CAROLINE ULIVELLAParent at Nicholas Oresko School To the Editor:Development has its place, but I am sure that we’d all agree that the building of high rises should not come at the expense of the residents of Bayonne, and especially not its children. Unfortunately, as the mother of a student at Nicholas Oresko Community School, I am worried that the proposed development for St. Joseph’s Church and the surrounding property may do just that. For example, will the buildings be demolished while school is in session at Nicholas Oresko Community School? If so, what plans will be put into place to protect the children (not to mention local residents) from the dust that will carry lead and asbestos into the air? What will be done to minimize the disruption to our children’s education that will likely come when this large-scale construction project begins? Will work stop when students are testing or when they’re going outside for recess? Will they even be able to go outside for recess? As this development moves closer to fruition, I look forward to hearing how these issues will be addressed.
Harvard Divinity School (HDS) is pleased to announce that E.J. Dionne, the distinguished journalist and author, political commentator, and longtime op-ed columnist, will join the School for the 2017–18 academic year as a William H. Bloomberg Visiting Professor.This is a joint appointment with Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and made possible by the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost. Dionne will teach at HDS and in Social Studies at FAS, and be an affiliate at HKS.Commenting on the appointment, Dionne said: “The Divinity School has been dear to me from my time as an undergraduate, when I took Harvey Cox’s extraordinary course, ‘Eschatology and Politics’. It fed an interest—you might call it a passion—that has been with me all my life: Religion will always play a powerful role in shaping the public sphere, and for believers, faith will always be intimately connected to their way of engaging in politics. How do we understand this connection? What does it mean in a pluralistic society that values religious freedom and freedom of thought?”“I’m delighted that E.J. Dionne will join us to teach next year,” said HDS Dean David N. Hempton. “E.J.’s deep knowledge of public affairs, his long record of distinguished reporting and commentary, and his keen insight into the intersections of religion and public life make his a vital voice in our national dialogue.” Read Full Story
The Palm Beach County School District released new details on Thursday as to how the 2020-21 academic school year may look, one day after school board members reached a consensus to begin the year with online-only classes.A spokesperson for the district sats that, unlike last March when teachers had just a few days to prepare and switch to distance learning, the district has had all summer to prepare for the possibility of virtual teaching with the new school year.In addition, Justin Katz, the president of the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association, says the district will give teachers professional development training over the next few weeks, in an effort to help them be better equipped for online teaching.“There’s going to be a very rigid set of rules and working conditions that teachers will have to adhere to or face reprimand because that’s what we need to do to perform uniform high quality education,” Katz explains.In addition, a spokesperson says the school district plans to distribute 82,000 more laptops to students and make WiFi more readily available throughout the district.At Wednesday’s school board meeting, board members decided to start the 2020-21 academic year, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, Aug. 10, with online-only classes.A final vote will take place this Wednesday, July 15.WATCH LIVE: Press conference with U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia in Jacksonvillehttps://t.co/iPQ1J4aefk— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 9, 2020 Claiming that students statewide have suffered an “education gap” from online distance learning, the governor asked school districts to consider opening campuses right away for the 2020-21 academic year.“I want our kids to be able to minimize this education gap that I think has developed,” DeSantis explained. “In spite of good efforts with the online, it’s just not the same. So I worry about that gap.”The governor went on to say that he is concerned about the social impact that distance learning has on children.“There’s something to be said for being in school, seeing people you know, growing up like a normal kid,” according to the governor.He added that he would not hesitate to put his three children, who are not yet old enough to attendAccording to Gov. DeSantis, exceptions should be made for students who have significant health issues, and that choice is up to parents.“Different parents have different calculations. If a parent wants to opt for virtual education, they should absolutely be able to do that. We shouldn’t be forcing them to do any kind of decisions,” DeSantis said.There are 232,718 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,009 deaths in Florida as of Thursday.Palm Beach County has 18,656 cases and 578 deaths. Board members also suggested the possibly of having teachers go into their classrooms several days a week to use their SMART Board and materials to teach children at home.A vote on that suggestion is also set for Wednesday.Following the final decisions, the school board will submit their plan to the Florida Department of Education for final approval.Last week, the Florida’s Department of Education issued an order requiring public school districts to open campuses five days a week.However, Palm Beach County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donald Fennoy said the district has some flexibility with that order, as the district takes recommendations and advice from health leaders.On Wednesday, President Trump said he wants schools to reopen nationwide in the fall, and threatened to cut federal funding if they fail to reopen.Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that children should be learning in classrooms.“Educating our kids is absolutely essential,” DeSantis said during a news conference at the Jacksonville Port Authority. “I have no doubt we can do this safely.”WATCH GOVERNOR ON SCHOOLS:
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest 180321_RyanMartinThe biggest story this morning is the snow that is flying across the state. Plentiful cold air is blasting into the region, and we have snow moving through associated with an upper level low pressure circulation. This wrap around moisture holds over the state through this afternoon, although the heaviest snows in western and SW Ohio are already winding down, having happened overnight. Snow accumulations of a coating to 3 or 4” are likely with 80% coverage through today, and we may even see some slightly higher totals, as more moisture has wrapped into the upper low. The map above is cumulative snow totals from last evening through this evening. Snow ends this evening as the nor’easter for the east coast moves north and out to sea. Temps remain cold for tomorrow and Friday, though. Sunshine will slowly return, and we should be dry through Friday.Our next system is still on track for a Saturday midday arrival, and it will linger through the first half of Sunday. We are still looking at .25”-5” rain totals over the region this weekend, but should miss out on the heavier stuff back to the west, as the track of moisture is more southeast into Kentucky. We still think that cold air will be the bigger part of this story for Sunday and that we have to leave wet snow in the forecast as the system moves out. Minor accumulations are likely, meaning this start to spring will be nothing spring, and almost everything like winter!Dry for Monday of next week, but we have another system coming in for overnight Monday night through Tuesday. This event can bring .25”-.75” precipitation to 70% of the state, with the heaviest action seen over central and southwest Ohio. Models are less confident in how the pattern unfolds from there, bringing moisture in sooner for Wednesday and less moisture for Thursday. At this point, we think it best to look at the entire midweek period next week and say we expect 2 waves of moisture to come through. Totals will be anywhere from .1”-.6” with 70% coverage…but timing of each wave is a little up in the air. We should still be on track to get a dry day in for next Friday.Moderate to heavy rains arrive for Easter weekend on the 31st and 1st. We are raising rain totals to .5”- 2” over 100% of the state. This will be a very moisture laden system. But then we go dry for the 2nd through the 5th for the remainder of the extended forecast window.
It is more than a little encouraging when we see a new near-zero-energy house that not only meets the criteria for a LEED for Homes Platinum rating, but also for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding.That happens to be the case for a 1,332-sq.-ft. ranch-style home recently completed in the West Central Texas town of San Angelo. Showcased during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, the three-bedroom, two-bath house is billed as San Angelo’s first near-zero energy house and the first of its kind in the nation to receive funding through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program.The HUD grant covered the cost of the property’s solar panels, metal roof, and gray-water recycling system, Robert Salas, assistant director of development services for the city, told the San Angelo Standard-Times. The balance on the $152,000 home is covered by a mortgage that will be serviced by the home’s very delighted owner, Caroline Bowman, who spent several years on the San Angelo Community Development Division’s waiting list for prospective homeowners.Lubbock-based Universal Design Consortium, the architecture firm that designed Bowman’s house, notes on its Web site that the design and materials standards used for the home are intended to set the stage for two more HUD-funded projects – San Angelo officials call them “concept homes” – slated for construction in the coming months.An efficiency strategyUDC says a tight envelope and passive solar are at the heart of its design, which also features a high level of adaptability for handicapped occupants. The HVAC system, which features round ductwork for increased efficiency and ease of cleaning, is expected to operate at 98% efficiency.The home’s insulation package includes closed-cell foam insulation in the exterior 3 1/2-inch wall cavities. UDC says it used an exterior 2×4 wall assembly that, in concert with the foam insulation, careful construction, and a PV system that includes a dozen 200-watt panels mounted on a separate storage building, will deliver overall near-zero energy performance.UDC’s president, Steve Mueller, told GBA that data collected on a year’s performance of this first concept home, also known as HUD 1, “will eventually lead us to the overall goal of achieving a zero-energy stance for a building design that can be adopted for low- to moderate-(income) single- and multifamily housing applications.” Bringing HUD 1 true net-zero performance, he noted, would have required a PV system that would have exceeded the community development/HUD budget.HUD funding played a significant role in keeping the project affordable. As Salas explained to the Standard Times, the typical cost of a similar home for low- or moderate-income families that has some energy-efficient elements but is not at zero energy is about $95,000.Mueller added that the project’s cost restrictions were a challenge but by no means unrealistic. “We have always focused on low- to moderate-income households, and we’ve worked on getting the price for constructing the house down. We’ve worked on getting their monthly expenditures reduced to make it affordable,” Mueller told the paper. “That’s what a zero-energy house is supposed to be used for. A lot of people like to do this and show it off. This one is functional, and that’s always been our objective.”
OTTAWA – Cities looking for extra federal cash are being pushed to think outside the box and take some risks as part of a federal challenge that launches today.Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi is in Calgary to unveil what the government calls its “Smart Cities Challenge,” which will provide millions of dollars to communities that come up with the most interesting and innovative ideas.Other ministers will be in Ottawa and Montreal to make similar announcements.The ideas could be an after-school program for at-risk youth that lets them learn to write code; a mobile app to help seniors and caregivers co-ordinate transportation; or equipping homeless shelters with online learning hubs to help users find jobs.Whatever idea cities try, the government says the winning proposals must be scaleable and easy to replicate in other communities, must incorporate data and technology, and must establish measurable and achievable outcomes.But at its core, the challenge is designed to shift how cities think about delivering services and building infrastructure, and to encourage efforts to achieve a “much broader impact” on municipal planning.The Liberals first mentioned the challenge in this year’s budget, setting aside up to $80 million in prizes for winning communities and groups. The top prize will be $50 million; two prizes of up to $10 million each to cities with fewer than 500,000 residents; and a $5 million prize to cities with fewer than 30,000 residents.Cities will have to wait until 2019 to find out who wins.The program is modelled on a similar challenge in the United States two years ago to get cities to rethink their transit and transportation systems. The US$50 million program put an emphasis on use of technology, much as the Canadian version does.The American challenge came up in talks Sohi had with his U.S. counterparts prior to the Liberal government’s 2017 budget.
20-21981543.8 From 2000 through 2013, the average draft saw seven selected players who would have been 21 or younger at the start of the regular season. Since 2013, that number of prospects barely old enough to drink on opening day nearly doubled to an average of 13.4. Last year’s 15 was the second-highest this century.What caused such a dramatic change? The rookie wage scale instituted with the 2012 draft, which gives first-round selections a fixed, four-year deal based on where they ended up in the draft, plus a club option for a fifth year. Prior to that, college players projected for the first round but not as the top picks had more of an incentive to stay in college and improve their stock in order to demand a higher initial salary. But with that negotiating power gone, more pro prospects now want to get into the NFL as quickly as possible and set the clock in motion for their second contract, where they can make the most money. Obviously, the younger you are when that rookie contract and option year expire, the more earning potential you have.The number of younger players declaring as underclassmen has increased dramatically ever since. From 2000 to 2011, the last year of the old collective bargaining agreement, an average of 49 underclassmen entered the draft per year. But since the 2012 draft, that average is up to 87. This year, there were a record 106 underclassmen who declared.But younger prospects expected to be first-round picks have regularly left college early — in fact, those who stayed in school have often garnered the bigger headlines. So the increase in top-drafted underclassmen isn’t completely explained by the overall increase in players declaring. Teams also finally appear to be looking at how underclassmen actually performed rather than knocking them down a peg or two for leaving school “before they can refine their skills” or develop “emotional maturity.” Even a quarter of a century after underclassmen eligibility was granted, NFL coaches praised for innovation and an intimate knowledge of the college game were still stating a general preference for seniors.The more interesting question then is not why more young players are being targeted now but rather what teams were doing for all those years. Looking from 2000 to 2013 (the most recent draft year for which no first-round pick could still be on his rookie contract, including an option year), younger first-rounders were most successful. To measure this, we can use Pro-Football-Reference.com’s weighted career approximate value (CarAV), which rewards a player for his contribution to a team’s points scored and prevented as well as overall performance in other key statistics. Younger draftees perform betterFirst-round draft picks’ approximate career value based their ages as of Sept. 1 of the draft year, 2000-13 Average NFL teams leave no stone unturned when it comes to scouting top players for the draft. They scour college tapes, career statistics, physical attributes, intelligence tests, personality traits, social media accounts and school transcripts. By the time draft day arrives, NFL teams know if a player ever stepped out of line in middle school. But there’s one very obvious piece of information that teams seem to be changing their tunes on before choosing the players who can make or break a franchise: their birth certificates.In last week’s NFL draft, teams seemed to be saying “younger is better” when it came to the top picks. Seventeen of the 32 players selected in the first round will be age 21 or younger on Sept. 1 — about when their rookie season will begin. This is the highest number this century.1The league changed the rules on underclassmen in 1990, but rules on free agency and the salary cap further changed the league in the 1990s. And it’s not a one-year fluke based on this draft’s talent pool: It’s the continuation of a trend. 24+271833.6 While the youngest group of players age 20-21 performs only slightly better on average (43.8 average approximate career value) than the second-youngest at age 22 (42.9), the gap quickly widens. The 146 first-round picks who would have been 23 years old on Sept. 1 of their draft year had a 39.5 CarAV. And the 27 who were age 24 and over averaged just 33.6. (The oldest was 28-year-old quarterback Brandon Weeden, picked by the perennially hapless Cleveland Browns.)While younger players were drafted only slightly higher in this span on average, this variance could be at least partially attributed to selection bias. Players who are good enough to make the NFL at this age are probably just better in general than the older players. But at the same time, each player taken in the first 32 picks of the draft is elite regardless of whether he’s a senior or a junior. So if age is a factor in the success of a draft pick, the Bills’ selection of the first round’s youngest player, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, seems a lot smarter. Conversely, the Ravens tabbing the round’s oldest player, soon-to-be-25-year-old tight end Hayden Hurst of South Carolina, seems more questionable.But what about age at the game’s most important position, quarterback? This is the one position where the pros and cons of age are arguably most balanced. Older quarterbacks may be ready to slot into an offense right away if that’s what a team needs, while other teams may have the luxury of letting a younger player carry the clipboard for a while — something that can’t always be done at other positions. Using CarAV again, we see the effect of age at quarterback as even more pronounced — albeit with smaller sample sizes. 221741642.9 No 20-year-old quarterbacks were drafted in this span.Source: Pro-football-reference.com For QBs, age is even more importantFirst-round quarterbacks’ approximate career value based on their ages as of Sept. 1 of the draft year, 2000-13 Average AgeNo. DrafteesOverall PickCareer Approximate Value Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com AgeNo. DrafteesOverall PickCareer Approximate Value 216975.2 2210754.5 23181245.9 24+31639.7 231461739.5 The six signal callers age 21 and younger by September of their draft year have by far the greatest average value, at 75. And it’s not just Aaron Rodgers, who has posted a 128 career approximate value. Alex Smith (93 CarAV), Matthew Stafford (85) and the retired Michael Vick (93) were also successful picks at this age. This would be good news for the team that this year took the youngest of the highly drafted passers, the Jets with soon-to-be-21-year-old Sam Darnold. The returns diminish dramatically with the 10 QBs at age 22, even though they were drafted higher on average (seventh versus ninth). And the bust rate (players with a CarAV below 40) increases from 33 percent to 50 percent. Likewise, 11 of the 18 picks (61 percent) at age 23 were busts. This age 23 group houses some of the most notorious draft disasters in this time period: Tim Tebow, Christian Ponder and Jake Locker were all 23 by Sept. 1 of their draft year. Locker, drafted No. 8 overall in 2011, was so tired of football that he walked away from the game at age 26.All of this could be a red flag for the first overall pick and oldest first-round quarterback, new Cleveland Brown Baker Mayfield, who turned 23 last month. Darnold will be entering his third season when he’s the age Mayfield will be this year as a rookie. So while Mayfield may end up being the draft’s most pro-ready passer, Darnold may just end up with the more productive career.
Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 13, 2017 – Nassau – The Bahamas on Monday underscored the importance of maintaining strong relations within CARICOM with the accreditation of a new Ambassador. The Ceremony took place at the Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, in accepting the credentials of H.E. Reuben Rahming, noted that The Bahamas has been a valued member of CARICOM, promoting the Region’s interests in tourism, for which the Prime Minister has lead responsibility within the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet.With respect to The Bahamas’ leadership of the tourism sector, the Secretary-General said he looked forward to working with Mr. Rahming to advance the work of the Interim Tourism Working Group, whose establishment was mandated by CARICOM Heads of Government in recognition of the primary role of tourism in the regional economy.The Working Group has completed significant work with regard to the identification of strategies aimed at stimulating tourism, and maximizing the employment, entrepreneurial and revenue potential it can bring to the Region, Secretary-General LaRocque stated.Mr Rahming, in his new position, is now a Member of the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors, and in welcoming him the Secretary-General said his involvement will assist in keeping the Community’s institutions aligned with the goals and aspirations of the Strategic Plan.“The Members of the Committee perform a critical role as the link between the national and regional agendas. As part of its remit, it facilitates and drives the Change Process at the national level. The Ambassadors also have the fundamental responsibility to identify challenges to the implementation of decisions taken by our various Organs and make recommendations to resolve them,” the Secretary-General noted.He said the Region must enhance its resilience against the deleterious effects of climate change together. “It is that spirit of togetherness that builds our Community and maintains our unity that is strengthened by the work of you and your colleague Ambassadors to CARICOM.”The new Bahamian Ambassador said he has taken note of the many successes his country has experienced as it remained engaged in all organs and institutions of CARICOM, by collaborating with other Member-States, and through the co-ordination of the Region’s foreign policy.He said that this past hurricane season which devastated Dominica, Barbuda and other parts of the Leeward Islands, The Bahamas, Cuba, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Turks and Caicos Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Martin (and St Maarten), and the British and US Virgin Islands, “underscored how vulnerable we are as a region and the importance of maintaining strong relations within CARICOM.”He expressed sympathy to all of those affected by the storms and conveyed his best wishes for the quick recovery of the affected islands. He also expressed appreciation to the Governments and peoples of CARICOM who assisted The Bahamas, in particular, following the passage of Hurricane Irma.“I also take this opportunity once again to thank you and the Chair of the Conference, the Prime Minister of Grenada, for the solidarity and leadership you demonstrated in visiting the impacted countries, including The Bahamas, and in organising the recent Donor Conference at the United Nations that resulted in the commitment of some $2 billion of support,” Ambassador Rahming added.Press Release: The Ministry of Foreign AffairsPhoto credit: CARICOM