We continue to discuss with potential purchases for Carillion’s remaining contracts, as well as remain committed to engaging with staff, elected employee representatives and unions as these arrangements are confirmed. Secure on-going employment has been confirmed for a further 101 members of staff who are transferring to new suppliers, taking the total number of jobs saved to 11,739. Regrettably eight job losses are being announced and those leaving the business this week will be provided with every support to find new work by Jobcentre Plus’ Rapid Response Service. Further information In total, to date 11,739 jobs (64% of the pre-liquidation workforce) have been saved and 2,340 (13%) jobs have been made redundant through the liquidation A further 1,121 employees have left the business during the liquidation through finding new work, retirement or for other reasons This information does not include jobs attached to contracts where an intention to purchase has been entered into but has not yet formally occurred Just under 3,000 employees are currently retained to enable Carillion to deliver the remaining services it is providing for public and private sector customers until decisions are taken to transfer or cease these contracts Further information about rights in redundancy is available on gov.uk A spokesperson for the Official Receiver said: To be notified of future updates from the Official Receiver please register to receive an email alert.
Press release: HS2 completes biggest demolition challenge yet at site of new Old Oak Common tunnel crossover box
I am proud of the CSjv team, which has worked together to achieve this significant milestone for HS2. Our work continues apace across London, with the Ibis hotel and NTH Insull wing near Euston now almost complete and the University College London building on Hampstead Road expected to finished within weeks. Contact form https://www.hs2.org.uk… The underground crossover box is being designed and will be built for HS2 by a Costain/Skanska/STRABAG joint venture (SCS Railways). The 130 metre long box will be 25 metres underground, with 3 headhouses at ground level to provide maintenance and emergency access as well as a separate ancillary shaft.During construction, the caterpillar-shaped box will also be used to launch two of the four tunnel boring machines digging the tunnels from Old Oak Common to Ruislip on the edge of London. Excavated material from the tunnels will be removed via the box and taken away by rail from the nearby Rail Logistics Hub.Once complete, the Victoria Road box could also be used to provide sustainable waste heat energy to hundreds of new homes around the site, as part of the wider Old Oak and Park Royal development.A recent feasibility study, produced by HS2, proposed capturing hot air created by trains moving through the tunnels and using heat pumps to transfer it to the surface via the crossover box. This could then be used to heat water and power central heating for new housing developments.In the long term, the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation has plans for more than 25,500 new homes across a 650 hectare site, making it the largest regeneration project in the UK.Across the whole of London, more than 1,000 people are currently at work, clearing the way for the start of construction. At Euston, demolitions are well underway alongside the project’s pioneering archaeology programme, while in Birmingham, clearance of Washwood Heath, the project’s future rolling stock depot, is also in full swing.Work to clear the concrete slab covering the site of the new Birmingham Curzon Street station is also underway. In total more than 7,000 jobs are supported by the HS2 project, both directly and in the UK-wide supply chain. Press and media enquiries CSjv Programme Director, Peter Jones, said: The Victoria Road Crossover Box will be a vital part of the underground infrastructure that will make Old Oak Common one of the best connected stations anywhere in the UK. It’s great to see so much progress and I’d like to thank the team for all their hard work over the past 6 months. The press and media enquiries line is for accredited journalists only The 42,000 square metre site, equivalent to the size of 6 football pitches, is where HS2 will build the Victoria Road Crossover Box, a huge underground structure designed to allow trains passing through the London tunnels to switch tracks.The clearance of the site, delivered by HS2’s London enabling works contractor, a Costain Skanska joint venture (CSjv) and subcontractor McGee, involved the careful demolition of 8 separate buildings, with more than 98% of materials sent for reuse and recycling.More than 6,500 cubic meters of rubble from the clearance of the old warehouses and light industrial units was processed on site and will be reused during construction of the tunnels and crossover box.The team will now move on to clearing hardstanding, completing utilities diversions and collecting geological data that will feed into the detailed design of the crossover box.Welcoming the milestone, HS2’s Programme Director, Matthew Botelle, said:
Last night, Buckethead brought his spring tour out to the famed Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA, delivering music that spans the prolific artist’s lengthy career. Most well known for his guitar playing (or is he most well known for the KFC bucket?), a video captured from the performance shows Buckethead let loose, by himself, on the bass.It’s no surprise that Buckethead is such a talented bassist, as his playing technique is impeccable on the guitar. Couple that with his unbelievable body of work recording with various instruments in the studio, and you have a undeniable recipe for a great solo. After he rocks the bass, Buckethead picks up the guitar and lets loose for a soaring instrumental.Watch the magic from last night’s show below, courtesy of Jim Croy.
Phish is currently in the midst of their 2018 summer tour, which stops in Alpharetta, Georgia tonight before continuing up the east coast. Last week, the Vermont foursome announced the launch of an exclusive limited-run SiriusXM pop-up channel, Phish Radio, to take over Jam On (ch.29) starting today, Friday, August 3rd, at noon ET.On August 16th, the channel will turn into The Bunny, the exclusive broadcaster of the band’s sold-out 11th festival, Curveball. The Bunny will run on ch. 29 through the end of the festival on Sunday, August 19th before converting back to Jam On on Monday, August 20th.According to the announcement, the channel will launch with a live concert broadcast from Atlanta and a special program hosted by Ari Fink with the one-and-only Trey Anastasio, “Ask Trey,” where Anastasio will answer questions that were submitted to SiriusXM by Phish fans earlier this month. Phish Radio will play music from throughout the band’s extensive career, including selections from their vast live catalog, studio tracks, unreleased demos, and musical influences, and will feature exclusive commentary from all four band members.Last night, Scott Rogowsky of HQ Trivia revealed in an Instagram post that he will be the “official voice” of Phish Radio. HQ Trivia, an app that hosts daily trivia games with prize money, has been peppered with Phish (and Grateful Dead) references since its inception in 2017. Rogowsky, a noted jam band aficionado, even got John Mayer to host the app-based game while Dead & Company were in New York for their Citi Field performances. Now, Rogowsky will take his hosting skills to a whole new (and seriously unexpected) level as the official voice of Phish Radio–meaning he will announce all the interstitial content between songs.SiriusXM’s Phish Radio begins on Friday, August 3 at noon ET via satellite on channel 29 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com. SiriusXM subscribers are able to listen to Phish Radio on SiriusXM radios, and those with streaming access can listen online, on-the-go with the SiriusXM mobile app and at home on a wide variety of connected devices including smart TVs, Amazon Alexa devices, Apple TV, PlayStation, Roku, Sonos speakers and more. If you don’t yet have SiriusXM, you can get a three-month free trial here. Head here for more information.[Video: SiriusXM]Last month, SiriusXM launched an exclusive limited-run Dave Matthews Band channel, Dave Matthews Band Radio, featuring music from the band’s extensive career, including their indelible hits, live songs, demo tracks and musical influences. That station has been extended through Labor Day weekend, and is set to move to its new home on Channel 30 on August 1st.
An innovative experimental treatment for boosting the effectiveness of blood stem-cell transplants with umbilical cord blood has a favorable safety profile in long-term animal studies, according to Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and Children’s Hospital Boston (CHB).Analysis of long-term safety testing in nonhuman primates, published online by the journal Cell Stem Cell in a new section called “Clinical Progress,” revealed that a year following transplant umbilical cord blood units treated with a signaling molecule called 16,16-dimethyl PGE2 reconstituted all the normal types of blood cells, and none of the animals receiving treated cord blood units developed cancer. Wolfram Goessling is the first author of the paper; his HSCI colleague Trista North is the senior author.The results of long-term safety studies in mice were previously submitted to the Food and Drug Administration to gain permission for a Phase I clinical trial under an investigational new drug (IND) application. Principal investigator Corey Cutler, a Dana-Farber transplant specialist, initiated the trial in 2009 at Dana-Farber and Massachusetts General Hospital. The IND is sponsored by Fate Therapeutics Inc. of San Diego.Goessling and North were postdoctoral fellows in the laboratory of co-author Leonard Zon, a stem cell researcher at CHB and a scientific founder of Fate Therapeutics, when they hit upon 16,16-dimethyl PGE2 while looking for compounds that could regulate the production of hematopoietic stem cells (blood stem cells). The initial testing made use of zebrafish models.“This is the first time a compound discovered in zebrafish has received a nod from the FDA for a clinical trial,” said Goessling.One of the limitations of cord blood as a transplant source is that the cells engraft, or “take,” in the recipient’s bone marrow more slowly than matched donor cells form bone marrow. In addition, there is a higher failure rate for cord blood transplants. Thus there is a need for ways to improve the speed and quality of cord blood transplantation.The research was supported by funding from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Three Harvard affiliates — two fellows and a graduate student — have won the Knight News Challenge, a fiercely competitive international contest that funds digital news experiments that use technology “to inform and engage communities.”There were 16 prizewinning projects selected from 2,500 submissions. The awards were announced today (June 23).Contestants from Harvard have won a few times during the five-year life of the Knight contest, but never for as much money — a grant worth $420,000, said Colin Maclay, managing director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The competition is “insane,” he added. “Getting into Harvard College has nothing on this.”The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which sponsors the competition, calls its winners “journalism futurists.” They are described as thinkers and designers who employ emerging technologies to make citizen journalism more accessible, compelling, and intellectually rich.Starting Sept. 1, the three Harvard team members, who were Knight finalists last year, will use their 18-month funding to develop a prototype software called Zeega. The open-source web tools will be designed to foster new genres of investigative journalism and media art, making collaborative multimedia documentaries cheaper and easier to produce.The Knight project “grows out of a unique combination of documentary arts and experimental media research we’ve been doing within Harvard and beyond,” said Jesse Shapins, one of the three winners. He is a Ph.D. student in Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he also lectures in architecture.James Burns, who graduated in May with a Harvard Ph.D. in economics, is a creative technologist and relational knowledge fellow at the metaLAB (at) Harvard. Shapins and Burns worked together on courses such as Media Archaeology of Place and The Mixed-Reality City, which have used test versions of Zeega, with support from the Presidential Instructional Technology Fellows program. Kara Oehler, an independent journalist and 2011-12 Radcliffe-Film Study Center Fellow, also co-founded metaLAB and is a fellow there.Shapins, Burns and Oehler started working together in 2008 while developing Mapping Main Street, a project that aims to document all of the streets named Main in the country. Created with radio producer Ann Heppermann, the project combined a series of audio documentaries broadcast on National Public Radio with a web platform that automatically interrelates media about Main Streets that was contributed by citizens into thematic and geographic pathways. Last year, the project was presented to the Federal Communications Commission as a leading example of innovative approaches to storytelling, during a symposium on the future of media. Working on the project also gave the three inspiration to create Zeega, which they hope will provide a user-friendly framework for creating online documentaries that are layered, interactive, and multifaceted.Shapins, Burns, and Oehler embody what they described as a convergence of creative forces in the area and at Harvard, which are moving vigorously to merge digital practices with journalism and traditional scholarship.At Harvard, they said the signs of that convergence include the metaLAB; the Berkman Center; Sensate, a multimedia online journal launched this spring; the annual Harvard Film Study Center fellows (Oehler will be one in 2011-2012); The Lab at Harvard, a space for experiments in art and science; the Sensory Ethnography Lab, with its creative interdisciplinary ethic; the Harvard Library Lab; and the new “critical media practice” secondary field approved this year by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. That will allow Ph.D. students for the first time to incorporate film, video, photography, and other forms of nontextual information into their academic work.“It’s really an incredible time for technology and new forms of journalism and scholarship at Harvard,” said Oehler.Part of the convergence involves the Boston area itself, the prizewinners said. For instance, Cambridge is home to the collaborative Public Radio Exchange. In Dorchester, there is the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), which funded Mapping Main Street.The three prizewinners feel right at home amidst this convergence of media innovation. After all, they were media rebels at an early age.In the early 1990s, Shapins and Burns were eighth-grade classmates in Boulder, Colo., when an early media experiment earned them trouble instead of a prize. Distributing their first issue of “The Bricks are Red,” a zine pieced together on vintage Macs, got them a day of in-school suspension. (“Interestingly,” said Burns, “they put us in a room together. So we worked on the next issue.”)In a pre-digital age, zines were self-published magazines with alternative viewpoints, low circulations, and no plans to make money.Around the same time, Oehler, who was an Indiana middle school student, was suspended for the same reason. Her offending publication was “The Alternative Maggot,” whose rebellious yet clever staffers were forced to eat lunch in the chemistry lab for a month.After graduating from college in 2000, Oehler was still drawn to media experimentation and started a career as an independent producer for public radio. In 2005, while concentrating on interactive documentaries, she was struck by the technological inequities of production. Large media outlets had the money to do what they wanted in making multimedia documentaries. But independent journalists and small, cash-poor stations and websites were often shut out of Internet age technologies.Even today, “there’s this huge digital divide,” said Oehler. “The idea of Zeega is to bridge that gap.” As early as the fall of 2012 — after six or seven pilot projects, refinements by software contractors, and a beta launch — Zeega will be available free, and aims to make interactive documentaries as easy to incorporate into web sites and mobile applications as YouTube videos.After that, “anyone can go and start creating,” said Burns, a self-taught programmer who will lead the project’s technical team. He described Zeega’s present state as “very experimental.” But the Knight grant will provide the resources to refine it, test it, and make it “scalable,” available to a wide audience.Once an accessible platform is available for making these interactive projects in small markets, Oehler predicted, “we’ll see a huge change. It will allow anyone to create a project like Mapping Main Street.”Mapping Main Street itself has already been crowd-expanded, said Shapins. The original project documented 100 of the 10,466 streets named “Main” in the United States. But now the site, thanks to outside collaborators, provides views of 800.During her Radcliffe year, Oehler will focus on developing Zeega through a new audio and interactive documentary show that immerses audiences in the particularity of places, while interweaving the ambiguities and surprising pathways that emerge during the documentary process. The show will combine aesthetic experimentation with ethnographic approaches to engage major news topics through everyday examples, creating a new space for artistic invention on the airwaves and on line. To begin, she has summer road trips planned to Montana, Texas, Louisiana, West Virginia, and elsewhere to record stories.Once public, Zeega will be an open-source platform, said Burns, meaning that the code will be available to refine or alter for other applications. Concurrently, he added, the original Zeega will be software-hosted, in the same way YouTube is hosted.Zeega is housed in Media and Place (MAP) Productions, an independent 5013c nonprofit that is overseen by the three.Meanwhile, the technology divide still exists. For a time, Oehler herself lived that truth. In the summer of 2009 she moved out of her house, put her possessions in storage, and set off on a 14,000-mile, 100-city tour of the United States to document Main Streets for National Public Radio. Her nightly guest room was a Subaru Legacy. (“The seats fold down,” said Oehler.) Along for the ride, at intervals, were Shapins, Burns, and radio producer Ann Heppermann.In the future, however, Zeega should make things easier for journalists and documentarians, said Oehler. “You shouldn’t have to give up your house to make interactive documentaries.”In academia, Zeega will give scholars the same sense of agency it imparts to journalists, said Burns, who added that Harvard is already experimenting with “new forms of scholarship, including publications that are not text-bound.” The name Zeega is appropriate for such an endeavor. It is derived from Dziga Vertov, the pioneering Soviet filmmaker who reinvented the format of the newsreel to incorporate radical new aesthetic approaches and collaborative methods, exemplified in works such as the 1927 “Man with a Movie Camera.” The Harvard Film Archive has one of the largest collections of Vertov prints, to which Shapins was exposed while taking a course on Vertov’s work his first year as a PhD student.Zeega also should give scholars another tool for collecting media from now-largely untapped resources, including artifacts, films, photos, and other media that when streamed together enlarge views of culture, history, and society. Burns called it “depth of knowledge.”This dimension is already being explored through the metaLAB and Frances Loeb Library project extraMUROS, which builds on top of Zeega and is funded through the Harvard Library Lab.Zeega, digital humanities, an energized community of documentarians, and now the Knight Prize, said Shapins: “It’s all part of this magic moment at Harvard.”
11Charles P. Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and Ethnology Bill Fash (from left) leads Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development Tamara Rogers and President Drew Faust through the site at Teotihuacan. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 7Drew Faust (left) and Hector de Jesus are pictured at the Mexico City National Cemetery. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 14A view of the audience during “Your Harvard: Mexico.” Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 3Drew Faust (from left), Museo del Templo Mayor Director Carlos Javier González, and Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico Jorge Domínguez tour the archaeological zone in Mexico City. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 21Students including Lashaun Morgan (from left), Kennedi Mayes, and Cristina Flores listen to President Drew Faust. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 10The Temple of the Moon in Teotihuacan. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 15Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico Jorge Domínguez (from left) makes remarks and honors Enrique Tellez Kuenzler, Antonio Madero Bracho, Alfredo Elias Ayub (not pictured), Rene Solis Brun, Rodrigo Sanchez-Mejorada, and Felipe Ortiz-Monasterio at the Fundación México en Harvard 25th anniversary celebration. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 1Ernest E. Monrad Research Professor of the Social Sciences Charles Rosenberg (from left), Museo del Templo Mayor Director Carlos Javier González, Harvard President Drew Faust, and Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas Director Renato González Mello converse before walking to the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer As they visited Mexico and Texas, Harvard President Drew Faust and Vice Provost for International Affairs Jorge I. Domínguez reinforced the University’s deep and longstanding ties there, met with alumni and faculty, and, in Dallas, promoted the continued value of higher education.Highlighting Harvard’s scholarship in Mexico, Faust toured the archaeological digs at Teotihuacan, a nearly 2,000-year-old temple complex outside Mexico City, with Bill Fash, the Charles P. Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and Ethnology, whose work has helped alter researchers’ views of the site. She also met with leaders of the Fundación México en Harvard, A.C., which was established 25 years ago to provide financial support for residents accepted to graduate and postgraduate programs at Harvard. To date, nearly $12 million has been awarded to make the University a reality for hundreds of students from Mexico. At an event titled “Your Harvard: Mexico,” Faust spoke to an audience of nearly 500 alumni.In Texas, Faust made the “case for college” to a group of hundreds of high school students, teachers, and guidance counselors from across Dallas, and in the evening helped celebrate the centenaries of the Harvard Clubs of San Antonio and Dallas. 9The Museo Nacional de Antropología. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 20President Drew Faust delivers her speech, “The Case for College.” Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 22Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy, Daniel Nocera, spoke on the Revolution of Energy on Saturday, October 25, at the Your Harvard: Dallas event in Dallas, TX. Alumni and their families from in and around Texas came for the two-day event, complete with a dinner gala and musical performances on Friday night, and faculty and alumni panels on Saturday. Photo by/Will Halsey 2The view inside the archaeological zone of the Museo del Templo Mayor. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 13A panel discussion begins “Your Harvard: Mexico” at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso. Speakers included Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico Jorge Domínguez (from left), Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Mary Schneider Enriquez, Alejandro Ramirez Magana, Warren Alpert Professor of Business Administration Laura Alfaro, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dean Julio Frenk. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 12Harvard Professors Bill Fash and Brian Farrell identify the carvings that decorate the basement walls as evening primrose. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 8The Aztec sun stone at the Museo Nacional de Antropología. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 16President Drew Faust makes her remarks. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 6Drew Faust (left) and Clara Bargellini, Ph.D. ’74, are pictured at the Palacio Nacional. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 18In Dallas, President Drew Faust visits Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Students played jazz music during the event. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 19President Drew Faust meets students including Arlesia Grace McGowan (from left), Kennedy Porter, and Clara Allan, in the library at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 23Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust speaks to the future of Harvard on Friday night, October 24th, at the Your Harvard: Texas. Alumni and their families gathered for a two-day event in Dallas, TX, complete with an evening diner gala, musical performances, and faculty and alumni panels on Saturday. Photo by/Juliette Halsey 5The main stairwell at the Palacio Nacional and the mural by Diego Rivera depicting Mexico’s history. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 17President Drew Faust (right) tours Frida Kahlo’s home, La Casa Azul (Blue House). Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 4The courtyard at the Palacio Nacional. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Researchers in the University of Georgia Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory recently helped finish the decade-long process of sequencing the tomato genome. The genome mapping effort involved more than 300 researchers working at universities and research institutes in more than a dozen countries. A team from UGA worked under the guidance of Andrew Paterson, a Regents Professor of plant breeding and genetics. They spent the past two years looking into the evolutionary history of the tomato’s genome—trying to find the place where the tomato split from its flowering plant forbearers. Dubbed the Tomato Genome Consortium, the researchers involved in the project published their findings in the May 31 edition of Nature. “This project combined fundamental insight into flowering plant evolution, in particular the first case known of a lineage that experienced consecutive genome triplications, with application-oriented work such as the discovery of many genes likely to contribute to breeding better tomatoes,” Paterson said. Graduate students Jingping Li, Hui Guo, Yupeng Wang, Dong Zhang, former graduate student Haibao Tang, postdoctoral researcher Tae-ho Lee and assistant research scientist Xiyin Wang discovered numerous insights into tomato evolution, in particular that the entire set of genes within the tomato’s ancestors had been repeated three times. Paterson’s team, who represent both the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has played a pioneering role in a period of discovery of duplications and triplications of gene sets in the genomes of many of the world’s leading crops and botanical models. Repetition of the gene set has been important in the worldwide spread of flowering plants and in the evolution of crops—providing “spare” genes that can evolve new traits while the plant also retains the traits prescribed by its original set of genes. The tomato and its relatives, which include the potato, have gone through this process not once but twice, Paterson’s team found. It’s the first known case of two consecutive triplications of an original set of genes. Identifying the changed genes in each of these triplicated gene sets will help researchers pinpoint which genes control the characteristics that make a tomato a tomato—things like fruit size, flavor and texture. Paterson, who was recently recognized for his work sequencing sorghum and cotton, had studied tomatoes during his post-doctoral work. His team joined the Tomato Genome Consortium in 2009. Researchers on the tomato genome project focused on fully understanding the sequence of one tomato variety, Heinz 1706. This sequence can now be used to more fully decipher the genetic makeup of other tomato varieties and eventually be used to breed better tomatoes. As a part of the effort, researchers compared the Heinz 1706 genome to the genome of one of the tomato’s wild ancestors as well as to the potato genome. They found only a 0.6 percent divergence between the genetic information contained in the wild and modern tomato varieties, but found about an 8 percent divergence between the potato and tomato, according to the article published in Nature. Those points where the genetic information diverges, Paterson said, are clues to changes that may explain why one plant makes potatoes and another tomatoes. For more information on the study, see http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v485/n7400/full/nature11119.html.
Secretary of State Jim Condos announces that since the Governor has declared a state of emergency, temporary emergency licenses for out-of-state health care providers and veterinarians are available.Use of Vermont providers should be our highest priority before reaching out to other states.Secretary Condos said this provision was enacted so Vermont would be better prepared to respond in the event of a disaster. It expedites the licensing process for the emergency assistance needed in the wake of a disaster like that caused by tropical storm Irene. Under normal conditions, the licensing process takes longer. ‘In an emergency situation like this,’ said Condos, ‘we need to act quickly to get the help on the ground where it is needed most. Volunteer health care professionals from neighboring states and even from all over the country are coming to Vermont to lend a hand. Under the circumstances, we’ll get them a temporary license the same day they apply and get them to work.’ Chris Winters, the Director of the Office of Professional Regulation, added: ‘Our mission is to protect the public and make sure that licensed health care providers are competent and safe practitioners. When the state is in emergency response mode, this law allows us to be more flexible when time is of the essence.’ 3 V.S.A. § 129(a)(10) allows the Office of Professional Regulation to issue temporary licenses to health care providers and veterinarians during a declared state of emergency. The health care provider or veterinarian must be currently licensed, in good standing and not subject to disciplinary proceedings in any other jurisdiction. The temporary license authorizes the holder to practice in Vermont until the termination of the declared state of emergency or 90 days, whichever occurs first. All licensing fees are waived. The Secretary of State’s Office of Professional regulation protects the public through licensing and regulation of 45 professions and nearly 55,000 licenses.
The Polar Plunge Winter Festival is this weekend, February 7th-8th, in Virginia Beach. This event is the largest fundraiser for the Special Olympics where participants, athletes, and teams take the plunge into the icy Atlantic Ocean during the height of winter. Since its inception 21 years ago in 1993, more than 36,000 plungers have raised more than $8.5 million for Special Olympics Virginia. Last year, more than 3,300 plungers braved the icy water, raising more than $1.2 million.There are more than enough events and activities going on throughout the weekend. One is the 5K which is on Saturday, February 8th, at 8:30am. Participants should meet on the boardwalk for an invigorating (read: freezing) 3.2 mile run. The entry fee is $40 and comes with a t-shirt and other goodies for the weekend. There will be day-of registration.A few other events include Friday’s Pre-Plunge Party, the Pee Wee Plunge, a volleyball tournament, and of course, THE actual plunge at 2:30 on Saturday. As you can see, the weekend is jam packed with fun, frigid events for all ages and abilities. Check the schedule so you don’t miss out!If you’re not interested in plunging but want to help, there are many opportunities to volunteer. Be sure to fill out this form to find the right job for you.