Environmentalists and loggers thought they had nothing in common, until they started talking.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 19 people had been sickened in eight states.
The coming wave of electric vehicles will require more than thousands of charging stations. In addition to being installed, they also need to work — and today, that isn’t happening.
If a station doesn’t send out an error or a driver doesn’t report an issue, network providers might never know there’s even a problem. Kameale C. Terry, who co-founded ChargerHelp!, an on-demand repair app for electric vehicle charging stations, has seen these problems firsthand.
One customer assumed that poor usage rates at a particular station was down to a lack of EVs in the area, Terry recalled in a recent interview. That wasn’t the problem.
“There was an abandoned vehicle parked there and the station was surrounded by mud,” said Terry who is CEO and co-founded the company with Evette Ellis.
Demand for ChargerHelp’s service has attracted customers and investors. The company said it has raised $2.75 million from investors Trucks VC, Kapor Capital, JFF, Energy Impact Partners, and The Fund. This round values the startup, which was founded in January 2020, at $11 million post-money.
The funds will be used to build out its platform, hire beyond its 27-person workforce and expand its service area. ChargerHelp works directly with the charging manufacturers and network providers.
“Today when a station goes down there’s really no troubleshooting guidance,” said Terry, noting that it takes getting someone out into the field to run diagnostics on the station to understand the specific problem. After an onsite visit, a technician then typically shares data with the customer, and then steps are taken to order the correct and specific part — a practice that often doesn’t happen today.
While ChargerHelp is couched as an on-demand repair app, it is also acts as a preventative maintenance service for its customers.
The idea for ChargerHelp came from Terry’s experience working at EV Connect, where she held a number of roles including head of customer experience and director of programs. During her time there, she worked with 12 different manufacturers, which gave her knowledge into inner workings and common problems with the chargers.
It was here that she spotted a gap in the EV charging market.
“When the stations went down we really couldn’t get anyone on site because most of the issues were communication issues, vandalism, firmware updates or swapping out a part — all things that were not electrical,” Terry said.
And yet, the general practice was to use electrical contractors to fix issues at the charging stations. Terry said it could take as long as 30 days to get an electrical contractor on site to repair these non-electrical problems.
Terry often took matters in her own hands if issues arose with stations located in Los Angeles, where she is based.
“If there was a part that needed to be swapped out, I would just go do it myself,” Terry said, adding she didn’t have a background in software or repairs. “I thought, if I can figure this stuff out, then anyone can.”
In January 2020, Terry quit her job and started ChargerHelp. The newly minted founder joined the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, where she developed a curriculum to teach people how to repair EV chargers. It was here that she met Ellis, a career coach at LACI who also worked at the Long Beach Job Corp Center. Ellis is now the chief workforce officer at ChargerHelp.
Since then, Terry and Ellis were accepted into Elemental Excelerator’s startup incubator, raised about $400,000 in grant money, launched a pilot program with Tellus Power focused on preventative maintenance, landed contracts with EV charging networks and manufacturers such as EV Connect, ABB and Sparkcharge. Terry said they have also hired their core team of seven employees and trained their first tranche of technicians.
ChargerHelp takes a workforce-development approach to finding employees. The company only hires in cohorts, or groups, of employees.
The company received more than 1,600 applications in its first recruitment round for electric vehicle service technicians, according to Terry. Of those, 20 were picked to go through training and 18 were ultimately hired to service contracts across six states, including California, Oregon, Washington, New York and Texas. Everyone who is picked to go through training are paid a stipend and earn two safety licenses.
The startup will begin its second recruitment round in April. All workers are full-time with a guaranteed wage of $30 an hour and are being given shares in the startup, Terry said. The company is working directly with workforce development centers in the areas where ChargerHelp needs technicians.
A very promising mental health experiment is taking shape in the West.
Genetic genealogy connected Christopher Lovrien to a 1999 homicide victim, according to the authorities, who said they found the remains of a 2020 homicide victim when they searched his property.
In a single sample, geneticists discovered a version of the coronavirus first identified in Britain with a mutation originally reported in South Africa.
The danger of avalanche is high in parts of the Cascade Mountains and areas farther south, the Northwest Avalanche Center said.
Oregon is a case study in how Pacific Coast cities are lagging the country in resuming in-person teaching.
A childhood friend’s deadly mistakes prompt reflection on our country’s — and my own.
Hold us accountable, but please do the same for the charlatans who deceive you, use you and cheat you.
Portland, Oregon-based Conversa Health, a virtual care and communication platform that helps health organizations stay in touch with their patients and customers, today announced that it has expanded its Series B funding round from $12 million to $20 million. The round is still co-led by Builders VC and Northwell Health’s venture arm Northwell Ventures. Additional investors include UH Ventures, the venture arm of University Hospitals and VC firms P5 Health Ventures, Epic Ventures, StartUp Health and Nassau Street Ventures, as well Genesis Merchant Capital and J-Ventures, which came in as new investors in this expanded round.
“There’s been a recognition, especially with COVID, that the need for automated and virtual — which are two big trends in healthcare — were on the horizon but now the horizon has been pulled in because of COVID and the healthcare system recognizes that that’s going to be required to be able to allow access for patients and improve both the experience for patients and providers, and get better outcomes and do it at lower cost,” Conversa CEO Murray Brozinsky told me.
Brozinsky actually believes that within the next decade, 80% of care will be done remotely. This will allow for more personalized and evidence-based care, but it will also require investments in automation.
“Conversa links providers’ EHRs and other patient data to best-of-breed interactive digital care pathways and clinical analytics engine to automate care management 24×7. This improves care plan adherence pre and post visit, reducing costs and generating better outcomes for patients,” said Builders VC partner and Conversa board member Mark Goldstein. “Conversa’s enterprise platform and library of digital pathways are used by providers to care for patients across their populations, as opposed to one-off point solutions. It fills an enormous gap in the market.”
Given the pandemic, it’s maybe no surprise that Conversa’s business also boomed. The number of customers the company its services has grown fourfold while its financial metrics are up 6x because a lot of its larger companies have expanded their use of the platform.
The team decided to expand the existing Series B round to help it capitalize on this momentum and to bring on more engineers in order to scale the platform. Brozinsky believes that the need for a platform like Conversa’s will remain after the pandemic ends. In addition, the company is also already rolling out support for vaccination programs in its service to help educate consumers but also help in monitoring efforts after people get their shots.
“Everything we’re hearing from health systems, they recognize that they need to be prepared for this to happen again, they still need to care for the core demographics that haven’t changed — this aging population — with an acute shortage of healthcare workers,” Brozinsky said. “So the need for the systems and these platforms is going to be more acute and the investment is not so much an additional cost but an enormous return.”
A racing pigeon named after the president-elect appeared to have traveled from Oregon to Melbourne, breaching quarantine rules.
A racing pigeon that appeared to have traveled from Oregon to a backyard in Melbourne faces death. But there’s a twist.
Officials around the country are bracing for any spillover from last week’s violent assault on the U.S. Capitol. State legislatures already have become targets for protesters in recent days.
Alone on a 10,000-mile road trip across the United States, a Times journalist found an America cloaked in solitude — and a country on edge.
Nature’s weirdest clam surprises scientists once again, this time in video footage of its mating habits.
Oregon earmarked $62 million to explicitly benefit Black individuals and business owners. Now some of the money is in limbo after lawsuits alleging racial discrimination.
From orbit, satellites send tragic evidence of climate change’s destructive power. This film covers 10 days, Sept. 7-16, 2020, a period of intense fires activity in North and South America.
Mr. Lopez spent five years in the Arctic, and his books, essays and short stories explored the kinship of nature and human culture.
The smaller number of expected doses, which appeared to be the result of a scheduling hiccup, reignited tensions between the federal government and Pfizer over vaccine supply.
The sea mammals vanished from Oregon’s coast long ago, but a technique from human archaeology offers a clue to restoring them.
AWS today opened its re:Invent conference with a surprise announcement: the company is bringing the Mac mini to its cloud. These new EC2 Mac instances, as AWS calls them, are now available in preview. They won’t come cheap, though.
The target audience here — and the only one AWS is targeting for now — is developers who want cloud-based build and testing environments for their Mac and iOS apps. But it’s worth noting that with remote access, you get a fully-featured Mac mini in the cloud, and I’m sure developers will find all kinds of other use cases for this as well.
Given the recent launch of the M1 Mac minis, it’s worth pointing out that the hardware AWS is using — at least for the time being — are i7 machines with six physical and 12 logical cores and 32 GB of memory. Using the Mac’s built-in networking options, AWS connects them to its Nitro System for fast network and storage access. This means you’ll also be able to attach AWS block storage to these instances, for example.
Unsurprisingly, the AWS team is also working on bringing Apple’s new M1 Mac minis into its data centers. The current plan is to roll this out “early next year,” AWS tells me, and definitely within the first half of 2021. Both AWS and Apple believe that the need for Intel-powered machines won’t go away anytime soon, though, especially given that a lot of developers will want to continue to run their tests on Intel machines for the foreseeable future.
David Brown, AWS’s vice president of EC2, tells me that these are completely unmodified Mac minis. AWS only turned off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It helps, Brown said, that the minis fit nicely into a 1U rack.
“You can’t really stack them on shelves — you want to put them in some sort of service sled [and] it fits very well into a service sled and then our cards and all the various things we have to worry about, from an integration point of view, fit around it and just plug into the Mac mini through the ports that it provides,” Brown explained. He admitted that this was obviously a new challenge for AWS. The only way to offer this kind of service is to use Apple’s hardware, after all.
It’s also worth noting that AWS is not virtualizing the hardware. What you’re getting here is full access to your own device that you’re not sharing with anybody else. “We wanted to make sure that we support the Mac Mini that you would get if you went to the Apple store and you bought a Mac mini,” Brown said.
Unlike with other EC2 instances, whenever you spin up a new Mac instance, you have to pre-pay for the first 24 hours to get started. After those first 24 hours, prices are by the second, just like with any other instance type AWS offers today.
AWS will charge $1.083 per hour, billed by the second. That’s just under $26 to spin up a machine and run it for 24 hours. That’s quite a lot more than what some of the small Mac mini cloud providers are charging (we’re generally talking about $60 or less per month for their entry-level offerings and around two to three times as much for a comparable i7 machine with 32GB of RAM).
Until now, Mac mini hosting was a small niche in the hosting market, though it has its fair number of players, with the likes of MacStadium, MacinCloud, MacWeb and Mac Mini Vault vying for their share of the market.
With this new offering from AWS, they are now facing a formidable competitor, though they can still compete on price. AWS, however, argues that it can give developers access to all of the additional cloud services in its portfolio, which sets it apart from all of the smaller players.
“The speed that things happen at [other Mac mini cloud providers] and the granularity that you can use those services at is not as fine as you get with a large cloud provider like AWS,” Brown said. “So if you want to launch a machine, it takes a few days to provision and somebody puts a machine in a rack for you and gives you an IP address to get to it and you manage the OS. And normally, you’re paying for at least a month — or a longer period of time to get a discount. What we’ve done is you can literally launch these machines in minutes and have a working machine available to you. If you decide you want 100 of them, 500 of them, you just ask us for that and we’ll make them available. The other thing is the ecosystem. All those other 200-plus AWS services that you’re now able to utilize together with the Mac mini is the other big difference.”
Brown also stressed that Amazon makes it easy for developers to use different machine images, with the company currently offering images for macOS Mojave and Catalina, with Big Sure support coming “at some point in the future.” And developers can obviously create their own images with all of the software they need so they can reuse them whenever they spin up a new machine.
“Pretty much every one of our customers today has some need to support an Apple product and the Apple ecosystem, whether it’s iPhone, iPad or Apple TV, whatever it might be. They’re looking for that bold use case,” Brown said. “And so the problem we’ve really been focused on solving is customers that say, ‘hey, I’ve moved all my server-side workloads to AWS, I’d love to be able to move some of these build workflows, because I still have some Mac minis in a data center or in my office that I have to maintain. I’d love that just to be on AWS.’ ”
AWS’s marquee launch customers for the new service are Intuit, Ring and mobile camera app FiLMiC.
“EC2 Mac instances, with their familiar EC2 interfaces and APIs, have enabled us to seamlessly migrate our existing iOS and macOS build-and-test pipelines to AWS, further improving developer productivity,” said Pratik Wadher, vice president of Product Development at Intuit. “We‘re experiencing up to 30% better performance over our data center infrastructure, thanks to elastic capacity expansion, and a high availability setup leveraging multiple zones. We’re now running around 80% of our production builds on EC2 Mac instances, and are excited to see what the future holds for AWS innovation in this space.”
The new Mac instances are now available in a number of AWS regions. These include US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland) and Asia Pacific (Singapore), with other regions to follow soon.
The authorities in Ashland, Ore., said they were investigating whether the killing of Aiden Ellison after a confrontation in a hotel parking lot had been “driven by race.”
Children have suffered because many mayors and governors were too willing to close public schools.
The deluge of sex-abuse filings, coming ahead of a bankruptcy deadline, far surpasses the number of claims filed in Catholic Church cases.
Voters in red and blue states may be in accord on nothing else, but they passed measures to liberalize drug laws.
A wave of marijuana measures are on the ballot in states that once resisted them. Oregon would go further with a proposal to decriminalize drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Left vulnerable by dry conditions, more than 430,000 acres have burned so far in what has been one of the worst years ever for wildfires in the state.
Experts are warning that existing water safety rules are not suitable to a world where wildfires destroy more residential areas than in the past.
Experts are warning that existing water safety rules are not suitable to a world where wildfires destroy more residential areas than in the past.
The Almeda Fire leveled some of the only affordable housing for the immigrants who work the fields, kitchens and construction sites of southern Oregon.
The Oregon governor declared an emergency in advance of the event hosted by a right-wing group with a history of violence at protests. Local Black activists planned an event nearby.
What do you do when your world is burning? In mundane and harrowing ways, you figure out how to survive.
Technological advancements have helped people get information about when to leave and where to go. But some never got the alerts and had to search social media for vital information.
Early this year, lawmakers considered legislation to thin forests, hire firefighters and increase building standards to prepare for wildfires. But a dispute over how to address climate change doomed the proposals.
The Almeda fire left a path of destruction as it tore through the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon. About 24 hours after it started, an estimated 2,350 homes had been left in ashes. We used satellite images, videos and social media posts to track what happened.
Oregon’s fate has always been intertwined with the forests that blanket the state. Now millions of trees are charred, and those who live from them face a future full of uncertainty.
Heavy downpours can bring destructive mudslides now, or in years to come.
With fires on the West Coast and floods on the Gulf Coast, relief organizations are providing meals and shelter to devastated communities. If you want to give aid, here are some research pointers.
Firefighters were making progress against several significant wildfires, but a coming change in conditions could allow fires to quickly spread.
Gov. Jay Inslee expressed confidence that Washington State could contain its fires, and offered help to Oregon, but warned that the air was still at “historically polluted levels.”
Smoke from the wildfires in the West was spotted high in the skies over Washington, D.C. Firefighters continued to battle blazes that were still spreading.
As wildfires continue to rip through parts of the West, Oregon is experiencing catastrophic destruction.
We’re also rounding up thought-provoking ideas about Covid-era education, and bringing you the latest local updates for K-12 and college.
Firefighters were facing unpredictable wind gusts and drier weather on Monday, conditions that threaten to give new strength to raging wildfires.
Firefighters across California and Oregon are bracing for stronger winds that could partly clear the air — but also fan the flames of uncontrolled blazes.
In Oregon, where more than 1 million acres have burned, fires have destroyed entire towns and forced 40,000 residents to evacuate.
When prime habitat is up for grabs, acorn woodpeckers travel from all around to see who will win.
The northwest part of the state, usually much wetter, has dried out this year, enabling flames driven by powerful winds to “just explode down these canyons.”
Firefighters continued to battle blazes along the West Coast that have now charred nearly five million acres. At least 15 people are dead, with dozens still missing.