USMMA’s Kings Pointer Rechristened

first_imgzoom The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has celebrated the rechristening of the Academy’s new training vessel, the Kings Pointer.The Kings PointerThe ceremony was attended by the US Department of Transportation officials, as well as Senator Charles Schumer, and Representatives Timothy Bishop and Steve Israel.The Obama Administration has made a comprehensive effort to renew facilities and teaching infrastructure at the nation’s maritime academy.Since 2009, the Administration has invested more than $450m at the Academy, including almost $100m for capital improvements.The Kings Pointer was retrofitted as a training vessel at North Florida Shipyard at a cost of $3.3m. The rechristening follows the dedication of the new “up-to-date” Mallory pier at the Academy.Before being redesigned to serve as a training vessel for students, the former MV Liberty Star served as a solid rocket booster recovery vessel for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), retrieving solid rocket boosters following space shuttle launches.“The Merchant Marine Academy has been a treasured part of this country since Congress commissioned its establishment in 1936,” said Senator Charles Schumer.“I’m thrilled to have worked in recent years to address three key issues at the Academy: finding inspiring leadership through a permanent Superintendent, rehabilitating Mallory Pier, and today bringing back the Kings Pointer, this critical training vessel. It’s a banner day for the Merchant Marine Academy.”June 17, 2014last_img read more

Alberta economy doing better than expected in June forecast TD economists note

The Canadian Press CALGARY — Economists at TD Bank say they are looking at upgrading their Alberta growth expectations for 2019 as signs point to a more robust than expected recovery from the effects of extreme heavy oil price weakness in late 2018.The bank suggested in a forecast in June that the province’s economy would grow by a “paltry” 0.5 per cent this year and a slightly better 2.1 per cent next year.It said the province’s mandated oil production curtailments had worked to strengthen heavy oil prices in early 2019 but business and household spending remained hampered by concerns around medium-term energy investment.In its update report, however, it says the provincial economy appears to have started growing again in recent weeks, based on rising oil exports by pipe and rail, stronger wholesale and manufacturing shipments and a jump in small business confidence.It also cites an improvement in the jobless rate and positive population growth, along with more upbeat trends in Alberta’s stalled retail sales and housing sectors.The economists stop short of an immediate upgrade in their forecast, however, noting the volatility of regional statistics and the newly elected provincial government’s likely move to restrain spending.“All in all, recent encouraging data have added credence to the view that economic growth in Alberta is gaining some traction,” the report says.“While a continuation in this momentum would set the stage for a forecast upgrade, we remain cautious for now.” read more