GMP to use one rating agency

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,Green Mountain Power has announced that it will rely on rating services from Standard & Poor’s credit agency and discontinue its practice of using two separate agencies.”S&P is a well respected and professional agency that will fulfill our rating needs,” said Dawn Bugbee, chief financial officer of GMP. “Using one agency will streamline our financial review and ultimately save our customers money.”In the past, Green Mountain Power engaged both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s rating agencies. This change, GMP said, is part of Green Mountain Power’s ongoing and continuous process to drive costs out of the company and provide customers with the most efficient and cost-effective service possible.COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwired – July 24, 2013) -GMP.About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in Vermont and is a leader in wind and solar generation. The Company, which serves more than 250,000 customers, has set its vision to be the best small utility in America. For further information, visit is external).last_img read more

Cerro Grande Fire Of 2000 And COVID-19 Pandemic In 2020 … Commonalities And Differences In Disaster

first_imgCerro Grande Fire taken in the morning of May 10, 2000. All of Los Alamos was evacuated the afternoon of May 10, 2000. Photo by Gary Warren/ Cerro Grande Fire viewed from Los Alamos County Golf Course May 7, 2000. Photo by Gary Warren/ Craig Martin this year standing near one of the tree seedlings planted in 2000. Courtesy/Craig Martin  Topper Senior Katie Herrmann with her puppy Simon, 1, in front of their home on Kristi Lane with her Class of 2020 yard sign, given to every senior at Los Alamos High School as part of a month long schedule of activities to honor them. The governor ordered all the schools in New Mexico closed for the remainder of the academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic so LAPS and the community are finding ways to honor the graduates. Courtesy photo Children plant a tree seedling 20 years ago following the Cerro Grande Fire. Courtesy/Craig Martin. All wearing masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nurse Kim Temple welcomes New Beginnings Fellowship members Lanessa Auburgey and Moises Pinto as they deliver a meal recently to Los Alamos Medical Care Clinic staff. Courtesy/LAMCC Today we are in the midst of a pandemic of a novel corona virus (COVID-19: CO for corona Vi is for virus, D is for disease, 19 for the year it was discovered). This is a new infectious disease causing an acute respiratory syndrome for which there is no vaccine or immunity. Federal, state, and local responses have included cancellation and prohibitions of large-scale gatherings, closures of schools, and other educational institutions, and social distancing by staying home or working from home. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. People have lost jobs and the stock market has fallen faster than ever before in history. Each day the number of infected people increases.The Cerro Grande Fire and COVID 19 were and are calamitous events that disrupted the functioning of our community and society. They caused human, material, economic or environmental losses that exceed our community’s or society’s ability to cope. Regardless of whether the disaster is local or worldwide there are similarities and differences. The Cerro Grande Fire was a local event. The new event, COVID-19 is a worldwide problem-a pandemic. Unlike the Cerro Grande Fire there was no evacuation, but there is sudden life disruption! Life as we knew it came to a screeching halt and everything changed. Again, we must learn to adapt and become resilient in the face of adversity.There is no “them-and-us” in the COVID-19 event. There is no opening of homes as a way of reaching out. We are confined to our homes. We are all dealing with all the same fear and anxiety as people hundreds and thousands of miles from us. I am struck by the saying “We are in this together”. No one who lives on planet earth is immune to this event. We ARE all one humanity. One of the major lessons expressed over and over at the time of the Cerro Grande Fire disaster and now the COVID-19 event is the value of family and friends. Over and over in the Cerro Grande fire interviews, people expressed this lesson. Tasks and times were less important than family and friends. The five P’s were most important in evacuation: people, pets, papers, photos, prescriptions. In the COVID-19 event we are reminded over and over of the value of the lives of those close to us, family, friends, teachers, colleagues, and acquaintances.  After the Cerro Grande Fire many people expressed gratitude to the firefighters and first responders. Today the power of gratitude is apparent in the ways we thank firefighters, EMTs, doctors, nurses, and the life of every loved one. We are grateful for all those we sometimes forget about: truck drivers, grocery store clerks, those who shelve food and items, and so many more. Disaster makes us aware of all we have and often forget to thank in our busyness.Thankfulness for the landscape that surrounds us, and its resilience is important. In nature we find beauty and hopefulness in times of despair. Taking walks, gardening, hiking, and bird watching all uplift weary spirits in a time of social distancing and being shut inside our homes. Sunshine helps the shattered spirit and enhances the immune system.Every day we must make a choice to stay home to stop the spread or gather for fun and companionship. We choose resilience and hope by rejecting that instinct to be with others. I am amazed at the creative ways we have found to connect with one another. At the time of the Cerro Grande Fire cell phones were the exception. But with cell phones and computers, connecting has become easier. At the time of the Cerro Grande, everyone scattered. My response was, “Will I ever see them again?” Today I can call or connect by computer and know that my friends and family are safe.A friend, Rosella Jardine, found one similarity between the event of the fire and COVID-19 was isolation. When we evacuated, we did not know where our friends and family went or if we would ever see them again. Now we have all sorts of ways to communicate, but we are still isolated in our homes. It is a twist! Either way we were and are isolated from each other. Interestingly, we often crave solitude and quiet, but once isolated we crave togetherness.After the Cerro Grande fire, FEMA experiences were sometimes lengthy and painful. With the pandemic, comes a stimulus package to help the unemployed, essential personnel, and others. There is already an indication that this too will be a painful process.At the time of the Cerro Grande fire, we saw Northern New Mexico and our community coming together. The Volunteer Task Force mobilized the community to help in restoration. Others helped people through the FEMA process or providing shelter for the displaced. People helped people and the environment. In our resilience, we are reaching out today in unique and different ways, using ingenuity in the COVID-19 crisis. Examples include a less vulnerable person asking a neighbor if they can go to the store for them or calling someone to find out how they are doing. Organizations where congregating is the norm are finding new ways of communicating and entertaining through computer programs such as Zoom, Facetime, Skype, and YouTubeAt the time of the Cerro Grande Fire there was great need. Scouts, churches, restaurants, and many others fed first responders. Homes were opened. People made quilts to give people comfort. Currently, I believe anyone who sews is probably making masks for family, friends, medical personnel, and neighbors. Making a mask seems insignificant but it may save someone’s life. Donations are given to those who are hungry and jobless. Today, though we may feel knocked down, hurting, and struggling, people are lifting each other up in their own way.Like the Cerro Grande Fire, we were not prepared for this pandemic. It took us by surprise. We are in the midst of this event and we do not know how it will end. The experience of the Cerro Grande Fire reminds us that out of the ashes of that fire we became more resilient and renewed. Out of the COVID-19 event, we will find resilience and be renewed in our relationships to one another. There is hope.This is part of the Afterword in the book Resilience and Renewal, Stories of the Cerro Grande Fire Twenty Years After. Also look for the new exhibit at the History Museum called Resilience and Recovery which is currently online ( and will be available in person when the museum is open again. See the Los Alamos Historical Society website for more information about the Cerro Grande Fire and the availability of the book. Cerro Grande Fire viewed from downtown Los Alamos Sunday, May 7, 2000. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.comBy TERALENE FOXXLos AlamosThe week of May 4th is an anniversary week. Twenty years ago, the Cerro Grande Fire changed the physical and emotional landscape of the community. I had just breathed a sigh of relief that the interviews and writing of a book about the resilience after the Cerro Grande Fire was completed when a new event occurred. I had previously written stories about the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000 and 2010. My first thought was, “Not Again!” That is my usual response to a new event that has the shadows of an old event.last_img read more

Predictive maintenance at the heart of Thameslink EMU depot

first_imgUK: ‘We want to prevent malfunctions before they even occur,’ said Siemens Mobility Division CEO Jochen Eickholt when Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin officially opened the new rolling stock depot at Three Bridges on October 15. The depot will maintain the 115 Class 700 Desiro City electric multiple-units which Siemens is supplying for north–south commuter routes through central London. The Department for Transport has ordered the EMUs under a 20-year deal with Cross London Trains, a special purpose joint venture of Siemens Project Ventures, Innisfree and 3i Infrastructure. Siemens has a separate contract for their maintenance, and ‘making sure our trains are available for service day-in, day-out, is key’, said Eickholt. The main contractor for construction of the depot was VolkerFitzpatrick. Smart predictive maintenance lies at the heart of the design, with all trains arriving at the site able to pass through an automated inspection system supplied by MRX, which uses laser scanning to identify maintenance requirements. The 265 m main building has five maintenance tracks, elevated for easy underfloor access. The site is on the 750 V DC third rail network, but one of the tracks has 25 kV 50 Hz electrification for testing the dual-voltage trainsets. There are also 11 sidings providing stabling for 172 cars, with facilities for emptying controlled-emission toilets. The depot has a personnel protection system supplied by Zonegreen, as well as full signalling. There are two bidirectional train washing plants, a tandem-head underfloor wheel lathe supplied by Hegenscheidt-MFD, and two Mechan bogie drops. Other facilities include a KMW driver training simulator.A second depot is being built at Hornsey in north London. The new depots will be ‘role models for Siemens projects all over the world’, said Eickholt. The experience gained at Three Bridges is being used to inform the development of the facility in Dortmund which will maintain double-deck EMUs ordered for the Rhein-Ruhr Express project.A more detailed article on Three Bridges depot will appear in the December 2015 issue of Railway Gazette International.last_img read more

Audio: Lee Johnson Pre-Wigan Athletic home press conference

first_imgLee Johnson speaks to the gathered media ahead of his side’s Sky Bet Championship encounter with Wigan Athletic.last_img

John Chavis is LSU’s shutdown coordinator

first_imgNASHVILLE, Tenn. When John Chavis and Phillip Fulmer were assistant coaches at the University of Tennessee a quarter-century ago, they undertook an off-field project together.“We built a swing set for our kids,” Fulmer recalled.Well, not exactly.“John was quite a carpenter. He knew what he was doing,” Fulmer said. “I pretty much just stood there and handed him the tools.”That’s typical Chavis. He’s hands-on. Always has been. Always will be.It’s one of the reasons he is among the top defensive coordinators in all of college football. He’s Mr. Fix-It. For 20 years, first at Tennessee and now at LSU for the last six seasons, Chavis has structured defenses that have consistently performed well in a changing world of football.On Tuesday, Chavis will match his penetrating, pressure defensive scheme against Notre Dame in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at LP Field.It’s a challenge. Notre Dame runs a spread offense and Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly has indicated he will continue to use two quarterbacks, Everett Golson and Malik Zaire, in the bowl game.But Chavis has seen it all before. In the SEC West, he coaches against everything from Alabama’s pro-style offense to Texas A&M’s spread to Auburn’s quick-fire read-option. Chavis not only has survived but thrived. He’s at his best when matching his Xs against the offense’s Os.“You talk to people in the coaching profession and you find out very quickly what a great reputation John has,” said Fulmer, who became Tennessee’s head coach in 1993 and elevated Chavis from linebacker coach to defensive coordinator two years later.“He’s a bright guy who stays ahead of the game. He did a fantastic job for me and he’s done a fantastic job at LSU.”In a college football world of high-flying, point-scoring offenses, those that can provide a defensive counterpunch are coveted — and paid accordingly. A study by USA Today found that 12 of the 15 highest paid assistant coaches in the country this season were defensive coordinators.Chavis, 58, is among them. With an annual salary of $1.3 million, he is tied for third among assistant coaches this year.Now the bar is being set higher. After Will Muschamp was fired as head coach at Florida, it didn’t take him long to make a soft landing. He went on a brief vacation, realized he wanted to get back in the game and quickly signed up as defensive coordinator at Auburn for $1.7 million a year.It’s a sign of the times. If you’ve got a top defensive coordinator, you do whatever you can to keep him. If you are shopping for one of these sharp defensive minds, you’re willing to write a big check.And make no mistake: Chavis is in demand. Texas A&M is interested. And the Aggies aren’t alone. Although he has one year remaining on his contract at LSU, there are reports the Tigers have put together a three-year, $4 million extension to keep him in Baton Rouge.“There’s a philosophy that says when you have good people, you invest in them,” LSU coach Les Miles said last week. “It’s a pretty good staff. It costs money to have them here. It’s one of the reasons why we win.”It’s nice to be wanted.There is a perception out there that Chavis never wanted to be a head coach and was content being a lifelong assistant. Fulmer says that’s not the case.“John has interviewed for some head coaching jobs and looked into things, but I don’t think the right opportunity has come up,” Fulmer said. “He keeps those things quiet because he’s not a self-promoter.”Just the same, it appears Chavis has found his life’s calling as a defensive coordinator. Doug Mathews, who worked on the same Vols coaching staff with Chavis in 1990, believes he is cut from the same cloth as assistant coaching legends like Ken Donahue at Alabama, Charlie McBride at Nebraska and Mickey Andrews at Florida State.“John’s strength is the day-to-day work of coaching — dealing directly with players in meetings and on the practice field, teaching, motivating, doing all the little things,” said Mathews, now a Nashville businessman and sports radio host. “As an assistant coach, you can’t beat him.”Chavis has a work ethic like few others. He is a product of his youth. He grew up poor, the son of sharecroppers in Dillon, S.C., where he worked the tobacco fields. After gouging out weeds between plants that were taller than him in the stifling heat and humidity of summer, football was a release.He walked on at Tennessee in 1976 and later earned a scholarship. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UT in 1979. He worked his way up the coaching ranks, returning to his alma mater as defensive line coach in 1990.His impact in the Vols’ success in the 1990s and 2000s was profound. When Chavis worked as defensive coordinator on staffs with Fulmer as head coach and David Cutcliffe as offensive coordinator during a seven-year period, the Vols went a combined 63-13 (.829).With Chavis’ blessing, players at his various coaching stops along the way have referred to him by the politically incorrect nickname “Chief,” a reference to his mother’s Cherokee heritage. With his tough but fair approach to coaching, Chavis engenders loyalty and commitment among his players.“You can have the greatest strategy and the greatest players in the world, but it doesn’t matter if they don’t play hard for you,” Fulmer said. “John has a gift for getting guys to play hard.”It’s a gift that keeps on giving.last_img read more

Sources: Infinite Esports & Entertainment purchase is imminent

first_imgInfinite Esports & Entertainment‘s purchase is close to being a done deal with a meeting next Monday revealing the outcome, sources have told Esports Insider.Immortals Gaming Club – the parent company of Immortals, MIBR, Los Angeles Valiant, and Gamers Club – is the front runner to acquire the majority share in the parent company of OpTic Gaming, OpTic LoL, and Houston Outlaws.Photo credit: LoL EsportsEsports Insider can confirm reports that surfaced earlier in the week regarding a meeting that took place between Ari Segal, CEO of Immortals, Neil Leibman, and Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez, CEO of OpTic Gaming. The discussion involved Segal gauging whether Rodriguez would be interested in a potential role should Immortals Gaming Club be successful.It’s currently a two-horse race when it comes to parties being in the running to acquire the company, with Immortals Gaming Club going up against Rodriguez and Chris Chaney, Founder and Co-owner of Infinite Esports & Entertainment. The exact outcome of Wednesday’s meeting hasn’t been made known to all parties at the time of writing, though the impending meeting will indeed be the source of the decision.Earlier this week, Esports Insider reported that Immortals Gaming Club was “very likely” to be successful in the purchase of the majority share. Should the company prove successful in its bid, it’s expected to set up a holding company for Overwatch League franchise Houston Outlaws while it attempts to sell it – reported ownership rules means it can’t retain the brand as it already owns Los Angeles Valiant.If Rodriquez and Chaney are unsuccessful in their attempt to purchase majority ownership in Infinite Esports & Entertainment then it’s expected that they would attempt to acquire a spot in Activision Blizzard‘s upcoming franchised Call of Duty league, according to sources.Esports Insider says: It appears that this situation is going the way that it was expected to earlier in the week, though it’s not quite over just yet. It’s hard to predict what Immortals Gaming Club would do with the OpTic Gaming brand should the deal go in its favour but it’s even harder to see an outcome where the organisations remains fully intact.Follow ESI on Instagramlast_img read more

Rail expansion ‘to boost SA economy’

first_img5 February 2014 The upgrading and expanding of South Africa’s rail network will relieve the burden on the roads, significantly increase the country’s export capacity and stimulate further investment and job creation, says Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba. Speaking at a briefing in Pretoria on Monday, Gigaba said a total of 6 405 kilometres of rail would be replaced on South Africa’s general freight, coal and ore lines, increasing the country’s freight capacity by 149.7-million tonnes. “Existing logistics corridors will be expanded and new ones will be established, and 1 317 new locomotives and 25 000 new wagons will be procured [over the next five years],” he said. “We will be able to increase our exports of coal by over 50%. Our ability to move general freight on rail will have more than doubled in capacity, and Transnet’s container handling capacity will increase by 75%.”Catalysts for further investment, employment Gigaba said that state-owned companies were acting as catalysts for additional investment in the economy. Infrastructure development was a critical stimulant, Gigaba said, with Eskom planning to invest over R500-billion in the economy over the next five years, and Transnet set to invest over R300-billion over a seven-year period. State-owned companies falling under the Department of Public Enterprises invested R53-billion in the economy three years ago, Gigaba said; this year they would be investing over R113-billion – an increase of over 100%. “Our infrastructure state-owned companies are already key providers of employment, and with the additional infrastructure capacity that will be built, [they] will become even more important sources of employment.” By 2017, he said, Transnet alone would support the direct and indirect employment of approximately 30 000 people. The company had also secured R175-million from the Department of Higher Education and Training to recruit and train 1 000 learners to study maritime engineering. “State-owned companies are playing a leading role in skills development and will be investing over R2.8-billion in the current financial year,” he added. “Over the last year, more than 16 000 learners were trained in scarce and critical learning programmes within state-owned companies of the DPE.” Also addressing Monday’s briefing, outgoing Eskom CEO Brian Dame said the power utility was “serious about helping black business to bloom”, and that Eskom had “finalised the structure of a fund for developing mines to assist emerging black miners”. Gigaba added: “By 2015, we will ensure that over 50% of coal for Eskom comes from black miners.” Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more