NJ DEP’s Debbie Mans Talks About State Conservation Efforts

first_imgMans explained that the NJDEP is looking both outward and inward to see where the state can plug into federal clean energy initiatives, as well as act as a leader.Mans spoke of an executive order signed by Murphy in May that set a goal of 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind capacity to be generated off New Jersey’s coast by the year 2030.“This is an area where we’re playing a bit of catch up with other coastal states,” Mans said, noting recently announced projects in Massachusetts and New York.The NJDEP has pinpointed four favorable sites at least three miles off the coast of southern New Jersey in federally regulated waters. The state recently concluded several stakeholder meetings, including one in Belmar, and is currently in the midst of a public comment period to better understand the ramifications of developing these sites and what impact they may have on surrounding wildlife, including bird migrations. UPHOLDING PARIS AGREEMENTMans also stated that New Jersey had joined the United States Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 16 states and Puerto Rico, which is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.President Donald Trump announced in June that he intends to pull the country out of the international accord on Nov. 4, 2020 – the earliest possible withdrawal date – due to cost concerns, job loss and negative impacts on the coal industry.“Just because the United States pulled out of it doesn’t mean that we as a state can’t go and achieve the goals,” Mans said. “There’s a lot we can be doing locally and as a state to make a difference.”This article was first published in the July 26-Aug. 2, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times. Mans said. “And we can step in to help groups and municipalities financially to purchase land, if and when they find a willing seller.”CLEAN ENERGY BY 2050 “For a long time we did have a state plan that really did try to direct nodes of growth and open space preservation, in conjunction with counties and local entities. And that’s sort of been withering on the vine for the past few years,” said Mans, who was appointed to the NJDEP in February after serving as the executive director of the Keyport-based NY/NJ Baykeeper. By Chris Rotolo | HOLMDEL – Monmouth County is rapidly developing vacant land along its highways and waterfront, but there is a renewed desire by the state to preserve open space.At a July 16 meeting of local environmentalists in Holmdel, deputy commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Debbie Mans, said state planning could have an impact on conservation efforts. With approximately 25 members of the Holmdel-based Citizens for Informed Land Use organization in attendance, Mans discussed NJDEP’s agenda under Murphy, including a commitment to completely renewable clean energy by 2050.One aspect of that process includes the NJDEP rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cooperative effort among 10 Northeast and mid-Atlantic states to cap and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector, including the placement of mandatory compliance obligations on fossil-fueled power plants.THE POWER OF WIND Though Mans understands that most land use choices are decided at the municipal and county levels, she did state that Gov. Phil Murphy is interested in bringing the idea of conservation back to the forefront with state planning.The mindset of Mans and Murphy is aligned with Two River-area citizens groups like the Neighbors for Waterfront Property in Atlantic Highlands who are working to preserve one of the last remaining tracts of undeveloped land on the Bayshore from being developed into 21 homes, and those in Middletown who are entrenched in a battle to hinder the Village 35 project.“A lot of these choices are very local, but when our regulations are triggered we have permitting authority,”last_img read more

Women’s Roller Derby back on the flat track Saturday in Rossland

first_imgSome of the teams have changed, but when the West Kootenay Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby League opens the 2013 season Saturday in  Rossland there no doubt will once again be plenty of action to go around.The Rossland Arena is the site of the first doubleheader of the season when the Castlegar’s Dam City Rollers meet Salmo’s Babes of Brutality at 5 p.m.At 7 p.m., the new and improved Rossland/Trail Roller Girls host Nelson’s KillJoys.Doors open at 4 p.m.”Will this be the bout that the Dam City Rollers finally take down their nemesis, the Babes of Brutality?” said Lori Clyde of the West Kootenay Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby League.”Or will the Babes hold back the flood gates one more time?” The West Kootenay Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby League consists of five teams this season, down a few from 2012.Along with Castlegar’s Dam City Rollers, Salmo’s Babes of Brutality, Nelson Killjoys and the new Rossland/Trail Roller Girls is the Slocan’s Valley Vendettas.The league plays a host of doubleheaders throughout the summer before the season concludes with the championship bout.Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track. Game play consists of a series of short matchups (“jams”) in which both teams designate a scoring player (the “jammer”) who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.The teams attempt to assist their own jammer whilst hindering the opposing jammer — in effect, playing both offense and defense simultaneously.West Kootenay Roller Derby is made up of 5 house teams and 1 Travel team; Castlegar’s Dam City Rollers, Salmo’s Babes of Brutality, Slocan’s Valley Vendettas, the Nelson Killjoys and Rossland Trail Roller Girls. The WKWFTRDL travel team is the Kootenay Kannibelles which is made up of a stellar bunch of athletes from all the house teams who recently placed fourth in  the National tournament held in March in Edmonton. The Kannibelles will be representing the league again this year in the western finals in Fernie in July.last_img read more

SANTA ANITA OPENING DAY FANS TO BE TREATED TO POPULAR WALL CALENDAR ON DEC. 26 & MATHIS BROTHERS FURNITURE TO OFFER THE FIRST 20,000 FANS A $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE PLUS HOLIDAY TOYS TO 5,000 KIDS 17 & UNDER

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 22, 2015)–Santa Anita’s Winter Meet Opening Day, Saturday, Dec. 26, will offer fans much more than just world class Thoroughbred action in American racing’s most beautiful winter setting. In addition to four graded stakes, all on-track fans will receive the track’s traditional full color wall calendar, free with paid admission and Mathis Brothers Furniture, sponsor of the opening day Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) will provide the first 20,000 fans with a $100 gift certificate, redeemable at Mathis Brothers, one of America’s leading furniture retailers. Additionally, the first 5,000 kids, 17 and under, will receive a miniature Thoroughbred plush toy, courtesy of Mathis Brothers Furniture.In addition to the Mathis Brothers Mile, Santa Anita will also present a pair of Grade I, seven furlong stakes worth $300,000 each; the Malibu and the La Brea. The Grade III, $100,000 Daytona Stakes, for 3-year-olds and up at 6 ½ furlongs down the track’s hillside turf course, will round out the opening day stakes action.Santa Anita’s Vice President of Marketing, Nate Newby, noted that the partnership forged between The Great Race Place and Mathis Brothers Furniture has become synonymous with Opening Day.“We are thrilled to continue to grow our Opening Day partnership with Mathis Brothers,” said Newby. “They are (again) sponsoring the race but we’ve also developed a marketing partnership with promotions, contests, and giveaways that drive traffic to Santa Anita as well as to the Mathis Brothers flagship store just a few miles away in Ontario.“Plus, we love working with people like Bill Mathis, who is a horse owner and enthusiastic racing fan. It makes these types of partnerships more fun and generally more beneficial for both companies.”Themed “What’s In a Name,” the 2016 wall calendar will no doubt be in keen demand among racegoers everywhere as fans will be treated to monthly depictions of how notable Thoroughbreds, who have competed at The Great Race Place over a period of nine decades, have come to be named.Opening Day attendees are also encouraged to come in their “Holiday Best,” and participate in Santa Anita’s “Passion for Fashion” contest, which will reward the winner with a $2,500 gift certificate redeemable at Mathis Brothers Furniture.All fans 18 and over are eligible to sign up for “Passion for Passion” in the East Paddock Gardens near Champions! Gifts and Apparel. The top 10 “Passion” finalists will be announced before the Mathis Brothers Mile, with the winner taking home the $2,500 Mathis Brothers gift certificate and six passes to Santa Anita’s popular Winner’s Terrace, which adjoins the Winner’s Circle.Santa Anita’s popular Guest Chef Series will also return on Opening Day, with LA’s hottest culinary event taking place in the track’s luxurious Chandelier Room. Fans are encouraged to experience some of LA’s most innovative restaurants steeped in the timeless tradition of Thoroughbred racing in this one-of-a-kind event.Fans can enjoy an amazing menu created by LA’s own, The Church Key, and experience live music provided by the mult-talented James Torme’. Guest Chef Series tickets are on sale now at santaanita.com/chefseries.For more contest information on opening day at Santa Anita, please visit santaanita.com, or call (626) 574-RACE. ‘PASSION FOR FASHION’ CONTEST TO OFFER WINNER $2,500 MATHIS BROTHERS GIFT CERTIFICATE last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN/MIKE WILLMAN – THURSDAY MARCH 16, 2017

first_imgKent Desormeaux1312816 1421%44%$1,646,817 Edwin Maldonado71117 717%37%$735,542 $1 MILLION DOLLAR ST. PAT’S PITCH WINNER RECALLED 1022%53%$1,302,356 232%55%$261,930 1432%68%$1,871,827 322%50%$213,575 Mark Glatt72911 3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Kristin Mulhall3276 2917%48%$2,115,582 920%39%$820,176 Joseph Talamo1452015 ECLIPSE CHAMP FINEST CITY STRETCHES OUT IN SANTA MARGARITAFinest City attempts to successfully negotiate the longest distance she’s ever traveled on dirt in Saturday’s Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile and an eighth.She’ll have to conquer streaking Vale Dori while she’s at it. The five-year-old Argentine-bred mare trained by Bob Baffert has won three straight Grade II events, and four races in a row, all on or close to the lead and all by daylight margins.Trainer Ian Kruljac feels Finest City is up to the task, even though the five-year-old daughter of City Zip is coming off two seven furlong victories and has never run further than one mile on dirt, finishing third behind champions Beholder and Stellar Wind in the Grade I Vanity Mile at Santa Anita last June.Finest City would go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5 and earn an Eclipse Award as best in her division.“We’ll be close to the pace, but if she wants to be on the lead, she will be,” said Ian, 28-year-old son of trainer Eric Kruljac. “If (supplemental entry) Perfect Pic wants to go, I’m sure we’ll let her go.“Hopefully, we’re the fastest horse in the race at the end of it.”Finest City has been ridden by Mike Smith in her last two races, but with the Hall of Fame jockey at Oaklawn Park Saturday to ride Sham Stakes runner-up American Anthem in the Rebel Stakes, Kruljac has Tyler Baze back on Finest City.Baze has ridden her twice, finishing a distant second in an overnight race at Los Alamitos in December of 2015 and third in the Vanity.Owned by Seltzer Thoroughbreds, Finest City came into her own late last year, following her seven furlong Breeders’ Cup victory at 8-1 with a comfortable 3 ¾-length win Jan. 21 in the Grade II Santa Monica Stakes, also at seven furlongs, as the 2-5 favorite.Overall, the chestnut mare bred in Pennsylvania has a 5-4-2 record with earnings of $1,045,594.“She’s been more than a surprise,” Kruljac said. “She’s been a blessing.”The field for the Santa Margarita, race nine of 10: Autumn Flower, Martin Pedroza; Vale Dori, Rafael Bejarano; Finest City, Tyler Baze; Show Stealer, Kent Desormeaux; Lady Tapit, Mario Gutierrez; Perfect Pic, Santiago Gonzalez; Wild At Heart, Flavien Prat; and Estrechada, Stewart Elliott.            Jon White’s morning line for Saturday’s Grade I Santa Margarita from the rail out: Autumn Flower (20-1), Vale Dori (9-5), Finest City (8-5), Show Stealer (8-1), Lady Tapit (20-1), Perfect Pic (5-1), Wild At Heart (6-1) and Estrechada (15-1). 3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Stewart Elliott1441516 918%58%$485,064 Jeff Bonde2273 Bob Baffert58138 Steven Miyadi58815 Tyler Baze2303943 Mike Smith56186 Jockey Standings 2311%48%$487,537 2216%50%$1,365,470 Corey Nakatani70127 (Current Through Sunday, March 12, 2017 Inclusive) 521%44%$490,995 1610%39%$621,263 1914%37%$681,423 614%50%$385,761 2110%36%$743,388 4122%57%$3,115,225 2114%52%$631,813 1817%49%$1,159,076 J. Keith Desormeaux3984 Peter Miller932821 William Spawr28104 1412%37%$399,685 TrainerMts1st2nd 1318%48%$1,077,870 Peter Eurton52115 Victor Espinoza62915 Vladimir Cerin50911 930%62%$1,354,941 Santiago Gonzalez1221220 Martin Pedroza1081520 Richard Baltas1182020 (Current Through Sunday, March 12, 2017 Inclusive) O’NEILL’S SMOOVE IT DEFENDS TITLE IN SATURDAY’S IRISH O’BRIEN 336%61%$303,596 TEAM O’NEILL EYES ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION            What could be more fitting than a trainer named O’Neill winning a race called the Irish O’Brien in honor of St. Patrick’s Day?Nothing.Which is why Doug O’Neill is optimistic that Smoove It can capture Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes restricted to horses bred or sired in California for the second straight year. The six-year-old Square Eddie mare won the race in 2016 by 3 ¼ lengths.The Irish O’Brien is run over Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course at about 6 ½ furlongs, where Smoove It has found a home, boasting a 3-2-2 record from nine starts over the layout for owner Reddam Racing, LLC.“She’s the defending champ and she drew well,” O’Neill said, alluding to her number seven post position. “She’s doing well, but Enola Gray, who just beat her (in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf on Jan. 28) is in there and she looks pretty tough.“The field is loaded with talent but we’re very happy with the way Smoove It is going into it and we definitely think this is her preferred surface.”As to a pending celebration should Smoove It win the Irish O’Brien, O’Neill said, “We’ll be drinking green beer after the big effort.”The Irish O’Brien, which goes as race seven: Chaulk O Lattey, Rafael Bejarano; Roo’s Valentine, Martin Pedroza; Enola Gray, Tyler Baze; Desert Steel, Flavien Prat; Lily Kai, Stewart Elliott; Bert’s Melody, Brice Blanc; Smoove It, Mario Gutierrez; Cuddle Alert, Corey Nakatani; Emmy and I, Joe Talamo; and Late ‘n Left, Edwin Maldonado.MULHALL/PEDROZA COMBO TEAM IN SATURDAY’S IRISH O’BRIENTrainer Kristin Mulhall and jockey Martin Pedroza are hoping the Luck of the Irish is with them on Saturday, as they team-up with Roo’s Valentine in the $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes, for older fillies and mares bred or sired in California at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course.A 4-year-old filly by Vronsky, Roo’s Valentine, who is owned by her breeder, Kretz Racing, LLC, tried the hillside turf for the first time on Feb. 10.  Breaking from the rail with open company in a second condition allowance that attracted a field of nine, she was dispatched at 24-1 and prevailed by a half length after pressing the early pace.“Six and a half wasn’t really the game plan,” said Pedroza’s longtime agent, Richie Silverstein.  “Kristin was looking for anything from six and a half to a mile.  Martin rode her like she was four to five and it worked out.”A trainer/rider combination to be reckoned with on the tough Southern California circuit, Silverstein attributes their success to several factors, including good timing and hard work.“We’ve always enjoyed riding for Kristin,” he said.  “She always been there for us.  A couple years ago at the Del Mar Fall Meet, most of her help was up here, at Santa Anita, and she needed some help with her horses down there.  Kristin starts at 5 a.m. and Martin was there to get the horses out.  He’d get on three or four before the first break…He knows her horses and he knows what she wants.  We try to ride whatever Kristin has for us.”A one-time stakes winner versus state-breds at age two, Roo’s Valentine, who has an overall mark of 13-4-2-4, with earnings of $255,555, rates a big chance as a sharp horse breaking from post position two in Saturday’s 10-horse Irish O’Brien.RANCHO CUCAMONGA MAN WON $1 MILLION ST. PAT’S PITCH NINE YEARS AGO            With the return of the $1 million St. Pat’s Pitch here on Saturday, memories harken back to a special moment in Santa Anita history, when John Placzankis, a 41-year-old warehouse manager from Rancho Cucamonga, electrified an on-track crowd of 15,660 with a million dollar ringer on March 15, 2008.“The drinks are on me,” bellowed Placzankis from Santa Anita’s main track.  “I barely got the entry in on time.  I’m a big Duke (basketball) fan and I lost money on them today.  I was watching the game and I wasn’t thinking about the contest…I was just trying to relax.  I’m pretty calm and I was actually just trying to throw it like a softball…and I didn’t want to go over the line.  I probably hadn’t done it in like 30 years.”A native of New Rochelle, New York, Placzankis was thinking of family in the aftermath of his million dollar toss.“I’ll pay some bills and take care of my nieces and nephews…I’m also going to take care of my mom back home.”Registration forms for Saturday’s $1 Million Dollar St. Pat’s Pitch will be available, free of charge, on-track.  A total of five finalists will be randomly selected.  Four of them will be from those submitted on-track and one finalist will be selected via online signup, at santaanita.com/events.FINISH LINES: Bob Baffert, reached by text this morning, reports Grade II San Felipe winner Mastery, who underwent surgery to repair a condylar fracture to his left front ankle on Monday at Santa Anita, stated:  “He came out of surgery fine and he looks good.”…Get Well wishes go out to our own Ed Golden, who has been dealing with the effects of Benign Positional Vertigo for the past week…With “Big Money” Mike Smith out of town to ride Baffert’s American Anthem in Saturday’s Grade II Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Baffert has enlisted Rafael Bejarano to ride Vale Dori in Saturday’s Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes.  Smith had ridden the Argentine-bred mare to three consecutive graded stakes victories; the Grade II Bayakoa at Del Mar on Dec. 3, the Grade II La Canada here on Jan. 14 and the Grade II Santa Maria on Feb. 11.  Prior to getting injured, Bejarano had guided her to two wins from four tries…While Team O’Neill’s Smoove It is the defending champ in Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien, trainer Sean McCarthy’s Bert’s Melody, who’s been idle since winning the one mile turf Fran’s Valentine here on May 28, was a close fourth beaten one length, in the 2015 O’Brien.  A 6-year-old mare by Bertrando, Bert’s Melody is owned by her breeders, Mr. and Mrs. John Barr’s Oakcrest Stable…Jon White’s morning line for Saturday’s Grade I Santa Margarita from the rail out: Autumn Flower (20-1), Vale Dori (9-5), Finest City (8-5), Show Stealer (8-1), Lady Tapit (20-1), Perfect Pic (5-1), Wild At Heart (6-1) and Estrechada (15-1). SANTA ANITA STATISTICS 621%42%$567,152 1015%39%$351,151 Doug F. O’Neill1381827 715%50%$755,487 Rafael Bejarano1252021 John W. Sadler571010 1218%56%$606,220 Trainer Standings Jerry Hollendorfer1162417 MULHALL & PEDROZA TEAM WITH ROO’S VALENTINE Philip D’Amato841512 JockeyMts1st2nd Tiago Pereira1001211 Flavien Prat2154833 Luis Contreras891010 2221%54%$1,640,389 SAN FELIPE WINNER MASTERY ON MEND AFTER SURGERY Norberto Arroyo, Jr.971910 2113%48%$1,610,651 FINEST CITY, VALE DORI MEET IN SATURDAY’S SANTA MARGARITA 913%40%$445,830last_img read more

GRANT WAIT SHOULDN’T AFFECT STUDENTS – TD

first_imgAs Donegal students prepare this week for college registration, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Charlie McConalogue has said third level institutions must not to make the process of registration difficult for students who are still awaiting approval for their maintenance grants.Deputy McConalogue explained, “This time of year can be difficult for families budgeting for the academic year.  It’s particularly bad for third level students this year after the Government’s decided to increase registration fees from €1,500 last year to €2,000 this year.“I want to remind students who are registering for their course in the coming days that their third level institution has been required by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) not to block the registration of those awaiting confirmation of approval for maintenance grants or to require them to pay the fee up front while they are waiting on their grant to be processed. “I am aware that last year, many third level institutions put pressure on students whose grant applications were delayed to pay registration fees up front or else deferred their full registration until such time as they could produce evidence letters of approval. This meant that many families were struggling to pull together the money for the registration fee while waiting for their grant application to be processed and in other cases students not being able to register fully until their grant came through.“Up to half of all students who applied for a maintenance grant this year are still waiting for their applications to be processed. But the HEA has directed all third level institutions to facilitate such students and not to delay the registration of those who inform them that they have not yet received their grant approval. Any student who finds that they are not being allowed to register or are being pressured to come up with the registration fee while awaiting grant approval should make it clear to their institution should contact the HEA.“The HEA has also requested all third level institutions to accommodate students who don’t qualify for a grant and may need the option of paying in instalments in order to meet the cost of the registration fees. Students who might need such a facility should ask their college about this.“The start of a college year can be stressful financially and it is not acceptable that any third level institution would add to the pressures on students and their families by not following the directions they have received from the HEA in this regard,” concluded Deputy McConalogue. GRANT WAIT SHOULDN’T AFFECT STUDENTS – TD was last modified: September 12th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Sheffield Wednesday boss wants Joey Barton – report

first_imgJoey Barton is wanted by Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones, according to The People.It has been suggested that QPR are looking to send Barton on loan to the Championship, where the volume of games early in the season means his 12-match ban would be served quicker.Barton, it is claimed, has already had offers from Blackburn and Nottingham Forest, with Jones now having thrown his hat into the ring.Cardiff City are set to reject an offer from Fulham for Peter Whittingham, according to The Sun on Sunday, while West Ham striker Carlton Cole has been linked with a move to Craven Cottage.It is claimed Fulham will offer £2.5m for Bluebirds midfielder Whittingham, who scored 13 goals last season.The Sunday Express say Fulham want Fraser Fyvie, 19, who has turned down a new deal at Aberdeen, while The Sun suggest the Whites are one of several clubs interested in Burnley striker Charlie Austin.There is continued speculation about Clint Dempsey’s future, with the Daily Star on Sunday reporting that Liverpool’s American owners have sanctioned an £8m bid to buy him from Fulham.The People, however, suggest the Anfield club’s offer is unlikely to be more than £6m.Striker Andy Carroll has been linked with a move to west London as part of a possible deal for Dempsey.The former Newcastle man is also wanted by West Ham, and The People say Fulham will move for Cole if the Hammers get Carroll.This page is regularly updated. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Things in Space that Shouldn’t Be

first_imgA history of astronomy and a history of surprise discoveries in space would track pretty well.  Recent stories show that the trend continues even today.Wet moon:  The moon was thought to be depleted of volatiles – until now.  According to PhysOrg, “Researchers discover water on the moon is widespread, similar to Earth’s.”  Shouldn’t all this have been known since the Apollo astronauts brought back rocks from the moon?  Well, researchers at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville have re-analyzed some samples and are “once again turning what scientists thought they knew about the moon on its head,” the article exclaimed.    They don’t mean they found lakes and oceans there (despite the Latin root for Mare, ocean).  Instead, they detected molecular water elements or “lunar dew” in apatite similar to amounts in Earth basalts.  Their paper, published in Nature,1 said, “Here we report quantitative ion microprobe measurements of late-stage apatite from lunar basalt 14053 that document concentrations of H, Cl and S that are indistinguishable from apatites in common terrestrial igneous rocks.”    What does this mean?  “One possible implication,” the abstract stated, “is that portions of the lunar mantle or crust are more volatile-rich than previously thought.”  And if volatiles are rich, the leading theory for the moon’s formation becomes poor.  PhysOrg explained:The finding of volatiles on the moon has deep implications for how it, and the Earth, formed.  It is generally believed that the moon was created when the early Earth was hit by a Mars-sized proto-planet called Theia, melting and vaporizing itself and a large chunk of the Earth.  The cloud of particles created by the impact later congealed to form the moon, which supposedly was devoid of highly volatile elements such as hydrogen and chlorine.  However, the researchers’ discovery of these volatiles challenges this theory.    “If water in the Moon was residue water kept during the giant impact, it is surprising that water survived the impact at all because less volatile elements, such as sodium and potassium, are strongly depleted.  The details of the impact theory need to be re-examined,’ [Yang] Liu [U Tennessee] said.Theia appears poised to join Nemesis in the arsenal of imaginary terrorists (see 07/21/2010).Mercurial sleeper awakes:  “Every time we’ve encountered Mercury, we’ve discovered new phenomena.”  That’s PhysOrg quoting says MESSENGER principal investigator Sean Solomon [Carnegie Institution].  “We’re learning that Mercury is an extremely dynamic planet, and it has been so throughout its history.”    That’s a very different picture than a few years ago, when Mercury was supposed to be a dead world, long ago frozen into silence.  Solomon was remarking about Mercury’s young volcanism, magnetic substorms and ionic emissions from its thin atmosphere, discovered during two previous flybys.  The spacecraft will go into orbit around Mercury next March: “we’ll be in for a terrific show,” remarked Solomon.    See the pictures on BBC News about the youngest volcano found on Mercury so far.  Science Daily surveyed the most surprising finds, and National Geographic News focused on huge “curious” power surges detected in the planet’s atmosphere.  “There’re some things here we clearly do not understand,” said one scientist.Quakers in space:  Ever heard of spacequakes?  Those are impacts of plasma blobs from the sun on the Earth’s magnetic field.  Big ones can push the field all the way down to Earth’s surface, Space.com said, then they bounce like a tennis ball with decreasing amplitude.  The THEMIS spacecraft “discovered something new and surprising” in this “long suspected” phenomenon, the article said: “The surprise is plasma vortices, huge whirls of magnetized gas as wide as Earth itself, spinning on the verge of the quaking magnetic field.”    There are other quakers that have been discovered in space, too.  “Spacequakes aren’t the only unearthly temblors around,” Space.com said.  “Scientists have also discovered starquakes (violent trembling inside stars), moonquakes and asteroid quakes (seismic tremors on the surface of the moon and asteroids, respectively).”  Whole lot of shaking going on out there.Rings and hexagons:  Scientists from the Cassini mission orbiting Saturn shared a 6th anniversary CHARM teleconference this week (Cassini-Huygens Analysis and Results from the Mission).  Two Powerpoint presentations about the rings and atmosphere are available for download in PDF form (audio files may be posted later on).  An account of the number of surprises and phenomena not understood in the 100+ slides is left as an exercise; as teasers, they admitted that the B-ring edge is more dynamic and complex than can be understood (ditto for the F-ring), the rings may be much younger than Saturn, and the hexagon-shaped cloud pattern at Saturn’s north pole can only partially be modeled in the lab (audio is needed for full discussion).Super star:  According to theory, stars can only grow to about 150 times the mass of the sun, partly because they would burn out too quickly to be seen, partly because the winds would tear them apart, and partly because there is not enough gas and dust in most locales to gravitationally contract into a star much bigger than 150 solar masses.    Doubters, behold R136a1: a blue giant almost twice the theoretical size limit.  It is currently 265 times the sun’s mass, but astronomers estimate at birth it was a whopping 320 solar masses.  And talk about sunburn: its luminosity has been estimated at 10 million times brighter than our sun.  The BBC News said its radius is 30 times greater than our sun.  A diagram on National Geographic News illustrates the size difference.    Science Daily described the puzzle of this star: “Understanding how high mass stars form is puzzling enough, due to their very short lives and powerful winds, so that the identification of such extreme cases as R136a1 raises the challenge to theorists still further.”  Was it born big, or did it collect smaller stars into its household?  Astronomers were “really taken aback” by the discovery, National Geographic said, adding: “The discovery could rewrite the laws of stellar physics, since it’s long been thought that stars beyond a certain mass would be too unstable to survive.”The big burst:  Gamma ray bursts have been known since 1967, but an “extraordinary” one detected on June 21 was off the charts.  National Geographic News said that “Until now, scientists thought the brightest gamma-ray bursts sent out a maximum of 10,000 x-ray photons a second.”  Here’s the measured flux from this one: “145,000 photons a second… making this gamma-ray burst 10 to 15 times brighter than anything previously seen by Swift’s x-ray telescope.  It was so bright it “blinded” the Swift orbiting space telescope temporarily, saturating its detectors: the “rush of light from a minute-long gamma-ray burst proved so overwhelming that Swift’s data processing software temporarily shut down.”    Swift normally catches light from about two gamma ray bursts per week.  Space.com said this super-bright one is stirring theories: “Just when we were beginning to think that we had seen everything that gamma-ray bursts could throw at us, this burst came along to challenge our assumptions about how powerful their X-ray emissions can be,” said Neil Gehrels, principal investigator for Swift.    A new mission named Xenia is being planned to watch for these cosmic beacons.  “The newfound burst, he said, means that Xenia mission designers will have to go back to the drawing board to make sure the probe will be able to handle the brightest flashes the universe can dish out.”  And speaking of explosions, Science Daily reported earlier this month that among the best-understood ones, Type 1a supernovae, the “Origin of Key Cosmic Explosions [Is] Still a Mystery.”There’s no indication that the number of surprising discoveries will decrease over the next few years.  Quite the contrary; an article on PhysOrg about early results from the Herschel Space Observatory with its SPIRE camera quoted Ian Smail of Durham University, who analyzes results from the mission: “It is already clear that we live in a changing Universe and, thanks to Herschel and SPIRE, few things are changing faster than our perception of it.”    Looking back over 400 years of astronomy since Galileo and Kepler, Joseph Burns of Cornell University surveyed the many surprising discoveries made in space, especially in the last 5 decades of the space program: the Van Allen belts; Venus’s young surface; old, cold moons that proved surprisingly active; old, cold comets that showed evidence of hot formation; asteroids thought to be hard rock that turn out to be rubble piles; remarkable dynamism in Saturn’s rings; chaotic motions of moons; and more.  “Few scientists envisaged that the neighbouring worlds explored by space missions would be so diverse, nor how entrancing many are.”  Publishing his account in Nature,2 (see also summary on Space.com), using the word “surprising” a number of times, he quoted a character from Tom Stoppard’s novel Arcadia in his conclusion talking about scientific revolutions: “It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.”1.  Boyce, Liu et al, “Lunar apatite with terrestrial volatile abundances,” Nature 466, pp 466�469, 2 July 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09274.2.  Joseph Burns, “The four hundred years of planetary science since Galileo and Kepler,” Nature 466, pp 575�584, 29 July 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09215.If some scientists want to celebrate their ignorance, some of us will be happy to supply the conical hats and party blowers.  To Joe’s list we can add many more surprises that, within the living memory of many of us, hit the astronomers broadside: quasars, pulsars, blazars, gamma-ray bursts, the cosmic microwave background radiation (partly predicted, but not to the expected values; see 06/12/2008), mature galaxies at the farthest distances (04/02/2009), gravitational lenses (partly predicted), silence from SETI, transient lunar phenomena, Io’s volcanoes, the Enceladus geysers, the inhospitable surfaces of Venus and Mars (civilizations were expected there into the 1960s), Ganymede’s magnetic field, the Kuiper belt, minor planets beyond Pluto, the lack of organics and carbonates (and life) on Mars, the tilted magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune, the rings of Jupiter and Uranus and Neptune, the F-ring of Saturn, the geysers of Triton, binary asteroids… where could we stop?  It’s hard to find any object in space that closely matched what astronomers expected.  While we share the thrill of surprising discoveries with the astronomers, we should not treat them as prophets.  They have a lot of whiz at math (01/08/2010) and access to great equipment (12/08/2009), but are as fallible as the rest of us – though occasionally, the luck of discovery comes to the prepared minds.    Astronomy proceeds along two tracks: the theory track, and the data track.  Physicists at chalkboards derive equations that predict what might be found or try to explain what is found (03/28/2010, 01/20/2010, 01/13/2010).  Observational astronomers gather the raw data with telescopes.  Sometimes these tracks intersect.  Sometimes one precedes the other.  One might expect that observation would lead theory, trying to make sense of new observations.  Often, though, theory leads to discoveries.  Theory can even determine what observations get made, and what an astronomer “sees” with the senses – as when today’s astronomers pursue their mad quest (08/03/2009) for dark matter (02/28/2008) and dark energy (07/17/2010, 10/08/2009).  If the observations in the past 5 decades have been surprising, the theories have been even more so (06/30/2008): inflation (02/24/2009, 04/18/2008), black holes with universes inside them (04/10/2010), parallel universes, and the multiverse (02/22/2010, 12/05/2008).  While one would hope observations would constrain theory (08/26/2009), some of the latest theoretical speculations seem like acts of desperation to maintain beliefs in spite of the observations (03/19/2010, 10/28/2009, 09/28/2009, 11/17/2008; cf. 10/29/2007).    We’re all together for the ride on our planetary spaceship.  We have been given a phenomenal platform for scientific discovery (watch The Privileged Planet on YouTube).  Fallible as we all are, it should not be surprising to be surprised by what we find, as we peer farther into the unknown with better instruments.  What is surprising is for any of us to grant prophetic powers (both in terms of prediction and understanding) to a class of fellow mortals (06/23/2009, 10/16/2008), just because they label themselves scientists (03/10/2010, 01/15/2008).  The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  As new data comes rolling in from Kepler, MESSENGER, Herschel, Planck and future missions, let’s keep the marketplace open and a lively place for debate and critical thinking.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA surf star third Down Under

first_img Men Women1. Malia Manuel (Haw) 5 5802. Alessa Quizon (Haw) 5 2803. Carissa Moore (Haw) 3 5004. Nage Melamed (Haw) 3 1205. Maud Le Car (Fra) 3 000 SAinfo reporter 42. Beyrick de Vries 1 00551. David van Zyl 85581. Dale Staples 61089. Michael February 53693. Slade Prestwich 500155. Dylan Lightfoot 190 7. Bianca Buitendag 2 46016. Sarah Baum 1 57062. Faye Zoetmulder 433center_img 24 February 2014 South African surfing star Bianca Buitendag employed her trademark vertical backhand manoeuvres to clinch third place in the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic, a six-star rated ASP Qualifying Series (QS) event in Newcastle, Australia, on Sunday. Buitendag was in sparkling form, winning three of the four heats she contested on her way to the semi-finals before bowing out to Hawaii’s Alessa Quizon by 11.83 vs. 14.50. The 20-year-old from George collected 2 080 points, which moved her up to seventh place on the ASP Women’s QS rankings after three events.Ideal preparation The confidence-boosting performance was ideal preparation for Buitendag’s campaign on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT), which gets underway at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast in Queensland on 1 March. In 2013 she finished her inaugural year on the WCT, the highest level of professional surfing, ranked eighth and was crowned the Rookie of the Year. The Hunter Ports Women’s Classic was won by Malia Manuel who defeated fellow Hawaiian Alessa Quizon in the final. South Africa’s Sarah Baum finished equal 13th and Faye Zoetmulder ended equal 67th.Burton Toyota Pro The Burton Toyota Pro, a six-star ASP QS men’s event, which ran in conjunction with the women’s event as part of the 2014 Surfest Newcastle Australia, was won by Matt Banting who beat fellow Australian Nathan Hedge in the final. Beyrick de Vries and David van Zyl were the highest placed South Africans in equal 17th place, earning 625 points each. Slade Prestwich ended equal 49th, Dale Staples and Dylan Lightfoot were equal 73rd, and Michael February placed equal 97th. Lightfoot also reached the quarter-finals of the Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Junior, finishing equal 13th overall.ASP Qualifying Series Rankings 1. Adriano De Souza (Bra) 6 5642. Matt Banting (Aus) 3 7293. Nathan Hedge (Aus) 3 4704. Tomas Hermes (Bra) 3 0005. Charles Martin (Glp) 2 716 South Africans South Africanslast_img read more

Des Moines Water Works legal battle comes to an end

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A federal district court has dismissed the controversial Des Moines Water Works lawsuit that put the agricultural community on edge for the past two years. While the decision is favorable for agriculture, it doesn’t resolve the question of whether the water utility could prove that nitrates draining from farm fields are harming the utility’s water sources. The court’s dismissal prevents Des Moines Water Works from further asserting such claims.The lawsuit by the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) utility sued irrigation districts in three Iowa counties for allowing discharges of nitrates through drainage infrastructure and into the waterways from which the utility drew its water. In addition to claiming that the discharges violate the federal Clean Water Act’s permitting requirements, DMWW also asserted nuisance, trespassing, negligence, takings without compensation, and due process and equal protection claims under Iowa law. The utility sought monetary damages for the cost of removing nitrates from its water as well as an injunction ordering the drainage districts to stop the discharges with proper permits.The federal district court first certified several questions of state law to the Iowa Supreme Court to clarify whether Iowa law provided immunity to the drainage districts for DMWW’s claims. On January 27, 2017, the Iowa Supreme Court responded in the positive, explaining that Iowa drainage districts had been immune from damages and injunctive relief claims for over a century because drainage districts “have a limited, targeted role—to facilitate the drainage of farmland in order to make it more productive.” The Iowa court also clarified that Iowa’s Constitution did not provide a basis for DMWW’s constitutional arguments.Turning to the party’s claims in light of the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling, the federal district court focused on the drainage district’s motion to dismiss DMWW’s claims based on the doctrine of redressability, which requires a showing that the alleged injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable decision. The doctrine of redressability concludes that a plaintiff cannot have standing to sue and therefore cannot proceed in a case if the defendant doesn’t have the power to redress or remedy the injury even if the court granted the requested relief.The drainage districts argued that they could not redress DMWW’s Clean Water Act claims because the districts had no power to regulate the nitrates flowing through the drainage systems. The court agreed, stating that “DMWW seeks injunctive relief and the assessment of civil penalties against the drainage districts arising from alleged duties and powers that the districts simply do not possess under Iowa law. DMWW may well have suffered an injury, but the drainage districts lack the ability to redress that injury.”The federal district court also dismissed DMWW’s remaining claims against the drainage districts. DMWW argued that the immunity given the drainage districts as described by the Iowa Supreme Court prevented DMWW’s remaining claims and thus violated the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection, Due Process, and Takings Clauses. The federal district court found these contentions to be “entirely devoid of merit” and dismissed the state law claims of nuisance, trespassing, negligence, takings, due process and equal protection. Because none of the counts against the drainage districts survived the court’s scrutiny, the court dismissed and closed the case.The DMWW case was a futile but somewhat inventive attempt to allocate liability for nitrate pollution to the agricultural community.“Unregulated agricultural discharges into Iowa’s rivers, lakes and streams continue to increase costs to our customers and damage Iowa’s water quality and environment,” said DMWW’s CEO Bill Stowe upon filing the lawsuit.A public poll by the Des Moines Register soon after Stowe brought the DMWW lawsuit showed that 42% of the respondents agreed with him in believing that farmers should pay for nitrate removal from DMWW’s waters, while 32% thought those who lived in Des Moines should pay to remove the nitrates.If the goal is to force agriculture to reduce nutrient run off or pay for the cost of removing nutrients from waterways, the DMWW case tells us that suing those who oversee agricultural drainage infrastructure projects is not the proper mechanism for accomplishing that goal. So will the next strategy be to sue the farmers who use the nutrients and the drainage infrastructure?One challenge in suing farmers for nutrient runoff, and the issue that was not addressed in DMWW, is whether nutrient runoff from farm fields carried through drainage systems constitutes a “point source” that requires regulation under the Clean Water Act, or whether nutrient runoff fits within the agricultural exemption under the Clean Water Act. That law defines a “point source” as “any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged,” but states that point sources do not include “agricultural storm water discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture.” What we still don’t know after two years of DMWW litigation is whether a court would put the transport of agricultural nutrients through drainage systems in the point source definition or would consider it an agricultural exemption from the point source definition.A second challenge in an attempt to bring agricultural nutrients under the Clean Water Act is the burden of proof upon the plaintiff to prove the actual origin of a downstream nutrient—who applied the nutrient that ended up downstream? DMWW sought to minimize this challenge by suing the drainage districts that oversee the entire region. But had the case proceeded, DMWW still would have had to trace the nutrients to the region, a difficult task.The agricultural community expects that its voluntary efforts to reduce nitrate and phosphorus runoff from farm fields will positively impact water quality and stem the possibility of more litigation like the DMWW case. A multitude of voluntary efforts are underway, such as Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy and the flourish of cover crops in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Ohio has also added a regulatory approach that requires farmers to engage in fertilizer application training. Let’s hope these initiatives will reduce nutrient impacts before another party is willing to point its finger at agriculture and pursue a lawsuit like DMWW.last_img read more

The Army’s Net Zero Energy Mission

first_imgOn August 1, the U.S. Army public affairs office in Hawaii published a feature story about the service’s new conservation initiative, which is aimed at preserving natural resources and making energy efficiency key to strategies for housing construction and improvements in transportation and general operations.“One thing that I admire about the Army is that we are full of extremely creative individuals,” Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, told the press officer at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii last month.In many cases, the Army will rely on the ingenuity and know-how of its soldiers to develop and deploy conservation strategies, although some of the more complex and large-scale energy saving initiatives will involve military and civilian experts. Among the most high-profile of these will be the U.S. Military Academy at West Point “Net Zero Installation” project – a series of facility upgrades that will include the installation of renewable-energy systems, advanced lighting and power monitoring systems, barracks upgrades, a biomass system, and the construction of a new barracks to net-zero-energy performance standards.An airtightness requirementArmy standards for airtightness, as adopted a few years ago by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, are already very high for both renovations and new construction. The Army Corps’ HVAC commissioning procedures include air-barrier testing that show building envelope leakage rates of no more than 0.25 cubic feet per minute per square foot of building envelope, when tested at 75 Pascals. This is no small challenge. As noted in “Controlling Air Leakage in Tall Buildings,” an article published in 2009 by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the Army is getting a lot of practice at identifying potential air-barrier deficiencies in building shells at the “pre-design” stage of a project, which allows the design-build team to address the issues and meet the leakage-rate requirement in a timely and cost-effective way.The need is thereIt won’t be cheap, but it is a good time to act because many of the barracks at the fortress-like academy are overcrowded, and the campus, perched high above the west bank of the Hudson River, near Highland Falls, New York, is exposed to extreme weather during the winter. Construction of the new barracks – the first built on the campus since 1972 – is scheduled to begin in 2013, and will cost about $131 million.Initial investment in West Point’s barracks project is coming from energy-saving specialist Noresco, which so far has awarded the school $25 million in Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) – partnerships between energy service companies and federal agencies. Supervised through the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program, the partnerships allow energy service companies such as Noresco to conduct comprehensive energy audits for a federal facility, identify improvements to save energy, design and construct a project that meets the agency’s needs, and arrange the necessary funding.One advantage to ESPCs, the DOE notes, is that they allow federal agencies to move forward on energy saving projects without committing large amounts of their own capital upfront, and without special congressional appropriations. The energy service company’s obligations are extensive, however, since it must guarantee that the improvements will generate enough energy cost savings to pay for the project over the term of the partnership contract. Contract terms up to 25 years are allowed, and additional cost savings after the contract ends accrue to the federal agency.last_img read more