San Jose Fire Department s Pilot Program Sends STAR Cars Out On Non-Emergency Calls

first_imgSAN JOSE, Calif. — Don t be surprised if fewer firefighters come to extract keys for a locked car or to coax a cat out of a tree. The San Jose (Calif.) Fire Department is turning to smaller vehicles staffed by fewer firefighters for non-emergency calls as part of an effort to free more engines for high-priority calls. Currently, five firefighters must go out on every call. With the STAR cars, only two will have to go out. San Jose Fire Chief Darryl Von Raesfeld said the department has decided to expand the use of the STAR cars after discovering they are being underutilized. The city added the cars to its fire contract with the expectation that the cars would be used at least once a day. The cars are being used only about twice a week, Von Raesfeld said. Unlike bigger engines, which require four firefighters, the STAR cars need only two firefighters. In January, the department is set to expand the types of calls that its smaller sports-utility vehicles — called a Supplemental Transport Ambulance Resource, or STAR cars — respond to. The STAR car is a specially designed rescue ambulance that carries an assortment of fire-fighting tools as well as rescue equipment that San Jose has been using solely to transport patients with life-threatening conditions when paramedic ambulances were unable to respond within a reasonable amount of time. Von Raesfeld said the San Jose Fire Department has estimated that the STAR cars will be able to handle about one-fourth of all the calls coming into the station. The department receives about 10,000 to 12,000 non-emergency calls each year, he said. The idea of the STAR cars is to deploy our resources a little bit better and with more efficiency, Von Raesfeld said. If we can handle some of the smaller issues with the STAR cars, the big trucks can respond faster and better serve the community. The department already owns five STAR cars that it has been deploying alongside regular fire engines at stations 29, 18, 31 and 4, on Leigh Avenue, which serves the 95128 area.The new program in January will allow the STAR cars to be deployed on their own. The program will be tested first at Station 2 on Alum Rock Avenue in East San Jose.last_img read more

Last Full Moon of the Decade Rises on 12/12 at 12:12 AM – For Lucky East Coasters

first_imgLOOK: Photographer Captures Picture of Stunning ‘Ice Ball’ Phenomenon on Finnish BeachThat being said, stargazers in the central US time zone can still catch the moonrise at 11:12PM on December 11th, which makes for a palindromic timestamp.This particular full moon has been called the “Long Night’s Moon” or the “Cold Moon” because its occurrence in December usually precedes the start of winter on the 21st, meaning that the nights will start getting longer and colder and the moon will sit above the horizon for a longer period of time.If you want to prepare for this week’s moonrise, be sure and check a moonrise calculator as well as your local weather radar for cloud cover predictions. For more general information about the moonrise, you can also check out the Farmer’s Almanac.Be Sure And Share This Far Out News With Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIf you’re a stargazing enthusiast who lives on the east coast of the United States, it’s time to grab your binoculars—the last full moon of the decade is taking place this week.For east coasters, the moon is set to hit maximum exposure at exactly 12:12AM on December 12th.Astronomers all over the world will still be able to catch a gorgeous glimpse of the moonrise, but its full illumination will take place at a less superstitious time than 12:12AM on 12/12.last_img read more

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Sets First Broadway Performance Date

first_img View Comments Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Mark your calendar! The Broadway transfer of West End hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has scheduled its first performance date. The two-part play will begin previews on March 16, 2018 at the Lyric Theatre.As previously announced, the work will officially open on April 22. Seven stars of the original West End cast will reprise their roles on Broadway. Jamie Parker will play Harry Potter, with Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley, Poppy Miller as Ginny Potter, Sam Clemmett as Albus Potter, Alex Price as Draco Malfoy and Anthony Boyle as Scorpius Malfoy.Also appearing in the Broadway production will be David Abeles, Brian Abraham, Shirine Babb, Jess Barbagallo, Stephen Bradbury, Lauren Nicole Cipoletti, Joshua De Jesus, Jessie Fisher, Richard Gallagher, Susan Heyward, Geraldine Hughes, Edward James Hyland, Byron Jennings, Katie Kreisler, Joey LaBrasca, Andrew Long, Kathryn Meisle, Angela Reed, Dave Register, Adeola Role, James Romney, Malika Samuel, Alanna Saunders, David St. Louis, Stuart Ward, Madeline Weinstein, Alex Weisman and Benjamin Wheelwright playing a variety of characters. The cast will also include four children who will alternate two roles.Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Tiffany and Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Thorne. It follows Harry as he grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs. His youngest son, Albus, must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. from $40.00 Related Showslast_img read more

VDH COVID-19 Update: Possible outbreak in Manchester/Londonderry region

first_imgTravelers monitored Total cases* 12 * Includes testing conducted at the Health Department Laboratory, commercial labs and other public health labs.+ Death occurring in persons known to have COVID-19. Death certificate may be pending. Hospitalization data is provided by the Vermont Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coalition and is based on hospitals updating this information.Find more at the data dashboard: is external).Get Tested for COVID-19People who want to be tested can contact their health care provider for a referral.For people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, pop-up sites for testing are currently scheduled through July. The sites operate from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. See how to get tested and to make an appointment(link is external).The Health Department is working with pharmacies to also provide testing. On July 10, Governor Scott said access to testing for COVID-19 is a key part of maintaining the progress we have made against spread of the virus. Thanking businesses that have already stepped up, including Kinney Drugs and Walgreens, Gov. Scott said he is “personally asking Vermont’s pharmacies and their parent companies to move as quickly as possible to join in this effort ─ for their customers, staff and all Vermonters.”Protest SafelyWe support Vermonters engaging in peaceful protests and other civic activities to make their voices heard.Large gatherings pose a greater risk for virus exposure. So, wear a mask when near others, maintain a 6-foot distance, and if you’re sick, find actions to make yourself heard from home.We encourage anyone who is participating in a public action to get tested for COVID-19. Learn more about how to get tested(link is external).Guidance for VermontersIf you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.If you are having even mild symptoms of COVID-19(link is external), call your health care provider.Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet and wear a mask when near others(link is external).Visit our Frequently Asked Questions(link is external).Traveler InformationGet the latest info about travel to Vermont(link is external), including about quarantine requirements, testing, and to sign up with Sara Alert for symptom check reminders(link is external).  Take Care of Your Emotional and Mental HealthIf you or someone you know is in crisis or needs emotional support, help is available 24/7:Call your local mental health crisis line(link is external) Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline(link is external) at 1-800-273-8255Text VT to 741741 to talk with someone at the Crisis Text Line(link is external).For more information visit is external).See ways for Coping with Stress(link is external).  For more information:COVID-19 health information, guidance and case data: is external).Governor’s actions: is external).The state’s modeling: is external). Currently hospitalized 1,099 Deaths+ Hospitalized under investigation People tested 3,350 77,624 People completed monitoring 3 1,305 (4 new) Daily Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)July 14, 2020New information is in red and bold.This update is available online at is external)Click the “See the Latest Update” button.Please visit the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID-19 web and data is external)Health Department continues to monitor cases and respond to outbreaksHealth Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, said at a press conference Tuesday that while we will continue to see small ups and downs in daily case reports as our “new normal” during the pandemic, the Health Department will work to ensure positive cases and their close contacts have the proper guidance for preventing further spread of the virus.Dr Levine said the department is currently responding to a report of over 30 people who tested positive through antigen testing at a clinic in Manchester. Antigen tests provide results much more quickly than PCR tests (the most common type of test used to diagnose COVID-19 infection). A useful tool for screening patients, antigen tests may not be as accurate as PCR tests. A positive antigen test result is considered a “presumptive positive” but not counted as a lab-confirmed positive in Vermont’s total cases until there is a PCR test to confirm the result.They are reaching out to these positive cases and recommending they follow the same guidelines as any positive case, including to stay home (self-isolate). They are also conducting contact tracing and ensuring those individuals can get a PCR test. The Health Department is organizing popup testing at the Flood Brook School in Londonderry. Learn more about getting tested(link is external).In Governor Phil Scott’s remarks, he reminded Vermonters that “even as we’re seeing better results here in Vermont, they can change quickly if we don’t remain vigilant, and stay smart.” We all need to follow the guidance, use common sense and take responsibility for ourselves, he urged.Dr Levine also noted that even if you have quarantined as mandated out-of-state, if you then take mass transit (plane, train, bus) to get to Vermont, it negates your quarantine and you must then do so for 14 days here (or seven days with a negative test) once you arrive.COVID Relief Funding Announced for Health Care Providers, AgricultureState officials announced additional relief funding Tuesday, with applications opening Friday. Get more information about the Vermont COVID Agriculture Assistance Program(link is external) and the Health Care Provider Stabilization Program(link is external).Housing Assistance AvailableHousing assistance programs for those affected by COVID-19 are now available. For more information on rental assistance, go to is external). For mortgage assistance, go to is external).Case InformationCurrent COVID-19 Activity in VermontAs of 12 p.m. on July 14, 2020 Description 56 Contacts monitored 72 Number Total people recovered 1,502last_img read more

Minnesota finishes 10th at NCAA Championships

first_imgMinnesota finishes 10th at NCAA ChampionshipsNine of 10 Minnesota swimmers who competed earned All-American honors.Ellen SchmidtSenior Danielle Nack swims the 200 Yard Butterfly during the Minnesota Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at the Jean K Freeman Aquatic Center. Erik NelsonMarch 19, 2018Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintTen Minnesota swimmers competed at the 2018 NCAA championships in Columbus, Ohio Wednesday through Saturday, and nine of them came back to Minneapolis with All-American honors.No. 16 Minnesota finished 10th in the overall standings with a score of 157. No. 1 Stanford won the title for the second consecutive year.Head coach Kelly Kremer said the Gophers swam well despite their score.“Over the last 15 years, we’ve been one of the most consistent and successful programs in the country,” Kremer said. “When you consider how difficult it is in our sport to get into the top 10 [at NCAAs], it was a great weekend for our young ladies.”Sophomore Sarah Bacon won gold in the 1-meter dive event on Thursday, earning a score of 343.50. Bacon is is the second diver in program history to win the 1-meter dive at the NCAA championships.The relay team of Zoe Avestruz, Lindsey Kozelsky, Danielle Nack and Tevyn Waddell set a program record in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:28.34. They finished fifth.On Wednesday, the relay team of Avestruz, Chantal Nack, Danielle Nack and Mackenzie Padington finished eighth in the 800-yard freestyle relay, completing the race in 6:56.40. That time set a Minnesota record.“[Danielle Nack] had an incredible career,” Kremer said. “She’s going to be missed dearly, and our team will have to work hard to fill those shoes.” On Friday, Padington finished 12th in the consolation final of the 200-yard freestyle. She finished the race in 1:44.37, receiving an All-American Honorable Mention.Avestruz, Kozelsky, Danielle Nack and Waddell teamed up for a sixth-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, finishing the race in 1:36.03.“This is the best NCAA meet that ever occurred,” Kremer said. “Records were falling in almost every event and our team was part of that. It was an outstanding atmosphere.”Kozelsky won bronze in the 100-yard breaststroke on Friday, finishing in 58.18 seconds. On Saturday, she finished seventh in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing in 2:07.69.Kozelsky is the second Minnesota swimmer to have four top-eight All-American finishes at a single NCAA championship. The other is Gretchen Hegener, who accomplished the feat in 1997.A relay team of Chantal Nack, Danielle Nack, Avestruz and Waddell finished 21st in the 400-yard freestyle relay. This was Saturday’s final relay race and the team finished in 3:15.83.Kremer said he thanked his team and challenged them to do better next season after the last event on Saturday.“I know the level of commitment it takes to be successful,” Kremer said. “I thanked them for their commitment and everything they do for the University of Minnesota.”last_img read more

Speech patterns of incumbent presidents differ from speech patterns used in their first campaign

first_imgShare Email Share on Twitter Share on Facebook LinkedIncenter_img Pinterest Presidents campaigning for re-election use better influential language in their re-election campaign than they did in their first campaign, according to a recent study published online this June in Electoral Studies. The study provides some explanation of the incumbency effect.U.S. presidential election campaigns are the most highly funded and studied attempts to influence the behavior of a wide-ranging audience. Interestingly, from 1868 to 2012, over two-thirds of the 23 presidential candidates seeking re-election won. This “incumbency effect” (incumbency: the holding of an office) suggests that the current president has an advantage over the challenger. However, little is known about why this effect occurs.It has been suggested that this effect is related to 2 main areas: structural advantages held by incumbents and communication advantages. The study, by Christian Leuprecht (Royal Military College of Canada) and David Skillicorn (Queen’s University) examined language patterns in U.S. presidential elections from 1992 to 2012. The analyses involved all three incumbent candidates during this period: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.The results revealed clear differences between the language patterns associated with “successful” and “unsuccessful” U.S. presidential campaigns. The “language of influence” was characterized by: no change in word content (i.e. winners do not have better ideas or present them more cleverly); a decrease in words with negative connotations; words with positive connotations are used more frequently; less attention is paid to competitors; and there is greater variation in word choice overall (e.g. a decrease in the use of economic nouns in second campaigns).The analyses also found that the gap between winner and loser tends to remain roughly constant, suggesting that a challenger raises their level and uses better influential language when facing an incumbent. The researchers also highlighted, “The increase in strength of influence happens quite quickly, either at the beginning of the first term or at the beginning of the second campaign, suggesting that it is driven by changes in self-perception rather than deliberate strategy or increasing experience.”The researchers concluded, “The article shows that, behind the language used by challengers and incumbents, and successful and unsuccessful candidates, there is a linear scale of language that wins elections.” Therefore, presidents campaigning for re-election use better influential language in their re-election campaign than they did in their first campaign, which provides some explanation of the incumbency effect.last_img read more

Research moratorium on modified H5N1 viruses ends

first_imgJan 23, 2013 (CIDRAP News) – A year-long voluntary moratorium on research involving transmissible H5N1 avian flu viruses ended today with a letter from a group of scientists that supports resuming the work in countries that have addressed the biosafety issues involved.Today’s letter, endorsed by 40 scientists who signed on to the voluntary moratorium last year, appeared in the journals Science and Nature. The research pause was designed to allow countries and the scientific community to discuss biosecurity and biosafety issues that were raised by the publication of two controversial H5N1 papers, one from a group in the Netherlands led by Ron Fouchier, PhD, and the other from a team at the University of Wisconsin led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, DVM, PhD.The scientists wrote that the moratorium allowed the community to explain the public health benefits of the transmission studies, to describe the systems that are in place to protect researchers and the public, and to allow organizations and governments to review their policies regarding the experiments.”Thus acknowledging that the aims of the voluntary moratorium have been met in some countries and are close to being met in others, we declare an end to the voluntary moratorium on avian flu transmission studies,” they wrote. The moratorium was originally planned to last 60 days.Three of the researchers who signed the letter—Fouchier, Kawaoka, and Richard Webby, PhD, from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis—spoke about the end of the research moratorium today at a media telebriefing sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the publisher of Science.Kawaoka said the research work needs to resume, because it has important public health benefits, such as providing more clues about what it would take for the H5N1 virus to become more transmissible in mammals. “We understand the risk, and we take every precaution,” he said. “The benefit outweighs the risks. That is why we need to resume.”Many countries have reviewed their oversight of H5N1 research issues, so the need for the moratorium has passed, said Webby.The researchers said the number of countries in which H5N1 transmission studies take place is limited, and it’s not entirely clear which ones are ready to resume work. They said the list includes the Netherlands, European Union countries in principle, and China. Canada has already said H5N1 transmission work can take place under biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) conditions.Two holdouts are Japan, which is still reviewing its policies, according to Kawaoka, and the United States, which is still reviewing the H5N1 virus’ select agent level and finalizing guidelines for funding gain-of-function H5N1 studies.US plan ‘weeks’ awayThe fact that work can’t yet resume in the United States is notable, because its National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds many H5N1 research studies, including the ones by Fouchier and Kawaoka that sparked the debate, which originally focused on the potential biosecurity risk of publishing sensitive data from the studies in scientific journals.Fouchier told reporters that the group of researchers didn’t wait for the United States to take its final actions before ending the moratorium, because it’s not clear how long it will take.In October the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked the public to comment on whether H5N1 should be designated as an HHS special agent, meaning that labs handling it would have to register with the agency and meet special security and personnel screening and training requirements.The comment period was slated to end on Jan 31, but Jason McDonald, a spokesman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told CIDRAP News that the CDC has submitted a notice to the Federal Register that would extend the period another 30 days to allow more public comment.He added that the CDC has no target set for a decision.Anthony Fauci, MD, who directs the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told CIDRAP News that the NIH has revised its draft guidance for funding H5N1 avian influenza research based on feedback it received at a conference in December and public comments it received through Jan 10.He said NIH has forwarded the revised document to the HHS, which will finalize the work.Though Fauci said there is not an exact timetable for the final guidance, he said he expects that it will be released within several weeks rather than several months.Future research goalsAt today’s media briefing, the three researchers reflected on the lessons learned during the moratorium and outlined some of the key next steps with the research. Fouchier said some of his H5N1 work, the part not funded by NIH, will resume over the next few weeks as soon as lab preparations are in place. Kawaoka said his work is stalled until US agencies finalize their guidelines.Webby said a major lesson is the need to discuss the importance of the research earlier in the process. “That’s our job, to highlight the benefits, and the biggest lesson is that we can do better,” he said.Fouchier added that the H5N1 controversy and moratorium have opened up a more general discussion of dual-use research (which can be used for good or bad intents) that is ongoing and will yield future benefits. He pointed to a World Health Organization (WHO) conference last February that focused on the risks and benefits of publishing results of the two transmission studies, and he added that the group will soon host a wider dual-use research discussion.Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the WHO, told CIDRAP News that the meeting will include H5N1 as well as other dual-use issues and will take place Feb 26 through 28.Fouchier said he and his research team, which already found that five to nine mutations were sufficient to make the H5N1 virus they tested airborne, are eager to identify a more specific number within that range. He said researchers would also like to detect mutations that make other H5N1 viruses airborne, as well as crucial characteristics that make the strain more transmissible in humans and other mammals.He said his team worked with an Indonesian strain and Kawaoka’s group worked with a Vietnamese strain, and that scientists are eager to learn more about mutations that might make strains from Egypt and China airborne.He said the primary goal of the H5N1 transmission studies is to provide a fundamental understanding of the viruses, but he added the work could be useful for guiding countries in their virus eradication efforts and for evaluating what antiviral drugs and vaccines work best, especially against a virulent virus that replicates in the upper airways.Voices of cautionMichael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, said discussion that took place during the year-long moratorium did not resolve a primary issue: how to safety share the information.”The concerns I had 6 months ago I still have today,” he said, alluding to a US advisory group’s assertion that terror groups or others could use certain details of the H5N1 studies to make biological weapons.The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), of which Osterholm is a member, in December 2011 had urged Science and Nature to omit key portions of Fouchier’s and Kawaoka’s studies, but in March 2012 reversed its recommendation. In the March decision, it unanimously voted that Kawaoka’s full paper be published, but 6 of 18 members voted against the publication of certain details in Fouchier’s study.The journals eventually published full versions of both studies, Kawaoka’s in a May issue of Nature and Fouchier’s in a June issue of Science.Osterholm said he believes the research work should be done. “I think Ron and Yoshi are two of the best researchers in the world to be doing this work, and I have faith in their practices,” he said.He said he still has concerns, however, about making the information available to groups that might not use the same level of care in handling transmissible H5N1 viruses, not only bioterror groups, but also vaccine companies that don’t have impeccable safety measures or universities that don’t have the most modern safety features and staff training.He also says he doesn’t believe scientists and health leaders have exhausted exploring all of the possible mechanisms for limiting key details of H5N1 transmission studies only with people who have a need to know. And while the emphasis of the debate seems to have shifted to biosecurity issues, accidental or intentional leaks are still a major concern for some settings. “All we have to do is be wrong once,” Osterholm said.Richard Ebright, PhD, molecular biologist at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University who has an interest in biosecurity issues, told CIDRAP News that ending the moratorium is “premature and irresponsible.” He added that the substantive issues and context haven’t changed much over the past year.”No independent risk-benefit assessment has been performed, and no independent decision has been reached that risks are outweighed by benefits. Not in the US. Not overseas,” Ebright said in an e-mail, noting that efforts to implement the risk-benefit process are at the proposal state in the United States and in even earlier stages overseas.He wrote that the WHO and NIH meetings that discussed the issues last year were dominated by handpicked panelists and featured scientists and funders who were involved in the work and had potential conflicts of interest. “Promises by the WHO and the NIH to hold a broader discussion, analogous to the Asilomar meeting that addressed the safety of recombinant DNA technology, have not been fulfilled,” he wrote.An editorial on the moratorium’s lifting that appeared in Nature today acknowledged the lack of a formal risk-benefit assessment and alluded to the perception, justified or not, that the debate was dominated by researchers and funders and took place partially behind closed doors.”The formal, quantitative risk assessment common in the nuclear power and other industries could have helped to nail down and quantify risks, and would have informed the debate better,” the editorial stated. “One year on, an irreproachable, independent risk–benefit analysis of such research, perhaps convened by a body such as the World Health Organization (WHO), is still lacking.”However, the editorial noted that the moratorium period has yielded important fruit, such as greater scrutiny of public health benefit claims, better explanations of biosafety and biosecurity precautions, and more attention to dual-use research issues. The editorial lauded the WHO’s guidelines on H5N1 transmission research and its recommendation that labs that can’t identify and control the risks refrain from doing research on the viruses.”The lifting of the moratorium by researchers must not be seen as closure of the debate. The potential risks of the work demand exceptional precautions in any future research,” the editorial concluded.See also:Jan 23 Science letterJan 23 Nature letterJan 23 Nature editorialDec 26, 2012, CIDRAP News story “Experts differ on HHS select-agent proposal for H5N1″Dec 18, 2012, CIDRAP News story “Experts at NIH meeting say H5N1 research moratorium may end soon”last_img read more

Why Wakefield was right for Amec’s Europort

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Daejan Holdings claims it is being “bullied” to put a woman on the board

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Oaktree to sell £120m shopping centre portfolio

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img