PRRD considers funding South Peace senior project

first_imgBy Christine Rumleskie- Advertisement -The Peace River Regional District is trying to play fair with a recent funding request.At the last board meeting, the South Peace Seniors Access Society approached directors asking for $20,000.Spokesperson Sharon Miller said the money would go towards a South Peace Community Health Guide, similar to the guide printed by the North Peace Save Our Northern Seniors.Last year, the PRRD had granted $8,000 to SONS for the printing and distribution of health guides.On Thursday, PRRD staff recommended that the board give the south peace group $8,000 as well, rather than the requested $20,000.Advertisement For a previous report on this story, click here. Photo: Director Tim Caton discusses agenda items at the Peace River Regional District meeting in Dawson Creek on Thursday – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.cacenter_img Director Larry White had concerns about the funding…[asset|aid=2513|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=e3976c9c9b320771d5bf23ed15e9ba89-White 1_1_Pub.mp3] However, Chair Karen Goodings advised that the money would simply be going into the budget, which hasn’t been finalized yet. So there’s still time to amend the funding before the budget is set in stone.The board voted unanimously to include the money in the PRRD 2010 budget.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Raiders place Lynch on I.R., likely ending his season

first_imgFor complete Oakland Raiders coverage follow us on Flipboard.ALAMEDA — Unless Marshawn Lynch has a Christmas gift in mind for his hometown fans, he’s likely played his last game in Oakland as a Raider.Lynch was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury Monday, just a few hours after the Raiders traded wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a first-round draft pick.Players on injured reserves are out a minimum of six weeks, then have two weeks of practice time before being …last_img read more

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More money for health care

first_imgSource: BuaNews Manuel also allocated funds to increase the take-up of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment programmes in the country. 22 October 2008 Other allocations included new proposed salary scales for doctors, dentists, pharmacists and related health professionals. The 2008 Report on the Global Aids Epidemic, released by the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) in July, confirmed that the prevalence of HIV/Aids in South Africa had stabilised and was beginning to decrease. South Africa’s public health sector is to be given additional resources to boost HIV/Aids treatment and prevention, reduce the country’s TB treatment defaulter rate, introduce new vaccines to combat child mortality, and increase the salaries of health professionals. In the same month, the Department of Health reported thatm, by end of April 2008, more than 478 000 South Africans were on ARV treatment programmes. Also included in Manuel’s medium term budget policy statement is funding for expanded tuberculosis (TB) track and trace teams in the country. According to the most recent survey of HIV prevalence among pregnant women attending public antenatal clinics, South Africa’s overall HIV prevalence decreased from an estimated 29.2% in 2006 to 28% in 2007. In a bid to reduce South Africa’s TB treatment defaulter rate from 10% to 7%, 20% of health facilities in the country now have TB tracing teams. The teams go out into communities to encourage TB patients to complete their course of treatment, thus reducing the risk of patients developing a resistance to TB drugs. Delivering his medium term budget policy statement in Parliament on Tuesday, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said the government has allocated additional resources to provide for three new vaccines to reduce the number of children dying from pneumonia and diarrhoea.last_img read more

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Joburg by taxi

first_imgGetting around Joburg on a minibus taxi can be daunting for newbies. But once you know your short right from your after robot, and your Diepsloot from your Orange Farm, it’s the fastest, most popular and often the cheapest way to get where you want to go. Minibus taxis are by far the most popular – and are often the cheapest – form of public transport in South Africa, used mainly by the urban and rural poor. (Image: Arrive Alive) • Sanlam Cape Town Marathon goes silver • South Africa’s tourism improves • Rugby’s full story: the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum • The artist at work: Mbongeni Buthelezi makes beauty out of waste • World falls in love with South African baby elephant Ray MaotaMinibus taxis are by far the most popular – and are often the cheapest – form of public transport in South Africa, used mainly by the urban and rural poor.In Johannesburg, using a taxi can be bewildering, and even frightening, if you are not from the city of gold. Here’s a quick guide to ease your way.To board a taxi in the city of Johannesburg, you must first get to the appropriate taxi rank. Here, hundreds of minibus taxis converge to ferry commuters to their various destinations in and out of Gauteng province, and even across the border to neighbouring countries.The Johannesburg CBD has four major taxi ranks: Noord Street Taxi Rank, Bree Street Taxi Rank, Wanderers Taxi Rank and Faraday Taxi Rank. At any of the four, you can get a taxi to anywhere in Gauteng, while some also cater for taxis beyond the province.Noord Street is by far the largest and busiest rank in the middle of the city. As you approach the rank, especially during peak hours, you are swarmed by hordes of hurrying commuters. You are also confronted by hawkers peddling a variety of goods, ranging from foodstuff to clothing and anything else in-between.The taxi ranks are the easiest part of your journey to navigate as there is signage and you stand in queues to board a taxi to your destination. It’s when you are not at a taxi rank that you have to be fluent in taxi sign language – there are no written signs; it’s all done by a complicated series of hand signals. And South African minibus taxis stop wherever they are needed along whatever road they are driving. They do not have designated stops; you simply have to flag one down – using the correct hand signal, of course.A language like no otherEvery day thousands of hands stretch out along commuter routes across Gauteng speaking a silent language of taxi hand signals. According to artist Susan Woolf, taxi hand signs are a shared language, learned by imitation and word of mouth.Woolf is a recognised expert in Gauteng taxi hand signs, or what is really the Gauteng dialect of what has been called South Africa’s 12th official language. She spent many years of research and artistic production focusing on the signals, documenting and deciphering them. Along the way, she has created a lexicon for blind people to comfortably use this mode of transport.“They are basic gestures tied to narrative threads that swirl through community life connecting today with history and folklore,” says Woolf.They are complex, she adds. They often have an indexical aspect in that they “point to” the place to which they refer and often use the gestural shape of a pointing finger, or a finger or hand in motion towards the place indicated. But some of the signs have iconic features of resemblance, such as the shape of the orange for T Junction, Orange Farm or KwaThema, all places in Gauteng; others have symbolic arbitrary, purely conventional qualities.Signs and destinationsAccording to Woolf, a taxi hand sign may refer to a place that has retained its indigenous name but it may just as easily refer to an event associated with it, or a physical attribute of the place, or even a shopping mall that is the main feature of a place.There are two basic signs that commuters in Johannesburg. One is the index figure pointing up, which means town; the other is the index figure pointing down, meaning local. This takes you anywhere within the suburb you are in.The KwaThema taxi hand sign is performed showing two flat hands, palms together, resting on the left side of the person’s face.The taxi hand sign to Kliptown is one hand waving left to right in front of their faces and the other hand waves up and down, to ask the taxi to slow down.The sign to Orange Farm is directly descriptive of its name. With a forward pointing hand, all four fingers and the thumb are bent upwards as if to hold an orange.The taxi sign to Diepsloot is acted out with one hand in a sequence of hand postures, dipping downwards and then upwards in a forward movement several times.If you want to get to Fourways, in Johannesburg, just hold up your hand with four fingers exposed and your thumb tucked in.Taxi lingoBut it’s not only the hand signals that are important. There are also phrases you’ll need to understand, such as “short right”, “short left”, “after robot” and “dankie”.They might sound confusing but they are literal meanings of where the passenger wants to alight.Short right means you want to get off at the next street to the right and vice-versa with short left.After robot means you want to get off after the next traffic light the taxi goes through.Here, or dankie, which actually means “thank you” in Afrikaans, has been the subject of many squabbles between driver and passenger. Many taxi drivers feel it’s too ambiguous. They prefer a passenger to be specific, for example “after robot”.last_img read more

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To Improve Wind and Solar Power, Bring Them Together

first_imgBy BEN JERVEYWhat’s keeping solar and wind power from fully taking over the electric grid? For starters, the sun only shines during the day. Wind blows intermittently, is seasonally variable, and is not always blowing when the energy is needed. But what if solar and wind work together?“Wind resource tends to complement solar resource,” says Sarah Kurtz of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Here in Colorado, for instance, the windiest time is during the winter and spring months. In winter, we don’t have as much sunshine, but we tend to get more wind and stronger wind.”A handful of enterprising renewable energy developers are now exploring how solar and wind might better work together, developing hybrid solar–wind projects to take advantage of the power-generating strengths of each — with the two technologies in tandem serving as a better replacement for climate-warming fossil fuels than either could be alone. Ben Jervey is a writer and editor covering climate, energy and the environment. This post originally appeared at the website Ensia. RELATED ARTICLES Tacking on solarOn the rolling plains just west of Australia’s Great Dividing Range, construction is expected to begin on a 10-megawatt solar farm adjacent to 73 wind turbines that are already online. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency — ARENA, a governmental agency tasked with increasing deployment of renewable energy — has invested A$9.9 million in the project, located a few hours southwest of Sydney. Combining solar and wind provides more continuous energy generation than having either technology working alone.But that’s not the only benefit. Co-locating wind and solar plants can save money on grid connections, site development and approvals, says ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht. By building the Gullen Solar Farm adjacent to the existing wind project, Frischknecht estimates savings as high as A$6 million — reducing the cost of the project by a full 20%.Frischknecht hopes that the Gullen Range project will serve as a model for how tacking solar onto existing wind farms can boost its application. “Scale isn’t as important for competitiveness when plants are co-located, meaning the approach could also unlock new markets for medium-scale solar PV projects,” he says. And just how big could these new markets be? Frischknecht points to an ARENA-funded study that found an estimated 1,000 MW of solar generating potential at existing wind farms in Australia — enough, ARENA calculates, to power 700,000 homes.“The lessons learned at Gullen Range will be invaluable, as this is the first project of its type in Australia,” Frischknecht says. “It has the potential to cement industry confidence in the approach and provide a blueprint for similar projects to follow.” Renewable Portfolio Standards Produce Big SavingsNew York Utility Finds Big Payoff in New IdeasWhy a Vermont Utility Welcomes Solar A California Utility Looks for New Answers in Solar Integration PuzzleDoes Cheaper Solar Mean We Can Forget Efficiency?Solar Energy Can Make the Grid More Resilient Battery boostersExpanding power production and saving money on installation aren’t the only benefits that can come from combining wind and solar. When applied to microgrid systems — local energy grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously — combined solar and wind can help cut battery costs as well, says NREL’s Kurtz.According to Kurtz, microgrids are finding application in places like Hawaii and India where utility prices are exorbitantly high or where communities are too remote to be tied into the macrogrid.Microgrids powered by photovoltaics require battery storage, since people need power when the sun isn’t shining. The problem is, batteries are still quite expensive. Adding wind can help cut the battery costs, since the wind can (and often does) blow when the sun doesn’t shine.“If you’re in a location where the wind does blow, and especially where the wind complements solar, until the batteries get cheaper than the wind power itself, you’re going to be better off adding wind [than batteries],” Kurtz says.The microgrid will still need some form of storage, “because there will always be a night when the wind isn’t blowing,” she adds. But the solar and wind combination “can make battery demand much smaller.”As these types of hybrid systems are just now coming online — ARENA hopes that the Gullen Solar Farm will start producing power in July 2017 — there isn’t yet a lot of empirical data about how well they actually perform. But solar developers have been wary that the shadows cast by wind turbines could potentially stunt the production of solar power.Research, however, is allaying some of those fears. Simulations conducted in 2013 by the Reiner Lemoine Institut and Solarpraxis AG, both in Germany, showed that shading losses would be as low as 1% to 2% on average. They also suggested that combining photovoltaics and wind turbines at the same location can actually yield up to twice the amount of electricity as having either system working alone in the same land area. The Gullen Range project, for its part, avoids shading losses altogether by locating the photovoltaics on a northern facing slope beyond the range of any turbines’ shadows. Virtual hybridsIn Texas, the Defense Logistics Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense is getting around any potential downsides of co-locating the two technologies another way — by taking a more “virtual” approach to hybrid wind and solar. The agency is working with developer Apex Clean Energy to meet 100% of Fort Hood’s electricity needs with onsite solar PV panels that are complemented by additional energy wired in from a wind farm in Floyd County, more than 300 miles northwest of the facility.Apex put the solar onsite because the Army wanted the grid security provided by local generation that isn’t vulnerable to power outages and other transmission constraints, Apex director of public affairs Dahvi Wilson explains. But Apex and the Army chose to site the turbines where the wind resource was the strongest. The setup illustrates the point that “[a] hybrid project does not necessary have to be co-located,” Wilson says.Wilson is enthusiastic about how the projects helps make these renewables make sense from an economic as well as environmental standpoint.“Wind energy offers the cheapest option for new energy construction currently available in the U.S., while solar energy can be more expensive to develop and install,” Wilson explains. “By combining the costs into one product, the blended cost is competitive with other new sources of energy.”last_img read more

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Gmail In Cherokee: Why Google Is Awesome

first_imgSay what you will about Google, but there is something incredible about a company that once in a while does something just because it’s a cool thing to do.For example, Google just announced it has created a version of Gmail in the Cherokee language. There are fewer than 20,000 Cherokee speakers in the world, and perhaps only 100 or so people who speak nothing but this language. So why would Google put a bunch of engineers and linguists to work for months making an email program in Cherokee?It began when Craig Cornelius, a Google engineer, shared a ride with a Vince Blackfox, member of the Cherokee nation. They got talking about the effort to preserve Native American languages, many of which have been dying out as fewer and fewer people speak them. A 2002 survey showed that nobody under the age of 40 spoke conversational Cherokee.Cornelius worked with the language technology department at Cherokee Nation to figure out Cherokee words for things like “inbox” and “spam.” A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dan lyons Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The project was tricky because Cherokee uses a unique alphabet (above) created in 1821 by a Cherokee silversmith named Sequoyah (aka George Gist or George Guess). The Cherokee Nation is hoping that the Gmail in Cherokee project will breathe new life into the Cherokee language by giving young people an opportunity to use the language in their day-to-day lives.I hope I don’t sound hopelessly naive, but is there any other company in the tech industry (or any industry for that matter) that would ever do something this awesome?  Image courtesy of Google. Tags:#Cherokee#gmail#Google last_img read more

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Creating Artificial Lighting in Apple Motion

first_imgAdding a light to your footage in post production is easy with the tools within Motion, Apple’s video graphics and compositing application.Apple’s Motion is one app that doesn’t get enough love in the professional post production community.  It’s a really powerful toolset, but often times gets overlooked in favor of it’s biggest competitor, Adobe After Effects.  One thing that Motion offers is the ability to add artificial lighting to your video footage – giving the appearance that the scene was actually lit differently on-set.A recent tutorial by Ben Balser at MacProVideo.com demonstrates how to use the tools within Motion to create realistic in your video footage.  This is useful when you are shooting in adverse conditions, running a tight production schedule or don’t have the lighting equipment necessary on-set.  Ben demonstrates how lightingin motion can “cast shadows and can be keyframed.”  In the example Ben goes as far as to replicate the look of light coming through window blinds.Be sure to check out this informative lighting tutorial at MacProVideo.comIf you’re more inclined to learn by watching, you can see a lighting in Motion video tutorial in the YouTube video below.  This demonstration from GeniusDV.com shows how to add lights to your Motion projects in a simulated 3D space.  Skip to about half way through to learn about lighting in Motion:Are you using Motion for lighting and compositing work?Share your thoughts/experiences/tips in the comments below!last_img read more

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