Warriors report: When will Stephen Curry visit with NASA?

first_imgSubscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table bookOAKLAND — Warriors guard Stephen Curry expressed excitement for agreeing to take a tour of the Johnson Space Center in Houston at an unspecified date. Curry also offered some contrition for joking in a recent podcast that the moonlanding in 1969 didn’t happen.“I had an opportunity to talk to somebody that’s very well knowledgeable in that industry,” Curry said. “One to …last_img

49ers call audible, change play-by-play voice to local legend

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Greg Papa is in as voice of the 49ers, signaling an end Wednesday to Ted Robinson’s 10-year run.Papa was ousted as the Raiders legendary emcee prior to this past season, and he promptly switched Bay Area allegiances by serving as the pre- and post-game host of 49ers games this past season on NBC Sports Bay Area.“Being in the Bay Area all these years and watching what the 49ers have done, this is a tremendous day for me and I’m honored and thrilled to continue the great history …last_img

South Africa’s business tourism boom

first_img15 April 2008An estimated 6-7% of all foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa in 2007 were made up of business tourists, translating to about 550 000 business tourists compared to 470 000 in 2006, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said recently.Speaking at the Meetings Africa Business Tourism Conference in Johannesburg last month, Van Schalkwyk said this figure was sure to grow even more in the lead-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and that the industry’s vision of doubling this figure in the next three years was “not overly ambitious”.The estimates are that year-on-year growth in business tourist “bed nights” was around 19% in 2007, following 18% growth in 2006, the minister said.Business travel – ranging from small meetings and leadership breakaways to major conferences and exhibitions – is a lucrative sector of the market. Business travellers spend on average three times more than leisure travellers, and up to 40% of business travellers return to a destination within five years.There is also a significant crossover from business into leisure travel. About 18% percent of business travellers go on tours prior to their business activities, while about 22% do so afterwards.Total foreign direct spend business tourists in South Africa amounted to R2.4-billion in 2006, up from approximately R2.1-billion in 2005.SuccessesSouth Africa’s conference industry moved up to 31st place in the International Congress and Convention Association’s lastest top-40 list of leading destinations in the world, released in May 2007.And in the 2007 M&IT Trends & Spends Survey of readers of the influential Meetings and Incentive Travel (M&IT) magazine – circulated to event organisers throughout the UK – Cape Town topped the list of favourite long-haul destination cities, while South Africa was voted the second favourite long-haul destination country.The Western Cape’s business tourism calendar for 2010 and beyond is already starting to fill up, with 10 major conferences and conventions so far secured for 2010. According to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, these conferences alone are expected to draw 16 300 business tourists and have an economic impact of approximately R166.3-million in the province.Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre, meanwhile, recently won the right to host the 57th Session of the International Statistical Institute in 2009, which will bring in 2 500 delegates. It will also host the International Committee on Non-Destructive Testing in 2012, which will attract 1 500 delegates.New and future developmentsVan Schalkwyk said public and private sector investments in South Africa’s infrastructure would enhance the country’s position in the global business tourism industry, with recent developments and future initiatives including: Airports Company South Africa has injected R5.2-billion into extensions and refurbishments currently under way at South Africa’s three main airports, OR Tambo, Cape Town and Durban International.  A new R2-billion airport, King Shaka International, is under construction at La Mercy north of Durban.  Polokwane International Airport in Limpopo province will boast a new R45-million terminal by the end of February. The new terminal will be able to accommodate 200 000 passengers a year compared to the current 50 000 a year.  A state-of-the art R460-million indoor arena, capable of accommodating audiences of up to 10 000, has opened its doors at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre.  The Cape Town International Convention Centre plans to double its size by expanding across the adjacent freeway to the site of Customs House. The plans involve the establishment of a mirror image of the existing centre next to the harbour.  Port Elizabeth is to get its own convention centre, the Nelson Mandela Bay International Convention Centre. This will include a 1 000-seater convention and conference centre with a range of add-on facilities. The Mandela Bay Development Agency is inspecting sites on which to construct the centre.  The Bloemfontein International Convention Centre, with a main arena capable of accommodating up to 5 000 delegates, opened in the Free State capital in November. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Air New Zealand Business Class Review

first_imgFor some, flying Business Class overseas is a common occurence, but for most of the population it’s a treat that happens seldom. No matter what category you fall into, you the customer are paying more for Business Class and naturally you expect a faultless and pleasant experience. I was excited to test the long haul Business Class product on Air New Zealand after hearing very positive reports from our website viewers. Could this airline really be “that good”? The moment I stepped on board and was greeted with a champagne, hot towel and personalised welcome I knew immediately that there was something different about this airline – they had an energy, an edge and I immediately liked what I saw. Whilst this review centres around Air New Zealand’s Business Premier Class, in the coming weeks we will also be presenting our review of Premium Economy and Economy to demonstrate why Air New Zealand is quite simply, world class. Customer serviceThere is no denying that Air New Zealand’s strength that sets them apart at “the pointy end of the plane” is their cabin crew. Whilst I was travelling as a guest of the airline the cabin crew had no idea I was reviewing the flight and the exemplary customer service I received was clearly received by every single passenger in that cabin. The crew are quite simply professional, passionate, helpful and friendly beyond belief. They like their jobs, they like the company they work for and they are proud of what they do and how they do it. One passenger summed it up perfectly when he said “I sometimes need to travel for work on another airline that has basically the same seat/bed, food and in flight entertainment but they don’t have the wonderfully consistent cabin crew that Air New Zealand has and they’re what make the experience special and make me come back time and time again”. The cabin crew are intuitive and know how to relate to a passenger and meet their needs without the passenger even having to ask. The crew knew I was exhausted on one leg and without even asking how I felt they suggested I should move to a spare seat further back so the noise of the galley wouldn’t bother me. They also picked up that another passenger drank a lot of water and they come around with water bottles before the current one was even empty. Wine glasses were never empty and LED candles were available to those dining together to create a “romantic restaurant in the sky”. I found it very amusing when the crew member delivered my fatty breakfast bacon roll with caramelised onions and said “ma’am – here is the low fat breakfast option you ordered”. The crew have personality, a sense of humour and a warmth about them that you just don’t encounter on every airline. You leave the flight feeling like you have made five or six new friends. Customer service can be so “hit and miss” in this industry but you don’t have to worry about that here, this airline epitomise exactly what Business Class service should be.Seats and CabinThe Business Class seats are arranged in a fishbone or herringbone configuration meaning every passenger has aisle access and privacy which is priceless when you are sleeping, it’s like having a private suite. Despite the industry wide advances in Business Class, some airlines still carry those ‘side by side’ business class seats with no privacy and poor aisle access which is ok when you are travelling with a loved one but when you’re sleeping next to a stranger making all sorts of snorting noises it’s just not pleasant. Having said that – for those that do want to sit together at meal times (or anytime in the flight) it’s absolutely no problem. At the end of every seat is an ottoman with a seatbelt so passengers can dine and wine together without interruption. The leather seat itself is 22 inches wide, has many reclining options and comes with a blanket, thick duvet and full sized pillow. There is an above average amount of storage space both next to the seat (under the TV), in the pop up arm rest and under the ottoman. When you are ready to lie down, the cabin crew will convert your seat within a minute to a fully flat 6 foot 6 inch bed. It is at this point that Air New Zealand shows one of its competitive edges in Business Class – a mattress. Yes – an almost inch thick mattress is laid over the converted seat to create arguably the most comfortable Business Class bed in the sky. It sounds so simple but the difference between two business class beds – one with a mattress and one without is quite amazing. The bed is wide and every side sleepers dream. The seat features a charging station so you can power laptops, mobile phones and other electronic devices. There is an amenity kit at every seat containing an eye mask, ear plugs, hand moisturiser, lip balm, brightly coloured bed socks and an eye mask with an “are we there yet” or “beware I sleep walk” catchphrase on it .The cabin itself features mood lighting to create a suitable mood for the time of day or night. Immediately after the meal service is complete the lights in the cabin are dimmed. For night flights that are flying into daylight all passengers are asked to draw their window shades until the morning.Food and beveragesEvery seat has a food and drink menu as well as an extensive separate wine list. Not long after take-off drink orders are taken and tables are set. Once these were served passengers then had the difficult task of choosing a main and dessert from the  delicious options available for each course. The Air New Zealand staff are highly trained when it comes to food and beverage preparation, service and knowledge. Wines were recommended based on the meal and if you had any questions about the meal they knew the answers and if they didn’t they found out. Tables are lain with a crisp white linen table cloth and all meals are served on china with silverware (there’s not a piece of plastic in sight up here). The entree to Los Angeles was Prosciutto with preserved figs, bocconcini and green olive salsa and from the bakery I chose fresh bread with olive oil. For the main I ordered the Beef short rib with swede and parsnip mash and roasted shallots in balsamic and beetroot horseradish salsa . Dessert was a creamy cheesecake (or ice cream assortment) with a cheese platter to follow. Breakfast orders were taken as you woke up about 2 hours before landing. Fresh juices, tea and coffee are offered regularly and there are plenty of options in the bakery basket for those that want a light meal or an accompaniment to their main. Breakfast is served in two parts, firstly a fruit salad with compote and yoghurt as well as your selections from the bakery basket and cereal. After this is cleared the main breakfast meal is served I asked a few fellow passengers what they thought of their meals just to make sure there was consistency across the board and I received nothing but positive feedback. On late night flights Air New Zealand also offer a quick dine option so you can have something light to eat and go to sleep. I opted for this on the flight home from Los Angeles and it consisted of a soup with a fresh roll and small dessert. Most importantly it was as the name suggested, quick.For passengers that get hungry throughout the flight there is a help yourself snack bar or if you’re just too comfy to move from your bed simply ask the crew and they will give you all the options at your seat.In flight entertainmentEvery seat in Business Class is equipped with a 12.1 inch touchscreen TV. Air New Zealand provides an endless menu of TV shows, movies, documentaries and music which can be enjoyed gate to gate. All viewing is enhanced with a set of comfortable noise cancelling headphones. The TV is stowed in the side of the seat at takeoff and landing but can still be watched quite easily. After takeoff it simply pops out and can be watched whilst sitting, eating and lying down.Final wordAs I sat in my seat, eating my meal and observing the crew closely I felt proud seeing AirlineRatings.com ‘Airline Of The Year’ award winner in action. So often companies win awards and things go downhill thereafter but not here, in fact it just seems to keep getting better. I started to get worried as my plane touched down in Auckland after spending a total of 25 hours in Business class (with return flight) I still hadn’t found a fault. My fellow passengers couldn’t find a fault – every review needs a fault of some kind but still as I write this I simply cannot find one. Air New Zealand are actually “that good”.Read: Air New Zealand Premium Economy ReviewThe author was a guest of Air New Zealand Email: Sharon.petersen@airlineratings.comTwitter: @shazpetersenlast_img read more

SA targets 43 medals at Commonwealth Games

first_img13 June 2014 South Africa is targeting at least 43 medals at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) said at this week’s announcement of an initial squad of 155 athletes, spread across 15 sporting codes, to contest the event. Addressing a media briefing in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Sascoc president Gideon Sam said the committee wanted South Africa to place within the top five countries on the medals table in Glasgow. The Games start on 23 July and run through to 3 August. “We are not on the same level with Australia yet – one down; we are not at the level of Canada – two down; we battle with England – three down. Therefore, we will be contesting for the fifth spot with India and the home team, Scotland,” Sam reckoned. “In terms of our projection, we are saying if we put on the table 15 gold medals, 12 silver medals and 16 bronze, that will take us to 43 medals, that’s what we are going for now. “Fifth in New Delhi At the previous Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, four years ago, Team South Africa won 33 medals and finished fifth on the medals table with 12 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals. “The majority of the team are within the top five rankings of the Commonwealth and that is very reassuring for us,” Sam said, adding that those rankings also gave him confidence that South Africa would be able to send a strong team to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. “Glasgow is going to be tough but also great fun,” he said. “Our athletes will gain tremendously from these Games and, judging by the teams already announced by both Australia and Canada, it is not going to be a walk in the park for any country.”Sporting codes Sporting codes that Team South Africa will contest at the Games include aquatics (including para-swimming), athletics (including para-athletics), badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, judo, lawn bowls, netball, para-powerlifting, rugby sevens, shooting, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling. While the team announced by Sam accommodated promising juniors, a surprise omission was that of 800 metres runner Caster Semenya. Bryan Habana, who is closing in on 100 test caps for the Springboks, will be part of South Africa’s rugby sevens team at the Games.Olympic gold medallists The swimming squad includes Roland Schoeman a veteran of four Olympic Games, and 2012 Olympic gold medallists Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos. The track and field squad includes Sunette Viljoen, who will be aiming for her third consecutive Commonwealth Games gold in the women’s javelin, LJ van Zyl, winner of the 400m hurdles in 2006 and runner-up in 2010, and Simon Magakwe, who earlier this year set a South African 100 metres record of 9.98 seconds. Richard Murray, who finished second in the ITU World Triathlon Series in London at the beginning of the month, is currently ranked fourth in the world and will be one to watch out for in Glasgow.Returning gold medal winners The bowls team includes Gerry Baker, who won gold in the pairs with Shaun Addinall in Delhi four years ago, and the trips gold medal winning team of Tracy-Lee Botha, Susan Nel and Susanna Steyn. The men’s and women’s hockey squads, which are currently in action at the Hockey World Cup in the Hague, are expected to be announced at a later date.Money for medals Sam said athletes who win gold medals will also receive R40 000, silver medallists will be rewarded with R20 000, and bronze medal winners will be paid R7 500. The coaches of gold medallists will receive R10 000, while R5 000 will be paid out for silver medallists and R2 500 for bronze medallists. This year’s Commonwealth Games will be contested by 70 nations.TEAM SOUTH AFRICA AQUATICS Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos, Bradley Tandy, Dylan Bosch, Myles Brown, Sebastien Rousseau, Roland Schoeman, Leith Shankland, Caydon Muller, Clayton Jimmie, Calvyn Justus, Darren Murray, Tara-lynn Nicholas, Karin Prinsloo, Erin Gallagher, Trudi Maree, Marne Erasmus, Rene Warnes, Marlies Ross, Jessica Ashley- Cooper Management: Shawn Adriaanse (manager), Coaches: Graham Hill, Cedric Finch, Igor Omeltchenko, Wayne Riddin Para-swimming Craig Groenewald Manager/coach: Theo Verster ATHLETICS Simon Magakwe, Akani Simbine, Wayde van Niekerk, Andre Olivier, Johan Cronje, LJ van Zyl, Cornel Fredericks, Zarck Visser, Ruswahl Samaai, Khotso Mokoena, Orazio Cremona, Rocco van Rooyen, Willem Coertzen, Fredriech Pretorius, Sunette Viljoen, Wenda Nel, Hendrico Bruintjies, Shawn De Jager, Victor Hogan, Anaso Jobodwana Management: Motlatsi Keikabile, Coaches: Brandon Du Plessis, CarlPreller Para-athletics Fanie van der Merwe, Charl du Toit, Andrea Dalle Ave, Juanelie Meijer, Lean Simon Management: Karin le Roux (Manager/coach), Coach: Suzanne Ferreira BADMINTON Willem Viljoen, Andries Malan, Jacob Maliekal, Prakash Vijaynath, Jennifer Fry, Sandra le Grange, Elsie de Villiers Management: Stewart Carson (Manager/Coach) BOXING Ayabonga Sonjica, Thulani Mbenge, Siphiwe Lusizi, Luvuyo Sizani, Paul Schafer, Pathiswa Thingana Management: Nkosinathi Hlatshwayo (coach), Johan Prinsloo (Manager/Coach) CYCLING Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, Cherise Stander, Heidi Dalton, Lise Olivier, Anriette Schoeman, Andri Coetzee, Bernard Esterhuizen, Nolan Hoffman, Evan Carstens, Theuns vd Bank, Kellan Gouveris, Oupa Maluleke, Morne Van Niekerk, Mariske Strauss, Phillip Buys Management: Brett Coates (manager/MTB coach), Elrick Kulsen (Coach/track), Dean Edwards (coach/road/time trial), Ruan Lochner (mechanic) GYMNASTICS Kirsten Beckett, Claudia Cummins, Bianca Mann, Cameron MacKenzie, Tiaan Grobler, Siphamandla Ngcobo, Siphesihle Biyase, Grace Legote, Aimee van Rooyen, Julene van Rooyen Management: Ilse Laing (Manager/coach), Coaches: Tatiana Lavrentchouk-Vizer , Jesse Abraham Kitzen-Abelson HOCKEY Men’s and women’s sides to be announced after completion of the World Cup in the Netherlands JUDO Daniel le Grange, Siyabulela Mabulu, Jacques van Zyl, Zack Piontek, Tobie Snyman, Sinothando Mva Management: Ina van den Heever, (Manager), Vintcent Redpath (Coach) LAWN BOWLS Colleen Piketh, Tracy-Lee Botha, Susanna Nel, Susanna Steyn, Esme Steyn, Robert Donnelly, Gerald Baker, Josephus Jacobs, Jason Evans, Mmboniseni Neluonde Para-bowls Gyndolene Nel, Hermanus Scholtz, Geoffrey Newcombe, Johanna van Rooyen, Derrick Lobban, Roger Hagerty, Deon van de Vyver. Management: Jessica Henderson (Manager), Martinus Fraser (Coach),Brian Sneag (Manager/para-bowls) NETBALL Adele Niemand, Bongiwe Msomi, Chrisna Bootha, Erin Burger, Lenize Potgieter, Karla Mostert, Kefiloe Tsotsetsi, Maryka Holtzhausen, Melissa Myburgh, Precious Mthembu, Zanele Mdodana, Zanele Vimbela Management: Kitiana Lekalakala (Manager), Coaches: Elizabeth Kotze (coach), Ilze Pheiffer PARA-POWERLIFTING Chantell Stierman Management; Jan Flemming (Manager/Coach) RUGBY SEVENS Chris Dry, Schalk Brits, Frankie Horne, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Cheslin Kolbe, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Bryan Habana, Seabelo Senatla, Cornal Hendricks, Warren Whitley Management: Ashley Evert (Manager), Coaches: Neil Powell, Allan Temple Jones SHOOTING Alexander Coetzee, Johannes du Toit, Esmari van Reenen Management: Bernand de Beer (Manager /Coach) TRIATHLON Richard Murray, Henri Schoeman, Wian Sullwald, Kate Roberts, Gillian Sanders Manager: Lindsey Parry (Manager/Coach) WEIGHTLIFTING Portia Vries, Mona Pretorius, Anrich Phillips, Greg Shushu, Gordon Shaw Management: Aveenash Pandoo (Manager/Coach) WRESTLING Bokang Masunyane, Marno Plaatjes, Terry van Rensburg, Gerald Meyer, Armando Hietbrink, Adem Digovich, Mpho Madi, Jeannie-Marie Coetzer, Norma Gordon, Zumicke Geringer, Refilwe Molongwane Management: Nico Coetzee (Manager/Coach), Esta van Zyl (Coach) SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Study Finds Huge Variation in California HERS Rating Results

first_imgA home energy rating is supposed to tell you how energy-efficient your home is. A certified home energy rater goes to the home and collects all the data relevant to energy consumption in the home (well, all the data included in the rating anyway, which is almost everything). Then he or she enters the data into energy modeling software and get the results: consumption for heating, cooling, water heating, lights, and appliances, plus this thing called a HERS Index. But what if the results were off by 50%, 100%, or even more?That’s exactly what a new study in California has found. In the same project I wrote about earlier this year (Stockton Project Demonstrates Huge Home Energy Savings), researchers John Proctor, Rick Chitwood, and Bruce Wilcox hired 6 California HERS raters to rate the four homes in the study. Here’s a quick description of the homes: Why so much variation?Strangely, the smallest, simplest house had the most HERS Index variation among the six raters. The home the researchers called the Grange, shown in the photo at the beginning of this article, has only 852 square feet of conditioned floor area. It also has the simplest type of foundation to enter (slab on grade) and none of the complicating factors like attic kneewalls, vaulted ceilings, or sealed attics that can make some houses difficult to rate. It’s just a simple, little box.Despite the simplicity, however, the HERS Index for this home ranged from a low of 182 to a high of 269, a difference of 48%. One of the problems seems to have been the raters’ inability to agree on the efficiency of the air conditioner. The six raters used SEER ratings of 8, 10, 11, and 12, a difference of 50%.Another problem with accuracy was attic insulation. The researchers reported that the Mayfair, the second smallest and oldest of the homes, had an average of about one inch of insulation on top of the ceiling, as shown in the photo below. That would result in an R-value of about 3 or 4, yet three of the HERS raters entered that ceiling as being insulated to R-11. In the Fidelia home, the ceiling insulation entries varied from R-19 to R-49. Mayfair     19531104 sf Are HERS ratings worthless?It’s certainly tempting to think that HERS ratings are a waste of money when you see how imprecise and inaccurate these ratings are. After all, if the six raters here can differ so much from one another and from the measured results, that doesn’t engender a lot of confidence in the process.Even though California’s rating process is separate from RESNET’s, it’s structured similarly, so two factors are probably most responsible for the discrepancies the researchers found in this study. One is that a HERS rating is an asset label. It’s not meant to align perfectly with actual energy use because it’s designed as a way to help you compare one house to another without the differences that arise from the way people live in their homes.The other factor is quality assurance (QA). I wrote about this recently because RESNET is going through the process of trying to get greater consistency in HERS ratings (and unfortunately trying to go down the wrong road).My company, Energy Vanguard, is a HERS provider, and I think we do a pretty good job with QA. We train our raters well and don’t just automatically approve every file sent our way. Sometimes a rater will have to make corrections to a file three or four times before we approve it, and probably about half of the files we get need at least one correction.But I think we go further than many. RESNET requires providers to check only 10% of all files, meaning 90% can get approved without anyone looking at them. And, as I wrote in my article about RESNET’s improvement efforts, RESNET has done little to no technical oversight of providers, so it’s not hard for bad ratings to get all the way through the process. I’m sure it’s not much different in California, and that’s why Proctor, Chitwood, and Wilcox found the results described here.I think that home energy ratings are a useful tool. They’re not as good as they can be, however, and I think studies like this one can help expose the problems. Only then can we fix them. House       Year Built       Size        Accuracy versus precisionIn their initial report on the HERS ratings, the researchers did not include a comparison of the raters’ results to the measured results from the study. This is a three-year project in which the researchers started off with a baseline analysis of the homes, including these HERS ratings, and the proceeding through various improvements. Before making any improvements, however, they simulated occupancy of the homes and measured the energy consumption.Image #5 below is a graph that shows the spread in the estimated cooling energy use for the four homes as calculated by the energy modeling of the six raters and the monitored energy use with simulated occupancy. As you can see, the raters’ numbers were significantly higher than the monitored results in nearly every case.One interesting thing to notice here is that for the Mayfair, the raters had pretty good agreement. As shown in Image #2 below (Table 1), their results differed from one another by a maximum of 24%. The mean of their six results is 2,903 kWh. The measured result for cooling energy use is 731 kWh. I could tell you how many standard deviations of the mean separate the results (22), but the bull’s eye graphic below shows what it means to be precise but not accurate. For that illustration to be numerically correct, though, the cluster of shots would have to be much farther from the bull’s eye. California HERS ratingsHERS ratings in California are not in the purview of RESNET, the nonprofit organization that oversees HERS ratings in most of the country. The state oversees the work of HERS raters there. The California guidelines are similar to RESNET’s, with the same basic structure and quality assurance requirements. The California Energy Commission has a web page on their HERS program, with links to their regulations, technical manual, and more.center_img Caleb            20052076 sf        Fidelia     19901690 sf Grange     1948  852 sf The envelope, pleaseThe study, titled Round Robin HERS Ratings of Four California Homes: A Central Valley Research Homes Project, was published in May 2014 and shows the data from the raters they hired to rate each home. And who did those ratings? Before they did any work on the homes, the researchers hired 6 raters: 5 certified HERS raters using the California HERS protocols and one independent rater. All used the energy modeling software Energy Pro version 5.1.6.7.The summary table of the main results (Table 1) is shown as Image #2, below.The second and third columns, labeled HERS Rating, show the range of HERS Index values calculated by the six raters and the percent difference between the highest and lowest. Only one of the homes (Mayfair) comes close to having an acceptable variation among raters. Even that 12%, however, is four times as much as RESNET allows in the field QA process for raters. The heating and cooling consumption are also shown, and the spread is even worse.Image #3 (below) is a graph that shows each rater’s HERS Indices for the four houses. The vertical scale is the Index and the horizontal scale shows the raters by ID numbers. The Grange and Mayfair homes, being the two oldest, have the highest HERS Indices for all six raters with the Grange being the highest of all four homes for five of the six raters. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

Basic Allowance for Housing: Frequently Asked Question

first_imgBy Carol ChurchWhat is BAH?The BAH program provides housing stipends to service members in areas where government housing is not available. The allowance will vary based on the service member’s geographic location, his or her pay grade, and whether or not he or she has dependents. Note that the BAH does not vary based on the actual number of dependents. The only relevant question is “dependents” or “no dependents.”Typically, BAH is given to service members when military housing is not available. However, in some cases, a service member can choose whether or not live in military housing. If they choose not to, they will receive the BAH.What affects BAH rates?The service member’s pay grade, whether he or she has dependents, and where he or she is stationed.How are BAH rates determined?The military uses a thorough process to determine the appropriate rate for 300 different Military Housing Areas nationwide. They research typical rental costs for 6 different types of housing in an area, from a one-bedroom apartment to a 4-bedroom freestanding home.Service members receive a certain level of BAH based on their pay grade and whether or not they have dependents. Special attention is paid to ensuring that the rates are those found in neighborhoods appropriate to the service member’s pay grade.Can BAH money go towards a mortgage?Photo by Herald Post CC BY-NC 2.0Yes, service members can use BAH money towards a mortgage if they choose. However, they should keep in mind that BAH rates are determined by looking at average rental costs, not average house prices. Of course, it’s also important to keep in mind the many other costs of home ownership, and the logistical issues involved in buying a home.What if a service member wants to live in housing that costs more or less than the BAH?Some service members may wish to live in housing that is more or less expensive than the BAH reimbursement for their area. For instance, some members with multiple dependents may prefer a larger home, while single members may be content with a smaller and more economical rental. Some may be willing to pay more to be very close to base, while others may be fine with being farther away. This is perfectly fine, and in fact the military expects it to happen. Service members who pay more rent than their BAH allowance will need to make up the difference with their own money. Those who pay less rent than their BAH will be able to pocket the “extra” BAH. This can be an excellent way to save money for an emergency fund or other needs.What happens when the BAH changes?BAH is adjusted every year on January 1, but service members should not experience any hardship due to this. If the BAH for an area goes down, service members already in a rental or home will continue to receive BAH at the former, higher rate. If the BAH for an area goes up, service members will receive the larger payment. This is in place to make sure service members do not need to move as a result of rate changes.Service members continue to be protected under these terms unless their pay grade decreases, they no longer have dependents, or they receive a PCS (Permanent Change of Station).Is BAH supposed to cover 100% of housing costs?No. Originally, BAH was intended to cover only 80% of anticipated average housing costs, with the service member covering the remaining 20%. Then, in 2005, the law changed such that 100% of anticipated costs were covered. In 2015, there was another change such that service members needed to begin to cover a small amount of the costs. From 2015 to 2019, BAH rates will decrease by 1% every year, until BAH reaches a “low” of 95% of housing costs.What are the BAH rates for 2017?2017 BAH Rates for Servicemembers with Dependents2017 BAH Rates for Servicemembers without DependentsYou can also use the military’s BAH calculator to compare BAH rates from different years and at different pay grades.Are there other special circumstances that affect BAH? Where can I go to learn more?Divorce, child custody arrangements, and being a dual-career military family can affect BAH. To learn more, visit the DOD’s Basic Allowance for Housing page.last_img read more

Cavs, 76ers get to see their tantalizing guard combinations

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH GRIZZLIES 111, 76ERS 89Brandan Wright scored 16 points as the Grizzlies improved to 2-0 in the preseason.Jahlil Okafor and Robert Covington each scored 13 for the 76ers.GRIZZLIES: Mike Conley and Marc Gasol sat out. … Chandler Parsons played 18 minutes and had five points. … Andrew Harrison scored 14 points and JaMychal Green had 11.76ERS: JJ Redick scored 11 points in his 76ers debut. … Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, who finished second and third in last season’s Rookie of the Year voting, didn’t play. … Emeka Okafor, the former No. 2 overall pick trying to make an NBA comeback from back injuries, had two points in 9 1/2 minutes.UP NEXT: Memphis (2-0) visits Atlanta on Monday. Philadelphia (0-1) hosts Boston on Friday.HORNETS 108, PISTONS 106Rookie Malik Monk scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as Charlotte spoiled Detroit’s first game at Little Caesars Arena.Andre Drummond had 16 points and 15 rebounds in the Pistons’ preseason opener.HORNETS: Nicolas Batum sprained his left elbow and left 49 seconds into the game. … Jeremy Lamb scored 18 points off the bench. … Dwight Howard had 12 points and 11 rebounds. … Frank Kaminsky scored 13 points and Kemba Walker, Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist all had 10. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dwayne Wade (9) shoots over Atlanta Hawks’ Dennis Schroder during the first half of an NBA pre-season basketball game in Cleveland, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Phil Long)Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose paired in the backcourt in Cleveland. Ben Simmons finally on the floor with Markelle Fultz alongside in Philadelphia.Two Eastern Conference teams with big aspirations got to see some of their tantalizing combinations together in their preseason openers Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT PISTONS: Avery Bradley scored 14 points in his first game since coming from Boston in a trade. … Tobias Harris had 13 points and nine rebounds.UP NEXT: Charlotte (1-1) visits Miami on Monday. Detroit (0-1) hosts Atlanta on Friday.PACERS 108, BUCKS 86Myles Turner and Lance Stephenson each scored 17 points in Indiana’s preseason opener.Gary Payton II had 15 points for a Milwaukee team that put no players in double figures.PACERS: Victor Oladipo, in his first game since coming from Oklahoma City in the Paul George trade, scored 15 points. Domantas Sabonis, the other played acquired in the deal, shot 3 for 11 off the bench for eight points in 14 minutes. … Darren Collison finished with 10 points, seven steals and five assists.BUCKS: All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo remains out following the death of his father. Also sitting out for the Bucks were Jabari Parker, Thon Maker, Jason Terry and Matthew Dellavedova. … Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon had five points and three assists.UP NEXT: Indiana (1-0) visits Cleveland on Friday. Milwaukee (0-2) visits Chicago on Friday.MAVERICKS 118, BULLS 71Harrison Barnes scored 17 points, rookie Dennis Smith Jr. added 14 and Dallas cruised to its second victory in two preseason games.Robin Lopez and Paul Zipser each had 12 for the Bulls.BULLS: Chicago may have run out of gas playing for the second straight night. After a 26-point first quarter, the Bulls limped to the final buzzer with quarters of 17, 17 and 11 points. … Kris Dunn was 1 for 9 from the field and the Bulls were outscored by 21 points in his 21 minutes. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Cam Newton comments to female reporter ‘out of line’ Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:37Protesters 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 MAVERICKS: Dallas made 18 3-pointers. … Dirk Nowitzki had eight points and nine rebounds from the starting center spot.UP NEXT: Chicago (1-1) hosts Milwaukee on Friday. Dallas (2-0) hosts Orlando on Monday.NUGGETS 128, LAKERS 107Kenneth Faried had 25 points and seven rebounds in Denver’s second victory in three nights over the winless Lakers.Rookie Kyle Kuzma scored 21 points in a game where both teams rested top players in Ontario, California.NUGGETS: Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Wilson Chandler sat out. … Faried was 11 for 13 from the floor. … Jamal Murray scored 20 points, Mason Plumlee had 13 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, and Emmanuel Mudiay finished with 13 points, six assists and five rebounds.LAKERS: No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball missed the game after injuring his ankle in Denver’s victory Monday. Brandon Ingram also got the night off. … Jordan Clarkson scored 13 points off the bench.UP NEXT: Denver (3-0) visits San Antonio on Sunday. Los Angeles (0-3) faces Sacramento on Sunday in Las Vegas. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Dennis Schroder had 18 points as the Hawks earned their first preseason victory.Love finished with 12 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes.HAWKS: Taurean Prince had 15 points and eight rebounds. … Dewayne Dedmon was 6 for 7 from the field and scored 13 points.CAVALIERS: Jae Crowder, acquired from Boston in the Kyrie Irving trade, started and scored eight points. … Iman Shumpert played a little over two minutes off the bench before leaving with a foot injury. … Kyle Korver shot 1 for 8, 1 for 7 behind the arc, against his former team. … Rookie Cedi Osman from Turkey had six points in 16 minutes of his debut.UP NEXT: Atlanta (1-1) visits Detroit on Friday. Cleveland (0-1) hosts Indiana on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Wade and Rose made their debuts for the Cavaliers, who got a great first impression from Kevin Love in the center spot. The former All-Star guards both scored seven points as Cleveland lost 109-93 to the Atlanta Hawks while LeBron James sat out while recovering from a sprained left ankle.The Cavs are making Love their starting center this season and he began the game with 3-pointers for Cleveland’s first two baskets.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 shutoutPhiladelphia started the last two No. 1 overall picks together in its 111-89 home loss to Memphis. Simmons, who missed all of last season recovering from a broken foot, showed his versatility with six points, nine assists and seven rebounds. He shot only 2 for 8 and Fultz was worse at 2 for 13, finishing with four points in his first game.HAWKS 109, CAVALIERS 93last_img read more

Ravena-led crew rules Draft Combine mini-tournament

first_imgPBA IMAGESKiefer Ravena affirmed his place as one of the top amateurs in the country as he dominated the 2017 Gatorade PBA Draft Combine and led his team to the championship.Team A-2, composed of Ravena, Robbie Herndon, Jason Perkins, Lervin Flores, Chris de Chavez, Elmer Cabahug, and Christian Geronimo, bested the Jeron Teng-led Team B-3, 83-72, in the finals of the mini-tournament Tuesday at Gatorade Hoops Center in Shaw.ADVERTISEMENT Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Ravena, the former Ateneo stalwart, bagged majority of the awards in the two-day event including the MVP honors.“Maybe my competitiveness really showed up that I didn’t want to lose,” he said as his side completed a sweep. “My mindset is to really win as much as I can, whether individual skills or team competition, especially the team competition because I really wanted to help my team win and make my teammates look as good as I can here in the combine.”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 shutoutRavena fired 12 points in the finals as Perkins topscored for their team with 20 markers.Herndon added 18 points, de Chavez got 17 markers, and Flores had 13, as their side took home the P75,000 cash prize. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Teng paced his team with 23 points, as he gained support from Ervin Grospe, who had 18 markers, and Dan Sara, who poured in 10.The runner-up squad also had Kyle Neypes, Gian Abrigo, and Zach Nicholls in their team.Ravena was joined by Perkins, Herndon, Teng, and Raymar Jose in the Mythical Five.In the battle for third, the trio of Gab Dagangon, Jett Manuel, and Jose led Team A-1 past Team B-2 of Emil Palma and Louie Vigil, 59-55.Dagangon got 20 points, Manuel unloaded 13 markers, and Vigil had 10.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Read Nextcenter_img Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Palma and Thomas Torres had 13 points each in a losing effort.The 2017 PBA Rookie Draft is on Sunday at Robinsons Place Manila.Cross-over Semis:First Game:A-2 61 – Ravena 15, Perkins 14, Flores 13, Herndon 12, De Chavez 3, Geronimo 0, Cabahug 0.B-2 58 – Vigil 12, Gabriel 12, Palma 11, Sumido 7, Torres 7, Sargent 6, Baltazar 3.Second Game:B-3 51 – Teng 17, Neypes 11, Abrigo 9, Grospe 8, Sara 5, Nicholls 0.A-1 45 – Manuel 11, Jose 10,  Moralde 8, Dagangon 7, Casiño 5, Apreku 4.Classification Games: Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf PLAY LIST 01:37Protesters 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 View comments Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Battle for Third:A-1 59 – Dagangon 20, Manuel 13, Jose 12, Casiño 7, Moralde 5, Apreku 2.B-2 55 – Palma 14, Torres 14, Vigil 12, Gabriel 7, Baltazar 5, Sumido 3, Sargent 0.Finals:A-2 83 – Perkins 20, Herndon 18, De Chavez 17, Flores 13, Ravena 12, Geronimo 0, Cabahug 0.B-3 72 – Teng 23, Grospe 18, Sara 10, Neypes 8, Abrigo 7, Nicholls 0. Calisaan scores 36, Stags knock off Knights for 4th spotlast_img read more

FIFA suspend Peru striker Guerrero for failing doping test

first_imgMOST READ Earlier Friday, the head of doping control of the Brazilian Football Confederation said Guerrero could still provide evidence that he did not take prohibited substances without warning Peru and Flamengo.“If Guerrero has justification for this and that justification was offered before the match against Argentina, it is not a doping case,” Fernando Solera told channel SporTV.Solera also said Flamengo showed evidence that Guerrero did not take any illegal substances during his time with the Brazilian club.ADVERTISEMENT APLIMA, Peru — Peru captain and striker Paolo Guerrero has been provisionally suspended by FIFA for 30 days after failing a doping test.Guerrero tested positive on Oct. 5 after the World Cup qualifying match against Argentina, the Peruvian Football Federation added on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding World Series champion Astros hold off on White House talk Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPAcenter_img Read Next The federation did not disclose the banned substance.If the decision is upheld, Peru will miss its main striker for both World Cup playoff matches against New Zealand this month. Peru and New Zealand meet on Nov. 11 and 16.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 shutoutThe federation said it “believes the facts will soon be clarified and this issue will be permanently solved.”Guerrero, who plays his club football for Flamengo, scored six times in South American qualifiers and led Peru to fifth place. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Makabayan bloc: Duterte suspension order on rice importation only a ‘media stunt’ PLAY LIST 02:46Makabayan bloc: Duterte suspension order on rice importation only a ‘media stunt’00:50Trending 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 LATEST STORIES QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort View commentslast_img read more