Idling rigs targeted in effort to cut smog

first_imgCASTAIC – For long-hauler Bruce Weber, a proposed federal tax credit for devices providing heat and air-conditioning in big-rigs while the engine’s shut off just doesn’t seem enough to justify the hefty investment. “It doesn’t do any good,” Weber, 50, a driver from Kingman, Ariz., said while taking a break at this truck stop south of the Grapevine. “The tax break doesn’t offset it. You need to get a 100 percent write-off.” Truckers often leave their rigs idling all night to stay warm or keep cool in their cabs, spewing pollutants into the air and burning up precious fuel – along with precious profits. A federal bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, would allow trucking companies and drivers up to $3,500 in tax credits to install devices that allow these systems in big-rigs to work while the engine is off. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week But drivers seemed lukewarm about the benefit, even with sky-high fuel prices. The average for a gallon of diesel was about $3.40 on Friday, compared with $2.45 a year earlier. The devices require less fuel – about a half-gallon per hour compared to the 2-3 gallons used by idling engines. The problem, Weber said, is these devices often cost more than $7,000, so the tax credit and potential savings just wouldn’t cover it. “They should make it more of an incentive,” said Weber, who transports produce from Salinas throughout Southern California and has logged some 2 million miles over his 25-year career. “There are ways to build it as standard equipment.” Meantime, the California Air Resources Board will consider new guidelines to reduce idling emissions beginning 2008 when it meets this week, including a mandate for all in- and out-of-state trucks to install “cab-comfort” devices. A statement by the state air quality regulator said emissions from idling trucks pose a “significant” air quality problem. In 2010, on-road heavy-duty diesel trucks are estimated to account as much as 28 percent of nitrogen oxides and 9 percent of particulates from mobile sources statewide. Richard Harper, 40, of Jackson, Miss., hauls chickens out to California in exchange for a load of produce. It’s a three-day trip each way, and he has outfitted his rig’s cab with a sofa, television and DVD player – a makeshift bedroom upholstered in purple and chrome. “California’s got some bad rides,” he said. “I said to myself, ‘When I get some money, I’m going to pimp my truck.”‘ It’s all powered by a generator, though any fuel savings from not idling is negligible, Harper said. “It’s just technology,” he said. “The only thing is you can only use it when you’re stopping.” And rising fuel costs has made life on the road a lot tougher. Harper said the average independent cross-country driver earns about $4,500 per haul – with half going for fuel. But the recent run on diesel has added nearly a third to fuel, and when considered with insurance and truck maintenance costs, Harper said, “You’re really just doing it for free now.” “Within four, five years max, every owner-operator will have to work for a big operator.” Weber was an independent driver who parked his truck to work for a transport company when fuel prices began to spike in spring. He believes business could recover when freight rates catch up to the higher fuel price, or if they come down. “If we don’t get the trucks rolling down the highway, we don’t eat,” Weber said. “Everybody suffers. It’s in everybody’s benefit to keep these trucks moving again.” Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 eugene.tong@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO ST PATRICK’S NIGHT FALCARRAGH ASSAULT

first_imgTWO men have pleaded guilty to assault causing harm during an incident in Falcarragh.Conor McHugh, who is 19 and from Ballintemple, Falcarragh, and 22-year-old Stephen O’Donnell, from Knockfola, Brinaleck, appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court.Both men admitted an attack on Patrick McLaughlin in the early hours of March 18, 2013, in Falcarragh. They each face one count of a Section 3 assault.Judge John O’Hagan agreed to defence counsel requests to have their sentencing hearings adjourned until April 28 next year.The judge also asked that probation reports should be prepared as well as a victim impact statement.The victim has also been given the option of appearing in court at the next date.MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO ST PATRICK’S NIGHT FALCARRAGH ASSAULT was last modified: December 11th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:assaultConor McHughFalcarraghguiltySTEPHEN O’DONNELLlast_img read more

SA paddlers race into Fish record book

first_imgJunior GirlsJenna Ward/Brittany Petersen 5:46.14 Kerry Shuter/Camilla Pennefather (U16) 5:59.00Bianca Haw/Jordan Peek (U16) 6:05.10 The pair was in superb form, shooting Keith’s Flyover rapid with aplomb on the first day, and they oozed confidence in their form and preparations on the river. Under-23 MenAndy Birkett/Pierre-Andre Rabie 4:53.57Lance Kime/Stuart Maclaren 4:57.49 Andrian Bam/Rory Sandberg 5:12.58 The Germans were thrilled to make it onto the podium at the end of a race littered with accidents and misfortune. SAinfo reporter “It was a long day for us and we’re pretty tired,” said a tired Hodson. “Both of us are actually sprinters, so this sort of distance is a big ask.” “We conserved ourselves during the first hour as we knew we were out on our own, but we dug in after Gauging Weir, when we realised we could still break the race record. Fastest final stage timeThey posted the fastest time on the final stage to snatch the Canoeing South Africa silver medal ahead of the flying Germans, Tobias Bong and Achim Overbeck, and overtook the flagging crew of sprinters Greg Louw and Mike Arthur, who slipped back to fourth place from their overnight second. MenHank McGregor/Grant van der Walt 4:40.38Tom Schilperoort/Jasper Mocke 4:45.20 Tobias Bong/Achim Overbeek 4:46.21 Greg Louw/Michael Arthur 4:48.59 Jacques Theron/Piers Cruickshanks 4:50.27 Robert Knebl/ Tomas Slovak 4:50.28 Andy Birkett/Pierre-Andre Rabie (U23) 4:53.57 Alasdair Glass/Edgar Boehm Jnr 4:56.09 Mark Mulder/Lance King 4:56.58 Lance Kime/Stuart Maclaren 4:57.49 SilverThe silver medal fell to the plucky sprinters Tiffany Kruger and Jen Hodson, who had to battle through the pack after being started in the A-batch because they failed to make the elapsed time cut-off. McGregor and Van der Walt won by five minutes from the Cape surfski duo of Tom Schilperoort and Jasper Mocke, who provided the biggest surprise result among the elite men by upstaging the strong field of the country’s best river marathoners. “We had a much better day today, no trees and no blood, which was great, but we have realised we are no good at portaging,” said Tobias Bong. “We are extremely happy with our third.” The pair, racing in the colours of the newly formed Team Best 4 Kayak Centre, posted a flawless final stage to lower the 2006 race record set by McGregor and Len Jenkins by a minute and one second. Women’s titleThe women’s title fell to Abby Adie and Hilary Pitchford, who also led the race from start to finish to post a 10-minute victory margin that included a conservative option to portage Cradock Weir to eliminate any further risk to their race. WomenHilary Pitchford/Abby Adie 5:26.17Jen Hodson/Tiffany Kruger 5:36.16 Kim Brugmann/Angie Gafney 5:44.33 Jenna Ward/Brittany Petersen (U18) 5:46.14 Debbie Germiquet/Carmen Blakeney 5:48.56 Hank McGregor and Grant van der Walt became the first crew to win a hat-trick of victories in South Africa’s Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon on Saturday, and shattered the race record too after dominating the event from start to finish. “It came down to a sprint finish,” said Mocke, who got engaged just days before the race. “We came over Gauging Weir first and put in a huge sprint, which gave us a nice gap going into Marlow portage, and that’s when we went for it. We paddled our hardest until the end to beat the Germans.” 11 October 2011 ‘Something special’“It’s my fourth win overall and my third with Grant in three years, and to have broken the record at the thirtieth anniversary is something really special,” said McGregor. The last place on the podium went to Kim Brugman and Angie Gafney. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material “We were doing 200m sprints only three weeks ago and so our lack of endurance was exposed,” said Arthur. “We’re so happy to have paddle into fourth place.” “It was a completely different race from last year when we were completely blown at the finish. Things really worked out for us this time. Last year we had problems that cost us, but this year we had a really clean race,” he concluded. “This is my first time on the podium and first time on the top step and I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Pitchford. “It’s a dream come true. (Her boyfriend) Deon Bruss won it in his tenth Fish and so to have done it in my tenth is so special for me,” she added. Under-23 WomenJenna Ward/Brittany Petersen (U18) 5:46.14 Kerry Shuter/Camilla Pennefather (U16) 5:59.00Tamika Haw/Jenna Starr 5:59.49 Junior BoysDonavan Wewege/Gavin Shuter 5:04.49Blaine Beresford/Murray Starr 5:12.12 Murray Haw/James Speed 5:21.19 RESULTS McGregor now holds every national single and doubles paddling title after having won a clean sweep of surfski, flatwater marathon and river marathon titles in the calendar year. He goes into the World Marathon Championships in two weeks’ time in prime form. “We were more than happy to run Cradock Weir. It’s a 50/50 shot and we didn’t need to shoot it at that stage of the race,” said Pitchford, who is currently leading the women’s standings on the International Canoe Federation’s world tour.last_img read more

Building a Custom Video Program

first_imgStack Media relied on a regional freelance network to reach a few hundred thousand viewers per month when it started its integrated video campaigns in 2008.Within two years, a Stack Studios crew had been assembled and was traveling the country filming for sponsors like Gatorade and Nike. They’re now getting upwards of 15 million views per video and generating 60 percent of the company’s revenue.Stack Magazine, the flagship of the larger media group, was established in 2005 as a training and fitness title centered on professional athletes. Video came in 2008 with the launch of the company’s digital network—a “natural extension” of the content they were already producing, according to Nick Palazzo, the company’s co-founder and CEO.Is It For Your Audience?The demographics worked for Stack. The majority of its audience is comprised of 16 to 24-year-old males—among the most active online video viewers, according to several recent reports. Overall, 18 to 24-year-old men and women with regular access to the Internet spend close to 11 hours watching web videos per month, or nearly one-third of their total time online, says Nielsen’s Cross Platform report from the second quarter of this year. A Pew Research survey from this fall indicates that the group is highly engaged, as well, with nearly a quarter of all adult American males sharing videos.All told, comScore has tallied more than 100 million Americans watching video online each day, up 43 percent from 2010.How Do You Make It?Pricing for the content is highly variable, Palazzo says, with the number of shoots being the key determinant. A single session—requiring travel, equipment, venue, lighting, etc. (along with the personnel to manage it all)—can run up to $10,000. On the low end, a shoot can be arranged for around $1,500. It’s up to the advertiser.The same goes for concept. The project is usually handed off to Stack right from the start, but sponsors can play a larger role.“Sometimes they can be very involved in storyboarding, bringing the concept to life and providing assets,” Palazzo says. In Stack’s case, those “assets” are usually famous athletes, but they can be products, venues, signage, memorabilia, logos, uniforms or anything else they want included.The bigger the asset, the bigger the response. Timing plays a role, but the golden-rule for luring readers to the newsstand applies to attracting viewers online: recognition.“What really drives traffic and engagement is getting the biggest star possible,” Palazzo says.How Do You Sell It?Palazzo estimates that as much as 85 percent of Stack’s content is now video-based, so naturally it’s their lead story to tell potential advertisers. From there it’s a matter of selling the complete distribution and media package.“It’s hard to sell just straight video. You have to package it with other media assets that you already have—that’s really the most important thing,” he says. “In a lot of what we do, you’ll get the video content, the distribution across our platforms, and media—banner and print—all together in one package. It’s much more efficient to buy everything rather than just piecing it out. We make it an offer they can’t refuse.”Integrated Sales Still Difficult To Do With AgenciesIn a divided print and digital world, Stack can run into difficulties trying to manage a deal across the multiple ad agencies running those respective arms. Whenever possible, Palazzo will try to deal directly with the company.“It’s sometimes hard to do integrated ad sales if they have separate agencies for digital and print,” Palazzo says. “One of the most important things to focus on is working directly with the client. They’re going to be the ones that have the ability to do multiplatform deals, as well as the foresight and knowledge base to help make a video program successful.”How Do You Measure It?Stack’s integrated video campaigns don’t feature any product links or buy options—they’re straight branding enterprises—so measuring success can be a challenge. In the absence of conversions, Palazzo relies on engagement metrics like video plays and average time spent with the video to let him know how they performed.“If you get someone to watch a minute or minute-and-a-half of video, that’s a pretty valuable impression,” he says. “If you can get them to click-through, then great, that’s something you can quantify. But that’s not the key metric that we focus on.”last_img read more

Rupee Tumbles Short of Psychological 55 at Record Low of 5499 to

first_imgIndian currency took another beating on Monday, sinking to a record low of 54.99 against the US dollar in the late afternoon trade session. The rupee stood at 54.96/97 to the dollar at 4:26 p.m. (1056 GMT), and had earlier plunged to the key psychological level of 55 to the dollar, Reuters said. High dollar demand, negative global cues and heavy foreign fund outflow were amongst the factors for further weakening of the Indian currency.The fall to 54.99 is the rupee’s fourth consecutive low recorded, and is a drop of over one percent from 54.42/44 close on Friday.There has been no intervention from the Reserve Bank of India in the recent session, traders said according to the news service. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said that the government is keeping a close watch on the depreciating value of the currency and that the government “is not sitting idle”, reports said. Meanwhile, the BSE bench mark reached 16183.26, up 30.51 points, while the Nifty benchmark gained 14.60 points to 4,906.05.last_img read more