Why the 49ers’ win over Rams should silence all skeptics

first_imgDo you believe now?You better.Because if the Niners’ four-quarter, 20-7 domination over their top … Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device. Skepticism is healthy, and with the 2019 49ers, it was perhaps warranted heading into Sunday’s game against the Rams, despite the team’s 4-0 start to the season.But for those who were holding out in buying into these Niners — for those who wanted to see them play a “good team” — I only have one question:last_img

SA welcomes SADC infrastructure plan

first_img20 August 2012 South Africa has welcomed the adoption of a regional infrastructure master plan by Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders who met in Maputo at the weekend. The SADC Heads of State approved the plan, which is expected to boost regional trade, following their two-day summit in the Mozambican capital. The plan, to be implemented over a 15-year period beginning from next year, will serve as a key strategy to guide the creation of efficient, cost-effective trans-boundary infrastructure connecting all SADC member states in areas of energy, water, ICT and transport. The region’s infrastructure in critical sectors is said to be so poor that a deficit was estimated to be to be about US$100-billion. Speaking to SAnews in Maputo, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies noted that the new plan would put emphasis on the cross-border infrastructure that South Africa identifies in its own Strategic Infrastructure Plan, adopted recently by the government. “Our own infrastructure programme, particularly the 17 SIPs, will be strongly supporting the SADC plan, and we have already identified a few projects that we are highlighting, and the SADC plan will help us to get a bigger broader picture,” Davies said. He welcomed the fact that a connected SADC infrastructure would strengthen regional integration and add meaning to the free-trade area agreement that many countries in the region were battling to implement. “As South Africa we have always argued that the biggest barriers to promoting a more equitable pattern of inter-regional trade … has always been a lack of a common plan that links all of us. “We think that the way forward now is to address the supply capacity issues as well as infrastructure challenges that are blocking inter-regional trade,” Davies said. “This means we have to find agreement on a whole host of things within the SADC region as part of SADC’s supported infrastructure programme, with the main focus on cross-border projects.” It’s still not clear how funding for the infrastructure plan will be structured, considering that countries are still battling to put together even the Regional Development Fund (RDF) that was agreed to in previous summits. The RDF was intended as a financial mechanism to mobilise resources from member states and the private sector to finance projects for regional development and integration. Last week, the African Development Bank proposed that a funding mechanism in the form of an infrastructure bond be established to speed up the plan. The bank asked SADC countries to put five percent of their foreign reserves, estimated at US$22-billion, towards the establishment of the initiative. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Aiming for Energy Efficient Affordable Housing in Sacramento

first_imgUPDATED 12/15/2010: With additional details from Domus Development.When money is no object, the pursuit of green (and green) in homebuilding has been known to include some pretty extravagant renewable-energy systems, on top of whatever energy efficiency details are built into the envelope. Recent examples: the 4,539-sq.-ft. first-place winner of the 2010 Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge, which includes a geothermal system and extensive solar power system, and a 5,000-sq.-ft. LEED Platinum home in California with a $2.3 million listing price.But as is justifiably the case, projects that achieve energy efficiency at a relatively low price tend to generate more curiousity among builders. The second-place winner of the CT Zero Energy Challenge came in at 2,690 sq. ft. and about $320,000 in construction costs, and a Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity project in Charlotte, Vermont, is aiming for Passive House performance. And last week, a news report surfaced about groundbreaking on another project aiming to merge low construction costs with energy efficiency, a housing-and-commercial development just north of downtown Sacramento, California, that will include 81 units and about 5,000 sq. ft. of commercial space.A tie-in to light railThe housing plan has two parts: a four-story mixed-use building with 63 apartments in various configurations (9 studios, 24 one-bedrooms, and 30 two-bedrooms) over six “micro-commercial” spaces; and, on an adjacent infill lot, a set of 18 three-story townhouses designed to be 80% more energy efficient than comparable structures built to code. Both parts of the project, which is being developed by San Francisco-based Domus Development, will be supplemented by rooftop solar power and solar hot water systems.Called La Valentina, the project is emerging on a desolate corner lot that had been vacant for almost two decades – a location, one resident of the neighborhood told the Sacramento Press, that was dangerously derelict and seriously in need of redevelopment. The location does have a built-in advantage, however: it is a few steps away from the La Valentina/Alkali Flat station serving the Regional Transit District’s light rail system in Sacramento.Erin Kelly, a project assistant at Domus, told GBA that the portion of the project that includes the townhouses, known as La Valentina North, features three-bedroom units ranging in size from 1,005 to 1,215 sq. ft. in both flat and townhouse-style configurations. The capacity of the solar power system for the entire complex is 38.4 kW. All La Valentina North units have been designed for net-zero-energy performance, Kelly added. Although Domus is not at liberty to disclose prices at this point, she noted that all units in the complex will be available for rent to tenants earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income.last_img read more