Both Atlantic Highlands and Highlands passed resolutions at their final council meetings of 2018 expressing a willingness to determine if it is in the public interest to undertake educational shared services with Sea Bright in order to promote efficiencies and reduce expenditures. “There’s no way that New Jersey towns, ourselves included, can sustain taking on the costs of everything by themselves. We share services with Atlantic Highlands, we share services with Middletown, why not Sea Bright? How can we not look into helping out our neighboring town, especially when it could be a benefit to all of us,” Gonzales said. The decision to invest in this study also follows a recent bill proposed by state Sen. Vin Gopal (D-11) that would require New Jersey municipalities with populations less than 1,000 residents to consolidate with larger neighboring towns. According to the resolutions, Sea Bright has contracted a professional consultant to produce a feasibility study, and both the other boroughs have agreed to contribute up to $20,000 to the cost of the study. “We’ve been very successful with shared services with neighboring municipalities and Monmouth County,” Hubeny said. “This is just another possibility for us, and another way we can potentially save our residents money.” Sea Bright taxpayers were shouldered with a school tax levy of $3.57 million to send a mere 26 borough students to Shore Regional High School during the 2018-19 school year. Long said it’s the governing body’s goal to assess all aspects of its residents’ tax bills (school, municipal and county), which is why she stressed that schooling is just one of the possible shared services Sea Bright is exploring with Atlantic Highlands and Highlands. In March 2017, Sea Bright petitioned the state to force Shore Regional’s Board of Education to agree to a referendum vote for more equal distribution of the school tax burden. Previous petitions made directly to the board of education were denied. In a June 2018 meeting of the Sea Bright Borough Council, Long explained that while the school tax levy continues to rise, she expects the number of Sea Bright students attending Shore Regional to decrease significantly in the near future. Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long said the regional school funding formula has long been a thorn in the side of Sea Bright tax-payers and forced the municipality to explore another option. “We’re exploring lots of possibilities for future shared services, which could include something as small as municipal court services, or as large as trying to change school districts,” Long added. “Sea Bright has a longstanding issue with the regional funding formula because it requires that we pay a quarter of the Shore Regional High School budget, despite accounting for less than 5 percent of its student body,” Long said in a Jan. 14 interview with The Two River Times. That total equates to $137,308 per student. The tax levy was $3.3 million in 2017-2018 and $2.1 million in 2016-17. “This is not anything new. For many years Sea Bright has expressed an interest to join our school district. But recently they came and presented some facts to a committee that included council member (Steven) Boracchia and Mayor (Rhonda) Le Grice, and the governing body decided to take a step forward,” Atlantic Highlands Borough Administrator Adam Hubeny told The Two River Times. Though none of the boroughs partaking in this study are immediately impacted by Gopal’s proposal, it’s the sentiment of consolidation and sharing services that Highlands borough administrator Kim Gonzales said was the push they needed to commission this study. SEA BRIGHT – Two neighboring municipalities have partnered with the borough on a feasibility study that will investigate the relocation of Sea Bright high school students to a new school district. “This is not a knock on Shore Regional. It’s solely to do with the formula. And in a climate when we’re all trying to save money, we can’t just look at municipal taxes only.” The current funding formula was instituted in 1975 and requires that regional district tax levies be allocated based on property values, rather than population or the number of borough students attending the school. Recent complimentary resolutions passed by the boroughs of Sea Bright, Atlantic Highlands and Highlands showed each Two River-area town make a financial commitment of up to $20,000 toward a study that will explore sending Sea Bright students to schools in the Henry Hudson Regional district, rather than the Shore Regional district. Hubeny said the boroughs were persuaded to investigate this partnership due to Gov. Phil Murphy and state Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney’s push for shared services and the merger of school districts.
According to the blog post, which set out to “make official” the BBC’s plans in this area, the new native app for iPad is a major improvement over the original iPad experience – essentially just a website designed for the iPad. The new app takes better advantage of the touchscreen user interface, says the BBC, which is a popular feature on the “iPad-ified” website.Both the iPad app and Android app will offer live TV streams and radio, the latter which was never before available to mobile devices.Mobile users can also access the full BBC catalog of “catch-up” programs (TV you may have missed), seven days’ worth of TV and radio on demand and the “series stacking” feature that’s also available on the Web, this last item being a feature that allows viewers to watch older programs from selected series up until the series has ended.On Android: Froyo-Only, Flash RequiredOn Android, the iPlayer app will not be available for all devices, only on those running the Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) version of the mobile operating system and Adobe Flash 10.1. This is because the player’s Flash streams require “a powerful mobile phone processor and a Wi-Fi connection,” says the BBC.But as some may remember, an unofficial iPlayer app called myPlayer had arrived in the Android Market (before being booted out), but it did not require Flash. The speculation is that BBC had to implement the streaming service in Flash because of content provider pressure, not technical requirements. Content providers are concerned about pirating – that same fear is why the Netflix application for Android has not yet launched either. As stated by Netflix on its blog back in November:“The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android. The same security issues that have led to piracy concerns on the Android platform have made it difficult for us to secure a common Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on these devices.”But rumor has it, Netflix isn’t going with a Flash requirement, but has been working with chipset maker Qualcomm on implementing specific technology like SecureMSM to get the Netflix app approved.Where’s the iPhone App? And What About the Global Audience?What’s odd about this iPlayer news is that the mobile applications will arrive for Android and iPad, but not the iPhone. For iPhone users, there is still the Apple-friendly HTML5 website. Of course, a native app would have its advantages. So, what’s the status of the iPhone application, everyone wants to know? Here, the BBC clarifies nothing.For those outside the U.K. pining for access to British TV, there is some good news. Although not addressed via this blog post, BBC.com’s managing director Luke Bradley-Jones told the audience at the Digital TV Summit that the company will launch a “global” iPlayer this year whose content would be available via subscription.Hopefully, the BBC will consider a native iPhone application for that time, too. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The BBC has clarified its plans for the release of its Android and iPad-compatible versions of its popular iPlayer application – the British TV and radio service that delivers streaming content to the desktop and mobile devices – in light of a flurry of recent speculation. According to a post on the BBC.co.uk’s Internet blog, the media company plans to have its new Android and iPad applications in their respective app stores by the end of this week.There were a few caveats to the use of these new apps, however. And oddly enough, there was no mention of an iPhone application.Major Improvements for iPad Users What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts Tags:#mobile#news#Product Reviews#Video Services#web sarah perez
Panels face south for a reasonIn California, only 9 percent of solar panels face within 10 degrees of due west, the blog says. A western orientation reduces their total output by between 10 percent and 20 percent when compared with south-facing panels, and that means less electricity for homeowners and lower earnings from net-metering.Peak output for west-facing arrays is 2:00 p.m., the blog notes, two hours later than for south-facing panels.And that helps explain why some utilities are offering financial incentives to homeowners to make the switch. The study says some plans pay customers as much as 35 cents per kWh for power produced late in the afternoon vs. 12 cents per kWh for power exported to the grid at noon.“Offering a handsome incentive for well-timed solar power (or well-timed reductions in usage) can be a smart play for any utility seeking to avoid a painful alternative: paying notoriously high marginal costs to source electricity from ‘peaker’ power plants (e.g. 3 to 5x the normal price level),” the report says.“An appropriate time-of-use rate framework could enable west-facing systems to achieve compelling monetary returns despite their reduced annual energy output,” it continues. “Our recent analysis of time-varying rates — specifically those that encourage nighttime electric car charging — suggests they can have a strong effect in shaping consumer behavior.”The California Energy Commission recently decided to award subsidies of up to $500 for the installation of west-facing panels. Most rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels face south because the owners of the panels want to generate the most electricity possible. But a recent report says that shifting more PV panels to the west would produce electricity at a time when the electricity is much more useful to utilities, reducing the need for utilities to buy costly power to meet peak loads.Writing in an Outlier blog for Opower, a company that analyzes energy data for utilities, Barry Fischer and Ben Harack note that most PV-equipped homes are producing much more power than they consume during the middle part of the day. The grid, however, really needs the power boost in the late afternoon.Fischer and Harack said they looked at Opower data from 25,000 solar homes in the western U.S. along with public data about 110,000 residential projects installed in California since 2007.“Our statistical results reveal a key disconnect between today’s solar panel landscape and the broader power system,” they write.More west-facing panels would generate more power in the late afternoon and give utilities a “compelling alternative” to bringing additional power plants online.That’s the same conclusion reached in a report from the Pecan Street Research Institute at the University of Texas at Austin last December. That report, however, was based on a much smaller sample — just 52 homes. Lots of midday outputDuring the sunniest parts of the day, an average of 93 percent of the solar-equipped homes export electricity to the grid because the panels generate more electricity than the homes use. On one day in particular, a hot day in May of this year, the authors charted power exports in 25,000 western homes from about 8:00 in the morning until just before 4:00 in the afternoon.After that, the solar homes actually used more than non-solar homes (see the graph in Image #2, below). The authors explain the situation this way: “Wondering why solar homes’ use of grid electricity shoots way above average after the sun goes down? It’s likely related to the elevated energy needs of their owners’ lifestyles: the typical solar home in our dataset is 34% larger than the typical non-solar home, 2.6 times as likely to own a pool, and 2.7 times as likely to enroll in an electric vehicle rate plan.”At midday, between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., the average solar home produces enough power to run itself and two non-solar homes at the same time.But peak demand on the grid occurs about 5:00 p.m., when the output of south-facing panels has fallen sharply. By 4:00 p.m., only 27 percent of solar homes are exporting power to the grid; by 5:00 p.m., that’s fallen to 6 percent.“Could solar homes be more helpful in satisfying peak electric demand on the grid?” the authors write. “The answer is certainly yes. And a small subset of homes appears to be leading the way.”
Self-styled godman Rampal was on Thursday convicted in two cases of murder by a court in Hisar city, Haryana. A total of 29 persons, including four women, have been convicted in the two cases.The cases pertain to the death of five women and an infant during the stand-off between the police and Rampal’s supporters in November 2014.Two FIRs — 429 and 430 — were registered in connection with the six deaths.Hisar District Attorney Mahender Pal told journalists that the accused were convicted on charges of murder, wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy. The court fixed October 16 and 17 for the pronouncement of the quantum of sentence in the two cases respectively. Three persons have been declared proclaimed offenders in the case.All the accused, including Rampal, were present in the court. The verdict was pronounced by Additional District and Sessions judge D.R. Chalia.Clashes broke out between the supporters of Satlok Ashram head Rampal and the police in Hisar’s Barwala town when the police went to arrest him to produce him before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in connection with a murder case. The stand-off ended on November 19, 2014 with the arrest of Rampal and several of his supporters.Security up in Hisar districtSecurity was stepped up in Hisar and adjoining towns in the run-up to the court verdict. Police were deployed at the abandoned Satlok Ashram.District Magistrate Ashok Kumar Meena imposed Section 144 in Hisar on Wednesday prohibiting carrying of weapons and gathering of five or more persons. He said that no one would be allowed to take the law in their hands.Duty Magistrates were appointed in Hisar and adjoining towns of Hansi and Barwala.
Sir Richard Branson recently blogged about his fears of the fate of wildlife, and what he believes can be done to save the animals of Earth.“Animals are dying off in the wild at a pace as great as when the dinosaurs were wiped out – but unlike the dinosaurs, the fate of animals is in our hands,” he wrote on his blog.“In the short term we must focus on stopping animal poaching; devastatingly, around 33,000 elephants are killed annually, while 95% of the world’s rhinos have been lost in the past 40 years. We should also stop over-harvesting, and expand marine and land preserves – a great example of this is the major development of the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument.“In the long term we need to reduce our carbon output, and make human consumption more sustainable – it’s estimated that 14.5% of global man-made greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock, this was a major factor in my decision to go beef-free.“These are just some of the ways we can ensure animals don’t go the way of dinosaurs – total extinction. How we treat our world is a reflection of our humanity, our intelligence, our conscience and ultimately, our very survival. Protecting animal species is one of the most important things any of us can do. “You can read the full blog here.Source:virgin.com
A 61-year-old Texas inmate was executed Wednesday evening for killing a Houston police officer more than three decades ago.Robert Jennings received lethal injection for the July 1988 fatal shooting of Officer Elston Howard during a robbery at an adult bookstore that authorities said was part of a crime spree.As witnesses filed into the death chamber, Jennings asked a chaplain standing next to him if he knew the name of the slain officer. The chaplain didn’t appear to respond, and a prison official then told the warden to proceed with the punishment.“To my friends and family, it was a nice journey,” Jennings said in his final statement. “To the family of the police officer, I hope y’all find peace. Be well and be safe and try to enjoy life’s moments, because we never get those back.”Outside the prison, more than 100 officers stood vigil. And a motorcycle club that supports police revved their engines, with the roar from the bikes audible in the chamber.Jennings was pronounced dead at 6:33 p.m., 18 minutes after the drug started. He became the first inmate put to death this year both in the U.S. and in Texas, the nation’s busiest capital punishment state.“Justice has been rendered and my family can finally have the closure we deserve,” Michael Agee, Howard’s nephew and a current Houston officer, said after watching Jennings die.Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, asked about the 30-plus years between the crime and the punishment, said he thought “justice delayed is, to an extent, an injustice continued.”“But when the state takes a life, there has to be a process,” Acevedo said. “In this case, the day of reckoning is here. It’s a solemn occasion. For us it’s a celebration of a life well-lived by Officer Howard. We’re a family. That’s why we’re here.”His attorneys had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to delay his execution, arguing Jennings’ trial attorneys failed to ask jurors to fully consider evidence — including details of his remorse for the officer’s shooting and possible brain damage — that might have spared him a death sentence.Jennings had received an execution stay in 2016. But the high court and lower appeals courts rejected his request to delay Wednesday’s execution and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles turned down Jennings’ request to commute his sentence.A twice convicted robber, Jennings had been on parole for about two months when prosecutors say he entered Mr. Peeper’s Bookstore with the intention of robbing the business. Since being paroled, Jennings had gone on a crime spree, committing about 10 robberies, including having already robbed the same adult bookstore 12 days before Howard’s slaying.Officer Howard, 24, was in the middle of arresting the store clerk for operating a pornographic video arcade without a permit when Jennings shot the officer twice in the head.Howard, who had been wearing a jacket with the words “Houston Police” on it, staggered for a few feet before falling to the ground, where he was shot twice more by Jennings. The clerk later testified the shooting was so quick, Howard never had a chance to unholster his gun.Jennings was arrested hours later when he went to a Houston hospital after being shot in the hand by his accomplice, who got angry at Jennings for shooting the officer.Joe Gamaldi, the president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, said Jennings has spent more time on death row than Howard was alive.Howard “was an honorable man full of integrity who did his job. He was absolutely one of the best and he was just taken entirely too soon by this animal who murdered him in cold blood,” Gamaldi said.After his arrest, Jennings confessed to killing Howard, telling police in a tape-recorded statement he was remorseful about what happened and would “face whatever punishment (he had) coming.”Edward Mallett, one of Jennings’ current appellate attorneys, said the inmate’s trial attorneys failed to present sufficient evidence of his remorse as well as his history of brain damage, being abused as a child and drug addiction. He said the trial attorneys also failed to provide an instruction to jurors that would have allowed them to give sufficient weight to these aspects of Jennings’ life when they deliberated.Mallett said a prior appellate attorney also failed to argue these issues in earlier appeals.“There has not been an adequate presentation of his circumstances including mental illness and mental limitations,” Mallett said.Jennings’ trial in 1989 took place just as the Supreme Court issued a ruling that faulted Texas’ capital sentencing statute for not allowing jurors to consider evidence supporting a sentence less than death.The Texas Legislature changed the statute to address the high court’s concerns but that took place after Jennings was convicted.The Texas Attorney General’s Office called Jennings’ claim he had ineffective lawyers at his trial and during earlier appeals “specious,” and said appeals courts have previously rejected allegations his personal history was not adequately investigated and presented at his trial.“My hope is that on Wednesday (Howard’s family gets) the closure that they’ve been searching for 30 years,” Gamaldi said. 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For the first time in the history of Northern Railway, a professional theatre group has been roped in to educate the public about safety precautions to be adhered to at Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLC). The scope of their performance would include Nukkad Nataks on stations, nearby villages, Gram Panchayats on this section. This is going to be a pilot project on a 200 Kms stretch and further proliferation on other sections would depend upon the response observed on this section. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’These Nataks are designed to make people aware about other safety hazards like trespassing, roof riding which are seen to result into substantial avoidable fatalities. In the recent past, accidents have occurred as people have been carelessly crossing railway tracks with ear phones plugged in due to which they were unable to anticipate the approaching train.Though it is the endeavour of Indian Railways is to minimize train accidents including level crossing gate accidents, even then a large number of casualties take place at level crossing gate accidents which is matter of serious concern for the Indian Railways. In total there are about 242 UMLCs on Delhi Division. On 23 October last year, there was an accident at an UMLC gate where all three adults of a family in a car died in the accident leaving behind a lone child survivor.Anurag Sachan, Divisional Railway Manager, Northern Railway, said that this campaign was a part of ongoing efforts to create public awareness. He appealed to the people that they must not indulge into dangerous activities such as trespassing over railway tracks, travelling on foot boards, buffers, couplers and roof top of train coaches, cross the UMLCs carelessly and to stay safe and co-operate with Railways.