New Climate Policies Neednt Disrupt DODs Reliance on Renewables Conger Says

first_imgPresident Trump’s steps so far to back away from existing policies intended to address climate change have not upended the military services’ push to increasingly rely on renewable energy sources to power their installations. But the department’s former installations and energy chief says even if the new administration revisits DOD’s policies on sustainability, it should be careful not to limit efforts that can be justified for reasons beyond their environmental benefits.There is a clear business case for the military to develop new generation capacity on base using solar, wind or other renewable resources as they are generally financed by developers or utilities and can cut an installation’s electricity bill, John Conger, who led the Pentagon’s installations office from 2012 to 2015, told Defense Communities 360. And by enhancing an installation’s energy resilience, if a microgrid is added, these projects yield an operational benefit of providing power during an interruption of the commercial grid.Even in the absence of new rules slowing DOD’s reliance on renewables, the White House’s stance toward environmental sustainability can affect decision-making throughout the department, said Conger, who now is a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His wish is that the services continue to pursue energy projects that save money and improve military value and not second guess them because of their environmental benefits.Last week, Trump signed an executive order reversing a requirement for federal agencies to consider climate change in their actions and craft plans to mitigate its risks. As a result, DOD efforts to mitigate the risks of climate change could slow. But even if officials choose not to take actions based on 20- or 30-year projections of impacts from flooding, they already must deal with coastal installations affected by rising sea levels, Conger said.“If you have a base experiencing current flooding, you have a today problem,” he said.Taking into account the risk of flooding at coastal installations makes sense, Conger noted, simply as a way to reduce risk. If you are forced to build in a floodplain, make sure your backup power is not in the basement, for example.“When all is said and done, it strikes me that even if you just look at climate change today … you should simply take that into account as prudent planning, even if you don’t look ahead [to consider long-term impacts],” he said.When asked whether recent comments from Senate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) indicating he was open to the prospect of a new BRAC round is likely to translate into congressional approval, Conger said it still is too early to tell.“You will need administration support and you’ll need Hill support and we’ll see where they put all their priorities as the year moves on,” he said. “Nobody can predict.”If lawmakers move forward on additional base closures, Conger said they most likely will update the BRAC statute to address two key concerns about the 2005 round — its initial implementation cost was too high and unexpected expenses that drove up the round’s ultimate cost.In response to a question about the military’s growing backlog of facilities maintenance, he said the first step is to allocate adequate funds to ensure the services aren’t falling further behind in sustaining their infrastructure.“So I wouldn’t focus on the backlog, but as to whether the department has a strategy to get it right again,” Conger said. The challenge for DOD has been coping with the statutory budget caps. Unless the constraints on the department’s topline spending level are relaxed, it will be very difficult for the services to adequately fund facilities sustainment.He concluded the interview by highlighting the professionalism of employees at both the headquarters level and the installation level supporting the department’s bases. “I have a lot of confidence in the folks in the building today,” Conger said.And, whether or not a new BRAC round is authorized or climate change policies are altered, “they will do their best for our bases that they possibly can. They are working really hard.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

DRG Records Founder Broadway Musicals Album Producer Hugh Fordin Dies At 83

first_img Email Facebook DRG Records Founder Hugh Fordin Dies At 83 drg-records-founder-broadway-musicals-album-producer-hugh-fordin-dies-83 News Twitter This Producers-producer’s engineer since 1985, Cynthia Daniels shared in Fordin’s GRAMMY win. “No other record company or producer filled this particular space for the recorded version of these timeless songs,” she told The New York Times. Fordin was also the author of two books, about the musicals of MGM as well as a biography of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. Daniels also recalled times in the studio with Fordin when “I would inevitably hear chuckling and then everyone in the room break into laughter.”Broadway Has Highest Grossing Year In 2018, Thanks To ‘Harry Potter And The Cursed Child’ & MoreRead more Fordin helped build the recorded legacy that preserves sensational Broadway stage performancesPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Mar 7, 2019 – 12:02 pm Record producer and label executive Hugh Fordin died of cardiac arrest at 83 at his home in New Jersey on Feb. 26. In addition to his own Best Musical Show Album win at the 44th GRAMMY Awards for The Producers, the label he founded in 1976, DRG Records released distinguished albums that brought GRAMMY wins to legends including Gerry Mulligan and Patti Page.Hailing Fordin as an “exceptional” and “versatile” producer, Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow noted that “he achieved success as both a producer and label executive. He will be deeply missed, but remembered for crafting dynamic records for the theater community.” Fordin’s other GRAMMY-nominated cast albums include Flower Drum Song, Guys And Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, The Music Man, and Wonderful Town. https://twitter.com/annhcallaway/status/1101909969350348801 DRG Records Founder & Broadway Musicals Album Producer Hugh Fordin Dies At 83 last_img read more

UN tightens sanctions on North Korea

first_imgSecurity Council members vote on a US-drafted resolution toughening sanctions on North Korea, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: AFPThe UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously backed a US-drafted resolution that significantly strengthened sanctions on North Korea, imposing a ban on exports aimed at depriving Pyongyang of $1 billion in annual revenue.The sweeping measures were the first of that scope to be imposed on North Korea since US President Donald Trump took office and highlighted China’s willingness to punish its Pyongyang ally.The resolution imposed a full ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood by the cash-starved state—stripping North Korea of a third of its export earnings estimated at $3 billion per year.US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the stiffer measures brought the penalty imposed on North Korea for its ballistic missile tests “to a whole new level” and that the council had put leader Kim Jong-Un “on notice.”“This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation,” Haley told the council after the vote.“These sanctions will cut deep and in doing so, will give the North Korean leadership a taste of the deprivation they have chosen to inflict on the North Korean people.”The resolution also prevents North Korea from increasing the number of workers it sends abroad whose earnings are another source of revenue for Kim’s regime.It prohibits all new joint ventures with North Korea, bans new investment in the current joint companies and adds nine North Korean officials and four entities including North Korea’s main foreign exchange bank to the UN sanctions blacklist.If fully implemented, the measures would tighten the economic vise around Pyongyang as it seeks to develop its missile and nuclear programs.Trump hailed the unanimous vote in the Security Council, saying the sanctions will have “very big financial impact!”It was “the single largest economic sanctions package ever on North Korea. Over one billion dollars in cost to N.K.,” the US leader said on Twitter.The United States entered into negotiations with China a month ago on the new resolution after Pyongyang launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4 which was followed by a second test on July 28.But the measure does not provide for cuts to oil deliveries to North Korea as initially proposed by the United States—a move that would have dealt a serious blow to the economy.The new raft of measures are the seventh set of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first carried out a nuclear test in 2006.Sanctions not an endThe United States has put heavy pressure on China, which accounts for 90 percent of trade with North Korea, to enforce the sanctions and the fate of these measures largely hinges on Beijing’s cooperation.China and Russia had resisted the US push, arguing that dialogue with North Korea was the way to persuade Pyongyang to halt its military programs.Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi said the resolution “does not intend to cause a negative impact” to North Korea’s people and stressed that it called for a return to talks on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.“The fact that the council adopted this resolution unanimously demonstrates that the international community is united in its position regarding the nuclear issue of the peninsula,” said Liu.Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia stressed that sanctions “cannot be an end in themselves” but rather “a tool for engaging this country in constructive talks.”Backed by Japan, South Korea and its European allies, the United States has maintained that tougher sanctions would put pressure on North Korea to come to the table.As negotiations at the United Nations entered the final stretch earlier this week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that Washington was not seeking regime change in North Korea and was willing to talk to Pyongyang.Next stepSpeaking to reporters after the council vote, Haley said “what’s next is completely up to North Korea.”“The United States has been loud about it, now the international community has been loud and North Korea now has to respond,” she said.Trump’s national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, said the United States would not tolerate the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests.McMaster, in an interview with MSNBC, said Trump had told China’s President Xi Jinping it was no longer enough for North Korea to “freeze” its programs since it had already crossed “threshold capability” and the goal was now denuclearization.South Korea’s foreign minister, meanwhile, held out a diplomatic olive branch Saturday, saying she was open to holding discussions with her North Korean counterpart at a security forum in the Philippines.“If there is an opportunity that naturally occurs, we should talk,” Kang Kyung-Wha said as she landed in Manila on Saturday, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.North Korea’s top diplomat, Ri Hong-Yo, was attending the regional summit, which is hosted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).Seoul last month proposed military talks with Pyongyang but the North refused to respond. Had they gone ahead, they would have been the first official inter-Korean talks since 2015.last_img read more

DC Residents Tell New US Attorney Close Vincent Gray Case

first_imgChanning D. Phillips is set to be the District’s new U.S. Attorney. (U.S. Department of Justice)On Oct. 8, President Obama selected Channing D. Phillips, a former acting U.S. Attorney for the District and the senior counsel to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, as the city’s next top prosecutor. D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) recommended Phillips to the president.While Phillips will be taking on a largely non-political job, he will be expected to make a major decision on a leading former officeholder in the city.Former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has been a leading target of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office since early 2011 for his 2010 mayoral campaign’s violation of election laws. Several of his close associates have taken pleas from the U.S. Attorney’s office but Gray hasn’t been charged with any crime.Ward 8 advisory neighborhood commissioner Mary Cuthbert, who has been involved in the city’s politics since the 1960s, didn’t mention Gray by name but said that Phillips needs to “close cases that are now open.”“Those cases have been hanging on a string and they need to be closed,” Cuthbert said.Leo Alexander, who ran against Gray in 2010 for mayor, agrees with Cuthbert. “Phillips needs to close the book on the Vince Gray investigation,” Alexander said. “The investigation is a mockery of justice and a waste of time. I am no big fan of Vince Gray but the city suffered under his leadership because of the investigation that hasn’t achieved its objective.”Gray ran for re-election in 2014 but lost in the April 1 primary that year to present D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D). One of Gray’s opponents, D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), has publicly called for the U.S. Attorney’s office’s investigation of the former mayor to wrap up.Cohen said that he wasn’t insensitive to the concerns of many District residents regarding the 2010 mayoral campaign investigation. “There are some important cases that I wish I could see through to their conclusions, but I have complete confidence in the team at the U.S. Attorney’s Office to follow through and do justice for the people of the District,” he said.Johnny Barnes, a civil rights attorney in the District and the former executive director of the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, agrees with the sentiment in the community that the Gray matter should be closed. “The former U.S. Attorney [Machen] went beyond the role of the U.S. Attorney,” Barnes said. “I don’t think it is good to mix politics with law enforcement and the Gray matter is antiquated.”Vincent Cohen Jr., the acting U.S. Attorney, will leave office on Oct. 18. Cohen held the position for only six months and prior to that worked under U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen for five years as the principal assistant U.S. Attorney.The District’s U.S. Attorney’s office is largest in the country and deals with issues, as Cohen told the AFRO recently, from “Benghazi to Barry Farm.”Phillips, a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Howard University School of Law, will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before he permanently assumes his post. He is a 16-year veteran of the U.S. Attorney’s office, starting in 1994 as an assistant U.S. Attorney and rising in the ranks to be the principal assistant U.S. Attorney from 2004-2009 and as the acting U.S. Attorney from May 2009-Febuary 2010. He has worked with the Justice Department in senior-level positions since 2011.Phillips is a native Washingtonian and is the son of the late Rev. Channing E. Phillips, who was the first Black to have his name submitted for a major party presidential nomination in 1968 at the Democratic Party convention in Chicago.last_img read more

NASA uses Leap Motion to move ATHLETE rover w video

first_img Explore further More information: www-robotics.jpl.nasa.gov/syst … system.cfm?System=11 NASA Controls an Athlete Rover LIVE at GDC with Leap Motion Controller. The ATHLETE is 13 feet. Various descriptions include “robotic lunar rover test-bed” and “legged lunar cargo robot “.as ATHLETE can unload bulky cargo Its reach is about 20 ft. (It is said that ATHLETE would be able to climb slopes up to 35° on solid surfaces and 25° on soft surfaces, such as soft deposits.The design includes six Degrees-of-Freedom limbs, each with a 1 DoF wheel attached. The wheels are designed for driving over stable terrain, but each limb could serve as a general-purpose leg, placed in an alternative walking mode, whereby the wheels could be locked and used instead as feet, over difficult terrain. Another ATHLETE feature is its limbs’ adapters, allowing tools to be drawn out and maneuvered by the limb.Luo is the Task Lead, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPS). He leads the development of natural user interface technologies for commanding robot navigation and dexterous manipulation. Norris is Manager of Mission Planning and Execution at JPS. He is involved with the software, people, and processes that command fifteen robotic spacecraft throughout the solar system. NASA’s ATHLETE Warms Up for High Desert Run (w/ Video) “The ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer) has six legs and six degrees of freedom, six joints. What part of our body has that much manipulation power? Well, it turns out, our hands have similar dexterity. We mapped our hands to the robot; we did so using the Leap Motion device. Just for you guys today, we are going to do something special.” Credit: NASA Natural Interface Control of Future Space Robotics. Exploring future interface technologies such as the zSpace and Leap devices to drive future NASA robots such as the ATHLETE. He told the GDC audience that he and Norris would be moving the six-legged, one ton robot in the southern California laboratory via the Leap Motion device with them onstage at the GDC event in San Francisco. Mission successful. The robot responded, reacting to finger and wrist movements. The audience at the Moscone Center watched all this on a big screen. ATHLETE’s purpose, as an R&D project at NASA, is to behave as a support for human exploration in extreme environments—the moon, Mars, and beyond. Norris sees a day when humans can use devices like Leap Motion to explore the universe remotely. Said Norris, “I want us to build a future of shared immersive tele-exploration, everyone exploring the universe through robotic avatars alongside our astronauts…stepping inside a holodeck and standing on those distance worlds.” © 2013 Phys.org (Phys.org) —NASA representatives were at the 2013 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco to show how the ATHLETE robot, a six-legged robot developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern California, can move via remote control with the Leap Motion device. Victor Luo and Jeff Norris, from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, presided over the demo. Luo told the audience of game industry professionals: Citation: NASA uses Leap Motion to move ATHLETE rover (w/ video) (2013, April 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-nasa-motion-athlete-rover-video.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more