Vermont’s innovative solar program a finalist for national Readers Choice award

first_imgAn innovative solar program recently established by Vermont is up for a national award.The Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards, hosted by Renewable Energy World, has selected Vermont’s registration program for small solar systems as a finalist for its Readers Choice Award.Online voting is open through January 20 and is open to the public.The winner will be announced in Long Beach, California in mid-February.‘Given the national interest in Vermont’s innovative program, we think there’s a real shot we could capture the Readers Choice. We hope Vermonters and folks throughout the industry will weigh in and vote,’ said Andrew Savage of AllEarth Renewables in Williston. ‘Many Vermonters familiar with the solar industry are eager to see our state be a national model for cutting installation costs, making solar more affordable and accessible to homeowners.’With Vermont’s newly implemented law, small solar systems now have a simple pre-determined process that reduces paperwork and uncertainty and means they can be installed after just 10 days. The new process replaces all permitting for ground or roof-mounted solar systems 5kW and smaller with a single basic registration form outlining the system components, configuration, and compliance with interconnection requirements.”As a local installer, this new registration process is enormously helpful. This speeds up the installation process allowing us to avoid wasting time with costly delays for small installations,” said Rich Nicol, of Solartech, an installer in northeastern Vermont.A recent study earlier this year by SunRun, a leading national provider of residential solar systems, found that permitting adds an average cost of $2,500 to each solar installation and that streamlining the often-cumbersome processes would provide a $1 billion no-cost stimulus to the solar industry over the next five years.The report finds that the additional installation cost’ $.50 per watt’ is due to wide permitting variations not connected to safety, excessive fees, and an unnecessarily slow process. The report cites that Germany has a 40 percent advantage over the United States in installation price.Vermont’s new registration process, which is free, went into effect at the end of last year. The legislation,which became Act 47 and was signed into law May 25, 2011, received strong bipartisan support.‘We think the Vermont registration process could be a real model to follow nationally,’ said Jurgen Krehnke, president and general manager of SMA America. ‘Reducing the time and resources that go into solar installations is right in line with the DOE’s SunShot initiative and is critical to increasing PV adoption.’Williston, Vermont January 16, 2012last_img read more

Congressional leaders echo CUNA’s call for rulemaking pause

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, have echoed CUNA’s call for a pause in rulemakings from federal regulators unless they are designed to help them during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.Such a moratorium was first on the list of suggestions in a letter CUNA sent to the administration this week outlining changes that could help credit unions better serve members affected by the COVID-19.CUNA’s letter to the administration called on NCUA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to “suspend all pending rulemakings – and not propose additional rulemakings – except those intended to reduce regulatory burden or to facilitate credit unions service to members during this crisis.” continue reading »last_img read more

GO-TIME: New State Employment Website Offers Improved Experience for Job Seekers

first_imgGO-TIME: New State Employment Website Offers Improved Experience for Job Seekers May 17, 2017 Efficiency,  GO-TIME,  Government That Works,  Innovation,  Press Release,  Results Harrisburg, PA. — An overhaul of the state’s job website and improvements to the application process are helping to make commonwealth employment more attractive to job seekers, according to the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME).“For many years, outdated hiring processes have made it difficult for state agencies to compete with other employers in the job market,” said Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich. “This is the first step in a much bigger effort to transform how we recruit and retain talent in state government.”The new website at www.employment.pa.gov lists non-civil service vacancies, as well as test announcements for civil service positions. Previously, individuals had to go to two different websites for information on commonwealth testing and employment.The website also includes a comprehensive list of high school, college, and graduate school student internship programs that were previously dispersed across multiple websites.Non-civil service postings are now vacancy-specific and include the position title, work location and description of duties. Previously, individuals had to apply to general job categories without knowing the exact position or if any openings were available.“The hiring process is more transparent for applicants and for managers,” said Minnich. “Job seekers know they are applying to a specific job that needs to be filled, and managers know that applicants are both interested in the work and available for the position.Job seekers can also subscribe to be notified by email when vacancies become available, rather than constantly revisiting the site to check for new postings. The website and online job application are both mobile device friendly.The new vacancy-based job postings are currently available only for non-civil service positions . The Office of Administration (OA) is working with the State Civil Service Commission to implement vacancy-based postings for the positions that it fills. Approximately 70 percent of all positions in state government are civil service.OA is also working with the commission to fully transition its test announcements and online application process to employment.pa.gov. This will enable individuals to view and apply for state government jobs on one website, using the same online application.The Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME), works with state agencies to modernize government operations in order to reduce costs and improve services. State agencies already saved over $156 million and Governor Wolf challenged GO-TIME to build upon this success by achieving $500 million in savings by 2020.To learn more about GO-TIME, visit www.governor.pa.gov/go-time.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Experts outline initiatives for future dengue vaccine and control of dengue fever

first_imgHealthLifestyle Experts outline initiatives for future dengue vaccine and control of dengue fever by: – November 9, 2011 Sharing is caring! Share Tweet Image via: topnews.inSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Dengue v2V, a group of international experts in dengue, public health and vaccinology, held a meeting in Puerto Rico on 5–6 November 2011 to continue to outline steps for the introduction of a dengue vaccine once licensed. Dengue is a threat to almost half of the world’s population, and a public health priority in Latin America and Asia where epidemics are common.“Puerto Rico was a relevant venue for this meeting given its location and experience with both endemic and epidemic dengue activity,” said Dr Harold Margolis, Chief of the Dengue Branch at the Centers for Disease Control, Puerto Rico and co-chair of the meeting. “In addition to mosquito control measures, a dengue vaccine is seen as the best way to effectively control dengue.” “The well coordinated introduction of a dengue vaccine will be crucial to reducing the burden of disease, but vaccination programs are complex to implement and dengue itself presents unique challenges. It is critical that we anticipate the challenges ahead of us and start preparing now,” said Associate Professor Joseph Torresi, Austin Health and University of Melbourne, Australia, and co-chair of the meeting.Attendees at the meeting included dengue experts, vaccinology experts, and public health officials from Puerto Rico, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, the French Caribbean, Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States, who drew on their experiences with dengue and other vaccination programs to propose strategies for dengue vaccine introduction and evaluation of its effectiveness. Encouragingly, the most advanced vaccine candidate is in the final stages of clinical development.The meeting in Puerto Rico is part of the ongoing efforts of Dengue v2V to ensure that a dengue vaccine, once licensed, is readily available to those who need it most. The objectives of Dengue v2V include:• Documenting the human and economic burden of dengue• Providing guidance regarding vaccine adoption strategies based on clinical, epidemiological and other technical data• Making recommendations regarding the introduction of a dengue vaccine for routine and catch-up immunization The Puerto Rico meeting follows a regional meeting in Singapore in 2010 which focused on the introduction of a dengue vaccine into national immunisation programs in the Asia–Pacific region.Caribbean News Nowcenter_img Share 17 Views   no discussions Sharelast_img read more

The Latest: Serie A will resume only when gov’t gives OK

first_imgThe Tour de Suisse has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, removing one of the few cycling events left on the calendar before the Tour de France is due to start.The nine-day Swiss race was scheduled to run from June 6-14 and is designed to give riders a chance to prepare for the three-week Tour de France. The French race is still scheduled to start on June 27.Colombian rider Egan Bernal won in Switzerland last year ahead of his first Tour de France title.Organizers in Switzerland say its “the first time since the Second World War that the traditional event will not take place.”They say “the risk of additional strain on the Swiss health system due to possible crashes during racing is high.” Associated Press Twelve athletes were arrested in Iten earlier this week for breaching Kenyan government regulations on social gatherings during the COVID-19 crisis. The runners were arrested for training in a group, which has been banned in Kenya. Training camps have been shut down and athletes must train alone.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Mental health experts who were supposed to be available to help American athletes at the Tokyo Olympics are being asked to start working now. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee says the experts are leading discussions about mental health and wellness for athletes and staff in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Those same experts will also be on hand at the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed a year.The USOPC also disclosed the 13 members of a new external mental health task force created to support American athletes and coaches. It includes Olympians, doctors and the head of The Speedy Foundation, a mental-health organization named after the late Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, an Olympic silver medalist in aerials. That group is working with an internal group at the USOC being led by chief medical officer Jonathan Finnoff. The league had given a return date of April 30 amid the coronavirus outbreak but now says the season “will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.”It says there remained a “combined objective” for all remaining domestic league and cup matches to be played to maintain the integrity of each competition.The league also says it has consulted players over a pay deduction or deferral of 30%.It also voted to advance funds of 125 million pounds ($150 million) to clubs in the English Football League and fifth-tier National League.___ German soccer club Borussia Dortmund is converting part of its stadium into a treatment center amid the coronavirus pandemic.The Bundesliga club says a space inside Germany’s largest soccer stadium has been made available for medical staff to examine people with virus symptoms.The move comes after an influx of suspected coronavirus cases put existing facilities in the city of Dortmund under strain.The center will open on Saturday.___ Officials say they’re working to find a new date for the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown.The Maryland Jockey Club and Stronach Group announced Friday that whenever the Preakness is run in 2020, it will go on without infield activities that had been one of the race’s biggest traditions. The Preakness was scheduled for May 16 in Baltimore.The organizations say in a joint statement finding a new date for the Preakness “will take into consideration all of the recommended best practices from local and governmental health authorities to protect our community.” The Kentucky Derby was postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5. No decision has yet been made on the Belmont Stakes, which is scheduled for June 6 at Belmont Park in New York.___The Lawn Tennis Association is giving up to 20 million pounds ($24 million) through grants and interest-free loans to help venues, coaches, officials, and players in Britain during the coronavirus pandemic. The league was set to open training camps on April 26 and the regular season was to begin on May 15. The WNBA will still hold a “virtual” draft on April 17.Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement. “While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats, our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees.” The WNBA, which was set to begin its 24th season, is the longest running professional women’s sports league.___The Premier League has pushed back its restart date and says play will not resume at the beginning of May. World Triathlon has extended its suspension of all events from the end of April to the end of June because of the coronavirus outbreak.The latest events to be called off include the Yokohama leg of the world series, three African Cups, three American events, four Asian Cups, one event in Oceania and eight in Europe.World Triathlon president Marisol Casado says “the suspension of all activities doesn’t mean at all that we stop working” on finding alternative dates.___The WNBA has postponed the start of its season because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, team officials emailed letters to those with payment plans, giving them a Wednesday deadline to accept the offer.The final two installments were initially due April 15 and May 15. The Colts have not announced any changes about the May payment.“In light of the unique circumstances right now, we have decided to modify the payment options for members of our season ticket family on payment plans,” the letter reads in part.The move comes one day after the Indiana High School Athletic Association canceled the entire spring sports season. State officials had previously announced all schools would remain closed for the rest of the academic year.___ The Italian league has been suspended since March 9, when the government ordered a nationwide lockdown.A new government decree issued this week prevents clubs from training — even in small groups — for at least another 10 days.Twelve rounds of Serie A remain, plus four games that were postponed from the weekend of Feb. 22. Also, the Italian Cup semifinals were interrupted after the first leg.Following a video conference meeting of all 20 Serie A clubs on Friday, the league said “it will await the decrees from the government and place in primary consideration taking care of the athletes’ health and all people involved.”___center_img He says no players or members of the coaching staff have shown any symptoms or been tested. Pierce said Friday he doesn’t know the identity of those who were tested. He said at least 18 or 19 days have passed since any members of the team would have had contact with the employees.“Everyone that has been tested, the symptoms they had or reported, they do feel better,” Pierce said. He said he has “become a master of this Zoom app” while having video conferencing with players, assistants and other NBA coaches.___The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts are giving season-ticket holders the option to defer April’s payment until June 15. Singles players world ranked from 101 to 750 and doubles players ranked from 101 to 250 — who are not already receiving funding — are eligible for grants, and there will be increased prize money for British tour events if the tours resume. This week, Wimbledon was canceled and the tours suspended the British grass-court season.Most of the focus of the LTA package is on protecting the grassroots, including continued funding for development centers and the two national academies, and supporting full-time coaches.Chief executive Scott Lloyd and the executive team will take temporary pay cuts of 20%, while some staff will be furloughed next week but will be paid 80% of their salary.___Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce says team employees have been tested after exhibiting symptoms for the new coronavirus. April 3, 2020 ___The world heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev on June 20 has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The fight was scheduled to take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London and will be Joshua’s first defense of his IBF, WBA, WBO belts since he regained them from Andy Ruiz Jr.Joshua’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing, says a new date for the fight is being worked on.___ More than a dozen U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes received reassurance this week when Toyota North America announced it would extend their endorsement contracts through the rescheduled Tokyo Games in 2021.The auto company and major Olympic sponsor has 17 U.S. athletes under contract. They include swimmer David Boudia, gymnast Laurie Hernandez, Paralympian Oksana Masters and sprinter Michael Norman.The status of endorsement contracts is a major concern to athletes because most signed deals that were set to expire after this year’s scheduled Olympics. They have been rescheduled for 2021 and that has forced corporations to reset and rethink the structure of their deals.Visa is another major sponsor and has also told its global roster of nearly 100 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls that it will extend sponsorships through 2021.___ The Latest: Serie A will resume only when gov’t gives OK ___The Russian anti-doping agency is preparing to freeze all testing until May to comply with new government measures shutting down work deemed non-essential.RUSADA deputy CEO Margarita Pakhnotskaya tells The Associated Press that her agency is looking for possible exemptions to instructions from President Vladimir Putin for all Russians except those working in essential sectors to stay home through April 30.Pakhnotskaya says in a text message that she “will check on Monday the possibility to receive special permission” from government bodies for staff to collect samples from athletes. There will be no testing this month if that isn’t granted.Testing has been suspended since March 27 under a previous round of measures. Isolation measures around the world have led to a sharp drop in anti-doping tests. That’s led to warnings that some athletes could take advantage of the situation. The World Anti-Doping Agency says it is trying to track gaps in testing.___Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang was among 20 people arrested in Kenya for locking themselves in a bar and drinking alcohol in breach of a curfew imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.Police say the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist was among those detained at a police station in Iten, one of Kenya’s famous high-altitude towns where distance runners train. They were in breach of a 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The group included a local politician.Kipsang, who is also a police officer, was provisionally suspended this year from track and field and charged with doping offenses that include tampering with doping samples. He has also won the New York, London and Berlin marathons. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Serie A says it will consider resuming only “when health conditions permit it.”last_img read more

Syracuse cuts down on turnovers in 2nd half to beat UMBC, 82-48

first_imgAs Syracuse regrouped in the locker room at halftime, head coach Quentin Hillsman informed his team they had committed 10 turnovers — five short of SU’s per-game average. University of Maryland Baltimore County wasn’t even applying full-court pressure. The only thing preventing Syracuse from pulling away was sloppy play. “We had to take care of the ball,” SU point guard Kiara Lewis said. “That was keeping them in the game.” In the second half, Syracuse did just that, coughing the ball up just twice. In the deciding third quarter, which the Orange won 26-12, they scored eight points off UMBC turnovers without committing any of their own. By limiting their mistakes and turning UMBC (2-7) turnovers into points, Syracuse (5-4) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 82-48 win in the Carrier Dome. “That’s our goal, to make sure we get a shot every time down the floor,” Hillsman said. “We want to make the defense work, to crash the boards and get some offensive rebounds, and the way you can do that is to get the ball on the glass. Not letting the ball go out of bounds or having a live-ball turnover. So I thought we did a good job in the second half.” Early on, SU couldn’t build a comfortable lead despite forcing seven turnovers and going on a 9-0 run in the first quarter. The Orange shot 2-for-10 from behind the arc in the game’s first 10 minutes and coughed up six turnovers, leading only 17-15 after the first frame.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFreshman guard Teisha Hyman and junior forward Digna Strautmane said SU needs to start games with more “intensity.” Hillsman said his players may have been fatigued from their recent road trips — Sunday was SU’s first home game in two weeks. But the second quarter began with more of the same sluggishness. After a Gabrielle Cooper turnover, two UMBC players ran down the court with only SU point guard Lewis between them and the basket. But before the Retrievers could get a layup in transition, Lewis picked off their back-and-forth lob pass inside.On the other end, Taleah Washington drove to the basket, but her layup missed. The helter-skelter sequence represented a frantically-paced half in which both teams struggled to protect the ball. UMBC, which commits an average of 20 turnovers per game (309th out of 348 in nation), turned it over 21 times, while SU recorded 12 turnovers in total.Still, Syracuse went into halftime with a 38-27 lead fueled by and-1 conversions by Lewis (12 points, five assists, four steals) and Amaya Finklea-Guity (13 points, seven rebounds).In the second half, Syracuse clicked on offense, scoring 26 points without turning the ball over once in the third quarter. After she intercepted a kickout pass halfway through the third, Cooper took the ball coast-to-coast and finished a layup to give Syracuse a 24-point lead, capping a 17-4 run. As the Orange forced turnovers, they often found forward Digna Strautmane spotting up along the 3-point line. Strautmane took all but one of her shot attempts from behind the arc, finishing 5-for-9 from deep for a team-high 17 points. Typically, teams force her to put the ball on the floor by running her off the 3-point line. “Maybe they didn’t scout me enough because usually teams we’ve played before take away my shot, so I have to find other options to score,” Strautmane said. “I was shocked, too.” As Strautmane paced the offense, SU’s defense continued to generate steals and blocks. At one point, when UMBC beat Syracuse’s press, Cooper hustled back on defense, knocking the ball off a Retrievers’ leg and out of bounds before she could attempt a layup.To start the fourth quarter, Lewis snagged a steal in the press and fed Hyman for an easy lay-in, extending SU’s lead to 27. Hyman gave Syracuse a jolt off the bench with 16 points, three assists and no turnovers in her 16 minutes.UMBC – Syracuse’s final non-Power 5 team on its schedule – presented Syracuse an opportunity to get back on track. Orange head coach Quentin Hillsman said he scheduled top-ranked nonconference opponents to prepare his team for ACC play, which begins on Dec. 29. These “opportunities” to compete with the best teams in the nation — No. 1 Stanford, No. 3 Oregon and No. 24 Michigan — give his team the best chance to earn resume-boosting wins and have built “toughness,” he said. So far, SU has come up empty-handed, going 0-3 against ranked opponents while dropping out of the AP poll. Syracuse’s bounce-back win on Sunday came off a loss to Michigan in which SU committed a season-high 24 turnovers.“We’ve tested (ourselves) so no one in the country can look at this team and say, ‘They didn’t play anybody.’ They’re going to say the opposite,” Hillsman said.Syracuse entered Sunday’s contest on a three-game losing skid, the program’s first since the 2013-14 season. A loss would’ve given SU its first four-game losing streak since 2009. The Retrievers, on the other hand, rode a five-game losing streak into the Carrier Dome, and their turnovers led them to exit with a 34-point loss.“To get back home and play well, I’m really, really pleased for that,” Hillsman said. “Second half was fantastic.”  Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 8, 2019 at 4:10 pm Contact Danny: dremerma@syr.edu | @DannyEmermanlast_img read more