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Neuroscientist finds potential new source for pain inhibition

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first_imgPinterest Share on Facebook The study focused on the body’s inhibitory networks — a series of biochemical reactions that decrease certain neurological activity, such as pain. Price said a great deal of previous research in this area has focused on the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, a chemical released by nerve cells in the brain.Normally a GABA neurotransmitter acts to inhibit neuronal activity, such as pain. However, when pain becomes chronic there is strong evidence that a process called GABAergic plasticity can cause GABA to lose its inhibitory activity, sometimes making the pain even worse.The source of these excitatory actions in neuronal circuits has been broadly attributed to chloride ions, but Price’s research has found another potential cause of GABAergic plasticity: synaptic adhesion molecules called neuroligin-2.“From a basic science perspective, we’re really excited about it because it demonstrates that the types of GABAergic plasticity that can occur in the setting of chronic pain are more diverse than we’ve appreciated before,” he said.Price, who heads the undergraduate research program in neuroscience in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, focuses much of his research on understanding the neuroscience behind pain, particularly chronic pain. He said individuals with chronic pain typically don’t receive the pain-reduction benefits delivered by inhibitory systems. Instead, they often experience increased pain.“When you hit your hand with a hammer, almost everybody has the same reflex reaction — that is, to rub your finger which, in turn, helps to reduce pain. The reason that works is because it increases GABAergic inhibition in the spinal cord,” Price said. “However, people who have chronic pain — if they do the same thing — find that rubbing it actually makes the pain worse. That’s because the GABAergic system loses its efficacy and, in fact, can become excitatory.”Price said the current research is another step in determining why the GABAergic system stops working correctly in some people; it provides a second theory for what drives the system.“Having two ideas and different models will allow us to determine what the therapeutic opportunities are — creating something that will change that back to normal. The lack of performance in the inhibitory system is very detrimental to those who are in chronic pain,” he said.Price said the development of chronic pain is, in essence, one’s body “learning” something that is bad.“It’s changing the way the body functions — it’s learning. That learning, in the case of chronic pain, is aberrant — it’s causing the situation to get worse. If we can figure out what that form of learning was, then we can potentially reverse it. Understanding that the GABAergic system changes during this form of learning potentially offers a new therapeutic avenue,” he said.Dr. Ji-Young Kim, who recently completed her PhD under the guidance of Price, played a key role in the design and execution of the study. The work was funded by the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. LinkedIn A UT Dallas scientist has found a new neurological mechanism that appears to contribute to a reduction in pain.According to Dr. Ted Price, associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the discovery of neuroligin-2 as a cause exacerbating chronic pain is significant for the research community. Although the findings likely won’t immediately lead to new pain therapies, the findings offer a potential new therapeutic direction to investigate, he said.Price’s research on the topic has recently been published online in Pain, the journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain.center_img Email Share Share on Twitterlast_img

Fall in non-COVID in-person visits reveals pandemic care gap

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first_imgDramatically fewer US patients sought in-person routine preventive or elective care during the first 2 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a decrease only partially offset by a rise in the use of telemedicine, according to a study published today in JAMA Network Open.Led by researchers at RAND Corp., the study used health insurance claims data to evaluate the use of non–COVID-19–related health services among 6.8 million US patients with employer-sponsored insurance in March and April relative to the same periods in 2018 and 2019. The researchers also assessed whether changes in use differed by patient race or income. Patient demographics and geographic distributions were comparable in all 3 years.In March and April, ambulatory visits fell 25% relative to 2019. The use of colonoscopy declined by 69.6%. Relative declines were also seen in visits for mammograms (-67.0%), hemoglobin A1c tests to monitor blood glucose levels (-50.7%), childhood vaccines (-22.3%), chemotherapy (-4.1%), musculoskeletal surgery (-47.4%), cataract surgery (-59.8%), and magnetic resonance imaging (-45.0%).Use of cholesterol-controlling statins fell by 2.8%, while diabetes drugs dropped 2.3%. At the same time, the use of asthma medications increased by 11.1%. Overall medical spending declined by 21.5% in March and 45.5% in April 2020 relative to time trends.The use of telehealth services increased 1,270% in March and 4,081% in April compared with those months in 2018 and 2019. However, the increases compensated for the decline in in-person visits by only 40% in March and 42% in April.Telehealth use differences by ZIP codeThe authors said that the increase in telemedicine may have been influenced by changes in financing and licensing as well as adjustments by patients, insurance companies, and healthcare professionals.However, they said, the low offset suggests that many primary care needs may have gone unmet. "It is important to note that many of these policies were only instituted in March, and thus there is still an opportunity for the unmet need gap to be further filled by telemedicine as the pandemic continues," the researchers wrote.Residents of lower-income or more racially diverse areas had smaller decreases in in-person visits, at 20.0% in areas with 80% or more minorities compared with 5.4% in areas with 21% to 71% minority populations. Areas with a high proportion of minorities also had lower rates of telemedicine use, at -7.2% in regions with 80% or higher minority populations and -1.5% in those with 21% to 79% minorities. However, they were less likely than others to have delayed the type of preventive services assessed in the study."We found smaller reductions in care use and lower rates of telemedicine use among patients residing in ZIP codes with lower-income or predominately racial/ethnic minority populations," the authors said. "The extent to which access barriers to telemedicine contribute to lower rates of in-person care deferral and thus increases in potential exposure to COVID-19 should be examined in future work."The authors attributed the "profound shock" of COVID-19 to the healthcare system in terms of in-person visits to patient fears of infection and reduced access to traditional in-person healthcare after restrictions on nonessential procedures early in the pandemic."If the current trends continue, innovative approaches to ensure patients receive timely access to important care will be required," they wrote. "These approaches will require collaboration from multiple stakeholders, including patients, health professionals, insurers, employers, and regulators."Health inequities, amplified In a commentary in the same journal, Elizabeth Jacobs, MD, MAPP, of the Maine Medical Research Institute; Olugbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MS, MPH, of New York University; and Stephan Fihn, MD, MPH, of the University of Washington in Seattle, said that the study also highlights how the pandemic has aggravated preexisting health inequities caused by uneven access to the Internet and declining healthcare system resources to provide telehealth, especially in rural areas."These issues have only served to compound existing disparities by worsening access to care and failing to protect essential workers at the bottom of the socioeconomic hierarchy in communities where the preexisting burden of chronic disease was disproportionate," they wrote.Jacobs and colleagues called for research into the effects of the shift from in-person to virtual ambulatory care in terms of quality of care, timing of cancer diagnoses, management of high blood pressure and diabetes, and complications of cardiovascular, kidney, and other chronic diseases.last_img

End Of An Era: CB FOX Closing Doors After 40 Years

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first_imgCB FOX Department Store in downtown Los Alamos. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost. comFrom left, Dave, Anne and Andy Fox at their store Friday in downtown Los Alamos. Photo by KayLinda Crawford/ladailypost. comBy CAROL A. CLARKLos Alamos Daily Postcaclark@ladailypost.comBeloved family-owned CB FOX Department Store is closing its doors for good at the end of April.Owners Dave and Anne Fox and their son Andy made the difficult decision after receiving an offer on the building that was too good to refuse. The terms of that offer are confidential, but Dave explained how their decision came to be.“Receiving an excellent bid that was made on our building at the right time of our lives is the over-riding reason CB Fox is now in the act of going out of business,” he said. “Time-in-grade had a hand in it for sure, but ‘The Bid-from-the-Blue’ did it. Yarn mills closed down in the South back in the 50’s. Yarn mills in small towns, though, understandably don’t stop. So, it’s important to put to rest yarns spun up of CB FOX being driven out by online shopping and/or mistreatment by the County. ‘Sech jest ain’t so’ … so to speak.”He also spoke of the overwhelming outpouring of friendship, appreciation and mixed feelings between CB FOX and so many community members since the store closure was announced last week.“Good Lord, it is appreciated,” Dave said. “An utter privilege is actually what it has been to grind it out in a town so willing to treat so many others as co-equals. Thanks co-equals! You ARE appreciated. And to the many, many just terrific women, young women, men and young men who have worked here, you have been just that—terrific!”Andy expressed Wednesday how much he is going to miss interacting with his customers.“I am going to miss seeing so many customers who are really friends, on a daily basis,” he said. “They have been so supportive over the years. It’s just difficult that our family decisions effect so many in Los Alamos.”As part of the closing down process, store-wide sales are underway and will continue while supplies last or the store closes for good April 30. Dave confirmed that he, Anne, Andy and his family will all continue to live in Los Alamos. Last August the Fox family invited the entire community to celebrate the store’s 40 years of doing business in the heart of downtown Los Alamos.In reminiscing about the last four decades, the Fox family recalled many generous gestures they received from community members.“One time we ran a ‘We’re not going out of business … we just need cash!’ advertisement. Betty Souder saw it and wanted to be sure we were okay, so she came in and purchased $1,500 worth of gift certificates to give us some cash,” Dave recalled fondly, during an interview with the Los Alamos Daily Post. “While we are remembering the great people we’ve met over the years, we want to salute Bill Enloe and LANB for all their years of support.”Anne told the story of how she and Dave finally took the plunge 40 years ago to own their own business.“Dave was always saying he wanted to own his own business and one time my sister got tired of hearing him say it and told him to just do it … and he finally did,” she said laughing.Following is a chronological history Dave has compiled of the family’s journey over the last four decades:CB FOX HISTORY Written by Dave Fox, Jan. 1, 2011.Modified with addition of mission statement, July 16, 2015Updated July 2019.We came to Los Alamos from St. Louis, MO, 40 years ago as of this writing – my wife, Anne, our three children and me. That we got here was a “collision” of more coincidences than we could ignore, all of which lead to our purchasing our predecessor, the Clement & Benner Department Store … despite the fact that we’d really been trying to buy a hardware store in the then-obscure town of Eagle, Colo.But the coincidences we encountered commanded our attention, such as: our young daughter being best friend to the daughter of Mr. Clement’s son, Buck Clement, who lived within a block of us in St. Louis while his father lived within a mile of us – and had for 40 years, although we hadn’t the remotest idea he owned a Los Alamos store. And coincidences such as the Clement girl’s other grandparents being our next door neighbors!At any rate, before we even knew of Clement & Benner, we’d gotten our sights set on a hardware store in Eagle, Colo. – a rough-at-the edges place with what looked like a good future, thanks to the expensive Beaver Creek development being built just to the east. But making a decision to move to Eagle, a grease spot in the road at that time, was not easy, and by the time we convinced ourselves that Eagle would work out for a young family, a call to the Eagle bank that was to finance the deal, resulted in the devastating news they – the bank – had just snatched the rug out from under us and bought the place for their own purposes. A bank robbery in reverse! Definitely not nice.That dastardly deed got me pretty warm. So, to cool down, I simply began some yard work, when down my driveway came this Buck Clement (He’d come to pick up my daughter for a slumber party with his daughter). Buck knew about “Eagle”, asked how the deal was going, quickly sympathized that it had collapsed, picked up my daughter, and drove away … but no sooner got home than he phoned me, asking, “Would you be interested in my dad’s department store in Los Alamos, NM?”Well, coincidentally (again!), I’d been to Los Alamos exactly 30 days before, because a hardware chain executive for New Mexico had been showing me potential sites for stores in Santa Fe, and in the process, on my visit to New Mexico, he and I made a swing up to Los Alamos so the folks at a hardware store there could give me general encouragement about business in northern New Mexico. That store was/is Metzger’s – so we could have hit our future with a snowball then and there, had we known where the future would lead.There was just so much coincidence involved, that despite not being superstitious (at the time, anyway!), we visited the store within a week of Buck Clement’s question. But still being employed in St. Louis meant we had only a Saturday to scope out Clement & Benner and only half a Sunday to find a house we thought maybe we could afford after we made a down payment on the store! By Saturday evening, we agreed with Dick Clement to purchase the store, and by noon Sunday, we identified the one and only house that seemed maybe affordable with whatever money might be left over after the store was bought for an as yet unknown price! The house was only partly built – just sticks with a roof frame and standing in two feet of snow. Seemed breathless then. And it was. Seems breathless now. And it still is.What we didn’t have, oddly, was any retail experience whatsoever. None.What we did have was crucial: a robust customer-orientation, thanks to 17 prior years in marketing positions that inculcated the One Really Big Idea That Counts: customers’ needs and wants actually do come first. That’s if you actually want to succeed.Some Los Alamosans still call us Clement & Benner, which is okay by us, since the “CB” in CB FOX pays tribute to our Clement & Benner-past and especially to George Benner, individually. Speaking of George Benner, we wish he still lived in Los Alamos. He was the soul of good business sense and had a streak of generosity as wide as the Ohio River at full flood … next to which he moved (and now lies) in Evansville, Indiana.Milestones:July 1979: CB FOX buys Clement & Benner Department Store’s merchandise, fixtures and equipment (but not the building).November 1982: Dave Fox dons Santa suit, pretends to be him for next 38 years (so far), creating a permanent Holiday Season draw of traffic to the store and appreciation from several hundred parents annually, judging from the “patient” wait in the “Santa Claus line”.July 1987: create a special-order mattress section in just 100 square feet of space. Leads to full-scale mattress operations later on.December 1988: CB FOX buys building from Clement & Benner Dept. Store. (Note: Built to be a movie theater by AEC in ’52-’53, AEC later converts it to a department store by ’56 and sells it. It operates about a year as Hubbard’s Dept. Store, then becomes Spears Dept. Store for a couple years. In 1959 it’s bought by Richard Clement of St. Louis, Mo. Clement hires George Benner of Evansville, IN to run Clement & Benner Dept. Store.August 1989: expanded Shoe and Furniture Depts. (Shoe storage structure is built right on top of a sidewalk that had skirted east side of building.) Furniture Dept expanded into area that had been the projection room for the movie theater, a space that overlooks the atrium that rises from the Women’s Dept.)October 1992: expanded and upgraded entire store in response to adoption of the then-new Downtown Plan. In fact, CB FOX was determined to set an example during that very cautious time. And so, space was increased by 20%, selection was increased 40%, the Furniture Dept grew to include half of what had been rented offices on the third floor. It didn’t stop there: new departments were created for infants & children’s wear and toys, chocolates and candies of all kinds, New Mexico food specialties and giftware, soaps, lotions and gels. Total cost of construction, new fixtures, and new merchandise: $700,000.December 1992: Began the CB FOX Holiday Open House which featured our purchasing gift certificates from all the home-owned retail stores in Los Alamos, supplementing them with some $2000 in CB FOX gift certificates, and then holding a drawing for the winners immediately before the holding of the Mainstreet “Electric Light Parade” on Central Avenue, directly in front of the store.Aug. 1994: Andy Fox joins CB FOX after several years as sales rep for footwear companies. His experience immediately felt in much increased Shoe Dept. selections, sales, inventory management. Andy’s presence gives Dave time to address expansion plans, and the County Council’s impact on the town’s business environment.April 1995: Opened Pajarito Greenhouse as a “division” of CB FOX which had been started by the person from whom Dave and Anne Fox had purchased their Pajarito Acres home, i.e. the greenhouse stood just 50 feet from our house, ‘twas small at just 336 sq. ft. and spring of ’95 was its original season of operation.April 1998: Greenhouse is very successful, so “exploded” the greenhouse area from 336 sq. ft to 3,600 sq. ft.Aug. 1999: Expanded to Albuquerque, opening our own mattress stores (branded MattreSmart,) because that market appeared to be ripe two ways: (1) there were too few mattress stores; (2) existing stores predominately sold by misinformation and/or outright lies about competitive products and businesses. Our strategy: Actually, help customers by identifying sleep problem(s), and then providing straight-forward information so customer could genuinely compare mattresses on basis of their advantages and benefits across a range of choices. In other words, use the same approach that had worked so well for customers in Los Alamos. But we’d misjudged acceptance of the idea; but quickly we learned that not enough of that market’s population valued truthful selling of products.January 2000: began routine use of Comcast cable television to extend our advertising reach. The message: MattresSmart’s advantage for the customer plus Beautyrest sleep systems. Los Alamos understood, responded well. Albuquerque continued to not understand. The end of MattreSmart had begun. Fast!March 2000: Stock market’s “tech bubble” pops, recession ensues. Los Alamos sales not harmed. In Albuquerque, though, we hang on for a year then exit with financial tails between our legs, sub-leasing one location on Menaul Blvd at a loss from 2000 through 2007. Still, all the advertising we’d done enhanced our reputation among Los Alamosans, and so sales here continued to grow, whereas they had not done so prior to our failed Albuquerque venture. Serendipity: alive and well.May 2000: Cerro Grande Fire destroys or severely damages 354 Los Alamos homes and burns to the ground 47,650 acres across the eastern face of the Pajarito Plateau, burns 28 percent of LANL’s lands, destroys 112 of LANL’s small buildings, causes evacuation of 18,000 Los Alamos residents, shuts down commerce in town and in White Rock. CB FOX makes deep price cuts for all who lost homes, possessions, especially on the expensive things, notably mattresses and bed linens. Price cuts result in major red ink. But we’d calculated we could survive that. And anyway at the time, with fire and smoke everywhere from May through June and smoke far into the fall, it very simply felt like the right thing to do. The Beautyrest factory in Denver charitably lessened the blow, making Beautyrest mattresses available to us at its own “Cerro Grande discount”. Years later we realized that very good goodwill was the very long-term result.July 2003: expand Furniture Department to entire third floor, eliminating spaces previously rented as office space.January 2004: begin sponsorship on PBS TV of BBC World News. Customers volunteered their surprisingly appreciative approval of this action.March 2004: Andy Fox establishes CB FOX KidZ store next door in the 1731 Central Ave. portion of CB FOX building, an instantly successful move. Reasons why: mom’s/kids now have “their own place” and because we now make space for a whole new category that had not existed since the voluntary closure after years of operation of The Hobby Bench: toys! Footnote: The Hobby Bench was the creation of Natalie Ownings, daughter of the Ownings of Skidmore Ownings & Merrill, NYC, architects of skyscrapers that changed the face of much of New York City in the “60’s and onward. Also, that cleared space for the next change below:June-September 2004: Andy expands Furniture Department again, displays new furniture lines (Simply Amish hardwood furniture, Omnia contemporary sofas, both made-in-America lines) in main floor space previously occupied by “KidZ” department. Now furniture gets full exposure through 60’ wide display window that’s virtually on Central Avenue sidewalk. Again, sales respond at rapid rate.August 2006: begin furniture advertising in “Pasatiempo” weekly magazine in New Mexican newspaper. Original purpose: use Pasatiempo’s high-quality graphics appeal to persuade simply those Los Alamosans who read the publication to think of us as a valid source for well-designed and made furniture. Success flows fast from sales traceable to Pasatiempo ads; includes unexpected significant sales to Taos, Santa Fe, on top of the Los Alamos surge.Recession of 2007-2010: sales grow every year of the recession at 8% average annual rate. We’re surprised, believe growth in recession means secular shift in customer perception of store’s value to the community.Spring-Fall 2010: New lines added: Carhartt workwear/safety footwear, North Face outerwear/sportswear, UnderArmour athletic wear, and trail-running footwear.September 2010: Repurchase all CB FOX shares from Jim McMillan. Jim was the first “outside” CB FOX stockholder: Jim/Dave together since grade school in Webster Groves, MO, same school Dave’s father/Jim’s mother went to. Jim owns Rolling Ridge Nursery in “Webster”, has been in that business 51 years by this time. Jim/Dave continue weekly phone contact as Jim remains on CB FOX Board of Directors. Conversations benefit both as by tacit agreement they’re designed to destroy “bigshot” notions of selves before they can get started. Mode of destruction: ego-pricking, generous-hearted, raucous good humor. Jim is radio voice of gardening in St. Louis, MO (KSTR-AM). Jim mentored Dave’s creation of Pajarito Greenhouse for hours by phone (at 1995-96 AT&T long distance land line rates!) The greenhouse became known as the place to buy many of the xeric varieties of perennial flowering plants, trees and shrubs that previously could be found only in Santa Fe.2017: is the final year for operation of the greenhouse when 79-year-old Dave decided that was a good run, which genuinely pleased a great number of very good Los Alamos gardeners. But CB FOX visibly offers its support to Petree’s Nursery when in the following year they open at the top of the Main Hill Road.Aug. 3, 2019: CB FOX celebrates its 40th Anniversary with a “full town’s” worth of great customers.February 2020: CB FOX announces it will close its doors for good on April 30, 2020.CB FOX Mission Statement:Fine-tune our selection continually to the ways that Los Alamos actually works, plays, travels and lives.Emphasize comfort and casualness, good taste, durability, high functionality.Provide better quality at scrupulously competitive prices at all times, and do it on a brand-to-brand, item-for-item, strictly first-quality to first-quality basis.Support as many local organizations as possible, with consideration first and foremost for teams and other organizations created for children and youth.Conduct ourselves with the highest levels of good humor, openness, courtesy and helpfulness that we can muster every day.last_img

Free publicity for legal services

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first_imgMarketing legal services can be difficult and expensive, so wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy way to get some priceless publicity for free?How about a way in which you could get several column inches in your local newspaper just for doing your job? And just as an added bonus, as part of this article about you doing your job, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say how you excel at the legal services you provide? But no newspaper is going to let you get away with that are they? Err, well actually… yes they are and, what’s more, it’s happening all the time. If you follow the business pages of most local and regional newspapers you will find numerous articles in which law firms literally get publicity just for doing their everyday work. They don’t dress it up as that, of course. The articles are all presented along the lines of ‘Law firm Smith & Jones advise WidgetsRUs on takeover deal…’ or ‘Law firm Smith & Jones helps clinch property deal for major client…’, and ‘Law firm Smith & Jones helps with merger …’. I could go on but you get the idea. These articles have long been an important part of newspaper business pages. They’re strange in a way because they’re not really news in the strictest sense. After all, the reason these law firms are helping with mergers or whatever is because that’s what they do. It’s their job and they do it every day. Generally speaking, people going about their everyday business isn’t really news, but it’s treated as such in this case. You could have a debate about whether these articles are more like adverts than news, and in the days when journalists weren’t quite as rushed off their feet as they are now, they did have such debates. Nowadays, reporters rarely have time to worry about such things. They’re just thankful to have it to fill their news-hungry pages. In any case, such issues need not concern anyone wanting to market their law firm. All that matters is that the opportunity is there, so why not make the most of it? The format of these articles is quite straightforward and easy for any firm to use. If you have been involved in a significant business deal involving local companies (or national ones for that matter), then it might be worth sending a press release about it to your local papers and business magazines. You will need approval from your clients, of course, but given that they will get some valuable publicity out of it as well, they will probably be happy for you to go ahead. In fact, you could put it to them as an added value you offer. Assuming your client is happy then your press release simply needs to cover the basics. The intro would be along the lines of examples given above. Perhaps something like, ‘Law firm Smith & Jones has advised WidgetsRUs on the takeover of three of its specialist suppliers…’, or whatever the circumstances may be. This is typically followed up by three or four paragraphs saying how the law firm steered the client through the complex negotiations before reaching an agreement that is good for all concerned. If you’re lucky, you may be able to include a quote from the client saying what a good job you did. You will probably be able to reciprocate by saying how you were delighted to be able to act for such a major company as WidgetsRUs etc. It’s also possible that you will be able to say something about how your firm excels at providing the kind of service involved in the story, whether it be advising on mergers, takeovers, funding or whatever. You will certainly be given more leeway to promote yourself in this kind of article about a business deal than you would in a think piece about a new piece of legislation. For example, you couldn’t write a piece explaining the ramifications of the Equality Act and then slip in a sentence about how good your firm is at dealing with the issues involved. However, you are likely to be able to do so in an article about how you carried out some work for another local company. If anyone thinks this is too good to be true then I would urge them to take a close look at the business pages in their local newspapers and magazines. They will find several examples of this approach. A quick look at the Birmingham Post over the last few weeks will show you what I mean. You may well find you are knocking on an open door when you produce these articles. Many business editors like them because they regard them as reflecting local business life and therefore of interest to local businesses. You’ll find few better ways of getting free publicity. Nick Kehoe is a former television and newspaper journalist. He is now managing director at law marketing firm Media Coverage Visit the Gazette's blogs page for more In Business blogslast_img

The painful birth of Part L

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first_imgStay 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 building.co.ukBreaking 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 access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img

BigRoll adds number 3

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first_imgHLPFI reported on September 13, 2013 that BigRoll had placed an order for two MC class module carriers at the Chinese shipyard. BigRoll has revealed that the third vessel will be named BigRoll Baffin. The ship is scheduled for delivery in June 2016.The first steel was cut for its sister vessel, BigRoll Barentsz, back in June 2014. The other vessel, BigRoll Bering, was scheduled for delivery in October 2015.All three MC class vessels are designed for the transportation of ultra-large and heavy modules. Their overall length is 173 m with a beam of 42 m, giving the vessels a deck space of 42 m x 125 m.BigRoll added that the vessels are highly suited to travel to remote areas such as the Arctic, as well as for direct offshore supply.  www.bigrollshipping.comwww.cosco-shipyard.comlast_img

Amerijet adds to leadership team

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first_imgOlin will be responsible for developing and guiding strategic growth opportunities for the company, and leading various administrative functions for Amerijet. He has over 20 years of aviation and logistics experience in the areas of law, risk, regulation, and general management.Huff, who previously served as vice president of strategic initiatives at Amerijet, will oversee the overall sales, marketing and development of the Amerijet portfolio of products.www.amerijet.comlast_img

Boskalis reports cautious signs of recovery

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first_imgBoskalis saw revenue increase slightly in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the quarterly average for the first half of the year.The order book stood at EUR4.2 billion (USD4.6 billion), slightly lower compared to the end of June. Over EUR500 million (USD550 million) of new contracts were signed in the third quarter, not including the recently awarded Changfang and Xidao offshore wind project in Taiwan.According to Boskalis, the utilisation of heavy transport vessels was stable compared to the first half of the year, while the project-specific assets (cable-laying, crane and fall pipe vessels) saw improvements.“The high-end transport market is starting to show cautious signs of recovery following a number of quiet years during which transport was wholly dependent on the spot market,” commented Boskalis.boskalis.comlast_img

Pipeline company seeks court permission to proceed with plan

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first_imgPipeline company seeks court permission to proceed with plan SHARE Published: November 15, 2016 1:29 PM EST CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) – The company building the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline is urging a federal court to speed up approval of its plan to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir, arguing Tuesday that further delays could add millions of dollars each month to the cost.Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and a subsidiary turned to a judge for help to get final approval from Barack Obama’s administration for the four-state pipeline rather than wait for President-elect Donald Trump, a pipeline supporter, to take office.“The declaratory relief Dakota Access Pipeline has sought seeks to end the (Obama) Administration’s political interference in the Dakota Access Pipeline review process,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.The Army Corps of Engineers referred a request for comment to the Justice Department, which did not immediately respond.The Corps on Monday called for more study and input from the Standing Rock Sioux before it decides whether to allow the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The 1,200-mile pipeline that’s to carry North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois is largely complete except for that stretch, which will skirt the tribe’s reservation. The tribe says the pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites.The Corps in July granted Energy Transfer Partners the permits needed for the project, but it said in September that further analysis was warranted, given the tribe’s concerns. Its announcement Monday came amid speculation that federal officials were on the brink of approving the crossing. ETP last week began preparing equipment to bore under the river.“Dakota Access has been waiting long enough to complete this pipeline,” the company’s CEO, Kelcy Warren, said Tuesday.The company said in court documents that the delay has already cost it nearly $100 million, “and further delay in the consideration of this case would add millions of dollars more each month in costs which cannot be recovered.”ETP disputes that the pipeline would endanger the tribe and Warren noted earlier that Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy had informed company officials and Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault that the Corps’ previous permit decisions “comported with legal requirements.” ETP contends that the Corps has no legal justification for the delay.Hundreds of protesters gathered Tuesday morning outside a work staging area west of Mandan, North Dakota, and disrupted freight train traffic by putting a pickup truck and tree branches on BNSF Railway tracks, Morton County sheriff’s spokesman Rob Keller said. It wasn’t immediately clear how many trains were affected.Officers in riot gear responded. There were no immediate reports of arrests.Mandan is about 50 miles north of a camp where hundreds of protesters have gathered in recent months to oppose the pipeline. The camp was quiet early Tuesday, with many people having left for Mandan. Some people were erecting large tents with stoves in preparation for colder weather and snow forecast for later in the week.Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is an environmental attorney and president of the New York-based Waterkeeper Alliance, which seeks to protect watersheds worldwide, was expected to visit the camp Tuesday. Activists were also calling for demonstrations at Army Corps of Engineers offices and the offices of the banks financing the pipeline construction. Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.last_img

Government to ‘consider’ lowering employment tribunal fees

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first_imgThe government will consider lowering employment tribunal fees as part of a review of the regime, a junior minister indicated today. Jenny Willott MP, minister for employment relations and consumer affairs, said a number of aspects of the system will be under review. ‘One of those issues I am sure will be the level of fees,’ she told a Westminster Forum event. Tribunal fees were introduced in July. Fees start at around £160, and increase to between £230 and £950 for further hearings. Willot (pictured) said the regime will be subject to ‘a lot of parliamentary scrutiny’ but added it was too soon to judge the impact of the system.However, it is unclear what form a review of the process would take.Hugh Collins, professor of English Law at the University of Oxford, said the fees were four times higher than they ought to be when compared with county court fees.He said lowering them to as little as £50 could be enough to deter vexatious claims and ensure meritorious ones are still brought. ‘My objection to fees is that they are just so high,’ he told delegates. ‘If we had it at a £50 fee, that would be enough to be rid of a lot of the ridiculous claims,’ he said.According to government statistics the number of claims fell 79% to 9,801 in the final quarter of last year compared with the same period in 2012, and dropped 75% on the third quarter of 2013.In February the High Court dismissed a challenge by trade union Unison to the introduction of employment tribunal fees. Unison has until 14 April to apply directly to the Court of Appeal for an appeal.last_img