SolarWorld signs 20 MW module supply agreement for Senegal solar plantThe German module manufacturer will begin delivering the modules in time for March next year. The solar plant is to be located 100 kilometers from Senegal capital Dakar. October 31, 2016 Ian Clover Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share More than 77,000 SolarWorld PV modules will be shipped to Senegals Kahone region by March next year to build a 20 MW solar PV plant in the country. Austrian SolarWorld partner Energie Merl acquired a supply contract for the project, which will be located some 100 kilometers from Senegals capital Dakar. Senelec, a local power company, has tendered the project, which when completed will be one of the largest in the country. Senegal has been beset by energy problems for many years, exacerbated by frequent droughts in many regions that have led to a rural exodus, thus piling demand on to already-overstretched city grids. For Senegal and many other nations in West Africa, solar PV energy offers a cost-effective and environmentally friendly means of meeting these challenges, creating much-needed jobs in the meantime. “With this project, we are once again documenting that PV represents a safe, clean and affordable solution for millions of people,” said SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck. “It is a wise decision that the customer has bet on sustainability with durable products.” In the summer it was revealed that 20 MW of grid-connected solar PV was under construction in Senegal as part of an investment by global private equity firm Denham Capital and African renewable energy investment company GreenWish. The project is located close to the Mauritanian border in Bokhol. 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Cracking the case for solid state batteries pv magazine 29 April 2021 pv-magazine-australia.com Scientists in the UK used the latest imaging techniques to visualize and understand the process of dendrite formation an… 123456Leave a Reply Cancel replyPlease be mindful of our community standards.Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. 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Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. Email* SIGN UP Horse Sport Enews Ottawa, ON—Canadian Para-Equestrian Committee (CPEC) is now accepting nominations for committee candidates to fill three vacant positions on the Committee.The positions on the committee are not specific in task, and each position is for a two-year term beginning in February 2010. Nomination forms are available on the Para-Equestrian Canada website at www.equinecanada.ca/para-equestrian. The deadline to submit nominations is November 30, 2009.To be eligible to nominate or vote for a CPEC candidate, individuals must be Para-Equestrian Canada members as of November 2, 2009, and over the age of 18 years old.Please send nomination forms to the attention of Irena Seifert at [email protected] or fax them to 613-248-3484. Forms may also be mailed to Equine Canada, 2685 Queensview Drive, Suite 100, Ottawa, ON, K2B 8K2.
Roland Von Kurnatowski, the former owner of iconic New Orleans music venue Tipitina’s, died on Sunday night after accidentally shooting himself while hunting on his property in Mississippi.According to a report from NOLA.com, Von Kurnatowski, age 68, “was using a rifle to try to kill wild boar, which had become a problem on his property near Carriere, when he was killed. He was alone when the accident occurred. … Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk said on Monday that Von Kurnatowski’s death remained ‘under thorough investigation’ but declined to discuss the case further.”Von Kurnatowski’s name had frequently appeared in headlines over the last year, though not always in a positive light. Late last year, when he still owned Tipitina’s, reports began to emerge that Tipitina’s could be sold amid Roland’s ongoing financial missteps and legal issues.According to a November 2018 report by the New Orleans Advocate, “Two recent lawsuits filed against Roland Von Kurnatowski, an owner of Tipitina’s and the Orpheum Theater, accuse the New Orleans businessman of bilking investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in what one of the suits describes as a ‘Ponzi scheme.’”In addition to the lawsuits, the report noted that multiple high-profile acts who played at Tipitina’s and the Orpheum Theater, also owned by Von Kurnatowski at the time (he had since sold his stake), had their performance checks bounce around that time—even after their shows sold out.Soon after, local funk band Galactic, whose members had frequented Tipitina’s as both patrons and performers for decades, announced that they had purchased the club from Von Kurnatowski, though he retained control of the Tipitina’s Foundation.Related: Stanton Moore Talks Galactic’s New Album, Buying Tipitina’s, & “Playing Like You Own The Place” [Interview]Even in the wake of the sale of Tipitina’s, Von Kurnatowski had been facing a number of other legal disputes with members of his family over various real estate transactions that had gone south. These various circumstances triggered an FBI investigation into Von Kurnatowski and his business practices, which include a fund called Bond Fund One. While investors in Bond Fund One were sold on buying in by Von Kurnatowski’s formerly glowing reputation in New Orleans and the promise that the funds would be used to invest in relatively safe U.S. Treasury bills, the investments didn’t play out as expected.According to WWL-TV, “Investors, several of them elderly, allege in a series of lawsuits that Von Kurnatowski bilked them out of millions of dollars by convincing them they were investing in safe, easily cashed Treasuries, and never telling them he had used their money to finance numerous real estate ventures.” The fund lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and investors were barred from cashing out their stakes. Some even accused him of operating a Ponzi scheme.Von Kurnatowski denied duping his investors in Bond Fund One, arguing to WWL-TV that negative media coverage and a contentious falling-out with his former partner in the Orpheum were the cause of his inability to pay back investors.The bond fund terminated automatically when Von Kurnatowski died on Sunday, though the plaintiffs will reportedly change their suits to go after his estate.This story is still developing.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreBritain’s oldest man, thought to be one of three surviving UK World War I veterans, is celebrating his 112th birthday. He has a great memory and can fill in the details of 100 years of history. As the last surviving original member of the Royal Air Force – formed 90 years ago – Henry Allingham visits school children to bring history alive. (Video and story at the BBC)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA video-blogger who was stopped by a stranger from jumping into a river six years ago has launched a campaign to find the man who saved his life.Jonny Benjamin, 26, was on a ledge of London’s Waterloo Bridge in January 2008 after being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, when the man intervened.Now as an ambassador of the Rethink Mental Illness UK charity he has helped many.“The empathy, belief and determination that passerby showed me, gave me hope.”(READ the full story at the BBC – HEAR Jonny’s appeal below)Thanks to Andrew N. for submitting the link!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
Vermont Business Magazine Commissioner Michael Pieciak announced today that the Department of Financial Regulation issued an order(link is external) suspending the insurance producer license of Benjamin Scherer, NAIC License Number 3210356, of Newport Center, Vermont, effective November 3, 2020, following the discovery of a series of allegedly improper practices in his handling of client files. EX PARTE ORDER SUSPENDING LICENSEBased on the motion of the Insurance Division of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation seeking an order suspending the insurance producer license of Benjamin Scherer and requiring Benjamin Scherer to retain records concerning such activities, the following findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order are entered. I.FINDINGS OF FACTBenjamin Scherer (“Respondent”) holds Vermont insurance producer license # 3210356.The Insurance Division issued license # 3210356 to Respondent on December 19, 2016 pursuant to the licensing requirements set forth in 8 V.S.A., Chapter 131.From June 1, 2016 to October 5, 2020 Respondent was employed as an insurance producer for Royer Camp & Associated Insurance Inc., an insurance agency located in Newport, Vermont (the “Royer Agency”). See Affidavit of Isabelle Keiser 7-8, 40.On Friday, October 2, 2020, principals of the Royer Agency requested that Respondent meet with them on Monday, October 5, to discuss what appeared to be irregularities in a client account Respondent managed. See id. 39.On Monday, October 5, at 1:28 am, Respondent e-mailed his resignation, effective immediately, to Annette Lantagne, a principal with the Royer Agency, indicating that he was apologizing, was “deeply sorry for losing your trust,” and that he felt “it is not fair to continually drag you on, while lying, and trying to cover my steps of mistakes that I’ve made as I go.” See id. 40 and Exhibit 2.Client 1In or around May 2019, then-clients of the Royer Agency, a married couple (“Client 1”), purchased a farm. See id. 11, 15. “Client 1” is used herein to refer to both the couple collectively and individually.In or around September 2019, Respondent told Client 1 that he would purchase a commercial policy from American Reliable Insurance Company (“American Reliable”) to cover their farm and cancel a pre-existing homeowner’s policy they held with Concord General Mutual Insurance Company (“Concord”) that they no longer needed. See id. 16.In or around October 2019, Client 1 began leasing a barn on another person’s property. See id. 15.On October 29, 2020, Client 1 e-mailed Respondent to ask if she had insurance coverage because she needed to provide a copy of her insurance to the owner of the barn she was leasing. See id. Exhibit 9, page 2.Respondent answered via e-mail on October 30, 2019, stating “[y]ou are covered, I promise,” stating that he would have sent her the binder documenting her coverage two weeks earlier if he had been able to bind it himself, and requesting the contact information of the barn owner so he could prepare a Certificate of Insurance to provide to the barn owner. See id. Exhibit 9, page 1.On October 30, 2019, in her reply to Respondent providing the barn owner’s contact information, Client 1 asked “[h]as my other homeowners been cancelled?” See id. Exhibit 9, page 1.On April 8, 2020, Client 1 e-mailed Respondent to indicate she had received a renewal notice from Concord for her homeowner’s policy which was “supposed to have been cancelled long ago” when she obtained the insurance policy for her farm via Respondent. See id. Exhibit 10, page 2.On April 8, 2020, Respondent e-mailed a response to Client 1 that the Concord policy “was cancelled at one point” and that he would “look into it and see why it got renewed.” See id. Exhibit 10, page 2.Also on April 8, 2020, in response to a follow-up e-mail from Client 1, Respondent indicated that he was not sure if Client 1 received a refund for the Concord homeowner’s policy and that, if she did, it was probably applied to her commercial policy so she “didn’t get an additional bill.” See id. Exhibit 10, page 1.On April 27, 2020, Respondent stated in an e-mail to Client 1 that a refund check of $530 was issued to her for her homeowner’s policy, that it had been applied to her balance on the commercial policy, and that he waived his commission fee which “was able to avoid any remaining balance that you would have had to pay out of pocket.” See id. Exhibit 11.Sometime after June 4, 2020, the Royer Agency received a notice of cancellation effective June 25, 2020 from Concord for non-payment of premium for Client 1’s homeowner’s policy. See id. 25 and Exhibit 8.Respondent did not cancel Client 1’s homeowner policy with Concord. See id. 26.On September 28, 2020 Respondent sent a fax from the Royer Agency to a loan officer affiliated with Client 1’s mortgagee containing Anniversary Renewal Declarations for a homeowner’s policy for Client 1 for coverage beginning on May 31, 2020 that Respondent knew or should have known was not in force. See id. 23-27 and Exhibits 7 and 8.American Reliable did not receive a signed application for a policy for Client 1 or instructions to bind coverage in 2019 or 2020; consequently, American Reliable did not issue a policy for Client 1. See id. 21 and Exhibit 6.The Royer Agency files contain three documents that were apparently falsified by Respondent for a commercial policy for Client 1 through American Reliable, a Certificate of Liability Insurance, an Evidence of Property Insurance, and an invoice marked “balance paid.” See id. 17-20, 22, and Exhibits 3-5.Client 2In or around December 2019 a then-client of the Royer Agency, an individual (“Client 2”), contacted Respondent to file a claim with her insurance company, XS Brokers, because her garage had a collapsing foundation wall. See id. 30.Client 2 held a Lloyd’s of London Dwelling Fire insurance policy through XS Brokers with effective dates of August 2, 2019 to August 2, 2020. See id. 29.On February 24, 2020, Client 2 e-mailed Respondent to ask for news about an appraisal of her garage. See id. Exhibit 13, page 2.On February 26, 2020, Respondent replied in an e-mail that he “did not hear anything from the adjuster yesterday,” that he “sent an e-mail to him last night,” and that he would call the adjuster to check on the status. See id. Exhibit 13, page 2.On February 27, 2020, Respondent indicated to Client 2 via e-mail that XS Brokers was denying her claim, that they were issuing a letter and report “saying that the damage does not appear sudden, and appears to have happened over time,” and that she could appeal the decision after the letter came in. See id. Exhibit 13, page 1.On March 4, 2020, Client 2 e-mailed Respondent to inform him that she had not received anything from the adjuster. See id. Exhibit 13, page 1.On March 4, 2020, Respondent replied in an e-mail that the “letter was issued on Friday” and that he couldn’t “imagine you wouldn’t see it by tomorrow.” See id. Exhibit 13, page 1.On July 8, 2020, Respondent received an e-mail from XS Brokers with a quote for renewal of Client 2’s policy with XS Brokers to take effect August 2, 2020 if renewed. See id. 1 and Exhibit 12.On August 14, 2020, Client 2 e-mailed Respondent asking what was being done about her claim, reporting that the garage was becoming less stable as time went on, and expressing concerns about the lack of settlement of the claim in light of the approaching winter. See id. Exhibit 14, page 1.On August 15, 2020, Respondent responded in an e-mail that he had tried to call Client 2 yesterday and that he had available times “to come out and meet you this coming week with adjuster.” See id. Exhibit 14, page 1.Respondent did not file a claim on behalf of Client 2 with XS Brokers or renew her policy with XS Brokers. See id. 33-35.Other ClientsBetween June 2020 and September 2020, in the Royer Agency’s administrative system, Respondent manually falsified the expiration dates associated with three of his clients’ policies to dates beyond each policy’s correct expiration dates. See id. 36-37.The policies of the three clients for which Respondent provided false expiration dates in Royer Agency’s administrative system were not timely renewed or replaced by Respondent despite the clients’ wishes to either renew their policies or obtain new policies. See id. 38.It is unknown whether other clients of Respondent have been affected and, if so, in what manner.II.CONCLUSIONS OF LAWBecause Respondent misrepresented to Client 1 the terms of their insurance contracts, misrepresented to Client 1’s mortgagee the terms of their insurance coverage, and falsified formal documents for an insurance contract that did not exist for Client 1, suspension of Respondent’s insurance producer license is warranted pursuant to 8 V.S.A. § 4804(a)(6).By failing to obtain insurance coverage requested by Client 1; failing to cancel and obtain insurance coverage as requested by Client 1; misrepresenting, on multiple occasions, to Client 1 that he had taken such actions; falsifying formal documents for an insurance contract that did not exist; misrepresenting to Client 1’s mortgagee the terms of their insurance coverage; failing to file a claim on behalf of Client 2 as she requested; misrepresenting, on multiple occasions, to Client 2 that he had taken such actions; failing to renew or take other action when Client 2’s policy was up for renewal; entering false expirations dates for the policies of three clients into his employer’s system and allowing them to expire without renewing or taking other action on them; and by other actions described herein, Respondent has engaged in a series of fraudulent, coercive, and dishonest practices over the past two years in his capacity as an insurance producer.Because Respondent has engaged in a series of fraudulent, coercive, and dishonest practices over two years that shows a disregard for his clients’ financial health and welfare, and shows that he is untrustworthy and financially irresponsible as an insurance producer, suspension of Respondent’s license is warranted pursuant to 8 V.S.A. § 4804(a)(9).An immediate suspension of Respondent’s insurance producer license is necessary to prevent Respondent from putting additional Vermont residents at risk of being uninsured, of having claims denied or untimely settled, and of suffering other negative impacts to their financial health and welfare.III.OrderPursuant to 8 V.S.A. § 15 and § 4804(a), and based on the findings of facts and conclusions of law set forth above, the Vermont resident insurance producer license # 3210356 of Respondent, Benjamin Scherer, is immediately suspended until the Insurance Division completes an investigation of Respondent’s conduct or pending further orders of the Commissioner.Benjamin Scherer is furthered ordered not to withhold, destroy, mutilate, or by any other means alter or modify, any documentary material in his possession that is relevant to his activities as an insurance producer while employed with the Royer Agency or subsequently with other insurance agencies.Dated at Montpelier, Vermont this ______ day of November 2020. By: ________________________________Michael S. Pieciak Commissioner of Financial RegulationVermont Department of Financial Regulationhttps://dfr.vermont.gov/reg-bul-ord/benjamin-scherer-ex-parte-order-suspending-license(link is external)Connect with the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation on Twitter(link is external), Facebook(link is external), and website(link is external). Scherer’s former employer Royer Camp & Associated Insurance Inc reached out to the Department to share information about the alleged improprieties.The Department’s subsequent investigation found that Scherer had engaged in a series of activities that were in violation of Vermont law.Specifically, the Department alleges Scherer put clients at risk by failing to cancel and obtain alternate insurance coverage, while representing that he had done so, leaving them uninsured. Separately, Scherer also failed to file a claim on behalf of a client despite stating that he had done so, putting the client’s rightful payment in jeopardy. The Department also discovered that Scherer allowed clients’ policies to expire contrary to their instructions.Commissioner Pieciak concluded that an immediate suspension of Scherer’s license – pending a hearing request – was warranted to protect Vermont residents from the risk of being uninsured, having claims denied or untimely settled, and of suffering other negative impacts to their financial health and welfare.To check the status of an individual’s insurance license, visit the “Verify a License” link on the Insurance Division webpage(link is external). If you have purchased insurance through Mr. Scherer and have concerns about your coverage or a claim, contact Royer Camp & Associated Insurance Inc. or the Insurance Division at 802-282-3302, 800-964-1784, or [email protected](link sends e-mail).ORDERSTATE OF VERMONTDEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL REGULATION )IN RE: Bejamin Scherer ) docket no. 20-030-IVT LICENSE # 3210356 )NPN # 18241370 ) Source: Montpelier, VT – (11/18/20) — DFR
October 1, 2010 Letters October 1, 2010 Letters Letters Law and Medicine I read with interest the plan by Florida State University to publish an e-journal to increase the flow of information between the law and medicine. As someone who practiced medicine for several years before obtaining my law degree, I feel qualified to respond. My opinions relate solely to the legal practice of medical malpractice.The standard of care the law applies to physicians bears little resemblance to the standard with which they practice medicine. Upon prescribing medical treatment, the physician must ask, “Is there scientific proof that the treatment prescribed is effective?” This represents evidence-based medicine and stems from the peer-reviewed, scientific method.Unfortunately, the legal standard all too often reflects an expert’s own opinion devoid of any scientific basis. That opinion is purposefully framed in a persuasive manner to support the retaining party, which often encourages intellectually dishonest testimony. While judges have leeway under rules of evidence to exclude such testimony, few actually do as they lack the medical knowledge to honestly evaluate that testimony, which becomes a matter of fact.Of course, few med/mal cases are ever tried. Physicians thus throw up their hands in disgust, left alone to ponder how the law, supposedly about truth and justice, could support a system so flawed.These issues run much deeper, however, and strike at the core of honest and ethical representation of the physician.I see attorneys purposefully not filing dispositive motions on behalf of their physician-client for fear they might succeed, which dries up that revenue stream. I know of senior attorneys informing junior associates not to file motions for summary judgment for fear they may win. I am aware of a number of attorneys and even risk-management teams who refuse to cooperate, purely for financial reasons, with physicians who pursue proactive methods proven to reduce non-meritorious claims. They want those lawsuits as they represent billable hours. I point no fingers, as this simply “is.”The annual Gallup poll on Honesty/Ethics in Professions, in November 2009, found 65 percent of respondents rated physicians as either “very high” or “high.” Contrast that to only 13 percent for the legal profession. No doubt, the actions mentioned above contributed to those numbers. Why, as attorneys, do we do so little to correct this grave problem?A Harvard study found that 54 percent of monies awarded patients injured by negligence went to “administrative” costs, including attorney’s fees. The gross inefficiency of the system is unnecessary and is easily improved, if only the desire existed. This would benefit injured patients and help avoid costly and time-consuming frivolous claims and the resultant personal turmoil caused innocent physicians.I would challenge not only the FSU e-journal to explore these issues, but The Florida Bar to engage and work with the many national medical societies who have adopted expert witness guidelines to ensure those guidelines promote fair, honest, and ethical testimony.I lose little sleep that the public holds the law with such distain or that the law promotes such intellectual dishonestly when it comes to medical malpractice. I am greatly troubled, however, by the fact that so few attorneys seem to care. I pray for the legal profession that I am wrong.Robert W. Patton Clearwater Bar’s Website The Florida Bar has an alleged website. Allegedly, members and the general public can access that website for the purpose of finding a lawyer, checking on a lawyer, getting information regarding CLE, unauthorized practice of law, legal research on Fastcase, etc. It is, in fact, nearly impossible to gain any meaningful access to The Florida Bar website. It is without a doubt the most incompetently designed and maintained website I’ve ever tried to use.In the first place, it is unbelievably slow if and when it works at all. Usually it doesn’t work at all. Usually one gets the home page and nothing more. Sometimes, if you exit and try again, it will move on to the page you want, but more usually it doesn’t.In this “information age” in which we live and work, the Internet, and the ability to access it quickly and efficiently, is an indispensable fact of life. Businesses and organizations routinely operate good, useful, and valuable websites without any significant difficulty. Why is The Florida Bar’s website useless and worthless? Computer hardware and software have advanced to the point where top-flight systems can be obtained with great economy. We do not have to put up with a last-class website that does not work.Be assured that I am not alone in my criticism. Every lawyer I’ve spoken to who has tried to use The Florida Bar website has expressed the same thought. I suggest that the Bar assess its website with an eye to building one that we can use and be proud of.William E. Lowe Bradenton Editor’s Note: The Bar’s website is designed for optimum usability with Internet Explorer and Mozilla browsers. Based on user statistics, 96 percent of visitors access the site with these browsers. Other proprietary browsers create issues for users because they use a copy of the site from past visits rather than loading the live site. The Florida Bar is continuously working to improve its website and recently completed a major study involving hundreds of Bar members providing input and suggestions. The study recommendations are now being applied. Monthly, the site has more than 16.7 million hits and in the latest Bar Membership Opinion survey, 91 percent of Bar members said the site was average or above average in terms of its content and ease of use compared to other legal websites. Foreclosure I write from the frustrating foreclosure trenches of Palm Beach County to challenge the assumption that clearing the backlog of foreclosures is necessarily a good idea.The untested, unproven underlying assumption behind throwing millions of dollars at our court system to reduce the foreclosure backlog is that the sooner we clear ’em out, the sooner the houses can get back on the market; and although it might be bad at first, we can climb out of the hole that much quicker if we just get ’er done.This assumption is plain horse hockey. I don’t see it as my taxpayer civic duty to provide a clearinghouse beyond the norm for banks and speculative lenders, many of whom were downright deceptive and dishonest in how they generated all this hoopla in the first place.I’m not saying the lenders don’t get to have keys to the courthouse. I just don’t believe we need to make them their own special keys and give them their own office space and support system for free and over and above the legitimate needs of everyone else. It’s not just a dollars-and-cents issue either: Why should rapists, muggers, and less palatable crooks have to wait whilst we bend over backwards to help these lenders?I say horse hockey, because if the banks suddenly had control of more than 63,000 homes (the foreclosure backlog) in this county — just in time for Christmas — any recovery/stabilization of the housing market we’ve seen to date will crater with no end in sight. Additionally, right now some banks, seeing that they can’t just come in and throw a family into the street, have to deal with families. There is a business decision to be made that allows families to work it out with the lenders when the lenders know they have to otherwise wait a good long time.I say horse hockey, because the banks don’t really want these properties. The September 1 News touched on that, but only in passing. These banks don’t do anything to take care of the properties they get, and they stiff condo and homeowners’ associations every chance they get. Go ahead, try to sue them; you’ll wait a long time, since all our resources are going to do their dirty work.What we really need is to take both a liberal and a conservative attitude to this mess: Liberal, in that we need the courts to remember that foreclosure is a matter of equity and the homeowner should be protected as broadly as possible; conservative, in that most all government involvement should cease. That is, using nothing other than the common law and equity, the courts should simply be letting the parties work out full and fair common sense business solutions. As it is, even in court-ordered mediation, our hands are tied.For example, if a property is worth $200,000 and the loan is $300,000, and if next year that same property is going to be worth only $100,000, then let the parties agree to cut their losses and move on. Not fair to the banks? Then make the banks tell us how much of these losses were bailed out on.I know some people will react negatively to what I’m saying (can’t let deadbeats be rewarded), but we need to practice a bit of forgiveness and there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I mentality. It does not matter what happened, why it happened, or who is to blame anymore. Foreclosures themselves are the problem. Putting people into the streets is going to be a bigger problem. Let’s simply cut our losses. Work it out. Live and let live.Tim Morell Boynton Beach
BARDA has contracted for a total of 20 million doses of Imvamune, at a cost of $505 million. The government previously bought enough doses of the conventional vaccine to immunize the entire population. BARDA previously bought a total of 28.75 million doses of the anthrax vaccine BioThrax from Emergent BioSolutions, at a cost of $691 million. Project BioShield, established in 2004 and strengthened in 2006, provides authority and funds to support the development of countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threat agents. By the end of 2011, BARDA had acquired 57,102 doses of the monoclonal antibody Raxibacumab, used as an antitoxin to treat anthrax (Bacillus anthracis infection), from Human Genome Sciences. That includes 20,000 doses delivered under a fulfilled 2005 contract and 37,102 of 45,000 doses ordered under a 2009 contract option. For comparison, the total supply of Raxibacumab at the end of 2010 was 36,102 doses, according to earlier reports. “Project BioShield Annual Report to Congress” for 2011 Jul 28, 2011, CIDRAP News story covering renewal of preparedness law and 2010 annual report For botulism, BARDA has acquired 107,560 doses of Botulinum Antitoxin Therapeutic, made by Cangene, out of the 200,000 doses originally ordered. The supply at the end of 2010 was about 97,000 doses. BARDA’s medical countermeasures page The BioShield program is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). The new report is for calendar year 2011. For smallpox, by the end of 2011 BARDA had acquired 5.9 million doses of the Imvamune vaccine, made by Bavarian Nordic, up from 2.02 million doses a year earlier. The product is an attenuated vaccine intended for immunocompromised persons, who are at risk for complications from the conventional vaccinia virus vaccine. The agency also has ordered 1.7 million treatment courses of the experimental smallpox drug ST-246, made by SIGA Technologies, under a $433 million contract. None of that amount had been delivered by the end of last year, the report says. It says the contract “works toward the USG [US government] goal of developing two smallpox antivirals.” The report states, among other things, that the government has decided it doesn’t need the full 200,000 doses of an antitoxin for Clostridium botulinum (the botulism agent) that were ordered in 2006, instead settling for about 107,000 doses. The original contract for the product, which is derived from horse serum, was for $415 million. The report says $61 million was added to the contract to “maintain the horse herd, stockpile plasma, and continue stability testing of plasma and product in the SNS. This contract modification will ensure preparedness out to 2026.” “Reevaluation of the requirement led to a decrease in the number of doses necessary in the SNS [Strategic National Stockpile],” the report says. “Thus HHS/BARDA has met the requirement.” Sep 17, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – The recently released annual report for the federal Project BioShield program gives a snapshot of the US arsenal for blunting bioterrorist attacks, showing growth in the supplies of certain countermeasures for anthrax, botulism, and smallpox. In addition, in 2011 BARDA completed the acquisition of 10,000 doses of Anthrax Immune Globulin (AIG) from Cangene, also used to treat anthrax. The supply at the end of 2010 was listed as 7,327 doses. Total spending on Raxibacumab and AIG comes to $478 million, the report shows. See also: Oct 6, 2011, CIDRAP News story on BARDA’s 5-year plan
Our weekly wrap-up of antimicrobial stewardship & antimicrobial resistance scansAntimicrobial use in Danish animals drops for 3rd straight yearTotal antimicrobial consumption in Danish food and companion animals has fallen for the third consecutive year, according to the annual DANMAP report that is based on 2016 data. It’s from researchers at Statens Serum Institut and from the National Veterinary Institute and the National Food Institute, both departments at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).In 2016, total antimicrobial consumption in kilograms was down about 5% in Danish animals, compared with a drop of 4% in 2015 and 2% in 2014. And overall antimicrobial use has declined 10% since 2013, which is the equivalent of 12 tons of drugs, according to a DTU National Food Institute news release yesterday.The 2016 reduction was substantially driven by a 4% reduction in antimicrobial use in swine production compared with 2015, as pig production in Denmark constitutes about 85% of the country’s meat production and about 75% of veterinary-prescribed drugs.After 2 years of much higher than normal drug use in poultry because of serious outbreaks in poultry, antimicrobial use in that industry dropped 36% from 2015 levels. And use in aquaculture was at its lowest in a decade in 2016, the report noted.Antimicrobial use in pets increased slightly from 2015 to 2016 but has generally decreased in the past 5 years, especially regarding the consumption of third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins.”A reduction in the use of antimicrobials is necessary if we are to tackle the problem of antimicrobial resistant bacteria,” division head Flemming Bager with the National Food Institute said in the release. “The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has in recent years implemented several initiatives to limit consumption, and it is positive to see that the downward trend in consumption continues.”Oct 5 DTU National Food Institute news releaseOct 5 DANMAP report Scientists develop rapid susceptibility test for urinary tract infectionsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Oct 4California researchers have developed a rapid test to detect antibiotic susceptibility in urinary tract infections (UTIs) in less than 30 minutes, which could allow patients to be diagnosed and prescribed effective antibiotics during just one healthcare visit, according to a study today in Science Translational Medicine.The team of scientists used an ultrafast single-molecule DNA amplification and quantification method called digital real-time loop-mediated isothermal amplification (dLAMP), which directly counts bacterial genomes in urine samples instead of relying on lab cultures, which can take days. The researchers diluted and incubated the samples for 15 minutes before dLAMP testing, which takes about 7 minutes. The dLAMP analysis calculated the ratios of DNA concentration between untreated samples and those treated with antibiotics to determine susceptibility and resistance levels among UTI pathogens.The researchers validated the test using 51 clinical samples that had already been confirmed as either susceptible or resistant to ciprofloxacin or nitrofurantoin.UTIs, which almost always are treated with antibiotics, account for about 8 million primary care visits a year, and antibiotic resistant infections are a growing threat, the authors note.They conclude, “Here, we solved three problems to determine phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility in clinical samples within 30 min. First, we used digital quantification of a DNA marker to reduce the antibiotic exposure time to 15 min. Second, we showed that dAST [digital antimicrobial susceptibility testing] is robust to the presence of commensal bacteria and clinical urine matrices. Third, we developed and optimized a rapid, high-resolution measurement method for quantifying NA [nucleic acid] targets that shortens the measurement step to less than 10 min.”Oct 4 Sci Transl Med abstract Acute kidney injury tied to combo antibiotics in hospitalized kidsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Oct 3Researchers from Philadelphia and Cincinnati yesterday reported a potential tripling of the risk of acute kidney injury in children administered intravenous (IV) vancomycin combined with piperacillin/tazobactam, according to their study in JAMA Pediatrics.The retrospective cohort study included 1,915 children hospitalized for 3 or more days and prescribed IV vancomycin plus one other antipseudomonal beta-lactam combination therapy at six large US children’s hospitals from Jan 1, 2007, through Dec 31, 2012. Patients with underlying kidney disease or abnormal serum creatinine levels on hospital days 0 to 2 were excluded from the analysis.Of the 1,915 patients, 157 (8.2%) had antibiotic-associated acute kidney injury. After adjusting for various potential confounders, the investigators determined that the adjusted odds ratio for sustaining such injuries after receiving IV vancomycin plus piperacillin/tazobactam was 3.4 compared with IV vancomycin plus other beta-lactam combo therapies.The authors conclude, “Pediatricians must be cognizant of the potential added risk of this combination therapy when making empirical antibiotic choices.”Oct 2 JAMA Pediatr study