Dogs Lifting Spirits Around Los Alamos: Meet Tara

first_imgTara, a quasi-canine creature alleged to be a Pomeranian puppy, has proven herself to be an adept hunter, specializing in shoelaces and pants cuffs, although she has also attacked larger prey. Tara (aka ‘Terror’) is 10 weeks old and when riding in an automobile, she is only happy when riding on a shoulder (shown). Tara also is happy when lifting spirits around Los Alamos. She is a member of the Chris Lovejoy family on Sycamore. Photo by Chris Lovejoylast_img

The Maidstone Gets Greener

first_imgThe Surfrider Foundation Eastern Long Island Chapter announced that The Maidstone Hotel in East Hampton is the first on the South Fork to join its Ocean Friendly Restaurant network.The only other restaurant on the East End with this designation is First and South in Greenport. The two are among 400 restaurants throughout Surfrider’s North American network of Ocean Friendly restaurants, an initiative that began in 2018. It’s a pledge for greener practices.According to the Surfrider website, the restaurants promise no expanded Styrofoam use, proper recycling practices, only utilizing reusable tableware for onsite dining, and disposable utensils for takeout food provided only upon request, no plastic bags, paper straws provided only upon request, all seafood is “Best of Choice” or “Good Alternative” as defined by Seafood Watch or certified as sustainable, vegetarian/vegan food options are offered regularly, customers with reusable items receive a discount, energy efficient efforts, no beverages sold in plastic bottles, and water conservation efforts are Sharelast_img read more

Conveyancing must move toward technological change… Or else

first_imgThe recent warning from the British Retail Consortium that high streets could reach a ‘tipping point’, beyond which they will no longer be viable, highlights an important question. Macro-environmental factors like the global economy, technological innovation and the rise and fall of international power blocks have unpredictable effects on local economies, industries and professions. In uncertain and complex business environments, how can law firms develop robust business strategies? Small firms probably take Peters and Waterman’s famous advice to ‘stick to the knitting’ – that is, keep on doing what they do best. They also keep a close eye on visible competitors and may try to copy them when they successfully exploit new ideas. Of course, ‘sticking to the knitting’ and watching your competitors doesn’t work if you’re not clear, or simply wrong, about what you do best or who your competition is. From the 1870s to the 1990s, for example, Eastman Kodak’s production expertise was in chemicals. Sticking with photographic products in the face of a digital revolution meant it had to abandon much of its existing expertise and master electronics. It then had to survive competition from powerful competitors with strong capabilities in electronics – such as Sony. As the Law Society’s current Improving Residential Conveyancing consultation makes clear, residential conveyancing solicitors face a difficult environment and a need to make strategic choices. Technology is a significant factor in success or failure in this environment. It has the potential to change the business landscape for high street conveyancers as profoundly as the BRC fears the economic environment will impact on high streets. Survival will involve abandoning paper-based routines, acquiring expertise in the management of digital systems and facing formidable new competitors. It’s an obvious challenge but, as a recent In Business special report (see [2009] Gazette, 23 July, 12) made clear, virtual law firms are already emerging and thriving despite recession. ‘The future is already here – it is just unevenly distributed,’ is a saying attributed to science fiction writer William Gibson. What that phrase means in practice was brought home to me in a discussion with Richard Barnett, chair of the Law Society’s Conveyancing and Land Law Committee and head of Barnetts Solicitors. Mr Barnett argues that the TransAction Plus vision outlined in Improving Residential Conveyancing is a way to help all conveyancing firms cope with a turbulent future. TransAction Plus will mean common conveyancing protocols, offering a much more open and transparent system for clients, and completion-ready packs, enabling estate agents to use a seller’s solicitor to deal with the home information pack and allowing the profession to offer a consumer-friendly alternative to the basic HIP. There would also be opportunities to build on TransAction Plus by developing a secure electronic portal. Mr Barnett’s strong advocacy is not based on the false assumption that all law firms need to develop the internal capabilities of a firm like his. Firms without specialist IT expertise may well benefit disproportionately from common protocols and a ‘shared’ IT infrastructure that they will not need to develop for themselves from scratch. Maybe this is just outsourcing the future? The Land Registry’s most ambitious plans for e-conveyancing have gone, but electronic registration is on its way. So are alternative business structures. The switchover from the paper-based past to the digital future may arrive sooner than some firms expect. The technologically savvy may already have the internal capabilities to respond quickly and flexibly. For others, TransAction Plus could make the difference between survival and death. The Improving Residential Conveyancing consultation closes on 18 September, and one factor that may shape many responses is the prevailing view on what it is that conveyancing solicitors really do best and who their competitors are. For any organisation, finding the ‘right’ answer to questions like those is fundamental to finding robust strategies that cope with technological change. Timothy Hill is technology policy adviser for the Law Societylast_img read more

My digital life: Dave Wakelin

first_imgTo continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

Loco motion for Steder

first_imgThe locomotives, which ranged from 85 to 135 tonnes in weight, were brought by ship the port of Djibouti and loaded onto Steder Group’s multi-axle trailers for road transportation to their ultimate destination.Steder Group FZCO is a member of the Worldwide Project Consortium (WWPC) and Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE) network for Djibouti.

THLG adds two to board

first_imgThe network, currently exhibiting at Breakbulk Europe and celebrating its 30th anniversary, has also welcomed four new members.Joining the 60-strong group are Egyptian Global Logistics of Egypt, Frits Kroon from South Africa, Broshuis of the Netherlands and Logistic Company Vesta as a member for Russia. From left to right: Iris Müllejans and Elisabeth Cosmatos. www.theheavyliftgroup.comlast_img

Record expansion for Cromarty Firth

first_imgThe news follows the recent award to the port of a GBP10 million (USD12.65 million) contract from Moray East offshore wind farm to become the intermediate port for its 95-turbine development.The new 218 m quayside and 9 acres (3.64 ha) of laydown area has been designed as an energy and cruise hub and will be completed by 2020. It will not only be able to accommodate large scale renewable, decommissioning, and oil and gas projects, it will also be able to berth the largest cruise ships currently being designed and built.This will be the second quayside and laydown area built at the port in three years.Bob Buskie, chief executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “As a trust port, all of our profits are reinvested in the port’s future development. We believe this investment will be help bring new work to the area for decades to come.“There is a substantial demand for the services in the port and, even with the large new quayside and laydown area finished in 2016, we still experience capacity issues.” read more

Let couples divorce amicably, family law body urges politicians

first_imgNigel ShepherdSource: Resolution According to research conducted by Resolution, nine in ten practitioners believe divorce law needs to be modernised to allow for no-fault divorce. A YouGov poll conducted in February shows that almost seven in ten people agree that no-fault divorce should be available.Shepherd says current legislation does not encourage couples to divorce amicably. ‘People often have to cite unreasonable behaviour or adultery on the divorce petition. This leads to unnecessary conflict, makes an amicable separation less likely, and reduces the chances of reaching agreement on children and financial issues,’ he adds.Shepherd cites the recent Owens v Owens case to illustrate why reform is urgently needed. ‘It is simply wrong that in 2017 anyone can be forced to remain in a marriage that they no longer wish to be in,’ he says.Politicians are reminded that no-fault divorce has been legislated before, in the Family Law Act 1996. Scotland, Australia, several US states, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden have divorce without blame.Resolution proposes that the parties adopt a policy that would enable a divorce to be finalised where one or both parties to a marriage give notice that their marriage has broken down irretrievably, and one or both of them remain of that view after six months. Separating couples would be supported by information to help them explore their options.The parties are also urged to commit to providing legal rights for cohabiting couples, who represent nearly 10% of the UK population.Resolution proposes a legal framework of rights and responsibilities when unmarried couples who live together split up. This would also secure ‘fair outcomes’ when couples separate or one partner dies.Cohabitants who meet certain eligibility criteria indicating a committed relationship would have a right to apply for certain financial orders if they separate. This right would be automatic unless the couple chooses to ‘opt out’.Ensuring fair access to the legal system, Resolution believes funding should be provided for free initial advice for people of limited means, to help them identify their options on separation and divorce, helping them to put the needs of any children first, and ensure they are better informed at the start of the process.Shepherd also calls for greater clarity over the legal status of pre- and post-nuptial agreements, which are currently not enforceable in courts in England and Wales. The time has come to end the divorce blame game, the head of a family law group has told politicians, urging them to allow couples to officially part ways amicably.In a letter to the major political parties ahead of next month’s general election, Nigel Shepherd, chair of Resolution, urges them to commit to no-fault divorce in their manifestos. #*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

UK railway news round-up

first_imgCAF has started design and engineering work for the 51 two-car and 26 three-car Civity UK diesel multiple-units which it is to supply from its Newport factory for use on the Wales & Borders franchise from early 2022.The Department for Transport says it is close to reaching an agreement with the football authorities, British Transport Police and the Rail Delivery Group which would enable the trial of a scheme offering ticket flexibility so that football fans would not have to pay more for travel in the event that a match is rescheduled for television. They also aim to improve stewarding on match day trains.In a trading update issued on February 19, FirstGroup said First Rail’s like-for-like passenger revenue growth since the end of September 2018 had slowed to 4·2%, ‘principally reflecting significant infrastructure challenges which resulted in disappointing operating performance’. It was ‘working constructively’ with industry partners to improve operating performance, was ‘encouraged with the improvements made since the start of 2019’ and ‘engaged in discussions with the Department for Transport to work through potential commercial and contractual amendments, a process that remains ongoing’.On February 18 ScotRail began using Hitachi Class 385 EMUs on weekday morning peak services on the Cathcart Circle and Glasgow Central – Newton routes. It now has 31 Class 385s operating on five routes.On February 20 Welsh Government Economy & Transport Minister Ken Skates announced the reopening of a feasibility study into increasing the frequency of trains between Ebbw Vale and Cardiff to four per hour by 2024. The Welsh Government had entered into a contract to deliver the Ebbw Vale frequency enhancement scheme with Network Rail, but this was paused when costs began to escalate.The Building the North’s New Railways report was published by the Northern Rail Industry Leaders group of businesses on February 21, setting out 14 recommendations for how companies can support planned rail investment. ‘The north already has world-leading expertise in delivering rail projects – from train manufacturers to signalling and telecoms, track systems and software providers’, said Co-Chair Justin Moss. ‘Today’s report shows how these businesses will work with TfN, HS2 Ltd, Network Rail, the government and all stakeholders to transform the north’s rail network over the coming years.’Greater Anglia is improving cycle parking security at 13 stations following a review of bike parking on its network. This includes installing tamper-proof fixtures and fittings. ‘We have received several comments from customers, particularly those using Cambridge North, saying that security improvements on bike stands and racks are needed’, said Asset Management Director Simone Bailey. ‘We take feedback like this very seriously and have already started working on the improvements.’On February 18 the House of Commons Transport Committee published the responses from the Department for Transport and the Office of Road & Rail to its report on the May 2018 timetable changes. Chair Lilian Greenwood welcomed the government‘s acceptance of the need for change to the timetabling process, and its recommendations about support for disabled passengers, but said DfT had failed to clarify where responsibility for timetabling will lie and had defered any substantive response to the committee’s recommendations until after the outcome of the Williams Review.From February 18 passengers in Merseyside can buy weekly, monthly and annual Railpass season tickets on the Walrus smart card. ‘We’re now looking at how we create a new smart ticket, as well as contactless and online payment options, which is fit for the future and will work seamlessly across the entire city region’, said Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram. ‘The network of different operators and the range of technology used across the local transport network make it more complicated than we ever would have liked to get a London-like scheme operating here, but we’re working hard with our partners to deliver the smart ticketing scheme that our people deserve.’last_img read more

$3M earmarked to fight Black Sigatoka

first_img Share 29 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! LocalNews $3M earmarked to fight Black Sigatoka by: – May 19, 2014 Tweetcenter_img Share Share The Dominica Government has earmarked three million dollars to fight the deadly Black Sigatoka disease which is affecting banana and plantain crops on the island. Black Sigatoka disease, confirmed here in May, 2012, has spread to several communities across the island.Agriculture Minister Matthew Walter revealed recently that his government has earmarked $3 million to “keep the disease at bay” since it has caused a major decline in the island’s banana and plantain crops. “We have seen a vicious attack on our crop subsector by pests and diseases some of them of quarantine importance. The advent of the dreaded Black Sigatoka disease has impacted significantly the banana industry, eroding further farmer confidence and the involvement in the sector”.“We saw a marked drop in production but this government promises to reverse that declining trend by collaborating with Fairtrade and other players in crafting a realistic plan of action to stop this dreadful disease,” Minister Walter said. Meanwhile, Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) representative to Dominica, Dorian Etienne revealed that a sub-programme has been introduced in the institute to deal with the management of these diseases. “Given that bananas and plantains are currently seriously affected by Black Sigatoka Disease and the potential for further loss through possible invasion of Fusarium Wilt, a sub-programme has been introduced in the institutes MPT to deal with the management of these diseases,” Etienne noted. With funds provided by the Caribbean Development Bank, CARDI will evaluate commercial banana varieties that are tolerant/resistant to Black Sigatoka in Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent, Grenada and Guyana. Additionally, Etienne said a management strategy to control the disease will be developed. He noted that the recruitment of the necessary scientists to carry out the work to control the disease has started and the evaluations in Dominica will be starting in the not too distant future. Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more