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first_img Equal Opportunities Section works to boost membership Senior EditorThe Bar Board of Governors has endorsed a plan to help boost membership in the Equal Opportunities Section, which is struggling to get the minimum membership required in Bar policies.The Program Evaluation Committee reported on its review of the section, as well as other Bar programs, at the board’s recent Tallahassee meeting.PEC Vice Chair Richard Gilbert said the section, formed three years ago, has between 200 and 300 members, while Bar policies require a section to have 1 percent of Bar membership, or around 700 members.“We believe that the goals and mission of this section are vital and so important to what we do as a Bar. We share the objective of diversity,” Gilbert said. “We have decided to give them an additional year extension to bring their membership into compliance with the rule.”The section will report how it is refocusing its efforts to meet that goal by May.Bar President Tod Aronovitz strongly endorsed helping the section, echoing a call by Gilbert for board members to join the section and get at least one other member of their firm to join. He also announced he had appointed board members Jennifer Coberly and Henry Latimer, and has asked Florida Association for Women Lawyers President Siobhan Shea to work with the section.In addition, Aronovitz said he would ask other groups, including the National Bar Association, the Cuban-American Bar Association, and the judiciary to help.He said the section has the essential goal of making the legal profession and judiciary accessible to minorities, women, the physically disabled, and others, and that membership is for all lawyers, not just women and minorities.“This section is vitally important to all lawyers,” Aronovitz said. “It will do great work for all Floridians, and they need our help.”For more information about the section, contact Yvonne Sherron at The Florida Bar at (850) 561-5620.On other matters, Gilbert said the PEC reviewed the Bar’s certification program, which included looking at how other states operate, the low passage rates for some certification areas, problems with longtime certified lawyers failing to get enough credits to earn recertification, and peer review issues.The committee was satisfied the Board of Legal Specialization and Education and Bar staff were addressing those matters.“We are confident things are going well,” Gilbert said. Practicing with ProfessionalismThe committee is studying the Young Lawyers Division’s Practicing with Professionalism seminar, which most new Bar members must take, and significant changes are being proposed, Gilbert reported.“There were some concerns about the length and content of that program,” he said. “We have been working with the Young Lawyers Division, and they have proposed some significant changes.”Those include shortening the program to a one-day seminar and focusing on professionalism issues. The committee is also looking at ending the exemption for government lawyers if the seminar is cut to one day, he said.Under present rules, all new Bar members must take the course, which is aimed at helping them ease into law practice and at promoting professionalism, unless they are employed or going to work for a government agency. In that case, the requirement is deferred until they leave government employment and enter private practice.The PEC is continuing its review of the Bar’s Center for Professionalism and expects a report soon from a subcommittee, Gilbert said. Equal Opportunities Section works to boost membership March 15, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Japan designs WEC turbine to tame shoreline waves

September 28, 2020 | aazfmwrl | No Comments

first_imgOIST turbines placed in an array (Image: OIST) Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have outlined plans for a wave energy turbine that could provide protection for the shore while also generating power from the waves.The project being developed by OIST team involves placing turbines at key locations near the shoreline, such as nearby tetrapods or among coral reefs, to generate energy.Each location allows the turbines to be exposed to ideal wave conditions that allow them not only to generate clean and renewable energy, but also to help protect the coasts from erosion while being affordable for those with limited funding and infrastructure, OIST said.The turbines themselves are built to withstand the forces thrust upon them during harsh wave conditions as well as extreme weather, such as typhoons, according to OIST.Five-blade turbine design by OIST (Image: OIST)The blade design and materials are inspired by dolphin fins – they are flexible, and thus able to release stress rather than remain rigid and risk breakage, OIST informed.The five-blade turbine has a diameter of about 0.7 meters. Its blades rotate on their axis when influenced by ocean wave.The axis is attached to a permanent magnet electric generator that transforms the ocean wave energy into usable electricity. The ceramic mechanical seal protects the electrical components inside of the body from any saltwater leakage.OIST said the turbine has been designed to function for ten years before it needs replacing.The supporting structure for the turbines is also flexible and the turbines bend along their anchoring axes, according to Tsumoru Shintake, Professor at OIST.The turbines are also said to be built to be safe for surrounding marine life as their blades rotate at a carefully calculated speed that allows creatures caught among them to escape.One prime location to place turbines is in front of tetrapods at the shoreline. Tetrapods are concrete structures shaped somewhat like pyramids that are often placed along a coastline to weaken the force of incoming waves and protect the shore from erosion.At this location, the turbines transform the energy from incoming waves into usable electricity which in turn dissipates wave strength and protects the shoreline.OIST team (Photo: OIST)Coral reefs are another type of location with strong breaking waves. Arrays of small WECs could harness electricity from the vortex flow of breaking waves, OIST suggests.Replacing regular with ‘intelligent’ tetrapods and wave breakers, with turbines attached to or near them, would both generate energy as well as help to protect the coasts, Shintake said.The next step for Shintake and his team is to install the half-scale models of the turbine, with 0.35-meter diameter, for their first commercial experiment.The team will soon install two wave energy conversion (WEC) turbines in order to power LEDs for a demonstration.last_img read more