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UN rewards Alex renewal project

first_imgARP has been awarded for infrastructuredevelopment in Alexandra.(Image: Friends of Alex)MEDIA CONTACTS Ms Lizet Loubser +27 11 531 5525RELATED ARTICLES• Football for Hope to unite SA• Ubuntu against xenophobiaBongani NkosiA project that’s uplifting living conditions in Alexandra, one of South Africa’s most densely populated townships, has received a prestigious accolade from the United Nations.UN Habitat, a United Nations agency that promotes the social and environmental sustainability of towns and cities, awarded the sought-after Habitat Scroll of Honour to the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP) on 5 October 2009, to coincide with World Habitat Day.The Scroll of Honour celebrates initiatives that have made outstanding contributions in fields such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of the homeless, leadership in post-conflict reconstruction, and developing and improving the human settlements and quality of urban life. It is for the latter category that ARP has been recognised.Gauteng executive committee member for local government and housing, Kgaogelo Lekgoro, flew to Washington DC in the US to receive the award.“We are delighted that we have been selected to receive this award,” Lekgoro said. “We see this as a vote of confidence in the policies that we have pursued as government.“We are working tirelessly to provide housing, security and comfort for our people,” he added.The award was first introduced in 1989 and takes the form of a plaque engraved with the name of the winning programme, organisation or individual and their achievements.Improving livelihoodsARP has been recognised for helping thousands of poor people move into better homes and boosting health, water and electricity services.“It was our unanimous opinion that the Alexandra Renewal Project should receive the award this year for its outstanding efforts in … improving the living conditions for its residents,” said UN Habitat.ARP was launched in 2001 by then South African president Thabo Mbeki. It forms part of the government’s Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme and the Urban Renewal Programme that Mbeki announced during his State of the Nation Address in February of the same year.Between 2001 and 2004 ARP completed 28 sub-projects in Alexandra. These included the building of 1 400 houses, upgrading electricity supply and providing power for 12 000 houses, refurbishing all 18 schools in the township, the building of a new police station in Alexandra central and improvements made to the nearby Wynberg police station.ARP has also relocated 8 500 families from the township to more comfortable spots within the city of Johannesburg, while about 7 000 families have been removed from the banks of a polluted Jukskei River in the township to better settlements.Among its ongoing work, ARP is involved in upgrading ablution facilities and improving roads and pavements in the township. It is also refurbishing Alexandra’s hostels, which were mostly dilapidated. In total, ARP is overseeing almost 100 upgrade initiatives in the sprawling community.Alex, as the township is commonly known, was estimated to have 350 000 residents in 2001, all squeezed into an area of about 800ha. It is situated east of Johannesburg and close to Sandton, one of Johannesburg’s wealthiest suburbs.Among this year’s seven other award recipients, UN Habitat recognised the Ugandan Women’s Efforts to Save Children organisation, for providing water, health and sanitation to orphans and vulnerable children in that country.Township improvement driveGauteng is South Africa’s smallest, yet most populous province. It’s also the country’s economic hub. Local government there is currently running a number of programmes to improve its many townships, most of which are overcrowded and lack critical infrastructure.A US$403 000 (R3-billion) programme, the 20 Priority Township Project (20PTP), was launched in 2006 to develop identified townships within the province into upmarket residential areas. Its focus is on Orlando and Zola – two sections of South Africa’s largest township, Soweto – as well as Boipatong, Bophelong Sharpeville and Sebokeng in the Vaal Triangle.Atteridgeville, Soshanguve and Mamelodi were identified as special focus areas by the city of Tshwane in Pretoria, while Katlegong, Kwatsaduza, Wattville, Daveyton, Tembisa, Refilwe and Rethabiseng, east of Johannesburg in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, are also receiving special attention.To the west of Johannesburg, Mogale City’s townships – Kagiso, Munsieville and Mohlakeng – are also benefiting from 20PTP. Conditions in Ratanda, a township in the Lesedi District Municipality, south Gauteng, are also being improved.Gauteng has also approved the Tembisa and Winterveldt Urban Regeneration projects “in order to improve historical townships existing in the province”. Tembisa is situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria, while Winterveldt is in Pretoria.As part of the 20PTP, most parts of Soweto have undergone major revamps in recent years, and thanks to the efforts of the city of Johannesburg, the dusty streets of that township and Alexandra have also been tarred.Queries or comments? Contact Bongani Nkosi at [email protected] 0 //
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OSU Extension and OARDC agronomy field days

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It has been an interesting spring. Have questions? We may have the answers; we certainly want to have the discussion. Come to one or all three of our field days in July. Put these dates on your calendar and plan to attend.OSU Weed Day, South Charleston: July 12Western ARS Agronomy Field Day, South Charleston: July 19Northwest Ag Research Station Field Day, Custar: July 27The OSU Weed Science Field Day will be held on July 12 at OARDC Western Ag Research Station in South Charleston. As in previous years, it’s a mostly self-directed event and a chance to look at all of our research. The day runs from 9 to noon, followed by lunch for those who preregister. Feel free to bring anyone you like and to tell others, but please send an email to Bruce Ackley to preregister at [email protected] telling him how many are coming so we can plan. The registration fee $35, includes lunch and the plot book, payable on the day of the tour. We will be around as usual to answer questions and lead some brief discussions.The OSU/OARDC Western ARS Agronomy Field Day will be held July 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. No charge this year as we are soliciting sponsors to offset that cost. Lunch is included and we will of course have our in-season updates as well as talk about some of the on-going research here. The location is the Western Agricultural Research Station at 7721 So. Charleston Pike, South Charleston south of I-70 and just west of the Ohio 54 and SR 41 intersection or from the west exit from I-71 onto SR 41, south, drive about four miles and you will see the station on the right.Western is one of three agronomy research stations across the state for agronomic crop producers. Contact Joe Davlin, station manager, to reserve your lunch at [email protected], or by phone (937) 462-8016.Producers and ag business professionals in northwest Ohio are invited to the OSU/OARDC Northwest Ag Research Station Field Day the morning of July 27, 2017, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. It is free and open to the public at 4240 Range Line Road Custar 43511 (2.5 miles northeast of Hoytville at the corner of Oil Center and Range Line Roads in Wood County).Topics and speakers at Northwest:Optimizing Soybean Relative Maturity — Laura Lindsey (Hort & Crop Science)Soil Fertility Management and Tri-State Recommendations — Steve Culman (SENR)Xtend and Enlist Herbicide Technologies — Anthony Dobbels (Hort & Crop Science)Soybean Insect Management and Update — Kelley Tilmon (Entomology)last_img read more

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What’s the Difference Between Energy and Power?

first_imgHow many mystery writers does it take to change a 60-watt lightbulb?Two — one to screw the bulb almost all the way in, and one to provide a surprising twist at the end.How many Energy Solutions columnists does it take to change a 60-watt lightbulb?One — all he does is tell you what a watt is and he doesn’t even change the lightbulb.If you are still with me, dear reader, you have chosen the columnist over the mystery writer. You are brave. (Or if you are just into lightbulb jokes, see my green building lightbulb jokes here.)Chances are, you may be worried about higher energy prices, global warming, energy insecurity, or all of the above and more. You may want to become more aware of your energy use, and become more efficient. A few weeks ago I wrote about radiation terminology; today I’m going to focus on energy terminology. Knowing is half the battle. Watts measure power — kilowatt-hours measure energyWhen you get your utility bill, the electricity you’ve used is measured in kilowatt -hours (kWh). While a watt is a measure of power, a kWh is a measure of energy. Energy is defined as the capacity to do work, such as creating heat, light, or motion. If you run a 60-watt lightbulb for one hour, you’ve used 60 watt-hours, or 0.06 kilowatt-hours, since a kWh is 1,000 watt-hours. In other words, 0.06 kWh is the amount of energy you need to run a lightbulb for an hour.Homes are typically charged only for the electricity they use, measured in kWh. But commercial and industrial facilities also pay “demand charges,” which are calculated based on their peak power draw (usually measured in megawatts, or MW), which compensates the electric utility for ensuring that it has enough power available to meet that demand. Appliances are rated based on powerBoilers and furnaces are also sized based on their heating power, in Btus per hour in the U.S., and in kilowatts elsewhere. A typical residential unit puts out 100,000 Btu/hr (29 kW) while commercial units tend to be much more powerful. A 100,000 Btu/hr boiler burning at full power for a day will produce 2.4 million Btus of heat (700 kWh).How much energy does your entire home or workplace use? Overall energy consumption of buildings, including both electricity and other fuels, is typically counted in million Btus per year (which is usually abbreviated as MMBtu — don’t ask).To get a single whole-building MMBtu number, we have to convert all fuel sources into that unit, and then add them up. You can find conversion ratios for doing this online, which include all fuel sources you might use, such as propane, cordwood, natural gas, coal, and others. The Home Energy Yardstick from the federal Energy Star program makes this really easy. Watts are like miles-per-hourLet’s start with that 60-watt lightbulb. Power is a measure of the rate at which energy flows, and in electrical systems it is measured in watts (W). Watts are basically the miles-per-hour measurement of the electrical world — they tell you how fast the electrons are speeding down the highway. For those who are keeping track, one watt is equivalent to electricity flowing at a rate of one joule per second in the metric system, which is also equivalent to 3.4 Btus per hour.A 60-watt lightbulb will consume electricity at a rate of 60 watts. A laborer working through the day will put out 75 watts of power. A medium-sized car might consume 100,000 watts. (One horsepower is equivalent to 750 watts, so that’s a 286-hp car.) A small gasoline generator puts out 2,000 watts; the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant puts out 650 megawatts, or 650,000,000 watts. Many other pieces of equipment come with power ratings to describe the rate at which they use energy. Is replacing windows a waste of money?Dear Energy Solutions, I have heard that replacing windows is a waste of money. Is that really true? – PaulaDear Paula, A lot of people have the idea that replacing old windows is one of the first things they should do in an energy renovation of an old building. There are a lot of good reasons to replace old windows, and not all of them are about energy. These include aesthetics, maintenance issues, and comfort. (Yes, I consider comfort and energy to be different considerations. It can be very uncomfortable to sit next to an older single- or double-pane window in the winter, but in absolute terms, that window may not be costing you a ton of energy.) Any of these factors, along with overall energy use, may point you toward window replacement.I would slow down and look at other options, however. Analysis of “payback” is tricky, but there are credible calculations showing payback, based on energy saved, for window replacement, of 10–40 years. For most people, that’s a long time. There may be other measures, such as sealing up air leaks, that will improve your comfort and finances much faster. Rehabbing older windows, or simply adding storm windows, can also be very cost-effective, with paybacks of under 10 or even five years.What are your thoughts, questions, or comments on energy metrics, operating a solar array, and replacing windows? Please discuss below.Tristan Roberts is Editorial Director at BuildingGreen, Inc., in Brattleboro, Vermont, which publishes information on green building solutions. Read more Energy Solutions columns, including columns by Alex Wilson, for whom Tristan is filling in, on the Energy Solutions homepage. You can also keep up with Alex’s adventures on sabbatical at ATWilson.com. Getting to know metrics hands-onI got to know some of these metrics hands-on after I installed our solar photovoltaic power system. The system includes a charge controller which takes in power from the solar panels and feeds it to the batteries for storage. The controller includes a digital readout telling me exactly what the system is producing at any given time. I have 1,050 watts of panels, which means that under optimal conditions they are rated to produce that much power.In reality, the power on the readout is constantly changing as the sun and temperature conditions change. Solar panels like it cool, so on a nice cool, sunny April day, I might get a peak reading of 1,365 watts. Right now, with some clouds dancing across the sky, it’s reading 723 watts.As you know, watts measure rate. When you see a [no-glossary]cop[/no-glossary] on the Interstate and take your foot off the gas, you might drop from 70 mph to 65 mph in a few seconds. The same thing with the solar panels and sun. How far you have driven at the end of the day is determined by your average speed, and how long you drove. As I write this, my solar array has been online for 6:01, and has produced 2.13 kWh in that time. That’s about enough power to have done a load of dishes in my dishwasher. Comparing from one building to anotherIn order to compare energy use from one building to another, we typically normalize it by the building’s floor area, giving us energy numbers in thousand Btus per square foot per year (kBtu/ft2·yr). The average onsite energy use for office buildings in the U.S. is 76.3 kBtu/ft2·yr. The average for single-family detached homes is 43.8 kBtu/ft2·yr. (For multi-family homes of five-plus units, it’s 49.5; for mobile homes it’s 73.4 kBtu/ft2·yr. If these numbers look surprisingly high compared with single-family homes, keep in mind that we’re talking per-square-foot, not per-home.If all this feels intimidating, remember that (if you grew up in the U.S.) you’ve managed to master the arbitrary system of inches, feet, and yards. These energy metrics are much simpler!last_img read more

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Measuring Your Financial Health

first_imgCurrent ratio. The current ratio refers to your ability to meet short-term liabilities which include all of your debt repayments to be made in the current year. CURRENT RATIO = CASH OR CASH EQUIVALENTS/SHORT TERM LIABILITIES Asset-to-debt ratio. This ratio compares your assets to your total existing liabilities. Liabilities include home loans, car loans, credit card debt, etc. It is always desirable to possess more assets than debt. To calculate this ratio: ASSET-TO-DEBT RATIO = TOTAL ASSETS / TOTAL LIABILITIES Solvency ratio. This ratio refers to your ability to repay all existing debts using your assets in the case of an emergency. You may wish to use a net worth calculator prior to calculating this ratio. SOLVENCY RATIO = NET WORTH/TOTAL ASSETSDo not worry if these ratios seem complicated. There are numerous resources available to you that can help you to understand what each of these ratios mean. What is important is that you are aware of what you need to be considering when measuring your financial health!Being aware of your financial health will help you to meet your short-term and long-term financial goals while avoiding unreasonable amounts of debt. Financial experts recommend calculating your financial ratios on a yearly basis and making any adjustments to your spending and saving patterns that you deem necessary.Contact Jennifer at [email protected] Saving ratio. The saving ratio is perhaps the easiest to calculate and will provide you with insight as to how well your finances are managed and how likely it is that you can achieve your saving goals. SAVING RATIO = MONTHLY SURPLUS / MONTHLY INCOMEcenter_img By Kristyn Jackson, LMFT and Jennifer Hunter, Ph.D., University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension ServiceHave you ever heard someone discussing their “financial health?” Financial health refers to how well you are doing financially and is based on a number of factors. Much like you go to your family doctor for yearly check-ups, it is a good idea to perform a financial check-up from time to time.Unfortunately, many families often find it overwhelming to measure their financial health because of all of the factors included. What further complicates measuring your financial health is the fact that financial advisors and firms often recommend different ways of doing so. You can use more subjective measures of financial health such as your personal satisfaction with your financial status, the amount of financial stress you experience, and how financially independent you feel. However, you can also measure your financial health through more concrete measures.Capt. Pedro Rodriguez gives two thumbs up while running the 26.2 mile course of the Marine Corps Marathon Forward. Photo by Sgt. Bobby J. YarbroughProvided below is an overview of the various measures that a financial advisor may suggest calculating in order to measure your financial health. It is a good idea to calculate these values on a fairly regular basis, such as the beginning of a new year. If you have questions, do not be afraid to reach out to a professional advisor who can answer them.Liquidity ratio. Liquidity ratio refers to your ability to meet your necessary expenses when you are faced with an emergency such as an unexpected home repair or medical bill. It is recommended that you keep a 3 to 6 month emergency fund, meaning that an ideal ratio is between 3 and 6. To calculate this ratio: LIQUIDITY RATIO = CASH OR CASH EQUIVALENTS ON HAND / MONTHLY COMMITTED EXPENSES Debt-service ratio. This ratio refers to the percentage of your income that is designated to debt repayment and the percentage of income remaining for other mandatory household expenses and savings. Lower ratios represent better financial management. DEBT SERVICE RATIO = SHORT TERM LIABILITIES / TOTAL INCOMElast_img read more

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Charges fly thick and fast in Punjab over 2015 firing

first_imgWith the police pointing the finger at former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal in the 2015 police firing incident in Kotkapura which claimed two lives, the game of allegations and counter-allegations has begun. Last week, the Special Investigation Team filed a chargesheet in a Faridkot court claiming that the police firing (during the protests that followed the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari village) was a pre-planned handiwork of Mr. Badal, former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim among others. The ruling Congress was quick to attack the Akali Dal with senior leader and Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa saying the “Panthic” mask was off the faces of the Badals and now the family must renounce politics. He asked Mr. Badal to step down as MP and also the chief of his party after being “exposed”. The SAD accused the Congress of indulging in a political vendetta and targeting the party leaders through the SIT. Terming the probe “politically motivated”, the Akali Dal questioned the credibility of the chargesheet. Senior leader Daljeet Cheema said “the chargesheet was signed by IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap of the SIT on May 23 though the model code was withdrawn on May 26. Notably, he was reappointed a member of the SIT team on May 27. It’s a clear case of fabrication of documents with mala fide intention.”“Not only this, other members of the SIT have also questioned the partisan role of the said officer and submitted their objections to the government in writing,” he said. The Akali Dal made it clear that it would not take this lying down. Mr. Cheema said it would challenge the chargesheet and demand the investigation be handed over to an independent agency headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema (AAP) also raised the issue of ‘objections’ against the IG. “The objections raised by the other members of the SIT against the IG at a time when ‘challan’ was filed against the accused in the court seems to be a mere design to derail the process of justice delivery and protect the high-profile accused,” he alleged.last_img read more

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