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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 75,559

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Texas A&M will be home to $91 million vaccine-manufacturing facility

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has approved the creation of a $91 million influenza-vaccine manufacturing facility in a joint venture between the Texas A&M University System and GlaxoSmithKline in what Chancellor John Sharp described Tuesday as “one of the most significant developments ever in the state of Texas.”

The facility will speed up the research, development and delivery of vaccines and therapeutics in cases of pandemics or other national emergencies.

The center would also supply preventive vaccine for pandemic influenza, and, once it’s up and running, will be able to supply 50 million vaccine doses within four months of receiving a strain of the flu, with initial doses ready in 12 weeks.

The facility will anchor the Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing in Bryan-College Station, establishing what Sharp characterized as “third coast biopharmaceuticals.” A&M is home to one of only three so-called CIADMS being created in the nation.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/texas-am-will-be-home-to-91-million-vaccine-manufa/nW4g8/ .

Another article from Bryan-College Station The Eagle:

The Texas A&M University system has announced a partnership with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to establish a $91 million influenza vaccine-manufacturing facility in Bryan-College Station. Gov. Rick Perry said the company will generate billions of dollars worth of expenditures per year and will create close to 7,000 jobs.

The TAMUS influenza vaccine-manufacturing center will facilitate a rapid national vaccine response in the event of a pandemic.

The announcement was made at a press conference in Austin Tuesday morning, more than a hundred miles away from the the Center of Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing in the Bryan-College Station biocorridor.

The 196-acre corridor is along the shared border near Easterwood Airport. City officials worked alongside Texas A&M for years to develop the area in hopes of luring biotechnology companies and startups to Bryan-College Station.

http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/article_5d82ab82-9622-11e2-9023-0019bb2963f4.html

Texas A&M will be home to $91 million vaccine-manufacturing facility

Source: Austin American-Statesman

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has approved the creation of a $91 million influenza-vaccine manufacturing facility in a joint venture between the Texas A&M University System and GlaxoSmithKline in what Chancellor John Sharp described Tuesday as “one of the most significant developments ever in the state of Texas.”

The facility will speed up the research, development and delivery of vaccines and therapeutics in cases of pandemics or other national emergencies.

The center would also supply preventive vaccine for pandemic influenza, and, once it’s up and running, will be able to supply 50 million vaccine doses within four months of receiving a strain of the flu, with initial doses ready in 12 weeks.

The facility will anchor the Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing in Bryan-College Station, establishing what Sharp characterized as “third coast biopharmaceuticals.” A&M is home to one of only three so-called CIADMS being created in the nation.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/texas-am-will-be-home-to-91-million-vaccine-manufa/nW4g8/



Another article from the Bryan-College Station The Eagle:

The Texas A&M University system has announced a partnership with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to establish a $91 million influenza vaccine-manufacturing facility in Bryan-College Station. Gov. Rick Perry said the company will generate billions of dollars worth of expenditures per year and will create close to 7,000 jobs.

The TAMUS influenza vaccine-manufacturing center will facilitate a rapid national vaccine response in the event of a pandemic.

The announcement was made at a press conference in Austin Tuesday morning, more than a hundred miles away from the the Center of Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing in the Bryan-College Station biocorridor.

The 196-acre corridor is along the shared border near Easterwood Airport. City officials worked alongside Texas A&M for years to develop the area in hopes of luring biotechnology companies and startups to Bryan-College Station.

http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/article_5d82ab82-9622-11e2-9023-0019bb2963f4.html

BRICS Nations Plan New Bank to Bypass World Bank, IMF

Source: Bloomberg

The biggest emerging markets are uniting to tackle under-development and currency volatility with plans to set up institutions that encroach on the roles of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The leaders of the so-called BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- are set to approve the establishment of a new development bank during an annual summit that starts today in the eastern South African city of Durban, officials from all five nations say. They will also discuss pooling foreign-currency reserves to ward off balance of payments or currency crises.

“The deepest rationale for the BRICS is almost certainly the creation of new Bretton Woods-type institutions that are inclined toward the developing world,” Martyn Davies, chief executive officer of Johannesburg-based Frontier Advisory, which provides research on emerging markets, said in a phone interview. “There’s a shift in power from the traditional to the emerging world. There is a lot of geo-political concern about this shift in the western world.”

The BRICS nations, which have combined foreign-currency reserves of $4.4 trillion and account for 43 percent of the world’s population, are seeking greater sway in global finance to match their rising economic power. They have called for an overhaul of management of the World Bank and IMF, which were created in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944, and oppose the practice of their respective presidents being drawn from the U.S. and Europe.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-25/brics-nations-plan-new-bank-to-bypass-world-bank-imf.html



Competition at last, isn't capitalism lovely? Where a market exists, somebody else can come in and take their share.

If the bank existed maybe they could have provided relief to other countries such as Iceland, Greece and Cyprus.

Legislators claim Jindal trying to oust higher education chief

A group of Republican state representatives accused Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office Monday of trying to secretly have State Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell fired for speaking out against the governor’s proposed budget for next year.

The legislators said they have “reliable” information that Jindal recently sent Deputy Chief of Staff Taylor Teepell to talk to members of the Louisiana Board of Regents, the state’s higher education policy board, about having Purcell removed from office.

In response, legislators led by state Rep. Cameron Henry, R-New Orleans, put out a statement Monday to “condemn” the Jindal administration and calling on the governor to apologize to the Board of Regents.

Henry said he and his colleagues felt compelled to say something over what they described as the governor’s pattern of intimidating people who don’t agree with him.

http://theadvocate.com/home/5537070-125/legislators-claim-jindal-trying-to

[font color=green]Henry is comparing Jindal to a dictator. Don't Republicans reserve that language for President Obama instead?[/font]

St. Charles Parish residents disturbed, disheartened by new flood insurance maps

On Monday afternoon, Bayou Gauche resident Charles Boyer II scanned the R.K. Smith Middle School Cafeteria, watching as hundreds of St. Charles Parish residents funneled through its double doors. "They should call this death to Des Allemands," he said. At the first FEMA open house in St. Charles Parish, residents were invited to meet with engineers, FEMA representatives and insurance experts to better understand the effects of the new proposed flood insurance maps, which outline base flood elevation changes throughout the parish. Residents were also encouraged to use computers to plug in their addresses to see exactly how their properties will be affected. Many -- especially those living on the west bank of St. Charles, parts of which are protected by a levee that will be no longer recognized in the new flood map -- were confronted with disheartening news.

"My whole life savings is gone," said Annie Knuppel, who lives on Dixie Street in Des Allemands. Knuppel bought her home in 1992, when her lot was in a zone that did not require any flood insurance at all. According to the new maps, her home, which is elevated 3 feet, is still 4 feet under the base flood elevation. As a result, her flood insurance premiums will increase by thousands of dollars each year. "I pay $350 now. They told me I'll have to pay $15,000. That means either foreclosure, or bankruptcy for me. And my parents -- my daddy's house is 3 feet under now," she continued. "He's in hospice dying of cancer, they're living on fixed income with no savings, and now they're going to lose their house, too."

The new flood insurance maps, if approved by the St. Charles Parish Council, will override and replace the flood insurance rate maps which were put in place in 1992, nine years after St. Charles Parish entered into the National Flood Insurance Program, in 1983. The new maps reflect the $100 million post-Katrina levee system extension that now protects vast swaths of the parish's east bank, part of a $14.6 billion Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity project designed to better protect parts of New Orleans and surrounding areas against storm surge. As a result, St. Charles residents living along the parish's east bank can anticipate lower insurance costs once the new maps are approved, adopted and put into place sometime next year.

The west bank of St. Charles Parish, however, is a different story. The current flood maps take into consideration the Sunset Drainage District, which handles levees, drainage and canals for a 16.4-square-mile area that includes Des Allemands, Bayou Gauche and Paradis. The updated maps do not consider the west bank levee system, in calculations of new base flood elevation levels, meaning that west bank residents will see significant increases in their flood insurance costs. Boyer, whose home is protected by the west bank levee, but suddenly 1 foot below the new base flood elevation, will likely see his flood insurance premium increase from $350 to $5,000 per year.

More at http://www.nola.com/hurricane/index.ssf/2013/03/st_charles_residents_disturbed.html#incart_river_default .

TWIA board considers settlement on Ike claims, tables receivership issue

The board of the Texas Windstorm Association decided Monday to put off a decision about going into receivership until at least May, and will attempt to resolve millions in outstanding claims stemming from Hurricane Ike in the meantime.

At its meeting Monday, the board decided not to voluntarily enter receivership, a course resembling bankruptcy that would allow it to put a stay on lawsuits, and allow Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman to come up with a plan for making the association solvent.

Several people from the coast —many from the district of Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi — told the board receivership would hurt homeowners and businesses in the area.

“We think it’s a bonehead idea, quite frankly,” said Foster Edwards, president and CEO of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/twia-board-considers-lawsuit-settlement-on-ike-cla/nW4LG/ .

[font color=green]It looks that they may have scared the trial lawyers since one of the lead attorneys says they will attempt to resolve the remaining claims from Hurricane Ike. There was mention of a special assessment to insurance companies and reinsurance companies of $420 million--now it looks like the settlement value of claims is less than half of the $330 million that has been set aside in reserves. Something doesn't smell right.[/font]

Alleged blackmail behind A&M professor's suicide

A Louisiana man is accused of using an underage female relative to lure a Texas A&M University professor into a sexually explicit online relationship that ended with blackmail demands and the professor leaping to his death from atop a campus parking garage.

The charges, filed in Houston, clear up some of the mystery surrounding why James Arnt Aune, 59, who chaired the school's department of communication, committed suicide on Jan. 8.

Daniel Timothy Duplaisir of Metairie, La., is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Tuesday on a charge of using a phone and the Internet to extort money from Aune.

"Let me tell you (expletive) … you sick old (expletive) … I told you I was going to call the cops," Duplaisir told Aune in one of a series of text messages, according to the FBI.

Further sordid details at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Online-sex-scam-led-to-Texas-A-M-instructor-s-4382918.php .

Related thread at http://www.democraticunderground.com/10785249 .

Senator John Whitmire target of new prison death threat

Authorities confirmed Monday afternoon they are investigating a tip that a violent prison gang was plotting to kill state Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston lawmaker who heads the Senate committee that oversees the prison system.

No charges have yet been filed in the case that was opened last Tuesday when an informant inside a Texas prison alerted authorities that the Mexican Mafia gang had targeted Whitmire to be gunned down at a Mexican restaurant where he often has lunch.

The restaurant presumably was in Austin, since that’s where Whitmire is spending most of his time during the legislative session.

Whitmire and investigators familiar with the case said Monday the threat appeared credible, and that Whitmire was put under protection as a result. They would not say Monday whether he still had protection.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/whitmire-target-of-new-prison-death-threat/nW4FZ/ .

Nearly $3.7M spent by taxpayers on ex-presidents in 2012

Source: AP

WASHINGTON — Being the leader of the free world is an expensive proposition. But the costs don't stop once you leave the White House.

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says the federal government spent nearly $3.7 million on former presidents last year. That covers a $200,000 pension, compensation and benefits for office staff, and other costs like travel, office space and postage.

The costliest former president? George W. Bush, who clocked in at just over $1.3 million. That includes almost $400,000 for 8,000 square feet of office space and $85,000 in telephone costs.

President Bill Clinton came in second at just under $1 million, followed by George H.W. Bush at nearly $850,000. Costs for Jimmy Carter, the only other living former president, came in at about $500,000.


Read more: http://www.caller.com/news/2013/mar/25/nearly-37m-spent-taxpayers-ex-presidents-2012/

Scooter Store could close its headquarters by Sunday

The Scooter Store could shut down operations at its New Braunfels headquarters as early as Sunday if it's not able to line up additional financing.

In a letter sent Tuesday night to the Texas Workforce Commission, The Scooter Store CEO Martin “Marty” Landon said the company is trying to get financing to avoid closing its doors.

“The company has obtained sufficient financing to allow it to avoid the immediate closure of the New Braunfels facility until March 31, 2013, and is optimistic that further efforts will allow the New Braunfels facility to remain operational beyond that date,” Landon wrote.

“However, the company has informed (the remaining headquarters) employees that if negotiations over the next two weeks are ultimately unsuccessful, they will be permanently laid off,” he added.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Scooter-Store-could-close-its-headquarters-by-4382278.php .

Cross-posted in Texas Group.
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