Measurements beneath an Antarctic ice shelf using an autonomous underwater vehicle

first_imgThe cavities beneath Antarctic ice shelves are among the least studied regions of the World Ocean, yet they are sites of globally important water mass transformations. Here we report results from a mission beneath Fimbul Ice Shelf of an autonomous underwater vehicle. The data reveal a spatially complex oceanographic environment, an ice base with widely varying roughness, and a cavity periodically exposed to water with a temperature significantly above the surface freezing point. The results of this, the briefest of glimpses of conditions in this extraordinary environment, are already reforming our view of the topographic and oceanographic conditions beneath ice shelves, holding out great promises for future missions from similar platforms.last_img

Cushing storage hub constraints key to historic WTI crude oil price collapse

first_imgMay delivery contract expiry was crucial to WTI oil price collapseOne of the key explainers for the price crash was that WTI was nearing the expiry of its futures contract for delivery in May – a month in which US storage capacity is expected to be pushed to its limits if action is not taken to slow production or boost refining activity.As the May delivery deadline (21 April) for WTI approached, commodity traders made a frenzied final-hour attempt to offload their contracts.The Cushing storage hub in Oklahoma is central to this picture – the key destination for WTI and where capacity is expected to be filled “within weeks”, according to Wood Mackenzie analyst Ann-Louise Hittle.She said: “Adequate storage in Cushing is unavailable to those who need it. The problem is compounded because the contract is settled by physical delivery at Cushing. Brent is not constrained by this requirement for physical delivery.” June WTI crude oil contract may bring price stability, but uncertainty remainsWith the June contract for WTI delivery due to kick in today, analysts are more hopeful that prices for the crude will stabilise now the rush to exit May options has ended – although coronavirus uncertainty continues to weigh heavily on the market.Lara said: “The June contract was trading above $21 per barrel and this price should in principle have more weight on spot price as of today.“However with no real certainty on when the US lockdown will end and how quickly the economy will start transporting people and goods, the downward pressure on WTI will continue during the next months.”Wood Mackenzie’s Hittle added: “With signs of a possible easing in containment measures against Covid-19, the next month’s WTI expiry might not see such an intense selling pressure.” Crude oil production continues to outpace demand, despite efforts to curb outputThe International Energy Agency (IEA) recently forecast that oil demand in May is expected to be 26 million barrels per day lower than the same month in 2019, as coronavirus lockdown measures continue to restrict industrial activity and travel – key drivers of crude demand.Given this scenario, and the pressures it is placing on market infrastructure to put surplus supplies into storage, traders were reluctant to accept reserves for this May contract, exerting downwards pressure on the commodity price as they sought desperately to exit their positions.“The large spread between the May and June contracts primarily indicates both the limits of storage and the increasing cost of keeping oil above ground,” said Adrian Lara, a senior oil and gas researcher at analysis firm GlobalData.“Yesterday, this differential obviously went out of control when oil traders desperately tried to exit or rollover their positions, to avoid taking delivery of the May crude.”Refining bottlenecks also contributed to the situation, as lockdowns limit the speed and capacity at which crude can be processed and moved on.Lara added: “This historic price drop into negative territory signals that US oil supply is still excessive, and that production cuts are not occurring rapidly enough to avoid filling up storage.“Fundamentally there is little doubt US storage won’t be enough by late May, early June if crude oil production remains at the current rate, and refining capacity does not increase.”Recent figures show that US crude oil production is poised to decline this year amid the coronavirus outbreak, with the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasting a 500,000 bpd year-on-year decline.Despite these natural reductions, however, and a wider G20-backed global production cut agreement between members of the Opec+ alliance from next month, the immediacy of demand and storage pressures are continuing to exert significant pressure on global commodity prices.Hittle said: “Oil supply has not yet been affected enough by either production shut-ins for economic reasons or by the Opec+ production cuts.” WTI crude oil prices plummeted yesterday (20 April) as traders rushed to offload May delivery contracts amid storage concerns Storage constraints at the crucial Cushing storage facility in Oklahoma, US, were pivotal to the price crash of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil yesterday (20 April).Traders scrambled to offload contracts for the May delivery of WTI, faced with the prospect of a peak in storage limitations – sending prices into a spectacular and historic nosedive.The key US benchmark commodity entered negative pricing territory for the first time in history, ending the day at minus $37.63 after a flurry of selling sent the crude price spiralling from its opening value of around $18 per barrel.Spot prices have rebounded today (21 April) as the June WTI contract comes into force, although remained in negative territory at midday GMT – hovering around minus $6.30.The speed and severity of the fall sent shockwaves throughout global commodity markets, highlighting the precarious situation in which oil – facing unprecedented levels of low demand as a result of coronavirus – currently exists. WTI crude oil fell into negative price territory for the first time ever yesterday (20 April), ending the day at minus $37.63 amid storage capacity concernslast_img read more

COMMENTARY: BETTY WILLIAMS CONTINUALLY INSPIRED TO HELP THOSE IN NEED

first_imgBETTY WILLIAMS CONTINUALLY INSPIRED TO HELP THOSE IN NEEDCOMMENTARY BY LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR SUSAN CROUCHMy first encounter with Betty Williams was when I started as a county commissioner in Evansville. Her strong voice and tireless advocacy for individuals who have Down’s syndrome, autism or cerebral palsy inspired me to help the 100,000 Hoosiers with an intellectual and developmental disability. Betty, who had cerebral palsy, showed me that people with disabilities are no different than the rest of us. They want to love and be loved in return. They want the opportunity to take risks and learn from their mistakes, but most importantly, they want to be as independent as possible and be successful.Betty’s advocacy helped the Indiana General Assembly pass legislation in 2017. This created a 17 person task force, which I had the honor of chairing and serving alongside Betty. Our purpose was a direct one, assess current supports and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and come up with a plan to make them better. We recently concluded our meetings and delivered our report outlining the goals and recommendations on how to best serve those with an intellectual and developmental disability to the general assembly.The task force took their job seriously and we traveled the entire state to hear from families, providers, and people with disabilities to learn what was most important to them. Over the last year, we met 10 times in places from Boonville to Valparaiso and New Albany to Columbia City. Each meeting, we tried to visit providers that delivered important services to people with disabilities to see firsthand what services and supports were being accessed. At our meetings, we took public comment from more than 100 self-advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities, 60 family members, advocacy organizations, numerous staff from 26 service providers and state government agencies on how we could fix some of the gaps in how we are helping these individuals.I learned it is imperative we continue to evolve the services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. People want choices in the type of services they receive and where they receive them. I am constantly inspired by the work of our service providers in our state. They are trying to stay fresh with ideas, some offer art and others run coffee shops. I always walk away feeling proud in how they provide services and how they access the individuals’ talents.As the task force worked on our report, we relied on data to better understand and evaluate community-based services. This helped to focus on the cost, utilization, and services of the existing programs and how we could improve. Our report highlights four goals: prioritize community settings and individualized approaches, advance and maximize community and state resources and programs to be inclusive to all Hoosiers, respond to individual and family needs and include a wide array of supports and services that are sustainable, equitable and available across all communities. To read the report in its entirety, visit www.in.gov/fssa/files/1102_final_report_11.1.2018.pdf.As our work came to an end, I continued to think about my friend, Betty. She became ill this past June and was unable to attend the last few meetings of the task force. I know her wishes were carried through by the other members and I think she would be proud of our final report. Betty passed away just a few weeks ago, but her advocacy and spirit is heard throughout the final report. She taught us to be bold, and stand up for those who need help, and I hope the Indiana General Assembly enacts the recommendations from the task force this legislative session.I am proud that Indiana has a strong history of helping Hoosiers with intellectual and developmental disabilities through community-based services and supports across their lifespan, rather than relying on state-operated facilities to serve them. If we truly want to take our state to the Next Level, we must continue to invest in, and improve upon, these services and meet the needs of the individuals, their families and the community-based organizations.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

The Impacts of Menards Inc. v City of Escanaba

first_imgBY Jack L. Van Covering Foster Swift Municipal Law NewsOn May 26, 2016, the Court of Appeals issued a published decision in Menards Inc. v City of Escanaba, supra, reversing the Tax Tribunal’s decision (MTT Dk Nos 00-441600, 14-001918). The Court of Appeals held that when a market contains anti-competitive deed restricted property, use of the sales comparison approach undervalues the property and the cost-less-depreciation approach to value must be considered. Concluding the Tribunal record was inadequate to reach a determination of value, the Court of Appeals remanded the case to the Tribunal to hear additional new evidence regarding the deed restrictions, the validity of the sales comparison approach and to consider the cost-less-depreciation approach.The Court of Appeals’ decision in Menards Inc. is published and, therefore, binding law. It is the first published “Big Box” decision since the Court of Appeals’ earlier decisions in Meijer v City of Midland, 240 Mich App 1 (2000) and in Thrifty Royal Oak v City of Royal Oak, 130 Mich App 207 (1984). In general terms, the Menards Inc. decision affirms conclusions in the two earlier published decisions. In both of the earlier Court of Appeals’ decisions, the Tribunal and the Court of Appeals had rejected sales of former big box properties, finding that the sales were distressed, that the market for big box stores was distorted, and, that the cost-less-depreciation method should be used to value the existing property. However, beyond this general affirmation of existing law, the Court’s decision in Menard’s Inc. outlines critical standards necessary for a valuation of specialty property, such as big box stores.Though the Court of Appeals has reviewed other cases involving big box stores, all were unpublished, largely factual disputes and, importantly, none were designated as binding law. By contrast, the Court of Appeals Menards Inc. decision will have long-standing implications in Michigan and nationally.BACKGROUNDIn the Tribunal, Menard’s Inc. relied entirely on a sales comparison valuation of eight sales of former big box properties. Five of the sales were deed restricted by the seller to prohibit use of the store for big box retail as well as many other commercial uses. Three of these sales were converted to factories, one to a strip mall and another remained vacant. A sixth sale from a bankrupt big box retailer was converted to a City Hall. The remaining two sales were of stores that were nearly a third of the size of the Menards’ store. The City, by contrast, had determined that the cost-less-depreciation approach was required to be used because of the lack of good sales data. The parties agreed that the highest and best use of the facility was as an owner-occupied freestanding retail building.The Tribunal rejected the cost approach as inapplicable, reasoning that the approach would not be used by buyers and sellers of the property and finding that the property was too unique (functionally obsolete) for big box retail use. The Tribunal then accepted all of Menards Inc.’s sales without evaluation of the deed restrictions. In response to the City’s Motion for Reconsideration, the Tribunal determined that deed restrictions had no impact because Menard’s appraiser had determined that they had not impacted the sales.SUMMARY OF THE DECISIONAn underlying theme of the Court of Appeals decision is that the Tribunal failed to apply standard highest and best use principles. The Court of Appeals first concluded that the Tribunal’s use of a sales comparison approach was in error because sales of deed-restricted properties resulted in a highest and best use that was different from the subject property.As a beginning point, the Court of Appeals noted that while Menards owned a fee simple interest in the property, deed-restricted comparable properties lacked “an entire fee simple interest.” Moreover, the deed restrictions, according to the Court of Appeals, reduced the comparable property’s purchase price. The Court of Appeals explained that since the deed restrictions imposed conversion costs to any potential buyer in order to comply with the restrictions, buyers would pay less to accommodate the costs and fewer buyers would be willing to assume the additional cost. Second, the Court of Appeals concluded that the near-universal use of anti-competitive deed restrictions by big box retailers meant that there was no market for the stores as big box retail. That is, comparable big box stores would not have the same highest and best use of the subject property; they would instead be sold to be redeveloped for a different use.Citing existing Michigan case law, the Court of Appeals affirmed the requirement that when there is an inadequate or a distorted market for property, the Tribunal must use the cost-less-depreciation method of value. To require assessors to prove an actual market for unique property, when the market is distorted, would lead to “absurd undervaluations.” The Court reasoned that “big-box stores are not typically sold on the marketplace for use as ‘big-box stores’ so buyers would not have ability to meaningfully use a sales comparison method.” Since the subject property as a “new, modern facility [was] capable of fully functioning as a freestanding retail center”, the Court of Appeals concluded that it was “not appropriate to value the subject property significantly less than its replacement cost simply because owner-occupied freestanding retail spaces are rarely bought or sold for use as owner-occupied freestanding retail spaces on the open market.” The Court of Appeals in rejecting the assertions that the property, as built for Menards, was “functionally obsolete” as unsupported, the Court of Appeals concluded that not only was there no evidence of functional obsolescence introduced at the hearing, the industry practice of imposing deed restrictions to prohibit the sale to other big box retailers undermined the validity of a functional obsolescence claim.IMPACT TO HB 5578The Court of Appeals decision is a narrative legal explanation for HB 5578 (the “Maturen Bill”). The decision and the proposed bill are nearly identical.Notably, much of the Court of Appeals’ decision concerns failures of the Tribunal Member, such as, the Tribunal Member’s failure to identify evidence, failure to consider evidence, failure to reach specific findings of fact, and, failure to follow standard appraisal methodologies required under Michigan law. Since the underlying theme in the Menards Inc. decision is failure to correctly apply a determination of highest and best use, the decision is notable for its finding that the Tribunal Member failed to state a highest and best use. The Court of Appeals excused this failure, concluding that the Tribunal may have “implicitly” determined a highest and best use since the parties had agreed to a highest and best use. The excuse made no difference. The Tribunal Member had failed to apply its “implicit” determination.That is exactly the core of the Maturen bill, a concise distillation of 800 pages from the standard appraisal treatise, “The Appraisal of Real Estate,” and directing Tribunal Members to state specific appraisal determinations in their written decisions. For example, Tribunal Members would be required to work through each aspect of the four-part highest and best use test. They would be required to determine conversion cost when otherwise comparable property is sold for a different use. They would be required to state a determination of highest and best use and apply that determination of highest and best use to each method of value. As the Menards Inc. decision reveals, the Maturen bill fills an obvious gap. If the Tribunal Members are not appraisers, the Maturen bill provides a guide. If the Tribunal Members are not attorneys, the Maturen bill provides a checklist.HB 5578 requires, consistent with Michigan law, that all approaches to value be applied and considered. Notably, the decision in Menards, Inc. twice recites this requirement. The Court of Appeals found error in the Tribunal Member’s failure to adhere to this requirement. Though the HB 5578 does not require any specific method of value, a much stronger conclusion, that in some instances the cost-less-depreciation-approach must be used, is found in the Court of Appeals’ decision in Menards, Inc.The bill addresses in detail vacancy and restrictive deeds as those last two characteristics might apply to the selection of comparable sales and would impact a highest and best use determination. Notably, the bill does not prohibit either vacant comparable sales or restrictive deeds if they reflect typical exposure to and sales in the market under the same economic conditions as the subject property. The additional requirement that seller-imposed deed restrictions likely will differ from a subject property without deed restrictions is now found in the Court of Appeals’ Menards, Inc. decision. The method of applying that decision is found in the Maturen bill.As the Menards, Inc. decision also underscores, nothing in the Maturen bill is inconsistent with long-standing Michigan law or the historic definition of “true cash value” in MCL 211.27. The Court of Appeals’ decision provides an answer to wide-ranging claims from groups lobbying on behalf of big box retailers. The expansive legal principles argued to be found in the raft of unpublished decisions to support the use of dark stores as comparable sales was not and is not Michigan law.HB 5578 does not address procedure, budget, selection of members or other structural aspects of the Tribunal. It does not seek to advantage or disadvantage any litigant group. HB 5578 provides the tools for Tribunal Members to apply the Menards Inc. decision.If you have questions about how this case affects your municipality please contact Jack Van Coevering at 616.726.2221 or [email protected] LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

PATH line to 33rd Street to reopen this weekend

first_imgHOBOKEN–The 33rd Street PATH train will be operational this weekend starting Christmas Eve according to a press release.Weekend closures began in August to allow for the installation of new safety and signalization upgrades, new communications equipment and cables, as well as additional repairs and repainting.During the weekend closures, PATH had been running direct trains between Hoboken and the World Trade Center, and providing shuttle bus service for riders from the WTC to West 29th Street.These alternative services will stope on weekends starting Dec. 24.“We are very pleased to be able to complete this phase of the project on time, and we thank our riders for making the best of what was an inconvenience for many of them,” said PATH Director/General Manager Michael Marino.“New signal systems are critical to PATH going forward,” said Kevin Lejda, assistant superintendent in PATH’s Transportation Division. “PTC and CBTC will reduce the likelihood of human or mechanical errors and provide our customers with an additional layer of safety and reliability.” ×last_img read more

WHITTAKER, MARIO ANTONIO, SR.

first_img68, of Bayonne passed away on March 31, 2018. Born in Colon, Panama, Mario was the proud Veteran of both the US Army & the US Navy and was an active member of the Merchant Marines for many years. Mario was the father to Mario Jr., Marco & Joshua Whittaker and grandfather to Mario III, Jaiden, Mya and Lea Whittaker and was best friend to Machito the killer Chihuahua. Surviving Mario are his siblings Alicia, Edison, Irene, Marita & Natividad, as well as a host of other family members and close friends. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Mario’s GO FUND ME account with a link that can be found on his obituary page at www.MigliaccioFuneralHome.com. Funeral arrangements by MIGLIACCIO Funeral Home, 851 Kennedy Blvd.last_img

Late Shift Enjoys Late Afternoon-Early Evening Beach Time

first_imgBetty Sees and daughter Shani Hannah are devoted members of the beach-going “Late Shift.” They call it the “Late Shift.”They are dedicated Ocean City beach-goers who wouldn’t think of heading out to our award-winning beaches until mid-afternoon or later.You can see them schlepping their beach chairs, coolers and boogie boards onto the sand while the majority are trudging the opposite way and heading for the showers or home.And they wouldn’t have it any other way.“It’s the best time to go to the beach,” said Shani Hannah of Phoenixville, PA, who was heading onto Park Place beach with her mom, Betty Sees. “I have been coming to Ocean City my whole life and this is my favorite time of day for beach time. It was a different story when I had little children.  But now they are older and I have more time (for me).”Her mom concurred.“Late afternoon is the best. We are coming down here while most of the people are leaving.  It’s really nice.”Erik Sciortino of Yardley, PA was taking his sons Jason, 13, and Kevin to the beach, and said they were recent converts to the Late Shift.“We’ve been coming down here around 3 p.m. the last three or four days,” Sciortino said. “We like it. It’s cooler, it’s not as crowded. Everyone can spread out more.  My guys like to ride their boogie boards and they have a lot more room to do it.  They aren’t crashing into other boogie boarders or swimmers. It’s almost like the whole beach opens up for us.”David Aniloff comes to the beach early and late but finds himself well-rested and ready to swim every half hour on the Late Shift.On Friday when OCNJ surveyed some late shifters, the temperature had peaked at 93 degrees around noon and the water was a balmy 68 degrees, according to the lifeguards. At 3:45 the air temp was about eight degrees cooler and the water was still warm.David Aniloff of Langhorne, PA does his beach time during both the early and late shifts, and said he is particularly on his game in the afternoon.“I’ll come in the morning,” go home and take a nap. Then I am ready to come back here.  I go in the ocean about every half hour to stay cool.”Scott Mills of Holland, Pa and Mike Zecca of Warrington, PA, echoed the sentiments. Mills ahs been coming to OC for all of his 33 years and Zecca’s been coming about 10. They both prefer the later time.Scott Mills (left) of Holland PA and Mike Zecca of Warrington, PA both prefer coming to the beach when the sun is not so hot and the beach not so crowded.“The sun is not as hot and the beach is sparser. It’s a lot more laid back,” Mills said.Zecca said typically, the afternoon shift sees a nice change in temperature and vibe. “You might get a cooler breeze this time of day and everyone is more interested in hanging out,” he said.Sally Cocozza is an Ocean City native and Gardens resident who swears by the late shift. “I come down here with my children and I do like it more (coming late) because it is just more relaxing. I can spend more time at the beach,  Its easier for me to come in the afternoon and stay into the end of the day, as opposed to coming early when its hotter.”She said that she left a beach tag back at her house for her son to use and realized she left last year’s tag.“But it doesn’t matter because the (tag-checkers) have left,” she said with a laugh.Ocean City native Sally Cocozza prefers to come to the beach in the late afternoon and stay into the early evening.last_img read more

Bagel sales are on the up

first_imgValue sales at New York Bakery Co have increased 84% since the relaunch of its bagel brand in January this year.The firm, whose sales have hit £28.3m, said the ambient bagel market is now worth £37.5m (AC Nielsen scantrack data 52 w/e 11 July 2011), an increase of 21.3% on the comparable period last year.The data also showed that 3.9 million bagels are now eaten every week in the UK (AC Nielsen Scantrack 12 w/e 11 July 2011), with over three-quarters of those bought being New York Bakery bagels, according to the firm.Head of marketing Victoria Willis announced the firm had got some new “communication activities” planned. “So hopefully the fans will continue to buy record numbers of bagels,” she said.New York Bakery Co relaunched its bagel range at the beginning of the year, with a new recipe, new shape, and revamped packaging. It also added a wholemeal variety to take its portfolio of flavours to six.>>A taste of New Yorklast_img read more

South Bend VPA to host free drive-in movie Friday

first_img Twitter By Brooklyne Beatty – May 13, 2020 0 612 Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp (Photo supplied/South Bend Venues, Parks and Arts) The Sandlot will be played on the big screen in downtown South Bend Friday.Venues Parks & Arts (VPA) is set to host a free drive-in movie in the parking lot of the Century Center, located at 120 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.Gates open at 8 p.m., and the film will begin at sundown, which is around 9:15 p.m.The event is free and open to all ages, and each car will be provided with a prepackaged bag of popcorn and a travel-size hand sanitizer.In an effort to maintain proper social distancing, attendees are required to stay in their vehicle, except to go to the restroom or to purchase hand sanitizer from Indiana Whiskey, which will be onsite selling bottles. Attendees must also wear a face mask.Parking spots are limited and will be first come, first served for the first 100 vehicles. Pinterest WhatsApp Google+center_img TAGSCentury Centercoronavirusdrive-inmovieSouth BendThe SandlotVenues Parks & ArtsVPA Google+ IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Previous articleNotre Dame Stadium not likely at full capacity for 2020 seasonNext articleRoseland has demands for South Bend’s Motel 6 COVID occupation Brooklyne Beatty Facebook Twitter South Bend VPA to host free drive-in movie Fridaylast_img read more

Indiana State Trooper surpasses 1,000 career DUI arrests

first_img Facebook Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Previous articleSenator Braun on COVID 19 relief bill, whether the President should concedeNext articleElkhart County moves to orange status on Indiana’s COVID-19 map 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. Google+ By Jon Zimney – December 2, 2020 0 240 Pinterest (Jon Zimney/95.3 MNC) An Indiana State Trooper assigned to the Bremen post recently surpassed 1,000 career DUI arrests.Master Trooper Mick Dockery patrols mainly in Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties. Since starting his career in December 1999, he’s arrested more than 1,000 drunk drivers.Dockery said it isn’t about the numbers, it’s about hopefully preventing tragedy. Twitter Indiana State Trooper surpasses 1,000 career DUI arrests WhatsApp Twitter IndianaLocalNews Facebooklast_img read more