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Smart City PDX: Using data and technology to improve people's lives.
Smart City PDX is partnering with the Portland community to make our city a place where data and technology are used to improve people’s lives, particularly in underserved communities. Together we'll proactively prepare for future technologies to promote community-driven goals and values. We'll use data and technology responsibly to support a healthy, safe, more affordable and prosperous Portland for everyone.
public  politics  civic  opendata  opensource  city  automation  iot  internetofthings 
7 hours ago by cyberchucktx
Old-fashioned safe releases tear gas after robbery at Karl's Cabin
SALEM TWP., MI - Four employees of Karl's Cabin Restaurant and Bar in Salem Township were taken to a hospital Tuesday after encountering tear gas that leaked out of an old safe.

Fire crews were called to the restaurant at 60005 Gotfredson Road about 9:51 a.m. after workers there reported a strange, oily liquid seeping out of an old safe, according to Salem Township Fire Chief Rachwal.

The restaurant had been burglarized between midnight and 1 a.m. Monday morning, according to the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office. The old-fashioned safe was tampered with and cash was stolen from it, police said.

The safe, which was roughly five feet tall, is about 100 years old and contained the tear gas as a security feature, according to Rachwal.
us_MI  public  release  injury  tear_gas 
11 hours ago by dchas
OSU wristbands reveal toxins in Houston area
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- When Hurricane Harvey swept through the Houston area last August, it caused devastating floods.

Many residents worried those floodwaters had swept toxic chemicals into their neighborhoods.

It was a concern shared by scientists from Oregon State University.

So in the weeks following the hurricane, they flew down to Houston and passed out hundreds of special chemical absorbing wristbands. Participants wore the wristbands for one week.

Related: Wristband tracks chemicals you're exposed to, and how they affect you

Thirty-two of those participants lived in the Highlands area of Houston near a flooded Superfund site.

"The overarching concern is... are chemical exposures increasing?" asked Peter Hoffman, assistant director of the Food Safety and Environmental Stewardship Program at Oregon State University.

After wearing the wristbands, the participants sent them back to researchers at OSU, who were able to extract the chemicals from the first set.

The findings revealed the residents were being exposed to an unusually high number of chemicals.
us_OR  public  discovery  environmental  toxics 
11 hours ago by dchas
California wildfires caused unexpected benzene contamination of drinking water
As the 2018 wildfire season begins in the western U.S., part of Northern California is still grappling with previously unrecognized and wholly unanticipated damage from fires that burned 15,000 hectares and devastated the state’s wine country last year.
In addition to destroying more than 8,000 structures and killing 44 people, those fires unexpectedly also caused persistent contamination by the carcinogen benzene in the water infrastructure in a Santa Rosa neighborhood.
First detected in November, the benzene levels persisted for months, and Santa Rosa city officials feared a large portion of their water system would have to be replaced­—a project they estimated would take two years and cost $43 million. Gradually, however, benzene levels dropped, most dramatically in the past few weeks, and a full system replacement may not be necessary. Nevertheless, the city will still be replacing up to 500 service lines at a cost of $3.4 million and supplying activated-charcoal filters to affected residents to ensure benzene levels fall below California’s limit of 1 ppb for drinking water.
The situation took the water supply industry and government agencies by surprise. Water experts say it’s likely to spur new research on the relationship between fires and water contamination and on ways to prevent such contamination.
us_CA  public  discovery  environmental  benzene 
11 hours ago by dchas
Create Successful Sales Value
The first is to confuse features with benefits. Features are functionalities. Benefits are what those functionalities could do for the user. For example, when Steve Jobs first launched the iPod, he told the audience that it has a 20-minute skip protection feature. That was the feature or functionality. He then proceeded to tell them the “so what”, which means that they can use it for cycling, hiking and jogging and it won’t miss a beat. This was the benefit.
presentation  public  speaking  sales  toastmasters  presenters  credibility  factual  information  problem-solution 
yesterday by global.dwellers
Honey oil lab explosion at Desert Hot Springs home
DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - A honey oil lab caused an explosion and fire at a home on West Dr. Monday.

Police and Fire responded to a call of explosions and fire just after noon on Monday at a house on the 12000 block of West Dr. in Desert Hot Springs.


Fire at a home on West Drive in Desert Hot Springs
A Hazmat team and Southern California Edison also arrived on scene.  Cal Fire says that the house is a total loss.

Neighbors half a block away reported feeling the explosion and thinking it was an earthquake.
us_CA  public  explosion  response  clandestine_lab 
yesterday by dchas
Wisconsin manufacturer finds groundwater pollution at plant
MARINETTE, Wis. — A manufacturer in northeastern Wisconsin has discovered new evidence of groundwater pollution near Lake Michigan involving a chemical that has raised national health concerns.

Tyco Fire Products said this month that it discovered perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, in well samples at its manufacturing plant in Marinette. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had directed Tyco to test for PFCs at the wells, which are part of a separate cleanup of arsenic.

Tyco produces specialized firefighting foams that can extinguish gas and oil fires. PFCs are used in products like the firefighting foam and have been linked with increasing cancer risks and development problems in fetuses, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported .

Tyco, which is a unit of Johnson Controls International, said it's investigating the source and extent of the groundwater contamination by testing soil, ditches and surface water.
us_WI  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
yesterday by dchas
Senate joins House in approving budget for CSB
Washington — The Chemical Safety Board is all but ensured of avoiding elimination for another fiscal year after the Senate allocated $11 million for the agency for FY 2019 in its Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
The legislation was unanimously approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 14. The amount matches CSB’s FY 2018 budget.
“The Board has the important responsibility of independently investigating industrial chemical accidents and collaborating with industry and professional organizations to share safety lessons that can prevent catastrophic incidents and the Committee expects this work to continue,” the committee states in the bill.
The House Appropriations Committee allocated $12 million for the agency in its Interior and Environment bill, which was approved June 6.
In its past two budget proposals, the Trump administration has advocated eliminating CSB, citing the “relative duplicative nature of [the agency’s] work, and the administration’s focus on streamlining functions across the federal government.”
us_WA  public  follow-up  environmental 
yesterday by dchas
High Levels of Carbon Monoxide at El Cajon Starbucks:Heartland Fire
High levels of carbon monoxide were found at a Starbucks and Golden Bagel in the 2700 block of Fletcher Parkway around 8 a.m. Sunday morning.
Heartland Fire, La Mesa Police Department, San Diego County Hazmat and San Diego Fire-Rescue all responded to the scene after more than one carbon monoxide alarm went off and people called 911. 
The Starbucks, Golden Bagel and other nearby businesses were briefly evacuated, and one Starbucks employee was taken to the hospital. 
"(The employee) who received medical attention is doing well and the store has since reopened," Starbucks said in a statement to NBC 7.
An exhaust fan above the boiler at Golden Bagel was turned off, causing carbon monoxide to accumulate and spread to the nearby businesses, Heartland Fire said.
The gas itself is not poisonous but can cause problems if it displaces oxygen.
us_CA  public  release  injury  carbon_monoxide 
2 days ago by dchas
Smithers hotel hazmat incident sends nine to hospital
The BC Ambulance Service and Smithers Fire Department were called after several people, many of whom were children, got sick after swimming in the Aspen Inn’s pool.

“We’re truly concerned about the well being of our customers,” assistant general manager Eric Peter said. “Right now we’re looking into provisions to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.”

Peter thought an employee may have used too much chlorine while doing maintenance but wasn’t certain as the investigation into what happened is ongoing.

Smithers RCMP conducted an investigation and determined the incident was caused by an Aspen Inn employee adding chemicals to the pool as a part of its routine maintenance.

The chlorine’s vapor caused breathing issues for those affected, Peter said.

Nine people were taken to the Bulkley Valley District Hospital, Smithers RCMP said.
Canada  public  release  injury  chlorine 
2 days ago by dchas

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