August 5

Transportation Commission to Recommend Next Steps on Road Usage Charging to…

first_imgFacebook15Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Washington State Transportation CommissionThe Washington State Transportation Commission will take action next week on policy recommendations to the Washington State Legislature on whether and when the state should consider implementing a Road Usage Charge (RUC) system as a possible replacement to the gas tax.The commission meeting starts at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, and at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 18, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. The meeting is open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during public comment periods each day, including a public comment opportunity prior to commission action on its road usage charging recommendations.The commission will take final action at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday on its findings and recommendations related to whether and when a RUC system could replace the gas tax to fund roads and bridges. A RUC is a per-mile charge drivers would pay for the use of roads, as opposed to paying by the gallon of gas. Because gasoline is taxed by the gallon, as vehicles become more fuel-efficient or switch to electric power, gas tax revenue is expected to decline by as much as 45 percent by 2035. In 2012, the Legislature directed the commission to assess the potential of a RUC to replace the gas tax.The final RUC report will detail the results of a 7-year-long assessment of road usage charging and a pilot project that involved more than 2,000 drivers statewide in a live test of RUC. The commission will consider the work of the RUC steering committee, results and findings from the test-driving phase of the pilot project, input from the pilot participants, and input from the public, as they finalize recommendations and next steps. The commission will submit the report to the governor, Legislature and the Federal Highway Administration in January 2020.Also on Tuesday, the commission will receive an update on current traffic and revenue data for all tolled facilities, including the State Route 99 tunnel. Commission staff will present an overview of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge loan report, which the commission will submit to the Legislature in January, indicating the amount of loan needed to avoid a toll rate increase next year. The commission also will discuss the work plan and schedule for a legislatively directed study it will conduct to assess the possibility of discounted tolls and other programs to assist low-income drivers.Commissioners also will hear the findings and recommendations from the lead consultant who conducted an analysis of congestion pricing in downtown Seattle. Congestion pricing is a charge drivers pay when they enter the most congested areas at the busiest times. Commissioned by the transportation network company Uber, the study considered whether charging all drivers could be an alternative to direct taxes or licensing limitations imposed on transportation network companies.Tuesday afternoon the commission will continue its ongoing examination of the policy issues related to vehicle automation. John Niles, co-author of a book on autonomous vehicles, will discuss the potential effects on communities and public safety of shifting 50 percent or more of today’s privately owned and human-operated vehicles to automated vehicles.On Wednesday, the commission will take action to adopt its annual report to the Legislature, which includes a number of recommendations on transportation policy and funding. Commissioners also will hear briefings on policy topics including, development of Vision 2050, the Puget Sound Regional Council’s newest long-range plan; an update to the Washington State Department of Transportation’s state plan for passenger and freight rail; and, a study underway by WSDOT’s aviation division to evaluate the potential for using electric aircraft in passenger air service.For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/last_img read more

August 3

Wildcats drop into consolation round following playoff loss to Highland

first_imgThe Mount Sentinel Wildcats meet Revelstoke Friday in consolation round action at the B.C. High School AA Boy’s Volleyball Championships in Kelowna.The Cats, finishing third in power pool play, lost 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-8) to Highland of Comox during Thursday’s playoff round.Mount Sentinel opened the 16-team tourney Wednesday with losses to Pacific Christian and Kelowna’s Okanagan Mission.The Wildcats bounced back to defeat Kootenay rival Selkirk Storm of Kimberley 2-0 (25-20, 25-22).Friday a victory over Revelstoke earns the Wildcats a chance to climb up the final standings with a shot at ninth place.The Cats would meet the winner of Okanagan Mission and Richmond’s Cambie.The tournament is being held at the University of B.C./Okanagan gymnasium.The finals are set for Saturday at UBC/O.The Mount Sentinel girl’s varsity squad is playing at the B.C. High School A Girl’s Volleyball Tournament in Prince George.last_img read more

December 18

Education is the key to progress – Ndabeni-Abrahams

first_imgDeputy Minister of Communication Stella Ndabeni-AbrahamsAt the beginning of this year, President Jacob Zuma declared 2015 as the Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action. He called on all sectors of society to embrace the Freedom Charter. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic document, which was penned in Kliptown, Soweto, in 1955.As we celebrate Youth Month, it is worthwhile to remember the ideals of the Freedom Charter – in particular that young people deserve better educational and economic opportunities. We must ensure that the aspirations of our youth to have access to opportunities, better education and freedom of choice, as demanded in the Freedom Charter, are met.We should also take forward the charter’s vision that South Africa belongs to all who live it. This vision is now a reality; our democracy stands firm and is safeguarded by the Constitution.However, democracy without progress rings hollow. Therefore it is incumbent on all of us to push for our country’s development.Government, entrepreneurs, youth leaders and youth organisations need to work together and implement policies that will build the South Africa we want. Those policies and recommendations are spelt out in the National Development Plan, our blueprint for a society where all South Africans will flourish.It stresses that the country’s youth can be the catalyst for social change and economic emancipation.We firmly believe that the youth of today must be at the forefront of societal conversations about our socioeconomic challenges. Our young leaders will play a key role in transforming society in the third decade of freedom.The role of strong, skills-oriented education cannot be emphasised enough. We have made great strides in increasing student numbers in schools, universities and colleges over the past 21 years.Opportunities to access higher education that were denied to many young people are now available to them.The Department of Higher Education is implementing a number of programmes to improve the quality of post-school education. These include expanding the foundation phase to equip underprepared students, improving accessibility for students and staff with disabilities, investing in university infrastructure and increasing the number of teachers.Through the National Skills Fund, the department is making funds available to students in the critical fields that are needed to grow the economy. Last year it gazetted and published 100 national scarce skills in our economy and in other sectors. It is also encouraging pupils in schools to choose skills that are in short supply, like artisanship.We have targeted 19 000 artisans to be produced annually, set to increase to 30 000 by 2030, in line with the National Development Plan and National Skills Development Strategy.Community Education and Training Colleges offer a second chance to people who did not finish their schooling. They represent a third tier of institutions alongside universities and technical vocational education and training colleges. These colleges prepare students for the labour market or for self-employment. It is without a doubt that they will be central to moving the country forward.last_img read more

December 17

Nearly 400 Ohio FFA members to receive American Degree this week

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Kameron Rinehart from the Miami Trace Chapter will be staying busy this week at the National FFA Convention.“So here at National FFA Convention, I have several roles. I’m serving as a delegate for the Ohio FFA Association and I’m also receiving my American FFA Degree this year, and I’m representing Wilmington College as a student ambassador,” Rinehart said. “I am super excited for Saturday to get my American FFA Degree. It’s something that I’ve worked hard for the past six years being an FFA member. It’s a life long dream of mine to receive my American FFA Degree. During my freshmen year attending National FFA Convention when I saw my fellow FFA members receive their American Degrees, I made it a personal goal of mine to achieve and it wasn’t an easy task getting all the hours and all the different obligations you have to do to get that American Degree. I made it and I’m happy to receive it this Saturday.”Nearly 400 Ohio FFA members will be presented with their American degree this week. To be eligible to receive the American FFA Degree from the National FFA Organization, members must meet the following minimum qualifications:Have received the State FFA Degree, have been an active member for the past three years (36 months) and have a record of satisfactory participation in the activities on the chapter and state level.Have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of at least three years (540 hours) of systematic secondary school instruction in an agricultural education program, or have completed at least the equivalent of 360 hours of systematic secondary school instruction in agricultural education and one full year of enrollment in a postsecondary agricultural program, or have completed the program of agricultural education offered in the secondary school last attended.Have graduated from high school at least 12 months prior to the national convention at which the degree is to be granted.Have in operation and have maintained records to substantiate an outstanding supervised agricultural experience program, through which the member has exhibited comprehensive planning and managerial and financial expertise.A student after entering agricultural education must have:Earn at least $10,000 and productively invested $7,500 orEarned and productively invested $2,000 and worked 2,250 hours in excess of scheduled class time. Any combination of hours, times a factor of 3.56, plus actual dollars earned and productively invested must be equal to or greater than the number 10,000. Hours used for the purpose of producing earnings reported as productively invested income shall not be duplicated as hours of credit to meet the minimum requirements for the degree.Have a record of outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement and have achieved a high school scholastic record of “C” or better as certified by the principal or superintendent.Have participated in at least 50 hours of community service within at least three different community service activities. These hours are in addition to and cannot be duplicated as paid or unpaid supervised agricultural experience hours.Applicants must submit an application electronically through ffa.org. Applicants must also submit the signature page with the signatures of the chapter president, chapter advisor, superintendent or principal, and state advisor or state executive secretary, certifying accuracy of all statements in the application and that the applicant conducted him/herself in a manner to be a credit to the organization, chapter and community.When he is not busy with his numerous FFA activities Rinehart will be working in the trade show at the Wilmington booth.“I really enjoy serving as student ambassador at Wilmington College. I found my home at Wilmington College and it’s just an awesome place to really come get a hands on learning environment,” Rinehart said. “I can honestly say I’m at home each time I step on campus. I love to promote my school and the agricultural department specifically.”last_img read more

November 30

Lee says UST will use loss to UP as motivation

first_imgFrontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. University of Santo Tomas guard Marvin Lee surveys the floor against University of the Philippines during their game in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, at Mall of Asia Arena. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netUniversity of Santo Tomas lost to University of the Philippines by the slimmest of margins and it couldn’t be more heartbreaking for the Growling Tigers with the way the game turned out Sunday.But no matter how painful UST’s loss was, team captain Marvin Lee still took some positives out of it as the Growling Tigers shift their focus in their coming games. ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd02:16Duque: It’s up to Palace to decide on Dengvaxia’s fate01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Alaska extends streak, comes back to beat Kia Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Read Next “For me, what happened was a good experience and we’ll use this loss as a motivation for our future games,” said Lee in Filipino after the Tigers’ 74-73 loss to the Maroons at Mall of Asia Arena. Lee, who finished with a game-high 20 points, would’ve been UST’s hero after burying two free throws that put his team ahead, 73-71, with 5.4 seconds left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe story, however, was Paul Desiderio, who sank the go-ahead triple with 1.1 ticks remaining.“Well, it was over and we can’t do anything about the result,” said Lee. “I think the first game just wasn’t for us.” MOST READlast_img read more

October 13

Cannabis company hopes to replace jobs lost in mill closure in small

first_imgMERRITT, B.C. — Arnold Meyer spent 40 years working at the Tolko Industries Ltd. mill in Merritt, B.C., but then he faced the reality of being laid off.The 62-year-old was one of about 200 employees who lost their jobs in 2016, crippling the economy of the small town in British Columbia’s southern Interior and prompting politicians to promise to restore the ailing forestry sector.Two years later, the province’s lumber industry is still facing challenges, but a new sector is revving up. A cannabis company hopes to build a grow facility in Merritt, replacing jobs, including Meyer’s that were lost in the mill closure.“It sounds good to me. They said they want me to be one of the first hires for when the plant opens up,” said Meyer, who held various positions at Tolko, where he mostly drove machinery.Emerald Plants Health Source Inc., or EPHS, purchased a massive chunk of land in the city and plans to build an initial 3,700-square-metre facility before building up to potentially more than 100,000 square metres.The facility would eventually employ more than 200 people in a range of jobs, from low-skill trimmer roles to higher-paid management jobs.Members of the company first learned about Meyer in a Canadian Press story on whether marijuana had the potential to revitalize small towns hit hard by resource job losses. In the 2017 article, Meyer said he hoped a cannabis company would create jobs in the community.“It just resonated with us as a group as we read that article, that this could really change people’s lives in Merritt,” said Jeff Hancock, executive vice-president of Emerald.“I think that’s really what Arnold Meyer symbolizes to us as a company.”Emerald also hopes to contact others formerly employed by Tolko. There are many transferable skills from mill work to cannabis and other skills can be learned, Hancock said, adding the company had good conversations with city staff and plans to put in its formal application soon.It aims to break ground in the second quarter of 2019 and plans to start production in the second or third quarter of the following year, he said.Newly elected Merritt Mayor Linda Brown said some younger Tolko employees left town to work at other mills run by the company or seek other employment, while some older employees found themselves retiring earlier than planned.Brown said she still has questions for Emerald, including whether the jobs will pay well, but she expects to support an application when it’s put forward.“We need industry. We need developments in there. That’s what I got elected on, was that kind of a platform, developing the city,” she said.The mill closure devastated the community and any company that wants to bring in jobs is welcome, said former mayor Neil Menard.“It’s a whole different industry for us. I don’t know much about it. I hope it would pay good wages and good benefits,” he said. “It can’t be anything but good.”Tolko did not return a request for comment but said in 2016 a lack of timber supply forced it to close the mill. The union that represented the employees declined comment.Emerald is a Health Canada-licensed producer that already has a facility in Montreal. Hancock and others with the company have energy industry backgrounds and have developed ways to reduce the energy costs associated with cannabis, he said.Merritt also provided the company with the “unicorn land” it had been seeking, in terms of zoning, size and energy assets, Hancock added.Meyer was skeptical when Emerald first contacted him but now he’s looking forward to meeting company representatives in Merritt soon, he said.Asked how it felt to be part of their inspiration for the project, Meyer laughed.“My chest got big and my head started to swell and I got a bunch more feathers in my hat,” he joked.— By Laura Kane in VancouverThe Canadian Presslast_img read more

October 13

Fire crews extinguish suspected dryer fire in mobile home

first_imgAccording to Blades, the cause of the fire is under investigation but is not considered suspicious. He said that the fire is suspected to have started inside the home’s dryer.The Fire Department was able to get home’s tenants set up with Emergency Social Services assistance since they did not have insurance. Blades said that at this point, it’s not clear whether the home’s owner had insurance, but that the fire department will continue to try and contact the owner.The Fire Department was also busy at around 3:15 Thursday afternoon responding to a transformer fire that occurred in the 9600-block of 103rd Ave. That fire cut power to 32 customers between 103rd and 104th Avenues, and between 94th and 96th Streets for roughly two hours. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fire crews in Fort St. John were busy on Wednesday morning extinguishing a fire inside a mobile home.Deputy Fire Chief Darrell Blades said that crews were called out to a report of a fire inside a single-wide mobile home in the Peace Country Mobile Home Park. Upon arrival, crews were able to extinguish the blaze, which had erupted inside the laundry room/washroom area of the home, in a matter of minutes.Blades said that fire damage was contained to the laundry room, while the rest of the mobile home suffered smoke damage and minor water damage. He estimated that value of damage to the home’s contents is estimated at between $15,000 to $20,000.last_img read more

October 12

Conservatives pledge to expand tax credit for volunteer fire, search and rescue

first_imgUPPER KINGSCLEAR, N.B. — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is promising to expand a program giving volunteer search and rescue workers and firefighters tax credits for their supplies.He says if elected, he’d lower the number of service hours required to qualify for the program, introduced by a previous Conservative government.Right now, volunteers must work 200 hours a year to access the credit, and the Conservatives are pledging to lower that to 150. Scheer notes that volunteers often pay out-of-pocket for equipment, uniforms, transportation, training, and insurance — costs that run into the thousands of dollars.The promise will leave the amount those volunteers can claim unchanged, and the credit is non-refundable, so those who qualify can use it to reduce their overall tax payments, but don’t get any of that money back.Scheer made the announcement in the town of Upper Kingsclear, N.B., where the entire fire department is run by volunteers.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

September 29

Why This NBA Rookie Class May Be The Best Of The Century

As we approach the end of the NBA’s regular season, awards conversations are all the rage. As usual, the two most talked-about races are for Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. Whether it’s “Get Up” or The Jump, Sports Illustrated or CBS or NBA TV, or even NBA players themselves, everyone’s got an opinion on who should take home the hardware at the end of the season.The Rookie of the Year debate, at this point, pretty much boils down to the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, who stormed out of the gate and grabbed onto front-runner status fairly quickly, and the Hawks’ Trae Young, who started off terribly but has been shining during the season’s second half.But lost among this debate is this: The entire 2018 NBA rookie class — or at least the top five picks — deserves an award. Collectively, they are having the best debut season of any group of top five picks in more than 25 years.Doncic (pick No. 3) is carrying averages of 21.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while acting as the primary facilitator and scoring option in Dallas. He is only the second rookie in NBA history to average at least 20, 7, and 5 in those categories, and the other is Oscar Robertson, who did so during the 1960-61 season.The man whom Doncic was traded for on draft night,1The Hawks drafted Doncic and traded him to the Mavericks in exchange for Young and Dallas’s top-five protected 2019 first-round pick. Young, has been nearly as productive, albeit less consistent, in his debut season for Atlanta. Young’s season-long numbers of 19.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game are strong.2He’s one of only three rookies to have gone for 19, 3 and 8 per game. Those numbers, though, are dragged down by his poor start to the year. Since the All-Star break, he’s averaging 25.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 9.2 assists a night, with shooting numbers that are far better than those he was posting earlier in the season as he struggled to adjust to the NBA game.Two of the first five picks in a given draft looking this good, this early, would be impressive on its own; but Doncic and Young are not alone in their shining debuts. The other three players selected in the top five — the Suns’ DeAndre Ayton (No. 1), the Kings’ Marvin Bagley III (No. 2) and the Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. (No. 4) — have each been pretty damned good this year too.Ayton has been a monster offensive force for Phoenix from Day 1, and he is already one of the league’s best post scorers and offensive rebounders. Among rotation players averaging at least 2 post-ups per game, per NBA.com, Ayton’s 1.03 points per play on post-ups ranks third, behind only Joel Embiid and LaMarcus Aldridge. Ayton’s offensive rebound rate, meanwhile, ranks 22nd among the 263 players who have qualified for the minutes per game leaderboard. And he’s been improving on defense throughout the season.Bagley is averaging 14.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game off the bench for the surprisingly frisky Kings. And he’s been even better since returning from a five-game, injury-related absence in early March, posting 18.5 points and 8.2 rebounds a night with an improved shooting line. He has a diverse, varied face-up game and is working to stretch his jumper, and given his athleticism and quick feet, his defense could eventually come around as well.Memphis shut down Jackson in late-February due to a quad injury, but before his season ended he averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 combined steals and blocks in just 26 minutes a night. He did all that despite being, at 19 years old, the second-youngest player in the league.3The Lakers’ Isaac Bonga is about a month younger than Jackson, and Bonga has played less than 100 minutes this season. Jackson also knocked down 35.9 percent of his threes and carried an above-average usage rate and true shooting percentage, which is wildly impressive for a player whose primary contributions were expected to come on the defensive end of the floor.So how does this season’s top five stack up against past classes? The chart below plots the collective win shares and win shares per 48 minutes for the top five picks in each draft class from 1979 through 2018 (otherwise known as the three-point era) during their respective debut seasons. Note that only players who played during the season immediately following that year’s draft are counted in this analysis; because we’re looking at the top five picks as a class, if a player did not debut with the rest of his class, it doesn’t make much sense to count him along with the others. For example, Ben Simmons was the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, but he did not play during the 2016-17 season, so he counts for 0 minutes and 0 win shares toward the total of that draft class. Simmons was excellent as a rookie once he did step on the floor, but it also would not make sense to group him with the 2017 draft class, because he was not drafted in 2017. Likewise, the same logic applies to Simmons’s Sixers teammate Joel Embiid, who was drafted in 2014 but did not debut until two years later.4It also applies to Jonas Valanciunas (stayed in Europe for a year before coming over and joining the Raptors); Blake Griffin (injured); Ricky Rubio (Europe); Greg Oden (injured); Danny Ferry (went to Italy for a year because he refused to play for the Clippers); David Robinson (naval service); and tragically, Len Bias (an overdose-caused death). 1992O’NealMourningLaettnerJacksonEllis0.118 Draft pick Among the 20 players selected in the top five of those four drafts, eight are currently in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Another four — Bill Cartwright, Sidney Moncrief, Terry Cummings and Christian Laettner — made at least one All-Star team during their career. And six more became long-term rotation players. Only Greg Kelser and Bill Garnett failed to pan out at all, as they wound up out of the league entirely within a few seasons.That’s an incredible hit rate of solid NBA players, and bodes well for what we should expect from Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Jackson and Young in the future. It’s obviously far too early to predict that any of these players will be enshrined in Springfield one day, but the future certainly appears bright, and it seems likely that the 2018 draft class will be remembered as one of the best in quite some time.Check out our latest NBA predictions. 2018AytonBagley IIIDoncicJackson Jr.Young0.102 As you can see, the 2018 class fares extremely well in both win shares — which represent Basketball-Reference.com’s attempt to divvy up credit for team wins to the individual players on the team — and win shares per 48 minutes. The 21.1 win shares collectively accumulated by Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Jackson and Young ranks eighth among the last 40 draft classes during their respective debut seasons, while their win shares per 48 average of 0.102 makes this class one of just six to exceed 0.100 win shares per 48.One of those six classes (2009) saw only three players actually take the floor during their debut season, thanks to an injury that knocked Blake Griffin out for the year and Ricky Rubio’s contract with Barcelona that kept him in Spain for two years before he arrived stateside. Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden and Tyreke Evans saw varying degrees of success during their respective rookie years and ended up posting a collective average of 0.108 win shares per 48 minutes, but they also combined for only 11.9 total win shares, far fewer than the other five classes that stand out in this analysis, each of which exceeded 20 total win shares.It’s worth noting, then, who was actually taken in the top five in those five NBA drafts (1984, 1979, 1982 and 1992). It’s also worth noting that just a single class between 1992 and 2018 saw its top five post a win shares per 48 average better than 0.100, meaning it’s been nearly a generation since we saw an actual top five class debut with a performance as good as the one we’re seeing from the most recent draft class. The top-five picks in the 2018 draft are in HOF companyThe five NBA draft classes with the highest win shares per 48 minutes Hall of Fame inductees in boldSource: Basketball-Reference.com 1982WorthyCummingsWilkinsGarnettThompson0.129 1984OlajuwonBowieJordanPerkinsBarkley0.174 1979JohnsonGreenwoodCartwrightKelserMoncrief0.137 Year1st2nd3rd4th5thWS per 48 min read more