first_imgBelgium defender Nicolas Lombaerts insists a failed medical was not behind the collapse of his proposed move to Sunderland. Lombaerts told “I’ve made the choice not to move to Sunderland. The story of the medical testing is not right.” Sunderland, as is their policy on transfers, have not commented on the situation, although sources close to the club have confirmed the breakdown in talks. Meanwhile, the Black Cats are hopeful of concluding an £8million swoop for Dynamo Kiev’s Holland international midfielder Jeremain Lens after he headed for Wearside on Wednesday. Lens, who watched his club’s 2-0 Ukrainian Super Cup defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk in Odessa on Tuesday evening, tweeted a photograph of himself about to board a plane on Wednesday morning. The Zenit St Petersburg player is understood to have been on Wearside on Tuesday, and rumours later began to circulate that the deal had been shelved because of an issue picked up by medics. However, the 30-year-old is adamant that it was his decision to pull the plug on a £5million transfer. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

first_imgTake full control of the development of renewable energy (RE) in the Region. Include the general populace in the dialogue and processes that will lead to the further development of the sector. Make RE projects bankable.Delegates at the forum on MondayThose were some of the key takeaways from the first full day of discussions of the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF) VI now underway at the Belize Ocean Club in Placencia, Belize. The Forum is being held under the theme ‘Clean Energy, Good Governance and Regulations.CSEF formally opened on Sunday and discussions began in earnest on Monday morning. Former Prime Minister of Aruba, Michiel Eman, set the tone with his emphasis on the pursuit of clean energy as part of an obligation to protect the “resources we have been blessed with”, as well as a journey that had profound meaning for the quality of life of citizens of the Caribbean.Sharing information and opportunities, Eman said, gave the journey a “deeper” meaning to society. It would engender a sense of commitment and shared responsibilities. He pointed out that the future was based on renewables and the Region had to find new financial opportunities towards fruition.He called on Forum participants to think not only of lowering energy prices, but about how those savings could benefit society and create the environment for prosperity for everyone.Take controlMember of the high-level panel, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries of Trinidad and Tobago, Nicole Olivierre, drove home the point that the Region had to take full control of its renewable sources of energy. She called for the “sharing and pooling” of resources to growing the renewable energy capacity of the Region and stressed that the Region had to take full control of its own energy supplies. Countries had to find a way to finance the exploitation of their own energy sources, she added.Panel discussions and presentations during the day tackled subjects such as geopolitics, climate change and energy governance; the role of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) in envisioning the acceleration of a clean energy marketing development in the Caribbean Community (Caricom); reducing the implementation deficit; island-appropriate clean energy development, making the Caribbean climate-smart and the clean energy transition in Caricom.On Tuesday, Belize will share its experiences with energy transition. Focus during the day will also continue to be placed on energy governance as well as regulation.Two concurrent technical workshops will be held on Wednesday. They will address utility business models and innovation in rate-making and implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in the energy and transport sectors.The CSEF VI is being co-hosted by the Caricom Secretariat and the Government of Belize, in partnership with the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) and the Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR). Key sponsorship and technical support for the staging of the CSEF VI will be provided by the Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean, which is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ); the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency; the Organisation of American States; the Public Utilities Commission; Belize Electricity Limited; and the Caricom Development Fund.last_img read more

first_img“I think it shows that there are a lot of people in the community supporting us,” Brunner said. “Everybody stepped up.” Brunner said the AVC field is a more appropriate venue to host the MLS teams. “It’s the proper way to introduce the PDL to this city,” Brunner said. “We believe a professional-level team should be at the college. It’s the best facility we have, and I think it’s the proper way to introduce soccer to this city.” AVC President Jackie Fisher said the college is committed to making the school’s facility available to the public whenever possible, noting that requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Brunner said tickets to all Rattlers games can be purchased by logging on to the team’s official Web site,, or by calling the team’s office at (661) 951-9093. [email protected] (661) 267-7802160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In a separate arrangement, the Rattlers reached an agreement with the Antelope Valley Union High School District for use of Knight High’s field for its regular season opener against the Ventura County Fusion. The Rattlers will play their remaining home games at Palmdale High, which is having its field reseeded, and is expected to be ready for use in time for the team’s May 10 game against the Real SoCal Quakes. Rattlers President and General Manager Gerald Brunner discovered that the Palmdale High field was unusable in a visit to the school three weeks ago. He cited a collaborative community effort to be pivotal in resolving what he acknowledged was a field-use “crisis.” He said his team would have faced a $6,500 fine and considerable embarrassment for not being able to host the MLS teams. Brunner credited officials from AVC, AVUHSD and representatives from the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich for resolving the dilemma. LANCASTER – A field crisis that threatened to derail the Lancaster Rattlers’ inaugural soccer season is over. The Rattlers secured use of the Antelope Valley College field for their April 16 exhibition game against the Galaxy, which will kick off the Antelope Valley-based Premier Development League’s season. They will play exhibition games against Chivas USA on June 5 and July 11. Both Major League Soccer teams will send reserve squads to Lancaster. last_img read more

first_imgA change in plansNASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has traditionally funded education activities directly in conjunction with every scientific payload. (There’s also an Office of Education at NASA headquarters that runs agency-wide programs such as scholarships and research opportunities for students and efforts to attract more minority students into space science.) The idea is to yoke those most knowledgeable about the science with those skilled in public dissemination.In April 2013, however, NASA announced it wanted to sever those ties as part of the Obama administration’s proposed reorganization of all federal science education activities. The $42 million allocated for E/PO within the science directorate would have disappeared in fiscal year 2014. Congress rejected the idea (as well as much of the White House’s overall reorganization plan) and eventually restored the NASA funding. But the money was slow to trickle out to the individual projects, and some suffered actual cuts.“We kept going, but the process of selecting the 2014 cohort was delayed by 5 to 6 months,” DeVore says about the teachers who were trained to fly aboard SOFIA. The E/PO component for Kepler received only 20% of its previous year’s allocation, she adds, leading to reductions in both programming and staff.This year the administration again lowballed funding for the activity, asking for only $15 million in its 2015 request for NASA. The final bill signed into law this week again restores the budget to pre-2014 levels. But even that amount is “well below” the 1% that NASA’s $5.1 billion science directorate is authorized to spend on education activities, notes a report from Senate appropriators this summer that accompanied a 2015 NASA spending bill that was folded into the final accord.“I’m very encouraged that Congress elected to put the funding back into SMD for E/PO,” DeVore says. “The real strength of having education specialists embedded is that they can suggest to the scientists and engineers the best way to translate for the public what they are doing.”Getting the public to understand those activities is essential to the country’s well-being, believes Leland Melvin, a former astronaut who stepped down earlier this year as head of NASA’s education office. “If we want to sustain our society, we need to make sure that we get kids excited about exploring the universe,” says Melvin, now a consultant and motivational speaker based in Lynchburg, Virginia. “And the best way to do that is through education and public outreach to share what NASA missions are discovering about our world.”NASA shuffles the education deckKathryn Flanagan, deputy director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, says that the U.S. space science education community breathed a “huge sigh of relief” when Congress reasserted the mission directorate’s key role in education. (The institute manages the Hubble Space Telescope and its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, and its education activities have their own website.) But more challenges await.Last month, NASA announced it would soon be requesting “team-based proposals for SMD science education” as part of a reshuffling of how the directorate will manage those programs. The preliminary notice says that NASA “intends to select one or more” teams to be the primary contractors. The competition gives organizations like STScI the chance to run education programs for several different NASA science missions while retaining the ties between educators and scientists.“It’s an interesting proposition,” says Flanagan, an x-ray astronomer with extensive experience as an educator. “It’s an opportunity to break the mission stovepiping of science content.” NASA’s four great space observatories—Hubble, the Chandra x-ray telescope, the Spitzer infrared telescope, and the now-defunct Compton gamma ray telescope—have some common themes, she believes, and educators would love to use content from each of them to enhance their activities. NASA would also benefit, she says, from the infrastructure and networks that already exist at organizations now performing E/PO duties for the directorate.DeVore is hoping that NASA will choose several institutions “and then ask them to work together” in applying what they have learned. In her case, that means drawing upon more than 2 decades of work in the field.She began doing NASA E/PO in the early 1990s for SOFIA’s predecessor, the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, now grounded. “I’m an educator,” DeVore says. “So I’m always looking for opportunities to take what NASA has learned and share it with teachers, students, and the public.” For example, what Kepler scientists are learning about potentially habitable planets, she says, can be easily turned it into a lesson that’s aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, a state-led, voluntary effort to improve science instruction in elementary and secondary schools across the country.In the meantime, teachers interested in riding aboard SOFIA have until Monday to submit an application. Those selected will need to complete an online graduate astronomy course before participating in two overnight flights. The program pays for all of their training, as well as the salary of a substitute back home while they’re away. The cost to the government is only $7000 per participant, DeVore notes—a very down-to-earth price for a chance to do science in the skies.To see all of our stories on the 2015 budget, click here. Since 2011, 55 science teachers from across the United States have flown on a Boeing 747, modified to hold a 2.5-meter telescope, that serves as NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). They have used that experience working alongside scientists—enhanced by additional training before and after their flights—to inform and excite students about the world around them.Next week is the deadline for teachers to apply to be part of the next cohort of airborne astronomy ambassadors. But the fate of that NASA-funded education program and many others was very much up in the air until this week, when Congress passed a $1 trillion spending bill to fund the federal government through 30 September 2015. The legislation, signed into law on Tuesday, restores funding for what NASA calls education and public outreach (E/PO) programs operated by SOFIA and dozens of other scientific missions. Many educators are relieved, but are also watching closely as the agency reshuffles some of its E/PO programs.“We had a bumpy ride in 2014,” admits Edna DeVore, an astronomy educator who manages the program for SOFIA, which is based in southern California. DeVore actually works in northern California as deputy CEO for the SETI Institute, which also conducts E/PO for two other NASA science missions: Kepler, a space telescope that is searching for exoplanets, and Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, which is orbiting Mars to study its atmosphere. 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