WATCH: Ramón Laureano’s insane throw early candidate for Play of the Year

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceOAKLAND — Ramón Laureano is getting his defensive highlights mixtape started early in 2019.The A’s center fielder turned in the most impressive throw of the young season and an early candidate for Play of the Year in the second inning of Monday’s game against the Boston Red Sox as he fired a seed from center to home plate to nail Xander Bogaerts trying to score from second on a single by Mitch Moreland.In case you …last_img

Slot machines ‘target the poor’

first_img15 August 2003South Africa does not need the rollout of additional slot machines, as they are likely to target poor people, according to Rob Davis, chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on trade and industry.Davis was speaking at the Human Rights Research and Advocacy Project’s public debate on poverty and gambling on Wednesday.The issue has been under constant debate since three months ago, when the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board announced its intention to roll out 3 000 gambling machines in the province by the end of 2005.“The limited payout machines (LPMs) are not intended to be placed in casinos, which targeted by tourists; they will be in licensed taverns, in corner shops and will be largely targeted at the poor,” Davis said.He explained that large numbers of people were ignorant about the odds and the extent of the prize money involved in this form of gambling.“They expect to win large amounts of money to pay household debts and support their families. The fact is that if you hit the jackpot on one of these machines, you will not win more than R500.”He said a lot of people were hooked on gambling as they believed if they won once, they would keep on winning, making them spend much more money than they could afford.Waldie Terblanche, of the Western Cape social development and poverty alleviation department, said the constant availability of the LPMs would have a largely negative impact on poor communities.“We pay out about R280-million per month on social grants in the province. We are worried by certain indicators that people use their grants for gambling instead of household necessities,” he said.According to Terblanche, gambling is a non-productive activity serving as a source of entertainment for rich people who could afford to lose money, but acting only as a temptation to poor people desperately trying to break away from poverty.“We believe that legal gambling should not be rolled out in our poorer communities and that LPMs should not be rolled out at this stage,” he said.A recent study on the socio-economic impact of gambling revealed that 72.5% of the 2 050 participants in the study gambled in the 12 months preceding the study. Of those interviewed, 71.3% indicated that they would have spent their money on household necessities if they had not gambled.The study also found that 22.1% of casino gamblers were unemployed, and that 21.2% earned less than R500 a month.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Jeremy Goyings, Sept. 12

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We got an inch and two-tenths this last rain, which was the most rain we’ve had in a long time. It will help the double-crop beans a lot. The first planted beans I don’t think it will help much. Most of the corn is already made but it hasn’t black-layered yet so it is still pumping a little moisture into the corn and might help kernel depth a little.We don’t have any beans dropping a lot of leaves yet. We don’t have a real early bean maturity out there. By the end of the month I think harvest will be right about on schedule.We could still have half decent yields. The beans have fairly good height and they look like they have a lot of pods. And, walking corn, I find corn that is pretty nice and then I find some that is not very good. I think we’ll be a little below average but not a huge amount for as dry as we were. We strip-till deep so we have a slot clear down in there for the corn roots to go down deep. We also use anhydrous, which helped this year. I saw some fields where they used 28% and the corn got pretty yellow because the corn didn’t have enough nitrogen. I am sure they put enough on, but I don’t think the 28% ever got enough moisture to move correctly over for the roots to get to it.We are going to stay with the plan with wheat acres this fall. It breaks up the season a little bit. We continue to do yield checks to see what yield penalty we pay in the other crops when we aren’t using wheat. I think the yield penalty is less for corn since we went to strip-till. This year that yield penalty may show up more with the adverse conditions.I would prefer for it to stay moist just a little longer to help settle the tile trenches after all of the ditching we did this year.last_img read more

Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 1

first_imgCome on — having no energy bills has to be worth somethingYou see, our appraiser rated as “typical” the energy efficiency of EdgewaterHaus and four other comparable properties, including one LEED Gold home. He did not recognize or value that EdgewaterHaus is designed to the Passivhaus standard, which results in a home that uses 90% less energy for space heating and cooling than a conventional house. Nor did he recognize or value that our house will seek LEED Platinum status for environmentally sustainable design, or that the design includes a photovoltaic system to get to net-zero-energy use on an annual basis. RELATED ARTICLES Green Building Appraisal and Financing IssuesGreen Home Appraisal WoesA Step Toward Fairer Green Home ValuationsWhen Green Poses an Appraisal ProblemGetting a Grip on Green-Home Appraisals and InsuranceQ&A: Bad Appraisal on a New Green HomeQ&A: Refinance and Appraisal of Net-Zero Home [Editor’s note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the 15th article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]I am seeing “red” on what’s supposed to be a “green” residential property appraisal.No, I’m not color blind, although my wife Lynn says I am “seriously color challenged” for my occasional fashion faux-pas. Perhaps so.I’m using figurative colors here, as in getting a property appraisal to recognize and realistically value the energy efficient and environmentally friendly (a.k.a. “green”) aspects of EdgewaterHaus. I’ve turned an irate “red” from an appraisal that ignored all of these features in our home design. “Soft” greenies and “hard” greeniesAnd what makes a property green? There are a handful of green building standards. Some (like Passivhaus) are based on building science principles, use an exacting energy model, and require a blower door performance test after the construction is completed to confirm that the building assembly attained the modeled performance standards. Other green standards feel more like a “greenwash.”More importantly, how do you value green on an appraisal?I distinguish between two shades of green. There’s the “soft” greenies – those people who will be drawn to buildings that use sustainable materials, use products with recycled content, and products that reduce or eliminate air emissions out of concerns over global climate change. You either believe in the importance of these things or not. Count me as one who does. I would be willing to pay more for a property with these attributes, but I also know that many would not be so inclined. (Hey, some people still don’t believe the Surgeon General’s warnings that smoking cigarettes causes cancer).Then there are what I call the “hard” greenies – those people who focus on energy-efficiency upgrades and can quantify in dollars the real life value from investing in a very tight building envelope. The hard greenies may embrace some or all of the soft greenies agenda, but it does not drive their singular focus on energy efficiency.For example, a soft greenie would object to using foam insulation formulated with ozone-depleting chemicals. The hard greenie may view the higher R-value in a one-time application a reasonable tradeoff. In the absence of MLS data, valuing the soft greenie home in real dollars remains subjective, whereas valuing the hard greenie home can be an objective and quantifiable analysis. This means that our annual energy cost for heating, cooling, lights, laundry and cooking will be zero! We have essentially prepaid the energy costs for much of the building’s entire usable life in the form of an upfront investment in a very tight building envelope. I am aware of only one other home in Maine that can boast this pedigree (the Belfast Passive House). Surely attaining net zero has real, measurable value in today’s real estate market!Not according to the appraisal we received. On what is the appraisal based?So here’s the challenge for appraising green properties: less overall residential sales data than previous years due to the economic downturn; a variety of recent green building standards, some more credible than others; few green homes that have been built; even fewer green buildings have been sold; no easy way to mine green attributes in the MLS comp sales data.So it impossible to appraise a green property? Absolutely not!Don’t despair. And don’t give in when an appraisal fails to recognize or value legitimate green property enhancements. In fact, I’m pleased to say that major building industry valuation sources have risen to the challenge and have developed credible tools to equitably evaluate green buildings. The challenge is not so much an absence of tools, but the need to educate appraisers and lenders on the use and value of these tools.I’ll explain what are these tools and how they should be used in my next blog. (After you’ve read Part 2, you’ll probably want to read Part 3 as well.) BLOGS BY ROGER NORMAND Kicking the Tires on a Passivhaus ProjectGoodbye Radiant FloorSelecting a General ContractorPlans and Pricing for Our House in MaineLooking Through Windows — Part 1Looking Through Windows — Part 2Looking Through Windows — Part 3Looking Through Windows — Part 4Looking Through Windows — Part 5Looking Through Windows — Part 6Looking Through Windows — Part 7Designing Superinsulated WallsCutting Down Trees and Milling LumberA Visit to the Local SawmillSeeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 2Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 3 Before lending money, a bank needs an appraisalI figure we are like the the 99% of the U.S. population who need a construction loan to finance building a new home. We looked at a variety of local and national banks and credit unions, here in southern Maine where we will build EdgewaterHaus, and back in our current home in northern Virginia. We found that “the big guys” like the Bank of America have abandoned construction loans in the wake of the mortgage market meltdown. We concluded that Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution, a small bank with six locations in the area, had the best rates and customer service. S&B savings has been in business since 1827, and their loan officer has been especially supportive of our very green home design.Along with the usual review of assets, liabilities, and credit scores, all financial institutions will insist on getting a real estate appraiser to look at the construction plans to evaluate the potential market value of the planned building and lot before committing to a loan. If we default on the loan, the lender wants to ensure that it can recover its investment by selling the property. Are there any “comparables” nearby?We discussed with the loan officer the challenge of equitably valuing green properties. The economic downturn of the last few years means that there has been far fewer property sales to establish comparable values across similar sized homes and neighborhoods. Nationally recognized green building standards have only emerged in the last five years, so there are few homes or commercial properties that have been built to these standards. Even fewer of these green buildings have been recently bought or sold.Property appraisals typically value properties based on comparative sales prices, cost of construction, or on income generation potential. We were told that most banks place greater weight on comparable sales, which relies of the appraiser using realtor’s multiple listing service (MLS) database to find the ”comps.”We knew that finding green property sales comps would be very hard. MLS does not now have any green data fields or green reporting standards, so how would an appraiser find a green building in MLS, if one existed, other than perhaps a green word search in the MILS property description? I have read that MLS is working to develop such fields, but they don’t exist today. The first article in this series was Kicking the Tires on a Passivhaus Project. Roger Normand’s construction blog is called EdgewaterHaus.last_img read more