Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This Blog is Upside Down and Under Water

And going nowhere:

"Two die when car is submerged in pond in Framingham" by Alexandra Koktsidis Globe Correspondent  June 07, 2015

A man and a woman died Sunday morning and another woman survived after being submerged for several hours in a car that overturned into a small pond in Framingham, officials said.

Police received a call reporting the incident at 7:05 a.m., Lieutenant Stephen Cronin of Framingham police said. Officers found an overturned two-door Honda Accord in the water near Country Club Lane, off of Route 9 and Gates Road.

The deceased victims, whose names were not released, were from Framingham and were 21 and 25 years old, said Captain Mark Leporati of the Framingham Fire Department. They were sitting in the front of the car.

Responders were able to rescue a woman, also from Framingham, who was trapped in an air pocket in the back seat of the car. She was brought to a Boston-area hospital by airwing, Cronin said.

“She is doing okay,” Leporati said, and was able to answer questions from police. Leporati said he believes the woman is in her 40s.

According to her account, the group was on their way home after a party in at Hudson, Leporati said. The car hit a tree while making a turn, and flipped into the pond at around 4:30 a.m.

The car, which was hidden in brush and weeds, was removed by officials at 10:30 a.m. Side and front air bags had been deployed. The Framingham Country Club, which is located next to the pond, had no comment. The incident remains under investigation.


RelatedSurvivor held on for hours after Framingham car crash

Gotta bury 'em in wet ground, too:

"Wet ground may strengthen gulf storm" Associated Press  June 16, 2015

DALLAS — The historic rainfall that inundated Texas in May has left the soil saturated and rivers engorged, and a scientist involved in a NASA-funded research project says it also could strengthen a tropical storm moving inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

A broad area of low pressure that developed near the Yucatan Peninsula formed late Monday into Tropical Storm Bill, which could brew nasty weather along the Texas and Louisiana coasts and inland.

Tropical storms usually gather power from the warm waters of the ocean and then weaken once they move over land. But the research has found some storms can actually strengthen over land by drawing from the evaporation of abundant soil moisture, a phenomenon known as the ‘‘brown ocean’’ effect, according to Marshall Shepherd, director of atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia.

‘‘All the things a hurricane likes over the ocean is what we have over land right now,’’ said Shepherd, one of the principals who conducted the research. 

It really is the Day After Tomorrow.

Starting Tuesday, Tropical Storm Bill could bring five-day rainfall totals of nearly 9 inches in North Texas, up to 9 inches in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and more than 7 in Missouri, according to projections by the National Weather Service.

Meteorologist Kurt Van Speybroeck, meteorologist for the weather service in Fort Worth, said some parts of East Texas and Oklahoma could receive 10 to 15 inches. Flash flood warnings were issued for many areas.

Print copy ended there.

‘‘If we get that much rain in that time there’s probably going to be a resurgence of flooding along these rivers,’’ he said.

Memorial Day weekend storms brought widespread flooding to Oklahoma and Texas, killing more than 30 people. At one point last month, 11 inches of rain fell in some parts of the Houston area, resulting in flooding that damaged thousands of homes and other structures and forced motorists to abandon at least 2,500 vehicles across Houston.

More than 10 inches of rain fell over a 30-day period across nearly the entire central and eastern portions of Texas — from the Panhandle south to the Mexico border. Isolated areas received 15 to more than 20 inches.

On Monday, portions of the Red River were near or above flood stage as it runs between Oklahoma and Texas and then extends into Louisiana. Meanwhile, the Trinity River was above flood stage in many areas of East Texas.

NWS meteorologist Pete Snyder in Tulsa, Okla., said flash and river flooding are both concerns but that it’s too early to tell what parts of Oklahoma could be hardest hit. Lake levels across Oklahoma remain high from May rainfall, which has forecasters watching rivers in Arkansas ahead of the tropical system.

‘‘We have had time to recover but not a whole lot,’’ said NWS hydrologist Tabitha Clarke in North Little Rock, Ark. ‘‘(The tropical system) is going over areas that are already sensitive, and 6 inches is a lot of rain anyway. It’s kind of a perfect storm — there are a lot of things lining up.’’

Emergency management officials in Galveston County, Texas, on Monday issued a voluntary evacuation of the Bolivar Peninsula. Most structures on Bolivar were wiped out in Hurricane Ike in 2008.

(Blog editor pauses to wipe tear from eye)

School districts in Galveston and southern Houston suburbs canceled classes for Tuesday.

Shepherd said it won’t be immediately known if the brown ocean effect holds true for this storm — but an indicator will be whether it forms an eye while well inland. The NASA-sponsored research showed that of 227 inland tropical storms from 1979 to 2008 that were reviewed, 182 weakened and died but 45 either maintained or gained strength. He cautioned that often it’s not the larger category storms that produce the most rainfall, but instead smaller tropical storms.

Francisco Sanchez, spokesman for the Harris County homeland security and emergency management office, said crews were continuing to work Monday to remove debris from bayous so that water could flow more freely and not build up when heavy rains return. And the county’s emergency operations center was activated, he said.

‘‘We have faced a significant amount of activations, more than we usually do in such a condensed time frame,’’ he said.


Hey, I'm not complaining about the flood of print considering the dry photos regarding their coverage.

Just be careful about being Conditized this summer.

Unfortunately, most of what is on the news or in print today is fake and it really bugs me:

"A bridge has been closed for a second straight night because of swarms of mayflies so thick they caused accidents, authorities said."

Maybe that is what did in the kids in Framingham.

Where I'm going from here I don't know, readers. Going to work on preparing posts for you this afternoon as I take in the ball game (I don't blog past game time), and speaking of being under water:

"Management experts offer Red Sox advice" by Callum Borchers Globe Staff  June 16, 2015

Fans of the bumbling Red Sox are seeing blown leads, dropped balls, and base-running gaffes.

Yeah, it's made them fun to watch again in these quarters.

Experts in management are seeing something less specific to baseball: a manager failing to get the most out of his employees. 


If I were Farrell I would be very worried seeing this on the front page and above-the-fold

The skills required to snap the last-place Sox out of their malaise may be different from those used in almost any other industry — not many professions involve whacking a 95-mile-per-hour spheroid — but consultants who advise corporate leaders say there are some common principles that are as applicable on the diamond as in the boardroom.

Why didn't they just call him into the front office?

Perhaps most important: Red Sox manager John Farrell needs to assert himself as a strong leader who demands better, and stop making excuses for his subordinates, according to experts who specialize in turning around struggling businesses.

That means figuring out what motivates his multimillionaire workers, some of whom may be complacent after previous successes, and are routinely botching tasks they once performed well (namely pitching and hitting).

First though, Farrell has to get tough with players who are slumping, slacking off, or challenging his authority, even if it makes him unpopular in the short term, said Bob Kelleher, president of the Employee Engagement Group, a Woburn consulting firm.

“I’m a huge advocate of consequences for noncompliance,” Kelleher said. “I thought putting Wade Miley right back in the lineup after his outburst last week was a huge mistake. It makes you lose credibility with other employees.”

Sort of like lying us into wars (and everything else) as well as pushing all sorts of distortions, distractions, and diversions.

The incident cited by Kelleher featured a disgruntled Miley yelling at Farrell in the dugout after being pulled from a game in Baltimore on Thursday. TV cameras captured the heated exchange, which followed the pitcher’s surrender of five runs — including three home runs — in just four innings.

Farrell said the next day that “the outburst in the dugout was something that was unacceptable. I won’t stand for it.” But he also said Miley would not be fined, and the lefty remains scheduled to take his next turn in the starting rotation against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.

That's this afternoon. I will let you know how he did.

Some frustrated fans have been calling for a major shake-up — for the Red Sox front office to fire Farrell, or trade underachievers like new third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who came to Boston as a free agent this season on a five-year, $95 million deal.

No one wants him and that contract. That's the problem. They are stuck with guys no one wants.

But principal owner John W. Henry, who also owns The Boston Globe, said this month that “the team that we’re putting on the field, it’s the right team as far as I’m concerned.”

With no big changes imminent, it is seemingly up to Farrell to start winning with the players he has. That means laying out a clear plan for moving up the American League East standings and getting the club’s most influential members to buy into it, said Eric Cormier, a human resources specialist at the Waltham office of Insperity, a Houston firm that advises companies on maximizing employee performance.

Farrell held a 45-minute meeting with five veteran players after an 8-0 loss in Texas late last month, but the session did not jolt the team into form. The Sox lost nine of their next 14 games.

“I would tell him to go back to the leaders on the team,” Cormier said. “Talk to them about what they’re seeing and hearing and find out what motivates the other guys. He needs advocates in the locker room, and right now it seems like he’s on an island.”

He just did that and they are still looking bad and losing.

Any list of Red Sox leaders typically starts with David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, but even those stalwarts have had their struggles.

Ortiz is hitting .229 this season, and Farrell has indicated the designated hitter will see limited action against left-handed pitching in the near future.

Pedroia, solid at the plate again this year, didn’t look much like a four-time Gold Glove Award winner over the weekend when he lost two fly balls in the sun on Sunday.

Consultants — those willing to offer advice, anyway — agreed that Farrell is in a difficult position. But some of the country’s most sought-after firms, including Bain & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Ernst & Young, Deloitte Consulting, and McKinsey & Company, either declined to share management tips for the Sox skipper or did not respond before publication.

Joshua Sky, founder of Sky’s the Limit Consulting in Estero, Fla., near the Red Sox’s spring training facility, said players’ hefty salaries are a complicating factor. He said he has helped many business managers wring better performance from their staffs, but a fundamental motivator is usually workers’ need to keep their jobs.

Baseball contracts are fully guaranteed, meaning the Sox would have to continue paying any player they let go. And many stars — unless they have squandered their massive earnings — were set for life long ago.

“The key for Farrell is to find other motivations,” Sky said. “There’s pride, wanting to win, getting the next contract. If it’s just money, these guys can walk around like gods.”

It must come with being in the .1 percent.


Sox won (I didn't watch!) and I'm doing a terrible job managing this blog.


Faith waning as Red Sox continue to sink with loss to Braves

Texas officials eye rising rivers due to tropical depression

Teen talks about shark biting off arm