A ‘green street’ for Allston

A 2,500-square-foot swath of cracked pavement and rusty fencing along Everett Street at the German International School of Boston has given way to the first public “green street” in Allston.The project uses sustainable landscaping, including seven new trees, a rain garden, and permeable pavement to help collect and treat stormwater before it can carry pollutants into the nearby Charles River. It also has benches as well as planter and sidewalk art made by children from the German School.At the project’s dedication on Monday (June 21), Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino applauded the “multifaceted partnership” that helped to make the new open space a reality. He addressed a crowd of neighbors, representatives from the city and community organizations, local green-space advocates, and staff from the German School, St. Anthony’s Parish, Harvard University, and Boston College.“This is another example of how, working together, we can make this city environmentally better,” said Menino. “Boston is the third-greenest city in America because of people like you stepping up to the plate.”The Everett Street project, led by the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation and the Charles River Watershed Association in collaboration with the local community, received a $25,000 Harvard Allston Partnership Fund grant. It also was funded by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Urban Forestry Fund, and the Boston College Neighborhood Fund.The project underscores that the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation and the Charles River Watershed Association, like Harvard, are interested in enhancing community vitality and greening. Harvard’s efforts in Allston include the creation of new sustainable open spaces such as the planned park behind the Honan Branch Library that will utilize similar stormwater management strategies; installation of new “learning gardens” this summer at the corner of Western Avenue and North Harvard Street; and an infiltration planter on Hague Street, where the treatment of roadway runoff is being assessed.Harvard has provided $200,000 in Harvard Allston Partnership Fund grants to date, assisting 14 community organizations in beautifying the neighborhood, expanding existing community programs, and broadening access to those programs through community-based scholarships. read more

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Commercial real estate types

first_img 26SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr “Never loan money to any business when you don’t understand the nature of the business,” said Jim Devine, founder, chairman and CEO of Hipereon, Inc. Devine was lead faculty at the CUES Advanced School of Business Lending: Commercial Real Estate Lending , held September in San Antonio, where he walked students through different kinds of commercial real estate properties.Credit unions considering these types of loans need to understand the soundness of the various types of properties as a business entity and, potentially, as the collateral for a commercial real estate loan.Commercial Office PropertiesAdvantages: Commercial office buildings typically have a diverse makeup to their income streams. They tend to have several different tenants, each with a unique leasing arrangement with the property owner.Plus, the property owner can generate revenue from other sources like parking. continue reading »last_img read more

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Shellfish Growers Gearing Up to Clean the Sound in 25th Beach…

first_imgFacebook213Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers AssociationOn Thursday, March 23, the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA) hosts a local tradition since 2001, the bi-annual Shellfish Industry Beach Cleanup. Local shellfish growers and the Department of Natural Resources will collectively remove marine debris washed up along 120 miles of Puget Sound beaches. Sites include Eld, Totten, Henderson, Hammersley, Case, and Carr Inlets, Oakland Bay, and Squaxin, Harstine, McNeil, and Anderson Islands.The PCSGA states that 80% of the debris collected is from recreational users. Photo courtesy: Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association.PCSGA’s primary goals are to remove marine debris and to reduce the amount of shellfish gear escaping into waterways. These beach cleanups yield on average 80% residential marine debris which has nothing to do with shellfish farming. That debris includes chunks of Styrofoam that broke loose from homeowners’ docks and floats, tires, drainage pipe, and patio furniture.Of the total debris collected, the 20% which on average is aquaculture gear is sorted and spatially analyzed. This allows PCSGA to help shellfish growers identify what gear is escaping from farms during storm events, and where that debris is landing. Aquaculture gear from the shellfish industry typically comprises a small amount of the debris collected, much of which is sent back to farms to be recycled or reused. Environmental stewardship is a core value of PCSGA and the shellfish growers as this industry relies on a healthy marine ecosystem. Water quality and delicious oysters are closely connected. The beach cleanup reflects our values as environmental stewards.The Arcadia Boat Launch in Shelton is one of the collection points for the beach cleanup. Photo courtesy: Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association.Marine debris is collected primarily by boat and is brought to either of the two beach cleanup headquarters at National Fish and Oyster Co. in Nisqually, and the Arcadia Boat Launch in Shelton. Shoreline residents and the public should be aware that rain or shine, these crews will be along the beach with the goal of removing debris. Contact PCSGA at 360-754-2744 if you know of an area that needs attention or if you do not want people accessing your beach.Support for this event and other local beach cleanups comes from funds raised through SLURP (Shellfish Lovers Ultimate Rejuvenation Party) – PCSGA’s annual community festival of shellfish, beer and wine. Save the date; it’s on April 23 this year in Olympia.  Tickets to SLURP can be purchased here.To learn more about the beach cleanup, click here.last_img read more

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Ravindra Jadeja becomes the fastest left armer to 200 wickets in Indian test history

first_imgImage Courtesy: AP/BCCIAdvertisement 46NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsv81zWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ec1j8x8( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) vmtxeoWould you ever consider trying this?😱srfCan your students do this? 🌚53ehbRoller skating! Powered by Firework After the dismissal of Dean Elgar on the third day of the first test between India and South Africa, Ravindra Jadeja is now the 10th highest test cricket wicket-takers for India, and is the fastest left arm bowler to achieve this milestone.Advertisement Image Courtesy: AP/BCCIFriday’s play at the at ACA-VDCA Stadium was the 44th match for Jadeja, and he is now the second quickest bowler from the Men in Blue, overshadowed by Ravichandran Ashwin, who only needed 37 games to reach his double century.Elgar, who scored an astounding 160 off 287, ended up escalating Jadeja’s delivery ball high into the mid wicket with a slog sweep, only to be ended up in the palms of the square leg fielder Cheteshwar Pujara, thus getting Jadeja up in the pecking order of the most wicket getters, just behind Javagal Srinath.Advertisement Nicknamed ‘Jaddu’, the 30 year old is capped 275 times in test cricket, and is also the sixth Indian spinner with the most wickets in the format.The play in Visakhapatnam also saw an amazing partnership between Elgar and de Kock, the Proteas duo who both snatched up two centuris in their amazing 164 run partnership, ending the day with 385/8 for the visitors, and are trailing India by 117 runs.Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

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Jagdeo challenges President Granger’s ‘domestic issues’ excuse

first_imgOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has rubbished claims made by President David Granger that he has been dealing with domestic issues, which is the main reason why he has not been able to have frequent interactions with the local press.Jagdeo was severely critical of the President’s comment, stating that his excuse was baseless and did not hold any truth. As such, the former Head of State fact-checked the comments the President made in relation to this issue.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo“Granger shamelessly claims that he has been dealing with issues in the petroleum sector. We have so many unanswered questions,” he said. The Opposition Leader referred to the Local Content Policy, the Petroleum Commission and the Sovereign Wealth Fund as some of the issues that still needed to be looked at in that sector.Jagdeo maintains the view that a strong local content policy will allow Guyana to safeguard opportunities for locals and not allow locals to be crowded out in the sector. On the Petroleum Commission, he argued, it ought to be a purely technical commission, but it is currently configured to give excessive powers to one person.Jagdeo made it clear that none of the critical questions surrounding the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund, promised over a year ago, have been answered by the coalition Government.He noted that a statement of principles, such as the Santiago Principles, on which the establishment of the Fund would be based would have sufficed.He also reiterated the need for there to be an apolitical approach to setting up the Fund, a clear definition of the purpose of the Fund, and clearly defined rules on spending from the Fund, among others.On the President’s statement on crime being addressed, Jagdeo said the country was being ravaged on a daily basis by criminals and the Government has been giving the wrong signals to the security forces.“This country is being ravaged on a daily basis by criminals …. this hopelessly misguided, inept, government is giving wrong signals to our security forces … they are not acting … the report from the Presidential Security Advisor (Russell Combe) has not even seen the light of day yet…,” he added.On July 9, in defending why he has not held a press conference in months and why there were fewer formal engagements with the media, Granger said that his schedule was a major factor.“My heart is in the right place, but right now, I’ve had a really difficult period of public engagement and overseas travel,” the President told the media on the sidelines of an event.He added: “This time last week, I was in Montego Bay, the week before I was in Da Nang, Vietnam. It could be a very challenging period and as soon as I get the opportunity, I will engage with the press, but I’ve been travelling quite a lot … I’m asking the media to be tolerant.”Granger had also said that he was preoccupied with dealing with several local issues.“It could be a challenging period and as soon as I get the opportunity, I would engage with the press, but I’ve been travelling quite a lot and then to deal with domestic issues – the sugar industry, we have to deal with the petroleum industry, I have to deal with crime and security,” he had explained.In the past, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) and other groups, including the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), have urged Granger to meet with the press.These groups have also criticised Government for its silence on a number of matters of national importance, calling on the President to toughen up and face the entire local media corps.The GPA had acknowledged that the President was not averse to speaking with the media on the side-lines of public events or during his “Public Interest” televised programme; however, the Association said that it believed that accountability to the Guyanese people would be best served through press conferences.Public officials under the coalition Government have gone mute for a while now.Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who has responsibility for public information, is also unavailable to the media and does not host press conferences to update the media or the public on what is going on with his office or the Government.Political analysts and commentators have noted that there was a new culture seemingly developing whereby Ministers of Government were abusing and assaulting the media directly when displeased with a specific line of questioning, coverage of an event or editorial position of a newspaper on a particular matter.After two years in office, President Granger held a press conference in December 2017, only the second since the coalition came into Government in May 2015.last_img read more

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SA-manufactured wagons for Botswana

first_img The Botswana Railways deal follows the successful execution of 200 wagons supplied to mining giant Rio Tinto in Mozambique. It involved the development of twon new prototype car-transport wagons with adjustable hydraulic top decks. SAinfo reporter 13 December 2012 Transnet’s delivery of 100 salt wagons from its manufacturing plant in the Eastern Cape to Botswana Railways forms part of the state company’s plan to accelerate sales of heavy equipment to the rest of Africa, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday. The partnership between Transnet and Botswana Railways signalled “the beginning of the new approach to intra-regional cooperation to drive Africa’s economy”, Gigaba said at an event to mark the completion of the first batch of wagons at its plant in Uitenhage. The delivery forms part of an initial 260-wagon order for specialised wagons to transport bulk chemical grade salt from Sua Pan in Botswana to Sasol’s factories in South Africa. Botswana Rail has ordered 562 wagons, all of which are being designed, engineered and produced at the manufacturing plant in Uitenhage. The Uitenhage plant is one of the largest wagon refurbishment and new-build plants in Africa, employing about 1 500 people.‘Exploiting significant engineering capacity’ “We will exploit Transnet Rail Engineering’s significant capacity and competence with regards to heavy engineering, especially in rail and port equipment manufacturing to drive Africa’s industrialisation and therefore economic growth,” he said. Transnet also has manufacturing plants in Koedoespoort in Pretoria for locomotives, Salt River in the Western Cape for coaches, wheels and other rolling stock components, and Bloemfontein in the Free State. “In line with Transnet’s commitment to the development of local supplier and supporting industries and the government’s economic and developmental objectives, the company – through its competitive supplier development programme – sources most raw materials and components to manufacture the wagons locally,” Transnet said. “If not, these are built in-house.” It is through partnerships such as the one with Botswana Railways that Transnet Rail Engineering is planning to increase its sales to external parties, Gigaba said. As a way of meeting this target, Gigaba developed an Africa Strategy to guide state-owned companies such as Transnet, South African Airways, Eskom and Denel. Targetted by the strategy are Angola, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania, among others.last_img read more

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9 months agoMan City’s 2 goal Gabriel Jesus: Aguero always helping me

first_imgMan City’s 2 goal Gabriel Jesus: Aguero always helping meby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City attacker Gabriel Jesus was delighted with his brace for their 3-0 win over Wolves.The Brazilian striker is now joint top scorer with Sergio Aguero on 14 goals and after bagging seven goals in his last three game – and Gabriel says his fellow striker has been an inspiration to him.“Sergio is an amazing player and helps me a lot,” he said.“When he plays, he helps the team and when I play, I want to help the team as well. He has been a great help.“I’m playing better and I’m scoring goals, which is important for any striker.“I am playing for an amazing club and I need to keep scoring and to play well.”Gabriel also revealed he is no worse for wear after his collision with the post in the first-half, adding: “I’m good – I have a little pain at the back of my head and it’s obviously dangerous when you hit your head like that, but I’m good and feel fine.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Archivist helps families learn fate of missing residential school children

first_imgNellie Hardisty was just a little girl from Moose Factory in Ontario when she disappeared into the morass of Indian residential schools and associated hospitals.She died of turberculosis at the age of 12. None of her family ever saw her again or even knew where the smiling child with the deep dimples had been buried.Decades later, her nephew Logan Jeffries finally held her picture. There they were, those dimples.“I got a little emotional,” he says.“My whole family, my children, my grandchildren, all share those dimples. That’s where it came from. That lady there. My mom always talked about those.”Jeffries spent 12 years looking for his Aunt Nellie. It wasn’t until Aboriginal researchers teamed up with Nancy Hurn, an archivist at the Anglican Church of Canada, that someone placed a file in his hands.“I’ve been an Anglican my entire life,” says Hurn, who has made these posthumous reunions her special task.“The church has lots to account for. I feel my role is living out our apology.”The Truth and Reconciliation Commission says the fate of at least 4,300 children who attended residential schools is unknown.Hurn’s involvement goes back 15 years to when Canada began dealing with the legacy of those institutions. The church’s national archives hold the records of its missionary society, which ran the Anglican schools until they were turned over to the federal government in the 1960s.As churches and the federal government moved toward a settlement and lawsuits mounted, Ottawa needed the names of all students who had attended the schools.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, formed in 2008, asked for complete records as well. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of records from the Anglican archives — including minutes of meetings, parish records, newsletters and notes from women’s auxiliary groups and chapel registers — were transferred.“As we did that, we realized that there were a lot of students who were identified as having died in the schools,” Hurn says.Her job took on a new aspect.“I was getting requests from a few people about students who never came home and they didn’t know what happened to them.”The commission is compiling a database of all missing children. It expects to have it done by next March.“Even then, I can say for sure we won’t be putting out a definitive list of names,” says commission archivist Raymond Frogner. “It’s a monumental task.”The requests to Hurn haven’t stopped.About half a dozen people a year turn to her to find out how their relatives died and where they are buried. Those requests became a personal mission.“This has to be done,” says Hurn. “It’s so important.”She recalls one woman from Sudbury, Ont., asking if she could find out what happened to her brother.“I said, ‘We’re going to find John.’ And then I thought, what am I saying? I have no idea.“Then I found the records and they had a funeral for him and all the kids turned out and they made a wreath. They sang the hymns. The family was so grateful.”That’s been Hurn’s experience — “the people’s graciousness and the understanding and the acceptance.”“There were a few who were angry at the church and they have every right to be, but mostly they’ve been gracious.”Nothing can make up for the past, says Hurn, who is days away from retirement. But she’s glad she was able to do what she could.“At least I could make a contribution to help them feel like they could heal.”It’s important to know what happened, says Jeffries.“I feel good in my heart that I found my aunt.”Jeffries plans to visit her grave. Put up a cross. Place a few flowers.“It’s closure,” he says.— Follow Bob Weber at @row1960 on Twitterlast_img read more

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Storms surge and US retail sales surge most in 2 12 years

first_imgWASHINGTON – Americans increased their spending at retailers last month by the most in two and a half years, driven by strong auto sales as residents of hurricane-ravaged areas replaced destroyed cars.Retail sales rose 1.6 per cent in September, after slipping 0.1 per cent in August, the Commerce Department said Friday.Auto sales jumped 3.6 per cent, the most since March 2015. Gas sales climbed 5.8 per cent, the most in four and a half years, reflecting price spikes after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The storms damaged oil refineries and pushed up gas prices 13 per cent last month.Even excluding the volatile auto and gas categories, sales rose a solid 0.5 per cent, up from a 0.1 per cent gain in August.Neil Saunders, managing director of Global DataRetail, said that many analysts worried higher gas prices would lead Americans to spend less elsewhere.“This did not materialize, and consumers used modest gains in wages … to carry on buying,” Saunders said.Americans are optimistic about the economic outlook. A measure of consumer sentiment released Friday by the University of Michigan rose to its highest level since 2004. The U.S. unemployment rate has hit a 16-year low, and wages have ticked up in recent months. That should boost spending and broader economic growth in the coming months.Most of the gains last month were likely fueled by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which slammed into Texas, Florida and other southeastern states in late August and September.Sales at home and garden supply stores rose 2.1 per cent, probably lifted by hurricane preparation, as well as repairs and renovations in the aftermath of the storms. Grocery store sales increased 0.8 per cent, the most since April 2016, likely boosted by restocking after the hurricanes hit.Sales at general merchandise stores, which include big box retailers such as Walmart and Target, rose 0.3 per cent.Online retailers reported another healthy gain of 0.5 per cent. E-commerce sales have jumped 9.2 per cent in the past year, more than double the overall sales increase of 4.4 per cent.Not all stores saw a boost: Sales at furnishers, electronics and appliance stores, and sporting goods stores fell.The retail sales report is closely watched because it provides an early read on consumer activity each month. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 per cent of the economy.U.S. economic growth likely slowed in the July-September quarter as the hurricanes shut down thousands of businesses, people were forced to miss work, and power was cut to millions of homes. Analysts forecast that the economy expanded at a 2 per cent annual pace in the third quarter, down from a 3 per cent gain in the April-June quarter.Yet the economy is expected to rebound in the final three months of the year as rebuilding and repair work accelerates. Construction and engineering firms are expected to step up hiring as homes, commercial buildings and roads and bridges are fixed. Economists expect growth will pick up to a 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent pace.last_img read more

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Tech giants still stumbling in the social world they created

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Who knew connecting the world could get so complicated? Perhaps some of technology’s brightest minds should have seen that coming.Social media bans of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have thrust Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others into a role they never wanted — as gatekeepers of discourse on their platforms, deciding what should and shouldn’t be allowed and often angering almost everyone in the process. Jones, a right-wing provocateur, suddenly found himself banned from most major social platforms this week, after years in which he was free to use them to promulgate a variety of false claims.Twitter, which one of its executives once called the “free speech wing of the free speech party,” remains a lonely holdout on Jones. The resulting backlash suggests that no matter what the tech companies do, “there is no way they can please everyone,” as Scott Shackelford, a business law and ethics professor at Indiana University, observed.Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and crew, and Google’s stewards of YouTube gave little thought to such consequences as they built their empires with lofty goals to connect the world and democratize discourse. At the time, they were the rebels aiming to bypass the stodgy old gatekeepers — newspaper editors, television programmers and other establishment types — and let people talk directly to one another.“If you go back a decade or so, the whole idea of speech on social media was seen as highly positive light,” said Tim Cigelske, who teaches social media at Marquette University in Wisconsin. There was the Arab Spring. There were stories of gay, lesbian and transgender teens from small towns finding support online.At the same time, of course, the companies were racing to build the largest audiences possible, slice and dice their user data and make big profits by turning that information into lucrative targeted advertisements.The dark side of untrammeled discourse, the thinking went, would sort itself out as online communities moderated themselves, aided by fast-evolving computer algorithms and, eventually, artificial intelligence.“They scaled, they built, they wanted to drive revenue as well as user base,” said technology analyst Tim Bajarin, president of consultancy Creative Strategies. “That was priority one and controlling content was priority two. It should have been the other way around.”That all got dicier once the election of President Donald Trump focused new attention on fake news and organized misinformation campaigns — not to mention the fact that some of the people grabbing these new social-media megaphones were wild conspiracy theorists who falsely call mass shootings hoaxes, white nationalists who organize violent rallies and men who threaten women with rape and murder.While the platforms may not have anticipated the influx of hate speech and meddling from foreign powers like Russia, North Korea and China, Bajarin said, they should have acted more quickly once they found it. “The fact is we’re dealing with a brave new world that they’ve allowed to happen, and they need to take more control to keep it from spreading,” he said.That’s easier said than done, of course. But it’s particularly difficult for huge tech companies to balance public goods such free speech with the need to protect their users from harassment, abuse, fake news and manipulation. Especially given that their business models require them to alienate as few of their users as possible, lest they put the flood of advertising money at risk.“Trying to piece together a framework for speech that works for everyone — and making sure we effectively enforce that framework — is challenging,” wrote Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice-president of policy, in a blog post Thursday. “Every policy we have is grounded in three core principles: giving people a voice, keeping people safe, and treating people equitably. The frustrations we hear about our policies — outside and internally as well — come from the inevitable tension between these three principles.”Such tensions force some of the largest corporations in the world to decide, for instance, if banning Nazis also means banning white nationalists — and to figure out how to tell them apart if not. Or whether kicking off Jones means they need to ban all purveyors of false conspiracy theories. Or whether racist comments should be allowed if they are posted, to make a point, by the people who received them.“I don’t think the platforms in their heart of hearts would like to keep Alex Jones on,” said Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Stanford Law School. “But it’s difficult to come up with a principle to say why Alex Jones and not others would be removed.”While most companies have policies against “hate speech,” defining what constitutes hate speech can be difficult, he added. Even governments have trouble with it. One country’s free speech is another country’s hate speech, punishable by jail time.Facebook, Twitter, Google, Reddit and others face these questions millions of times a day, as human moderators and algorithms decide which posts, which people, which photos or videos to allow, to kick off or simply make less visible and harder to find. If they allow too much harmful content, they risk losing users and advertisers. If they go too far and remove too much, they face charges of censorship and ideological bias.“My sense is that they are throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks,” Persily said. “It’s a whack-a-mole problem. It’s not the same threats that are continuing, and they have to be nimble enough to deal with new problems.”___AP Technology Writer Mae Anderson contributed to this story.last_img read more

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