City survive Villa fightback

first_img Press Association Substitute Fernandinho struck a late winner as Manchester City killed off an Aston Villa comeback to claim a frantic 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium. The hosts were far from convincing but looked to have the game wrapped up when Aleksandar Kolarov curled home an excellent free-kick after the break. But FA Cup finalists Villa, initially flat after last week’s Wembley exertions, hit back, showing plenty of urgency in what is still a fight against relegation for them. Sanchez thought he had snatched a hard-earned point but City recovered to reclaim second place in the table ahead of the clash between rivals Arsenal and Manchester United later in the weekend. City were unchanged and similar to last week – when West Ham’s James Collins gifted them an opener – the hosts were handed an early goal. This time goalkeeper Guzan erred when, seemingly under no pressure, he badly miskicked a Ron Vlaar backpass and effectively gave Aguero an open goal. Naturally, City’s ace marksman accepted the chance and slid home his 27th goal of the season with just three minutes on the clock. If Guzan was hoping to force his way into manager Tim Sherwood’s thinking for Wembley, having deferred to Shay Given so far in the cup run, it was the worst possible start. Things almost got worse for the American too as he came out to claim a Kolarov free-kick but completely missed the ball. To his relief Fernando was unable to guide the ball into the empty net. City looked to have thrown away victory as Villa recovered from 2-0 down with second-half goals from Tom Cleverley and Carlos Sanchez but Fernandinho had the final word in the 89th minute. City had been gifted an early lead when Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan blundered and Sergio Aguero pounced. Guzan did deal with an Aguero shot from the edge of the area but Villa’s sloppy start continued as an aimless Leandro Bacuna backpass played in the Argentinian yet again. This time Villa were able to scramble back and Jesus Navas’ follow-up effort was blocked. Sherwood looked far from happy on the Villa touchline but his team did eventually settle and start to control some possession. A defensive lapse from City almost allowed them back into the game as the ball rebounded into Christian Benteke’s path while the back line appealed for offside. Fortunately for City, goalkeeper Joe Hart blocked from the Belgian. Toure looked laboured in the latter stages of the first half, clutching his hamstring at times. It was no surprise he was withdrawn at the interval with Fernandinho taking his place. City showed more purpose after the restart, with Navas breaking to the byline but finding no-one has he pulled the ball back across goal. Aguero went down in the area after tangling with Jores Okore but referee Mike Dean was not convinced. City looked to have made the game safe with Kolarov’s superb free-kick after Fernandinho was felled 30 yards from goal in the 66th minute. The set-piece was cleverly disguised as Milner faked and Kolarov bent a low shot around the wall which gave Guzan no chance. It seemed City had the game sewn up but Villa had other ideas and quickly responded. A free-kick of their own caused problems in the City box and Jack Grealish’s cross was only half-cleared. Cleverley came running onto the loose ball outside the area and drove a shot through several bodies and past Hart. Another nightmare seemed to be unfolding for City when Hart flapped at a corner five minutes from time and Sanchez took full advantage. They could even have lost the game and were thankful for a dubious offside flag against Benteke before he was tripped in the penalty box by Hart. But there was still time for one final piece of drama and Fernandinho provided it at the other end as he controlled on his chest from a corner and drove home the winner. last_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 2, 2016)–Santa Anita Park has announced it will begin installation of a completely new Bermuda turf course on June 20, which will be ready for use in advance of Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet which begins in late September.“With the impact of additional racing dates and increased demand for turf racing, the replacement of the course is something we have been anticipating and planning for several months,” said Joe Morris, Senior Vice President, West Coast Operations for The Stronach Group. “The new course will be very tight-knit and uniform, and we’re confident that we can have it fully installed by early July, which will give it the time it needs during optimum growing conditions.“Turf racing is extremely popular with our fans and horsemen, and with our expanded racing calendar, we are placing demands on this course that have never before existed. The new turf is designed to be robust enough to handle the additional use. The horsemen are fully supportive of this project, and together, we look forward to its implementation.”                Trainer Jim Cassidy, President of the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT), said the following: “A completely new and durable turf course is essential to successful year ’round racing at Santa Anita. Track leadership has been careful to consider our suggestions and we are pleased to endorse their plan.”Beginning June 6, preparations will begin on the hillside portion of the course, with the turf oval scheduled for closure beginning June 20. The first course of action will be to remove the existing turf and prepare the soil for the installation of the fully mature Bermuda, which has been grown in La Quinta, Calif.With an oval that measures about seven furlongs, Santa Anita’s Camino Real Turf Course is unlike any other in North America, in that it features a hillside component, which measures about 6 ½ furlongs (4,777 feet) from the top of the hill to the finish line.With Santa Anita’s current Winter Meet drawing to a close on April 10, turf racing in California will shift to Golden Gate Fields as they conduct their 75th anniversary Turf Festival, which will run from April 14 through May 1. Turf Festival purses will be increased and horsemen will be offered complementary vanning between Santa Anita and Golden Gate.As a result of Santa Anita’s turf course project, there will be no turf racing here from June 23 through closing day of the track’s Spring Meeting on July 10.Turf racing will resume with the onset of Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet, which runs from Sept. 30 through Nov. 6.last_img read more

Ace: South Africa’s greatest footballer?

first_imgPule “Ace” Ntsoelengoe, who made his mark both in South Africa, for glamour club Kaizer Chiefs, and the United States, was inducted into the US Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003.This came as no surprise: former South Africa coach Clive Barker puts Ntsoelengoe on a par with Zinedine Zidane, while former Argentinean manager Oscar Martinez once described him as “almost a perfect footballer”.The star midfielder of many great Kaizer Chiefs teams of the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, Ntsoelengoe is remembered as a gifted player, a midfield general that helped his club win not only consistently, but with style.However, Ntsoelengoe spent most of his prime football-playing days in North America, although he did return during the off-season to play for Chiefs in South Africa.Eleven seasons in the USThe midfield maestro played 11 seasons in North America, representing the Miami Torros, Denver Dynamos, Minnesota Kicks and Toronto Blizzard in the North American Soccer League (NASL).By the time he was done with the NASL, he had certainly left his mark, ranking among the league’s all-time leaders in both appearances and goals scored. He was also voted onto the NASL’s first-team All Star line-up in 1979 and 1982, and earned honourable mentions in 1977, 1978 and 1980.An interesting statistic was kept by the NASL, in which players were awarded points both for goals scored and for “assists” (setting up goals). Ace ranks seventh on the all-time list, a lasting testament to his all-round performances, showing off not only his individual ability but also his team work.The NASL season was structured so that, after the regular league season, the top teams would qualify for the playoffs. Ntsoelengoe made the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons, although he never managed to land the NASL title. He reached the final three times, but was on the losing side on all three occasions.‘On a par with Zidane’Ntsoelengoe was an awesome presence in the midfield, as Clive Barker – coach of Bafana Bafana when they won the 1996 African Nations Cup – well recalls. Barker, who was coaching Amazulu in 1976, relates how Ntsoelengoe orchestrated the Usuthus’ downfall in a Cup final, leading Kaizer Chiefs to a 3-1 win in the first leg and to a 5-2 victory in the second leg.Barker reckons that, during the second match, he actually stood up and applauded a goal by Ace after the midfield star made an adjustment in mid-stride and then bent the ball around the advancing goalkeeper.Barker rates Ntsoelengoe as arguably the best player yet produced by South Africa, putting him on the same level as footballing great Zinedine Zidane, the man who helped France win the 1998 World Cup with a string of sensational performances.‘Almost a perfect footballer’In an article on the Mogale City website, Nat Serache relates a story about Ntsoelengoe when, in 1976, he played for a South African team selected on merit against an Argentinean select side.The South Africans crushed their South American opposition five-nil. After the game, late South African sports writer Stan Motjuwadi asked Argentinean manager Oscar Martinez how he rated South Africa’s players.He rated Ntsoelengoe as the best. “That boy is a mint”, Martinez said. “He is almost a perfect footballer. He can dribble, he can shoot, he can attack, and he can defend.“I can tell you why Ace stands head and shoulders above all your players”, the Argentine manager continued. “He is intelligent; he has got great abilit,y and he is strong and courageous. He plays like he has got a machine inside his body. He knows when to dribble and when to shoot.“What I like about Ace is that he is good in the air, good on the ground and good everywhere you can think of. I cannot remember seeing the ball taken away from him”, Martinez added.After his playing career was over, Ntsoelengoe was involved with Kaizer Chiefs, making valuable contributions to the club’s youth programme. He also assisted South Africa’s national under-23 team.Pule “Ace” Ntsoelengoe died suddenly in Johannesburg on 8 May 2006. He was 54 years old.In October 2008, he was posthumously awarded the Order of Ikhamanga, South Africa’s highest honour for people who excel in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

SA mothballs Pebble Bed Reactor

first_img Source: BuaNews 17 September 2010 The South African government has taken the tough decision to cut its losses and cancel further investment in the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor project. While technologically sound, and potentially ideal for developing countries, the PBMR has been unable to secure sufficient investment to keep it going. South Africa was at the forefront of developing the new nuclear technology that, its proponents argued, was safe, clean and, because it could be adopted in small-scale and modular fashion, ideally suited to the needs of developing countries. However, the government, “after careful deliberation, analysis and review, and mindful of the fiscal constraints in these hard economic times, has had to make a decision no longer to invest in this project,” Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan told Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday. Hogan said the scale and size of the PBMR company was now being reduced to a few people, with the focus now on the retention of its intellectual property and certain of its skills, and the preservation of its assets.Decision ‘not taken lightly’ She said the government’s decision had not been taken lightly, and that it was mindful of the impact this would have on the careers and livelihoods of the PBMR employees. “Nor have we lost sight of the significant investment already made by government in this project and the impressive scientific advances already achieved in pioneering this particular form of nuclear technology,” Hogan said. The minister said the government had to consider the fact that the PBMR has not been able to secure an anchor customer or another investment partner, and that further investment in the project could well be in excess of an additional R30-billion. Over the last few years, a total of R9.244-billion had been invested in the project, of which the government had contributed 80.3%, or R7.419-billion. State electricity company Eskom had contributed 8.8%, with Westinghouse and the Industrial Development Corporation accounting for 4.9% each. The project has been missing deadlines constantly, with the construction of the first demonstration model delayed further and further into the future. Additionally, the opportunity afforded to the PBMR to participate in the US’s Next Generation Nuclear Plant programme as part of the Westinghouse consortium was lost in May when Westinghouse withdrew from the programme. Should South Africa embark on a nuclear build programme in the future, it would not use Pebble Bed Technology, which is still primarily in the research and design phase. “Finally, the severity of the current economic downturn, and the strains that it has placed on the fiscus, as well as the nature and scale of government’s current developmental priorities, has forced government to reprioritise its spending obligations and therefore, of necessity, to make certain tough decisions – this being one of them,” Hogan said.‘Care and maintenance mode’ The government had commissioned an independent high-level review of the project, with an inter-departmental task team evaluating the options available. Several of the task team’s recommendations had been approved by Cabinet, including that the PBMR be placed in “care and maintenance mode” in order to protect its assets and intellectual property. The company will be downsized by 75%; about 600 employees have already left in terms of prescribed procedures. Retrenchment of the remaining staff will continue, while the PBMR’s Fuel Development Laboratory will be decommissioned. A Helium Test Facility at the University of North West will only be mothballed if the university decides it does not wish to continue using the facility. The Departments of Higher Education and Energy will seek to continue supporting nuclear graduate programmes at universities that benefited from PBMR-related investment. However, the closing of the project would inevitably result in some leakage of skills. At the same time, Hogan said, “we do envisage the further up-skilling and training of a younger generation of scientists and technicians who have benefitted from our investments in PBMR.” A full review and audit of the project, still to be conducted, would help to capture the lessons to be learnt from such an undertaking, and identify any outstanding steps that still needed to be taken, Hogan said.The technology in itself ‘fully viable’ A feasibility study on the project started in 2000, and in 2003 the National Nuclear Regulator reported a positive view on the possibility of licensing the PBMR. In 2005, the PBMR’s focus shifted to work needed for licensing a demonstration power plant and the detailed design work required for manufacturing long lead-time items for the plant. The funding given by government was intended to ensure continuation of the project, while providing a firm foundation for acquiring an anchor customer and additional private sector investment for the project. It was originally envisaged that Eskom would be the PBMR’s anchor customer, purchasing up to 24 PBMR reactors, with a first demonstration PBMR to be built at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station site in Cape Town. “It is absolutely clear from all the high-level reviews that have been undertaken that there is no doubt about the validity of Pebble Bed Technology itself,” Hogan said. “The main feature of the Pebble Bed Reactor is that its safety features are inherent in the physics of the design, as opposed to add-on engineered safety features, as found on current Light Water Reactor nuclear plants. “However, between 2005 and 2009, it became increasingly clear that, based on the direct-cycle electricity design, PBMR’s potential investor and customer market was severely restricted, and it was unable to acquire either [investors or customers].”last_img read more

Celebrating Women Who Are Playing Their Part

first_imgCelebrating Women’s month and commemorating the national march of women to the Union Buildings on the 9th August 1956, to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the ‘pass’.Brand South Africa’s Play your Part will host a women’s month breakfast on Wednesday, 08 August 2018 to say celebrate Play Your Part women ambassadors and use the platform to inspire others to join this wonderful movement. These are women who’ve carried on living the legacy left behind by Albertina Sisulu, Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams De Bruy and the many more women of 1956.Speaking on the planned women’s breakfast, Brand South Africa’s GM: Marketing, Ms Sithembile Ntombela said; “We call on women to join us as we bring exemplary South African women together to recognise and celebrate the contribution they make to society.”.As announced early in the year that 2018 is the centenary of Albertina Sisulu, it is appropriate that women take a page out of Mama Sisulu’s life and aspire to be ‘a woman of fortitude’.“We are in an era where women of 1956 are being reincarnated by the generation of today. These women are raising their voices and standing up against gender-based violence we face on a daily. They epitomize the true essence of Play Your Part and continue to inspire a lasting legacy of women”, further adds Ms Ntombelalast_img read more

Mannequin Dummy Head Hat Cap Hair Holder Wig Display Stand : Wig makers need this product

first_imgAs described, nonetheless it could be more sturdier.Wig makers need to have this item. This is a have to if you are creating wigs. You make a gap in the base of the wig head and then deal with it on. You may perhaps have to put some tape close to the write-up a couple periods until eventually it suits snug.Mannequin Dummy Head Hat Cap Hair Holder Wig Display StandAdjustable stem can be moved to any positionWig makers need to have this item. This is a have to if you are creating wigs. You make a gap in the base of the wig head and then deal with it on. You may perhaps have to put some tape close to the write-up a couple periods until eventually it suits snug.Not the ideal of holders, dodgy slightly but will do for now.Lets just say im ready to make my individual wigs with simplicity. The stand hooked up really quickly to my desk and stayed in location. I specially liked that its adjustable (up and down and pivots) for uncomplicated maneuvering.Mannequin Dummy Head Hat Cap Hair Holder Wig Display Stand : Works fine, you might need to add some adhesive/tape to stop your head from moving. Lets just say im ready to make my individual wigs with simplicity. The stand hooked up really quickly to my desk and stayed in location. I specially liked that its adjustable (up and down and pivots) for uncomplicated maneuvering.Performs fantastic, you may well have to have to insert some adhesive/tape to stop your head from going.Not the ideal of holders, dodgy slightly but will do for now.Not the ideal of holders, dodgy slightly but will do for now.Not the ideal of holders, dodgy slightly but will do for now.Not the ideal of holders, dodgy slightly but will do for now.Performs fantastic, you may well have to have to insert some adhesive/tape to stop your head from going.Wig makers need to have this item. This is a have to if you are creating wigs. You make a gap in the base of the wig head and then deal with it on. You may perhaps have to put some tape close to the write-up a couple periods until eventually it suits snug.As described, nonetheless it could be more sturdier.As described, nonetheless it could be more sturdier.Not the ideal of holders, dodgy slightly but will do for now.Lets just say im ready to make my individual wigs with simplicity. The stand hooked up really quickly to my desk and stayed in location. I specially liked that its adjustable (up and down and pivots) for uncomplicated maneuvering.As described, nonetheless it could be more sturdier.Wig makers need to have this item. This is a have to if you are creating wigs. You make a gap in the base of the wig head and then deal with it on. You may perhaps have to put some tape close to the write-up a couple periods until eventually it suits snug.Performs fantastic, you may well have to have to insert some adhesive/tape to stop your head from going.Wig makers need to have this item. This is a have to if you are creating wigs. You make a gap in the base of the wig head and then deal with it on. You may perhaps have to put some tape close to the write-up a couple periods until eventually it suits snug.last_img read more

Flood Survivors Become Flood Activists

first_imgThis post originally appeared at Ensia. Susan Liley didn’t set out to become an activist. “A grandma, that’s all I am,” she says. But when her hometown of De Soto, Missouri, flooded four times in three years, Liley felt called to act. After the first couple of floods, Liley did what she could do to help her neighbors: She dragged waterlogged furniture from a friend’s home and delivered eggs from her chickens to those without electricity. But the third time around, Liley says, “I got mad.”RELATED ARTICLESFlood, Rebuild, Repeat: The Need for Flood Insurance ReformFlooding Is More Than a Coastal ProblemHome Buyers Face Stacked Deck to Learn of Past FloodsUrban Flooding: A Problem That’s Getting WorseIs It Time to Move Our Cities? Across the U.S., flood survivors are growing in number and — like Liley — they’re getting mad and fighting back. From city streets to subdivisions and trailer parks, they are comparing notes with neighbors and asking hard questions about the rising tide. They are messaging each other on Facebook, packing meeting halls and lawyering up. And, increasingly, they are seeking not just restitution, but answers. Flood survivors are identifying the root causes of repeated flooding and working toward solutions. Most recently, their ranks were swelled by a March “bomb cyclone” in the Upper Midwest, which unleashed catastrophic flooding that was visible from space. According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, climate change is driving more severe floods in many parts of the country. Sea-level rise is inundating coastal cities, where “sunny-day flooding” is now a thing. Rising seas contribute to high-tide flooding, which has grown by a factor of five to 10 since the 1960s in many U.S. coastal communities — and that trend is expected to accelerate in the future. Farther inland, increased rainfall is a major culprit. Because a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, the past few decades have seen many more “heavy precipitation events,” especially in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains. In the Northeast, for example, heavy rains pack 50% more water than they did before 1991. Not surprisingly, those deluges have led to more flooding from Albany, New York, to Duluth, Minnesota. Not just the climate  But climate isn’t the only reason we are seeing more floods. Ill-conceived development, especially in flood-prone areas, replaces water-absorbing forests and wetlands with impermeable surfaces — so there is simply nowhere for all that water to go. While the risks of building in a floodplain may seem obvious, such construction continues nonetheless — in part because waterfront properties are in high demand, commanding premium prices that boost real estate tax income for local governments. In De Soto, both factors are at play. There is more precipitation, according to Liley: “It used to be 3 or 4 inches of rain, and now we get 7 to 10.” But the town also hugs the banks of flood-prone Joachim Creek. Over the years, construction of new homes and roads has thwarted the creek’s natural drainage and put more people in harm’s way. Liley remembers tragedy striking in 2003, when a flash flood in Joachim Creek led to one death. “We didn’t realize it was a preview of things to come,” Liley says. In 2013, another flash flood killed two people: an elderly woman who was washed away by the torrent, and another who died while being evacuated. When De Soto flooded again in 2015, Liley reached her limit. “Three of us ladies were talking on Facebook and said we have to do something. So we met the next morning, and organized the Citizen’s Committee for Flood Relief.” The committee’s first priority was to figure out some kind of early warning system. While coastal and riverine floods can be (imperfectly) predicted in advance, flash floods by definition arrive unannounced. Second, they sought to understand the root causes of repeated flooding and address them. Higher Ground lends a hand Liley’s group got a powerful assist from an organization called Higher Ground (formerly Flood Forum USA). A project of the nonprofit Anthropocene Alliance, Higher Ground is the largest national flood survivor network in the U.S. It currently links 43 flood survivor groups in 20 U.S. states — inland and coastal, urban and rural, representing a wide range of demographics and political affiliations. Higher Ground was founded by Harriet Festing, a former British civil servant and goat farmer who came to the U.S. in 2011 when a Conservative government eliminated the climate and energy department for which she worked. Festing took a job with the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago. There she met a woman named Helen Lekavich, a hairstylist-turned-organizer who demonstrated what a passionate group of flood survivors could accomplish. After enduring repeated floods in her town of Midlothian, Lekavich and her neighbors organized a group called Floodlothian Midlothian, which eventually won a $7.6 million flood control project from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. With 41 million people estimated to be living in flood zones, Festing says, “imagine if we could find Helen Lekaviches across the country and create a unified voice! So that’s what we set out to do.” She reached out to survivors’ groups — finding them on Facebook, in local media and through word of mouth — and Higher Ground was born. “The leadership to address flooding and other climate impacts needs to come directly from the people and communities that are most affected,” says Festing. But these issues are complex, requiring expertise beyond the understanding (and pocketbooks) of survivor groups. So, in partnership with the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange and three other partners, Higher Ground matches flood survivors with experts in hydrology, floodplain management, citizen weather monitoring, insurance, law, case management, planning, and architecture. And Higher Ground links survivors’ groups with one another, so they can trade notes and strategies — for example, by holding a monthly videoconference and leadership forum. In De Soto, Higher Ground matched Liley’s group with scientists from Saint Louis University and the U.S. Geological Survey who helped create a simple but effective flood warning system. Sensors in Joachim Creek now send messages to a phone app that pings residents when the creek rises over a certain level.  “When it’s 8 feet over, we’re in trouble,” says Liley. “But when it’s 10 feet over, you better be out of there because it’s going to be in homes.” Higher Ground helped Liley’s group petition their senators and members of Congress to commission a $200,000 watershed study for the city of De Soto. Conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its state-level Silver Jackets team, Liley says the study will show how green infrastructure, such as restored wetlands and parks, can minimize flood risk along Joachim Creek. The study’s completion was delayed by the recent federal government shutdown. And other hurdles remain — namely money. “All this work that the Corps of Engineers has done, without funding for implementation, we will get nowhere,” Liley says. Still, identifying the problem is a crucial first step.  A flooding whodunit  Sometimes, identifying the problem has all the drama of a whodunit. That’s how it played out in Richwood, Texas, where residents rode out Hurricane Harvey without any notable flooding. Then, “four days after Harvey vamoosed on out of here, water started backing up into our neighborhood,” remembers Kevin McKinney, a self-employed transportation safety consultant. McKinney had 3 feet of water in his home for nine days. “I lost everything I had,” he says. Yet, despite Harvey’s historic rainfall totals, something did not sit right for McKinney and his neighbors. “There are people who have lived here for 45 to 50 years, and never, ever flooded,” McKinney says. “Why now?” Richwood residents did some investigating; one even deployed a camera-equipped drone to get a bird’s eye view. They claim to have discovered that the City of Lake Jackson used pumps and sandbags to divert floodwater to Richwood’s Bastrop Reservoir, which overflowed into Richwood residents’ homes. “They had three pumps going at 6,800 gallons a minute, running for 10 days,” says McKinney. “The water was actually flowing uphill.” The City of Lake Jackson denies the charges. The people of Richwood organized. They formed a Facebook group called Flood Victims of Richwood and called meetings that packed a local church. And they joined up with Higher Ground, which matched them to a hydrologist who is using lidar data to analyze the post-Harvey flood. Now more than 400 homeowners are suing the City of Lake Jackson for $45 million, according to Matias Adrogue, the lawyer representing the citizens of Richwood who brought the lawsuit. McKinney says the goal of the lawsuit is to find out what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. And he wants to see the survivors compensated for their losses. But there is a deeper principle of fairness he wants to address: “We need to find a solution together,” McKinney says. “You just don’t flood your neighbors.” The rich get richer  Questions of fairness are increasingly on flood survivors’ minds. Floods are sometimes seen as equal-opportunity disasters that affect rich and poor alike. But a substantial body of research (highlighted in a recent exposé by NPR) shows that federal aid actually leaves wealthy, white communities better off after natural disasters — while the reverse is true for low-income communities of color. Constance C. Luo, a community organizer for the Texas Organizing Project in Houston, has seen this play out in the recovery from Hurricane Harvey. “Harvey did not discriminate,” she says. “People in richer areas did severely flood, and it was terrible. But whether you got assistance depended on things like the flexibility of your employer or whether you had flood insurance. So many wealthy families found themselves to be prosperous after Harvey, while other families go bankrupt.” The people who went bankrupt, Luo says, are those who work low-wage jobs and cannot take time off work to navigate the complex bureaucracy of disaster assistance. A disproportionate number come from the low-income African-American and Latino neighborhoods of Northeast Houston, where a lack of investment in infrastructure and poor drainage led to a high number of flooded homes. Given that disparity, the Texas Organizing Project fought for — and won — a county program that prioritizes investment in low-income neighborhoods for flood recovery and prevention. But that plan has drawn fierce opposition from affluent Houstonians who say bond funds should be evenly dispersed throughout the city. “The question,” says Luo, “is whether the bond projects should be equal to everyone, or equitable — weighted toward neighborhoods that traditionally have had very little attention to their flood infrastructure. We stand on the side of equity.” To bolster its case for equitable flood recovery, the Texas Organizing Project joined up with Higher Ground in 2018. The group was matched with geologist Edith Newton Wilson, owner of Rock Whisperer LLC in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who is mapping flood risks in Northeast Houston. The maps show high and low ground, bayous, drainage infrastructure, and other factors that shape risk and resilience. For Luo and other community residents, the maps are revelatory. “There’s real power to being able to identify your place on a map, and say ‘Oh! People on the other blocks near me suffer from this, too! Oh! We’re all in the floodplain! That’s why our insurance is so high.’” In this way, the mapping project is educating Northeast Houstonians about flood risk management — and providing vital data for advocacy. “I strongly believe that community, fighting hand in hand with science, is an unbeatable force,” says Luo.  The future of flooding  That unbeatable force will have much to contend with in the decades to come, as climate change and development raise flood risks across the U.S. In some places, those risks pose an almost existential challenge; the future of the community hinges on finding better ways to channel, divert, and live with water. Charleston, South Carolina, is one such place. Thanks to sea-level rise, land subsidence, and development in low-lying areas, Charleston is on track to experience sunny-day flooding more than half the year — 187 days — by 2045. “What does that mean?” asks Eileen Dougherty, who runs a commercial fishing business in Charleston. “That’s going to massively change the way that we live. That affects our basic safety services, our firefighters. Can the ambulance get to your house? Can children get to school? So, we have a lot of things to look at here in Charleston.” Dougherty — like Liley and McKinney — became an unwitting activist on this issue when her land began to flood. The culprit, she believed, was the new 294-unit apartment building next door, which had altered the soil and the flow of water through the neighborhood. She reached out for help from the local municipalities, to no avail. Dougherty now believes that development in Charleston takes what she calls a “whack-a-mole approach,” where large developments are popping up at an alarming rate without adequate drainage solutions and are flooding surrounding properties. So Dougherty got involved with a group called Fix Flooding First — another Higher Ground affiliate — because she wants to see a more comprehensive approach. “We need to have all the municipalities, the governing agencies, on the same page with building and zoning in a way that incorporates best practices,” she says. “We need to build in a way that preserves our natural environment, preserves our culture, and preserves our ability to have that tourism revenue. And I think we can do all that.” While each community’s challenges are unique, common themes and challenges call out for action at the state or federal level — and even in the most vulnerable places, there is much that can be done to reduce the toll of flooding. For example, across the nation, developers continue to build in floodplains, finding workarounds to ordinances and federal regulations — and, according to Festing, they sometimes adopt dubious tactics to do so. Higher Ground members are alerting one another to these tactics and reporting them to the appropriate authorities, Festing says. In this way, they hope to spark change at a national scale. There is no way to sugarcoat the challenges ahead. But as the waters rise, so do awareness and determination. Flood survivors are no longer simply victims; they are an ever-growing constituency for change. They are asking vitally important questions. They are challenging longstanding development practices and demanding a more equitable distribution of risks and rewards. They are grappling with the changing climate and its implications for the places we call home. And they are joining forces. “The big resonating thing that runs through my mind is unity,” says Dougherty. “If you can create a united voice, a united front, that is very powerful.”   This article was produced by the Island Press Urban Resilience Project, with support from the Kresge Foundation and the JPB Foundation. Laurie Mazur is editor of the project.last_img read more

Sumitra Mahajan not to contest LS polls says has freed party to

first_imgNew Delhi: With the BJP appearing to be in a dilemma over fielding her, outgoing Lok Sabha speaker and eight-time MP from Indore, Sumitra Mahajan Friday opted out of contesting the general elections saying she has freed the party to make its choice. Mahajan, who turns 76 next Friday, said there had been speculations whether the party would field someone who has crossed the 75-year age bar. “There were speculations and so I decided to end them and free the party to make its choice. I will not contest the Lok Sabha elections,” she told PTI from Indore. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Mahajan, however, maintained that she would continue to work for the party and campaign for it. “The party (BJP) had not been able to name a candidate (from Indore Lok Sabha seat) for so many days and there were speculations if someone over 75 years of age will be fielded. So I decided to end all this,” she said. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah had in an interview to The Week magazine on Thursday stated that it was his party’s decision not to give Lok Sabha poll tickets to those above 75 years of age, leading to veteran leaders like L K Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi missing out. Though he had not named Mahajan, the outgoing Lok Sabha speaker too falls in the same age bracket. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Mahajan was first elected to the Lok Sabha from Indore in 1989 and has won all the seven consecutive elections. She was a minister of state in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, holding portfolios of human resources development, telecom and petroleum between 1999 and 2004. When the BJP swept to power again in 2014, she was named the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Mahajan also issued a short press statement questioning why the party has not been able to name a candidate till now. “Possibly the party is hesitating to take a decision. I had discussed this issue with senior party leaders and left it to them to take an appropriate decision,” she said, adding, “It seems they still have some doubts in their mind. So I declare that I do not wish to contest the Lok Sabha elections.” The party, she said, can now make its decision without any hesitation. Stating that she had received immense love and support from people of Indore, she hoped the BJP would quickly make up its mind for its candidate from Indore and end this uncertainty.last_img read more

Zack Greinke Is One Of A Kind

Here, we point out that the goal of a changeup is usually to fool the batter by presenting a speed different from that of the fastball. Greinke does not do that. Just over a month ago, the Houston Astros pulled off the biggest move of the season: In a deal reported minutes after the trade deadline had passed, the Astros acquired Cy Young winner Zack Greinke from the Diamondbacks to form baseball’s best rotation alongside Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, the two likeliest Cy Young candidates.Greinke, a future Hall of Famer, has been stellar this season — a 2.99 ERA and a sub-1 WHIP. According to FiveThirtyEight’s pitcher ratings, he would be the top pitcher on two-thirds of teams and the No. 3 on just three — and that’s the one he’s on. The move already has paid dividends for the ‘Stros, who are 5-2 in Greinke’s starts and have baseball’s best run differential since the trade — by nearly 50 runs.Now six weeks into team No. 6 (remember when he was traded to the Angels for the 2012 stretch run?), Greinke continues to adapt. At 35 years old, it’s anyone’s guess how long he can keep up this performance, but he’s signed through 2021 and should contribute through then. And because of the way he’s dealt with his decreasing velocity by relying on command and movement, he should be set up well for continued long-term success.According to Statcast, Greinke throws eight pitches: four-seam fastball, changeup, slider, curve, sinker (or two-seam fastball), split finger, cutter and eephus. (We’ll get back to that last one.) Only Yu Darvish has as many listed on his Statcast page, with the same eight (though the classifications may hide some of Darvish’s arsenal). Anibal Sanchez, Rich Hill and Odrisamer Despaigne are the only pitchers with seven.But it’s not just the variety of pitches that makes Greinke special. It’s how he throws them.Consider his changeup. Greinke throws his offspeed on 21.9 percent of pitches — a fairly steady increase from 7.9 percent back in 2008. Yet as his fastball has lost velocity, from once hitting more than 100 miles per hour in 2010 to averaging below 90 in 2019, his changeup has gotten faster. Instead, Greinke uses a power changeup with devastating late movement. Only Edubray Ramos has a smaller average speed difference. Greinke’s pitch has surpassed his slider, which used to be considered his best pitch, as the second option. Along with this, Greinke’s cutter, a staple of his arsenal in 2012 and 2013, has all but disappeared.Then there’s the curveball, a slow sweeping pitch. Greinke’s curveball is the second-slowest among qualified starters, behind the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin, at just over 70 miles per hour.This is where the eephus comes in. Greinke’s curve can be thrown so slow that Statcast registers it as the arcing pitch. But it’s not clear whether it’s a different pitch or just a curveball thrown slower. Nobody is throwing a true eephus, though six pitchers are credited with the pitch this year; only Greinke has one under 60 miles per hour. But even if you consider his eephus and his curveball as the same pitch, Greinke would still be tied with Sanchez and Darvish for the lead with seven different pitches.MLB pitchers have struck out 16 hitters on sub-67 mph pitches this year. Greinke owns eight of those (and four of the rest are from position players) with his slow curve that can make batters look silly.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/d20e23b5-749c-4869-9845-d5b61e1ee064.mp400:0000:0000:14Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The newest one is the split-finger, which he threw in April for the first time since pitch tracking began in 2008. He’s thrown five so far in 2019, including three to Jacob DeGrom in the same at bat. If he’s experimenting with it now, there’s a chance it becomes a regular part of his arsenal in the future, especially with the Astros’ penchant for getting the most out of pitch selection.But beyond his wide repertoire of pitches, Greinke’s pitching style is one of a kind. He throws most pitches low but gets strikes. Even though he throws fewer pitches in the strike zone than average, he almost never falls behind. And his .198 wOBA allowed on pitches out of the zone is second in MLB, also behind Corbin.Greinke has faced just 11 3-0 counts this year and had thrown a fastball every time, almost always on the edge, until he gave Christian Yelich a perfect changeup last week. None of the 20 other pitchers with as many pitches this year has seen fewer than 15 such counts. In the month of July, Greinke threw 479 pitches and none was in a 3-0 count. He threw eight pitches with a 2-0 count — seven were in the strike zone and the other was fouled off. He’ll throw in the strike zone when he falls behind; that just doesn’t happen very often. And even when he does, batters can’t take advantage — they’re just 2-16 on 2-0 counts this year despite seeing 65 percent of pitches in the strike zone.When he’s ahead, it’s a different story. That’s when the sub-70 curveball becomes devastating. Ahead in the count, Greinke throws just 27 percent of pitches in the strike zone; the league average is 38 percent. And 76 percent of his strikeouts have been on pitches out of the zone, well higher than the league average of 56 percent. And his plan of attack is to go low. On 1-2 counts, specifically, Greinke throws in either the lower third or below the strike zone more often than any other pitcher.Greinke is truly a unique pitcher. His fastball and offspeed have nearly the same velocity, but his curveball is one of the slowest. He throws outside of the strike zone but never falls behind, and batters can’t seem to figure out any of his pitches.Through his impressive career, the one thing Greinke lacks is a ring. He has 11 postseason appearances, but his biggest impact was probably his lone start in the 2014 NLDS (in which he scored more runs than he allowed in seven innings). He makes the top 10 list of career games started without a World Series appearance. But if he earns a huge postseason moment, he could move from likely Hall of Famer to potentially first ballot. Perhaps he’ll have that chance in Houston this October.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Football Ohio State finds offensive line success in time for playoff push

Ohio State redshirt senior offensive lineman Demetrius Knox (78) makes an “H” as he is taken off the field in the second half of the game against Michigan on Nov. 24. Ohio State won 62-39. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State proved plenty in its dominating 62-39 victory against Michigan, including the ability to play consistently well on both sides of the ball against a team ranked in the top 25 in scoring offense and defense.For the offense, it wasn’t the usual successful game. It wasn’t just redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins throwing the lights out on his own.Against Michigan, and Maryland the week prior, the Buckeyes found a more complete offense, allowing Haskins to continue to put up big numbers while the run game gained the consistency it lacked in the first half of the season.The new and improved offense starts with the new and improved play on the offensive line.“I have seen the consistency,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “We’ve all seen consistency start — I can’t give you the exact time, but they’re playing very well right now.”Haskins has thrown for more than 395 yards and the team has run for at least 170 yards and 4.8 yards per carry, allowing only a single sack in the past two games combined.Both Maryland and Michigan ranked in the top 20 in passing defense coming into the matchup, and the Wolverines had the No. 1 defense in the NCAA.Meyer said the offensive line’s performance against Michigan “was one of the best” he has seen from the group all season.After giving up zero sacks to Michigan and becoming a key contributor to the statement win the Buckeyes needed, they lost a key member late in the fourth quarter when the game was all but over.Redshirt senior guard Demetrius Knox went down with a foot injury that Meyer described as a “Lisfranc issue.” Knox announced Monday on Twitter that his Ohio State career was over after starting 20 total games for the Buckeyes.“He’s done so much for this team in his career here, so it’s a tough loss for us,” Meyer said. “We’ve got to regroup and put together that position.”Taking Knox’s place will be redshirt freshman guard Wyatt Davis, Meyer said. Davis, a former five-star recruit, has appeared in five games this season.Meyer said Davis’ recruitment was “one of the most enjoyable recruiting experiences” he’s ever had, and the redshirt freshman has been close to getting his chance for weeks.“He’s a rugged guy, and he’s been scratching and clawing for playing time ever since probably five, six weeks ago, and has been close,” Meyer said. “We didn’t want to disrupt the flow of the five guys in there.”Davis no longer needs to scratch and claw his way to the job. He has it. But he gets the starting job following the offensive line’s best performance yet and Ohio State’s most consistently impressive game in every facet of the field.Davis enters as the player disrupting the consistency — a change in the depth chart that could disrupt an Ohio State team finally looking like one that can make a run for the College Football Playoff.Meyer said all five starting members of the offensive line were champions against the Wolverines.Against No. 19 Northwestern, which has another top 30 scoring defense, Davis will need to prove himself able of taking over the spot Knox leaves behind, right at the time Ohio State’s offensive line finally turned the corner it had been searching for. read more