Because the bar clamp area overlaps the bar more than 180º, you simply remove the faceplate and put the narrower part of the bar near the grips in first, then slide the handlebar into the center. Line things up and clamp down the faceplate and you’re all set.The purpose of the crescent-shaped slit on the steerer tube clamp is that it distributes the stresses across a broader area rather than focusing all of it on one single section of the steerer tube, particularly important on carbon steerers.The stem is approved for both road and mountain bike use. Presumably cyclocross, too.Lastly, we just got some more numbers from the Ritchey team: Not only is it way stronger, it’s 30% stiffer than their 4-Axis stems that have been used for years on Tour-winning bikes and my own personal (non-Tour winning) bike. “Now, with everyone moving to the larger 31.8 diameter bars, it’s allowed us to create a pseudo-single bolt design because we can do an overlapping mounting section and use only a 4mm bolt because so much of the pressure is taken off the bolts.”The new C260 and is a 100g stem that’s testing 3x to 4x stronger than any previous Ritchey stem because they’re using a new generation Alcoa alloy and because of the new design. Not only is it stronger, it’s stiffer, giving you more control. The rear uses a three-bolt, radius slot clamp design, meaning the slit is crescent moon shaped. Tom Ritchey was with us for Scottweek, riding all of us into the ground day after day. Turns out he wasn’t just on hand to embarrass us, he also had a new toy to show off.In his words, his product design is born from either him or his sponsored riders needing a better product. His new C260 stem comes from market pressures, everyone saying “Tom, you need a carbon stem!”“The problem is, no one’s truly doing a carbon fiber stem properly,” said Ritchey. “As people were trying to make carbon stems and not making any real improvements, people were making aluminum ones that were testing 3x and 4x stronger than anything made before.“The old single-bolt stem is still the best because it holds the bar the best (by cradling the bar inside a single piece). The new ones with removable faceplates are great for swapping out your bar, but they’re never as good as the original single bolt design. As I was heading down the path of creating a carbon stem, I found that putting four bolts in the front of a carbon stem and you’re inviting disaster.”UPDATED 7/15 @ 5:26EST – Installation info at bottom of postTurns out, the “C” in C260 doesn’t actually stand for “Carbon” and the new stem is, in fact, alloy. Hit ‘more’ and get the scoop and tons of photos…
All My Sons Show Closed This production ended its run on June 30, 2019 View Comments Tracy Letts & Annette Bening(Photos: Jim Luning & Jon Rou) Related Shows Tickets are now on sale for the 2019 Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s classic drama All My Sons. Gregory Mosher will direct the Roundabout Theatre Company production, slated to begin previews on April 4 with an opening scheduled for April 22 at the American Airlines Theatre. Tracy Letts and Annette Bening will star as Joe and Kate Keller. Set in the aftermath of World War II, All My Sons follows the Keller family, who struggle to stay intact and fight for their future when a long-hidden secret threatens to emerge—forcing them to reckon with greed, denial, repentance and post-war disenchantment across generations.Additional casting for the upcoming All My Sons revival will be announced at a later date. The production is scheduled to play a limited engagement through June 23, 2019.
by Amy Nixon vtdigger.org(link is external) The House Education Committee faces a daunting task: balancing the need for improved public education against a public outcry for tax relief. Representative Dave Sharpe, D-Bristol, the chair of the committee believes the mission — to improve public education and find cost efficiencies — is achievable.Rep. Dave Sharpe, D-Bristol“There are some huge issues,” Sharpe said Monday. “We have a fair amount of material or input from Vermonters over the last year. There was a summer study group the speaker put together, there was a group who worked on education in the Mad River Valley, and an imperative came from the Vermont Business Roundtable,” for starters. “And there are a number of other groups and individuals who have put forward proposals for what we do with education in Vermont, and how we tax our citizens in our state for education.“We have a lot on our table, and we have a big challenge,” Sharpe said.Sharpe has an inside view of public schools: He taught automotive technology in Essex for more than 20 years before he ran his own automotive shop.Rising property taxesThe call for quality public education at a more affordable cost for homeowners has come in from all corners of the state.“Within the revenue constraints that we are currently in, I don’t see any new money coming into education,” Sharpe said. “My major hope is to be a consensus-builder.”Setting the stage for cooperation will be key, Sharpe said, “… because I don’t think we can get this done without cooperation, not only across party lines, but also across geographic lines. Education is approached very differently in different regions of the state,” he said.One of the concerns raised in many corners of Vermont as it looks to find efficiencies in education is the number of small schools in the state.“In Vermont, we have tiny schools,” Sharpe said. “When you look in the literature, and they’re talking about small schools (nationally) they are talking in the 400-600 student body range, and I think we have over 100 schools with fewer than 100 students, so we really have tiny schools in Vermont.“I get the discussion and how difficult it is,” he said, but “how willing communities are to pay for the costs of those small schools has got to be part of the discussion if we look at the cost drivers,” such as health care.Sharpe said he is already fielding phone calls and emails from people about his new role in the state’s educational landscape.“It’s amazing how varied those comments are,” he said. “I think there are a number of people who are concerned about their property taxes, and, ironically, they tend to be people with more money rather than less money. Nevertheless, people are concerned about property taxes.”Preparing students for 21st centurySharpe said quality, too, is at the forefront.“We do a pretty good job in our public schools,” he said, “but people want us to do an even better job preparing students for the 21st century.”What Sharpe said is being called for is for the state’s educational system “to do a better job within the financial limitations we are operating under.”Sen. Philip Baruth, D-Chittenden, has been on the Senate Education Committee the past four years, and he said he hopes to serve on it again, but “no one will be sure of that until Thursday or Friday.”Sen. Phil Baruth, D-Chittenden, committed to health care legislation this session during an AFT Vermont meeting in Burlington on Monday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger“I think there is a lot of concern about property taxes and the way they spike in some communities and also seem to be going up at a greater rate than people had imagined or have an easy time dealing with, so there’s that,” Baruth said.The second issue is the dwindling population in many areas, and the fact that “costs have continued to rise … I think critics have a hard time seeing those things happening and not calling for a major realignment of our priorities,” he said.Baruth said the House Education Committee came out with a bill last session that would have created mandatory consolidation and would have affected any district that didn’t meet a uniform size, but the Senate “made it clear we were not going to support a mandatory, one-size-fits-all model.”The House bill came to the Senate Rules Committee at the very end of the session, Baruth said.“That’s going to be a big elephant in the room immediately. Can we find a way to reduce the number of districts, reduce administrative redundancies?” he said. “These solutions might actually increase quality in certain locations.”Baruth said, “I think there is a compromise that can be made in terms of isolating districts that are not serving their students well because they are too small. Can we find ways to nudge those districts into consolidation and provide greater opportunities for students because their school doesn’t offer, say, advanced algebra?”“There are some really tough conversations going on in almost every committee,” Baruth said. “I think it’s a really good moment to make some headway on some of these issues, because I think that after a train wreck between the House and Senate, everyone would like to not have another one of those.”Like Rep. Sharpe, Baruth, who is the Senate Majority Leader, said he is hearing from people. “You always hear both sides. I hear a lot of people saying, ‘I don’t want my property taxes to go up, in fact, I want them to go down dramatically.’ ”“I also hear from people saying, ‘Look, we didn’t send you to Montpelier to slash our children’s education budgets,’ ” he said.Sen. David Zuckerman, P/D-Chittenden, has an idea to try and bring in social services to work more within the schools.“I would really like to see if we can both improve services and reduce costs by integrating the human services personnel into the schools so that the social work aspect of our education system can be removed from the teachers’ backs and the education budget,” Zuckerman said.“I’m sure it will be complicated, but I think it’s worth looking at.”
Related This Saturday 20 August, the global XTERRA off-road tri series turns its attention to Zittau, Germany – site of the 2011 XTERRA European Championship.“The weather is spectacular. It must be in the low 80s, sunny and warm. It was raining a bit when we came over from the Czech Republic on Monday but since then it has been glorious,” said XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas.Zittau is in the southeast close to the border tri-point of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. The course starts in the village of Olbersdorf at a huge park with a beautiful lake that serves thousands during the summer months.“The swim is a full 1500m and pros are worried because the water temp is 19.5 and at 20 they cannot wear wetsuits,” said Nicholas. “As the race is sanctioned by the German Federation speedsuits are not allowed. It is supposed to cool down, and if that happens we should be full wetsuit for everyone on Saturday, but only time will tell.”The bike course in the Zittau Mountains is a long 35K and is challenging. “The first 5-6K are fast and flat and could produce some drafting if packs are smart enough to figure that out. But the first climbs and downhills will shred any pack that gets there together. Some of the climbs are ‘hike a bike’ even for the best pros and there are very technical downhills that will have a lot of people walking,” added Nicholas.“The run is about 9K and has some rolling hills and technical sections but not difficult. Lots of fun as you start out of transition, run around the park campgrounds and then do a counter clockwise loop around the lake.”Saturday’s race will serve as the XTERRA European Championship, but also the German Triathlon Union Meistershaft (national championship) and the XTERRA Germany Championship.www.xterraplanet.com
The past couple of years have presented Woodside Village developer Blair Tanner with a steady parade of headaches. But after months and months managing remediation work on the Westwood property, Tanner says there’s a light at the end of the tunnel — and that he’s now turning his attention to the next phase of the project.Woodside Village developer Blair Tanner says the work to fix water damage to the building at 47th Street and Rainbow Blvd. is nearly complete.It wasn’t long after the mixed-use building opened to tenants that leaking windows started to raise concerns. By the fall of 2017, the problem had gotten bad enough that the property owners determined they would have to undertake extensive corrective action to fix the water damage issues that arose in part from a contractor’s inadequate installation work.“We realized that the problem was systematic,” Tanner said of the leakage. “So instead of trying to solve issues as they showed themselves, we just decided to solve the entire system by taking the exterior of the building off and then rebuilding it.”(Tanner said he can’t give specifics on the circumstances that caused the water issues because his company is in active litigation to recover damages).That remediation work presented a unique set of challenges, as the company worked to minimize disruption to both residential and commercial tenants. At times, residents had to move from one apartment unit to another while the exterior of their unit was wholly replaced.A rendering included in the plans submitted to the city of Westwood for phase two of the Woodside Village project.“It was very stressful for us because we had to balance all the interests of everyone involved, both the residential and commercial tenants,” Tanner said.Now, about a year and a half after remediation work began, the project is nearing its end. Tanner said work is about “95 percent done,” and that the final scaffolding that’s been visible to motorists driving by the property should be coming down in the next couple weeks. He says there has been strong interest in the residential units as they’ve been put back on the market. Seventy percent of the final 21 units that are having their exterior walls replaced have been pre-leased, Tanner says.And with the announcement earlier this summer that Unforked had taken out a lease for the last commercial space on the ground floor, the building is nearly full occupancy. With the remediation phase nearly complete, Tanner said the company is returning focus to the next parts of the project.“The next phase is already designed, so we’re ready to go,” he said. “We really wanted to resolve the issues here 100 percent before we focused too much energy on building out the next phases. So that’s where we’re at now. We’re starting to turn our attention back to those phases.”The Woodside Village South phase of the project has already been approved by the city of Westwood, and would be considerably larger than the first, northern phase. The first phase built out 91 residential units and 13,000 square feet of retail. The southern phase calls for 244 residential units and 16,556 square feet of retail, along with parking structures with a total of 550 spaces.Tanner said he couldn’t offer a tentative timeline for when second phase work might get underway. At present, the company is focused on lining up financing for the project and completing contracts.“Until things are done, they’re not done,” he said.
Courts told to expect a 4.2 percent budget cut Courts told to expect a 4.2 percent budget cut ‘In order to do that it may mean reductions in services’ September 15, 2007 Managing Editor Regular News Mark D. Killian Managing Editor and Gary Blankenship Senior Editor As legislators began the “daunting task” of trimming some $1 billion from the state’s budget, chairs of the two committees that will hold great sway over the judicial branch’s new allocations say they will make reduction recommendations with an eye toward protecting the public.The chief justice and other court system leaders also learned during pre-special session hearings in Tallahassee the last week of August to expect cuts in the neighborhood of 4 percent, instead of the potentially crippling 10 percent cuts the governor had asked all state agencies and branches to prepare for.Sen. Victor Crist, R-Tampa, chair of the Senate Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations, said the governor put the branches and agencies through the 10 percent budget reduction exercise so lawmakers could have some flexibility in taking a look at areas that could be modified in the budget.“I’ve been told it is going to be more like 4.2 percent,” said Crist, adding some areas will see reductions greater than that percentage while others, less.“In order to do that it may mean reductions in services; it may mean the reduction of some programs; it may mean some reduction in staffing; it may mean some internal changes for efficiencies; but we are going to be looking at what keeps the public safe,” Crist said.Rep. Dick Kravitz, R-Orange Park, chair of the House Safety and Security Council, also warned that Florida’s revenue crisis may not be just a one-year problem. State budget experts have predicted the state could face a $2.5 billion shortfall next year.“It’s probably going to be a long-term affair over several sessions,” Kravitz said.“The priority should be in protecting the public safety in these budget cuts,” he added. “That’s the main reason government exists, to protect the public.”Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Wilton Manors, said he hopes to mitigate the impact of cuts on the judicial system, in recognition of its status as a third, co-equal branch of government.“When you have funding issues in other areas, you have a funding crisis,” Seiler said. “When you have funding issues with the courts, you have a constitutional crisis.”Chief Justice Fred Lewis testified before both Crist’s and Kravitz’s committees August 28. He told lawmakers the judicial branch is willing to do its share, but reiterated in order to keep the citizens of Florida safe “we do have to have an operational, fully funded court system to resolve these disputes.”In recommending areas for reductions, Chief Justice Lewis said the courts did their best not to eliminate jobs.“I think this committee and the legislature recognizes that over the years we were operating not with fat, but we were operating from flesh and blood,” Lewis told the Senate panel.State Courts Administrator Lisa Goodner said the state court system accounts for only about 0.7 percent of the total state budget. Lewis also noted the trial courts are still trying to implement Revision 7 to Art. 5, the 1998 constitutional amendment requiring the state to take over more funding of the trial courts.“So if we cut too far into this, we are just really rolling back Revision 7,” Chief Justice Lewis said.Crist also said he will try to “tread lightly” on the state attorney and pubic defender budgets, saying they are on the “top of the list of do not disturbs.” Both the Florida Public Defender Association and the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association have expressed concerns that any cuts in their members’ respective budgets would mean the elimination of desperately needed positions, since about 95 percent of those budgets are tied up in salaries and benefits.Rep. Mitch Needelman, R-Melbourne, asked if lawmakers could be given specific guidance on what would be the effects of 2, 4, 6, or 8 percent budget cuts. Eighth Circuit State Attorney William Cervone, vice president of the FPAA, said that would be a difficult prediction to make. He noted, for example, that a state attorney could not eliminate a victim assistance unit because by law state attorneys are required to provide those services, although the state attorney could cut back that unit.“Give us the flexibility as individual officers to see where we can afford it and we will try to have the least impact on public safety,” Cervone said, noting that a full 10 percent cut could mean a layoff of about 10 percent, or 200, of the state’s approximately 2,000 assistant state attorneys.Eighth Circuit PD Rick Parker, president of the FPDA, told the Senate panel that each assistant PD in the state already averages a caseload of 600, and the turnover rate for PDs last year was 24 percent.Rep. Nicholas Thompson, R-Ft. Myers, asked about requiring judicial approval as a way to reduce depositions and hence costs in third degree felony cases. But Fourth Circuit PD Bill White said many third degree felony cases are settled before depositions are taken, and in other cases the depositions help lead to an early plea bargain, saving time for prosecutors, public defenders, and the courts.Crist noted that in the past two legislative sessions “we funded the courts first and then everybody else second because for the last eight years prior, the courts were [treated] like a stepchild in the process.”“As you know the trial courts are basically where the rubber meets the road, and one of the things we all realize is when there is a downturn in the economy, unfortunately, one thing happens — crime increases,” said Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Belvin Perry, chair of the Trial Court Budget Commission.“We realize this state is suffering great pain,” Perry said. “They only thing we are asking. . . is that you give us a voice in determining what gets cut.”Second District Court of Appeal Chief Judge Steven Northcutt, chair of the DCA Budget Commission, reminded lawmakers that DCAs’ budgets also are in people and buildings — not programs — and filings have risen 5.3 percent in the past few years, with the biggest percentage of that increase coming in the form of criminal and juvenile cases. He noted the DCAs have not received any new judges to deal with rising caseloads since 1999, and 1993 before that.Victoria Montanero, director of the Justice Administrative Commission, said her agency, which has about 30 people to process invoices for state attorneys, public defenders, capital collateral regional counsels, the guardian ad litem program, and conflict attorneys, is being overwhelmed with bills. Just since the July 1 beginning of the fiscal year, an additional 13,000 invoices have been received, and private attorneys acting as conflict counsel — heeding a legislative deadline — have submitted an additional 4,000 bills. Cutting staff will only slow down payments, which in turn could make private attorneys more reluctant to take court appointments in conflict cases, she said.Rep. Kravitz said the House Policy and Budget Council will have the major say in the lower chamber on crafting the initial budget cuts. The panel, he said, will hold hearings before the special session begins later this fall, and probably have its initial meetings on a proposed bill during the session’s first week.Crist said while lawmakers take on the “very daunting task” of finding more than $1 billion in reductions, he will work to “spread the pain to make it as painless” as possible.“We are going to have to work together to face these challenges,” Crist said.
Daily Breakdown: Minnesota vs Illinois Ben GotzNovember 21, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintBy Mike HendricksonThe Gophers (4-6, 1-5 Big Ten) will face an unranked opponent in Illinois on Saturday after taking on three ranked teams in a row. A full breakdown and score prediction can be seen below:When Minnesota runs the ball:Redshirt freshman running back Rodney Smith is likely to play for the Gophers on Saturday after being a late scratch against Iowa last week. Minnesota’s running offense has been up and down lately, and Illinois is not the easiest opponent. They have allowed an average of 154.4 rushing yards a game, 51st in the Football Bowl Subdivision. If Smith stays healthy Saturday, and freshman Shannon Brooks has another good game, Minnesota will have a chance to get its running game back on track.Matchup to watch: RB Shannon Brooks vs. LB Dawuane SmootAdvantage: IllinoisWhen Illinois runs the ball:Illinois struggles in the ground game, as the Illini are second to last in the Big Ten and 113th in the FBS in rushing offense. The team’s leading rusher, freshman Ke’Shawn Vaughn, is also doubtful for Saturday’s game. The Gophers have some injuries on the defensive line, but have a chance to smother the Illini’s rushing attack.Matchup to watch: RB Josh Ferguson vs. DE Hendrick EkpeAdvantage: MinnesotaWhen Minnesota passes the ball:Illinois has a good passing defense. They are 34th in the FBS in yards allowed a game, and have 12 interceptions in 10 games. Redshirt quarterback Mitch Leidner has rattled off possibly the best four games of his career in his last four games however, and did it against some better passing defenses. The Illini’s passing defense should limit Leidner a little, but it should be another good game for the quarterback and his receivers. Matchup to watch: WR KJ Maye vs. S Taylor BartonAdvantage: MinnesotaWhen Illinois passes the ball:Junior quarterback Wes Lunt had a nice start to the season, but has only thrown four touchdowns in his last five games. He doesn’t turn the ball over much with only four interceptions this season, but he isn’t a good enough quarterback to do significant damage against Minnesota’s secondary. The Gophers are 16th in the FBS in passing yards allowed.Matchup to watch: WR Geronimo Allison vs. CB Eric MurrayAdvantage: MinnesotaOther key factors:Illinois’ offense is not where it was when it began the season. The Illini are averaging 16.8 points in their last five games – nine points a game if you take out their 48-point performance against Purdue – after putting up an average of 30.2 per game in their first five. Minnesota has faced some tough offensive teams lately; the Illini should be a break from that.Prediction:Minnesota 24, Illinois 13Minnesota’s offense is clicking lately, and while Illinois has a tough defense, Leidner and company should have no problem putting up enough points to win this game.Prediction record so far this season: 9-1
Share Share on Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Facebook Doctors and disability rights organisations have voiced fears that use of the tough new criteria to measure incapacity to work is undermining the mental health of claimants. However, up till now, there has been no hard evidence to substantiate these concerns.To find out if there was any link between use of the WCA and a rise in the prevalence of mental health issues, the researchers analysed the numbers of disability assessments carried out in 149 local authorities in England between 2004 and 2013.They looked at local trends in suicide rates among 18 to 64 year olds; antidepressant prescribing patterns; and Labour Force Survey data on self-reported mental health issues among the working population in each local authority.Between 2010 and 2013, more than one million (1.03) people claiming disability benefit were reassessed using the WCA. A higher proportion of people living in areas of deprivation were reassessed.The analysis showed that in those areas with higher rates of reassessment, there was a corresponding increase in suicides, mental health issues, and antidepressant prescribing.After taking account of the impact of baseline deprivation, economic trends, and long term trends in mental health, the researchers calculated that, there were around six extra suicides, 2700 more cases of mental ill health, and an extra 7020 prescriptions for individual antidepressants for every 10,000 people reassessed during this period.This adds up to a total of 590 additional suicides, 279,000 extra cases of mental ill health and 725,000 more prescriptions for antidepressants across the country as a whole that were associated with the reassessment policy between 2010 and 2013..This is an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. None the less, the researchers point out that they were at pains to adjust for other potentially influential factors, and that the observed increases in mental ill health followed–rather than preceded–the reassessment process.The findings have important implications for policy, they say, particularly as this was introduced without any evidence of its potential impact or any plans to evaluate its effects, added to which a further 1 million people will have been reassessed in 2015.The policy also raises ethical issues for the doctors involved, given that they have professional and statutory duties to protect the health of patients and the public, they add.“Our study provides evidence that the policy in England of reassessing the eligibility of [disability] benefit recipients using the WCA may have unintended but serious consequences for population mental health, and there is a danger that these adverse effects outweigh any benefits that may or may not arise from moving people off disability benefits,” they write.“Although the explicit aim of welfare reform in the UK is to reduce ‘dependency,’ it is likely that targeting the people living in the most vulnerable conditions with policies that are harmful to health, will further marginalise already excluded groups, reducing, rather than increasing, their independence,” they conclude. The introduction of a more stringent test to assess eligibility for disability benefit in England may have taken a “serious” toll on the nation’s mental health, concludes research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.Since 2010 the test, known as the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), has been used to assess the eligibility of claimants of the main out of work disability benefit, in a bid to get more people back into the workplace and help curb the government’s rising welfare bill.But areas with the greatest use of the WCA to assess existing claimants have seen the sharpest rises in reported suicides, mental health issues, and antidepressant prescribing, the findings show, prompting the researchers to question the wisdom of introducing this policy. Email
FDA finalizes FMSA rule on preventing intentional food adulterationThe seventh and last major rule of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), this one focusing on preventing intentional adulteration of the food supply and its consequences, is now final and will be published tomorrow in the Federal Register.The rule includes the first-time requirement that both domestic and foreign food facilities “complete and maintain a written food defense plan that assesses their potential vulnerabilities to deliberate contamination where the intent is to cause wide-scale public health harm,” says an FDA press release.The FDA goes on to say, ” Facilities now have to identify and implement mitigation strategies to address these vulnerabilities, establish food defense monitoring procedures and corrective actions, verify that the system is working, ensure that personnel assigned to these areas receive appropriate training and maintain certain records.”The newly finalized rule applies mainly to large companies, covering 3,400 firms that operate 9,800 food facilities. Small companies are exempted, as are farms unless they produce milk, says an FDA fact sheet on the new rule.Until now there have been no requirements for food facilities to implement strategies or measures against intentional contamination of food. A webinar is being offered Jun 21 by the FDA to outline provisions of the new requirements.The landmark, bipartisan FMSA was passed in 2011 to address the complex public health issue of foodborne disease. The FDA estimates that about 48 million (1 in 6 Americans) become ill from foodborne disease each year, with 128,000 of them hospitalized and 3,000 dying.May 26 FDA press releaseMay 26 FDA fact sheet FDA FMSA docket folder (final rule will appear May 27) May 26 FDA announcement of Jun 21 webinar FAQ on FMSA (updated May 26)China reports human H7N9 case in Guangdong provinceChinese officials today reported another human case of H7N9 avian influenza, according to updates from the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) and Xinhua, China’s state news agency.The case involves a 63-year-old man from Meizhou city in Guangdong province, the CHP said. No additional information on his condition was given. The number of H7N9 cases in the province is down by 83% compared with the same period last year, Xinhua said.The new illness lifts the global H7N9 total to 790, according to a list maintained by FluTrackers, an infectious disease message board.May 26 CHP reportMay 26 Xinhua storyFluTrackers H7N9 case list Maternal streptococcal colonization varies by geography, serotypeThe average global prevalence of rectovaginal group B streptococcal colonization in pregnant women is about 18% and varies widely according to region and serotype, according to findings yesterday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.A research team led by GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines and South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand conducted a meta-analysis of 78 studies representing 73,791 pregnant women from 37 countries between January 1997 and March 2015. Group B Streptococcus is transmitted to about half of babies born to colonized women, and 1% to 2% of those babies develop severe disease, the authors said.Globally, the average colonization prevalence was 17.9%, or 13,100 women. Prevalence was highest in Africa (22.4%, or 619 of 2,735 women), followed by the Americas (19.7%, or 4,360 of 23,163) and Europe (19%, or 6,113 of 31,642), and lowest in southeast Asia (11.1%, or 389 of 3,749). Variation in prevalence was significant across regions and could not be ascribed to differences in culture methods, time of specimen collection, or study sample size, the authors said.Among the 17 studies that identified a Group B Streptococcus serotype, the proportions of types Ia, Ib, or III were highest in the western Pacific (76.5%) and Africa (69.2%) and lowest in the Americas (55%) and Europe (58.3%) because of higher serotype II prevalence in the latter two regions, the authors said.Considering the significant geographic heterogeneity in maternal streptococcal colonization and its implications for disparities in neonatal disease incidence, further research should determine whether sociodemographic factors or population immunity contribute to this variation, the authors said.May 25 Lancet Infect Dis study New-found phage may help preserve utility of old antibioticsA bacteriophage recently isolated from a Connecticut pond can attack Pseudomonas aeruginosa and force the bacterium to fight back in ways that make it susceptible to traditional antibiotics, according to a study today in Scientific Reports.Phage therapy, in which a virus is used to combat a bacterial infection, is viewed as a potential alternative to antibiotic use for multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria like P aeruginosa. Researchers led by Yale University used the new bacteriophage to prompt a bacterium-phage battle that lowered P aeruginosa’s antibiotic-fighting ability.The phage, dubbed OMKO1 (outer-membrane-porin M knockout dependent phage #1), is from the Myoviridae family and was initially isolated from Dodge Pond in East Lyme, Conn., then mutated through 20 passages in an MDR P aeruginosa strain.OMKO1 was able to attack the bacterium’s multidrug efflux pumps, which remove antibiotics from bacterial cells and are an important contributor to drug resistance. Phage therapy has typically had limited effects in treating bacterial illness, because bacteria readily develop resistance to phages, according to the report.In this instance, however, OMKO1 targeted a site on the bacterium’s surface that forced P aeruginosa to change its efflux pump mechanism to fight the phage, thus decreasing its ability to resist antibiotic treatment.Phage resistance in P aeruginosa caused increases in sensitivity to ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, ceftazidime, and erythromycin in two MDR strains. The authors also said that all bacterial strains from environmental, laboratory, and clinical settings showed a general ability to make the observed genetic trade-off: resisting the phage at the cost of lowered ability to expel antibiotics.Phage therapy shows promise in situations in which antibiotics must be preserved or in which immunocompromised people require tailored treatment for bacterial infections, the report says. “Furthermore, our approach suggests that antibiotics not typically used during treatment of P. aeruginosa infections due to intrinsic resistance could be used with phage OMKO1,” the authors added.May 26 Sci Rep study
By EMILY HOLMESLAHS Student This Halloween, Los Alamos High School students are Trick or Treating for a cause!We need help from our local community to make it a success. Instead of asking for candy, many Toppers will be asking for canned and non-perishable goods that will be donated to LA Cares. Participating high schoolers will simply ask for donations.If your family would like to participate but will be out trick-or-treating with family or friends, please leave your donations by the front door with a note attached.Toppers are excited to kick-off November as our Month of Giving by helping local families, and we hope our community will support us! List of Appreciated Goods:Canned ItemsCanned ChickenFruit (no sugar added preferred)Baked BeansHearty Soups (with meat/veggies)Tomato SoupBeans (in cans, instead of dry)Refried BeansSpaghetti-osChef Boyardee-type Pasta MealsPeasMixed VeggiesSpaghetti sauceTomatoes (any variety)No more cans of tuna, green bean, or corn – they already have plenty!Other Non-PerishablesRice (any variety)Pasta (any variety)OatmealInstant PotatoesFruit Cups (no sugar added preferred) Juice bottle(100% juice preferred), Juice BoxesMac N Cheese (any variety)Popcorn (kernels or microwave)Cereal (low-sugar preferred)Cooking Oil (canola, vegetable)Honey, Jam or JellySalad Dressing (ranch, balsamic)Baking Mixes (cake, muffins)Granola BarsCrackers (any variety), Cookies (any variety)Sugar (for baking)