Recommended For YouLondon house prices fall at fastest rate in a decadeFrance says Facebook’s Libra not yet viable as G7 minister meetSouth African subsidiary of carmaker Ford to add 1,200 jobsJoe Fresh baby sun hats recalled over fears of potential choking hazardFacebook to face more scrutiny from Congress on Libra More Naomi Powell Trade tribunal slights most steel safeguards, says import restrictions not warranted on 5 of 7 products The report is a recommendation, not a ruling and Finance Minister Bill Morneau is free to take a different course if he chooses Facebook Comment April 3, 20198:25 PM EDT Filed under News The results are a blow to the Canadian Steel Producers Association, which has been pushing for the measures since early last year.“We are disappointed and concerned with the Tribunal’s recommendations. Since the temporary safeguards came into force, they have stabilized the Canadian steel market and limited the amount of steel that was being diverted to Canada,” Catherine Cobden, president of the association representing integrated steel producers ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Stelco and Algoma Steel. “Furthermore, the continued surge of low-priced imports and deteriorating market conditions that have persisted following the conclusion of the CITT’s hearing were not considered and further supports the imposition of final safeguard measures.”If the Minister of Finance does not put in place final safeguard measures on all 7 products by May “the steel industry in Canada is threatened with a loss of jobs, significant community impacts, market share erosion, and growing investment uncertainty.”However, the findings were welcomed by representatives of the construction industry and downstream manufacturers that rely on steel imports to make their products. They have warned that the safeguards could create a supply crisis, driving up the cost of steel and exacerbating shortages at a time when Canada’s retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. have already cut off supply from the U.S.“The CITT analysis of the evidence calls into question the government’s analysis and the motivation that gave rise to these safeguards,” said Jesse Goldman partner in international trade and investment at Borden Ladner Gervais, representing he Canadian Coalition for Construction Steel.The measures have also received pushback from both inside and outside the country – with several of Canada’s international trading partners, a number of provinces and private businesses warning they would threaten infrastructure projects and investments by creating shortages and raising the cost of steel. Join the conversation → Ongoing safeguard measures are warranted on just two of the seven steel products that were subjected to emergency import restrictions by Finance Minister Bill Morneau in October, according to a much-anticipated report from the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) released Wednesday.In what it called “one of the most complex inquiries” it has ever conducted, the quasi-judicial body held hearings over several weeks in January as to whether the provisional safeguards imposed on seven different steel products in October should be made final. The step would see the safeguards extended from a maximum of 200 days to up to three years.A review of the evidence by the three judge panel concluded that only two products, steel plate and stainless steel wire, “are being imported in such increased quantities and under such conditions as to be a principal cause of a threat of serious injury to the domestic industry.” Alberta, B.C. say steel safeguards are undermining infrastructure projects Canada’s trading partners push back against steel safeguards Canada to impose steel safeguards, including quotas and tariffs However in the case of the remaining five products — concrete reinforcing bar, hot-rolled sheet, energy tubular products, pre-painted steel and wire rod — the Tribunal found there was either no significant increase in imports or that the increase detected had not caused injury.“Our Government is carefully reviewing the CITT’s findings and recommendations before deciding on next steps and will respond in the coming weeks,” said Pierre Olivier Hebert, spokesperson for Finance Minister Bill Morneau. “We will continue to work with affected businesses and workers in the steel, aluminum and manufacturing industries, to ensure they have the support they need.Morneau took the unprecedented step of imposing the provisional safeguards in October, arguing the immediate tariffs and quotas were necessary on all seven products in order to shield domestic producers from a flood of imports diverted into Canada as a result of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. It was the first time the measures — considered emergency actions by the World Trade Organization — have ever been imposed in Canada ahead of a full, independent review of the evidence by the CITT.The report is a recommendation, not a ruling and Finance Minister Bill Morneau is free to take a different course if he chooses. He is expected to make a decision by mid-May when the provisional measures are set to expire.We are disappointed and concerned with the Tribunal’s recommendations 0 Comments advertisement Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks to reporters after touring of one of ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s galvanizing mills in Hamilton, Ont., on Aug. 14, 2018.Peter Power/The Canadian Press Reddit Sponsored By: Email What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Share this storyTrade tribunal slights most steel safeguards, says import restrictions not warranted on 5 of 7 products Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Featured Stories Twitter ← Previous Next →
Stephen Poloz sees signs of hope for his hometown of Oshawa after GM closes plant Poloz says Oshawa has grown despite the decline in auto manufacturing and current GM workers will be retrained Email ← Previous Next → Sponsored By: What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Bloomberg News Twitter Facebook Comment 0 Comments Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press Josh Wingrove January 9, 20192:42 PM EST Filed under News Economy More Reddit Featured Stories advertisement Join the conversation → One of Oshawa’s most prominent sons is bullish on the small Canadian city’s chances of surviving the shutdown of its General Motors Co. plant.In 2016, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz was inducted into the walk of fame of his hometown, saying he grew up on the “front line of the real economy.” On Wednesday, however, he said sectors like automotive manufacturing don’t make up the same share of the national economy as they once did.Oshawa is all too aware. The U.S. auto giant announced in November that it intends to cease production at its iconic plant east of Toronto at the end of this year. Auto workers, who were shocked by the news, protested GM’s plan by staging sit-ins this week, and industry analysts have warned that other factories could follow.[related_llinks /]“Being from Oshawa, I regret that very much,” Poloz said at press conference in Ottawa after holding interest rates steady for a second straight time. “When I was young in Oshawa, there were 10 times as many people working there — 75 per cent of my high school class went to work in General Motors. It was a really important part of the town.”Auto manufacturing has since declined in the city and will eventually go to zero, the central banker said. “And yet Oshawa has grown and people live there and they all have jobs. So, this is what happens in economies, and that’s the thing you have to admire — that Schumpeter’s creative destruction thing is true.”Much of the Canadian economy is growing at capacity and struggling to find workers, Poloz said, despite the high-profile struggles of sectors like automotive manufacturing. Governments will offer retraining to affected workers, he said.“The economy will always have the stresses of some form of some things declining,” he said. “In the end, I’m confident that we’re going to be okay through all this, and that the key for folks, for example, in Oshawa is to focus on: How do we adjust?”While GM is shutting its Oshawa plant, it’s not leaving Canada entirely. The company announced in 2016 that it would hire more engineers in the country as part of a push into self-driving cars.Retraining, and finding new jobs for workers, “makes me feel optimistic that we’re going to manage these adjustments reasonably well.”–With assistance from Erik Hertzberg.Bloomberg.com Share this storyStephen Poloz sees signs of hope for his hometown of Oshawa after GM closes plant Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn
Volvo does not envision direct ownership of charging or service stations.Volvo Cars, through its recently launched Volvo Cars Tech Fund, has acquired a stake in electric car charging company FreeWire Technologies, which earlier this year attracted also BP Ventures ($5 million investment).Volvo doesn’t reveal how much it invested, but expects that having FreeWire on-board will “reinforces its overall commitment to supporting a widespread transition to electric mobility together with other partners”.Volvo news Volvo Says 50% Of Car Sales Will Be All-Electric By 2025 FreeWire Turns Mobi Charger Into Mobi Gen – Mobile 80-kWh Power Source: Electric Vehicle News BP Invests In Mobile EV Charging Company FreeWire Volvo Cars says that its electrification strategy does not envision direct ownership of charging or service stations, however the company sees potential in mobile fast charging units in some applications.“Installing traditional fixed fast-charging stations is usually a cost- and labour intensive process that requires a lot of electrical upgrades to support the connection between charging stations and the main electrical grid. FreeWire’s charging stations remove that complication and use low-voltage power, allowing operators to simply use existing power outlets. This means drivers can enjoy all the benefits of fast charging without operators needing to go through the hassle of establishing a high-voltage connection to the grid.”From 2019 on, all new Volvo models will be electrified. By 2025 50% of sales to be all-electric.Zaki Fasihuddin, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund said:“Volvo Cars’ future is electric, as reflected by our industry-leading commitment to electrify our entire product range. To support wider consumer adoption of electric cars, society needs to make charging an electric car as simple as filling up your tank. Our investment in FreeWire is a firm endorsement of the company’s ambitions in this area.”Atif Rafiq, chief digital officer at Volvo Cars said:“Freewire’s fast charging technology holds great promise to simplify the experience for customers of electrified Volvos. With this move, we aim to make the future of sustainable, electric cars more practical and convenient.”Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire said:“We’re thrilled to partner with Volvo Cars to develop new markets and business models around our EV fast charging and ultra-fast charging technology. Having a car maker with both the legacy and future vision of Volvo is going to give us access to technology, testing, and new strategies that will really accelerate the growth of the company.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 24, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News
Honda Releases Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Versus Chevy Volt Video Source: Electric Vehicle News UPDATE: GM To Shut Down Chevy Volt Factory: Volt Confirmed Dead Might Tesla Buy Another Shuttered GM Factory? Chevrolet Volt was the first volume plug-in hybrid on the market. We were highly excited when the Volt and Nissan LEAF came out in December 2010. Most of us were eager to get sales results on the 1st or 2nd of each month and, back then, all we had to really compare was the Volt with the LEAF. Many disputes were waged back in those days as to whether the Volt was all-electric, or plug-in hybrid/series-hybrid. But none of that mattered. The Volt was hot and the undisputed tech leader in the EV space.Now, all of this comes to an end as General Motors no longer finds a business case for passenger cars. Several production plants will be closed in 2019, including the Volt’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant (in March 2019).Chevrolet Volt ends its run as the most popular plug-in electric car the in U.S. right now with 148,556 sales (InsideEVs data) through the end of October. Tesla sold some 138,000 Model S (since mid-2012), while Nissan sold 126,747 LEAFs. There’s a chance the Model 3 may catch the Volt before it formally departs in March, but for now the Volt is the undisputed #1.Despite being the most popular PHEV, the Chevy Volt didn’t make GM’s latest cut. Sales peaked at around 25,000 in 2016 when the second-generation version hit the market and have been on the decline every year since then.Currently, the rolling 12-month period indicates sales of over 18,000 Volts annually. Plus about 4,000 more in Canada.The Chevrolet Volt (first generation) was originally sold worldwide – as the Chevrolet Volt or Holden Volt (Australia), as well as Opel Ampera/Vauxhall Ampera). Both left-hand drive and right-hand drive versions were available.The second generation didn’t have such luck and was sold only in North America. However, in 2017, GM introduced in China the Buick Velite 5 – this localised version of the 2nd generation Volt found only several thousand customers in almost two years, which means China is not the answer to keep the Volt alive.It’s time to say goodbye Chevrolet Volt. Let us hope the tech can be reborn in the form of a Voltec crossover/SUV/pick-up truck at some point in the future.Wave goodbye to the Volt with us. You’ll be missed.Chevrolet Volt Chevrolet Volt production will come to an official end in March 2019.And we’re all a bit saddened by the loss of this #1 selling plug-in electric car of all time in the U.S. Not even the Tesla Model 3 can claim a higher cumulative tally of sales.Chevrolet news Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 29, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News
Source: Charge Forward Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.Today in EGEB, New England energy company Eversource buys into offshore wind. Wind turbine technician an in-demand job in Texas. Georgetown University solar farm draws criticism. more…The post EGEB: New England offshore wind, Texas turbine technicians, Georgetown solar appeared first on Electrek.
Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine This article appeared in Charged Issue 41 – January/February 2019 – Subscribe now. The prosReassuringly, the Crosstrek Hybrid remains every bit a Subaru. The hybrid variant shares all the Crosstrek’s appeal, as the sole compact hatchback that comes standard with all-wheel drive. And it delivered the brand’s legendary and reassuring traction on my steep, wet, muddy, uphill drive and a few other locations where traction was crucial.But as the name signals, if you evaluate the car purely as a hybrid, it does well. It’s rated at 35 mpg combined (versus 29 mpg for the standard Crosstrek with continuously variable transmission) and I saw 38.1 mpg on the trip computer over my time with the car. (I didn’t have enough time to test fuel economy by measuring the distance on multiple tankfuls, unfortunately.) Subaru says the hybrid Crosstrek can run solely on electric power at speeds up to 65 mph, and I confirmed that number – on flat or downhill roads under relatively modest power demand. It also quotes a 0-60 acceleration time that’s one second faster than the standard Crosstrek, though it doesn’t give actual numbers. The electric motors definitely gave the hybrid a bit of extra pep compared to the conventional model, which borders on slow.Subaru also gets points for smoothness and good blending of regenerative and friction braking. The smoothness is helped by the use of Toyota’s two-motor system, as opposed to the single-motor systems used in plug-in hybrids from Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen and others.Finally, as a strong hybrid, I found it easy to keep the car accelerating on electric power alone. It’s not hugely fast, but neither is the Prius Prime whose battery and power electronics it shares. The Subaru, incidentally, doesn’t use the two-motor hybrid system from the Prius Prime, contrary to some reporting. Instead it uses the more powerful system from the Camry Hybrid. That was necessary to move a car that’s 500 pounds heavier than the standard Crosstrek, per Garrick Goh, Subaru’s US Car Line Planning Manager for Electrified Vehicles.The consThe Crosstrek Hybrid proved frustrating in a few ways, however. Unlike the Prius Prime, it’s not programmed to run entirely on battery power until its electric range is exhausted. Accelerate hard onto a highway, and the engine kicks on and stays on for a couple of minutes until the catalytic converter has warmed up.To be fair, that’s not terribly surprising. The Prius Prime was optimized for efficiency, with a much sleeker shape and lighter weight. The hybrid Crosstrek is an adaptation of an existing vehicle, retrofitted to meet California state regulations that require sales of set volumes of vehicles that have some zero-emission capability. It weighs more than 3,700 pounds, compared to the Prime’s 3,350 pounds.The Subaru also suffers from a noisy engine, an area in which the Prius Prime was vastly improved over its predecessor. Partly that’s because the flat-four engine note is more distinctive, but it’s also due to the fact that the engine has been retuned for maximum efficiency at higher speeds, with the battery providing the low to medium power the conventional car’s engine had to offer as well. When more power was needed, the result was thrashy and loud engine noise from under the hood, along with quite a lot of “motorboating,” or the experience of engine noise and road speed being entirely disconnected. Subaru’s conventional continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) have been tuned superbly to eliminate that sensation, so it was jarring to feel it return as if the car were an older Prius.There was also a remarkable amount of whine from the electronics, especially on deceleration, a problem I noticed Toyota has all but eliminated in the Prius Prime. Goh suggested that the majority of this was the car’s pedestrian-alert feature, which he likened to the whine of a 1960s flying saucer in a movie. Finally, the need to retrofit a largish battery pack into the Crosstrek while retaining mechanical all-wheel drive meant it couldn’t go under the rear seat as it does in the Prius Prime – which does not offer AWD. Instead, the battery sits under a considerably higher load deck, cutting into cargo volume in the same way it did in the (now discontinued) Ford C-Max Energi PHEV. A conventional Crosstrek has 55.3 cubic feet of cargo volume with the seat folded, and 20.8 cu ft with the rear seat up, and still has room for a space-saver spare. The hybrid has 22 percent less, at 43.1 cu ft (or 15.9 cu ft with the rear seat up), and no spare tire at all.Did the Subaru live up to its rated 17-mile range? More or less; I got 15 miles each of two times I charged to full and then ran the battery to empty. That’s within the 10-to-12-percent margin I give hybrids on ratings. Temperature played a role too: Unlike mostly temperate California, my upstate New York location saw temperatures that likely dipped below 40° F at night, and rose only into the low 50s at the warmest part of the day.How did we get here? I suspect Subaru is at best lukewarm about the prospect of building cars powered partly or in full by battery packs. The company had a small program 10 years ago that resulted in sales of about 400 Stella EVs, but that ended in 2011 after the minicar with a 9 kWh battery pack languished in the market. The powerful California Air Resources Board, however, has extended its ZEV sales mandate from the six largest makers to what it dubs mid-size manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Subaru, Volkswagen, Volvo and others. Of those, Subaru and Mazda are the smallest non-luxury brands.Globally, Subaru sells only a bit more than one million vehicles a year, a total just one-tenth that of GM, Toyota, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, or the VW Group. So it has to spend its limited capital funds carefully and wisely. Over five years, it has completely redesigned its engine and launched a new vehicle architecture that underpins everything from the Impreza/Crosstrek compacts to the Ascent seven-seat crossover utility. That means that electric cars have been a distant second priority for the small company. It turned to Toyota for the electrical components, integrated into a car that kept its flat-four “boxer” engine and all-wheel drive. That’s the car I drove.As for the company’s future all-electric cars, we know considerably less. Subaru could turn to Toyota for the platform it will launch, reluctantly, in 2020. That’s what Mazda will do, for instance. But Subaru’s then-CEO Yasunuki Yoshinaga said in 2017 that the company planned to offer one or more existing models in fully electric versions, contrary to Mazda’s likely plans for a new model name affixed to its first all-electric production car.In the end, if you want a more fuel-efficient Subaru Crosstrek that works well (if noisily) as a conventional hybrid, this is your only choice – and a good one. If you want a Subaru that plugs in, it’s also your only choice. In either case, it’s a Subaru first and offers those qualities second, which will reassure loyal owners – of which the brand has a lot.Those dedicated owners who want the car, however, may have to work hard to get it. The company hasn’t commented on projected sales volume, but I strongly expect that it will sell only the number of units required to meet CARB ZEV regulations, and only in those states that follow California’s emission rules. That means California and Oregon first, with the rest of the California-rules states to follow. Subaru says every dealer in those states will have inventory of the hybrid, but like several other electric and plug-in hybrid cars, it will not be made available outside those areas. Dealerships in other states will not be offered the Crosstrek Hybrid.In those states, repairs to the car’s unique electrical and electronic components may take an extra day for the company to bring in a regional Field Service person who’s been trained on those components. (Regular servicing, which doesn’t include those components, can be accomplished at any Subaru dealer.) All things considered, I ended up liking the Crosstrek Hybrid. It’s a Subaru first and foremost, it’s fuel-efficient, and if you regularly plug it in, you can cover notable amounts of electric miles when your travels include shorter trips and lower speeds. Did I mention I tend to be partial to Subarus?The company says initial demand has been higher than it expected, but it’s still considering what sustained sales might look like. As of now, the plug-in hybrid Crosstrek is sold only in parts of the US, with plans for Canada now being developed.The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid I tested had a sticker total of $38,470, composed of the $34,995 base price; a $2,500 option package that bundled the power moonroof, heated steering wheel, navigation system, and HD audio; and a mandatory $975 destination and delivery fee. It is eligible for a $4,500 federal income tax credit and a $1,500 California purchase rebate, among other incentives. Any new plug-in vehicle from a maker that hasn’t previously offered one is cause for excitement, even if volumes are low at first.So I approached my six-day test of the new plug-in Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid with anticipation. Sure, its rated 17-mile electric range is below the curve, but at least it’s a start – and with Toyota plug-in hybrid electrical components borrowed from the Prius Prime, I expect a Subaru PHEV to be a good new addition to the market. I should note up front that I’m on my fourth Subaru, this one an Outback that will celebrate its 20th birthday this fall at the relatively modest mileage of 138,000. Moreover, Subaru’s legendarily outdoorsy, nature-focused, active-sports buyers seem a very good fit for a car that can run at least partly with zero emissions from its tailpipe. My verdict after six days and 360 miles, covering about one-third urban and suburban errand duty and about two-thirds highway miles, was mixed.
Volkswagen still developing a business case for all-electric dune buggy.Volkswagen has developed a penchant for bringing modern takes of some of its most famous vehicles to the world’s auto shows as all-electric concepts. Unfortunately, none of those concepts has made it through to production (yet), and with the Beetle on its way out the door, the German brand’s lineup will soon be without any heritage-inspired models. But the Volkswagen I.D. Buggy could change that.Speaking to Motor1.com as part of a media roundtable during the first day of the 2019 New York Auto Show, Volkswagen of American CEO Scott Keogh confirmed that his company would like to find a way to put a production I.D. Buggy into showrooms, saying “I think it’s a good brand halo and I think it’s a good brand building opportunity.”More Buggy News Source: Electric Vehicle News The path to production for the I.D. Buggy is still far from clear, though. According to Keogh, VW is still developing a business case for the car. If it does arrive in dealers, though, it will be as a very low-volume product. But the Buggy is uniquely positioned for service as a halo car.“There is no segment per se in that zone, so this is certainly going to be a niche vehicle,” Keogh said. “But a lot of the platform costs, frankly, are being paid by all of the other vehicles around the world.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 21, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News The Buggy would ride atop the same MEB platform that will underpin the Volkswagen Group’s future EV efforts. The platform will eventually spawn multiple, high-volume electric vehicles, with Volkswagen going as far as offering the modular architecture to other manufacturers.It’s meant to be for electric vehicles what the near-ubiquitous MQB platform is for gas-powered cars – an all-encompassing architecture for a huge variety of vehicle types. MQB, for example, underpins vehicles ranging from the Audi TT sportscar to the Volkswagen Atlas three-row crossover. MEB should provide the same versatility for EVs.“The platform allows for that flexibility, where you can build something like the [I.D. Buzz] concept which you’ve seen. You can build something like an SUV and then you can build a Buggy,” Keogh said. “I think it’s a smart place for Volkswagen to be – we don’t just want to offer what I call the mainstream bread and butter vehicles. We always have to have a Volkswagen point of view. And you can see that in [the Buggy]. We recognize it will be low volume, but we think it’d be a heck of a fun concept.But what do you think? Should VW push ahead with the Buggy as a low-volume halo EV or should it be focusing its attention elsewhere? Have your say in the comments. See The Volkswagen I.D. Buggy Electric Car In Action: Video Volkswagen I.D. Buggy Shows Groovy Style In Geneva: Video Volkswagen I.D. Buggy Looks Beach Ready: Photos & Videos
Source: Charge Forward USPS mail is being hauled across the Southwest in self-driving trucks over the next few weeks as part of a new pilot program. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://youtu.be/WdPfw3XWyJQThe post Self-driving trucks hauling USPS mail between Phoenix and Dallas appeared first on Electrek.
Source: Charge Forward The Tesla Model 3 has been put through the “moose test” in order to test its handling capabilities. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Watch Tesla Model 3 ace the ‘Moose test’ appeared first on Electrek.
Tesla is still struggling against sales bans and restrictions in some states due to its direct-sales business model, but it has now taken a win against auto dealers in Virginia. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Tesla takes a win against auto dealers in Virginia appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Remember me Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. The Texas A&M School of Law officially opened Thursday at a much-anticipated ceremony. Leaders with A&M and Texas Wesleyan provide details and discuss big questions, including the law school’s future in Fort Worth and some details of the transaction . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Username Lost your password? Password
Chelan County PUD Commissioners are studying plans for a new headquarters and operations center on property north of the Wenatchee River and building improvements at Rock Island and Rocky Reach Dams.A PUD press release said the Board of Commissioners reviewed a facilities plan Monday that covers most of the buildings the PUD owns. The plan suggests that investments in new facilities could enhance the customer experience while producing long-term benefits for PUD customers through increased PUD employee productivity and reduced operation and maintenance costs.The capital investments are estimated at $114 million for the combined headquarters and operations center; $36 million for Rock Island Dam and $33 million for Rocky Reach improvements. No formal engineering or design work has been authorized so estimates are preliminary.Dan Frazier, Shared Services director, said the nearly two-year look at PUD buildings was launched at the suggestion of customer-owners during strategic planning. Frazier told commissioners the study concludes the improved PUD facilities would produce a number of benefits for the District and its customers like better power outage response time and better customer experience at the PUD from bill paying, to service requests and permit applications. Frazier said other benefits would include higher employee productivity and the new buildings could aid recruiting and employee retention. There were other benefits cited including safety concerns and cost predictability. Frazier noted that a customer advisory group reviewed the facility options and recommends moving forward.Commissioners will discuss the proposal at the April 3 meeting and take public comment.
by, Dr. Al Power, ChangingAging ContributorTweet8Share59Share32Email99 Shares I have decided to coin a new philosophy around the support of people who live with changing cognitive abilities. I’ll publish my first draft right here, but it’s really not an entirely new invention—merely my own synthesis of many threads of thought.Nothing is truly our own, and my work has always stood on the shoulders of—or linked arms with—many talented individuals. These include many colleagues, and especially many people who are living with a diagnosis of dementia—the “True Experts.”What was the final spark for further defining this concept? Probably just the latest in a long line of questions I am frequently asked: what do I think about Hogeway, about “memory care,” about Alzheimer’s cafes and day programs, about the US National Plan, the ethics of dementia research, about how we should interact differently with younger-onset folks (or folks with dementia of this or that stripe or stage)—or maybe the recent talk about the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the WHCOA mention of “dementia-friendly communities.”So what I have done here is repackaged, renamed, and hopefully evolved the concept a bit more. And while my manifesto will not be as world changing as Karl Marx’s, it will hopefully do more good than Ted Kaczynski’s:Toward a Philosophy of “Radical Inclusion”The hallmark of this philosophy is that we not only stop putting the illness before the person; we actually relegate it to a place where it is no longer a barrier to inclusion and engagement in all things. Here are a few of the precepts that immediately come to mind:The person will not be stereotyped or stigmatized—not by a diagnosis of dementia, nor by the age of onset, type of pathology, or any system of staging.All opportunities for living should enable diverse engagement, and people should not be segregated due to the label of dementia (or the stage).All opportunities for social interaction should enable a similar degree of diverse engagement.Different cognitive abilities should be given the same status as other differently-abled adults, with legal protection and workplace concessions to help keep any person gainfully employed who can reasonably do so.Those who are unable to be gainfully employed should have access to volunteer opportunities that meet her/his desires and abilities, and to access a full range of civic, leisure, educational, and aesthetic experiences.Every person has a right to know her/his diagnosis, and all discussions around aspects of medical treatment should involve the person, physically present, with all attempts made to communicate the information and ascertain one’s preferences.Capacity in any decision should be presumed first unless proven otherwise, and incapacity for one decision should not automatically determine incapacity for other decisions without a more thorough and nuanced investigation.No national plan or policy discussions should take place without the input of several representative people living with the diagnosis. There should be no tokenism; rather, the same sized contingent that would reasonably represent any other interest group in a policy discussion.All ethics committees convened to review proposed research should include representation by people living with the diagnosis.Ideally, people living with the diagnosis should inform research of all types—to reflect on the goals and give an opinion as to whether they feel the nature of the research would be of benefit to society at large.Communities must retool to become more inclusive of people living with different cognitive abilities (much in the way ADA has changed access for those with different physical abilities—but along the lines of “cognitive ramps,” as I discuss in my talks and writing). And once again, such planning needs to include a fair representation of people living with the diagnosis.Education should target not only professional staff and family members, but also the community at large, in order to better accommodate successful community inclusion.Education needs to be holistic, proactive, and strengths-based, and focus on wellness, not simply illness. Ideally, people living with the diagnosis should have an opportunity to vet course syllabi on the topic and to actively participate in the teaching.Educational conferences should make every attempt to include people living with the diagnosis—on planning committees, as speakers, and as volunteers or paid staffers.Stigmatized language regarding the person should be regarded to be as unacceptable as similar language that has been banned from use for other groups, defined by their race, creed, nationality, illness, or ability.As Daniella Greenwood of Arcare Aged Care once said to me, “At its core, everything is relational.” The separation of people living with a diagnosis of dementia from all facets of life not only marginalizes, stigmatizes, and disempowers them, it also catastrophically disrupts this central relational dynamic, either by severing important relationships, or by reframing them within an unhealthy power dynamic of “carer-sufferer,” which denies opportunities for meaning and growth and leads to excess disability. (Now I’m starting to sound a bit like Karl…)This is a first draft. Ideas for expansion and refinement are welcome. Meanwhile, I am going to print this out and nail it up on a few doors…Related PostsA bit more about “Dementia Beyond Drugs”I’ve been a bit remiss in my blogging of late. I guess more timeliness will have to be my New Year’s resolution. Meanwhile, I am cross-posting an interview I had recently with Stephen Woodfin. Stephen is an attorney, a novelist and … Continue reading →Hello, Richard“Hello. My name is Richard, and I have dementia, probably of the Alzheimer’s type.” These are the words Dr. Richard Taylor used to open each of his presentations, as he enlightened the world about the lived experience of changing cognitive ability. Richard passed away at his home on July 25th,…Seattle’s All-inclusive Dementia-Friendly ‘Momentia’ Movement GrowsFormed as a coalition of “community partners,” Momentia’s purpose is to empower people with memory loss and their care partners to remain connected and active in the community. Central to the movement’s philosophy is its positive perspective on dementia and a collective determination “to transform what it means to live…Tweet8Share59Share32Email99 SharesTags: Alzheimers Dementia
May 21 2018New research has shown that older people with very low heart disease risks also have very little frailty, raising the possibility that frailty could be prevented.The largest study of its kind, led by the University of Exeter, found that even small reductions in risk factors helped to reduce frailty, as well as dementia, chronic pain, and other disabling conditions of old age.Many perceive frailty to be an inevitable consequence of aging – but the study, published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences found that severe frailty was 85% less likely in those with near ideal cardiovascular risk factors.It also found that those with fewer heart disease risk factors were much less likely to have other conditions unrelated to the heart – including chronic pain, incontinence, falls, fractures, and dementia.Dr João Delgado, of the University of Exeter Medical School, joint lead author of the study, said: “This study indicates that frailty and other age-related diseases could be prevented and significantly reduced in older adults. Getting our heart risk factors under control could lead to much healthier old ages. Unfortunately, the current obesity epidemic is moving the older population in the wrong direction, however our study underlines how even small reductions in risk are worthwhile.” The study analyzed data from more than 421,000 people aged 60-69 in both GP medical records and in the UK Biobank research study. Participants were followed up over ten years.The researchers analyzed six factors that could impact on heart health. They looked at uncontrolled high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, plus being overweight, doing little physical activity and being a current smoker.The international research team involved the UConn Center on Aging at UConn Health in Connecticut, USA, and the National Institute on Aging, USA.The project was funded by the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research. They analyzed data from participants using GP medical records (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) and healthy volunteers (UK Biobank).Related StoriesStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesWeightlifting is better for the heart than cardioMaternal proximity to oil and gas areas associated with congenital heart defects in babiesDr Janice Atkins, of the University of Exeter Medical School, joint lead author of the study, said: “A quarter (26%) of participants from UK Biobank, made of predominantly healthy volunteers, had near perfect cardiovascular risk factors compared to only 2.4% of the population via GP records. This highlights the huge potential for improvement in cardiovascular risk factors of the general population in the UK.”It is the first large-scale study to show that older people with near-ideal cardiovascular risk factor profiles have better outcomes on a number of factors that are not directly linked to heart disease.Dr. George Kuchel, Director of the UConn Center on Aging at UConn Health, co-researcher on the study, said: “Individuals with untreated cardiovascular disease or other common chronic diseases appear to age faster and with more frailty. In the past, we viewed aging and these common chronic diseases as being both inevitable and unrelated to each other. Now our growing body of scientific evidence on aging shows what we have previously considered as inevitable might be prevented or delayed through earlier and better recognition and treatment of cardiac disease.”This overall approach working at the interface of aging and varied chronic diseases could be transformative in helping adults to maintain function and independence in late life, adding life to their years as opposed to just years to their life.”Dr Ivan Pavlov, Programme Manager for Systems Medicine at the MRC, said: “These findings are relevant to us all because they re-emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle for better quality of life in old age. These new results also show that age-related conditions may share common risk factors or mechanisms with cardiovascular diseases. We’re living longer so it’s crucial that we recognize this by taking care of our bodies and monitoring our risk for disease even earlier in life.” Source:http://www.exeter.ac.uk/
Jun 20 2018The evidence that circulating levels of markers of bone turnover correlate with hip fracture risk among postmenopausal women is limited. In a new Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study, neither serum C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX) nor serum procollagen type 1 aminoterminal propeptide (PINP)–two markers of bone turnover– were associated with hip fracture risk.The findings are consistent with results of 5 out of 6 previous studies; however, this study was the first study to examine associations between PINP and CTX and hip fracture risk using serum samples collected in the fasting state, in accordance with the International Osteoporosis Foundation/International Federation of Clinical and Laboratory Medicine Bone Markers Working Group recommendations. (Food intake can affect bone turnover marker levels).Related StoriesExperts explain what happens after hip fracture in older adultsStudy reveals dual effects of new osteoporosis therapy on bone tissue’Text neck’ may be causing bone spurs in young peopleAlthough the sample size was relatively small (400 cases and 400 controls), hip fractures were ascertained prospectively and confirmed via medical records, the analyses were adjusted for multiple relevant covariates, and bone turnover marker levels were assessed in the fasting state.The findings do not support the diagnostic utility of serum CTX level or PINP level to predict hip fracture risk in postmenopausal women. “These results will help to inform future versions of guidelines regarding the role of bone turnover markers for hip fracture prediction in clinical practice among postmenopausal women not taking osteoporosis pharmacotherapy,” said lead author Dr. Carolyn Crandall, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles. Source:http://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/do-circulating-bone-turnover-markers-indicate-hip-fracture-risk
Jul 9 2018Young athletes with shoulder instability are considered to be a high-risk group of patients following arthroscopic shoulder stabilization given the high recurrence rates and lower rates of return to sport, which have been reported in the literature. However, according to researchers presenting their work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in San Diego outcomes may be improved by proper patient selection and reserving arthroscopic stabilization for athletes with fewer incidents of pre-operative instability.The senior author of this study, Frank A. Cordasco, MD, MS and his colleagues from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City presented a series of patients with shoulder instability between the ages of 14 and 20 who were treated with arthroscopic anterior stabilization performed in the beach chair position by a single surgeon. The primary outcomes were the rates of revision surgery and return to sport at a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Sixty-seven athletes were included in the study with 19 females and 48 males who averaged 17 years of age. There was a low rate of revision surgery of 6% and 82% percent of the athletes returned to sport at an average of 7 months following surgery.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitPenn Medicine and Grand View Health partner to provide advanced orthopedic care”Our study highlights the importance for young athletes with shoulder instability, undergoing a thorough preoperative evaluation to determine the number of instability events and to obtain appropriate advanced imaging when significant bone loss is suspected. Each pre-operative instability episode can result in greater degrees of bone loss, which results in higher failure rates following arthroscopic shoulder stabilization. This pre-operative approach can determine the best procedure to select from the menu of operations we use to manage shoulder instability,” said Cordasco. “This menu includes arthroscopic stabilization, open stabilization and bone augmentation such as the Latarjet reconstruction. Providing the young athlete with the appropriate selection from the menu will to lead to the best outcomes in this high-risk group and will allow them to predictably and reproducibly get back in the game.Forty-two of the 67 (63%) athletes in this study were indicated for surgery after their first dislocation and only a few had more than two instability episodes. “We found a gender-specific difference in that all of the six recurrences occurred in males. This study demonstrates that when the high-risk young athlete with fewer episodes of pre-operative instability is treated with an arthroscopic stabilization, the revision surgery rate is low and the return to sport rate is high. Arthroscopic shoulder stabilization may offer the best outcomes in this group when it is performed after the first dislocation. Additional research needs to be performed to continue to improve the outcomes for this challenging group of young, active high-risk athletes,” said Cordasco. Source:https://www.sportsmed.org/aossmimis/Members/About/Press_Releases/2018-Annual-Meeting/Shoulder-Stabilization-Research.aspx?WebsiteKey=4bcab047-256c-48fa-9eac-3641a0eb87c7
Aug 8 2018Not all individuals who initiate use of a substance such as nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine eventually develop a substance use disorder, indicating that the risk factors for substance use and for substance use disorder (SUD) differ to some extent. A new study has evaluated the overlap in risk factors for substance initiation and SUD, which may be useful for developing interventions to reduce both initiation and SUD. The findings are published in theRelated StoriesRecreational cannabis legalization could impact alcohol industry, research showsUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol usePeople use executive control processes to ignore cues that signal something rewardingA novel finding of the study was that some risk factors were associated with initiation of all the substances assessed, whereas others were substance-specific. Previous use of another substance, being male, having what’s known as cluster B personality disorder, and family history of SUD predicted initiation across all substances assessed, whereas social anxiety disorder and certain other personality disorders were associated with specific substances.The study also supported the idea that psychiatric disorders may act as risk factors for both initiation and progression. Identifying and targeting these risk factors may help decrease the burden of substance use disorders.”Early identification and treatment of psychiatric disorders can potentially prevent many devastating cases of substance use disorders”, said co-author Dr. Ludwing Florez-Salamanca. Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/american-journal-addictions/study-examines-risk-factors-associated-initiation-substanc
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 24 2018The University of Alabama at Birmingham has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health totaling $8.9 million to fund a multiyear program evaluating the role of a new medication in a clinical trial for patients suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).Victor Thannickal, M.D., the Ben Vaughan Branscomb Chair of Medicine in Respiratory Disease and division director of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, says UAB was selected among a highly competitive group of academic institutions to move this translational program project grant into the clinical testing phase.”UAB has one of the largest interstitial lung disease programs in the country,” he said. “It is important that we receive grants like this so we can continue to develop better treatments for fibrotic lung diseases.”Related StoriesDrugs designed with advanced computing technologies could help tackle hospital superbugsScientists develop new, rapid test to diagnose bacterial lower respiratory tract infectionsMultifaceted intervention for acute respiratory infection improves antibiotic-prescribingWhile there currently is no cure for IPF, the drug GKT831 is designed to improve on current drugs that do not improve survival or quality of life, and Thannickal says it may be better tolerated than current medications.The phase II clinical trial will be a placebo controlled, double blind, randomized, parallel group study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of GKT831. A total of 60 patients will be allocated to a 48-week treatment with the drug or matching placebo. The clinical trial is the centerpiece of the program project grant that will be led by Steven Duncan, M.D., professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine. Other key UAB investigators in the program include Brent Carter, M.D., Veena Antony, M.D., and Rui-Ming Liu, Ph.D.IPF is a disease in which the gas-exchanging regions of the lungs known as alveoli become thickened and scarred over time. As alveoli scar, the capacity of the lungs to properly move oxygen into the bloodstream becomes limited. This results in progressive shortness of breath and eventually leads to right heart failure and death.Thannickal says approximately 150,000 Americans and 5 million people worldwide suffer from IPF, and 40,000 die each year. He cites that genetic risks as well as environmental risks – smoking – can increase the likelihood of developing the disease.He adds that being able to test drugs like GKT831 in both early and late phase clinical trials makes UAB a unique place to advance novel therapies for IPF.”The science that allowed us to develop this therapeutic strategy was actually based on a biochemical activity I discovered almost 20 years ago,” he said. “IPF has been my lifelong passion, not only to understand the disease process, but to be able to devise more effective treatments. Is this going to be the answer? We don’t know, but we think it has more promise than what is already out there.”Recruiting for the trial will begin as early as April 2019. UAB is the primary center, and other participating institutions include the University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Temple University and Tulane University. Source:http://www.uab.edu/news/research/item/9700-thannickal-receives-8-9-million-grant-to-continue-testing-of-new-drug-for-ipf