Was it difficult gaining confidence in yourself in a singer? It was. At first I didn’t want anybody to see my singing, and it took a very long time for me to overcome that. For a long time in rehearsals if anyone beside the musical director came in, I completely froze and turned my back on them again. It was quite a journey to go from singing in a cupboard to singing in front of 1,400 people [laughs]. It certainly feels like luxury casting to have you in this role. [Laughs.] I don’t know that [my colleagues] think that at the moment! But what’s been most extraordinary has been the love and support our ensemble has given me. There are moments where I have been literally shaking with terror and the young dancers have put their arms around me and held me and championed me and picked me up; I’ve literally been blown away by their support. Here you are in your first musical. Had you been angling to sing and dance on stage? No, it came completely the other way around! My agent rang and said, “They’re doing a new musical and I’ve suggested you for the part of Muriel,” and I said, “I don’t do musicals; Alex [Bond’s husband, Stephen Ward alum Alexander Hanson] does musicals,” and my agent said, “But I’m sure you can.” So I went away and thought about it and listened to [Muriel’s] big number and thought, well, if I was going to have this experience, it couldn’t be more phenomenal than to have it in this company. Tell us your thoughts on Muriel—she’s British in this version, which of course she was not on Broadway. Very British—she comes from Surrey! What was useful for me was that I never saw the show on Broadway or the film, so I was able to approach the whole thing totally fresh. I think of Muriel as someone incredibly wealthy who’s recently divorced and is looking for love, and her one drive in life is to be useful and helpful. She’s smitten very early on by Robert Lindsay, who beguiles her by pretending to be a prince. She’s an innocent, an absolute innocent. Samantha Bond was a Tony nominee for Amy’s View, played Moneypenny in the Bond (no relation) films, and appeared in Downton Abbey as Lady Rosamund—but only now is the 52-year-old actress tackling her first-ever musical. The new production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre features Robert Lindsay and Rufus Hound as two con artists let loose on various unsuspecting Riviera culprits, with Bond as an Anglicized version of Muriel Eubanks, the glamorous divorcee originated on Broadway by Joanna Gleason. The protean actress spoke to Broadway.com about her fears of singing and dancing in public, and taking a vocal cue from her former Broadway and West End co-star, Judi Dench. With your two children, Tom and Molly, now entering the profession as actors, might we at some point see an all-Bond/Hanson project? [Laughs.] Only if someone writes a rather extraordinary play! Leaving the vocals aside, how does it feel to be part of a big West End musical, with all the expectations that entails? You become really aware with something like this of the scale of it and the fact that it’s a huge undertaking quite unlike being in a straight play. And I think when there’s so much riding on a project, then all the pressures are greater: musicals are such expensive machines. Did you take a leaf from your friend and former co-star Judi Dench (Amy’s View), who always says that she sings the way she speaks? I think that is the way to approach it. Even Alex, who sings properly, always says that the reason you break into song in a musical is because speech is no longer enough and, following that logic, that you should be singing as you speak, as it were. What Judi says about singing is all I can do. What’s been the most exhausting aspect of the job? The stairs at the Savoy! There are 55 stairs down to the stage and back up again to my dressing room and then there are 13 to the exit, and I’m forever going up and down. I added it up about a week ago and it was something like 976 steps that I have to climb every night. What was your audition like? There were ten people there, including [book writer] Jeffrey Lane, [composer] David Yazbek and [director/choreographer] Jerry Mitchell, and I sang the song with my back to the entire room—which is precisely what you’re taught not to do—and then read for them. Jerry put his arms up and twirled me around in a waltz and I left the room feeling the whole thing had been a total disaster, but thank heavens I wouldn’t have to do it again. Then before I knew it, I had the job. Good heavens! That’s a far cry from the demands of playing Lady Rosamund in Downton Abbey. How has that been? What’s been interesting is that my character only arrived in the last episode of the first series, so by the time I got there, I knew something extraordinary was happening. I think the older members of the cast in particular were aware that the show was being done so carefully and with such style—such attention to detail—that by the time I got there, it was as if a delicate perfume was hanging around the entire project. I’ve been filming again this week, mostly with Laura Carmichael [who plays Lady Edith], and I’ll be filming again over the summer. Had you really never sung in a show before? The last time I sang in public was in pantomime at the Bristol Old Vic some 30 years ago when I was a year or two out of drama school. I certainly didn’t think I’d ever be doing it again. View Comments
A University of Georgia expert says the challenges in ensuring a safe U.S. food supply will continue to grow to unprecedented heights unless solutions are provided quickly.”Although most foods Americans eat are safe, with odds of greater than 1 in 1 million of becoming hospitalized from a serving of food, the dynamics of the U.S. food system are rapidly changing,” said Michael Doyle, director of the UGA Center for Food Safety. “Consumers are much more vulnerable now to large episodes of foodborne illnesses.”An array of foods affectedHundreds of illnesses from contaminated spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and even peanut butter have made U.S. newspaper headlines in recent months. Other reports tell of tainted shellfish, pet food and a variety of foods and food ingredients imported from countries such as China.Doyle said imported foods and inadequate testing methods at U.S. ports are significantly affecting the safety of America’s food.He said 15 percent of the food Americans eat is imported from other countries. “That may sound like a small amount,” he said. “But it represents 80 percent of the seafood and 45 percent of the fresh fruit consumed in the U.S.”Unsanitary processesThe problem isn’t where the food comes from, but how it’s grown or processed before it reaches American soil.”The centuries-old tradition of using human excreta on farmland is widespread in East Asia, especially in China and Vietnam,” Doyle said. “And unsanitary polluted water is used in production and processing. The result of these practices is contamination by harmful microbes such as Salmonella.”Imported food also comes from Asian countries where growers are allowed to use pesticides banned by the U.S.”They’re not only using these pesticides, they’re using them in excessive levels,” Doyle said. “This leads to residue contamination in foods.”Stronger detection methods neededThe solution to problems surrounding imported foods, Doyle said, lies in the hands of food producers, processors and such regulatory agencies as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”Solutions to today’s food safety issues will not come easy,” he said. “They will require a major research commitment to developing state-of-the-science methods to detect, control and eliminate harmful substances in foods.”The food industry, whether it be growers, manufacturers or distributors, is responsible for providing safe foods,” he said. “And regulatory agencies need more rapid and robust sampling and detection methods to verify that foods, especially those that are imported, are safe from harmful microbes and chemicals.”Percentage doubles every 10 yearsThe percentage of food imported into the U.S. doubles about every 10 years. At this rate, the U.S. will be a “net food-importing country within 20 years,” he said.Doyle expects the number and frequency of foodborne illnesses to increase in the U.S. as the percentage of imported foods increases. “Considering the dramatic changes occurring in our sources of food and the weaknesses present in our current food safety system, Congress needs to step up its funding of research to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply,” he said. “The longer we must wait for solutions the more challenging it will be to make effective corrective actions.”
The University of Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute has been awarded a $656,000 grant from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) to continue statewide child passenger safety, parent and teen driving safety, and senior driver education programs.The Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute (GTIPI) has partnered with GOHS for the past 30 years in designing and delivering education that improves driver and passenger safety throughout a person’s lifespan. The institute continues to be a leading resource in traffic safety training and education in Georgia.The Georgia GOHS-UGA partnership began in 1986 when federal grant funds were awarded to states with highway safety offices. The grants were to be used for partnering with institutions of higher education to address traffic injuries, with an education and enforcement approach to reducing fatalities. In Georgia, UGA Cooperative Extension uses the grant to conduct classes for parents and caregivers on the consistent and correct use of child safety seats in all of Georgia’s 159 counties.Originally named the Occupant Safety Education Program, the project was renamed GTIPI in 2002. The institute continues today as an outreach initiative of UGA Extension and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.Through this year’s grant award, the institute will offer four training and community education initiatives: the National Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) Certification Program, “Georgia Teens Ride with P.R.I.D.E.” (Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Error), CarFit for senior drivers and the Online Safety Store.Each program area delivers adult education to consumers, safety professionals and community volunteers and is designed to address the most common causes of traffic injuries and fatalities for target age groups. GTIPI also serves as a statewide resource for answering consumer questions about safe travel. Law enforcement, emergency medical services, health departments, Extension educators, fire departments and others across the state participate in GTIPI’s training and distribute educational materials. On-site training is conducted across the state at regional locations and GTIPI’s headquarters and training facility in Conyers, Georgia.Parents and young children benefit from safety professionals and volunteers who receive national certification in the child passenger safety technician course.“Even though child safety seats are used more than 90 percent of the time by Georgia parents, child passenger safety technicians consistently find that almost all of those in use are installed incorrectly,” said Don Bower, UGA professor emeritus and GTIPI project director. “The National CPST Certification course offered by GTIPI qualifies public safety professionals and community volunteers to teach parents how to eliminate installation and use mistakes.”The P.R.I.D.E. program trains instructors how to deliver safe driving tools to the community. For the last 10 years, GTIPI’s course for parents and their new teen drivers, “Georgia Teens Ride with P.R.I.D.E.,” has worked to reduce teen injuries and fatalities through education.A train-the-trainer certification course equips P.R.I.D.E. instructors to help parents guide their teens through the driver’s licensing process and helps teens learn how to avoid crashes. P.R.I.D.E. instructors equip both the parent and teen with accurate information about how to obtain and keep a Georgia driver’s license.“Georgia Teens Ride with P.R.I.D.E.” was showcased by the national Governors Highway Safety Association in 2013 for its strong educational impacts on state-graduated driver licensing laws and parental involvement.“Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens, and more than two-thirds of teens who die in crashes in Georgia weren’t buckled up,” Bower said.The national CarFit program is designed for drivers aged 55 and older. It helps seniors stay behind the wheel longer and more safely.“CarFit is a non-threatening way to educate seniors about how to stay safe and comfortable in their cars as their physical abilities change with age,” Bower said.The Online Safety Store is a partnership between GOHS and GTIPI. Now in its ninth year of collaboration, the store is Georgia’s primary source for print and electronic traffic safety resources for public safety, public health, traffic safety professionals and consumers. GTIPI manages the distribution of GOHS materials from www.gahighwaysafety.org.For more information on GTIPI traffic safety training and programs or other traffic-related resources, go to www.gtipi.org or call 800-342-9819.
$45 million project would add two floors and 1,400 spaces without taxpayer costAt a press conference on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, Brian Searles, Director of Aviation at Burlington International Airport, unveiled plans for a major expansion to the airport s parking facilities. The need for additional parking at the airport has become acute, said Searles. Enplanements for Calendar Year 2008 were up 7.3% over 2007. In 2008, the existing garage was filled to capacity at least once nearly every day from February through October. Searles added that when the primary lot is full, vehicles must be moved to the Park & Shuttle location, or even to off-site temporary lots. The result is inconvenience to customers and lost revenue.To be completed in phases, the new project would ultimately add two floors and 1,400 parking spaces. The addition will also incorporate a variety of creative energy-efficiency features. The phases are scalable, depending on economic conditions. The full build-out cost for the project is estimated to be $45 million. To pay for the construction, the airport is asking Burlington to seek voter approval in March for a Revenue Supported General Obligation Bond.Searles added, It is critical to understand that this project will not result in any increase in Burlington area residents taxes. I can t stress that strongly enough. The project will produce sufficient revenue increase to repay the bond without raising taxes. Searles also noted that voter approval does not commit the city to actual sale of the bonds, nor to spending at any particular level.Source: Burlington International Airport
What are your initial thoughts on hemp? A favorite pair of shoes? Dreadlocked hippies with woven necklaces? Granola?While all of these things may come to mind, the recent beginnings of industrial hemp production in the United States should bring a foray of other topics to the forefront of your thoughts. Hemp is going through a revival, both as an alternative to harmful industrial processes and as a medicinal herb.It’s all Cannabis.Marijuana, the THC-filled champion of modern drug culture, has always had a place in the outdoor-enthusiasts first-aid kit, however, legitimate science is beginning to back up the importance of this plant to every facet of our culture. Marijuana, and hemp, are part of the flowering genus of Cannabis. And although the names are synonymous, what we consider hemp has been cultivated since the beginning of plant domestication, selectively bred for long, straight stalks, ideal for fiber cultivation. While marijuana, the bushy short-growing relative, has made its mark as a non-addictive, natural-healer, demonized by the DEA for decades, fortunately, attitudes and laws are changing for both members of this genus and the future of their cultivation looks bright.As a fiber alone, industrial hemp has more uses than most plants. Clothing, rope, biodegradable plastic, and Styrofoam alternatives, building materials, and paper are just a short list. In addition, research is being done that shows potential for hemp as an efficient bio-fuel, food source, soil remediation base, and all-around environmental savior.As outdoor enthusiasts we are in a unique spot to influence the future of hemp and other sustainability initiatives.We look for quality in every product we buy. We will pay more for a superior product and, as consumers, we are part of a forward-thinking bunch of early-adopters. It’s no surprise that the companies that serve our demographic follow the same pattern and have re-defined entire industries. Patagonia, a premier outdoor garment manufacturers in the world, is also a pioneer in socially-responsible business practices. Recognizing the advantages of hemp has driven them to add hemp products for men and women like the Men’s Hemp Overstone Pant and Women’s Island Hemp Crossover Dress.Prana has also been at the forefront of embracing hemp, continually adding hemp blended garments to their clothing lines, active and casual-wear alike. Top-selling examples of these include the Women’s Linea Pant and Men’s Sutra Slim Shirt.Consumers will drive the environmental movements of the future.Famed as an outdoor brand and environmental advocate, Patagonia, has been producing hemp clothing from fabric grown and processed in China. They, like most other manufacturers, would prefer to buy the material from U.S. producers but the supply chain for hemp is nearly non-existent compared to the rest of the developed world. Patagonia will continue to purchase this fabric from sustainable farmers and factories around the world and sell them in major markets to help more consumers see the importance of hemp in the environmental story unfolding in our generation.A quick anthropological look at the history of ancient civilizations will show a rapid decline in human populations as natural resources run out. A famous example is the Rapa Nui civilization of Easter Island who cut down forests to sustain rapid population growth and ultimately deforested all of their precious natural resource, leading to their own demise.Hemp provides a different ending – its potential has barely been realized by even the most advanced producers and its benefits as a crop are immediate.Generations of fossil fuel dependency has humans living the least sustainable lives in history, so much so that it has become ubiquitous with the human condition. The rate at which the consumer culture devours these precious resources has become astonishing, albeit quite commonplace, throughout the world. In truth it’s built into every facet of humanity. It’s easy to recognize the amount of petroleum you use – heck, every time you’re at the pump the receipt is all too truthful, but do you stop to consider that every light you turn on, every piece of clothing you wear, every piece of packaging you pitch, every book you read, and damn near every decision you make pulls from a gamut of limited resources?Hemp provides a renewable, biodegradable alternative to many of these consumer-driven habits.Compassion for humanity and the environment are the driving forces in the yet-to-be-decided hemp debate but its benefits reach far beyond what we need. Fashion designers, food connoisseurs, engine nerds, and laissez-faire farmers are touting the accolades of this green gold while consumers reap the benefits of their work with this plant. Having a similar texture to linen (produced from flax, a cousin of cannabis), hemp can be used effectively in bedding and clothing, producing durable and luxurious products with a more sustainable business model. But yet, the U.S. still imports nearly all of this raw material.The United States has always been a leader in consumerism and industrialism. With evidence of an uncertain environmental future and concern for the economic prosperity of our youngest generations, looming just beyond this century, we are faced with a decision. Do we continue the unsustainable pattern of growth and consumption, or invest time and resources into sustainable practices in every facet of our culture? If you care about yourself, your children, and the future of this beautiful planet then the choice is obvious and hemp will be the driving force.Two of America’s favorite presidents, Washington and Jefferson, were proponents of hemp and sung its praises as it grew in their fields at Mount Vernon and Monticello, respectively. They proved that Virginia, really the entire region, is an optimal climate for cultivating Cannabis and was the heart of colonial agriculture that produced hemp through the First World War. Back then it was used mostly for clothing, rope, ship sails and other textiles. Knowing what we know today about this plant, it’s infuriating that we lost nearly 80 years of crops.Hemp cultivation in the Philippines in the early 20th century.It’s what Doug Fine, in his book Hemp Bound, calls the next agricultural revolution.Having more than 10,000 years of human cultivation under its belt, hemp is positioned to make a major comeback after being nearly eradicated from American soil and banned from our shelves for the better part of a century. And while the federal government plays catch-up on antiquated laws, the rest of the industrialized world has seasons of yields that they’ve learned, and profited, from. Luckily, nearly half of the U.S. states have already passed legislation to differentiate industrial hemp from marijuana in the eyes of the law, while instituting research programs to re-learn what we’ve forgot about hemp in the last 80 years. Here in Appalachia, Kentucky seems to be leading the charge but Tennessee, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Maryland are close behind.Virginia and North Carolina need to be next.Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, the first chapter of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition (VIHC) has been educating the public on this important issue since 2012. The group meets regularly to discuss ways to further their mission and this year marks a major breakthrough – Virginia House Bill No. 1277, Amending the Virginia Farming Act to allow hemp cultivation for research purposes, is on the floor. Jason Amatucci, Founder and Executive Director of the VIHC, worked with Delegate Joseph R. Yost to help draft the bill. Amatucci says,“2014 has been a very positive year for hemp legislation. The 2014 Farm Bill which was signed into law in February allowed for individual states to conduct research via universities and state agriculture departments for growing industrial hemp. Our neighbor Kentucky had a successful season of growing hemp crops this year. Also this year an amendment passed and was signed into law that effects the budget of the DOJ and DEA and strikes any interference those agencies may have in regards to these state hemp programs. In other words, the Feds have to be hands off state hemp programs moving forward. That means no more playing games with hemp seed importations or harassing hemp farmers who are playing by the rules. 2015 is poised to be a big year for industrial hemp in Virginia as we have the Virginia Industrial Hemp Farming Act (Bill #1277) up on deck. The VIHC worked with Delegate Yost from the Blacksburg area to draft the bill. A vote on the bill is likely late January or early February in the 2015 General Assembly session. We need Virginians right now to call, write or email their State Delegates and State Senators to ask them to co-sponsor or support this bill. Check out www.vahemp.org for more information.”– Jason AmatucciAlthough there’s a long road ahead before planting Virginia farms with varieties of industrial hemp, this is a major step in the right direction.Not only can hemp replace many petro-industrial products, but it will revitalize the soil in our fields. Hemp is considered a carbon negative crop because it removes more CO2 (greenhouse gas) from the atmosphere than other plants, often offsetting the amount of carbon emitted in its cultivation and harvest. Its roots work deep into the soil in a short period of time to support its tall stalk and aggressive growth habits. In addition to fixing nitrogen levels and loosening compacted, damaged soil in the process, hemp is a positive addition to any farmer’s rotation.Last, but certainly not the least, hemp holds the closest thing to a fountain of youth known to man. Carrying the elite status of a complete protein, hemp seeds (often referred to as hearts after the shell is removed) have the most concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins, and enzymes while being naturally low in sugars, starches, and saturated fats. These facts make it one of nature’s near-perfect food sources and that alone is enough of a reason to legalize and encourage its rapid, widespread cultivation.The history of agriculture in this country has proven that farmers must work in a symbiotic relationship with the fields they plant in. Hemp offers a crop that will reinvigorate farmers with sustainable opportunity throughout the region. Laws have already begun to change on a national level due largely to the efforts of individual states.So, what can we do?Educate others. Pass along your newfound knowledge, soon to become passionate obsession, to friends and family – especially those outdoorsy types who have children.Use your buying power. Choose hemp, local, and sustainable products whenever possible. Also pay attention to the types of packaging, and how much of it, the products you buy incorporate. As consumers, our dollars speak volumes and that has a big impact on Wall Street and in Washington.Voice your opinion. Blog about it and call your government representatives and let them know how you feel about this important issue. Legislation will be hitting the floor in the VA General Assembly during early January (VA House Bill No. 1277) and we could be poised to have seeds imported in time for spring plantings.Sow your seed. Are you a landowner or have access to farmable property? If so, sow the agricultural revolution with your own two hands. The Cannabis family is colloquially called weed for a reason; because that’s how it grows. Hemp is a low-maintenance crop that requires very little irrigation and little to no pesticides while producing higher yields per-acre than nearly every other crop. U.S. states that have legalized hemp spend some time in a research phase in which you must apply for a permit or licensure from the state commissioner. Once the research phase is complete, and varieties of hemp are bred for cultivation in your region, then widespread commercial production will open to the public.That is unless the Federal Government lifts the ridiculous marijuana prohibition laws first – in which case our right to grow this divine plant could be fully restored!Get involved. Join the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition and other local organizations that promote a sustainable future. Involvement in these organizations helps to spread awareness at the grass-roots level, educating the populace and acting as a liaison to elected officials. Check out their Facebook page here to stay up-to-date with Virginia’s decision.
You probably already know that Western North Carolina is home to some of the best mountain biking in the country, but this short video from the folks at Trail TV really drives it home.The video showcases some of our all-time favorite WNC single track, from Green’s Lick/Ingles Field Gap in Bent Creek to Cedar Rock/Big Rock in DuPont, and it also highlights the thriving beer culture that WNC is now nationally known for.If you already live in the WNC area, this video will remind you of just how lucky you really are, and if you don’t, it’ll likely have you packing your bags and making a beeline for Brevard.Enjoy!
After CUES’ recent announcement about appointing John Pembroke (CUES SVP/COO) as the organization’s new President & CEO, we invited Mr. Pembroke on the program to get his take on his new job. Needless to say, he is a very busy man these days. But he was kind enough to carve out a few minutes with us to discuss his immediate and long-term plans as CUES new leader, as well as any challenges he sees in accomplishing his goals, how CUES is contributing to the industry to make it better and better, and a couple of surprises he has for credit unions in the coming months. Enjoy — and many thanks to John for coming on the show. CUES is in mighty good hands. continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Chris Randone and Krystal Nielson have called it quits after nearly eight months of marriage. Krystal first broke out in the Bachelor Nation world when she quickly came under fire during Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season of The Bachelor. Fans may remember the personal trainer refusing to attend the rest of a group date during season 22 after Arie invited all of the women out instead of just the winning bowling team, as promised. As a result, Krystal had a meltdown on the car ride back, allegedly slamming her costars and accusing the race car driver of having a “needle d–k.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Chris, meanwhile, first competed for Becca Kufrin’s heart on season 14 of The Bachelorette. The former sales trainer spiraled during the season, going off on both his fellow contestants and Becca herself before he was sent home.When the twosome met during Bachelor in Paradise season 5, however, there was an instant connection. After bonding over their respective Bachelor/Bachelorette experiences, they started dating. And while there was minor drama during their time on the beach, Chris popped the question on the finale.- Advertisement – “[It] feels so comforting and peaceful and I feel so supported and like I don’t have to be so strong and independent because my husband has my back and we’re a team,” she explained. “It’s such an incredible feeling.” One year later, the pair would announce their separation on February 14, 2020.Scroll through to see the way they were: A year later, Chris and Krystal returned to Mexico to get married and their nuptials were captured by ABC cameras.“Married life is great, we feel a lot more stable now knowing that we kind of have accomplished this chapter of putting a ring on one another,” Chris gushed to Us Weekly exclusively before their nuptials aired on Bachelor in Paradise season 6 in August 2019. “And honestly there’s just been a lot of growth lately within the relationship and just a lot of great moments and we’re just really happy for what’s next.”Krystal echoed her husband’s remarks, noting that Chris is the first person she’s ever trusted in a relationship.- Advertisement –
Aug 26, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A Listeria outbreak linked to a Maple Leaf Foods meat product plant in Toronto has expanded to 26 cases, and 12 people have died, though it was not yet clear how many of the deaths were directly due to the illness, Canadian officials announced yesterday.In a statement, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said 26 cases involving the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes had been confirmed in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.Of the 26 cases, “there are 12 deaths associated with the outbreak strain (11 in Ontario and one in B.C.),” the agency said. “Six of these deaths, reported from Ontario, have linked listeriosis as the underlying or contributing cause of death. In the remaining deaths, the role that listeriosis may have played remains under investigation.” The deaths occurred over the past several weeks.The agency said another 29 suspected cases were under investigation and predicted that the numbers of both suspected and confirmed cases would increase in the days ahead. All the suspected cases are known to be listeriosis, but test results were awaited to determine how many involve the outbreak strain, officials said. The agency has said the incubation period for listeriosis can be as long as 70 days.The outbreak prompted Maple Leaf Foods on Aug 20 to announce a recall of products made on two production lines at its Bartor Road plant in Toronto. On Aug 23 the company expanded the recall to include all products produced at the plant since January. Products made there carry the establishment number 97B on their labels. It was not immediately clear if any products from the facility are exported to the United States.The PHAC confirmed the connection between the outbreak and Maple Leaf products on Aug 23. Testing of three product samples showed that two were contaminated with the outbreak strain, while the third had contamination that differed slightly from that strain, the agency said, adding that it expected to learn more this week.L monocytogenes can grow on refrigerated meat and cause serious illness in pregnant women, elderly people, and others with weak immune systems. Largely because of the risk of listeriosis, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says these groups should not eat hot dogs or deli meats unless they are reheated, nor should they eat refrigerated meat spreads, refrigerated smoked seafood unless cooked, or products containing unpasteurized milk.Symptoms of the illness include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhea, according to the PHAC.According to a Reuters report published yesterday, a Maple Leaf official said the company was unlikely to be able to determine exactly how its meat was contaminated, because Listeria organisms are common and pervasive.The outbreak apparently is one of the larger ones in North America in recent years. Records indicate that the last high-profile Listeria outbreak in the United States occurred in the Northeast in the fall of 2002 and involved at least 53 cases and 8 deaths in nine states.See also: Maple Leaf statement on the outbreakhttp://www.mapleleaf.ca/Aug 23 Maple Leaf news release about expanded recallhttp://www.mapleleaffoods.com/news/maple-leaf-expands-product-recall-fro…Nov 21, 2002, CIDRAP News story “New Jersey firm expands Listeria-related recall to 4.2 million pounds”
Oil and gas engineering and consulting company Xodus has teamed up with stabilisation and artificial reef specialist Subcon International to help operators who decide to turn their retiring offshore assets to reefs.The partnership has come up with what it calls the Integrated Rigs to ReefsTM (IR2RTM).“Whilst the reefing of retiring offshore structures makes sense to many, such projects often struggle to address the regulatory hurdles, public perception and who takes the enduring liability for the asset. The Integrated Rigs to ReefsTM (IR2RTM) solution resolves the many challenges owners face by augmenting and integrating the retiring assets into purpose built reefs,” Xodus said on Thursday.According to Xodus, the alliance combines Xodus’ decommissioning capabilities with Subcon’s extensive track record in the design and construction of purpose-built marine habitats.Enrico Salardi, Xodus Group’s Director of Decommissioning said: “IR2RTM is a decommissioning solution which provides many benefits to oil and gas operators, governments, local industries, communities and ultimately to the environment. The IR2RTM solution delivers material cost savings to operators whilst enabling them to turn a legacy asset into a positive legacy for the environment.“Importantly, this industry-first offering provides a clear pathway for the transfer of ownership to state agencies.”Who’s responsible for the “reef”? While the rigs to reef solution has a proven track record for generating decommissioning cost savings and for creating effective habitat, Xodus says, the question of who has enduring liability for the structure remains open.The company explains that the IR2R model employs methods of relocation, augmentation and integration to completely reinvent the retired structures as productive, purpose built artificial reefs. Ownership and liability for the new asset is then able to be transferred to appropriate government agencies.Subcon International CEO, Matthew Allen added: “Our collaboration with Xodus enables more operators to benefit from our innovative IR2RTM model. The creation of new, purpose built habitat through the integration and augmentation of retiring marine structures, means degraded habitats can be restored and new habitats established. It reduces costs for the operator, reduces waste onshore, and establishes a more vibrant and productive marine environment for future users. It is a true win-win for all stakeholders”.According to the statement on Thursday, there is already one project underway utilizing the new solution. Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Xodus, seeking more info. We will update the article if we get a response.