Sitka sewer emergency required all hands on deck

first_imgThe sewer crisis Friday (02-02-18) happened below ground, when Thomsen Harbor Lift Station flooded and the city lost the ability to send wastewater to the treatment plant on Japonski Island. Instead, the water flooded the dry well, below this manhole cover. The city’s water, wastewater, and public works crews responded, along with Sitka Electric and Juneau-based Boreal Controls. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)The City of Sitka dealt with a messy situation Friday when a vital part of the sewer system failed. The Thomsen Harbor Lift Station was down for 36 hours, meaning all raw sewage on Baranof Island had to be diverted into the harbor so it wouldn’t back up into homes and businesses. Quick thinking crew members and local businesses were able to cobble together a solution.Listen nowIf all roads lead to Rome, all sewer pipes — at least on the Baranof Island side of Sitka — lead to the Thomsen Harbor Lift Station. The facility is underground. Environmental Superintendent Shilo Williams peers over the edge of a hole in the ground, lined with pipe painted light blue and a ladder.“Underneath this can is a whole room that houses three very large pumps,” Williams said.That room, known as the dry well, also houses the electric equipment necessary to power the pumps that move Sitka’s sewage off Baranof Island to a treatment plant on Japonski Island.Around 4:45 a.m. Friday morning, one of those three pumps broke apart.“This dry well, which is never supposed to be wet, started filling with sewage. And it knocked out of all the equipment. The lift station was completely dead,” Williams said.The water was rising fast. Williams says it was several feet high by the time a flood light went off and facilities operator Bob Reid arrived.“This was a catastrophic failure. We’ve never had anything like this happen before,” Williams said. “I will say that the crews handled it impeccably. The repair couldn’t have gone any smoother, any faster, any better than it did.Williams is unmistakably proud of her crew, who worked around the clock to get the situation under control. That included salvaging equipment submerged in sewage and giving the dry well a thorough cleaning. It was messy, back-breaking work. When asked how her crews managed to deal with the smell, Williams chuckled.“You know,” Williams laughed. “They always say it takes a different breed to be a wastewater operator and to be honest, it’s hardly anything we even think about.”The dry well at the Thomsen Harbor Lift Station flooding with sewage early Friday morning. City crews spent all day emptying and cleaning the dry well. (Photo courtesy of Shilo Williams)To prevent that river of sewage from backing up into homes and businesses, crews temporarily redirected the wastewater towards a storm drain and into the harbor. The pollution posed an environmental concern and City and Borough of Sitka issued a PSA calling for Sitkans to limit their toilet flushes and shower times until further notice.Williams said that conservation effort made a difference throughout the 36 hours the lift station was ultimately down. She estimates 800,000 gallons of raw sewage entered Thomsen and Eliason harbor in that time.“I know 800,000 gallons sounds like a lot, but in the scheme of things, into the water it’s discharging into…it could have been a lot worse,” Williams said.The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and other environmental agencies were alerted to the situation.Come Saturday morning, the city had some lucky breaks. It didn’t rain, so sewer flow was low. The two remaining pumps dried out. Crews were able to restore the sewer connection by 5 p.m. that evening. That’s in large part due to the work of Sitka Electric and Boreal Controls of Juneau, installing new electrical equipment above ground.Parts aren’t easy to come by on an island of 9,000 people, so equipment had to be expedited through Alaska Airline’s GoldStreak program or plucked from surrounding facilities.“We were able to rob some components from some of our infrastructure that we had,” Williams said. “Silver Bay Seafoods was able to get us the big conduit that we needed. It was really a kind of community effort.”With the nightmare over, Williams has begun to investigate what went wrong. She suspects that gravel is the culprit, which naturally accumulates over time and may have slowly chewed away at the pump.Built in 1982, the lift station (like many pieces of Sitka infrastructure) is prone to failure. “It’s all of our wastewater that’s collected right here and then sent over,” Community Affairs Director Maegan Bosak said. “So the fact that it’s aging infrastructure really is a cost for concern. If these fails continue to happen, it’s really a cost for taxpayers.”Despite its age and importance, the Thomsen Harbor Lift Station is not high on the city’s punch list for public works projects. The 2012 Municipal Sewer Master Plan suggests upgrades in 10 to 20 years. The recent failure has kickstarted a conversation about what can be done sooner and the city has ordered a new pump. Now that electrical equipment has been installed above ground, away from potential flooding, Williams said she’d like to see it stay there.last_img read more

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Washington TV Newswomen Stage Breast Cancer Fund Raiser

first_imgLesli Foster of WUSA9 News, along with FOX 5 News’ Shawn Yancy and ABC7/WJLA-TV’s Rebecca Cooper, headlined breast cancer fundraiser at the Powerhouse.Many familiar faces seen daily and nightly on local Washington D.C. news television stations were dressed in all hues of pink at the D.C. Newsbabes Bash fundraiser for breast cancer.  More than a dozen female news anchors, and special guest Dr. Jill Biden hosted a swanky fundraiser to benefit Survivors Offering Support (SOS) June 11 at the Powerhouse in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C.The classy two-hour event united major area anchorwomen in a sea of pink solidarity across the D.C. metropolitan area all in one room, as they raised funds for breast cancer survivors.  The on-air news hosts included Lesli Foster and Andrea Roane of Gannett’s WUSA 9 and Allison Seymour , and Shawn Yancy of FOX 5 News of FOX 5 News.Dozens of pink spotlights shined along the walls of the three-level venue as specialty cocktails were served, hors d’oeuvres were passed, and sweet treats including cupcakes by Georgetown Cupcake and gelato by Dolci Gelati.  In 2009, a group of friends working in the television news industry provided the idea to create an event to benefit a widely known cause that has now continued for six years.  This year’s sponsors included Spilled Milk Catering, Bethesda Row, Powerhouse, and Glassman Wealth Services.“This is a group of dedicated and competitive women, uniquely working together for an amazing cause. Now, that’s newsworthy,” said President Barry Glassman a sponsor who donated a whopping $10,000 to the Newsbabes Bash organization on behalf of Glassman Wealth Services.Although Washington pro football  star Robert Griffin III was not in attendance, he donated a pair of flashy pink football cleats he wore in October for breast cancer awareness month.  The autographed cleats were auctioned at the event with bids beginning at $500.In addition to anchorwomen, more familiar faces including 45-year NBC 4 news anchor Jim Vance, WPGC 95.5’s Tati of the Pablo Morning Show, and Oprah Winfrey Network’s OWN TV star Bershan Shaw supported the breast cancer awareness bash. Shaw, a two-time breast cancer survivor kept her first diagnosis private.  Upon finding cancer in her body a second time, the OWN TV reality star now shares her personal struggle with the disease.According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among African-American women with an estimated 27,060 new cases expected to surface from 2013. African-Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival span for most cancers compared to other racial and ethnic groups in the United States.last_img read more

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BuzzFeed Taps WNBCs David Hatcher as Executive Producer of AM to DM

first_img Popular on Variety Prior to WNBC, Hatcher worked at Fox’s WNYW (from 2002-06 and then from 2008-12), with a stint in between as assistant news director at CBS’s WBZ TV in Boston for the 11 p.m. newscast. He previously served as executive producer at WCBS, where he coordinated coverage of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Hatcher also was senior producer on “Real Life,” a national daytime magazine show for NBC, and executive produced “Deco Drive,” a daily entertainment show airing in Miami.At BuzzFeed News, Hatcher replaces “AM to DM” exec producer Patrick McMenamin who moved into a new role focused on political programming, special events, and sales opportunities across BuzzFeed News. Prior to joining BuzzFeed in 2017, McMenamin helped to launch HuffPost Live and served as a producer at ABC News and Fox Business.Since launching in September 2017, “AM to DM” has landed interviews with a number of newsmakers, including Sen. Kamala Harris, Chrissy Teigen, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dolly Parton, Natalie Portman, Daniel Radcliffe, Lena Waithe, Stacey Abrams and Madeleine Albright. Veteran TV producer David Hatcher is now overseeing BuzzFeed News’ “AM to DM” morning talk show on Twitter as executive producer.Hatcher, who started at BuzzFeed on Feb. 11, has day-to-day showrunning responsibilities for the one-hour weekday show, which streams live on Twitter from 10-11 a.m. ET Monday through Friday. In January, Twitter renewed “AM to DM” through the end of 2019.The millennial-targeted show, which BuzzFeed claims averages around 400,000 views per episode, takes a social-media spin on the classic morning-show format. “AM to DM” hosts Saeed Jones and Isaac Fitzgerald riff on the biggest news stories of the day, centered on top tweets, along with interviewing special guests and presenting other segments.Hatcher joins BuzzFeed from NBC’s New York local station WNBC, where he had been an executive producer for news since 2012. At WNBC, he won local and national Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow award for the station’s breaking news coverage of Superstorm Sandy.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

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Man kills grandmother attacks parents under influence of drugs

first_imgKolkata: A man suspected to be under the influence of drugs stabbed his grandmother to death and attacked his parents, who ran out of the house to save their lives, at Keota Shibtala in Chinsurah on Sunday night.When the police arrived on the spot, the youth allegedly chased the officers with a sharp weapon. On Monday, the police arrested the youth with the help of fire brigade personnel. According to sources, the youth identified as Indranil Roy lived at Keota Shibtala with his parents and 80-year-old grandmother Arati Roy. The family went to a picnic with their relatives on Sunday and returned late in the night and soon retired to bed. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAround 12:30am, Indranil attacked his grandmother Arati while she was asleep. At first, he used bamboo sticks to attack her and later he stabbed her with a sharp weapon. Hearing Arati’s scream in pain, Indranil’s father ran to his mother’s room to save her. When he allegedly tried to stop Indranil, he got agitated further and attacked his parents in a fit of rage. The couple somehow managed to save themselves by quickly running out of the house. Hearing them screaming for help, local residents came out of their homes. Chinsurah police station was also informed. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe police went to the house and found that Indranil inside his room on the first floor. Arati’s body was recovered by the officers. Meanwhile, a police officer along with a constable went to apprehend Indranil. He allegedly chased the police officers with a sharp weapon. To save themselves police personnel also ran for their lives. After a few minutes, Indranil returned to the house. As soon as he entered the house, local residents locked the gate of the house. Sources informed Indranil destroyed the lights and electrical wires of his house. On Monday morning, when he found that the gate was locked from outside, he requested local residents to give him the keys. He tried to break the gate but failed to do so. After a few minutes, he went live on Facebook and confessed to the crime. The cops tried to pacify him but they failed. Later, fire brigade was informed. Fire fighters went up to the roof using the fire brigade ladder and got into the house. When Indranil was talking to local residents at the front gate, he was nabbed from behind. The police said Indranil was arrested and was probably a drug addict. It is said he committed the crime under the influence of drugs. He will be produced before the Chinsurah Court on Tuesday. Sources informed that the police may knock on the court door to find out the condition of his mental health.last_img read more

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Taiwanese Parents Now Legally Required to Restrict Their TechAddicted Teens

first_imgJanuary 28, 2015 2 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Alongside cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and chewing betel nuts, lawmakers in Taiwan are looking to clamp down on a new addiction besieging the country’s youth: Electronic devices.The sovereign state passed a law last Friday prohibiting people aged 18 and under from using devices — including mobile products, television and video games — “for a period of time that is not reasonable,” The Telegraph reports.While it is unclear how the government plans to define a “reasonable” amount of time or enforce the regulation, the law is the brainchild of Parliament member Lu Shiow-yen, who reportedly said his intention was to limit usage to 30-minute increments.Related: iPhone Separation Anxiety Is an Actual Problem, Study FindsParents who fail to enforce the law, entitled the “Child and Youth Welfare and Protection Act,” can incur fines of up to $1,595.Public reaction has been mixed. Though some citizens feel as though the decree is valid, others claimed it violated personal privacy laws, according to Kotaku.Taiwan is not the only Asian country seeking to curb digital addictions in an age where, by 2020, 90 percent of the world’s population aged 6 years and over is expected to have a mobile phone. In China, the city of Shanghai and the province of Zhejiang have both introduced laws cautioning parents against allowing their children to be “overindulgent” with electronics, according to The Telegraph.Related: In a Catch-22, This App Rewards People for Setting Down Their Phonescenter_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

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Petrol station on busy road to be demolished as part of upgrade

first_imgAsda to host new Timpson Plans lodged for 120 new homes Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailPlans have been submitted for an upgraded 24-hour petrol station in a Staffordshire town – with an existing filling station set to be demolished. The current site, on Eccleshall Road at the roundabout with Stonee Road and Grey Friars in Stafford, would be torn down, along with a nearby derelict house, if a planning application submitted to Stafford Borough Council this week gets approval. The proposed new petrol station would include: New storage tanks and replacement pumps and pump islands A convenience store and an a food/drink counter. Nine parking spaces and four cycling spaces A landscape buffer The application, submitted by Euro Garages, stated the proposal would be a significant upgrade to the site. The document states: “Key to modern roadside facilities are opportunities for motorists to rest and have access to facilities, food and drink (a common misconception is that roadside services are simply for the sale of fuel). “As such modern petrol filling stations now have an ancillary retail offer to provide basic top up items, the range of goods is such that it would not be possible to do a full weekly shop. In addition, food and drink outlets (falling under Class Use A1) are also provided as part of the retail offer within the kiosk. “Euro Garages currently have a programme of building new sites or modernising existing sites which are located at strategic points on the highway network. Read MoreMore Stafford planning news this week “These sites depend on high volumes of passing traffic and, typically, they provide a modern, clean, mixed development of Petrol Station with ancillary Convenience Store, sandwich / food / coffee offer and Drive Thru’ facilities.” The nearby house set to be demolished if plans are approved is, the report states, in a bad state of repair and vacant. A decision on the application is expected later this year. Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here.center_img Car showroom to be knocked down Plans to upgrade petrol stationlast_img read more

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TensorFlow 190rc2 releases

first_imgAfter the 1.9.0-rc0 release early last month, the TensorFlow team is out with another update 1.9.0-rc2, unveiling major features and updates. The new release includes latest improvements, bug fixes, and other changes. Let’s have a look at the noteworthy features in TensorFlow 1.9.0-rc2: Key features and improvements Docs for tf.keras namely the new Keras-based ‘get started’ page and the programmers guide page have been updated. Layers tf.keras.layers.CuDNNGRU and tf.keras.layers.CuDNNLSTM have been added. Python interface for TFLite Optimizing Converter is expanded. Command line interface (AKA: toco, tflite_convert) is added in the standard pip installation again. Data loading and text processing has improved with: Tf.decode_compressed, tf.string_strip, and  tf.strings.regex_full_match Headers used for custom apps have moved from site-packages/external into site-packages/tensorflow/include/external. On opening empty variable scopes; replace variable_scope(”, …) by variable_scope(tf.get_variable_scope(), …). Bug Fixes tfe.Network has now been deprecated. You can now inherit from tf.keras.Model. The layered variable names have changed for the conditions mentioned below: using tf.keras.layers with custom variable scopes using tf.layers in a subclass of tf.keras.Model class. In tf.data, DatasetBase::DebugString() method is now const. The tf.contrib.data.sample_from_datasets() API for randomly sampling from multiple datasets has now been added. In tf.contrib, tf.contrib.data.choose_from_datasets() is added and tf.contrib.data.make_csv_dataset() will now support line breaks in quoted strings. From make_csv_dataset, two arguments were removed.The tf.contrib.framework.zero_initializer supports ResourceVariable. “Constrained_optimization” is added to tensorflow/contrib. Other changes GCS Configuration Ops has been added. The signature of Makelterator has been changed to enable propagation of error status. The bug in tf.reduce_prod gradient has been fixed for complex dtypes. Benchmark for tf.scan has been updated in order to match ranges across eager and graph modes. Optional args argument added to Dataset.from_generator(). Ids in nn.embedding_lookup_sparse have been made unique which helps reduce RPC calls that are made for looking up the embeddings in case there are repeated ids in the batch. tf.train.Checkpoint is added for reading/writing object-based checkpoints. To get more information on the new updates and features in the latest TensorFlow 1.9.0-rc2 release, check out the official release notes. Read Next Use TensorFlow and NLP to detect duplicate Quora questions [Tutorial] TensorFlow.js 0.11.1 releases! Build and train an RNN chatbot using TensorFlow [Tutorial]last_img read more

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