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Dumbing Down Hydrology

TASA ID: 651

This article was originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of Stormh2o.com.

Why are we dumbing down hydrology for engineers? When I say, "dumbing down," what I mean is that we (the stormwater profession) are telling engineers to use pre-computer, simple methods and techniques to size stormwater facilities.  I recently asked a noted, national stormwater expert this question, and his response was (to paraphrase him), "We need to keep things simple because 99% of stormwater design is being done by a general civil engineer using somewhat dated models, or simple automations of older methods, for whom the stormwater design is about 10% of what he does." That may be true, but it is hardly an appropriate excuse.  Today in the United States, we spend billions of dollars on stormwater management. For that much money, isn't it important that we use the most accurate tools and methods available? So, why in most parts of the country are we still using pre-computer, slide rule hydrology to do our calculations?

TROUBLED STRIP CENTERS BREED WRONGFUL DEATH LITIGATION

TASA ID: 396

Virtually every one of my dozen plus cases of wrongful death and/or serious injury has occurred in troubled, older strip centers that have gone through several different ownerships. Only one case has involved a major mall REIT as owner. This fact alone tells me that these centers are usually not professionally operated or managed. 

Commercial Transportation Hours of Service Rule:

The Effect on Driver Behavior

TASA ID: 6742

Abstract


In an effort to decrease accidents and unsafe practices and determine cause, this applied dissertation researched the impact of the Hours of Service rule implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on commercial driver and commercial carrier behaviors. The Hours of Service rule served as a method to increase safety on highways by regulating and monitoring the driving hours of the commercial driver. This study attempted to discover whether this rule had an impact on driver behavior as well as commercial carrier behavior. 

This study was designed to answer questions directed toward safety, compliance, and effective ways to assert safety compliance including if the Hours of Service rules are effective in modifying behaviors associated with safety, whether the Hours of Service rules are effective in modifying behaviors associated with compliance, and if the Hours of Service rules an effective way to assert safety compliance within the commercial transportation industry.

To arrive at these conclusions, the researcher conducted a study that used surveys completed by commercial drivers and motor carrier representatives. It was determined that overall, most drivers agree that various methods of enforcement are necessary; they do not necessarily abide by them. The primary reason given was the loss of financial gain that adherence creates.  The study may benefit businesses, individuals, and communities that are involved in the transportation industry by adapting methods of enforcement that do not penalize a driver financially. The solution can be as simple as an increase in wages for the driver. 

This may not be of financial benefit to the motor carrier company in the form of immediate profit but serves as a profit in the form of avoidance of probable law suits initiated by persons affected in a motor carrier accident. It is also of profit to the motor carrier in reduced insurance premiums and equipment replacement.

 

To read more, download the article below. 


Of Slopes and Flops – Navesink International

TASA ID: 13992

This article was originally published on NavesinkInternational.com and in Albourne Village, village-us.albourne.com

Portfolio modeling and information selection

Any investment decision should be grounded in solid market or economic information, not in the investor’s last emotion. This is true no matter which investment segment the portfolio manager is in:
  • In global macro / asset allocation, CIOs use econometric information (GDP, growth, balances, unemployment, PPP…), as well as market information (FX rates, interest curves, index PE...) to decide their asset class allocation.
  • In discretionary equities, portfolio managers ground their analysis in corporate fundamental information (cash-flow models, ratios, balance sheet metrics and their growths), more qualitative information (business strategy, management quality, relative positioning, provider and client data, new products) and many types of market & economic information.
  • Statistical arbitragers use technical information (momentum, acceleration, volatility, oscillators…), fundamental information (ratios, cash-flows, balance sheet statements...) and pretty much any data source they can put their hands on.

To read more, download the pdf below. 

What is an Appraisal?

TASA ID: 379

It may seem like a silly question, but often the silly questions are the best.  What exactly is an appraisal? The answer and its consequences may surprise you, whether you are a professional appraiser, one that uses appraisal services, or just an interested third party.

According to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, an appraisal is the act or process of developing an opinion of value.  To be even simpler, it is an opinion of value.  Anytime a “professional” places the monetary worth on an item, whatever the item might be, the result could be called an appraisal.  This could be expressed numerically; it usually is, but it could also be rendered as a relationship (“it’s worth more than a trip to Disneyland”).


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