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Lift his shadow

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Barnhart concludes six-year hydro project

first_imgBarnhart’s scope of work included transporting the components from the port of New Orleans to the final destination, where Barnhart personnel staged them in preparation for installation. The company transported one water runner per year from 2013 to 2018.Each water runner weighed 272.2 tonnes and measured 8.5 m in diameter and 4.9 m high; a wearing ring measuring 7.3 m in diameter and 0.9 m high accompanied each water runner.Arriving by heavy lift vessel from Shanghai, China, the water runners and wearing rings were offloaded using the vessel’s cranes to a hopper barge for transport to the port of Chicago. A hopper barge was used to overcome a height restriction at the Lemont bridge on Illinois’ Des Plaines River.Utilising a Demag TC3000 truck crane with 42 m-long main boom, the cargo was transloaded on to a Barnhart deck barge at Chicago, which passed Lake Michigan en route to the pumped storage power plant site.The components were rolled off using a 14-axle line single-wide PSTe trailer combination from Goldhofer and delivered under-the-hook of a gantry crane, where they were offloaded and read more

Finding the skills to manage change

first_imgWe have all read the articles and comments regarding the inability of many law firms to manage their own practice, let alone deal with the changes currently sweeping through the profession. Many partners/owners have never been trained in management skills and are finding it difficult to evolve a strategy for their future. A surprising number of law firms are embracing change by using the skills of a non-executive partner/director to help them formulate strategy and implement change within their organisation. Recognising your own strengths and weaknesses will result in a realisation that many partners do not have the necessary skills to develop a change management strategy within their practices. We have seen a steady growth in non-lawyer chief executive positions within larger and mid-sized practices when external management skills can make a significant difference. These so-called management specialists come from a variety of backgrounds and will command a salary commensurate with their experience – in other words you get what you pay for! The impact of a CEO can carry the costs of a partner but in many cases make a significant improvement in the bottom line, therefore justifying their costs. However, many firms are reluctant to make the commitment in investing in such a position and either tries to do it themselves or employing a halfway solution in a practice manager who has little or no authority or responsibility. If partners do not accept that change is inevitable then they are not ready for a CEO – a number have tried it and said it didn’t work for us. Was that because once the CEO told the partners some unpalatable news, such as a reduction in drawings in line with performance, that the CEO role suddenly becomes redundant? The use of a non-executive is both a cost-effective and extremely productive alternative; if resources are tight, utilising the experience, knowledge and skills of a non-executive can be the difference in thriving rather than just surviving. Having someone prepared to challenge the partners and ensure the strategic plan is implemented will have a dramatic impact for those practices that have the fundamental desire to embrace change. It could well be that the current partnership is under some pressure seeing a reduction in turnover and profit per equity partner, yet fundamentally they wish to remain as a partnership providing world-class client service at a premium rate to genuine clients. It has been argued that continually reviewing the client base and deliberately removing the bottom 10% of their clients will make the firm more profitable. I have only used the word client in the above scenario and it is essential that we do not confuse the client with the customer. Clients value your service and will pay a premium for your time whereas customers are buying on price – you simply cannot make money by providing client-led services to customers. Solicitors who enjoy practising law have never been trained in management skills and with the current sweeping changes through the profession it is more important than ever for ideas and management skills can be brought into the practice at an affordable cost. Alternative business structures, referral fee bans and the changes to legal aid are just some of the outside influences that are technically out of your control but will have a huge impact on the future of your firm if not dealt with correctly. If the firm has dealt with the current recession properly then they will have cut their costs, made the necessary although painful redundancies, and reduced drawings accordingly. The luxury of having an external chief executive, probably a non-lawyer to run the practice, appeals to many practitioners but the cost of employing a full-time CEO is prohibitive in the current difficult economic environment. Hence the growth of the non-executive director/partner within mid-sized and even smaller law firms; a non-executive will allow you to still run your organisation but will give you invaluable advice and guidance in all aspects of business and managing change. The opportunity facing law firms far outweighs the downside on condition you are running your practice as a business. Bringing those business skills into your practice does not have to be expensive but should make an incredible difference. The strategy may well be to bring in a CEO role in a few years’ time and many non-executives are seen as an interim arrangement towards that goal. Whether you have a strategy for the future or are looking for guidance, join the ranks of the ever-growing trend of legal practices that are embracing the opportunities and utilising the skills of a non-executive to grow and enhance their practice. Viv Williams is chief executive of 360 Legal Group, which provides a dedicated business consultancy service to UK lawyerslast_img read more

Firm leaders hit with £135k costs over investment schemes probe

first_imgTwo experienced solicitors who led a north-west firm’s involvement with risky investment schemes have been ordered to pay the £135,000 costs of investigating them. In an outcome agreed with the Solicitors Regulation Authority and backed by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, Roger Coleman was fined £30,000 and Nigel Tarrant suspended for three years. Tarrant, 64, a solicitor for 38 years, was a member at Colemans until August 2015 when it was taken over by national firm Simpson Millar. He was head of conveyancing there until he retired at the end of last year. Coleman, 60, was admitted in 1982 and was the Colemans senior partner until 2015. Tarrant admitted causing or permitting the firm to act in relation to various complex overseas property development schemes which were outside the firm’s expertise, knowledge and experience. He also admitted failing to take sufficient steps to ensure that investors understood Colemans was not acting on their behalf or seeking to protect their interests. Both Tarrant and Coleman admitted allowing the firm to act in carbon credits transactions where its involvement may have been viewed by investors as lending credibility to the transactions. The Solicitors Regulation Authority began investigating Colemans in August 2013 following complaints from purchasers in investments schemes. The subsequent allegations related to work over two four-year periods firstly involving 11 property schemes and secondly in relation to the trading of carbon credits. In total more than 560 investors deposited monies with Colemans. The property investment company, which had acquired sites in the likes of Turkey, Cyprus and Bulgaria, went into administration in 2010, with investors losing at least £12.5m. The tribunal noted that Tarrant implemented the procedures and systems covering the work and supervised trainees and paralegals. Coleman was senior partner throughout the period. In 2011, Tarrant had explained to administrators that the firm issued contracts to investors, dealt with client identification and money laundering regulations, checked the source or monies received from investors and exchanged contracts. Tarrant confirmed in 2015 to the SRA neither he nor the firm had experience of acting in foreign property investment work. He accepted he was entirely reliant on foreign lawyers to ensure the foreign law element of the transactions was dealt with properly. The tribunal heard that Financial Services Authority had warned about the potential the carbon credits schemes were a scam. During the course of Colemans’ retainer, the firm received £14.8m into its client account from investors in more than 1,500 transactions. According to one complaint, the company offering the investment had talked up the involvement of Colemans and its regulated status. In mitigation advanced by Tarrant and Coleman, they said neither had intended to breach any rules or principles, and there was no suggestion either acted without integrity, probity or trustworthiness.  Tarrant said he intended only to serve clients to the best of his ability, although it was accepted his failings were serious and this was a matter of ‘real regret’. Coleman’s involvement was to attend a preliminary meeting and agree that the work could be taken on. Neither solicitor breached any position of trust or sought to make any personal financial gain from the matters complained of, with each co-operating openly and promptly with the SRA. In a statement, Roger Coleman told the Gazette: ’By the time the investigation commenced, Colemans CTTS had terminated its retainer with one of these companies, and the other had been liquidated. Advising on such schemes was never a significant part of the firm’s work, and it is not a type of work we have engaged with since.’There was never any intent to breach regulatory rules or principles, and there is no suggestion that anyone at Colemans CTTS acted without integrity, probity or trustworthiness. Nevertheless, as senior partner at Colemans, I now recognise, having co-operated fully with the SRA investigation throughout, that this was, with hindsight, work that we should not have taken on.’last_img read more

Competition brings change to regional routes

first_imgINTRO: Traffic on Germany’s regional and local rail routes has flourished in the last 10 years as services have been opened up to competition. David Haydock finds that private companies and operators owned by regional governments now run around 11% of services, and many of them have invested in new rolling stockINDEPENDENT railways have cornered a significant slice of the local and regional rail market in Germany. They have demonstrated the ability to run efficiently and to boost traffic thanks to better services and improved branding.Incumbent national operator DB Regio has consistently sought to beat off the newcomers, not least by persuading some of the Länder to sign agreements giving DB Regio exclusive rights to run all local and regional passenger services in that Land. However, the European Commission takes a dim view of this and plans to outlaw such block contracts, a move that should lead to a further expansion of independent territory.The Länder assumed responsibility for specifying and financing local rail services in January 1996, and since then most have taken the opportunity to put groups of services out to tender. DB Regio has been allowed to bid and has won several contracts through specially-created subsidiaries with a local identity, such as the Usedomer Bäderbahn. But other operators now run around 11% of regional services, mostly on lightly-used rural lines.Despite this, DB Regio has seen traffic grow by over 20% in the last eight years, which can be attributed partly to its own programme of comprehensive rolling stock renewals. DB Regio has also retained contracts to run major networks such as the Berlin S-Bahn.The ’private’ operators have appeared from a variety of origins. Germany has always had private railways and some, such as AKN Eisenbahn which traditionally operated in the suburbs of Hamburg, and Regentalbahn, a regional operator in Bayern, have taken the opportunity to expand. Most are in fact majority-owned by the Länder, and it is clear that the local authorities are keen to retain close control over local rail services.Consortia set upTo spread investment costs and risk, several temporary consortia have been established. These include Prignitzer Eisenbahn Gruppe (PEG) and Hamburger Hochbahn forming Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn Gesellschaft and four local operators forming MetroRail to operate suburban services south of Hamburg.Major European transport groups have also moved into Germany. Connex of France took over Deutsche Eisenbahn Gesellschaft, a group with subsidiaries across Germany, and has successfully used DEG as a springboard to bid for new contracts. In addition, when DB withdrew its InterRegio long-distance passenger services, Connex launched a replacement InterConnex service between Gera and Stralsund. This formula has remained limited in scope, with just three round trips on different routes in operation.This is partly because there have been few opportunities to compete for medium and long-distance services, which remain in the hands of DB’s Long-Distance Passenger Division. An exception is the München – Oberstdorf ALEX service operated by Regentalbahn in partnership with Swiss company Eurothurbo.In April 2004 British group Arriva purchased PEG to gain a foothold in Germany. The company is now bidding for Regentalbahn, in which the Land of Bayern is selling its 76·9% share.Keolis, a subsidiary of French National Railways, has also entered the German market in association with Rhenus. It now has three small local operations under the Eurobahn branding.Competition issuesThe process of liberalisation has not been problem-free. On several occasions Connex has challenged DB over restrictions on its freedom to operate. In 2003 the French company questioned the right of the Länder to grant contracts to DB Regio without tendering. Although one contract was overturned, other Länder continued to favour DB Regio.In several cases DB Regio has ’won’ contracts covering the whole of certain Länder, preventing the entry of new operators. The European Commission supports the Connex view and now intends to overturn such contracts. As these contracts are in doubt and no related investment plans have been published, they are not covered further in this article.In the meantime, DB Regio is preparing to win new contracts. The company has asked its staff to work longer, more flexible hours with fewer breaks in order to compete with other, more flexible, operators. If it does not win any concessions in its own right, DB Regio plans to found new subsidiary companies with their own pay and working conditions.Nor has the process been without its failures. Norddeutsche Nahverkehrsgesellschaft went bankrupt in 2003 after over-stretching itself in a contract to operate the FLEX service replacing DB InterRegio trains between Hamburg and Flensburg (RG 9.03 p525). FLEX was temporarily taken over by Connex subsidiary Nord-Ostsee-Bahn, but the route was re-tendered earlier this year. Ironically, the winning bid came from DB Regio which had abandoned the service in 2002 as unprofitable. The difference is that it will now receive a hefty annual subsidy of €4·78m from the Land of Schleswig-Holstein.Karsdorfer Eisenbahn Gesellschaft became insolvent in 2004, largely because of problems with freight services and its wagon-building subsidiary. However, this also brought to an end the company’s operation of passenger trains. KEG’s 30% interest in the Burgenlandbahn has been taken over by partner DB Regio whilst another minor operation went to Connex subsidiary Ostmecklenburgische Eisenbahngesellschaft.DMUs favouredAnticipating regional expansion, train builders started to propose economical, low-floor diesel multiple-units in the mid-1990s. Initial designs, such as the Siemens RegioSprinter were very lightweight and featured single axles. A total of 43 RegioSprinters were sold to two operators, Dürener Kreisbahn and Vogtlandbahn, but the design was quickly superseded by the more conventional Desiro.Likewise, the original lightweight LINT design put forward by Linke-Hofmann-Busch never saw the light of day and was replaced by a more conventional design when Alstom took over the company. The RegioShuttle from ABB-Henschel, later Adtranz, became the most successful single-unit diesel railcar in Germany, with over 300 sold. Production was taken over by Stadler during reorganisation following the take-over of Adtranz by Bombardier (RG 7.04 p432), and the Swiss company has also broken into the German market with its GTW 2/6 design.Bombardier’s main product for the regional market has been the Talent DMU, a project to build a single-unit railcar at the ANF plant in France having been abandoned. However, the company also inherited the Itino DMU concept from Adtranz and, after asking Erfurter Industriebahn to operate the prototype, received its first German order from Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund, which operates services near Frankfurt. Bombardier sees Itino as a product for the high end of the market, particularly because of its 160 km/h capability compared with the Talent’s maximum speed of 140 km/h.All these two-car and three-car DMUs, except the Stadler GTW 2/6, have conventional articulated layouts, with a bogie under a high-floor section at the outer end of the driving cars. Central articulation bogies permit a low floor with low entrances over the rest of the cars. As predicted by Harry Hondius (RG 12.97 p869), the conventional, relatively heavy, articulated DMU has been preferred over more unusual designs.The 18 LVT/S two-axle lightweight railbuses built by Bombardier for the Burgenlandbahn have not been followed by further orders. Likewise, the two-axle double-deck railbus built by Fahrzeugtechnik Dessau, of which six were bought by DB Regio as Class 670, has not been a success. The unusual Integral design, produced by Jenbacher in Austria, attracted no further orders after the 17 sets for Bayerische Oberlandbahn suffered severe teething troubles.Market shareDMU orders for independent operators in the past three years have seen Bombardier running neck-and-neck with Alstom. The Canadian-owned company won contracts for 231 Talent cars, while 232 LINT cars were ordered from its rival. Bombardier also sold 44 Itino cars, with Siemens selling only 48 Desiro vehicles. There have been no recent orders for Stadler’s GTW 2/6, although the company continued to scoop most orders for single-car units with 74 RegioShuttles.In contrast, DB Regio has favoured the Desiro (468 cars), followed by the Talent (447), LINT (152), GTW 2/6 (132) and RegioShuttle (52). DB Regio’s Class 641 single railcar, of which 40 were purchased from LHB, was a joint venture with Alstom’s former De Dietrich plant; over 300 similar vehicles are now in service with SNCF as Class X73500.Almost all contracts granted so far have involved rural services, often with new DMUs replacing short locomotive-hauled trains to achieve radical savings in operating costs. Only one heavy suburban service has been let to an independent operator – from Hamburg to Uelzen and Bremen. This was won by the MetroRail consortium which runs the service with Class 146 electric locos powering double-deck push-pull stock, all supplied by Bombardier. The latter has also supplied locomotives and coaches for the Marschbahn north of Hamburg and the Schwarzwaldbahn through the Black Forest.The only case of an independent operator using EMUs so far is Swiss Federal Railways, which won a contract to run the Wiesenthalbahn from Zell in southern Germany to Basel. The use of Stadler’s new FLIRT EMUs will allow the line to be integrated with Basel’s nascent S-Bahn network.Analysis of orders placed shows that the Länder appear to exert influence over where the trains are built, with many contracts helping to boost local industry. For example, most orders for LINT DMUs are from Länder near the Alstom plant in Salzgitter, while Nordrhein-Westfalen has usually ordered locally-produced Talents. Brandenburg has often requested RegioShuttles, built in nearby Berlin. The two InterRegio replacement services ALEX and FLEX are both operated with refurbished DB stock and locomotives hired from the Siemens Dispolok fleet.Lease or purchase?Relatively few passenger trains in Germany are leased from private companies, although the number is growing. The nine Desiros used by Connex Gruppe subsidiary Lausitzbahn on services between Cottbus, Glast_img read more

World rail freight news round-up

first_imgOn December 3 United Wagon Company announced that it is to supply 75 high capacity flat wagons to wood processing company Kastamonu. The wagons are being supplied in two batches; the first batch now being delivered has a loading capacity of 122 m3 and the second, to be delivered during 2019, will have a loading capacity of 155 m3.Roman Skylar, First Vice Minister of Investment & Development in Kazakhstan, has told local media that between January and October, traffic in oil products, grain, metals, coal and chemicals along the Trans-Caspian International Transit Route increased to 2 800 TEU from 160 TEU in the same period in 2017. ‘Export rail transport through TITR amounted to 537 400 tonnes and import transport to 254 600 tonnes’, he reported.Canadian Pacific reported record traffic volume in November for grain and grain products shipped to the Port of Vancouver in a single month. More than 17 150 carloads or 1·54 million tonnes were moved, CP said.The Dutch province of Gelderland is to build an intermodal terminal adjacent to the Betuwe Route near Valburg within a budget of €24m, co-funded by the national Ministry of Infrastructure. The province says that the terminal, close to the existing logistics and industrial estate at Park 15, will enable it to ‘finally make use of the Betuwe Route as it passes through the province’.last_img read more

John Kerry to arrive in Rwanda today for environmental summit

first_imgU.S Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to arrive in Rwanda today to join other more than 1,000 environmental protection delegates attending the ongoing 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol.Kerry will join in the discussions aimed at coming up with better legislation to ensure the protection of the ozone layer, particularly aiming to ensure the reduction of the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).A successful amendment of the Montreal Protocol in Kigali would signal the world’s commitment to practical action towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.Once passed, the amendment would help the world avoid a 0.5°C global warming by the end of the century.Experts also say that the passing of the amendment would help the world reduce the number of skin cancer cases by two million annually.The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer is widely regarded to be one of the most successful environmental treaties ever. It was the first treaty to achieve universal ratification.last_img read more

When does yard waste collection begin in Farmington Hills?

first_imgStarting April 8, Farmington Hills residents can start placing their yard waste (in appropriate containers) at the curb on regular trash collection days.Acceptable yard waste includes leaves, grass, shrub clippings, twigs, and plant materials. To leave it for collection, place the waste into a trash can (35-gallon size limit) with a yard waste sticker on both sides (available free from City Hall or the Department of Public Works) or put it in brown paper yard waste bags, without overstuffing.You may also use a mulching mower to recycle leaves and grass clippings back into your lawn.To ensure pickup, small limbs (six inches in diameter or less) and brush must be tied in bundles that do not exceed four feet in length or weigh more than 60 pounds per bundle. Brush or twigs placed in cans or bags should not stick out above the top of the container. Also, large quantities of dirt or sod are not accepted for pickup.To learn more, call the DPW at 248-871-2850 or visit Reported by admin Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)last_img read more

UWF Softball Opens GSC Tournament on Friday

first_img UWF Softball (Photo by Ron Besser) UWF Softball Opens GSC Tournament on Friday PENSACOLA, Fla. – West Florida softball is making their 14th trip to the Gulf South Conference tournament, held again this year in Southaven, Mississippi. Play begins on Friday, and the third-seeded Argos will open against second seed West Division opponent, Arkansas-Monticello. The two teams met at this year’s GSC Crossover, and UWF suffered a 2-1 loss to the Cotton Blossoms.UWF’s 40-13 mark on the regular season includes a 15-11 mark in the GSC, and has helped them to a No. 5 rank in the latest South Region poll. Though not currently ranked, the Argos have spent time in this year’s NFCA Top 25 as high as No. 17. Season highlights include an 11-inning 4-3 win over No. 1 Alabama-Huntsville. The Argos enter the tournament with a dynamic duo leading in the circle, often described as one of the best pitching staffs in the league. Jillian Lafrance (Calgary, Alberta/Charleston Southern) and Emily Burge (Pace, Fla./Pace HS) combine to hold opponents to .217 at the plate, boasting a 1.69 combined ERA. Senior catcher Kristee Wheeler (Pensacola, Fla./Pensacola JC) calls the shots for the Argo staff, and has helped the two strike out a combined 392 batters this season. Burge makes her fourth appearance at the league tournament, while Lafrance returns for the second year. Both are All-GSC selections this season, and Lafrance has been named the GSC East Pitcher of the Year, the third UWF pitcher to be honored with the award.  The season saw Lafrance as a four-time GSC Pitcher of the Week, while Burge took over as UWF’s career strikeout leader with 714 so far. West Florida combines for a .276 team batting average, led by All-GSC First Teamer Shannon Miles (Shreveport, La./Bossier Parrish CC). The junior exploded offensively in her first season as an Argonaut, and currently leads the team with a .344 at the plate. The Argos have seen solidity in the middle infield in seniors Caurie Miller (Orlando, Fla./Troy) and Kat Pursell (Cantonment, Fla./Tate HS), with Miles and freshman Amber Ingram (Pensacola, Fla./Catholic HS) holding down the corners. Ingram was a contender for the GSC Freshmen of the Year award this season, after earning a starting role in the field and in the leadoff spot in the batting order in her first season of collegiate competition. Veteran left fielder Melissa Chastang (Satsuma, Ala./Satsuma HS) provides leadership in the outfield for West Florida, while junior Franny Bell (Navarre, Fla./Navarre HS) earned the starting centerfield role. Newcomer Sarah Garcia (Miami, Fla./Wallace CC) nails down the right side, and has added 31 hits to the Argo offense. Chastang is the current sacrifice hit leader for the Argos, as her 16 sacrifices rank her second among the league. The Argonauts look to bring home their first GSC trophy since 2005, and will also vie for a spot at this year’s NCAA tournament. The action will begin Friday afternoon at 2:30pm versus UAM. Print Friendly Versioncenter_img Sharelast_img read more

Bieber Looks to Earn a Win for the Tribe in Their Series Finale Against the Twins; The Indians Starting Nine

first_imgCLEVELAND – The first two games of a critical three-game set for the Indians against the first-place Minnesota Twins have not gone quite as planned.Friday night the team held a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning, but a huge error by reliever Nick Goody opened the door for the Twins to eventually push three runs across in an eventual 5-3 win.Last night it was ‘Indian Killer’ Max Kepler at it again, hitting a pair of homers against his all-time favorite pitcher Trevor Bauer (he’s hit four career bombs in four at bats against him) as the Twins beat the Tribe 6-2.Today it’s All-Star game MVP Shane Bieber going for the Indians, he’ll have a tough task ahead of him as he will go up against fellow AL All_Star Jose Berrios, who beat the Tribe on opening day in Target Field.After today’s game the Indians will host the Tigers for four before a weekend series with the Royals, but it sure would look better going into the Tigers series down 6.5 games instead of 8.5Here’s today’s starting nine for the Indians:SS Francisco Lindor2B Jason KipnisDH Carlos Santana1B Bobby Bradley3B Jose RamirezLF Jake BauersCF Greg AllenC Kevin PlaweckiRF Tyler NaquinHere is the Twins Lineup:LF Max KeplerSS Jorge PolancoDH Nelson Cruz3B Luis ArrraezC Mitch GarverLF Marwin Gonzalez1B Miguel SanoRF Jake Cave2B Jonathan Schoop Related TopicsIndiansMLBShane BieberTwins Matt Loedecenter_img Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.last_img read more

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