ARLP019 Propagation de K7RA

For several weeks we expected today, May 2 to have active geomagnetic conditions. For instance, if you look at a forecast from April 23 at, http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/forecasts/45DF/042345DF.txt, it shows an expected planetary A index for May 1-3 of 10, 20 and 15. The next day, April 24 (see http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/forecasts/45DF/042445DF.txt) this changed to 8, 20 and 15, and on April 25 it was 10, 15 and 15. For May 1 we see the actual planetary A index for that day was 9, and for the following two days, the predicted values are 10 and 12, which are much more moderate. So obviously as we moved closer to this date, the return of a solar wind stream seemed less likely, although earlier today the planetary K index rose as high as 4, indicating unsettled to active geomagnetic conditions.

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Damage Estimated at $3.1 Million After Bowmanville Fire

Damage has been tallied at over $3.1 million after the inferno that destroyed two Bowmanville businesses, damaged several others and burned out apartments on King Street Tuesday.

Cause has not yet been determined and may not be for a while, but Chief Gord Weir said at this point there appears to be "nothing suspicious" about the blaze.

By noon Friday, the Chief said King Street, which has been closed since Tuesday from Silver to Temperance streets, was just hours away from reopening.

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Shuttle Discovery to Move to Launch Pad Saturday

Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Saturday, May 3, as preparations for the STS-124 mission move forward. Discovery is targeted to lift off May 31 on a 13-day mission to the International Space Station.

The first motion of the shuttle out of Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. EDT. The space shuttle vehicle, consisting of the orbiter, external tank and twin solid rocket boosters, was fully assembled on the mobile launcher platform and will be delivered to the pad atop a crawler transporter. The crawler slowly moves the shuttle out to the pad at less than 1 mph during its 3.4-mile journey. The process is expected to take approximately six hours.

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Ontario Legislates End to TTC Strike

Toronto's public transit system will be back up and running as early as Sunday evening now that Ontario MPPs have ordered striking transit workers back on the job.

The back-to-work legislation was approved unanimously after less than 30 minutes of debate. The bill was given royal assent and officially approved by 2:45 p.m.

TTC service, which came to a halt Friday at midnight, is expected to resume by Sunday evening. Full service will be in place in time for the Monday morning rush.

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TTC Ready Once Vote Taken

In an interview late this morning TTC Chief General Manager Gary Webster told the Star that if back-to-work legislation is passed this afternoon, the TTC will be up and running later today.

Premier Dalton McGuinty has recalled the legislature for a rare emergency Sunday session to vote on the  legislation. All three parties are expected to be in favour of forcing 9,000 striking members of the Amalgamated Transit Union back on the job. The vote is expected at 1:30 pm.

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CalPoly and Delphi C3 Launch Date Confirmed

The PSLV-C9 launch from India carrying the CUTE-1.7, SEEDS,DELFI-C3, COMPASS-1, AAUSAT-II, and CANX-2 Cubesats into orbit has been confirmed for April 28, 2008 at 03:53 UTC.

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Ontario Legislature to be Recalled

The Ontario government says the legislature will be recalled Sunday afternoon for an emergency session to help end Toronto's transit strike.

It was not immediately clear if back-to-work legislation could pass before Monday morning given the need for opposition co-operation.

Commuters awoke to a transit system at a standstill after workers rejected a contract offer and suddenly went on strike.

"There's no streetcars, no subway, no buses," Brad Ross, a Toronto Transit Commission spokesman, told CTV Newsnet on Saturday morning.

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ARLP018 Propagation de K7RA

This week we had a couple of brief sunspot appearances, 991 and 992, but they were both from old Cycle 23, and their emergence was fleeting. On Wednesday, April 23 the planetary A index rose to 32 due to a solar wind and south-pointing Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF). An explanation of IMF and the significance of it pointing south are at, http://pluto.space.swri.edu/image/glossary/IMF.html.

Expect geomagnetic conditions to stabilize this weekend, but again become active on May 2.

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Court Finds FCC Violated Administrative Procedure Act in BPL Decision

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today released its decision on the ARRL's Petition for Review of the FCC's Orders adopting rules governing broadband over power line (BPL) systems. The Court agreed with the ARRL on two major points and remanded the rules to the Commission. Writing for the three-judge panel of Circuit Judges Rogers, Tatel and Kavanaugh, Judge Rogers summarized: "The Commission failed to satisfy the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act ('APA') by redacting studies on which it relied in promulgating the rule and failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its choice of the extrapolation factor for measuring Access BPL emissions."

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OPP Closes Aurora Divisional Headquarters

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has closed its divisional headquarters facility in Aurora as a safety precaution because of elevated levels of lead in the building.

Approximately 100 civilians and uniform personnel work in the facility, located at 100 Bloomington Road West. There has been no service interruption to the citizens of Ontario because of the closure. Highway 407 uniform personnel have been redeployed to the 407 substation. The Aurora detachment, command staff and administration staff, have moved next door to the Service Ontario building at 50 Bloomington Road West. The telephone numbers for all services remain the same.

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Expedition 16 Soyuz Lands Safely in Kazakhstan

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station, returned to Earth at approximately 4:30 a.m. EDT Saturday, ending a mission during which she conducted five spacewalks and set a new record in American spaceflight.

Whitson and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, members of the 16th crew to live and work aboard the station, safely landed their Soyuz spacecraft in the steppes of Kazakhstan. Spaceflight participant So-yeon Yi also returned to Earth aboard the Soyuz. The landing was approximately 295 miles from the expected landing site, delaying the recovery forces' arrival to the spacecraft by approximately 45 minutes.

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