Construction & Contracts

first_imgEmissionsAir Pollution Control Equipment ServicesCoal Siemens Power Generation announced an agreement with FPL Energy to supply wind turbines totaling up to 600 MW. Siemens will manufacture, install and commission the 2.3 MW Mk II turbines. Delivery begins in 2006. The agreement marks Siemens’ first wind power contract since it acquired Bonus Energy last year. Wood Group Power Operations has been awarded a 10-year contract by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Financing Authority to provide full care, custody and control O&M services, including mobilization and start-up support, for two GE Frame 7FA advanced technology gas turbines at the 500 MW Cosumnes Power Plant Phase I near Sacramento, Calif. Duratek has received a contract from Dairyland Power Cooperative for removal and disposition of a 175-ton reactor pressure vessel and other low level radioactive material from the Lacrosse plant. Other materials for disposition include irradiated hardware in the spent fuel pool, ion exchange media and filters. Babcock Power, in consortium with Zachry Construction Co., has received a contract for the design, supply and erection of SCR systems at Mirant Mid-Atlantic’s Morgantown Station Units 1 and 2. The contract includes the design and supply of SCR systems for the station’s two 600 MW coal fired units. Optimizing Plant Performance: The April POWERGEN+ series activates today ADA-ES has received its first two commercial contracts to provide activated carbon injection mercury control systems. The contracts are for a new 780 MW coal plant and a 575 MW coal unit in the U.S. No posts to display Vietnam: scaling back coal-fired plans toward gas, renewables ALSTOM has been awarded a contract by Xcel Energy to design, supply, erect and commission a supercritical boiler for Public Service of Colorado’s 750 MW Comanche 3 Unit. The unit will burn low-sulfur PRB coal and will be equipped with ALSTOM’s TFS 2000 firing system coupled with SCR and will be among the lowest producers of nitrogen oxide emissions in the nation. Linkedin Twitter Facebook Mississippi Power cutting stakes in coal-fired, gas-fired stations to reduce excess MW, emissions center_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Linkedin Facebook Construction & Contracts Twitter 10.1.2005 Previous articlePE Volume 109 Issue 10Next articleSix firms win contracts to link electricity grids of Gulf states chloecox TAGSPE Volume 109 Issue 10SMUD FPL Energy has started construction on the 49.5 MW Wilton Energy Center windfarm, to consist of 33 1.5-MW wind turbines on 8,000 acres in Burleigh County, North Dakota planned for completion by the end of this year. By chloecox – Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control will design, supply and install wet FGD systems at PPL Corp.’s Montour plant Units 1 and 2 in Washingtonville, Penn. PPL also has an option for Wheelabrator to design, supply and install two similar systems at Brunner Island Units 1, 2 and 3. Babcock & Wilcox has received a contract for more than $120 million from AEP subsidiary Ohio Power Company for engineering, materials and start-up commissioning of wet FGD systems on its two 800 MW units at the Mitchell Plant in West Virginia.last_img read more

Strategic Projects Manager

first_imgTo apply, visit Strategic Projects Manager & Executive AssistantAbout Northeastern:Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university andthe recognized leader in experience-driven lifelong learning. Ourworld-renowned experiential approach empowers our students,faculty, alumni, and partners to create impact far beyond theconfines of discipline, degree, and campus.Our locations—in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; London;Portland, Maine; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto;Vancouver; and the Massachusetts communities of Burlington andNahant—are nodes in our growing global university system. Throughthis network, we expand opportunities for flexible,student-centered learning and collaborative, solutions-focusedresearch.Northeastern’s comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduateprograms— in a variety of on-campus and online formats—lead todegrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools. Amongthese, we offer more than 195 multi-discipline majors and degreesdesigned to prepare students for purposeful lives andcareers.About the Opportunity:The Strategic Projects Manager & Executive Assistant (SPM &EA) will provide comprehensive executive level project andadministrative support for David Luzzi in his roles as Senior ViceProvost for Research & Innovation (SVPR), Vice President of theInnovation Campus at Burlington, MA (VP ICBM), and Senior Advisorto the President (SATP). This individual is responsible forsupporting the enterprises of the Senior Vice Provost for Researchresponsible for a Carnegie Tier 1 research institution on a rapidgrowth trajectory and the Vice President of the Innovation Campusat Burlington, MA, also in a rapid growth phase. He/she will beresponsible for monitoring, working on the execution, and trackingof the many strategic projects relating to the Senior Advisorrole.The successful SPM & EA will thrive in a fast-pacedenvironment, where assignments include interacting with high-levelinternal and external stakeholders. This position requires acandidate with excellent project management and organization,proactive planning, adaptability, and a customer service focus whowill respond with flexibility to a wide variety of multiple andshifting priorities.The role reports to Senior Director of Administration, Finance, andPlanning of the ICBM.Job ResponsibilitiesProject Management: Manage projects for theSVPR/VP ICBM/SATP so that all are planned, executed, and completedwithin the constraints of scope, schedule, and budget.Monitor, organize, and improve project tracking systems for theSVPR/VP ICBM/SATP and organize and maintain relevant program files.This includes researching potential initiatives and events,creating project proposals, vetting individuals, etc.Collaborate with members of the divisions to evaluate progress andrefine plans, while exercising sound judgment for project progressand project direction on behalf of the SVPR/VP ICBM/SATP. Providevision and direction for division projects to ensure alignment withthe institution and lead process improvement initiatives in thefunctional unit. Evaluate and provide feedback for submissions fromthe departments in the division. This could involve editingdocuments, maintaining a current knowledge of division priorities,providing relevant responses, etc.Executive assistant: Provide high-leveladministrative support for the SVPR/VP ICBM/SATP. Maintain acomplex executive calendar, organize and prepare for meetings,coordinate domestic and international travel, track and prepareexpense reports. This individual acts as a gatekeeper to theSVPR/VP ICBM/SATP. Regularly handles confidential material andinformation and exercises discretion in doing so. Performs otherduties as required to ensure the smooth operation andresponsiveness of the SVPR/VP ICBM/SATP offices.Meeting and Event Management: Coordinate regularmeetings to discuss current happenings across the divisions,identifies room for improvement in processes and implementssolutions. The individual plans, coordinates, & implements thelogistics and content of leadership and division-wide meetings. Theindividual designs program or project vision, goals, objectives,and methodology.Responsibilities:Job ResponsibilitiesProject Management: Manage projects for theSVPR/VP ICBM/SATP so that all are planned, executed, and completedwithin the constraints of scope, schedule, and budget.Monitor, organize, and improve project tracking systems for theSVPR/VP ICBM/SATP and organize and maintain relevant program files.This includes researching potential initiatives and events,creating project proposals, vetting individuals, etc.Collaborate with members of the divisions to evaluate progress andrefine plans, while exercising sound judgment for project progressand project direction on behalf of the SVPR/VP ICBM/SATP. Providevision and direction for division projects to ensure alignment withthe institution and lead process improvement initiatives in thefunctional unit. Evaluate and provide feedback for submissions fromthe departments in the division. This could involve editingdocuments, maintaining a current knowledge of division priorities,providing relevant responses, etc.Executive assistant: Provide high-leveladministrative support for the SVPR/VP ICBM/SATP. Maintain acomplex executive calendar, organize and prepare for meetings,coordinate domestic and international travel, track and prepareexpense reports. This individual acts as a gatekeeper to theSVPR/VP ICBM/SATP. Regularly handles confidential material andinformation and exercises discretion in doing so. Performs otherduties as required to ensure the smooth operation andresponsiveness of the SVPR/VP ICBM/SATP offices.Meeting and Event Management: Coordinate regularmeetings to discuss current happenings across the divisions,identifies room for improvement in processes and implementssolutions. The individual plans, coordinates, & implements thelogistics and content of leadership and division-wide meetings. Theindividual designs program or project vision, goals, objectives,and methodology.Qualifications:Minimum of 6-8 years’ experience in higher education supportinga Dean, Vice Provost or Vice President level executive; or inbusiness supporting a Director, Vice President, or similarhigh-level executive.Bachelor’s degree required; masters preferred.Project management background beneficialExcellent verbal and written communication skills needed withability to interact with tact and diplomacy amongst a wide varietyof stakeholders both internal and external to the university orfirm.Must be a self-motivated worker who can anticipate problems anddemonstrate significant independent judgement.Must be able to take initiative and follow through on tasksindependently.Must have high standards of professional conduct and ademonstrated record of dependability and a strong work ethic.Experience and comfort handling confidential and/or proprietaryinformation.Must be detail-oriented with a high level of attention toaccuracy and completeness and superior office/time managementcapabilities.Must have excellent Microsoft Office and overall computerskills, as well as the ability to learn new software and web-basedprograms.Ability to travel as needed jeid-dc82fc9c13d0ac4d82da53e181b74330center_img Preferred Qualifications:Salary Grade:12Additional Information:Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seekingto recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty andstaff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all itsforms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respectthat affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receiveconsideration for employment without regard to race, religion,color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disabilitystatus, or any other characteristic protected by applicablelaw.To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment andsupport of diversity and inclusion, please see read more

Q&A: Michael Goldberg, Jay Peak Receiver

first_imgJay Peak Resort,Burke Mountain Ski Area,Michael Goldberg is the court-appointed receiver for the EB-5 assets at Jay Peak, Burke Mountain and AnC Bio in Newport. Courtesy Bruce Edwards Vermont Business Magazine Michael Goldberg is the court-appointed receiver overseeing the assets of the EB-5 program run by Ariel Quiros of Miami and his partner, Jay Peak President William Stenger. On April 12, at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US District Court in Miami appointed Goldberg receiver. The SEC alleged in its 81-page civil complaint that investors in various EB-5 projects had been defrauded, with $200 million of the more than $440 million raised diverted for other purposes. On Monday, District Judge Darrin Gayles issued a preliminary injunction against Quiros, freezing his assets (see sidebar).The EB-5 program grants permanent resident status to foreigners who make investments that create or preserve 10 permanent U.S. jobs. Goldberg is a partner in the Fort Lauderdale law firm of Akerman LLP, where he is co-chair of Akerman’s Fraud & Recovery Practice Group. RELATED STORY: Judge upholds EB-5 case against QuirosWhat is the status of the Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts?Goldberg: The Jay has been operating business as usual since the receivership started. Obviously, initially we had some cash constraints and we got hit with a very large repair to our tram for $5 million. And if you know how the ski resorts operate, when you come into off season they typically operate at losses and then they come into the ski season and make their money. When we took over … there was not enough money built up in the account so we had to subsidize operations through the summer. But we actually put together a budget back in April and the amount we’ve had to subsidize has been significantly less. The Jay Peak Resort has been performing better than we thought it would. That also includes the $5 million obligation that we had to fix the tram. Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised at Jay Peak’s operations.Where did you come up with $5 million to fix the tram?Goldberg: I had it from some other accounts I had some money in, other accounts we were able to seize when we took over the case. Are the resorts constrained in terms of the number of workers they can hire for the ski season?Goldberg: We are fully staffed and off season we’re typically about 500 employees. And in season we’ll go up to somewhere between 1,200 and 1,300 employees. But no, we have no constraints. In fact, we had job fairs recently and we’re hiring. In terms of the money owed, such as back taxes, how are you taking care of that?Goldberg: First we have bills that are pre-receivership versus post-receivership. We’ve paid every post- receivership bill in full when it became due. We owe taxes of about $2.4 million, about $2 million on Jay Peak ($400,000 at Burke) and I’m getting money at the end of this month (November) and we will pay those taxes in full within the next month. And pre-receivership debts?Goldberg: We have two types of pre-receivership debts. The first debts are sums owed to contractors. Not with respect to Jay so much but with respect to the Burke, with respect to the AnC Bio matter and with respect to one Jay Peak project called Stateside. We owe approximately $7 million on the contractors’ claim and we expect to make a payment of … roughly 40 percent within the next couple of months.  (Approximately) $3.5 million of that is Burke, about $2 million of that is Stateside, and about $1.5 is about AnC Bio.Is that the final payment?Goldberg: No. Those will be paid in full. This will be an initial payment. The balance may be paid when they’re (Jay and Burke) sold. But this is to try to get some cash for the contractors.The second type of claims we have are trade vendor claims from prior to the receivership. We expect to also make a payment to them, initial payment to start paying them down. As we develop cash in season, we will expect to pay some towards that and the balance will be paid at closing (sale) as well.What happens to the Green Card investors?Goldberg: We have eight projects. The first project was the Jay Peak hotel suites. We had 35 investors, 35 had their I-526 (EB-5) petitions approved and 34 of those have had their 829s (Green Card) approved. The second phase we had 149 investors, 139 have gotten their unconditional Green Cards and we’re still working on 10 of them.The third (phase) we have 65 investors and 58 of them have gotten their Green Cards. Phase four we had 90 investors and so far to date 68 have gotten their Green Cards.The Burke hotel we don’t anticipate there being a problem because we’ve created the jobs and we think everyone should get their Green Cards.The Stateside, which is the cottages and everything at Jay Peak, those are in partial completion. We need to complete those. We expect many people will get their Green Cards but we have to complete to produce the remaining jobs.The worse one we have is AnC Bio right now where we only have (created) enough jobs for about 30 investors out of the 168.We are also working on attempting to get some relief through Congress. There’s a proposal … to allow us to put in restructuring plans and everything to try to get relief to the investors. Not just us (but) anywhere in the country where there is EB-5 fraud.In addition to the Green Cards, what is being done to return the money to EB-5 investors?Goldberg: When we eventually sell Jay Peak, the court will have to determine the proper distribution but the investors will share the net proceeds. When we sell Burke, those investors will share the net proceeds.On top of that, we have some lawsuits pending where we expect to recover a bunch of money to supplement that.What’s the process for selling the EB-5-related assets?Goldberg: This will be an auction shopped throughout the world. We expect to have people looking at in Europe and other parts of the world as well as throughout the United States. Do you have an auction date in mind? Goldberg: No. Because right now the preliminary injunction is not yet issued in the case. (The court in Miami issued a preliminary injunction on Nov. 21). So I’m in a little bit of a status quo position until I can do it. But once the judge, or if the judge, issues the PI which we are hopeful and expect he will do then I will ask the court permission to start a sales process.When the SEC files its lawsuit, the first thing they get is a temporary restraining order … which restrains Quiros and the other defendant … basically freezes their asset.The next step is the second level of that, which you ask the judge to convert the TRO to a preliminary injunction. Those hearings took place back in April and May … and we’re waiting on the judge to issue his ruling (on the preliminary injunction). He’s indicated it should be forthcoming soon.When the judge issues his decision on the preliminary injunction … typically the battle of the case is won or lost at the preliminary injunction hearing. It doesn’t mean that there are not times when a preliminary is entered and a permanent is not but most of the times I’d say it is.last_img read more

School board candidates on the issues: Has the implementation of Apple devices in the classroom been a success?

first_imgLaura GuyI have spoken with teachers who said that the training was minimal and that they didn’t feel well-prepared to integrate the devices into their teaching. I have also heard from parents who are concerned that their child will spend hours a day looking at a screen. They are concerned about the potential cost to them of replacing an iPad if it breaks, and they wish they could choose to opt out of the program if they desired. Additionally, I’ve heard some parents complain that students in the upper grades spend some of their time using their devices for entertainment and not education. This does not sound like it’s been a success so far. I applaud the effort to make sure that all of our students, regardless of their home income and resources, have access to current technology and are learning how to use it. We want our graduates to be competitive with graduates from schools all over the country, and tech skills will be a huge part of their readiness for college and careers. But there are many potential downsides to using technology that a school district must consider, too. My husband is the I.T. Director at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and a big part of his job is keeping their 360 computers secure and operational. He is aware of how many things can go wrong with security and privacy issues so we need to make sure we have adequate resources to keep up with technology and security demands. We will also have to pay to replace all the devices within several years, and I don’t know if that money has been allocated. I am also concerned about kids having too much screen time and not enough face-to-face interaction with people. Social development is a crucial part of a child’s education, and I would want to ensure that the student/teacher relationship remains the primary teaching medium. I would continue all of these conversations and make appropriate changes as necessary.Christopher WhiteCalling the “one-to-one” initiative a success or not, is be a bit subjective. I do feel it is important to integrate current technologies into the classroom and the curriculum and this was one way. There are many methods to do this at every grade and every ability level. It was a great idea to introduce the initiative and it has provided access to educational technology to every child in the district. If our children are to be successful in life and be able to part of and contribute to our communities, they need to learn to use and manipulate current and future technologies.There have been some shortcomings with the program’s initial rollout. Training teachers in integrating technology into daily curriculum and their required activities may not have been adequate for many of the district’s staff. I would like to see additional support for educating teacher on how to best use and integrate the latest and greatest electronic mediums.I have some concerns on how the “one-to-one” initiative was financed. I believe the lease contract for the Mac Books and iPads was initially for 5 years, but the units are now to be replaced after 3 years with additional funds being required for the replacements.Maintenance and repair of the units and the financial requirements (insurance policies) for the parents may not have been worked out as well as it could have been.This was a very important and high profile project implemented by the District and it has had some great successes. As with many initial rollouts, there will always be room for improvement. I think the District will address this as they proceed with the implementation of the initiative.SM East area raceMary SinclairCollege and career readiness in today’s society requires familiarity with technology. The opportunity for all students to develop competencies demanded by our highly technological society, regardless of family income, is being initiated in public schools across the country. Research tells us that the greatest challenge in this transition has been its effective integration into the process of teaching and learning.The Shawnee Mission one-to-one technology initiative has been met with a familiar set of mixed results. From my perspective as a parent and MVP mentor at one of the district’s title elementary schools, a number of successful attributes can be associated with the initiative. A set of more commonly identified concerns have also compromised the initial implementation. The district’s capacity and willingness to address concerns and secure adequate technical assistance for teachers and students will be critical. I would recommend a thorough evaluation of the initiative.Some initial successes:The opportunity for all our students to gain familiarity with technology.The reaction of parents watching video of their young child with a disability learn new words or make a friend in school.The capacity for teachers to make use of the most current versions of online textbooks.Many students also find the use of technology to be more engaging, particularly when the content is presented within an interactive format.Some initial challenges:Insufficient professional development provided to teachers in preparation for the transition.Student headaches from too much screen time or increased hyperactivity due to over-stimulation.No clear opt-out alternative.Stress over replacement costs.Frustrations over time lost due to technology glitches.Extra prep time demands on teachers to make back up lesson plans if technology fails.Results from a comprehensive evaluation could be used by the district to prioritize those adjustments with the greatest potential for improved implementation of the one-to-one technology initiative. I would not be surprised to see among the recommendations for change an increase in timely access to technical assistance, targeted professional development, hardware improvements in connectivity and the restoration of prep time to provide teachers with the opportunity to integrate technology into instruction.James LockardFirst, those concerns of teachers and parents are valid and justified. That said, for most of our students, it has been a partial success. In many ways, it has made instruction more relevant, efficient and interesting. However, for our most easily distracted students, it has been largely a failure. For them, playing online games and watching Netflix has proved too great a temptation. Better filtering software and more guidelines on classroom management could minimize this issue, but follow-up training for teachers has been minimal.What needs to change? First, more training and support for integrating instructional technology.Second, the classroom display technologies (Apple’s Airplay) have never worked well. They need to be improved or replaced. Most rooms are working with 10-year-old projectors.Third, the district should openly discuss our commitment to Apple computers. Is buying MacBooks instead of Google Chromebooks for secondary students a wise use of resources? If you can get 90% of the instructional value for 50% of the price, I believe we owe it to the taxpayers to at least discuss it. To be clear, I am not advocating a change, only that we open a discussion.Tomorrow we’ll be running the candidates’ responses to item number five:5.) If you are elected to the school board, what will your top priorities be? As part of the initiative launched in 2014, every Shawnee Mission student has his or her own Apple device.We continue this morning with item four from our questionnaire for the Shawnee Mission Board of Education candidates:4.) In 2014, the district launched its “one-to-one” technology initiative, investing tens of millions to provide every student with his or her own Apple MacBook or iPad. Since the roll out, some teachers have expressed concern about lack of training opportunities on integrating the devices into lesson plans. Some parents have complained that their kids are spending a good deal of time of the devices for non-classroom activities. Do you think the one-to-one initiative has been a success? Why or why not? Does anything with the program need to change?Note: We have asked the two candidates in the race for the SM East area seat, Mary Sinclair and James Lockard, to participate in the questionnaire ahead of the August 1 vote even though there isn’t a primary in that race so that they have the chance to share their views on these topics as well. We’ll be developing a new questionnaire on different issues ahead of the general election.We did not receive responses from at-large incumbent Cindy Neighbor or at-large challenger Fabian Shepard to the first, second, third or fourth questionnaire items.At-large raceMandi HunterTechnology is an integral part of our society so embracing it as an educational tool is a proactive step but the implementation of this district initiative is lacking. Opportunities abound, but the district needs to develop measurable goals which would show the efficacy of the project. Without those measurement tools, we do not have the data to determine whether the one-to-one initiative is a success.As I’ve stated in previous answers, the next superintendent of our district must have the experience and demeanor to engage technology and provide necessary support to the teachers, parents and students to implement future initiatives. Advisory boards must be implemented to gain information from parents, teachers, industry experts, and best practices from similar efforts across the country to work toward setting consistent policies and curriculum at each educational level.As a parent of children currently enrolled in the district, issues concerning use of district-issued technology are vast. The concerns include whether there is data to support any benefit to the continual use of digital technology by children. As a society, we have to acknowledge the use of technology as a tool in our day-to-day lives but as parents we are balancing that use of technology as a teaching tool with the unknown of its impact on developing children in terms of cognitive development, its effect on a child’s eyesight, and the lessened emphasis on basic learned skills such as handwriting and math calculations.In addition, there are practical concerns when implementing a technology initiative such as consistent filters on technology, parent liability for loss or breakage of the device, and whether children have the resources at home to use the technology. There are several reasons parents choose not to provide technology to their children but when the district mandates its use, it removes that decision from the parents.Teachers must be given training opportunities and professional development to maximize their use of technology as a tool in the classroom. Adequate support should lead to consistent use of the technology across grade levels within the same school and throughout schools in the district. Advisory boards can assist in streamlining the initiative and addressing concerns of both parents and teachers. A superintendent that appreciates the use of technology in the classroom as well as openness to opinions with regard to any initiative, not just this one, is imperative to future success of the district’s technology initiatives.Heather OusleyI believe the roll-out of the one-to-one initiative was well-intentioned. However, due to the lack of input from parents prior to its implementation, and due to the lack of support and training provided to educators, we’ve had a rocky start, and there is room for improvement. Roughly 50% of the students in the SMSD are in the free and reduced lunch program, and it is vital that students who might not otherwise have access to the same technology as their peers receive that access in school, so they can be competitive with these tools as they grow. However, many parents have expressed concern to me regarding their worries about what would happen if their child damaged a device and they could not financially afford to replace it, and others have expressed concern that they have yet another device they have to police at home. At least one mother I’ve spoken with felt that the devices harmed her child’s ability to concentrate, as he found journaling on the iPad (as required in his classroom) too distracting, and he simply gave up the practice of writing in a journal every day. She expressed frustration that there is currently no “opt out” policy for parents who prefer their child avoid screen time that they feel may be more than what is generally recommended for children by health professionals.Some teachers have voiced frustration with what they felt was an overnight switch from how they operated their classrooms previously, to moving everything to an iPad or MacBook. I believe a parent and technology expert working group or sub-committee would be useful to help provide guidance on how best to implement the use of the devices. We need to capitalize on their benefits, and implement policy restrictions that can help reduce the negatives. Rather than swinging from one extreme (perhaps limited or too few exposures to technology) to the other (every assignment connected to a device), an integration that more holistically incorporated the tools to supplement and improve the learning experience would be useful. It would be further useful to have evidence based research upon which to base the use of the technology, as opposed to simply implementing its use for the sake of change.Robert RobergeWhen the PC first emerged, surveys asked what people would do with a computer. The number one answer back in the late 1970’s was “store and share recipes”. The situation now is different, but not unlike providing recipe books and cooking utensils and appliances to starving people, as a cure for hunger, the lack of a clear virtual learning policy with concise goals and objectives may be the root cause of the expressed concern about lack of training opportunities on integrating the devices into lesson plans. 38 years ago, our senior class gift was a first edition IBM PC with a sticky note attached for the principal that said, “please notify the school board that we are in hopes that every school in the district, every classroom, and every student will be provided one very soon”. Last year the district spent $0 (zero dollars) on virtual education. State Board of Education policy makes it illegal for any district to incorporate virtual learning curriculum without their approval, however virtual learning participants are counted as 1.5 students for budget proposals! The lack of clear, concise policy prescription for virtual education goes beyond the current budget. Virtual learning expands classroom instruction by extending to home and hospital bound, smoothing barriers for English learners while bridging the gaps in Common Core. Virtual models help hedge teacher-student ratios, which directly affects their ability to provide individualized attention to each student. Virtual models extend into family engagement, beyond brick and mortar, tradition academic calendars, and language barriers. By utilizing virtual learning models, students are exposed to media content relative to the teacher’s plan, by engaging in moderated discussion threads through peering with substantive posts, and students can research for information through an electronic library; while completing and submitting written and oral assignments.So, as I see it, the 1:1 initiative is a symptom of lack of rational vision that virtual learning can mend. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the same thing prevails in arguments about the vague directive in the state constitution that requires the state legislature to fund public education. Without concrete overarching goals and objectives, the entire educational paradigm is stuck. This lack of positive vision also influences conflict in reasonable legislative funding, meaningful state board of education collaboration, and training for teachers with conventional tools, clear rules, strong leadership in and out of the classroom, and transformational educational leadership.SM West area raceCraig Denny (incumbent)In my opinion, the one-to-one initiative has been generally successful. In hindsight, knowing what we know now, more training sooner and wider bandwidth could have made the rollout smoother. I particularly like the aspect of the “flipped classroom” made possible by technology. As we continue to incorporate technology, I think we need to make changes necessary to adapt to our curriculum.last_img read more

Mayors tell NEJC State of the Cities attendees that Topeka politics are threatening Johnson County’s reputation, local control

first_imgNEJC Chamber State of the CitiesPosted by Shawnee Mission Post on Thursday, January 18, 2018 Mission Hills Mayor David Dickey.Two northeast Johnson County mayors used their appearance at the annual NEJC Chamber State of the Cities luncheon to argue for local governments to retain more of their autonomy, saying that actions by the state legislature in recent years have threatened the concept of home rule authority and injected partisan rancor into local issues.David Dickey, who was sworn in as mayor of Mission Hills earlier this month, reiterated the core of the message he delivered at the luncheon last year, when he was president of the city council, saying that the city’s “biggest challenge is the machinations that go on in Topeka.”Westwood Hills Mayor Paula Schwach.Dickey said that the legislature’s continued failure to address the protracted school funding litigation was harming the area’s reputation.“We are served by a tremendous public school system,” Dickey said. “No matter what side of that argument you are on at the moment — right, left, court, not-court — the fact [is] that when people who want to come to our communities, outside Kansas City, look up Kansas public schools in a Google search…they see ‘court judgement, underfunded,’ and that’s the first message.’”Dickey also said that the legislature’s recent trajectory shows a disregard for the concept of home rule authority.“Topeka continues to chip away at that in spirit and in actuality,” he said. “Liberal and Prairie Village need different things. Topeka shouldn’t dictate that. Colby and Mission Hills need different things.”Dickey’s sentiments were echoed by Westwood Hills Mayor Paula Schwach, who said she had been dismayed by a number of proposals in the state capitol that threatened the city’s ability to manage its own affairs — among them the tax lid bill and the concept of making local elections partisan.“[The state] wants to insert itself and its extreme partisanship into local elections,” Schwach said. “I believe that over time partisan local elections would destroy the comity, the cooperation and the sensibility with which the mayors and the elected officials now operate.”Schwach said she was concerned that the ideas favored by some elected officials at the state level would leave NEJC cities “increasingly dysfunctional,” and encouraged attendees to contact their legislators and ask them to support local control.“Please respect home rule,” she said. “Restore local control over city budgets. Retain non-partisan elections.”You can find video of the full NEJC Chamber State of the Cities program, which featured updates from the leaders of nine area cities, embedded below:last_img read more

Supreme Court allows capital cases to go forward

first_imgSupreme Court allows capital cases to go forward Supreme Court allows capital cases to go forward March 15, 2017 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular Newscenter_img Both chambers move unanimous jury bills Senior Editor (UPDATE: A b ill to require unanimous jury recommendations in death cases has cleared both the Florida House and Senate and has been signed by the Governor.)A day after the Florida Supreme Court ruled death penalty cases can proceed — even without a valid statute — the Legislature continued pushing bills through committees so the law matches what the court requires. “Before yesterday’s opinion order from the court, there really was just absolute total paralysis in death penalty cases throughout the state,” Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Clearwater, told the House Judiciary Committee he chairs on February 21.“I would say, in regards to pending cases that are currently before the courts throughout our state, the death cases, this has created a release valve, if you will, of that pressure to allow those cases to proceed,” Sprowls noted, before HB 527 passed its second committee with one “no” vote.“The court ruled that those pending cases could proceed to trial and to the penalty phase and the recommendations of death, so long as there are modifications in the jury instructions, which they spoke to in the opinion, and the court conducted the proceedings in accordance with those modified recommendations.”On February 20, the court issued a per curiam 5-2 opinion consolidating two cases ­— Patrick Albert Evans v. State (SC16-1946), and Juan Rosario v. State (SC16-2133) — denying their writs of prohibition and giving the green light to prosecuting pending death cases.In Evans’ case, a Pinellas County judge wanted to move forward with the trial, with a solution of instructing the jurors that their four required decisions in the penalty phase would have to be unanimous.In Rosario’s case, an Orange County judge ruled that the trial could proceed only with a mandatory maximum penalty of life in prison without parole. The state challenged that order, and the Fifth District granted the state’s petition for writ of prohibition. Rosario then requested that the Supreme Court issue a writ of prohibition restraining the trial court from death-qualifying a jury.All of this legal wrangling, springing from a January 2016 United States Supreme Court decision in Hurst, has caused what the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association General Counsel Buddy Jacobs called a “crisis in the criminal justice system.” As of January 15, there were 313 pending death cases across Florida’s 20 judicial circuits — of which 66 are ready for trial. But they ground to a halt until the Legislature acts to fix the statute. The cases were on hold after the Florida Supreme Court’s October 2016 decisions in Hurst v. State, requiring unanimous jury verdicts in the penalty phase of murder trials, and Perry v. State, finding that the 2016 statute could not be applied to pending prosecutions because the current law only requires a 10-to-2 vote for death.The most recent decision from the court is in sharp contrast to its Perry decision in October. In a statement, Attorney General Pam Bondi said the ruling “provides our courts with the clarification needed to proceed with murder cases in which the death penalty is sought.”Chief Justice Jorge Labarga wrote a separate opinion concurring in result, to “highlight that my agreement is based upon a determination that the provision we identified as problematic in Perry is severable from the remainder of the Act. The judicial branch has an obligation to ‘uphold the constitutionality of legislative enactments where it is possible to strike only the unconstitutional portions.’ Ray v. Mortham, 742 So. 2d 1276, 1280 (Fla. 1999). However, we did not perform a severability analysis in Perry. ”Labarga performed that severability analysis in his separate opinion, concluding “capital prosecutions are able to proceed in the absence of the stricken subsection. Trial courts can, as the court in Evans indicated it would, instruct juries that unless they unanimously find the critical facts, and unless the recommendation for death is unanimous, the recommendation shall be for a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. With regard to this conclusion, it is important to note that the jury does not read the statute; it only receives instructions from the court and a recommendation form.”But Justice Barbara Pariente, concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Justice Peggy Quince concurred, wrote: “I agree that trial courts may proceed with the guilt phase of pending capital prosecutions, but I dissent from allowing the penalty phase to proceed until the Legislature acts to remedy the constitutional problems with chapter 2016-13, Laws of Florida (the Act) that this court identified in Perry v. State. . . . “While it may appear that the solution requires only the simple fix of the trial court judge substituting the 10-2 vote requirement for the jury’s final recommendation to impose death with a unanimous vote requirement, the plurality disregards this court’s longstanding precedent on severability, which precludes the judiciary from rewriting legislation.”Across the street at the Florida Capitol, lawmakers were busy rewriting legislation. On February 22, the Senate Rules Committee unanimously passed SB 280 requiring unanimity. The day before, at the House Judiciary Committee on February 21, Rep. Joseph Geller, D-Dania Beach, an attorney, cast the lone “no” vote to fix the statute with the required unanimity.“This is the right bill. It does everything right. It fixes a problem. It moves the system forward. It’s responsible,” Geller told Chair Sprowls. “I have to say, that when your bill passes, as I presume it will, we will have a better and fairer system for administering the death penalty than we do today, and better than we did before Hurst. “When I voted last session for Rep. McBurney’s bill for the same reasons [requiring a 10-2 vote in the penalty phase], because it was better than what was there before, I did so because I thought it was the right thing, and because it was better.“I can’t think of a vote I’ve cast since I’ve been here that has hurt my conscience more than having voted for that bill when I so profoundly think that it is wrong for the state to take human life.. . . “I don’t say that, frankly, for concern for the people who have taken those lives, because by and large they forfeited their rights,” Geller continued.“I say it out of consideration for all of the rest of us. Because when the people of the State of Florida take an action, I am one of those people, and I just can’t abide it. I am going to vote ‘no’ on this, not for anything you’ve done or could have done. You’ve done everything right. My conscience just doesn’t let me vote again to still keep this horror of a death penalty that we have.”In closing on his bill, Sprowls said he welcomes comments on “issues of life,” the “most valuable thing that we can talk about.. . . So I just want to take a moment, Rep. Geller, to say how much I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness on the issue.”Continuing, Sprowls said, “Members, we currently have had paralysis on these pending death penalty cases until yesterday. But as we move forward that could continue. The better part of a decade that I spent as a prosecutor, what I found that really disturbed families more than anything else was uncertainty, the uncertainty of how long something will take, when it will conclude, how it will conclude.. . . With your vote today, and if we can bring this bill to the floor and pass it, and hopefully present it to the governor for his signature, we will do our very, very small role for those families in ensuring that we have a death penalty that is constitutional, legal, and that those cases can move forward.”last_img read more

PODCAST: Politicians are vilifying bankers, says Credit Suisse’s Ian Marcus

first_imgIn the first episode of the podcast Marcus, who also chairs the Bank of England’s property forum, said that it is “right and proper” bankers should be rewarded for the “deliverability” as well as originating transactions.He also spoke about the important lesson that banks seemed to forget before the recession – you never lend on valuation but on “the ability of someone willing to occupy real estate.”Allister Heath, editor of free business newspaper City AM, also talks to PW’s podcast host James Max about why he thinks property is the most dangerous asset to lend against, and why the quantitative easing programme is a high risk strategy for the UK in the long run.Also hear the latest news explained by Property Week editor Giles Barrie.Catch the podcast’s second episode next week for more from Ian Marcus, Secret Millionaire Dominic List and DTZ’s Mark Williams.last_img read more

Wasps special hospitality offer

first_imgWe are offering fans the opportunity to buy an exciting hospitality package in the Heineken Lounge.From just £65pp +VAT, the package includes the following:Arrival drinkTwo course buffet Padded seatsHalf-time refreshmentsMatch programme & team sheetFor more information or to book, email [email protected] or call 0117 963 0630.BUY ONLINElast_img

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ getting feature-packed home video release

first_imgSony Pictures Animation © 2018 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (LOS ANGELES) — Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is pulling out all the stops for its Oscar-nominated animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The film will be released on digital Tuesday, February 26 and on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on 3/19.The movie, which features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Lily Tomlin, Mahershala Ali, Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, and Zoe Kravitz, has made more than $355 million worldwide, and is in the running for Best Animated Feature Film at this weekend’s Oscars.The movie centers on a device that tears the fabric of reality and unites different versions of the web-slinging hero from various dimensions in the Brooklyn, New York home of a young Spider-Man named Miles Morales.The company has also announced that the film will come packaged with a host of special features, including a showcase of the movie’s diverse characters; a look into the film’s unique visual style; a tribute to Spider-Man‘s co-creators, the late Stan Lee and Steve Ditko; character design breakdowns, and more.In addition, the release features an all-new original short Spider-Ham: Caught In a Ham, centering on a pig version of Spidey who was voiced by comic John Mulaney.There are also a pair of lyric music videos for two songs from the soundtrack: “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee and “Familia” by Nicki Minaj & Anuel AA (feat. Bantu).Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Cricket: Australian fast bowling great expects James Anderson to cross 600 wicket mark

first_imgAdvertisement chkv9NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsbid0dWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ej( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 10gynWould you ever consider trying this?😱kl75rCan your students do this? 🌚avw5Roller skating! Powered by Firework (Photo Courtesy: SuperSport)Advertisement England fast bowler James Anderson, who cleaned up Mohammed Shami in the final test not only ensured that England won the series 4-1 but also made him the leading wicket-taker for a fast bowler in test matches overtaking Glenn McGrath’s tally of 563 wickets.Advertisement James Anderson who has had a summer to remember picked up 24 wickets in the recently concluded test series vs India. He now stands in the 4th position for the overall leading wicket-takers in tests behind Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Anil Kumble.Australian fast bowler McGrath, who picked up 563 wickets in 124 matches and who coincidentally had Anderson as his last scalp believes that he would breach the 600 wicket mark in the near future. As quoted by BBC, McGrath said that,Advertisement “Just to see Jimmy now, he looks fit and keen and running around, it depends on what he wants to do. He has gone past me and I think the next bar is 600 Test wickets. If he can get to 600 Test wickets, that’s an incredible effort, and if he is still got that drive, that passion to get yourself up, to put the hard work in off the field to carry you through on the field… if he has still got that desire, then he can play as long as he wants.”Adding on, McGrath also said that he expects Anderson to move further up the statistics table by overtaking Anil Kumble’s tally of 619 wickets.“I think he’s still got a little bit left in the tank yet,” McGrath said. “I’d like to see Jimmy go and get 600 and then whether he wants to try and knock off one of these dodgy spinners that are still at the top of the tree. I think Kumble is about 619. That’s within range,” he said.Also Read:England vs India – 5th Test Day 5 Review: Hosts finish series on a high despite Rishabh Pant show  Advertisementlast_img read more