Next UpSome council members and City Hall professionals are troubled by the council majority’s actions and duplicity. Doucet apparently believed honest colleagues and employees would not tell us how certain decisions were made behind closed doors.We heard. We know.During Tuesday’s meeting, Doucet began this discussion on Kansas City Southern 503 by stating, “I’ve been reading a lot of articles in the newspaper they label facts, and saying that council had made a decision about this train behind closed doors and is not transparent.” According to the Port Arthur City Charters, Sec. 2-285: “the city council confers upon the city manager the general authority to contract for expenditure without further approval of the city council for all budgeted items not exceeding $25,000, subject to the requirement that a monthly check register indicating all such expenditures be provided to the city council.”That means the City Council does not have to vote on an item or issue if it costs less than $25,000. Nor do they have to vote on it in an open meeting if there are budgeted funds for a project. And since one quote came in under the $25,000 cap, this is how it was discussed, handled and approved by the city council, we were told.Here’s how our sources told us each council member in the Executive Session gave approval: a “nod of the head.” No, you cannot make this stuff up.Full City Council transparency would stop a lot of this “he-said, she-said” banter. Until that happens, we will try to make sure readers are fully informed. He further stated, “I’d like to come on record today, make sure that everyone understands, council has not made a decision on whether this train will remain in Port Arthur or leave Port Arthur or whether it be demolished.”That’s wrong. People we’ve spoken to, in the same closed-door meeting, tell it much differently. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality told city leaders the engine needed to be removed due to draining oil and asbestos. These issues and concerns had been heightened since Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey, and they could lead to potential health problems. A fine was at issue.Additionally, The News was informed the council received and discussed in executive session three separate quotes to handle the work, one for $90,000, one for a little over $80,000 and one for $23,000. Interesting?Doucet said Tuesday, “In fact, for citizens who don’t know, you can always know when council makes decisions. The decisions council makes must be made in open meeting. We can discuss behind closed doors all we want, but we must come upstairs and vote on it.” The Port Arthur City Council’s continuing lack of transparency, candor and honesty has frustrated some citizens. That’s why this week’s council item, discussion about locomotive No. 503, might have excited some people: Action on the historic engine had previously been taken in secret.District 4 Councilman Harold Doucet requested the item. Maybe the council members would clear the air?Unfortunately, the council merely blew more smoke. The recorded video at http://portarthurtx.swagit.com/city-council shows Doucet telling some whoppers to placate citizens frustrated by previous council decisions on Engine 503. No doubt he’s catching heat — Engine 503, which is displayed in his district, most recently rotted away on his watch.
Dan Normandeau, President of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), has announced that the 60-year-old regional development corporation has launched its search for the next Executive Director. Pat Moulton, who most recently served in this position, has been named Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the top economic development position in the state.Normandeau said, “This is an exciting time for BDCC as we continue to grow and serve the economic development needs of the greater Brattleboro and Windham County region.” BDCC owns and operates 450,000 square feet of industrial and mixed-use space in three buildings which are home to over 150 businesses. The primary objective of the organization is to create and retain a flourishing business community that supports vibrant fiscal activity, and improves the quality of life of all its residents.To assist with long-range planning, BDCC has an affiliated organization, Southeast Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) which for the last 3 years has been developing an economic plan for Windham County. This active, community centered organization has been successful in attaining several state and federal grants to assist with the economic planning of the area. Normandeau pointed out “SeVEDS has become a major force in the last few years to assist with the economic development planning for the area.”BDCC is looking for an experienced economic development leader for the exciting position with a minimum of ten years’ experience and proven leadership skills. Interested parties can view the full job description at www.brattleborodevelopment.com(link is external) or contact the Interim Director, Stephan Morse, at 802- 257- 7731.BDCC hopes to have the Executive Director position filled by September 1st.Source: BDCC: 5.27.2014
Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy spoke with Secretary of State Condos on Wednesday to convey his support for the secretary’s action not to give a federal commission Vermont voter information. In response to a letter sent by Election Integrity Commission Co-Chair Kris Kobach requesting sensitive voter data, Condos cited personal security concerns in withholding the data, as Kobach requested Social Security numbers, dates of birth and driver’s license numbers, which Condos said are all “off limits.” Condos also called the commission a “witch hunt” and is seeking further opinion from the Vermont attorney general’s office.Leahy’s statement follows:“President Trump’s commission is a sham based on false pretenses. It could not be clearer that the true goal is further voter suppression.“Vermonters value our voting rights as a solemn and foundational right of citizenship and a pillar of our democracy. We are proud of our state’s proven and trusted record of integrity in our electoral process.“Secretary of State Condos is right to do all he can to protect Vermonters’ voting information and the integrity of our system. In Vermont, Republicans and Democrats and Independents protect the integrity of our system – we don’t need a political overseer.“Vermont’s concerns are echoed by dozens of other states and by millions of other Americans.”Condos Statement: Condos refuses to give Trump voter informationSource: MIDDLESEX, Vt. (WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017) — Senator Patrick Leahy
Several elementary schools will be offering free lunches between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. this summer.Shawnee Mission Lunch Bunch program under way. Shawnee Mission’s Summer Lunch Bunch program, which provides lunch free of charge to any child between 1 and 18 years of age Monday through Friday, started this week. The program is offered at 10 elementary school buildings through July 27. The only weekday that the program will be closed is the Fourth of July. [Lunch Bunch Starts Monday, June 4 — Shawnee Mission School District]Register to continue
Share on Twitter Share Pinterest Juliet’s mother hates RomeoJuliet’s mother would rather have Juliet marry Paris, who is from a good family. Juliet has set her sights on the heartthrob Romeo from the archenemy’s family.But what’s new is that you find the same opposing interests between sisters.Your sister would choose the steady fellow for youIt’s the old story. The daughter of the house brings home the handsome hunk and proclaims that he is the love of her life.But her mother prefers the respectable fellow with promising prospects, or maybe the rich guy from a good family.As it turns out, your sister would probably agree with your mother, and would rather you have a steady, boring partner, too. This despite the fact that mother and sister would both rather have a hunk themselves.Everything is ultimately about genetics and mathematics.“For their own partners, women focus on an attractive appearance that suggests good health and an ability to pass on their genes. At the same time, they prioritize qualities in their sister’s partner that can provide direct benefits for the whole family,” say the researchers. “This is consistent with our previous studies where we compared mothers’ and daughters’ choices,” they add.Studied sistersThe context for this new insight is a survey that the researchers undertook among female students and their sisters.Participants were asked to rank 133 different characteristics that described the perfect partner for themselves or their sister. A similar survey was conducted among mothers and daughters a few years ago.“For the most part, women choose the same ideal partner characteristics for themselves as for their sister. The qualities of faithfulness, loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness and reliability score highest when women are asked who would make an ideal partner,” says Biegler.But some clear differences also emerged. “The women perceived characteristics like being understanding, empathic, responsible, helpful, sensible and kind as more important for their sister’s partner than for their own,” says Biegler.Women found being sincere, humorous, charming, sexually satisfying and fun as more important for their own partner than their sister’s.Relative’s partner must contribute directlyThe reason is really simple. You are more closely related to your own kids than to your sister’s kids or your grandchild. The transfer of your own genes is ultimately most important.Shared genesYou are basically and obviously 100 percent of your genes. These genes make you just you. Your behaviour may be modified by culture, but the genetic basis is not changed because of that. We say that r = 1.You get half of your genes from your mother and half from your father. We say that r = 0.5. You transfer half of your genes to your child. Therefore you are as much related to your children as to your parents. Thus, r = 0.5.Your child passes on only half their genes to your grandchild, i.e. half of the half that you share with your children. So you are more closely related to your child than to your grandson. The grandchild is therefore r = 0.25 and is as closely related to you as your sibling. For great-grandchildren and cousins?? r is half that again, i.e. r = 0.125.You share so much genetic material with your relatives that you can’t be blasé about whom they have babies with. They also carry on some of your genes and are part of what is known as your “inclusive fitness”. But they can’t get in the way of your own direct gene transfer.“The ideal partner for your sister or your daughter can’t drain resources from you and decrease the chance that your own genes can be passed on. Preferably he should directly increase your own chances. This can be achieved in part if your sister or daughter makes big gains by choosing a particular partner, and is able to spread your shared genes much more effectively,” says Biegler.But an advantage for your sister will rarely outweigh your decreased chances. Normally you want to have the greatest genetic advantage when a relative chooses a partner that can provide direct benefits for you, in terms of wealth or status, for example.You don’t want to spend money or other resources on raising your sister’s or daughter’s kids, unless it can bring you a considerable advantage in spreading your shared genetic material. And then you’d often rather spend the resources on increasing the survival and status of your own children, or have more kids yourself who can procreate.“Women prefer for their daughter or sister to choose someone who can contribute to the upbringing of their own children and grandchildren, or who at least doesn’t pose a burden,” Kennair says.This also means that the man should be trustworthy, take care of his children, preferably be strong financially and have a social status that does not diminish your or your descendants’ chances of spreading their genes.Your own partner may contribute indirectlySo why would you rather have a good-looker yourself?“The underlying truth remains: passing on your own genes is the priority. The primary consideration is to find a partner who can give you attractive children who survive. They need to be attractive enough to pass on their genes to the next generation to the greatest extent possible,” said Kennair.That’s why the muscular heartthrob is a more interesting choice than the boring geek for one’s own partner.“A healthy hunk is presumably in good health, attractive to others as a partner and can transfer those genes to your children,” says Kennair.Then your children might also be more attractive than if you choose the geeky nerd. It’s nice to have a stable guy, but in the end you’ll be drawn to the handsome man instead.Trying to exert influenceBut it’s no sure thing that you’ll end up choosing the heartthrob. Your mother or sister might try to influence you to choose a different partner than the one you like best. Yes, this happens even in our society where we like to think that we choose our own partner.Whether you opt to listen to them is another matter entirely. That can depend on your own living situation, or if your family refuses to provide financial assistance or other help if you go for the heartthrob against their wishes.Not a moral issueKennair and Biegler are moving into an area that often evokes strong feelings. But, they say, none of this is a matter of morality, only of passing on genes.“People who haven’t behaved according to this pattern have been deselected through generations. A larger proportion of them simply didn’t get to pass on their genes to a new generation. So their contribution to the gene pool dwindled,” says Kennair.But for those who still want to look at it all through a moral lens, it just gets worse.Latent in usThe best possible outcome, of course, is if the heartthrob you’ve set eyes on is also a kind and steady-as-they-come kind of guy with good prospects.But there’s no guarantee you’ll just be able to pick one that has absolutely everything, you know. This perfect guy may prefer your sister. Or your mother. It may be part of the reason they won’t allow you this heartthrob.It could be that your sister would like you to choose another partner so that the heartthrob will be available to her instead. She may not even be thinking about it, and it’s far from certain that she’s actually trying to steal your guy.The same underlying mechanism may even still exist in your mother, even though she is past her baby-making days. It lies dormant in both of them, just as it does in you.This mechanism is a result of competition and has yielded the best results over generations, regardless of morality.No one is saying that any of this is necessarily conscious. It is a result of genetic transfer through all the generations before you. Your mother and your sister are also out after the best possible partner.Equal, but similarPerhaps most interesting is that this also applies in a relatively egalitarian society like Norway, where women are largely financially independent and choose their own partners.Today, Norwegian women can usually even provide independently for themselves and their children. But they seem to be attracted to partners with exactly the same qualities as the partners of women in countries where the family chooses their partner. In very few cultures do women have much choice.“It’s the exception for women to choose their own partners. In most cultures, it isn’t this way,” says Kennair.In most cultures, the mother will usually get her way. But the researchers’ hypothesis is that the stronger the parents’ control is over their children in a culture, the stronger the conflict between the sisters is also.“If you can’t win over mom, you still have a chance to win against your sister. The less chance you have to win one conflict, the harder you have to fight to win the other,” suggests Biegler.That’s why it is more important for you that a grandchild passes on their genes than that a cousin does.This has nothing to do with morality. It is more or less pure mathematics. We assume monogamous relationships.But even for independent Norwegian women, it can be an advantage if the partner doesn’t take off and leave you with almost all the responsibility for the kids. This can also reduce your chances of effectively passing on your genes.Maybe you would have liked to have more kids if you had been able to afford it. Or maybe your sons become paupers who don’t get support from others’ mothers.“In the end, though, Norwegian women are more attracted to the good-lookers than the boring, kind and steady types–the same attributes that have been playing out for generations before us for the greatest genetic success,” say the two researchers.The article was published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. Why do we choose the partners we do, and why do we get flak about it from our parents? Professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair and Associate Professor Robert Biegler from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Department of Psychology say it comes down to simple genetics.“We see a conflict between mother and daughter because of opposing interests,” says Biegler.The researchers knew this was the case from their research several years ago. They even know why, and named the conflict the “Juliet effect” after the conflict between Juliet and her mother Lady Capulet in Shakespeare’s drama. 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Share In all three interventions – absent minded, emotional and texting – the researchers found that the drivers’ handling of the wheel became jittery with respect to normal driving. This jittery handling resulted in significant lane deviations and unsafe driving only in the case of texting distractions. In the case of absent-minded and emotionally charged distractions, jittery steering resulted in straighter trajectories with respect to a normal drive and safer driving.“A likely explanation for this paradox is the function performed by a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex, or ACC,” Pavlidis said. “ACC is known to automatically intervene as an error corrector when there is conflict. In this case, the conflict comes from the cognitive, emotional and sensorimotor, or texting, stressors. This raises the levels of physiological stress, funneling ‘fight or flight’ energy to the driver’s arms, resulting in jittery handling of the steering wheel.”What happens when the brain’s ACC automatically intervenes, Pavlidis said, is that it counterbalances any strong jitter to the left with an instant equally strong jitter to the right and vice versa. The end effect of this forceful action is nullification of any veering to the left or the right of the lane and, thus, very straight driving.For ACC to perform this corrective function, it needs support from the driver’s eye-hand coordination loop. If this loop breaks, which it does when the driver texts, then ACC fails and the jittery handling of the steering wheel is left unchecked, resulting in a significant lane deviation and possible accident.“The driver’s mind can wander and his or her feelings may boil, but a sixth sense keeps a person safe at least in terms of veering off course,” Pavlidis said. “What makes texting so dangerous is that it wreaks havoc into this sixth sense. Self-driving cars may bypass this and other problems, but the moral of the story is that humans have their own auto systems that work wonders, until they break.”Pavlidis and Wunderlich think the scientific and manufacturing community can benefit from their team’s study. They posit that the question of what happens when self-driving cars experience failures needs to be asked now rather than later. Case in point, their research uncovers the mechanism that makes moderate cognitive and emotional distractions relatively safe, but only as long as the driver’s natural tendency to handle multiple tasks is not overwhelmed.“Following up on the results of our science study, we are currently looking into the development of a car system to monitor outward driving behaviors, such as steering jitter or lane deviation, as well as the internal state of the driver that causes them,” Pavlidis said. “This system, which I call ‘stressalyzer,’ a play on the word breathalyzer, may serve not only as a ‘black box’ in car accidents, but also as a driver alert and prevention mechanism, since it will continuously sense a driver drifting to distracted mode.”The study was published in Scientific Reports. LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Facebook While much has been made about the dangers of texting and driving, less attention has been focused on the age-old distractions of being absent minded or upset while driving. A team of researchers from the University of Houston (UH) and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) focused on all three of these important factors.Led by Ioannis Pavlidis from UH and Robert Wunderlich of TTI, the research studied how drivers behave when they are absent minded, emotionally charged or engaged in texting. The work was funded, in part, by the Toyota Class Action Settlement Safety Research and Education Program.*The study looked at 59 volunteers who were asked to drive the same segment of highway four times – under ‘normal conditions’ of being focused on driving, while distracted with cognitively challenging questions, while distracted with emotionally charged questions and while preoccupied with texting trivialities. To avoid bias, the order of the drives was randomized. Share on Twitter Email
Das and Horton commentary Das and Horton warn that the quest for elimination must not come at the expense of current control efforts using such tools as insecticide-treated bed nets and antimalarial drugs. Nov 1, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – A collection of articles published recently in The Lancet lays out a daunting array of obstacles to the global elimination of malaria, including the lack of an effective vaccine, and suggests that the achievement remains decades away. See also: Feachem also points out the importance of multicountry approaches to controlling malaria, since travel and migration often lead to malaria importation. Regional collaborations are often talked about, but they are rare in practice, he says. Authors of the Lancet articles generally endorse the existing three-pronged global strategy to fight malaria: aggressive control in high-burden regions, “progressive elimination” on the edges of malaria-endemic regions to “shrink the malaria map,” and research to improve diagnostics, drugs, insecticides, and vaccines. On the matter of paying for the malaria battle, another team of experts suggests that eliminating the disease won’t necessarily save money, at least on a 50-year time horizon. They compared the estimated costs of eliminating versus effectively controlling malaria in five different locations and found that the probability that elimination would save money over 50 years ranged from 0% to 42%, with only one site showing savings. Tatem et al article abstract Countries that shrink their malaria burden to “low-endemic” status should carefully weigh the risks, benefits, and feasibility before deciding to take aim at elimination, says a commentary by Richard A. Feachem of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues. The Lancet “online first” page with links to articles and commentaries on malaria elimination “All the easy stuff has been done and it is extremely unlikely that the endgame will be closed without an increased understanding of parasite biology,” writes Marsh, of the Kenya Medical Research Institute–Wellcome Trust Collaborative Programme in Kenya. In a similar vein, Kevin Marsh says scientific understanding of P vivax malaria epidemiology is very limited, even though P vivax is the main or a major part of the problem in the 32 countries now trying to eliminate malaria. They recall the successful battle to eradicate smallpox decades ago and write that the kinds of qualities and strategies used then must be brought to bear against malaria today. The findings show that financial savings should not be the primary reason for elimination, “but that elimination might still be a worthy investment if total benefits are sufficient to outweigh marginal costs,” says the article by Oliver Sabot, of the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Boston, and colleagues. “To achieve elimination, a wide range of silent malarias will need to be dealt with,” Baird asserts. “An anachronistic strategy focused on one malaria and the presumption of accompanying illness and diagnosis should be discarded.” Using lessons from the global malaria eradication program of the 1950s and 1960s, a group led by Andrew J. Tatem of the University of Florida in Gainesville assessed which countries have the best chance of eliminating the disease. Their general conclusion is that the goal is most feasible in the Americas and least feasible in sub-Saharan Africa. Sabot et al article abstract Elimination, as Das and Horton note, means “interrupting malaria transmission at a national or regional level,” not to be confused with eradication. “Malariologists remain divided about this objective,” they add. Some believe that an opportunity to eliminate the disease exists, while others worry that raising expectations and then failing—as has happened before—may set malaria control back. Baird commentary “When confronting malaria, elimination is worthy, challenging, and just possible,” write Lancet editors Pam Das and Richard Horton in a commentary. “But it must be pursued with balance, humility, and rigorous analysis. Malaria will only be truly eliminable (or eradicable) when an effective vaccine is available.” J. Kevin Baird of the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit in Jakarta writes that malaria is not one but many diseases, yet malaria treatment efforts have “focused on asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum to the exclusion of the many other malarias.” There is only one drug, primaquine, for these other forms of the disease, and it is toxic for some patients, he says. Feachem et al commentary The reports say that 109 countries are free of malaria, with 79 having achieved that since 1945, but another 99 countries are still battling the disease. Thirty-two of those 99 have started to eliminate it, while 67 are working to control it. Marsh commentary The articles outline a number of scientific and technical obstacles to malaria elimination.
HOLLAND, MI — Sloan Transportation Products has appointed Carl Shanks as the company’s new sales director for the Western region. Shanks will be responsible for heavy-duty OE and aftermarket sales in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. He will provide additional product and sales training, as well as oversee Sloan’s independent sales agencies in the territory. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Shanks has more than 20 years of experience in the heavy-duty and automotive parts and service industry. He has an extensive background in sales, account management and customer service. Sloan’s new West Coast warehouse is located in Portland, OR, and is designed to serve customers in the Western U.S. and Western Canada. For more information on Sloan products, visit: www.sloantrans.com . _______________________________________ Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit. LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business. DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain.
Rotary Club of Los Alamos President Phil Dabney, left, exchanges trade banners with Rotarian Jim Gullette of Plymouth, Calif. Gullette is the sister of local Rotarian Anne Macek and is visiting the Macek family with his wife Suzy, also a Rotarian. He belongs to the Rotary Club of Plymouth Foothills; Suzy belongs to the Passport Rotary Club of Amador. Together the Gullettes own Vino Noceto Winery in Plymouth between Sacramento and Tahoe, producing world-class sangiovese wines. Photo by Linda Hull
Chef Massimo Sola.Who:Chef Massimo Sola at Dopo La SpiaggiaInstagram:Instagram: @dopolaspiaggiaChef Sola’s Guest-Worthy Recipe: Catch of the Day on Pappa Al PomodoroWhy?“This is a traditional summer dish in the regions of Tuscany and Liguria. An authentic ‘pappa al pomodoro’ is the perfect match for a wild local fish, burned on its skin and then slowly cooked into a fish stock for a few minutes to concentrate all the flavors. Simple but delicious, and easy to make for an unexpected guest or a crowd.”Ingredients6 oz wild local fish fillet, skin onTwo mature plum tomatoes1 shallotExtra virgin olive oil4 oz old breadSalt and pepperDirectionsSlowly stew the onion into olive oil. Add the diced tomatoes and the bread. Continue till the tomatoes are melting. Add salt and pepper.Strain through a vegetable mill and season with extra virgin olive oil. Put the completed dish into the refrigerator for a couple of hours, and reheat as needed.Put a pan on the burner, and when very hot, add some olive oil and the fish skin side down.When roasted to a brown color, turn the fish over, add some water and olive oil, and continue cooking. Seven minutes will be enough.Put the reheated pappa al pomodoro on the bottom of a plate and the roasted fish on top. Finish with some microgreens. Share