n On December 20 Conrail’s board of directors voted to reject Norfolk Southern’s hostile all-cash bid for the business, after it had been raised to US$10·5bn to match CSX’s improved cash and stock offer of US$9·35bn. Conrail shareholders were due to vote on January 17 on a proposal to opt out of a Pennsylvania anti-takeover law and allow CSX to purchase a further 20% of the company’s shares for cash; CSX already owns 19·9% and intends to offer its own stock in exchange for the remaining 60·1%.n German chemicals company BASF has obtained a licence to operate freight trains over the DB network including carriage of merchandise for third parties.n Swiss Federal Railways’ tunnelling engineers have confirmed from test bores at Polmengo that the Piora strata formed of ’sugar dolomite’ extends to the depth of the planned Gotthard base tunnel. Special techniques will be needed to cut through the Piora rocks which are likely to contain high pressure water.n Myanma Railways is completing a major new station at Bagan, located at the end of an extension to the Kyaukpadaung branch which opened to passenger traffic in September. The site of important Buddhist relics, Bagan is generating increasing amounts of tourist traffic.n Under an agreement signed with trade unions in November and effective until April 1998, Netherlands Railways has secured more flexible working practices from drivers, conductors and station platform staff. With a 36h week in force and more frequent peak-hour services planned around Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam and Utrecht from September, NS is recruiting 150 extra conductors.n Britain’s Association of Train Operating Companies, Banestyrelsen of Denmark (p113), NSB BA and Jernbaneverket of Norway joined the Community of European Railways in January. British Rail will leave the organisation this year as its last operating functions are transferred to the private sector.n Completion of North Korea Railway’s 80 km electrified Wonsan – Kumgangsan route is expected to by the end of March. A new line from Wonsan to the resort of Mount Kumgang was completed in November after 11 months of work.n Since December 14 trams have been running between Karlsruhe city centre and Baden Baden using a new DM12·5m link from the Albtalbahnhof which joins the DB main line west of the main station. LRVs from Bretten to Karlsruhe Marktplatz now continue hourly to Baden Baden, replacing DB’s local services.n German Transport Minister Matthias Wissmann announced on December 19 that a finance agreement had been signed for the Nürnberg – Ingolstadt – München Neubaustrecke. This provides for DB to borrow funds from a private banking consortium; once the DM9bn line is complete, the government will redeem the debts and pay them off over 15 years. Target date for opening is 2003.
One former Premier League player is contributing to the fight against COVID-19 in his own peculiar way.Ex-Newcastle star, Faustino Asprilla is planning to give away about a million condoms as people deal with lockdowns across the world due to the spread of the disease.With one of the world’s biggest condom manufacturers – Malaysian company Karex Bhd, who produce a fifth of the global number of condoms – shutting down because of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s been a global shortage.Asprilla, who released his own line of condoms in 2006, is trying to fill the gap that has been created.Although his own factory has shut down, Asprilla says he has over three million condoms in storage and would like to give some away because “I can’t use them all”.“This quarantine due to coronavirus is not a good thing. I have a lot of condoms left in the company and I want people to help me use them… because it is very difficult for me to use them all. I only have 3,580,000 condoms left. Until we can re-open the factory we are not going to produce any more,” he said on social media.“To help the population I intend to give away a box of condoms as a gift for the purchase of a box of three.”Take a look at his announcement video below:
Events with 50 or more people over the next eight weeks should be canceled or postponed. That’s the agressive recommendation issued Sunday by the CDC.The agency specifically mentioned sporting events, weddings, and festivals in its post announcing the proposed policy.The daily business of places like schools aren’t included in this CDC’s guidance. But, schools in south Florida have been cancelled until the end of March.
Facebook42Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Port of OlympiaThe East Bay Public Plaza is located in front of the Hands On Children’s Museum.The East Bay Public Plaza is one of only 30 projects nation-wide to receive certification under the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) Rating System for sustainable landscape design. SITES holds high standards for certification; out of 150 projects that recently applied for certification, only four projects were certified – East Bay Public Plaza being one of them.The East Bay Public Plaza, located along Olympia Avenue between Marine Drive and Jefferson Street, is owned and operated by the LOTT Clean Water Alliance. It was developed as a joint project of the East Bay partners – the City of Olympia, Port of Olympia, Hands On Children’s Museum, and LOTT. The plaza highlights the partners’ shared educational focus on the importance of water and sustainability.The Plaza was awarded a one-star rating by the SITES program, which is similar to the LEED certification program, but focuses on outdoor spaces rather than buildings. A few of the sustainable design features include:Interactive water feature fed by Class A Reclaimed WaterUse of reclaimed water for irrigation and toilet flushingVegetated green roof on restroom buildingEnergy-efficient LED lightingBenches made of recycled contentNative and drought-tolerant plantsRedevelopment of a brownfieldThe most striking feature of the plaza is the stream-like water feature, which is truly unique. It is the first and only recreational water feature in the state that uses reclaimed water. LOTT produces high-quality Class A reclaimed water from the water we use and discard every day. It is the highest quality of reclaimed water in the state, meeting stringent water quality standards and permit requirements from the state Departments of Ecology and Health.“We are pleased to be among those taking a lead in applying the SITES program rating system to enhance the environmental, social and economic aspects of our projects,” said Mike Strub, Executive Director for the LOTT Clean Water Alliance. “This certification is evidence of our commitment to the environment and to our communities.”East Bay Public Plaza was designed by Robert W. Droll, Landscape Architects, PS, a landscape architectural firm in Lacey, WA. It was constructed by Berschauer Phillips/FORMA Construction Company in Tumwater, WA. The plaza was completed and opened to the public in August 2012. Since then, it has become a popular place for picnicking and family fun during warm weather and a popular destination throughout the year.The SITES program is an interdisciplinary effort led by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden to create a voluntary, national rating system and guidelines for sustainable landscapes of all types, with or without buildings. Certification is based on The Sustainable Sites Initiative™: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009.Since 2009, the SITES program, in conjunction with a diverse group of stakeholder organizations, has worked to transform land development and management practices with this first national rating system for sustainable landscapes. The guidelines apply to any type of designed landscape, with or without buildings, including shopping malls, streetscapes, subdivisions, corporate and academic campuses, transportation corridors, parks and recreation areas, and single family homes.The U.S. Green Building Council, a stakeholder in the Sustainable Sites Initiative program, anticipates incorporating the SITES guidelines and performance benchmarks into future iterations of its LEED® Green Building Rating System™. While LEED minimizes the carbon footprint, SITES demonstrates how a landscape can actually sequester carbon and regenerate living systems. Working together these initiatives will further revolutionize sustainable design.