The Editor’s Blog Articles
Step aside, Monmouth and Quinnipiac: BF’s got the odds-on favorites for next year’s headlines.
Dow and DuPont have apparently agreed that they would be in a stronger position as a merged company with powerful synergies to successfully navigate an eventual breakup into more specialized units. The tentative deal also may signify the next step in the evolution of the global plastics industry, a shift in focus to specialty and advanced engineered plastics from oil-based petrochemical mainstays like polyethylene. Both companies have realized the need to get bigger before they can get smaller.
Proposition 6 created an initial SWIFT fund of $2 billion, which the TWBD expects to leverage into a total of $27 billion in financing over the next 50 years to implement the state water plan, with about half of that coming from state financial assistance. State officials said TWDB was able to approve a large number of projects in the first round because a majority of entities applying for funds requested long-term financing, which enabled the board to stretch the available funds. TWBD allocates funding for water projects based on a ranking system it developed that takes into account the length of time it will take to implement a project and the overall long-term improvement the project represents. For example, a seawater desalination plant proposed by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority received seed funds from TWDB even though it will take much longer to build than other, higher-priority projects. TWDB must by law spend up to 20 percent of Prop 6 funds in the next five years on water conservation or re-use projects.
Driverless cars are being welcomed where you might not expect them.
The VA appears to have mismanaged the health records of nearly a million veterans; about 900,000 veterans are still waiting to get on the VA’s backlog for health services; and—brace yourself—as many as 300,000 veterans may have died awaiting access to health services they were promised but never received.
Organizations in Pittsburgh, Detroit, northern Michigan, St. Louis, Alaska, Wisconsin and Nevada, have embraced business idea competitions; rewarding dozens of new ventures with grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. The 43North competition, said to be the largest such prize pool in the nation, offers $5 million in prize money to entrepreneurs who agree to move to (or retain their start-ups in) the city.
Geoengineering will be a growth sector in the age of climate change. The latest global warming “miracle cure” for the big CO2 problem is a new technology said to be able to extract carbon from the air and condense it into fibers that could be used as building materials or to produce components for electronics, cars, clothing and other manufactured goods.
In Auburn, NY, the hot political issue is economic development. Both candidates emphasized job creation with a youthful population base. Lattimore pushed for large-scale manufacturing plants and renewable energy projects to the Auburn area.
The number of incidents involving hacking into key infrastructure has tripled in the past two years. Most of these cyber-intrusions appear to be exploratory in nature, but a few have crossed the line and caused physical damage.
A bricks-and-mortar SimCity is set to rise near Las Cruces, NM.