“Get on with the job” – Mica Action Group urges govt to give redress scheme ‘ urgency it deserves’

first_imgMembers of the Mica Action Group (MAG) have urged the government to start the roll-out of the highly anticipated redress scheme to enable repair of the homes of those affected by the defective blocks issue across the county.The announcement comes as homeowners await details on how a €20million investment, which was announced earlier this year, will be used on a redress scheme.On Tuesday, Minister Joe McHugh said that a ‘special funding pot’ of €40million will be set aside in 2020 for the fixing of homes affected by both Mica and Pyrite. However, MAG believes that this is not nearly enough to get all of the homes fixed; where government estimates put the number of those affected to be in the region of 5000 homes.Ann Owens Chairperson of the MAG said: “Over the course of the last number of months, MAG asked the Department of Housing for a significant increase in the Budget for 2020 to enable work to get underway to fix the homes of those affected by the mica issue.“With the allocation of an additional twenty-million euro, our initial thoughts were that this was not nearly enough to fix all of the homes affected.“However, we have sought clarity on this issue and today received confirmation that should this money be spent throughout 2020, we are in position to seek further drawdown of funds from the Department of Housing to continue this work over the course of this year. “This is what happened in the case of Pyrite and Minister Damien English has confirmed MAG are in position to seek the same treatment to apply to homeowners in Donegal.“Currently we have over 1400 homeowners registered with MAG, however, we believe the number to be significantly larger than this.“It is imperative that affected homeowners continue to register in order for us to continue to exert pressure on government and to illustrate the huge scale of this problem.“Importantly, the level of the Budget allocated becomes significant only when the actual scheme is opened.  Last week it was one year since we received the news that redress was approved by Cabinet.“It is very disappointing and frustrating therefore to think that a year on we are still effectively no further forward and few details of the scheme have been provided and importantly the applications process is still not open. “It is time to give this issue the urgency it deserves. We have had enough procrastination and delay and quite honestly homeowners are at the end of their tether.“On a daily basis, we are contacted by homeowners who tell us how their homes are deteriorating at an alarming rate. Over the weekend one of these families posted a video on our Facebook page showing the blocks in such bad condition now that they simply disintegrate in the home owner’s hands.“This situation is a catastrophe waiting to happen and the Government is putting homeowners lives at risk and in an impossible position as they have nowhere else to go.“There is no single bigger issue than this in the county at the minute and it is time that those tasked with finalising this scheme and with its roll-out, treated this with the immediate action it deserves. “We, therefore, call on the Department of Housing and Donegal County Council to stop pointing the finger at each other and to just get on with the job of getting the homes of families who are desperately affected by this issue, fixed as soon as possible.”“Get on with the job” – Mica Action Group urges govt to give redress scheme ‘ urgency it deserves’ was last modified: October 14th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Legendary Golden State Warrior quits his dream job

first_img(CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.)Chris Mullin, the former Warriors star who went home to coach his alma mater at St. John’s four years ago, cited a “personal loss” while announcing his resignation from the school on Tuesday.The 55-year-old Mullin stepped down following the most successful of his four seasons partly because of the death of his brother Rod last month due to cancer.“This has been an extremely emotional decision, but after a recent …last_img

Warriors like Andre Iguodala’s chances to return for Game 1 of NBA Finals

first_imgOAKLAND — The Warriors often handle Andre Iguodala with care.So even if Iguodala remains limited with soreness and tightness in his left calf, the Warriors expressed optimism he will be fine when the NBA Finals begin on May 30.“Andre didn’t practice today,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “But we expect him to be okay by Game 1.”Iguodala still completed a shooting workout following Thursday’s practice. He is expected to do more since the Warriors plan to practice on Friday and Saturday, …last_img

Educator Suggests Inoculation Technique Against Creationism

first_imgGive them some ID, then swamp it with counter-arguments.  That’s the new method of “educational intervention” that Stephen Verhey of Central Washington University has found most effective in overcoming college student objections to evolution, reported EurekAlert.  Verhey tested 103 students with prior exposure to creationism.  He assigned the book Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells, followed by three works by prominent evolutionists, including The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins, a point-by-point refutation of Wells’s book and a book discussing the evolution of sex.  The teacher then facilitated a discussion about the nature of science.  Most of the two-thirds of students who reported “some change in their beliefs” were found to have become at least a little more sympathetic to evolution after the exercise. Verhey’s study was inspired by an influential theory of cognitive development advanced in 1970 by William G. Perry.  Perry’s theory holds that students pass through distinct modes of thinking.  Verhey’s intervention was designed to support students as they progressed toward a more sophisticated cognitive mode by engaging them at the level of their initial understanding–including their initial ideas about creationism.  Although alternative explanations are possible, Verhey maintains that his results suggest engaging prior learning “was an effective approach to evolution education.”   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Verhey published his results in the November issue of BioScience, a journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS).  His method contrasts strongly with the official position of the AIBS which calls intelligent design and creationism “fundamentally unscientific” and feels teaching it is wrong.  “Prominent evolution educator” Craig E. Nelson opposes this method in high school, but grants that doing so in college will “help future teachers and other leaders understand why there is no contest scientifically between creationism and evolution.”Good grief; now the Darwin Party wants to treat creationism like a disease.  They’re looking at students like lab rats and studying their cognitive development, as if creationism is just a developmental abnormality.  Presumably creationism is a bug some students pick up in their youth, like chicken pox.  Since cold turkey doesn’t appear to work, maybe injecting them with a weakened form of the disease, followed by antibiotics, will cure them and help them get on with a “more sophisticated cognitive mode” that appreciates the truth of evolution.    For this therapy to work, the experimental conditions must be carefully controlled.  Jonathan Wells must not be given a chance to rebut the rebuttals, for instance (see ARN).  The Darwinist doctor must be careful not to give more toxin than the student can handle.  As long as the Darwinist facilitator always gives Charlie the last word, and reassures the class with the MAD strategy (Most Accept Darwin), this new method might help contain the growing pandemic.  Hopefully the virus will not mutate and start spreading from birdbrains to humans.    These are methods the communists made famous.  To them, religious people who did not accept their atheism and political philosophy were mentally ill, and needed treatment.  There was no open marketplace of ideas; just analysis of the best psychological means to achieve conformity.    The anti-evolutionists believe in a more benign approach toward their opponents.  They don’t want to put them in cages and experiment on them; they want to talk.  They want all the evidence out there on the table for rational discussion and evaluation.  They want to remind their opponents of a reasonable strategy suggested by their own Pope Charles, who said, “A fair* result can only be obtained by balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Sacramento-Area Utility’s Feed-In Tariff Program Generates Praise, Concerns

first_imgLast month, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District announced a feed-in tariff (FIT) program that is intended, as SMUD says in a press release, to streamline “buying electricity fed into its distribution system from eligible generation units at customer sites.”SMUD’s FIT plan is in some ways broader and potentially easier to scale up than the FIT program implemented by the California Public Utilities Commission in February 2008 (the PUC program does not include SMUD customers). The SMUD FIT proposal would, for example, apply to projects generating up to 5 MW each and the overall program is capped at 100 MW, which is relatively high considering that SMUD serves only about 1.4 million customers in a state with 36 million people.The per-project cap for the PUC FIT program, by contrast, is 1.5 MW and the program cap is just under 500 MW, even though the program serves a much larger customer base, including public water and wastewater facilities and non-water and non-wastewater facilities served by San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and Pacific Gas and Electric.In an overview of the SMUD program published this week by Renewable Energy World, FIT expert Paul Gipe cited perspectives offered by several colleagues in the field. One, Craig Lewis, a founding member of FIT Coalition, a national advocacy group, noted that “the fact that SMUD raised the project size limit to 5MW is indicative that they believe distributed generation projects can be seamlessly integrated into the distribution grid in California.”Targeting renewable energy and fossil fuel projectsLewis points out, for example, that SMUD’s 100 MW target would, if scaled up to address the entire state, jump to almost 3,000 MW, which happens to be the solar PV limit for the California Solar Initiative, a statewide campaign that, through rebate programs, encourages installation of high-performance PV systems.SMUD’s FIT program, however, covers not only solar power but all technologies, including small-scale fossil-fuel generation plants. It sets higher prices for power produced from renewable sources like solar and biogas, but also will award FIT contracts to combined heat and power (CHP) generators, which use fuels such as natural gas but boost plant efficiency by utilizing waste heat for onsite applications.Pending regulatory approval, the SMUD program is scheduled to launch in January. Contract terms are 10, 15, and 20 years.A potential weakness in the plan, which Lewis and other analysts homed in on in Gipe’s overview, is that SMUD’s FIT rate structure is based on the “value” of the power generation to SMUD – a rate structure that is among the most complex in the FIT realm, with 216 different payment rates for different seasons, times of day, contract lengths, and starting year, remarked renewable-energy consultant Robert Freehling.More critically, the rate structure should be cost-based rather than value-based, analysts say. FIT Coalition’s Lewis calculates the average payout per kilowatt hour will be in the neighborhood of 17 cents – a rate of return unlikely to be generous enough to make participation worthwhile for most prospective investors.Power pricingSetting rates appropriately does appear to be one of the more challenging aspects of developing a serviceable FIT program. Vermont’s renewable-energy FIT program, the Vermont Energy Act of 2009, which became law in May, features “standard offer” rates that are subject to adjustment by the Vermont Public Service Board.And in Florida, the FIT program run by Gainesville Regional Utilities, a plan developed for PV system owners, pays a relatively generous 32 cents per kWh.Whether SMUD’s rate structure will show signs of progress by the end of 2010 or suffer from slow growth remains to be seen, but it almost certainly will provide useful information on what makes FIT programs viable and what elements need refinement.last_img read more