Nothing ruins a ride like rain. That is, until you ride in the rain and realize, hey, this isn’t so bad! Sure, you have to pay a little more attention to your tires to prevent yourself from skidding into a ditch, but with the right equipment wet rides offer sights, sounds, and smells you would miss otherwise. While there are a lot of options out there to keep you dry, Bontrager sent over three of their latest options for us to tempt the skies – the Convertible Windshell, Packable Stormshell, and the mountain bike oriented Rhythm Stormshell Jacket.So far our season has offered plenty of wet weather testing, see how they all fared after the break! Compared to the other jackets in the test, the cut of the Windshell isn’t as sleek, offering more wind noise with the sleeves installed, but the vest portion actually fits very well. Bontrager mentions to consider sizing up if you prefer a roomier fit, but while I would agree on the Packable Stormshell, the Windshell seems to run a little big.Like many of the other designs the back of the vest is mesh which is then covered by the sleeve portion with a big vent in the back for ventilation. In addition to the three pockets on the front, there is a side access pocket in the rear that works very well to stash the sleeves if you take them off mid ride.Even though the design might not be ground breaking, there is no denying the versatility of a piece like the Convertible Windshell. At $99.99, the price is reasonable enough and offers full YKK zippers, reflective accents, and DWR coating. Compared to other convertible jackets I have used the Bontrager may be slightly more water resistant, but other that there really isn’t anything that jumps out at you. It’s simply a solid piece that works as advertised. Like the Packable Stormshell, the Windshell is also available in Hi Vis Yellow, and in XS-XXL.If you’re considering jackets because you ride in the rain and cold, you owe it to yourself to check out Bontrager’s warmers and Race Thermal Bibs as well. We’ve reviewed the warmers before, but the Thermal shorts are great in the rain as they keep you warm even when wet. They are definitely not waterproof, but I’ve found that as long as my core, arms, and head are warm, the Thermal bibs are plenty to keep the lower half warm, especially with knee warmers. Not to mention that even if they weren’t thermal, the cut, fabric, grippers, and chamois on the shorts are brilliant. At $119.99, these shorts may be just the ticket for the upcoming cross season – you know, if you aren’t repping a team. When not in use, the hood is a bit bulky since there is no way to stow or remove it. If that bothers you, it’s about the only flaw in an otherwise stellar piece of gear.Not only does the jacket work flawlessly in heavy downpours, it also makes for a great winter shell with the right layering underneath. On the day of the ride pictured above, the snow was very heavy and wet which weighed down the trees blocking our path. If I wasn’t wearing some sort of waterproof layer I would have been soaked halfway through the ride.Make no mistake, at $219.99, the Rhythm Stormshell is an expensive piece of kit. However, it works extremely well and if your riding involves a lot of rain you know how important a great rain jacket can be.Finally, the Bontrager Convertible Windshell is a fairly ubiquitous design, but is still a nice jacket none the less. With a base layer wind vest, the jacket has sleeves that zipper on to create a wind shell that is water resistant. This is the jacket you want for chilly days where full waterproofing isn’t necessary, but the chill in the air requires extra layers. The jacket will still shrug off light shower, just don’t expect to stay dry for long in a downpour. Perhaps the most surprising in the test was the Packable Stormshell. After using a jacket like this you will wonder how you ever got along without it. Bontrager sells a few different packable jackets from the $69.99 Sport Packable Wind Jacket to the premium $219.99 eVent Packable Stormshell, but for half the price at $109.99 the Packable Stormshell is a winner.The Small jacket tested here offered a nice slim fit with elastic cuffs and hem that didn’t turn into a sail when riding into a stiff wind. It offers a no-nonsense design with one rear side pocket that doubles as a stow sack, and a drop tail to keep your backside dry. Fully taped seams ensure that the water stays out, even at full speed. On rides that start off dry but threaten to be a washout, the Stormshell fits neatly into a jersey pocket in its stowed form and as mentioned is easily unfurled while riding. If you need to take off the jacket while still riding, it can be tucked into a jersey pocket without packing it back up. Finally at 165g, it’s hardly an inconvenience if you bring it along and you’re graced with dry weather all the way home.The Packable Stormshell is offered in Hi Vis Yellow for those opposed to black, though the black at least offers reflective accents, and both are sold in XS-XXL. Bontrager isn’t the only company to make packable jackets, but with the Packable Stormshell they have made quite a good one. If you don’t have a jacket of this type, it’s almost guaranteed to change your perception of “rideable” weather. Next up is Bontrager’s top of the line mountain bike rain jacket, the Rhythm Stormshell. A lot of thought has gone into making wet weather mountain biking as comfortable as possible, especially with the chest vents. While many rain jackets offer pit zips for additional ventilation, they’re not ideal when you’re hunched over on a mountain bike wearing a hydration pack. The zippered chest vents pucker a bit when zipped up and not riding, but out on the trail they make a lot of sense when unzipped.Built with a relaxed fit, shock corded waist with a 2″ drop tail, 3 pockets, and velcro wrist closures, the Rhythm has many of the feature you’d expect from high end threads. Both sleeves are equipped with large pull tabs that make it easy to take the jacket on or off while riding even with gloves, and help to make sure the sleeves don’t turn inside out. The Stormshell isn’t quite as breathable as the high end eVent model with 8,000 g/m2/24 hr verses 13,000 g/m2/24hr breathability and double the waterproofing for the eVent, but for all but the longest, most drenched rides it is perfectly adequate. On everything except extremely humid summer rain storms, breathability was enough to keep comfortable and mostly dry on the inside.In the early Spring we have a lot of cold, wet days, and the Stormshell was just roomy enough to layer up underneath to keep warm. After probably no less than 100 stuffs into the pocket, removing, wearing, splashing, and abusing the jacket it has proven to be nicely durable. Combined, the three jackets couldn’t be more different in their intended uses – one is for big mountain off road epics, one is a completely waterproof packable shell, and the last is a vest that doubles as a wind proof/water resistant jacket. Compared with the Stormshell on the left, the Profila Stormshell 2.5 layer fabric on the right looks similar but there is no mistaking the increased protection from the elements. Boasting 10,000mm Waterproof/10,000g/m2/24hr breathability and fully taped seams and waterproof YKK zippers the Rhythm is a fortress against the elements.The Jacket also features a helmet compatible, mesh lined hood with a shock cord to keep it tight. When using the hood without a helmet like before or after a ride you have to pull the draw string very tight, but it does work.
Credit union lending and memberships continued to increase in the first quarter of 2014, according to the National Credit Union Administration call report data released Tuesday. The data also showed higher interest rates that slowed mortgage originations.“The continued growth in credit union lending and gains in membership during the first quarter are positive signs,” NCUA Chair Debbie Matz said. “Investing in people and communities will produce dividends for credit unions in many respects, but the higher interest rate environment of late 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 slowed mortgage originations. To protect the (National Credit Union) Share Insurance Fund, NCUA continues to closely monitor the risks posed by rising interest rates, long-term investments and fixed-rate mortgages.”According to the report, federally insured credit unions’ total assets grew $42.6 billion, or 4%, from the first quarter of 2013, to reach $1.1 trillion total. Membership in federally insured credit unions grew by 831,635 in the first quarter of 2014, reaching a new high of 97.1 million.The number of federally insured credit unions fell to 6,491 at the end of the first quarter, a decline of 3.9%, which the NCUA says is consistent with the trend over the last 40 years of consolidation. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Attorney General Hector BalderasAG News:SANTA FE — Attorney General Hector Balderas has announced that the Office of the Attorney General has taken over the prosecution of former Las Cruces Police Department Officer Christopher Smelser, who stands accused of killing Antonio Valenzuela while in his custody. The Office of the Attorney General has taken the case at the request of the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office. In addition to taking the case, the Office of the Attorney General has increased the charges that Smelser will face to second degree murder.“We are taking over prosecution and focusing on appropriate charges for violent and dangerous chokeholds,” Balderas said.District Attorney Mark D’Antonio added: “My office maintains the integrity of the fair trial process, in the continuation of our efforts to insure justice is served for the victims and defendants. Since this incident occurred, Attorney General Hector Balderas and his staff have been in contact with my office regarding this case, as well as police and law enforcement reforms and accountability for the use of deadly force including the ban placed on chokehold restraint techniques. In the pursuit for justice and given the seriousness of the charges against Las Cruces Police Officer Smelser, we agreed that this case be adopted and prosecuted by the New Mexico Attorney General.”After working with the District Attorney to fully review the case, the Office of the Attorney General determined that the evidence warrants a charge of second degree murder. Smelser was originally charged with manslaughter.
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Dynagas posted a picture of the LNG tanker Ob River while discharging in Niigata, Japan.Ob River became famous last year for being the world’s first LNG carrier to pass through the Northern Sea Route.Ob River (previous name – Clean Power) was built in 2007 in Korea and since then has successfully operated in the international LNG trade having visited 77 terminals and delivered about 3 million tons of cargo. Her ice class and winterisation equipment were fully utilised in 2009 – 2011.[mappress]LNG World News Staff, December 31, 2013; Image: Dynagas
Halliburton announced that it has reached an agreement to settle a substantial majority of the plaintiffs’ class claims asserted against the company as a result of the April 20, 2010 Macondo well incident in the Gulf of Mexico.The approximately $1.1 billion settlement, which includes legal fees, is subject to approval by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and will be paid into a trust until all appeals have been resolved in three installments over the next two years. The company’s previously accrued loss contingency provision relating to the multi-district litigation proceedings is currently $1.3 billion.The agreement includes the following:Claims against Halliburton that BP assigned to the settlement class in BP’s April 2012 settlement,Punitive damages claims against Halliburton by a class of plaintiffs who allege damages to property or associated with the commercial fishing industry arising from the Deepwater Horizon Incident, andAffirmation that Halliburton has no liability for compensatory damages to the members of the settlement class in the BP April 2012 settlement.Payments will be held in the trust, pending the finalization of this settlement which is contingent on final Court approval, including any appeals of:The BP 2012 settlement with the settlement class,The District Court’s earlier determination that the contractual indemnity provided by BP to Halliburton is valid and enforceable, andThe District Court’s earlier dismissal of economic damage claims against Halliburton.Additionally, the settlement is subject to an agreed-upon level of participation by the current claimants which, if not achieved, allows Halliburton to terminate the agreement.Press Release, September 02, 2014; Image: Wikimedia
Rickmers attributed the drop in revenue to the “persistently strained market situation, expiring high-margin charter contracts, follow-on charters at the prevalent low market rates, lower freight earnings, and a sharper decline in capacity utilisation in the project cargo business”.The group’s EBITDA dropped 36.1 percent year-on-year in the reporting period to EUR87.7 million (USD97.7 million). Rickmers added that positive effects from “financial derivative instruments” were overshadowed by a weak operating result and extraordinary net impairments on vessels.Following a positive net earnings result of EUR2.6 million (USD2.89 million) in the first half of 2015, the German shipping company’s consolidated net result in the first half of 2016 represented a EUR131.5 million (USD146.6 million) loss.The Rickmers-Linie segment posted revenues of EUR64.9 million, compared with EUR89.1 million in 2015, and recorded a negative EBITDA of EUR5.3 million, compared with a positive EBITDA of EUR2.9 million in the 2015 period.In March, Rickmers Holding approved a package of measures intended to counteract the weak market conditions, operating result and extraordinary net impairments on vessels. These measures are proceeding, with further options for action being examined on an ongoing basis, confirmed the group.The Rickmers Group had already renegotiated its core bank loans amounting to USD1.39 billion.In view of the lowered forecasts for global economic growth as well as the global container trade, the Rickmers Group currently sees no sign of a macroeconomic recovery in the second half of the year. This situation is reflected by the development of charter and freight rates, which the management sees as likely to remain at their current low levels.Based on the declining development in revenues, the Rickmers management continues to expect an EBITDA for the 2016 financial year “clearly below” the 2015 figure. Rickmers Savannah. www.rickmers.com
German Railway’s 300 km/h Neubaustrecke between K
Share Tori Fish has started 60 consecutive games for UWF, dating back to the 2010 season (Photo by Bill Stockland) PENSACOLA, Fla. – The No. 2 West Florida women’s soccer team advanced to the third round of the NCAA Division II women’s soccer tournament for the fourth time in school history with a 4-2 win over North Alabama on Nov. 11. The Argonauts (20-1) will take on No. 21 Tampa (15-3-4) Friday, Nov. 16 in the third round with the hopes of advancing to play the winner of No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic (19-1-1) and No. 19 Columbus State (18-3-1) in a quarterfinal match Sunday, Nov. 18. Both matches will be hosted by UWF at the UWF Soccer Complex.Live Audio and Statshttp://client.stretchinternet.com/client/uwf.portal#2012 Women’s Soccer Game Notes:8/30 vs. Belmont Abbey, Mount Olive 9/6 vs. Rollins, Florida Southern 9/13 @ Union, North Alabama 9/20 vs. Christian Brothers, Delta State9/27 @ Alabama-Huntsville, Shorter10/4 vs. West Alabama, No. 7 Armstrong10/11 vs. West Georgia, Valdosta State10/20 @ West Alabama10/25 @ West Georgia, Valdosta State11/1 GSC Tournament11/10 vs. North Alabama NCAA Second Round10/15vs. Tampa NCAA Third RoundNotes: The Argos are 2-1 all-time in third-round matches and have won their last two third-round matches. However, in UWF’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2010, Tampa was the team that eliminated the Argos with a victory on penalty kicks in the second round.UWF won 20 games in a season for the third time in school history, and currently has the second-best winning percentage in school history at .952, behind the 2009 squad that went 22-0-1 and finished with a .978 win pct.Chelsea Palmer is now ranked ninth all-time for points in a single season for UWF, and tied for fifth all-time for assists in a single season at UWF.Sarah Story is ranked third all-time for wins at the keeper position in a single season at UWF, fifth in shutouts and is currently eighth in goals against average.Bartlinski near the top in win pct.With a 20-1 record this season, Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year Joe Bartlinski improved to 199-27-14 overall at UWF. His win percentage of .858 ranks him third all-time in Division II behind Grand Valley State’s Dave Dillanni at .890 and Seattle Pacific’s Chuck Sekyra at .864. In all divisions, Bartlinski is seventh all-time in win percentage.In his 12th season as the head coach for the UWF women’s soccer team, Bartlinski won at least 20 games for a third time and won a GSC championship for the fifth time. Four No. 1 seeds eliminatedIn the first two rounds of play, four No. 1 seeds were eliminated from the tournament. No. 1 Dallas Baptist was eliminated 3-0 by No. 4 Colorado Mines, No. 1 Sonoma State was eliminated 2-1 by No. 5 Western Washington, No. 1 LIU Post was defeated 2-0 by No. 4 Dowling and No. 1 California (PA) lost 1-0 to No. 5 Slippery Rock.For what it’s worth, thus far in the NCAA Tournament, teams with a higher seed are 17-15.Iron WomenSenior Tori Fish has started 60 consecutive games for the Argos dating back to the 2010 season. Senior Rachel Cutts has started 58 consecutive games dating back to 2010, and sophomore Kelly Andres has started every game of her career at UWF with 39 starts. NCAA RanksIndividual points per game:13 Chelsea Palmer, 2.14T-30 Shelby Bush, 1.62Individual goals per game:T-35 Shelby Bush, .667T-35 Chelsea Palmer, .667Individual goals against average:18 Sarah Story, .630Team scoring offense:2 UWF, 3.43Team goals against average:24 UWF, .667Team won-lost-tied percentage:1 UWF, .952 Print Friendly Version GAME NOTES: No. 2 UWF hosts Third Round and Quarterfinal of NCAA Tournament
RELATED PHOTOS Author Robert Whiting shakes hands with Japan Times sportswriter James Mulligan after presenting him with the trophy for the Best Coverage — Major Event category at the Foreign Sportswriters Association of Japan Media Awards Dinner in Tokyo on Monday night. | YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO The Japan Times earned three prestigious honors at the Foreign Sportswriters Association of Japan Media Awards Dinner on Monday night in Tokyo.Author Robert Whiting shakes hands with Japan Times sportswriter James Mulligan after presenting him withthe trophy for the Best Coverage — Major Event category at the Foreign Sportswriters Association ofJapan Media Awards Dinner in Tokyo on Monday night. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO James Mulligan, who penned dozens of stories in June and July from Germany, including Mully’s Missives and Soccer Scene columns, was recognized for his stellar World Cup soccer coverage.He graciously accepted the Best Coverage — Major Event Award.Jack Gallagher, sports editor of The Japan Times, received the Best Columnist Award. Gallagher’s work in 2006 included columns on Shizuka Arakawa, Tokyo’s 2016 Olympic bid, Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters manager Trey Hillman, Barry Bonds and Michelle Wie.In other categories, the Best Wire Reporter Award went to Jim Armstrong of The Associated Press for the third straight year, Rob Smaal of the IHT-Asahi took home Best Writer honors, while The Japan Times nabbed the Best Online Site accolade.Voting was done in February for the FSAJ Media Awards.The FSAJ is composed of foreign members of the sports media in Japan and Japanese sports media working at English-language media outlets. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES