Getting Greener: Retrofitting an Old Building to Reduce Energy Use

first_imgBy Ken AdneyThere’s a truism in business – what you don’t spend, you don’t have to earn.  Of course, there’s another contrary truism, you have to spend money to make money.  I hate that.  Fortunately, when it comes to making energy improvements, both turn out to be true.First, some background.  My business, Furniture Works, is housed in a 6,000 square foot concrete vault built in 1936.  The lighting was old metal halides and T12 florescents, hung willy-nilly from a 20 foot ceiling. The heat (there was no cooling) was supplied by two massive gas blowers.  Here’s a given- it was expensive to heat in the winter and impossible to cool in the summer.The other coincidence is that Puget Sound Energy incentivizes energy saving.So I was delighted when I met Josh Cummings from Thurston Energy who told me that PSE would rebate 60% of the replacement of the lights (both labor and materials) with T8 fluorescents.  The rebates come directly from PSE.  Thurston Energy handled the bidding process for the job and US Electric came in with the lowest price and, lo and behold, it was a return on investment in just 1.4 years.  Yep, I could get behind that.Next, we started looking at the rest of the building with Scott Bergford of the Northwest Energy Team.  The roof leaked, so we knew that had to be done.  By putting in new, more reflective torch-down, we could also reduce heat gain in the summer.  It is boring to say, but we also reframed the windows and patched the air leaks in the building.  Heating the building during the winter months no longer leaks outside.Then the gas blowers had to go (well, at least get turned off) so we installed a ductless pump.  This is a rooftop compressor (in your home, it would go alongside the house) and 4 units inside: 2 floor mounted (Samsung) and 2 wall mounted (Fujitsu).  A typical home would need just one or 2 wall mounted units.  They’re electric (alas, no PSE rebate on these) but they’re cheaper to run and will provide cooling in the summer.  Ductless is a bit of a misnomer because the inside units do need piping to run the coolant to them (from the compressor), but they don’t require the standard ductwork of a furnace.  They also have built-in air filters, so the quality of air is continually improving and they are blissfully quiet and the quality of the heat is impressive.Then we repainted, inside and out, with a moisture proof paint that helps provide a better seal against air and water leaks. And we’re adding some awnings to keep the summer sun out.  The building has single pane windows, far too expensive to replace with double panes, but there’s a new window film coming out that’s clear (so it won’t obstruct looking in or out of the windows) and it bounces the sunlight back out and the inside heat back in.So, where I am heading with all this?  First, although it far easier to build green from the ground up, and there are marvelous technologies available now.  It is nice to know that there are energy efficiencies that we can add to our homes or buildings, no matter how old or of what construction was originally used. Second, all it takes is some imagination (and a few bucks) to save money, get more comfortable, and reduce the size of footprint we make.Ken Adney of Furniture WorksKen Adney owns Furniture Works in downtown Olympia, selling an eclectic mix of gently used and new home furnishings. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Haberdasher Hangs His Hat Again in Sea Bright

first_imgBy Michele J. KuhnSEA BRIGHT – In a sense, Brian George is back home.After three months in temporary quarters in Rumson, the longtime area haberdasher has moved his Northshore Menswear shop back to the borough in a new location at 1127 Ocean Ave.After refurbishing the space, George is now ensconced in a building he has nicknamed “big yellow.Brian George, owner of Northshore, stands in his new store at 1127 Ocean Ave. days before moving back to Sea Bright.“If you’re looking for us, just look for the ‘big yellow’ building,” he said recently with a smile as he was preparing to move back to Sea Bright.The store will continue to sell men’s “traditional clothing with a twist,” but is now reintroducing fashion for females. George previously sold women’s clothes but jettisoned that part of the business about eight years ago.When the official grand opening of Northshore is held on Saturday, April 6, George hopes to have space for four lines of women’s apparel – Vineyard Vines, Tori Richards, Island Company and Castaway. “My daughter, Mary, helped me put these lines together,” he said.Meanwhile, Northshore customers have been buying menswear in a makeshift store at 45 River Road in Rumson, in space meant for offices and using the men’s room to try on clothes.The space and his loyal customers have been good to George. The building is the same one he occupied 30 years ago – in three offices on the second floor – when he first opened his store and his customers have followed him there since his Sea Bright store at 1080 Ocean Ave. was substantially damaged and his entire inventory swept out by the tidal surge of Super Storm Sandy.“When the threat of the storm came, we never anticipated what would happen would happen, not in our wildest dreams,” George said. “The year before was Irene and all we got moisture.”Though he prepared for the Oct. 29 storm by putting merchandise higher up and boarding windows, the surge – coupled with extraordinary high winds – broke through. It filled the store with about 8 feet of water and then tore the shop’s contents out through huge gaping holes broken open by the tide along the building’s side wall.George’s merchandise and store fixtures, including two pool tables, were swept away.“I didn’t even have a chance to think … because we were going into the Christmas season. This is the retail business and the fourth quarter is 40 percent, sometimes 50 percent, of your sales and so I couldn’t afford to miss December,” he said. “I had nothing left.”George’s vendors were helpful and after about two weeks of planning and restocking he put together the temporary shop.George had flood insurance so he was able to pay the bills on merchandise that had just washed away and then started anew.He moved into the Rumson building on Dec. 1 and spent three months there. He closed the shop at the end of business on Feb. 27 and was expected to move the contents Feb. 28 and reopen March 1 in Sea Bright. “It has really worked out,” he said.George initially moved to Sea Bright about 10 years ago. He started in the building occupied by Cono’s Sea Bright Pizza, which he owned. When he sold that, he moved to 1080 Ocean Ave.Now he is in a building he has “always loved.” He calls it a “classic building … and it hasn’t changed much.”George has overseen the renovation of the space. There are white cabinets, hardwood floors, Oriental rugs and traditional mahogany furnishings.“I’m very proud of the way it looks … It’s nice and clean and kind of beachy,” he said. “We’re really excited.”George is a big supporter of Sea Bright. As an officer in the Businesses of Sea Bright group, he has high hopes for its rebuilding.“Believe it or not, behind the scenes in some of these buildings, there is cleaning up being done,” he said. “There is progress going on. But, the lifeblood of the town is in the downtown business district. Even the governor said, if the business district gets together, the whole town will feel better.”George is working to do just that.“I think Sea Bright will be better than ever. It’s just going to be a matter of time and people have to be patient.”last_img read more

Keeping the Lights On and the Fires Out in Monmouth Beach

first_imgBy Jim McConvilleMONMOUTH BEACH _ There are two lights on either side of Bill Marsh’s driveway that are unlike any others on the street. They may not be illuminated every night, but when he flicks them on from a switch in his living room, a smile unfolds across his face. The lights are warm with history, and their soft light ignites the clearest of memories.A natural storyteller, Marsh glows with excitement as he recounts the tale of his more than 50-year residence in the same house, 70 years as a firefighter and decades of dedication to his family and community.“While I was in service, I saved up $400,” he said. “I wanted a motorcycle but my father didn’t want that for me, so he took it to the borough hall and bought this lot. I tore down two old houses and started building this one in 1950.”Marsh went to Long Branch High School but left early to join the Navy. Returning in 1946, he joined the borough’s fire department, a company he was active in even before leaving for military service.“A lot of the original firefighters left and they let the kids help,” he said. “I started when I was about 12. It was quite a thing to get mixed up with the fire company years ago. Close to a hundred members when I first started.”Honored last month for 70 years of service in the Monmouth Beach Fire Department (MBFD), Marsh has dedicated his life to the community. He became fire chief in 1960 and began serving as the borough electrician in 1965, two positions his father, Herbert Marsh, also held.ill Marsh, bottom row, center, with a group of fellow Monmouth Beach firefighters on Sept. 13, 1947, helping the Red Bank Fire Department celebrate its 75th anniversary. Back row, from left: James R. Maney, Harry West, Chief Walter Roe, Robert Burns. Middle row: Walter Mihm, Ira Miller Jr. and Andrew Nilsen.Marsh’s work as an electrician and firefighter became a family affair. His late wife, Myrtle, would often drive the dump truck while Marsh would haul out a stepladder to climb and replace the burned out bulbs in the streetlights on Ocean Avenue. His son-in-law, Kevin Keeshan, and grandsons, Brian and Kevin, Jr., are also members of the MBFD. In fact, the Monmouth Beach Fire Department roster is dotted with Marsh names.Marsh recounts tales of rescues during massive house fires and harrowing floods as if they were just another day at the office. When asked about his proudest moment as a firefighter, he modestly struggles to talk about himself. He settles on autumn 1960, when Hurricane Donna had flooded most of the town.“Johnny Peterson lived on Johnson Street, and he was handicapped,” Marsh said. “I picked him up from his bed, carried him out and got him in the rowboat. I rowed him back to the fire department.”Even when discussing the fire department and his life in Monmouth Beach, Marsh can’t help but credit the others who helped to shape the town, as well as his beloved, “Myrt.” The two met in North Long Branch School; she was a Girl Scout and he was a Boy Scout. She started the Lady’s Fire Auxiliary in Monmouth Beach. Once, when a meeting was delayed because the trucks had not been pulled out, Myrtle got into the truck and pulled it out of the garage herself. To this day, she is the only woman to ever drive a MBFD truck.Marsh describes the difficulties of fighting fires years ago in a small town. “The water mains weren’t as big as they are now,” he said. “We had to lay out how we were going to attack if we had fires. The fire at the Monmouth Beach Inn we pumped out of the river and used the main on Riverdale Avenue.”He became an instrumental member of the truck committee that secured the department’s first 100-foot tower truck.Now, a month before his 90th birthday, Marsh is optimistic about the future of his hometown department.“You gotta be young,” he said. “We still have kids that are active. They play ball in the summer. We’ve got a good team.”When asked what it meant to serve the community for so long, he answered without hesitation.“I never looked at it like that,” he said. “I just did my job. When the whistle blew, you’d go.”The lamps on either side of Marsh’s driveway offer a dusty glow in the blue winter afternoon, a reminder of the duty they once accomplished. When turned on, they shine the same golden light they once shined over Ocean Avenue. They are the same lamps that Marsh once stood on a stepladder to replace, while Myrtle kept the dump truck running below.last_img read more

Raiders take practice off-site, indoors to avoid smoke

first_imgALAMEDA — The Raiders took to the road for practice Thursday, boarding buses with a police escort to an off-site nearby indoor facility to stay out of the smoke caused by the destructive Paradise Camp Fire.Doors to the facility and locker room were closed with signs warning players and support staff to keep them closed to minimize smoke inhalation.Offensive coordinator Greg Olson acknowledged that any adjustments the Raiders must make for the natural disaster pale in comparison to those in …last_img read more

SA film honoured at disability fest

first_img14 October 2002“Someone with a disability can be sexy’, says 19-year-old Makhotso, star of the South African documentary Wild on Wheels, which was voted one of the top films on offer at an international festival on disability in Russia.The film, commissioned by South Africa’s Office on the Status of Disabled Persons and produced by Kagiso Educational Television, was honoured by audience vote and judges’ selection at the International Disability Film Festival in Moscow in September.The film forms part of People Unlimited, a series of documentaries first screened on Etv last year.Wild on Wheels tells the story of Makhotso, a 19-year-old from Kimberley who parties hard, loves her dancing, dreams of being a TV presenter, and believes that being sexy is not just about being good-looking. “The way you talk to people . I think it is sexy .The way you laugh, the way you socialise with people . If you do your thing in a sexy way, I find you very sexy.’Makhotso’s legs were both amputated from below the knee when she was a child, but this does not stop her from dancing – even if her friends have to carry her up a set of stairs to get to a club. “When I’m dancing with my friends, I feel like I’m not in this chair’, she says.Makhotso rehearsing for a show that integrates dancers with and without disabilitiesWild on Wheels director Alette Schoon comments: “People assume that someone in a wheelchair is sick or in pain, fragile or mentally incapacitated, but they are ordinary, intelligent, people who have dreams and passions like everyone else . There are not many people with disabilities with public profiles, so stereotypes are not challenged. This is why Makhotso wants to be a celebrity with her own television show.“Makhotso’s personality is perfect for challenging these stereotypes … She is extrovert, funny, sexy – and loves being the centre of attention.’ Schoon plays to this, shooting the film in the style of a funky youth programme, backed by kwaito music, with Makhotso directly addressing the camera as a presenter on her own show.Makhotso finally gets her break – she is selected to tour the country with a show that integrates dancers with and without disabilities. At rehearsals, in amongst the music, dancers and choreographer, Makhotso moves gracefully in her wheelchair, head back and arms weaving in the air.“In Kimberly there are many people with disabilities who are not even allowed out of the house”, Makhotso says. “That’s a terrible situation . based on prejudice, superstition, shame, and culture.“And I think if we’re lucky, then some of the work that we are doing here will begin to plant a seed in people’s mind and their imagination that it is alright to be seen. People who are hidden away will say, “Well , we do not have to be hidden away, there are people on stage performing.’ ‘ reporterlast_img read more

Closing South Africa’s democratic deficit

first_imgTim CohenSouth Africa of the new era is often considered to be the victim of an odd and rather bizarrely undefined ailment: a democratic deficit.Technically, a democratic deficit is thought to be a situation where an entity considers itself to be democratic or somehow understands itself as at least aspiring to the notion of democracy but, for some reason or another, actually falls short.The classic example is the European Union. The EU is a body with substantial but rather ill-defined and vacillating responsibilities. It purports to be a democratic institution yet its powers are exercised mainly through representatives of constituent governments.The EU does have a rather poorly supported parliament, although its powers are less than authoritative. And of course the representatives of constituent governments are themselves democratically elected.However, in theory this circumscribed process has created a kind of distance between the institution and its nominal electorate, and it’s in the EU context that the term “democratic deficit” seems to get used the most.The argument that South Africa has a democratic deficit is based on the same notion but with a different set of causes. The theory is that the horrors of the country’s apartheid history have created such powerful reaction that many voters seem to be voting their past rather than their future.This powerful groundswell of political affiliation takes its concrete form in the huge and almost devotional support for the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which won just on 80% of the vote in the most recent election.To put this into context, bear in mind that white, Indian and mixed-race South Africa constitute about 15% of the total electorate. Consequently, the outcome suggest that almost the entire black population of South Africa voted practically unanimously for the ANC in 2004. This also suggest that voters who are not black practically unanimously voted against the ANC.This racial barrier is also, in a way, evidence of the democratic deficit. It surely doesn’t stand to reason that voters should so overwhelmingly vote for political parties in alignment with their skin colour.Further evidence, if you are looking for it, of the democratic deficit in South Africa can be seen in the very broadness of the ANC’s support base. The party is supported by everyone from teachers to industrial workers, to rural subsistence farmers, to intellectuals, to billionaire business people. The same sort of span of support is rare in the democratic world. It suggests that individuals are voting according to notions of affiliation rather exercising a considered choice.The problem with the notion of the democratic deficit is that it’s a bit slippery. In a sense, most democracies have a democratic deficit, since not all citizens choose to vote.  Often we don’t know whether these voters are not voting because they simply acquiesce with the current system, or because they think their vote won’t make a difference, or because they just don’t care. In a sense, the notion of a democratic deficit suggests that everybody should care; that they almost have a duty to care and if they don’t something is wrong. But is that true?In South Africa, the same sort of question applies, but in a different way. What if the ANC’s policies are just so attractive in one way or another to all its different constituencies that voters are in fact exercising a considered choice? Actually they are not voting their history; instead they are voting for the only party with sufficiently competent leaders and sufficiently balanced policies which together are capable of holding together such a fractious country.  In other words, the ANC majority at the polls is earned, not granted as a matter of course.The point is that South Africa is about to learn whether it has a democratic deficit or not. The break-away grouping founded this last weekend, on 1 and 2 November, by former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota and former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa  is the first real credible threat to the ANC dominance at the polls. Lekota described his decision to leave the ANC “a divorce” and, officially, the papers were served at the weekend.For neutral observers of South Africa’s relatively new and unfolding democracy, the likely creation of a new party is excellent news. It creates the prospect of a more strongly contested election and potentially a break-up the ice-flows that have characterised the South African political scene since democracy in 1994.There is no certainty that the new party will amount to much. In fact, the ANC’s hugely supported rally on Sunday 2 November, was a defiant show of force aimed to take the wind out of the sails of the new grouping.But yet, the omens suggest that the new party will put in a solid showing during the elections due to take place after April next year. The analytical consensus seems to be that they will win at least enough support to ensure the ANC does not have the two-thirds majority required to change the constitution on its own. The new grouping’s leadership is well known and generally well liked. They appear to be resolved, and are drawing support from a broad range of different areas across the country.The 2009 election is shaping up to be perhaps the most significant since the first democratic election in 2004. If nothing else it will demonstrate whether there is a democratic deficit in South Africa or not.Go to the MediaClub weekly columns home pageTim Cohen is a freelance journalist writing for a variety of South African publications. He is currently contracted as a columnist to Business Day and the Weekender, where he worked for most of his career, and financial website Moneyweb where he writes on business and corporate activity for an associate site called Dealweb. He was the 2004 Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year.last_img read more

Mandela was ‘one of a kind’: Zuma

first_img10 December 2013 Nelson Mandela was one of a kind, President Jacob Zuma told thousands of South Africans, international guests and world leaders at the official memorial service for the former president, who passed away last Thursday at the age of 95. “South Africans sing a popular freedom song about former president Nelson Mandela,” Zuma told the gathering at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. “We sing that he is one of a kind, that there is no one quite like him. Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela akekho ofana naye.” Zuma thanked the international community for its messages of support and condolences following Mandela’s passing, saying the Mandela family, the people of South Africa and the continent as a whole “feel stronger today because we are being comforted by millions throughout the world”. Zuma said South Africans regarded Mandela as the father of their nation not only because he laid the foundations for a united country, but also because he was a courageous leader. “Courageous leaders are able to abandon their narrow concerns for bigger and all-embracing dreams, even if those dreams come at a huge price.” Mandela continued to inspire South Africans during his 27 years of imprisonment, Zuma said, demonstrated unique leadership in starting negotiations with the apartheid regime while still in prison – and negotiated for the release of his fellow political prisoners before his own. After his release, before South Africa’s historic elections of 1994, there were a number of times – in the wake of the Boipatong massacre of 1992, and the assassination of popular leader Chris Hani in 1993 – when Mandela “brought our nation back from the brink of catastrophe”. Zuma quoted Mandela’s words, spoken at the adoption of South Africa’s new Constitution in 1996, saying they encapsulated Mandela’s vision of the new society. “He said: ‘Let us give practical recognition to the injustices of the past by building a future based on equality and social justice. Let us nurture our national unity by recognizing, with respect and joy, the languages, cultures and religions of South Africa in all their diversity. “‘Let tolerance for one another’s views create the peaceful conditions which give space for the best in all of us to find expression and to flourish. Above all, let us work together in striving to banish homelessness, illiteracy, hunger and disease.’” Beyond promoting reconciliation, Zuma said, Mandela also set about laying the foundation for transformation and reconstruction – knowing that reconciliation would otherwise ultimately be meaningless. “Madiba also laid the foundation for our country’s now successful fight against one of the greatest scourges of our time, that of HIV and Aids, while still in office and during his retirement.” Describing Mandela as one of a kind, Zuma noted, was not to be taken as calling him a messiah or a saint. Mandela himself had always emphasised that his achievements were derived from working with the African National Congress (ANC) collective, “among whom, in his own words, were men and women who were more capable than he was. “Thus, the South Africa that you see today is a reflection of Madiba and many others like him, who sacrificed their lives for a free nation. “We thus remain truly grateful to his peers, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Reginald Tambo, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Dorothy Nyembe, Florence Mophosho and countless others who left indelible marks in the history of our struggle. “Compatriots and friends,” Zuma said, “Today Madiba is no more. “He leaves behind a nation that loves him dearly. He leaves a continent that is truly proud to call him an African. He leaves the people of the world who embraced him as their beloved icon. Most importantly, he leaves behind a deeply entrenched legacy of freedom, human rights and democracy in our country. “In his honour we commit ourselves to continue building a nation based on the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. “United in our diversity, we will continue working to build a nation free of poverty, hunger, homelessness and inequality. “As the African continent led by the African Union, we will continue working to fulfil his desire for a better Africa and a more just, peaceful and equitable world.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

10 months ago​Chelsea midfielder Kante hungry to continue trophy streak

first_img​Chelsea midfielder Kante hungry to continue trophy streakby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante wants to win more trophies.The French midfielder has enjoyed a dream few years, winning two Premier League titles, the World Cup and other trophies.But he wants to win another FA Cup, after triumphing with the Blues in the competition last season.He is quoted by the Evening Standard as saying: “Does winning all those trophies give me the hunger to get more this season? Yes, of course. The last few years have provided some beautiful memories for me. “There have been beautiful achievements of winning titles with my team-mates. I hope to continue in the same way. “Even if we had ups and downs with Chelsea last year, because we didn’t get into the top four, we finished well with the FA Cup. “Following that, by winning the World Cup with the national team was a beautiful way to end 2017-18. I don’t know if if’s going to be my best year in football but for sure it will be something I will not forget.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

24 days agoChelsea loanee Izzy Brown impresses in Luton win

first_imgChelsea loanee Izzy Brown impresses in Luton winby Paul Vegas24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea loanee Izzy Brown played an important role in Luton Town ending their losing run against Blackburn Rovers over the weekend.The winger crossed for James Collins to score the Hatters’ opener for the 2-1 win.It was Brown’s ninth consecutive appearance for Luton this season, following up from playing 30 minutes in the 4-0 loss to Leicester City last week.The 22-year-old is enjoying his sixth spell on loan since joining Chelsea from West Bromwich Albion in 2013. TagsLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more