Um, yeah. With the current best time at 42.2 seconds, I’m way off the mark with my best time:Fortunately, you get two tries per day until the contest ends. Hint: My speed seemed to hold at the fastest level pedaled, so get off to a super quick start and it’ll make a big difference. Head over to Challenge.Rotorbike.com to play. Ready to put those internet warrior skills to the test? Rotor is giving away a set of their new InPower cranksets to the fastest fingers. Just pedal with the keyboard arrows to send your rider up a road climb, and if your time is the best, you win. They’re also giving away a few Rotor shop aprons for runners up and other participants. Screenshots with my time (and yes, I broke a sweat…kind of embarrassing) after the break…
by Anne Galloway vtdigger.org The statewide property tax could go up 7 cents ‘ not 5 cents ‘ next year as originally reported by the tax commissioner, Mary Peterson.In her letter to lawmakers in November, Peterson recommended that the rate increase by 5 cents per $100 of assessed property value. In a memo sent on Friday, she issued a correction: There was an error in the original calculation that could push the rate to 7 cents. The state’s consultant ‘erroneously reported’ the State and Local Government Price Index in several calculations that skewed the formula.Last year, the rate went up 5 cents for homestead (residential) property and 6 cents for non-residential (commercial and second home) property owners, according to a spreadsheet from the Joint Fiscal Office. The statewide base property tax rate increased by 7 cents from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2014.If the Legislature, as expected, approves another 5 cent increase in fiscal year 2015, the rates will be 99 cents for homestead and $1.49 for non-residential.That increase will be painful for many taxpayers.Under a possible 7-cent scenario, rates would go up to $1.01 for homestead and $1.51 for non-residential property owners.But the net effect of the additional 2 cents on homeowners ‘ if lawmakers approve the higher rate and bump up the per pupil reimbursement to towns ‘ is negligible. Non-residential property owners will see a slight increase, as a result of the 2-cent bump.Jeffrey Francis, director of the Vermont Superintendents Association, said the mistake hurts the administration’s message, especially since the commissioner’s Nov. 26 memo and Gov. Peter Shumlin’s letter admonishing school districts to reduce spending were released with such fanfare.‘My reaction was, it was unfortunate that they didn’t have the number right the first time,’ Francis said. ‘It adds to the challenge of the budgeting process.’In Peterson’s original letter, the base income tax was 1.8 percent. Under the law, homeowners who pay 1.8 percent or more of their income in property taxes are eligible to receive a discounted property tax rate based on income, instead of the assessed value of their property. The base income rate been 1.8 percent since fiscal year 2009.Peterson bumped up the base income tax rate to 1.84 percent in her memo on Friday. According to state statute, when homestead property taxpayers pay more than $1.01 per $100 of assessed value, that triggers a change in the base income tax.That threshold was reached when Peterson made the recommendation to increase the rate by 7 cents on Monday, driving up the rate to $1.01 for homeowners.This year, the state will deduct $153 million from $591 million in homestead education tax revenues to pay for the income sensitivity program. The JFO’s Ed Fund spreadsheet does not separate amounts paid by income-sensitized Vermonters and taxpayers who are not eligible for the rebate.Freezing the base education reimbursement to towns could impact local property taxesThe memo presents lawmakers with another issue. Peterson points out that the Legislature could keep the rate at 5 cents by freezing the ‘base education amount,’ or the per pupil reimbursement rate to towns.Lawmakers must decide whether to increase the statewide rate or to flatten reimbursements to towns and potentially drive up local tax rates in their home districts.Historically, lawmakers have pegged per pupil rate increases to inflation. For three years during the recession (fiscal years 2010, 2011 and 2012) the base rate was frozen at $8,544. After that, the rate was increased by $607.Early projections show that school spending could increase as much as 5 percent. That would drive the base education rate up from $9,151 to $9,382 this year in concert with the statewide rate increase.Francis is concerned that lawmakers may freeze the base education rate, which would drive up local property taxes.‘I do not think because of this newly found factor they ought to say we’re not going to increase the base education amount,’ Francis said.No matter what, he says, local school districts are developing ‘responsible budgets, period.’Gov. Peter Shumlin plans to hold a summit in January to re-evaluate the state’s 16-year-old education finance system, which includes an income-sensitivity component that he says ‘inoculates’ low-income Vermonters from property tax increases.Peterson says national financial experts are taking a ‘good look’ at the state’s education finance system and will come up with alternatives that ‘could address better spending decisions to the amount of revenue that’s available.’
Related On Sunday 30 September – the Marina di Campo (Elba Island) between Corsica and the western coast of Italy – saw over 700 triathletes (individual and relays) take on the iron distance Elbaman and half iron distance Elbaman73.The staff of organising group Aethalia Triathlon had ‘prepared the competition area with precision and attention.’ The organisers also noted that the ‘race course is simply spectacular, with a hard and technical bike section.’In the half iron Elbaman73 (1.9K swim, 94K bike, 21.1K run), Italians Giuseppe Baldelli and Sara Dossena took the men’s and women’s titles.In the full distance Elbaman event (3.8K swim, 180K bike, 42.2K run), the rain accompanied the triathletes in the afternoon, making the going even tougher.The full distance event was very much an international affair, with a number of non-Italian triathletes seeking out Elba Island and the increasingly iconic Elbaman event. Here, the men’s win was claimed by Italy’s Matteo Annovazzi, with second place and first out of the water for Argentina’s Francisco Pontano. Spain’s Gregorio Caceres Morales took third place with ‘a great climb in the marathon.’In the full distance ‘Elbawomen race’, Austrian Monika Stadlmann claimed victory; with second place for the UK’s Michelle Parsons and third for Belgian Bianca Van Den Kieboom.The next edition of Elbaman is already set for 29 September 2013.www.elbaman.it
Someone left Deffenbaugh carts out in the island at the intersection of 74th Terrace and Village Drive earlier this week. Reader submitted photo.Prairie Village administrators are withholding a portion of the payment due to Deffenbaugh for waste hauling services in the city in December until the company addresses lingering issues with getting its carts removed from customers’ homes.Prairie Village Public Works crews have collected more than 200 Deffenbaugh carts that were either not set out or were skipped over during the company’s final cart collection pass last week. The city has held the carts at the Public Works facility off Somerset for Deffenbaugh to come and collect.“How many carts are left out there, I do not know,” said Assistant City Administrator Wes Jordan. “We never really had a good number of what wasn’t collected.”Jordan said the city would not be paying its full bill to Deffenbaugh for December charges as a result of the cart collection issues.“We are going to pay three-fourths of the bill,” said Jordan. “We are going to hold back the rest until this is met to our satisfaction and we are able to recover our costs from Public Works.”Members of the city council said Tuesday they’d heard concerns from residents that Deffenbaugh may attempt to fine homeowners who did not get their carts collected. City administrators suggested that while Deffenbaugh does retain ownership of its carts, it was unlikely to be able to fine homeowners because the company was not tracking which homes had their carts removed. Still, residents who still have Deffenbaugh carts should alert the city by calling 913-381-6464.Jordan also reported that Republic, the city’s new waste hauler, was still working through the log of requests from residents to switch out the standard 65-gallon cart for smaller or larger sizes. Fully 2,500 homeowners requested a different-sized cart, more than the city or Republic had expected. At present, around 400 homeowners are still waiting for their replacement carts.“Have there been some problems with customer service in getting the carts delivered? There have been,” Jordan said of Republic. “[But] the guys working locally have been fantastic. And they’ve been addressing our concerns.”Republic has told the city it will collect trash residents set out in Deffenbaugh carts through the end of the month. Republic will also honor Deffenbaugh-issued overflow stickers through the end of March.
January 15, 2017 Regular News Diversity panel wants to expand opportunities The Bar’s Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion is pursuing a variety of initiatives as it seeks to expand opportunities for all Florida lawyers. “We want to ensure the Bar will reflect the demographics of the state, that we develop opportunities for community involvement, and to make leadership roles in the profession and The Florida Bar accessible to all attorneys,” Chair Brittany Maxey told the Board of Governors in December. The Bar’s broad definition of diversity includes race, citizenship, gender orientation, gender, geographic location, and many other factors, she said, and the committee has 130 members, plus liaisons to Bar sections and divisions to work on its goals. The panel currently has five initiatives. Law Schools One is to work with legal education. “We want to be very visible at the Florida law schools,” Maxey said. Alumni from each school who practice nearby have been assigned to work with the schools, disseminate information about the committee and the Bar’s diversity efforts, and report on diversity and inclusion at each school. “We are also working on implementing a sustainable pipeline initiative for students who may have an interest in our profession and may need a little more guidance. . . than others,” she said. Diversity Grants The second undertaking is the annual $50,000 grant program to local bars to hold diversity and inclusion programs. For 2016-17, the committee approved 27 of 28 grant applications and each program must be completed before June 30, 2017, with a report submitted to the committee, Maxey said. Multicultural Development In the wake of the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, the committee set up its Multicultural Program Development Subcommittee, she said, to coordinate responses to bias-related incidents. “What happened in Orlando showed us we as attorneys are in key positions. . . to help when help is needed,” Maxey said, noting lawyers pitched in to provide legal help for victims and family members. “A second initiative is called ‘Know Your Bar.’ It’s being modeled after the United Nations’ HeForShe campaign, which is a campaign to understand gender equality is not a women’s issues, it’s a human rights issue, and to encourage men and boys to be change agents.” Leadership The fourth initiative is a subcommittee “to help diverse people who seek leadership positions, including on judicial nominating commissions and on Bar committees,” she said. “We’re also working very closely with the Judicial Nominating Commission Procedures Committee to ensure that diverse Bar members continue to apply for appointments to the JNCs and the judiciary.” Finally, the committee is working to set up a diversity and inclusion summit for November. The committee has submitted a proposal for review by the board’s Program Evaluation Committee, and the tentative date has been set for November 9-10 in Orlando. Maxey said the summit will look at implicit and explicit bias, gender bias under the federal Title IX laws (which were passed 45 years ago), and challenges in multiculturalism. Diversity panel wants to expand opportunities
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Local business teams have used both companies’ legacy technology and applications to approach new customers and offer compelling new solutions to existing customers.“The ability to cross-sell our combined technology and applications was key to the rationale for merging our two companies,” said Anne Roby, Executive Vice-President of Linde.“These new agreements demonstrate how we are already winning new business and with more tools in our toolbox we can offer a more complete solution to our customers. I have great confidence that we will continue unlocking this opportunity.”Linde has signed more than 30 small on-site contracts including cryogenic nitrogen (N-Plant) and non-cryogenic oxygen (VPSA) and nitrogen (PSA) production plants in the last 12 months.The most recent wins from cross-selling its combined technologies have been three VPSA agreements signed with: KOA (Suzhou) Co. ltd., a leading manufacturer of cosmetic bottles (China); SCHOTT, a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics (China); and ARAUCO, a global forestry company (Chile).
The Japan Methane Hydrate Operating Co., Ltd. (JMH) was established today (October 1, 2014) with the aim to participate in the Medium to Long-term Offshore Production Test from pore-filling type methane hydrate which will be conducted by the Japanese government.A substantial quantity of methane hydrate is estimated in the offshore areas around Japan. Serving as a new domestic energy source, with the potential to make a major contribution to a stable national energy supply for Japan, technological development is expected for its commercialization including establishment of production technologies.At the end of the fiscal year 2012, the Japanese Government carried out the first offshore production test and succeeded in the world’s first production of gas from methane hydrate under the seabed.At the end of 2013, the Japanese government announced the latest version of the “Plan for the Development of Marine Energy and Mineral Resources”, in which the Medium to Long-term Offshore Production Test is planned.JMH has been formed with agreement and capital participation of 11 companies engaging in oil and natural gas development and in plant engineering. The companies include: Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. (JAPEX) 33%, Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. (JDC) 18%, INPEX CORPORATION (INPEX) 13%, Idemitsu Oil & Gas Co., Ltd. 5%, JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation 5%, NIPPON STEEL & SUMIKIN ENGINEERING CO., LTD. (NSENGI) 5%, Chiyoda Corporation (Chiyoda) 5%, Toyo Engineering Corporation (Toyo) 5%, JGC CORPORATION 5%, Mitsui Oil Exploration Co.,Ltd. (MOECO) 5% and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. (MGC) 1%.JMH aims to provide contract services efficiently, effectively and smoothly on field operations in the offshore production test of pore-filling type methane hydrate in “all-Japan” structure, and to share its findings among private-sector in Japan.Optimizing this structure, participating companies will proactively offer their technologies and knowledge to the Japan’s research and development of pore-filling type methane hydrate toward its commercialization.Related:Japan: ANRE in Methane Hydrate Drilling SurveyPress Release, October 01, 2014; Image: ANRE
Stonehenge Metals has appointed San Marino Venture Group (SMVG) to support the commercialization of the Protean wave energy conversion technology in US.California-based SMVG originates and manages deal flow with an emphasis on emerging technologies, sustainable energy, real estate and infrastructure revitalisation.The appointment of the advisory group is part of Stonehege Metals’ global commercialization strategy.Bruce Lane, Stonehenge’s Managing Director, said : “The SMVG team’s market connections with key customer segments like ports, oil companies, and power and water utilities in the US combined with their ability to access both public and private venture and infrastructure funding partners make them an ideal partner for Stonehenge.SMVG’s capabilities will be a great complement to those of Bill Toman, recently appointed as President of our US subsidiary (Protean Wave Energy Inc.), specifically in the areas of access to funding, connections to major Californian ports and their deep experience of environmental planning and infrastructure permitting in California.”Protean Wave Energy aims to become the first active wave farm developer off the coast of California. The company is confident that SMVG’s skills, experience, and contacts will add significant credibility to the Company’s U.S. commercialization effort, Stonehenge Metal’s press release reads.Eric Miller, Vice President, Finance of SMVG commented: “SMVG is excited to be joining forces with Stonehenge so that we can help drive the US commercialization program for the Protean WEC. The state of California has been searching for years to find a viable system that will convert wave energy into electricity & water supply and I believe that the Protean wave energy technology is favourably positioned to succeed in California.”Stonehenge Metals has entered into into a binding agreement with Protean Energy Limited to acquire Protean Energy Australia Pty, which holds the intellectual property titles, rights and licenses to the Protean Wave Energy converter technology.[mappress mapid=”314″]Image: Protean Wave Energy
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