21 Dec

Minister to meet with group to examine future of Parent Stop

first_imgChildren’s Minister Catherine Catherine Zappone has agreed to meet with members of Parent Stop.Deputy Pat the Cope Galagher raised the issue of the imminent closure of the organisation in Letterkenny, in the Dail last night.Unless additional funding can be sourced from the Government, Tusla, Department of Justice and the Department of Health, the centre will close. The Parent Stop organisation has been in operation since 2005 and provides a universal parent support service dealing with all kinds of issues that impact on the lives of families.It provides free and confidential one-to-one, telephone and group support to parents who need some help with parenting challenges.Deputy Gallagher said “I impressed upon the Minister the importance of the role and services being provided by Parent Stop, in their advocacy and support network for families and young people in Co Donegal, whilst the Minister acknowledged the great work of Parent Stop, she completely failed to commit the necessary funding for the organisation added Pat the Cope.“Unless the Government commits to a new funding model the Parent Stop organization will cease operating at the end of December, and the county will lose a much-needed service, and I might add the expertise they have garnered since their establishment in 2005. It is essential that every effort is made to save the services of Parent Stop.” In 2018 – 602 families benefitted directly from the services of Parent Stop, numerous families were supported by this organization, the alternative would have been long protracted court cases or issues left unresolved.Deputy Gallagher added “Whilst I am disappointed that the Minister did not commit to fully supporting the project, she did accept my invitation to meet with the group and to see first hand the great work they carry out in Co Donegal.“I will now arrange a delegation to meet with Minister Catherine Zappone, as a last ditched attempt to secure the necessary funding, otherwise these services will be lost for all time and many hundreds of families will be left disadvantaged as a result stated Pat the Cope.“It is shocking that for as little as €100,000 this Government are willing to let this service close for all time and to further deprive the people of Donegal of much needed services such as provided by Parent Stop.”Minister to meet with group to examine future of Parent Stop was last modified: October 24th, 2019 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:Catherine ZapponeletterkennyParent Stoplast_img read more

18 Dec

Relief at the pump for motorists

first_img4 June 2012 The price of all grades of petrol will decrease by 55 cents a litre this week, and could drop even further next month, according to Investment Solutions economist Chris Hart. The Department of Energy announced on Friday that a litre of 95 ULP (unleaded petrol) in Gauteng will cost R11.67 from Wednesday on the back of lower international prices.The price of diesel with a 0.05 sulphur content will decrease by 24.82 cents a litre. Diesel with a 0.005 percent sulphur content will also decrease by the same amount.The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin will drop by 21 cents a litre.The single maximum national retail price for illuminating paraffin will decrease by 28 cents a litre, and the maximum retail price for LP Gas by 99 cents a kilogram.The average international prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin had decreased, the department said.Economist Chris Hart said the drop in the international crude prices and the rand complemented each other.“The fuel prices have been going up relentlessly for the past year,” Hart said.“This is a nice relief, and it could well be that its followed up by further relief at the beginning of next month, because the global crude prices have actually come down even further.”Sapalast_img read more

16 Dec

What is the Deal with Ventilation Requirements?

first_imgBefore I even get started, I want to point out that I am no expert on ventilation. I have learned a lot from (and rely on) many experts, including Paul Raymer, Gord Cooke, John Krigger, Joe Lstiburek, Armin Rudd, and Terry Brennan, among others. I depend on them to fuss about the details of how much ventilation a house needs.I do, however, have to deal with ventilation requirements when I work with my clients to certify their buildings. Most residential certification programs require that a home or apartment meet the ASHRAE 62.2-2010 whole house ventilation standard. This can be accomplished through exhaust-only, supply-only, or balanced systems.In the humid Southeast, we tend to discourage exhaust-only systems, but some developers and contractors meet the requirement by using a continuous bath vent fan – not the most efficient method, but it is simple.Supply-only systems normally have an outside air intake into the HVAC return plenum with a controller that turns on the HVAC blower motor and opens a damper when air is needed.Balanced systems in my climate use energy-recovery ventilators (ERV). ERVs: Are they as good as we think they are?In doing some research on ERVs, I learned that if they are connected to whole-house duct systems, the air handler blower must run to move the outside air throughout the house – the ERV motor can’t move enough air through a duct system.After several discussions with ERV manufacturers’ support staff, I have come to the conclusion that they should be installed with dedicated duct systems to avoid the complexity of control systems and the energy use involved with running the blower motor.This leads to the question: where do you put the supply and exhaust ducts in the house? Some people suggest drawing exhaust air from bathrooms and supplying fresh air to bedrooms or living areas. This has some appeal in that you can eliminate bathroom fans. However I have read other opinions that don’t like the idea of exhausting bathrooms into ERVs. What’s a poor, ventilation-ignorant boy to do?Another minor beef I have with ERVs is how they are treated in the RemRate energy modeling program. The new Energy Star target HERS Index, required for some green certifications, can be a challenge to meet. On several recent projects for which I have done energy models, I discovered that upgrading from supply-only ventilation to an ERV lowers the HERS index by 7 or 8 points, allowing a project to meet the required target index and achieve certification.I appreciate the fact that ERVs are more efficient due to the motor size and the fact that they do actually recover some of the energy in the heated or cooled indoor air. But do they really increase the energy efficiency of a house by 10% or 15%? The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that there might be some collusion between the ERV manufacturers and the energy modeling software companies. (Only kidding, guys). RELATED ARTICLES Designing a Good Ventilation System GBA Encyclopedia: Ventilation ChoicesHow Much Fresh Air Does Your Home Need?Are HRVs Cost-Effective?HRV or ERV?A New Way to Duct HRVsVentilation Rates and Human Health Joseph Lstiburek: Just Right and Airtight Supply-only system problemsWhen I test out and inspect a home for certification, checking for an operating ventilation system is a piece of the action. For an Energy Star home, the ventilation system’s flow rate must be tested. Other programs only require that the system be installed and sized properly, without any other field verification.center_img Most supply-only systems I run into include a motorized damper connected to a control with a ventilation cycle function. I have yet to see an HVAC installer who figures out the CFM coming in through the supply duct, calculates the required ventilation rate, and sets the fan control to meet ASHRAE 62.2. They just put in the damper and controller and assume everything will work out fine.In several cases, I have seen the dampers installed so that they default to the open position – sometimes causing duct systems to fail leakage tests, particularly if they don’t have a good outside damper. In these cases, no one has any idea if the ventilation system actually does what it is supposed to do. So how much ventilation do we really need?I’ve heard Terry Brennan suggest that ASHRAE 62.2 is too low a ventilation rate. I’ve heard Armin Rudd say it may be too much. Joe Lstiburek recommends installing systems that provide 1.5 times the required rate, but setting them to run initially at ½ the rate, letting the occupants adjust it themselves.I kind of like this last idea, because the designed rate seems to me to be somewhat arbitrary. It has to be either too high or too low for most people. If you have a bunch of dogs, smoke tobacco, fry turkeys indoors, and don’t vacuum your carpet, then you probably need a high rate of ventilation – maybe even more than the ASHRAE 62.2 rate. If you don’t wear shoes in the house, don’t smoke, don’t have pets, and keep your turkey frying outdoors, then you need less.Then there’s the thought of occasionally opening windows and doors when the weather is nice. I know that we can’t rely on passive ventilation to guarantee a specific number of air changes, but can’t we please just take a little responsibility for our homes?I understand that a lot of very smart people have been working on the ASHRAE ventilation standard for a long time, but I am concerned that we just aren’t getting the anticipated results from all the effort that goes into this issue. Like I said, I’m no expert, but something about this whole thing is starting to bug me.last_img read more

12 Dec

What Facebook’s New Algorithm Means for Video Content Creators

first_imgThe news that Facebook updates its News Feed algorithm to be more personal and showcase less video sends content creators scrambling.Cover image via crazystocker.For video content marketers and creators, Facebook has been one of the most powerful platforms for racking up views and building engagement. Whether you’re managing a personal page, running the marketing for a small company, or working on a social team for a global brand, Facebook’s News Feed is perhaps the single most crucial element of your content’s reach.With Facebook users reportedly spending almost an hour a day on their platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger), keeping up with these algorithm changes is an important part of the content creator’s job. Facebook’s promise to “bring people closer together” could mean some major changes in everything from how we view videos to how we receive ad campaigns. Focus Shifts to Personal Profile EngagementIn a recent post by founder Mark Zuckerberg explaining the updates, the focus shift seems clear: bring people closer together. Citing customer feedback, Facebook, it seems, is stepping up to combat an overflow of public content (i.e. posts from businesses, brands, and media, which heavily favor video content) by zeroing in on personal profile engagements. Based on Facebook’s own internal analysis, this improves the user experience. The following says it all for video content specialists:The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.Updates to the News FeedImage via Forstock.Based on this top-down focus shift, the Facebook News Feed is the mechanism to produce the change. The News Feed, which stands as a Facebook user’s de facto landing page, is where users spend a majority of their time reading personal updates and watching public content, videos, and ads. By Facebook’s own admission, the old News Feed algorithm heavily favored video content (especially live video streams), which was great for businesses and institutions. However, as The Guardian reports, in some of the countries where Facebook has been testing out the new algorithm, the media ecosystem might suffer because of these changes:Some publishers and civil society groups have reacted with alarm. In Guatemala, one of the countries where the explore feed experiment took place, some journalists reported readership halving overnight as a result of them disappearing from most social media feeds. A similar change worldwide would wreak havoc on the media ecosystem, as well as the ability of activists and campaigners to have a voice with the wider public.Video No Longer KingFor video content producers who work for these businesses, brands, and media institutions, this means the all-powerful Facebook video is no longer king. It may still be an important part of the News Feed, but numbers will drop off sharply as the algorithm shapes the new ecosystem. However, if you read into Facebook’s reasoning (as in this interview with Adam Mosseri at Wired), there may be some ways to cheat the system:There will be less video. Video is an important part of the ecosystem. It’s been consistently growing. But it’s more passive in nature. There’s less conversation on videos, particularly public videos.The key may be to understand the new power of conversation. If video content gets nerfed because of fewer comments and less conversation, finding ways to encourage viewers to engage with comments over likes (shares will always be great by their very nature) could mean the new algorithm may favor your videos similarly to the old algorithm.Decreasing Professional Page PowerImage via I’m friday.There will be less content directly from (professional) Pages. Page content will still be an important part of the ecosystem, but it will shift a little bit. Content that is shared and talked about between friends will grow, and content that’s directly consumed from Pages directly will shrink slightly.In the same vein, professional page power will shrink across the board. However, if the emphasis stays on sharing and commenting between friends (i.e. connected personal pages), Mosseri suggests that content consumption shrinkage should be minimal. As with professional page video, posts should focus on engagement and comments over likes or click-throughs.Greater Emphasis on “See First” FollowersSo, for video content producers and marketers, the future looks a little bleak. Luckily, it seems like Facebook still allows “See First” Followers for professional pages. (For those who are unfamiliar with the term, you can read up on it here, but it basically allows users to choose which brands they want to see posts from, overriding the algorithm.) In the social marketing world, these loyal followers are something of a unicorn because they’re very few and far between. But now, with the video/brand content nerf, their value increases significantly:Can people still see posts from the Pages they follow at the top of News Feed? Yes. People who want to see more posts from Pages they follow can choose See First in News Feed Preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favorite Pages.In Adam Mosseri’s post about the News Feed changes, he confirms that See First Followers will still be allowed. The trick is creating actionable posts and content to educate followers about this option then encourage them to update their preferences to see your page first.More Emphasis on Facebook AdvertisingImage via chainarong06.This may all be to say that Facebook will double down again and again on their Facebook Advertising platform. The messaging at the top may be “Let’s put people first,” but for marketers and brands, it may just be, “We’ve been giving you boosts for free — it’s time to pay up.” Facebook’s News Feed algorithm does not take paid advertisements into account (at least not in the same way it treats organic posts). Facebook has very carefully and strategically laid out where and how often their ads appear, but their promises for impressions won’t change. In the end, for video producers to see the best returns on their brand videos and content, it may simply take more buys to keep the numbers up.Looking for more about online video content? Check out these articles.Resolve 14’s Best Editing Features For The Online Content CreatorManage Project Files and Assets Online in the Creative CloudEverything You Need to Know About Putting Your Videos Onlinelast_img read more

9 Dec

A High Powered Application of Caring

first_imgAt a sales conference I recently attended, I watched a sales manager pass out sales awards to his global sales team. He passed out thirty-nine separate awards. There were three to five people nominated or eligible for each of the awards.This sales manager announced each of the nominee’s names, and then he rattled off some personal fact about the individual, how long they’d been with the company, their annual sales figure, their highest monthly sales figure, as well as the number of months that they reached a sales figure over a certain amount.He did all of this from memory. No notes. No slide deck.It was an impressive display, to say the least. I pressed him as to why he went to such great lengths to do all of this from memory when most people would have been content to use notes. He didn’t offer up much, so I pressed him a little more and he told me a story. It’s a short story, but it explains everything.When this sales manager was selling for another company, he won the national award for producing the highest sales. When the principal of the company presented him with the award, the principal didn’t know his name. Literally. He had to prompt someone to give him the name. Now that this sales manager has his own team (and it’s a massive team), he makes it a point to know all of his people by name, their spouse’s name, as well as all kinds of personal details.Why does he go to such lengths? He does this because he cares. It’s the company’s culture to care about their people, and this is just one demonstration as to how they manifest caring. But it’s a staggeringly powerful display of caring about people. No one wants to be anonymous. No one wants to be a transaction. Everyone has the need to be acknowledged, to be significant, to matter.Sometimes the most powerful lessons you will ever learn come from having a bad manager or leader. If what someone else once did hurt you, doing the exact opposite is a safe bet.The power of caring is unmatched in it’s power—both inside and outside of the company. It’s the foundation of trust. And it breeds results.QuestionsWhat does it mean when you remember someone’s name?Does it mean something if you forget?How do you ensure that people know you care about them?How important are the details?last_img read more

28 Nov

Happy fleet

first_imgBoth TRS chief K. Chandrashekar Rao and TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu have to wait at least till June 2 to take charge as chief ministers of their states-Telangana and Andhra Pradesh-headquartered in Hyderabad. What they have managed to get, less than 72 hours after the results were announced, are,Both TRS chief K. Chandrashekar Rao and TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu have to wait at least till June 2 to take charge as chief ministers of their states-Telangana and Andhra Pradesh-headquartered in Hyderabad. What they have managed to get, less than 72 hours after the results were announced, are the official convoys with their respective lucky numbers. KCR gets two bulletproof Toyota Land Cruiser Prados and four Toyota Fortuner SUVs with 6666 as the registration number. Naidu, who enjoys the highest security cover in the state, will get a new fleet of two Prados and six Fortuner SUVs sporting his lucky number 9. Such simplicity.last_img read more