FDA cites problems at peanut butter plant; recall expanded

first_img FDA outbreak pagehttp://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/salmonellatyph.html#news Also today, FDA officials announced that PCA is expanding its recall to cover all products produced at the plant since Jan 1, 2007. It was unclear, however, what type of testing was initially done and what the chances were of the tests producing false-positive results. The earliest case mentioned in the FDA’s report was in June 2007. Screening tests take about a day, while confirmatory tests take from 3 to 5 days, Besser said. Storage of raw peanuts next to roasted peanuts; sometimes the raw and finished products were visually indistinguishable Also, FDA investigators found mold on the ceiling and walls of the finished product cooler, along with water stains running down from the cooler’s fans, located directly above where the finished products were stored. Also, finished products were stored beneath skylights and ceilings that showed evidence of rainwater leakage. The FDA released its full investigative report on the PCA plant, called form 483, today on its Web site. The report includes a list of observations that Rogers classified as deviations from Good Manufacturing Practices, some of which he said are violations of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. FDA officials observed several instances in which finished products were vulnerable to contamination, including: The identification of specific Salmonella serotypes should have told the company that there was a problem either with the testing or with the peanuts, he said. “The lack of clarity with regards to these tests really points to a lack of credible information for the entire investigation,” he said. “It’s hard to make decisions if the information is piecemeal or potentially incorrect.” John Besser, PhD, clinical laboratory manager at the Minnesota Department of Health, reviewed the FDA’s investigation report and told CIDRAP News that the company used screening tests in the instances where it detected an unidentified Salmonella serotype and used confirmatory testing methods in the three instances where it identified a serotype. Jan 28, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today released its inspection findings on the Georgia peanut butter plant that has been linked to a nationwide Salmonella outbreak, saying the company shipped products that had initially tested positive for Salmonella and citing various other questionable practices. Clarification needed on test methodsMichael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, said that despite dramatic headlines about the PCA releasing products that tested positive for Salmonella, more information is needed about methods the company used in its initial product testing. Cleaning deficit, storage errorsThe FDA report also said the company did not clean the peanut paste production line after Salmonella Typhimurium was found in the paste on Sep 26, 2008. The report said the company did not clean the line until the FDA began inspecting the plant on Jan 9. In a statement yesterday, the American Peanut Council expressed shock that PCA “knowingly released a product with potential salmonella contamination into the food supply, as released by the Food and Drug Administration.” Other developmentsSundlof, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told reporters yesterday that though investigators have wrapped up their investigation at the plant, the FDA, along with state officials, has visited about 1,000 food manufacturers that used potentially contaminated peanut butter and peanut paste in their products and was still testing products and reviewing distribution records. He said he expects the list of recalled products to expand. Rogers also commented that it “is sometimes possible to get negative and positive results from the same product lot.” Tauxe noted that people with no Internet access can call the CDC hotline at 1-800-232-4636 for information on product recalls. “There is concern of potential Salmonella contamination, including Salmonella strains not associated with the current outbreak,” Dr. Stephen Sundlof of the FDA said at a late afternoon news briefing. But he said the agency has not yet seen any illnesses involving strains other than the outbreak strain, Salmonella Typhimiurium. He said there was not enough information to tell if there was a problem with the confirmatory tests or if the company had inadequate testing procedures. “No matter how you cut it, there was some type of negligence,” Besser said. Placement of pallets of finished product within 3 feet of a cooler floor where authorities isolated Salmonella Mdbandaka In other comments at today’s briefing, Sundlof said the FDA still sees no evidence of any contamination in national name-brand peanut butter. He said national brand manufacturers have assured the agency that they never bought any peanut products from PCA. The report said the facility lacked a ventilation system to prevent potential contamination from airflow from the areas that handled raw peanuts to the finished product areas. Also, some areas of the plant lacked segregation between raw and finished products. At today’s briefing, the FDA’s Rogers said the agency is aware of the labs used by PCA for its internal testing and has no information suggesting problems with the labs or their test results. However, he said that unless there are mitigating circumstances, the practice of releasing a product after first getting a positive test result and then a negative result is not common in the industry and “is certainly a deviation from current Good Manufacturing Practices.” Half of the cases have occurred in children younger than 16, Tauxe reported. He said 108 people have been hospitalized, and eight deaths may be associated with the outbreak, all of them in people older than 59. Michael Rogers, who directs the FDA’s field investigation division, told reporters at a press conference yesterday that FDA investigators found that the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) plant in Blakely, Ga., detected Salmonella in some of the products it made in 2007 and 2008, but later released them after testing by an outside firm found no contamination in the products. Other findings included product residue buildup on and near production equipment, dirt and grime on washroom equipment and walls, and evidence of roaches in a washroom adjacent to the production and packaging areas. At today’s briefing, Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH, deputy director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, said the case count in the outbreak remained at 501 in 43 states, plus one case in Canada. He said the outbreak appears to be ongoing, though the number of new cases has modestly decreased. Osterholm said there was no question that the FDA found Salmonella in the PCA plant. But he said detailed information about the initial tests the company used could help clarify what went wrong and that public health officials need to know if those tests produced true-positive Salmonella findings. That would help clarify whether the company released products it knew might be contaminated, he said. The report says the FDA identified 12 instances in which peanut products tested positive for Salmonella on internal testing between June 2007 and September 2008, but the company then released the products after further testing was negative. Initial testing found Salmonella Typhimurium once, Salmonella Anatum twice, and unspecified strains nine times. “The findings of the FDA report can only be seen as a clear and unconscionable action of one irresponsible manufacturer, which stands alone in an industry that strives to follow the most stringent food safety standards,” said Patrick Archer, president of the trade association. Although the firm recognized that the roasting step was the key to eliminating contamination in raw peanuts, it didn’t verify that the temperature, volume, and belt speed of its roaster were adequate to kill pathogenic bacteria, the report said, adding that temperature documentation was incomplete for several time periods. FDA officials told CIDRAP News that an independent private laboratory conducted PCA’s initial testing, but that the FDA didn’t have any information on the testing methods used. Storage of finished products within 15 feet of a floor crack where investigators isolated Salmonella Senftenberg See also: Given the expanded PCA recall, the FDA expects that food companies will check their supply chains to determine if they have products on the market containing ingredients covered by the expanded recall, Sundlof said. He advised consumers to check the FDA’s Web site to see which products have been recalled and said if they are unsure whether a peanut-containing product is potentially contaminated, they should avoid eating it or feeding it to pets. American Peanut Council statementhttp://admin.peanutsusa.com/documents/Document_Library/FDA%20Report%20Reaction%20-%201%2027%2009%20FINAL.pdflast_img read more

American fugitive arrested in Jakarta a known pedophile: Jakarta Police

first_imgMedlin later talked to SS and asked them to bring along their friends, LF and TR. Each child was promised Rp 2 million, Yusri went on to say.“[Medlin] asked one child to record his [sexual acts] with the other minors using his phone,” he said.Medlin, who entered Indonesia on a tourist visa last year, was apprehended at his residence on Monday after police questioned three minors.The US national has been on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) wanted list for crimes related to an investment scam in bitcoin stocks, Yunus said, adding the scam totaled $722 million. (rfa)Topics : The US authorities’ investigation found that Medlin recorded his sexual acts on video – a practice he would do again in his most recent crime involving an Indonesian child, according to Yusri.Read also: Children ‘trapped’ in pornography: KPAIDuring his stay in Jakarta, Medlin had contacted a local 20-year-old woman, identified only as A, who was known to have ties to child trafficking, the police spokesperson said.“[Medlin] asked A via WhatsApp to introduce him to a minor. A then introduced him to the victim, SS, who is still 15 years of age,” Yusri said. Russ Albert Medlin, an American fugitive recently arrested in Jakarta for alleged sexual assault against minors, is a known pedophile in his home country, according to Jakarta Police.Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus said Medlin had previously been charged in connection to sexual violence against a 14-year-old in the United States prior to his arrest in Indonesia.“[He] was charged with sexual violence against a minor twice by a district court in Nevada between 2006 and 2008, and had served two years in prison,” he said on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com.last_img read more

Umscheid, Pittsenbarger, capture first wins

first_imgBy Bill GritMAYETTA, Kan. (June 14) – Austin Umscheid picked up his first-ever career win in the Casey’s General Store IMCA Sport Compacts in the final event of the evening Saturday at Thunder Hill Speedway. Morgan Ziegler and Issac Jones chased Umscheid through the field before lining up in the Pit Pass Liquor Victory Lane in that order. Jordan Grabouski held off a determined Dave Conkwright for the BSB Manufacturing IMCA Modi­fied checkers. Patrick Thyfault got to the front early and stayed there in winning the Bad Boyz Bail Bonds IMCA Hobby Stock main. The Belleville Motor Sports IMCA Northern SportMods always provide the fans great racing action week in and week out. Troy Baumgartner led the race early but as the race went on his car lost forward bite. At the midway point, Jeremy Pittsenbarger made a pass for the lead, getting his first win at Thunder Hill. Pittsenbarger stood proudly in the Pit Pass Liquor Victory Lane, followed by Troy Baumgartner, Luke Stallbaumer, Aaron Hilderman and Curtis Dreasher. Marvin Griffith Jr. led every lap but the last one in the Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Car race as Brian LaBonte fought relentlessly to make a pass. Griffith led the field out of turn four to the checkered flag but spun out before the flagstand, handing the win over to LaBonte.last_img read more

An $8,000 ambulance trip to Woods Hole

first_imgGetting the runaroundDonald recalled his frustration with former Oak Bluffs Fire and Ambulance Chief John Rose, who he said was unresponsive to his pleas for a bill reduction. Rose retired on April 30 in the wake of a sexual harassment settlement between himself and a firehouse employee, with divided selectmen opinion on his leadership capabilities, and the FBI digging into his department. In a 2017 letter Donald wrote to Rose, Donald outlined his billing plight. “After I started to recuperate, the bills started to come in,” he wrote in part. “I had Health Safety Net at the time, which covered a lot of the bills. I owed Bourne ambulance $550, and I paid the bill. I owed a few thousand to Mass. General, and I have a monthly payment plan set up. But when I got a bill from the O.B. Ambulance for $8,000, I knew there was a mistake.”Donald went on to write that he was advised by someone at Vineyard Healthcare Access to seek a hardship waiver from Comstar.“Comstar told me what I had to fill out, and what to provide and to send back to them,” he wrote. “They said after they review the forms they would send to you for consideration. I can only guess my case got misplaced, as you said you never received it.”Donald said Rose “would never answer me” on the telephone or in emails. Donald also said he was told on several occasions when he visited the station looking for him that Rose wasn’t there. Having no luck with Rose, Donald said he resorted to seeking help from Whritenour. “I said, ‘Here’s what’s going on; $8,000 is too much, you know,’” he said he told Whritenour. “‘I’ll pay something, but I’m not paying $8,000 [expletive] dollars.’ I think he made some phone calls. He called me back. He said, ‘We’re going to lower it to $2,500.’ And I said, ‘OK, good. I’m going to pay a little bit each month and try to knock it down.’ An invoice dated Nov. 2, 2017 reflected the reduction. A $7,515.19 fee for “Specialty Care Transport” and a $538.20 fee for “Mileage” were trimmed by $5,553.99 to $2,500.The invoice indicates the transfer was from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to “American Medical Response.”After the FBI contacted him, Donald opted to reach out to Comstar again. “I called them up, and I talked to some guy, and he was really nice,” he said. “I said, ‘You know what, with all the articles I’ve seen about the ambulance service overbilling — I’ve been contacted by the FBI, I’m not going to pay anymore. I’m going to hang onto my money, and let’s see where this goes.’ And the guy says, ‘OK, I’ll put that in your file’. I said thank you, and I haven’t heard a thing from them since.”Donald, a longtime musician who regularly does benefit concerts, said he harbors a lot of civic pride and “love” for Oak Bluffs, and felt conflicted about highlighting his billing travails. But the bottom line, he said, was he felt burned. “Apparently they don’t love me,” he said of the town. “I really don’t favor those ambulance rides to Woods Hole,” Whritenour said. He confirmed the town isn’t eligible to get medical reimbursement for such ambulance-to-ambulance handoffs because they don’t constitute conveyance to a licensed medical facility. He said the town has been engaged in “joint problem-solving” on the issue, with Chief Greene’s assistance. “There was some talk of reviewing the contract with the current billing company,” Greene said. But he said the pandemic sidelined the issue. He agreed that Woods Hole transfers were problematic for the town, compensation-wise. In general, Green said, off-Island ambulance transfers suffer from reimbursement deficits because the money paid by Uncle Sam is only a fraction of the true cost of a trip. One example, he said, was that some trips to Boston hospitals sideline ambulance crews overnight because they cannot get the ambulance back to Woods Hole in time for the last evening ferry. “It’s a real challenge the town’s got to address at some point,” he said. “I can’t imagine we’re the only place in the country that has that problem.”He said he’s reached out to Rep. Bill Keating’s office for guidance on the issue in May. Keating’s office confirmed they were working with him. “Congressman Keating and his staff have been working with Chief Greene and Medicare to try to resolve this issue,” Keating’s communications director, Lauren Amendolara McDermott, emailed. Asked if the FBI reached out to him, Greene said “surprisingly” they hadn’t, but they have, on occasion, made “records requests for emails or calls.”Asked if $8,000 was reasonable for a transfer to Woods Hole, Greene said, “That sounds a whole lot wrong.” He went on to say, “From here to Boston, let alone Woods Hole, [it] seems a little steep.” Greene said he wasn’t familiar with the particular invoice. “This is the first time I’ve heard of an issue like that,” he said.Greene, who was formerly Bourne fire chief, said Bourne doesn’t do the type of transfers Donald described. He surmised it was an American Medical Response ambulance based on what the invoice indicates, and because he believes that company may have had a satellite office in Bourne.“We want to lay the issue bare,” Whritenour said of billing problems with the ambulance company. Whitenour didn’t recall interacting with Donald. When asked about Comstar’s stance on Donald’s invoice, Whritenour emailed, “I am certain that the representative that [The Times] spoke to from Comstar erred in referring any ambulance billing questions to me, as I have no information in this area, nor have I ever heard of such a referral, so this is a surprise to me. I can only surmise that they do not provide individual patient billing information, as it may not be legal to do so, in which they would be correct in referring you back to the town, albeit not to me.”Whritenour went on to write that he was willing to look into the invoice further with the town’s fire and EMS departments. In a follow-up phone conversation, Whritenour described Comstar’s stance on the invoice as “ridiculous.” A few days later he wrote, “I am informed that Medicare was not billed for that call.” He indicated this was according to Chief Greene. Greene confirmed this. David Apfel, an attorney who is representing the town specifically with the FBI and on billing matters, didn’t return calls seeking comment. In a July telephone conversation with The Times, former Oak Bluffs Fire Chief Rose said Donald’s name “didn’t ring a bell.” “The federal government has been kind of tight-lipped about what they’re looking at,” he said. “They haven’t given us any real updates.”Oak Bluffs selectman Brian Packish was a bit more blunt about the FBI. “They tell us nothing,” he said. The investigation ostensibly involves irregularities in medical billing for the ambulance service. In January, the town admitted to $37,535.07 in overbilling to Medicare and Medicaid. Whritenour said the sum was credited back to the federal government. It’s unclear what, if any, other overbilling is or was at play. Past and present members of the fire department and the ambulance service have been subpoenaed for one or more federal grand juries. An FBI spokesperson recently declined comment when The Times asked about the status of the investigation.  The man, who was an Oak Bluffs ambulance passenger, provided evidence to The Times of a trip from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to the Steamship Authority terminal in Woods Hole that generated an invoice of $8,053.99. The passenger asked that only his first name, Donald, be used to protect his privacy.It’s unclear if over-billing is at play, but Donald said he found the sum exorbitant, and Martin Greene, the interim Oak Bluffs fire chief, was taken aback when recently told the sum over the phone. Donald told The Times he had suffered a mild heart attack in February 2015. Because of a snow storm, he said, he could not be airlifted off the Vineyard to get to a higher-level care facility, as commonly occurs with cardiac patients at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Instead, Oak Bluffs Ambulance transported him across Vineyard Sound on a Steamship Authority ferry, and then transferred him to what he recalled as a Bourne ambulance. That ambulance then took him to Massachusetts General Hospital. In previous reporting, The Times found that the Steamship Authority charges $250 for an ambulance crossing, and the hospital covered that cost. Donald said while he was billed $8,053.99 for the ambulance trip to Woods Hole, he only received an invoice for $550 for the ambulance journey to Boston. Earlier this year, Donald’s Oak Bluffs ambulance invoice drew FBI interest. “I talked to an agent,” Donald said. “He wanted to see if I had any paperwork for the bill. And you know, it was funny, I was looking through all these boxes and I was about to throw out all this paper. Right on top was the bill, the original bill. I was like — ’almost threw it away.’ So I sent that to him and, you know, he said we’ll be in touch. And I haven’t heard a thing since.”Donald said the FBI agent told him the ambulance ride from the hospital to the boat wasn’t covered and that insurance only covers direct transfers to another hospital like Massachusetts General. It’s unclear if Oak Bluffs tried to bill Medicare for Donald’s trip. Oak Bluffs EMS Lt. Matt Bradley said he was unable to answer that question, but Comstar, the billing company for the ambulance service, would have the information. A representative from Comstar declined to provide the information, and said the company would not provide the information even with a HIPAA form from the patient (HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, governs patient health information disclosure). Pressed on the subject, the representative, who did not provide her name, transferred the inquiry to a supervisor who identified herself as “Jennifer,” and said she was unable to answer the question. She later declined to provide her last name. Jennifer said a manager wasn’t immediately available to weigh in on the question, but expected one would reach out to The Times as soon as practicable. The next day Jennifer left a voicemail that indicated questions about Donald or Oak Bluffs Ambulance Service must be answered by the town of Oak Bluffs, specifically Whritenour — carefully spelling his name in the phone message. During a follow-up conversation, she reiterated that stance.“Any questions like that have to go directly to him,” she said. An Oak Bluffs man has been contacted by the FBI about a large bill he received for an ambulance transfer to Woods Hole. In December, The Times revealed an FBI inquiry was underway at the Oak Bluffs Fire Department. The status of that probe, which encompasses the Oak Bluffs Ambulance Service, remains unclear. Oak Bluffs town administrator Robert Whritenour said the town has shown a high degree of cooperation with the FBI. He said he learned the FBI was “happy” with the information and documents the town has provided thus far. But he also said they haven’t revealed much else to town officials.last_img read more

England name five new caps for Home Internationals

first_img6 Aug 2013 England name five new caps for Home Internationals Ryan Evans (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire), winner of two key titles this season, and Jimmy Mullen, Royal North Devon), who played all four rounds of the Open Championship, are among five new caps in the England team for the Home Internationals, supported by Fairstone Financial Management, at Ganton, north Yorkshire, on 14th – 16th August. The other newcomers are Paul Howard (Southport & Ainsdale, Lancashire), Nick Marsh (Huddersfield, Yorkshire) and Michael Saunders (Dartford, Kent). The rest of the squad is Harry Casey (Enfield, Middlesex), Craig Hinton (The Oxfordshire, BB&O), Jamie Rutherford (Knebworth, Hertfordshire), Callum Shinkwin (Moor Park, Hertfordshire), Ben Stow (Rushmore, Wiltshire) and Toby Tree (Worthing, Sussex). A number of England regulars such as Amateur champion Garrick Porteous, are unavailable as they are competing in the US Amateur Championship the same week. Evans, 26 (image copyright Leaderboard Photography), has won the Berkshire Trophy and the Biarritz Cup in France this year as well as collecting the Scrutton Jug for the best aggregate from the Berkshire and Brabazon Trophies, while Mullen, 19, lost a playoff for the Bernard Darwin Salver this year but finished equal third in the Brabazon Trophy after holing-in-one during the final round at Formby. Howard, 22, has been a regular in the Lancashire county team for some time and this year finished fifth in the Welsh Open Stroke Play and joint ninth in the St Andrews Links Trophy. Marsh, 18, was unbeaten in his six outings in last year’s Boys Home Internationals and also reached the quarter finals of the British Boys. He was also a quarter finalist in this year’s Amateur Championship and reached the last 16 of last week’s English Amateur, while Saunders, 22, a former winner of the Lagonda Trophy, finished fifth in this year’s event, was runner-up in the recent Chiberta Grand Prix in France and seventh in the Brabazon Trophy. Casey, 20, England boy champion in 2011 and a former boy cap, made his full England debut in this year’s international with Spain and won the Selborne Salver, while Hinton, 24, played in the 2011 Home Internationals, won the Welsh Open Stroke Play the following year and was a member of England’s Eisenhower Trophy team. Rutherford, 21, is a former winner of the County Champions tournament who made his international debut in last year’s Home Internationals. He also finished third in the Brabazon Trophy and fourth in the South of England Open Amateur and this year he has been a quarter finalist in the Spanish Amateur. Shinkwin, 20, is the new English champion following his victory at Frilford Heath last weekend having been a semi-finalist in 2011. He made his England debut against France last year, winning all four of his games, and was a member of England’s victorious team in this year’s European Men’s Team Championships. He is currently second on the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Order of Merit. Stow, 21, has been an England regular since making his debut in the 2011 Home Internationals. Currently at college in America, he was a member of Wiltshire’s winning County Championship team that year and runner-up in the County Champions tournament, also in 2011. Last year, he won the individual competition at the European Men’s Challenge Trophy in Iceland. Tree, 19, a former under 16 and boy international, made his full England debut against France last year when he was a quarter finalist in the Amateur Championship. He has won the Gauteng North Open in South Africa over the past two winters and was a member of England’s winning Euro Nations Championship and European Team Championship squads this year. England will be looking to regain the Raymond Trophy after Scotland ended its run of three successive wins last year.last_img read more

Should the Paper Facing of Batt Insulation Face the Inside or Outside?

first_imgWhat about the advice to put it on the “warm-in-winter” side?If that really mattered, do you think the U.S. building code would have dropped the requirement to use paper-faced batts? The warm-in-winter suggestion says that if you’re trying to limit the diffusion of water vapor, put the vapor retarder on the humid side of the wall, where … uh … it’s not able to retard much vapor.In a really, really cold climate, it may matter, but even in Maine and Ontario, vapor retarder paint would be a better way to go. If you want to slow down the vapor diffusion, why not do it before it hits the drywall?So just relax. If your building inspector wants you to put the kraft paper on the “wrong” side, take another look at the graph above and be comforted that it doesn’t really matter. Then go get yourself some unfaced batts (and do your best to install them to Grade I quality).~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~* Speaking of fiberglass batt insulation, Carl Seville (a.k.a. the Green Curmudgeon) wrote another article on poorly installed batts recently, with photos of Knauf fiberglass. Rather than being a bully, like Guardian did to me a couple of years ago, they commented on the article and asked for a dialogue on how to get better installation in the field. Kudos to Knauf!† My friend Abe Kruger likes to say that you should treat building inspectors like wild animals. You have to approach slowly and quietly because they spook easily. In the HERS rater class I taught in Toronto this week, I used that analogy but before I could get to the reason why they’re like wild animals, one of the students said, “You mean we can shoot them?” Why doesn’t it matter?First, the kraft paper is a vapor retarder meant to reduce the potential for moisture problems caused by diffusion. That sounds like a good idea, but the vast majority of moisture problems are caused by air leakage, not diffusion, even in places like Maine. Do the air sealing; stop worrying so much about vapor retarders. Second, if you install it the wrong way, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a problem. I suggest you read Joseph Lstiburek’s paper, Mind the Gap, Eh! The graph below, from that paper, shows the water vapor permeance of kraft paper as a function of relative humidity.As you can see, the permeance of the kraft paper rises as the relative humidity rises and hits 10, the point at which we describe a material as vapor permeable, when the RH is 60%. The upshot here is that if you put the kraft paper on the wrong side and it gets wet, it won’t trap moisture. The wetter it gets, the better it dries. If you put it on the right side, where the humidity is, it’s not much of a vapor retarder, because that’s where it becomes vapor-permeable.Also on the graph is the permeance of polyethylene. As Dr. Joe says in the article, “Plastic vapor barriers really are vapor barriers when things get wet. Not so asphalt-saturated kraft paper. And most walls with asphalt-saturated kraft paper thank the building science gods for the difference.” RELATED ARTICLES Do I Need a Vapor Retarder?Vapor Retarders and Vapor BarriersForget Vapor Diffusion — Stop the Air Leaks!When Sunshine Drives Moisture Into WallsQuestions and Answers About Air BarriersQ&A Spotlight: Vapor Barriers Redux Joe Lstiburek Discusses Basement Insulation and Vapor RetardersJoseph Lstiburek: Air Barrier or Vapor Barrier?center_img If you install fiberglass batt insulation* with a kraft paper vapor retarder in a home, which way do you face the vapor retarder? To the inside of the home or the outside of the home? For many building science questions, the answer is, “It depends.” For this one, however, the answer is clear.SPOILER ALERT: The answer is in the next paragraph — so if you’d rather wait and find out when you see the movie in the theater, don’t read any further.The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Nope. You can install the paper facing however you want — as long as the building inspector† lets you, of course. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

Gregg Zauns flameout follows Sportsnet career filled with controversy

first_imgTORONTO – The sudden flameout of Sportsnet broadcaster Gregg Zaun caps a controversy-laced career for one of television’s most outlandish personalities.Zaun was anything but subtle in his colourful stint as an MLB analyst, a platform he used to regularly criticize the Toronto Blue Jays — most recently calling out ace Marcus Stroman and retired catcher J.P. Arencibia with blunt jabs that polarized fans and players alike.Behind the scenes, it would seem, the former catcher was brazenly offensive in a different way, with reports now emerging of sexist behaviour involving female co-workers.Rick Brace, the president of Rogers Media, said in a statement Thursday that the company was immediately terminating Zaun’s contract as an MLB studio analyst, leaving a considerable hole in Sportsnet’s baseball broadcast team. The network leaned heavily on Zaun, featuring him in pre-game and post-game segments as well a mid-game updates.The reason cited was “inappropriate behaviour and comments” toward female employees in the workplace. There were no allegations of physical or sexual assault.The bombshell follows years of over-the-top antics that branded the 46-year-old as a strident commentator willing — perhaps even eager — to court controversy.Indeed, his self-appointed nickname as “the Manalyst” seemed to speak to a readiness to take unpopular positions, even if it involved the beloved home team.And his brightly coloured outfits were tailor-made to go along with his jarring comments — a fashion statement he admitted was inspired by the similarly churlish Don Cherry, the granddaddy of coarse commentary over his own checkered run with “Hockey Night in Canada.”But it wasn’t always this way.Zaun himself admits to a relatively unremarkable 16-year run in the big leagues, albeit one that included a World Series win with the Florida — now Miami — Marlins in 1997.The California-born Zaun was primarily a back-up in the early days of his professional career, starting with the Baltimore Orioles in 1989. He made his major-league debut with the team in 1995.Then came the Marlins, and then his run with the Toronto Blue Jays from 2004 to 2008, during which time he debuted as a starting catcher and would prove valuable as a switch-hitter.It was during this time that Zaun began a part-time broadcasting career with Sportsnet, offering his playoff thoughts following the 2006 season alongside Jamie Campbell.Controversy tainted his baseball career when his name was included in the Mitchell Report — the 2007 document that followed U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell’s 20-month investigation into performance-enhancing drug use in MLB. Zaun denied that he ever bought PEDs.Zaun signed with the Orioles again in early 2009 and retired from professional baseball in 2011, when he became a full-time MLB studio analyst with Sportsnet.The move catapulted him to a new sphere of fame and notoriety, and he repeatedly crossed the line with comments both on the air and in social media.He took heat in 2012 for a Twitter post in which he called women at a Toronto bar “tubby, unfortunately man-ish, and super stuck up.”He later apologized amid blowback, but it would be far from his last misstep.This past April, he called out Stroman for “showboating” on the mound, only to double-down when players complained by calling them “thin-skinned.”“They’re used to mommy and daddy telling them how pretty they are. I have no problem giving them a dose of reality,” he told the Vancouver Province in October.It would seem reality has hit back with scrutiny into sexist behaviour in the TV sports world — a testosterone-fuelled industry that some say is long overdue for a reckoning.Zaun is the first high-profile sports media personality to be held to account for inappropriate behaviour amid an ongoing wave of sexual harassment allegations.Recent giants who have been fired or implicated in other fields include movie producer Harvey Weinstein, comedian Louis C.K., hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and NBC’s “Today” host Matt Lauer.last_img read more