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Hybrid Electric Ferries for Washington State

Elliott Bay Design Group Selected to Design Hybrid Electric Ferries for Washington State

Press Release – Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) was recently selected by Vigor Fab as the engineering firm that will provide functional design for the new hybrid electric ferries (Olympic Class) for Washington State Ferries (WSF).  EBDG is responsible for redesigning the vessels to accommodate the major change in propulsion type without disrupting structural components.  The ferries will operate on all-battery power during crossings or can revert to a hybrid, diesel-electric propulsion if required.  Battery recharging will typically occur dockside at the terminals during offloading/loading procedures.

Earlier this year, Washington State’s Legislature authorized a contract extension for Vigor to build up to five hybrid electric versions of their 144-vehicle Olympic Class.  The new-build authorization is a direct result of the 2040 Long Range Plan that identified the initial aspects of vessel and terminal electrification.  EBDG was a participant of the plan and is now leading the effort for an additional, supporting addendum – the WSF System Electrification Plan.  The System Electrification Plan will identify a detailed plan for deploying hybrid electric vessels throughout the ferry system.

EBDG brings a unique advantage to the project team with experience gained from design work on the last twenty vessels built for WSF.  Further, EBDG has been a major contributor to WSF’s electrification efforts thus far by supporting hybrid feasibility studies and life-cycle cost analyses for both the Jumbo Mark II and Olympic Class ferries.  “We have supported WSF with naval architecture and engineering support since 1992,” states Brian King, President of Elliott Bay Design Group.  “Our involvement in the hybridization of the ferries is a natural progression that we are immensely proud to be a part of,” King reflects.

Washington State Ferries operates the largest ferry system in the United States, with 23 vessels, 20 terminals and 23 million passengers.  The new ferry will utilize hybrid-electric propulsion, tapping clean Northwest hydropower.  The hybrid-electric design phase is underway with construction expected to begin in 2020 and delivery of the first vessel in late 2022.  The vessel is expected to be the largest new-build battery-powered ferry in North America.

See more information about this project: Washington State Ferries – Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Conversion Project

ABOUT ELLIOTT BAY DESIGN GROUP
Elliott Bay Design Group LLC is an employee-owned company with offices in Seattle, New Orleans, Ketchikan and New York that provides naval architecture, marine engineering and production support services to owners, operators and shipyards across the country.  Our team of professionals assist operators with determining the feasibility of hybrid and electric propulsion systems.  We engineer custom solutions based on each operator’s unique profile to maximize their return on investment.

For more information, please visit www.ebdg.com.

Chase for Talent Pushes Tech Giants Far Beyond West Coast

Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from www.nytimes.com

The current Apple campus in Austin, Tex. The company is planning a new 133-acre campus there that will initially have 5,000 workers. Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — This generation’s biggest technology companies — including Apple, Amazon and Google — have long been tied to their hometowns. Now these giants are increasingly outgrowing their West Coast roots.

Driven by a limited pool of skilled workers and the ballooning cost of living in their home bases of Silicon Valley and Seattle, as well as President Trump’s shifting immigration policies, the companies are aggressively taking their talent hunt across the United States and elsewhere. And they are coalescing particularly around a handful of urban areas that are already winners in the new knowledge-based economy, including New York City, Washington, Boston and Austin, Tex.

This eastward expansion accelerated on Thursday when Apple said it would build a $1 billion campus in Austin, expanding its presence there to over 11,000 workers and becoming the area’s largest private employer. The decision followed Amazon’s highly publicized selection of Queens and Arlington, Va., last month for new offices that would house at least 50,000 employees. Google, too, is shopping for more real estate in New York that could enable it to more than double its work force of 7,000 in the city.

“They’re expanding out,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at…

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What is talc, and why is asbestos relevant?

Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from www.nytimes.com

Some products currently containing talc among their listed ingredients. Jens Mortensen for The New York Times

Nearly 12,000 women have sued Johnson & Johnson, with most claiming the talc in its well-known product Johnson’s Baby Powder caused their ovarian cancer. They now have a new potential legal front.

In a recent case, a group of plaintiffs argued that the talc was contaminated with asbestos, a carcinogen considered unsafe at any level of exposure. A jury agreed with them, and awarded them $4.69 billion in damages in July.

The carcinogen has been a concern inside the company for decades. In hundreds of pages of memos reviewed by The New York Times, executives worried about a potential government ban of talc, the safety of the product and a public backlash over Johnson’s Baby Powder, a brand built on a reputation for trustworthiness and health.

What is talc, and why is asbestos relevant?

Talc is a mineral in clay mined from underground deposits. It’s the softest mineral known to man and that makes it useful in a wide range of consumer and industrial products.

Asbestos is also found underground, and veins of it can often be found in talc deposits, leading to a risk of cross-contamination, geologists say.

Are any other consumer products made with talc?

Talc is used in many cosmetics: lipstick, mascara, face powder, blush, eye shadow, foundation and even children’s makeup. In the list of ingredients, it can be listed as talc, talcum or talcum…

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How Freaked Out Should We Be by the Possibility That There Was Asbestos in Baby Powder?

Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from slate.com

It's a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby powder
It’s a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby powder

Recent blockbuster investigations from Reuters and the New York Times allege that for decades, there was asbestos lurking in bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby powder, that the company knew about it, and that it did not share that information with the public. It sounds terrible: A cover-up, a mineral that can cause cancer after even tiny amounts of exposure, and a contaminated product that is marketed for use on infants. And it is terrible. But none of the reports answered the fundamental question for consumers: If you’ve used Johnson & Johnson baby powder on yourself or your children, just how scared should you be?

Over the last six days, I talked to two experts in the fields of environmental and occupational health, and consulted a slew of papers and fact sheets from independent sources. And while they all agree that the news reports are concerning, the topline takeaway is that individual consumers don’t have to worry as much as the terrifying word salad of “asbestos baby powder” would suggest.

Let’s back up. The Reuters investigation is pegged to the story of Darlene Coker, who sued Johnson & Johnson in 1997, and alleged that the company’s baby powder had given her a rare form of cancer, mesothelioma, which is closely linked to asbestos. Coker lost her case due to a lack of evidence to support the claim that the company’s baby powder contained any amount of the…

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The Workplace is Getting Safer – The Future of Workers’ Compensation

Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from workers-compensation.blogspot.com

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has confirmed the steady decline in accidents and injuries on the job. They have declined for 14 years. This data mirrors the steady decline of workers’ compensation claims and the change of the US workplace from a manufacturing to service.

The question remains whether this trend will continue going forward given the elimination of US regulations about industrial and environmental pollution. Also, a major factor is that the workplace and the nature of work are changing in a computerized and robotic culture. As machines replace workers, compensation systems become more difficult to navigate, and what constitutes employment status versus independent contractor changes, the entire workers’ compensation system will be challenged to the core.

"There were approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2017, which occurred at a rate of 2.8 cases per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Private industry employers reported nearly 45,800 fewer nonfatal injury and illness cases in 2017 compared to a year earlier, according to estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII).

  • The 2017 rate of total recordable cases (TRC) fell 0.1 cases per 100 FTE workers to continue a pattern of declines that, apart from 2012, occurred annually since 2004. (See chart 1.)
  • The rates for different types of cases—days…

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Upcoming documentary will highlight health risks of asbestos

Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from www.bgdailynews.com

Upcoming documentary will highlight health risks of asbestos
Upcoming documentary will highlight health risks of asbestos

Western Kentucky University graduate Bryan Lemon said he encountered some of the strongest people he’s ever known while making “Dirty Laundry,” a documentary about people affected by mesothelioma.

“These people are some of the most positive individuals for having something so horrific happen to them,” said Lemon, one of two WKU graduates who produced the film, which will be screened at Van Meter Hall at 6 p.m. Nov. 13. The event is free.

After mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, killed their 90-year-old grandmother, cousins Conor Lewis and Zack Johnson set off on bicycles across the country in an effort to find answers.

Their journey features surviving family members, doctors, activists and communities still living with active, toxic asbestos sites, according to a news release.

Lewis, the film’s director and producer, graduated from WKU’s art department in 2012 and began a career in digital media in St. Louis, where he grew up, the news release said. Lemon, who graduated from WKU’s photojournalism program in 2012, works as a photographer for WKU public affairs and contributed to the film as a producer and writer.

The film, which has been shown at 10 film festivals, was shot between August and October 2016 and produced the following year. It debuted at its first film festival in March, Lemon said.

“Reception has been really…

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The Evidence Mounts on the Causal Link of Cell Phones and Cancer

Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from workers-compensation.blogspot.com

The US National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences [NIH} has just published a final report linking cell phone radiation exposure to the production of tumors in mice. This animal study that confirms the causal relationship between radio frequency radiation of cell phones and cancer in animals is a significant step forward to establishing a causal relationship in humans.

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) concluded there is clear evidence that male rats exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR) like that used in 2G and 3G cell phones developed cancerous heart tumors, according to final reports released today. There was also some evidence of tumors in the brain and adrenal gland of exposed male rats. For female rats, and male and female mice, the evidence was equivocal as to whether cancers observed were associated with exposure to RFR. The final reports represent the consensus of NTP and a panel of external scientific experts who reviewed the studies in March after draft reports were issued in February.

“The exposures used in the studies cannot be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone,” said John Bucher, Ph.D., NTP senior scientist. “In our studies, rats and mice received radio frequency radiation across their whole bodies. By contrast, people are mostly exposed in specific local tissues close to where they hold the phone. In addition, the exposure levels and durations in our studies…

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Washington Healthplanfinder Offers In-Person Assistance Sites For 2018 Open Enrollment

 Note: Keep in mind when applying for health insurance that workers’ compensation payments are NOT taxable income and should NOT be included in your household income figure. – kc


The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today announced locations of 10 full-service enrollment centers that will offer in-person assistance to customers signing up for health and dental coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder during the upcoming open enrollment period, Nov. 1-Dec. 15.

Along with four sites returning from last year, six new in-person assistance locations are set to be introduced in areas including Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham, Yakima, Kennewick and Wenatchee. Each storefront will be staffed with trained navigators or brokers ready to guide residents through the enrollment process.

“Navigators and brokers provide an invaluable service to consumers who rely on in-person help to understand and select health insurance coverage,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “With our open enrollment period shortened to six weeks this year, it is especially important consumers visit a nearby enrollment center or connect with a member of our statewide network of brokers and navigators beginning on Nov. 1.”

Addresses and contact information for all 2018 enrollment centers

The sites selected reside in counties with some of the highest uninsured rates in Washington state:

Enrollment Center Site (County)

Uninsured Population*

Seattle (King) – New Location
Federal Way (King)

93,817

Tacoma (Pierce) – New Location

39,450

Yakima (Yakima) – New Location

24,776

Spokane (Spokane)

22,921

Vancouver (Clark)

21,261

Bellingham (Whatcom) – New Location

12,137

Kennewick (Benton) – New Location

11,739

Olympia (Thurston)

10,859

Wenatchee (Chelan) – New Location

5,011

 *Estimates for under-65 population, based on adjusted 2016 American Community Survey data

Each enrollment center is hosting regular hours of operation throughout the open enrollment period and will offer extended availability leading up to the Dec. 15 deadline to sign up for coverage. Resources available at each site include computer work stations for customers to compare their health plan options through Washington Healthplanfinder and educational materials explaining important health insurance terms.

Navigators and brokers are now also trained to assist Compact of Free Association (COFA) islanders who sign up for health insurance coverage during open enrollment. Beginning in 2019, residents who qualify for COFA Islander Health Care may have their monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs paid for by the Washington State Health Care Authority.

All residents are encouraged to schedule an appointment to meet with a navigator or broker in their area beginning on Nov. 1. Connecting with in-person help is easiest through the WAPlanfinder mobile app that uses a customer’s current location to provide contact information for and detailed directions to the nearest navigators and brokers.

In-person help can also be found by clicking the “Customer Support” link on www.wahealthplanfinder.org. Additional over-the-phone assistance is available by calling the Washington Healthplanfinder Customer Support Center at 1-855-923-4633.

 

Washington Healthplanfinder Will Start Open Enrollment Nov. 1

Note: Keep in mind when applying for health insurance that workers’ compensation payments are NOT taxable income and should NOT be included in your household income figure. – kc


Shortened, six-week open enrollment period begins at 8 a.m. November 1st and extends through December 15th

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today confirmed the resources and assistance options available statewide to residents using Washington Healthplanfinder to sign up for health and dental coverage during the open enrollment period that begins at 8 a.m., Nov. 1st.

Different from previous open enrollment periods, residents have until Dec. 15 – six weeks total – to sign up for health and dental insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder that covers themselves and their family during the upcoming year.

“The window for residents to shop and sign up for health and dental insurance is shorter this year. The start of open enrollment should signal all customers to begin evaluating their options as quickly as possible in order to choose their 2019 coverage before the open enrollment period ends on Dec. 15.” – Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange

Customers accessing Washington Healthplanfinder during open enrollment will be greeted with a more streamlined method for taking action related to their health insurance, including finding financial help. Determining eligibility for free or low-cost coverage offered exclusively through Washington Healthplanfinder is a primary response customers may now select from a redesigned homepage that asks visitors “What would you like to do today?”

Washington Healthplanfinder also remains the only place Washingtonians can compare health plans offered in their county before connecting with coverage that best meets their needs. Smart Planfinder, the consumer decision-support tool introduced in 2017, offers the most advanced method for choosing health insurance. By inputting provider preferences, prescription drug requirements and cost considerations, Smart Planfinder can identify “Smart Choice” plans that more effectively meet projected medical needs.

In-person support may be accessed through Washington Healthplanfinder’sextensive network of trained navigators and brokers. Available at designated enrollment centers and other locations based throughout the state, navigators and brokers offer expert in-person assistance to any individual who needs help enrolling in 2019 health and dental plans.

Linking up with a nearby navigator or broker is easiest through the WAPlanfinder mobile app. By identifying a customer’s current location, WAPlanfinder provides contact information for and directions to the closest in-person help in their neighborhood. The app also directly connects customers with answers to frequently asked questions and allows for coverage-related documents to be uploaded quickly and securely.

As is the case every open enrollment period, customers may access over-the-phone assistance by calling Washington Healthplanfinder’s toll-free Customer Support Center (1-855-923-4633). Throughout the open enrollment period, the Customer Support Center will be available during weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Additional hours of availability will be extended at peak sign-up times during open enrollment.  

Special sign-up events are also expected to be held leading up to the Dec. 15 deadline for 2019 coverage. Locations and other information for those events can be found by visiting the #GetCoveredWA hub located at www.wahbexchange.org.  

Reminders: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid). Customers enrolled in Apple Health will receive a notice of 60 days before the month they enrolled in or renewed their coverage last year.


About Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder is an online marketplace for individuals and families in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing and public programs such as Medicaid. The next open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder begins on Nov. 1.

About Washington Apple Health

In Washington, Medicaid is called Washington Apple Health. Free or low-cost coverage is available year-round for those who qualify. Since the Affordable Care Act launched in October 2013, more people have access to preventive care, like cancer screenings, treatment for diabetes and high blood pressure, and many other health care services they need to stay healthy. Apple Health clients enroll and renew online using Washington Healthplanfinder. Apple Health is administered by the Washington State Health Care Authority: www.hca.wa.gov.

Photo on Foter.com