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Airband

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Airband last won the day on August 4

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  1. So while the federal government bribes, cajoles or otherwise forces drivers into electric vehicles, VIA Rail contracts for 32 new diesel powered trains with a thirty year life span. Heaven forbid they should back up all their virtuous platitudes on climate change by fast tracking electrification of the corridor and running it with green, relatively inexpensive hydro power from Quebec (there's a hat-trick for the feds).
  2. The pride a parent must feel..... Passenger Arrives Taped to a Seat and Is Charged With Assaulting Flight Attendants Maxwell Berry, 22, of Norwalk, Ohio, punched a Frontier Airlines flight attendant and groped two others on a flight from Philadelphia to Miami, the authorities said. Tue Aug 3, 2021 - The New York Times By Neil Vigdor frontier.mp4 A Frontier Airlines passenger assaulted three flight attendants, punching one and groping the breasts of two others, on a weekend flight from Philadelphia to Miami, prompting one crew member to tape him to his seat until the plane landed, the authorities said. Part of the altercation was caught on video by other passengers, who jeered as the man was restrained for the remainder of Flight 2289, which left Philadelphia at 10:41 p.m. on Saturday and landed 2 hours and 37 minutes later. Frontier Airlines said in an initial statement on Tuesday that the flight attendants would be “relieved of flying” while it investigated, which drew sharp criticism from the Association of Flight Attendants, the nation’s largest flight attendants union. Later on Tuesday, the airline said that paid leave was in line with “an event of this nature.” The Association of Flight Attendants said that the encounter was emblematic of the hostilities faced by airline crews since the loosening of travel restrictions that had been put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. It came amid a surge of reports filed by airlines with the Federal Aviation Administration about unruly passengers, who have faced steep fines for disruptions. In one video, which was obtained by several television stations and received widespread attention online, the man, who police said had been drinking, repeatedly cursed at other passengers and at the crew. He said that his parents were worth “two million goddamn dollars.” The Miami-Dade Police Department identified the man as Maxwell Berry, 22, of Norwalk, Ohio, who it said in a criminal complaint had been charged with three misdemeanor counts of battery. It was not immediately clear if Mr. Berry had a lawyer. Messages left by phone at his family’s home in Ohio and by email on Tuesday were not answered. Mr. Berry was booked into the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department on Sunday and was released later that day. Court date information was not immediately available from the department. The trouble began when Mr. Berry ordered his third alcoholic beverage of the flight and brushed his empty cup against a flight attendant’s backside, according to the criminal complaint, which said that the flight attendant told him “don’t touch me.” Mr. Berry, who had been sitting in seat 28D, then emerged from the bathroom shirtless after spilling his drink, prompting a flight attendant to tell him that he needed to be fully dressed, the complaint said. The flight attendant helped him get a shirt out of his carry-on luggage, and Mr. Berry walked around the cabin for about 15 minutes. That’s when he groped the breasts of another flight attendant, who told him not to touch her and to sit down, the authorities said. In the criminal complaint, officers wrote that Mr. Berry later put his arms around the same two flight attendants and groped their breasts. When a male flight attendant approached and asked him several times to calm down, officers said, Mr. Berry punched him in the face with a closed fist. Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said in a statement on Tuesday that the encounter was one of the worst disruptions experienced by airline crews this year. “A drunk and irate passenger verbally, physically, and sexually assaulted multiple members of the crew,” Ms. Nelson said. “When he refused to comply after multiple attempts to de-escalate, the crew was forced to restrain the passenger with the tools available to them onboard. We are supporting the crew.” In their complaint, officers said that several other passengers had helped to restrain Mr. Berry, whom the video showed being secured to a seat by a male crew member with what appeared to be packing tape. A seatbelt extender was also used as a restraint, the police said. Some other passengers laughed and pulled out their cellphone cameras to record the scene. “Frontier Airlines maintains the utmost value, respect, concern and support for all of our flight attendants, including those who were assaulted on this flight,” the Denver-based carrier said. “We are supporting the needs of these team members and are working with law enforcement to fully support the prosecution of the passenger involved.” But the flight attendants union criticized the airline’s response. “Management suspended the crew as a knee-jerk reaction to a short video clip that did not show the full incident,” said Ms. Nelson, the union’s president. “Management should be supporting the crew at this time, not suspending them.” Frontier did not answer questions about the airline’s policies and procedures for restraining unruly passengers, including whether tape had been approved for that purpose. In the criminal complaint, the arresting officers said that they had referred the matter to the F.B.I., but that it had declined to pursue federal felony charges against Mr. Berry. Mr. Berry’s legal problems may be just beginning, though. The F.A.A. has fined several passengers tens of thousands of dollars this year for clashing with airline crews over mask requirements and other safety instructions. Earlier this year, the agency imposed a zero-tolerance policy for interfering with or assaulting flight attendants that carries a fine of up to $35,000 and possible jail time. An F.A.A. spokesman said in an email on Tuesday that the agency investigates all reports of unruly passengers, but that it could not comment on individual cases. “Cabin crews are responsible for deciding how to respond to unruly-passenger incidents,” said the spokesman, Ian Gregor. Mr. Berry graduated in May from Ohio Wesleyan University, where he received a values in action award from the Greek life community for being a “perfect role model” and for leading “the fight to dismantle fraternity stereotypes.” The university posted a Zoom video of the presentation. “Ohio Wesleyan is saddened to learn of this situation with one of our graduates,” Cole Hatcher, a spokesman for the university, said in an email on Tuesday. “The case does not involve the university, and the incidents depicted do not reflect Ohio Wesleyan’s values.”
  3. ? - I never said it wasn't a coal fired unit - it is. I said coal didn't play role as a source of ignition or fuel for the explosion and fire in the turbine hall and it didn't. Steam turbine went into an overspeed condition and came apart (in a big way). There is no coal in the turbine hall, coal fired combustion for steam generation is housed in a separate building. Could have happened in any gas or nuclear power station using a steam turbine as well. Something might have 'gone off like a bomb', but it wasn't coal in this instance. Financial Review
  4. Suspect a three year bridge may be a bridge too far.... Laid off from Air Canada, a year later long-time worker fights to win back flights — and more Mon, Aug 2, 2021 - Toronto Star By Rosa Saba - Business Reporter Jeff Iacobucci is certainly not the only person to have lost his job during the pandemic. But more than a year later, he’s still fighting to get what he believes is a fair severance package from his former employer. Iacobucci worked at Air Canada for just over 22 years. Like many, near the end of March 2020 he went home and waited for weeks to find out whether he still had a job to return to. In June, a phone call confirmed what he feared: he had been permanently let go. When Iacobucci received his severance package, it wasn’t what he had hoped for. (Air Canada declined to comment on “confidential personnel matters.”) The package included 12 months of Iacobucci’s base salary. But that wouldn’t include the bonuses he usually received, which were often “quite significant,” he said. It also didn’t include the overtime and holidays Iacobucci often worked, he said — in other words, the base salary wasn’t anything close to what he would actually make in a year. Iacobucci’s benefits were also cut — he got a few months of medical coverage, and no dental, he said. But the most egregious thing for Iacobucci was a benefit he had been looking forward to. After 25 years of service, he said he was supposed to get flight benefits for life, meaning he could get flights for a nominal charge on standby. Iacobucci was less than three years away from the lifetime of affordable flights he had been anticipating. Instead, Air Canada offered him 20 of those flights in the voluntary severance package, and when he refused that, offered a non-voluntary package with six. “As soon as I saw the agreement I was like, oh, there’s no way I’m accepting this,” said Iacobucci. After speaking to some employment lawyers, who told him the whole thing could be settled in a matter of months, Iacobucci hired one. They started with a letter to Air Canada, but the company refused to negotiate, said Iacobucci, so he proceeded with a claim via the Canada Labour Board, which was then referred to the Canada Industrial Relations Board. After being set up with a mediator, Iacobucci says the airline has been pushing back the mediation date, which he thinks is a stalling tactic. Iacobucci is especially frustrated with his experience because it’s been the opposite of what he was told it would be. “The expectation is set up (that) this is going to be really quick and easy and simple,” he said. “My experience has been, it’s anything but that.” Iacobucci’s lawyer, Howard Markowitz, said COVID-19 is holding labour cases up, making the process frustrating for both claimants and their lawyers. “There’s a huge backlog,” he said. Luckily, experts say most severance package disputes are settled before making it to court. If you’ve been terminated, here are some tips to help you tell whether what you’re being offered is a good deal, and how to proceed if you think you’re owed more. How do I know if my severance package is fair? Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru said a terminated employee should always assume their severance package is inadequate, and not sign right away. If your employer has given you a deadline to accept the severance agreement, employment lawyer Stuart Rudner said not to panic. “If you do not sign and return the documents, you will still receive your statutory entitlements, and you can pursue the additional compensation to which you are entitled,” he said in an email. Markowitz said a Google search often brings up the legal minimum severance entitlement, and many people won’t look further than that to figure out what they could be entitled to. There is no hard and fast rule to determine what a fair severance offer looks like, said Samfiru. It’s based on your age, the length of your employment, and the type of position you held at the company. For example, if two people who had each worked at a company for ten years were both laid off, but one was significantly older or had held a position higher up on the management chain, that person would be offered more than the younger, less senior person. Rudner said most people underestimate how much they’re owed in severance. “It sometimes surprises people to learn that, generally speaking, you are entitled to have a package that includes all forms of compensation, such as benefits, bonuses, commissions, and car allowance,” said Rudner. As a rule, Samfiru said these perks should continue for as long as your salary is paid out. “Would I have gotten it had I continued working there over the severance period?” Samfiru said you should ask yourself. “If the answer is yes, then that has to be included as part of the severance.” As for something like Iacobucci’s flight benefits, that’s a little more difficult to determine, said Samfiru. But if a perk like those flight benefits would have kicked in had the severance period been a working period — in other words, if Iacobucci’s severance period pushed him over the 25-year mark — then that perk should be on the severance deal too. Another important component of the severance package is the clause concerning what happens if the terminated employee gets a new job. Samfiru said it’s important to make sure the clause not only extends your benefits until you’re receiving benefits at your new job, but also doesn’t cut off your pay entirely if your new job pays significantly less than your previous one. Rudner agreed: “Negotiate a minimum income that will trigger this clause. Otherwise, if you work one shift at a grocery store, you could cost yourself months of severance.” I don’t think I’m being offered a fair severance deal. What should I do? If you’re unsure about the fairness of the deal you’ve been offered, Samfiru and Rudner suggest consulting an employment lawyer to review it. Carolyn Levy, president of technology for human resources consultancy Randstad Canada, said you shouldn’t worry about what it will look like to consult a lawyer, as a third party is always helpful. “Put yourself first,” she said, instead of worrying about what your former employer will think. You may be able to use the lawyer’s assessment to negotiate on your own if you have a good relationship with the employer, Samfiru said. But having a lawyer send a letter to the company is an effective way to kick-start a negotiation and get a better offer. Usually, these disputes are over pretty quickly, said Samfiru, as the employer is prepared to give you more, but hoping you don’t ask for it. The process can be more complicated if there are other documents involved, such as an employment agreement that limits your severance options, but those aren’t always binding, he said. But if the negotiation doesn’t go as planned, your next step is a legal claim, which can still be settled fairly quickly through mediation, said Samfiru. “Going to court is the rare exception,” he said, noting that it’s only worthwhile if there’s a lot at stake, and if you’re sure you have a good chance at winning. It’s up to your lawyer to push if there are any unnecessary delays, said Samfiru. That’s the position Iacobucci finds himself in now.
  5. No proponent of coal (sooner it's gone the better) but it played no role as a fuel or source of ignition for the explosion and fire in the Callide Power Station turbine hall article you posted.
  6. California NIMBYs Threaten Biden’s Clean Energy Goals Fri Jul 30, 2021 - Bloomberg News by Mark Chediak (Bloomberg) -- Like many who live in this pastoral valley near Livermore, Calif., Chris O’Brien is a believer in renewable energy. The 61-year old logistics business owner outfitted his barn with solar panels that power his 50-acre ranch where he grows oat hay, raises horses and grazes cattle. “Everyone here is in favor of green energy,” O’Brien said. But that support has its limits. When he learned of plans to build a giant solar farm next door to his property—the kind of project that would help meet the state’s clean energy goals—O’Brien decided he had to fight it. It was exactly the sort of thing that would spoil the rural landscape that he says should be protected by a local anti-development measure. “It would be a sea of glass, it disturbs the environment”
  7. Grounded Pilots Swamp Aviation Recruiters in Fight for Jobs Sat Jul 31, 2021 - Bloomberg News by Angus Whitley (Bloomberg) -- When U.K.-based Goose Recruitment kicked off a recent campaign to find 30 Boeing Co. 737 cargo pilots for a client in Europe, 400 resumes poured in within 48 hours. Most of the applicants used to fly commercial passenger jets. “Pre-Covid, most airline pilots would look down their noses at flying cargo,” Goose’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Charman said in an interview from his office in Southampton on England’s south coast. “Now they’re like, ‘Pick me!’” This clamor for work is being reflected around the world, as desperate pilots who’ve been grounded by the pandemic for more than a year mob recruiters for the few new flying jobs on the market in a last-ditch effort to save their aviation careers. Wasinc International Ltd., which recruits overseas pilots for Chinese and Japanese airlines, is getting so many emails from out-of-work applicants that it no longer needs to advertise the roles it is trying to fill. Job applications from down-on-their-luck aviators, from Brazil and Mexico to Canada and Europe, have jumped at least 30-fold from pre-virus days, Wasinc CEO Dave Ross said in an interview from his home in Las Vegas. While a rebound in U.S. domestic air travel offers some hope, the pleas for work reflect an industry decimated by the crisis. Temporary and permanent job losses at the four biggest carriers in the U.S. exceeded 150,000 last year, including pilots and other staff. Global airline capacity is still wallowing 31% below normal levels, according to OAG. Aggressive waves of the fast-spreading delta variant also threaten to push back a travel recovery, which could bring more trouble to the industry as pilots leave for good to retire, look for other work or as their flying qualifications expire. That risks leaving a shortage of skilled operators in the cockpit whenever a firmer recovery takes hold. Airline pilots must typically pass two proficiency checks a year, and additional qualifications tied to specific aircraft types can expire in 12 or 24 months. A survey in January found that more than half of the world’s commercial pilots were no longer flying for a living. Wasinc has just four Chinese carriers including Sichuan Airlines Corp. accepting applications from overseas pilots, down from 23 before the pandemic. Covid travel restrictions make it hard for foreign pilots to enter China for assessments, Ross said. Even if a pilot lands a job, the generous pre-pandemic compensation packages of around $24,000 a month have more than halved because pilots aren’t flying so many hours, he said. Ross said many of the pilots on his books looking for work are approaching the end of their validity periods. With the outlook so bleak, some are opting to leave the industry altogether. “I don’t think we can avoid the fact that maybe in less than a year, there’s going to be a shortage,” he said. Boeing said late last year the world will need 763,000 new pilots by 2039, even if Covid-19 had temporarily put a brake on traffic growth. Some are hiring again, trying to play catchup in markets experiencing a rebound. American Airlines Group Inc. will hire 350 pilots this year and 1,000 in 2022, 50% more than previously planned. Ryanair Holdings Plc is also adding 2,000 pilots over the next three years to grab market share from weakened rivals. The low-cost airline needs pilots to fly the new Boeing 737 Max jets it began taking in June. Delta Air Lines Inc. plans to hire more than 1,000 pilots by next summer as domestic leisure travel returns. These bursts of activity aren’t enough to soak up the current excess of crew, according to Goose’s CEO and founder Charman. Even his company’s campaign that attracted a rush of applicants was put on ice due to “changes in our client’s business,” he said. It’s not just senior pilots with pensions and savings who are quitting now that jobs have dried up, Charman said. There are signs that career aspirations are dwindling for junior pilots too. “They’ve given up,” he said. “Our prediction is that, very quickly, we will have a real problem in the aviation sector.”
  8. Fire breaks out in Tesla Megapack unit in Australia during testing Fri Jul 30, 2021 - Reuters by Byron Kaye SYDNEY, July 30 (Reuters) - A fire broke out in a Tesla Inc Megapack battery unit in Australia on Friday during testing of one of the world's biggest energy storage projects, run by France's Neoen SA, fire authorities said. The fire erupted during an initial trial of the high-profile energy project known as the Victorian Big Battery near Melbourne on Friday morning local time, authorities said, adding that nobody was injured and the facility was evacuated. "Neoen and Tesla are working closely with emergency services on site to manage the situation," Neoen Managing Director Louis de Sambucy said in a statement. The site had been disconnected from the grid and "there will be no impact to the electricity supply", added de Sambucy. The statement did not give the cause of the fire. Fire Rescue Victoria said crews with breathing apparatus were working to stop the blaze spreading from the 13-tonne battery to nearby batteries at the site. A fire department scientific officer was conducting atmospheric monitoring, it added, although it said there was no threat to the community. A Tesla spokesperson in Australia could not immediately be contacted. The total cost of the project has not been disclosed, but Neoen won A$160 million ($118 million) in cheap finance from the Australian government earlier this year to help fund the big battery designed to produce 450 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity. Tesla supplied its Megapack technology for the project, which is due to start operating in time for the Australian summer, which begins in December.
  9. Canada not among countries exempt from quarantine for travel into England and Scotland Vaccinated travellers from many European countries and U.S. will not have to quarantine upon arrival Cited the success of the vaccine rollout in the U.S. and EU as a reason for the decision
  10. Well played Joe! China hosts Taliban leaders as U.S. withdraws troops from Afghanistan Wed Jul 28, 2021 - The Washington Post By Rebecca Tan China expressed support for the Taliban’s role in Afghanistan’s future while warning it to cut ties with a separatist movement in the Xinjiang region, in a clear expression of Beijing’s geopolitical goals in the Central Asian country. Just days after meeting with top U.S. officials in the port city of Tianjin, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomed a nine-member delegation from the Taliban that included chief negotiator and top political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. This comes amid the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, which some experts and officials have warned could lead to political instability in the region. According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Wang told Taliban leaders that America’s “hasty withdrawal” from Afghanistan is a mark of its policy failures in the country. China will not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, he said, adding that the Taliban is expected to “play an important role in the process of peace, reconciliation and reconstruction” of the country. The meeting comes as the Taliban has increasingly been reaching out to countries in the region, in the likely expectation that the movement will soon become a major player in the running of Afghanistan. While peace talks are underway between representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, they have been stalled, even as the militants have unleased offensives in Afghanistan that have won it new territory. Chinese leaders also took the opportunity to demand that the Taliban sever all ties with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which Beijing has frequently blamed for attacks in its far western Xinjiang province. The movement “poses a direct threat to China’s national security and territorial integrity,” Wang said, adding that “it is the common responsibility of the international community to fight against ETIM.” Taliban leaders at the meeting pledged to respect the national security of China, Mohammad Naeem, spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, said in a Twitter statement. China has long been critical of U.S. presence in Afghanistan but recently aired concerns that U.S. military withdrawal could plunge the region into instability and potentially cause security problems along China’s sensitive northwest border. Human rights violations against the Uyghur population in the northwest territory of Xinjiang have elicited widespread condemnation from the international community and continue to be a major source of tension between the United States and China.
  11. Ya don't mess with the mesa.... The US’s largest solar farm is canceled because Nevada locals don’t want to look at it Tue Jul 27, 2021. - electrek The Battle Born Solar Project in Nevada – what would have been the largest solar farm in the US – is now canceled because nearby residents said it would be an eyesore. The 850 megawatt, 9,200-acre solar farm, which would have been constructed in southern Nevada’s Moapa Valley, was to sit on 14 square miles on the Mormon Mesa, a flat-topped hill around 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. California-based Arevia Power and Solar Partners VII LLC withdrew their application with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last week in the face of opposition from a group called Save Our Mesa. The group, which is made up of residents, environmentalists, and others, feels that the solar farm would hinder hiking, camping, driving off-highway vehicles, and horseback riding and deter tourists from visiting artist Michael Heizer’s environmental sculpture, “Double Negative”. We have been called a whining NIMBY group, well this is mostly true because this project IS literally IN our backyard!
  12. Pearson Airport backtracks on policy to separate arrivals based on COVID-19 vaccination status Policy was in effect for less than 2 days Tue Jul 27, 2021 - CBC News
  13. Boeing’s Talent Exodus Threatens Turnaround After 737 Max Crisis, Pandemic After calamity and years of restrained ambition under cost-obsessed executives, the company that was once a factory of dreams is losing workers to SpaceX and Amazon Software design and coding errors have repeatedly led to performance shortfalls
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