Tag Archive | military machine

Chelsea housing dream turned nightmare

A Somerville developer’s dream to turn an 18-acre brownfield in Chelsea into a waterfront loft community that would set a new standard for sustainable urban living has ended.

Marketing for the 350-unit Forbes Park mixed-use development began six years ago and was touted as the region’s “greenest” and “most ambitious real estate project.” It was to offer energy-efficient “hybrid lofts,” powered by a wind turbine and solar panels, a place where residents would share a fleet of electric cars.

But the ambitious project to be built on the former site of a 19th century printing factory on the Chelsea River that proponents said would help make Chelsea the next hip place to be, ran into a series of snags that will result in a foreclosure auction that is set for July 25.

The notice published on Sunday by Paul Saperstein Co. of Holbrook said the mortgage foreclosure sale includes the 18- acre parcel bordered by water on three sides. The site is eligible for multifamily use under current zoning rules, the ad said. In addition, a partially completed four-story apartment building and a 240-foot, 600 kilowatt wind turbine is included in the sale.

Forbes Park LLC, an entity created by Somerville-based Urban Design and Development and its principal Blair Galinsky, bought the parcel in 2004 for $8.8 million. The company took out a first mortgage in 2006 for $36 million from Amalgamated Bank and a second mortgage from the New York lender in 2008 for $94.5 million.

Work ground to a halt in 2008,

during the height of the Wall Street meltdown. In 2010, the developer was fined nearly $20,000 the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection over permitting and cleanup issues at the site.

But Jay Ash, Chelsea’s city manager, said while Galinsky was unable to make the project a reality, he has already spoken with several developers who think they can make it work. “It’s a story not unlike many others where bad timing made things unravel,” he said. “But I’m confident that a new development team will make that project happen.”

The pilot windmill set up by the Greater Cochin Development Authority at Marine Drive that collapsed on day one of its operation on Saturday will be reinstated by Tuesday, GCDA chairman N Venugopal said on Sunday.

“The contractor Kollam-based United Electricals will place back the blades and hold the trial run on Tuesday. Yesterday, it collapsed after the raft shaft got broken. We’ll go forward with the project,” he said.Upon its fixation, the height of the shaft will be reduced to be on the safer side, he said.

The Rs 3.90 lakh windmill is expected to generate 10 kw power, enough to run 100 lights across the Marine Drive walkway besides 16 MH (metal-halide) lamps.

“We haven’t paid the contractor so far. As per the condition, the wind turbine has to function properly for three months before we make the payment,” Venugopal said. The wind turbine was inaugurated by Hibi Eden MLA in the presence of district collector P I Sheik Pareeth on Friday. However, the blades came apart on Saturday morning. Read the full story at scfwindturbine web.

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Vestas receives largest turbine order in Canada

Vestas has secured a firm and unconditional order for the delivery of 166, V100-1.8 MW wind turbines along with a 20-yr service and maintenance agreement for the 299 MW Blackspring Ridge Wind Project, a joint venture of EDF EN Canada Inc. and Enbridge. It marks the largest order for Vestas wind turbines in Canada.

“We appreciate these two global energy companies making a long-term commitment to Vestas. Our partnership with EDF EN Canada and Enbridge shows their confidence in our ability to deliver turbines safely and on time,” said Chris Brown, President of Vestas’ sales and service division in Canada and the United States. “This project also will increase our market leadership position in Canada and further builds on our strong service business in Alberta.”

The 20-yr service agreement — the longest in Vestas’ history in the U.S. and Canada — features the Active Output Management (AOM) 5000 service option. AOM 5000 features an energy-based availability guarantee to ensure the turbines are operational when the wind is blowing. This service option includes the VestasOnline surveillance system that remotely controls and monitors the turbines and predicts potential maintenance issues. This lets Vestas plan maintenance so the turbines are operational for the maximum amount of time.

“Blackspring Ridge is an important addition to Enbridge’s fleet of renewable projects because it expands our wind energy portfolio in the Alberta market, which we first entered nearly a decade ago with our Magrath and Chin Chute wind farms,” said Don Thompson, Vice President, Green Energy, Enbridge Inc. “Alberta is an attractive environment for wind investments due to its high wind capacity factor and access to transmission. We welcome this opportunity to continue expanding our renewable energy assets into Western Canada and are pleased to continue our relationship with EDF EN Canada and Vestas.”

Vestas’ U.S. factories in Colorado will be involved in manufacturing components for Blackspring Ridge, which will become Canada’s sixth wind power plant to use V100-1.8 MW turbines. Overall, more than 600, V100-1.8 MW turbines are producing energy at 13 sites across Canada and the U.S. EDF EN Canada and Enbridge will develop and own Blackspring Ridge. Once commissioned, it will be the largest wind power plant in Western Canada.

Vestas installed its first wind turbines in the Canadian market in 1997 and since has become the leading wind-turbine supplier in the country and in Alberta.

Three wind turbine generators at the EDF Energy Renewables Teesside offshore wind farm have now been fully commissioned and are supplying electricity to the National Grid. So far, 18 of the 2.3MW turbines have been fully installed using the MPI Adventure jack-up vessel, operating out of the Port of Hartlepool.

After installation, a commissioning and testing programme is undertaken by the wind turbine generator manufacturer, Siemens, to ensure each is ready for operation.

On completion, the 27 turbine wind farm will be able to generate up to 62MW of power – electricity equivalent to the consumption of 40,000 households, based on information from the Digest of UK Energy Statistics and the Department of Energy & Climate Change.

There, the voltage is boosted to reduce transmission losses before entering the electrical grid via a connection at Lackenby. EDF Energy Renewables chief executive, Christian Egal, said: “We are delighted that first supplies of low carbon electricity are now being produced by our Teesside scheme.”

This is an important milestone for us and one that will help us to maintain our commitment to deliver energy in a way that is sustainable, affordable and secure. “As work progresses, further turbines will be brought on stream over the next few weeks and in doing so will enable the Teesside project to make a significant contribution to meeting these objectives.”

Crippled cruise ship investigation underway

Before the thousands of passengers and crew of the snakebit Carnival Triumph debarked Friday, an investigation into what went wrong had already begun.

“We started the investigation right after we were notified Sunday” that the ship’s engine room had caught fire, cutting all but generator power to the floating city, said Patrick Cuty, a senior marine investigator for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Initially, investigators got engineering schematics for the vessel from Carnival, Cuty told CNN.

Because the Carnival Triumph is a Bahamian-flagged vessel, the Bahamas Maritime Authority is the primary investigative agency, and will work with the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Coast Guard investigators boarded the vessel Thursday as it headed to port to get passengers’ accounts of what happened and how it was handled, he said.

Investigators have already pulled the voyage data recorder — a device that records alarms, voice communications on the bridge, engine speed, navigation information and rudder angle, said Cuty. The probe will likely take eight to 12 months to complete, he said.

Though the investigation into the cause of the fire in one of the ship’s two engine rooms is just beginning, Cuty said it appears that the fire suppression worked as it was designed to do.

The engineer who was on watch at around dawn on Sunday saw the fire ignite over a video feed and immediately notified the bridge, Cuty said. “He saw the flash; that’s what alerted him.”

He continued, “Fire doors closed, the extinguishing systems worked, the fire was extinguished, it was kept closed as it is supposed to be so that the fire can cool down.”

Based on an inspection Thursday of the engine room, the fire did not appear to have been large, Cuty said. “It was just a fire that was, apparently, in the right place.”

Though the crew might have been able to restore power to the vessel by firing up the generators in the ship’s other engine room, Cuty said the ship’s engineers made the right call in not doing so.

“Really, the safe thing to do was to tow the vessel back into port rather than re-energize the power system that was damaged by fire,” he said.

He said the listing ship was never in danger of exploding or of capsizing, as some passengers had feared. Fuel tanks are kept far from the engine rooms and the vessel, which began tilting when the power loss led its plane stabilizers to stop working, listed only about 5 degrees from the wind.

Cuty commended the ship’s 1,086 crew members, saying they went to great lengths to meet passengers’ needs — including redirecting emergency power to certain parts of ship to provide occasional water and toilet service.

“The crew did an excellent job, from what we saw above and below decks and, over all I think, they accomplished their mission as far as safety goes: they brought everybody back safe.”

Passengers, too, praised the crew. Many said they bent over backward to meet the needs of passengers, performing well even during unpleasant jobs such as cleaning the raw waste that had sloshed out of toilets.

“They served us with smiles, and served us in ways that are truly unthinkable, the things they had to do for us, yet they did it with smiles,” said passenger Joy Dyer, wearing a Triumph bathrobe with “Float Trip 2013” scrawled on the back.

Investigators will look into passenger reports from previous cruises of the Triumph that noted “some mechanical issues,” Cuty said. “They may be completely unrelated to this,” he said.

Hiding a Neocon Agenda

Mitt Romney tried to appear last night as if he and President Obama were not much different on foreign policy matters.

As with almost anything about Mitt Romney, nothing could be further from the truth.

Even more than the economy, war and peace is the most critical issue any country faces.

Mitt Romney and President Obama have widely divergent views on war and peace. Obama’s is thoughtful, nuanced and sees war as a last resort, and only then in concert with key allies unless the U.S. or a very close ally is directly attacked or is faced with a very high likelihood of being attacked. Witness, for example, how the president skillfully managed to protect Libyan civilians from a bloodbath, employing the tools of supportive military power, engaging the Arab league and our allies, and not costing the life of a single American to oust Gaddafi.

Romney really does not have any views of his own. He has absolutely zero experience, and, it appears, zero knowledge of the world. Thus far, his only foreign policy achievement has been to unite all of Britain’s political parties, including the Conservatives, around one belief — for President Obama’s re-election.

And, in the shadows, waiting to take the reins of the U.S. military machine again, are the neocons, the Bush advisers who lied us into Iraq. They formed a “government-in-exile” during the Clinton Administration, forming an organization called “Project for The New American Century” in 1997. It’s primary thrust: that the U.S. should employ its military power to change regimes it did not like, especially in the Middle East (so long as they and their own children were not doing the fighting).

In particular the Project for the New American Century people, like chickenhawks William Kristol (who turned red and blew his top at me in 2005 when, after claiming that he was in school during the Vietnam War as his reason for not volunteering, I pointed out that, when he graduated, the war still had several years to run) and Douglas Feith, have mythologized the Reagan presidency as a paradigm for U.S. foreign policy: huge military build-up, chest-thumping your values, and taking preemptory military actions to reshape the world in America’s image.

Of course, Reagan never exercised the third leg of this so-called strategy, unless the Caribbean island of Grenada is supposed to be an object lesson in how this works in countries with enormous land masses, large populations, and — sorry to say — their own cultures. The U.S. kept its hands clean publicly, and even the weaponry supplied to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan that was organized primarily by Congressman Charlie Wilson (D-TX) and the CIA, could not have any U.S. origin. Reagan allowed Pakistan in exchange for funneling our support through that country a blind eye so that it could develop its nuclear weapon, aka the “Islamic Bomb,” thus violating the Solarz Amendment.

Like George W. before him, Romney is an empty vessel, in psychological need of proving his manhood, that makes him the perfect puppet to fulfill the unfinished neocon agenda.

Romney may not know where the straits of Hormuz are on a map. The neocons do, they know that a large fraction of the world’s oil supply passes through them and they know that creating an “incident” in such a narrow strait is child’s play, and the best way of teaching Romney where they are.

There are those such as The Huffington Post’s Jason Linkins who believe Romney would conduct a foreign policy similar to President Obama’s, and Middle East expert MJ Rosenberg who opined that Romney’s refusal in the debate to give Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu a “green light” to bomb Iran meant that we can all rest comfortably.