Jewish Brooklyn man violently attacked in possible hate crime

first_imgCourtesy Benny Friedman(NEW YORK) — A 63-year-old Jewish man was attacked in a Brooklyn, New York park Tuesday morning, prompting a reward for information about his attacker. The man, whose name was not released by police, was attacked at 7:40 a.m. when he was running in Lincoln Terrace Park. The man was wearing a yarmulke when a black man with dreadlocks allegedly punched him, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department told ABC News.“My father-in-law has a big beard. My father-in-law is very easily identifiable as a Hasidic Jew. My father-in-law speaks English with a very heavy Israeli accent,” said the victim’s son-in-law, Benny Friedman.The pair started fighting and the assailant allegedly grabbed a rock and hit the victim in the mouth and forehead, the NYPD spokesman said.Friedman said that his father-in-law “said the guy was trying to kill him.”“He said he defended himself. He fought him off. He doesn’t remember much of it — he was on the floor but he doesn’t remember how he got on the floor,” Friedman told ABC News.The victim had his two teeth knocked out as a result and suffered a laceration to the forehead but was in stable condition when he was transported to nearby Maimonides Medical Center, the NYPD spokesman said. Friedman also said that his father-in-law’s nose was broken in two places and his leg was also injured.His father-in-law has been discharged from the hospital and had the laceration on his forehead stapled, Friedman told ABC News.The perpetrator fled the scene, but the NYPD spokesperson described the suspect as being about 6 feet tall. The attack is being investigated as a possible bias incident, the NYPD confirmed.“My father-in-law says that the guy yelled at him something like ‘dirty Jew,’” Friedman said.According to NYPD records, there have been 145 anti-Semitic hate crime complaints between Jan. 1 and Aug. 25 of this year in all of New York City. By comparison, there were 88 such complaints during same time period in 2018.“It’s absolutely frightening,” Friedman said. “The truth is that unfortunately this is not the first event of its kind. It happens all too often and I try to just look the other way and try to live life. We try to continue living as normal as possible without thinking too much about this but then when it hits home so close, it’s extremely frightening. As you can imagine my wife is traumatized.”He said there’s “no reason anyone should have to live like this.”The New York Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League announced that they are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible.“The sheer brutally of this attack is beyond shocking and profoundly upsetting,” Evan Bernstein, the ADL New York-New Jersey regional director, said in a statement. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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JUST IN: City of Evansville Parking For Rathbone Revisited

first_imgMayorGood morning.  I left a voicemail with your secretary on Friday (26 July 2019) afternoon and wanted to follow up with you via email.To date I have kept every promise I have made to the City.I have taken a historic landmark that was previously derelict, purchased it for around $2M from a local bank and invested another approximately $2M to successfully restore it to its former grandeur as promised.  Over 90 percent of the approximately $2M renovation budget utilized services provided by local construction, architectural, engineering and other businesses as promised.Despite this am continuing to struggle to open-up the newly renovated units at the Rathbone, due to continuously needing to re-verify with APC that sufficient parking spaces are available.  This despite APC’s 31 May 2019 concurrence at the site review, wherein they acknowledged that the site had sufficient parking to open the majority of the units in the original building.I just need 22 more Certificates of Occupancy to complete the Rathbone’s leasing requirements.  Given my experience to date, I am anticipating having to fight for every inch of ground; and expend even more time and capital to obtain these remaining certificates.Frankly, there are too many City review boards and, those that occur, do not generate clear understanding of the requirements.  The resulting decisions from these hearings are not clearly recorded and/or certified by APC so all parties have a clear understanding of the requirements.  Trying to lock down what APC exactly requires has been a confusing, bureaucratic and cumbersome process.  This entire experience has added unnecessary cost and time delays to my project, which inhibit the downtown redevelopment efforts.  As I previously said, it also wastes taxpayer money by having numerous unproductive APC meetings that resolve little and trigger numerous/excessive City inspections.The time and effort associated with this is ridiculous.  Especially in light of the fact that officials have acknowledged that the parking code is out of date and is currently being updated.  As my existing parking lot at the Rathbone sits over half empty, I struggle to get permission to market and lease up vacant units.  Despite the fact that I have; 1) purchased the adjacent lot, 2) received a change of use to use it as a parking lot, and 3) began the process of clearing this new lot to use as overflow parking.  I only have about 20 of our 57 units rented.  It is extremely unlikely that I will be at full occupancy before I can open the overflow parking, which should be done by the end of September 2019 (at the latest).  By some miracle, even if my team achieved full lease-up, the reality is that over half of my tenants (even the 2 bed units) will only have one car.  So right now, I have over 70 parking spaces for about 15 cars, with an additional 70 plus parking spaces being added in the next 30-60 days, but I am still having to beg APC to open up my vacant units because I don’t have sufficient parking!  This does not even include the overflow parking arrangement I have secured with Culver school; that I had modified and recorded to meet APC’s requirements.There is no reason I should not be able to open up all of my units for lease so long as I keep our promise to open up the additional parking.  So far we’ve kept every promise we’ve made.  Yet, despite this fact, I am still being penalized continuously, while neighboring apartment complexes sit in states of vast disrepair to include cracked parking lots and poor signage.  I am unsure why the City’s enforcement is so arbitrarily placed upon those who are trying to do good for the community while absent for others.  I am hard pressed to see how this benefits the downtown redevelopment efforts.With this said, I am beyond frustrated with APC’s antiquated and bloated bureaucracy.  This process has been so painful I am reconsidering moving forward with my additional $20M anticipated investment in other areas of the City.  To date, I am unsure how many thousands of dollars my investment group has incurred in our ongoing discussions with APC.I am aghast that I am yet again having to ask you for help in addressing this ongoing issue so I can successfully move forward with this small project.  We would much rather be working to do further good for the neighborhood.  Instead, we are still spending our time fighting with City agencies, who should be our partner in these endeavors.***Highest Regards,ShannonShannon Huffer Esq.Broker, Attorney, Investor, Entrepreneur FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Developer of Rathbone Frustrated With APC’s Antiquated And Bloated BureaucracySubject: Rathbonecenter_img Councilman Weaver,The Site Review Committee met with the owner/developer in March of 2018 that our office had set up to help introduce the project, the ownership team, and the agencies that were involved in the permitting process.  At that time, the owner described the project and what their proposed uses were for the building.  Based on the information received, each agency laid out what items would be expected to be presented at the Site Review meeting for approval.  In addition, some of the main items discussed where the parking requirements, variances that could be requested, sewer/water/grease trap items, redevelopment approval, etc.  All agencies involved in the process were there to help this project through the necessary requirements along with providing detailed information from each agency.  On October 29, 2018, 7 months later, the first set of plans were submitted for review by the Site Review Committee, i.e. Phase 1 of the project.  During a walkthrough by the Building Commission, Fire Department, and the Area Plan Commission, it was discovered that the owner had already done some extensive work without having any permits.  Even though this activity had happened, the Site Review Committee moved forward to try and keep this project on track.  On November 7, 2018, an Improvement Location Permit was issued for the project so that it could continue to move forward.  At that time, several items were discussed with the owner including parking requirements for future Phases along with items required by the Evansville Water & Sewer Utility since the facility did not have easements for the sanitary sewer system.  Since that time multiple sets of plans along with multiple different scenarios have been presented to the agencies that sit on Site Review.  On February 25, 2019, Phase 2 of the project was submitted for Site Review Approval.  During the time between Phase 1 and Phase 2, a variance request was approved for parking on the project which would relax the number of required parking spaces from 122 to 86, which allowed for additional units to go in along with 4 hotel units and office space.  Based on the plans that were provided, which showed an additional parking lot to be built to meet the variance approval, a permit was issued on February 28, 2019.  The existing parking lot that is currently in place has a total of 71 parking spaces.  Based on the variance that the owner requested and showed on the plan that was provided and approved by the BZA and the Site Review Committee, the additional parking lot would provide the 86 spaces required.  To date, that parking lot has yet to be built and has been shown on several different locations on the site. In addition, the shared parking agreement with Culver school that was recommended by the City government to help the owner in their future plans has yet to be provided for approval.  By no means has any agency tried to slow this project down, and in fact, each agency has tried to help nail down a moving target.To date, the Area Plan Commission has approved each request for a Certificate of Occupancy after the proper information has been submitted.  If you would like to discuss this project in more detail, I would be happy to meet and pull all the information on the project along with the multiple sets of plans that we have had to work with.Additionally, since I have become the Area Plan Commission Director, the parking requirements in the downtown business district have been eliminated for all commercial developments and the residential component has been greatly reduced by the addition of the ability to share parking or to be within 300’ feet of a public parking area.  The Arts Overlay Zone, Jacobsville Overlay Zone, and West Franklin Street Overlay Zones have been created, have helped reduce parking requirements and have been completed through a properly vetted process by the entire community.  Pushed for the last several years, we have finally received funds this year by the County and City Councils to hire a consultant to update our antiquated codes.  I could not agree more that this review has needed to occur.  We look forward to working with everyone through this process, which should include our entire community since it will affect everyone!Thank You,Ronald S. London, P.E., CFM– Executive DirectorFOOTNOTE: IT SEEMS LIKE AREA PLANNING COMMISSION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RONALD LONDON LETTER WAS MOTIVATED BY THE ATTACHED LETTER POSTED BELOW WRITTEN BY SHANNON HUFFER , ESQ., Shannon Huffer Esq.Broker, Attorney, Investor, Entrepreneur OF THE RAthborne THAT WE POSTED SEVERAL DAYS AGO.last_img read more

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Senators Behind BOTS Act Pen Inquiry Letter To Live Nation CEO Over Ticketmaster Scalper Assistance Scandal

first_imgA week ago, CBC News and The Toronto Star broke new investigative reports which detailed Ticketmaster‘s hush-hush new platform for ticket resellers, TradeDesk, which aids scalpers in selling tickets on the secondary market while turning a blind eye to their violations of Ticketmaster purchasing rules. The news quickly went viral, prompting widespread outrage from Ticketmaster’s customers.The following day, Ticketmaster issued a response to the allegations in the reports which sought to explain TradeDesk and categorically deny any wrongdoing on their part. You can read our dissection of Ticketmaster’s response here [Spoiler alert: It doesn’t do much of anything to dissuade angry notions about their controversial TradeDesk platform and practices].It seems that the government has the same questions about TradeDesk that we had. On Tuesday, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) penned a letter to Michael Rapino, the CEO of Live Nation, Ticketmaster’s parent company, asking for clarifications on the still-murky details of TicketDesk. The letter asks Rapino and Live Nation to provide a response to their inquiries by next Friday, October 5th.Moran and Blumenthal are no strangers to fighting against misconduct in the secondary ticket market. In late 2016, they helped sponsor and enact the Better Online Ticket Sales Act, better known as the BOTS Act, effectively criminalizing the use of ticket bot software to hack websites and purchase tickets before average consumers.You can read the letter below:Mr. Michael RapinoPresident and Chief Executive OfficerLive Nation Entertainment9348 Civic Center DriveBeverly Hills, California 90210Dear Mr. Rapino:CBC News reported on September 19th that Ticketmaster, the live-event ticket sales and distribution subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment, recruits and employs professional ticket scalpers to circumvent the ticket purchasing limits on its own primary ticket sales platform in an effort to expand its ticket resale division. According to the article, Ticketmaster utilizes a professional reseller program called TradeDesk, which provides a web-based inventory for scalpers to effectively purchase large quantities of tickets from Ticketmaster’s primary ticket sales website and resell these tickets for higher prices on its own resale platform. Citing examples of TradeDesk users moving up to several million tickets per year, the allegations of the harms to consumers made in this piece are serious and deserve immediate attention.Given our ongoing interest in protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive practices, we seek clarification on the use of this program. The enacted Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016 prohibits the “circumvention of a security measure, access control system, or other technological control or measure on an Internet website or online service that is used by the ticket issuer to enforce posted event ticket purchasing limits or to maintain the integrity of posted online ticket purchasing order rule.” Please provide responses to the following questions:Describe the event ticket purchasing limits that Ticketmaster currently employs for sales on its primary ticket sales platform. Additionally, how does the company identify computer programs used to circumvent these purchasing limits?Do Ticketmaster’s ticket purchasing limits and associated detection practices apply to users of its online program, TradeDesk? If not, please explain.What are the specific rules and processes of compliance for participating TradeDesk users as it relates to ticket purchasing limits and other relevant consumer protection priorities? Please share any documents and guidance materials that are provided to TradeDesk users.What role does Ticketmaster’s Professional Reseller Handbook play in deterring its resellers from engaging in illegal ticket purchasing activities?Please provide your written response as soon as possible, but no later than 5 p.m. on October 5, 2018. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.[H/T Rolling Stone]last_img read more

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Criticism-hit France sends aid to Libya opposition

first_img Share 165 Views   no discussions News Criticism-hit France sends aid to Libya opposition by: – February 28, 2011 Share Sharing is caring! Tweet Share BBC News France has come under fire for its apparent links to authoritarian leadersFrance is to send two planes of aid to opposition territory in Libya, Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said.The announcement came hours after Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie quit amid controversy over her contacts with the former Tunisian regime.Her decision to stand down was “political not moral”, Mr Fillon said.Paris has been stung by accusations that it was too cosy with the authoritarian regimes overthrown in recent weeks, say analysts.Ms Alliot-Marie was heavily criticised for initially offering French help to quell the uprising in Tunisia.Subsequent revelations about her and her family’s links to the regime of former President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, and the fact that she had taken a Christmas holiday in Tunisia during the uprising made her position increasingly untenable.‘Massive operation’“In a few hours two French planes will leave for Benghazi on behalf of the French government with doctors, nurses, medical equipment and medicine,” Prime Minister Fillon said in an interview with France’s RTL radio – referring to the eastern Libyan town that has been at the centre of the Libyan uprising and is now in opposition hands.“This will be the start of a massive humanitarian aid operation to the populations of liberated areas,” he declared.He said France had not ruled out backing a Nato-enforced “no-fly zone” over Libya – one way it has been suggested that foreign governments could help defend Libyan rebels against the remaining air power of Col Muammar Gaddafi.Mr Fillon insisted Ms Alliot-Marie had done nothing wrong.“She was not at fault,” Mr Fillon said.“This was not a moral decision, but a political one.“The voice of France was no longer audible, because Michele Alliot-Marie had become the object of an unjust campaign.”Ms Alliot-Marie had defended her conduct in her resignation letter to President Nicolas Sarkozy, a copy of which was seen by the AFP news agency, saying she had been “the target of political attacks”.She will be replaced by Defence Minister Alain Juppe, 65, who previously served as foreign minister and prime minister in the 1990s. In 2004, he was convicted of mishandling public funds.Mr Juppe will be replaced by Gerard Longuet, leader of Mr Sarkozy’s UMP party in the Senate and the president’s long-time collaborator.Mr Sarkozy’s chief of staff, Claude Gueant, will become interior minister in place of controversy-hit Brice Hortefeux.Mr Gueant will be in charge of restoring the government’s reputation as tough on crime with a view to his Mr Sarkozy’s expected 2012 re-election bid, observers say.Collateral damageMs Alliot-Marie’s political career has become collateral damage from the wave of popular protest movements across the Arab world, says the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris. Back at the end of December, as the pro-democracy uprising in Tunisia got under way, but before its significance was apparent, Ms Alliot-Marie visited the country on holiday, and, it emerged later, twice flew on a private jet belonging to businessman Aziz Miled.It also transpired that on the same trip, her parents signed a property deal with Mr Miled, a man with close links to the former Tunisian leader.Then in a series of ill-advised semi-denials and retractions about the affair, she only managed to make a bad situation worse, our correspondent adds.Mr Sarkozy was gravely embarrassed by the affair, which came to symbolise in some eyes an unhealthy personal proximity between French politicians and autocratic leaders in the Middle East and elsewhere, he adds.By sending aid to rebels in Libya, Paris now appears to be taking steps to ensure it is seen as supporting democratic change in the region, say analysts.last_img read more

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Prep girls golf: Phoebe Sundberg claims 3rd at NCS D-II tournament

first_imgPhoebe Sundberg shot a 78 to take third-place in the North Coast Section Division-II tournament, Monday at Beau Pre Golf Club in McKinleyville.Sundberg was the highest finisher of any Humboldt-Del Norte League golfer at the tournament and one of the top finishers of the 87-person field. The McKinleyville High senior will head to Foxtail Golf Club in Rohnert Park on Monday to compete in the NCS D-I tournament, where a top-4 finish would land her a spot in the NorCal tournament.Monday’s section …last_img

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Letter: Oakland needs to close the deal on A’s stadium

first_imgOakland needs to closedeal on A’s stadiumIt is getting a little frustrating to constantly see the city of Oakland lag behind on everything from policing to education and now to the win-win that is the building of the new A’s stadium.After two pro franchises have just left the city and the one remaining franchise desperately wants to stay in Oakland. Not only are they going to privately finance their own stadium, but now the A’s are going to build affordable housing at the Coliseum, and the …last_img

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Humans and Chimps Compared

first_imgIn case you had an identity crisis last time at the zoo, Current Biology can provide psychoanalysis.  The May 25 issue posted two articles side by side: one, simply entitled “Humans,”1 and the other, “Chimps.”2  Various comparisons are contrasts are drawn, including a few surprising facts, such as this statement: “Based on relative amounts of genetic variation, humans are more endangered than chimps!”    Both articles are noteworthy for what scientists don’t know, more than for what they do; a number of controversial issues are discussed, such as whether humans are still evolving, how much humans are affecting the environment, what races mean (if anything) and how they should be defined, and whether humans should be reclassified with the chimps based on sequence similarity of genes, or on the other hand, whether humans, due to their cognitive/mental abilities, deserve to be classified in their own kingdom: “Psychozoa” (Gr., soul-life).    Neither article questions the Darwinian assumption that humans and chimps diverged from a common ancestor 5-6 million years ago.  But neither do they dispute that the most distinguishing characteristic of humans is language.  Linda Vigilant writes in the “Chimps” article,One defining human trait that chimpanzees lack is language.  Although some captive chimpanzees and bonobos have been laboriously taught to use sign-language or communicate using icons on a keyboard, it seems that their communicative abilities in the wild fall far short of what we do with language, and so this chimpanzee�human difference remains profound.How and when this skill arose in humans is unknown and the subject of much dispute among primate zoologists.    See also 05/26/2004 headline, “Human and Chimp DNA Compared.”1David A. Hughes, Richard Cordaux, and Mark Stoneking, “Humans,” Current Biology, Vol 14, R367-R369, 25 May 2004.2Linda Vigilant, “Chimps,” Current Biology, Vol 14, R369-R371, 25 May 2004.These articles contain some interesting facts and useful information, but are imbued with the typical Darwinian fluff and storytelling about how our primitive ancestors arose in Africa millions of years ago, invented fire and language and took over the world (now read this).  Every element of the plot has its detractors willing to point out contrary evidence.  The first article wrongly repeats the mythoid that humans are 98% to 99% identical to chimpanzees in terms of genetic sequences, a phony figure (see 10/25/2002 headline).  But it does rightly point out that gene expression may be much more significant than the contents of the DNA library, as seen from comparisons with the genomes of other organisms: “In other words, it’s not so much what you have, but what you do with what you have, that matters.”  That’s true for me and thee and the chimpanzee.    It is a legitimate biological investigation to analyze human mammalian characteristics and to draw comparisons and contrasts with our fellow creatures.  We are, as Wernher von Braun once described it, “souls cast into animal bodies.”  Animals are fun to watch and have as companions.  We have a lot in common with them, especially other primates.  But there is no evidence, and there are numerous problems, trying to relate us all to a common ancestor or reducing humans to mere genes in motion.  Language, for instance, truly is a “profound” difference, with no parallel in the animal world.  But what is language without cognition, and what is cognition without the ability to think in abstract thoughts?  Even dogs and crows have intelligence, but no animal uses logic or writes books on philosophy.  How did the laws of logic evolve?  Why would natural selection produce a physicist able to compute 23 decimal places of a cube root in his head?  Why do we care about justice?  What is the survival value of writing a symphony?  Humanness is all about soul.    The articles also fail to recognize many other human distinctives, such as conscience, bipedalism, naked skin and enhanced touch, blushing, laughter, the moral sense, art, music and religion.  None of these can be demonstrated by a sequence of transitional forms, and none can be explained by genetic mutations and natural selection; they go far beyond the necessities of biological survival.  Understood instead as the handwork of a Designer who wants to be known by creatures made in His image, they make possible a unique realm of communication with one another and with our Maker that no animal can share.  Chimps have nostrils, but what makes us distinctively human is that our Creator breathed into our common (human) ancestor’s biological nostrils the breath of life, and man became a Psychozoa, a living soul (Gen. 2:7).  Yes, we deserve a kingdom of our own, but what’s a kingdom without a King?  Read the following passages with this view of man in mind: Isaiah 57, and I John 1-2.  They express issues and ideas no chimp will ever comprehend.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Neverware Breathes New Life Into Schools’ Aging Computers

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#cloud computing#E-Learning#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img audrey watters There was once a time when students may have had access to better computers at school than they did at home. But with the explosion of consumer technologies, that’s not the case. Arguably now many students carry more powerful computing devices in their pockets than sit on their desks at school.Schools struggle to keep up with continually changing technology. They simply cannot afford to replace hardware at the rate with which upgrades are released. And as such, the technology infrastructure of most schools is severely lacking.Jonathan Hefter has built something that could solve that.Hefter is the CEO of Neverware, a startup that addresses this huge gulf between schools’ existing hardware and the demands of new software. Neverware provides a virtualization platform, what he calls “the ‘last mile’ in cloud computing.” Virtualized desktops aren’t new. There are several prominent companies that are addressing this for enterprise customers. But even though some liken school districts’ technology implementations to ones in corporations, there are some substantial differences – budgets being the most obvious.Neverware is designed lean. In fact, Hefter is currently bootstrapping the endeavor (although he is starting to look for funding). But the emphasis on efficiency isn’t so much about Hefter’s resources, as the resources of the schools he’s aiming to support with Neverware.Neverware’s flagship product is the JuiceBox, a single server appliance that when connected to a LAN will power up to one hundred old machines with Windows 7. In case you haven’t checked the system requirements for Windows 7 lately, here they are: 1 GHz or faster 32-bit or 64-bit processor, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB hard disk space, and a DirectX 9 graphics device. So how old can those “old machines” be? Hefter says he “hasn’t found a desktop yet” that he can’t make run.The Juicebox generates a private, local cloud, something that addresses many of schools’ concerns about privacy, security, and reliability. Hefter uses the analogy of electrical versus gas-powered cars to compare the energy and environmental waste of the PC industry with the efficiency of the Neverware project. It’s a “single repository of computing power,” and with it, schools need only focus on updating one machine, not many. Currently Neverware is running in two pilot programs in schools in New Jersey, but Hefter says there are plans to go to market with JuiceBox in the next few months. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Rules of Thumb for Ductless Minisplits

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Since 2008, when Carter Scott built a pioneering Massachusetts house that was heated and cooled by just two ductless minisplits, GBA has endeavored to publish reports from the field to guide people designing homes that are heated and cooled by ductless minisplits. We’ve learned a lot on this topic since 2008.My article on Carter Scott’s approach to heating and cooling was called “Just Two Minisplits Heat and Cool the Whole House.” Since that article was published, builders, engineers, and researchers have shared their minisplit experience and data. Carter Scott has given technical presentations at several conferences (including the Westford Symposium on Building Science and NESEA’s BuildingEnergy conference); energy consultant Marc Rosenbaum has written several valuable articles on the topic for GBA (including “Minisplit Heat Pumps and Zero-Net-Energy Homes” and “Practical Design Advice for Zero-Net-Energy Homes”); and researchers Kohta Ueno and Honorata Loomis have published useful monitoring data (“Long-Term Monitoring of Mini-Split Ductless Heat Pumps in the Northeast”).We now have enough information on the use of ductless minisplits to heat and cool cold-climate homes to set out some rules of thumb. The nine rules of thumb that I present below are based on the work of Scott, Rosenbaum, Ueno, and Loomis, to whom I am indebted. 1. Design your building to have an excellent thermal envelope If you want to heat and cool your building with just one or two point-source heaters, you want an above-average thermal envelope. That means that the building needs a very low rate of air leakage; above-code levels of insulation; and high-performance windows. 2. Consider snow loads when placing outdoor units If you live in snow country, your outdoor unit needs to be protected by a roof — but not a roof that inhibits… center_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberslast_img read more

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Research Finds Racial Disparities in Solar Panel Distribution

first_imgAlthough the rooftop solar market in the U.S. has grown by roughly 50% a year since 2012, not everyone is reaping the benefits, a new study says. Writing in the journal Nature Sustainability, researchers said rooftop photovoltaic systems showed “significantly less” adoption in black and Hispanic neighborhoods even after differences in household income and homeownership were accounted for. (The full study is behind a pay wall, but you can read the abstract here.) “Although the opportunities [solar] affords for clean, reliable power are transformative, the benefits might not accrue to all individuals and communities,” the authors said.RELATED ARTICLESGoogle Launches a Solar EstimatorGoogle Expands Solar Project NationwideRooftop Solar Makes Houses Worth MoreLobbying Helps Slow the Growth of Rooftop SolarThe Unequal Burden of Noise Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley combined data from Google’s Project Sunroof and the U.S. Census to reach their conclusions. Project Sunroof provides high-resolution satellite imagery showing the location of rooftop solar panels, part of a package that lets homeowners estimate how much rooftop space they have for solar panels and how much electricity a system would hypothetically produce. Here’s what researchers found: For the same median household income, census tracts where black and Hispanic residents were the majority installed less rooftop PV than areas where they were not a majority by 69% and 30% respectively. White-majority census tracts installed 21% more solar. When correcting for home ownership, black- and Hispanic-majority areas installed less PV compared with no majority areas by 61% and 45% respectively. White majority neighborhoods  installed 37% more solar. In an article about the study, Scientific American spoke with study co-author Daniel Kammen who said he wasn’t surprised that race and ethnicity were important factors in solar deployment. Kammen, however, said he had expected the effect would be reduced significantly when researchers controlled for income. “But alas,” he said, “it was not.” How solar installations spread The authors note that rooftop solar increases in two ways. One is through “top-down” approaches, such as public policy and alternative financing that makes the purchase of PV possible. The second are “bottom-up” approaches, such as the “social diffusion effect” in which someone who installs PV on their home influences neighbors to do the same. A number of state and federal programs have been created to help  low-income people add solar. But programs that specifically target racial and ethnic minorities are still missing. This prompted researchers to study what they call the “energy justice landscape” of small-scale solar deployment. “We hypothesize that PV adoption is not hindered by economic resources nor property ownership only,” they write. They add that additional demographic variables, such as race, can provide insights into how and why solar is adopted and improve top-down efforts that help it spread. In the case of black communities in particular, researchers found that 47% of black-majority census tracts had no existing solar installations, which in some cases was more than double the rate for white-, Asian- and Hispanic-majority neighborhoods. The lack of these “seed” installations can help slow the spread of solar. Lack of diversity in the workforce Although the authors don’t offer an explanation for the disparities, they suggest that a lack of racial diversity in the renewable energy workforce could be part of the reason. “The lack of racial diversity is particularly pronounced in management and senior executive positions in solar firms, where in the United States over 80% of these positions are held by white people,” the report says. A 2017 report on diversity in the U.S. solar industry by The Solar Foundation that said people of color make up only a small percentage of the U.S. solar workforce. Seventeen percent are Hispanic or Latino and just 7% are black. Further, fewer men of color earned wages in the highest pay bracket than did white males. Only 4% of women of color fell into the highest wage bracket, those earning more than $75 an hour. People of color were more likely to have mid-level positions rather than work as managers, directors, or presidents. “The root causes of the differences between black- and Hispanic-majority census tracts are difficult to predict and fully explain,” authors of the Nature Sustainability write, “and can also have social-psychological attributions that require further validation.” They add, however, that when communities of color initially get a few solar installations, deployment significantly increases. “These results,” they said, “suggest that appropriately ‘seeding’ racial and ethnic minority communities may mitigate energy injustice in rooftop PV adoption.”last_img read more

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