Field renovation nearly complete, Corning district officials say

first_imgCorning >> There was a bit of extra excitement around campus Wednesday for Corning High School’s opening day of fall semester. Construction crews remained busy working on the roughly $1.6 million project to renovate Cardinal Stadium and track. Associate Principal and interim Superintendent Jared Caylor said despite about a two-week setback due to issues with irrigation around campus, the project — funded by local taxpayers as a part of Measure K — will be ready Sept. 1 when Corning football …last_img read more

State of the Nation: all eyes on Zuma

first_img13 February 2014All eyes will be on President Jacob Zuma on Thursday night as he delivers the sixth and final State of the Nation address of the current administration. The speech will be delivered to a joint sitting of Parliament in Cape Town at 7pm, and broadcast live on national radio and television.SAnews features editor Chris Bathembu takes a glance at the highlights of Zuma’s previous five addresses.2009It was a cold winter afternoon on 3 June 2009 when Zuma delivered his first State of the Nation speech following the elections of that year. The world economy was reeling from the effects of the recession. More than 900 000 South Africans had lost their jobs between 2008 and 2009, while some companies continued to cut staff due to rising costs of oil and energy.It was not going to be an easy speech for Zuma. Some cringed when he announced that between June and December 2009, the economy would have created about 500 000 job opportunities. The key element to the jobs drive would be the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), which had achieved an initial target of one-million jobs by 2009.Zuma also knew that something needed to be done fast to cushion the poor from the aftermath of the most devastating economic crisis since the great depression. He announced the introduction of the training layoff scheme. Though it was met with opposition from Cosatu and the National Youth Development Agency, the plan would help to protect workers who would ordinarily have faced retrenchment. Companies in distress would also be assisted to train inexperienced workers. In the end, these workers would, instead of being retrenched, be kept in employment for a period of time and re-skilled.Zuma also announced that a scaled-up Industrial Policy Action Plan would be developed. The lead sectors in this were to be the automotive, chemicals, metal fabrication, tourism, clothing and textiles, and forestry sectors.This paved the way for the development of the New Growth Path (NGP) a year later. The NGP identified five key priorities, namely education, health, the fight against crime, creating decent work, and rural development and land reform, which would form the focal point for the rest of the five-year term of the current administration.Zuma ended that speech by saying: “Since the implementation of our programme will take place in the face of the economic downturn, we will have to act prudently. No wastage, no rollovers of funds – every cent must be spent wisely and fruitfully. We must cut our cloth according to our size.”2010It was 11 February, and this speech was to be delivered in the evening and broadcast on national television, to allow working people to follow it from home. There was much hype around it, as the date coincided with the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.As expected, Zuma began his address by reminding South Africans of Mandela’s release, a watershed moment in the country’s history. Then it was down to the business of the day.Zuma reminded the nation that the global economic crisis had cost the economy about 900 000 jobs. He announced that to provide a safety cushion for the poor, the government would extend its child support grant to children over 14 years of age, and over the following three years to children aged 15 to 18 years.More than 480 000 public works job opportunities had been created, he said, which was 97% of the target set the previous year. The jobs were in construction, home and community-based care, and environmental projects.Zuma’s major announcement for 2010 was the R846-billion he said the government would spend on public infrastructure. The New Growth Path, he added, had been adopted as the official framework for economic policy and the driver of the country’s jobs strategy.Zuma also announced that all grade 3, 6 and 9 pupils would henceforth write literacy and numeracy tests that were independently moderated. The government had set a target of increasing the number of matric students who were eligible for university admission to 175 000 a year by 2014.Zuma wrapped up that speech by saying: “Inspired by our icon Madiba, it is my honour to dedicate this 2010 State of the Nation address to all our heroes and heroines, sung and unsung, known and unknown. Let us work together to make this year of action a successful one for our country.”2011This speech, delivered on 10 February, was all about jobs. Zuma announced the establishment of a Jobs Fund to the tune of R9-billion over three years to finance new job-creation initiatives. The Industrial Development Corporation had set aside R10-billion over five years for investment in economic activities with high job potential. Up to R20-billion was to go towards tax allowances or tax breaks to promote investments, expansions and upgrades in the manufacturing sector.Zuma also announced that South Africa had joined the Brazil, Russia, India, China (BRIC) grouping of influential emerging economies.He noted that more than 400 000 additional people had been connected to the country’s water supply the previous year, while about 81% of the country was now electrified, compared to 63% in the year 2000.About R44-million had been recovered from public servants illegally benefiting from housing subsidies. Just over 5-million HIV tests have been conducted since the launch of the testing campaign the previous April.Zuma concluded that speech by saying: “We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.”2012This speech, delivered on 9 February, focused on several key things that government would have to do to grow the economy, introducing the National Development Plan (NDP) as key to the elimination of poverty and inequality over the next two decades.Zuma used this speech to report back on a number of issues. The Jobs Fund, which was announced in 2011, had begun operating and 2 500 applications had been received in the first round. Project allocations of over R1-billion had been committed. In addition, seven projects with an investment value of R8.4-billion had been approved for the R20-billion tax incentive announced in 2011.Transnet would invest R300-billion over seven years in capital projects. Of this amount, R200-billion had been allocated to rail projects and the balance to projects in the ports.Zuma said the state would develop a major new south-eastern node to improve the industrial and agricultural development and export capacity of the Eastern Cape and expand the province’s linkages with the Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. In the former Transkei, part of the Eastern Cape, a dam would be built using the Umzimvubu River as the source in order to expand agricultural production.More than 220 000 solar geysers had installed in homes nationwide. The target was one-million solar geysers by 2014-2015.Zuma wrapped up that speech with these words: “I would like to appeal to all our people to join hands as they always do, as we deal decisively with the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Nobody will do this for us, it is in our hands. And we are all equal to the task.”2013Zuma began this speech by referring to the crisis in the Eurozone, which is South Africa’s major trading partner, accounting for around 21 percent of the country’s exports.He also spoke at length about the National Development Plan (NDP), which outlines interventions to put the economy on a better footing. The speech set the target for job creation at 11-million by 2030 – while noting that the economy needed to grow threefold to create the desired jobs. Zuma said that the government would have spent about R860-billion rand on infrastructure since 2009. Various projects were being implemented around the country.The Judicial Commission of Inquiry, led by Judge Ian Farlam, had been appointed to probe the tragedy in Marikana, where more than 44 people were killed during a strike by miners.Investments amounting to R400-million in green economy projects had been approved for municipalities, other organs of state, community organisations and the private sector across all provinces.The Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units had secured over 363 life sentences, with a conviction rate of 73%, for crimes against women above 18 years old and 70% for crimes against children under 18 years of age.Zuma ended the speech by saying: “As South Africans, we should continue to have one primary goal – to make our country a truly great and prosperous nation.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Sub-Slab Mineral Wool

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Start Free Trial Already a member? Log incenter_img UPDATED on April 5, 2016Most green builders who need a layer of horizontal insulation under a concrete slab specify expanded polystyrene (EPS), an affordable product that performs well in this application. If a builder specifies high-density EPS rated for below-grade use, the product is very durable.That said, many green builders don’t like EPS. Some object to the fact that polystyrene is made from petroleum, while others worry about possible health problems associated with the brominated flame retardants that polystyrene manufacturers add to EPS.These builders have always wished there was a good, affordable way to insulate concrete slabs without the use of foam.Mineral wool insulation is available in several different forms. Some builders have looked at the densest available mineral wool panels and wondered, “Are these insulation panels dense enough to install under a slab?” When asked that question, mineral wool manufacturers have usually answered “no” — at least until the last few months.A couple of years ago, I asked Iain Stuart, a technical solutions coordinator at Roxul, about using Roxul under concrete slabs. Stuart told me flatly that Roxul insulation products were “not for horizontal use under slabs.”After several years of dithering, however, the engineers at Roxul, a manufacturer of mineral wool insulation, recently gave builders the OK to use horizontal mineral wool insulation under concrete slabs.The first sign that Roxul was ready to change its public position came last fall. In the November 2014 issue of Environmental Building News, former editor Alex Wilson shared the news that a Roxul representative at a Passive House conference in Portland, Maine, announced that the company would “stand behind” the use of Roxul mineral wool insulation installed horizontally under slabs.Ever since Wilson shared that news, I’ve been waiting to see whether the oral announcement by a Roxul representative… last_img read more

Planning for your Child’s Special Needs: Applying Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

first_img4.) Encouraging resilience: Teach children about emotions – have them point out how they feel perhaps by using a smiley face rating scale or flash cards.Supplement the pointing by verbal prompts such as: “When my face looks like this I am feeling…” or “Today I feel like…” Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.Major General Paul D Eaton – retired of the United States army states that “the future of our kids will be greatly enriched and enhanced if we infuse their earliest years with sensitive and thoughtful skills that will help them develop into a healthy, connected, and constructive generation of adults.”.The sensitive and thoughtful skills Major Eaton is referring to constitute social-emotional learning.  Social-emotional learning (SEL), as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”Children with disabilities often find themselves struggling emotionally. Specifically, they tend not to be accepted by their peers, and they display shortcomings in the way they interact with peers and adults. Further, they have difficulty reading nonverbal and other subtle social cues.Some children with more severe cognitive impairments may lack age-appropriate social understanding of complex interactions. Further, students whose language is impaired may have appropriate understanding of social situations but may have difficulty communicating effectively with others.It is important therefore to teach children with disabilities the skills to recognize emotions, experience empathy, pursue goals and effective navigate interpersonal relationships (CASEL, 2012).Parents/guardians can encourage social-emotional learning in their homes by:1.) Being deliberate: Use progressive supports –Help your child identify a sibling’s emotions or of someone they see on television. – “Julie seems sad.”Ask leading questions – “Why do you think she is sad?”; “how can we make her smile?”Suggest solutions – “Maybe you can ask to play with her.” 2.) Using Scaffolding: ReferencesSupporting the Emotional Needs of Kids with DisabilitiesRaising Caring, Confident, Capable Children Take the time to debrief and teach SEL. Demonstrate and describe:Sharing (cooking and sharing dinnertime with family members, passing on the tv remote for someone else’s favorite program etc.)Kindness (helping a family member find something, organize for school next day)Friendship (visiting with friends at home, having a game night with friends)Cooperation (willing to change schedule to accommodate a family member’s needs)Teamwork (sharing chores, cleaning up together etc.)Sharing your feelings (“I feel upset right now”, “this makes me so happy”) 3.) Modeling SEL at home: 5.) Reviewing the school day: What was one cool thing you learned today?What is one question you didn’t get to ask today that you would like answered?What was your most favorite activity today, why?What was one thing you did with someone else today that you really enjoyed?What was something you learned today that can help you at home?What do you think we will learn next? 6.) Validating expression of child’s emotions: When emotions are expressed, do ask questions (for e.g. “what’s wrong?”; “You seem so happy today, I like it, what’s up?”)When emotions are expressed, don’t:Invalidate – “stop crying”Minimize – make the child laugh for examplePunish – impose time-out etc. Reading stories that evoke emotions:“What do you think Johnny is feeling right now?“What can Johnny do to make himself feel better?”“What did you learn from the story about how Johnny felt during…” Building feelings of competency and mastery – “that is the best work, so well done!”; “Look how far you have come…”Encouraging optimism – “I know our amusement park trip got canceled because of rain but you know we have a lot fun indoors everyday and we will postpone the park to another day!”Teaching children to reframe – “I am sorry our picnic got canceled, how can we make a picnic indoors?”Disarming with charm – “You seem really upset, would you like to talk about it, get a glass of water, put your head down for a bit?”Modeling resiliency – “ I feel bad that I got sick and we couldn’t go on our vacation last week, but I am happy to be well again and we now have a whole new plan for next time.”last_img read more

Oil refinery: Pawar to decide NCP stand after visit to Ratnagiri

first_imgMumbai: A day after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said his party will not allow the proposed oil refinery to come up in Konkan’s Ratnagiri district, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said on Friday he will visit the project site on May 10 to understand the reasons behind local residents’ opposition to it.The villagers affected by the project will also meet Maharashtra Navanirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan to seek support. Two days ago, State-owned IOCL, BPCL, and HPCL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Aramco to develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemical complex, Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. The project, estimated to be worth ₹3 lakh crore, has been opposed by locals as a result of which, even joint measurement of the land has not been possible.Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis whilesupporting the project, said, recently, “It is important for the development … It is also important that it should be set up on the west coast.” The Sena chief had labelled the MoU as a ‘betrayal’ of the promises Mr. Fadnavis had made to the locals. In reply, the CM said, “We are aware that the locals are in opposition to the project. We will not proceed if they do not want the project.”Mr. Pawar, on the other hand, said, “I will not say whether the project should be cancelled or not. Farmers have met me and told me their problems. Being the former CM of the State I know what the ground reality is. I will visit the project site and only then announce the party’s stand.”last_img read more