Home » News » Bojo’s huge changes to planning laws to free up house builders previous nextRegulation & LawBojo’s huge changes to planning laws to free up house buildersSwathes of planning ‘red tape’ are to be swept aside to help builders construct on brownfield sites more easily as Bojo declares war on ‘newt counting’.Nigel Lewis1st July 2020017,895 Views Boris Johnson yesterday announced once-in-a-lifetime changes to the planning rules while also baiting green activists as he vented his frustration at the UK’s house-building record.“Why are we so slow at building homes by comparison with other European countries,” he asked.“I tell you why – because time is money, and the newt-counting delays in our system are a massive drag on the productivity and the prosperity of this country.”Consequently, buildings are to be allowed to change use from commercial usage to residential without the need for planning permission, and house builders will be able to demolish existing vacant residential and commercial buildings and build new homes in their place, also without planning consent.Rules on brownfield development are also to be significantly relaxed to get enable Johnson to deliver on his ‘Build, Build, Build’ programme.And home owners will be able to add extension and stories above existing floors via a fast-track process, assuming their neighbours agree.The changes to the planning system will go live in September.But the strategy, which is to be set out in a more detailed policy paper later this month, will face considerable opposition both from the planning profession and the public.Too often it is their protests against new housing developments in their area that are the key stumbling block to progress, rather than Johnson’s ‘red tape’.Nevertheless most estate agents and developers have welcomed the measures, including the NAEA.“Propertymark welcomes the Prime Minister’s ambition to bounce back as we enter the new phase of this pandemic,” says its Chief Executive Mark Hayward (left).“It is important that as we try to reboot the economy we build a greater supply of affordable houses that can rejuvenate urban areas most affected by this crisis.“Simplification of the planning process will ease the pressures caused on the supply of homes and ensure the property market drives the UK’s economic recovery.“We look forward to working with government during its White Paper process later this month to ensure the system has less red tape and is easier to navigate.”Developer Adam Lawrence, Chief Executive of London Square, (left) says: “Removing red tape from the planning process is essential. The situation has got worse in recent years as a result of austerity hitting local authorities, who need to leverage as much as possible from every development, which means longer delays and more process. This time we have to see action.”Read more about the government’s previous attempts to change planning. adam lawrence london square Mark Hayward land and planning NAEA Boris Johnson July 1, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021
Hill went on the offensive, threatening to file a defamation lawsuit and starting a legal defense fund. During a September interview on CSPAN, Hill said he was fighting a guilty-until-proven-innocent mentality when questioned about the allegations.FOOTNOTE: This story will be updated. Special prosecutor Dan Sigler announced Tuesday morning he would file no criminal charges against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, who was accused this summer of groping four women. But the alleged victims said they would sue Hill and the AG’s office after Hill, whom Sigler said admitted that he consumed a significant amount of alcohol and admitted to touching the women the night of the alleged incidents.Sigler said at a news conference Tuesday morning that charges of battery or sexual battery could not be proved because there was no indication Hill used force or acted in a rude, insolent or angry manner as required by statute. He said 56 witnesses were interviewed during his investigation, including victims who claimed they were inappropriately touched. Sigler said he believed them, but evidence of a crime was lacking. He said he and the Indiana Inspector General will file a report, and that Hill gave a video statement. It was determined Hill consumed a significant amount of alcohol before he arrived at a party where the alleged groping took place.Hill has been the subject of an investigation after allegations came to light. Democratic Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, and three legislative assistants allege the attorney general touched them inappropriately and made unwanted sexual advances at a party after the end of the 2018 legislative session at AJ’s Lounge in Indianapolis. Sigler said there was video from inside AJ’s the night of the incidents, but it was recorded over.Reardon said at the news conference Tuesday she was proud to stand with brave women and that Hoosiers know Hill’s “egregious” behavior is unacceptable. Reardon said she and other victims want Hill to resign.Despite calls for him to resign from Gov. Eric Holcomb and legislative leaders, Hill maintains he has been falsely accused. The matter was turned over to the Indiana Inspector General’s office and at the request of Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, a special prosecutor was appointed.Sigler, a senior prosecuting attorney from Allen County, was tapped to serve as special prosecutor for this matter. Although Hill argued the appointed of a special prosecutor was premature, Marion Superior Judge Lisa Borges issued the order July 24.The allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding the attorney general surfaced during the summer after a report from Taft Stettinius & Hollister was leaked. No Charges Against AG Hill, But Lawmaker, Victims To SueOctober 23, 2018Marilyn Odendahl for INDIANA LAWERS FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
WhatsApp By Jon Zimney – February 22, 2021 3 393 Twitter Facebook WhatsApp Google+ Pinterest Nearly $15 million in rental assistance coming for St. Joseph, Elkhart County residents IndianaLocalNews Pinterest (“Canyon Drive” by Joe Wolf, CC BY-ND 2.0) The state of Indiana will soon begin a new emergency rental assistance and utility-home energy assistance program with federal money from the latest COVID-19 relief bill.The state is still waiting on necessary federal guidance to open the program.Indiana has received close to $450 million for rental assistance. Six municipalities will have their own programs. They are the following:City of Fort Wayne: $8.1 million.Elkhart County: $6.2 million.Hamilton County: $10.1 million.Marion County: $28.9 million.St. Joseph County: $8.1 million.Lake County: $14.5 million.The remainder of the state will receive $372 million.“Since this is a new program, any rental household that needs assistance and is not currently receiving it from another source, should consider applying for this program once it becomes available,” said Jacob Sipe, executive director of Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority. “Eligible households are ones in which at least one person qualifies for unemployment or had income loss during the pandemic. Eligibility could also include those who’ve incurred significant costs or experienced a financial hardship over the last year.”Sipe said eligible households can receive up to 12 months of rental assistance and utility/home energy assistance. That includes a combination of past due rent and future months’ rent.The household income must also be no more than 80% of the area median income. For a family of four, that’s about $58,000.“It looks like they are really trying to streamline the process so this aid can get to the families and the landlords who need it the most,” said Andrew Bradley, the policy director for Prosperity Indiana.Bradley has seen a draft of the proposal. He told WISH-TV it will be easy for people to apply and that there are enough guardrails to prevent fraud.Hoosiers can subscribe to receive updates on the state program online at indianahousingnow.org. Google+ Facebook Twitter Previous articleMilitary pilot from Indiana killed in crash during training missionNext articleSt. Joseph County Police warning of scammers driving “asphalt” truck Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.
It’s a great pleasure to be here today with so many representatives from across the Commonwealth and business to celebrate the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit.The first ever Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was back in 1971 in Singapore.But 1971 was an important year for another reason too.That year, computer engineer Ray Tomlinson, working at MIT, sent the first ever email.Now, this message itself wasn’t particularly earth-shattering, just a series of letters that Tomlinson sent from his computer to the neighbouring one. All the same, it marked a historic moment in the evolution of communication.Fast forward to now and it is estimated that globally we send a staggering 269 billion emails a day.The internet is now an integral part of all our lives.I expect that even since I started talking, some of you have glanced at your phones.The growth of access to the internet is phenomenal.It’s estimated that 48% of the population used the internet last year.71% of the world’s 15 to 24 year olds are now online.And the internet has revolutionised how we do business too.Today, a business in India can sell goods to someone in Barbados over the internet and can receive payment in seconds.A farmer in Kenya can crowdsource a loan from people across continents to pay for new farming equipment.The internet is now the backbone of our banks, our power grids, our schools, universities and governments.But we know that while the internet has brought many obvious advantages, it’s also brought new threats.Threats that continue to grow in scale, sophistication and severity.And cybercrime costs billions.In the UK, nearly 7 in 10 large businesses have experienced cybercrime with an average cost of £20,000 per business. Some breaches leave companies on their knees.And then of course, there’s the broader cyber threat.Hostile state activity in cyberspace is the most alarming expression of that threat.Over the last year we’ve seen a significant increase in the scale and severity of malicious cyber activity globally.We know that there are several established, capable states seeking to exploit computer and communications networks in contravention of their obligations under international law.Consultations conducted in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation show that members are concerned about the scale and complexity of cyber attacks from hostile states, groups and individuals who use cyber tools to commit crimes, to project power, to intimidate their adversaries, and to influence and manipulate societies in a manner which makes definitive attribution difficult.But we have started to call this sort of activity out.For instance, in 2017, countries across the Commonwealth were hit by the Wannacry ransomware attack, with cases reported in India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and Australia among others.Wannacry was one of the most significant cyber attacks to hit the UK in terms of scale and disruption. It disrupted over a third of NHS Trusts in England and thousands of operations were cancelled, putting lives at risk.But in partnership with others, we publicly attributed the Wannacry attack to North Korean actors known as the Lazarus Group.And in February, again in partnership, we called out the Russian military for the destructive NotPetya cyber attack of June 2017.And on Monday, our National Cyber Security Centre partnered with the US Department for Homeland Security and the FBI and issued, for the first time, a joint technical alert about malicious cyber activity carried out by the Russian government. I know that some Commonwealth partners have supported that statement and it marks an important step in our fight back against state-sponsored aggression in cyberspace.Together, we need to continue to call out this sort of destructive behaviour.And when it comes to cyber security, working together really is the best approach.I know that Australia and New Zealand are doing great work supporting our Pacific Commonwealth Partners with cyber security and that Ghana is sharing expertise with others in Africa. Our very own National Cyber Security Centre and National Crime Agency work globally and with our Commonwealth partners to address cybersecurity and cybercrime.They’ve supported the Central Bureau of Investigation of India to provide training on reverse engineering and analysis of malware.We worked with the Kenyan Police and provided expertise for their first high profile cybercrime investigation which resulted in a successful prosecution.And we want to continue to build on projects such as the Commonwealth Cyber Crime initiative with Barbados, Botswana and Grenada amongst others. We must continue to work together to address the shared cyber threats and opportunities.That is why the Commonwealth Cyber Declaration, which foreign ministers and leaders will be considering this week, is such a powerful demonstration of common resolve to address our collective cyber security.As the world’s largest inter-governmental commitment on cyber security co-operation, it sets out our agreed principles and ambitions, and agreement to work more closely together to enhance our collective ability to tackle threats and foster stability in a free, open, inclusive and secure cyberspace.And earlier today, the UK Prime Minister announced a £5.5 million UK programme supporting cyber security in the Commonwealth to support the implementation the Commonwealth Cyber Declaration by 2020.This will bring the UK’s total programme of support for Commonwealth partners to nearly £15 million over the next 3 years to help improve cyber security capabilities.So there’s important work ahead.And whether you’re here today representing a government, a business or just yourself, one thing should be very clear. And that is that we need to get our cyber security right.From understanding where the gaps are in our national cyber security, to ensuring that law enforcement agencies have the skills and expertise to investigate cybercrime and provide victims with support. We need to increase public awareness of what good cyber security looks like and what the basic changes – like strong passwords – can make to this.As today’s panellists will I’m sure make clear, cyber security is a shared endeavour. Governments, businesses and individuals must all play their part.And we also need to ensure that the pipeline of talent going into the technology sector is capable, expert and diverse. As Jeremy Flemming, Head of GCHQ, noted last week, we continue to “need to seek out diversity of talent, to recruit and retain the best minds”. And we are. We’re throwing our support behind initiatives from the private sector in the UK, like the Tech Talent Charter – a commitment to improve female representation in the tech sector – to demonstrate this.And I encourage all of you to consider, and share how your businesses and governments are meeting this challenge.Because diversifying the way we think about security helps combat the diversity of threats.I want to conclude today by saying this.Ray Tomlinson was inspired by the promise of the internet to send that first email.Every day, businesses across the Commonwealth are growing and thriving because of it.And while there are threats that we all now recognise, I believe that by working together we can make sure that the promise of the internet is realised while the threats are combated.Thank you.
Sometimes, you have to step back to see the big picture.That’s the lesson that archaeology students are sharing with the public through a new exhibit at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.The exhibit, “Spying on the Past: Declassified Satellite Images and Archaeology,” which remains open throughout the summer, presents case studies of how satellite images can illuminate archaeologically important landscape features that might not be visible from the ground. The examples are from sites in Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Peru. They reveal evidence of cities, trackways, irrigation canals, and even traces of nomadic travels.Ruth Pimentel, a student in the Anthropology Department’s sophomore tutorial in archaeology, said she’s thrilled to be able to share the excitement she felt in learning how to use satellite photos as archaeological tools.“While I was doing the research this semester, I kept seizing my hapless roommates, showing them pictures on my computer and talking them through the method, just because I couldn’t keep to myself how cool it was,” Pimentel said. “Having gallery space in the Peabody means everyone in the class will get to explain how awesome and exciting this material is, and with much bigger pictures.”The students’ work stems from more than a decade’s effort by Jason Ur, associate professor of anthropology, who has long used satellite photos to track elusive details of ancient civilizations and interpret them to gain new understanding of old ways of life (detailed in features such as irrigation canals) and connections between communities (elucidated by long-lost roadways).“The way humans modify their landscapes often has a pattern or regularity, whether intentional or unintentional, that cannot be appreciated from the ground,” Ur said. “I find the emergent order of networks of tracks or patterns of irrigation fields to be almost hypnotic from above.”Guided by Ur, students in the sophomore tutorial in archaeology first learned the techniques of analyzing satellite photos and then applied them to several archaeologically rich areas. Pimentel worked on the Assyrian Irrigation Project, which focused on northern Iraq near the Turkish border. She examined photographs of the remains of canals built under Assyrian emperors before the empire crumbled in the seventh century B.C.“We propose that the canals were partly displays of power — the extra water allowing for elaborate royal gardens, for example — and partly large-scale efforts to support agriculture for the increasingly concentrated population,” Pimentel said. “The canals are now mostly obscured by modern farms and towns. But on the satellite images, we’re able to see faint lines on a huge scale across the landscape, evidence of the massive earthworks once there.”Pimentel said some of the features were so faint that she had to train her eyes to detect them in the photos. There were some photos, however, in which the canals were immediately evident, she said.“We get excited about those images. They’re our showstoppers,” Pimentel said.In conducting his own research, satellite photos are just a starting point for Ur. He scours the images for patterns and follows that examination by traveling to a site to inspect the features of interest from the ground. He then goes back to the photos, reinspecting them with a new understanding of the landscape. There are times when, looking at the photos, features are difficult to discern, but there are other times when it’s clear something’s there, making interpretation the challenge.Ur draws photos from various sources. He even hails Google Earth as an excellent tool for an armchair archaeologist because it can fly you to the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge without leaving the office. Most valuable, though, are older photos, such as those from the CORONA spy satellites, declassified in the 1990s and available from the U.S. Geological Survey. Because CORONA flew in the 1960s and 1970s, the photos are less expensive than images from modern satellites, but Ur said even more important is that they allow him to look back in time. Forty years ago, there was much less development in some key areas, making features visible that might be obscured now.For visitors to the gallery, Ur said he hopes they understand that archaeology is more than just digging and more than just ancient cities. And Ur and his students said they hope viewers will understand that development is endangering many landscapes.“I hope visitors come away learning something new about the ancient cultures of Peru, of course, but also that archaeological sites are fragile places in a changing landscape,” said Adam Stack, a graduate student in archaeology who took the course and studied the Chan Chan site on Peru’s north coast. “It will take more than archaeologists to protect the past.”
At a Nov. 8 talk at Harvard Law School, Rep. John Sarbanes ’88 (D-MD) advocated for “grassroots democracy” funded by the people rather than by Political Action Committees and other large donors. Sarbanes is a co-sponsor of the Grassroots Democracy Act, intended to empower small donors and to free lawmakers from their dependency on big money. The event was sponsored by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.According to Sarbanes, the rise of large donors, often in the form of Political Action Committees, ‘PACs’, or Super PACs, has created a dependency culture in Washington. Average voters, he said, cannot compete. In the last election, what he calls grassroots donors—individuals who give $100 or less—donated 10 percent of what big donors and PACs gave. Because of their reliance on large campaign contributors, Sarbanes argued, members of Congress begin to subconsciously lean toward policy that favors those donors.“We’ve got to break that dependency,” said Sarbanes, who does not accept PAC contributions. “There’s a lot of people in Washington that are plugged into the money matrix, [and] they don’t even know they’re in it.”Read the rest of the article on the Harvard Law School website.
Manual work for firmware updates and patches has mostly gone away. It used to take five days and 12 hours of downtime for system updates. Now we manage them through Vision with the VCE Release Certification Matrix (RCM), which does the hard work for us—all the latest updates are already documented and tested by VCE. So we now complete the RCM process in one day with zero downtime. Academic research these days is a 24/7 business, especially in the world of communication. News, information, and social trends are constantly developing around the world. Researchers at University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication are immersed in a sea of big data generated by Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, along with traditional broadcast media, websites, and publications. With this kind of environment, you just imagine the intense demands placed our IT organization.With our previous infrastructure, our small IT team spent most of their time just keeping the lights green. System maintenance tasks like firmware updates required us to bring down systems, which meant students and faculty couldn’t access email, research databases, and other online services. With students having so many competing research, teaching and personal priorities, they needed to get their academic work done at any time—day or night.So there never was a “convenient” time to schedule maintenance. To minimize the impact, in IT we would work on weekends and holidays when we’d rather be home with our families. Since schedules for students and faculty don’t follow the typical workweek, even weekend downtime could be disruptive to both their productivity and personal time. We had to find a better way that kept essential services online and didn’t steal family and personal time for IT staff, students and faculty. After evaluating various options, we decided to replace our old systems with a converged infrastructure from VCE.We deployed two Vblock Systems in an active-active configuration and VCE Vision™ Intelligent Operations software to monitor and manage the environment, which is 99% virtualized with VMware. One of the great things about Vision is that we plug it into VMware vCenter for a single view of our converged infrastructure, virtual machines, and applications. These include a 250-user VMware Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and an ASP.NET MVC development environment.Here are just a few of the things we’ve accomplished with Vblock Systems and Vision:Vision has helped us automate some extremely time-intensive system monitoring tasks. For example, we used to spend 10-15 hours weekly on things like health checks. Now it only takes an hour or two. Vblock Systems enabled Annenberg to create a Twitter repository that captures 1% of all global tweets 24/7. This provides doctoral students and faculty with invaluable data on social trends and perspectives to aid their research.The reliable performance and management ease of Vblock Systems, Vision, and RCM returned hours to our day, so we can handle more big data projects with our same small IT team. We now focus on innovation and what’s next instead of constantly tuning systems. Most importantly, this year our IT team will get to be home for the holidays.If you’d like to learn more about how we are using VCE technology at University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, check out our case study and customer success video. Our researchers are extremely happy with the new private cloud environment. Since moving to Vblock Systems, application performance has been tremendous. Users stream YouTube videos, open files, and synch email faster than ever.
Volume XXXIIINumber 1Page 6 By Matthew ChappellUniversity of Georgia It may not top the list of our state’s historic dates, but many gardeners in north Georgia will remember Sept. 28, 2007, for years. It is the date the Georgia Department of Environmental Protection instituted an outdoor watering ban. In 61 Georgia counties this was many gardeners’ equivalent to D-day, the ‘D’ spelling a slow death for landscape plants and turf. But should we continue to twiddle our thumbs waiting for the day when we can water again?The answer is a resounding no. You can continue to garden. In doing so, you can also prepare your garden for the next drought, whenever it occurs. This drought has taught us a valuable lesson, one to remember once the rain begins to fall and drought restrictions are lifted. We as gardeners are stewards of our small plot of earth. We should work to better that environment while using as little water as possible.You may be asking yourself, how does one conserve water when plants require water to survive? The answer is to use good gardening practices. These will be different for each gardener, depending on soil, terrain, location in the state and rainfall. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension horticulturalists Gary Wade and Robert Westerfield have identified 10 good gardening practices you can use in your landscape to reduce and, in some cases, eliminate the need for irrigation. 1. Plant trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials in the fall and winter. While the top of a plant shuts down for winter, the roots continue to grow. Because a plant installed during cooler temperatures has time to develop a strong root system, it will be less stressed the following summer.2. Prepare your location properly. Till the soil 8-12 inches deep. Add soil amendments like cow manure to allow easier root development and fewer soil-related problems. 3. Add slow release fertilizerto the planting hole instead granular general-purpose fertilizers. These products can dehydrate the plant’s roots.4. Install annuals such as geraniums, impatiens, lantana and marigolds in well-amended, raised beds. They will be healthier and more water efficient. 5. Place 3-5 inches of mulch on the soil surface after planting. This will help conserve moisture, maintain uniform soil temperature and prevent weeds. Fine-textured mulches such as pine straw, pine bark mini-nuggets or shredded hardwood prevent evaporative water loss better than coarse-textured mulches. Do not pile mulch deeply against a plant’s trunk.6. Water only when plants need it. An abnormal gray-green color or obvious wilting are good indicators a plant needs moisture. Watering only when plants truly require it will help plants develop a deep, strong root system and survive during drier periods.7. Irrigate at night or early in the morning to conserve moisture and avoid evaporation.8. Test your soil to determine your garden’s fertilization requirements. Proper nutrition enables plants to better use available water and conserve it during dry periods. 9. Fertilize properly. Slow release fertilizers are more cost efficient, decrease the chance of root burn and allow the plant a season’s source of nutrition. Excess nitrogen or high nitrate fertilizers cause rapid growth and an increased demand for water. Avoid fertilizing during periods of limited rainfall or high temperatures, which can cause root burn and other damage on drought-stressed plants.10. Cut annual and perennial flowers back several inches to reduce moisture loss during times of severe drought.The above examples are a few ways you can implement simple and low cost measures to conserve water in your landscape. I challenge you to sit down and list of ways you currently conserve water in your landscape and what you can do in the future to conserve even more. You will find that it will lead to lower water bills and healthier, happier plants.
A strong winter storm will throw a double punch of extreme conditions across northeast Georgia this week – Tuesday through Thursday. The first part of the storm is expected to move into northern Georgia Monday night and Tuesday morning with the potential for sleet, freezing rain and snow up to several inches in the higher elevations. The second, stronger part of the storm will move in around Tuesday evening and is expected to bring widespread freezing rain to most of northern and eastern Georgia. Accumulations of a half-inch or more could be seen in some areas of the state. Freezing rain accumulation of a quarter inch can cause power outages.Impacts from the double-barrel storm are expected to be severe. Snow early in the period may make roads in some areas slippery and difficult to navigate. Freezing rain later in the storm could lead to widespread damage to power lines. Trees may be weakened after suffering from years of drought and may suffer broken limbs due to ice accumulation. Areas that receive the highest frozen rain accumulations could experience power outages for several days, especially in rural areas.People in areas of the most affected region should prepare for the storm on Monday. Make sure vehicles and generators are fully stocked with gasoline, especially if you depend on power to run operations such as a dairy. Make sure mobile phones and tablets are fully charged.School and business closures are highly likely in the affected areas and many meetings are likely to be canceled due to the bad driving conditions and lack of power. Those who live outside the area but travel to or through northeast Georgia, should keep abreast of current road conditions as well as forecasts for the next few days. If you do travel, put a winter weather kit in your vehicle. This kit should include the following items: blankets or sleeping bags; matches and candles; facial tissues and paper towels; extra clothing, especially caps, mitten and overshoes; high-calorie, non-perishable food; bottled water; compass and road maps; knife, shovel and axe; first aid kit; sack of sand; flashlight or signal light with extra batteries; windshield scraper; jumper cables; two tow chains; flares; fire extinguisher; catalytic heater; plastic scraper; radio with extra batteries; an empty coffee can with plastic cover to use as a toilet and tools – pliers, screwdriver and adjustable wrench.If you have scheduled meetings in an affected area, prepare now for canceling the meetings and contacting participants. South Georgians will likely see a rain event, but should continue to follow National Weather Service forecasts closely for changing conditions. Forecast conditions in strong storms can change quickly as computer models pick up the latest trends in the development of the storm. Monitor the National Weather Service and other forecasts for the latest outlooks.Resources for preparing for winter storms can be found at www.caes.uga.edu/topics/distasters/winterstorm and eden.lsu.edu/Topics/Hazards/SnowIce/Pages/UniversityandFederalResources.aspx.
Northstar Vermont Yankee,Citing potentially adverse economic impact throughout New England, an ad hoc group of the region’s energy industry stakeholders and public policy officials has requested ISO-New England (ISO-NE) to conduct a formal study on regional power pricing impact if Vermont Yankee and other nuclear power plants, are forced to close. Vermont Yankee 628 MW 4,782,473 MWhPilgrim 685 MW 5,917,813 MWhMillstone Unit #2 879 MW 7,414,566 MWhMillstone Unit #3 1,235 MW 9,335,738 MWhSeabrook 1,247 MW 10,910,055 MWh4,674 MW 38,360,645 MWh Source: ISO-NE 2011 CELT Report. Peak output. Source: NEPOOL Generation Information System. Annual production.The End User Alliance (EUA) members, many active in the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL), requested that ISO-NE, the non-profit entity operating the six-state power grid, undertake the study.‘The Alliance feels that the costs of power plant shutdowns should be researched and disseminated to public policy makers in Vermont and New England. It’s important that we all understand current reference points for such a dramatic event and are aware of the broader outcomes,’ says August Fromuth, chair of the End User Alliance.‘Right now, nuclear power supplies 15% of New England’s capacity and nearly 30% of New England’s energy. The New England Power Grid represents a symbiotic relationship. Closing a power plant–nuclear, oil-fired or otherwise–affects people and businesses beyond its neighborhood and beyond its state.’The need for such a study has become more urgent since December 21, when the Environmental Protection Agency ordered certain U.S. power plants to make profound cuts in emissions over the next three years. Fearful of vastly more expensive power costs to ratepayers that will reverberate throughout the region’s economy just when there are signs of a recovery, the EUA stresses that nuclear has become one of the least expensive forms of electricity to generate.‘As we say in our request,’ Fromuth continues, ‘simple math shows that if you remove a nuclear power plant that contributes substantial kilowatt hours of electricity to New England’s grid, you can expect an adverse impact on electricity prices. ‘Ratepayers throughout the region deserve to be fully informed of the effects of plant closure. A thorough study of such scenarios by the ISO is warranted.’ In last February’s ISO-NE Strategic Planning Problem Statement Changes to New England Power System, the nonprofit corporation that oversees the New England power grid researched the effects on regional electricity capacity if Vermont Yankee and other power plants are forced into retirement. It concluded that any sudden removal of power plants can negatively affect the ability of the Power Grid to offer reliable electricity, especially at times of high stress in the system, such as during abnormal peak usage or adverse weather events when ‘normal’ power transmission can be disrupted for protracted periods.The economic study requested by EUA would be a natural extension of that completed study, says Fromuth. Supporters of‘End User Alliance Request for an Attachment K Study of the Impacts on the Wholesale Market Price Levels of the Forced Retirement of Vermont Yankee and other New England Nuclear Power Plants’ The Honorable Charles Bass (NH)Jack Cashman, former chair, Maine Public Utilities CommissionKenneth C. Fletcher, State of Maine, Office of Energy Independence & SecurityAugust Fromuth, Freedom Energy Logistics and Chair, NEPOOL End User SectorThe Honorable Frank Guinta (NH)W. Robert Keating, Principal, Keating Strategies; Commissioner ‘ Emeritus, Massachusetts Department of Utilities Bill Short, Participant, NEPOOL End User SectorDonald Sipe, Attorney with Preti-Flaherty, Portland, Maine, and past Chair, NEPOOL Participants Committee EUA. 1.5.2012