Vermont Business Magazine Another positive performance by the Personal Income Tax has pushed annual revenues ahead of projections for the year. Secretary of Administration Trey Martin released Vermont’s “preliminary” revenue results today for October. Preliminary data reflects a good month for the General Fund but a down month for Transportation and Education Funds. October is the fourth month of Fiscal Year 2017. The Sales & Use tax, the second most important revenue source, struggled again, as did the Corporate tax. Both are lagging behind targets and noticeably behind year-to-year totals. The Corporate tax has been strong the last couple of years and has to some extent offset a weakness in the Personal Income Tax. The third largest tax is Rooms & Meals, which has stayed relatively strong both month to month and year to year.The General Fund for the month of October collected $120.34 million, $1.36 million above the consensus revenue target adopted by the Emergency Board on July 21, 2016. This slightly higher than expected performance in October was driven by ups in the Personal Income and Meals and Rooms taxes of $1.55 million and $1.05 million respectively. These ups were partially offset by underperformance in the Sales and Use Tax of -$0.43 million, Inheritance and Estate Tax of -$1.80 million and the Property Transfer Tax of – $0.13 million. Through the first four months of the fiscal year the General Fund is slightly ahead of target on the consensus revenue projection from July. Year to date receipts in General Fund are $469.88 million, versus a target of $468.56 million.Agency of Administration Secretary Trey Martin said, “These numbers reflect continued strong management of Vermont’s fiscal health by the Shumlin Administration. Over the last six years, revenues have grown at a steady 3 percent rate, Vermont businesses have brought 19,000 new jobs online, and total budget growth has been held to 3.7 percent overall. This team has delivered balanced budgets year after year without increasing income tax, sales tax, or rooms and meals tax rates.”Revenue targets have been downgraded over the last few years as the recovery from the Great Recession has not been as robust as expected.The Transportation Fund collected $22.65 million for the month of October, -$1.02 million below a target of $23.68 million. This underperformance was driven primarily by a down in the Motor Vehicle Fees of -$0.56 million and the Purchase and Use Tax of-$0.29 million. Year to date, receipts in the Transportation Fund are down -$2.88 million against target.The Education Fund collected $17.00 million for the month of October, missing its target by -$0.43 million. All major revenue streams experienced a slight underperformance.Overall, revenues have increased year over year in the General Fund by +$13.82 million or 3.03%, the Transportation Fund +$0.12 million or 0.13%, and the Education Fund +$0.06 million or 0.09%.Secretary Martin added, “We are pleased to see the General Fund slightly ahead of target year to date, although we will be watching the individual components closely as trends begin emerging over the next few months.”
Stool softener tied to 47 Burkholderia cepacia infections in 5 statesThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending clinicians and all patient populations stop using the liquid stool softener docusate after the medicine has been implicated in an ongoing, healthcare-related Burkholderia cepacia complex (B cepacia) outbreak. To date, 47 infections in five states have been linked to two strains of B cepacia foundin liquid ducosate. B cepacia complex can cause severe lung infections, including pneumonia, and even death. Patients who are immunocompromised or have chronic lung illnesses are particularly at risk.”CDC has confirmed one product as having B cepacia complex growth; however, because of epidemiologic links, CDC is concerned about potential contamination of multiple liquid docusate products,” the CDC said in an outbreak and patient notification posted on their website on Jul 8.The CDC first reported the outbreak on Jun 24. The initial cases were found in ventilated patients who did not have cystic fibrosis and were treated on intensive care units. At the time, the CDC recommended against using liquid ducosate in “patients who are critically ill, ventilated, or immunosuppressed.”Liquid ducosate is commonly given by clinicians to treat constipation. B cepacia complex is highly transmissible and often spreads quickly in healthcare facilities. Jul 8 CDC update PAHO notes 903 new chikungunya casesThe Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported only 903 new chikungunya cases late last week, a week after reporting more than 43,000 cases. The new cases bring the total in the Americas this year to 194,149 infections.The agency reported 950 and 43,842 new cases, respectively, in the previous two updates. Last week’s update, dated Jul 8, includes 34,172 confirmed cases of locally transmitted disease and 147 imported cases, with the rest (159,830) being suspected locally transmitted infections.Colombia reported the most new cases, with 332, bringing its 2016 total to 17,267 cases. Guatemala was next with 108 new cases and 2,121 total. Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Argentina reported smaller increases.PAHO noted no new chikungunya-related deaths, leaving that number at 18 for the year, 16 of which have been in Brazil.The outbreak began in December 2013 on St. Martin in the Caribbean with the first recorded cases of the disease in the Americas. Since then PAHO has reported 2,074,115 suspected or confirmed cases, including 286 deaths.Jul 8 PAHO report
A study today in the journal mBio shows that, in addition to circulating in blood, Plasmodium vivax, a parasite that causes malaria, also accumulates in bone marrow.P vivax causes most malaria infections outside of sub-Saharan Africa and is a significant public health burden. Though not as deadly as P falciparum, P Vivax still infects tens of thousands of people annually, sometimes leading to severe and fatal symptoms.This is the first time P vivax has been detected in bone marrow, and the discovery paints a more insidious picture of the parasite. By using bone marrow as a reservoir, the parasite is able to replicate mostly undetected in a person. P vivax gametocytes, cells that are essential for transmission, mature quickly in the bone marrow and can be transmitted to mosquitoes before the onset of illness.The scientists, mostly from the United States, made their discovery by studying the transcriptomes of P vivax to identify blood-borne proteins that correspond to different stages of the parasite’s life cycle. They then took blood samples from patients with malaria, which showed a fraction of P vivax life stages were underrepresented in the blood, meaning they were accumulating somewhere else in the body.The scientists performed autopsies on 14 monkeys who died with malaria infections, sampling tissue from the animals’ bone marrow, lung, liver, brain, intestine, and fat. A large percentage of P vivax was housed in the bone marrow.”We think this is a conserved phenotype in Plasmodium parasites. Essentially that the bone marrow represents a major reservoir for parasite growth and transmission,” Matthias Marti, PhD told CIDRAP News. Marti is the lead author of the study and a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Glasgow.Marti said P falciparum has also been found to accumulate in bone marrow.Bone marrow represents new target”We need to new diagnostic tools to estimate parasite burden in the marrow from markers in the bloodstream, as direct bone marrow diagnosis is not feasible,” Marti said. Although the science isn’t there yet, targeting the bone marrow and the parasite’s gametocytes could be a game-changer for reducing malaria burden, he added.”Gametocytes don’t make anyone sick, but they’re the mode of transmission,” explained Anne Parker Frosch, MD, from the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine at the University of Minnesota.”Medication is lousy at killing gametocytes, so targeting gametocytes could interrupt transmission.”See also:May 8 mBio study
A small group of about 50 students, employees, and other community members were crowded into a small section of bleachers usually reserved for fans of visiting teams in the Bridgehampton School gym on Friday, August 10.“The Today Show” was in town, and producers had transformed the north end of the tiny gym into a makeshift studio, with lights, cameras, and sound equipment, while ordering the assembly to remain hushed.Somehow, the small crowd did not notice the entrance of the guest of the hour: Shaquille O’Neal, a National Basketball Association Hall of Famer, who played on four championship teams over a 19-year career. O’Neal, who stands seven feet, one-inch tall and whose playing weight has been listed at north of 330 pounds, is ordinarily hard to miss.As he crossed the floor, O’Neal motioned to the crowd to make a little noise and they obliged him with a raucous cheer.In what was one of the worst kept secrets of the year, Shaq was in town to promote Killer Bees, the documentary about the school’s near-legendary basketball team, which, despite the school’s tiny enrollment and undersized gym, has won eight New York State titles.The film was made by Ben and Orson Cummings, who attended the school before going onto filmmaking careers.Having O’Neal, who has been in several films and released a handful of rap albums, sign on as one of the film’s associate producers, has given the documentary, which has received good reviews from the critics — pardon the pun — a helpful buzz.Ben Cummings acknowledged that O’Neal’s presence had helped open doors to a distribution deal.The film can be watched on iTunes and Google Play, and Cummings said the next step is to get the film on Netflix and other streaming services.The film, which premiered at last year’s Hamptons International Film Festival, has been screened in New York and Los Angeles — a requirement to be considered for an Academy Award.“We’re not done yet,” Cummings said. Getting the film positioned on the “short list” for the Oscars is next on the agenda, he added.If anyone in the small gathering wanted to hear about why O’Neal decided to back the film, they’ll have to wait until Today’s segment on the team airs sometime between 8 and 9 AM on August 20. That’s because both O’Neal and the correspondent who interviewed him, Craig Melvin, were close miked and could not be heard in the stands.No matter. Shortly after O’Neal finished his interview, the gym doors were flung open and hundreds of people rushed in.Kids divided into two groups and drove to the basket, like a team doing pre-game warm-up drills, while the giant stood in the lane, swatting away shots when he felt so inclined.Later, Shaq engaged in a shooting contest with Melvin and Elijah Jackson, a former Bee standout, who was one of the players featured in the film.“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, wearing shades in the dimly lit gym, also made a cameo appearance, engaging in a game of Horse with kids from the Eastern Shore Players, a youth hoops team from Virginia, led by former Killer Bee, Daryl Hemby, who were in town for a weekend tournament at the Southampton Town RecCenter in North Sea.One of their coaches, Marvin Johnson, said even though O’Neal retired seven years ago, the kids on his team all knew who he was.The Cummings brothers and their camera crews followed the Bridgies, as the team was once known, during the course of the 2015-16 season as they tried to defend their state title. The film also explored the social-economic and racial divides that remain barely under the surface in Bridgehampton today.The film, which was screened in the gym following Shaq’s appearance, was well received by the audience of community members.And although it was not a day for speeches, Carl Johnson, the team’s former head coach, spoke briefly after the movie. “What makes us special,” he told the crowd, “is we are a family, and no one can take that away from us.”email@example.com Share
LNG player Woodside Energy has won the Environment Excellence Award at APPEA 2015 Conference Dinner in Melbourne.While presenting the award, APPEA Board member and Buru Energy Executive Chairman, Eric Streitberg, said the judges found that Woodside had shown consistent excellence in environmental management. This included strategic planning, risk management, monitoring and evaluation.“Woodside has also shown a strong commitment to environmental research, particularly in marine science,” Streitberg said.Its marine research projects have involved collaboration with a range of organisations, including: universities, CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Western Australian Museum, and the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife, APPEA noted in its statement. Image: Woodside
Fiza Logistics recently handled a 650-tonne transformer for the Hub power plant project; it also coordinated the transport of a smaller unit that was delivered by an Antonov AN-124 aircraft and moved my road to the jobsite. When completed, the oil-fired thermal power plant will be able to provide approximately ten percent of Pakistan’s electricity demand. www.xlprojects.netwww.fizalogistics.com
A hard-hitting report from the UN’s Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) catalogued widespread and systematic abuses, including a lack of due process in the entire criminal justice system.‘Suspects… are regularly held incommunicado,’ the report said. ‘In the eyes of friends, co-workers and neighbours, the person simply disappears and may never be heard of again.’ Summary executions and ‘other cruel extrajudicial punishments’ are commonplace in the country’s extensive prison camp system.
ON JANUARY 17 Dutch Transport Minister Karla Peijs signed a contract with the Green Tulip consortium for operation of the Betuwe Route. Consisting of Babcock & Brown (which has just purchased Swiss intermodal operator Crossrail AG, p60), TowRail, national network manager ProRail and the port authorities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the consortium has a five-year contract to run the dedicated freight line.The government has agreed to meet the initial operating loss estimated by Green Tulip at €35·6m (RG 10.05 p598), and the intention is to open the line on January 1 2007. Should this prove unrealistic, the transport ministry would resort to a temporary management contract.The deal has been signed without agreement on the level of access charges, but it is clear that they will be higher than those currently charged by ProRail for using the existing network. The 2007 charge could be €2 per tonne-km, rising to €4 or €5 per gross tonne-km in 2010. The change in the basis of calculation from train-km to tonne-km is critical (RG 10.05 p605), and it is expected to lead to a significant proportion of heavy traffic such as coal and ore diverting to inland waterways or to other ports such as Dunkerque.ProRail has now acknowledged that it will not be possible to have ETCS Level 2 operational on the Betuwe Route by 2007, and we understand that Alstom is to supply a back-up in the form of a cut-down version of the Dutch ATBNG system.In the meantime work is drawing to a close on the southern section of the HSL-Zuid high speed line, and Siemens has begun tests with an Austrian Class 1216 Taurus locomotive. Paired with two test coaches, this machine established a Dutch speed record of 202·6 km/h on January 17.
Canada: At a cost of C$12·6m Industrial Rail Services is to rebuild six Budd RDC railcars used in northern Ontario and Vancouver Island. Accessibility will be improved, and they will get LED lighting, new HVAC and rebuilt Euro-II compliant Cummins N14E-R engines. China: ContiTech is to supply Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation with air springs for 50 CRH1C and CRH1D high-speed trains. Estonia: Elektriraudtee has selected Stadler to supply 18 electric and 10 diesel multiple-units in 2012-14. The EU Cohesion Fund is covering 85% of the 1·25bn kroon cost of the 3·3 kV DC Flirts, while the diesel units will be supplied under a 20-year lease with the 85·2m kroons/year cost met from the state budget. There is an option for a further 10 DMUs. France: SNCF has placed further firm orders for multiple-units within its large-scale framework agreements. On March 24 Alstom announced a third order for 23 Régiolis sets worth €135m, and Bombardier announced a second tranche of 49 Régio2N double-deck EMUs worth €350m. ABB has a SFr25m contract to supply Alstom with traction transformers. Germany: The VPS transport and logistics subsidiary of Salzgitter AG has awarded Vossloh Locomotives a €25m contract to supply 18 G6 diesel shunters from early 2011. Rurtalbahn has placed a €8·85m order for five Stadler Regio-Shuttle diesel railcars to be delivered in mid-2011. Italy: AnsaldoBreda is to refurbish 51 Series 4900 trams for ATM Milan under a €33m contract. Pesa is to supply a further four ATR220 DMUs to FSE, which has previously ordered 27. The Polish firm has now delivered 33 of the 41 ATR 220 units ordered by Italian customers. Kazakhstan: EBRD is providing a US$50m loan to enable the Kaztemirtrans leasing subsidiary of KTZ to acquire 1000 wagons. South Korea: Hyundai Rotem is to supply Korail with 56 six-axle 6·6 MW Series 8300 electric locos with Toshiba traction equipment in 2011-12. Lithuania: Pesa is to supply LG with eight more 620M single-car DMUs by June 2011, following on from four delivered in 2008-9. Malaysia: By June KTMB will take delivery of 15 used Japanese coaches offered free of charge. After refurbishment they will be used on inter-city services. The government has announced plans to order 38 EMUs for delivery from the end of 2011. Poland: Szczecin has purchased 11 second-hand KT4Dt and 20 T6A2 Tatra trams from Berlin for €1·5m to replace its oldest 105Na cars. Koleje Mazowieckie has signed the €41m contract for Bombardier to supply 11 Traxx P160 DC electric locomotives in 2011, and provide maintenance for four years (RG 3.10 p8). Russia: The Mecheltrans subsidiary of mining and metals group Mechel is increasing its fleet by 12% with a 1·26bn rouble agreement to lease 450 wagons from Gazprombank. Rusagrotrans has ordered 283 Transmash Type 19-3054-04 grain wagons of 70·5 tonne capacity. Altaivagon is to supply Novotrans with 4000 open wagons during 2010. Transmash’s Novocherkassk plant is delivering 15 2ES4K electric freight locos to North Caucasian Railway. This month RRR will put into service 50 Type 12-9780 open wagons supplied from Barnaul Car Building Plant. Switzerland: SOB has ordered 14 more Stadler Flirt EMUs at cost of SFr123m, to be delivered in 2012-13 as an option on a 2005 order. They are needed to increase capacity and replace older vehicles, though the exact number will be finalised later this year after a referendum on the proposed St Gallen S-Bahn project. USA: EMD and Norfolk Southern have begun a biodiesel test programme with eight SD70M-2 and two MP15 locomotives running on 10%-20% blend.
Share Tweet Share Share Sharing is caring! 358 Views no discussions NewsRegional St Vincent opens new multi-million dollar international airport by: Caribbean Media Corporation – February 14, 2017 Photo credit: TravelweekKINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — St Vincent and the Grenadines Argyle International Airport was officially opened on Monday evening with a flag-raising ceremony in which Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the facility is “a symbol, it is a metaphor of what is possible in us.”“Do not ever allow any people, any nation to impose on us limitations to our imagination,” he told the large crowd that turned out to the opening of the EC$700 million (US$259 million) facility, six years behind schedule.“Only we, as a self-governing people under God, with our own individual sense of being; only we must impose limitations on ourselves. Any other notion is a colonial one, and it is debilitating and it will hold us back,” said Gonsalves, who in 2005 announced his administration’s plan to build an international airport at Argyle, on the eastern side of the island.“Whatever we set our minds to achieve, with patience and calm, we can achieve, as we have seen it here. This is a bridge to the world. And this plan didn’t just come from us. It is a combination of human intelligence and divine inspiration,” Gonsalves said and sang the chorus “I’m building a Bridge”.Monday’s flag-raising was one of two events to mark the opening of the airport, which begins operations later on Tuesday with scheduled flights by intra-regional carriers, LIAT and Grenadine Air Alliance.A number of international chartered flights from North America and Cuba are also scheduled to land on Tuesday at the airport, which has contributed EC$400 million to the EC$1.6 billion national debt.The airport has a runway that is 9,000 feet long and 150 feet wide. The terminal building has been designed to process 1.5 million passengers annually and 800 people an hour at peak.Gonsalves, who will also address Tuesday’s ceremony, said “today was supposed to be a very simple function and look at the thousands who are here.“(Tuesday) I believe we are going to see the largest crowd ever assembled at one place in St Vincent and the Grenadines. And we are going to have a good time. We are going to have a good time because we have been blessed,” he said.In his address, Gonsalves reiterated that the events on Monday and Tuesday are national ones.“This is a not a party, political event; neither the one tomorrow [Tuesday]. There is enough time, which we have spent on those arguments and we may well spend them on the arguments in the future, but today, now, and tomorrow [Tuesday], with our guests in our midst, I want to ensure that we have a national event, worthy of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Gonsalves said.“It is inevitable, in the nature of competitive politics, that this or that matter may be said; that something may creep in. But, as prime minister of the country, I want to reaffirm, yet again, that this is a national event,” Gonsalves said, using the event to thank the nations and institutions that contributed to the successful completion of the airport.He thanked the CARICOM Development Fund, which, of its own resources and through resources from Turkey, contributed to the airport and thanked also the president and the government and the people of Taiwan, which donated the terminal building.He also recognised “very specially”, three other major partners, namely Venezuela, Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago, which will be featured during Tuesday’s celebratory rally.President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro is slated to attend and speak at the event as well as Cuban Vice-President, Salvador Mesa.Gonsalves paid a special tribute to the memory of his “dear friend and brother” the late prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning, whose widow, Hazel will speak during Tuesday’s rally.Gonsalves also used the ceremony to recognise other representatives of countries that have assisted with the airport, namely, Austria, Mexico, Turkey, Libya, Georgia, and Iran.“We have had contributions from countries; some of them do not have diplomatic relations with one another. And part of the creativity and skill of the government was to bring all of these countries together to assist the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”Gonsalves also thanked the governments of Britain, Canada, and the United States of America, whose respective export credit guarantee systems assisted “with certain items of equipment which we purchased, but, because of the guarantee systems we got them on better interest terms”.Opposition Leader, Godwin Friday, speaking to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) said the event had the pomp and ceremony that he expected.“And I hope that the airport turns out to be what we expect as well.”Friday did not give a clear answer as to whether opposition lawmakers would attend Tuesday’s event, saying “we will see. We will take it one day at a time.”He said that decision would be informed by “what the nature of the exercise is.