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UK, US conclude mine countermeasure drill

first_img Authorities View post tag: Royal Navy November 22, 2016 Back to overview,Home naval-today UK, US conclude mine countermeasure drill The navies of U.K. and U.S. concluded their joint mine countermeasures (MCM) exercise 17-1 in the Persian Gulf, on November 17.The 38-day, bilateral exercise between the U.S. Navy and U.K. Royal navy was designed to provide an opportunity for both nations to share knowledge of MCM techniques.U.S. Navy exercise participants included USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Gladiator (MCM 11), USS Dextrous (MCM 13), and explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit (EODMU) 1, along with Royal Navy MCM ships HMS Bangor (M 109), HMS Chiddingfold (M 37), HMS Penzance (M 106), HMS Middleton (M 34), and auxiliary landing ship dock RFA Lyme Bay (L 3007).Evolutions were tailored to focus on the cooperative skills of both countries in working together to identify and eliminate mine threats that threaten regional security and the free flow of commerce.“U.S. and U.K. MCM forces work together on a daily basis, as well as continuously engaging in bilateral exercises and professional exchanges to ensure that we are able to efficiently deter and counter naval mine threats,” said Capt. Eric Wirstrom, commander, Task Force (CTF) 52. “This exercise provided a valuable opportunity for both nations to optimize force interoperability and increase warfighting effectiveness.”According to the Gladiator crew, the highlight of U.K.-U.S. Mine Countermeasures Exercise 17-1 was the opportunity to practice using a combat SeaFox round — a remotely-operated, unmanned underwater vehicle used to investigate and identify mine contacts on the ocean floor. When a mine is found, a combat round is deployed, detonating a charge next to the mine in order to eliminate the mine threat.“Deploying and detonating the SeaFox combat round was a unique experience,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kortni Jonker, one of Gladiator’s SeaFox pilots. “It required a focused, coordinated effort between everyone standing watch on deck and in combat information center, because the engagement work-up and execution was different than the usual investigatory SeaFox round. It was great to put our training to practice.”As part of improving proficiency in mine warfare through force integration among coalition assets, Lyme Bay acted as a command and control station and auxiliary support ship for the exercise.“Lyme Bay acted as an afloat forward support base for the task group as it holds enough provisions, equipment, and fuel to sustain the task group for the duration of the exercise,” said Royal navy Cmdr. David Morgan, commander of RFA Lyme Bay and head of the coalition task group for the exercise. “It also acted as a launch platform for U.S. Mine Hunting Unit (MHU) and Expeditionary Mine Countermeasure Company (EXMCM) sea boats to conduct their tasks, as well as a landing site for HM (Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron) 15 helicopters; allowing us to refine various MCM capabilities.” UK, US conclude mine countermeasure drill View post tag: US Navy View post tag: MCM Share this articlelast_img read more

CFPB to hold debt collection town hall May 8

first_imgThe CFPB will hold a town hall focused on debt collection May 8. The bureau’s fall rulemaking agenda indicated that it would issue a rule related to debt collection practices this spring; NAFCU maintains that credit unions should not be the target of future debt collection rules.NAFCU will attend next week’s town hall in Philadelphia, Pa., which is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. Eastern; it will also be available via livestream. Register to attend in person or access the livestream here.The bureau recently released an annual report to Congress on its enforcement of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The report revealed that debt collection was the most prevalent topic of consumer complaints in 2018; it also highlighted efforts by the bureau and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop unlawful debt collection practices. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Sumner County Sheriff office: Aug. 22 – Aug. 29, 2016

first_imgKendall, Sydnie E29Wichita KS777 Kansas Star Drive, Mulvane, KSKRGCPoss of opiate, DWS, Poss of Para, Poss of halluciogenic8/23/16 NameAgeHome TownLocation of ArrestAgencyChargesDate of Arrest Godown, Daniella Michelle26Derby KS801 E. 16th, Wellington, KansasWellington PDPoss of Stimulant, Poss of para8/28/16 Mendenhall, Megan June39Wellington KS1030 W. College, Wellington, KSWellington PDDV Battery8/25/16 Stillabower, Hans Lloyd58Belle Plaine KS610 E Hillside, Wellington, KSSumner CoFTA8/23/16 Holladay, James Allen47HomelessI-35 MP 12KHPRegulations on use of controlled-access highways and facilities8/26/16 Stewart, Janice Katharine46Belle Plaine KS600 N Oliver Rd Belle Plaine, KsSumner CoFTA8/23/16 Davis, Nicholas Shaun34Wichita KS501 N. Washington Wellington, KsSumner CoFTA8/22/16 Ward, Michael Maurice52Wichita KS401 E 16TH Wheat countyWellington PDDWS Habitual violator8/26/16 Banks, Anthony Michael34Wellington KS800 Block E 9th StWellington PD Pedestrians under influence of alcohol8/25/16 Grant, Alexander Joseph23Winfield KSCowley County JailMulvane PdFTA8/24/16 Cousins, Douglas Ray49Wellington KS501 N Washington St. Wellington, KsSumner CoServing Sentence8/25/16 Sumner Newscow report — The Sumner County Sheriff Office report for Aug. 22 to Aug. 29, 2016 weekly jail bookings are as follows:  Lyles, Kenneth Edward43Wellington KS610 E HIllsideSumner CoServing Sentence8/26/16 Brooner, Jason Michael42Wellington KS214 W 7th St. Wellington, KsWellington PDDV Battery8/25/16 Brown, Charissa Rochelle42Mulvane KS603 E Pearl, Mulvane, KSMulvane PdInterference w/LEO8/25/16center_img Aguilar, Stefan Arnulfo22Wichita KS900 E K53 HWY Muvane, KSSumner CoDUI8/25/16 Corter, Justin Wayne Edward33Wellington KS815 N woodlawn APT 124Sumner CoFTA x2, PV Theft8/26/16         Dwyer, Michael Thomas30Wellington KSSGSO jailSumner CoPV8/26/16 Rivas, Gabriel Jr35Wichita KS201 N Washington Wellington,KsSumner CoServing Sentence8/26/16 Monday 0600  to  Monday 0600  WEEKLY   BOOKINGS 8/22/2016 thru 8/29/2016  Taylor, Destiny Lynn37Wichita KS801 E 16th Wellington Ks 67152Wellington PDPoss of Stimulant, Poss of para8/28/16 Rhonomus, Sheryl Ann53Oxford KS321 S Sumner Oxford KSOxford PDPoss of para DV Battery8/25/16 Coykendall, Levi James29Clearwater KSSGSO JailSumner CoPV x28/26/16 Blackwill, Joshua Bryant39Wichita KS501 N. Washington Wellington, KsSumner CoPV8/22/16 Harris, Andre Jordan19Kechi KS501 N Washington St. Wellington, KSSumner CoFTA8/22/16 Smith, Christopher Scott25Kingsley MIS. I35 MM#22.8KHPDWS8/28/16 Repphan, Dustin Lee32Wellington KS806 G St. Wellington KSSumner CoPV8/25/16 Olvera, Marcia Dawn33Wichita KS1400 N US 81, Peck, KSSumner CoPoss of Para8/29/16last_img read more

Reports: Jeffrey Epstein dead via suicide

first_imgJefferey Epstein has reportedly committed suicide inside a manhattan jail.Epstein was found this morning hanging from his jail cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan around 7:30 a.m according to the New York Times.Last month, Epstein was charged by Manhattan prosecutors for sex-trafficking girls as young as 14 years of age.This story is developing and will have more information.last_img

Warriors rock Smokies, sweep BCHL series by out scoring home side 12-4

first_imgThe Westside Warriors made the most of their weekend adventure to the Silver City.The Warriors, who defeated the Smokies in seven games during the 2011 playoffs, out scored Trail 12-4 during a two-game B.C. Hockey League sweep Friday and Saturday at the Cominco Arena.Westside rode the three-goal performance of 20-year-old Tyler Krause to dump Trail 7-3 Friday.Saturday Connor Dempsey scored twice to lead the Warriors to a 5-1 win.In both games the Warriors used a second-period goal-scoring explosion to dump the Smokies.Friday, following a scoreless first period, Westside put five behind former Nelson Leaf netminder Matt Larose.Seb Lloyd, Dru Morrison, Reid Simmonds and Brennan Clark also scored for Westside.Kyle Horsman, Clayton Chessa and Brandon Egli replied for Trail.Westside out shot the Smokies 38-26 in the contest, including a wide 29-19 in the first two periods.Saturday, is was a four-spot surrendered by the 6’4”, 205-pound Larose that proved to be the difference for Westside.Trail looked good through the first 20 minutes as former Kootenay Ice of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League player Luke Bertolucci on the power play early in the game.However, Westside outscored the Smoke Eaters 4-0 in the second — three of the markers coming in a five-minute span. Two of the goals came on the power play by Dempsey as Trail ran into penalty problems.Former Nelson Leaf rearguard Brayden Sherbinin, Travis Blanlell and Tyson Witala also scored for Westside, which posted a 33-28 advantage on the shot clock.Trail remains at home for the third game of this season-opening home stand as Merritt Centennials invade the Cominco Arena Wednesday.Game time is 7:30 p.m.Trail then heads out on the road for a two-game road trip to Merritt Friday and Penticton Saturday.last_img read more


first_imgDonegal is set to see forty post offices closed if the current social welfare contract is lost to An Post, the Irish Postmasters Union has warned this week. This suggests that over 7% of the targeted closures across the country are in Donegal.Despite comments by Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte this week that the Government has no plans to close any post office, few in the Donegal postal service are assured in any way by those comments since plans are already in place to farm out a range of services to Tesco and other commercial enterprises. The Postmasters Union says the Govt plan for protecting the service is effectively a recipe for doing nothing.The Union has challenged Pat Rabbitte that if he is serous about the future of the service, he should rescind immediately the contract with Tesco and Supervalue to deliver a “Post and Pay” service at their branches nationwide.The Union and supporters, many from Donegal gathered outside Leinster House on Wednesday when a Dail motion proposed by the 16 members of the Technical Group of TDs was debated.County Donegal now has 77 post offices and the Irish Postmasters Union has told the Tirconail Tribune that at least half of these will close under the proposals now being considered by An Post. The Postmasters Union has challenged this week’s comments in the Dail by Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte that the Govt. has no plans to close any post office.Brian McGann, General Secretary the IPU speaking on Sean O’Rourke’s Show on RTE Radio on Wednesday said that while the social welfare contract had been secured by An Post for the next two years, the Government was urging recipients to use the banking service and this would decimate the service.Calling for Govt action Mr. McGann said that no single Department can solve this issue – it needs a combined Government approach, he claimed. He noted the Minister’s comments regarding An Post having to tender for business contracts.However, Mr.McGann pointed out the Government needs to ensure that the network has a level playing field on which to compete.“The driving licence renewal contract was an example of where the network could have been used very effectively. We have experience of passport renewals – we could have offered the service of driving licence renewals using the same model. However, severely restricting the number of locations for the provision the driving licence renewals to 34, effectively prevented Ireland’s network of 1,150 Post Offices from having a fair opportunity to compete for the business” Mr. McGann stated. He says the postmasters are very concerned that no plan is in place that signifies the commitment of the Government on the future of the post office network.The Grant Thornton Report has called on the Government to take action to secure the future of the Post Office network by highlighting the devastating impact, both social and economic, on communities across the country if the network collapses.Mr McGann called on An Post to pull back from establishing an alternative network in partnership with Tesco.“The possible partnership with Tesco is unacceptable to the Union and we have sought an urgent meeting with the company to express our concern and opposition to the development. We will not tolerate the establishment of a network that we believe will ultimately destroy the Irish Postmasters,” Mr McGann stated. Pat Rabbitte has told the Dail this week that An Post was a commercial State company and received no exchequer subsidy.He highlighted issues the network ignored “at its peril” including when business activity moved from the High Street to nearby shopping centres.He also warned that business would suffer without electronic services.“There really isn’t much point in expecting the world to stand still while An Post remains committed to over-the-counter business.”The TD’s along with Pat Rabbitte stand accused of waffling and using flowery language that ignores the reality of the crisis facing half the country’s post office network.The Postmasters Union (IPU) argues that 557 Post Offices nationwide would close down if the contract is lost in the next couple of years.The Grant Thornton Report has found that by 2017 there would be a decline of 557 Post Offices (48%) in the network, which has 1,150 Post Offices at present. Urban and rural communities would be hit by the closures that would follow the loss of the social welfare contract.In recent years many of our towns and villages have been decimated by the loss of the garda station, the post office, creamery office and the sad toll of emigration. In more extreme cases, the pub and the local shop have closed their doors, victims of emigration and changing consumer habits. In many locations across Donegal it is a struggle to find an ATM.This indeed is the rule rather than the exception of life under the new regime of the Enda Kenny led Government where sound bites are the only response to the most serious concerns in our midst. The Government and Sate agencies surely must have a social responsibility towards the entire country.While we need to continue to invest capital expenditure into the larger urban areas, we cannot simply ignore entire counties, communities and constituencies in the West of Ireland.The general secretary of the Irish Postmasters’ Union, Brian McGann, has said that immediate government action is now needed to ensure the viability of the Post Office.Rural Ireland needs as many post offices as can probably be kept viable. The two-year social welfare contract is currently held by An Post with possible extensions for up to four additional years.However the Government is committed to moving to electronic payments as part of its eCommerce strategy and this is causing serious concern to the 1,150 postmasters around the country.Commenting on the report’s findings Irish Postmaster Breid Gallagher, who represents Postmasters in Donegal, said immediate Government action was required to ensure the viability of the Post Office network into the future.She says: “We may have won the contract in theory but the business is being diverted away on a daily basis. We cannot survive if this continues. We know that the Programme for Government contains a commitment to maintain the network of Post Offices but we are in no doubt that the network is under serious threat. There is no plan in place to ensure that that commitment is honoured and we need one urgently.”Breid Gallagher also expressed the Union’s grave concern that An Post is partnering with Tesco to develop an alternative network that will seriously impact on the network.This development, which is a result of Government inaction on maintaining the Post Office network, would destroy the network within two years, she predicted.“The Union will resist this move, by direct action, if necessary,” she warned.DONEGAL COULD LOSE 40 POST OFFICES IN SHAKE-UP WARNS UNION was last modified: February 27th, 2014 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:An PostBreid GallagherdonegalPostmaster’s Unionlast_img read more

US to set up leadership centres in Africa

first_img29 July 2014The United States is to set up centres to train Africa’s next generation of political and economic leaders – starting next year with centres in Senegal, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya – as it moves to expand US President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.Obama made this announcement in Washington on Monday during a meeting with a group of 500 young Africans who were chosen from nearly 50 000 applicants from across the continent to participate in the Washington Fellowship exchange programme, part of the Young African Leaders Initiative.He also announced that the exchange programme – which gives Africans aged 25 to 35 the opportunity to study at the top 20 universities in the US – was being renamed the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, in honour of the former South African president.According to news agency Bloomberg, the US Agency for International Development would be providing $38-million to set up the first four leadership centres. Obama said that US universities, African institutions and business partners like Microsoft and MasterCard Foundation would also be partnering on setting up and running the centres.“Starting next year, young Africans can come to these centres to network, access the latest technology, and get training in management and entrepreneurship,” Obama said. “The first centers will be located in Senegal, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya – and will provide tens of thousands of young Africans the resources they need to put their ideas into action.”According to the White House, the Young African Leaders Initiative was launched by Obama in 2010 “as part of a long-term investment in the next generation of African leaders. It aims to sharpen their skills, to improve their networks, and to strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa for years to come”.Obama told his audience on Monday that “even as we acknowledge the real hardships that so many Africans face every day, we have to make sure that we’re all seizing the extraordinary potential of today’s Africa, the youngest and fastest-growing continent.”The Young African Leaders Initiative, he said, “is about capitalizing on the creativity and talent of Africa’s young leaders by empowering them with the skills, training, and technology necessary to make lasting change and meaningful progress back home.”Next week, Obamba will be hosting the first US-Africa Leaders Summit, representing the largest gathering that any American president has hosted with African heads of state and government.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Overcoming the challenges of the 2015 growing season

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It is mid-July, 2015 somewhere in rural northwest Ohio. In any low areas, placid lakes sit where productive farm fields once dwelled and ducks paddle about in the place of dusty farm equipment. Blackened, rotting wheat plants hang their heads low in despair. Corn fields grow in waves rolling over the tile lines and dipping in between. Soybeans are just poking up through the ground, if they are there at all. The hot sun bakes the muddy edges of the slowly shrinking lakes, giving off a smell of rotting seeds and the death of a well-planned crop baking into the crusted, soggy soil.It is hard to imagine, even for those who sat in their farm shops and watched the rains fall day, after day, after day. It is devastating and difficult to believe that these worn-torn July fields battling Mother Nature have any hope of producing a successful crop. Many, in fact, did not, but somehow many farms still managed to prevail. There is no question that the magnitude and duration of the flooding problems early in 2015 defined the growing season for some northwest Ohio fields and farms.For this part of the state, the rains started early, spanning from late winter to early summer with few breaks of spring sunshine. The Farm Service Agency numbers showed that Ohio had 26,423 prevented planting acres of corn and 91,032 acres of prevented planting soybeans in 2015. Defiance County led the state in prevented planting acres with 34,678. Other prevented planting leaders were Paulding County with nearly 14,000 prevented planting acres and Putnam County with over 9,000 acres. In many cases in these and surrounding counties, the rains were unrelenting from early April through early July.From April 1 until June 28, Van Wert received over 24 inches of rain — 13.45 inches more than normal, according to USDA. Defiance had 7.45 inches more than normal. Statewide, nearly all locations had received more than normal rainfall by June 28. The northeast also had several areas with well aboveSuzette Vastano with Apple Farm Service decided to check out how deep the water really was near Covingtonnormal rainfall for 2015, including Akron with 5.51 inches more than normal and Mosquito Creek with 8.42 inches above normal. In contrast to the soggy spring in some areas, many other parts of Ohio experienced near perfect planting conditions in between showers in late April and early May.June set rainfall records in many parts of Ohio, though some areas remained dry until around the middle of the month. Widespread heavy rains brought most fieldwork to a halt in Ohio in the week ending June 22, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture crop progress report. After already being well beyond waterlogged and just starting to recover from previous flooding, parts of northwest Ohio were hit by another six inches of rain during the week ending June 28.The narrow planting windows for some areas magnified the importance of early planting dates this year.“The record rainfall in some areas this spring was mind boggling,” said Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension corn specialist. “There was a tremendous difference with the planting dates for corn this year that were really profound — 50 or 60 bushels just on a few days in planting date differences. The earlier corn was able to develop its secondary root system that allowed it to better tolerate the stress and saturated soil conditions. The corn doesn’t thrive under those conditions, but it at least survives. The corn that was planted later really struggled and had a much more difficult time recovering after conditions were more favorable. We have seen years where later planted corn did better, but this year was certainly a strong argument for planting corn early.”In general, the wet weather seemed to be harder on the corn yields than the soybeans, though visually speaking corn looked better for most of the season.“It almost seemed that farmers were relatively surprised with their soybean yields and were happier with the soybeans than they were with their corn at the end of the year,” Thomison said. “Some people said it was the best looking, worst yielding corn they ever had. I think nitrogen was a major issue. We lost a lot of N from the fields this year.”A 2015 OSU study looking at nitrogen rates revealed some insights into the N loss and offered some clues into disappointing corn yields. The research included plots with 0 pounds of N applied, 110 pounds applied and 220 pounds applied in a corn-after-corn setting.“Within each N rate treatment we observed tremendous variability in yield. Yields of check plots with 0 N applied ranged from 26 to 92 bushels per acre whereas yields of plots with 110 pounds of N per acre applied ranged from 91 to 181 bushels per acre and plots with 220 N pounds of N per acre applied ranged from 114 to 192 bushels per acre. It was all the luck of the draw based on the location in the field,” Thomison said. “The wetter spots took a major hit on yields even where the corn visually looked alright. Visually, it was very striking in the 0 plots where the corn was yellow and stunted, but in the plots with 110 and 220 pounds of N, the corn basically looked pretty good but the yields were not there in some cases.”N issues were also likely responsible for corn that “evened up” from the tile line roller coaster fields early in the season.“When soil conditions finally dried out there was still some soil available N there that had not been lost to denitrification and leaching, probably in the form of ammonia, and the plants resumed what appeared to be normal growth. Once that wet period ended, the plants appeared to be normal, but it didn’t always translate into normal yields,” Thomison said. “We had a study where we had to keep visiting the field and every time we went out to the plots it was raining or about to rain. We actually discarded some of the plots that were uneven, but by the time they were tasseling, you might not have been able to distinguish them from the plots that looked more normal early in the season. They appeared normal but they just didn’t get the nutrient uptake and growing conditions they needed for the yield potential.”The wet conditions also led to early disease issues in the fields for both corn and soybeans. Gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight began showing up in early July. Hybrids that were particularly susceptible to these diseases really benefitted from fungicide applications this year on some farms.In soybeans, all of the rain during May, June, and July led to a number of disease issues, according to Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University plant pathologist. Disease problems in 2015 soybeans included Sclerotinia stem rot, sudden death syndrome and frogeye leaf spot. The presence and severity of those diseases in fields will be important to remember while choosing varieties for next year.“Those fields that have a long history of Sclerotinia stem rot, Phytophthora root and stem rot, soybean cyst nematode, brown stem rot, and sudden death syndrome — the inoculum may decline a bit, but it is always there in wait for the highly susceptible variety and the perfect environment to strike again,” Dorrance said. “Don’t plant the same variety in the same field again next year, especially if you had disease this year. For frogeye leaf spot, this pathogen (Cercospora sojina) does overwinter here in Ohio. If your levels of frogeye hit the 6% leaf area affected or higher in the top canopy, it is time to switch to a different variety, move the resistance to frogeye as the main selection factor for variety selection for 2016.”Diseases may have gotten an earlier start than normal due to the extremely wet conditions, but by mid-August it was not hard to find gaping cracks from dry weather in some of the same fields that were completely submerged just a few weeks earlier. The generally drier conditions curtailed diseases in many fields later in the season.“There were reports of anthracnose early in the season. We were very concerned about the potential for northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot but we were fortunate in that regard because conditions turned dry later in the season. The dry conditions also produced some exceptionally dry corn out of these fields,” Thomison said. “I suspect there might have been localized problems, but by in large ear rots, mycotoxins and stalk lodging were all no-shows this fall.”By harvest, some of those devastated fields in northwest Ohio and around the state were looking better, but still produced highly variable results.“Later planted corn took it on the chin again then when conditions turned dry later in the season, which is the classic worst-case scenario,” Thomison said. “We were lucky, though, that we never had extremely high temperatures. The relatively mild temperatures saved us from much worse yields.”There were, no doubt, poor yields around the state, but Ohio’s farmers and their crops once again showed unbelievable resiliency in the extremely challenging situations of 2015.“The hybrids today are much better able to handle this than they were in the past. Many older hybrids would have just thrown out blanks or nubbin ears under the conditions we saw this year. Most of today’s hybrids have much greater resiliency than they did 20 years ago,” Thomison said. “We are seeing more of these extreme weather events. The bottom line is that you have to use best management practices and yields like this after the challenges we saw this year are a reflection of how remarkable corn is and the level of management out there.”The corn and soybean growing season of 2015 produced some record high and some record low yields (sometimes in the same farms and fields) depending on when and where the rains fell. Despite the downright disastrous start to the season for so many Ohio farms, as of Nov. 1, USDA estimates put the state’s average corn yield at 163 bushels and soybeans at 50 bushels per acre.last_img read more

Applying Passive House to a Century-old Building

first_imgWe’ve mentioned a few residential retrofits – including a couple of projects underway in Northern California – whose energy efficiency goals are linked to the Passivhaus standard. Some are intended to approach the standard, others clearly are designed to meet it and attain certification from the Passive House Institute U.S.The JP Green House is headed for the latter. The project is an ambitious one, in large part because this triangular building – which once featured Jack’s Country Store on the ground level and apartments on the second floor – has been a fixture in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood for 100 years. Its current owners, Ken Ward and Andrée Zaleska, intend to live upstairs with their three children and use the former commercial space for community activities, including Passivhaus demonstration tours and support programs for 350.org, an advocacy group for solutions to climate change.Documented in detailThe project also has its own website, http://jpgreenhouse.org, that includes photographs and a video tour that highlights construction details in the 1,850-sq.-ft. two-bath house. Ward, Zaleska, and the kids (aged 7, 9, and 10) already are living in the building, which features a large, open space on the second floor where screens and curtains are positioned for privacy.The builder doing the retrofit, Placetailor, based in nearby Roxbury, used a combination of cellulose and 2-in. foam board to insulate the exterior walls to just over R-50 and the roof to R-63. Placetailor principals Simon Hare (whose retrofit of a 150-year-old house in Roxbury was noted by GBA in a post last August) and Declan Keefe are now focused on sealing whatever leaks might remain before doing final blower-door tests and applying for Passive House certification. As Ward and Zaleska said in an email to GBA, they’re getting very close to the results they want.last_img read more

Helpful Ideas on How Not to Fear Your Clients

first_imgIt is vital that you respect your client. But it is equally important that you don’t fear your clients—or your prospects. If you are afraid of clients or prospects, your aversion to conflict will cause no end of problems, beginning with things like not wanting to interrupt a prospect with a phone call, and later, should you get that far, conflicts around the decisions and investments they should make. You cannot hold the position of peer and trusted advisor while also fearing your client or prospect. Here is how not to fear your prospective client.Not Respect, But FearLittle things indicate fear. When you say, “What if I call this prospect and someone from our team has already called them? What if they’re upset by receiving calls from us?” Later, this same fear turns into, “When do you give up on a prospective client,” another indication that you fear to bother people, mistakenly believing that your call somehow harms them.The very idea that “the customer is always right” also isn’t healthy. The skillset of a combative diplomat requires you to teach your clients that they are wrong in a manner in which they can accept. Or something Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “Diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” Not fearing your client also means you can say no without fear of losing the prospect or the client. If they are always right, why should they need your help?You want to respect your clients and prospects; you don’t want to fear them. Fear prevents you from taking action and from having difficult conversations, both of which are necessary for sales.Develop Your Business Acumen and Your InsightsThere are things that you can do to avoid fearing your clients or prospects. There is not, however, a better place to start than business acumen. If you want to be respected as a peer and trusted counsel, you begin by developing yourself into an expert in your space. There is no substitute for business acumen, and if there were, it would not be your company or your product or service. Nor would it be your existing clients.One of the ways you level the playing field is by possessing more in-depth knowledge about the intersection of your industry and your client’s business. Your client or prospect will almost always know more about their business than you do, but you should always have a greater knowledge of how your company creates value for your clients by helping them improve their results. While your prospective clients decide to buy what you sell a few times, you sell to many people or companies, and your experience means you should know better how one should do things differently and what they might consider.Possessing and being willing to provide advice is what makes you a trusted advisor. An unwillingness to have a strong opinion you will defend is another form of fear that is detrimental to your results. The fear of being wrong and losing cannot be greater than your fear of not telling the client what they need to do.You Are Supposed to Be Helping ThemIn The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, I included a chapter on storytelling. In that chapter, I wrote about how you are not the hero in the stories you tell. Your client is the hero, and you are the person who helps-or teaches them—how to slay their dragon.Learn Anthony’s core strategies & tactics for sales success at any level with The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever NeedYour clients and prospects have their fears. They fear making mistakes. They worry about being held accountable for the results and outcomes they owe their company and their customers. You are supposed to be helping them with their challenges, which means addressing their fears, concerns, and challenges.If you believe the statistics that CEOs read 60 books a year, you might ask yourself why they place such a high premium on acquiring new information and ideas. Why do you think they attend conferences and watch CNBC while on the treadmill each morning? Your clients are concerned about not knowing something that someone might believe they should have known, and not doing something they should have done. They’re looking for answers to their problems and ideas that will benefit them.How much help do you offer your clients when they have concerns, and when you fear addressing those concerns?The Fear of Difficult ConversationsYour role as a peer and a trusted advisor requires you offer advice and help in dispatching their problems and challenges and capitalizing on their opportunities. Your role is to be proactive and to make a difference for the people and companies you serve.Recognizing your responsibility to your clients and prospects should be enough for you to recognize that your fear of having difficult conversations is not the real danger to you and your client. The real danger is not addressing the elephant in the room and allowing your client to fail because you wanted to avoid any semblance of conflict. If you fear that telling the truth will cost you your client, I would argue that you tell the truth and lose their business rather than lying and allowing them to fail.Do Your Homework and PrepareThere are a few simple things you can do to increase your confidence and eliminate any fear that might prevent you from acting, especially when you have to deal with issues or conflict. You increase your confidence when you do your homework, by going over your notes, and by planning your approach and conversation. Preparing for the conversations you need to have with clients and prospects increases for confidence—and your success.The ability to think on your feet is valuable, and it provides a certain level of confidence. But preparation offers even more. If you haven’t written out your talk tracks, developed an argument for what you believe your client needs to do, and haven’t spent time imagining the questions and concerns they are going to need to address, you will never be as confident as you might be. You minimize your fear by preparing.Respect your client without fearing them. If you want to serve your clients, you will fear failing them more than you fear the relatively small amount of conflict that comes with helping people make a change. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more