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Cardinals beat Gridley for second title in a row

first_imgOroville >> The Corning boys took their second consecutive section title Friday night at Butte College with a 56-36 win over Gridley in the Northern Section Division IV championship.The win comes less than a month after the Cardinals lost 61-48 in Gridley.“We played like ourselves tonight, we showed up,” said Corning coach Kurt Wilkins. “The only way the season can possibly end well is to win a section championship and no other result is acceptable.”After a slow start, the Cardinals shots …last_img read more

Firestone Farm Tires to offer agricultural rubber tracks

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Company expands product line to meet customers’ evolving needsFirestone Farm Tires, a division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC (BATO), today announced the addition of Firestone-branded agricultural rubber tracks to the Firestone Farm Tires product portfolio. The introduction of tracks solidifies the company’s commitment to the North American farmer, and the expanded portfolio of products reinforces its position as a leader in the agricultural tire solutions market.“We listened closely to our customers and expanded on product portfolio based on their feedback,” said Tony Orlando, President, Firestone Farm Tires. “With Firestone, compaction management options are no longer limited to tires. We continue to offer farmers trusted, quality products proven to withstand the demands of today’s farming environment.”New Firestone tracks for high-horsepower tracked tractors deliver performance and durability.  Notable features of Firestone agricultural rubber tracks include:Vulcanized lugs: Guide lugs and the carcass of the tracks are vulcanized as one piece with a seamless molded radius which ensures the guide lugs remain steadfast to the rubber track. Lugs are made of wear-resistant rubber compound for added durability.High-performance steel cables: Tough and flexible, the tracks feature steel cables that are designed to meet modern high-horsepower  farm equipment, offering a precise balance of tensile strength and flexibility for exceptional durability.Cut-resistant rubber compounds: Tread bars and the main carcass are vulcanized as one piece with a seamless molded radius which enables the tread bars to remain steadfast to the rubber track. The rubber compound was developed to provide added wear resistance.Pro Edge: The sidewall protection technology used in Firestone agricultural rubber tracks provides extra protection for the main carcass and additional stiffness.Firestone tracks are available in three design options: All Traction Class 4 provides excellent ride comfort and high traction with more ground contact points; All Traction Class 5 provides excellent ride comfort and high traction with more ground contact area; and All Traction Class 6 provides better mud release and is suitable for softer soil conditions. Firestone agricultural tracks come with a warranty program of four years or 4,000 hours.Distribution of Firestone agricultural tracks in North America will be handled by seven distributors that will distribute tracks to qualified servicing dealers including Firestone Ag Certified Direct Certified Associate Dealers.To learn more about Firestone agricultural rubber tracks, visit www.firestoneag.com.last_img read more

Transportation is key for the future of U.S. agriculture

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Agriculture in the United States has long benefitted from having the best transportation infrastructure in the world.There are a number of key transportation projects going on right now that can help build upon and secure this advantage in the future. One important current transportation infrastructure measure is the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 that would extend federal highway funding for the next six years.The House and Senate are working to send the bill to the White House for a signature before federal transportation funding expires on Nov. 20.“Eighty percent of America’s corn crop is trucked to market, so this issue affects all of us,” said Chip Bowling, National Corn Growers Association president. “Safe roads and bridges allow us to get our products to market quickly, safely, and efficiently. When roads and bridges aren’t properly maintained, it’s not just a nuisance — it puts our safety at risk and hurts our bottom lines.”The longer-term nature of the bill is very important for projects at the state level around the country, according to Mike Steenhoek, of the Soy Transportation Coalition.“It is very important for Congress to provide some kind of predictability of what their intentions and strategies will be for improving our nation’s surface transportation system. Building bridges and roads and maintaining them is very capital intensive and requires years of planning, but unfortunately Congress has responded to that need with unpredictable short-term legislative actions. What the states are requiring is a federal partner that is predictable. I would rather have the federal government be predictably good than sporadically great,” Steenhoek said. “It is important for them to come along side the states in order to preserve, maintain and improve the surface transportation system. The fact that Congress is actually getting close to a multi-year bill is a step in the right direction.”There was an effort to get the bipartisan Safe, Flexible and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act included in the bill that had broad support from agricultural organizations.“Unfortunately there were some missed opportunities. This SAFE amendment would have offered some enhancement and benefits for agriculture but Congress failed to embrace that opportunity,” Steenhoek said. “The legislation would have allowed states to permit six-axle, 91,000-pound semis on their interstate system. On our side we had facts and data. The other side had the opportunity to confuse, marginalize and frighten — and they used that very effectively. They simply made the statement that increased weight limits equal a more dangerous system. Unfortunately for many members of Congress that is all they needed in order to vote against that amendment.“The facts are that if you increase the weights with that extra axle, the stopping distances are actually less. You also have a given amount of freight transported by fewer trucks and less congestion and less probability of accidents. Unfortunately this requires more explanation and conversation with members of Congress who are really not open to it. The amendment was defeated. This issue is not going away, though. The U.S. economy continues to demand more trucking — about a 50% increase between now and 2040 — and Congress needs to address how we are going to adjust to this increased demand and congestion in a safe responsible way. This amendment was a missed opportunity for agriculture and many other industries, but overall it is good to have a bill moving along.”At the same time transportation is being discussed in Congress, the world is watching as the massive expansion of the Panama Canal is being completed.“The Panama Canal expansion will be completed by the end of this calendar year and will open for business in April of 2016. This is one of the links in our logistics chain and as it gets stronger and more robust, it will provide opportunities to U.S. agriculture. With the expansion in the Panama Canal, we will be able to load ocean vessels that hold easily 500,000 more bushels of soybean per vessel. A typical ocean vessel today is loaded with 2.1 or 2.2 million bushels, so adding 500,000 bushels is substantial. This is just shaving cents off the eventual delivered price at a time when agriculture is facing some headwinds from a strengthening U.S. dollar, a devaluation of the Brazilian Real, and a softening economy in China. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide benefits to U.S. agriculture by making our transportation system more efficient and making ourselves more competitive in the international marketplace.”last_img read more

Energy Efficiency Requires More Than an App on Your Smartphone

first_imgWho is behind the Aros?Two names are important: Quirky, a company that helps bring ideas to market, and Garthen Leslie, PhD, the person who had the idea of the Aros smart window air conditioner. The former is another crowdsourcing company that acts as a sounding board for people from all over to develop their ideas and see if they can bring them to fruition.The latter is a 63-year old Washington, D.C. man with a background in computers and management. Although the Quirky website says he “spent time at the Department of Energy helping to cut costs and conserve resources,” his resume on LinkedIn and yatedo.com doesn’t mention the DOE at all. His degrees and career have focused on computers and management, not energy or building science.And that’s fine. Good ideas can come from anywhere. If a management guy can come up with an idea to save energy and make people more comfortable, more power to him. Somewhere along the way, though, I would hope someone who knows not just HVAC but the broader subject of building science would be involved to make sure the idea has merit and is developed properly.According to Quirky, the idea came to Leslie as he looked at all the window air conditioners in apartment buildings in the DC area and wondered how much energy they were wasting as they ran all day long. So, Dr. Leslie posted his idea to the Quirky website, and a month after they decide to go with it, they had a product that’s manufactured in China. GE is a partner in the project, presumably to add the technical punch that the Quirky innovators lacked. You can read more about it and watch videos on their site.It’s a great story, and Dr. Leslie is reaping quite a reward for his idea. He’s already received a check for $100,000 and is expected by the Quirky team to end up with perhaps ten times that much from Aros sales. Building enclosure firstNow here’s one of the most important principles of efficient air conditioning: Your air conditioner is the faucet; the building enclosure is the cup. You don’t want a leaky cup. Building enclosures can leak heat in more than one way: through air leakage, by conduction, and by radiation. This is building science 101. You stop those leaks by air sealing, insulating, and minimizing the amount of heat gain through windows.The absolute truth is that you’re better off with an air conditioner that has the minimum efficiency allowed by law and a really good building enclosure than you are with a 30 SEER ground-coupled, water-to-air model with a thermo-turbo encabulator max and a crappy enclosure. Or similar, since you’ll probably never find such a device, if you know what I mean. The point is, if you have any control over the building enclosure, it’s best to work on that before doing anything with the air conditioner. They do have their drawbacks, however. The main one is noise. With the compressor sitting right there, separated from you by a little bit of plastic, metal, and filter, you won’t be listening to the birds sing outdoors. In fact, you may not hear the birds sing indoors, unless you have a really loud parrot or get really close. (But who keeps birds in their house anymore? I don’t think I’ve been to a home with birds in decades.)Another drawback is the loss of use of the window you install the air conditioner in. You can no longer use it to cross ventilate for natural cooling, and it blocks natural light as well. You need coolingSometimes, though, the drawbacks just don’t matter.        You need cooling.        Baby, I’m not fooling.        I’m gonna send you,        Back to schooling.Ah, there goes my secret. Yes, I was a teenage boy in the ’70s. In fact, I recall listening to Led Zeppelin II one evening in the summer of ’77 on my 8-track tape player at my grandparents’ house as the window air conditioners were humming in the other rooms. (They had three.) I was writing a letter to no one in particular — and which, by the time I was done, I wanted no one to see. But that’s another story.These days, most single-family detached homes have central air conditioning. Even my grandparents’ house got it in the ’90s. Window air conditioners are more often used in big condo and apartment buildings at latitudes higher than where I’ve lived all but 7 years of my life (south of 39°). The DC area and north are where they prevail here in North America.In a big building, it can be difficult to run refrigerant lines to install any kind of split system air conditioner. Locating the outdoor unit might be difficult or impossible as well, so if you want cooling, the window air conditioner is your answer.Martin Holladay wrote a comprehensive article about window air conditioners a couple of years and concluded that they can save energy when used instead of central air conditioners. That’s debatable for us here in the humid Southeast, where it’s not all about cooling but controlling the humidity as well. Anyway, Martin discussed a lot of good stuff, including efficiency ratings and the difference between SEER, which is used for central air conditioners, and EER, used for window units. I recommend reading it. RELATED ARTICLES Window-Mounted Air Conditioners Save EnergyThe Magic of ColdThe Difference Between Air Conditioners and DehumidifiersAir Conditioner BasicsHot-Climate DesignCalculating Cooling LoadsUsing Ceiling Fans To Keep Cool Without ACKeeping Cool The story of window air conditionersIn the middle of the twentieth century, homes went from having no air conditioning to getting window air conditioners. The whole plot of the 1955 Marilyn Monroe movie, The Seven Year Itch, in fact, revolved around a window air conditioner. (And here’s a bit of trivia for you: It was in this movie that Marilyn Monroe had that famous subway breeze blowing her skirt up.) I experienced this myself when my grandparents first installed window units in their Leesville, Louisiana home in 1970.Window air conditioners are perfectly fine in many respects. They allow you to do zone cooling in your home without worrying about pressure imbalances and bypass ducts. They can be less expensive to operate than a central air conditioner because you don’t have to keep the whole house at the same temperature. The many duct problems I’ve written about in this blog aren’t an issue because they have no ducts. And they’re a lot less expensive to install. The IT world invades home performanceWhat bothers me the most about this is the disturbing trend I see: The disruption-obsessed, IT starter-uppers are looking everywhere they can to figure out how to make money with another app. Nest was so successful with their learning thermostat a couple of years ago that all eyes are now focused on the home energy efficiency market. There’s a lot of stupid money out there, and these folks are good at gobbling it up.This doesn’t have to be a bad thing — if they do what Nest did and bring in some building science experts. (Michael Blasnik consulted on the Nest thermostat and is now a Nest/Google employee.) The folks at Quirky could benefit from some of that, I’m sure. Their product isn’t bad, though. They’re just adding new features to a product that already exists and for which there’s a need.Recently I saw a scary product idea that exists only as a Kickstarter project right now. If it gets funded and finds its way into the marketplace, it will be worse than that compressor-killing outdoor unit cover I mentioned at the start of this article. I’ll tell you about that one soon. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. The Aros smart window air conditionerNot everyone has such control, however, least of all those people living in big apartment or condo buildings. So window air conditioners have their place. If you’re in the market for such a device and want to get an efficient model, there are a lot of choices. The EPA website provides a list of all Energy Star certified room air conditioners, and I encourage you to download their spreadsheet to aid your search. You may also run across the Aros, billed as a smart window air conditioner.A “smart” air conditioner? This buzz word is one that I’ve grown weary of in recent years, as it usually means there’s a smartphone app associated with it. As you can tell from the photo below (Image #2), that is indeed the case here.In this case, the app gives you similar control over the Aros to what the Nest thermostat provides for your central heating and air conditioning system. And it goes even further. It connects to the GPS in your phone to turn the Aros on and off based on your proximity to home. Their website says it does so “in a non-creepy way,” though, so it must be OK.As far as the air conditioner itself, there’s not much new here. They do something a little different from most with the air flow by directing the conditioned air upward. Otherwise, it works like any other direct expansion air conditioning system.Repeat: There’s nothing really new about the Aros except that it can be controlled with a smartphone app. It’s not a new type of air conditioner. When it comes to air conditioning, there are a lot of bad products and bad ideas out there. Here are a few: You can buy a cover for your condenser that could kill your compressor. Some people don’t think the outdoor unit really needs to go outdoors. (They’re wrong!) And then there’s the strange notion that attaching a kraken to your air conditioner is a good way to distribute the air. Today, though, I’m going to look at a product that’s not terrible.Yes, I’m talking about the window air conditioner (also known as the room air conditioner or window shaker). I’ll discuss them in general first, but then I’ll take a look at a new product on the market, the Aros smart window air conditioner. The Aros isn’t a silver bulletThe Aros isn’t a bad idea. It may even save some energy and help people be more comfortable. Since the target market is people who live in big buildings and don’t have central AC, this may be one of the main things they can do to save energy.The ideal scenario is someone who lives in a big building, goes to work in the morning, and leaves their window air conditioner on all day so the place is cool when they come home. If they’re looking to upgrade to a new window air conditioner that doesn’t have to run all day, the Aros is one possibility. But is it the best choice?Plenty of window air conditioners have programmable thermostats. If you have a regular schedule, those will do what you need as well as the Aros. And if you go with an Energy Star certified model, you’ll probably find one that’s more efficient. At 10.9 EER, the Aros is in the bottom third of Energy Star room air conditioners.Judging by the reviews on Amazon (as of 15 July 2014), you’re better off waiting until they get the kinks worked out if you’ve got your heart set on a new Aros. The most common complaint is that it’s loud. Others are that the display is really bright and doesn’t go off (that may be fixed now) and that the app is a bit, shall we say, “small q” quirky.My advice would be to get a good Energy Star model that’s programmable. I’m not as down on the Aros as Lloyd Alter of Treehugger is; I just don’t think it’s the best choice. Maybe future generations of the Aros will be better, but for now, I’d say stick with the tried and true.last_img read more

Boys Show Off Musical Prowess at Choir Festival

first_imgHundreds of boys from more than 30 primary schools in St. James, on Tuesday, May 28, showcased their musical and vocal talents as the Ministry of Education staged the 4th annual Boys’ Choir Festival, at the Bethel Primary and Junior High School in Hopewell, Hanover.The event was held under the theme: ‘Empowering our boys through music’ and comprised solo, duet, trio, small and large group pieces in the categories of gospel, folk and reggae.Addressing the opening ceremony of the festival, Regional Director in the Ministry of Education’s Region 4, Hillary Foster, said music and singing contribute to the personal, social, mental, and physical development of the child and should be promoted in all schools.“As educators, we know that children derive great joy and satisfaction from singing and this activity cheers the spirit and lightens the heart. It causes the mind to focus and it also causes the body to relax,” she said.She noted that the festival focuses on boys “as we want to boost their image”.Coordinator of the event, Yerma Haughton, told JIS News that she was pleased with the quality of the presentations.She said she is looking forward to taking the festival across the education region, which also entails Westmoreland and Trelawny.“I am hoping that we can further develop the talents that were on display here today. We will endeavour to work with the teachers and principals so that they can further highlight and focus on the boys in other settings outside of the schools, such as at church, festivals and talent shows,” Mrs Haughton said.Stating that boys “are often left behind”, she expressed the hope that with encouragement and guidance, they will begin to “push ahead and take their rightful positions in life, as they have it in them”.Contact: Glenis A. Roselast_img read more

Clarksons Boxship Deliveries Entering Moderate Era

first_imgzoom As containership deliveries dropped from the record 1.7 million TEU in 2015 to just 0.9 million TEU in 2016, the boxship sector could enter a new era of less robust fleet growth if deliveries remain at moderate levels, Clarksons Research said.The slowdown in boxship deliveries in 2016, alongside record levels of demolition, led to fleet growth of just 1.2% during the year, down from 8.1% in 2015. The volume of containership capacity delivered in 2016 was the lowest since 2004 and dropped by 46% y-o-y to 127 vessels of 903,662 TEU.Deliveries in 2016 were concentrated in the larger sizes, with 89% of delivered capacity accounted for by the 8,000+ TEU sector, the highest level on record. However, delivered capacity in the 8-12,000 TEU sector declined 53% y-o-y, while deliveries in the 15,000+ sector dropped by 50%.In the sub-8,000 TEU sector, deliveries declined 52% y-o-y to just 102,536 TEU in 2016, reflecting limited ordering in this size range in recent years, and overall in 2016 the sub-8,000 TEU fleet declined by 4.8% in terms of capacity.Clarksons Research said that current projections suggest that deliveries in 2017 may accelerate from 2016 levels, boosted by the surge in mega boxship contracting in 2015. Deliveries in the 15,000+ sector in 2017 are expected to be fairly similar to 2015 levels, which is likely to present continued challenges to operators managing capacity on the mainlanes.However, overall delivered capacity is projected to remain below the 2015 level, with very limited deliveries projected in the mid-size sectors. Deliveries into the smaller sectors are projected to rise y-o-y, although remain at a historically subdued level. In 2018, total boxship deliveries are projected to remain relatively steady y-o-y, Clarksons Research said.last_img read more

Damen Yichang Cuts 1st Steel for Eesti Gas LNG Bunker Ship

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Damen On March 18, Damen Yichang Shipyard in China held a steel cutting ceremony for the first of a planned series of short-sea LNG bunker vessels to be built for Estonian energy company Eesti Gaas.The 6,000 cbm vessel, ordered a couple of months ago, and its future sister-ships are intended to accelerate the wider adoption of LNG as a cleaner alternative fuel in the north-eastern region of the Baltic Sea by providing a mobile ship-to-ship distribution service for the first time.At the ceremony the first sections of the 100-meter, LGC 6000 LNG class vessel were cut from 8mm steel plate and will eventually be part of the wall separating the ship’s engine room from the tank hold. Assembly will start in May with the installation of the LNG tanks scheduled for November, according to Damen.Following sea trials, the ship will arrive in Estonia next summer and will start serving LNG clients in the autumn. The new vessel will be capable of carrying out bunker activities at designated locations both in and outside ports.The LGC 6000 LNG is designed to meet the requirements of ICE class 1A certification, allowing it to operate all year in the Gulf of Finland and the northern Baltic. It will also have a green ship notation. A dual-fuel propulsion system will be used for the management of the Boil-Off Gas (BOG) in combination with a gas burner, and the interior of the vessel will feature high-quality accommodation for her crew.Eesti Gaas will operate the vessel under a long-term charter from its parent company Infortar AS. Eesti Gaas is also the LNG supplier for Tallink Grupp’s LNG RoPax vessel Megastar.“The start of steel cutting for this brand-new vessel for Infortar marks an important milestone in the start of her construction. We are very grateful to Eesti Gaas and Infortar for choosing Damen to build their new LNG bunkering vessel,” Peter Anssems, Sales Manager, Sales East and South-East Europe, Damen Shipyards Group, commented.“With this high-tech joint venture, Eesti Gaas and our launch client ferry-operator Tallink will ascend to having the title of the LNG companies with the most competence and experience in this region,” Kalev Reiljan, a member of the management board of Eesti Gaas, said.“Eesti Gaas has performed over 1,500 port-based LNG truck-to-ship refuellings of Tallink’s LNG-powered Megastar ferry and now we are moving on toward offshore, more mobile solutions,” Reiljan added.This project is co-funded by the EU through the CEF Transport program.last_img read more

They started doing shock treatments on her Elder tells APTN about Cree

first_imgAPTN National NewsAn elder in Ontario is raising concerns about the health of a Cree woman who has spent the better part of two years in solitary confinement.The woman, Marlene Carter from Onion Lake, Saskatchewan, spent the time in a federal penetentiary but is currently in a mental health hospital in Brockville, an hour outside Ottawa.The elder says that Carter, who has serious mental health issues, has needs that should be addressed by community support programs.APTN’s Annette Francis [email protected]last_img read more

Javaris Crittenton Former Hoops Star Arrested in Atlanta Drug

Javaris Crittenton’s life that once was full of so much promise continues to fall apart in a spectacular and shocking fashion for those who know the former Atlanta high school and Georgia Tech basketball star. The latest development finds Crittenton arrested at his suburban Atlanta home Wednesday as part of a drug sting operation.A former first-round NBA draft selection of the Los Angeles Lakers, Crittenton and 13 others were named in the indictment that was initially the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency,  a source close to the investigation told ESPN.According to that source, Crittenton, 26,  conspired to deal cocaine and marijuana in the months before he was indicted last year for his alleged role in an August 2011 Atlanta shooting death of a young mother.Shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday, DEA agents, federal marshals and local police descended on Crittenton’s home in Fayetteville, a suburb just south of Atlanta. Crittenton was led away in handcuffs and booked into the Fulton County Jail.That is the latest drama in Crittenton’s apparently crumbling life. He was banned for a year in the NBA when he brought a gun into the Washington Wizards locker room, an indiscretion that stunned friends and family. It also essentially ended his undistinguished NBA career. And it got worse.In April 2013, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Crittenton and his cousin, Douglas Gamble, for murder in the death of Julian Jones, 22, a mother of four children. That 12-count indictment also accused Crittenton and Gamble of participating in a criminal street gang and linked both to a second shooting in Atlanta that occurred five days before Jones’ death.According to court documents, both of the August 2011 shootings were in retaliation for a robbery committed against Crittenton and his cousin. On April 13, 2011, Crittenton and Gamble were held up at gunpoint by two men outside a southwest Atlanta barbershop and robbed of more than $55,000 worth of personal items and jewelry, according to a police report of the incident.In the drug case, according to the district attorney’s office, “Crittenton and the other suspects are accused of selling multi-kilo quantities of cocaine and several hundred pounds of marijuana” during a seven-month investigation dating to June 2012. He will have an initial court appearance Thursday morning on those charges; he had been on limited house arrest as he awaited trial for murder.At Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Crittenton teamed with NBA star Dwight Howard to win the 2004 state championship. Crittenton led his team to a second state title in 2006 without Howard.Howard’s uncle, Paul Howard, the Fulton County district attorney, said he knew Crittenton to be upstanding.“This was a kid with a lot of promise,” Howard said. “As I look back, I’d have to say it was a lot of pain involved having to take some action because of those facts.” read more