Round Robin: One-on-one with Humboldt Crabs skipper Guiver

first_imgIt would’ve been easy for manager Robin Guiver to mash the panic button.A torrent of losses left not only his Humboldt Crabs baseball team reeling at 6-10 overall, but its faithful fans on the North Coast scratching their heads at the inauspicious start to the team’s 75th anniversary season.But Guiver doesn’t do easy. You don’t become a fixture in Crabs coaching by doing things easy. When Guiver says “he’s been doing this a long time”, he’s not fibbing. He’s been on the Crabbies coaching …last_img read more

After being cut, Kevin Pillar sends Giants, fans a note of gratitude

first_imgKevin Pillar sent a heartfelt message of appreciation to the Giants and their fans on Tuesday, one day after the team angered many in its fan base by cutting the center fielder loose.In an Instagram post, Pillar expressed his gratitude for be being able to spend nearly all of the 2019 season with the Giants, but he also said he’s looking forward to his first shot at free agency after not being tendered a contract by Monday’s deadline.“Thank you @sfgiants and the fans for welcoming my family …last_img read more

Thusong Service Week: taking public services to South Africans

first_img14 September 2015South Africa launched Thusong Service Week yesterday, to run from Monday to Friday, 14 to 18 September, this year.It is a week of heightened communication on the achievements of the Thusong Service Programme and forms part of Public Service Month, a Batho Pele revitalisation strategy to encourage good ethics, morale and pride among public servants.The main hubs of the campaign are the numerous Thusong Service Centres, where information about government services – and access to those services – is made available to peri-urban and rural communities. Previously known as multi- purpose community centres, they were set up in 1999 as a primary vehicle for the implementation of development communication and information, integrating government services into primarily rural communities.There are 185 Thusong Service Centres in 107 local municipalities countrywide. From these, an additional 114 integrated mobile facilities take government services to more rural areas. Here, South Africans can access government services such as grants, personal documents and housing applications, as well as adult basic education and training, and advice for small business development.They can also make use of free office services such as phone, fax, scan, copy, print and post.Now in its 16th year, the programme continues to build access not only to government information and services, but it also offers a place where people can get access to opportunities offered by other civil society groups, including businesses, NGOs and parastatals. It addresses historical, social and economic factors which limited access to information, services and participation by citizens who previously had to travel long distances to access these services.Ethics and moraleThusong Service Week would encourage public servants to deliver high quality services in support of government priorities, as well as to commit themselves to improve the way they work to deliver them, said the acting director-general in the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Donald Liphoko. He was speaking at the launch in Dududu in KwaZulu-Natal this past weekend.“The Thusong Service Centre Programme is one of the first unique initiatives implemented by (the) government which integrates services across the three spheres (national, provincial and local government).”Liphoko said while there was a concern about the culture of public servants not doing what they were hired to do, of public servants becoming too arrogant to serve the public, “it is imperative to remind the public servants that they have the role to play in ensuring that citizens gets the service that they deserve”.The week had been set aside to inform citizens about the services, information and opportunities available, and to encourage public servants to deliver high quality services in support of government priorities, recommitting themselves towards improving the way they worked to deliver them, Liphoko explained.Public-private partnershipsPublic and private partnerships were key to bring service delivery to residents, he said, adding that “over the past seven years, we have progressively increased the number of public-private partnerships covering a wide range of sectors”. This was in line with the call by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address earlier this year for more private enterprise partnerships with public services that ensured equal privileges for all South Africans.“Public and private partnership is key to bringing service delivery to the people in this country. Over the past seven years, we have progressively increased the number of public-private partnerships covering a wide range of sectors.”Through the Thusong Service Centres, approximately five million people gained access to services from the government, parastatals and community-based organisations each year, Liphoko said.“These centres help in promoting service delivery programmes, transfer of skills, employment creation and providing information on business opportunities for those who are interested in starting their own business.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Passive Hot Air from Everyday Materials

first_imgAt the Unity, Maine, headquarters of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), engineer Jay LeGore has harnessed the power of the sun to replace about 200 gallons of propane a year.Located far from fire hydrants, MOFGA’s exhibition hall was still required to have sprinklers to meet fire safety codes. The large, timber-framed structure, which sees 60,000 visitors each year during the Common Ground Country Fair and also houses the association’s offices, sits in the middle of a former potato field, with no fire hydrants nearby. Instead, 15,000 gallons of water are stored in pressurized tanks in a building adjacent to the exhibition hall.To keep the tanks from freezing, the shed had been heated with a propane-fired furnace. To save fuel while serving as an experiment and example for demonstrations, Jay designed and built a wall-mounted solar air heater. Narrow vertical slots at each end of the collector allow air to flow from inside the shed, through a two-inch channel formed between the outside of the shed wall and black painted metal roofing panels that are horizontally installed. An inch and a half away from the metal panels are double-wall polycarbonate panels, commonly used for glazing greenhouses.The metal panels get hot enough so that, on the 75°F day I was there, the air coming from the collector was noticeably warmer; a thermostat said 85°F. More important, after two long, cold winters without any other source of heat, the temperature in the shed never went below 40°F.A squirrel cage blower forces air through the solar heater channels. I asked Jay why he hadn’t taken advantage of the stack effect and reduced electricity use by installing slots at the top and bottom of the panel instead of at the ends where a fan was required to move the air. He said that the stack effect would work great during the day, pulling in cooler air at floor level and releasing warmed air at the top of the panel, but that at night, the cycle would reverse and actually pull heat out of the building. Flaps could be used to stop that process, but in the interest of keeping things as low-tech, passive, and reliable as possible, the horizontal, fan-assisted arrangement was a better solution. He added that photovoltaic panels could have been used to power the fan, but the initial cost would have been prohibitive and the payback period too long; also, the shed was already tied to the grid.The total cost for the system, which could be used for supplemental heating in workshops, barns, basements, commercial buildings, or other spaces where south-facing windows would not be preferable? About $1,000 for the panel components, and another $1,000 for the squirrel cage blower and control equipment. The payback period is about three years.last_img read more

Tales From Armenia

first_imgIn this week’s blog, I’m going to take a break from building science. Instead of providing advice to green builders, I’m simply going to reminisce about my time as a construction volunteer in Armenia.To introduce this topic, I might have discussed some of the common mistakes made by international aid agencies and charitable organizations. I might have elaborated on the truism that Americans who volunteer overseas often get more lasting benefits from their work than the villagers they try to serve. I might have presented a cogent thesis explaining why green building must have a social justice component.Instead, I decided to just tell my story, without any morals or conclusions.If you are a builder, and your schedule and financial situation are flexible enough to allow you to volunteer overseas, I urge you to do so. Just go — to Haiti, to Central America, to Africa, to Asia. Go for a week, for a month, or for a year. Your skills are needed. You won’t regret it. A family tradition When I was growing up, I was influenced by role models in my family. In 1947, my mother and father joined a group of volunteers on a construction project in a war-ravaged region of France. Years later, my mother was a Peace Corps volunteer in St. Kitts. My sister Cathy and brother-in-law Mike were Peace Corps volunteers in Tunisia; my brother Peter and sister-in-law Elana have volunteered in Tanzania and Mexico; my niece Mara has volunteered at a women’s center in Bolivia; my sister Meg is now volunteering at a school in Haiti; and my son Moses is now a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador.Between April 1990 and March 1992, I spent 17 months in Armenia. I worked on… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

Eight-time Mount Everest climber Pemba Sherpa missing in Karakoram

first_imgEight-time Mount Everest climber Pemba Sherpa has gone missing while returning with a team of mountaineers after successfully scaling the 7,672 m-high Saser Kangri peak in the Karakoram range. According to police sources, the mountaineer from Darjeeling fell into a crevasse on Friday. Mr. Pemba’s wife told reporters that the family lost all communications with him since July 13 and she is hoping for a miracle to see her husband again. An ITBP team has started conducting searches at the spot from Sunday morning. The Darjeeling administration is also keeping a close watch on the developments. “We are worried about Pemba. He was a skilled person,” Animesh Basu of Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation (NAF) in Siliguri said.The team of mountaineers that Pemba was leading had begun its journey from Kolkata on June 20.last_img read more