WHITEFISH – The Whitefish Planning Board on Jan. 15 approved a conditional use permit to build a prominent boutique hotel at the gateway of downtown Whitefish.The planning board, which approved the permit in a 5-2 vote after lengthy debate, made the decision less than a month after telling developers that more time was needed to review additional information and address concerns about parking, wastewater and encroachment on nearby neighborhoods.The site of the proposed three-story, 89-room hotel, along with 67 parking spaces, is on the corner of Second Street and Spokane Avenue, directly south of the Whitefish Middle School and adjacent to the historic Old Town Central District, a residential neighborhood where some homeowners have raised concerns about the project’s scope.On Dec. 18, the Planning Board unanimously approved a motion to continue a public hearing because it wanted time to review new information presented by the applicant during the meeting, and also requested additional information both from the applicant and the City.The new information included a revised site plan and a draft traffic study that the Board hadn’t had time to review. The developers have since addressed the issues, satisfying most members of the planning board.The Board also requested additional information about how developers would manage contaminated groundwater at the site and whether they could develop the parking area so that all traffic would exit and enter from East 3rd Street. There was also concern about managing parking on residential streets.The owner behind the current project is Sean Averill, of the Whitefish Hotel Group, who along with his brother Brian and father Dan Averill owns and operates The Lodge at Whitefish Lake.The Averills also own the site where the hotel would be built, called Block 46, and they have lined up an investor to provide financing for the project.Averill needed approval from the planning board because the size of the project requires a conditional use permit. The proposed building’s footprint is just shy of 15,000 square feet, and the site’s zoning district requires permitting for any building footprint that exceeds 7,500 square feet.Adding a boutique hotel to the downtown area was an element of the Whitefish downtown master plan adopted in 2006, but earlier proposals at other sites have been unsuccessful for various reasons.Local businesses and even other hoteliers said they thought the new hotel would be a good addition to downtown Whitefish, where accommodations for visitors are lacking.The Whitefish City Council will consider the matter at its Feb. 2 meeting. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Email
LinkedIn Email Share on Twitter Pinterest Share on Facebook Share To learn what different cells do, scientists switch them on and off and observe what the effects are. There are many methods that do this, but they all have problems: too invasive, or too slow, or not precise enough. Now, a new method to control the activity of neurons in mice, devised by scientists at Rockefeller University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, avoids these downfalls by using magnetic forces to remotely control the flow of ions into specifically targeted cells.Jeffrey Friedman, Marilyn M. Simpson Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, and colleagues successfully employed this system to study the role of the central nervous system in glucose metabolism. Published online today in Nature, the findings suggest a group of neurons in the hypothalamus play a vital role in maintaining blood glucose levels.“These results are exciting because they provide a broader view of how blood glucose is regulated–they emphasize how crucial the brain is in this process,” says Friedman. “And having a new means for controlling neural activity, one that doesn’t require an implant and allows you to elicit rapid responses, fills a useful niche between the methods that are already available.” It may also be possible to adapt this method for clinical applications, says Jonathan Dordick of Rensselaer. “Depending on the type of cell we target, and the activity we enhance or decrease within that cell, this approach holds potential in development of therapeutic modalities, for example, in metabolic and neurologic diseases.”Magnetic mind controlPrevious work led by Friedman and Dordick tested a similar method to turn on insulin production in diabetic mice. The system couples a natural iron storage particle, ferritin, and a fluorescent tag to an ion channel called TRPV1, also known as the capsaicin chili pepper receptor. Ferritin can be affected by forces such as radio waves or magnetic fields, and its presence tethered to TRPV1 can change the conformation of the ion channel.“Normally radio waves or magnetic fields, at these strengths, will pass through tissue without having any effect,” says first author Sarah Stanley (now Assistant Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai). “But when this modified ferritin is present, it responds and absorbs the energy of the radiofrequency or magnetic fields, producing motion. This motion opens the channel and allows ions into the cell. Depending on the ions flowing through the channel, this can either activate or inhibit the cells’ activity.”This study is the first to turn neurons on and off remotely with radio waves and magnetic fields. TRPV1 normally allows positive ions — such as calcium or sodium–to flow in, which activates neurons and transmits neuronal signals. The researchers were also able to achieve the opposite effect, neuronal inhibition, by mutating the TRPV1 channel to only allow negative chloride ions to flow through.“The modified TRPV1 channel was targeted specifically to glucose sensing neurons using a genetic technique known as Cre-dependent expression,” says Stanley. “To test whether a magnetic field could remotely modulate these neurons, we simply placed the mice near the electromagnetic coil of an MRI machine.”Blood sugar switchUsing this novel method, the researchers investigated the role these glucose sensing neurons play in blood glucose metabolism. Hormones released by the pancreas, including insulin, maintain stable levels of glucose in the blood. A region of the brain called the ventromedial hypothalamus was thought to play a role in regulating blood glucose, but it was not possible with previous methods to decipher which cells were actually involved.Friedman and colleagues found that when they switched these neurons on with magnetic forces, blood glucose increased, insulin levels decreased, and behaviorally, the mice ate more. When they inhibited the neurons, on the other hand, the opposite occurred, and blood glucose decreased.“We tend to think about blood glucose being under the control of the pancreas, so it was surprising that the brain can affect blood glucose in either direction to the extent that it can,” says Friedman. “It’s been clear for a while that blood glucose can increase if the brain senses that it’s low, but the robustness of the decrease we saw when these neurons were inhibited was unexpected.”Polar possibilitiesThe researchers’ system has several advantages that make it ideal for studies on other circuits in the brain, or elsewhere. It can be applied to any circuit, including dispersed cells like those involved in the immune system. It has a faster time scale than similar chemogenetic tools, and it doesn’t require an implant as is the case with so-called optogenetic techniques.In addition to its utility as a research tool, the technique may also have clinical applications. “Although it is a long ways off, this technique may offer an alternative to deep brain stimulation or trans-magnetic stimulation,” says Friedman. “We’d like to explore the possibility that this could provide some of the benefits of these without such an invasive procedure or cumbersome device.”
Loans with original expiry set for 2017/2018 were extended with five or more years, with new expiry in 2022 or beyond. The refinancing was completed with five European banks.Together with a sale and leaseback transaction completed earlier this year, a total of USD400 million of financing facilities has now been refinanced, said Grieg Star.The shipping line operates 45 open hatch and dry bulk vessels, of which 31 vessels are on the balance sheet. The completed refinancing ensures long-term financing for all ships owned by the company.In addition to extending maturities, the USD400 million refinancing will entail a cash release of more than USD50 million. Grieg Star stated that the added liquidity will, together with existing liquidity reserves, ensure strong cash reserves and financial strength going forward.Grieg Star added that it has previously secured financing of newbuilding commitments and currently has no unfunded future capital expenditures.”We are very pleased to have received continued support from quality financiers like DNB, Nordea, SR-Bank and ABN AMRO, including establishing new relationships with Credit Suisse,” said Grieg Star ceo Camilla Grieg.”This refinancing reflects our strong bank relationships and the importance of having capital sources available in a challenging market like what we see today.” www.griegstar.com
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By KEN MOORE AND RUSSELL BENNETT Ellinbank and District Football League – second semi-finals preview GARFIELD v BUNYIP BLOCKBUSTER…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.
By Kyra Gillespie Lang Lang celebrated the 75th anniversary of its famous rodeo on Easter Monday, drawing a crowd of…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.