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An Interview With a Solar Guru

first_img“The idea that all assets have to be purchased in cash by the user long before they get the benefit of them is an inefficient path to mass adoption,” says David Arfin, Founder and CEO of First Energy Finance, a California-based company that offers products and services to drive the uptake of clean energy technologies. This is a venture that “welcomes the chance to create outside-the-box solutions to traditional energy financing problems”.Certainly Arfin is an out-of-the-box thinker. His claim to fame is as inventor of SolarCity’s SolarLease, an unprecedented solar financing program that jump-started the U.S. residential solar market. In November 2009, SolarLease came top of a list of 20 world-changing ideas in Scientific American to build a “cleaner, healthier, smarter world.” Prior to SolarCity, Arfin co-founded a number of other companies in the software and technology sphere, including GlooLabs, which was acquired by Cisco Systems.Today, Arfin sits on the boards of many clean energy start-ups in sectors from electric vehicles and solar to wind and energy efficiency, active in markets from the U.S. to Latin America to India. He was a special advisor to the US Department of Energy from 2011 to earlier this year. In this exclusive interview with Energy Post, Arfin talks about the essence of his thinking: innovative financing enables customers to pay for clean energy when they benefit from it, not upfront. “We’re still very early in the game to know what the right consumer products are going to look like,” he says, but “a lot of it depends on the regulatory environment”. Arfin plans to do what he did for solar for other clean energy technologies, and he wants to do it the world over, Europe included.Q: How did you get involved in the energy sector?A: I got involved as a consumer actually. In 2006, I had watched Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth and was in the process of getting a new roof on our house. I went out and got three quotes for a solar system to go with it and the economic payback on them was ridiculous. The best of the three was 33 years simple payback. If you want to do it just for the environment then that’s a justification, but it wasn’t good enough for me.So I tried to understand why other people went solar and I started learning about things like the California Solar Initiative, investment tax credits, depreciation schedules, and net metering policy. When I had an understanding of what the drivers and economics were, I had this “aha” moment – if I owned my own solar system it would have a very long payback. However if a business owned it, it could have a very short payback because of the various economic incentives the government provided.To cut a long story short, I ended up connecting with SolarCity just as they were beginning. They liked the idea and they liked me. I joined in 2007 and in 2008 we rolled out the first solar leasing program in the U.S. That enabled homeowners to put solar on their roof with no money down [no upfront payment] and to save money over the period of the lease. It completely transformed the residential solar industry. Now there are gigawatts, not kilowatts, being installed each year. About 98% of SolarCity’s business went from being a direct purchase to a financed system.Q: What was the essence of this financial innovation for you?A: For the homeowner it was a chance to do what they wanted to do – get a solar system – but not have to make a very difficult decision as to what to give up in the short run to be able to do it.Homeowners know they’re going to be using electricity for the rest of their lives. They know they would like to see alternative energy become commonplace, and they know they would prefer paying less than more, of course, for their power. They also wanted to have a reliable partner to build and service the system. For just about everybody, it is a major decision to spend $20,000-$30,000, particularly when they had never bought a solar system before and they didn’t know how it worked. The idea that somebody else would service and monitor it brings a kind of peace of mind.Behind the scenes, we had to do an enormous amount of work to make it easy and transparent for the customer. We also needed to integrate it into the sales process. So when the salesperson was on the phone or at the kitchen table talking to a family about going solar, financing options became part of the same discussion. It wasn’t: “This is how solar works. Now let me give you the phone number of a bank that might be willing to finance this.” We had to make it a user-friendly experience. But we also had to understand the regulatory process for both electricity and consumer finance, how the federal, state, and local incentives worked, attract equity and debt investors, and pull together contracts that were both tight for the financiers and fair to our customers.Q: What is the advantage of this leasing model versus for example a loan or the pay-per-kWh option that SolarCity offers? Wouldn’t a loan work out cheaper in the long-run?A: If you think of who is bearing what risk, with a traditional loan where you have a financial institution lending you money, if you say, “My system didn’t produce the way I thought it was going to produce,” they say, “We’re sorry, but you signed here for the money, we’re not solar experts, we’re a bank.” However, when you get a loan or a long-term service agreement with SolarCity, if the system is not performing then you don’t pay until SolarCity fixes the system.Some of it has to do with customer psychology, too. Some people are happy to do leases or power-purchase agreements. Others want to own things; they want more flexibility in the event that they move, or they view this is as a sound investment.My view is that we started solar leasing in 2008 and it’s been an incredible success. We have hundreds of thousands of American families going solar every year. I also think we’re still very early in the game to know what the right consumer products are going to look like over time. The current deals still have a fair amount of complexity. We’re still at the beginning. There’s a lot of product innovation in progress and that’s going to provide customers with more and better choices.Q: What kinds of future financial innovation can we expect to create even more attractive products for customers?A: There are a lot of moving parts – regulatory, financial, and technological.A lot of it depends on the regulatory environment. I can think of two areas, both related in some way to regulation. First, the way that solar is incentivized and how the payback comes will change. So in the U.S., for example, we have an investment tax credit that has been going strong, but that will be reduced from 30% to 10% at the end of 2016. In Europe, you’ve had feed-in tariffs that have gone up, down, away, and sideways. Second, any movement away from net metering or self-consumption changes the value of distributed generation.At the same time, you have technological innovation such as lower cost structures for installation, storage and batteries, smart meters, demand-side management, and intelligent thermostats and the like.On the financial side it’s also very dynamic and indeed a large cost driver: factors here include what project investors believe about the system’s production over time, and how comfortable they are with the installation, components, installation companies, servicing agreements, and future prices of retail power.The hope here is that entrepreneurs will create or track these changes, then capture and use the data to innovate with new offerings that in turn accelerate clean energy adoption. For me – a serial entrepreneur – this is fun.Q: Are regulations, financing, and technological innovation all still moving in a positive direction for clean energy technologies? Which area is now driving things forward?A: Good question. The technological side is getting better and more sophisticated, in part [because] as storage comes into play we can measure and control more things. There’s certainly innovation there. The regulatory side is a roller-coaster. We’ve seen a lot of dramatic changes to feed-in tariffs – in Italy, Germany, France, England, and Spain – and policy instability creates a bad environment for everybody (whether installer, customer, or financier) that wants to invest.I think a lot of the artificial noise in the system is going to disappear and core economics will drive things more and more. That means: a combination of where the sun is better (so you can produce more solar at the same cost), and where storage is allowed and encouraged through policies (so consumers can use the energy created by solar for more hours in the day and even at night). Then the regulatory environment comes down less to feed-in tariffs and direct subsidies and more to whether a country has intelligent net-metering policies and self-consumption rules that are solar-friendly.Q: How will the innovative financial models you describe cope as subsidies go down? What kind of products are you moving towards?A: It depends. In some areas of the U.S. the reduction of the tax credit will be devastating; in other areas it’ll just mean a little bit tighter margins.I think there will be more ownership by the homeowner of systems in the form of loans that get paid back through the power that you generate, for example. There will be more peer-to-peer lending. Banks require a high return on investment but individuals who want to invest in a solar bond may take a lower return than a bank requires, so I think you’ll see innovation here. You’ll also see innovation on what is called the PACE financing here in the U.S., so that the loan gets paid back together with the property tax bill.I think a huge area of innovation is going to be “community solar.” That’s the idea that a lot of people would like to use solar power, but are not living in a place where they can put it on their roof (either because they’re living in a multi-story building or they have shade or they are renters). You’ll have community solar fields as well as fields located in one area delivering virtual power to another area.In Europe you’ll see that where you have high electricity prices, say in Germany and Italy, you’ll get more and more encouragement of self-consumption, and with that, more storage options. Vendors, installers, and manufacturers will sell integrated solar and battery systems for cash to homeowners. Eventually that will go from straight equipment sales to services agreements. Instead of having to put down €15,000, the customer will agree to a long-term agreement and somebody else will either completely or partially finance that system and the homeowner will capture the benefits over time without having an upfront payment.Last, new types of contracts could even include a pricing guarantee so that the homeowner will always be better off for having adopted the system. It addresses that part of the market worried about making a decision now and later regretting that decision. Today you only have performance and production guarantees. I recently co-founded www.certain.solar to address this need.Q: What is the role of traditional energy companies in this fast-paced world of innovation?A: Ultimately utilities will likely stop fighting these changes and start owning some of these systems, billing for them and making them easier for customers to adopt. They will be the ones who want to control the energy systems on your roof and collect the monthly payments.But they will be rather clumsy about it. It’s hard for a traditional utility that has had a monopoly for 100 years, appears to be fat and happy, to create a culture of fast innovation and to react quickly to changing policies and market conditions. I can’t imagine American utilities going around and aggressively selling a new system. But they will likely partner with installers and nimble entrepreneurs to capture changing markets. These utility guys have been around for a long time. They can afford to take their time and take a lot of losses. They’re not a start-up that has nine months of run rate in the bank.Q: To what extent are these new business models applicable to technologies other than solar, and indeed energy efficiency?A: We want to do to small wind, energy efficiency, geothermal heat pumps – you name it – what we did with small solar. Electric vehicles, charging stations, and batteries can and should be financed.It has traditionally been harder to package energy efficiency home performance contracts. Financiers are less comfortable with them and it is harder to measure energy savings than energy generation. Moreover, homeowners call SolarCity primarily because they want solar; they don’t want a variety of other solutions that SolarCity could carry. Energy efficiency is not cookie-cutter either. With solar you’re putting 4, 6, or 8 kW on a roof. With energy efficiency, each home needs its own audit. You need to look at the appliances, usage patterns, insulation, etc. These audits can be done and are not that expensive, but it involves a more complex set of decisions.Q: What future developments are you most excited about?A: I’ve helped create major change in the U.S. market. I’d like to bring some of the lessons of that model to other markets around the world. We’re at the very beginning. I’m excited about Europe, India, Mexico, Brazil – they all have good sun, place a high value on electricity and have some regulatory stability. I see opportunity all over the place.I’m involved in a company in India called Simpa Networks that is providing small solar home systems with a battery and six light bulbs and a fan to rural farmers. They are getting electricity for the first time. They make payments over a 2 to 3 year period because they can’t afford a $300 system up front but they do already pay for kerosene or diesel. Servicing the bottom-of-pyramid and providing access to electricity will bring a lot of progress – with it, users can charge their cell phones, connect to the Internet, have lights for reading at night, etc.Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and France, you may not have quite the same sun but electricity is very expensive, so there is an opportunity to provide renewable energy solutions for less than customers are currently paying. I think it’s a winner.Q: How would you sum up the direction of innovation in financing for clean energy?A: What I like to think about is how you take clean energy systems and better connect, when the customer is benefiting to when the customer is paying. The idea that all assets have to be purchased in cash by the user long before they get the benefit is an inefficient path to mass adoption.It’s as if I get a cell phone I know I will use for the next 30 years. But I don’t pre-pay the bill for 30 years. I pay for it every month, as I’m using it and benefiting from it. The same should be true for electricity: you have these long-term uses and benefits, so to have to come up with all that money up front is a large barrier to adoption.I’m confident the pace for innovative solutions to increase adoption of clean energy assets will increase. We have seen how it has been a game-changer in the U.S. residential solar market and similar models will be replicated by other technologies and around the globe. With his invention of the SolarLease for SolarCity, he revolutionized the US residential solar market. Now, David Arfin, CEO of First Energy Finance, wants to take his business model to other parts of the world, including Europe, and apply it to other technologies, like wind, energy efficiency and geothermal heat pumps. In an exclusive interview with Energy Post, he explains his approach and what future financial innovations he sees coming.This interview is republished from Energy Post with permission.last_img read more

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Anil Kumble will take Indian cricket forward, says Ajinkya Rahane

first_imgBatsman Ajinkya Rahane has hailed the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to appoint former skipper and spin great Anil Kumble as Team India coach, saying his tips will take Indian cricket forward. (Heartiest welcome to Kumble as India coach: Kohli)”This will be my first experience with Anil bhai. When I was with Mumbai Indians, he was not there (with MI), he came after the third year. A player like him becoming India’s coach is a big and a good news for Indian cricket going forward,” he said. (Kumble: Gutsy coach won’t let Team India cut quarters)”He has so much of experience, he has played international cricket for so many years, definitely his tips, his importance will take Indian cricket forward,” said the 28-year-old.Kumble was on Thursday named coach of the Indian team by the BCCI’s cricket advisory committee comprising Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.Kumble’s first assignment will be India’s tour of West Indies where they will play a four-match Test seires. (Kumble ‘honoured’ to be part of Indian dressing room again, ready for ‘big responsibility’)FOCUSED ON WINDIES TOUR Rahane, who will be the vice-captain in the Carribbean, said: “The pre-tournament camp is definitely of importance because as a team we are coming together after a long time. As you said, it is long tour and right now focus is on the West Indies tour.”This camp is of seven days, we will go there and play practice games. I believe it will be important to get the momentum for the first Test match and the practice games. So, as early as we adjust to those conditions and become mentally prepared, it will be good for us.” (BCCI has complete faith in Kumble: Anurag Thakur)advertisementOn BCCI’s decision to play Ranji matches at neutral venues, the right-handed batsman said: “It is a good decision because players will have to think. They will get an idea about their game and mentally they will become tough.”When you play home games, you know the advantage and make the wickets accordingly. On neutral venues, there is no control in our hand and that’s when the importance of the game will increase further. Players will become mentally strong and will be able to learn more about the game.”(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

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BCCI CEO Rahul Johri’s gender counselling matter will be dealt within 10 days: Vinod Rai

first_imgThe Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai Friday said an agency will be hired within the next 10 days to deal with recommended gender sensitisation classes for BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, two months after he was exonerated by a probe panel of alleged sexual harassment.While Johri was cleared of the sexual harassment allegation in November, lawyer Veena Gowda, member of the three-member probe panel, recommended gender sensitisation classes for the CEO after finding his behaviour “unprofessional and inappropriate” on one occasion.”Gender sensitisation will be pursued as per the recommendation of the inquiry committee, under the supervision of BCCI’s POSH (prevention of sexual harassment committee) and it will be done without any delay. I expect it to be done within the next 10 days,” Rai told PTI.While COA had mulled gender counselling for the Indian team in the wake of sexist comments made by Hardik Pandya, little progress has been made in implementing the recommendation concerning Johri.Rai also made it clear that Johri has no issues in attending the classes.”The CEO is willing to undergo gender sensitisation process. There is no issue there,” said the former CAG.Fellow COA member Diana Edulji also welcomed the chairman’s move on the controversial subject.The delay happened mainly because Rai and Edulji differed on the choice of agency to be hired for the gender sensitisation classes.Edulji did not want the company (Kapgrow) which had conducted a POSH training programme for BCCI employees earlier this year and therefore, Gowda was entrusted with the job of recommending names of two agencies.advertisementThe fact that the BCCI’s internal complaint committee chief Karina Kriplani resigned in October also contributed to the delay.”The new BCCI POSH committee have had two meetings on the issue. In its third meeting, which will happen before month end, it will finalise the agency which will provide gender training to the CEO,” said a BCCI source.When PTI contacted Gowda to comment on BCCI not arranging gender sensitisation classes for its CEO yet, she said: “I gave my point of view in my recommendation. I have nothing more to add to it.”Johri had resumed office immediately after getting a clean chit from the probe panel.Also Read | Umesh Yadav demolishes Kerala, defending champions Vidarbha enter finalAlso Read | Cheteshwar Pujara, Indian cricket’s marathon man, turns 31Also Read | Youngsters like Prithvi creating healthy competition in the team: DhawanAlso Read | Team India receives traditional welcome in Mount Maunganuilast_img read more

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a month ago​Faustino Anjorin set to earn Chelsea contract extension

first_img​Faustino Anjorin set to earn Chelsea contract extensionby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea are set to offer youngster Faustino Anjorin a new contract.The young midfielder is on the fringes of the first team, despite only being 17.Boss Frank Lampard sees him as an exciting prospect.Now the club are trying to tie Anjorin down to a new, long term deal in the coming months, according to Goal.He should also be involved in the squad for their Carabao Cup game with Grimsby Town on Wednesday.The 17-year-old has a contract until 2021, but the club want to give him better terms and to increase the length of his deal. TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Hardik Pandya trolled over latest Instagram post

first_imgHardik Pandya trolled over latest Instagram postHardik Pandya posted a selfie ahead of the first T20I match against South Africa and got trolled on social media platform.advertisement Next India Today Web Desk DharamsalaSeptember 13, 2019UPDATED: September 13, 2019 19:16 IST India all-rounder Hardik Pandya (IANS Photo)HIGHLIGHTSHardik is part of India’s 15-member squad for the limited overs series against South AfricaHardik was on his way to the city when he shared his picture on social mediaFans came up with some hilarious memes trolling Hardik on his latest social media postAfter being rested for the recently concluded West Indies tour, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya is all set to return to the national team. Hardik was spotted in new sponsor Byju’s logo Indian jacket ahead of India’s bilateral T20I series against South Africa.Hardik Pandya, with his elder brother Krunal, is part of India’s 15-member squad for the limited overs series against South Africa, which is slated to begin from September 15 in Dharamsala.The first T20I will be played at Dharmasala on September 15 and Hardik was on his way to the city when he shared his picture on social media.It was announced in July this year that Team India will sport the new logo on their jerseys from the home series against South Africa.Hardik, who is frequently active on social media platforms, took to Instagram to share his selfie with a funky caption, which read,”On the go! When you travel, a selfie is a must”. Fans came up with some hilarious memes trolling Hardik on his latest social media post.Here’s is how Hardik was trolled:Byju’s branding on Hardik Pandya who is actually proud of failing 10th class is another level ironic https://t.co/DoSSAC9A5xSwati (@swatigarg20) September 13, 2019Wow so an educational site made a proudly uneducated man it’s ambassador. https://t.co/UE2vCi0URAadvertisementANISH MAINALI (@itsanishm) September 13, 2019Someone pls download #Byjus learning app for @PiyushGoyal . He needs some Physics and history lesson https://t.co/P1Id8JkZ8rShuveshek Rai (@shuveshek) September 13, 2019Pandya’s GF threw a pan at him or what… https://t.co/8oazI2Tg2FElite Banker (@coolhandsree) September 13, 2019Byju’s logo on chest made him look more sincere. https://t.co/PNniaaFzwlManish Chavda (@IManish311) September 13, 2019Backbenchers aise hi dikhte hai https://t.co/M4pGPhkO45Abida (@Abida07) September 13, 2019Yeh sikhega ya sikhayega? https://t.co/FfJdTYXfs9Tabrez (@its_tabrez__) September 13, 2019Recently, Hardik and Krunal Pandya were seen sweating it out in the nets. Hardik took to his Twitter page and shared a video with the caption: “Pandya vs Pandya in training, I think I won that round big bro @krunalpandya24, P.S: Sorry for almost knocking your head off”.Pandya Pandya in trainingI think I won that round big bro @krunalpandya24P.S: Sorry for almost knocking your head off pic.twitter.com/492chd1RZhhardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) September 11, 2019Hardik was last seen in action during the World Cup 2019 where he had a decent tournament with both bat and ball as he helped his side reach the semi-finals where they lost to New Zealand.India squad for the T20I series:Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep SainiAlso Read | Pandya vs Pandya: Hardik almost knocks Krunal’s head off in a practice sessionAlso see:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byNitin Kumar Tags :Follow Hardik PandyaFollow Ind vs SAlast_img read more

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Chef Isaac Toups on How to Make the Perfect Gumbo Recipe

first_img Pro Chefs Dish on the Perfect Seven-Layer Dip Recipes The Peached Tortilla’s Fried Rice Recipe Is Just Plain Delicious How to Make Loco Moco, a Hawaiian Staple Dish When you think of Cajun cooking, what comes to mind? Gumbo. How could you not think of gumbo? As the official state cuisine of Louisiana, it is as much the epitome of everything that Cajun cuisine encompasses. You’ve got strong flavors, protein, and the Holy Trinity of onions, peppers, and celery. In other words, it’s the perfect Cajun dish.Holding such a storied place in a certain cuisine, though, means that there have been and will continue to be many gumbos that are not shining examples, but rather poor knockoffs that use cheap ingredients or just go about things in the wrong way.Having spent time in Louisiana, both in New Orleans and elsewhere, we wanted to find out what real gumbo was. Not the stuff you get served to tourists on Bourbon Street for too much money, but true Louisiana gumbo. To do that, we went to a chef that has become the flag-bearer for contemporary Cajun cuisine, Isaac Toups.Denny CulbertToups (who came in third in season 13 of Top Chef and is James Beard Award finalist, is a native of the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana and has been around Cajun cuisine for as long as he can remember. In his new book, Chasing the Gator, he documents the recipes he’s learned and created over time, harnessing his Cajun lineage. That – and the fact that he is lauded by none other than Emeril Lagasse himself – convinced us we were in the right hands for any gumbo-related questions and concerns.Little, Brown, and CompanyTo start, we had to know, what is gumbo to him?“A good gumbo is always going to be a good concentration of flavors,” he says. “Gumbos are reserved for land animals. These are my family’s rules. I can’t speak for the rest of Cajun country, but I know a lot of people who would find it that way.”You can use fish, he says, but a fish gumbo is really just a fish stew.For Toups, the first experience he had with land animal gumbos was at the hunting camps his family had, where they would make wild bird gumbos. The rich flavor, combined with the terroir qualities of a wild bird (hunted over grass and grain fields as opposed to over marshes), created unforgettable gumbos.It’s one thing to eat someone else’s gumbo, but what about making it yourself? For Toups, there are a few keys.How to Make GumboFirst, Toups says, if you’ve never made gumbo before, start with chicken and sausage. From there, you need to remember about having a good concentration of flavor. “To make a one chicken gumbo, two chickens have died. I take one and make a stock with it. I tear the meat up and use the jus and then I’ll put a whole other chicken in the gumbo while it’s cooking.”It doesn’t matter what you’re cooking, Toups adds, you need to have that concentration of flavors. “If you’re using beef, use a lot of beef. Reduce the stock down to concentrate the animal flavor.”Second, you need to use a dark roux. “It’s essential. I don’t believe you can have gumbo without roux. Otherwise, you just have stew,” Toups says. To make that dark roux, he adds, you should use grapeseed oil or refined avocado oil instead of butter. Tips for How to Make Your Own Rotisserie Chicken at Homecenter_img Editors’ Recommendations Toup’s Meatery/Facebook“I know I’m going to ruffle some feathers. Don’t use butter for your dark roux. Butter has a very low smoke point. When roux gets dark, it goes over that point. [Grapeseed and avocado oil] have two of the highest smoke points in cooking. Therefore you can get your dark roux, which is extra toasted flour, and that’ll help get that deep, dark flavor.”To know how dark your roux should be, Toups suggests picking up a Hershey’s chocolate bar and opening it. When your roux matches that color, it’s ready. (Plus, you get to eat some chocolate!)Third, you need the Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking: peppers, celery and onions. You can’t forget the garlic, either. “If the Trinity is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the garlic is the Pope.”Finally, you have to remember not to mix your land and sea animals. Mixing will compromise the flavor of the gumbo and not allow the seafood to shine.“Say, for instance, you were using andouille. It has a really smoky, really intense flavor. Then you add shrimp. You’re not going to taste the shrimp after you add the intense sausage flavors,” Toups says. “Seafood is very delicate. I keep my seafood flavors on one side and my land animals on the other. Smoked sausage and duck? Those are two flavors that are going to pair really well together.”Need the TL;DR version?Keys to Making the Perfect GumboHave a good concentration of flavorUse a dark roux (made with oil, not butter)Don’t forget The Holy Trinity (plus garlic)Don’t mix land and sea animalsNow, to test out your gumbo-making skills, Toups provided his recipe for chicken and sausage gumbo. Just remember to invite us over when you decide to make it.Chicken and Sausage Gumbo RecipeDenny Culbert(Serves 4)“This is Gumbo 101: the first gumbo you learn in the Cajun kitchen. I couldn’t tell you the first time I made this with my mom because I’ve had my hands in it since I could walk. It’s the easiest one to find ingredients for and you can feed a bunch of people easily by doubling, tripling, or quadrupling the recipe. It’s surely the most popular gumbo on the planet. No matter how much you might be tempted to, do not skim the little oil slick of chicken fat off the top of your gumbo. Taste that! That’s what rice is for, to soak all that flavor up. My gumbo comes out rich, and God, it’s delicious.”Ingredients:4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided.5 cup grapeseed oil.5 cup all-purpose flour1 large onion, diced1 large red bell pepper, diced2 ribs celery, diced10 cloves garlic, crushed4 bay leaves1 (12-oz) bottle amber-style beer5 cups chicken stock.5 tsp cayenne pepper1 lb andouille sausage (or your favorite smoked sausage), cut into bite-size pieces (.5-inch half-moons)Louisiana jasmine rice, for servingSliced green onions, for garnishIsaac’s Pepper Paste of Pain, optional*Method:Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the chicken thighs with 2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, and roast for 20 minutes, or until the skin is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside. Don’t throw that fat away; it’s going in the gumbo later.In a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, make a dark roux, using the oil and flour, about 45 minutes. Once the roux is the color of milk chocolate, add the trinity of onion, bell pepper, and celery, and stir once every 5 seconds for about a minute until the vegetables begin to soften and caramelize. The roux is rocking hot, so these vegetables are going to cook really quickly. Don’t walk away! After a minute, add the garlic and bay leaves and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring frequently.Deglaze the pot with the beer, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon until all the browned bits are released. Stir constantly until it returns to a simmer. Add the stock and continue stirring until it returns to a simmer. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper and the cayenne. Add the reserved chicken thighs (skin, bones, everything) and their fat and the sausage. Bring back to a bare simmer, being careful not to let it boil and not to let the roux scorch, reduce the heat to the lowest setting on your stove, and cover. Simmer for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, scraping the bottom each time. Your gumbo should begin to thicken, but not like gravy. If it starts getting too thick before the 3 hours are up and you have to hit it with a little water to thin it, do so.Do not skim that fat off the top.Serve with rice. I put the gumbo down in each bowl first and then put the rice on top. Garnish with sliced green onions. If you want to bump up the heat, add a little scoop of pepper paste.Isaac’s Pepper Paste of Pain(Makes about 5 cups)Ingredients:1 qt fresh jalapeño or Serrano peppers, or your favorite local hot pepper10 garlic cloves, peeled1 qt white wine vinegar1 tsp kosher saltMethod:Remove the stems from the peppers (leave the seeds). In a food processor, buzz all the peppers and garlic together until it looks like a relish.In a 4-quart saucepan over high heat, bring the vinegar and salt just to a boil.Put the pepper-garlic mixture in a large nonreactive heatproof mixing bowl, and pour the hot vinegar on top.Let cool to room temperature. It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Shake it up before you serve it.Recipes and image reprinted with permission from Chasing the Gator by Isaac Toups and Jennifer V. Cole. Little, Brown, and Company, 2018. How to Cook Steak in the Oven last_img read more

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New High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomed by UN

The United Nations Security Council today welcomed and agreed to the appointment of Valentin Inzko, a senior Austrian diplomat, as the new High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina.In a resolution adopted unanimously, the 15-member body stressed the importance of the High Representative’s role in the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended devastating inter-ethnic fighting in the Balkan country.Mr. Inzko was appointed on 11 March as the European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for Bosnia and Herzegovina until 28 February 2010, and was designated High Representative by the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council on 13 March.Previously the Austrian ambassador to Slovenia, Mr. Inzko is a 60-year-old career diplomat with extensive experience in south-eastern Europe, much of that in Bosnia and Herzegovina.In today’s resolution, the Council also paid tribute to Miroslav Lajcák, Mr. Inzko’s predecessor, who had served from June 2007. 25 March 2009The United Nations Security Council today welcomed and agreed to the appointment of Valentin Inzko, a senior Austrian diplomat, as the new High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. read more

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In Washington UN World Bank chiefs rally support to build a healthy

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim pledged $50 million ahead of the high-level conference on “Haiti: Clean Water, Improved Sanitation, Better Health” , co-hosted with the UN Secretary-General to substantially improve water and sanitation coverage in Haiti, and strengthen health services.“We have made significant progress in controlling the cholera epidemic in Haiti, but too many people are still getting sick, mainly because they don’t have access to clean water and lack sanitation systems. Cholera remains endemic and water borne diseases are one of the leading causes of infant mortality in Haiti,” said Mr. Kim.“Expanding coverage of safe water and sanitation is possible. We cannot ignore this opportunity to prevent thousands more Haitian children from dying from waterborne diseases,” he added.The high-level conference is being chaired by Mr. Kim and the Secretary-General, who invited leading partners to join in an effort to substantially improve water and sanitation coverage in Haiti, and strengthen health services.“For decades, water and sanitation have been neglected in Haiti, with serious consequences for public health, said Mr. Ban, explaining that without safe water and adequate sanitation, people die from preventable waterborne illnesses, including diarrhoea Malnutrition rates worsen, stunting not only a child’s development but that of the country itself. Children, especially girls, stay out of school. “We now need to catch up. We must help the Haitian people. We must bring access to water, sanitation and healthcare within reach of every Haitian,” the Secretary-General declared, emphasizing that the Haitian Government is “fully mobilized” and all UN agencies in the country will continue to support the Government’s efforts. The UN chief went on to say that Dr. Paul Farmer, his Special Adviser for Community-based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti, and Pedro Medrano, the UN Senior Coordinator for Resource Mobilization for Haiti Cholera Elimination, have been tracking pledges and disbursements towards the country’s national action plan. “As of today, the $2.2 billion, 10-year National Plan is just 10 per cent funded. While a lot has been done, there is clearly much more to do,” said the Secretary-General.“I call on all of Haiti’s partners to step up, sustain the recent momentum, and help build a healthy Haiti underpinned by clean water and improved sanitation,” said Mr. Ban, adding that the Haitian people expect their Government and the international community to deliver. “If we all do our part, we can help Haitians to realize a healthier, more prosperous future.”As for the “Total Sanitation” initiative he launched with Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe when he visited Haiti in July 2014, Mr. Ban said: “I had an emotional visit to Haiti in July, when I heard first-hand how cholera has affected families. I also saw what communities can do…and how resilient people were. With a little bit of help, we can help address the underlying risks and make them free of disease.”The campaign will strive for zero open defecation, increased access to water and sanitation infrastructure in primary and secondary schools, as well as in health centres. And it will also encourage greater household investments in durable, hygienic latrines.New costing analysis conducted by the World Bank and Haiti’s Department of Health and National Department for Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) estimates that $310 million investment in water, sanitation and health is needed to save lives and prevent cholera in high prevalence zones over the next three years. The new $50 million World Bank pledge will contribute to the implementation of a project that will reach about 2 million people in cholera hot spots of rural Haiti.According to the World Bank, about 38 per cent of Haitians lack access to safe drinking water, and only 24 percent of Haitian families has access to improved sanitation. Evidence shows that for every dollar invested in water and sanitation, seven dollars are gained in healthcare savings and productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean. This new initiative calls for concerted push for water and sanitation will help save lives and improve people’s health.The conference is taking place as significant progress has been made in the fight against cholera, but at the same time, more than 30 people get infected every day and water borne diseases remain one of the leading causes of child mortality.The United Nations has developed a two-year support plan to the Haitian National Plan to eliminate cholera and which focuses on four pillars: epidemiological surveillance; health promotion; medical treatment; and water, hygiene and sanitation. read more

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Prevention crisis is hampering global HIV response warns head of UNAIDS

Describing his appeal as a “wake-up call” to the global community, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé explained that “partial successes” in saving lives and stopping new infections  – some 1.4 million  since 2010 – had resulted in a lack of urgency among Member States.This is despite the fact that 180,000 children became infected with HIV last year, missing the 2018 target of protecting all youngsters from the virus, Sidibé said.The UNAIDS chief also noted that more than three decades into the HIV epidemic, three-in-five people starting HIV treatment are still not screened, tested or treated for tuberculosis – the biggest killer of people living with HIV.There is an acute shortage of health-care workers and there is continuing stigma and discrimination –  Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director“The number of AIDS-related deaths is the lowest this century,” he said introducing the agency’s latest report, noting that fewer than one million people per year now die from illnesses linked to AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).Other successes include the fact that three out of four people living with HIV are now aware of their status – an important first step to getting medical help, the UNAIDS chief said.In addition, a record 21.7 million people are on treatment—an increase of 2.3 million people since the end of 2016, according to the Global AIDS Update 2018.Despite these apparent successes, globally, new HIV infections have declined by only 18 per cent in the past seven years, UNAIDS says, from 2.2 million in 2010 to 1.8 million in 2017.At its peak in 1996, 3.4 million people were infected by the virus.The reduction in new HIV infections has been strongest in the region most affected by HIV, Eastern and Southern Africa, where new HIV infections have fallen by 30 per cent since 2010. UNAIDS/Laurence GeaiMichel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, at the launch of the ‘Miles to go—closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices’ report in Paris, France.While these results are welcome, the UNAIDS Chief Executive cautioned that an additional 2.8 million people a year will require access to treatment for the next three years, if global targets are to be met.And although there is an urgent need to do this, “there are no new commitments to increase resources, there is an acute shortage of health-care workers and there is continuing stigma and discrimination”, he said.One key and immediate challenge is reducing new HIV infections which are not falling fast enough, Mr. Sidibé added, owing to a lack of impetus on prevention.This is despite many available measures to protect vulnerable and marginalized communities who face an increased risk of HIV infection, the reason being that they are not being scaled up sufficiently and they “are not reaching the people who need them the most”.And in a call for Governments everywhere to “protect everyone”, the UNAIDS chief noted the terrible consequences of stigma and discrimination, which lead to the denial of access to critical HIV services and result in more deaths.“Human rights are universal,” he said. “Bad laws that criminalize HIV transmission, sex work, personal drug use and sexual orientation or hinder access to services must go, and go now.”In terms of international funding to fight AIDS, resources increased last year, but there is still a 20 per cent shortfall.A cut of this magnitude “will be catastrophic” for the 44 countries that rely on international assistance for the majority of their national AIDS policy response, said the UNAIDS chief. read more

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Ohio State hoops freshmen sweep Big Ten weekly awards

D’Angelo Russell (0) attempts a shot over Indiana sophomore guard Stanford Robinson (22) during a Jan. 25 game at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 82-70.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerThe Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball teams each had experienced starters returning this season, but so far a pair of freshmen have stolen the show.That trend continued Monday afternoon when D’Angelo Russell from the men’s team and Kelsey Mitchell for the women were each named Big Ten Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week.In two games — both wins — for the Buckeyes in the past week, Russell averaged 27.5 points, eight assists and 6.5 rebounds and made 21 of 32 total shot attempts. The run included a career-high 33 points in the win against Northwestern, and he did it without turning the ball over a single time.Freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) dribbles the ball during a game against Minnesota on Jan. 15 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 76-72.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorMitchell played just once to earn her honors, but made it count with 37 points in an overtime win against Purdue on the road. Of the 37 points, 31 came in the second half and overtime as she finished the game 13-of-14 from the free throw line.Mitchell has been the conference player of the week two times, and the freshman of the week five times. Russell’s player of the week award was his first, but he’s been the rookie of the week four times.Russell and the Buckeye men’s team are scheduled to return to the court Thursday against Maryland at the Schottenstein Center, while Mitchell and company are set to take on Wisconsin that same night in Madison, Wis. read more

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Over 150 housing units slated for 2018 CHPA

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedDuplexes, townhouses’ construction to start in regions shortly – CH&PAApril 25, 2017In “latest news”33 flat duplexes nearing completion – CH&PA says working closely with beneficiariesFebruary 19, 2018In “latest news”2nd Housing Expo slated for Dec. 2018 ─ Three-day event to be held at ProspectSeptember 7, 2018In “latest news” The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) is moving to expand it’s ‘Housing Solutions 2017 and Beyond’ project with the completion of 150 housing units in 2018.This is according to Director of Projects Omar Narine who told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the Housing Solutions 2017 and Beyond project was the largest programme offered by CH&PA last year.File photo: The concrete and wooden two-storey duplexes that were constructed by the CH&PA for the model housing village at Perseverance, East Bank Demerara (EBD)Following the demand for the exhibited housing units, construction of the various structures began in Regions Three, Four and Five, Narine said. “We are currently working on 18 two-bedroom bungalow designs at Perseverance; we are currently working on 33 flat concrete duplexes at Perseverance; we are currently working on 10 two-bedroom units at (Onderneeming) West Bank Demerara (and) we are working on 50 elevated two-bedroom units at Perseverance.”Omar Narine, CH&PA Director of ProjectsHe added “We have recently signed contracts for 15 two-bedroom units at Perseverance, 15 flat three-bedroom (units) at Perseverance and 10 two and three bedroom (units) at Hope and Experiment. We are also working on 10 elevated units at Hope and Experiment.”Last year, under the Housing Solution 2017 and Beyond project, CH&PA completed six duplexes and two elevated units at Perseverance on the East Bank of Demerara (ECD.)According to the DPI, the project aims to bring resolution to those persons who form the huge backlog of applications at CH&PA, some of whom applied for their house lots since 1994.Highlighting that all Guyanese must be provided with affordable housing, the DPI said that the project makes available affordable housing options for low to middle-income persons. read more

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This StopMotion Gundam Animation Is The Stuff of Greatness

first_img ‘One Punch Man’ Get A Video Game, Probably Has More Punches‘Cannon Busters’ Is The Black Anime We’ve Been Waiting… Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. We all love Gundam, right? For many of us, that love for the series has extended to looking to make our own Gundam-inspired anime series or manga somehow. The concept seems far off, especially for those of us who aren’t so artistically-inclined, So it’s awesome to see that this particular filmmaker, Rihito Ue, took to YouTube with his own special set of skills to make a short video using a viable replacement for animation and artwork: Gundam models.In a stop-motion video, Ue takes his own selection of Gunpla models and puts them to work in “One Shot Gunpla: The StopMotion Works.” The video takes inspiration from one popular scene from the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime, and it recaptures the spirit in a play by play that’s 100% accurate to the original, even with anime audio as well as video from the show itself, which Ue left on TV while posing and filming the Gundams just so. You’ve gotta hand it to him, as this obviously took a lot of work to put together.Ue also took the time to include laser weapons, explosions, and other fun touches to the video, and different types of shooting techniques to get it just right. The shots were filmed with one take, and it’s impressive to see what all this director was able to accomplish using household items and amateur techniques. It really makes you wonder what kind of work a polished professional could put out if this is the work of an amateur.AdChoices广告If you’re interested in watching how Ue put everything together, you can check out a “making of” video above, which should answer some of your questions. Be forewarned, though, as it may very well inspire you to start a Gunpla collection of your own so you can start making these awesome films someday, too!If a giant Gundam mech isn’t your speed, maybe Barbie dressed as one is. The 28 foot Gundam model in Japan is pretty impressive too. Follow all your favorite anime mechs here for daily updates.center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

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House Passes Amendment to Fulfill Funding for Harbor Maintenance

first_imgLate last week, the House passed H.R. 4923, the FY2015 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill. In addition, an amendment, offered by Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) and Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), was adopted to add $57.6 million to the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) funding to meet the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) spending targets included in the enacted Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).The amendment passed on a strong 281-137 vote and increased the bill’s overall Corps funding to just under $5.6 billion. The ASA strongly supported the HMTF targets in the WRRDA bill and is pleased that the House has acted to fulfill that agreement. While the Energy & Water Appropriations bill has passed the House, it is stalled in the Senate. A Senate “mini-bus” bill combining appropriations for Agriculture, Commerce-Justice, and Transportation-HUD was pulled from Senate floor debate at the end of June because of pending controversial amendments related to Clean Water Act regulations and the EPA’s carbon emissions rule.   Action by the Senate Appropriations Committee on its Energy & Water bill has been delayed indefinitely for the same reasons. None of the 12 annual appropriations bills has been passed yet in the Senate, making it likely that a Continuing Resolution will be required in September.last_img read more

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Microsoft rolls out global family caregiver benefit

first_imgTechnology organisation Microsoft has launched a paid family caregiver benefit for its employees worldwide.The new benefit allows employees to take up to four weeks of fully-paid leave in order to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition.Microsoft launched the family caregiver leave for its US employees on 27 June 2017. The benefit has been rolled out in 22 of the countries in which the organisation operates so far, and staff in the remaining countries will receive access to the leave arrangement over the coming months.Kathleen Hogan, chief people officer and executive vice-president of human resources at Microsoft, said: “This important new benefit represents a significant milestone in our effort to build a culture of diversity and inclusion, and it demonstrates our deep commitment to employee wellbeing and care, and respect for the full career journey.BESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswy“I’ve often said that life happens when you’re working. And it’s true. We will all face difficult times that bleed over into work, no one is immune. As a global employer, we know it’s up to us to continually evaluate the needs of our workforce and provide market-leading benefits and programmes to support our employees, at work and home.”last_img read more

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Politico Names Poppy MacDonald President of US Operations

first_imgPolitico has named Poppy MacDonald president of the brand’s U.S. operations, effective in September. MacDonald will report directly to Politico owner, chairman, and CEO Robert Allbritton, and publisher and founding editor-in-chief John Harris.  “Poppy MacDonald has a keen understanding of the mission of Politico and we’re thrilled that she’s agreed to lead our domestic efforts as we enter the next phase of growth,” said Allbritton in a statement. “Poppy has a proven record of success at the helm of major publications and companies, and will be a bold, thoughtful, and team-oriented leader for our U.S. operation.” MacDonald previously served as executive director of Politico Pro, from August 2010 to May 2011. She will rejoin Politico from National Journal, a division of Atlantic Media, where she served as publisher and president, and played an integral role developing and growing the brand’s membership business. MacDonald’s appointment comes in the wake of several high level departures at Politico, which began with Garret Graff, then editor of Politico Magazine, who left in October of last year. In a staff memo, Michael Finnegan, Atlantic Media president, announced that Kevin Turpin will succeed MacDonald. Over the past 11 years, Turpin has held a variety of roles at the publication. Most recently he was National Journal’s senior vice president for strategy and operations, leading the brand’s new product development and research teams. Additionally, Peter Cherukuri, Politico’s EVP for audience solutions and president of brand journalism studio Politico Focus, revealed today that he is leaving the company. He is joining tech startup Incubator 1776 to serve as president and chief innovation officer. In January 2016, CEO and editor Jim Vandehei, chief political reporter and “Playbook” correspondent Mike Allen, chief operating officer Kim Kingsley, chief revenue officer Roy Schwartz, and EVP Danielle Jones announced they would leave the brand after the presidential elections. Vandehei, Kingsley, and Jones actually left the company in April. In July, Politico announced Carrie Budoff Brown will succeed Susan Glasser as editor in November.last_img read more

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Towns Current Bidding Contract Opportunities

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Invitations To BidPublic Buildings Department — Wilmington High School Gym Floor Replacement Project — Deadline: Friday, May 10, 2019 @ 11:00amWater & Sewer Division – Fire Hydrants — Deadline: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 10:00amWater & Sewer Division – Valve Boxes & Curbstop Boxes — Deadline: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 10:00amWater & Sewer Division – Gate Valves — Deadline: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 10:00amWater & Sewer Division – Miscellaneous Water Supplies — Deadline: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 10:00amWater & Sewer Division – Ductile Iron Pipe — Deadline: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 10:00amWater & Sewer Division – Laboratory Services — Deadline: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 10:00amWater & Sewer Division – Generator Maintenance Contract — Deadline: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 10:00amWater & Sewer Division – Instrumentation Maintenance/Calibration — Deadline: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 10:00amDPW – Screener Rental — Deadline: Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 10:00amDPW – Guardrail Installation — Deadline: Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 10:00amDPW – Pavement Markings — Deadline: Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 10:00amDPW – Roadway Management Services — Deadline: Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 10:00amDPW – Bituminous Products — Deadline: Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 10:00amDPW – Crack Sealing — Deadline: Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 10:00amDPW – Tree Planting Services — Deadline: Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 10:00amDPW — Stormwater Pond Maintenance Service — Deadline: Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 10:00amAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at]wilmingtonma.gov with questions.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTown Posts 16 Invitations To Bid For Water Department & DPW-Related Services & ProductsIn “Government”Town Posts 15 Invitations To Bid For Water Department & DPW-Related Services & ProductsIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding and Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”last_img read more

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Want to learn Tlingit Theres a new app for that

first_img 1 of 3 Screenshot of the Tlingit Games app, during the Birds game. (Screenshot by Lakeidra Chavis, KTOO – Juneau)Screenshot of the Tlingit Games app, during the Birds game. (Screenshot by Lakeidra Chavis, KTOO – Juneau) A screenshot of the Tlingit Language app from the Sealaska Heritage Institute. (Screenshot by Lakeidra Chavis, KTOO – Juneau)A screenshot of the Tlingit Language app from the Sealaska Heritage Institute. (Screenshot by Lakeidra Chavis, KTOO – Juneau) Screenshot of the Tlingit Games app, during the Ocean game. (Screenshot by Lakeidra Chavis, KTOO – Juneau)Screenshot of the Tlingit Games app, during the Ocean game. (Screenshot by Lakeidra Chavis, KTOO – Juneau)center_img There are only a few hundred Tlingit speakers in the world, according to linguists and researchers.Sealaska Heritage’s Katrina Hotch, left, and Kathy Dye both worked on the recently-released Tlingit language app. (Photo by Lakeidra Chavis, KTOO – Juneau)In a world where English is considered the dominant language, Tlingit is endangered, linguistically speaking.The Sealaska Heritage Institute hopes to combat that.Listen nowThe organization announced the release of two free apps Monday, aimed at making learning the language more accessible.Katrina Hotch is behind two recently released apps to help people learn Tlingit.Earlier this week, I sat down with Hotch and Kathy Dye. Dye walked me through the Tlingit Games app, which has two naming games in it.The game features a colorful array of about a dozen birds common throughout Southeast, there’s even a hummingbird that flies in and out of your screen.Dye designed the birds herself; each one took about a day, with the goal is to match what someone might see in our actual world with their Tlingit names.Hotch has been working on the language app since the year began — editing and gathering audio, some that’s decades old, from Sealaska Heritage Institute’s archives.“There’s also years and years of work of collecting the audio,” Dye said, “that a lot of current and past employees have been working on, and that’s been going on for many years.“Yeah, there’s so many people that have done a lot of work in the language and it’s exciting to make it more accessible to everyone,” Hotch said. The other app, Learning Tlingit, has about 300 entries in three main categories—alphabet, vocabulary, and phrases.“One of the more difficult but super useful phrases for a beginning learner is ‘I don’t know,’” Hotch said.Hotch says she’s not a fluent speaker, so she tried to pick entries that would be helpful for someone who’s learning.“What’s probably going to be some really popular phrases is introductions and learning Tlingit and probably meal time,” she said, “everyone eats, yeah?”She says the goal was to create a game that exemplifies the organization’s mission.“Especially Haa Shuká ,” Hotch said, “that’s the concept of, you’re connected to the past, present, and future. We have audio of all of these speakers, and some of them have gone on, but we’re making it available for present and future generations to help perpetuate the language and culture.”The institute hopes apps like this will give people the tools they need to learn and maintain the language.last_img read more

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Mother of Satan behind Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka

first_imgSecurity personnel stand guard near St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, three days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, in Sri Lanka.Reuters file [Representational Image]Dazzling in his expensive western attire and driving a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser was the identity of Sri Lankan millionaire-turned-suicide bomber Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim. He was well-respected in his community and was known to be the smartest in his family.While Inshaf had moderate religious views his brother Ilham was open about his links with National Towheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) and had strict views on Sharia laws and other extremist ideologies.It is still unknown as to why the brothers from such well-educated wealthy families did such a horrible thing by terrorising the island nation. On Sunday, both the brothers bombed two five-star hotels in Colombo while the guests were enjoying their breakfast buffet.Mother of SatanIt was in a copper manufacturing facility, Colossus Copper owned by Inshaf in Wellampitiya suburb of Sri Lanka where the suicide bombs and vests were made by using triacetone triperoxide (TATP).TATP is the same chemical explosive that has been used by terrorist organisations and extremists in creating bombs, suicide bombs and improvised explosives. It can be easily prepared from retail ingredients such as hair bleach and nail polish remover due to which it is preferred by the terrorists.Commonly referred as the “mother of Satan” by terrorist group al-Qaeda, TATP is one of the few explosives that does not contain nitrogen, so it can easily evade bomb detectors that are designed to scan nitrogenous explosives.TATP used in Terror attacksShoe bomb attempt in Paris, 2001London bombings, 2005Paris attacks, 2015Brussels bombings, 2016Parsons Green bombing in London, 2017Surabaya bombings in Indonesia, 2018Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings, 2019last_img read more

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Verizon set to acquire Yahoo in a 48 billion deal

first_imgVerizon Communications, an American broadband telecom company, will acquire Yahoo in a deal pegged at $4.8 billion. According to media reports, the deal includes Yahoo’s core assets, real estate assets and some intellectual property.Yahoo will, however, retain its stakes in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Yahoo Japan Corp, which would have a combined market value of $40 billion, Bloomberg reported.Verizon Communications will announce its plans to buy Yahoo’s core assets before the U.S. markets open on Monday morning. The deal will finally seal the fate of the web pioneer after months of speculations and increasing pressure from its investors Starboard Value LP.Post the acquisition, Yahoo’s daily users would be added to Verizon’s increasing media properties. In addition, Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer will step down after failing to re-invent the California-based web portal company.”They (Verizon) are trying to monetise wireless in an entirely new way. Instead of charging customers for traffic, they are turning to charging advertisers for eyeballs,” Craig Moffett, an analyst with MoffettNathason, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg on Sunday.Yahoo, which is primarily an internet search company, had in February announced that it was looking for alternatives for its core internet business. During the same month, the company had announced it was cutting down its workforce by 15 percent. This included 1,700 layoffs.On July 18, Yahoo reported losses worth $440 million for the second quarter of the current financial year. The firm’s revenues rose $60 million to record $1.3 billion for the quarter that ended on June 30, BBC reported. The increase in revenues was attributed to its core internet business, and mobile revenues.A BBC analyst Colin Gills had recently expected the value of the deal to be in the range of $5-8 billion.Verizon had shown interest in acquiring Yahoo’s core business since the beginning of the year, when Verizon’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo had said the firm would “see if there is a strategic fit for its holdings.” The holdings included mail, sports and news technology, Reuters had reported in April.The other contender for buying Yahoo’s core business included its rival search-engine firm Google.last_img read more

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A pro samesex marriage candidate just won the presidency in Costa Rica

first_imgGot a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… On Sunday the Latin American nation headed to the polls for a runoff election between the centre-left Alvarado and his conservative and religious opponent Fabricio Alvarado. The two men have the same surname but are not related.Alvarado won with 60% of the vote. Fabricio Alvarado who used to be an evangelical singer only 39% of the vote.The election came down to the wire with same-sex marriage a dominant issue throughout the election campaign.In the Costa Rica elections, equality and love won over, biasm and inequality.Faith has been restored, to a country with so much beauty and more potential.Well done to all the citizens, whom have chosen love over hate,And fairness over unfairness.LOVE WILL ALWAYS WIN.— Bavaria (@WeAreBavaria) April 2, 2018When the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled that member nations should legalize same-sex marriage, Fabricio said it violated Costa Rica’s ‘traditional values’.Costa Rica’s government at the time agreed to comply with the IACHR’s ruling. But Fabricio said it was ‘a violation of the country’s sovereignty and an affront to traditional values.’ eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Carlos Alvarado is Costa Rica’s new president. | Photo: Twitter/@CarlosALvQ Today is a great day for Costa Rica, an election that divided the country between homophobia and pro-gay marriage finally came to the right outcome ♥ #lovewins pic.twitter.com/79nm3poILD— viane (@vianerds) April 2, 2018Marriage equality takes center stageCosta Rica’s 3.3 million residents are predominantly Roman Catholic and most consider themselves conservative. Many commentators said the election would essentially be a referendum on marriage equality because the issue had taken center stage during the campaign.Alvarado said his win sent a ‘beautiful’ message to the world.‘Let’s celebrate our 200 years of Indpendence with a government worthy and up to date with the times,’ he wrote on Twitter.‘Today, the world is watching us and we sent a beautiful democratic message.’I was so afraid for today’s election but in the end Costa Rica rejected a homophobic, religious, old fashion way candidate.Pura vida, Costa Rica — ✬ andy ✬ (@umamichicken) April 2, 2018 In good news for Costa Rica’s LGBTI community, Carlos Alvarado, has won a photo finish presidential election. Costa Rica’s Supreme Court rules marriage equality must be law by 2020Costa Rica votes for a new president amid tension over LGBTI rightsDisappointment for LGBT rights in Taiwan after gay tourism is boomingRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/pro-sex-marriage-candidate-win-costa-rican-presidential-race/ GAYSTARNEWS-last_img read more

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