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The Wrap: Adult Learners, Ocean Wind Supply Chain, UFOs

adult learners
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adult learners

By Herald Staff

Get ‘The Wrap,’ our take on the news of the week, in your inbox every Tuesday. Sign up at https://bit.ly/3goVpVr. 

 

Jan. 2329: 

Adult Learners  

Adult learners have been leaving the higher education applicant pools in large numbers, especially those who once depended on community colleges. The average age of students at community colleges has been dropping. Some of the institutions of higher education have lost sight of the things that make them relevant to adult learners. 

A report on enrollment in fall 2021 shows how community colleges continue to lose enrollment. Many have put an emphasis on dual degree programs with regional high schools in order to augment sagging enrollments. Instead, the unintended consequence has been to accelerate their losses among adult learners.   

Recently, community colleges have been lauded for the financial savings that come with using them as the first two years of a fouryear planned degree. The problem is that community colleges need to be so much more than entry points for four-year schools. Studies show students are increasingly seeking a leg up as they enter the workforce, with added education and even an alternative credential.  

As the number of high school graduates is projected to remain flat and then decline, the need to reach adult learners by paying attention to their needs may be critical. It also may be critical to meet the workforce needs of the clean energy transition already underway.  

 

Ocean Wind Supply Chain 

Most of us have not looked hard at the offshore wind initiative on a national scale. This week, a detailed report provided a glimpse of the enormity of the task. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with several partner organizations, released a report on the necessary American supply chain needed to support the country’s aggressive goals.  

According to data from the U.S. Department of Energy, the national goal of 30 gigawatts (GW) of wind energy by 2030 is the equivalent of the output from 30 nuclear reactors. We are not just talking about the construction of these enormous wind farms but also the supply chain to support that construction.  

According to NREL, the required resources to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 include 2,100 wind turbines and foundations, 6,800 miles of cables, 58 crew transfer vessels, along with a veritable fleet of other vessels for service operations, installation, laying cable, and heavy lifting. The full-time equivalent annual workforce could reach 50,000. Did we mention the large workforce that will have to be trained in a new and evolving industry?  

Another report by the Brattle Group, a consulting firm specializing in supporting the needs of clean energy groups, projects enormous changes to the national transmission infrastructure. 

 The errors in hundreds of customer bills immediately following installation of smart meters were just one small glimmer of the many parts that must move together for any chance at a reasonably smooth transition.  

 Meanwhile, the Danish company,Ørstedhas assumed full ownership of Ocean Wind 1 after buying out its American partner, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) 

 

UFOs 

There has been a dramatic increase in sightings of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP). These are what the public know as UFOs. This month, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an unclassified report that spoke of 366 open cases, 250 of which related to sightings since March 2021. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has even opened an office with the unenviable title of All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office for investigating the cases.  

These are not sightings by lone individuals in a desert, miles from a town. Most of the cases have been reported by Navy and Air Force aviators. Some in Congress have called the unresolved cases a national security concern, with the thinking more in terms of spying than alien visitors. 

The DOD says some cases have been resolved, with 26 characterized as drones, 163 as balloon or balloon-like entities and six attributed to clutter. Of the remaining 177 cases of UAPs, the report notes that some appear to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities and require further analysis.”E.T.phone home. 

 

Happenings 

Avalon’s Police Department won accreditation for the fourth consecutive time, putting the borough in an elite status among law enforcement agencies in the state. 

Wildwood Crest has rejected the sole bid it received for renovations to its Beach Patrol facility. The borough will readvertise for bids. Meanwhile, the Crest adopted three resolutions that impact land use regulations concerning parking and landscaping. 

The superintendent of Lower Cape May Regional School District  announced his planned retirement. A search for a replacement is underway. This is the second public school district in the county to see a superintendent leave recently. The other was Upper Townshipwhere the separation agreement is sparking controversy. 

A former Ocean City lifeguard was indicted on sexual assault charges related to his period of tenure in the city Beach Patrol.  

 The death of whales continues to be at the center of a debate over the offshore wind initiative and whether the speed of its development creates greater risk to the environment.  

 Coyotes are increasingly visible in the county. Members of the public expect local governments to do something about the problem, but no clear strategy has been announced. Meanwhile, information is being made available on some town websites on how to safely coexist. 

With a drop in the number of riders, the county is asking for a study of its Fare Free Transportation service. Some customers of the service say requirements make it too difficult to use and may be part of the cause of lower use. 

Another new face will be coming to the Board of County Commissioners, as current Commissioner Jeffrey Pierson has announced he will not seek a new term when his current one expires at the end of this year. 

Upper Township is modifying its redevelopment plan to accommodate an electric substation in Beesley’s Point. 

A Wildwood food and beverage operator has plans to branch out into accommodations under the umbrella of MudHen Hospitality. With six cottages and a four-bedroom house, the company plans to offer “a first-class vacation experience.” 

 

Spout Off of the Week 

Wildwood – Where did the pickle ball game come from? I don’t know how many ways people want to catch a ball,throw a ball,chase a ball,and whatever else they think of to do with balls. 

       Read morespoutsatspoutoff.capemaycountyherald.com.   

 

Spout Off

Lower Township – As a retired long time bus driver for NJT,and an even longer resident of LT : Thank you to all the school bus drivers for an accident free year. It is a monumental achievement in this day and age!

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Del Haven – I couldn't help but note that a Republican Rep likened Trump's speech to that of a drunk uncle at a dinner party, when he ranted about Milwaukee as being a terrible "city", Pelosi…

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Wildwood – I think it's only fitting wbp honors past chief cirelli with some sort of badges on their uniforms . Chief Lou lived for the summers and only wished the best for our city

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