By David Dill. Now that we are about halfway through the summer construction season, many Vermonters have become aware that the Agency of Transportation is replacing all the road signs along Vermont’s interstate system. This work has prompted many questions, the most common is why?Understandably, many motorists believe that our old highway signs are just fine and that the money we are using to replace these highway signs could be better spent repairing bridges, expanding public transit and paving roads. I too would prefer to put every available dollar into these kinds of high-priority programs, but we do have to address our other responsibilities as well.The bottom line is that from an engineering and safety perspective, those old signs are not OK and the state must replace them. Here is why.Congress recently directed the Federal Highway Administration to adopt a national standard for retro-reflectivity for traffic signs and pavement markings. These new standards, which were established in 2008, apply to all roads open to public travel. Compliance with these new retro-reflectivity rules is a requirement that VTrans must meet by 2015 to continue to receive the critical federal-aid highway funds that come to Vermont.Federal-aid highway funds make up $250 million of the state’s $595 million transportation budget, and are used in all facets of the state’s highway, bridge and public transportation programs.The goal of this new reflectivity mandate is to provide signs that are legible during all times of day and weather conditions. This is largely accomplished through the retro-reflectivity of the sign sheeting. The expected life of this sheeting is approximately 15 years. Many of the signs on our interstate system are at least 20 years old, and some that were recently replaced on northern portions of I-91 were the original signs from way back in the 1960s and 70s.The posts and foundations for these signs are also being replaced. All new signposts are designed to be “breakaway” if struck by a vehicle. This modern technology is a valuable safety tool that will prevent injury and save lives. On the financial front, these sign projects do not tap funds that could otherwise be used for bridge, public transit or pavement projects, so they are not in conflict with those programs. Instead, the new signs are 100 percent federally funded with money called “Section 148 Highway Safety Improvement Program” funds, which can only be spent on safety-related projects.Sign improvements are one of several allowable project categories under Section 148. The federal government identified sign retro-reflectivity as an important safety feature, which led to the Highway Administration’s adoption of the mandate requiring states to upgrade their existing signs. As a result, VTrans, over the next few years, will replace all traffic control signs on a system-wide basis, prioritized by sign age, which is why the northern section of I-91 was completed first, followed by the current I-89 projects. The rest of the interstate system will follow so that we complete the work by the federally mandated 2015 deadline.David Dill is the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation8.4.2010
The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) expanded its fleet as it took delivery of a new very large crude carrier (VLCC) on January 22.The 300,000 dwt tanker, which was named Kassab, was built by South Korea’s Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.Bahri said it expects the ship to start its commercial operation in March 2018, adding that the financial impact of the new VLCC is set to be in the first quarter of 2018.The 330-meter-long and 60-meter-wide vessel is one of five VLCCs that were ordered from the shipbuilder in 2016. In November the same year, Bahri reached a financing agreement with Standard Chartered Bank, Arab National Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Bank Albilad, which partially funded the construction of the ships.According to the company’s stock exchange release in November 2016, the financing agreement amounted to USD 350 million for a period of ten years, plus a grace period of 22 months for guarantees.The remaining ships under the deal are expected to be handed over to Bahri by mid-2018, data provided by VesselsValue shows.
With a passion for underground as much as international Hip-Co music, the industry is getting serious as more and more people are engaging in concert going and Liberian music. HottFm 107.9, alias One Media House, has done just about that by strategizing a way to blend every part of entertainment into one. One Media House, consisting of event planning, management, recording studio, advertising, humanitarianism, community development, artist promotion and a list of other things, HottFm is 100 percent engaged in Liberian entertainment and opening lanes for artists who have the ‘right stuff.’With the coming of the New Year, and the anticipated 2017 elections, HottFm has put its hands on a list of eye popping, heart racing events up to January 1, 2017 to get everyone’s mind ready for what’s ahead. For now, the country is hyped.First up is the LIB Top 75 Playlist, a creative playlist hosting more than 70 songs from Liberian artists living in all parts of the world. What makes the playlist exciting is the fact that songs featured on it are always a blend of super-talented and peaking artists. For example, Starmelo-D (the D is silent), an afro-pop artist with the smashing hit ‘Rude rude tings,’ has been in the industry since 2014, but as an underground artist, this young lad has been making music for years. A sound engineer first and foremost, Starmelo-D decided that it was time to sing over the sound of music that he cooks so well in the kitchen.“When I first started in the music industry, I was just a sound engineer. In 2014, I did a sample track about Liberia and the amount of positive feedback I received gave me the faith. Since then, I began enjoying the music more, every passing day it becomes a part of me,” he said.Now considered to have one of the best hit singles out, Starmelo-D’s ‘Rude rude tings’ has been on the Lib Top 75 Playlist for the past four months leaving him spellbound by the amount of followers he now has.Meanwhile, HottFm is also hosting a massive International concert in collaboration with the brains behind the “ADAY” initiative, Prince Jimmy Dee, who will be bringing down ‘Danze’ hitmaker Young Muse and his management team, Skylet White, the boss-lady’s voice behind‘Balance,’ on December 17 at Bernards Beach.The two artists are expected in Liberia today, December 15, 2016. Excited and prepared to see home, their fans, friends and family, the two have a professional show planned for LIB. What many don’t know is that Young Muse is one of Liberia’s most sought after artist.Nicki Minaj’s former manager and Waka Flaka Flame’s mother, Ms. Deborah Atney, has always said that she has a special interest in Young Muse’s music. Young Muse has had the opportunity of being mentored by some of the best in the music business; and with that said, he has something ‘real’ to show Liberia.There will be security and a protocol during the Jingle Bells Beach Jam that will be people friendly and safe for all. The artists, according to information coming from HottFm, will have ample time to perform.Again as we head closer to season time, it’s time to pop those bottles, have fun and enjoy the show. Below is a listing of the newest songs to be added to the playlist… LIB Top 75 PlaylistScientific – Ain’t Got Time (Prod. By Hasty Baba)Kobazzie – Ma U Gifted (Prod. Quincy B)2switt – My Woman SweeterQuincy B. Olukupie PerfAG DA Profit Feat. Shuaibu – Baby YooAG-Da-Profit-Feat.-True-Story-Daddy-Cool-Bumping-HipcoC.I.C ft. F.A John Buttay prod. by Kizzy WChiller Coolnanee – One more Chance -(Beat Master)201600ConCcoins Feat. DenG – Some MoreEric-Geso-Fall-Down-DieProd.-KillerBeatz1Flex – HOLY GHOST Fire ThemFREE RAP BONUS- SPEEDOI Here- PCK L FrankieKizzy-W-Feat.-C.I.C.-Backa-YardMr. Smith (LIB Money) – Let’s Go PlayMz.-Menneh-Cuddle-Boy-SHOUT CIC ft CRISHTOP N OTHERSSoulfresh-Red-Banks-Prod.-Stone-LuckShineSTATE OF THE NATION- cyphaSweetz – Like Your Business (US Mastered)Tag Team – Least GbellehTan-Tan-B-Feat.-Teddyride-Fullest4-U-Fool-MeVenny Ten Ten‘Woman Lapa Squezze Ft Nig BoyZoko (Pillz)Mezonic – Dah LehVoMezonic – Kelewele Love(master)Make it thick Sammie Love featuring StarmelodJuice- Cypha D King featuring ChristpohCrazy for your love- Z. PapooseShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)