Draker Labs move reflects growth, future expansion

first_imgDraker Labs, a provider of high performance turnkey monitoring systems for large commercial and utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, is moving into new, larger offices on April 1, 2011. The company’s new offices will be located in the Maltex building at 431 Pine Street in Burlington, VT. The move reflects significant growth the company experienced during 2010 as well as future expansion plans.Commenting on the upcoming move, Draker CEO Charles ‘Chach’ Curtis noted that the company doubled its staff in the past 12 months and expects to do so again in the coming year. ‘The original Draker building has served us well over the past 10 years but given recent and projected growth we knew we needed more space. The new facility will more than double our current space and allow us to continue to expand as needed.’ Curtis added that, ‘We are excited to be moving into the Maltex building, a beautifully renovated historic property situated near Lake Champlain and at the center of what is fast becoming a hub for technology companies located in the Burlington area.’Draker’s new offices are being outfitted to accommodate the company’s manufacturing, operations, hardware and software development, and sales and marketing groups. Draker’s executive offices will also be located at the new facility. The company will continue to maintain a west coast operations and sales office located at 1029 H Street, Suite 301 in Sacramento, CA.Draker’s main phone and fax numbers will remain unchanged. Effective April 1, 2011, the company’s new address will be:Draker Labs431 Pine Street, Suite 114Burlington, VT 05401About Draker LaboratoriesDraker Laboratories provides highly accurate and reliable monitoring solutions that help owners and operators of commercial and utility-scale PV systems maximize the efficiency and profitability of their solar assets.  As a supplier of complete, end-to-end monitoring solutions, Draker provides turnkey systems that combine proven field instrumentation with an intuitive Web-based data management system and unmatched customer support. For more information, visit www.drakerlabs.com(link is external).(March 24, 2011 – Burlington, VT) Draker Labslast_img read more

Bambi Meets Godzilla, Bubba Meets Jesus

first_imgOne area in the New, Bubba City, got its name because prolific climber Kenny Parker and friends thought some other climbers took route naming too seriously. “In climbing, as in all sports, everyone thinks their attitude is the best. We were just having fun, and we never thought what we were doing had any greater meaning,” says Parker, who has almost 30 years of New River Gorge first ascents. At that time, he says, “Staying out of the line of fire with the locals, laying low, was always a strategy.” He says back in the 80s and early 90s, much of the land, like Endless Wall, was still privately owned. If one wanted to continue to climb there, standing out or directly disrespecting the locals was nonsensical. The Legend of Bubba How did iconic rapids and climbing routes get their names? Names have long been used to either nod or jab at others. Advocates for two styles of climbing, traditional (trad) and sport, have butted heads since the latter was invented. Trad climbing requires gear like cams, nuts, and sometimes hexes, which the climber must place in natural cracks for protection as they climb upward. Sport climbing allows for bolts to be drilled into the rock every few feet so that climbers only have to bring quickdraws to clip into the bolts as they lead. The trad-or-die tribe believes that sport climbing defaces the rock and allows for the first-ascensionist to rappel down the face, drilling bolts in preparation for a ground-up push. Sport climbers see their preferred process as an inevitable evolution of climbing, opening up more diverse rock that would otherwise be inaccessible.  The Hookup Spot Rapids often get their names from happenstance or a comical turn of events. Lost Paddle, one of the Big Five rapids of the Upper Gauley, found its label during a 1969 trip devoted to naming the river’s rapids. In a 2017 piece for Highland Outdoors, editor and raft guide Juniper Rose relays pioneer Gauley kayaker Jim Stuart’s account of the naming trip. “Crew member Barb Brown’s paddle was launched from her grip in the class V rapid just below the confluence with the Meadow River.” Brown swam, her paddle gone. Miraculously, “years later, Brown’s paddle was found with her name engraved on it. It was returned to her, but by then, the name Lost Paddle had been imprinted in the legend of the Gauley,” Rose writes. Others still, like Kenny, might have resisted it in the past but came to see the benefits of each. “Ethics wars between trad and sport were huge in the 90s; people got into fights over it,” he says. “Still, there was a lot more seriousness to the famous areas [like Yosemite]. Here, some people got serious about it, but most of us had a life and jobs outside of climbing and not enough personal energy to crusade.” This story is told in part by Saved from the Blasphemers, a route which was put up on trad gear. When someone returned to bolt it as a sport route, they were stopped by local trad climbers.  Flip through any climbing guidebook today, and you’ll find a range of colorful, silly, or cryptic route names: Pudd’s Pretty Dress, Death by Chewing Insects, I’m So F’in Hungry, and Eye of the Narwhal. Names of rapids can be just as out there but are often more candid. Iron Ring on the Gauley River is named for a big iron ring embedded in the rocks above the class V rapid. The four drops of Pipeline on the James River in Virginia were creatively dubbed First, Second, Third, and Fourth Drop. Not all river feature names are as universally accepted as climbing routes, either. Want to start an afternoon-long debate with some James River paddlers? Ask whether one break in an old Richmond dam is called Grummans or Suckers.  Outside of the sport itself, names also point to paradigm shifts in the history of regional recreation and external tension that inevitably arises from priorities competing for the resource. A lifelong James River paddler, Charles Ware recounts the fight against hydroelectric power in the early 80s. One firm’s proposal became a serious threat to river ecology and recreation, prompting Coastal Canoeists and American Whitewater to establish a group to oppose the plan: the Virginia Rivers Coalition.  Sometimes, two threads of regional climbing history come together in one weird name. Kenny Parker relays that when he was younger, many climbers started at Seneca Rocks before the New matured into a hotspot. At Seneca, they looked up to one of the most impressive climbers of the day, the late Cal Swoager. A Vietnam War veteran, Cal partied hard and climbed harder. As one story goes, after staying up late then finally topping The Bell, establishing perhaps the first 5.12 at Seneca, he bent over and emptied his stomach off the other side of the cliff.  A short profile of Parker in Williams’s New River Rock Vol. 2 guidebook, appropriately titled Kenny Never Wore Lycra, highlights his desire to blend in rather than stand out like many neon-clad climbers of that era. “Bubba” became tradition, and today it lives on in dozens of route names, from Peanut Bubba and Jam (a 40-feet 5.8 trad route at Bimbo Buttress) to Hubba Bubba (a 60-feet 5.9 sport route on the Head Wall). center_img Trad vs. Sport One of them, let’s call him Mark, had the unfortunate habit of sleeping in the buff. Mark had gotten up in the night to use the bathroom donning only boots and birthday suit. Kenny says, “I get woken up to someone outside; I’m like, ‘Mark, what the hell is going on?’ He had gotten caught outside naked by these two girls,” who were supposedly there to bait guys meeting up for other reasons. Kenny, after getting dressed, exited his tent to deal with the situation.  The intentionally-misspelled Travisty is another example of trad-sport tension. This route’s origin story is told by Mike Williams in an article published on his blog “Mike’s Ironclad Beta” in 2012. When a visiting climber named Travis bolted a hard climb at Beauty Mountain, he drilled some holds in the rock to make it easier. “After his departure, the holds were filled in with epoxy and when Harrison Dekker completed the climb [in 1991] in its natural state, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to exploit the unfortunately-named equipper. Years later, an inferior, traditionally protected variation to the route was done and dubbed the Tradjedy.” “Next thing I know, a car comes rolling up, and it’s their boyfriends. One guy gets out, but the girls talk him down, having figured out I was fine.” Parker proffers a beer as a peace offering, but the second man wants to start a fight. “I’m getting shoved while the girls try to break it up.” Eventually, things simmered down. “I think I hung out with them for awhile, and they went away. But the very next weekend, with the same group at the exact same spot, we were woken up again by the same girls,” this time asking for Parker. They hung out for awhile, locals and climbers. When asked what route name arose from all that, he says, “A number of them.” Visitors to the Blue Ridge often remark that the names of our mountains are imaginative, if not abstract: Reddish Knob. Old Rag. Little Stony Man. Used as landmarks, these peaks’ straightforward, descriptive monikers made sense. But as future generations began using the landscape less for orientation and more for chasing its many world-class crags and rivers, naming traditions evolved to tell the exciting, hilarious, and tumultuous histories of climbing and paddling in the region. Another unforgettable Kenny tale revolves around one unofficial campsite. Apparently unbeknownst to climbers, a certain bridge was a known local spot for covert coitus. Because of its proximity to a popular crag, it also became a logical spot for visiting climbers to camp. “We would drive up and sleep at pull-offs in the gorge. There had been incidents involving law enforcement,” Parker describes, “but it was sort of under the radar. We had encounters where locals thought we were there [for hookups].” He describes how one time a group of climbers were camped out at the spot, some in tents or just sleeping bags, some in trucks.  Mike Williams, a climbing guide and author of the New River Rock guidebooks, has been climbing in the New since 1998, establishing many of the most popular routes. He points out that “a lot of tall tales” characterize the region and climbing in general. “It’s an oral history. Someone puts up a new route, and they might note all the things that happened that day,” like who was with them and what they were thinking. Any of those factors could contribute to the new route’s name, but some climbers take it more seriously than others.  A ‘Travisty’ Swoager was welcoming and encouraging to budding climbers and sent routes with Kenny at Seneca. Some time later, he became a born-again Christian and part of the development of climbing at the New. His passion for his religion fed into nearly every route he established, from the ever-popular Leave it to Jesus to Team Jesus and Never Alone (all first ascents in 1985). Later routes began to play off the legendary Swoager’s love for the cross, and routes like Bubba Meets Jesus, a 60-feet 5.11a established by Dave Merritt, were born.  To increase awareness of the issue and publicize local river recreation, they conceived of an urban whitewater race day and sought sponsorship. The first downriver race in 1983 was roughly eight miles long and included the infamous Hollywood rapid, with a take-out at Ancarrow’s Landing, well below the Falls of the James. It was essential that everyone run through one particular dam, in the middle of downtown Richmond, correctly, and while local participants knew the maneuver well, the Coalition thought visiting competitors should have a visual marker. Just before the race, the river was low enough to allow Ware to paddle out to the dam in a canoe and spray paint two giant Xs on the bridge pillar ruins that abutted the proper line. The paint, supplied by a utility opposed to the power proposal (imagine that!), was said to wash out in a few days. But there the Xs remained for ten years, until they were updated to skulls and crossbones. The name of the line, Xs, was given in the 1985 race and has stuck ever since. As for the electric proposal, it was foiled. The descendants of those regional pioneer paddlers, like Ware’s son John, continue to run the James’ class I-IV rapids, while other rivers around the world continue the fight against hydroelectric dams. Names or rapids and routes can be steeped in mythology. When asked what mythology in climbing means to him, Mike Williams puts it succinctly: “Mythology doesn’t have to be true. It’s an oral history, often based on a sort of campfire mythology.” Embellished details, memories fogged by both time and intoxication, different versions of the same event… Humans are adept, if not objective, storytellers; we’ve named everything since the dawn of language. The mountains and rivers couldn’t care less what we call them, but no matter what’s in a name, the act of naming lets someone leave their mark on history, cement in some small, symbolic way their side of a great story.last_img read more

India’s migrant workers face long walk home amid coronavirus lockdown

first_imgAcross India, more than a dozen labourers Reuters spoke to returning home said they had been left with little choice other than to attempt to walk back to their home villages after work – and public transport – vanished.Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the eastern state of West Bengal, wrote on Thursday to the heads of other Indian states, saying that manual workers were facing “an hour of crisis”.Vinod Hathila, 39, a manual worker in Surat, a city in the western state of Gujarat, left for his home town on Wednesday, walking for hours along railway tracks with his 15-year-old son until he found a bus.With no work, he said he doesn’t know how he will support his family during the lockdown.”I’ll probably borrow some money on interest from someone,” he said.Ashok Punjabi, who heads a construction workers’ union in Gujarat, said 60,000-70,000 people working as domestic helps and in other unorganized sectors in the Gujarati city of Ahmedabad, had headed to homes in neighboring Rajasthan after the 21-day lockdown was announced, many on foot and carrying their possessions.”To see young children and women being forced to walk hundreds of kilometers like this is just sad,” said Punjabi, who is also a senior opposition party member in the state.Kuldeep Arya, a senior official in the Gujarati state capital of Gandhinagar, said 4,000 people had been provided with food and water while trying to return home.There were similar scenes in India’s capital New Delhi, where hundreds of migrants walked down deserted highways to neighboring Uttar Pradesh this week.”For two days the ration guys were not giving us any food, we were hungry for two days. So we decided, ‘let us go to our parents’,” said Raju, a 24-year old migrant worker walking from Noida, a satellite town of Delhi, to Agra, nearly 200 km away.”Since there’s no transport available, we decided to walk all the way.” Topics : After India imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown on Tuesday to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the plywood factory near Uttar Pradesh’s state capital Lucknow where Surendra Pandey works was forced to shut down.On Thursday morning, with no way of earning a living, the 28-year-old labor set off on a 110-kilometer walk back to his home village.”I tried catching a bus or truck yesterday, but there is no transport available on the road, so I decided to walk,” he told Reuters, some 30 km into his journey. “There is no food available on the roads but thankfully a few citizens offer us food, biscuits and water. It’s better to be home than to be here in the city without food and water.”Officials say the shutdown of all but essential services is necessary to beat coronavirus in the densely populated country of 1.3 billion people, with health infrastructure that can ill-afford a widespread outbreak. India has so far reported more than 600 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 13 deaths.India’s government announced on Thursday a $22.6 billion economic stimulus plan that provides direct cash transfers and food security.But for India’s estimated 120 million migrant labourers, the shutdown is a crisis, as wages dry up and many cannot afford the rent or even food in the cities.last_img read more

Majority of US firms in Hong Kong concerned about security law: Amcham

first_imgThe Amcham survey, published on Monday and to which 183 or 15 percent of its members responded on July 6-9, showed 36.6 percent of respondents were “somewhat” concerned and 51 percent were “extremely concerned” about the legislation.More than two-thirds of the respondents were more concerned than a month ago, when the full details of the law, which came into force just before the anniversary of the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997, were unveiled.The legislation, which sees a Chinese intelligence agency openly operating in the city for the first time and gives police and mainland agents broad powers beyond the scrutiny of courts, raises a broad spectrum of worries for US companies.Some 65 percent were concerned about the “ambiguity in its scope and enforcement” and roughly 61 percent were concerned about the independence of Hong Kong’s judicial system. A majority of United States companies in Hong Kong surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) are concerned about the sweeping new national security law in the global financial hub, with a third looking to move assets or business longer-term.The legislation, which punishes secession subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, has further strained relations between the United States and China.Read also: Over 600,000 Hong Kongers cast ‘protest’ vote against new security laws About half were concerned about the city’s status as a global finance centre and the erosion of the high degree of autonomy it was promised 23 years ago.Read also: ‘We’re next’: Hong Kong security law sends chills through TaiwanOther major concerns cited were data security, talent drain and retaliatory measures by other governments. The prospect of extraditions to mainland China, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party, was considered a “game changer” by about 46 percent, with 17 percent saying it wasn’t.About 49 percent said the law would have a negative impact on their business, while some 13 percent said it would have a positive impact. Some 30 percent considered moving capital, assets or business out of Hong Kong in the medium-to-long term, while 5 percent said they consider doing so in the short-term.More than half of the respondents said they felt less safe about living and working in Hong Kong. Also about half said they personally considered leaving the city.Topics :last_img read more

Likened to Luis Suarez & inspired by Radamel Falcao: Why Chelsea should fear Luka Jovic

first_img In October, meanwhile, he broke a 48-year record by becoming the youngest ever player to score five goals in a Bundesliga game during the 7-1 thrashing of Fortuna Dusseldorf, joining (you guessed it) Lewandowski in a list of only three non-Germans to achieve the feat.The sheer volume of goals that Jovic has scored and the records he has broken are impressive yet the variety of his strikes also point towards an exceptionally well-rounded finisher. Of his 17 in the Bundesliga this season, eight have come via his right foot, six from his left and three courtesy of his head.Furthermore, a demonstration of Jovic’s predatory instincts in front of goal can be shown by the fact that every single one of his 34 goals – in the Bundesliga and cup competitions – in a Frankfurt shirt have come from inside the penalty area.AdvertisementAdvertisementGiven that Jovic is a threat with either foot and in the air, it is interesting that his footballing inspiration is Radamel Falcao, a player who at his Porto and Atletico Madrid pomp scored virtually every type of goal imaginable, from acrobatic volleys to bullet headers to predatory tap-ins.Speaking about his idol in 2013 before his breakthrough at Red Star, Jovic reportedly said: ‘I like Radamel Falcao the most. Playing with the left, right, head. Every chance he takes, he’s fantastic. I’d love to be at least like him.’ Jovic failed to make the grade at Benfica but has flourished since leaving in 2017 (Picture: Getty)Considering his struggles with Benfica, Frankfurt and in particular their Sporting Director, Bobic, deserve great credit for identifying his potential and taking a punt on him. Although Jovic struggled to settle in Portugal, he has seemingly had no such issues in Germany.AdvertisementAt Frankfurt, there is a strong Serbian influence with Filip Kostic and Mijat Gacinovic both important squad players, while one of the breakout stars of the last World Cup, Croatian forward Ante Rebic, has also proved an invaluable foil.In contrast to his time with Benfica, Jovic is clearly valued by Frankfurt’s management and teammates as much of their tactical play is geared towards getting the best out of him. Frankfurt’s manager Adi Hütter has predominantly used a 3-4-1-2 system which incorporates attack-minded wing-backs and versatile forwards as part of Jovic’s support network.All five of left wing-back Kostic’s Bundesliga assists this season have been for his compatriot Jovic – the highest combination in the Bundesliga – while Danny Da Costa on the opposite flank has also delivered quality into the box with four assists overall. Only Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (with 21) has scored more Bundesliga goals than Jovic (17) this season which, added to his five assists, means he has been directly involved in 37% of Frankfurt’s total goals. In Europe, his eight goals and one assist account for just under a third of Frankfurt’s 28 goals.Factoring in the eight goals he struck during the 2017-18 season and Jovic has 25 in 50 games, coming at an average of one every 118.32 minutes. That strike-rate is currently the fourth-best in Bundesliga history only behind Lewandowski, the legendary Gerd Muller and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.Europa League top goalscorersOlivier Giroud (Chelsea)10Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla)8Munas Dabbur (Salzburg)8Luka Jovic (Frankfurt)8 Share Olivier Giroud is the only player to score more Europa League goals than Luka Jovic this season (Getty Images)The Italian is far from the first high-profile person in football to lavish praise on Jovic this season. His national team coach Mladen Krstaljic likened him to Barcelona’s Luis Suarez in March, while Frankfurt’s Sporting Director Fredi Bobic said he is a player of ‘exceptional ability’ after signing him permanently earlier this month. A former coach of Jovic’s at Benfica Helder Cristavao, meanwhile, said of him: ‘[he] reminds me of Sergio Aguero with his technique and instinct.’Jovic’s record both in the Bundesliga and Europa League this season demonstrates why he has emerged from relative obscurity to becoming one of the most feared and talked about players in world football over the course of the campaign. Mladen Krstaljic on Luka Jovic ‘He’s a classic goal-getter with great control of the ball and a good understanding of the game. I’d probably compare him to Luis Suarez. He’s courageous and dangerous at any moment because he’s always lying in wait for his chance or any inattention from the opponent.’ Filip Kostic (L), Luka Jovic (C) and Ante Rebic (R) have all been key components of Frankfurt’s side (Getty Images)Both Rebic and towering Frenchman Sebastian Haller also deserve credit for their selfless work up front that has created space for Jovic to inflict damage on opposition defences. Rebic has been a roving menace from a No.10 position, while Haller’s link-play – three of his nine Bundesliga assists have been for Jovic – has also been excellent.The problem that Frankfurt have is keeping Jovic beyond the end of the season, despite activating their purchase option to buy him this month. Should Frankfurt qualify for next season’s Champions League either through winning the Europa League or finishing in the top four, there is an outside chance he could stay.AdvertisementBut with Europe’s biggest clubs, including Chelsea, sniffing around him, that prospect appears unlikely. Bobic has admitted as much, saying recently: ‘There’s a real possibility that Jovic signs for Real Madrid. I hope and want him to stay here at Eintracht, but I’m also realistic and know that if a big club like Real Madrid want him then we haven’t got a chance of keeping him.’He’s staying! ☺Eintracht have exercised their option to make Luka #Jovic’s deal a permanent one, the forward signing a contract until June 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣3️⃣!#Jovic2023 #SGE pic.twitter.com/3BAAcbgxCT— Eintracht Frankfurt (@eintracht_eng) April 17, 2019 Advertisement Likened to Luis Suarez & inspired by Radamel Falcao: Why Chelsea should fear Luka Jovic Luka Jovic idolised Radamel Falcao as a young player (Getty Images)Jovic’s similarity in style to Falcao and desire to emulate him perhaps played a part in Benfica’s decision to sign him from Frankfurt in January 2016, considering the Colombian returned 72 goals in 87 games during a whirlwind spell in Portugal with Porto.Benfica have also enjoyed great success with Serbian players over the past decade with the likes of Nemanja Matic, Ljubomir Fejsa and Andrija Zivkovic all excelling in recent years while they have a strong track record with strikers recently too, Rodrigo Moreno, Oscar Cardozo and Raul Jimenez, all passing through.With Benfica’s strong Serbian contingent and excellent track record at developing strikers into elite talents, all the signs should have pointed to Jovic becoming a roaring success in Lisbon. Instead, homesickness and a lack of opportunities – he made four first-team appearances in 18-months – culminated in a loan move to Frankfurt in 2017.Both Benfica and Porto are renowned for their success in the transfer market when it comes to selling on players at a profit but a testament to how underwhelming his spell at the club was is that they were willing to send him to Frankfurt on a two-season loan worth €200,000 with an optional purchase clause of just €7 million. CommentShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitter431Shares By Oliver Young-MylesWednesday 1 May 2019 7:01 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link431Shares The silver lining from Frankfurt’s perspective should Jovic join Real, Barcelona or any other of Europe’s superclubs, is that they will be heavily compensated for their loss with reports stating that he will cost any interested party upwards of £50m – or in other words, almost ten times what Frankfurt have just paid for him.A couple more goals for the Falcao fanboy and Suarez heir against Chelsea might even see that valuation soar higher.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalEx-Arsenal scout claims Mikel Arteta will give Thomas Partey a new role Advertisement Chelsea might be the bookies’ favourites to win the Europa League this season but their place in the final in Baku is far from guaranteed with semi-final opponents Eintracht Frankfurt certain to cause them some problems over two legs.Frankfurt are the second-highest goalscorers in the Europa League this season having struck 28 times in their 12 games in the competition, while, in Luka Jovic, they have the second-most prolific player with eight goals. Incidentally, Chelsea and Olivier Giroud are top of those particular charts with 30 and ten goals respectively.While the 32-year-old Giroud is entering the twilight years of his career, 21-year-old Jovic is only just getting started and the spotlight will be firmly fixed on him over the course of both games to see whether he can replicate his exploits across his breakout season on the big stage of a European semi-final.AdvertisementAdvertisementMaurizio Sarri, who has endured a few difficulties with his strikers this season, acknowledged that Jovic will be the principal threat to Chelsea’s chances of progression, remarking after the quarter-final second leg against Slavia Prague: ‘Eintracht are a great team with a wonderful striker, Jovic.’ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more