Namibia, Botswana joining forces in effort to develop 5,000MW of solar generation

first_imgNamibia, Botswana joining forces in effort to develop 5,000MW of solar generation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Botswana and Namibia are set to sign an agreement to develop solar projects of as much as 5,000 megawatts through installations built across their mostly flat, sunny landscapes.The southern African nations are working with U.S. government initiative, Power Africa, to help structure the deal, Namibian Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo said in an interview on Friday. The electricity will mainly be exported across the region.“The agreement to be signed will facilitate a full feasibility study that will determine the size and the location of the plants,” he said.The ambitious plans signal a shift for both nations that import power from South Africa’s Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. The largest utility on the continent is struggling financially and operationally to meet demand. Adding 5,000 megawatts of renewable capacity would also further diversify the energy mix of the region, as Eskom mainly burns coal.Botswana and Namibia have massive solar potential but have yet to realize large-scale renewable projects. South Africa had one of the fastest-growing renewable energy programs in the world, before government delays paralyzed the effort.Power Africa, along with governments, the private sector and donors has helped bring more than 11,000 megawatts of generation capacity to financial close since 2013, according to its website. USAID, which coordinates the program, didn’t immediately reply to emailed questions.[Mbongeni Mguni and Kaula Nhongo]More: Botswana, Namibia set to sign 5-gigawatt solar energy planlast_img read more

Daily Dirt: MST, GSMNP, and Bike to School Records

first_imgYour daily outdoor news bulletin for July 1, the day the first Sony Walkman went on sale in 1979 and changed the way we rip the little magnetic strips out of cassette tapes forever:Blind Man Hikes Mountains-to-Sea TrailAs if hiking North Carolina’s 950-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail wasn’t hard enough. Blind hiker and Charlotte, N.C. native Trevor Thomas completed the thru-hike last week under sunny skies and with the help of his loyal guide dog Tennille. A crowd of 30-40 people lined the dunes at the trail’s eastern terminus in Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks as Thomas became the first blind hiker to complete the trek. Thomas took 78 days to complete the journey that began in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in two feet of snow in April. Thomas said the most challenging part of the hike was staying on the right path due to the nature of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail which is made up of a patchwork of 500 miles of footpaths and 400 miles of rural highway. Since losing his sight in 2005, Thomas has thru-hiked the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail and the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Thomas is only the eighth person to thru-hike the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.More info can be found here, and on Thomas’s blog.Best. May. Ever.The National Park Service has announced that Great Smoky Mountains National Park had its best May ever in terms of visits. Nearly 886,000 visitors went to the park during May, 2013, up over 10 percent from May, 2012. That is good news for the nation’s most popular park, given that visitation is down on average through the first five months of they year. From January through May of 2013, the park saw 2, 506,000 visitors, down almost 275,000 during the same time last year. Although numbers are down so far, the increase in May visits could bode well for the summer park season in North Carolina and Tennessee.More info here.National Bike to School Day SuccessIn national news, the Second Annual National Bike to School Day was, by all accounts, a ripping success. Tens of thousands of kids rode their bikes to school during National Bike Month (May) and 1,705 schools across the country registered for Bike to School Day events. That number is up 80 percent from last year.More information on the program and its sponsors can be found here.Also in the national bike news category is the news that AAA will be covering bikesin certain portions of the country. If you live in Washington State or Minneapolis, Minn. you can get a ‘tow’ the next time you get a flat on your commute.last_img read more

The Price of Paradise: The Cost of Living in an Outdoor Adventure Haven

first_imgAsheville is one of Appalachia’s most celebrated outdoor towns. More than nine million people visit the city annually. For some residents, however, the hype is altering one of America’s hippest mountain hubs beyond recognition.“We were downtown for such a long time,” says Frank Mandaro, manager of Beer City Bicycles. “The rent kept increasing…everything goes up. We understand that you can’t expect things to stay the same. You can go out of business or make the adjustments. We decided to leave downtown.”Beer City Bicycles moved north of town, near the banks of the French Broad River. Mandaro, yearning for the day when shop rats were versatile handymen, often called upon to fix a neighbor’s busted appliance, hopes the move will mean less froth and more handiwork. Most storefronts downtown, he says, are forced to bartend to browsing tourists.“We’re drowning in our own beer production,” says Mandaro.Those who live in Asheville value its outdoor vibe and gorgeous mountain landscape, but they also endure exorbitant rent prices, low service-industry wages, gentrification, and displacement. It’s now the most expensive city in North Carolina, with the median two-bedroom apartment running $1,180 a month. The average property value jumped 9% in the past year, while homelessness increased 10 percent, according to city data. Bowen National Research, a real-estate marketing firm, found a mere 1% vacancy rate in Asheville housing units in 2015, and Nationwide declared Asheville the sixth unhealthiest housing market in the country. While the city’s population has grown dramatically, the African American population has actually shrunk. In 2010 African Americans represented 17% of the population. Today that figure is just 6%.“I never thought in my early 50s, I would be looking for help,” says Asheville resident Barbara Little. Escaping an abusive relationship, Little made her way to a downtown women’s shelter. She had no house and no family in Western North Carolina, only the clothes on her back.Through Goodwill Industries, Little began working arranging flowers for a grocery store. She also sought a home. One morning, while sitting at the bus stop, she noticed Mountain Housing Opportunities’ attractive facade. She applied and qualified for an affordable apartment.“Boy, that makes the biggest deal in the world,” says Little of her securing an apartment. “Plenty of time to study, to get rest. I can get up when I want, make a cup of coffee, go home and take a shower. It makes all the difference in the world. You have a choice.”In the summer of 1988, Scott Dedman teamed with six other volunteers and repaired seven homes for the elderly and disabled in the Asheville area. Within the year, they started Mountain Housing Opportunities. Focusing on emergency home repair and affordable homeownership development, the group has fixed up over 4,000 homes and built and financed another 1,200 houses and apartments in its 18-year history. Repairs and construction are financed through private investment and a low-income housing tax credit.As Dedman sees it, Asheville’s housing crisis is simply a matter of low supply and high demand. When Mountain Housing Opportunities constructed 62 new units in 2016, they received over 600 applications. Stringent building and zoning restrictions, Dedman says, impose limits on the number of new houses constructed.The majority of Mountain Housing Opportunities applicants are working, single parents. To qualify for one of their apartments, an Asheville resident must make less than 60% of the area median income. In Mountain Housing Opportunities’ newly renovated Depot Street apartments, the average income is $18,000, which is also the median salary for most of the city’s service-industry jobs, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce.More than four walls and a roof, Mountain Housing Opportunities builds attractive houses in safe communities. They promote ownership, pride, and environmental consciousness. They’ve had kids paint bus stops, organized creek clean-ups, and planted hundreds of trees. Contractors install state-of the-art recycling chutes, solar panels, and excellent insulation for lower energy bills. Most importantly, they’re bringing workers closer to their jobs.In the Asheville area, there are more jobs than homes, which means more commuters and more fuel emissions. Dedman estimates that their new Depot Street apartments will save more than 60,000 miles of commuting and thousands of dollars.“The cost of commuting is 50 cents a mile,” says Dedman. “If you drive 10 miles to work and back everyday, that’s $200 a month. We’re going to save money and the environment if we can add housing supply near jobs. If you work in Asheville, you should be able to live in Asheville.”Dedman maintains that housing is fundamentally a moral issue.“I’m glad that people want to live here. I’m glad people want to visit here, that it’s a desirable place to live, but along with that comes a responsibility to be inclusive and to include people of modest means.”Income inequality and a housing crisis are not problems unique to Asheville. These are national trends that are especially pronounced in desirable towns. On the other side of the Smoky Mountains, Chattanooga, Tenn., possesses many of the same gifts as Asheville: rich natural resources, a thriving downtown, and an energetic populace. And like Asheville, rising prices, a lack of housing, and a stratified society are growing concerns.Martina Guilfoil, CEO of the Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, traveled to Asheville with a team of 25 planners hoping the Beer City held some answers for Chattanooga.“What struck me about Asheville is outdoorsy folks and artists work hard and make it cool, and then they get priced out,” Guilfoil said. “After our trip, I said, ‘If we don’t get ahead of this, it could happen to Chattanooga.’”Some argue that it already has.“We have to be honest that there are people left out of the growing prosperity,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke told an audience at a downtown forum. “Yes, even in the best town ever.”Chattanooga, TennesseeResearch by The Business Journals found Chattanooga to have one of the 10 highest income inequalities in America. For every household earning over $200,000, there are 21 low-income households. A study by the Thomas Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrilli showed one particular Chattanooga neighborhood to be the second-most rapidly gentrifying zip code in the country. (Roanoke, Va. had the 4th.)“A lot of effort has been put into making Chattanooga a destination. The criticism is that it’s the tale of two economies,” says Guilfoil. “There’s the tech companies and the innovation and a mile away it hasn’t reached into the neighborhoods. The school system is still problematic. Who wins and who doesn’t? How do you bridge these gaps?”As Chattanooga grapples with the widening fissure between rich and poor, the city government and philanthropies are proactively increasing their affordable housing supply through tax incentives, inclusionary zoning, subsidies, and regulations.“I don’t think there is one tool,” Guilfoil says. “We need a lot of tools in the tool box.”Despite growing inequality, Chattanooga’s hard-won revitalization should not be overlooked.“Nobody was interested in doing development in those early days,” says Amy Donahue of the nonprofit River City Company. “We held properties for development projects for a long time. Sometimes, we even gave it away.”The city’s renaissance was born largely out of an effort to restore and conserve its natural resources, particularly the Tennessee River.Photo was taken in a village near Charlottesville, Virginia, towards the direction of Shenandoah National Park. The city of Charlottesville lies on the Piedmont Plain, is the hometown of three renowned U.S. Presidents, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.“Our name comes from our original task: to reconnect the river and the city,” explains Donahue. “Our river was a wonderful asset, but you couldn’t access it from downtown. So we put in a 13-mile stretch of Riverwalk. The idea was to create a path for folks to use to create access to the river. We are all about maximizing our natural assets and what makes us special: the outdoors and our river.” For Dr. Scot French, a historian who spent years studying race and place in Central Virginia, the lessons of history and current issues are intimately linked.French spent ten years studying neighborhoods in Charlottesville, one of Virginia’s most popular and expensive towns. In 2009, he began work on the documentary The World is Gone: Race and Displacement in a Southern Town. The film tells the story of Charlottesville’s Vinegar Hill neighborhood, a mixed-income, walking neighborhood that was demolished in the 1960s in the name of urban renewal.“The people living there just didn’t count,” French explains. “The destruction of this community wasn’t viewed as a loss. It was sold as reform, a progressive reform.”As cities confront their celebrity, French hopes past mistakes will be a guiding star and they will not take their poorest citizens for granted.“I think the lesson Charlottesville learned was to engage the community in the process,” French said. “Public housing units are getting old. The city has to decide. This time around, they have committed to working with the community and engaging them in the process.”For Appalachia’s most popular cities, the challenges are great, and the solutions are as unique as the individual communities. However, in each place, there’s a need to increase housing supply, raise wages, address the root causes of poverty, conserve resources, and engage the local community.last_img read more

Steps your credit union can take to support DREAMers

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kenia Calderon As Client Relations Director for Coopera, Kenia Calderon Ceron partners with credit unions to create and execute strategies to grow membership and connect them with the Hispanic community. As a … Web: Details Credit unions have an opportunity to position themselves as trusted financial partners of the immigrant community. Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This immigration program was created through an executive order from President Obama in June 2012. For the last eight years, the DACA program has helped many immigrants fulfill dreams and achieve success in this country, by providing deportation relief and work authorization. Credit unions were at the forefront of providing financial services to the first DACA beneficiaries. We witnessed credit unions create “Dreamer Loans” to help individuals pay for their legal and immigrant fees. Now that DACA has been given new life, will credit unions rise to the challenge once again to help with the obstacles young immigrants face?DACA recipients are aware of the vulnerability of the program because it is not a law. The September 2017 decision by the Trump Administration to rescind the DACA program left many young immigrants in a challenging position. After a three-year legal battle between federal courts and the administration, the case was ultimately heard by the Supreme Court. The administration has decided to continue accepting DACA renewals while limiting the term from two years to one. It was also decided that they will not be accepting first-time applications and most advance parole applications. This contradicts the Supreme Court’s ruling and immigrant advocates are planning to challenge their decision.Terminating the program would negatively impact immigrant families, our healthcare system, essential workers, and the economy as a whole. The Center for American Progress estimated that more than 1.1. million undocumented immigrants met the basic DACA requirements. Roughly 825,000 immigrants have been granted DACA at some point during these eight years, leaving approximately 300,000 young immigrants who would qualify to apply for the first time.Credit unions play a very important role in the lives of immigrants. From opening accounts and providing services to those who have Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) and alternative forms of identification.If the administration moves to accept first-time applications, about 300,000 young immigrants will need assistance to pay for their legal and immigration fees. These individuals do not have social security numbers. Here are some steps to take to assist them:Ensure your policies are welcoming of individuals with ITINs. A member may be considered an unauthorized immigrant today, but may obtain a legal status later.Repackage a personal loan as an immigration loan. This will help your credit union with marketing and awareness among an immigrant population.Partner with non-profit and legal service providers to support their efforts to help young immigrants complete their first-time and renewal DACA applications.Expand your scholarships to include both undocumented and DACA recipient students, as they cannot access federal aid to pay for higher education.Credit unions helped DACA recipients back in 2012. Since then, they have built long, lasting relationships and many have even financed their first mortgages with the same credit unions that lent them money for that first-time DACA application. Here is an opportunity to help young immigrants again. Is your credit union ready?last_img read more

Car hits Binghamton home, no injuries reported

first_imgA 12 News crew at the scene says there is visible damage to the home as well as the car. Officials responded to 9 Telegraph Street shortly after 3:30 p.m. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – Binghamton Police say no one was hurt after a car hit a Binghamton house Sunday afternoon.center_img Police say the cause of the crash is currently under investigation.last_img

Association of Caterers Zagreb: The process of hiring foreign workers takes absurdly too long

first_imgIt is a well-known fact that the labor market of the Republic of Croatia lacks manpower for work in the tourism and catering sector. Therefore, a month ago, the Government of the Republic of Croatia amended the Decision on determining the annual quota of permits for the employment of foreigners for the calendar year 2018, which increased the number of permits in the tourism and catering sector. Thus, the number of licenses in the tourism and catering industry increased from 4660 licenses to 8660 licenses, and the increase of 4000 licenses relates to the profession of “assistant worker in tourism”, 3000 for new employment and 1000 for seasonal work for up to six months.But there are still problems, and so on The Association of Caterers Zagreb (UUZ) wants to point out another in a series of problems that plague caterers at the level of the city of Zagreb, but also the entire country. As they point out from UUZ, the mentioned mechanism is mostly aimed at countries whose standard is significantly lower than the living standard of the Republic of Croatia, mainly Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Ukraine and they add that although it seems like an ideal solution for employers who chronically lack manpower, the system in this case does not function fast enough. Hiring foreigners is easier if you already have a worker you want to hire before the season. In that case, at least 20 days, and in some cases up to 3 and a half months, will pass from the submission of documentation to the Ministry of the Interior to obtaining a permit. Of course, that time period is too long if the season has already begun and you urgently need someone to work with. “I submitted the documentation for obtaining a residence and work permit at the beginning of February 2018 for two workers from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Permits were issued only in mid-May 2018. The period of almost three and a half months is alarmingly long. The procedure needs to be speeded up“States long-time caterer Dražan Marjan Ivančić.”We like to say that Croatia is a tourist country, which means quality catering service. Without an adequate number of workers, as a fundamental prerequisite for maintaining service quality, the growth rates we see in recent years will be impossible to maintain. Although the season is already in full swing, caterers in the area of ​​Zagreb, but also the entire country, are struggling with absurdly long waits for permits for foreign workers. We appeal to the competent institutions to speed up the bureaucratic process so that the quality of service remains at the level we are happy to emphasize.“Points out Franz Letica, president of the Zagreb Association of Caterers. One is the form and the other is the content or implementation. Also, if the civil servants who pass and implement the Laws spent just one day bursting in the real sector, a lot of things would be clearer and more efficient. This is how everything falls on the first step, responsibility is shifted, papers travel from office to office, from drawer to drawer, while the whole market economy suffers chronically due to the inefficiency and slowness of the whole system. The system ie the state that should be supporting the market, not the other way around.RELATED NEWS:INCREASED NUMBER OF PERMITS FOR EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGNERS IN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITYlast_img read more

New CEO at Austria’s Raiffeisen streamlines company, focuses on SRI

first_imgOn the new board, Höllerer, who will also remain as secretary general of the Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB), will be responsible for finances, risk management and internal revision.Rainer Schnabl joined from a regional branch of Raiffeisen to take responsibility for client services – both private and institutional – as well as products, while Dieter Aigner will stay on as board member for asset management.Speaking at a recent fund presentation in Vienna, Marc Renaud, founder of French boutique Mandarine Gestion, said Raiffeisen was a “complicated story”, referring to the whole of the banking group rather than the asset management branch alone.He claimed the group “used to be a risk” for investors, but said this was no longer the case due to a restructuring and a capital increase.Responding to Renaud’s comments, Höllerer said he was “delighted third parties are seeing it this way”, but he argued that “there had not been a problem before either”.According to IPE’s Top 400 Asset Managers survey, RCM had €28.4bn in assets under management, excluding real estate fund assets, as per year-end 2013.Höllerer told IPE RCM would now focus on its institutional business, strengthening the service element and demand-orientated business in particular.He said, at the moment, he saw increasing interest from institutions for sustainable global equity products and euro corporates.In the sustainable segment, RCM hired Wolfgang Pinner last year to create new products. Since then, Pinner has set up a mixed fund product as well as a sustainable bond fund.“We see significant potential in this area,” Höllerer said. Austria-based asset manager Raiffeisen Capital Management (RCM) is to merge its Raiffeisen Vermögensverwaltungsbank (asset management bank) and Raiffeisen International Fund Advisory subsidiaries into the Raiffeisen Kapitalanlage GmbH (KAG), according to new chief executive Michael Höllerer.Höllerer told IPE RCM would continue to be the overall brand for the KAG, the Raiffeisen Immobilien KAG for real estate and the regional Raiffeisen Salzburg Invest Kapitalanlage GmbH.Further, the asset manager will “slim down” the number of departments for various fields of business from seven to three covering fund management, fund services and customer service.Höllerer recently succeeded former chief executive Mathias Bauer, who left together with his fellow board member Gerhard Aigner to “underline the realignment of the asset manager’s organisational structure”, according to local media reports.last_img read more

Duterte urges youth: Don’t be swayed by communists

first_imgDuterte’s remarks came after he told the military last week to put anend to the Filipinos’ problem by crushing criminal syndicates and terror groupsincluding the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) New People’s Army. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday said Duterte isstill interested in talking peace with the communist rebels.  “Kayo bang mga bata at mga magulang, do not ever – youknow, this is our only country. Athanggang ngayon there are people who are terrorists trying to destroy ourway of life. Kayong mga bata, huwagkayong magpadala diyan sa mga ideolohiya na barat,” Duterte said, admitting he had leftist leanings before but realized that “nothingelse would be good except to have law and order and one government.” “Kayong mga bata, huwag kayong magpadala diyan sa mga ideolohiya na barat,” says President Rodrigo Duterte, urging Filipino youth not to be swayed by the communist ideology. PCOOcenter_img Manila – President Rodrigo Duterteurged Filipino youth not to be swayed by the communist ideology. “Alam mo, they promisedanything and everything including – sumasalisa gobyerno and then sa bidding,papers towards a coalition government. Hindimangyari ‘yan sa buhay ng ating bayan. Hindi talaga ako papayag kailanman,”he added. Duterte issued Proclamation No. 360 on Nov. 2017 declaring thetermination of peace negotiations with the CPP due to the continued attacks of itsarmed wing NPA on state troops./PNlast_img read more

Newcastle takeover in serious doubt

first_imgNewcastle’s £300million takeover is in serious doubt after the World Trade Organisation ruled that Saudia Arabia is behind pirate TV station beoutQ. The Guardian claims a report to be published in June will reveal the station, which illegally streams live Premier League games, is Saudi-backed. The Premier League apparently “made submissions against Saudi Arabia as part of the legal process.” And chiefs have already received the report before it gets released in June. The WTO say Saudi Arabia is in breach of international law. And the ruling will cast huge doubt over the takeover of Newcastle, which is led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and backed by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. SunSport exclusively revealed on Sunday that the Premier League was set to give Amanda Staveley’s Saudi-backed consortium the green light to take control of St James’ Park. Promoted Content8 Things To Expect If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearPortuguese Street Artist Creates Hyper-Realistic 3D GraffitiCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top7 Most Beautiful Indian Top Models EverTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All TimeBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Pretty Awesome Shows That Just Got Canceled Loading… She was hoping to get an official word this week before rubber-stamping the deal on June 1. It now remains to be seen if Newcastle do indeed get the finances they have desired for so long. Should the takeover go through, Steve Bruce is not expected to be kept in the dugout. And two men are thought to be in pole position to take charge of the dressing room. The first is former boss Rafa Benitez, still loved by fans after his relegation survival miracles. read also:Barcelona: Newcastle table official bid for Chelsea target The other is ex-Spurs gaffer Mauricio Pochettino, who took his old side to last season’s Champions League final. Among the players already being linked with a move to the North East are Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho and Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

ETC Acquisition Complete

first_imgBlair, NE — Great Plains Communications (GPC), a privately-owned 13,000-mile fiber network reaching 11 states, has completed its acquisition of Enhanced Telecommunications Corporation (ETC). ETC is the second acquisition completed by GPC, within the last year. The company acquired InterCarrier Networks in August 2019. The announcement of the acquisition of ETC came back in late June of 2020.“Great Plains Communications continues to stay true to our vision to grow strategically by identifying promising opportunities like the ETC acquisition. Now that the acquisition process is complete, we can begin working as one company to not only provide exceptional services and enhanced products to our current customer base, but to identify strategic opportunities to serve new markets and expand our network. We appreciate the legacy of the Miles family at ETC and welcome our new employees and customers,” said Todd Foje, CEO of Great Plains Communications.last_img read more