McKINLEYVILLE >> Knowing what’s on the horizon, it was all about taking care of business for the Eureka High football team this week.After Friday night’s trip to Northern Humboldt, consider business taken care of in full.Getting first-half touchdowns from six different players, Eureka was able to build a five-possession lead heading into the break en route to a 68-14 win over McKinleyville as the Loggers picked up their second straight victory over Big 5 opposition in as many weeks.“We …
Instead of chasing points, identify valuesThis summer, I had the opportunity to work on research in this very area, identifying a process and even the vocabulary to help identify project values that are nested in sustainability systems.We are looking at ways to integrate with BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), and eventually LEED, but all of us already have the innate ability to look at the impact and connections of our actions. It’s the way our brains are wired. It’s just unfortunate that we have not developed our management processes with this same sense of purpose and connectivity. Green building programs have a tendency to focus on the means rather than the end, to the point of not even identifying a comprehensive end goal. Two examples illustrate my point.The first example is a bit like the game of “gossip” or “telephone” that we used to play around the campfire. You know, one person whispers something into the ear of the next person, who whispers what they thought they heard to the next person, until it has gone around the circle. Invariably, the final wording is absurdly different from the original. RELATED ARTICLES Pensive About ProcessReady, Set, Go!Pondering the Sorry State of Green BuildingA Slow Living Summit in Brattleboro, VermontResilient CommunitiesGBA Encyclopedia: Integrated Design BLOGS BY VERA NOVAK Praise for the Czech Team’s Solar Decathlon EntryAdaptations That Accommodate NatureDealing with Rising Damp in Building ReconstructionDisseminating Building Science Knowledge Developing a holistic planFocusing just on the listed “green” improvement was not wrong or harmful, but it missed the bigger picture. The process wasn’t set up for the three agencies (parks, buildings, and social work) to get together and design a holistic plan, or even to articulate the end goal. Without the end in mind, the green building actions ended up being a bit random, disconnected and not as effective as they could have been.Green building programs have been very helpful in cataloging specific actions and categories of actions. They are great tools, but as we all know, tools alone do not build a great project. Of what use is a well-built chair if it only has two legs? Or a beautiful dining room chair if there is no table? The collaboration on the design and implementation is a good step in the right direction (thank you, LEED), but maybe it is time to dig deeper in the problem shaping and project conceptualizing. Healthy food options for an affordable housing projectA similar story is ubiquitous in building circles. In this case of an affordable housing project, the funding agency identified a need for improving the food security of the residents. The site was far from a decent grocery store, and there is the basic problem of high relative costs of fresh produce and existing junk food cultures (a.k.a the Jamie Oliver crusade). This is not an uncommon scenario in social housing.So, the architect drew an “urban garden” into the plan. The specs provided no details, in order not to restrict the contractor. When the GC subbed out the landscaping, he provided the directive for the landscape to support the green building program. The landscaper earned all sorts of green building points, and included a lovely little herb garden to fulfill the “urban garden” component. Great — now we can put fresh basil on our potato chips… Bike paths without bikesThe second case was a large scale restoration project of a park area. Bicycle paths were added as a relatively typical “sustainability” improvement, and the proximity to the housing project lent some credence to the appropriateness of that action. In fact, there was a high percentage of teens in the housing complex, hanging around in gangs, and the community social workers identified the need to channel their time into some alternate activities. So far, so good.We have paths that connect the housing to a woodlands area (which already had bike paths). From a “green program” perspective, this earns some points, and the mission would seem to be accomplished.However, on closer inspection, there was missing component — bikes! It seems that not many of the teens in the housing complex had bikes, there was no safe place to store them, and the few bikes we saw were in bad repair. The housing project itself was undergoing a massive energy-efficiency upgrade. Again, very good on the green program scale. Adding bike parking might have earned more points, but the problem was a deeper social need, and the solution more complex.In addition to providing safe bike storage, a recommendation was made to turn one of the (empty) ground floor units into a “bike kitchen,” which could be set up to help the kids learn to repair and rebuild bikes. There were several other components of the plan, but the point is that the ultimate goal related to the bike paths was intrinsically linked with social needs, possibly transportation needs, and perhaps even a job-creation need. Dr. Vera Novak was recently awarded a PhD in Environmental Design and Planning by Virginia Tech. Her work is dedicated to increased depth and breadth of sustainability in construction, by leveraging the points of greatest potential impact. She is currently working on optimizing corporate sustainability practices to support regenerative design, as well as adapting a lean thinking process for smaller scale projects. She also writes the Eco Build Trends blog. There is no fault here, but several points of information drift. The point of divergence from the original idea happened when the concept of ‘food security’ became implemented as the action item “urban garden.” From that point on, the best one could do was to reduce project creep. Each layer of the implementation chain based their actions on the information provided.Imagine instead if there were a way to communicate the project goal of “food security.” The architect might identify an urban garden, but the contractor might recognize the opportunity for a small learning kitchen facility in the common room, and the landscaper could offer not only vegetable gardens, but a full edible landscape with berry bushes, fruit and nut trees.Articulating and communicating the end goal could provide opportunities for input at every step of the design and delivery chain and could continue to evolve with input from the residents. For a great example of how this can work in real life, watch the TED talk about the town of Todmorden, England.
zoom French container shipping major CMA CGM has confirmed the order for nine 22,000 TEU containerships while releasing results for the second quarter of 2017.“In order to keep pace with market growth and the group’s needs, the Board of Directors of CMA CGM has approved the order for 9 container ships of 22,000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU). This order, of which the first ships will come into service from the end of 2019, will further reduce unit transport costs, particularly on the Asia-Europe routes,” the company said.The announcement comes a month after market rumors on the order emerged.The contract is estimated to be worth USD 1.2 bn.To remind, CMA CGM was reported to have signed a letter of intent (LOI) with two Chinese yards on the construction of nine 22,000 TEU megaships, which once completed, will become the world’s largest containerships by TEU capacity.As stipulated in the LOI, CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua would be in charge of constructing five ships from the batch, while Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) would be entrusted with building the remaining four units.However, the company did not provide further details on the ships and their future builders.For the second quarter, CMA CGM saw positive net income of USD 219 million, a major comeback from USD 129 million loss from the corresponding period last year.During the period, volumes carried grew by 33.3% in comparison to Q2 2016, which CMA CGM ascribed to the integration of APL, the launch of Ocean Alliance and the industry dynamism.Furthermore, the increase in freight rates on most of the group’s lines led to a 12.5% increase in average revenues per container in the second quarter of 2017.This led to a rise by +56.8% in consolidated revenues in comparison with Q2 2016, reaching USD 5.55 billion.”Once again, CMA CGM outperforms the industry and demonstrates the excellence of its operational management as well as the relevance of its strategy. During the quarter, we also continued to support the group’s growth with the planned acquisition of Mercosul, opening up the Brazilian domestic market. “The group is also preparing for the future with the order of 9 container ships of 22,000 TEUs which will enable us to continue our development and maintain our competitiveness,” Rodolphe Saadé, the CEO of CMA CGM, said.At the beginning of July, CMA CGM issued a new bond issue for an amount of EUR 650 million, in order to refinance other bonds maturities. On this occasion, the group also concluded an agreement with its core banking partners for a new revolving credit facility of USD 205 million.In terms of the outlook, the container carrier said that given the recent trend in freight rates, and excluding a significant change in fuel prices and exchange rates, it expects to continue to improve its operating results in the second semester.
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By Stephen Janis and Taya Graham, Special to the AFROThe reception in Annapolis for Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s proposal that would give prosecutors more leeway in vacating wrongful convictions was chilly, to say the least.“As prosecutors, it is our affirmative obligation to rectify and to right the wrongs of the past, the present and the future,’ Mosby testified before the house judiciary committee in support of bill 874.Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby recently testified in Annapolis regarding her office’s recent decision to cease prosecution of marijuana possession cases. (Photo Credit: Taya Graham)But shortly after the city’s top prosecutor finished her impassioned pleadings on the proposed measure that would allow state’s attorney to re-open tainted cases, pushback ensued.Testifying that the law would go too far, Caroline County State’s Attorney Joe Riley said the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association would not support the bill.“If you as the legislature wish to vacate all previous applicable possession of marijuana and paraphernalia cases, then you should do so,” Riley told the committee. “To leave this to individual jurisdictions is to ensure that inconsistent vacature of these convictions occurs.”“It will assuredly politicize our discretion on the issue.”The conflict between arguably the state’s most high-profile law enforcement official battling to rectify what many believe to be a sullied criminal justice system, highlights one of the key obstacles to law enforcement reform in the state capital, observers say.In general, suburban more conservative districts tend to be skeptical of measures aimed to scrutinize policing and the laws that govern it in Baltimore. A long-standing tradition that coupled with the powerful influence of the police unions has made even incremental reform problematic.The bill Mosby was touting seemed relatively straightforward. It would allow prosecutors to petition a judge to start a proceeding to vacate any conviction deemed problematic.Currently, Mosby told the house judiciary committee that dozens of cases tainted by testimony from the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force are languishing because judges refuse to re-open standing convictions.The Gun Trace Task Force was a group of eight officers who were convicted of or plead guilty to robbing residents, dealing drugs, and stealing overtime. The fallout from the scandal and a variety of other police misconduct cases have promoted Mosby to review roughly 2,000 past convictions.“Prosecutors have the affirmative ethical and legal obligation to seek ‘justice over convictions,’ not only during the pre-trial stage and up to conviction but our ethical obligation also extends beyond a conviction to ensure the integrity of that conviction,” she said.“We can’t afford to wait while there are individuals that are sitting in jail or walking around suffering the collateral consequences of wrongful convictions where their life, liberty and freedom are in jeopardy.”The bill would also allow Mosby to clear past convictions for marijuana possession. Recently, she publicly vowed not to prosecute pot possession cases. It is a policy she argued was justified by the disproportionate application of pots laws against African-Americans.“Out of the citywide (marijuana) citations that they were issuing 42 percent of those citations that were issued came out of Western District. This is Penn North. This is Sandtown-Winchester, “she saidThe pushback came shortly after another indictment involving GTTF members was returned this week.Prosecutors allege former Baltimore Police Sgt. Keith Allen Gladstone planted a BB gun on a Baltimore resident after he was struck by vehicle driven by a member of the GTTF. The charges allege the scheme was concocted to cover-up the fact the GTTF member had intentionally hit the suspect.The Judiciary Committee has not yet voted on the measure.Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS), a Baltimore policy think tank, is part of the messaging campaign to explain the merits of the new policy to the community of Baltimore.“In terms of LBS, we’ve been supportive of it, in terms of the larger community, I think there are mixed reactions,” said Dayvon Love, the group’s director of public policy. “I think the mixture of reactions has to do with the notion that has been pretty commonplace that the ability to arrest and prosecute for drug crime were an important leg in public safety strategy. Part of the conversation has been about shifting people’s notion as to what is an effective public safety strategy away from the ‘cast a broad net’ to a more refined and really more humane approach to public safety that really focuses on the people that are the drivers of violence and crime.”Despite the guarantee of the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) continues apace with arrests for marijuana possession.The BPD, the organization most directly involved in ameliorating the damage of dubious searches and reportedly pointless arrests, did not respond to the AFRO’s request for comment.