South Africa names builders of Kathu Solar Park

first_img10 April 2015Kathu solar thermal plant, the latest solar plant to be constructed in sunny Northern Cape, will be built by engineering and construction group Sener and the infrastructure, renewable energy and services corporation Acciona.Together the two international companies form the consortium chosen to develop the Kathu turnkey project. The complex is led by GDF Suez, with South African partners comprising Sishen Iron Ore Company Community Development Trust, Investec Bank, Lereko Metier and Public Investment Corporation.It has been selected by the South African Department of Energy to form part of the country’s renewable energy development programme (REIPPP), with a forecast investment of more than €500-million (R6.4-billion).Kathu Solar Park, along with Redstone Solar Thermal Power, which will both build 100MW capacity, were the preferred bidders in the third round of the government’s REIPPPP, the department said.Concentrated solar thermal power is able to store solar power generated during daylight hours.Storage capacityKathu is a 100MW plant with parabolic troughs – specifically, the SenerTrough-2 system, designed and patented by Sener, and a thermal energy storage capacity of 4.5 hours, thanks to the use of molten salts. Located in the town of Kathu, near Upington, in Northern Cape Province, the plant will begin operations in 2018 and will be able to supply electricity to 80 000 homes.Because of the nature of the contract, Sener and Acciona will carry out the engineering, construction and commissioning of the entire facility. The building consortium will also use local suppliers, as the project is fully committed to contributing to the local community.It is the companies’ second solar thermal project in South Africa, the first being the Bokpoort plant in Upington, in which they also form part of the building consortium. It will be operational later this year. It is also a turnkey project that uses SenerTrough technology and a molten salt storage system.Kathu is near KaXu Solar One, the first solar thermal electricity plant in South Africa, which was formally opened by Ebrahim Patel, the economic development minister, on 2 March. KaXu, which means “open skies” in the loca Nama language, is outside Pofadder.Total investment in KaXu, the largest parabolic trough project in the southern hemisphere, was $891-million (R10.7-billion).International experienceThe international partners bring with them a wealth of experience. Sener has been involved in 29 solar plants, most of them turnkey projects, in Spain, the USA, South Africa, and Morocco. Together these represent an installed capacity of more than 2 000MW and carbon dioxide savings of more than one million tons annually.Some of its projects are technological milestones, such as Gemasolar and Valle 1 and Valle 2, in Spain, and the Noor complex in Morocco, where Sener also forms parts of the building consortium for Noor 1 and for the second phase (Noor 2 and Noor 3).Acciona is one of the world’s biggest renewable energy operators, and owns an installed capacity of 8 500MW. It is a turnkey provider of electricity generating facilities using wind, solar and photovoltaic technology. In solar thermal energy, it operates 315MW in the USA and Spain, and has built more than 12 plants. It is currently working on projects such as Noor 1 in Morocco and Bokpoort in South Africa.It has had a presence in South Africa since September 2012 through its energy and infrastructures divisions, working on three renewable energy projects:Sishen Solar Photovoltaic Plant: Acciona owns and operates the plant, which has the largest output of any plant of its type in Africa (214 gigawatt hours per year). The project is a joint venture with Aveng, Soul City and Dibeng Community Trust. It became operational in December 2014.Gouda Wind Farm: Acciona Energy, in partnership with Aveng, Soul City and Local Community Trust, is building the Gouda wind farm (138MW), its first wind farm in South Africa.Bokpoort Thermosolar Power Plant: Awarded to Acciona and its partners in June 2012, construction is expected to finish this year. The 50MW facility will use parabolic troughs and will have a molten salt energy storage system.Sener is a private engineering and technology group founded in Bilbao, Spain, in 1956. It was the first Spanish engineering company. Acciona is one of Spain’s largest corporations, operating in the fields of infrastructure, energy, water, and services in more than 30 countries.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

The 2018 Ohio Crop Tour – I-75 Leg – Day 1

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Van Wert CountyCorn: The field looks great. It was planted on May 1. It looks a little dry right now but there is rain on the way. This is a tall hybrid and the ear is about eye level. The lower leaves are gone but four leaves below the ear are still green. There was GLS but it was controlled and there is none above the ear. The ear fill was excellent with a little tip back. It is dented and the most advanced we’ve seen. The population was at 32,000 or 33,000. The rows around were 14 to 18 with an average yield of 193 bushels.Soybeans: The planting date was May with a dropped population of 170,000. It was at R6 with very good, healthy plants. There were many pods on top with a 41-inch canopy with 2 to 3 inches between nodes, one of the tighter clusters we’ve seen today. There was a little frogeye and a little bean leaf beetle feeding. There were many 3- to 4-pod clusters with many 3- to 4-bean pods. It was very impressive and one of the best fields we’ve seen, if not the best. The crops have gotten better as we have moved back further south.Van Wert Co. cornVan Wert Co. soybean fieldVan Wert Co. beansVan Wert Co. corn fieldVan Wert Co. cornVan Wert Co. soybean fieldVan Wert Co. beansVan Wert Co. corn fieldPaulding CountyCorn: We had a planting date of May 1. The corn was fired up but the stalks were still intact. We had cracks in the ground here with some pollination issues and some aborted kernels and abnormal ears. We had maybe a 10% GLS on leaves and some NCLB up high. We found what appears to be western bean cutworm and other pest damage. We found a yield of 148 bushels with fair field conditions.Soybeans: This field was planted and replanted in late May. The field was uniform with good color. It looks like it went through a dry spell early in the season. The nodes are closer together at the bottom and further apart at the top. These were non-GMO soybeans with some downy mildew and a little bit of frogeye. They did spray a couple of weeks ago. We did see some holes in the leaves from feeding. Soybeans were at R4. Pod numbers varied quite a bit but there were many three-bean pods and more variability than we’d want to see. Countywide, this was the second worst for crop condition that we have seen.Paulding Co. cornPaulding Co. fieldsPaulding Co. bean fieldPaulding Co. corn fieldPaulding Co. cornPaulding Co. fieldsPaulding Co. bean fieldPaulding Co. corn fieldDefiance CountyCorn: It was a late May planting date for this field of silage corn. It was at least in the R3 stage. There was no lack of nitrogen and no-till conditions. There had not been much rain but field conditions were not dry with a population of 33,000. There was very limited disease pressure. Ear fill was excellent. A couple of ears had a little tip back in the field with a yield of 165 bushels.Soybeans: The beans were at R4 and planted on May 29. It had 3.4 inches of rain in June and rain stopped June 11 and the next rain was not until July 20 with 1.1 inches of rain. The nodes were close together and then they stretched out. They went from 1.5 to 3.5 with an average of 2.5 inches apart. There was no disease or insect pressure. There were quite a few two-pod nodes but there were still pods there that had not been aborted that could fill more with more rain. Canopy height was 36 inches and we think the field was good with fair yield potential. I seems like weed pressure has maybe increased into Defiance County. The beans in the area still have more potential with more rain.Defienace bean fieldDefienace corn fieldDefiance Co. beansDefiance CornDefienace bean fieldDefienace corn fieldDefiance Co. beansDefiance CornWilliams CountyCorn: The planting date was May 4, one of the earlier fields planted in the area. It was planted after a barley and rye cover crop. The planted population was 34,000. Our check was 32,000. There were some skips. The outside edge of the field had heavy NCLB but inside the field showed little to no disease, with a little GLS. It was sprayed by ground application. There was no insect pressure but an insecticide was included with the fungicide. The ear fill was excellent and it was just beginning to dent. The final yield was 218 bushels. There was no nitrogen deficiency.Soybeans: The field was planted April 30 with a very uniform appearance. It was probably a bit dry earlier in the season. The plant height was 39 inches with 2 to 4 inches between nodes. We did see Sudden Death Syndrome in spots. There was a little Japanese beetle feeding but a very clean field. The pods per node were a little on the light side in this good overall field. As we have moved west from Fulton County, crops seem to generally get better, though still variable.Williams Co. corn fieldWilliams Co. beansWilliams Co. soybean fieldWilliams Co. cornWilliams Co. corn fieldWilliams Co. beansWilliams Co. soybean fieldWilliams Co. cornHenry County Corn: The field was planted May 27, but it seems to be behind. Some of the plants just finished pollination and there was variation in the ears. The corn was planted into cover crops. Disease pressure was very minimal. The ears were R1 to R3. One check was 191 with consistent ears. The other check was very inconsistent with a spotty stand and a yield of 138 for an average yield of 165 bushels for the field with some upside potential.Soybeans: They were planted June 2 drilled at 175,000 with extremely healthy plants. The height was 39 inches and there was no insect or disease pressure. There were some aborted pods and blooms, two-nodes and two-bean pods. The number of pods was disappointing with a good rating on health and good to fair on yield potential. It was predominantly at R4, with some at R3. We found soybean aphids in the field but probably not high enough levels to warrant spraying in the roughly 40-bushel field.Henry Co. corn fieldHenry Co. cornHenry Co. bean fieldHenry Co. beans with soybean aphidsHenry Co. corn fieldHenry Co. cornHenry Co. bean fieldHenry Co. beans with soybean aphidsFulton CountyCorn: It was planted June 2 and the corn is at R1. It is not even to blister yet. It is showing nitrogen deficiency. We’ve got potential out there but this field needs plenty of water between now and harvest. The population is 35,000 and we had no disease pressure. There was no insect pressure. We are estimating the yield at 168 bushels, but if everything is ideal (no early frost and plenty of water) this could be 210. If everything goes south, it could be 120. There is a lot of up and down corn in this county. The majority of the corn in this area is finishing up pollination.Soybeans: This had an early June planting date with gaps and spotty stands. The canopy height was on the short side at 27 inches. The distance between the nodes was 3 inches. There is good moisture now but it was dry earlier. Disease wise it was very clean and very few insects. The beans are at R3 with three bean pods, but there were not that many pods. This field is fair.Fulton Co. corn fieldFulton Co. cornFulton Co. bean fieldFulton Co. beansFulton Co. corn fieldFulton Co. cornFulton Co. bean fieldFulton Co. beansWood CountyCorn: It was planted May 9. It was dry in early to mid July. Now there is mud between the rows. We found more NCLB here than in other places. We did see some European corn borer damage. We assume those were in the refuge plants. The hot and dry weather during pollination really shows up here. It was a fair field. It is for silage corn and it will have better tonnage than yields from the ears. We found a 121-bushel per acre average.Soybeans: These were planted May 9 with a thick population. They are clean, healthy beans with a canopy height of 36 inches. As dry as it seems like the corn field was earlier in the season, the beans are green and healthy. We saw some four bean pods, some aborted pods and some two-bean pods. We saw a little more leaf feeding than we have found. Yields might hit 50 with an overall rating of good. There was some frogeye but it came in pretty late.Wood Co. corn fieldWood Co. cornWood Co. bean fieldWood Co. beansWood Co. corn fieldWood Co. cornWood Co. bean fieldWood Co. beansHancock CountyCorn: There may be a little more corn variability in this county. There were three different planting dates for this field but it was finished on May 8. It had fairly heavy GLS below the ear and then some above the ear, but no more than 5% above the ear. The corn was fired up to two or three leaves below the ear, some from N loss and some because it may have gotten a little too dry for the population. There was some tip back but overall pollination was really good. The ears were very consistent for a population of 35,000. The rows were perfect. The yield was the best so far at 210 bushels.Soybeans: There was an early May planting date. It looks like there were some dry conditions. They were 32 inches tall and a little short but the nodes were close and they are heavily podded. This is the least disease pressure we have seen and also very light insect pressure. There was a little bean leaf beetle feeding. There were many three-bean pods in this good to excellent field. The yield may have lost a little from the dry conditions but still around 60 bushels.Hancock Co. corn fieldHancock Co. cornHancock Co. bean fieldHancock Co. beansHancock Co. corn fieldHancock Co. cornHancock Co. bean fieldHancock Co. beansPutnam CountyCorn: Conditions look to be a little dry, but not terrible. Where we entered the field there was primarily gray leaf spot but mostly below the ear leaf, though there may be some yield loss from this. Limited water and heat also caused some yield loss. The corn is in dent. Ear fill was pretty good, but there was some tip back. The field was planted at 36,000 on April 29. Corn is on the short side but yields are not bad. The yield was 191 bushels.Soybeans: Planting date was May 7 with 160,000 population. The soybeans are at R5. The canopy height was 38 inches with two inches between nodes. There was one small spot with sudden death syndrome. We also saw some light frogeye and downy mildew. There was a fungicide and insecticide application. There was a little Japanese beetle feeding. There were more two-bean pods, probably from dry conditions. This was a good field with yield potential in the 50s. County-wide there is maybe a little more weed pressure.Putnam Co. soybean fieldPutnam cornPutnam Co. beansPutnam Co. corn fieldPutnam Co. soybean fieldPutnam cornPutnam Co. beansPutnam Co. corn fieldHardin CountyCorn: This is a good to excellent field with some disease pressure. Northern Corn leaf blight is creeping up above the ear but conditions are pretty good and disease pressure is not too bad. This was sprayed with fungicide and insecticide. There were some pollination issues with some irregular rows and undeveloped kernels. This is probably due to heat during pollination. The average number of rows was 18 with average kernel depth. There is a population of 34,000 planted on May 6 with a yield of 192 bushels.Soybean: The soybeans were planted May 10 with a population of 135,000 population and canopy height of 40 inches. Distance between nodes was around 2 inches. There was some frogeye but on less than 5%. There was some bean leaf beetle feeding with mostly three-bean pods. The field overall looks excellent.Hardin Co. corn fieldHardin Co. cornHardin Co bean fieldHardin Co. beansHardin Co. corn fieldHardin Co. cornHardin Co bean fieldHardin Co. beansAllen CountyCorn: The population was 32,000 planted on May 7. The corn looks good with good color but it is showing dry conditions. There was virtually no disease pressure with just a little gray leaf spot. There was a little tip back but pretty good pollination. There were some aborted kernels. The yield is 212 in this excellent field.Soybean: This was planted May 7 with excellent conditions. There are some dry areas showing up on the hilltops. The canopy height was 42 inches and the distance between nodes was a little over two inches. There was a little frogeye that came in late. There was little insect pressure. There were three pods per node most at three beans. It looks like a 60+ bushel field.Allen Co. corn fieldAllen Co. cornAllen Co. bean fieldAllen Co. BeansAllen Co. corn fieldAllen Co. cornAllen Co. bean fieldAllen Co. Beanslast_img read more

Bail for alleged Maoist sympathiser in Yerwada jail since 2015

first_imgThe Bombay High Court on Monday granted bail to Konnath Muralidharan, 66, an alleged sympathiser of Communist Party of India (Maoist), who has been in Yerwada jail since May 2015 after the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested him for possessing ‘objectionable material’. His bail has been previously rejected by the Pune court in September 2016.On May 8, 2015, Mr. Muralidharan was arrested at 6 a.m. after the ATS got information that he, along with an aide Chirag Palli, were operating from their hideout at Talegaon in Pune. ATS recovered hand written notes along with printed literature that talked about Operation Green Hunt, central military commission and other material related to CPI (Maoists).According to the FIR, Mr. Muralidharan introduced himself as Thomas Joseph and was holding names such as Sunny alias Rajendra Goppi Vijayan alias Raghavan alias Ajith Kannampillai alias Kannakaran. His aide Mr. Palli introduced himself as James Mathew.Statements of some witnesses were recorded and the ATS had seized laptops, CPUs, printers, three pen drives, 10 mobile handsets, five sim cards, two dongles and books in Malayalam from them.The ATS also recovered a fake PAN card in the name of Thomas Joseph with Mr. Muralidharan’s photo, while Mr. Palli had a fake Aadhaar card in his name.Mr. Muralidharan was charged with Section 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), Section 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), Section 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), Section 471(using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 10 (penalty for being member of an unlawful association, etc), Section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities), Section 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation), Section 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation), and Section 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organisation) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).The ATS filed a chargesheet on October 14, 2015, before a sessions court in Pune. On September 9, 2016, Mr. Muralidharan who suffered heart ailments prior to his arrest, and suffered a mild heart attack while he was lodged in prison, moved a bail application which was rejected by the Pune court. The present bail application, filed in HC through his advocates Sudeep Pasbola and Susan Abraham, states that he has been falsely implicated, and that there is no evidence to prosecute him under UAPA.Justice Nitin Sambre granted bail to Mr. Murlidharan on ₹1 lakh surety and ordered him to report to Pune police station twice a month.last_img read more

Guiao has eyes on Standhardinger, Ravena as NLEX’s draft pick

first_imgGuiao also had nothing but praise for the 23-year-old Ravena, who won two UAAP titles and a couple of UAAP MVPs with Ateneo“Kiefer, on the other hand, we all know that he can be a go-to guy, he can also create for his teammates, he has leadership. He’s not afraid to take over a game. He’s a very intelligent, high-IQ player, so those are the things that a team like ours could really need.” China Kashgar ousts Chooks-to-Go from title contention with 16-point beatdown Christian Standhardinger. Photo from Fiba.comNLEX will most likely pick second overall in the 2017 PBA Draft that has head coach Yeng Guiao licking his chops given the potential of talents that would be available.So far, only Christian Standhardinger has officially applied for the draft among the highly-touted prospects eyeing to make the jump to the pros this year.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Read Next LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Guiao both described Standhardinger and Ravena as “immediate impact players.”He likes the fact that Standhardinger is a seasoned player having played in Basketball Bundesliga, a top tier professional club league in Germany.“Standhardinger is coming into the draft at 28 years old, he’s mature. He’s got experience, so you don’t need to put him through a learning process,” said Guiao.“He understands the game from what we’ve seen. He’s a hard worker, he can fit right into any team’s system.”The 6-foot-7 Fil-German introduced himself to Philippine basketball when he was tapped to play for the national team in the Jones Cup before suiting up as Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized player in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup as a replacement for Andray Blatche.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View comments But the likes of Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng and other big names could also follow suit.Most coaches keep their cards close to their chest but Guiao didn’t beat around the bush when asked who intends to select.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Nothing but the obvious so if Standhardinger is No. 1, maybe we’ll go with Kiefer. If it’s Kiefer’s No. 1 then we’ll go with Standhardinger because most likely we’ll be No. 2, so it’s really that obvious, I guess,” said Guiao.“We have another draft very early in the second round so we’ll see who are the best available talent in the second round.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

X-Blades ‘Speed’ Promotion

first_imgTouch Football Australia’s official footwear supplier, X-Blades, has another great deal for the Touch Football community.Pre-order any of the new lightweight Speed range – the Legend Speed, Sniper Speed or Sniper Speed ST before Friday, 20 September for delivery in early October, and you will receive a free Blades gym sack and free delivery. For 2013 X-Blades National Youth Championships participants, X-Blades will be at next week’s event, so be sure to check out their fantastic range there and pre-order your new Speed boots!To pre-order your pair of boots from the Speed range, please visit the following X-Blades is also running a ‘design your own boot’ competition in the lead up to the Rugby League World Cup in the UK, with the chance to design your own boot or win tickets to the event. For more information, please watch the video below:Stay tuned to for more great deals from X-Blades. Related Files14_legend_speed-outstep-jpg14_sniper_speed_st-outstep-jpg14_sniper_speed-outstep-jpgRelated LinksX-Blades Promotionlast_img read more

The 64 Most Annoying People In Sports Media: Clay Travis Region

first_imgThe 64 Most Annoying People in sports media bracket.The 2016 NCAA Tournament field was unveiled Sunday night, meaning that for the next three days, college basketball fans will be spending their time filling out brackets. We here at College Spun have a different kind of challenge for you, however. We want you to help us determine the most annoying person in sports media. We’ve gone ahead and nominated 64 different candidates.A few of the nominees – like Barstool Sports, Saturday Down South and SB Nation – are actually entities, rather than people. But you get the gist. We’ve also put ourselves on here, just in case you think that we’re actually the most annoying.Let’s get started. You can vote on the Clay Travis region below:The 64 Most Annoying People In Sports MediaThe 64 Most AnnoyingVote On The Clay Travis Region Below1. Clay Travis vs. 16. Jim RomeClay TravisRome isn’t burning anymore, but Clay’s hot takes do enough melting for this entire field. More Annoying: Clay Travis vs. Jim Rome?2. Dick Vitale vs. 15. Jim NantzDicky VImpossible to fall asleep when Vitale is on the broadcast. Impossible not to when it’s Nantz. More Annoying: Dick Vitale or Jim Nantz?3. Doug Gottlieb vs. 14. Ron JaworskiGottliebSyracuse fans, among others, can’t stand Gottlieb. Jaws’ shtick is played out too. More Annoying: Doug Gottlieb or Ron Jaworski?4. Keith Olbermann vs. 13. Chris ChaseKeith Olbermann Chris ChaseOlbermann can’t figure out how to play nice in the sandbox. Chase is infamous for going against the grain.  More Annoying: Keith Olbermann or Chris Chase?5. Erin Andrews vs. 12. Lee Corsoerin andrewsSome think Andrews looks annoyed all the time. Some don’t like Corso’s shenanigans each Saturday. More Annoying: Erin Andrews or Lee Corso?6. Kirk Herbstreit vs. 11. SB Nation’s Twitter MafiaKirk HerbstreitHerbstreit gets it from basically every fan base, regardless of which teams he picks. Spencer Hall, Ryan Nanni, Jason Kirk and Rodger Sherman are basically all the same person. More Annoying: Kirk Herbstreit or SB Nation’s Twitter Mafia?7. Max Kellerman vs. 10. Barstool Sports GuysKellerman BarstoolWe’re still not sure how Kellerman weaseled his way back onto ESPN. And you either love or hate Barstool. More Annoying: Max Kellerman or Barstool Sports?8. Rick Reilly vs. 9. Todd McShayRick ReillyReilly had it first on Twitter, we’re told. McShay’s back-and-forth with Kiper could be its own category. More Annoying: Rick Reilly or Todd McShay?Vote On The Stephen A. Smith Region Here >>>last_img read more

Scrap Metal Trade Resumes January 2013

first_imgThe scrap metal trade is set to resume in January 2013, with a revised regime and new set of regulations governing stakeholders’ operations. Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, announced  on December 19, that the activities are set to re-commence by the third week of January next year, after being suspended earlier this year. Speaking at the  weekly Jamaica House Media Briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Mr. Hylton advised that following months of due diligence, reviews and meetings at the government and stakeholder levels, Cabinet recently approved a “far more rigorous and improved” regulatory regime to govern trade in both industrial and non-industrial scrap. Mr. Hylton said features of the new regime governing the trade include: mandatory special permits/licences for entities deemed reputable; mandatory 100 per cent Customs inspection of materials being traded before these are loaded; and posting of a $7 million bond by each entity, which will also be charged a regulatory fee. Industrial scrap refers to material generated by companies from their manufacturing operations or from the retirement of obsolete metallic fixed assets, which are exported by the owner in his or her name. In the case of non-industrial scrap metal, new conditions include: more stringent eligibility criteria for exporters; mandatory application for licences; and a Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC), among other permits specified by the Ministry in conjunction with the Trade Board, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), and Customs Department.  Non-industrial scrap is defined as material that is purchased. Mr. Hylton emphasized that non-nationals desirous of becoming exporters must apply for a work permit, while pointing out that all arrangements for exports must take place at one of three designated central multi-user sites in Kingston and Clarendon.      Other notable features of the new regime include: mandatory displaying of all material being traded at the designated sites for five days for public viewing before being loaded; and permanent posting of Customs, police, and military officers at these locations. The Minister said sanctions that will be imposed where breaches have occurred include: a $3 million fine, two years imprisonment and loss of licence/permit; allocation of a portion of the $7 million bond to compensate victims; and detention of material deemed suspicious for 10 days to facilitate investigations by Customs officers and the police, and public viewing. Additionally, he said penalties will be imposed on persons who engage in illicit activities, such as the theft of material barred from the list of tradeable items. These include: copper, irrigation pipes, manhole covers, railway lines, and sign posts. Mr. Hylton also advised that a website will be established to facilitate the viewing and lodging of complaints by the public. “Between now (December) and  (January 2013), we will be working hard to register exporters, issue new licences, finalize and sign agreements with site owners, sign operating permits with exporters, recruit and train new staff in (the) Factories Corporation of Jamaica, equip site offices, and promulgate new regulations,” Mr. Hylton informed.last_img read more

Deaths of three Indigenous women in Montreal ignite calls for more frontline

first_imgTom FennarioAPTN NewsDavid Chapman stands near the kitchen inside the Open Door shelter in Montreal and points to a framed picture on the wall.“It just struck me that she was really bright and had a, seemed like a full life ahead of her,” says Chapman, executive director of the shelter.The photo he’s pointing to is of Crystal Einish, a Cree woman in her 20s from Eeyou Istchee – Cree Territory in Quebec.She died after drinking too much alcohol.“She was talking to me about her son, she loved her son, and to be honest I was just completely shocked when I heard only two days later she was no longer with us,” says Chapman.(The photo of Crystal Einish that hangs on the wall inside the Open Door shelter in Montreal)Einish isn’t the only photo on the wall.Walk into Montreal’s Open Door shelter and you’ll find thirteen framed photos.Dubbed the “memorial wall,” the photos are of former clients who have died – eight of the thirteen are Indigenous women, all within the last two years.Before the photos had been located in a less formal space, near a bulletin board.But after a deadly January, where three Indigenous women who frequented the Open Door died, the need for a larger wall became evident.“If things don’t change we’re gonna need more space still,” says Chapman.Chapman says he knew the women well and that substance abuse also played a role in the recent deaths of the two other women.But when they were alive and wanted help, it wasn’t available.He points to yet another photo, Inuk woman Connie Kadlutsiak.“Connie asked three times to go to detox and rehab, and a number of efforts were made but each time there was a waiting list,” he says.“And you often have a very short window of time where there is a desire to go forward with detox and rehab and if you miss that window then you’re back to square one.”(Open Door Executive Director David Chapman. In the background is the wall of photos of clients who have died)Harvey Michele is the interim president of the Indigenous Health Centre of Tiohtià:ke.Tiohtià:ke is the Mohawk word for Montreal, and Michele says the city is lacking compared to Canada’s other major cities.Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver all have centres devoted to Indigenous health.“We’re, let’s say, 20 years behind from other provinces, where they are more specifically targeting Indigenous health,” says Michele, an Ojibway who has lived in Montreal for over 40 years.“For the underserviced Indigenous community, the need is great.”Incorporated in 2016, the Tiohtià:ke Health Centre is still in its infancy.The goal is to eventually establish a location where Indigenous people can get health services catered to their needs.“The Indigenous Health Centre of Tiohtià:ke would work with the community member in dealing with the root cause of their addiction. Sadly, many First Nations and Inuit continue to fall in the cracks,” says Michele.“The rate of mortality is very high for this population due to the lack of access to addiction and mental health services that are culturally not safe for the vulnerable population.”Michele says that the health centre is a part of a larger conglomeration of Montreal Indigenous organizations called the Health Services Partnership Table for Urban Indigenous Persons.Together they are gearing up to push for health services funding, but Michele admits establishing a fully functioning Indigenous health centre in Montreal will take years.In the meantime, she would like to see more funds for health navigators, people who are paid specifically to help vulnerable folks navigate the health system.The health centre currently has two on staff.For David Chapman, more funding and programs can’t come soon enough with regards to keeping more photos from going up on the Open Door memorial wall.“In this case there is very much a direct link between funding recovery and span of life.” read more

Skeptical Football Matthew Stafford Is Gunning For Peyton Mannings Throne

On Sunday night, I put out a call on Twitter for burning NFL questions. Among the responses, some guy asked:Whoa, boss. This is a question for which everyone seems to have an answer, but about which few people have anything new to say.Assessing how good someone is at something is easy if that thing is directly measurable, like running 100 meters, or is independent enough to be measured over time, like hitting a baseball. In sports like basketball or hockey, contributions may be harder to measure, but can often be imputed indirectly: There’s often enough data to see how a team performs with or without individual players.1At the very least we can model how various statistical markers (like points, rebounds or assists) predict how a team performs with or without individual players. All of these metrics are basically variations of “statistical plus-minus” — even ones that came before, like John Hollinger’s PER.But in football, a player’s contribution is impossible to measure directly, because there are too many variables that go into every result. And it can’t be measured indirectly, because the sample sizes are too small (that is, there are relatively few games and not as much data). Thus, player valuation is a quagmire of guesswork and debate.This is why I prefer questions of limited scope, like, “How certain are you that Peyton Manning is a good quarterback?” For which, the answer is “really extra pretty super-duper certain.” OK, that seems obvious, but ask me the same question about Joe Montana — whom many regard as the greatest quarterback of all time — and I’m not sure. It seems very, very likely to me that Montana was a good quarterback, but I am literally thousands of times less certain of that fact than I am when evaluating Manning.But that doesn’t even prove that Manning was better than Montana, though I tend to think the odds are tilted a bit in his favor. The problem with saying anyone is “the best” is that he has to be better than Montana, then better than Dan Marino, then better than Lawrence Taylor, etc. And it’s even possible that the true winner could be someone with incredible skills who was never in the right situation. Like, what if Jeff George had played for Bill Walsh? Anything is possible.So we can’t know for sure. But we constantly have to act on things we don’t know for sure. Thus, if my life depended on guessing who was the best NFL player of all time, I’d pick Peyton Manning.2But, oops, the answer was Randall Cunningham, and now I’m dead. Not because he’s clearly the best, but because he seems to have the best odds of being the best.Why do I think that? Have you got all day? OK then, short version, there are four main axes to the issue:3Any one of which could probably be a series of posts in its own right. Answering this isn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds.For the largest gap between a player’s TD per game and the baseline for his era, the answer is Peyton Manning. Not only is he the all-time pass touchdown per game leader, but he’s about .7 touchdowns per game higher than the league average for his era. But as a ratio between a passer’s TD per game and that of the entire league during the period he played, he is only in second place. For the highest, you have to go all the way back into the 20s, when Benjamin “Benny” Friedman of the New York Giants got it done:Manning has 1.51 times more TD passes per game than his era, but Friedman had 1.65 times more.If you look at the details, that 1.65 might not even do it justice. In 1929, Friedman had 20 TD passes. The next highest total that season: six. The entire league (12 teams) had only 81 TD passes; Friedman accounted for nearly one quarter of them. And he was way ahead of his time — the NFL wouldn’t even reach .6 touchdown passes per game until after Friedman retired.Also worth consideration is Dan Marino. While technically his TD rate may not have been as far above average as Manning’s, he played in an era when no one else was even close.8He also did it in an era that didn’t feature any massive changes to the game, unlike Friedman’s era and possibly the present one. Note that Manning has a lot of company in the two TD/game zone, including Aaron Rodgers right beneath him.I had to do a double take at first because there are so many modern players on that list, despite the fact that the measurement is relative to era. In other words, the current era isn’t just an era of pass-happy offenses, it’s an era in which some offenses are way more pass-happy than others.Rookie QB watchThis week we saw the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Blake Bortles score his first win (despite throwing three interceptions, he was the first rookie to win a game since last month), and Teddy Bridgewater score his first touchdown pass for the Minnesota Vikings. With the Cleveland Browns’ Manziel still on the bench, the rookie QB game seems to be all about Bortles, Bridgewater and the Raiders’ Derek Carr. Each of these now has at least four full games under their belt — that’s a big achievement unlocked. So let’s start comparing some real stats.What we learn about rookies is very different from what we learn from other QBs. Normally we care a lot about efficiency and how much a QB helps his team win, but for rookies we’re normally looking for raw production. But let’s take a peek at efficiency anyway, shall we?Here’s a table comparing the rate at which each QB’s drives end in a touchdown or interception, and the average Expected Points Added (EPA) per drive:Carr currently leads all three categories. Note that their EPAs are all negative, meaning they are scoring fewer points per drive than a typical NFL team — but Carr is doing the least-worst.Kicking awardsIt was kind of a crazy week for kicking, with the entire NFL making just three of eight tries from 50+ yards, but going 45 for 46 on all other attempts. (That’s why you see a large cluster of kickers just to the right of zero in the chart).Last week I talked about the golden triad of young kickers, which includes Blair Walsh, Justin Tucker and Dan Bailey. All three made all of their kicks in Week 7, and Walsh took the MVK award, largely due to his 55-yard make just before the half. It’s like the Hacker Gods were paying attention and wanted to justify my devoting a large section of this column every week to kickers.9Though, admittedly, my perception that one event resulted directly from the other could just be a fiction. From the Hacker Gods’ perspective, they may have simply programmed me and the universe to recognize Walsh at the same time.Cairo Santos also deserves recognition for hitting a 48-yard game-winning field goal, but the points vs. expectation model isn’t impressed by a 48-yard attempt.10As of this moment, the MVP algorithm doesn’t distinguish between close games that you won and close games that you lost.This week Walsh was one of two kickers (along with Shayne Graham of the New Orleans Saints) who had points above expectation higher than the margin of victory or defeat in their games. Unfortunately, both of their teams lost their games, so no kicker earns a “win” just yet. (My definition of a kicker “win” is that their points above expectation must have been the difference in the game –not just their actual points scored. Kicker “wins” are extremely rare. There have been none so far in 2014, and there were seven in 2013, with Justin Tucker taking two of them. In 2012 there were none.)Gunslinger of the weekMatthew Stafford led his team back from a 14-point third-quarter deficit — still down 13 points with under 4 minutes to go — to win against the New Orleans Saints. Oh, and he threw an interception in the fourth quarter with his team still down 10.Stafford, for all his woes as QB of the Lions, seems to have a game well suited to the gunslinger paradigm.Among QBs with 20 or more games with comeback opportunities (down 9+ in the second half), Stafford now has the third-highest winning percentage, behind only Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. This is, of course, despite his relatively high interception rate (e.g., over twice as high as Aaron Rodgers’s):That he did this for lowly Detroit is particularly remarkable to me, since Stafford has gotten some of the worst team support in football.There’s a basic way to test how much support a QB gets. Winning Percentage Added (WPA) is a stat that measures how a team’s chances of winning a game (based on league-wide models for a typical team) change after each play. Thus, a QB’s WPA for a game is how much his team’s chances of winning increased on the plays he was involved with. All else being equal, his team should win a game about 50 percent of the time plus the QB’s WPA.11If you’re clever you can adjust this for home/away, etc.If you take this estimate and then subtract from the actual result, you get a figure equal to the amount of winning percentage added by elements of the team that are NOT the passing game (including running, defense, and special teams). We can plot a comparison between these two like so:Some QBs like Tom Brady and Joe Flacco actually win more often than their passing would suggest, meaning the non-passing part of their team is contributing as well. Others have to overcome bad teams. Stafford is a great example of this, as he typically adds close to 10 percent to his teams chances, only to see even more stripped in the plays where he isn’t an active participant. In fact, Stafford gets the worst support of any QB with a positive WPA.Most empirically significant game of Week 8Lots of great and/or interesting QB matchups in Week 8, such as:Philip Rivers vs. Peyton ManningMatthew Stafford vs. Matt RyanJay Cutler vs. Tom BradyAndrew Luck vs. Ben RoethlisbergerAaron Rodgers vs. Drew BreesJoe Flacco vs. Andy DaltonRussell Wilson vs. Cam NewtonOoh, the final matchup is an interesting one. Two 25-year-old former rookie Pro Bowlers known for their running abilities — one 5 feet 11 inches and the other 6 feet 6 inches.Last week, Wilson joined the illustrious list of QBs who passed for 300 yards and ran for 100 in the same game:Yet the Seahawks picked up their third loss, equaling Wilson’s total from last season. As the boss notes, the Seahawks are in a precarious spot, such that, even aside from the information value of a loss, it may get very hard for the Hawks to make the playoffs even if they’re really good, considering their schedule and division. Are the Seahawks going to be a dynasty like the Pats or teams-Peyton-Manning-is-QBing? Or will they regress to the mean and/or burn out like most teams do?Both teams are 3-3 (though Carolina also has a tie). Historically, teams that start 4-3 make the playoffs about 30 percentage points more often than teams that start 3-4 (about 50 percent vs. about 20 percent). So it’s a high-leverage game on both sides.Reminder: If you tweet questions to me @skepticalsports, there is a non-zero chance that I’ll answer them here.Charts by Reuben Fischer-Baum. A player’s location on the y-axis represents the number of TDs he has thrown per game played for his entire career. The horizontal lines show the span of his career. The bubble at the end of each career shows you how many touchdown passes he threw in total. The thick black line shows you the NFL’s average TD’s thrown per game by year. What do we take away from this?First, NFL teams have gotten better at passing for touchdowns, though I was a little surprised at how many touchdowns were thrown in the 50s and 60s. Johnny Unitas, for example, wasn’t nearly the outlier I assumed he would be: While he did break what was then a long-standing record (ultimately by a very large amount), he was also a product of a very passing-friendly era.Manning now has the largest bubble, obviously, and in a shorter career than Brett Favre’s — so far. But the record-setting QBs are a pretty elite group.So, relatedly, here’s another question I got on Twitter: Stats: No matter how you slice and dice the stats — career stats, drive stats, winning stats, efficiency stats, or whatever you want — Manning generally comes out on top. But players in the NFL aren’t responsible for their stats to nearly the degree players are in baseball or basketball, so without more corroborating evidence, this doesn’t mean as much as people think.But perhaps even more important than the stats themselves is consistency: Manning’s consistency is preternatural. Since 2001, he has completed 65 percent or more of his passes every year and only once passed for fewer than 4,000 yards.4He had 3,747 in 2005. Most quarterbacks’ performance varies significantly from year to year, largely as a result of the changing variables around them. But Manning essentially does the same thing year in and year out.Lack of entanglement: Manning has played for four different coaches and two different teams now, and hasn’t failed to win 10 games since 2001.5Also, the Colts stunk the one year they were without him or Andrew Luck, though I’d discount this a bit because it isn’t clear that they were trying very hard to win. Of course, it’s still possible that he has been surrounded by superior talent, but that’s a lot of lucky to get. Looking at dynasties in NFL history, who has ever been so good for so long? The 49ers, who had three different coaches and two great QBs; the Patriots, with one quarterback and one great coach; and Peyton Manning. Winning consistently in the NFL is hard, especially in the salary cap era.But the playoffs: Manning gets knocked for performing below expectations in the playoffs, and I won’t dismiss the issue out of hand. As I’ve shown before, Manning handles tough defenses well.6In some preliminary research, I’ve also found that Manning performs slightly better in the playoffs against teams that he also played in the regular season. So there are basically three possibilities: first, Manning has gotten unlucky in the playoffs; second, Manning has gotten lucky in the regular season; or third, Manning just plays worse in the playoffs for some reason. I can’t disprove the third possibility, and I’m not above believing that sort of thing, but I haven’t seen a plausible explanation yet.The second and third axes are probably undervalued. Manning’s unnatural consistency in a number of different scenarios is a unique phenomenon. And this is what Bayesian inference is all about: I’ve just witnessed a phenomenon, and I want to know what the most likely causes are. To do this, I consider the likelihood of each potential cause, and the likelihood of those causes creating that effect.And so in this case the question is really, which is more likely: that Manning has been uniquely, historically, fortunate in having many great players and coaches around him constantly, or that Manning is a unique, historical talent?Chart of the weekOne area where Manning seems unassailable is in the record books, but in fairness to everyone else, he has presided over a distinctly offensive era. So how does his career touchdown record stack up to history?Let’s summarize every NFL QB’s career in one chart:7Like The New York Times did, but different. read more

Family affair Buckeye roots come full circle for Smiths

Talking to Spencer Smith, it’s quickly obvious that he is a family man. But mention his brother, Connor Smith, and his face brightens, his eyes widen and a toothy grin takes shape.  When they were younger, Spencer Smith, a redshirt sophomore fullback, and Connor, a redshirt junior offensive lineman, played many sports together, including soccer, basketball and baseball. But football is where they have always shared their strongest bond.The two played high school football at Colerain, a perennial public school powerhouse on the outskirts of Cincinnati, where they were coached by their father, Joe Smith. The brothers have since migrated 90 miles north to play at Ohio State.“I’d say first of all, my brother’s probably my best friend,” Spencer Smith said. “That’s one of the biggest reasons I decided to come here in the end is because of my relationship with him.”Connor Smith has truly relished the time spent with his brother even though they have always lived under the same roof and live together off campus.“Me and my brother, we’ve been on every team together growing up,” Connor Smith said. “We hang out all the time; it’s really a neat situation.”Considering all the quality time the brothers enjoy together, it comes as no surprise that OSU football is truly a family affair for the Smiths. Joe Smith was an offensive tackle and four-year letterman at OSU from 1979-1982. For him, the experience of playing OSU football has come full circle.“It’s been great for me, but truly it’s about them, the experience that they get a chance to go through,” said Joe Smith, now a veterinarian at College Hill Animal Hospital in Cincinnati. “It gives you something in common for the rest of your life with your boys.”The relationship between the two only seemed to strengthen on the football field, especially at Colerain high school. They were only on the field together for one season, but they did not waste any opportunity to line up side by side.“My junior year, when we played right next to each other, that was an unbelievable experience just knowing that I had a lot of trust in him. It’s something that’s almost indescribable,” Spencer Smith said. “He’s got your back, you’ve got his back. It’s like a bond that’s even stronger than just a teammate’s bond.”Now that they are at OSU and play different positions, the brothers don’t see much of each other on the field. But they manage to run into each other through alternative means.“When we played in high school, we were together a lot,” Connor Smith said. “We’re sort of coached by the same people now, so we’re in a lot of our meetings together now.”Because Joe Smith coached his sons in high school and was also available at home, the brothers picked his brain to get a sense of his football acumen.“He always pushed us hard. When we wanted to be pushed, he pushed,” Connor Smith said. “He’s very knowledgeable. He was a very good model for me and Spence.”Spencer Smith said his father was often a closed book when asked about his experiences playing at OSU. But Joe Smith always referenced an OSU coaching icon.“He’s a very humble man. I’d learn stuff through other people because he was so humble,” Spencer Smith said. “But he talked about Woody Hayes. He was recruited by Woody Hayes, and he played his redshirt year for Woody Hayes. That’s who he came to play for at Ohio State.”In Joe Smith’s mind, the brothers had enough of an innate desire for success that he did not need to get his point across often. However, that does not mean that he treated his sons differently than their teammates.“There were a few times when I had to get after them for effort, and I certainly made it publicly known. Me and the [Colerain] head coach both had sons on the team, and we had to make sure we didn’t play any favorites,” Joe Smith said. “You actually overcompensate because you’re harder on your own kids, but you do that to make sure there isn’t a prejudice there with the other kids.”For Spencer and Connor Smith, the coaching continued well after practice. Not only could they turn to their “coach” for advice on strategy and technique — but for guidance and life lessons, too. “I talk to my dad, if not every night, six out of seven nights of the week,” Spencer Smith said. “He’s always there to encourage me. It’s good because he’s been where I’ve been. Maybe different positions, maybe [at a] different time, but when it comes down to it, the tradition and excellence of how good either of our teams were, we’ve been in a lot of similar situations. “He’s probably been the biggest influence of my life, and he always has the right things to say. He knows what I’m going through, and it’s nice to always talk to him.”Spencer, Connor, and Joe Smith might have gone through many of the same exhilarating victories and heartbreaking losses, but according to Joe, the game has changed since his playing days.“Things were different then,” Joe Smith said. “There were more kids on scholarship, more kids to compete against. Spring ball was a lot longer. We didn’t have a mandatory academic day on Monday. We practiced every day. “The time commitment was more back then, just from what I can see. I think the way the coaches have to coddle the athlete now is much different.”But what hasn’t changed is OSU football’s tradition of excellence. Surviving the rest of the season will be tough Spencer Smith said, but he believes the team has a great foundation for success.“It takes an effort to manage your time, but you have all the support staff around you that makes it possible,” Spencer said. “It would be tough to do it all on your own.”Both on the field and in their family, support will never be an issue for the Smith brothers. They hope to carry their unbreakable bond to a national championship and use it to further the tradition of the OSU football family.“The goal is to win the national championship. We’ve been pretty close the last couple of years,” Spencer Smith said. “The Big Ten championship is always one of our team goals. You win the Big Ten championship, you’re always in the national title hunt.” read more