The much-awaited appearance of Minister of Youth and Sports, Eugene Lenn Nagbe before the Senate plenary to face contempt hearing scheduled for yesterday, was placed on hold until his return to the country next Tuesday.According to a communication addressed to the Secretary of the Senate, J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh, Deputy Minister for Sports Henry Yonton, said Minister Nagbe is currently out of the country attending official duty. “He is therefore unable to appear before the Senate on March 5, as requested ….” Deputy Minister Yonton’s letter further informed the Senate that his boss will return to the country on Tuesday, March 10.“The Ministry of Youth of Sports (would) like to inform members of the Liberian Senate that as soon as the Minister returns to the country next week, he will certainly appear before the Senate plenary.”A motion to receive and make notation of the Ministry’s communication was proffered by Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif, one of the 13 Senators that voted to defeat Bong County Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor’s motion for reconsideration. During its 15th day sitting last Thursday, 13 Senators voted to defeat a motion earlier proffered by Senator Taylor against the Senate decision to cite Minister Nagbe to appear before that body to show cause why he should not be held in contempt.The Bong lawmaker had argued in her letter of motion for reconsideration that the oversight committee of the Senate responsible for that ministry must be allowed to function, and that the plenary should be the last stop for action where the committee fails to resolve issues.The Senate is citing Minister Nagbe, based on a report submitted to the plenary by an Ad Hoc Sports Committee accusing the Minister of refusing to cooperate with the Committee to probe a complaint by River Cess Senator Francis Saturday Paye, over report that MYS was contemplating hosting the annual National Sports Meet.The five-member committee headed by former soccer icon George Manneh Weah, among other things, informed the plenary that Minister Nagbe, a former Secretary General of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change’s (CDC) refusal to attend the hearing was an obstruction to the work of the Senate; describing it as totally unacceptable, disrespectful, and urged his colleagues that such practice and utterance should not be encouraged.The Ad Hoc Committee further accused the former CDC Scribe and powerful strategist for George Weah, when he ventured to contest the 2005 General and Presidential Elections, “as a serious affront to the Senate,” and requested that body to intervene.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
It probably won’t be warm enough to melt the last of the Easter eggs on the shelves.Get out and enjoy Donegal in all its glory such as Maghera Beach in Ardara.But Met Eireann is forecasting a super Bank Holiday with highs of up to 16 degrees in Donegal.And the good news is that the calm and settled weather is expected to last for the vast majority of the week. Hoteliers, shops and restaurants across Donegal are already reporting a bustling trade.And they say the strength of sterling against the euro is bringing large numbers of visitors from across the border.Many shops are offering Easter sales with up to 40% being offered on sterling.Gardai have asked people to slow down with an increased volume of traffic on the county’s roads. A woman in her 20s is still in hospital in Belfast after being injured in a crash in Fahan yesterday.But across the county there is a growing air of optimism that Donegal is trying to help itself fight its way out of recession.With the sun shining and the county busy, there is no better place to be in Ireland. EGG-CELLENT NEWS – EASTER WEATHER IS GOING TO BE CRACKING! was last modified: April 4th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalforecastMet Eireannsunshineweather
Gary Cahill – 7 – Rarely troubled at the back, but dealt with anything thrown at him. Was strong in the air with Boro often looking to pump the ball long. 14 Substitute: Willian – 6 – Added new energy to the game at a time when the three points were already secured. 14 14 Substitute: John Terry – N/A 14 14 David Luiz – 7 – A typical showing from the Brazil centre-half. He was dominant at the back, and often broke forward to show off his superb ball-playing skills. 14 Victor Moses – 7 – Dominated the right flank in both attack and defence. Widened the pitch with some impressive wing play. 14 14 Pedro – 7 – A lively presence in the final third, combining well with Hazard and Costa to constantly frighten the Boro defence. Nemanja Matic – 8 – Put in a typical dominating midfield performance, freeing up Fabregas to create chances at will. Scored his first goal at Stamford Bridge with a second-half finish. Cesc Fabregas – 9 – Superb in the middle of the park, controlling play with ease. He played a wonderful pass which led to Costas opening goal, and also assisted Matics strike with an outside of the boot touch. Marcos Alonso – 8 – Was a constant threat down the left flank, hitting the crossbar inside the opening minutes. Scored Chelseas second goal with another break into the Boro area. 14 14 14 Eden Hazard – 8 – Threatened every time he had the ball, breaking into the Boro penalty area with ease. He is by far the best player in the division when in this kind of form. 14 Thibaut Courtois – 6 – click the right arrow to see the rest of the Chelsea player ratings – Had next to nothing to do, as Chelsea dominated on the pitch. Boro never threatened to score. Chelsea are just one win away from winning their fifth Premier League title following Monday’s 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough.Diego Costa, Marcos Alonso and Nemanja Matic netted in a resounding performance from the Blues, which not only put the west London side on the verge of silverware, but also relegated Boro to the Championship.But, just how did Antonio Conte’s men perform at Stamford Bridge?Click the right arrow, above, to see talkSPORT’s Chelsea player ratings from the win over Middlesbrough… Diego Costa – 7 – Was a danger throughout, and opened the scoring with a neat finish through Guzans legs. Twice came close to netting a second. Substitute: Nathaniel Chalobah – N/A Cesar Azpilicueta – 8 – Rarely troubled at the back, and constantly moved forward to help Chelseas attack. Assisted Alonsos goal with a superb curling pass. 14 14
Tags: Azam UPLExpress FCfckirinya jssmasavu FCMbarara Cityonduparaka fcpaul mukatabalaproline fcSC Villasoanaupdf fcURA FC Saturday 05-05-2018 FixturesUPDF FC vs SC Villa @Bombo Military StadiumSoana FC vs Onduparaka FC @kavumba Recreation GroundsMbarara City vs Proline FC @Kakyeka StadiumKirinya JSS vs Masavu @Kyabazinga StadiumURA FC vs Express FC @Mandela National StadiumNB: All Games Start At 04:00pmUPDF will host SC Villa at the Bombo Military Stadium looking to recover the three points they lost to Bul this week thanks to a FUFA Competitions Disciplinary Panel ruling.Also Read: UPDF FC loses game against Bul by ForfeitureThe points lost mean that UPDF start the day occupying the relegation zone and will be hoping for a positive result that ignites their relegation survival hopes.For Villa, they start the day five points behind leaders Vipers SC who defeated Police FC 2-0 at the St. Mary’s Stadium on Friday.Also Read: Vipers defeat Police to move five points clear at the topVilla will know that there is no room for error as any lost points elevate Vipers closer to a first league crown in three years.“We have to continue doing our part and hope that Vipers drop so points in the due course, said Villa assistant coach Paul Mukatabala.“We won our last game at home and we need to keep the momentum flowing on the road.“It is of course not going to be easy because UPDF are a strong side at home and the fact that they are still in the relegation battle makes it a whole lot harder but i believe we have got the players to inflict the necessary damage and get us three points.SC Villa after their last training at Villa park on Friday (Photos by Agencies)SC Villa will have defenders Joseph Nsubuga and Henry Katongole returning to the team after recovering from their respective injuries. The record champions will look up to Martin Kizza, goalkeeper Samson Kirya and George Senkaba for inspiration.Match Facts:Villa won the first meeting between these two sides earlier this season 2-0 at the Masaka Recreation Grounds.With the 1-0 win over Bul turned into defeat, this means that UPDF go into the game having won only one of their last nine games in all competitions (D3 L5). The win was against URA in a 1-0 victory at Bombo at the start of last month.UPDF have won only 2 of their last nine league games (D3 L4), a run that leaves then only a point from safety.The Army side side has been good at home this season, losing only three of their 13 games in Bombo including the Bul loss incurred by virtual of a board room decision.For Villa, they come into the game having lost only one of their last 12 games in all competitions (W9 D2).In the league, the Jogoos have tasted defeat in only two of their last 23 games, 1-0 at home to Vipers and then a similar scoreline away to KCCA. In that period, Villa has gone on to win 15 games and drawn the other six.However, their away form has been worrying all season, managing only four victories in their 12 fixtures on the road (D6 L2).Against the current bottom three, Villa has all four of its fixtures against them and that will serve as inspiration for Mukatabala and co.At Kavumba, Soana will entertain Onduparaka desperately in search of three vital points that will ease relegation fears for Smart Obed’s side.A run of poor results that have seen Soana lose four and draw one of their last five league games has put the Kavumba based side only two points above the relegation zone with three games to play.For Onduparaka, they are on course to their best ever league finish as they currently seat fourth, four points ahead of Kirinya JSS in fifth.Another game to be played on Saturday will see relegation threatened Mbarara City and Proline do battle at the Kakyeka stadium.With only two points separating the two sides, it will be a match that will be played in a spirit of a final as a loss for either side may have grave relegation implications.Proline start the day second from bottomMbarara seat in 12th at the start of the day with 28 points from 27 games while Proline occupy 15th but have a game in hand.Elsewhere, Kirinya JSS will host bottom of the pile Masavu FC with the visitors desperate for points as time is running out on them.With only three games to go, Masavu are still rooted at the foot of the table and seat four points adrift of safety. For Kirinya, they will be targeting a best ever points tally in the top flight as they currently have 38 and seat in fifth on the log.At Namboole, two former giants will clash as URA entertain Express FC.Sam Simbwa who is the head coach of URA currently was the last man to stir Express to the league crown in the 2012 season and if he defeats his former side, he may have probably put some impact on their (Express) relegation.Sam Simbwa was the gead coach of Express when they last won the leagueExpress are currently seating only goal difference away from relegation and with them yet to play title chasers Villa and Vipers, three points from the game on Saturday will be welcomed as ‘god’.Comments Azam Uganda Premier League
QPR are lining up a ‘new’ bid for Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon, according to the Telegraph.Rangers did not make an approach for the winger during the previous transfer window despite reports they were looking to sign him.But it is claimed that Lennon, 27, rejected a loan move to Loftus Road shortly before the window closed and that Rangers remain interested.It is suggested that a loan deal would suit both parties, with Lennon possibly reluctant to commit to a permanent transfer until QPR’s Premier League status is secured.Reports in Turkey continue to claim that the R’s are interested in Galatasary’s former Arsenal right-back Emmanuel Eboue.Rangers boss Harry Redknapp, who has Maurico Isla on a season-long loan from Juventus, is supposedly keen to sign the 31-year-old Ivorian.Eboue, who has not played a first-team match this season, is apparently also wanted by Burnley and Leicester.Meanwhile, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has again been linked with a possible move to Liverpool, this time by the Mail. For more transfer speculation, including QPR being tipped to sign Lassana Diarra, see Monday morning’s Paper Talk.See also:QPR tipped to complete Diarra deal and Blues linked with BrazilianFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Here are the design words found in a press release from Michigan State describing the editing mechanisms of the cell DNA-to-RNA transcription process: high fidelity, quality control, inner workings, genetic coding, exquisite nanotechnology in living systems, genetic control, blueprint for life, industrial assembly line, conveyor belt, preloading, criteria, backs up to correct the error, sensed and corrected, acceptable level of error required for the speed at which cells must reproduce, elegance of cell creation, fidelity mechanism, tried and true design, and enduring design. Here are the words in the press release describing the evolution of this system: [null]. The aspect of transcription that so impressed the researchers was the ability of RNA polymerase (the main transcription machine) to preload bases before need: “Preloading of NTPs [nucleoside triphosphates, the “letters” of RNA code] hints at a previously unknown quality control station to maintain accuracy of RNA synthesis,” the article states (emphasis added in all quotes). “We’re able to show how an error will be sensed and corrected,” said Team member Zachary Burton. “The quality control system checks NTP loading several ways. If it doesn’t match the criteria, it gets booted out.” Details of the research were published in Molecular Cell.1 Another statement by Burton encapsulated the tone of their study: “RNA polymerase is one of nature’s great designs.”1Gong et al., “Dynamic Error Correction and Regulation of Downstream Bubble Opening by Human RNA Polymerase II,” Molecular Cell, Volume 18, Issue 4, 13 May 2005, Pages 461-470, doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2005.04.011This is how science should be done. No useless Darwinspeak, just careful analysis of design when design is evident. Neither the formal paper nor the press release contained any mention of evolution. Instead, the language of design was shown to be both useful and appropriate in a purely scientific discussion. By the way, the research focused on human RNA polymerase. The press release was titled, “High fidelity keeps human DNA assembly line humming.” All that quality control is on your assembly line, keeping you humming. Need a tune to hum? Try this.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
5 July 2012Inspiring New Ways, Brand South Africa’s new slogan, was launched on Wednesday night along with an innovative television commercial filmed locally and abroad, at a candlelight dinner with some of the country’s most influential people across all fields, from sport to technology.This comes as a natural progression from the organisation’s previous slogan, “Alive With Possibility’, which was used to define the company’s role in marketing South Africa.Miller Matola, Brand South Africa’s chief executive officer, believes the 60-second commercial, unveiled with the new slogan on 4 July at The Theatre on the Track at Kyalami in Midrand, encapsulates the “can-do’ spirit of South Africans. He trusts that it will illustrate the determination of the country’s citizens to overcome obstacles and find new and better ways to get things done.The spirit of South Africans was captured in the ad. Instead of looking for a single example of this, the makers decided to get some well-known and not-so-well-known citizens to talk about it in their own words.Watch the advertIt begins with Baby Jake Matlala saying: “They told me I was too small’, and continues to feature other prominent figures before ending off with musician Toya Delazy and comedian Trevor Noah together saying: “We don’t think we change the world – we know.’Host of starsOther people in the ad are Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Natalie du Toit, Lucas Radebe, Brian Mitchell, Greg Minnaar, Trevor Rabin, John van de Ruit, Shaun Tomson, David Tlale, Khotso Mokoena, Colin Thornton, Oyama Matomela, Andile Dube, Andy Higgins, Tebogo Skwanbane, Nhkensani Nkosi, Emile Engel, Simon Ratcliffe, Zibusizo Mkhwanazi, and Fatima Vawda.Matthew Barnes, the executive creative director at Publicis, the agency that made the ad, said: “The mix of characters in the commercial was chosen from a long, long list. While some of the people we wanted to include were not available, we were extraordinarily fortunate to get some of the people who star in the final product.“We did not just go for people who have won world cups and major awards and trophies. We wanted to show a spread of people, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the South African can-do spirit,’ Barnes said.The team had to film at various locations in South Africa and in Los Angeles. The latter was to show some home-grown talent that had made it big internationally, such as Rabin. The musician became an international rock star with Rabbit and Yes; he now produces soundtracks for Hollywood movies. Others filmed in Los Angeles were Noah, the multi-lingual comedian; Tomson, who was at the top of world surfing for many years; and Minnaar, a multiple world mountain bike champion.Moses Semenya, the assistant direct at Catapult, which produced the commercial, said: “Whether we were filming at home or in the United States, we were struck by the humility and down-to-earth nature of the people we filmed and their absolute willingness to participate in the project and give something back to their country.’Turning negatives to positivesSemenya explained that to describe the ability of South Africans to find new ways of doing things, the first half of the commercial explores negatives, which are turned into strong positives and successes in the second half.The television commercial will be aired on ETV on 5 July about 8.30pm, before moving to SABC channels and MNET; then it will make its way on to international media. But this is only the beginning; the people in the commercial will later be featured in stand-alone segments.“Through this television commercial we want to get across the message that “Inspiring New Ways’ is an over-arching country position for South Africa relating to everything we do and that we are including our people, our culture and heritage, tourism, exports, governance and investment and immigration,’ Matola said.“Since our hugely successful hosting of the Fifa World Cup™ in 2010, our inclusion in the Brics [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] grouping of nations and in the G20, South Africa has matured a lot and come of age to a large degree.We are no longer an adolescent nation and this progression needs to be reflected in our brand identity and positioning.’Matola added that the South Africans featured in the ad characterised the quintessential spirit of the country as they found ways to realise their dreams and achieve their goals.“Whether it’s Baby Jake Matlala proving that he was not too small to become a world champion boxer, or Oyama Matomela becoming a commercial pilot at the age of 20, or astronomer Simon Ratcliffe who helped to bring the Square Kilometre Array project to our country, these people all portray the essential spirit of South Africa and South Africans.’The people featured in the ad had all found ways to get ahead, improve themselves and make a contribution to society, he added. “At Brand SA, we want to inspire all South Africans to play a role in shaping the future of our country.’The path since democracyInspiring New Ways, the slogan, was devised to reflect how far the country has come over the past few years since its democracy and the increasingly significant role it is playing in international affairs.South Africa has not only been the only African nation to host a football World Cup, but it has also become a leading force in the African Union, Southern African Development Community, New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Brics and G20.Nomsa Chabeli Mazibuko, Brand SA’s strategic marketing and communications director, said: “In many ways, we punch above our weight in international affairs and we also occupy a strong representative position on behalf of Africa, the developing world and emerging market economies.“We have our own challenges as a country, especially with regard to issues such as education, poverty, inequality and corruption, but we as South Africans have demonstrated that we will be inspired to find new ways to overcome these challenges.’More importantly, Chabeli Mazibuko said, Brand SA wanted Inspiring New Ways to be a slogan that was aspirational and created a vision of where people wanted to be.“The Inspiring New Ways slogan and television commercial is a call to action for South Africans to find new and better ways of doing things for the benefit of themselves, their communities and the country as a whole,’ she added.Entertainment at the launch included Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who performed three songs; Mi Casa, and a children’s choir. Chaka Chaka took her music to the floor as she walked through the crowd while singing, encouraging people to dance by grabbing some of them by the hand. They let loose after that and by the time Mi Casa went on stage, they swamped the dance floor without any encouragement from the band.Source: Brand South Africa
During apartheid, Somalia took in South Africans fleeing from an oppressive government. In recent times, South Africa has had to pay back the favour, taking in Somali refugees running from a civil war. In Johannesburg, particularly, Somalis have found a home in a bustling neighbourhood where their entrepreneurial spirit can thrive: Mayfair.Ebrahim Alli in his coffee shop in Little Mogadishu. His walls are adorned with art, crafts and pictures that remind him of Somalia. (Image: Sinikiwe Mqadi)Sulaiman PhilipSomalia offered South African activists safe harbour during the liberation movement. Now, a small section of Johannesburg’s Mayfair neighbourhood offers sanctuary to Somalis fleeing the war in their country.Little Mogadishu is a three-block wide slice of Somalia. Its streets are lined with restaurants and Somali-owned shops offering money transfers, travel and clothing. Spicy aromas from Somali restaurant kitchens and boisterous chat from their communal tables follow you as you walk down Eighth Avenue.Turn left onto Somerset Road and you find yourself at Qaxwo Coffee Shop, Ebrahim Alli’s coffee and juice store. Alli has been in South Africa since 2000 and has witnessed the best, and worst, the country has to offer.Ebrahim Alli has found a home and success in Mayfair. (Image: Wits)“This is a welcoming place,” he says of Mayfair. By his own estimate, there are between 60 000 and 70 000 Somalis in the diaspora. Spread across South Africa, they all see Mayfair as the heart of their displaced community. “Somalis have true affection for South Africa. A real love despite the anxiety we sometimes feel.”Alli lost his business in the violence that targeted foreign nationals in 2008. A successful panel beating business, it was stripped before being torched. He found himself in Mayfair among other disheartened Somalis, a place they saw as a refuge. Alli was determined not to be cowed.“We Somalis are inspired by two decades of hardship to be entrepreneurial. We have learnt to persevere in spite of hardship,” he says. He bought two flasks and began selling coffee on the street. Slowly he rebuilt his life and is now a leader in the Somali diaspora.“I believe we can benefit from each other. South Africans are skilled and educated. We Somalis are entrepreneurial. South Africa offers us opportunities to start businesses. This freedom is not available to us in Europe and the US.”The Somali civil war has made it difficult to hold on to his country’s history, but Alli works at it. He collects memorabilia, art and crafts and shares Somalia’s history with his children – who were born outside his homeland – and people who visit his store. “It’s important to me to preserve our culture, to help my children recognise an identity they don’t know.”Alli’s story is mirrored in the people you speak to on the street in Little Mogadishu. People like Mohammed Jama, the owner of Towakal 2 supermarket. His shelves are stocked with familiar products in unfamiliar packaging. “My customers want a little piece of home; they want products they are familiar with. So I sell rice from India and Pakistan, dates and juice from Saudi Arabia and pasta from Italy – products we know from home.”By the time he was 22, Jama was the breadwinner for his family. His father was long dead and his mother and younger siblings depended on him to provide. In a country where death was always present his options were to join a militia or flee. Jama fled, hoping to build a better, safer life for his family. “For one month I drove and walked towards South Africa. When we got close to a border I would walk, try to find a place where I could cross. I have no passport, so even today I can’t go back.”Jama is old enough to remember Somalia before the troubles. There are days when Johannesburg reminds him of home. “I like the stability of South Africa – the chance you have to make something with your life. Somalia was like that.”Opportunity is the reason so many Somalis make the foot of Africa their home. Shops along Eighth Avenue are crammed into every little space. The shop fronts are adorned with bright billboards advertising the goods on sale inside. Competition is stiff, but friendly. Store owners stand at their doors enticing passers-by, strangers and friends, to come inside.“I own this supermarket,” Jama begins. “This is possible in South Africa. Here, there is opportunity. I think this [is what] we can teach South Africans; how to build their own business. This is what we want to teach. We are tired of fighting and fear. South Africa has opened her borders for us and we want to give back.”A young Somali man who fled to South Africa to escape the violence of Somalia. (Image: Wits)In some of the restaurants you will still find bananas on the tables. Traditionally, the fruit is served at the end of every meal. At Qaxwo Coffee Shop the pavement tables are occupied by men intently discussing the day’s events or arguing about the performance of their favourite sports team. Thick Somali coffee washes down treacly sweet coconut biscuits or spiced meat pies. As the day wanes the argument becomes familiar. Who will have the honour of paying the bill?“When people here argue, it is about the honour of being the host. At the shop it is usually the person who sat down first who wins the argument. Being welcoming to friends and strangers is a very important part of the Somali culture. We enjoy sharing company.”i’ve been praying,/ and these are what my prayers look like;dear god/i come from two countriesone is thirsty/ the other is on fire/ both need water.later that night/ i held an atlas in my lapran my fingers across the whole worldand whispered/ where does it hurt? – Somali poet Warsan ShireWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The West Holmes FFA Chapter will have four American Degree recipients at the 2016 National FFA Convention. Members Elise Neville, Chris Sprang, Morgan Hoxworth, and Shyann Kick will receive their degrees October 22nd in Louisville. In order to be eligible for the American FFA Degree, members must have the following qualifications: they had to have obtained the State FFA Degree, been an active member for 3 years, have participated in activities on the chapter and state levels, have graduated at least 12 months before the National FFA Convention, have maintained records that express an outstanding supervised agricultural experience program, have earned and productively invested at least $7,500 or have earned and productively invested at least $1,500 and have worked 2,250 hours in excess of class time, and have expressed outstanding leadership abilities and have maintained a high school scholastic record of “C” or better.Elise Neville worked as an intern at OSU, researching soil and water characteristics and studying on how to adjust plant growth. She also ran her own dog walking/sitting business. Elise was involved in the chapter by serving as an officer for the chapter and competing in Ag Sales.Chris Sprang worked for 3 dairy farms: Piar Mineral Ridge, Clover Patch, and Spring Walk. Chris served as an officer for the chapter and competed in Tractor Troubleshooting for his involvement in the chapter.Morgan Hoxworth worked for the Danville Vet Clinic and Grasshopper Lawn Care. She was involved in the chapter by serving as an officer and competing in Dairy Judging.Shyann Kick worked for Idyl Wild and Shamrock Dairy Farms. She was involved in the chapter by serving as an officer and competing in Ag Sales and Dairy Judging.Congratulations to all four members on receiving the highest award an FFA member can receive.
I hate to rain on the parade, but I personally believe the current trend of focusing on the health benefits of home performance upgrades will not create huge demand in the industry or drive it to real market transformation, no matter how much we will it to happen. Approaching health and home performanceThere are two ways to approach health and home performance. The first is to identify potential air quality and other concerns as part of a traditional energy audit, which makes a lot of sense. The other is to seek out health concerns as opportunities on their own — an approach that I think is risky.Of course, it’s not uncommon to find issues in homes that are most certainly making people less healthy or potentially sick. I think most of us would agree that fixing a broken sewer line to keep wastewater from pooling under a home will improve the indoor air quality. The same holds true for fixing the shower drain the plumbers forgot to attach, leaving nowhere for the water to go except into the crawl space.Even more common is the furnace plenum that rusts out and makes a nice warm home for critters because it’s in contact with the dirt in a crawl space. I have seen several of these that are covered in rodent feces and other not-so-nice things which then get blown into homes when the HVAC system is operating. Then there’s the brand new gas stove that had a defective burner and was producing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, making the whole family sick when mom prepared dinner.Each of these examples are things we’ve encountered while preforming energy audits. I think most people would agree that fixing these problems goes a long way toward improving indoor air quality and the health of the occupants of those buildings. In this capacity, I think health has real value and is a huge positive for the home performance industry.What troubles me is the idea of using health concerns as the primary driver to promote and sell home performance. There’s no question that you can sell jobs based on improving indoor air quality, which directly affects health. I can tell you from experience these jobs can be very lucrative — and that you can lose your shirt on them, too. Helping People With Multiple Chemical SensitivityVentilation Rates and Human HealthAll About Indoor Air QualityIndoor Microbes and Human HealthEMFs and Human HealthThe EPA’s Indoor AirPlus ProgramWorrisome Chemicals Lurk Even In Green Buildings Home performance can improve many homesOver the years, our work has improved many homes, including making them healthier. But not all of our jobs were 100% successful. It’s not a good feeling when you set out to help someone with their health concerns and come up a bit short. This is why I am apprehensive about the trend toward health as a new driver for home performance upgrades. It’s great when you get it right; it sucks when you don’t.My advice: leave fixing health issues to doctors and other health professionals and concentrate on promoting the other benefits of home performance upgrades.I would love to hear your feedback and experiences regarding health and home performance. Please share by describing your experience in the comments section below. Don’t create unrealistic expectationsThe problem is, when you present yourself as someone who can fix long-term health problems, you are entering a land of questionable promises and huge expectations. That’s not to say that you can’t improve conditions, but I would caution home performance contractors against creating an unrealistic sense of what they can accomplish. Often the folks who look to home performance as a cure for their health concerns are very difficult clients who have expectations that are impossible to meet.Early on in my home performance training I was always told to use phrases like “improved indoor air quality” and making homes “healthier” vs. fixing a home that’s making you sick. This is good advice. When someone is sick and believes that their home is the cause, their expectations of your ability to fix everything are very high. If you promote your ability to fix sick homes, you’d better be able to deliver.What happens after your customer spends tens of thousands of dollars on an upgrade and still believes the house is making them sick? Do you go back and try additional solutions? If so, who pays for it? Is it “warranty” work or a change order? I can guarantee you there are some people who will never be satisfied with your results, no matter how hard you try. Charles Cormany is the executive director of Efficiency First California, where this blog originally appeared. RELATED ARTICLES Stories with sad endingsSome health-focused jobs can have sad endings. We worked with a Multiple Chemical Sensitivity client (MCS). He hired us to air seal his home and install a mechanical ventilation system. He was a referral from an indoor air quality specialist (hygienist). At some point in his life, he had been exposed to chemicals that altered his natural ability to process smells. Honestly I felt bad for him. He had moved out of his home and had to live elsewhere after a contractor used an epoxy finish on his outside front deck. It seems the epoxy was not mixed properly, and the off-gassing set off his immune response, giving him migraines.He evacuated the house for nearly three years. During this period, he replaced his forced air heating system with a boiler and radiators to eliminate ductwork and made other improvements to the home. When we came on, we air sealed the entire home (again with mastic and no gun foam), insulated the attic and installed a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) that included a MERV 12 pre-filter. We had to put the intake for the HRV in a specific location so that the neighbor’s stinky laundry detergent would not be an issue. We installed an indoor control for the HRV so he could shut it off if there was an unwanted pollutant outside.He was very happy with the work. After waiting two months for everything to off-gas, he moved back into the home. All seemed well and good. When I spoke to him a couple of years later, he was still very happy with the work we did, but also still had some issues with headaches and other health problems. Although we made significant improvements, his home was still presenting problems for him. For the past couple of years there has been a lot of conversation in the industry about indoor air quality and the health benefits of home performance upgrades. Even the certification folks have jumped on the bandwagon, offering special certifications for home inspections that focus on health and indoor air quality. There is no question that energy upgrades can improve the indoor environment of a home or building; this has always been one of the non-energy benefits of home performance upgrades. The real question is, does this warrant a change in messaging for the home performance industry? Should we be driving the industry to focus on promoting health benefits as a way to stimulate growth and potentially spur market transformation?To be honest I have my doubts. Here’s why.Every couple of years we hear about something just around the corner that is going to create huge consumer demand that will push the home performance industry to the next level. These trends start with great enthusiasm but are often followed by not-so-great results.For example, in the early part of the new millennium, Home Performance with Energy Star was the hot ticket. The intentions were good; the results were mixed. Then came Energy Upgrade California, backed by huge dollars from the American Reinvest and Recovery Act (ARRA). If only it achieved what it could have. Then it was the Home Star legislation, affectionately known as Cash For Caulkers. That slowly faded away.More recently it’s been financial tools such as Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) and now the Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) program from the California state treasuries office. No doubt each of these have had positive impacts. There is no question that each of these initiatives has helped the industry grow. Unfortunately, none has matched the hype or created true market transformation. Some people have called energy efficiency “the next frontier,” comparing it to where solar PV about 15 years ago. Yet we are still struggling to survive as an industry. About the other side of healthI also have a few horror stories, such as the “super smeller.” A super smeller is someone who has an extremely heightened sense of smell. At first I thought the idea was a bit exaggerated, but I assure you these people do exist. In our case, we were very cautious, providing material data safety sheets (MSDS) on everything we used in her house. We also provided physical samples of all of our materials prior to installation — the ductwork, the insulation, the mastic — you name it, she approved it all before we used it. She forbid the use of any kind of spray foam, so we ordered special IAQ (read: expensive) mastic. We air sealed her attic with mastic instead of gun foam, which was not fun.We installed a new furnace and ducts and completely air sealed her home. When the work was complete, she was convinced that something we used was giving her headaches. We went back, and back again, using a blower door to isolate the source of the odors. Eventually we went so far as to install mechanical ventilation, complete with filtered supply, at our expense. No matter how hard we tried, she still suspected that our work was making her feel worse.So where do you draw the line and how do you move on? In this case, having a relationship with an indoor air hygienist who could do some in-place air sampling and monitoring would be a good idea. Measure the results and deal with facts. The problem is, air hygienists are expensive, so who pays for it? Do low-cost particulate monitors really help?I suspect the recent advent of low-cost particulate monitors might have something to do with this new trend toward health. For a couple of hundred dollars you can now get a device in your home that will provide data on what is in your home and how it might affect your indoor air quality and therefore your health. Previously, instruments to do this cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Now you can have Amazon deliver one right to your door for under $300. The problem is, how well do they really work? And which particulates are actually contributing to your health concerns?There are as many kinds of health concerns as there are types of people in the world. I have seen home performance improvements be very effective. In my experience, fixing leaky ducts and air sealing crawlspaces and attics can be very beneficial for the health of the occupants. I have many positive anecdotal stories about huge improvements in the health of asthma sufferers, and of people not needing to use their allergy medications anymore after we fixed their homes.