JCSA calls for INSPORTS board to resign

first_img The letter highlighted that the board had failed to heed concerns pertaining to the institute’s governance and reminded its members of the Civil Service and the Ministry of Finance’s concerns that the agency is regulated by rules governing public-sector bodies, that the board is not an executive board and has no authority to revoke or appoint signing powers, cannot authorise who signs or who does not, or has any authority or privilege to sign cheques. It also objected to the board’s interference in deciding staff retirement and reassignment. “The board is acting beyond its scope and authority in removing senior staff from signing on behalf of the institute without cause,” said Grant. “Furthermore, your letter (April 14) indicates you (board) have informed the banks that staff are not to sign cheques. This is an absurd request, they (bank) cannot ignore the legitimate signatures approved by the Ministry of Finance how signatories must be assigned or removed from government accounts.” He continued: “Any decision by the administrative director is legal and binding. You have indicated that you will decide as a board who should retire or have employment extended. “To be so involved in the day to day issues of staff retirement and reassignment is another ridiculous stance as these persons are treated under the Civil Service Pensions Act,” Grant stated in his letter. Although citing the board’s instructions as “untenable”, the JCSA head advised Andrews to comply with the directives until, but specified that the administrative director cannot be held liable or responsible for any decision taken by the board. UNHEEDED CONCERNS LEADERSHIP BREACH The Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) has again called for the resignation of the entire board of directors of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS). This position, it said, was made on the grounds of a second round of attacks on the agency’s administrative director, Ian Andrews, with regard to having his signing authority removed, as well as its proposed action regarding retirement and contract extension of staff. Last year, the Don Anderson-led board rid Andrews of his signing authority – which is part of the administrative director’s job description – a decision that was overturned after a directive by the Ministry of Finance. Now, the INSPORTS board is headed in the same direction. However, the JCSA, which represents government workers, has filed a strong response. In a letter dated April 27 to board Chairman Don Anderson, President of the JCSA, O’Neil Grant, revealed that they were in receipt of two correspondents sent to Andrews (April 8th and 14th) by Anderson on behalf of the INSPORTS board. Grant raised a number of concerns and insists that the action proposed by the board is “ridiculous” and “untenable” and clearly violates the statutes and regulations applicable to government entities. “I must alert you (board) that the JSCA will be calling for the replacement of the board and particularly you (Anderson) as chairman, as we have seen where your leadership of the organisation has breached all public bodies’ guidelines, acts and regulations. Mr Andrews cannot be held liable for any decision taken by the board that he is forced to comply with, despite his declared concerns,” highlighted Grant. Efforts to reach chairman of the INSPORTS board, Anderson, for comments via telephone proved unsuccessful, as all calls went unanswered. The JCSA letter was copied to Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Alison McLean, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mrs. Loris Jarrett, deputy financial secretary, Ministry of Finance and Public Service, the ministry’s financial secretary, Devon Rowe, Mrs. Pamela Monroe-Ellis, auditor general, auditor general’s department, all members of the INSPORTS board and Andrews.last_img read more

“We must all oppose plans to mine in Donegal,” says Councillor

first_imgA Donegal county councillor has urged the public to oppose mining in the county.Cllr Michael Mac Giolla Easbuig urged people to object to plans for four prospecting licences for four parts of the county.He said the possibility that Great Glen Resources might be granted licenses to mine for gold, silver and other minerals in Donegal is a cause for great concern. He said “Mining for minerals can be a catastrophe for the local environment. Water sources are exposed to contamination and huge volumes of water are consumed to extract minerals from the base rock.“Noxious chemicals are also involved in the extraction process. In the case of mining for gold and silver, for example, tons of cyanide are used to separate the minerals from the rocks which contain the minerals.“In the case of Donegal, the situation is made much more dangerous by the presence of high levels of radon in the rocks. If drilling through these rocks was to happen, the radon gas would be dispersed into the air with no way of knowing where it would contaminate.“There is no doubt in my mind that mineral extraction under these conditions would benefit nobody except the shareholders of Great Glen Resources, who don’t have to live with the consequences of their exploration.” He added that he will work with other councillors to oppose the granting of licenses to mining companies in the county.But he said the community needs to organise themselves to stand against mining in their area.“We only have to look across the border to the community in the Sperrins in County Tyrone to see how effective community action can be in mobilising and putting pressure on local representatives to support them in their opposition to mining in their area.“We can also look back to the early 80s when the Donegal community successfully opposed uranium mining in the same areas that are being suggested now.Together we can win. Oppose mining in Donegal,” he said.“We must all oppose plans to mine in Donegal,” says Councillor was last modified: June 9th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalMININGOPPOSITIONlast_img read more

Maine Gets Another Passive House Multifamily Project

first_imgThe Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.Multifamily Passivhaus Project Starts in OregonPassivhaus Apartment Complex Would be a GiantPassivhaus Townhouses Are Underway in PhiladelphiaA Passivhaus Multifamily in Maine Nears Completion RELATED ARTICLES Passive House, but no room for frillsPassive House construction necessarily includes more insulation than conventional buildings, high-quality windows, and careful air-sealing, all of which can easily drive up costs. To stay within strict budget guidelines, Bayside developers looked for ways to trim unnecessary building elements — and that started with parking. Arguing that area residents owned fewer vehicles than average, developers successfully petitioned the city to overlook parking-space requirements that normally would have applied. (The building sits on what was a parking lot).The site is over a layer of marine clay, which is inherently weak. Designers worked to keep the building as light as possible, allowing it to rest on a floating concrete slab without the need to sink pilings for extra support.Project architect Jesse Thompson led a tour of the partially complete building in June, the last such tour on this year’s passivhausMAINE schedule.Interior finishes are simple: painted drywall, vinyl flooring, basic kitchen cabinets. Designers shrank interior hallways to bare minimums, and revisited building details repeatedly to look for potential savings.“The building got simpler and simpler as we went along,” Thompson said.While he and others working on Bayside might have preferred a few more upscale finishes inside, it just wasn’t going to happen with a minimal budget that had been set three years earlier. If kitchens got bargain cabinets with drawers that were stapled together, so be it. “Every dollar in there shows up very quickly,” Thompson said. “There’s no tolerance for glamorous here.”Designers did, however, manage to find enough money to keep vinyl siding off the building’s exterior. Instead, it will get fiber-cement cladding over a ventilated rainscreen gap.On the construction side, Wright-Ryan recognized that the longer builders were on site, the higher construction costs would be. Its construction managers, drawing on their experience at the Brewer Passive House project, looked for ways to speed up the process. They divided the building into sections, each with its own set of deadlines, to improve efficiency. Exterior walls are panelized rather than built on site. Even small steps helped: So workers would not have to sort through stacks of drywall to find the right thickness for a particular application, Wright-Ryan simply specified 5/8-inch wallboard throughout the building.If developers hit the November 21 completion date for the 38,500-square-foot building, it will mean a construction schedule of about 10 months. Many single-family homes, Thompson pointed out, take longer than that. Although construction started in January, Bayside Anchor has been in the works since 2013. That year it won a national competition, sponsored by Deutsche Bank, for innovative designs for affordable housing.Finding ways to cut costs has never been far from the minds of its developers, and efforts have paid off. The building will come in at $142 a square foot, project architect Jesse Thompson told a group touring the building recently, “substantially less” than the norm for new Portland housing. At the same time, residents will be getting the benefits of Passive House construction: low energy bills, high indoor air quality, and a superinsulated building envelope that will keep them comfortable.“You’ve got affordability baked into the building forever,” Thompson said. On November 21, three days before Thanksgiving, developers plan to complete Bayside Anchor, a mixed-use apartment building in Portland, Maine, built to meet the Passive House + 2015 standard on what amounts to a shoestring budget.The 45-unit building, about one-third complete, is located in the city’s Bayside neighborhood, a part of the city carved in half by a 1960s urban renewal project. It will contain mostly affordable one-bedroom apartments, plus a few two-bedroom and studio units. The ground floor also will house an office of the Portland Housing Authority, a Head Start program, and a police substation, making it a community hub and giving it its name, Bayside Anchor.Behind the project are the Portland Housing Authority and Avesta Housing, a private non-profit developer of affordable housing. The $7.6 million project is being financed mainly with low-income housing tax credits through MaineHousing, a state housing agency. The project was designed by Kaplan Thompson Architects of Portland. Wright-Ryan, which earlier this year finished a Passive House multifamily in Brewer, Maine, is the general contractor.center_img The PHIUS standard is ideal for multifamily projectsInsulation R-values may seem low for a Passive House project, but Thompson said that’s because a large multifamily building has proportionally less outside wall area for a given volume than does a single-family house.“People are used to seeing PHIUS + and Passivhaus single-family houses with very large R-values,” he said. “Passivhaus was invented as a multifamily program in Europe. It was not a single-family construction program. The numbers work so well in multifamily. In Germany, the first Passivhaus was a townhouse, and the middle unit in a town house has two walls that face neighbors — they don’t touch the outside air.“You think of a middle floor apartment at Bayside Anchor and it’s got one outside wall. It’s 24 feet long and 8 feet tall,” Thompson continued. “So, thermally, it’s just incredibly easy because your ratio of house to walls is tiny.”Heat loss from the building is one-third through the enclosure, one-third from the ventilation equipment, and one-third though the windows, Thompson said. In a single-family house, the numbers are very different, with ventilation losses only 10% to 15% of the total.As a result , the 75% efficiency for Bayside’s ERVs is very important for overall building performance, especially with something like 2,000 to 2,500 cubic feet of air per minute moving through the building around the clock. With an ERV that efficient, when it’s 0°F outside, and 70°F inside, incoming air is in the mid-50s. It doesn’t take much energy to boost that to the set point. On a 30°F day, incoming air is in the low 60s. “Very little heat is needed to bring it up to a good temperature,” he said. Double-stud walls, and nix the OSBExterior walls consist of a structural 2×6 wall and an inner 2×4 wall with a 1-inch gap between the two. Wall cavities will be insulated with dense-packed cellulose, with a layer of CertainTeed’s MemBrain on the interior to control vapor and air movement.Thompson said that plans call for plywood sheathing on the exterior of the building rather than oriented strand board because plywood is more durable and more weather-tolerant during construction. Seams between sheets of plywood are sealed, and the entire outer surface is treated with a liquid-applied air barrier, Defendair 200, a mostly silicone product made by Dow Corning.When it came to windows, designers considered a range of products before settling on triple-glazed units with PVC frames made by Kohltech, a Canadian manufacturer. Passive House buildings often get European tilt-and-turn windows, but in this case designers chose a mix of casements and fixed-glass units, in part to meet requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.As Thompson explained, Bayside Anchor will be required to provide air conditioning to any tenant who can present proof of a medical need. By using outward-opening casements, a tenant could use an air conditioner that sits on the floor and vents through a plexiglass insert in the window opening, thus meeting the HUD requirement, without installing AC for the whole building or investing in ductless minisplit heat pumps.Windows specs are the same throughout the building, with a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.40. The Kohltech units averaged about $30 per square foot.Other building details:Insulation. In addition to the dense-packed cellulose in the walls (about R-32), there are 8 inches of polyiso rigid insulation on top of the roof deck (R-50), and 3 inches of sub-slab expanded polystyrene. There is no spray foam in the building other than what was used to seal the rim joists between floors.Ventilation. Each floor has two RenewAire energy-recovery ventilators to supply each apartment with fresh air. The units, which operate continuously, are 75% efficient. Kitchens have recirculating hoods that are not vented to the outside.Space heat. Each apartment is heated with strips of electric baseboard that cost a total of $30,000. The bill to heat the entire building is projected at about $5,000 a year, Thompson said.Airtightness. Although the standard for the German Passivhaus standard is 0.6 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals (ach50), the PHIUS + 2015 standard uses a different metric: 0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot of gross envelope area at 50 pascals. When this is translated to ach50, it becomes 0.37. Need for housing is very strongJay Waterman, development director for the Portland Housing Authority, said that Bayside Anchor will be both a catalyst for more development and a hub for the community. The area was completely changed by construction of Franklin Arterial, a main thoroughfare linking Interstate-295 on the west side of town and upscale Old Port, with its shops and restaurants, on the east.“It was small streets, a grid-patterned working-class neighborhood for many, many years, and then through urban renewal, Franklin cut a swath so the tourists could get over to the Old Port and people were displaced,” Waterman said. “It became more of a service center and industrial and lower income neighborhood, and I would say it’s still on its way up.”The demand for housing is strong in the Portland area. Bayside Anchor, while significant for the neighborhood, won’t put much of a dent in it.“Let’s put it this way,” Waterman said. “There is effectively a 0% vacancy rate in Portland right now and the city would like to have 2,000 more housing units built in the next four years. We’re doing 45, so it’s a real drop in the bucket compared to the demand.”last_img read more

Microsoft Surface Gains Early Lead Among Windows 8 Devices, Ad Data Indicates

first_imgRelated Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Microsoft#Surface#Windows 8#Windows Phone Although the data might be a little uncertain, figures released by AdDuplex indicate that Microsoft’s Surface is winning the early race to be the most popular Windows 8/ Windows RT device. At least as calculated by which platforms are acccessing ads on the company’s network.An AdDuplex blog post shows the Surface clearly leading in the tablet and the notebook space, while the Nokia Lumia phones (specifically the older, Windows Phone 7-based Lumia 710) are showing an early lead within Windows Phone. That said, the data also shows Windows Phone 8 capturing 4% of the available Windows Phone views in just a week.However, HP’s PC chief, Todd Bradley, recently told CiteWorld that the Surface is receiving too much hype. “I’d hardly call Surface competition,” Bradley sniffed. “One, very limited distribution. It tends to be slow and a little kludgey as you use it… It’s expensive. Holistically, the press has made a bigger deal out of Surface than what the world has chosen to believe.”“We’re not entering the consumer tablet fray any time soon,” Bradley added, noting that HP does plan to offer a consumer tablet, but not before next year, and most likely a convertible, at that. For now, HP is focused on the enterprise, although it showed off the HP Envy X2 last month. On The Surface, Surface Is WinningBut if the AdDuplex data is to be believed, Bradley’s comments might be seen as spin control. That’s because HP’s own products are just behind the Surface in terms of market share, although a significant gap exists between the two. AdDuplex shows the Surface capturing 11% of all ad impressions, with the HP Pavilion g6 and dv6 notebooks grabbing 2% and 1% of the rest. Far exceeding all of these, however, is the “other” category, with 81% of the totals.  markhachman The enormous “other” category most likely comprises the numerous legacy devices that have been upgraded to Windows 8 as well as generic new PCs  shipped with Windows 8. “Surface is already the most popular single device running Windows 8/RT with 11& of the overall “market”,” AdDuplex said. “That said, we had hits from almost 3,000 different devices running Windows 8 (or Windows RT) in a single day.”With Windows 8 and Surface sales still measured in weeks, not months, it’s difficult to ascribe any real adjectives to describe the success of the Surface launch. AdDuplex didn’t break out the total numbers of impressions; “they are specific to AdDuplex and releasing them would only result in unnecessary speculation,” said Alan Mendelevich, who runs AdDuplex. He also cautioned that ad impressions don’t necessarily correspond to device sales. And, since the company’s network caters exclusively to Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps, it’s difficult to know how Windows 8 products are faring as a whole.That’s a lot of disclaimers, but within the ad sales on Windows 8 this initial data point makes it appears that the Surface is the early winner.Steve Ballmer’s comments to a French-language magazine, in which he reportedly described the Surface tablets as selling “modestly,” was later spun by Microsoft as “in relation to the company’s approach in ramping up supply and distribution of Surface with Windows RT, which has only been available via our online store and Microsoft retail stores in the U.S and Canada,” according to CNET. Instead, Microsoft said, people should think about the Surface launch as what Ballmer has characterized as “fantastic.” More Microsoft Hardware ComingOn stage at the Churchill Club on Monday night, Ballmer used the term “spectacular” to characterize the launch of Windows 8, and talked about how the Surface represented the best of both worlds of tablets and notebook PCs. As for competing against its manufacturing partners, Ballmer acknowledged that Microsoft was “carefully” managing its relationships.“Do I anticipate that partners of ours will build the lion’s share of all Windows devices over the next five years? The answer is, absolutely,” Ballmer said, as quoted by Reuters. “With that said, it is absolutely clear that there is an innovation opportunity on the scene between hardware and software and that is a scene that must not go unexploited at all by Microsoft.” (A full replay of Ballmer’s conversation with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman at the Churchill Club is available on fora.tv for $9.95.)Some took that to mean that Microsoft is indeed building a Surface-like version of the Windows Phone. Other interpretations could be that additional Surface revisions could be on the way – whether or not that merely includes the Intel Core-based “Pro” version of the Surface due next year or other hardware is still unknown. What seems to be happening with the Surface is this: Consumers, perhaps unsure of which Windows 8 tablet to buy, have chosen the product, Surface, from the manufacturer that designed the operating system. Is this a case of consumers buying the manufacturer-approved hardware, such as the Google-blessed “Nexus” line of phones or tablets? Microsoft’s huge advertising push? Or some other reason? A Good Start for Windows Phone 8?Apart from Windows 8 and Windows RT, observers are also trying to puzzle out how well Windows Phone 8 is doing. But the AdDuplex data could be skewed because the existing installed base of Windows Phone 7-based hardware should be expected to dominate overall Windows Phone ad impressions. (Again, we have no real sales data for Windows Phone 8 devices at this point.) Four Nokia phones running older versions of Windows Phone – the Lumia 710, 800, 610, and 900 – dominate the impressions, capturing two-thirds of all Windows Phone-based AdDuplex impressions. AdDuplex also reported that it’s difficult to tell what Windows Phone 8 phones have been detected, because of reporting problems with the various Nokia models. But overall, Windows Phone 8 captured 4% of the total Windows Phone impressions in a week, an auspicious start. (Want to know what ReadWrite thought of Windows Phone 8? Here’s a hint: We liked it.) So what does this all mean? If the Surface really does succeed, it will be interesting to see what responses comes from Windows hardware makers. Will they try to outdo Microsoft’s hardware, or back off and try to find a path that doesn’t go head on against the company that supplies the operating they use? On the other hand, if you total up all of the products under a given manufactuer, HP is number one (with 24%), followed by Microsoft (17%). The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Why Foursquare Is Breaking Up With The Check-In

first_imgFoursquare is unbundling. The company announced Thursday it’s splitting the main Foursquare application into two services—one that tracks and shares where you are, and another that helps you figure out where you’re going next.The plan is an ambitious move to split up Foursquare’s mobile services—perhaps taking the lead from Facebook in that manner—and shed the stereotype that has plagued the app since 2009: That Foursquare is just an app for checking into places.See Also: Foursquare CEO: How We’ll Tell You Where To Eat And What To OrderThe new Foursquare app eliminates the check-in entirely, placing it instead in a separate new application called Swarm. A redesigned Foursquare app will be built from the ground up for a launch later this summer, and that app will be responsible for offering personalized recommendations in a similar way to Yelp.“The unbundling is motivated by us listening to the users and observing the way users use the app, both watching them and seeing the data and what the data suggests,” Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley said in an interview. “A lot of functionality is crammed into the Foursquare experience.”Moving Beyond The Check-InFoursquare’s directory of places, unlike Yelp’s, doesn’t feature paragraph-long diatribes that accompany the location. Instead, each location has specific “tips” or short snippets of what’s best or what to avoid at any given destination. It will be hard for Foursquare to shift its reputation from a check-in app to a recommendation engine. Many people use Foursquare for this singular purpose, and the check-in is arguably Foursquare’s bread and butter.It’s a risky move to rip checking in from Foursquare entirely. People are accustomed to using Foursquare for this main reason, not so much to find recommendations. Crowley said the company is building in hooks so bouncing between Foursquare apps isn’t an inconvenience, but it doesn’t change the fact that Foursquare is in completely new territory. (Again, Facebook pursued a similar strategy recently by removing the chat function from its main app and forcing users into its private Messenger app.)Foursquare needs to be mindful about the failure of most ambient location services. Many location-broadcasting startups never caught on with the masses; Facebook has even failed multiple times with its friend-finding features, and more recently, when the company rolled out a feature nearly identical to Foursquare’s Swarm, the reaction was overwhelmingly negative.Giving Up Privacy For Suggestions selena larson Tags:#Check-In#Facebook#Foursquare#foursquare checkins#foursquare facebook#foursquare fragmentation#Foursquare swarm#Location#privacy#Swarm#Swarm app Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts Foursquare has spent the last four years building a massive collection of places thanks to five billion global check-ins. It doesn’t need you to add to it anymore; instead, Foursquare will learn your behaviors and provide you with suggestions as to what it thinks you will like.Already the app alerts users to places they will probably like nearby, based on their previous locations. “Some of those passive notifications that you’ve gotten [in the Foursquare app] is because Foursquare can just sense you’re at a certain place,” Crowley said. “Without saying too much about what the new Foursquare will look like, you can imagine a version of Foursquare that doesn’t actually need you to check into places.”Essentially, even though Foursquare won’t be the check-in app anymore, it will still collect all your data, even without you checking in. Foursquare will use your phone’s location services paired with its vast location database to track where you go in order to provide you with location suggestions.Foursquare won’t be sharing this location data with your friends, but Swarm will. You don’t need to check in for your friends to be able to find you. Swarm is supposed to help friends find each other easier, whether or not they check in. Its ambient location services will know your relative location even if you don’t check in, and will share that information with friends. “The app has neighborhood awareness,” Crowley said. For instance, he said, “if I open up my app right now I’ll see 20 people checked in to Foursquare HQ in New York City, but I’ll see a handful of other friends in the Soho neighborhood who haven’t checked in anywhere.”For users that would rather not have their friends know where they are at all times, Foursquare’s ambient location service can be turned off. Foursquare’s new approach is interesting. Personally, I find the Foursquare location suggestions potentially helpful, though I’m not keen on my friends knowing where I am at all times—especially since many people in my Foursquare network aren’t even real friends anymore. As a service that knows which restaurants you frequent, Foursquare telling you where to eat and what to order might come in handy. As long as you’re okay with Foursquare tracking your whereabouts the rest of the time. All images courtesy of Foursquare The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more