Baumann’s Trek TTX is back at home at Mellow Johnny’s. Photo credit: Austin360.comA Trek Equinox TTX time trial bike stolen from Lance Armstrong’s Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop in Austin, Texas has been recovered and returned to the shop after it was purchased at a flea market in Guanajuato, Mexico in January. The bike, which belongs to Trek and was used by Ryan Baumann of the Trek-Livestrong U23 team last season, was stolen back in November after thieves smashed through a glass door in the back of Mellow Johnny’s. The shop acts as the service course for the Trek-Livestrong team.A cyclist purchased the bike at the flea market and took it to a local Trek representative, who identified the bike and made arrangements to have it returned. The bike, which had no wheels when it was purchased from the flea market, appears to be in fairly good condition with no damage to the frame or components, according to store manager Ted Arnold. No word on the future of the bike; Baumann is racing for the Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team this season.
View Comments Hurry up, fill the coffee cup and watch! Broadway Balances America, the special five-part series airing on The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television, continued its fourth season on October 23 with a special look at the tour of Sara Bareilles’ hit Broadway musical Waitress. Correspondent Amber Milt sits down with Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus and finds out how the all-female creative team brought this groundbreaking show to Broadway. Plus, Milt chats with the touring production’s talented stars and Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”) tells us why this project is so close to her heart. Click play! ‘Waitress'(Photo: Joan Marcus) Broadway Balances America
A talented troupe of Broadway vets look likely to appear in the world premiere musical The Royal Family of Broadway, according to a casting notice. The previously announced collaboration from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee creators William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin will begin previews on June 7 and open on June 13 for a limited run through June 30 at Barrington Stage in the Berkshires.Tony winner Harriet Harris will lead the cast as Fanny, with Tony nominee Will Swenson as Tony, Kathy Fitzgerald as Kitty, Arnie Burton as Bert, Chip Zien as Oscar, Hayley Podschun as Gwen, A.J. Shively as Perry and Alan H. Green as Gil.Adapted from George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber’s play The Royal Family, the 1920s-set The Royal Family of Broadway is loosely based on the legendary Barrymore family, centered on three generations of actors: an aging imperious grande dame, a Broadway star looking for love and a promising ingénue—each having to make pivotal choices in their lives. Directing the musical will be Tony winner John Rando with choreography by Tony nominee Joshua Bergasse.Additional casting for The Royal Family of Broadway will be confirmed at a later date. Harriet Harris, Will Swenson & Kathy Fitzgerald(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) View Comments
NG Advantage LLC, the national leader in trucking compressed natural gas, announced that it has secured contracts from two major corporations to begin the delivery of compressed natural gas (CNG) by truck in early 2013. The multi-year contracts allow these companies to realize both the economic and environmental benefits of lower cost, clean, North American natural gas even though they are not located on a natural gas pipeline. NG Advantage believes this is the first announcement of contracts for compressed natural gas delivered beyond the pipeline in the United States. ‘We are thrilled to have Putney Paper and Pike Industries on board to start service early next year,’said Neale Lunderville, CEO of NG Advantage. ‘These companies are an important part of Vermont’s economy and natural gas will provide essential savings to keep them competitive into the future.’ Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has championed the use of natural gas for its significant economic and environmental benefits. Access to domestic natural gas is an important component of the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan released late last year. ‘I congratulate these groundbreaking Vermont employers on making the switch to compressed natural gas so they can lower their energy bills and grow more jobs,’said Governor Shumlin. ‘NG Advantage’s first-of-its-kind business will lead the nation as we work to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower carbon emissions.’ As oil and propane prices rise and uncertainty grows, energy intensive companies throughout the region which do not have access to the limited natural gas pipeline system are at a significant competitive disadvantage. NG Advantage is the national leader in developing a trucked compressed natural gas system to deliver the tremendous benefits of natural gas beyond the pipeline. NG Advantage will compress natural gas off of existing transmission pipelines into specialized trailers, which are hauled to customer sites. Customers use natural gas directly from the trailers, so there is noneed for onsite storage. Both Putney Paper and Pike Industries will displace oil by converting to cleaner, North American natural gas. Together, their conversions will eliminate more than 10 million pounds of carbon dioxide and 365,000pounds of sulfur dioxide from the atmosphere annually. ‘Oil and propane cost and price volatility as well as the possibility of supply disruption are growing concerns to area employers. NGAdvantage offers northern New England and upstate New York businesses a more affordable and stable alternative,’said Lunderville. The company is on track to begin service early next year. Putney Paper will be the first served and Pike Industries’facilities will start service when asphalt plants open in the spring. Putney Paper has been in business for over 50 years, employs 130 people at its Vermont facility along the Connecticut River and is a leading manufacturer of napkins, towels, and wrapping tissue made entirely from 100% recycled paper. ‘We are excited about our partnership with NG Advantage,’said Frank Tarantino, CEO of Putney Paper Co. Inc. ‘Paper making is a very energy intensive process and conversion to natural gas will allow us to better compete in a global economy. Our competitors are located on gas pipelines and already have the natural gas advantage. Now we will have that advantage in Putney as well.’ ‘Putney Paper is deeply committed to producing high-quality, environmentally friendly products and converting to natural gas will help us reach our goal,’Tarantino continued. ‘The energy savings and environmental benefits of this deal make it a win-win for the company and the people of Vermont.’ Pike Industries, Inc. is part of Oldcastle Materials, Inc., which is the leading vertically integrated supplier of aggregates, asphalt, ready mixed concrete, and construction and paving services in the United States. In the region, Pike Industries employs 1000 people at its 40 asphalt plants and 20crushing facilities across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. ‘Energy costs are a huge concern for our company as we work to deliver the highest quality paving and materials to keep the traveling public safe,’said Christian Zimmerman, President of Pike Industries. ‘This partnership represents an incredible opportunity to lower paving costs so that we can make the most of our very short construction season and continue to locate asphalt plants close to paving projects even if these areas are not served by pipelines.’ NG Advantage is well positioned to begin natural gas service in early 2013. The company has received approval from the Town of Milton and is beginning the Act 250 land use process for its first compressor site at theCatamount Industrial Park. The company anticipates breaking ground in earlyautumn and has already ordered the trailers and compressors needed for its first customers. NG Advantage’s first compressor station in Milton will serve enterprise customers in Vermont and adjacent New York and New Hampshire. The company plans rapid expansion throughout the northern New England region and beyond. Compressed natural gas delivered by truck is a low cost alternative to oil products for sites which use more than 150,000 gallons of oil or the equivalent each year or 100,000 gallons seasonally. About NG Advantage LLCNG Advantage LLC is the first announced compressed natural gas (CNG) distribution service in the U.S ‘bringing the economic andenvironmental benefits of North American natural gas to customers without access to a pipeline. With key customer contracts signed, equipment ordered, regulatory agreements in place and construction permitting well under way, NG Advantage expects to begin deliveries in early 2013 to customers in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York from its first compressor site and will add new sites starting later in 2013. NG Advantage compresses natural gas from an existing pipeline into specialized containers and delivers it via public highways directly to large industrial, commercial and institutional users providing them with cheaper, cleaner and safer fuel. NG Advantage saves customers 20-40% on energy bills annually, reduces their CO2 emissions by 26%, and virtually eliminates harmful pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides Source: Milton, VT ‘NG Advantage LLC 8.15.2012 www.ngadvantage.com(link is external)
Roeland Park City Administrator Keith Moody rolled out a comprehensive comparison of the costs of living in cities across the Kansas City metro Monday, showing how the cities line up on taxes and utilities. Even with the increase in property tax rates a few years ago, Moody concluded, the cost of living in Roeland Park is still just average.Moody’s charts compare the taxes and utility costs for a $250,000 house in a long list of cities on both sides of the state line. Cities, Moody contended with his data, have control over only a small percentage of the total cost of living. More impact comes from the state and school district taxes that a family pays. Taxes make up 69 percent of the costs on average while utilities account for 31 percent.From 2013 to 2016, Roeland Park’s tax and utility costs increased by $613, higher than the $345 average, but that included a 2014 property tax levy increase of 29 percent in anticipation of the departure of the Walmart store. That property tax increase accounted for only $294 of the $613 increase, he said.Moody’s comparison, which he had been doing before taking the Roeland Park job, assumes the costs for a family with a $100,000 income (a variable that can be changed) and that sales tax dollars are all spent in the city of residence.Although Kansas has lowered income tax rates dramatically in recent years, Moody pointed out that deductions have reduced, making the income tax cost a for a family about the same in Kansas and Missouri.Roeland Park could increase its sales tax and lower its high property tax rate to match some other cities, Moody told the city council, but he said he would not recommend it because the sales tax is regressive and shifts the tax burden more to the resident.“A race for the bottom is just that – a race to the bottom,” Moody said. “People vote with their feet. They will pay for quality of life.” The total tax cost in Roeland Park was barely above average for the metro. Several nearby Johnson County communities, including Prairie Village ranked very low on the tax cost chart.Being in the WaterOne service area and on Johnson County Wastewater kept those utility costs low.Showing the growth in population in Johnson County, Moody said, “it is pretty apparent that people are voting with the feet. It (Johnson County) is where they want to live.”Moody’s presentation is shown below:https://dfv6pkw99pxmo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/12074027/Agenda_2016_4_11_Meeting110.pdf
Scientific American: I remember my retirement like it was yesterday. As I recall, I am still working, though not as hard as I did when I was younger. My wife and I still live in the city, where we bicycle a fair amount and stay fit. We have a favorite coffee shop where we read the morning papers and say hello to the other regulars. We don’t play golf.In reality, I’m not even close to retirement. This is just a scenario I must have spun out at some point in the past. There are other future scenarios, but the details aren’t all that important. Notably, all of my futures have a peaceful and contented feel to them. They don’t include any financial or health problems, nor do they include boredom—not for me or anyone else I know.A new study from the January issue of Psychological Science may explain why we are all so optimistic about what’s to come. The authors report that people tend to remember imagined future scenarios that are happy better than they recall the unhappy ones.Read the whole story: Scientific American More of our Members in the Media >
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Follow Michael on Twitter Join our LinkedIn Human Rights sub-group Considering its economic, kinship and historic ties with the UK, Bangladesh is absurdly under-reported in the British media. So you probably won’t have picked up the latest news from the country’s attempt to draw a judicial line under events that took place during its bloody birth, four decades ago. Earlier today, the International Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka found a politician, Abdul Quader Molla of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, guilty of mass murder, crimes against humanity and other charges. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. The conviction follows that of Abul Kalam Azad, who last month was found guilty in absentia of eight charges of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death. (As Azad is currently in Pakistan, the sentence is most unlikely to be carried out.) Anyone with memories of 1971, or who has been lucky enough to visit the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka, will cheer efforts to bringing to justice those responsible for the deaths of up to three million people. Sadly, the so-called international tribunal, which is trying 12 individuals, is tainted. Opponents describe it as a political witch-hunt against Jamaat-e-Islami. In December, the tribunal chairman, Mohammed Nizamul Huq, resigned when a dossier of emails and telephone conversations came to light suggesting collusion between the government, prosecution counsel and judges. British barristers assisting the defence team, such as Toby Cadman of Nine Bedford Row International, say the government of Bangladesh has proven it has neither the will nor the ability to run these trials independently or impartially. Is this any business of ours? Beyond the obvious point that any miscarriage of justice involving the death penalty should be a matter of concern, the Dhaka tribunal raises two issues. One is the abuse of the term ‘international’, which should be reserved for war crimes proceedings under genuinely international jurisdiction. The other is the potential for political over-spill: Jamaat-e-Islami is a political force in some parts of the UK, and while I have little sympathy with its members I wouldn’t like them to be handed a victim card to play. Shortly before taking up his post as chief prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, US justice Robert Jackson said it would be better to shoot Nazi leaders out of hand than pervert the process of law by setting up a sham court. ‘You must put no man on trial under the forms of judicial proceeding, if you are not willing to see him freed if not proven guilty.’ The Nuremberg trial went on to acquit (against the wishes of the Soviet judges) three of the defendants. Friends of Bangladesh can only hope that the Dhaka ‘international’ tribunal lives up to Jackson’s ideal. Michael Cross is Gazette news editor
More openness on referral fees and regulation of estate agents are among the solicitor profession’s proposals for speeding up the home buying process in England and Wales.In a 32-page response to a government call for evidence, Chancery Lane points out that ‘solicitors and licensed conveyancers are highly regulated, and we believe that the process would be improved if estate agents were subject to some increased regulation’. This would help enforce minimum standards requring ‘all relevant information about a purchase’ to be shared at the outset, the Society said. Information to be disclosed would include referral fees, the Society says, calling for further action to enforce existing requirements for transparency. Law Society president Joe Egan said. ’Home buyers and sellers should be aware of their rights, as well as the responsibilities of all stakeholders in the transaction. This should include an overview of the process and the potential costs and fees involved. We are calling on the government to ensure consumers have access to this information at the beginning of transactions.’The recommendations appear in a response to a Department for Communities and Local Government call for evidence on improving the home buying process. The Society says it is ’broadly supportive’ of government proposals revealed in October. However it expresses scepticism at the suggestion that ‘innovative digital solutions’ could be the answer to delays. ’Technology can play a key role in improving the conveyancing process,’ the response states, ’but we do not see this as the “silver bullet” to remedy any weaknesses in the current system.’On regulation for estate agents, it says that agents could be obliged to let the buyer know that: they act for the seller, not the buyer; how to complain about their service; the amount of any referral fees. They would also have to reveal ‘material information’ about any property the buyer is interested in viewing. On referral fees, the Society stops short of calling for a ban but observes: ‘If referral fees for conveyancing services were banned there could be scope for better service standards.’