‘He went out of his way to help people’: Colleagues, friends remember philosophy professor Michael ‘Mic’ Detlefsen

first_imgCourtesy of Christine Grandy Detlefsen, McMahon-Hank Professor of Philosophy, taught at Notre Dame for 36 years. Colleagues say he focused on helping other and was a proud grandfather.Detlefsen died Oct. 21 at the age of 71, leaving behind a host of admiring and loving family, friends, colleagues and students.Blanchette, who had known Detlefsen since 1993, worked closely with him on many research projects, but soon got to know him as a close friend. Detlefsen attended her wedding, and Blanchette was able to attend his daughter’s wedding during the time the two knew each other. His work often focused on the history and philosophy of mathematics and logic, but the people who knew him emphasized his work as a professor. “He went out of his way to help people who had just started their first jobs and were finishing their Ph.D., things like that,” Blanchette said. “I watched him all these years really have a lot to do with the development of many young scholars’ careers. There are many people working in the philosophy of mathematics and logic department now whose careers have been very importantly helped along and shaped by Mic’s generosity with his time and his depth of knowledge in the field.”Blanchette added that Detlefsen tried to get his students to express their own views, not the ones they think they should have.“I’ve talked to him a great deal about his teaching, and his values of teaching were mainly to help people learn how to think clearly and to help them figure out how to most clearly express their own views,” Blanchette said. “Not so much to learn what other people thought except to the extent that that was important to figuring out what their right view was.”Detlefsen was Matteo Bianchetti’s graduate school advisor. Bianchetti, a second-year graduate student, remembers Detlefsen pushing his students to find their own voice within their work. But beyond their professional relationship, Bianchetti, who is an international student, valued Detlefsen’s patience and kindness when he had struggles with writing in English.“He was very patient. … It wasn’t easy for me to write decently in English for some time, but he was very patient and offered some advice to improve my English,” Bianchetti said. “Some other professors were less supportive. That was not something I received from everybody, but I received it from him.”Bianchetti said Detlefsen’s dedication to his students, even through illness, stuck out to him. “Even when he was in the hospital, he was still sending me comments about my draft,” he said. Although his days were busy, filled with organizing conferences, traveling to his visiting positions at five different international institutions and working closely with students, Detlefsen made time to work on his research.Detlefsen most recently received the 2016 Research Achievement Award, which is awarded to one professor at the University each year, as well as the James A. Burns, C.S.C Award, for distinction in and exemplary contributions to graduate education in 2015. After earning his bachelor’s at Wheaton College and his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University, Detlefsen took a job at Notre Dame in 1983 with his wife, Martha and their three children, Hans, Anna and Sara. There he met Anand Pillay, who arrived in the mathematics department at the same time, and the two edited the Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, working together for many years. “We used to meet regularly … and we’d talk about everything,” Pillay said. “We had a very good relationship, and I miss him a lot.”Pillay, the William J. Hank Family chair in Mathematics at the University, said over the years Detlefsen became a prominent figure in the philosophy of mathematics and logic world. But still to his colleagues, Detlefsen wanted to talk about his growing family.“Our conversations were primarily about our children more than our work,” Blanchette said, adding that Detlefsen loved being a grandfather. “He was also personally just a very warm person,” Blanchette said. “He liked getting to know people’s families, like getting to know their children and their dogs, especially. He was a big fan of everybody’s dogs.”Detlefsen, a Nebraska native, came from a farming family and did not have any roots in the scholarly community prior to his career. “He was very much not the pretentious professor type,” Blanchette said. “He was a very down to Earth guy. He came from a family who farmed and did really sort of straightforward jobs.” Although Detlefsen was known for a great amount of academic work, those who knew him say he didn’t take himself too seriously.“He enjoyed this job a great deal, but he didn’t take it any more seriously than any other job that he had,” Blanchette said. “He thought it was a really good job to have, and he loved it.”Tags: Logic, mathematics, Michael Detlefsen, philosophy department Michael “Mic” Detlefsen received many awards and accolades during his 36 years of teaching at Notre Dame. But those who knew him well knew those awards didn’t matter to him — instead, the McMahon-Hank Professor of Philosophy made helping people his primary focus. “He didn’t think that all of the awards that he won were all that important,” said Patricia Blanchette, a professor in the philosophy department and Detlefsen’s friend and colleague. “I think that he thought what was important about his job was that he could help people.”last_img read more

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Filming Dates Set for Hugh Jackman’s P.T. Barnum Movie Musical

first_imgFilming is finally set to begin for the Hugh Jackman-led The Greatest Showman on Earth. According to Deadline, the original movie musical, which stars the Tony winner as P.T. Barnum, will begin shooting in summer 2015 in New York. As previously reported, Oscar winner Bill Condon, who directed and provided original material for the current revival of Side Show, has worked on the current draft of the script. Visual effects artist and commercial director Michael Gracey will helm the feature film. Jackman, who is currently starring on Broadway in The River, won a Tony Award for playing Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz and has also appeared on Broadway in A Steady Rain and Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway. The star’s many film and TV credits include Australia, Swordfish, Kate & Leopold, Real Steel, The Prestige, Les Miserables and the X-Men series, including The Wolverine. That’s not all the exciting news! Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Tony-nominated duo behind A Christmas Story, are among the composers who will provide material for the movie. The score will also feature songs by Scissor Sisters front-man Jake Shears, singer/songwriter Bonnie McKee and Brian Lapin, whose work with music production company Transcenders has been featured in films such as Bring It On: In It to Win It, Superbad and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Jackman shared a photo on Instagram earlier this year from the recording studio, teasing the artists’ involvement. The film will follow Barnum’s career that led him to be known as the iconic entertainer and creator of the three-ring circus. Jackman initially signed on to play the entertainment pioneer in The Greatest Showman on Earth in 2009, but the project stalled. This marks the first original live action musical from a studio since Disney’s Newsies in 1992. View Commentslast_img read more

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C&S tops Vermont 100+ list

first_imgp{ margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1px}body{ font-family: “Times New Roman”, serif; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal}Vermont 100+ List of Largest CompaniesC&S leads list again, but probably for last timeBURLINGTON – In its January 2003 issue, Vermont Business Magazine has releasedits 17th annual Vermont 100+ list of the states largest companies ranked by revenues.Once again, C&S Wholesale Grocers in Brattleboro topped the list, but probably for thelast time. C&S reported $9.7 billion in sales in 2002. C&S is the only billion-dollarcompany in Vermont; it grew by $1.2 billion since last year. However, C&S announcedearly last year that it would move its corporate headquarters to Keene, NH, probablysometime in 2003. At that point, C&S would no longer qualify.The Vermont 100+ is comprised of Vermont-based firms and subsidiaries with $3million or more in annual revenues. Companies report revenues for their most recentlycompleted fiscal year. Reporting is voluntary, except in the case of publicly tradedcompanies. For some companies, sales for the year are estimated. For a few of thepublicly traded companies, which can’t make public their sales until after their fiscalyear ends, the revenue figures are for the prior year.VBM’s Vermont 100+ this year contained 207 companies. The companies are rankedboth by total revenues and within their subcategories. The most noticeable differencefrom 2001 was that many fewer manufacturing firms elected to report sales figures.Sixty-one manufacturers are listed this year, versus 85 last year. This reflects thegeneral contraction in manufacturing witnessed in Vermont and the United States overthe last 18 months. Not only are fewer companies listed, but sales for many are down. Among those wholost ground are Mack Group in Arlington (down $155 million), Huber + Suhner Inc inEssex Junction (down $10 million) and St Albans Cooperative Creamery (down $9.1million). Meanwhile, other manufacturers like Hubbardton Forge in Castleton, VermontTeddy Bear in Shelburne and Sonnax Industries in Bellows Falls continued theirimpressive growth.Top Ten Vermont 100+ Companies:1) C&S Wholesale Grocers, Brattleboro           $9.7 billion2) National Life, Montpelier         $550 million3) Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington         $495.2 million4) Casella Waste Systems Inc, Rutland                      $420.8 million5) FiberMark*, Inc, Brattleboro    $394 million6) IDX Systems Corp*, South Burlington          $379.9 million7) University of Vermont, Burlington      $348 million8) Central Vermont Public Service Corp*, Rutland     $302.5 million9) Green Mountain Power Corp*, Colchester   $283.5 million10) Pizzagalli Construction, South Burlington    $250 millionTop Ten Fastest Growing Companies over Last Five Years:1) Vermont Pure Holdings Ltd, Randolph         497.5%2) Casella Waste Systems Inc, Rutland           474.5%3) Neagley & Chase Construction, South Burlington  247.2%4) Seventh Generation, Burlington        198.5%5) Hubbardton Forge, Castleton 165.4%6) C&S Wholesale Grocers, Brattleboro           162.2%7) Chroma Technology, Brattleboro      150%8) Feed Commodities International Ltd, Vergennes    140.9%9) Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Shelburne 136.4%10) Sonnax Industries, Bellows Falls       134.2%*Reported fiscal 2001 revenues.- 30 –last_img read more

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The New Year’s Trifecta: Adventure, Booze, and a Well-Placed Hot Tub

first_imgMy perfect New Year’s Eve goes like this.North Carolina gets a freak snow storm that dumps 16 inches of snow on the mountains. This is actually the second big snowstorm of the Holiday Season. The first storm dropped a foot, which quickly froze, so what I’m really talking about is a solid 12-inch base with 16 inches of powder on top. Everyone is freaking out. You can’t find a loaf of bread in the grocery store anywhere. Idiots start posting “well, so much for global warming” on Facebook.Anyway, there’s a ton of snow for New Year’s Eve, so I head to the Appalachian Trail along the N.C./Tenn. border and ski a solid 10 miles throughout the day to a shelter, drinking hot chocolate and eating salmon jerky. It’s one of the really nice shelters with a hot tub. Waiting for me there are a half-dozen friends, a massive bonfire, and a tub full of Miller High Life. Because it’s New Year’s and the High Life is the “champagne of beers.” Okay, there’s some bourbon too. Maybe some Bowman Brothers small batch, from J. Bowman Brothers distillery in Virginia. We drink, we burn stuff in the fire, we ski laps on the perfectly gladed slopes behind the A.T. shelter with headlamps, and retreat to the well-placed hot tub around midnight to toast 2014 and say goodbye to 2013 under the dark sky.Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 12.56.42 PMIn my humble opinion, this is the perfect New Year’s celebration, containing the three key elements: adventure, booze, and a well-placed hot tub. It’ll probably never happen (my fingers are crossed, but I’m not holding my breath for those back to back snowstorms), but I’m gonna do my best to make sure my New Year’s Eve/Day are packed with the three key elements—booze, adventure, and getting half naked in hot water. I hope you find your own trifecta of fun to ring in the New Year.last_img read more

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Johnson City Liquor and Wine helps customers prepare for New Year’s Eve

first_imgThe event is an opportunity for customers to try out different wine and spirits ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations coming up this week. Manager Chris Maxwell tells 12 News that the event gives his business the opportunity to share ideas with customers for how they can best ring in the new year. “I think we give them a lot of great ideas different kinds of mimosas different kinds of spritzers you can do as well as making that really good selection if you want a higher end champagne,” Maxwell said. JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Johnson City Liquor and Wine held their sixth annual champagne gala on Saturday. This year’s theme was the Roaring Twenties.center_img Maxwell also tells 12 News that the event helps draw in new customers and make connections.last_img read more

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Dr. Fauci says it appears outbreak in minks won’t be a problem for vaccines

first_img– Advertisement – – Advertisement – “It does not appear, at this point, that that mutation that’s been identified in the minks is going to have an impact on vaccines and affect a vaccine-induced response,” Fauci said.“It might have an impact on certain monoclonal antibodies that are developed against the virus, we don’t know that yet. But, at first cut, it doesn’t look like something that is going to be really a big problem for the vaccines that are currently being used to reduce an immune response.”It is hoped a vaccine could help bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over 1.29 million lives worldwide.Political outcryDanish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in a press conference on Nov. 4 that health authorities had discovered virus strains in humans and in mink that showed decreased sensitivity against antibodies, potentially lowering the effectiveness of future vaccines.Frederiksen described the situation as “very, very serious,” warning the mutated virus could have “devastating consequences” worldwide.The prime minister swiftly ordered a cull of the mink population in Denmark, one of the world’s main mink fur exporters. The move has led to political outcry, however, after Frederiksen conceded on Tuesday that there was no legal basis to do so.The Danish government has said it will now bring forward legislation to support its order. The United Nations health agency said it is a “long, long way” from deciding on whether the mutation may have any implications for diagnostics or vaccines and has urged for people not to jump to any conclusions.Six countries have reported Covid outbreaks among mink farms since the coronavirus pandemic began, namely: Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Italy, and the U.S.Greece has also found Covid-19 in two mink farms in the north of the country, Reuters reported on Friday, citing an unnamed agriculture ministry official.- Advertisement – “What Denmark has done is a precautionary measure, they don’t understand completely what the impact might be and so they’ve decided to sacrifice the minks, which is an acceptable precautionary measure,” Dr. David Heymann, who led the WHO’s infectious disease unit during the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003, said during the same online event.“I think what has been very difficult for many people to understand though is that this virus is in every country and it is mutating differently in every country,” he continued. “And so, in order for this virus from the minks to be able to replace (the) virus in other countries and impact on vaccines, it would have to be more fit than the other viruses that are around now and spread easier, more rapidly and replace those viruses in other countries.”“This never was just one outbreak, it is a whole series of outbreaks in different countries, with mutations occurring at different rates and different manners,” Heymann said.“Unfortunately, we are all building the ship at the same time and don’t know what will work and what won’t work.” Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in Marienborg in Kongens Lyngby, north of Copenhagen, Denmark, in November 2020.LISELOTTE SABROE | AFP | Getty Imagescenter_img LONDON — America’s leading expert on infectious disease said a mutated version of the coronavirus found in Denmark’s mink farms does not appear to have derailed hopes for a vaccine.The Danish government ordered a mass cull of all 15 million minks in farms nationwide earlier this month, shortly after it was discovered a new coronavirus strain had passed from the animals to humans.The WHO has since launched a review of biosecurity measures in mink farms across the globe to prevent further spillover events.- Advertisement – Minks are seen at a farm in Gjol, northern Denmark on October 9, 2020.HENNING BAGGER | Ritzau Scanpix | AFP via Getty Images “Whenever you see something like that, you need to pay attention to it. You certainly can’t just blow it off,” Fauci said on Thursday, referring to Denmark’s outbreak of Covid in mink farms.Speaking during a webinar hosted by think tank Chatham House, Fauci added: “You have got to look at it, you have got to take a look at what it means, what the mutation has to do with various aspects of the molecules that are responsible for the binding of antibodies.”The White House coronavirus advisor, who has worked as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for 36 years, said the institute’s vaccine research center had taken “a first look” at the discovery of a new coronavirus strain on Danish mink farms. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a US Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine Covid-19, focusing on an update on the federal response in Washington, DC, on September 23, 2020.Graeme Jennings | AFP | Getty Imageslast_img read more

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Indonesia to allow phased reopening of schools in COVID-19 ‘green zones’: Minister

first_imgThe Education and Culture Ministry has announced that the country will allow phased reopening of schools located in COVID-19 low-risk areas, or “green zones”, starting in July. A joint ministerial decree by the education minister, religious affairs minister, home minister and health minister was announced on Monday to regulate the school reopening during the pandemic.”We’ll allow schools in green zones to reopen,” Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim said in Monday’s online press conference.”Around 90 cities and regencies across Indonesia are considered green zones. The number of students in those areas is roughly equivalent to 6 percent of all students in the country. This means the remaining 94 percent still have to continue their education through online learning,” added Nadiem.According to the ministry’s official academic calendar, the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year is slated for July 13. In the press conference, national COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo said the task force had mapped the risk status of all regions in the country affected by the COVID-19 pandemic based on 15 indicators from the World Health Organization. The indicators, which comprise the number of new cases, suspects and fatalities among other things, determine whether the regions fall into the green, yellow, orange or red category.Read also: School reopening raises concerns as health risks loom”The status of a region could change easily based on the progress of COVID-19 transmission in the area,” Doni said.Nadiem explained that the ministry would hand the final decision to reopen schools in certain green zones to their respective regional administration.”Even if the local administrations decide to reopen schools, the schools still have to fulfill our strict requirements and health protocols before reopening,” he said.For the reopening, the schools are required to have clean toilets, hand-washing facilities, disinfectant, thermo guns and access to health facilities. They should also provide areas where wearing a face mask is mandatory.”Students, teachers or parents who are sick or have a comorbidity are advised not to go to schools. Those who had traveled outside the green zone area should also self-isolate for 14 days before going to schools,” Nadiem said.During the initial stage, the ministry will only allow senior and junior high schools to reopen. Elementary schools will be able to follow suit two months after, while kindergartens four months after.Read also: Ministry suggests shorter school hours as part of ‘new normal’After the reopening, all students have to adhere to physical distancing measures and wear masks. Schools are required to limit the amount of students per classroom to 18, or roughly 50 percent of the previous capacity.”As a consequence, schools have to implement a shift system to be able to accommodate all students,” Nadiem said. “Meanwhile, boarding schools are still prohibited from reopening their dorms for at least for two months after reopening.”During the initial two months after reopening, schools are prevented from running their canteens and cafeterias. Physical education classes and extracurricular activities are also prohibited.Nadiem further said that parents would have the final say on whether they would allow their children to go to school or not. “Schools cannot force parents to allow their children to attend. If they are not comfortable letting their children go to school, the school should allow the students to resume their online learning,” he added.The minister also said schools could be closed again if there was any COVID-19 transmission in the area, or if the risk status of the area had changed to yellow, orange or red. Topics :last_img read more

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Nordic roundup: Skandia, Vattenfall, Unipension, Lærernes, OPF

first_imgSkandia and Vattenfall said this was the first time a Swedish pensions company was directly financing the construction of a Swedish wind-power facility.Magnus Hall, chief executive of Vattenfall, said: “The joint investment with Skandia will allow (wind power) expansion in Sweden to take place at a faster rate.”Skandia and Vattenfall will be equal owners in the new company.The four wind power projects are Hjuleberg, in the municipality of Falkenberg; Höge Väg in Kristianstad; Juktan in Sorsele and Högabjär-Kärsås, also in Falkenberg.The other wind farms are being built by Vattenfall and will be handed to the new company in the first quarter of 2016.In other news, Denmark’s Unipension has announced an account dividend for members of its traditional with-profits pensions of 4.25% for 2015, unchanged from this year.But it warned that the level of payout could fall in years ahead.Unipension said it was awarding an account dividend of 4.25% after tax in 2015 for members of the three professional pension funds it runs: the Architect’s Pension Fund (AP); MP Pension, which covers academics in Denmark; and the Pension Fund for Agricultural Academics and Veterinary Surgeons (PJD).However, Steen Ragn, Unipension’s chief actuary, warned: “We must be realistic, too, and say that our expectation is that, in time, the returns will become lower, and that the account dividend must also be expected to fall alongside this in time.”He said the pension provider had to look at the long-term prospects, and that the level of interest rates looked as if it would stay very low.Account dividends – the rate of return on pension savings set in advance – are set according to a pension provider’s overall financial strength. They can be changed over the course of the year if necessary.Meanwhile, Danish teachers’ pension fund Lærernes Pension said it was hiking its account dividend to 6.5% in 2015 and predicted it would pay good dividends in the next few years, even if investment returns diminished.It said: “Lærernes Pension is well cushioned, and members can reap the benefit of this.”The pension scheme went on to say that its forecasts showed members could look forward to a good account dividend in the coming years as well, even if there were some years where the investment return was poor.Separately, Norwegian public sector pension fund Oslo Pensjonsforsikring (OPF) said it was creating the new role of head of property, and now looking for a candidate to fill it.It said its direct property portfolio was worth NOK9bn (€941m) and invested in some 30 properties and property joint ventures.Advertising the job, OPF said the head of property would work in a team with the fund’s portfolio managers and report to the investment director. Swedish pensions group Skandia is teaming up with Swedish power company Vattenfall to invest nearly SEK2bn (€209m) establishing four wind farms in the Nordic country.The wind farms are to have a total output of 141MW when completed and will be run by a new jointly owned company.Bengt-Åke Fagerman, Skandia’s chief executive, said: “Vattenfall is a strong operating partner, and wind power is a sector with good growth.”Skandia had been investing more and more in infrastructure over the last few years because the asset type gives customers a stable and long-term return, he said.last_img read more

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DB liabilities dent FTSE 100 market cap by more than reported deficits

first_imgThis figure incorporates both the the reported collective deficit of £180bn and an extra £160bn – which reflects an additional risk premium of around 20% associated with reported underlying pension liabilities of £795bn, it said.John Llewellyn, of Llewellyn Consulting, which published the study, said: “The conclusions show that DB pension schemes continue to be large and extremely volatile elements in company balance sheets.”Even though DB schemes are under so much scrutiny, there is obviously a disconnect between the underlying pension obligations factored in by investors and what businesses are actually reporting, he said.“The overall impact of the liabilities on share prices must raise questions at least about the viability of dividends for some companies,” he said.David Collinson, head of strategy at PIC, said: “As recent examples have shown, there is a material difference between what companies are reporting as pension liabilities and what is required to secure fully those pension promises should the sponsoring company become distressed.”PIC said in its recent written submission to the Department of Work & Pensions Select Committee inquiry into DB pension funds that it did not believe companies were being entirely transparent with their investors about the level of pension risk to which they were exposed.PIC’s main business is selling pension insurance buyouts and buy-ins to DB trustees and the sponsoring companies. Pension liabilities are depressing the share prices of the UK’s 100 largest listed companies by a total of £340bn (€381bn) – almost twice as much as the firms’ reported collective defined benefit (DB) pensions deficits, a study funded by Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) shows.The research confirms there is a broadly one-for-one effect of pension deficits on the market value of companies but states that this is when the deficit is measured on a consistent “risk-free” basis.The pensions shortfall being calculated on a risk-free basis is basically the same as the market adding an extra risk premium of an average of 20% to the pension liabilities as reported by the companies themselves.PIC said extrapolating this finding for recent pension liability data implied market valuations of FTSE 100 companies were depressed by up to £340bn at the end of this August.last_img read more

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Two Workers Dead in Longview Mooring Line Incident

first_imgTwo workers lost their lives and two more were injured in an incident at the Port of Longview, US, on June 28.The fatal incident occurred in the early morning hours when one of the vessel lines attached to the Panama-flagged bulk carrier MV Ansac Splendor snapped in half and recoiled toward the dock and the vessel.The line broke as the vessel attempted to move along the dock from one loading hatch to another.According to a statement release by Port of Longview, ILWU member Byron Jacobs, 34, was fatally struck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.The Chief Mate, Pingshan Li, aboard the vessel was also struck. The 41-year-old was transferred to the Southwest Washington Medical Center, where he passed away on June 29.The port said that another longeshoreman and security guard received non-life-threatening injuries.“This is an unimaginable loss felt throughout both the maritime and local community,” Norm Krehbiel, Port of Longview CEO, said.The 32,700 dwt bulker MV Ansac Splendor remains docked at the port’s Berth 5. The United States Coast Guard and Washington State Labor and Industries are conducting investigations.last_img read more

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