Vermont Town Meetings vote 14-1 against relicensing Vermont Yankee

first_imgFor complete survey findings, go to http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org(link is external) on the Web.METHODOLOGYThe Civil Society Institute survey by Opinion Research Corporation was conducted February 19-22, 2010 among a sample of 802 adults comprising 399 men and 403 women 18 years of age and older living in the state of Vermont.  Completed interviews are weighted by two variables,  age and gender, to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total state population, 18 years of age and older. The margin of error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.  ABOUT THE CIVIL SOCIETY INSTITUTEBased in Newton, MA, the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org(link is external)) is a think tank that serves as a catalyst for change by creating problem-solving interactions among people, and between communities, government and business that can help to improve society.   Since 2003, CSI has conducted more than 25 major national and state-level surveys and reports on energy and auto issues, including vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, consumer demand for hybrids/other highly-fuel efficient vehicles, global warming and renewable energy.  In addition to being a co-convener of CLEAN, the Civil Society Institute also is the parent organization of 40MPG.org (http://www.40MPG.org(link is external)) and the Hybrid Owners of America (http://www.HybridOwnersofAmerica.org(link is external)).  EDITOR’S NOTE:  A streaming audio recording of the March 1, 2010 news event at which the Vermont survey results were announced is available on the Web at http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org(link is external).SOURCE Civil Society Institute, Newton, MA. MONTPELIER, Vt., March 4, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ As predicted based on a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) for the nonpartisan and nonprofit Civil Society Institute, the vast majority of Vermont Town Meetings deliberating this week the fate of the Vermont Yankee came out in support of closure of the controversial nuclear reactor by 2012.  The final tally of Town Meetings in Vermont opposing the relicensing of Vermont Yankee was 14-1.  The town of Rockingham was alone in passing a pro-Vermont Yankee resolution and, even then, only by a margin of three votes, according to reports.  Towns voting in favor of shutting down Vermont Yankee were: Thetford, Bristol, Fayston, Brookfield, Montgomery, Woodstock, Moretown, Waitsfield, Danville, Cabot, Huntington, Sharon, and Jamaica. Additionally, Cambridge elected to table the issue.Pam Solo, founder and president, Civil Society Institute, said:  “Our survey pointed to the likelihood that the Vermont Town Halls would come out along the lines of the earlier Vermont Senate vote to close Vermont Yankee by 2012.  With literally dozens of other reactors plagued with similar tritium leaks, we see a clear message here for a U.S. nuclear power industry:   You can’t sell Americans on the notion that you are providing ‘clean and safe’ power at the same time that you are leaking a radioactive substance into wells and other bodies of water.  Citizens in other states may not be able to intervene as directly in reactor issues as Vermonters can, but the Town Hall votes and our survey findings suggest that Americans are unlikely to remain silent about tritium leaks and other legitimate safety concerns.”The Civil Society Institute’s scientific survey of 802 adult Vermont residents was based on Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) polling that took place February 19-22nd immediately before the Vermont Senate vote on Vermont Yankee relicensing.   CSI believes that the findings resonate nationally in that a main driver of deteriorating public support for Vermont Yankee centered on the leaking of radioactive tritium, a problem that also is playing out at 27 or more of the nation’s 104 reactors across 31 states.Key survey findings reported by Opinion Research Corporation included the following:About two thirds of Vermont residents (65 percent) say “reports about Vermont Yankee leaking radioactive tritium into testing wells and surrounding water” make them “more likely to support the 2012 closure of the reactor.”  That includes 44 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Independents.  Of those Vermont residents who heard about the radioactive tritium leak at Vermont Yankee, nearly four in five (79 percent) said they are concerned about it, including more than half (52 percent) who are “very concerned.”  Only about one in five (21 percent) of this group said that they were not concerned, with just 6 percent saying they were “not concerned at all.”  Even when the 20 percent of state residents who have not heard about the tritium leak are added, the percentage of all state residents who are concerned about the tritium leaks at Vermont Yankee still accounts for 63 percent of the state’s adult population.  Overall, 71 percent of state residents are “less supportive now of Vermont Yankee, the nuclear reactor, than [they] were six months ago.”  That includes 57 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Democrats and two thirds of Independents.  Given a choice, fewer than one in 10 Vermont residents (9 percent) would ask their power company to use nuclear energy to power their homes, compared to 71 percent who selected “wind, solar and other clean-energy technologies.”The fact that Entergy has been unable to find the source of the tritium leaks makes more than three out of fourVermont residents (76 percent) “less confident in the company’s ability to safely manage a nuclear reactor”.About half of Vermont residents (49 percent) see nuclear power as a “power source of yesterday,” compared to compared to 94 percent for solar, 92 percent for wind and 78 percent for hydroelectric as “power sources of tomorrow” that should play a bigger, rather than smaller, role in the U.S. energy supply picture.  Nine out of 10 Vermont residents (89 percent) say that Entergy — not Vermont taxpayers — “should have to foot the bill for decommissioning Vermont Yankee.”  That includes 83 percent of Republicans, 94 percent of Democrats and 90 percent of Independents.68 percent of Vermont residents would support closure of Vermont Yankee in 2012 “assuming that a combination of increased energy efficiency, clean energy, such as hydroelectric, wind and solar and natural gas could be used to offset the electricity from the reactor.”  That includes 48 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Independents.  71 percent of Vermont residents would support closure of Vermont Yankee in 2012 “assuming that many new jobs could be created through investments in new clean energy technologies, such as hydroelectric, wind and solar.” That includes 47 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of Independents.  Only 46 percent of state residents trust Entergy to clean up the tritium leaks at Vermont Yankee, compared to 47 percent who do not.Two thirds of Vermonters now give Entergy a low rating for “trustworthiness” — with 37 percent saying “very low” and 29 percent “somewhat low.” Only about one in four state residents (26 percent) give Entergy high marks for trustworthiness.Nearly three out five state residents (58 percent) give Entergy low marks for “competence” — with 26 percent saying “very low” and 33 percent “somewhat low.” Fewer than one in three (29 percent) give Entergy high marks for competence.Four out of five state residents (79 percent) have heard about the tritium leaks at Vermont Yankee.  Only 20 percent have not.last_img read more

Luxury waterfront home sold for $3.27m after splitting from neighbouring block

first_img22 The Anchorage, Noosa Waters Qld 4566. Picture: Realestate.com.auA STUNNING waterfront property has sold for $3.27 million after its owner withdrew a neighbouring block from the deal.The sale, which was one of the highest private treaty prices in Queensland this week, involved a five bedroom, five bathroom, double car garage house at 22 The Anchorage, Noosa Waters. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour agoAn 800sq m size block beyond that wall was once part of the deal. More serene views off the top deck. The home has all the best that Noosa has to offer.One Agency Noosa agent Petar Markonovic marketed the property as being in one of Noosa Waters’ most prestigious streets with the home designed by renowned architect Paul Clout.It has a 10m wet edge pool, courtyard at the centre of the home, a hardwood jetty with water and power, multiple living spaces, office, media room, garden equipment locker and computerised watering system for the gardens. Soaring ceilings keep the feel light and bright. A frangipani tree courtyard in the centre of the home.center_img Floor to ceiling glass lets light and nature in.The 800sq m property had originally hit the market as part of a package deal with a different agent which involved the neighbouring block and priced above $7m, according to listings records. A listing by Baxton Property Management Peregian’s Brian Hayes said it was “40 metres of exclusive water frontage from two titled lots and the fact that it is the only north facing multiple allotment currently for sale speaks volumes of how unique this property is”. The upstairs zone leading to bedrooms. Life doesn’t get much better than this. Bring on summer!last_img read more

The Latest: Pac-12 to perform coronavirus tests on athletes

first_imgPac-12 schools have agreed to perform COVID-19 and coronavirus antibody tests on all athletes upon their return to campuses for voluntary workouts.Commissioner Larry Scott tells The Associated Press “these guidelines are coming from our medical advisory committee and it’s their belief this is best practice.”Scott says athletes will continue to be tested regularly for COVID-19 as long as they are under the supervision of the schools.Scott says “I think it’s important to keep in mind our student-athletes come from all over. All over the United States and in some cases all over the world.”The Pac-12 schools are scheduled to begin allowing athletes back into their facilities for voluntary workouts starting June 15. “These guidelines are coming from our medical advisory committee and it’s their belief this is best practice,” Commissioner Larry Scott told The Associated Press.Scott said athletes will continue to be tested regularly for COVID-19 as long as they are under the supervision of the schools.“I think it’s important to keep in mind our student-athletes come from all over. All over the United States and in some cases all over the world,” Scott said. “Return to campus and return to voluntary workouts I think factors that in.”The Pac-12 schools are scheduled to begin allowing athletes back into their facilities for voluntary workouts starting June 15.___ The Latest: Pac-12 to perform coronavirus tests on athletes Russia is planning to allow a limited number of fans in the stadiums when games restart.___England is set to host the West Indies in three cricket tests in July, subject to government approval.The West Indies will arrive next Tuesday and travel to Old Trafford in Manchester for quarantine and training.They will then move to Southampton for the first test from July 8, and back to Old Trafford for the remaining tests starting on July 16 and July 24. There will be no spectators.The two venues were chosen because they had hotels attached or nearby and could be turned into “bio-secure environments.”Cricket West Indies agreed in principle to tour last Friday.The test series was originally scheduled to begin on Thursday.___ North Carolina State athletics director Boo Corrigan says the school has begun a schedule allowing student-athletes to return in phases to campus, with the first wave of football players permitted to return to student housing by June 20.The school announced details of the plan Tuesday in an open letter from Corrigan, who said the plan is to return via “the safest and most responsible path moving forward.”Corrigan says the first phase has already started by allowing members of the football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs who live locally to receive examinations and coronavirus testing.If cleared, athletes would be allowed to participate in voluntary workouts, though they would be divided into small groups for safety precautions.The second phase begins with football players returning to student housing “no later than” June 20, followed by men’s and women’s basketball players. The third phase would bring back athletes in fall sports, though Corrigan said only that will come “later this summer” with additional details coming later. The final phase is the return of all other programs ahead of the fall semester.___The Russian soccer league says it will restart on June 19. That is two days earlier than originally planned.The league says it gave the date of June 21 because of a longstanding practice of using the date of Sunday’s games as the official nominal designation for a round of games over several days.The restart will begin with two games on June 19. Krylya Sovetov Samara will play Akhmat Grozny and Sochi will face FC Rostov.center_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Pac-12 schools have agreed to perform COVID-19 and coronavirus antibody tests on all athletes upon their return to campuses for voluntary workouts. June 2, 2020 Associated Press ___An Albanian player has tested positive for the coronavirus but the country’s soccer federation says his club will play as scheduled when the league resumes this week amid the pandemic.The KF Bylis player was not named.League matches in Albania will resume on Wednesday without fans in the stadiums. The matches will follow medical protocols drafted in consultation with UEFA.Federation spokesman Andi Vrecani says “the championship is not threatened because the protocol has been set that such a player with COVID-19 is quarantined for 14 days and the team continues preparation normally.” Play was suspended in mid-March following the country’s lockdown.Bylis is in seventh place. The league is expected to finish by July 29 with the Albanian Cup final on Aug. 2.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

South African children’s voices heard in London play

first_img21 October 2015The experiences of children from Rammulotsi township in Free State province is getting global attention on stage in London.Directed by Danny Boyle, The Children’s Monologues Anniversary Gala Performance will take place on 25 October at the Royal Court Theatre in London. In South Africa it will be performed by the children themselves on the same night.The monologues relate the stories from over 200 children who were asked by the Dramatic Need charity to describe a day they will never forget. They shared their stories in Sesotho and playwrights adapted them for the stage for the first time in 2010.Watch more about the 2010 version here:The anniversary performance has an all-star line-up, including acclaimed actors and actresses such as Nicole Kidman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and James McAvoy. They will be performing the monologues.#BenedictCumberbatch discussing the #childrensmonologues + why they matter, watch for a special announcement today!pic.twitter.com/5yV5dW2wmJ— Dramatic Need (@Dramaticneed)October 18, 2015We are so excited that @NazaninBoniadi is joining the #childrensmonologues. Cast/Tickets: http://t.co/DPnby1M4RIpic.twitter.com/ngFbMDniXW— Dramatic Need (@Dramaticneed) October 8, 2015The storiesBoyle told British newspaper The Guardian that the stories were raw, and described them as gut-punching. “They have that directness that you find with children anywhere,” he said. “Kids can’t compartmentalise or filter traumatic stuff so they just say it. With that directness comes this terrible heart-wrenching intimacy.”The testimonies from the children were adapted by playwrights including David Hare, Laura Wade, Neil LaBute, James Graham and Jack Thorne. Topics range from small moments of childish discovery, to more serious issues such as sexual abuse and the effects of Aids.The Children’s Monologues were first performed in 2010. (Image: Wikipedia)“You don’t always want to know these things are going on in the world, especially to children, but when those actors get up on stage in London it will mean that another thousand people hear those stories, and that those kids really have a hell of a voice,” Boyle said.“Part of the brief is translating the piece into something which has slightly more metaphor to it, and something that theatre does really well is find the meaning and humanity underlying the facts [and turn it] into something which can become universal and meaningful and therefore relatable,” said playwright Wade of converting the stories for the stage.About Dramatic NeedDramatic Need is a non-profit organisation that helps children use creative art as a form of expression and self-discovery.“We work in rural areas of Rwanda and South Africa to provide creative arts education, resources, support and inspiration for children and youth,” the organisation explains. “We promote creative expression as a tool for conflict resolution, social development, gender empowerment and for the communication of positive health messages.”Source: The Guardian and SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Dollar drivers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A number of recent trading sessions have been marked by a frustrating pattern. Overnight, grains will start a brave little rally based on fundamental production worries like rained-out planting or flooded, sprouting wheat. At 7:00 a.m., they’ll be gaining a few cents to counteract the brutish losses of previous days, and then — wham! Something will happen to douse the bullish optimism and drive prices back down.That something has been a skyrocketing U.S. dollar index. The dollar index itself is just a number with no units, derived from a mathematical calculation to describe the value, at any point in time, of a complex idea — that the paper printed by the government of the largest economy on Earth represents that economy’s overall worth, can be traded efficiently for goods and services, and will always be honored by that government.The grain futures contracts used to track the value of corn, soybeans and wheat are denominated in U.S. dollars, so any time the dollar itself becomes stronger (i.e., a 1 dollar bill becomes worth relatively more in the global economy) then it takes fewer of those strong dollars to buy a bushel basket of corn or soybeans or wheat.A year ago, the dollar was still roughly as weak as it was in 2012. The U.S. dollar index was valued at 80.35 in late May 2014. If the nominal price tag for a bushel of corn was the same then as it is now, then an ocean vessel loaded with 58,000 metric tons of corn would have carried the rough equivalent of $6.69 million worth of cargo. The U.S. dollar index has strengthened 21% since then and is now at 97.35. To a foreign buyer in this theoretical scenario where corn prices have been perfectly flat from one year to the next and the only thing that changed was the strengthening of the dollar, that ocean vessel’s cargo would now cost the equivalent of $8.10 million. It’s clear why a stronger dollar dampens foreign buyers’ enthusiasm for our grain.It can seem that any attempt to analyze or understand or — dare we say it? — predict the movements of grain prices needs to involve analyzing and understanding and predicting what will happen to the U.S. dollar. On the most extreme days, we have less need for agronomic expertise about the yield effects from late planting and more need of geopolitical expertise about global investor activity. So what does make the dollar move one way or another on any given day?First of all, the U.S. dollar index isn’t actually the same thing as the value of a dollar bill. How can it be, as it has no units? A dollar bill today is worth 0.91 euro in Berlin, or 0.65 pound in London, or C$1.24 in Toronto, or 28 gumballs at your local American candy store, or 16 pounds of corn at your local ethanol plant. The price at any given place at any given time is determined by supply and demand, of course, with demand dictated by traders’ judgment of complex factors. Typically, investors determine the dollar’s value from the following three main elements. Interest ratesU.S. dollars and U.S. Treasury notes are both kind of debt instruments issued by the U.S. government, and are therefore closely related. The United States is the safest bet around these days, especially with the euro plummeting recently, so that’s one reason we see strong demand for Treasuries and the dollar strengthening. There can be a direct relationship between interest rates and the value of the currency. Even without investment money getting spooked out of Europe and into the U.S., the outlook for the dollar would still be bullish based on the near-inevitability of interest rate increases from the Fed sometime this year. Economic healthAn investor’s outlook for a currency can involve a more subjective analysis of the country’s stability and prosperity, taking into account its debt levels (U.S. debt is currently over $18 trillion), its trade surplus or deficit (a $51.4 billion deficit in the most recent report, 5.2% worse than the same period in 2014), its unemployment (5.4 percent, a seven-year low), its GDP (in Q1 2015, the U.S. GDP did grow but slowly at only 0.2 percent), and any number of other metrics. Stock market indices can be a proxy for this analysis, showing the investment environment’s overall optimism, or lack thereof. For the U.S. in mid-2015, these economic health factors generally point to continued improvement, and are therefore bullish to the dollar. Foreign reservesLooking at official foreign exchange reserves is a direct measure of demand for any given currency. Foreign governments can choose to hold their wealth in any instrument or currency, and although they diversify into euros and yen and francs and Australian dollars and whatever else, the U.S. dollar is still the vastly preferred global wealth-storage device. At the end of 2014, $3.8 trillion in U.S. dollars were held by the rest of the world — 32% of total foreign exchange holdings.Valuing the dollar is more complex than even these three factors describe. On any given day as financial instruments are bought and sold, there is also intangible trader sentiment to consider, not to mention unreadable computer codes triggering buy and sell orders during each fraction of each second.Also keep in mind that as complex as the overall dollar market’s motivations are, the U.S. dollar index itself is calculated from the values of six other countries’ currencies, each moving with their own independent complexities on any given day. More than half of the dollar index’s mathematical weighting comes from the euro, followed by the Japanese yen, the Great British pound sterling, the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona, and the Swiss franc. For example, when Greek and German negotiations about a default broke down and made headlines during a recent European afternoon, sudden negativity for the euro directly and immediately resulted in a higher U.S. dollar index during the American morning.When grain prices start doing something crazy that seems to defy the expectations of their own fundamental factors, these are the outside sources where we can look for direction in the instants before a grain market’s momentum changes. Elaine Kub is the author of “Mastering the Grain Markets: How Profits Are Really Made” and a contributing analyst for DTN. She can be reached at elaine@masteringthegrainmarkets.com or on Twitter @elainekub.last_img read more

2 Sikh youth charity workers arrested in counter-terrorism probe in UK

first_imgTwo persons, including a woman — having links with a Sikh youth group, have been arrested by Britain’s counter-terrorism police in connection with an alleged fraud relating to the group’s charitable funds.West Midlands Police said a 38-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman were arrested in Birmingham on Wednesday in connection with an ongoing investigation by dating back to September last year.The UK’s Charity Commission is investigating the receipt and use of charitable funds by the Sikh Youth UK which has raised “a number of regulatory concerns”.The Sikh Youth UK is not a registered charity but the independent regulator has jurisdiction over it because the funds being scrutinised in the investigation are charitable.”Two people have been arrested by detectives from West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit (WMCTU), this resulted following the examination of evidence obtained during searches which took place in September 2018,” a West Midlands Police statement said.”A 38-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman were detained from an address in Birmingham for questioning in connection with alleged fraud offences of donated charitable funds. The pair are being held at a police station in the West Midlands,” the statement said.It said that the WMCTU officers had been working closely with the UK’s Charity Commission, which has opened a “statutory inquiry” into funds held by and raised in connection with Sikh Youth UK.The British Sikh outfit is described on its website as a national organisation raising awareness on social evils and supporting the victims of sexual grooming, substance abuse and domestic violence within the community.advertisementSome of its activities include commemorating those who died during ‘Operation Blue Star’ at the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984.”The organisation uses spirituality, sport and education based treatment and rehabilitation programmes coupled with close mentoring and support groups,” according to the Sikh Youth UK website.”In October 2018, West Midlands Police notified the Commission of concerns relating to the organisation’s receipt and use of charitable funds,” a Charity Commission statement said.”The Commission exercised its powers under Section 52 of the Charities Act 2011 to obtain copies of bank statements. The Commission’s analysis of the information obtained to date has identified a number of regulatory concerns which warrant further investigation,” it said.The watchdog said its inquiry will examine all aspects of the group’s functioning as well as its status in order to determine whether it is a charity in law and present a report at the end of its probe.The action this week against Sikh Youth UK workers is connected with anti-terror raids related to extremist activity in India led by the WMCTU last year, when coordinated raids were conducted British Sikh addresses in Coventry, Leicester and Birmingham.”The searches are in connection with allegations of extremist activity in India and fraud offences,” West Midlands Police had said at the time in September 2018.Also read: 500-year-old gurdwara in Pakistan’s Punjab province opens doors for Indian Sikh pilgrimsALSO WATCH| Bombay High Court upholds reservation for Marathaslast_img read more