DOH eyes 10,000 COVID-19 tests per day by end of April

first_img“Hindipo ibig sabihin nito na lahat ng Pilipinoay itetest natin. Ang masstesting po na ating sinasabi ay isangmalawakang testing ng mga taong at risk sa COVID-19,” said Vergeire. MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) intendsto conduct around 8,000 to 10,000 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests perday by the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine. “Sa katapusan naman po ng Abril, ayang aming goal ay umabot po tayo ng8,000 hanggang 10,000 tests kada araw,” Vergeire said.”Ngayon po sa tulong ng ibanglaboratories umaabot na po sa 900 hanggang 1,200 ang ating na ite-test sa isang araw.” Vergeire said the department agrees withthe government’s idea to test more people. The DOH will soon release guidelinesexpounding on the qualifications for testing, what kits will be used and whowill interpret the data.center_img However, she clarified that only atargeted population namely persons under investigation and monitoring forpossible infection with symptoms and high-risk patients such as health workers,pregnant women and those with other medical conditions, such as cancer anddiabetes, will be included in the government’s plan to conduct “mass testing.” DOH Undersecretary Maria RosarioVergeire said in a virtual press conference the recent approval of the testkits developed by the University of the Philippines-National Institutes ofHealth would increase the “testing capacity” of the country. Vergeire stressed that only certifiedlaboratories can use the new tests, since they are PCR-based and not the rapidkind. PCR-based kits can directly detect the novel coronavirus in the patient’sbody while the rapid tests can find the antibodies that fight the infection./PNlast_img read more

Surging Opposition Defeats Contentious $111M Power Line Project

first_imgBy Jay Cook |  TRENTON – After two years and a $500,000 legal fight, determined residents in five Monmouth County towns celebrated Friday with tears and hugs after state regulators zapped plans for a controversial high voltage powerline project proposed through their communities.The state Board of Public Utilities (BPU) unanimously sided with a judge’s recommendation to deny Jersey Central Power & Light Co.’s (JCP&L) petition for the Monmouth County Reliability Project (MCRP), a 10-mile-long, 230-kV transmission line along an active commuter rail line.“We had a good feeling going in, but as we’ve said all along, you can’t count any chickens,” Residents Against Giant Electric (RAGE) co-president Rachael Kanapka said after the decision. “I was just so grateful to hear they agreed with the judge and that this petition as it exists currently is dead.”NJ BPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso said the unanimous decision to deny was because “JCP&L’s analysis lacks consistency and was not supported by credible and relevant evidence.”The MCRP, a $111 million project, was first announced in May 2016. It was designed to run for 10 miles along the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line commuter rail line from Aberdeen to Red Bank while traversing through Hazlet, Holmdel and Middletown. JCP&L proposed this backup line to solve a structural violation at the Red Bank substation.Fiordaliso and the Board also suggested JCP&L prepare “extensive, intensive analysis” of modern electrical usage data if the MCRP is ever proposed again. The utility used data from 2011 in its petition.The Board also saw significant flaws in JCP&L’s line routing study. Commissioner Mary-Anna Holden said, “the worst, most egregious” part was learning JCP&L selected the route along the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line without “a robust study of route alternatives.”The BPU commissioners also denied the judge’s recommendation for JCP&L to install a smaller, 34.5-kV transmission line designed to upgrade between five and 12 circuits along the route.JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said in an emailed statement after the decision that the company “will carefully review the BPU written order before determining its next steps.“Delivering safe and reliable ser vice to meet customer needs in Monmouth County and throughout its 13 county service area is JCP&L’s top priority.”This final blow came after Administrative Law Judge Gail M. Cookson published a stunning 180-page decision in March wholly disapproving the MCRP because of “overwhelming” impacts on local real estate, aesthetics and the environment surrounding the project. The MCRP would have placed more than a hundred monopoles, ranging in height between 135 feet and 210 feet, along the rail line, sometimes within tens of feet of property lines and backyards. Cookson said JCP&L set up “straw men” alternatives throughout the petition to prove their case. In her ruling to the BPU – which could accept, deny or modify her recommendation – Cookson concluded there was “no in-state or national precedent” for installing a 230-kV transmission line so close to homes and an active rail line.“Hands down, what we wanted was to have this project die a very merciful death, go away and never come back,” said Peter Dickson, RAGE’s attorney. “From the ver y beginning, it was a very stupid idea.”“This project is well and truly dead,” Dickson added.The decision signals a rousing victory for RAGE, a grass-roots organization that rallied thousands of residents from the five towns to fight for their communities, said Middletown resident Steve Lunanuova.“It was over whelming, really,” Lunanuova said about his emotions during the board meeting. “It was relief. It was a culmination of two years of work being recognized and giving us validity to everything we’ve been doing and everything we’ve been saying.”center_img Middletown residents Joe and Bernice Curto were some of the first local homeowners to talk out about the project at local town meetings in 2016. They feared their home values would plummet and their health would suffer.Those feelings have now entirely changed.“We’re feeling relief, we’re vindicated and now we can move on,” Bernice Curto said. “Our lives have basically been on hold for these two years.”Beyond informing neighbors by knocking on doors, RAGE members also picked up the phones and called on their elected of ficials for support. Bipartisan backing eventually arrived on the local, county, state and federal levels of New Jersey politics. Gov. Phil Murphy, a Middletown resident, even announced his opposition when running for office last year.“The MCRP is not a cost-effective way to ensure reliability in Monmouth County and JCP&L has ignored non-transmission solutions entirely,” said U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ- 6) in a statement. “I continue to believe that the MCRP is more about rate of return for shareholders than reliability for consumers and that is why experts, Judge Cookson and now BPU resoundingly rejected it.”U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ- 4) toured the proposed line with local residents during a site visit in 2016 and came to oppose the MCRP.“When I walked through the neighborhoods of Holmdel and Middletown surveying the proposed power line route, I was convinced that the project would be devastating for the five communities involved at different points along the route, and by extension, the County,” Smith said in a statement.Hazlet Deputy Mayor Sue Kiley, whose grandchildren live near the rail line, said Friday marked “a great day for Hazlet, a great day for all the towns that have homes, schools and children that play along those tracks.”If approved by the BPU, the MCRP still would have needed to sign a lease agreement with NJ Transit for the rail right-of-way, submit an application to the state Department of Environmental Protection and also receive waivers from Naval Weapons Station Earle to cross Normandy Road.RAGE leaned heavily into NJ Transit during the legal process and gathered thousands of documents about the project through Open Public Records Act requests, some proving to be vital to their case. Although former NJ Transit board vice chairman Bruce Meisel was outspoken on the project after his retirement in December 2016, neither RAGE nor elected officials ever obtained a clear stance from the transportation entity.According to a BPU spokesman, JCP&L has 45 days to appeal the board’s decision to the state appellate division. But Kanapka, RAGE’s co-president, is ready for a break in action. She’s looking for ward to some much-needed catching up with her three children.“For the last two summers, my kids have basically been on their devices, going outside and managing themselves without me,” Kanapka said. “Now I get to tell them today that we get to have a summer this year. That’s how relieved I am.”This article first appeared in the June 28 – July 5, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Crematorium Proposal Returns To Middletown

first_img“We have maps and data that support that smoke from this size stack will travel for six miles. If accurate, you’re not talking about a local issue. This covers a large part of northern Monmouth County. You’re talking north to Hazlet and Holmdel; west to Marlboro and south to Red Bank and Little Silver. This is not just a couple of neighborhoods in Middletown that should be worried,” added Clark, who recently launched an online petition denouncing the crematorium. The petition currently has more than 4,000 signatures. Rather than a location set behind the cemetery’s mausoleums, which are visible to drivers traveling the state roadway, the developers have eyed a vacant, forested area on the other side of the railroad tracks identified on the municipal tax map as Block 865, Lot 136. According to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) press officer Lawrence Hajna, Fair View Cemetery applied for an air pollution control pre-construction permit three years before submitting its application to the township in 2017. Unlike the original site among the cemetery’s thousands of headstones, which includes vital infrastructure like roadways, parking areas and utilities, this 19.5-acre plot is completely undeveloped and, if approved, would place the crematorium directly across Oak Hill Road from the entrance to the Poricy Park Nature Center and a residential development accessible via Ivy Hill Road. It would also be adjacent to Fairview Fields, a series of soccer fields used by township athletes. Currently there are no regulating measures on the books in Middletown pertaining to crematoriums. Mackiewicz said when the application first came before the planning board, she questioned a developer’s professional about the chamber emissions and was troubled to hear the response. “They told me the only thing that comes out of the chamber is water vapor. But that’s a vague statement. After questioning them about the vapor, they said it would not be 100 percent clean. They said it’s the same effect as if I was running my own fireplace. But I’m not putting bodies in my fire place. There’s other things in a body we need to worry about,” Mackiewicz told The Two River Times. Clark also noted there is mercury present in some deceased bodies, mostly derived from silver dental fillings, that is most dangerous to pregnant women and small children. Though crematoriums are considered low emitters of potentially hazardous materials, a group of township residents are not so sure. QUESTIONINGEMISSIONS According to the New Jersey Cemetery Association there are an estimated 25 operational crematoriums in the state, and around the country they are being viewed as a viable option for cemeteries that are running out of plots. A crematorium is a permitted use at Fair View Cemetery, one of the largest nonsectarian cemeteries in the Garden State. Two years ago the application was granted conditional approval by the Middletown Planning Board. The DEP approved thatpermit June 19, 2014, andthe permit is due to expireJune 18, 2019, Hajna toldThe Two River Times. Regina Mackiewicz said she began monitoring the situation in April 2017, and is the founder of the Facebook group Stop Fairview Crematorium, a private group that has nearly 550 members. Fair View Cemetery, a 90-acre parcel bordering Route 35 South, Oak Hill Road and the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line railway, initially proposed the construction of a crematorium in April 2017. However, the site of theproject will be moved.center_img Clark, who was an active member of the Residents Against Giant Electric (RAGE) group, which was instrumental in defeating a $111 million power line proposal by JCP&L, said a new resident opposition group is growing in the township and is collecting data that shows the potential dangers which could arise from the crematorium chambers. The scope of the project is expected to remain the same when Fair View Cemetery goes back to the planning board March 20. A NEW LOCATION Despite several attempts, Fair View Cemetery superintendent William Rockafellow could not be reached for comment. “For me, it’s the environmental impact and it’s the toxins that are most troubling. The smoke stacks are said to be low emitters, but there are still hazardous materials like mercury we need to worry about,” said Andrew Clark during a Feb. 25 interview with The Two River Times. Mackiewicz noted that some bodies can contain medical implants, silicone implants and even unaccounted-for pacemakers. “If pacemakers aren’t removed at the funeral home, who is to say they’ll be removed by the crematorium operators? It could be overlooked, and pacemakers do explode inside crematorium chambers, damaging the chambers and filtration systems, which could lead to bigger problems.” But when the developer, Fair View Cemetery Association, sought a setback variance a few months later, which would have allowed them to build the facility just 50 feet away from the nearby highway, the application was snuffed out with a unanimous vote at the July 24, 2017 zoning board meeting. According to the projectdescription delivered to thezoning board in September2016, the project called fora 1,128-square-foot humancrematorium facility withtwo chambers. Because the application is open before the planning board, Middletown Township personnel and elected officials declined comment. RESIDENTS RALLYIN OPPOSITION MIDDLETOWN – After lying dormant, an application for a proposed crematorium is scheduled to go back before the township planning board in March. Crematoriums have been a controversial topic in the area in recent years, including a 2014 case in Oceanport in which elected officials said they would mount a legal defense against Woodbine Cemetery. Though Woodbine proposed a crematorium, it could not obtain an air pollution permit from the DEP. In 2016, a group of Manalapan residents entered a similar fight against a proposed crematorium at the Old Tennent Cemetery. The planning board ultimately refused to hear the application.last_img read more

Fewer Boats But Just as Much Fun for 2020 Mayor’s Cup…

first_imgWith a much smaller turnout than in previous years because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Mayor’s Cup Regatta for “Bragging Rights on the Navesink” was held July 5. Only two fleets raced, the Keel Boat Fleet and a One Design Fleet. Prior year’s races included Cruising, Optimist and 420 classes as well. The bridge race runs from the Shrewsbury River Yacht Club (SRYC) to Lewis Point. While the regatta started with a nice wind, by the return to the Oceanic Bridge, the breeze had died, forcing several racers to retire, according to SRYC. But in spite of the failing wind, all one-design boats and the finishers in the cruising fleet came in under the time limit. River Rats (Fair Haven Sailing Club) and Monmouth Boat Club provided the race committee. Carole and Joe Malik served on the committee boat and Les Hathaway, Pris Gettis and others from Monmouth Boat Club served on mark laying and safety boats. Registration was done on the water and Portsmouth handicaps were used. Jeremy Herman from Fair Haven Yacht Works took first place for the Keel Boat Fleet, with Remedy, a Merit 25 sailboat. Paul Lucyk from Monmouth Boat Club won the One Design Fleet race in an MC-Scow. The article originally appeared in the July 9 – 15, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times.center_img Photos by Patrick Olivero PATRICK OLIVERO last_img read more

Tom Drouillard Named AAM CEO

first_imgDrouillard is filling big shoes, as Lavery has been at the helm since 1995. Lavery will be working with Drouillard through the transition in March to ensure he is ready to step in on April 1. “I’ve known and respected Tom for many years through his work at Scarborough, Nielsen and SRDS,” Lavery says in a release. Also adding that he is “proud to leave the organization in such capable hands.” The Alliance for Audited Media named Tom Drouillard as its new CEO, president and managing director. He will be replacing Mike Lavery, who is retiring on March 31.Drouillard carries more than 25 years of media and marketing experience, and has held executive roles at Nielsen, PERQ/HCI, SRDS, and he was most recently CEO at Scarborough Research.In his new role, Drouillard will be tasked with overseeing the organization’s entire operation in the U.S. and Canada. “Tom is a proven and successful CEO,” Sunni Boot, AAM chairman says in a release. “His deep understanding of digital media, audience measurement and marketing gives him the knowledge and skills required to take AAM to the next level in its historic role serving the media and advertising industries.”last_img read more

BUSINESS BRIEF Analog Devices Wins Four World Electronics Achievement Awards

first_img(NOTE: Analog Devices, headquartered in Norwood, has a location in Wilmington at 804 Woburn Street.)NORWOOD, MA — Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) has been recognized with four 2018 World Electronics Achievement Awards (WEAA) from ASPENCORE for its management capabilities and innovative product line.ADI was honored by ASPENCORE with the following awards:Company of the YearExecutive of the Year: Jerry Fan, President, ADI ChinaInnovative Product of the Year: Power Management/Voltage Converter category for the LTM4661 15V, 4A μModule Boost RegulatorInnovative Product of the Year: Amplifier/Data Conversion category for the AD9208/AD9172 28nm CMOS ADC/DAC ChipseAs the sole 2018 winner of WEAA’s Company of the Year award, ADI is a leading global high-performance analog technology company dedicated to solving the toughest engineering challenges. Under the leadership of ADI China President Jerry Fan, China has become the fastest-growing business region for ADI in recent years. Overseeing ADI’s technology, sales, marketing, and operations in the region, Fan deploys strategies and resources to seize business opportunities across automotive, 5G, new energy, and smart manufacturing markets.ADI also won Product of the Year awards in recognition of its excellent performance and superb market acceptance. The LTM4661 is a 6.25mm x 6.25mm x 2.42mm BGA packaged low-power step-up μModule Boost Regulator. Only a few capacitors and one resistor are required to complete the design, and the solution occupies less than 1cm2 single-sided or 0.5cm2 on double-sided PCBs.To learn more about LTM4661, visit:’s AD9208/AD9172 28nm CMOS ADC/DAC Chipset is a high-speed data converter that delivers industry-leading bandwidth and dynamic range to cover the largest number of signal bands. It also features low-noise spectral density for diversity radio and I/Q demodulation systems, while consuming half of the power compared to alternative solutions.To learn more about AD9208, visit: learn more about AD9172, visit: World Electronics Achievement Awards (WEAA) honor companies and individuals who make outstanding contributions to innovation and development in the electronics industry worldwide. For more information about WEAA, visit: Analog DevicesAnalog Devices (Nasdaq: ADI) is a leading global high-performance analog technology company dedicated to solving the toughest engineering challenges. We enable our customers to interpret the world around us by intelligently bridging the physical and digital with unmatched technologies that sense, measure, power, connect and interpret.(NOTE: The above press release is from Analog Devices.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedBUSINESS BRIEF: Wilmington’s Analog Devices Honors Top Suppliers At Inaugural Supplier Day 2019In “Business”BUSINESS BRIEF: Analog Devices Recognized For Employee Benefits, Work Culture & Business GrowthIn “Business”Analog Devices Receives 2017 IEEE Corporate Innovation AwardIn “Business”last_img read more