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Sherman A1

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Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Journal Archives

Wash U. to spend $30 million on energy conservation projects

Washington University plans to spend $30 million on sustainability efforts over the next five years, a push that comes as the institution gears up to host a big meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.

The university announced on Wednesday afternoon that it plans to spend $30 million over the next five or six years on energy conservation projects.

Hank Webber, the university’s executive vice chancellor for administration, said that money will accelerate investments in improving energy efficiency, heating and cooling systems and waste management.

The roughly 60 energy conservation projects will be implemented on the Danforth and medical school campuses and are projected to reduce emissions by more than 50,000 metric tons of CO2, according to a handout from the university.


Joplin gets another $113M to recover from deadly '11 tornado

KANSAS CITY, Mo. • Joplin will receive $113 million in fresh federal assistance to help the recovery from the devastating May 2011 tornado, federal officials announced Wednesday.

The money, which is coming from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's community development block grants, will be used for long-term recovery in areas with the greatest unmet needs. The massive E-F5 tornado killed 161 people and flattened a large swath of the southwest Missouri city, destroying thousands of homes and commercial buildings.

"We'll put it to good use," Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr said in a phone interview. "It has been a good day for Joplin."

He said the city had requested $1.27 billion with a list of projects that included tree replacement and home reconstruction assistance. It had mapped out a plan for spending $45.2 million that HUD awarded previously but was just considering how to spend the latest influx.


March 28: National Black Forest Cake Day.

Honda Odyssey: The minivan with its own vacuum

DETROIT (AP) -- Stray Cheerios beware. The new Honda Odyssey minivan is here — and it has a built-in vacuum cleaner.

Honda Motor Co. showed off its updated Odyssey minivan Tuesday evening ahead of the New York International Auto Show. The 2014 Odyssey — last redesigned in 2011 — has a richer, more chiseled look, chrome-trimmed fog lights and other premium features.

But HondaVAC, the hand-held vacuum integrated into the cargo area, will likely be its most talked-about feature. Honda says it's the first to offer this family-friendly tool, which it developed with heavy-duty vacuum maker Shop-Vac. Honda's system includes nozzle accessories and a hose that can reach every corner of the vehicle. It doesn't need an outlet for recharging, and can work continuously when the motor is running — or for up to eight minutes when the van is turned off.

Honda says the vacuum will be standard on the most expensive version of the Odyssey, and it will announce availability on other versions later.


Senate Sales Tax Fairness Vote a ‘Victory’: Retailers

The U.S. Senate’s passage of the marketplace fairness amendment to the Fiscal 2014 budget resolution have won the wholehearted approval of two influential industry groups, the National Retail Federation (RILA) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). The Senate voted 75 to 24 in favor of the amendment, which was introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and received strong bipartisan support from Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).The legislation aims to give states the ability to better enforce their respective sales tax laws.

Thanking Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Durbin for their ongoing efforts to advance the issue, Matthew Shay, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NRF, noted: “This is a critically important issue for retailers -- both large and small -- across the country. Both brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce leaders understand that the Marketplace Fairness Act is commonsense legislation dedicated to protecting states’ rights, strengthening our communities and preserving our free market system.”

Added Shay, “NRF members have worked tirelessly advocating for [the Marketplace Fairness Act], and we will continue to make this a top legislative priority moving forward,” though such methods as education and lobbying lawmakers “on the importance of leveling the sales-tax playing field for all retailers -- no matter their preferred channel.”


No Real Difference Between HFCS and Sugar: Article

A new article published recently in Advances in Nutrition reported findings of no significant metabolic difference between people consuming high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose (table sugar). The article also noted that current research shows no unique relationship between consuming HFCS and the rise of U.S. obesity rates.

In an extensive review of available sucrose, fructose and HFCS research, the article concluded there was overwhelming evidence showing that HFCS is nutritionally equivalent to sugar and that the human body metabolizes both equally -- an opinion in line with the American Medical Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, both of which concluded that HFCS isn’t a unique cause of obesity. In fact, the article points out that U.S. HFCS consumption rates have fallen 14 percent since 1999, while obesity rates have continued to increase.

Additionally, according to the article, some recent randomized clinical trials have suggested no negative impact on total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol or HDL cholesterol when caloric sweeteners containing fructose, such as HFCS and table sugar, are consumed in moderation.



NYC Council Members Back Locked-out Union Meat Workers

Two City Council members joined a crowd of more than 50 meat department members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 342 at a March 25 rally held in front of a Trade Fair store in the Queens County neighborhood of East Elmhurst, N.Y., to call for an end to a nearly two-week lockout of almost 100 meat workers.

Since March 13, the workers have since been maintaining daily 24-hour picket lines at all nine Trade Fair stores throughout Queens. Mineola, N.Y.-based Local 342, which represents nearly 10,000 members working in supermarkets as well as a variety of other food industries in the area, has filed several Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the company. Charges include intimidation, threats of termination, harassment, assault, and coercing of union workers and representatives for exercising their rights as union members.

“We believe Trade Fair’s behavior, including actions related to disrespectful treatment of union members, and harassment of locked out workers on the picket line, are not only unacceptable, but an embarrassment to the Queens community,” said Local 342 spokeswoman Kate Meckler. “We will continue to explore every legal venue to ensure that these members are returned to work, and treated fairly under the law.”


Bi-Lo Laying off 130

Bi-Lo plans to lay off 130 employees at its corporate office in Mauldin, S.C., over the next few weeks as part of the Southeast regional grocer's reorganization and relocation to Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville is the headquarters of Winn-Dixie, with which Bi-Lo merged last year. Layoffs are set to begin next month, on April 17.

The combined grocery chains operate almost 690 grocery stores and employ 63,000 people in eight states.

Those affected were informed "many months ago," according to BI-Lo Senior Director of Communications and Community Brian Wright, who added that they will receive severance pay and career transition services, and are welcome to apply for any job openings that become available.

Despite the move to Jacksonville, Bi-Lo isn’t deserting Mauldin. Anthea Jones, who recently replaced Michael Byars as Bi-Lo president, will remain there, and Wright noted that the company would "maintain a.strong presence through local and distribution support" in its original hometown.


Supervalu Slashes 1,100 Jobs

In the wake of closing its five-banner selloff last week, Supervalu Inc. has announced plans to reduce its national workforce by an estimated 1,100 positions, including current positions and open jobs that will not be filled.

The final working dates for impacted employees vary, based on the needs of the business and the areas they support, the Minneapolis-based grocer reported.

“The decision to reduce our workforce, although difficult because of the impacts to our people, is the necessary next step in the rebuilding of our business,” said Sam Duncan, Supervalu president and CEO. “This move is an important part of our strategy to be more focused and efficient in our operations, including how we staff and support our three business units going forward.”

The announcement follows Supervalu’s recent sale of the Albertsons, Jewel, Acme, Shaw’s and Star Markets banners, and its Sav-On and Osco in-store pharmacies, to AB Acquisition LLC, in a $3.3 billion deal that closed March 21. Supervalu officials said the remaining organization will require significantly fewer corporate and store support roles and functions, making it necessary to restructure its operations and expenses.


Professor says Ballpark Village is historic, artifacts could be lost

ST. LOUIS -- Work on the long-stalled Ballpark Village is finally heating up, but a history professor says it’s the site of a historic battle and hopes it’s not too late for the owner to bring historians to the site.

Ground-clearing work is under way in preparation for the area of shops and restaurants near St. Louis’ Busch Stadium expected to open in about a year.

But St. Louis Community College-Meramec professor Michael Fuller told KMOX Radio that the site is where the “Battle of St. Louis,” also known as the “Battle of Fort San Carlos,” took place 233 years ago. Several Native American tribes brought together by the British attacked Fort San Carlos, which was held by the French. As many as 2,000 warriors advanced on Fort San Carlos on May 26, 1780.

Fuller worries that artifacts like arrowheads, cannonballs, even bones, might be lost for good without an opportunity for an archaeologist to explore the site.

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