HIGHWAY 75 ROAD CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN IN APRIL

first_imgReconstruction work on U.S. Highway 75 between Plymouth County Road C-80 near Sioux City, and Plymouth County Road C-60 near Hinton will begin next month.Traffic will be shifted into a head-to-head pattern in the southbound lanes to accommodate reconstruction of the northbound lanes.The Iowa DOT says project work will begin at 8 a.m. Monday, April 1st, and run through the summer until Thursday, October 3rd.Left turns will be prohibited through the work zone during the construction.Peterson Contractors, Inc. was awarded the $8.8 million contract for this project.last_img

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Do MLB Teams Undervalue Defense — Or Just Value It Differently

Absent a helpful general manager opening up his computer system — or letting you hack in, if that’s more your style — it’s tough to know what baseball teams think of different players. But one place GMs leave clues about their preferences is in free agency. Since each team can bid on every available player, and the competition to acquire the most valuable talent is fierce, the free-agent sweepstakes is baseball’s closest answer to an open market; accordingly, the cash that teams deal out tells us how much they’re willing to pay for each area of on-field expertise. And for all the strides made in evaluating defense (plus convincing clubs to buy in), my analysis of recent offseasons suggests that MLB teams still don’t value defense the same way as sabermetricians do — though it might not be because they don’t value it enough.To estimate how much teams pay for offense relative to defense, I looked at the average annual value of every non-catcher1I removed them from the sample because their value has been affected by the quantification of pitch-framing (more on that later). position-player contract signed since the 2006 offseason2According to salary data from ESPN. and compared those dollar figures to players’ offensive and defensive runs above average (according to FanGraphs.com) in the previous three years.3I used a linear regression over that time period, three seasons being a reasonable sample upon which a player can be judged. I found that, from the front-office perspective, a run saved just isn’t worth as much as a run scored.For every offensive run a player generated above average in the season before he inked a new deal, he was paid an extra $215,000. An offensive run two years back was worth $113,000, and there was even value — $93,000 per run — in stats from three years in the past. By contrast, each defensive run was worth only $84,000 one year back, with the benefit even lower in earlier years.4Specifically, the value per defensive run dropped to $29,000 two years back and $69,000 three years back. (The higher value for the latter is likely just statistical noise.)As far as teams are concerned, then, offense is what drives a player’s value, with defense a secondary priority. That’s not to say that front offices ignore fielding entirely when signing players, but they do appear to take defensive statistics with a grain of salt.One potential reason is obvious: Teams may be late to understanding the value of good defense. Mitchel Lichtman, the sabermetrician who created the defensive metric Ultimate Zone Rating, told me in an email that “it will probably be a long time before teams fully appreciate the proper mathematical role of defense in evaluating players and making transactions.”Of course, analytics experts have been arguing that teams undervalue defense since the days of Moneyball. And in the years since, sabermetrics has gone mainstream. Teams now employ huge research and development departments — many staffed directly from the ranks of baseball writers who used to criticize teams for undervaluing defense. So it seems unlikely that those analysts forgot about glovework when they walked through the front-office doors.Moreover, teams have shown that they can rapidly adjust to new information about player value when it emerges. For instance, pitch-framing skills — wherein a catcher boosts the chance that a pitch will be called a strike — weren’t quantified until about 2009. Before that offseason, there was no significant relationship between a catcher’s framing ability and the average annual value of his free-agent contract;5The correlation coefficient was 0.16, with a p-value of 0.31. afterward, the correlation spiked.6It rose to 0.33, which is significant with a p-value of 0.006. In other words, teams quickly learned about framing skill and calibrated their contract offers to adjust for it.So another potential explanation for the seeming disconnect between defense and dollars is that teams do properly quantify defense, but in a different way than our publicly available metrics. In other words, if we replaced the public metrics in my previous analysis with proprietary ones cooked up by front offices, there’s a possibility that the inconsistency between defensive performance and pay would disappear.I spoke with a handful of former and current front-office analysts about how teams value defensive metrics, none of whom would speak on the record. They mentioned that some teams have proprietary systems to measure the value of defense, sometimes adding input from scouts or other non-public data sources. If even a handful of teams have systems that produce substantially different fielding valuations than the public statistics, it could appear as though they are disregarding defense — when, in fact, they’re measuring it better than we know.At a minimum, teams have access to much better data with which to construct defensive metrics than the public. With the advent of Statcast, MLB’s radar-based tracking system, team analysts can quantify the location and movement of every player on the field. Statcast also provides raw data on the running speed and reaction times of fielders, allowing front offices to break defense down into its individual components.MLB is providing only a fraction of that data to the public. But if we’ve learned anything from early attempts to model fielding using Statcast — such as Catch Probability, which measures the likelihood that any given batted ball will be caught — it’s that new fielding metrics can disagree significantly with conventional ones.Depending on the analysis being run,7Whether you limit the comparison by sample size (i.e., the number of opportunities) or by position. Statcast-based Catch Probabilities correlate with Ultimate Zone Rating either moderately (r=.47) or strongly (r=.71). Some have taken the latter as confirmation that UZR was correct all along. But consider as well that the correlation between batting average and on-base percentage is also 0.71.8For qualified hitters in the 2016 season. The realization that OBP was a better hitting metric than batting average, you may recall, formed one of the cornerstones of the Moneyball revolution.Similarly, if Statcast-fueled metrics represent as much of an upgrade on public defensive stats as OBP was on batting average, it’s no wonder that teams don’t seem to value defense. Those clubs might just be so far beyond currently available fielding statistics that sabermetricians can no longer criticize them.It’s likely that not every team has its own defensive metric, and some teams’ metrics are probably no better than the public’s. But occasionally, it’s obvious that a team is onto something we don’t know about. Take the case of outfielder Dexter Fowler: Before he joined the Cubs for the 2015 season, writers raised questions about his defense based on poor public metrics; that year, he ended up earning 3.3 wins above replacement, fueled largely by a 20-run improvement in his UZR. Then in 2016, after more skepticism about Fowler’s fielding, he put up the best defensive numbers of his career to date. That, in turn, led to his signing by the St. Louis Cardinals this past offseason for the staggering total of $82.5 million over five years, questionable defense be damned.Whether because of Statcast or scouting, the Cubs and now the Cardinals have seen something in Fowler’s performance that current fielding valuations don’t seem to capture. And when two of the smartest front offices in baseball appear to be discarding defensive metrics, it makes you stop and wonder whether the metrics might just be wrong. read more

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Ace Parkings Park for Pink to raise awareness and funds for cancer

first_img September 2, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsThis year, Ace Parking is teaming up with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and the Ovarian Cancer Alliance in cities across America to help raise cancer awareness and save lives.Ginger Jeffries sat down with Keith Jones, owner of Ace Parking, to talk about the award-winning Park for Pink campaign.September is National Ovarian Cancer Month and October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During these two months, Ace is turning pink for breast cancer awareness as in previous years, and also teal, to represent the addition of ovarian cancer awareness to this year’s campaign.To help raise awareness, Ace Parking teams across the country will participate in Ovarian Cancer Awareness events throughout September. In October, Ace will once again temporarily change many of its well-recognized parking lot signs to pink-colored PARK FOR PINK signage with a custom logo. Team members will wear pink wristbands with teal lettering to celebrate Ace Parking’s pledge. Additionally, the official Ace Parking website will have a custom design to support the cause.During the months of September and October, each time a customer parks with Ace Parking, a portion of parking proceeds will be donated to the fight against ovarian cancer.“PARK FOR PINK was inspired by my own family’s fight against cancer, as well as the struggle of many others in our Ace Parking family,” said Keith B. Jones, third generation Owner & Managing Partner of Ace Parking. “Because so many are directly or indirectly impacted by cancer, I am privileged to utilize Ace Parking as a platform to support those who are suffering, those who treat and support cancer patients, and those who are working to find the cures.”For the last four years, the PARK FOR PINK program has generated over $250,000, which has been donated directly to organizations such as the Susan G. Komen® Foundation for breast cancer research, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to cure blood cancers, the American Cancer Society to help patients and their families, directly to oncology departments within hospitals, to the purchase of the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system, and to other worthy organizations in their quest to find a cure and treat those who are challenged with the disease.Ace Parking received the International Parking Institute’s prestigious Parking Matters Award in recognition of the positive impact Ace is making in the global fight against cancer through the annual Park for Pink campaign. Additional information regarding the PARK FOR PINK campaign can be found at Ace Parking’s website: www.aceparking.com/park-for-pink/. Ginger Jeffries, Ginger Jeffries Posted: September 2, 2018 Ace Parking’s “Park for Pink” to raise awareness and funds for cancer Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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Defense Spending Bills Poised for Early Enactment

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The fiscal 2019 defense and military construction spending bills funding Pentagon activities are on track to be signed by President Trump before the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year, a landmark achievement by Congress that would allow the military to avoid operating under a stopgap spending measure for the first time in a decade. On Thursday, the House passed the conference report to a three-bill spending package covering the military construction-Veterans Affairs, energy-water and legislative branch appropriations bills, sending that measure to Trump. The president is expected to sign the fiscal 2019 minibus spending bill, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.Later in the day, House and Senate conferees hashing out a two-bill package covering the defense and labor-HHS-education spending titles said they had completed a deal on a compromise measure. The Senate is expected to vote on that conference report next week, with the House voting during the last week of September, after returning from a week-long break, reported CQ. If both chambers clear the conference report by the end of the month and the president signs the package into law, it would be the first time since FY 2009 that defense operations were funded on time. The milcon bill was funded prior to the start of the fiscal year as recently as two years ago, however.The defense component of the spending package would provide $674.4 billion in discretionary budget authority, including $606.5 billion for the base defense budget and $67.9 billion for the overseas contingency operations account. The base budget funding represents a $17 billion increase over the current year’s allocation.The bill fully funds the administration’s requested 16,400 end-strength increase for FY 2019, including boosting active forces by 15,600 personnel. It also covers a 2.6 percent pay raise for the military.The compromise bill boosts funding for operation and maintenance base requirements by $5.4 billion to $194 billion. That account supports key readiness programs, including flight time and battle training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations. The bill’s allocation includes $290 million above the budget request covering facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization programs, and $20.6 billion for depot maintenance, according to a House Appropriations summary.The defense minibus also includes a continuing resolution running through Dec. 7 to avert a shutdown of agencies which do not receive a full-year appropriations bill by Oct. 1.Army photo by Gertrud Zachlast_img read more

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