Changes To Batesville Board of Works

first_imgThe City of Batesville recognizes Struewing for years of service. (Image:RCCF)Upon his request, Ham Struewing was not been reappointed to the Board of Works. The City of Batesville and the Board of the community.Batesville Mayor Rick Fledderman stated, “I am most appreciative of Ham’s commitment and dedication to the City of Batesville over the past 10 years. Ham is a valuable asset to our community and to this administration. He will continue to serve in other roles within the administration.”Fellow board member Gene Lambert said in an email, “[Struewing] worked extremely hard on the issues and created much success.” He added, “always a great representative and advocator for Batesville and I can’t thank you enough for your service, leadership, honesty and dedication.”With the departure of Struewing, Batesville resident Bill Flannery has been named to the board. He is a current member of the Batesville Economic Development Commission, Director of Ciera’s Club, and Director of the Batesville Area Historical Society and Former President of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce.Mayor Fledderman said, “With Bill’s appointment to the Board of Works, we have the same common sense and bi-partisan approach to issues and concerns facing the City as we did with Ham. We look forward to working with Bill in this new capacity.”last_img read more

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GAA NEWS: BUNCRANA CLUB NOTES

first_imgSenior Football: On Saturday evening in the Scarvey, Buncrana Senior Footballers earned a valuable 2 points with victory over Red Hugh’s of Killygordon. The first half proved to be closely contested, with neither side managing to find form. Early scores for Buncrana from Odhran Doherty were cancelled out by the accurate free-taking of Red Hugh’s. However, further scores from lively corner forward Ryan Curran and an excellent goal by young Buncrana midfielder Simon Cuffe gave Buncrana some breathing space going in at half-time. Red Hugh’s started brightly in the early stages of the second half, registering 2 unanswered points. However, the home side replied with scores from Adrian Doherty, Oisin Doherty, Ronan Doherty and Odhran Doherty. In the end Buncrana finished the game with a 6 point advantage and will be happy to have registered another 2 points in Division 3.In the Reserve match Buncrana trailed by 2 points at half time following an even first half. Buncrana completely dominated the game but wasteful finishing cost them the game. Best for the home team were Pauric McLaughlin, Caolan McCann and Gerard McLaughlin. H-T 0-5 to 1-4 F-T 0-8 to 1-6 Senior Ladies Football: The Buncrana Senior Ladies Team played their latest league match in very windy conditions on Sunday at Scarvey against Gweedore. Buncrana, playing against the wind in the first half, couldn’t make as much of an impact as they would have liked, but did hold the in form Gweedore team at bay for the first 20 minutes. Gweedore then, backed by a very strong wind, took the lead with a volley of points in succession, to go in with a good lead at half time. With the wind in the second half, Buncrana took control of the game from the throw-in and got the game back to level pegging. Mainly thanks to some great defending from Martina Mullan and Catherine McLaughlin, as well as some great forward passing from Doreen McGee and Michelle Browne, great attacking runs from Caroline Gallagher and Maria Browne, and great battling for possession from Lauren Hegarty. However, Gweedore added some fresh legs to their squad at this point and managed to score 2 goals, to Buncrana’s 1 point in the last 10 minutes. Gweedore won by 5 points, keeping them on top of Division 3 for the moment. With 3 games played and 3 more to go in the league, Buncrana are sitting in a good position in mid-table; considering it is the clubs first adventure into Senior Ladies Gaelic Football. The girls now have a friendly match against Convoy on Wednesday evening in Convoy (throw-in 7.30pm) and their next league match against Termon on Sunday in Scarvey (throw-in 12noon). Training continues on Wednesday evening from 7.15pm and Friday evening from 8.00pm.Minor Hurling: The Minor Hurlers completed the league schedule at home against a good MacCumhaills side, with the match ending in an entertaining draw. As in most of their games this year the Scarvey Boys took the field with no actual minors making themselves available for selection, and had to take the field with 14 players. To the young boys credit this has never held them back and to a man have been able to compete against all Donegal teams and qualify for the B league final against the Ballybofey outfit (date to be confirmed). Thursday’s match was a tight game from the throw in, Goalie Tom Clare was in great form and his many save and accurate swift puc outs being the launch pad for many Buncrana scores. The full back line was marshalled by Donal Óg and was well supported Conor Mc Glynn, the half back line was led by seasoned campaigners Daniel Wilson and Conor Grant, ably supported by Darren Roe who will have been pleased by his hours work. In midfield duo of Jamie McLaughlin and Stephen Nelson were impressive throughout. The half forward line of Jack O’Loughlin, Sam Roe and Michael Farrell carried the main attacking threat and all three can be happy with their effort. In the full forward Aedan Stokes and Paul Nelson battled hard from the start, bearing in mind both were carrying injuries into the match and kindly offered to play, Caoimhin MacLochlainn.will have also been pleased by his industrious hours work. The management of this team would like to thank this group of dedicated hurlers for their hard work throughout the year to date and well deserve their place in the B league final. No doubt it is this group who will form a base for the club to once again field at Senior level in the not to distant future, and hopefully be supported by some returning older players who have lost out over the last few years due to the club not having enough players at the adult age to field. This age groups championship will not take place until after the exams. Gaelic4Girls: Gaelic football for girls under 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18’s every Monday night from 7.00pm – 8.30pm in the Scarvey. As always everybody is welcome. Please remember to bring boots, your own water bottle and warm clothing.U6 FUNdamentals: FUNdamentals for boys and girls aged 5 & 6 years (or turning 5 during 2012) will continue on Fridays at Scoil Mhuire between 6.15pm and 7.00pm.U8 Football: U8 Football Training continues every Friday and will now take place at the Scarvey from 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Parents, if your child is interested in having fun whilst learning the basic skills of gaelic football please come down and try it out.U10 Football: Training continues every Friday at 7.00pm at the Scarvey and new players are always welcome.Boys U14 Hurling: Boys U14 Hurling training takes place at the Scarvey every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7.00pm. If you haven’t played before and are interested in playing Hurling please feel free to come along.Boys U14 Football: Training for the boys U14 team will take place on Monday evening at 5.00pm. Competitive games are due to begin in 6 weeks so all players are asked to attend. New and returnig players are always welcome.Boys U14 & U18 Hurling: Hurling training for boys aged 14 to 18 years takes place every Saturday at the Scarvey at 3.00pm-5.00pm. New players are always welcome.U8 and U10 Hurling: Hurling training for children under 8 and under 10 years takes place each Sunday at 11.00am. If your child would like to learn the basic skills of hurling in a safe and fun environment please come down and try it out, new players are always welcome. Lotto: The winning numbers in the €2,720 jackpot lotto draw, which took place on Tuesday 8th May in O’Flaherty’s Bar on the Main Street, are as follows: 6-10-12-19 . There was no jackpot winner this week, however there were five €20 prizes which went to the following lucky participants:John Doherty (Boss), 6 Tirmacool ParkDanny Henderson, c/o BingoJean O’Flaherty, c/o Bar Christine Porter, 10 Carraig FernConor Gill, BackhillCongratulations to our winners and thank you to all for your continued support, it is very much appreciated.GAA NEWS: BUNCRANA CLUB NOTES was last modified: May 13th, 2012 by StephenShare 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)Tags:buncrana gaa club noteslast_img read more

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Youth and finance are priorities at World Forestry Congress

first_img11 September 2015Involving the youth and how to generate climate financing for the future were just two of the topics that were discussed at the World Forestry Congress 2015, which was held in Durban this week.The congress, which began on 7 September, ends today with several plenary sessions in which delegates will debate the way forward. Discussions include “Forest and landscape restoration” and “Building momentum for community-based forestry, forest and farm organisations.”“Forestry and People: investing in Sustainable Future” is the theme of this, the 14th such gathering. It is hosted by South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The global forestry community is in Durban this week to review and analyse the key issues and to share ways of addressing them.Lack of fundingOn 10 September, Raymond Landveld of the standing committee on finance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change gave background and an update on his organisations. Landveld spoke in the “Climate Financing for the Future” session. Questions that were frequently asked, he said, were: “Where is the private sector in this conversation, and how do we get them part of this?”Despite the access to finance from the public and the private sectors, there was still a lack of funding.Landveld’s colleague, Stefan Agne, said that public finance played a big role in sustainable investment. “But, we will have to work on mobilising more finance. It should be sustainable and not drive deforestation.”The importance of youthMatt Frei, presenter of the youth event, said that young people’s engagement with and management in forestry and agricultural was vital. “Forests are a long- term enterprise. The youth are the custodians of what we plan and hope for the future.“Kids are the easiest to bring on board, their minds are pure, and their language is simplicity. Telling the story is vital for their survival,” he said.Congress secretary-general Trevor Abrahams said the question that should be asked was: “What role do we have for the youth?”Planning in terms of the forestry industry should be changing, and issues such as education and modern technology should be addressed.“Remember, the aim for the conference is integrating people’s needs to provide sustainable future.”Gerald Steindlegger, a youth mentor, said much could be learnt from young people. “They are united in their love for forests and are committed to driving change.”He was amazed that young people engaged in the congress before it had even started by submitting videos upfront. However, his message to them was that mere participation was nothing; “meaningful engagement is everything. We are here to share, to take responsibility, and to educate our needs.”Steindlegger said people should listen more to the youth and provide more platforms to engage with them in a meaningful way. “Please be committed to support their need in investment in education.”Youth at the eventSpeaking to the SABC on the sidelines of the congress, Ella Bella Constantinides, the founder of Generation Earth, said there were many “switched on” youth at the event. “They are concerned not only about the forests, but their environment.“About 20 years ago, South Africans were fighting for human rights and equality. Now we are fighting for our home. That’s what this generation is fighting for,” she said.She encouraged people to look at the world through green glasses. “If our hearts are green, so our minds will be, and that leads to our actions. People should think of actions that answer the questions like ‘how can I respect the environment?’”Listen to Ella Bella C on why everyone should be an activist for the environment:last_img read more

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Choosing the Cheapest Path to Net Zero

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Start with this documentDana Dorsett suggests that Steve start by reviewing the recommendations in a Building America report authored by John Straube in 2010 and updated the following year. (For more information on this report, see R-Value Advice from Building Science Corporation.) Because the report is a few years old, Dorsett points out, the efficiencies of photovoltaic systems and heat pumps have changed somewhat, meaning that Steve can probably hit net-zero performance with the recommendations for Climate Zone 4 rather than Climate Zone 5 where Steve is actually going to build. What about the windows?Triple-pane windows can be a lot more expensive than double-pane windows. Are they worth it?Relying on the “Pretty Good House” threads he’s read, Andrew C believes that triple-pane windows would be “overkill” for most houses.“Get good double-pane windows, and used fixed versus operable where you can,” he says. “Spend more time and attention to your air-sealing details to get more bang for your buck.”Nate G agrees with Dorsett’s initial suggestion: double-pane U-0.25 windows will indeed be the sweet spot. “Just fine and not too expensive,” he says.Jon R put it this way: “I’d say that not having triple-pane windows is a matter of turning up the heat on the coldest days and does not require tolerating lower comfort. This one can be treated as a solely economic issue (cost of window upgrade vs. cost of increased energy use).”But to Stephen Sheehy, there’s more to it: the comfort factor. “Windows with a better U rating will not just save energy,” he says. “There is a definite comfort factor for anyone sitting near a window on a cold day. The warmer the interior glass layer, the more comfortable. Whether better windows are worth the extra money is of course pretty subjective.” The real cost of solarAlthough Anon3 writes that the cost of a PV module is already below $1 per installed watt (actually more like 60 cents a watt), others point to the difference between the cost of a PV module and the cost of an installed PV system.“You appear to be confusing the retail price of the panels with the installed price of the complete system,” Nate G says, adding that a website Anon3 has referenced sells a complete 20 kW system for $31,000, not the $20,000 that Anon3 referred to. “And regardless,” he adds, “retail or wholesale prices (panels or full system) are completely irrelevant to this discussion unless [Steve] is planning to install the PV array himself.”What if Steve installed the solar system himself to save money?“Tread very carefully here,” Dorsett says. “There are a lot of regulatory hoops to jump through, and they vary by local codes, and by the local utility. An experienced local installer will have already starred in that movie, and is more likely to get the immediate approval from the local regulatory and utility officials. Even if you do it perfectly (and assuming it’s even legal for DIY grid-attached solar without the necessary licenses and credentials), you will receive more scrutiny than the contractor, and are likely to be waiting in longer queues to be allowed to hook up.”Further, solar contractors can get better quality materials than someone building a single system. “It’s doable,” he says, “but study hard and think about it before diving in.” R-Value Advice from Building Science CorporationAre HRVs Cost-Effective?Exhaust-Only Ventilation Systems and RadonDrainwater Heat Recovery Can Lower Your HERS ScoreThe Pretty Good HouseRevisiting Net Zero EnergyZero-Energy Construction is ‘Set to Explode’HRV or ERV? Is “standard construction plus solar” an option?A reader with the screen name “Anon3” suggests that if Steve’s goal is the cheapest route to net-zero energy, the answer is probably “standard construction + solar panels.”“The trades (even illegals) just cannot compete with the efficiency of automated Chinese solar factories,” Anon3 says.But “What’s ‘standard’?,” asks Andy Chappell-Dick.“Anon3, you may not be aware what ‘standard construction’ is in Ohio,” he writes. “Our dated state building code is not enforced in many places, and contractors haven’t adopted any energy improvements on their own. It would take a lot of solar panels to zero out a build like that. [Steve], find a contractor soon that understands what you want and is willing to work with you toward your goals. Many of these early design decisions will have a major impact on final cost (and the number of solar panels you’ll need.)”Anon3 replies that if Steve could save $20,000 by using standard construction techniques, he could use that money for a 20-kilowatt PV system. “That’s a lot of electricity,” he says.“Where in Ohio can you get solar PV installed for a buck a watt?” asks Nate G.“But PV [is] not a buck a watt (yet), and won’t be any time soon,” Dorsett adds. “The national average cost of small roofop PV in the U.S. is about $3/watt [according to the Open PV Project run by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory]. In Australia it’s closer to $2/watt. If you can wait another 15-20 years it may hit $1/watt, though.”center_img Writing from northeast Ohio, a reader with the screen name “User-6877304” — let’s call him Steve — is seeking comments on his plans to build an affordable net-zero energy home. The house, to be built on a 30-foot by 50-foot slab-on-grade foundation, seems to have many characteristics of a “Pretty Good House” — that is, it’s well insulated and ventilated but not attempting to hit the Passive House metric.Steve plans to install R-10 rigid insulation beneath the slab. The house will have double-stud walls insulated with cellulose to R-40 and a raised-heel truss roof insulated to R-60.“A simple gable metal roof,” he writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor. “Solar panels. Basic interior finishes: nothing custom.”His questions boil down to a consideration of specific features: the best heating and cooling option, windows, drain-water heat recovery, and whether a heat-recovery or energy-recovery ventilator is a good investment.That’s today’s Q&A Spotlight. But, he adds, it’s important to remember the effect of thermal bridging.“Note, those are ‘whole-assembly R-values,’ not center-of-cavity R-values, factoring in all the thermal bridging,” Dorsett say. “An R-25 wall could be a 2×6 / R-20 wall with 2 inches of exterior polyiso foam. An R-30 wall would take 3 inches of exterior foam. A double-stud wall with a foot of cellulose also comes in the mid 30s, despite a center-cavity R-40+.”As to the specifics, Dorsett makes these recommendations:(1) Heating with minisplit heat pumps will be “far cheaper” than beefing up the size of the PV system enough to handle the load of electric baseboard heat, and the same system will be able to provide high-efficiency cooling as well.(2) Triple-pane windows would make the house more comfortable than double-pane windows, but in Steve’s climate a double-pane window with a U-factor of 0.25 is “probably going to be the sweet spot for net zero.”(3) Drain-water heat recovery requires at least 4 feet of vertical drain below the shower in order to work, making it an option for a two-story house built on a slab but not a one-floor design.(4) An ordinary tank-style electric water heater is probably the best bet. On-demand electric water heaters draw a lot of current, potentially costing “tens of dollars” for a 15-minute shower. A heat-pump water heater would potentially work, providing Steve had a place to put it. Investing in heat-recovery ventilationA key question for Steve’s house, as it would be for any tightly built home, is what type of ventilation system should be installed. Heat-recovery and energy-recovery ventilators are a common choice because they salvage some of the heating or cooling energy even as they introduce fresh air into the house.Steve wonders whether he could skip the extra expense of buying an HRV or ERV and compensating for the loss of energy by buying more PV capacity. Maybe, he says, he could get by with one or two Panasonic WhisperComfort fans, which are advertised as “spot energy recovery” units.“ERV cores are prone to freeze damage in your climate,” says Dorsett. “For a 1500 [square foot] house with a relatively open floor plan you can probably get by with a single pair of ductless Lunos HRV and a Panasonic WhisperGreen bath fan with the optional humidity/condensation sensor for ventilation.”No, replies GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, an ERV should not be a problem. “Dana Dorsett is rarely wrong, but on this point, he is wrong,” Holladay says. A few inexpensive ERVs (including the Panasonic FV-04 mini-ERV) are inappropriate for cold climates, but most ERVs are designed with controls to address frost build-up. Holladay says that when “installed and operated according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions,” an ERV will not be damaged by frost.Holladay thinks that in Steve’s climate zone, a larger PV system plus a simple ventilation system is a better investment than an HRV or ERV, although Steve may have reasons other than cost to prefer an HRV or ERV.Holladay refers Steve to a GBA article called “Are HRVs Cost-Effective?” “Note that since John Semmelhack performed the calculations discussed in that article, the cost of PV has dropped, making it harder to justify an HRV or ERV on cost savings alone.”And while Dorsett raises concerns that an exhaust-only ventilation system could increase radon levels in some areas, Holladay says that is not necessarily the case. (For more information on this issue, see “Exhaust-Only Ventilation Systems and Radon.”) Our expert’s opinionGBA technical director Peter Yost added these comments:Steve has gotten great advice on a number of fronts for his high-performance home. I have a few additional thoughts:(1) Double-stud walls in Climate Zone 5: Dana Dorsett references a great Building America resource, but let’s remember some key hygrothermal issues for double-stud wall assemblies. Given how cold the sheathing can get in the winter, airtightness is much more important for a double-stud wall than for a conventional wall. Many builders using the double-stud wall system select the most moisture-tolerant sheathing they can afford — in my neck of the woods, southern Vermont, some builders use board sheathing. Also, maintaining reasonable interior wintertime relative humidity (around 35% or less) is important. Finally, use a smart vapor retarder on the interior to control winter interstitial moisture content and maintain good drying capacity to the interior.(2) Exhaust-only ventilation: Joe Lstiburek very reluctantly changes his building science assessments — not necessarily a criticism — but he has unequivocally eliminated exhaust-only systems for whole-house ventilation for “tight” new homes. In his assessment, he considers how this ventilation approach can aggravate radon. In my own home, adding exhaust ventilation to the basement moved radon levels from 6 picocuries per liter (pCl) to 13.The next most affordable approach is a central-fan-integrated supply system. This of course would require Steve to have a central forced-air HVAC system, which is not an option he is currently considering. In terms of “affordable” balanced mechanical whole-house ventilation systems, you’ll find a good discussion here.(3) Minisplit vs. electric-resistance heat: If you get the loads low enough in this home, electric resistance heating is a real option. This comparison needs to include layout and the configuration/use of spaces, because minisplits are better-suited to open layouts and fewer or single-zone configuration, while electric-resistance heat is well-suited to individual room control. And this comparison must consider what type of whole-house ventilation will be included. And, oh yeah, this decision also depends on how you will be making domestic hot water.(4) Windows: I know there is no way to “cost-effectively” rationalize Passive House tilt-and-turn triple-paned windows. But their engineering — beefier frames, more and better gaskets, sturdier hardware — makes them so much more durable and easier to operate that their total benefit makes them worth considering. It could be that if or when you go to sell this house with these superior windows, you can find the buyer who is willing to pay a premium for the house because of them. Then you don’t have to completely burden the window selection with just a payback analysis; you get your return based on the extra value conveyed from you to the next owner.For more information, check this article at BuildingGreen.last_img read more

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The Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games

first_imgREAD: Athletes hurt most by SEA Games debacleBut the Philippines hasn’t always been in the bottom half of the 11-nation competition, where medals for at least 30 different team and individual sports are being disputed.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWhen the country started sending athletes to the SEA Games in 1977, when this multi-sport event had just changed its name from Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, it immediately finished third in the medal race in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia behind Indonesia and Thailand.It was a golden age for sports for the Filipinos. From that year until 2003, the Philippines only failed to crack the top three in the medal race five out of the next 13 editions of the biggest sporting event in the region. Firework explose over the Quirino Grand Stand during the closing ceremony of the 23rd South East Asian Games in Manila, 05 December 2005. The Philippines won the overall title of the 23rd South East Asian Games with 113 gold medals. AFP PHOTO/PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKULWhen Manila hosted the SEA Games in 2005—a first since 1991—the Philippines got the chance to field in the biggest delegation yet with over 700 athletes and that yielded the country’s best finish ever at no. 1 with a 113-84-94 gold-silver-bronze medal haul.That, though, turned out to be the last the sport-loving Filipinos would taste the podium in the medal standings.READ: No stopping PH sports’ decline in SEA GamesWhat followed was a disheartening stretch in the history of Philippine Sports.Despite sending 620 athletes to Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand in the 2007 edition of the regional games, the Philippines shockingly dropped from first to sixth in a dismal showing with a 41-91-96 medal tally.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next LIST: Philippine delegation in 2017 Southeast Asian Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Flag bearers from the 11 ASEAN countries march during the opening ceremony of the biennial Southeast Asian Games in Singapore’s National Stadium on June 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMANFor the last decade, the Philippines has been on a steady decline in the Southeast Asian Games.Once a frontrunner in the region’s biennial sporting meet, the Philippines has never finished higher than fifth place since topping the SEA Games in 2001 in Manila.ADVERTISEMENT This year’s Philippine team to Malaysia is hoping to finally change that.There will be 493 Filipino athletes who will be giving it all in the hopes of giving the country an improved standing in Kuala Lumpur, which is hosting the event for the sixth time.A representative for each sport for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur. Photo by Marc Reyes/INQUIRERThe Philippines has committed athletes to 37 sports with a target of at least 50 gold medals—which hasn’t been done since 2005. The country’s best medal haul in the last 10 years is at 41 in 2007.READ: PH ‘tired of being at the bottom’ in SEA GamesIt may remain a tall order to find a place at the top, but the Filipinos are fed up of being on the outside looking in in the competition they once dominated and that may be enough motivation to finally end the slump in the SEA Games. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimescenter_img UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd MOST READ LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Since then, the size of the Philippine delegation has fluctuated from as low as 148 to as big as 512 athletes but the results remained disappointing.Athletes from the Philippines parade waving their national flag during the opening ceremony of the 25th Southeast Asian Games at the national stadium in Vientiane on December 9, 2009.  AFP PHOTO/Bay ISMOYOIt didn’t get any better for the country in 2009 in Vientiane, Laos. With just 153 Filipino athletes competing in 25 sports, they only garnered 38 gold, 35 silver and 51 bronze medals to wind up fifth overall.READ: Filipinos bungle SEA Games missionIn contrast, the Filipino delegation ballooned to 512 two years after in Jakarta, Indonesia but botched the goal to fare better and instead settled for sixth place with only 36 golds, 56 silvers and 77 bronzes.Philippines athletes parade during the opening ceremony of the 26th Southeast Asian Games in Palembang, Sumatra province on November 11, 2011. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMANAnother lean PH delegation was sent to Naypyitaw, Myanmar in 2013 after Philippine sports officials  were irked by the host country’s cherry-picking of sports to be played–dropping main stream events and including obscure sports.READ: Philippines competes in Myanmar games despite rowUnsurprisingly, the Philippines wound up sixth among 11 nations with 29 gold, 36 silver and 66 bronze medals.The country’s place in the medal standings remained unchanged in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games despite packing a relatively-large group composed of 472 Filipino athletes.The Philippine delegation led by flag bearer Alyssa Valdez parade during the Opening Ceremony of the 28th SEA Games held at the Singapore National Stadium. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMAIt was a frustrating showing for the Filipinos, who only managed 29 gold, 36 silver, 66 bronze medals to fall far behind fifth placer Indonesia (47-61-74 G-S-B) in the medal count.READ: 28th SEA Games Singapore 2015 final Medal Tallylast_img read more

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London Olympics: Surprises aplenty but prices a big pain

first_imgS. KannanHaving heard horror stories about the preparedness of the Heathrow Airport to handle huge passenger traffic, it was with trepidation I moved towards the immigration officer.No doubt, the lady behind the counter was curt and wanted to clear me quickly, but she had to fully satisfy herself about my bona fides, and the fingerprint matching was done properly. These days, nothing can be left to chance if you are entering London, with the clock ticking down to the opening ceremony on Friday.Past immigration, getting the media accreditation card was also not a problem at all. It really came as a surprise how all this was happening so smoothly, since athletes had complained they had to face long waits.But the bigger surprise was how the transportation by tube or the Heathrow Express into Paddington in central London was even more efficient. There was no fear of getting lost in official cabs and, in less than half an hour, five Indian mediapersons were in central London.The surprise did not end there as shared cabs were available for onward travel from central London to Stratford, where the Olympic Park is situated.Cabbies the world over like to chat. Sixty-five-year-old Mike was no different. Once he got talking, it was hard to stop him. He spoke of everything from recession to the high prices of tickets for the Olympics and how Stratford was a dirty area and had now been transformed.But his anger was aimed towards the London organisers (LOCOG) as he felt the tickets were overpriced. “It’s just too much, paying 150 per ticket for athletics, and I have been told I will be allowed inside the arena just for three hours. Imagine, I spend 1,000 for the family and it seems like a waste,” he thundered.advertisementDespite the pound being a strong currency, the mood all over London is similar, as people feel tickets have been overpriced. Plus, many of the million tickets up for sale have disappeared!That’s a story very similar to our own Commonwealth Games, where the organising committee printed a lower number of tickets, resulting in empty stands.Mike then went on to thank us for bringing sunny weather to London. After heavy showers for weeks, bright sunshine saw Londoners take off their woolens and dress lightly. But he warned us to be cautious when he said: “Don’t be fooled, one can never say when it will again start raining.”Finally, when I reached Stratford, the Olympic hub in east London, I got a glimpse of the Olympic Stadium. Security was tight and like the Delhi cops, they were shooing us away from vantage points, minus the abuses!To be sure, Stratford in itself is a sleepy suburb. Plenty of malls and so on have come up in a big way, but the crowds aren’t really huge.Locals who live closer to the Olympic venues aren’t the ones who will be filling in the arenas as tickets are priced high and had to be booked in advance.Inside the high-security Olympic Stadium complex, which also houses the International Broadcast Centre and the Main Press Centre, the final coat of paint is being applied. There is a busy look and security is very tight. From wallets to cell phones and cameras and even wrist watches, everything is put through the scanner.Yes, the security personnel are courteous, but they do look worried as the crowds have started trooping in. Food outlets are getting ready and junk food stalls are bound to do good business.One does have to pay a steep price for communication too. Unlike the New Delhi CWG, where the data cards were free, here it costs almost 180. And that comes to almost Rs 16,000 for the fortnight.If you want to extend your stay for the Paralympics, it costs a bigger bomb. Welcome to London!last_img read more

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10 months agoFiorentina midfielder Jordan Veretout interesting Napoli

first_imgFiorentina midfielder Jordan Veretout interesting Napoliby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFiorentina midfielder Jordan Veretout is interesting Napoli.The former Aston Villa ace has been outstanding for the Viola this season.“I won’t even talk about the transfer market when it comes to him,” Mario Giuffredi said on Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.“He’ll stay at Fiorentina, then in the summer we’ll see. I think he’s destined for a career at the highest level, but January isn’t the right time for him to move.“He wants to finish the season in Florence, as does [Cristiano] Biraghi. Veretout is liked by Napoli and many other teams, but it’s pointless talking about the transfer market for these lads.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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a month agoSheffield Utd owner Prince Abdullah says Wilder has his full support

first_imgSheffield Utd owner Prince Abdullah says Wilder has his full supportby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSheffield United owner Prince Abdullah says manager Chris Wilder has his full support.The Saudi prince, who won an 18-month-long legal battle with fellow co-owner Kevin McCabe over the club’s ownership on Monday, says Sheffield United are “blessed” to have the Englishman in charge at Bramall Lane.”I have a very good relationship with Chris,” Prince Abdullah told Sky Sports News. “I know a good coach when I see one. Chris is a great coach. He is going to get better and he is getting better.”For us I feel it is lucky that we found a coach like Chris. But in my philosophy and when you analyse why clubs are successful… big clubs are the clubs that have no personality above the club.”There is no owner, coach or player above the club. We all work for the club.”We are blessed to have Chris. We are going to support him and hopefully he can lead us to better and bigger things.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Was Lionel Messi Tired

In Argentina’s final match of the World Cup, Lionel Messi — on whom Argentine hopes have rested for over a decade — only touched the ball at a rate of once every two minutes. One of those touches was a great opportunity to win the game near the end of regulation, which he failed to even put on goal. Despite this, and despite a decrease in goals and assists as the tournament progressed (four goals in his first three games, an assist in his fourth, and nary a goal or assist since), he won the World Cup’s Golden Ball award (essentially the tournament MVP). That prompted Diego Maradona, Messi’s Argentine forefather and foil, to say, “It’s not right when someone wins something that he shouldn’t have won just because of some marketing plan.” The sharply worded op-eds, so plentiful on Sunday and Monday, are dying down — for now — but even Messi’s fans may start to wonder what was going on, and whether Messi was playing like his usual self.Before Sunday’s World Cup Final, Messi’s father, Jorge, told the media that his son was struggling with exhaustion.1Note that Messi vomited during the final, but apparently this is a normal thing for him. This dovetails nicely with another story I’d been reading about for weeks, about how Messi’s “work rate,” or the amount he has been running on the pitch per minute, has been abnormally low during this World Cup. Here’s a quote from an ESPN article that touches on both subjects:The pressure of being captain and carrying the hopes of his country appears to have taken its toll on him as he found it difficult to make an impact. “He is exhausted,” Messi’s father Jorge said, according to the Daily Telegraph. “He feels as if his legs weigh 100 kilos each.”According to FIFA statistics, however, Messi is only ranked the 30th most hard-working player at the World Cup on the basis of distance covered. He has run a total of 32 miles in the six games he has featured in, having played for 573 minutes. By contrast, the Netherlands’ Wesley Sneijder has covered 43 miles in 585 minutes and tops the list. Messi is also second-from-bottom on the list of players who have played in all six games of the tournament so far.These mileage stats are common these days (and seemingly flash every time someone is subbed in/out of a game), though they’re not always easy to find or interpret. Fortunately, for the World Cup, FIFA has a page devoted to players’ “distance covered” stats. I’ve compiled those stats, broken down by offense and defense, and sorted by position, like so:Indeed, over the course of the World Cup, Messi had the lowest work rate among non-goalkeepers when his team is on defense and the second-lowest among forwards when his team is on offense (among players with 150 minutes on offense/defense combined).2There’s also a surprising amount of neutral time in soccer (up to a third of all match time is neither “in possession” nor “not in possession”). I haven’t included that in this chart.After an article by Ken Early in Slate first turned me on to Messi’s stillness, I couldn’t stop noticing it. When Messi’s not “on the ball,” he’ll often appear to be leisurely strolling through the area he’s in, particularly when the other team is on offense and he has little to do except sit back and wait to see if the ball comes his way. It can seem downright bizarre and contrary to everything a soccer coach teaches about “hustling.”Could it be that Messi’s inaction had something to do with his “100 kilo” legs? If so, it’d imply that Messi was so tired he was unable to “hustle” as much as normal, taking short breaks on the field when he got the chance to recuperate. This might also help explain his performance “decline” through the tournament.But I don’t think it’s as simple as that. On the FIFA site, individual game summaries have “tracking” stats as well. Here are Messi’s, broken down by offense and defense:For nearly every game, when Messi runs more on offense, he runs more on defense, and the same is true for when he runs less. To me, that suggests that the variation is probably more systematic and dependent on the matchups Argentina faced. But that large gap in the final game offers an interesting wrinkle. That’s when the difference between offensive work rate and defensive work rate was largest. This is at least consistent with a theory that he was tired for the last game (I assume that would be more likely to be reflected during his defense). But with the defensive work rate as a baseline, it could also indicate that he was running around extra hard on offense trying to make something happen (which he had failed to do for the last couple of games). Or it could just be random variance.Overall, though, the data doesn’t suggest that Messi wore down as the tournament progressed. If this work-rate phenomenon were a result of his being tired, we might expect to see the highest work rates in games following the longest layoffs, and/or for his work rate to decline as the grueling tournament wears on. But that’s not what the data shows.3I did find it interesting that all of his peak work rates came in games with the longest scheduled rest following them (first and third games of group stage, and last game of the tournament). That would be consistent with a premeditated strategy to conserve energy for later games, though it’s too tenuous to draw conclusions.So aside from a blip in the last game, there’s not much evidence that Messi had a general exhaustion problem, but there is evidence that he had a much lower work rate than other players. What to make of that? There are some negative interpretations possible: Messi might not have been fit enough to endure a whole tournament, or he might not have been trying hard enough. But these would only makes sense if low work rates typically indicated a lack of fitness or effort.And that we can test for.I don’t have the data necessary to do a complete study of work rates and how they may or may not predict and/or impact quality of play. But for a rough outline, we can at least take a look at FIFA’s data for this World Cup to see whether working harder tends to correspond with playing better. Is there any relationship between a player’s work rate and their offensive production?The following chart compares a players work rate with their offensive production per minute (using goals plus .1*chances created, a lower variance alternative to goals plus assists):4Includes all the distance a player covered during all the minutes he played (whether on offense, defense or neutral).This chart may support the argument that Messi didn’t deserve his Golden Ball, but I’ll stay out of that debate. He certainly didn’t play poorly, as he had the fifth-best per-minute production, despite having the lowest work rate (and it’s not limited to offense, as I’ve noted elsewhere; most aspects of his game were as good or better than normal through most of the tournament).Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, Mario Goetze had a great tournament (obviously) and the highest work rate. In the middle, we have James Rodriguez, who managed an insane amount of success to go with his moderate effort.The important thing is that there’s not really any relationship between a player’s work rate and their production, either for forwards or for midfielders. In fact, the trend lines for both groups (covering 119 qualifying players in this tournament) are slightly declining — though not enough to read anything into it.5Moreover, if there’s an obvious source of team-quality bias, we might expect it to go in the other direction. We would expect players for better teams to have more production (more opportunities to dish, and more chances for teammates to dish to you, etc.), and because better teams tend to hold on to the ball more often and for longer periods, and forwards and midfielders are typically more active on offense, we would also expect those players to have a slightly higher meters run per minute.So has Messi been as good as he has despite being “lazy,” or perhaps because of it? When Messi was taking the tournament by storm, at least Ken Early was willing to give Messi the benefit of the doubt:Surely it must mean something that the best player in the fastest-ever era of football hardly ever runs at all.I don’t have distance-run data for Messi outside of the World Cup, but a little Googling reveals that Messi’s on-field leisure has come up before.June 2010: A New York Times article praising Michael Bradley cited the amount of ground he covered relative to Messi.May 2011: A Bleacher Report article cited Messi’s distance covered stats at UEFA6I’ve seen a lot of reference to these stats, but all the links are broken and I’ve been unable to find them on the UEFA site. as proof that he “doesn’t play hard every minute.”August 2012: A comparison between Messi and teammate Dani Alves showed how Messi spends roughly twice as much time in an “inactive” state.February 2013: An analysis of Messi’s (lack of) running from a Barca perspective tries to make sense of the phenomenon.April 2014: An article on ESPN FC criticized Messi’s Champions League play, based largely on the distance he ran.People have cited and/or complained about the amount Messi runs since at least 2010, and it has come up every year since. Note that Messi has been pretty good in that period.When you see a bunch of super-unusual things about one player, rather than trying to explain them all separately, it’s a good idea to try figure out how they might be related. If Messi’s low work rate was a “feature” rather than a “bug,” it could help him be the dominant player that he is. Here’s a very speculative version of what that argument would look like:A lot of soccer players run around a lot when there’s not much they can do to improve their situation. They may even continue running after they’re in the ideal location. Or even if they’re making slight improvements, they may be burning energy that would have more value being spent on runs that are higher leverage. Further, not moving unnecessarily may make it easier to keep track of what’s going on in the play, which may help the player anticipate what’s coming next.OK, that may sound fanciful, but it’s the sort of crazy idea that Messi should make us consider (feel free to propose alternatives!). And it wouldn’t be the only unconventional thing about Messi’s play that probably contributes to his advantage (e.g. his aversion to crossing passes, which until recently were considered an important part of offensive soccer strategy).This may be key to what makes him as good as he is, or it might not. The bizarre spectacle of Lionel Messi strolling along lazily shouldn’t be used either to hang him or to excuse him. Let’s not let a negative outcome against an all-time-great opponent cloud the mystery.CORRECTION (July 16, 10:16 a.m.): An earlier version of this article mischaracterized James Rodriguez’s success in the tournament as moderate. That is incorrect. It was insane. read more

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LeBrons Greatest Challenge The NBA Finals Arent Kind To Underdogs

Let’s play FiveThirtyEight Family Feud. Twenty seconds on the clock.Name an animal that begins with the letter ‘F’.Fox!Name a famous Super Bowl upset.J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets.Name a famous NBA Finals upset.I mean… umm, uh.Uhhhhhhrrrrrrrmm.That isn’t an easy question. Didn’t Bill Russell’s Celtics once lose in the finals? (They did, exactly once, in 1958 to the St. Louis Hawks.) Wasn’t it kind of an upset when Dwyane Wade and Shaq led the 52-30 Miami Heat to a title in 2006? (It was, though not by much.) The NBA doesn’t lend itself to upsets. When each team has around 100 possessions per game, small differences tend to add up. And the differences really compound over a seven-game series. This has been particularly true in the NBA Finals. Whether by chance or because of the conditions under which finals games are played, underdogs have had an especially low success rate.The 2015 NBA Finals, which begin Thursday night in Oakland, look like a compelling matchup. Our Elo ratings provisionally rate the Golden State Warriors as the third-best NBA team of all time based on their performance to date. (There’s no big secret here. A 79-18 record — that counts the playoffs — is pretty amazing against this season’s Western Conference competition.) But the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Elo rating has been rising and is at its high point for the season, 1712. Only three finals matchups started with a higher combined Elo rating, and all three involved Michael Jordan’s Bulls.Maybe LeBron James really is good enough to overcome a middling supporting cast. But his odds aren’t great. The Cavaliers would be only about a 3-point underdog on a neutral court, according to Elo. Over a seven-game series, however — and with the Warriors having home-court advantage in a potential Game 7 — that adds up to just a 25 percent chance of the Cavs winning the series.1I get to that 25 percent figure — meaning the Warriors have a 75 percent chance of becoming NBA champs — by solving for all possible permutations in the seven-game series. Based on Elo ratings, the Warriors have about a 3-in-4 chance of winning each game played at home in Oakland, while the teams are about even-money in games played in Cleveland. I also account for the fact that the teams’ Elo ratings will change over the course of the series, which improves the underdog’s (Cleveland’s) chances slightly. Without recalculating Elo ratings at the end of each game, Golden State’s chances would be 79 percent instead of 75 percent. (That matches the odds according to another statistical system we’ve been using to handicap the NBA.) And that may be optimistic if history is any guide.Elo’s a really simple formula, so there’s a lot it doesn’t account for. You can make a case — we could argue about this for a long time — that past NBA Finals experience matters and could help James. Any lingering effects from the injuries sustained by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson could matter a great deal to the Warriors, of course. Then again, Cleveland’s also pretty beat up,2Is Kevin Love’s injury the ultimate case of the Ewing Theory? and James’s superpowers were nowhere near enough against the San Antonio Spurs last year.The other thing is that underdogs have historically been bad bets in the NBA Finals. Here’s every NBA Finals matchup in history, with each team’s Elo rating going into the series and the probability Elo would have assigned to each team winning the series beforehand.It’s not just your lack of imagination: It really is hard to find monumental upsets in the NBA Finals. By Elo’s reckoning, the biggest one came in 1974, when the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games. That’s mostly because the Celtics looked worn down during the stretch run, finishing the regular season 27-20 in their final 47 games and deflating their Elo rating. (Plus, the Bucks were no fluke, with both Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson on the roster.)Overall, however, of the 39 series in which Elo would have given one team at least a 2-in-3 chance of winning, the favorite in fact won 35 times, or almost 90 percent of the time.Why such a high success rate? It could be a statistical fluke; we aren’t looking at all that large a sample. But this phenomenon isn’t unique to the NBA: It also holds for the NFL playoffs, we’ve found. Elo ratings treat regular-season games and playoff games the same. But in both the NBA and NFL, favorites tend to be more dominant in the playoffs, especially late in the playoffs, than they are in the regular season.The reason may be that some of the “noise” that affects teams in the regular season is absent in the playoffs. No team is coming off a back-to-back, for instance. Teams are going all-out to win, instead of potentially testing out new strategies or resting starters. And at least in theory — although there a lot of NBA fans who would dispute this when refs like Joey Crawford are often involved — the games are adjudicated by the best officials. When you remove some of the quirky circumstances that can cost teams games — bad refs, funky schedules — the best teams tend to prevail more often.That’s bad news for James, but it will add all the more to his legacy if the Cavs pull the upset off. read more

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