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Winter Journal

Volume 30, Issue 4

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(TNS) - Five years ago, the world was stunned by a crime unprecedented in its horror — the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took the lives of 20 first-graders and six adults.

State legislators reacted to the massacre not only by enacting tougher gun laws but also by earmarking millions to make Connecticut schools safer, including addressing concerns raised after the shooting about access to school buildings, communication failures and multi-agency coordination gaps.

But now a Courant investigation has found that those efforts, started when the pain of Sandy Hook was fresh, have largely dwindled.

Nearly half the school districts in the state are violating at least some aspect of the law requiring them to submit school security information, a Courant review of state records reveals.

...

http://www.govtech.com/em/disaster/5-Years-After-Sandy-Hook-Shooting-Connecticut-School-Districts-Violating-Safety-Laws.html

Iron Mountain has agreed to buy IO Data Centers, a colocation provider best known for its pre-manufactured data center modules, for $1.315 billion, the publicly traded real estate investment trust announced Monday.

The deal comes at the end of what has already been a record year for acquisitions in the data center service provider space. The year saw industry-shaping transactions like Digital Realty Trust’s $4.95 billion acquisition of DuPont Fabros Technology, the $1.67 billion acquisition of ViaWest by Peak 10, the $2.15 billion acquisition of the CenturyLink data center portfolio by a group of investors to form a new provider called Cyxtera Technologies, and the acquisition of Vantage Data Centers by Digital Bridge Holdings, reportedly for more than $1 billion.

Iron Mountain, the bulk of whose business has traditionally been document management and storage, has been aggressively expanding its data center services business. The IO deal adds four large data center sites to its portfolio and follows its acquisition of the Denver data center provider Fortrust in July and Credit Suisse data centers in London and Singapore – its first two locations outside of the US – in October.

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http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/iron-mountain/iron-mountain-buy-io-modular-data-center-pioneer-131b

(TNS) - As thousands wait for insurance money to make repairs in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, more than a half-dozen school districts, cities and other government agencies are still awaiting payment from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association on nearly $60 million in claims from Hurricane Ike.

Texas City Independent School District leads the list with more than $172 million in outstanding Ike claims, followed by Dickinson ISD with $10.5 million and Chambers County with $9.5 million. Three other school districts, two cities and a community college are awaiting payment on additional claims of more than $22 million, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis.

Officials said they have little faith that TWIA - the insurer of last resort - will pay the claims without further legal battles.

...

http://www.govtech.com/em/disaster/In-Harveys-Wake-Some-Worry-About-State-Insurers-Pace-at-Paying-Claims-From-Ike.html

Open-plan offices have become the norm for many companies wishing to optimize their space, encourage collaboration between staff and breaking down traditional hierarchies.

However, recent research challenges the idea that open-plan working is a surefire route to productivity. Far from an antidote to the inefficiency of closed-off offices, open-plan working can mean staff are beleaguered with distractions and stifled by lack of personal space.

Gensler’s 2016 Workplace Survey found that 67 per cent of the UK workforce feel drained at the end of each working day due to their office environment. In addition, badly designed offices are suppressing innovation in businesses: although over eight million UK employees work in open-plan environments, many of these do not offer variety or choice, nor are they tailored to specific tasks and practices.

“Enclosed office space is not the enemy,” says Philip Tidd at Gensler. “Moving to a simplistic open-plan may not be the most effective option in today’s hyper-connected workplace.”

...

https://www.regus.com/work-us/reconsidering-open-plan-new-thinking-productive-space/

(TNS) - During the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, first responders in New York City had trouble talking to each other on radios, leading to more chaos that deadly day. Afterward, federal authorities told local agencies to digitize their radio systems to enable such communications, but it's taken the better part of two decades for Dallas to catch up to the costly recommendations.

But if officials in the city and county have their way, Dallas police and firefighters and county sheriff's deputies will soon be able to use their radios to instantly talk to other first responders nearby.

County commissioners this week approved a $68 million contract with the city and Motorola that will upgrade the outdated radios and provide maintenance for 15 years. Because the city of Dallas needs far more radios than the county does, officials said, Dallas is paying 75 percent of the costs, while the county's share is 25 percent. The City Council will vote on the deal next week.

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http://www.govtech.com/em/safety/If-Terrorists-Hit-Dallas-Would-First-responder-Radios-be-Ready.html