadening market access.This is in line with what our country’s National Development Plan 2030 wants to achieve. We have identified a commodity, are increasing volumes to create jobs, and are opening the a market for our produce.We appreciate the effort of the government to open the market, and that they are creating a good relationship with the Chinese government.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more