Green Lake dam awaits replacement part to get back up and running

first_imgThe failed hydraulic ram, at the bottom of a 160 ft shaft at the Green Lake power plant. The ram – which is essentially a water-powered pump – failed while the Green Lake Tunnel was being drained for a planned inspection. (File photo courtesy of Utility Director Bryan Bertacchi)A breakdown in the Green Lake hydroelectric plant has forced Sitka to temporarily switch fuel sources this winter.  The city – which normally runs on hydropower – has been using diesel since October to meet energy demand on the coldest of days. As the Electric Department waits for the new part to arrive. KCAW’s Emily Kwong visited the dam to see the work in progress.Listen NowAudio transcript:Bryan Bertacchi is Sitka’s Utility Director.“Where we’re going is we’re going to Green Lake Dam, this is a side view of the dam right here,” Bertacchi said.It’s 8 a.m. The temperature is below freezing, and has been for several weeks. But before throwing on our coats to head out Green Lake Road, we take a moment to look at a diagram of the dam’s inner workings.“This is the single most important safety feature in the powerhouse,” Bertacchi said.That being the intake gate.“If there’s a leak or something goes wrong in the powerhouse, the first thing you do is you close that gate because you can imagine the amount of water going down there,” Bertacchi said.The gate is opened and closed by a giant hydraulic cylinder, 11-feet-long. The problem is that it’s made of carbon steel, which corrodes easily in fresh water. Bertacchi shows me a picture of the old part. It’s rusted red and chewed up, like a Slim Jim.“Last time it was operated was 1989,” Bertacchi said. “And it’s underwater when it’s running, so all the fish stuff…this was really a mess.”Now FERC, that’s the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, requires that the whole system be inspected every five years. But that didn’t happen in Sitka. Decades went by, with no inspection of Green Lake. I asked Bertacchi, who started on the job last year, why.“I think there were a lot of other distractions they were working on overtime,” Bertacchi said. “Funding was kind of tight for a lot of years on the Electric Department. They weren’t doing much. They weren’t doing tree trimming. There’s a lot of stuff you just can’t do. But I can’t speak to why the decision was made not to do that. All I know is my job is make sure we’re in compliance with all the rules and regs. And it’s a safety issue. It’s a $50 million asset on the other end of this pipe.”So, to get system back into compliance, the Electric Department decided to schedule the inspection on October 17th.“We didn’t want to do this in the middle of summer, with our tourist season, fish processing, when we needed all the energy for sure,” Bertacchi said. “We picked this time of year to go do it, we thought it would work okay but it didn’t.”What happened is that the gate closed, that went fine, but red oil appeared in the water. The seal on the hydraulic cylinder had broken. Coast Guard was called in to contain the leak, about five gallons of oil. The dam shut down. And Bertacchi, who was then acting city administrator, authorized an emergency procurement of $60,000 for a replacement cylinder to be built out of stainless steel, which should fare underwater much better. When it arrives, it will be installed inside the belly of a dam, at the bottom of a 160 foot shaft.We’re at the Green Lake Dam. Water is spewing over the top in a furious cascade. And I’m peering over the edge of the shaft, where Adam Charlton, Tony Balovich, and Trevor Webb have been working six days a week, twelve hours a day, to clean out the muck and prepare the area for the new part. Here’s Balovich and Webb.“When you get down there it’s like working in a muddy ditch, laying a pipe,” Balovich said.“With no light,” Webb said.“With very little light,” Balovich said.“They’re having their lunch down there,” Bertacchi said. “It’s amazing.”Safety is Bertacchi’s #1 priority. There’s a ladder and when the mechanics descend, they wear a harness that they can hook onto the side. They’re also clipped to a cable, that would automatically stop them if they fall. And on standby is a crew of emergency and search and rescue personnel.“It’s the unsung heroes in all this too,” Bertacchi said. “Because with the wind up and it’s snowing, they’re getting out there and they’re doing this job.”Temperatures plummeted in December and the cold has forced the electric department to fire up the diesel generators during peak use. So far, they’re within their $166,000 budget for diesel. There likely won’t be a fuel surcharge for the community. But it’s very likely that major components of Sitka’s electrical infrastructure will continue to fail. Here’s City Administrator Mark Gorman.“It’s reaching the end of it’s life and we have not put in the bank what we have needed to put in in terms of taking care of it and we’re seeing those consequences now,” Gorman said.Like the Marine Street substation, which provides power to 80% of the city, and the 69 kilovolt line, which delivers a huge amount of power to downtown. The Sitka Assembly recently approved a 10 year capital plan to fix these and other problems. But that will take money, which is scarce within a city also tasked with paying off the $150 million Blue Lake Dam. For Bertacchi, the key is identifying what the city is not going to fix and focus on the big things that ensure reliability.“We’d hate to have a two month outage in the middle of our summer season impacting fish processing and everything else,” Bertacchi said. “So that’s where our focus is and that’s why we’re here today.”Not here yet is the hydraulic cylinder, but it’s scheduled to arrive on Tuesday. The city hopes that the Green Lake Dam will be back in operation before the new year and the next cold snap.last_img read more

Most Followed Growth Hacker Rohan Chaubey Is Redefining Startup Marketing

first_imgAngelList CEO Naval Ravikant famously said, “It’s never been easier to start a company. It’s never been harder to build one.”There’s more opportunity out there than ever before, which helps to offset the competition. History shows us that as competition increases, so does available opportunity. There’s plenty of space for new innovation especially for the new age digital companies.The startup growth marketing is always innovating. What helped unicorns like UBER get initial traction won’t help other early stage startups grow. That’s why growth hacking is catching popularity in the startup ecosystem.When asked what is Growth Hacking, Rohan Chaubey, the international bestselling author of ‘The Growth Hacking Book’ replied, “Growth Hacking is conducting growth experiments across various growth channels to discover measurable + scalable + repeatable processes that deliver predictable results to grow an important metric (North Star Metric) for a business. Growth Hackers are technical marketers which may or may not know how to code”.IBM and Twitter’s partner product Audiense.com ranks Rohan as India’s most-followed Growth Hacker. He has grown his social media community to about 250000 followers organically in record time.Rohan has a proven track record of making content go viral on social media. One of his SlideShares attracted 100000+ views within 12 hours, which shows his virality.IBT does not endorse any of the above content.last_img read more

No compromise with any irregularity in UZ polls CEC

first_imgChief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda. File photoChief election commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda ordered returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (ARO’s) to be alert against violence in the upcoming upazilla polls, reports BSS.“You have to be on guard so that no violence takes place before, after and on the polling day. If any one of you thinks that the situation has gone out of hand, he can propose to halt the polling and the election commission will do that. But no compromise can be made with any irregularities,” he said.The CEC said these while addressing the inaugural function of training workshop for RO’s and ARO’s at Electoral Training Institute (ETI) in capital’s Agargaon area.“People will vote and elect their candidates of their choice. It’s not our duty to look for candidate’s party, religion or caste. Voters will elect the candidate, whomever they think qualified,” CEC Huda added.The chief election commissioner further said the polling officials have to inspire the candidates to appoint agents in the polling stations, adding, “we face embarrassing situation for this all the time. You have to make sure that the agents can observe their duty without any fear.”Presided over by EC secretary Helaluddin Ahmed, the programme was also attended by election commissioners Mahbub Talukdar, Md. Rafiqul Islam, Kabita Khanam and retired brigadier general Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury, among others.last_img read more

Obama Clinton created ISIS says Donald Trump

first_imgUS President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s policies “created ISIS”, leading Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump has alleged.Trump, while speaking at a campaign stop in Biloxi, Mississippi, offered no evidence for his claim in which he also said that escalating tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia were signs that the Islamic Republic wanted to take over the longtime US ally in the Middle East.“They’ve created ISIS. Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama,” Trump said on Saturday. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortHe couched his remark in a brief discussion of the Iranian protests outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran, which erupted after Saudi Arabia executed 47 people, including a dissident Shiite cleric.“In Tehran, they’re burning down the Saudi embassy, you see that?” Trump was quoted as saying by CNN. “Now, what that is…Iran wants to take over Saudi Arabia. They always have. They want the oil, OK? They’ve always wanted that.” Trump has blamed both Democrats and former President George W Bush when talking about unrest in the Middle East, particularly citing Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanIn the recent weeks, he has been particularly aggressive in going after Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, and her record leading the State Department.Two of Trump’s 2016 competitors, Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum, said in November that Clinton and Obama were to blame for the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Trump and Clinton have been involved in a war of words in recent weeks. Clinton had slammed Trump’s recent comments about banning Muslim immigrants, saying the Republican front-runner was “becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” she had said. Trump dismissed Clinton’s assertion that the Islamic State was using his videos as a recruitment tool saying she is “a liar” and “made up” the claim.last_img read more

Texting and Driving Not So Fast General Motors is Watching You

first_imgSeptember 2, 2014 2 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowcenter_img Companies like Tesla and Google have their eyes on self-driving cars. But while humans are still behind the wheel, General Motors is turning to eye-tracking, facial recognition tech to make the streets a bit safer.The Financial Times reports GM is planning to install machines in about half a million cars that will track drivers’ eye and head movements to cut down on distracted and tired driving. GM would be the first automobile maker to include this type of tech on a wide scale. Related: Pair of Apple Patents Aims to Answer: ‘Where’d I Park My Car?’The tracking devices GM would be using are made by an Australian company called Seeing Machines. In a release today, Seeing Machines announced a partnership with Takata, a Japanese auto safety company, noting “Takata has recently secured a contract to deliver its first ever mass-manufactured implementation of a drive-monitoring system.”Last year, Seeing Machines signed a deal with construction vehicle manufacturer Caterpillar to install systems in 40,000 of the company’s mining trucks that sense when drivers aren’t looking at the road or are falling asleep at the wheel and alert them with an alarm and a vibrating seat.Related: Building a Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Network at Age 27The move comes at a time when both GM and Takata have faced a good deal of scrutiny. Last week, Honda recalled 63,200 cars due to defective Takata air bag inflators, following similiar recalls from Toyota, BMW and GM.  GM CEO Mary Barra appeared before Congress this summer in hearings about the company’s delayed recall of cars with a faulty ignition switch.The emphasis on driver safety makes sense, but Seeing Machine’s investment in sensing technology that can monitor a driver’s vital signs will no doubt raise concerns about privacy.  Seeing Machines and General Motors did not respond to a request for comment.Related: How $10,000 Can Score You a Self-Driving Car (Sort Of) Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

More Europe more ways to save with Contiki Costsaver in 2019

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> More Europe, more ways to save with Contiki & Costsaver in 2019 Posted by Tags: Contiki, Europe, New Tours Thursday, July 26, 2018 Travelweek Group TORONTO — Contiki and Costsaver, both part of The Travel Corporation, have announced new Europe 2019 programming featuring more itineraries and more ways for clients to save.Contiki’s Europe 2019 Preview program is particularly notable since for the first time in its history, it’s offering 100% guaranteed definite departures on its over 470 European summer adventures in 2019. Moreover, Contiki is also offering the guaranteed best price, whether the price goes up or down at the time of the program’s launch in the fall.Plus, to help clients book in advance, a $100 Free-Time voucher is being offered. The voucher can be used to spend on any Free Time Add-Ons for any bookings made now until Sept. 5, 2018.The $100 voucher can be put towards any Free Time Add-Ons, including ‘Isle of Capri Cruise’, ‘Paragliding in the Alps’, ‘Excursion to Aran Islands’, and ‘Gondola Ride in Venice’.“While guarantees are hard to come by these days, clients can count on a couple things when they book early with Contiki. Chiefly, a guaranteed fun time no matter which European adventure they book on,” said Sheralyn Berry, President of Contiki Holidays Canada. “While millennials are known to book their trips last minute, we encourage agents to use our $100 Free-Time voucher offering as one of the ways to help their young clients save on their travels.”More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsFor more information about Contiki’s 2019 Europe trips, go to www.contiki.com/ca/en/activity/europe-summer-2019-guarantee.Elsewhere, Costsaver has unveiled the new concept ‘First Look’ with its 2019 Europe & Britain Guided Vacations. Giving agents their ‘First Look to Book’, the concept allows clients first access to the trip they want, helping them to secure their 2019 tour at the best possible price. First Look prices start at $143 per day.Similar to Contiki’s best price guarantee, Costsaver’s dynamic pricing assures clients that if the price of their trip goes up they won’t have to pay more, and if they price goes down they’ll be reimbursed the difference.Costsaver 2019 itineraries in Europe include the 10-day ‘Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina’, the eight-day ‘Irish Wonder’, and the seven-day ‘Jewels of Italy’. To view the complete Costsaver ‘First Look’ 2019 Europe & Britain lineup, go to https://www.costsavertour.com/en-ca/deals/first-look-2019.last_img read more