Old trick, new use

first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaA University of Georgia scientist has rediscovered a quick, simple method to identify sources of fecal contamination in water, and it has the potential to save state and federal agencies a lot of money.The method, called targeted sampling, is simple. Instead of using statistical models and fixed locations, targeted sampling uses shoe leather and common sense.Targeted sampling is based on what used to be called a sanitary survey. For a sanitary survey, a person walked along sewer pipes and sampled for leaks. Targeted sampling is the same, except a person samples for sources of fecal contamination in creeks and waterways.“It’s akin to the children’s game of hot and cold,” said Peter Hartel, the UGA crop and soil scientist who devised the method. “You sample the water until you find areas where high numbers [of fecal bacteria} are present. Then you look around. It’s commonsensical: Are there cows in the water? A broken sewer pipe?” The current methods used to track down sources of fecal contamination in water are time consuming and expensive. That’s because scientists often use set sampling locations and databases instead of their eyes and legs to determine where a problem has likely occurred. Unfortunately, set sampling locations are often chosen because they are easy to get to, like bridges, but they may not be anywhere near the source of the problem.“If you actually go out and walk the waterways and sample everything that looks suspicious – every pipe, every tributary – you generally uncover [the problem] quickly and easily,” Hartel said.Targeted sampling greatly enhances the accuracy of bacterial source tracking. Chemical and DNA-based tests for bacterial source tracking are typically 65-85 percent accurate; when the same tests are combined with targeted sampling, they are 95-99 percent accurate. “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, except you’re looking for a needle with a great big magnet,” Hartel said. “For example, if targeted sampling identifies a hotspot of fecal contamination and I know that there’s a nearby dog park and septic field, then I only have to sample the dog park, septic field and water source to determine how much the dogs or septic tank are contributing to the overall fecal contamination.”So far, Hartel has been able to find fecal contamination quickly and easily with targeted sampling. When he tried it on the Sapelo River, he found that half the fecal contamination in the river was due to a malfunctioning private wastewater treatment facility. It took one day to find the source of the problem.“I have yet to come across a case where targeted sampling and common sense didn’t work,” Hartel said. He is preparing to use the method along the beach of a coastal island.“Because the coast has a high water table, failing septic tanks are a common problem,” Hartel said. With targeted sampling, a hotspot can be quickly identified and the site can be double-checked for optical brighteners common in laundry detergent. “If we find optical brighteners, we know what the problem is. It sure isn’t the deer doing their laundry.”The method does have a couple of drawbacks, Hartel said. One is that it requires a lot of manpower. He has used volunteers and there could be liability issues if a volunteer were to get injured or hurt. Another potential problem is trespassing. However, Hartel is confident that these issues could be addressed.“I wanted to find a method to identify sources of fecal contamination that’s fast and cheap,” he said. “This method works fine. And the beautiful part is it’s common sense.” Cat Holmes is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.last_img read more

Green Mountain Economic Development Corp gets $43,000 in grants for local business

first_imgAs the economic downturn continues to take its toll on entrepreneurs nationwide, six small businesses in the Upper Valley region of Vermont are pushing ahead with plans to expand their business prospects using technical assistance grants secured by the Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation (GMEDC).The six businesses, located in five towns of the GMEDC’s 30-town region, are leveraging the money to explore new markets, focus on financial controls, enhance visibility, and ultimately to expand and add jobs.‘One of the things we have found is that there is a lot of demand for these kinds of services, especially for small businesses,’ said GMEDC Executive Director Joan Goldstein. ‘Most entrepreneurs are focused on their core business, and doing it really well. What these grants help them do is to work on aspects of their enterprises that are not core, but could allow them to expand into new markets, offer new products and services, and really sharpen their business models.’GMEDC worked with the six businesses to secure the grant funding, which totalled $43,000. The businesses have used ‘ and in some cases are still using ‘ the funds for studies and consulting services to help them find ways to expand and add jobs. The funds were made available by the Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development and the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency.‘We are able to leverage these types of grants to do a tremendous amount of good for local businesses,’ said Goldstein. ‘The amount of potential that this grant has already unlocked makes the return on investment extremely high, on the order of several hundred percent so far, and the positive impact is still unfolding.’ The six businesses benefitting from the technical assistance grants include:Sound Innovations (White River Junction)In business since 2004, Sound Innovations is a six-employee firm that develops innovative in-ear communication and hearing protection products for military, industrial, and consumer applications. CEO Chris Pearson says the technical assistance grant allowed the firm to retain the services of a consultant who significantly expanded their future prospects, and is positioning them for future growth.Sound Innovations was contracted by the U.S. Army to develop and prototype technology for helicopter air crews to protect their hearing and clarify communications, but felt that the technology could also be applied in many other areas of the military, Pearson said. In order to receive funding for that extension of the technology, they needed the support of a major defense contractor that could help transition the technology.‘This grant enabled us to hire a consultant who had the right contacts at major defense contractors, and he was able to help us establish a relationship with one of the biggest,’ said Pearson. ‘With a strong letter of support from the defense contractor, we were able to win the $600,000 extension support program funding, and now the consultant is generating more business development opportunities for us.’Bread & Chocolate (Newbury)Employing 20 people during the July-to-December high season, this 22 year-old business retails Vermontbased and Vermont-branded specialty foods. Bread & Chocolate is using the technical assistance grant money to enhance its food-safety practices to meet third-party audit requirements, which will allow them to expand business to larger vendors, like specialty foods giant Harry & David.‘We had robust policies in place before, but increasingly, vendors are requiring a more formalized set of policies and practices,’ said Jonathon Rutstein, President of Bread & Chocolate. ‘This grant is allowing us to take these critical steps that we hope will ultimately expand our business and increase employment.’ShackletonThomas Furniture (Bridgewater)A maker of high-quality handmade furniture, pottery and accessories, ShackletonThomas is using the technical assistance grant money for two primary purposes: to refine its budget process, and to focus its branding. ‘In this economy when you see lots of businesses failing, these are the kinds of services that are really important,’ said Charles Shackleton, founder and creative director of the company. ‘The consultants we were able to hire were extremely helpful and gave us great tools.’Shackleton said the financial consultant not only allowed the company to establish and implement a robust set of financial controls, but also assisted in refining its strategic focus. And the branding work, he added, was equally helpful in zeroing in on the company’s core message and how to convey it to customers. The objective of both efforts, Shackleton noted, is to expand the customer base ShackletonThomas has been in business for 22 years, and employs 15 to 20 people.Bradford Veneer & Panel (Bradford)This 106 year-old wood products company is well-established in its market, but President and Owner Richard Parkin wants to position it for future growth by using the GMEDC-facilitated grant to develop a website. ‘Initially it will be about greater visibility,’ he said, ‘but as the market’s needs change and we offer new products, down the road we want to be able to offer them online, too.’Parkin said he anticipates the company’s website will be a critical tool in maintaining or growing sales volumes and retaining jobs, as well as preparing for future growth that he hopes will result in expansion beyond the company’s current head-count of eight.Parkin lauded the role of GMEDC in facilitating the grant for Bradford Veneer and Panel, but says he’s grateful for more than just the grant money. ‘I can’t stress enough how important the GMEDC is to businesses like ours,’ he said. ‘It’s the contacts that are so crucial. Small businesses need somewhere to get direction about where these kinds of resources are available, and that’s where GMEDC is instrumental.’Stephens Precision (Bradford)In business since 1981, Stephens Precision is a 16-employee, AS 9100-registered company that specializes in the machining of precision parts, gauges, and mechanical assemblies for aerospace and commercial industries. Ann Stephens, CEO of Stephens Precision, says the technical assistance grant money obtained through GMEDC is enabling the company to research potential new markets, both domestically and internationally, with the ultimate goal of expanding or retaining jobs.Vermont Verde Antique (Rochester/Hancock)As a company that quarries, handles, markets and sells a unique, dark green serpentine marble, Vermont Verde Antique is well-placed to do the same with other types of valuable stone.Tom Fabbioli, owner of Vermont Verde, says the company is leveraging the technical assistance grant money to explore just such a move. ‘We’re working on a feasibility study for the quarrying and marketing of another type of stone called schist,’ Fabbioli said. ‘It’s the state stone of Vermont, and it’s primarily what the Green Mountains are made of.’Vermont Verde, which recently purchased the former Vermont Plywood plant in Hancock, will use the grant money to see what type of markets might exist for the schist, and whether it would be a candidate for expanding the company’s offerings. ‘This could lead to a possible expansion and jobs,’ Fabbioli said, depending on the feasibility study’s results.Source: GMEDC. 8.20.2010last_img read more

Broome County has no new virus cases tied to Willow Point Nursing Home

first_imgMcManus says news cases are tied to community spread among young people: Most of them are under the age of 30. As of Wednesday, there are 54 actives cases of the virus in Broome County. Willow Point was condemned as a coronavirus hot spot in May. On Sept. 2, that status was removed.center_img (WBNG) — Deputy County Executive Kevin McManus announced Wednesday there are no positive-virus cases tied to Willow Point Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Vestal.last_img

The 25th anniversary of the Croatian National Tourist Board was marked

first_imgLast night, the Croatian Tourist Board (CNTB) in Zagreb solemnly marked 25 years of work, during which it contributed to the recognition of Croatia as one of the world’s tourist destinations through promotional and other activities.Prime Minister Andrej Plenković was also present at the ceremony held in Zagreb’s Lauba, which brought together about 300 CNTB partners. In 25 years, the CNTB has significantly contributed to the recognition of Croatia as a tourist destination, its branding and promotion. Next year, I expect even better results in Croatian tourism, continued investments, and we should also think about the sustainability of Croatian tourism, said the Prime Minister and congratulated and thanked the CNTB and all tourism workers for their excellent results.The Minister of Tourism and the President of the CNTB Gari Cappelli and the Director of the Main Office of the CNTB Kristijan Staničić thanked everyone in the CNTB for their work and effort in ‘during the first 25 years’ and reminded of one of the CNTB’s slogans – Man – the key to success in tourism. ” This year was a record with more than 101 million overnight stays, investments grew, so the reputable ‘Financial Times’ ranked us seventh in the world in terms of the country’s attractiveness for investment in tourism, and we really have something to celebrate. ” Cappelli pointed out, announcing that Croatian tourism in 2018 will have a dynamic, challenging year in which it must be “ready for everything”.”The very beginnings of the work of the Croatian Tourist Board were marked exclusively by work and enthusiasm because it was necessary to compensate for the fact that at that time we did not have promotional brochures, tourist tickets, catalogs and other promotional materials. What we are all proud of today is the fact that the system came to life very quickly and that Croatia was unstoppably on its way to the top. Thus, during all these 25 years, the Croatian National Tourist Board has performed at the world’s most important tourism fairs, organized numerous presentations and workshops aimed at bringing Croatia’s tourism offer closer to foreign partners, created and distributed worldwide numerous promotional materials, and designed and implemented numerous promotional materials. campaigns, many of which later won numerous world accolades. 25 years of work of the Croatian National Tourist Board are behind us and it is indisputable that this institution, together with all its employees and colleagues from the system, was an important factor in positioning Croatia as one of the most desirable tourist destinations in the world.”, said director Staničić.The celebration brought together former tourism ministers, directors of the Croatian Tourist Board, numerous stakeholders in the tourism system who gave their maximum contribution to make Croatian tourism as successful and competitive as possible, members of social, economic and political life, as well as all those who have in their own way were involved in the creation of Croatia as one of the world’s most attractive tourist destinations.”Being competitive in the market among the countries in the region that are also rich in tourist attributes requires great creativity and passion, which Croatian tourism workers do not lack. I congratulate and thank the Croatian Tourist Board for presenting the best of Croatia in an attractive and original way for the last twenty-five years through a series of quality, thoughtful marketing activities and an increasing number of quality tourist offers. “, said Minister Cappelli, wishing the successful realization of common strategic goals for the benefit of the entire Croatian tourism. Former ministers of tourism and directors of the Main Office of the CNTB: Željko Tončinić, Pave Župan Rusković, Niko Bulić, Marijan Bulat, Ivan Herak, Meri Matešić, Darko Lorencin and Ratomir Ivičić were also present at the ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the CNTB.The guests also had the opportunity to watch a special video edition that follows the development of the Croatian National Tourist Board from its inception to the present day. The video highlighted the strategic importance of the CNTB in the development of Croatian tourism, as well as its impact on the development of Croatia as an influential global destination brand.A rich music program, tasting of Croatian delicacies, as well as an exhibition were organized “Retrospective 25 years” divided into 3 periods: “A small country for a great vacation”, “Mediterranean as it once was”, and “Full of life”, and brought together the works of established local designers and photographers, longtime associates and partners of the Croatian National Tourist Board. Campaign #SuperBowl Croatia which won the City Nation Place Award in the Best Usage of Social Media category, campaign Out of Office which has won many international and domestic awards, the new communication platform “Full of Life” presented in London in 2015, are just some of the many successes of the Croatian National Tourist Board that are especially highlighted on this occasion.last_img read more

How will Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle & Jordan Clarkson develop together?

first_imgKobe Bryant will continue his farewell tour to commemorate his 20th and final NBA season. But Russell, Randle and Jordan Clarkson will also start together in hopes of expediting their development and establishing some clarity on the franchise’s long-term prospects. “It’s about time we learn from each other,” Russell said. “When one of them or myself mess up, we can figure out how to grow on it.”Scott said he expects that trio to “get better at every little thing” during that time. But until this point, Russell, Randle and Clarkson rarely had a chance to do that collectively. According to NBA.com’s Statscube, Randle, Russell and Clarkson played together in 52 games in an average of 12.6 minutes per contest. During that stretch, the Lakers averaged 25.2 points on 40.9 percent shooting, 11.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 3.6 turnovers. There also marked 16 games they did not play together at all, with five of those games stemmed from various injuries. Yet, none of those players have publicly questioned Scott’s lineup decisions. In fact, Randle agreed with Scott’s decision. “It probably made us cherish starters’ minutes in this league more,” Randle said. “I know it did for me. It’s something you hold with tremendous honor to be able to start in this league.” It remains a small sample size through two games. But the trio offered varying signs of progress and setbacks. In Sunday’s loss in Chicago, Russell balanced between playing aggressively and organizing the offense en route to 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting and six assists through 34 minutes. Yet, Russell’s nine points, five rebounds and four assists in Monday’s loss to Milwaukee seemed quiet after the Lakers shot 36.8 percent from the field. After logging 23 double-doubles this season to lead his sophomore class, Randle had nearly as many fouls (three) as points (five) and rebounds (seven). Though Clarkson scored in double figures for the 26th consecutive game and tied a career-high in 3-pointers (four) against Milwaukee, that did not spark a prolific team offense.That explains why Bryant sat with Russell during the fourth quarter and talked with him about “trying to connect the dots in one, two, three, four moves ahead.”“Individually, they all can score. But now it’s a matter of how do you connect those dots and put defenses in situations where because of individual strengths, the defense is always a step behind,” Bryant said. “It’s about how do you connect D’Angelo, Clarkson and Randle when you put the defense behind the play? It takes a lot of time and takes a lot of film study. But that’s the magic.” Yet, the Lakers sounded anxious on how long it will take to produce that magic.“We’re trying to get it together and start making it click as fast as we can,” Clarkson said. “This losing is not fun. But at the same time we know we’re young. We just have to stick to the script.” The Lakers have plenty of ideas on how to write that. With Randle averaging 12.9 points and 11.7 rebounds in his past 15 starts, Russell told him to “stay aggressive.” “‘Whenever a team decides to figure out how to stop you,’” Russell said, “‘we’re here to run some offense.’”After admitting he felt uncomfortable adapting to the game’s tempo off the bench, Randle has pledged to force opponents to adjust toward his play instead of the other way around.“You come out the start of the game and dictate how things are going to go for the team,” Randle said. “You’re not stepping into a game blindsided. It’s a better feel.” And with the Lakers ranking 27th out of 30 NBA teams in points allowed (106.7), Clarkson argued lowering those numbers starts out on the perimeter.“We got to take it on our own,” Clarkson said. “We’re not getting too much help. So we have to keep everything in front of us and take it as an individual matter.”All of which Russell argued could happen if the trio changes one thing.“Watch film together,” he said. “We should’ve done it earlier in the year. But I guess we were caught up in different ways.”That trio also became caught up in different lineups. But now that Randle, Russell and Clarkson are on the same one, only on-court minutes will tell how many times they will show positive glimpses of their long-term potential. “They’re all young and very intelligent young men and want to do well,” Scott said. “They have to learn how to do it in a team concept.”Quote box: “They all can score. But now it’s a matter of how do you connect those dots.” — Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on how D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle can develop together MEMPHIS >> As they relished feeding off of each other, D’Angelo Russell pulled Julius Randle to the side. The two initially sounded confused when Lakers coach Byron Scott stripped away their starting positions nearly two months ago both to humble them and spark better results. But with Scott granting Russell his starting position back this week, the Lakers’ rookie point guard spent his first appearance outlining his long-term goal to his young teammate.“Let’s grow together,” Russell told Randle.In a season destined for a third consecutive missed playoff appearance, Russell’s words partly explained the purpose in the remaining 24 games, including when the Lakers (11-46) visit the Memphis Grizzlies (32-23) today at FedEx Forum.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more