UK roundup: Regulator warns trustees over chairperson statements


first_imgNicola Parish, executive director, TPREC2, the trustee of, was told that the £2,000 (€2,313) fine from the regulator would be upheld while the trustees of the Moore Stephens Master Trust had their fine reduced from £2,000 to £500.In the case brought by EC2, the judge said the requirements stated schemes should not simply prepare an annual governance statement, but “prepare a statement containing a considerable amount of clearly specified and detailed information”.Parish said that the regulator was pleased with the outcome, which recognised that a mandatory penalty should apply to chairpersons’ statements when they were not compliant.“As these cases clearly demonstrate, we are prepared to defend our penalties in court,” she said. “We continue to expect high standards of trustees and will take action when chair’s statements are not compliant with the law.”UK pensioners increasingly reliant on state benefitsThe number of UK pensioners surviving solely on state benefits has risen to its highest level since 1995/96, according to statistics from pension administration group Equiniti.An analysis of data from the UK’s Office of National Statistics found that 17% of pensioners in 2017/2018 had no other income to boost the cash they receive from the state.The number of pensioners with no supplementary income was up 14% on the previous tax year, according to the analysis.“It is worrying that one in five UK pensioners seems to be entering retirement with no personal savings or investments leaving them to rely solely on the income the state is able to provide,” said Chris Connelly, propositions and solutions director at Equiniti’s pensions business, in a statement.“These figures underline how important it is that people continue to learn about the importance of a later life income.”The research also found that single pensioners are more likely to be reliant on state benefits, with 25% having no additional income to supplement the money they receive from the government.State benefits for UK retirees over the past decade have been slowly increasing, according to Equiniti’s analysis, with the average weekly payment now totalling £229 a week. This equates to 43% of the average pensioner’s income. Occupational pension income had fallen slightly during this time, from £160 to £148 per week. It now accounted for 28% of the average pensioner’s income.Brexit stimulates UK pension risk transfer marketPrudential Retirement closed $2.6bn (€2.3bn) in longevity reinsurance agreements in the first quarter of 2019, it revealed today.It said this was partly driven by UK pension schemes seeking to close deals ahead of the original Brexit deadline of 29 March, referring to an “unprecedented start” to this year’s UK pension risk transfer marketThe retirement division of Prudential Financial said it had assumed the longevity risks for around 16,000 pensioners in the first three months of the year.Amy Kessler, head of longevity reinsurance at Prudential Financial, said pension schemes that were sufficiently well-funded were able to reduce risks and lock in gains.“With funding at the highest levels in a decade, pensions are de-risking at an unprecedented pace,” she said in a statement.“Brexit brings increasing levels of uncertainty that could wash away recent market gains and funding improvements, putting de-risking out of reach for those with lower hedge ratios.”The company said it envisaged that the extension to the Brexit deadline to 31 October would encourage other pension schemes to follow suit, as schemes that have not yet transacted will want to use the “unexpected window”. Separately, Legal & General Group has agreed its first pension risk transfer transaction in Canada.The transaction was worth more than C$200m (€132m) and was written through a strategic partnership between Canadian life insurer Brookfield Annuity Company and Legal & General Reinsurance.Nigel Wilson, chief executive officer of L&G, said the pension risk transfer market was growing strongly in Canada.“The transaction provides further evidence of our appetite and capability to grow our pension risk transfer business internationally,” he added.The London-based insurance group has written £2.5bn of international pension risk transfers since its first such deal in 2015. The cases related to the 2015/16 chairperson’s statement of, a master trust sponsored by Smart Pension, and the 2016/17 chairperson’s statement from the Moore Stephens Master Trust. UK pension trustees have been warned they must produce an annual chairperson’s statement that complies with the law or risk a fine from the Pensions Regulator.The warning comes after penalties issued by the regulator were upheld in court, when trustees in two separate cases appealed their fines. The penalties had been originally issued by the regulator because of an absence of necessary information in both schemes’ annual statements.“Annual chair’s statements are an essential way to show pension savers that their scheme is being properly governed and will deliver the retirement benefits they are promised,” explained Nicola Parish, executive director for frontline regulation at the Pensions Regulator.“That’s why it is the law for trustees to produce chair’s statements and make sure they contain all of the necessary information.”last_img read more

Dominica officially launches International Year of Co-operatives 2012


first_img Share Share LocalNews Dominica officially launches International Year of Co-operatives 2012 by: – December 8, 2011 9 Views   no discussions Tweetcenter_img Share Sharing is caring! Photo credit: dcsll.orgPresident of the Dominica Cooperative Societies League Mr. Cletus Joseph says the organization is positioning itself to assist small cooperatives in their development thrust.He was addressing the official launching of International Year of Cooperatives 2012, an event held in collaboration with the ministry of social services”.Joseph told the ceremony which was held at the Fort Young Hotel Wednesday night, that the cooperative has made several changes to accommodate that process.“We will put together actions to assist the fellow cooperatives’ on the island. We know what their struggles are and we intend to bring them up to the maximum levels of efficiency and effectiveness in other to be relevant to their membership,” he said.Meantime minister responsible for Cooperatives Gloria Shillingford says the activity is significant because cooperative moments play a pivotal role in the development of any nation.“The genesis of the movement began just as an idea. Today we see that the trend setters were correct and their dreams are manifested in cooperatives like the National Cooperative Credit Union…we can see all the benefits that have been derived from people working together to achieve a common goal,” she explained.Trade Minister Dr. Colin McIntyre who represented Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit at the event said the cooperative movement stands out as a highly recommended model in Dominica, as advances that can be achieved in social and economic development when individuals pull their resources in a cooperative effort to tackle development issues within their country.“For us in Dominica, the cooperative movement has been a vehicle for moving both our urban and rural committees to higher levels of development and for improving the quality of life of our citizens,” he explained.McIntyre said government fully subscribes to the view that entrepreneurship is an important strategy for alleviating poverty.The event was launched under the theme “Encouraging Entrepreneurship Though Cooperatives”.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Hobo 40 at Hancock County pays IMCA Stock Car winner $2,000


first_imgThat feature pays a minimum of $200 to start, has a $75 entry fee and highlights the county fair show. Also on the race night card are IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods and Mach-1 Sport Compacts. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, regional, KMJ Performance State and track points will be awarded. BRITT, Iowa – Forty laps will be the distance and $2,000 will be the top prize at Hancock County Speedway’s Friday, July 31 Hobo 40 special for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars. Pit gates open at 5 p.m., the grandstand opens at 6 p.m. and racing follows 7 p.m. hot laps. Spectator admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and veterans, and free for kids ages 12 and under. Pit passes are $30. More information is available on Facebook.last_img read more

‘The matches you live for’: Greatest rivals Djokovic, Nadal square off


first_img“I had some disappointing moments where I lost to him. I think I’ve lost to him nine times so far in the Grand Slams. I lost some tough matches. I won also some great matches.“Those kind of encounters have also made me the player I am today.”Both are back in the final after injury-plagued seasons in 2018.Djokovic was hampered by an elbow that needed surgery after being bundled out of Melbourne in the last 16.Nadal retired injured in both Australian and US Opens and had an operation on his ankle in November.The Spaniard, who had not played a competitive match since the US Open before arriving in Melbourne, has rampaged through the draw without losing a game on his remodelled serve since the first round. He has not dropped a set.– I just have to think my way’ –Nadal said his final preparation would focus on his own game, which so far in Australia has been untouchable“I just have to think my way. I have to keep doing the things that I am doing,” he said after swatting aside Stefanos Tsitsipas, one of the game’s brightest prospects, 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 in 106 minutes of destruction in the last four on Thursday.“That’s my feeling, just keep playing the way that I am playing and, let’s see, expect to have one of those special days.”Djokovic was only competitive during the second half of 2018, winning Wimbledon and the US Open on the way to reclaiming the number one ranking.He will retain top spot whatever Sunday’s result but knows how much is riding on the final.“There’s so much at stake, it’s hard to pick one thing,” he said. “Nadal is across the net. I’m playing a final of Grand Slam for the record seventh title here.“If you don’t get motivated by all these things, then something is wrong.”Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: DjokovicMelbourne, Australia | AFP | Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will renew the “greatest rivalry” in modern tennis when they collide in a mouth-watering 107th Australian Open final on Sunday.The top two players in the world have 31 Grand Slam titles between them and each can claim another slice of history with victory.Djokovic, 31, will lift a record seventh Norman Brookes Trophy with a win while Nadal, 32, will become the first man in the Open Era to win all four Grand Slams twice if he adds to his 2009 Melbourne Park crown.Nadal’s 18th Grand Slam title would see him close the gap on Federer’s 20 at the top of the all-time list and Djokovic’s 15th would give him sole ownership of third place ahead of Pete Sampras.“These are the kind of matches that you live for: finals of Slams, playing the greatest rivals at their best,” said Djokovic after dismantling Lucas Pouille 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 in a lopsided 83 minutes in Friday’s semi-final.– ‘What more can you ask for?’“What more can you ask for? This is where you want to be.”It will be the 53rd meeting two giants of the games and their eighth in the final of a Grand Slam.Djokovic is a whisker ahead with 27 victories to Nadal’s 25. But the Spaniard has the edge in Grand Slam finals 4-3 and has won the last three.In all Grand Slam meetings, Nadal has a clear advantage with a 9-5 win-loss record.No two men have met more often in the Open Era, and no pair have pushed one another harder or further.Their only previous final in Australia, in 2012, developed into a record-breaking 5hr 53min slugfest.It stands as the longest final in Grand Slam history — some say the greatest — and it left the pair barely able to stand at the trophy ceremony after an exhausted Djokovic staggered over the line 7-5 in the final set.– ‘The greatest rival’ –“Nadal has historically throughout my life and career been the greatest rival that I ever played against, on all the surfaces,” Djokovic said.last_img read more

Business Beat


first_imgFort’s Revitalization Agency to Move to Temporary Office Coldwell Banker Resi­dent­ial Brokerage has announced its top agents in Monmouth County for the month of July with Alan Kurlander being named the Monmouth County Associate of the Month of July.Kurlander ranked No. 1 in sales production in his Marlboro/Manalapan sales office and among all Coldwell Banker Residential Broker­age agents in Monmouth County.Five additional agents were honored as Associates of the Month, ranking No. 1 in sales production in their respective sales offices. They were: Donna Bruno, Holmdel/Colts Neck; Carol Ashworth, Howell; Frances “Fran” Judas, Middletown; Pauline Poyner, Rumson/Fair Haven; and Diana Hamilton, Wall/Spring Lake Township. RB Law Firm Hires New AssociateRED BANK – The growing law firm Zager Fuchs, PC has hired Richard J. Angelo, Esq. as an associate attorney.Richard J. AngeloA resident of Long Branch, Angelo earned his bachelor’s degree from Monmouth University in 2004 and his juris doctor from Rutgers University School of Law-Newark in 2011. He spent the past year serving as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence M. Lawson, assignment judge of the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey for Monmouth County.The attorneys at Zager Fuchs, a 45-plus year-old firm, serve a mostly regional clientele where they have built “generations of trust” within the community. Nilson Realtors Announces Associate of the Month SHREWSBURY – Mary Lou Mannino, sales associate with Gloria Nilson, REALTORS®, Real Living’s Shrews­bury office, was awarded Associate of the Month in July.The designation is granted to the office agent with the highest volume in the given month.“Mary Lou earned this award through her hard work and dedication to the outstanding customer service Gloria Nilson REALTORS is known for,” said Pat Bell, president of Gloria Nilson. “Our company holds all of our sales associates to the highest standards of customer service and industry expertise, and we thank Mary Lou for her continued dedication to Gloria Nilson REALTORS’ mission of superior service and real estate sales excellence.”Mannino earned her real estate license in 2005, and joined Gloria Nilson REALTORS the same year.Her community volunteer activities include the Little Silver PTO, Little Silver Youth Athletic Association, coach of Little Silver Recreation Sports and manager/board member of the Oceanport Lions Swim Club.Mannino lives in Little Silver with her family and takes great pride in staying active in the community. Tasher Earns Premier Advisor Designation from Wells Fargo – Again RED BANK – Wells Fargo Advisors has for the 28th consecutive year designated Mark Tasher, senior vice president-investments, as a member of the firm’s Premier Advisors Program, a distinction that reflects Tasher’s achievement of professional success through a consistent commitment to client service.“Tasher is among a select group of professionals at Wells Fargo Advisors who have achieved the status of Premier Advisor by consistently demonstrating his willingness and capacity to understand his clients’ life goals, as well as an ability to develop and execute plans designed to help achieve their aspirations,” said Jim Hays, president of the Wells Fargo Advisors Private Client Group. “Mark’s high level of commitment to his clients sets a standard and serves as an example for others. We are very proud to have Mark on our team.”To qualify for the Premier Advisors Program at Wells Fargo Advisors, financial advisors must demonstrate a high level of production and a commitment to professional service. The Premier Advisor Program represents the best of the best of advisors at Wells Fargo Advis­ors. Tasher has been a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors for 28 years and has 34 years experience in the brokerage industry. ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – The Atlantic Highlands Chamber of Commerce is holding a business-networking event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Memphis Pig Out, 67 First St.The event will feature a menu of baby back ribs, southern cheese dip, black-eyed pea croquettes, fried okra and other southern favorites.The coast is $10 for chamber members, $12 for members of the Eastern and Northern Monmouth County chambers of commerce and $15 for nonmembers.Additional information the chamber and its upcoming activities is available by visiting, or calling 732-872-8711. Coldwell Banker Names Top Agents for July Atlantic Highlands Chamber of Commerce Holds Business-networking Meeting EATONTOWN – The Fort Monmouth Economic Revital­ization Authority (FMERA) will be moving its marketing and real estate operations, beginning Sept. 20, to its new office at 15 Christopher Way, Eatontown.The temporary location is fully accessible to members of the public, and FMERA’s telephone number remains the same: 732-720-6350. The remainder of the FMERA staff will temporarily occupy office space on the former fort property in the Army’s caretaker office at no cost.During its August meeting, the FMERA Board approved the five-month lease with 550 Realty Corp. for 1,800 square feet of office space.  FMERA hopes to move to its permanent location at the former fort library in Oceanport by February 2013.The existing lease agreement at Corbett Way in Eatontown, which the Fort Monmouth Economic Revital­ization Planning Authority entered into in August 2007, expired on Aug. 31.In August 2010, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law the Fort Monmouth Econ­omic Revitalization Authority Act, creating FMERA and charging it with advancing the Reuse and Redevelop­ment Plan authored by FMERPA. The New Jersey Economic Development Author­ity (EDA) staffs FMERA, which currently has nine employees.Led by Chairman James Gorman, FMERA Board members are: EDA Chairman Alfred Koeppe, Governor’s Authorities Unit Director Regina Egea, Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry, Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo, Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon, Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera, state Department of Commun­ity Affairs Commis­sioner Richard E. Constable III, state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, state Department of Labor and Workforce Develop­ment Commissioner Harold Wirths, New Jersey Depart­ment of Transporta­tion Com­missioner James Simpson and public members Dr. Robert Lucky and Robert Ades.For more information on FMERA, visit read more

Dog Walk Event Garners $140,000 for Homeless Animals


first_imgLINCROFT – More than 2,000 people and their pets were drawn to the MSPCA Dog Walk at Brookdale’s sunny Lincroft campus on Saturday. The event raised $140,000 for homeless animals in the agency’s care, according to Liz Jakubik, development and marketing director of the MCSPCA.Many strolled the one-third mile and mile-long dog walks around campus. But there was much more to see and do, including adopting a dog and giving him or her a good home. Shelter opera- tors urged residents to stop by and take a look at all the great dogs, one a puppy shipped form Puerto Rico, that is great with other dogs and children.Near the entrance to the event, representatives from the MSPCA held “doggie weddings” at $5 a pop to raise money for the organization.Behind them, 150 vendors offered everything from handmade dog outfits and crystal-studded collars to cheesesteaks and hand-squeezed lemonade.Different tents presented information about local organizations, dog training and adoption services, including “Save US Pets” Foundation out of Shrewsbury. The foundation, which was started in 2003 by the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, creates a lifeline to assist responsible pet owners in need. The assistance that the foundation provides is for families with pets who are in danger for their lives.Different events throughout the day kept the lively crowd of animals and people entertained. Representatives from the Monmouth County Sheriff’s K9 unit gave demonstrations, a band played classic rock covers, and pet owners had the opportunity to expose their pets to some basic agility training exercises.This was the first year that the Dog Walk was held in the spring and the turnout suggested that it was a good change from its usual autumn date. The Dog Walk is one of the MSPCA’s largest fundraising events. The proceeds go towards funding the MSPCA’s adoption centers and spay/neuter clinics across Monmouth County along with providing community education about responsible pet ownership.Jerry Rosenthal, president of the organization, said the Dog Walk “is really to promote the programs and services we provide to Monmouth County.”– By John Krajewski. Photos by Colette Tompkinslast_img read more

When it comes to bombs like Evan Longoria’s, trust your eyes, not so much the tape measure


first_imgDid you see Evan Longoria’s home run Tuesday night?If you did, you didn’t see it for long. The Giants’ third baseman got a fat fastball from Padres pitcher Matt Strahm, straight as a string, between the belt and the letters.Longoria sent it zooming far into the San Diego night. Commented one witness, “The last time I saw something going that high and that fast it had heat shields on it.” Or maybe I just made that up. Whatever.ESPN estimated the blast at 412 feet, speaking of making things …last_img read more

Positioning South Africa at Davos


first_img26 January 2012 How should South Africa position itself this week at the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland? This is the question we at the International Marketing Council of South Africa (Brand South Africa) have been debating with our colleagues in government and business. This extraordinary annual event brings the presidents of companies and nations, NGO heads, media grandees, and luminaries of all sorts, to the tiny Swiss town. There, they largely abandon their titles and pretences and simply discuss and debate solutions for our tumultuous world. Of course politics is discussed, but this not just a political forum; it is an economic forum or forum for economic dialogue and business. Business is done, but this is not just a business event. The challenge Davos sets leaders is to think creatively and collaboratively to propose practical solutions to the complex problems of our time. This year’s overall Davos theme, “The Great Transformation: Shaping new models”, will be explored in further sub-themes relating to how this transformation will drive new models of Growth and Employment, Leadership and Innovation, Sustainability and Resources and Society and Technology. Africa’s emergence in a changing world This is particularly relevant for South Africa and indeed Africa. Not only is the world in the greatest state of flux since the end of the cold war, Africa is now emerging as an increasingly important player in both the global economy and international structures. Let’s look at some statistics. According to the IMF, for the first decade of this century six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world were in Sub-Saharan Africa. The IMF further projects that for the period 2010 to 2015, seven of the 10 fastest growing economies will be in the region. Similarly, for 2011, the IMF believes Sub-Saharan Africa grew at an annual average rate of 5.1%, compared to a world average of 3.9%, and an average of 1.6% for advanced economies. There are many reasons for this sustained growth, including greater stability and the increasing prevalence of democracies, global demand for Africa’s commodities, and improved economic regulatory and governance regimes. This growth trend is likely to continue. According to Standard Bank’s research, the five enduring factors driving this are: a growing, younger and more affluent population, urbanisation, improved ICT, sustained demand for Africa’s natural resources, and a deepening financial sector as Africans take up financial services personally and for business. Davos presents South African, and other African delegates, an opportunity to highlight this structural transformation, and to change the conversations we have about our region’s prospects. Rise of the developing world Ever since the global financial meltdown of 2008, the transformation of global power and economic relations has become irreversible even as the stability of the international economy remains at risk. This transformation continues to gain momentum thanks to developed economies’ stagnation, the European sovereign debt crises, structural weaknesses in the financial sector and ongoing political crises in many advanced economies. Moreover, the relative decline of the West’s traditional political and economic power and the rise of new emerging market powers and groupings, such as the BRICS nations, are changing the way the world understands and relates to itself. Wealth, investment and even financial rescue packages now also flow from the developing to the developed world. In the West, aging populations together with sustained low economic growth rates are creating a desperate need for higher investment returns for their institutional and individual investors alike. Given these demographic shifts and the constrained growth prospects of their home markets, a large proportion of these returns will probably have to be achieved in the developing world. Likewise, in the future the largest reservoirs of productive workers and growing consumer markets will also be found in the developing world. BRICS and Africa in the new world order In Davos, South Africa should not only stress the importance of increasing the voice and role of Africa and the developing world, but also position and profile itself as an investment destination of choice. To contribute to this changing narrative about Africa and South Africa, Brand South Africa will host roundtable discussion forums for global leaders with African Investor Magazine, to explore “African regional integration”; and with Time Magazine on “Africa;’s role in the Great Transformation”. In line with this theme, we will emphasise that joining BRICS has opened the door to enormous opportunities for trade and investment and show how this links to the broader development of the continent. While South Africa has a population of 50-million and an economy worth US$527-billion, the negotiations currently under way to establish a 26 country, $1-trillion African Free Trade Area for East, Southern and Central Africa within three years, will expand this market to 600-million people. These will put us in the same market size-bracket as our BRIC counterparts. Coupled with new regional road, rail and port infrastructure projects, this will facilitate a more efficient flow of goods, skills and investment within the region and dramatically enhance our export growth potential and competitiveness.South Africa’s advantages While confidence in financial markets may have been eroded in many other parts of the world, in this area South Africa has a relative advantage. The 2011/12 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index displayed a high level of confidence in our financial market development ranking us in 4th place globally on this measure. The regulation of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) was ranked number one in the world, as was the strength of South Africa’s auditing and reporting standards. Additionally we are ranked 2nd for both the soundness of banks and the efficacy of corporate boards. In short, South Africa is a source of exceptionally sophisticated professional services and financial expertise. Regarding foreign direct investment (FDI), we must highlight South Africa’s considerable mining and resources potential. While we are the world’s largest producer of platinum, chrome, vanadium and manganese, and the third-largest gold miner, we also offer highly sophisticated mining related professional services. Other areas of growth and focus are minerals beneficiation; water; agri-processing; the development of a “green” economy; energy generation; infrastructure and manufacturing. As an investment destination, South Africa must also highlight its relatively stable political environment and adherence to the rule of law. With direct access to the rest of the continent and situated between the East, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, South Africa has many structural advantages which make it an excellent investment destination and ideal partner in the African growth story. At Davos, South Africa has a key role in shaping dialogue about thenew models for business, growth and investment using Africa’s increasing importance and South Africa’s many competitive advantages. Miller Matola is chief executive officer of Brand South Africa. This article was first published in Business Day – republished here with kind permission.last_img read more

Your Neighborhood Data Visualized: Startup Builds Census Map Block by Block


first_imgThe 2010 US Census has begun publishing its detailed demographic data state by state and the race now begins to see which data geeks can do the coolest things with the information. Remember when large-scale social data was only collected once a decade? When terms like “social graph” and “interest graph” didn’t even exist?It turns out that old fashioned data still has a lot to teach us. One company has already launched its first block-by-block, state-wide data visualization site for New Jersey census data. Want to see hyper-localization and personalization in action? Check out this map from MoonShadow Mobile. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Data Services#web marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market MoonShadow Mobile specializes in working with large datasets and making them easy to navigate around in quickly. The company’s service allows anyone to check out race, age, gender and other information from eight different data sets about any particular block in New Jersey. New states will be added as Census Data is released to the public. The interface is a little challenging to learn, but it may make up for that with its feature set and customizability.MoonShadow makes its living selling similar software to public agencies and others interested in drawing redistricting lines or in municipal planning. Want to know if a location might be a good place to put a new park? A service like this can help you determine how many children live in the area.Other data visualization projects built on the US Census include a less granular but more visually dazzling effort from well-known data desingers Stamen Design. The New York TImes has made a go at it as well; the Times does every block nation-wide, using estimated numbers.Thanks to last week’s release of the Google Public Data Explorer, anyone can now do many things like this with big sets of public data.Bring on the census visualizations, folks. The visualization, cross-referencing and subsequent insights enabled by this latest census are likely to far surpass what the tech world was able to do with the 2000 US Census. Just imagine what magic will be performed with the census data of forthcoming decades. If, that is, Facebook and Twitter data don’t outshine anything the governement has been able to collect before. Data collection every ten years does seem a little old-fashioned, doesn’t it? None the less, let’s see who can top the quality of Census data. This data clearly remains very valuable. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts last_img read more

A Tough Energy Code Is the Worker’s Friend


first_imgIn the past, Habitat for Humanity often was the recipient of donated products that were sometimes on the low end of energy efficiency, such as inexpensive windows and low efficiency heating and hot water equipment. On Martha’s Vineyard, the forward-thinking folks who operate Habitat for Humanity are, with some detailing help from South Mountain Company, building superinsulated homes that are very airtight. I help with quality assurance (QA), testing the houses with a blower door and a fog machine or IR camera. Marc Rosenbaum is director of engineering at South Mountain Company on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. He writes a blog called Thriving on Low Carbon. Wrestling With the Bay State’s ‘Stretch’ Code Proposal Massachusetts Green ‘Stretch’ Code Approved, HBAM IrritatedAre Energy Codes Working? Home Depot and Habitat for Humanity Expand Green ProgramHabitat for Humanity’s Classic Green LookHabitat’s Passivhaus Focus in VermontTen Students Build Arizona’s First NZEHStudents Bring Zero-Energy Design to Habitat These days, Habitat for Humanity is an efficiency pioneerNext to those designed and built by South Mountain Company, the most energy-efficient houses on Martha’s Vineyard are being built by Habitat for Humanity. They are dedicated to permanent affordability for their owners. RELATED ARTICLES The Town of West Tisbury passed the Stretch Code at Town Meeting this year. It’s a more stringent building code and in essence it speeds up the adoption of the next iteration of the International Energy Code.Debate was spirited. “Aginners” (as in, “I’m agin’ it”) made impassioned pleas about how it was just another gubmint-imposed tax on those that could least afford it, the working folks. My opinion is exactly the opposite: Martha’s Vineyard’s tax on the working people is $4+ per gallon oil and propane, and almost $0.20/kWh electricity. A tougher energy code is the worker’s friend in the long run. Exterior polyiso foam and ductless minisplitsThe first house at Bailey Park Road had a tested air leakage rate of 175 cfm50 at the stage of windows and doors installed and most of the rough-in done, but no drywall. In the next month they’ll be ready for a final test.Recently we tested the shell at the second house they are building there, with window and door openings poly’d off. It was just about 300 cfm50 with the air barrier being one layer of taped polyiso foam on the walls and roofs. The house is a kit, which is all tongue-and-groove pine inside — a potentially very leaky strategy.With volunteer workers, they’re building a house tighter than almost all the pros do here. The beneficiaries will be the owners. The mechanical system is minisplit heat pumps, far less costly to operate than fossil fuel equipment. Thanks, Habitat, for leading the way to permanently affordable housing. BLOGS BY MARC ROSENBAUM Installing a Photovoltaic SystemLiving With Point-Source HeatInstalling a Ductless Minisplit SystemAn Induction Cooktop for Our KitchenSeasonal Changes in Electrical Loadslast_img read more