Whittier wins CIF title

first_img“We weren’t running our offense,” Dement said. “They just came out hard and took charge. Most of the first half, we really didn’t set \ up. We were more like spectators.” Whittier coach Chris Schneider said his team focused on one thought over the past three weeks. “We talked about defense and winning because of our defense,” Schneider said. And the players proved it. “We knew most of \ from club teams and we watched hours of film on them,” Barron said. “We set up and called out their man \ and when they set up we kind of molded in with them and cut off their passing.” Alyssa Rangel said, “We all knew basically what to do. We should have, getting up to watch film at 6 a.m.” Whittier opened the scoring on Mary Ann Campos’ rebound shot off Barron’s miss just over two minutes into the game. Ayala countered with Erin Herold’s first of her five goals with 3:38 left in the quarter. Whittier then scored three goals in the next 1:13 for a 4-1 lead, and Campos scored off an assist from Barron to make it 5-1 at the end of the quarter. Whittier increased its lead to 7-2 with goals from Barron and Gigi Naranjo. Ayala closed the gap with two quick goals to start the third quarter, but it was not enough. Naranjo finished with three goals, and Campos and Rangel had two each. Goalkeeper Brook Sovick finished with eight saves, at least three in spectacular fashion. roger.murray@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3046 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The victorious Cardinals picked the perfect time to play perhaps their best game of the season and dominated the Bulldogs in such a way there was no question which team deserved the title most. It marked the third time this season Whittier defeated Ayala; each time, the outcome was more decisive. • Photo Gallery: Ayala vs. Whittier LONG BEACH – Lauren Barron scored five goals and contributed in other ways to lead Whittier High School to a 13-7 victory over Ayala in the CIF-Southern Section, Division III girls water polo championship game Monday night at Belmont Olympic Pool. center_img “They just kept getting better and better each time we played,” said Ayala goalkeeper Caitlin Dement, who finished with 10 saves. This was the teams’ third consecutive meeting in the championship game. Whittier won, 11-10, in overtime in 2005; Ayala won, 10-9 last year. Whittier (24-6) entered Monday’s contest as the division’s No. 1 seed. Ayala (22-5) was No. 2. The familiarity between the teams would seem to eliminate any edge one might have over the other, but Whittier’s coaches and players later talked of watching films of Ayala’s games and forming a game plan based upon the Bulldogs’ tendencies. It was the Cardinals’ defense that set the tone from the opening sprint for possession by refusing to allow the Bulldogs to get comfortable in their offense and igniting the Cardinals’ potent counter-attack. last_img read more

Past LeBron foe Stephenson joins ‘King James’ on Lakers

first_img0Shares0000The Pacers’ Lance Stephenson has lost several playoff games to James’ Cavaliers and is known for several of his attempts to toy with or annoy him © GETTY/AFP/File / ANDY LYONSLOS ANGELES, United States, Jul 11 – Lance Stephenson, who once blew in the left ear of LeBron James trying to disrupt the NBA superstar, signed a new contract Tuesday to join James on the Los Angeles Lakers.The 27-year-old American guard played for Indiana the past two seasons, each campaign ending with a first-round playoff loss to James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Stephenson has a history with James, including a choke sign to Miami’s bench after James missed a late free throw in a lopsided Indiana playoff win in 2012, trash talk and the ear-blow incident when Miami met Indiana in the 2014 Eastern Conference finals and striking James in the groin when the star drove to the hoop in a game last November.“It’s actually funny that I’m actually on the same team as him. I’m very excited to see what that brings,” Stephenson said. “It’s going to be amazing.”The deal, reportedly for one year at $4.5 million, unites Stephenson with fellow Lakers free agent signings James, 2008 champion with Boston and four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.In eight career NBA seaons, five of them with Indiana, Stephenson has averaged 8.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game. After four seasons with Indiana, he played for Charlotte, the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis, New Orleans and Minnesota before rejoining the Pacers just ahead of the 2017 playoffs.“It’s incredibly exciting to have Lance join our team,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said. “Lance is playoff-tested and will bring a certain edge, confidence and toughness to our roster.“His multi-positional versatility and open-court playmaking abilities are key ingredients for the basketball style we designed for next season.”The Lakers have missed the playoffs for the past five seasons and haven’t gone past the second round of the playoffs since winning the 2010 NBA crown.James has played in all eight NBA Finals since then, going 2-2 with Miami from 2011-2014 and 1-3 with Cleveland from 2015 to last month, when the Golden State Warriors swept the Cavaliers for their third title in four seasons.James agreed to a three-year deal worth $154 million on July 1 and signed the contract on Monday.The Lakers have spent much of the money they had available but have room to make an offer to forward Carmelo Anthony, who is expected to have Oklahoma City buy out his contract next week to make him a free agent.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

TEN THINGS DONEGALDAILY IS LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2012!

first_imgThese are the TEN things Donegaldaily.com is looking forward to in our wonderful county in the coming year. Why not send us details of what you are looking forward to?1 – The Donegal senior GAA footballers proving that 2011 was no flash in the pan and that Jim McGuinness and the boys can go all the way this season. 2 – Snow in February! Buckets of it but please let it last just a couple of days. We all need our yearly fix.3 – Daniel O’Donnell taking a break. Okay we’re only joking but has anybody noticed how Daniel wasn’t off the radio or the television for the entire festive season?4 – A long, hot summer. Not just two days here or there but a month or two of heat during which we can eat fish and chips at 10pm on Rathmullan beach, walk for hours in Glenveagh National Park and play golf in our shorts in Ballyliffin.5 – Shay Given and Seamus Coleman having outstanding European Championships. Both are true sporting ambassadors and deserve all they accolades and praise that comes their way. 6 – Bundoran and Donegal being recognised as a real surfer’s paradise as waveriders from around the world flock here.7 – Pothole-free roads from Raphoe to Redcastle. Okay so it’s only a dream but surely we’ll all entitled to a small return for our road tax?8 – Some peace, closure and respect for Donegal’s many survivors of clerical sex abuse.9 – Anne Marie Ward taking part in the crossing of Bering Strait without turning into a human ice cube.10 – That Donegal’s thousands of emigrants scattered around the globe make a real difference wherever they are.   TEN THINGS DONEGALDAILY IS LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2012! was last modified: January 2nd, 2012 by StephenShare 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:Anne Marie Wardbundorandaniel o’donnellJim McGuinnesspotholesShay Givensummerlast_img read more

MAN WHO HIJACKED TAXI IS SENT TO JAIL

first_imgA LIFFORD criminal with 39 previous convictions has been jailed for two and a half years after pleading guilty to assaulting a taxi driver and hijacking his cab which was later found burnt out.Joseph Colhoun, 30, from Beechwood Grove, offered his “sincere apologies” in a letter to Judge John O’Hagan at Letterkenny Circuit Court.He said he accepted that he had to be punished for his crimes. On January 7th this year – a year after the death of his mother – Colhoun had gone on a drinking spree in Letterkenny, DPP barrister Dara Foynes told the court.At the time his brother David was also missing after falling into the River Foyle.At 5.30am on the morning of January 8th, Colhoun was with three other men in Letterkenny when they spotted a taxi and waved for it to stop.Clement Adu, who had just finished his shift and was on his way home, stopped.Colhoun and another man got inside the taxi and asked Mr Adu to take them to a 24/7 garage, the court heard.At the Dry Arch complex, Colhoun and the other man went inside the shop, returning a few minutes later and asked Mr Adu to take them to Lifford.Addressing the court Mr Adu said that Colhoun and the other man appeared friendly.“He (Colhoun) had bought him me a bottle of water at the garage. I thought he was a very very good man,” said Mr Adu.He asked for €25 up front for the fare to Lifford, but Colhoun had assured him he would be paid.On the way to Lifford Colhoun and his friend asked Mr Adu to stop near Ballyhooley so they could go to the toilet.But then Colhoun returned to the driver’s side of the door.“He was hugging me, I thought he was a homosexual,” said Mr Adu before he realised Colhoun was stealing his car keys.Mr Adu was then punched several times in the head, suffering a fractured cheekbone.He said he pleaded with Colhoun to take whatever he wanted, his money and his possessions.But Colhoun drove off in Mr Adu’s car. The victim was picked up by the side of the road by a passing bus driver who raised the alarm.The taxi driver said he out of work for four months as a result of the theft of his car which was found burnt out half a mile from Colhoun’s home.He said the insurance company didn’t pay out for the full costs of his losses.Mr Adu also addressed Judge O’Hagan on the issue of Colhoun’s state on the night of the incident.Turning to Colhoun and pointing to him, Mr Adu said: “He is a very very bad person. This was not drink.”He said he believed there had been a plan all along, that Colhoun had initially said he wanted to go to a 24/7 garage and he offered to take him to Mountain Top which was closer but Colhoun had insisted on going to the Dry Arch garage which was on the road to Lifford.Gardai admitted they wouldn’t have caught Colhoun except for excellent CCTV footage at the Dry Arch garage and Colhoun was arrested later that afternoon.Judge O’Hagan said mitigating evidence on Colhoun’s behalf in relation to the deaths of his mother and brother didn’t apply as Colhoun had a series of 39 convictions going back to 1999, nine of them for assault.He told Colhoun that had he been convicted by a jury he would have jailed him for five years for the hijacking.Judge O’Hagan said the incident had involved “sheer brutality” and he was satisfied the hijacking was planned.“He was not charged with burning the car and I have to ask why they did this; something they read in the papers in the hope they would hide the forensics,” said the judge.“I do not accept that drugs or drink was a mitigating factor, proved by the fact he was able to drive back the whole way safely to Lifford.“It wasn’t a clever way of keeping his mother in memory by carrying out this particularly offence. But I do accept he has been remorseful for what he has done.”He ordered that Colhoun continue treatment for alcohol addiction in prison and sentenced Colhoun to two and half years in prison on each of the two charges of hijacking and assault, suspending the last six months of the concurrent sentences.MAN WHO HIJACKED TAXI IS SENT TO JAIL was last modified: October 31st, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:CIRCUIT COURTdonegalJoseph ColhounletterkennyLiffordMAN WHO HIJACKED TAXI IS SENT TO JAILlast_img read more

Macha pulls U-turn, back with A’s

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Six days after his three-year tenure as Oakland Athletics manager ended when talks on a new deal broke down, Ken Macha called general manager Billy Beane to thank him for the opportunity. That conversation led to another and eventually to a surprising turn of events. Oakland’s search for a new manager ended where it started when the team gave Macha a new three-year deal Friday that will keep him under contract through the 2008 season. “I think both of us felt this would be best for himself, best for myself and best for the club,” Macha said. Macha and Beane didn’t talk after the A’s announced negotiations had broken down Oct. 5. Macha admits now that the two sides probably should have waited a week after an emotional season to begin the discussions. center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Lopes out: San Diego Padres first base coach Davey Lopes did not have his contract renewed, along with third base coach Ron Picciolo. More talking: Former Detroit manager Alan Trammell, who interviewed this week for the Dodgers’ managerial opening, talked to Tampa Bay Devil Rays officials for four hours about their vacancy. last_img read more

Naturalism and 9/11

first_imgIt’s been seven years since the horrific terrorist attacks in America woke up everyone to the reality of evil.  Secular, naturalistic evolutionists must of necessity explain evil as an artifact of pointless, aimless, purposeless acts of nature.  Did the September day that changed the world change the aims or rhetoric of the scientists and educators who are determined to keep all mention of God out of our schools and scientific institutions?What’s the point?  Hanna Kokko (U of Helsinki) was interviewed in Current Biology.1  After using an example of “how short-sighted evolution can be” to ridicule intelligent design and the “intelligence of the designer,” she was asked, “aren’t there bigger problems in the world?”  So, turning to profundity, she quoted Bertrand Russell on the value of pure research.  She then preached on the value of thinking long-term (which is ironic, considering she had just described how short-sighted evolution can be).  We ought to consider our long-term impact on the environment, she said.  That prompted a follow-up question that seemed out of place in an exclusively pro-Darwin magazine:But scientists surely aren’t saints themselves are they?No, we fly too much but at least there is a certain honesty about it: we tend to admit that.  We’re a bit as selfish as the others, but at least we get some wicked pleasure out of saying it aloud.  We ought to complain when society hasn’t established sensible rules that serve the long-term interests of people.Kokko did not explain how the long-term interests of people can be reconciled with the needs of the environment, or how the morality-tinged words saint, honesty, wicked and selfish entered into the Darwinian vocabulary – except with this short anecdote, hinting that she is aware of the conundrum:My cousins recently looked at the proofs of a popular Finnish book on evolution that I’ve coauthored.  I was perhaps expecting them to comment on my claims that evolution has something to do with our troubled relationship with the environment, or challenge my views on how we can live humanely ‘despite’ being products of natural selection.  But what they asked me was far simpler.  They were simply baffled about where I got all this information; who told me all these cool stories?Safely off the hook, Kokko went on to praise the value of science education, and to admire the younger generation of Finnish students, who “show a far greater acceptance of evolution than older ones” and “are also more environmentally aware.”  So we never got to hear how she reconciles moral and theological values with the short-sighted blindness of natural selection.  Would she have grounds for calling the terrorist attacks evil?Superstition for better fitness:  New Scientist published an interesting twist on evolution: Darwin’s theory of natural selection helps explain why people believe nonsense.  Avoiding black cats and ladders and rubbing a rabbit’s foot are no longer moral failings, but rather adaptive strategies sustained by evolutionary forces.  Interestingly, the article refers to the work of the aforementioned Hanna Kokko, who, with colleague Kevin Foster of Harvard, “sought to determine exactly when such potentially false connections pay off.”  Superstition can be good for you, in other words.    As if to pre-empt creationist ridicule for this idea, the article continued, “Rather than author just-so stories for every possible superstition – from lucky rabbit’s feet to Mayan numerology – Foster and Kokko worked with mathematical language and a simple definition for superstition that includes animals and even bacteria.”  The definition was not given by New Scientist, but the mathematical rule boils down to this: “As long as the cost of believing a superstition is less than the cost of missing a real association, superstitious beliefs will be favoured.”  (They admitted, later in the article, that this rule does not always hold.)    Their rule seems to rely on a philosophical assumption, however.  “Real associations” can only be alleged if one presupposes the correspondence theory of truth – the confidence that our sensory perceptions correspond to external reality.  Some theologians have argued that this presupposition cannot be derived from naturalism.  It requires reference to eternal truth, which in turn requires an eternal Truth-giver, or God.    Surprisingly, New Scientist gave the last word to a critic of the Foster-Kokko hypothesis.  One can almost hear philosophers and theologians smirking in the background:However, Wolfgang Forstmeier, an evolutionary biologist at the Max Planck Institute of Ornithology in Starnberg, Germany, argues that by linking cause and effect – often falsely – science is a simply dogmatic form of superstition.    “You have to find the trade off between being superstitious and being ignorant,” he says.  By ignoring building evidence that contradicts their long-held ideas, “quite a lot of scientists tend to be ignorant quite often,” he says.But then,our background philosophers and theologians ask, isn’t Forstmeier begging the question?  How does he define ignorance without presupposing the correspondence theory of truth?  And how is contradicting oneself viewed as bad, if natural selection can produce superstitious beliefs and call it fitness?  In the end, this article did not address the origin of evil, either – let alone grounds for labeling something like 9/11 as evil.  Could not superstition be judged a means of attaining fitness from the terrorists’ point of view?Those evil creationists:  Scientific American seems to be able to smell evil even if they can’t define it.  It’s those creationists trying to get their views in the science classrooms.  Suspects included VP nominee Sarah Palin (cf. Evolution News #1 and #2), Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, and the Discovery Institute.  Their crime: using buzzwords, rhetorical shifts, faulty reasoning (“They have this idea that it’s a zero-sum game, so anything you can do to knock evolution down actually promotes creationism without having to say the word”), and retooled approaches to sneak creationism into the classroom (but see Evolution News).    The article failed to explain, though, why any of this is bad in Darwin’s universe.  After all, “evolution is the linchpin of modern biology, explaining everything from antibiotic resistance in bacteria to the progression of species found in the fossil record,” the article said.  If evolution explains everything, surely it could explain the fitness of the majority of the human population that wants creationism to get a fair hearing.  On what moral grounds, then, or by what force of natural selection, could the NCSE resist these efforts?  Robert Crowther responded to this article for Evolution News.Teaching points:  As stated in the update to yesterday’s entry (09/10/2008), a consortium of scientific societies is planning a big public forum to promote evolution.  A key goal of the meeting is to explain why intelligent design is not science.  Needless to say, no advocates of ID were invited on the panel.  This seems a continuation of the pro-Darwin strategy immediately after 9/11.  PBS aired a series on Evolution with no explanation for moral evil, and no opportunity for opposing views to get a hearing (see 09/18/2001).It appears that the naturalistic evolutionists have not changed since 9/11.  In most cases when they talk about morality, (1) every moral condition is to be explained by amoral natural processes, including terrorism; (2) they presuppose values that are difficult to account for in Darwinian terms, and (3) morality notwithstanding, they preach that creation and intelligent design are to be sternly opposed – as if they are evil.    For those who want to hear both sides, a stimulating online debate is in progress.  Opposing Views.com seeks to air the best arguments of “verified experts” on both sides of controversial issues.  This month’s debate is “Does intelligent design have merit?”  Visitors can not only read the views of senior fellows of the Discovery Institute (cf. Evolution News) going up against the NCSE and Americans United, but can vote on who is winning and submit their responses – something Casey Luskin at Evolution News is rallying readers to do.1.  Q & A: Hanna Kokko, Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 17, 9 September 2008, Pages R726-R727, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.06.042.Once you unmask the naturalist’s quandary that nothing he or she says can make any judgments about truth or morality, it’s over.  If we hit the buzzer every time they borrowed Judeo-Christian concepts and words, they would not be able to get an edge in wordwise, or vice versa.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Is fall weather here to stay?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest AccuWeather reports following a week of record-breaking heat, northeastern U.S. residents will find the opportunity to turn the air conditioners off and pull out the sweatshirts as cooler air settles in for a few days.A strong cold front that moved across the Great Lakes and Northeast on Sunday is responsible for sending a much cooler air mass into the region. High temperatures into will be cut 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit compared to highs this past week.“From New York City to Washington, D.C., highs in the 90s will be replaced with highs in the upper 70s to middle 80s early in the week,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff said.The recent heat broke records on Friday in several cities including Philadelphia, Boston, Providence, R.I., and Trenton, N.J. among others.Philadelphia also set a new record for the highest overnight low temperature on Saturday morning. The temperature dropped to 80 F, making it the highest low for the month of September on record. While the air will feel cooler as compared to past days, temperatures will actually be around normal for this time of the year.Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of this airmass will be the drop in humidity. Steamy, July-like air brought very uncomfortable conditions to the Northeast over the past few days.Dew points, a variable used to determine how much moisture is in the air, have dropped from the 70s to the upper 40s and lower 50s, resulting in a change from oppressive to much more pleasant conditions.High pressure will follow the front and remain positioned across the Northeast through Tuesday. This will help keep sunshine and dry conditions around for a while.Cooler and less humid days will lead to chilly nights across the Northeast, especially in some of the lower spots across the Appalachians where temperatures will dip into the 40s.Areas closer to the Interstate 95 corridor and the coast will feel temperatures drop into the 50s and lower 60s.While astronomical autumn does not begin until Sept. 22, meteorological autumn began on Sept. 1, denoting a season change from the year’s warmest months to a season where the temperature is rapidly declining.“This past weekend was likely the last of the true summerlike heat and humidity, but temperatures will largely remain above normal for the remainder of September,” AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Ed Vallee said.A brief surge of warmth is expected towards the middle of this week as a southerly flow returns to the Northeast. Temperatures will return to the upper 80s and lower to middle 90s for the Interstate 95 corridor while upper 70s will be found farther west.However, just as quickly as temperatures rise, another cooldown is set to arrive toward the end of the week.“Cold fronts will become more common across the Northeast through the rest of September,” Vallee said.This roller coaster-type weather pattern is typical for autumn months and will only increase in frequency and magnitude through November.“This will lead to a few warm and muggy days, but these will be relieved by cooler, more fall-like days,” Vallee said. “Overall though, we expect warmer temperatures to win out over the lower temperatures through the rest of the month.”last_img read more

The Construction Process – Part 1: Building Assessment

first_imgPeter:Amy and I are going to tackle the construction/renovation process, broken down into six components:1. Building Assessment2. Contractor Selection3. Project Scoping4. Project Documentation5. Implementation/Construction6. Commissioning/Homeowner EducationKeep in mind that each of these will be presented from the green building context we laid out in our last blog: emphasis on overall resource efficiency, process not just products, and maintaining if not improving the health and safety of occupants.The good and the bad news with existing buildings is that they already work; maybe not necessarily well, but they have a history. We need to honor the aspects of the building that are working well, identify when and where it is not, and understand the difference between the two.Standard building assessments by home inspectors focus on code compliance: Is the structure sound? Are the electrical and plumbing systems safe? What are the ages and service lives of major building components (the roof, chimney, furnace, water heater, etc.)?Green building assessments broaden the evaluation of performance to include energy efficiency and water efficiency, and to dig deeper into durability and human health issues.Two of the most important pieces of information we can get from existing buildings are recent utility bills and blower door test results. They can tell us a lot about the relative energy and water efficiency of an existing home. And then programs such as The Home Energy Saver, the EPA Home Energy Yardstick, and the H2OUSE Water Use Calculator can help us evaluate improvement strategies.Probably the best way to explain how green building assessment works is to give you a really good example of a green building assessment form, including a section at the end that explains each line item. So, have at the attached. If any particular line item needs further explanation, we can tackle that in a Q&A on this blog. If we get enough concerns or questions on a particular line item, well, we will just write a whole bloody new blog on it!Amy:As a rehab specialist or developer, at this point in the ball game you have determined the budget for rehabilitating your chosen property. You may have also realized that you underestimated the back-of-the envelope construction budget you initially created for the property. Admit it — we have all been there.So now you might ask, “Why invest in green building techniques and materials when I have such a tight budget?” Other than the obvious increase in the marketability of the property, there are other benefits that should be considered. Enterprise Green Communities recently released Incremental Costs, Measurable Savings: Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. It is an analysis of true costs and benefits, based on data from 27 affordable housing developments (multifamily and single family) across the country that used the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. The study gives evidentiary support, showing that with a small investment upfront, the property will yield reduced operating costs, as well as health, economic, and environmental benefits.But, one of my favorite parts… “The incremental cost for incorporating the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria was lowest among moderate rehab projects – a fact that we attribute to the Criteria’s ability to adapt to the realities of partially rehabbed single and multifamily homes. The predicted lifetime savings is two times the reported incremental costs of complying with the Criteria.” From what I have seen of NSP programs out there and considering this finding, in my opinion, the majority of properties being bought and rehabbed using NSP funds could see savings that are double the initial expense of implementing the Criteria.Check out the study at the Enterprise Green Communities website. REGREEN Home Assessment Form.pdflast_img read more

Pitting LEED Against Hopes and Expectations

first_imgA couple stories surfaced over the past few weeks that highlight the disparity between what some observers hope will be achieved when building to achieve LEED certification and how the buildings actually perform.One item, published this week by Timberjay.com, which serves Minnesota’s North Country, homed in on the energy efficiency performance of the U.S. Forest Service’s new Kawishiwi Ranger District headquarters, in the town of Ely. The building, which serves a portion of Superior National Forest, earned a LEED Silver certification, becoming the first building in the Superior system to achieve the designation.The project scored green points for its use of recycled and locally manufactured materials (including siding milled near Grand Rapids, and locally quarried rock), and its commuter-friendly location. But when Forest Service engineers analyzed the building’s energy efficiency performance relative to that of the six older headquarters buildings in the Forest Service’s Superior system, Kawishiwi turned out to be the least energy efficient per square foot.“It has been surprising and a little bit worrisome,” Forest Service engineer Art Johnston told Timberjay. “If we’re building these new facilities and they aren’t that efficient, it takes away the incentive to replace old buildings.”Part of the problem, Johnston noted, is that it is taking a while to determine how to maximize the efficiency of the building’s mechanical systems. The building’s annual propane usage, for example, has been cut to 12,600 gallons from almost 16,000 gallons, and the overall electrical usage in the facility has been reduced significantly – but not enough to qualify the building as energy efficient, Johnston says.A conflict between performance requirements and materials?Stories like this are certainly not new. Kawishiwi Ranger District headquarters was but one of many LEED-certified buildings whose energy efficiency performance has been found wanting – a situation that last year prompted USGBC’s commitment to more rigorous performance-data analysis of the buildings it certifies and to stronger performance requirements to maintain certification.Another critique of LEED certification standards, published in May by Environment and Human Health, a nonprofit advocacy group based in North Haven, Connecticut, focused not so much on energy efficiency performance but on the possible consequences of occupying a building whose designers embrace airtight construction but also allow use of materials that may contain harmful chemicals. And while GBA contributors and readers have long been aware of the issue, health professionals working with EHH have published a study that focuses on how LEED guidelines may aggravate potentially toxic conditions in a building.“Although the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program has effectively encouraged energy efficiency in buildings, tighter buildings often concentrate chemicals released from building materials, cleaning supplies, fuel combustion, pesticides and other hazardous substances,” wrote John Wargo, professor of Risk Analysis and Environmental Policy at Yale University and the lead author of the study.A doctor on the team?Wargo added that while many of the thousands of chemicals used in building materials are known to be hazardous, the federal government allows their use to continue. “Although the primary stated purposes of the Green Building Council are to promote both energy efficiency and human health,” he noted, “even the Council’s most prestigious Platinum award does little to ensure that hazardous chemicals are kept out of the certified buildings.”So the LEED program is getting pressure, from health professionals this time, to dig deeper into its evaluation of not just the provenance and recycling of the materials used in buildings, but the toxic effects they might have in completed structures. The study recommends a LEED scoring system that uses categories (health, energy usage, location, and so on) and a 0-to-100 rating scale. Also recommended: adding health professionals to USGBC’s team of program developers, and requiring government testing of building-material chemicals for toxicity and their potential effects on humans in buildings.Scot Horst, senior vice president for LEED, told tech website Fast Company that “there’s validity in what these people are saying, and we want to work with them to improve LEED.” But, he added, “LEED could say there should be no chemicals in any building and no energy used and no water and every building should give back water and energy. We could do all that, and no one would use the rating system. We can only take the market as far as it’s willing to go.”last_img read more

Can Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Alone Save $2 Trillion in Preventing Cybercrime?

first_imgIt’s hard not to view cryptocurrencies as the architect of the downfall in internet security. Quantifiable digital assets are now more common than ever online, and represent an increasingly attractive prospect for online fraudsters and hackers. Forbes has forecast that cybercrime costs could be set to top $2 trillion in 2019, and cryptocurrencies have played a big role in enabling the rise of ransomware attacks that have become much more common today. In May 2017, ransomware became international news as the WannaCry cryptoworm infected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries worldwide.Source: StatistaThe attack encrypted sensitive data in computers operating on Microsoft Windows and attackers demanded a payment sent in Bitcoin for the release of any encrypted files. Bitcoin’s accessibility acted like the carrot on the stick for would-be hackers. This has created a prevalence for ransomware in Asia and Africa, with almost 10 percent of all attacks occurring in Thailand, with the United Arab Emirates and Iran close behind. Cryptocurrencies may have exacerbated the problem of cybercrime, but can it, alongside blockchain, help to find a solution?Intricate securityWhile blockchain rose to prominence through its symbiotic relationship to Bitcoin among many major cryptocurrencies, it’s continually being identified for uses in online security. A blockchain acts as an incorruptible ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed for uses outside of finance and applied to just about anything of value. When somebody interacts with a blockchain, it automatically validates any changes made through a network of peer-to-peer computers known as ‘nodes.’If a transaction is made through blockchain, it’s verified within each node and a new block of data is added to an untamperable chain of information. The exponential growth of blockchain technology has leveraged the introduction of ‘smart contracts’, which have been identified as a potential solution for the frailties within cybersecurity today. Blockchain growthSource: StatistaIt’s through smart contracts that transactions can be made whilst their details can be kept both transparent and secure. Writing about their new smart contracts-based Ethereum trading platform, Confideal stated: “To put it simply, code is not law, but smart contracts created on a platform enabling the execution of said contracts and dispute resolution may be one.” Wallet protectionIn our somewhat volatile financial climate, cryptocurrencies were seen as a potential solution for keeping our finances protected from insecure markets – but our digital money is no good if it’s vulnerable to falling into the wrong hands. Blockchain wallets offer online protection for cryptocurrencies. They’re similar to real-world wallets in that they store a range of different currencies in one place and act as the first port of call for when you’re planning on trading your financial investments. A private and public key for any transaction is saved online in the cryptocurrency wallet store, and whenever the owner wishes to make a purchase or sell their currency, it causes multiple blockchains to work in tandem to authenticate the transaction. As with many high-level encryption processes, the role blockchain plays in keeping eWallets safe can sound complex. However, IT solutions company, New Gen Apps explains how a transaction works thus: “Assume that someone has sent you some Bitcoin or any other digital currency. When the sender does this, he is actually assigning you, the owner of that currency, to the address of your Blockchain wallet. Now, for you to the private key in your wallet must match the public key that the currency is assigned so that you could spend those coins. When both the keys will match, the balance in your wallet will increase. In this process, the exchange of currency is not there but a transaction is committed, recorded on Blockchain, and the changes are then seen in the wallet.” Demand for decentralisationOne of the most important assets of blockchain is the fact that it’s decentralised. This means that it’s free of any influence from large organisations – which in turn provides the platform with much greater autonomy.There’s no real ownership involved in blockchains, which means the data they hold isn’t influenced by national laws of any particular nation or state. According to FOTON, by utilizing a decentralized system, customers can often save up to eight percent in fees, which translates into ~$36 billion a year in the cryptocurrency market. Image Source: Foton (Centralised system (left) and decentralised system (right))Transactions that occur in a blockchain are able to be audited or traced. Public blockchains also rely on a distributed network to run, so there’ll never be a single point of failure. As such, would-be attackers will find it much more difficult to hack a large number of peers distributed across the world than through focusing on a single large data center. Dmytro Spilka Why is Bitcoin Soaring? Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… Related Posts Dmytro is a CEO at Solvid, a creative content creation agency based in London. He’s also the founder of Pridicto, a web analytics startup. His work has been featured in various publications, including Entrepreneur.com, TechRadar, Hackernoon, TNW, Huff Post, and ReadWrite. How Blockchain Changes Nowadays Business Security Tags:#Blockchain#Cryptocurrency#Micropayments#Secure solutions in crypto ToyBox and PlayTable Partner Together For Block…last_img read more