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HUL names deputy director

first_imgRobert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and director of the University Library, has appointed Helen Shenton as the deputy director of the Harvard University Library. Shenton, who is the head of collection care for the British Library, will arrive at Harvard early in 2010.“This is a vital appointment made at a crucial time in the history of the Harvard libraries,” Darnton says. “As the chief steward charged with the care of the vast historical collections in the British Library, Helen Shenton is at the forefront of renewed thinking about libraries, their holdings, and their services. She is a skilled practitioner and an innovative manager. I am counting on her wise counsel and her decisive nature as we act collectively to make our great library even greater.”“I do not underestimate the enormity of the challenges ahead,” Shenton says, “but I am very excited at the prospect of joining Harvard University Library at such a key moment to help make the library and information provision even better for students and faculty now and in the future.”To read the full story, visit the Harvard University Library Web site.last_img read more

Its sustaining mission

first_img Impressive eggplant What’s more delectable than this perfectly plum eggplant? World peas Fresh peas and beans are prepared for the big community garden feast. The root of it Divinity School student Tom Schueller cleans bunches of carrots. Green and leafy A delicious salad, with components all harvested from the Harvard Divinity School’s community garden, awaits to be eaten. Grillin’ it Heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, and corn earn grill marks and flavor on the grill. This is one of a series of occasional stories on the measures that Schools at Harvard are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.On a warm October afternoon, 50 students, faculty, and staff members from the Harvard Divinity School (HDS) convened at the HDS Community Garden, located on an 800-square-foot plot behind the Center for the Study of World Religions. The gathering featured a cooking demonstration by Martin Breslin, director for culinary operations at Harvard University Hospitality and Dining Services, who served up roasted potatoes, grilled tomatoes, and pesto, all made fresh from the garden.“It was wonderful to see our food prepared in such amazing ways and then shared with the community, an hour from ground to fork,” said Timothy Severyn, M.T.S. ’11. Severyn, along with Grace Egbert, M.T.S. ’11, is co-coordinator of the garden, which was planted in spring 2009 as a joint project between the student group EcoDiv and members of the HDS Green Team. Volunteers care for the garden on a weekly basis, harvesting eggplants, carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, kale, and other vegetables and herbs.“The idea is that we build community around the food we grow,” said Severyn. “It’s really taken off this year.”Twice a week, the Rock Café serves food harvested from the garden at a new “community table.” Seats at the table, located inside the LEED Gold-certified Rockefeller Hall, can be reserved by anyone on campus.“A lot of divinity schools have a traditional refectory type of environment with long tables, where you can share a communal meal,” said Ralph DeFlorio, HDS director of operations. “We felt we wanted to get back to that type of dining experience.” The special table — a first at Harvard — serves multiple purposes.“With a sustainable meal, you waste fewer food miles in transportation, and you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re eating something the students and staff helped plant and harvest,” said DeFlorio. “Sustainability is also a great community builder. People really want to participate, and the wonderful thing about being involved with sustainability is that there’s room for everybody.”The garden and community table serve as evidence of multilevel engagement with Harvard’s sustainability goals. In 2008, the University committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2016 (from 2006 levels, including growth).Last fall, a complete energy audit of HDS buildings by Harvard’s Office for Sustainability and Facilities Maintenance Operations revealed 88 potential conservation measures, such as installation of additional heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning controls. These measures were projected to save the School $109,000 annually, avoid 270 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions, and reduce the School’s overall greenhouse gas footprint by 21 percent (compared with 2006 levels).Recent initiatives at HDS have included expanded composting, a campaign sparked by EcoDiv to discourage the use of bottled water, and EBCx retro-commissioning, a process for optimizing the performance of building systems.“Most modern commercial buildings run on computer systems that control and monitor the equipment. But for these systems to work, they have to be in good calibration,” said Roy Lauridsen, HDS facilities manager. “We’re rebalancing the water and air systems so that we can maximize energy conservation.”In addition to these technological improvements, HDS staff members hope to develop additional sustainability education. Lauridsen is in the process of planning a new January-term course on leadership and sustainability, focused on topics like environmentally preferred purchasing, recycling, and environmental ethics.“Many of the students here will eventually lead nonprofit, ministerial organizations,” said Lauridsen. “We’re offering training on how to effect change toward sustainability in such organizations.”DeFlorio echoed the importance of spreading green habits outside of Harvard.“I don’t want people to be sustainable only when they’re at HDS. A lot of the things you learn at work, you can bring home with you.” Garden party Graduate students and members of the Harvard Divinity School community reap the bounty of the land. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer The garden of eatin’ Oh, baby! These carrot nubbins may be small, but still pack a nutritional punch. Veggin’ out After the harvest, the Divinity School group encircled the garden, joined hands in prayer, and performed a circle dance before eating their vegetables.last_img read more

Thinking local

first_imgArchitect Diébédo Francis Kéré — a recent visitor to Harvard — has an office in Berlin. But his heart is in Burkina Faso, the tiny West African country of his boyhood.“More than 80 percent are illiterate,” he said of his compatriots. “Most of the people never heard of the term ‘architecture.’ [They think] maybe it’s a kind of food.”Kéré, who delivered a Dean’s Diversity Initiative lecture Nov. 10 at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), uses architecture to explore local building techniques, sustainable materials, and climate-appropriate design. Not surprisingly, he sees education as the way out of poverty, and building the right schools as a step in that direction.To make clay bricks from local soil, architect Diébédo Francis Kéré added a strengthening mixture of 6-to-8 percent cement. Here is a traditional clay floor.Schools in West Africa and elsewhere should not be technical transplants of Western styles and materials, said Kéré, but a blend of modern and traditional techniques that empower local populations and sustain local resources.Illiteracy is a fact of life in Burkina Faso; so is poverty. People can’t afford technical help when building, said Kéré — “they just copy the new house in the neighborhood.” At the same time, regarding the built environment, expectations are low. “People in this part of the world are happy,” he said, “when you build them a wall that is strong and stands up in the rainy season.”In a land of clay houses, many of them built in a few days, repairs have to be made after every rainy season. Meanwhile, modern additions such as roofs of corrugated tin are not good performers in West Africa’s torrid climate. Kéré showed a slide of a typical primary school, a rectangle of clay topped with a tin roof. “I myself have sat in a building like this with 120 other children,” he said of his boyhood. “This is not a place to teach people, but more a place to cook bread.”Kéré came to architecture with other ideas, and an impulse to blend the sensibilities of the old and the advances of the new. As a third-year student in Berlin, he designed a primary school in Gando, a village of 3,000. To make clay bricks from local soil, he added a strengthening mixture of 6-to-8 percent cement. The roof was tin, but rode sail-like on a lattice of steel bars. Its wide overhangs protect clay walls from rain and let hot air rise and cool breezes circulate. The tools required for the metal work were simple: handsaws, a small welding machine.Kéré came to architecture with an impulse to blend the sensibilities of the old and the advances of the new.The floors were traditional stamped clay impregnated with natural oils. To make the pebblelike soil smooth and flat, the women of the village spread it on the floor and beat it for hours into a sandlike consistency. Local drummers, a regular part of construction crews, marked a rhythm. With the right beat, said Kéré of the floor makers, “the weakest and the strongest are the same.”Local workers using local materials built the school in nine months, at a cost of less than $30,000. Ten years later, said Kéré, the robust structure looks like it did on the first day. The design won an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004, inspired local imitators, and made the village famous. “The people are proud — really proud,” he said. “That’s what you can do with a little project.”Few design projects “leave a true mark,” said GSD Dean Mohsen Mostafavi. Kéré’s Gando primary school is one of them. He called it a bridge “between the cultures of the West and the cultures of Africa.”At Gando, Kéré did more than design and supervise, added the dean — he “created the organizational circumstances for raising the money.” Financing was a key problem, so in 1999 Kéré set up a nonprofit called, in translation, “Bricks for the Gando School.”In 2006, Kéré received 70,000 euros to build a secondary school in Dano, a Burkina Faso market town known for weaving and pottery. “When you have a project like that, a tiny budget, you need people who can fight,” he said in praise of his local staff, “who can go to the market and buy more with less.”For that project, he used another local material — laterite, an iron-rich soil that is harvested soft, spaded into brick shapes, and sun-dried into rusty-red building blocks.He convinced the local elders that having an open-air school would not only circulate cool air, but it would be open “even for the ancestors,” said Kéré. Building in other cultures requires “more than building regulations,” he said, including listening, respect, and a feel for local materials.Sometimes, projects have to happen very fast. In 2009, Kéré was commissioned by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture to be lead architect for the National Park of Mali in the nation’s capital, Bamako. “We had little time to make this complicated project,” he said — on a rocky 250-acre site. “You have to fight . . . and not look for the easy way.”When he arrived in Mali, everyone had already settled on building everything with concrete. Kéré said, “Let’s go to the market. Let’s see what we have.” He designed a museum of local clay and rock, with bricks manufactured on-site.The park today has a sports center, gardens, and a restaurant open to the air and light, Kéré-style. It’s Mali’s biggest tourist attraction, and a rare segment of green space in a fast-growing city of one million.Kéré, who also teaches at the Technische Universität Berlin, has done projects all over the world — a garden in China, a girls’ school in India, school prototypes in Yemen, projects in Switzerland and Spain, even an “opera village” just outside Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou. But his architectural principles stay the same — “more for less,” the name of a conference in Spain he spoke at last year.Mostafavi, who created the diversity initiative in 2008, said there is a growing interest at Harvard in “activist practice” by architects “that make a big change in the world.In a land of clay houses, many of them built in a few days, repairs have to be made after every rainy season.last_img read more

House majority whip shares the value of communication

first_imgHouse Majority Whip James Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in Congress, brought a unique perspective to Harvard for Juneteenth. Speaking with Kennedy School Professor Cornell Brooks via Zoom on Thursday evening, Clyburn said that, for him, the day is about communication.“I spent my early adult life in Charleston, S.C., an important city to the Black experience,” Clyburn said. “More than half the Americans who were enslaved in this country came through the port of Charleston. So before it became Juneteenth we celebrated Emancipation Day, with a bigger parade than on Christmas.”Juneteenth celebrates the arrival of Union Army liberators in Galveston, Texas, two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. “That shows the value of communication. Texas was one of those states where nobody had communicated with the slaves, to let them know they were free. And that’s what I think about today: Are we communicating with each other?”Brooks often played devil’s advocate during the interview, and asked Clyburn whether given the current state of institutionalized racism, the Black community has truly attained freedom. “We are still in pursuit, that is quite true,” Clyburn replied. “When you look back at the Civil War, I am amazed at the number of people I meet who don’t know that more than 100,000 slaves fought for their own freedom. And when you look through history at all that’s happened — through Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s — there is a problem of communicating even today.”Brooks compared the viral video of George Floyd’s killing to the infamous casket photo of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American who was beaten unrecognizable and lynched in 1955 after being accused of flirting with a married white woman. Brooks said both were horrific images that galvanized the African American community. “The Emmett Till photograph is what turned my youngest daughter around,” Clyburn said. “I’d been showing her all kinds of things, trying to make her focus on a purpose. Finally we watched [the documentary series] ‘Eyes on the Prize’ and when they showed that coffin, it changed her.” Clyburn said that he was aiming for similar impact when he circulated a 2015 photo of Walter Scott, an unarmed Black man who was shot and killed by a white policeman in South Carolina, and compared that with the arrest of white supremacist mass murderer Dylann Roof, who was taken into custody civilly and allowed to go to Burger King.“I think about the creation of the atomic bomb,” Clyburn said. “Energy was floating around all the time, then scientists figured out how to harness it. Now there is energy around the movement, and we need to harness that so it can explode on Election Day.”Responding to audience questions fielded by moderator Devon Crawford, staff director of the William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice, Clyburn detailed reform efforts he is currently spearheading. One is a bill for police reform, including a ban on chokeholds, which is now being discussed in Washington. Another is a bid to bring broadband into every home in America. This, he said, is especially crucial at a time when African American communities have been hit disproportionately by COVID-19.“Our students have just lost half a year of learning, and many are not going to get to go online. We have to make sure we equip them. We also need to define essential workers for what they are — not just doctors and nurses, but aides, custodians, drugstore clerks.”Clyburn also shared a bit of personal and political history. As a student at the South Carolina State College, he was part of the historic anti-segregation protests of 1960. He said these were not as spontaneous as history remembers: The Greensboro sit-ins at a segregated Woolworth’s counter were planned in the fall, but delayed until Feb. 1 so students wouldn’t be leaving for vacation.Clyburn was arrested later that spring when he organized a nonviolent protest in which thousands of students marched. While in jail, he was grateful when a female student brought him dinner — so grateful, he said, that he married her soon after. For years he thought it was a lucky chance meeting, but later he learned that some fellow students, including Brooks’ mother, had plotted to bring them together. Said Brooks, “It shows how smart your wife was, and how gullible you are.” Research reveals the long-term impact following the destruction of the Greenwood District Rewriting history — to include all of it this time Related The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and the financial fallout Members of the community share memories, plans, hopes for the holiday Panel on dispossession of African Americans says burying truth keeps Black Americans dispossessed Juneteenth in a time of reckoninglast_img read more

Nassau County Exec Democratic Primary Voters’ Guide

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, left, and Democratic primary challenger Adam Haber, right.Voters will decide who wins the Democratic primary Tuesday between former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi and Rosyln school board member Adam Haber, who want to challenge Republican County Executive Ed Mangano.Haber, the underdog who’d called for 17 debates with Suozzi since February, finally got his chance to face off with his opponent before Freeport residents Aug. 30 and again on News12 Long Island a week before the Sept. 10 vote. The primary winner will face Mangano on Election Day.But even the most informed voters can have difficulty cutting through the candidates’ spin on key issues facing the county: The continuing fiscal crisis, plugging the Brain Drain, fixing the sewage system and what to do with Nassau Coliseum after the New York Islanders move to Brooklyn in 2015.Since many voters didn’t get to see the two debates—either because they weren’t among the about 100 people in Freeport, don’t have Cablevision or simply don’t care—here’s a recap of the candidates’ positions on the major issues ahead of primary day.Nassau Coliseum:Suozzi said he would push developers to rebuild the Nassau Coliseum, aiming to connect to surrounding Hofstra University, Nassau Community College, office buildings, Museum Row and Eisenhower Park. As for Manano’s plan to have Forest City Ratner—the company that lured the Isles to the Barclays Center—renovate the coliseum, Suozzi said it’s “clearly not ambitious enough for this important piece or property” because it doesn’t include more dense development in the 77 areas surrounding the arena.Haber has indicated that he’s eager to put shovels in the ground to renovate the arena to spur economic revitalization of the Nassau Hub, as the area surrounding the coliseum property is known. “If we don’t do something unique now, we will continue on this slow path of decay that Nassau County has for the last 20 years,” he said. In his second debate with Suozzi, he said building a convention center at the site would increase consumer spending that brings in sales tax revenue and in turn help fund county operations.Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant:Haber said Democrats and Republicans in the Nassau County Legislature need to set aside their differences and approve the remaining half of the $700 million in borrowing required to fix the sewage plant that failed during Sandy flooding, sending raw sewage into homes, streets and waterways.Suozzi, keeping his focus on attacking Mangano, said the sewage plant’s month-long shutdown shows the current county executive bungled his response to the Oct. 29 superstorm. He added that there is “no believable plan in place” to fix the plant and that contractors have walked off the job.Affordable Housing:Suozzi had spent much of his time as county exec pushing for “cool downtowns,” a rebranding of transit-oriented affordable housing for the next generation of young professionals. This time, he’s targeting areas with the same idea dubbed “new suburbia trailblazers.”Haber also recognizes the need to build new affordable housing, a problem that extends beyond the county line into Suffolk, “so the next generation actually moves back here and stops the brain drain and aging demographics of Nassau County.”Finances:Haber said his financial acumen as a businessman will help him manage Nassau’s $2.8 billion annual budget, its $3 billion debt and fix the county’s structural imbalance—the gap between revenue and recurring expenses. He also blasted Suozzi for financial gimmicks and failing to fix the broken property tax assessment system during his eight years in office. He said: “If all these county executives have had surpluses, then where’s the money?”Suozzi said that during his tenure, Nassau had 13 bond upgrades and Mangano has overseen three bond downgrades, referring to the Wall Street rating agencies’ ranking of the county’s credit. He said the only way the county will be freed of the New York State-appointed Nassau Interim Finance Authority controlling the county’s purse strings and freezing county employee wages “is to stabilize county finances again.”last_img read more

Government funding extension, Senate FSGG bill up this week

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » The House will consider a continuing resolution to fund the federal government past Sept. 30 this week, and will also consider several financial services-related bills under suspension of the rules.The Senate Appropriations Committee and a subcommittee will also mark up a financial services and general government (FSGG) appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020.Specifically, the Senate FSGG subcommittee will mark up the bill Tuesday, at 2:15 p.m. (ET), with the full Senate Appropriations Committee scheduled to begin its markup Thursday at 10:30 a.m. (ET).last_img read more

E-brokers report outages as Dow jumps 1,000 points in vaccine rally

first_imgVanguard tweeted some clients were experiencing difficulty accessing their accounts. Fidelity said it is “experiencing high volumes this morning which impacted processing speeds.”Robinhood’s status remained “operational” according to the company’s website however, some Robinhood customers tweeted about issues with the app on Monday.Retail investors from Robinhood, Fidelity and Schwab have been excluded from big market days several times this year. In March during the record market volatility, the stock-trading sites and apps experienced day-long outages. Clients are taking to twitter on Monday to express their frustration with the outages.Interactive Brokers did not appear to be having technical issues.CNBC did not immediately hear back from the online brokers it reached out to for comment.Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world. – Advertisement – A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks past a Charles Schwab office in New York.Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images – Advertisement –center_img Stocks are surging on Monday but some customers of online brokers Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard and others could be missing out on the record market highs.E-brokers are experiencing technical issues with their trading systems while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 hit all-time highs from optimism around a Covid-19 vaccine. It was so far unclear how many customers of the brokers were unable to get timely access and make trades.“Due to a technical issue, clients may have difficulty logging in to website and mobile apps. We’re working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Hold times may be longer than usual,” Schwab Vice President of Trading and Derivatives Randy Frederick tweeted shortly after the opening bell.- Advertisement – U.S. equities are soaring after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech announced that their Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 during trials. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded more than 1,300 points higher, or 4.7% and hit an all-time high. The S&P 500 also reached a record, gaining more than 3.5%.“There are login issues with our apps. Until this is resolved, please use a browser and log in at or use our TOS desktop platform. We appreciate your patience,” TD Ameritrade tweeted from its company twitter account.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla react to Mikel Arteta’s appointment at Arsenal

first_img Read More Skip 1 min. story Read More Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop struggling Video Settings Read More Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey sent good luck messages to new Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (Picture: Getty)Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla have passed on their best wishes to Mikel Arteta after their former team-mate was appointed Arsenal head coach.The 37-year-old spent five years as a player at the Emirates and captained Arsenal before hanging up his boots in 2016 to work under Pep Guardiola as Manchester City’s assistant manager.Arteta earned a stellar reputation during his three-and-a-half year stay at the Etihad and held talks with Arsenal for the first time in the summer of 2018 to succeed Arsene Wenger.The Gunners turned Arteta down in favour of the more experienced Unai Emery at the time, but on Friday afternoon the Spaniard was officially announced as the club’s new head coach.ADVERTISEMENT Top articles About Connatix V67539 Full Screen Manchester United captain Harry Maguire Read More / 1/1 Everton v Arsenal: Mikel Arteta first press conferenceTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 15:44FullscreenEverton v Arsenal: Mikel Arteta first press conference is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Mesut Ozil, who shared a dressing room with Arteta from 2013 to 2016, welcomed his ex-team-mate back to north London after his unveiling on Friday afternoon.AdvertisementAdvertisementAnd two of Arteta’s old Arsenal pals, Ramsey and Cazorla, sent good luck messages later on in the evening.‘Fantastic appointment by Arsenal,’ Ramsey, now a Juventus player, posted on his Instagram page.‘Always knew Mikel would go on to be a top manager.‘Good luck my friend but I’m sure you won’t need it!’Cazorla said: ‘What good news for this club, my friend you are a great person and a great coach.‘I wish you all the best and I am sure everything will be perfect.’At Arsenal, Arteta hopes to be able to replicate the kind of ‘winning mentality’ which Pep Guardiola built during their time at City.Asked what he learned from Guardiola, Arteta replied: ‘You have to be ruthless, consistent and fit every day the culture of the club to create a winning mentality.‘Every day is important, every act is important.‘His work rate is incredible… For me the secret is that the players and staff have to believe what you’re trying to deliver.’ Read More Skip Ad Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterFriday 20 Dec 2019 8:07 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link12.1kShares SPONSORED Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla react to Mikel Arteta’s appointment at Arsenal PLAY by Metro Coming Next Comment Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Arteta hopes to bring a ‘winning mentality’ back to Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Though Arteta is ‘a little bit sad’ about the timing of his move, he insists he and Guardiola remain on good terms.‘The relationship between me and Pep is incredibly good,’ he said.‘Obviously he was sad and the timing wasn’t the best for him but he understood, he knows how I’ve been growing and the needs I had emotionally, the ambitions I had and he kept giving me more and more over the years.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘If I had admiration for him before, after working with him I could not explain what a nice person he is and what a professional he is.‘The way he reacted with me looking at my eyes, he knew I was suffering because I was leaving him in a moment where obviously they need me a little bit.‘In that sense I feel a little bit sad but he’s been so supportive. We could not have left the relationship any better.’Will Arteta succeed as Arsenal manager?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Mikel Arteta pays classy tribute to Arsene Wenger after being named Arsenal head coach Advertisementlast_img read more

J. Lauritzen Posts 1Q Loss amid Challenging Markets

first_imgDanish shipping company J. Lauritzen widened its net loss in the first quarter of 2017 to USD 12.4 million from a net loss of USD 8.3 million posted in the same period last year.In 1Q 2017, EBITDA before special items amounted to USD -7.4 million against USD -17.2 million recorded in the same period of 2016. The improvement was due to the strengthening of dry cargo markets compared to the sharp decline in 1Q 2016 and improved market conditions for smaller gas carriers, the company said.“Despite market improvements in 1Q, dry cargo markets continue to be challenging”, Mads P. Zacho, J. Lauritzen’s CEO, commented, adding that the company is pleased “that the market for smaller gas carriers saw some improvements in the first quarter of 2017.”In the company’s bulker segment, Lauritzen Bulkers, an average number of operated vessels reached 80 in the three-month period ended March 31, 2017, compared to 103 in 1Q 2016. In addition, EBITDA before special items for 1Q was USD -11.5 million against USD -19.9 million in 1Q 2016.Furthermore, in the gas carrier segment, Lauritzen Kosan, an average number of operated vessels reached 30 in 1Q 2017 compared to 36 in 1Q last year. EBITDA before special items totaled USD 6.4 million compared to USD 5 million in 1Q 2016.During the quarter, J. Lauritzen implemented organizational and cost adjustments in an effort to improve its “competitive position”.Earlier this year, World Maritime News reported that the company agreed upon main terms for a new financing package from banks and its owner, Lauritzen Fonden. The main terms of the financing included capital injection from Lauritzen Fonden, modification of the repayment schedule and amendments to existing loan facilities’ covenants.In April, a new agreement was obtained with the company’s core lenders and owner. Under the new deal, J. Lauritzen secured a fresh boost as part of the financing package which now amounts to up to USD 80 million.According to the company, the new agreement continues to include a four-year amortization reduction and maturity extension to 2021 by core bank creditors. The revised agreement, which is subject to satisfactory final documentation, is expected to strengthen J.Lauritzen’s balance sheet and reduce its financing cost.last_img read more

San Jacinto River Dredging Scheme About to Begin

first_imgImage source: Que Onda MagazineTexas Governor Greg Abbott has announced that the San Jacinto River dredging program is expected to begin in two or three weeks, Chron reports. After the governor authorized funding from the state’s hazard and mitigation fund to conduct a study of the entire riverbed to figure out what type of sand dredging could be done to alleviate flooding in March, Abbott said that study has now been completed and will be released sometime this week.“The study has been completed — it will be issued this week. And we have to have the study before you can do this next thing and that is to put it out for contract and get bids on it,” Governor Abbott said at Los Cucos Mexican Restaurant in Kingwood, TX, yesterday.“We expect it to be dredging in two or three weeks from today.”The governor also added that the San Jacinto River Authority and the City of Houston are currently working on making sure that the water levels are held at appropriate levels to diminish the possibility of future flooding.According to Chron, the two entities are also working to lower water levels on Lake Conroe and Lake Houston.[mappress mapid=”25050″]last_img read more