World’s mayors gather in South Africa for C40 Cities climate summit

first_imgSome of the 18 C40 mayors who attended the C40 Climate Change summit in Johannesburg this week. (Image: Lucille Davie)• Mike MarinelloDirectorGlobal Communications+1 917 683 8610mmarinello@c40.org• Joburg acts to beat climate change • Megacities to talk climate change in Johannesburg • Cities combat climate change • Exploring Standard Bank’s glass-fronted green buildingLucille DavieMayors and officials from major global cities gathered in Johannesburg this week for the fifth biennial summit of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, to discuss ways urban leaders can tackle the causes – and effects – of climate change.The summit, held in Africa for the first time, brings together officials from 66 cities, representing 600 million people across the world, in a global network to share information on how they can reduce their carbon footprint. These cities produce 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and 21% of GDP.The C40 group was established in 2005 and now includes seven African cities: South Africa’s Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Nairobi in Kenya, Cairo in Egypt, and Lagos in Nigeria.The summit saw the release of a new report, Climate Action in Megacities 2, which builds on research from the 2011 C40 summit in São Paulo in Brazil. The 400-page report arms officials with data to help them change the way they run their cities, compare their administration with others, and to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.“While international negotiations continue to make incremental progress, C40 Cities are forging ahead,” said Michael Bloomberg, former three-term mayor of New York, outgoing C40 Cities chair and president of its board. “As innovators and practitioners, our cities are at the forefront of this issue – arguably the greatest challenge of our time.“C40’s emphasis on measurement and reporting helps cities focus resources and spread the most effective solutions – and this report shows that our efforts are bringing powerful results,” Bloomberg said. “By using data to show what works – and what’s possible – cities can inform the global conversation on climate change and contribute to aggressive national targets to reduce emissions.”Autonomous cities do betterBloomberg was recently appointed the United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, where he will work with mayors to increase their climate change-related commitments, and encourage national governments to do the same.He stressed that there is a contrast between what governments do and what cities do. Cities have more diversity, and their leaders more contact with the communities who live there, so there can be different expectations from mayors. “Cities want national government’s money, but don’t want national government’s interference. You find that cities that have autonomy do much better.”He said that to get citizens more involved in tackling climate change it was important to bring the issues down to the here and now, instead of talking long-term plans.Christiana Figueries, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said mayors must raise their voices at a national and international level. “They must actively reach out to their national governments. Mayors need a strong climate agreement.”The mayor of Copenhagen, Denmark, Frank Jensen, said he worked closely with the country’s cabinet, and they were on a “similar mission” on climate change issues. He said half the citizens of Copenhagen used bikes and, between 1995 and 2012, the city had reduced its carbon emissions by 40%. It also treats is waste water so people could enjoy a swim in the inner harbour.The power of mayorsStressing how powerful mayors can really be, C40 executive director Mark Watts used the expression “When mayors rule the world”, saying cities are learning from each other. Overall, global cities’ actions to combat climate change have jumped from 4 700 in 2011 to 8 100 today.“There is a willingness to be bold and innovative – mayors have the power to act,” he said.From installing energy-efficient LED lighting and creating bicycle lanes and bike hire programmes, to introducing bus rapid transit (BRT) systems to cut down on carbon emissions, cities across the world are having an impact on tackling their climate change issues, he said.The new C40 chairperson and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Eduardo Paes, said climate change directly impacts city government. “Ninety-eight percent of city mayors say that climate change presents significant risks to their cities.” He spoke about the power of cities, and their actions making a difference.The C40 has become a global network, he said, citing how BRT systems have caught on, particularly in the southern hemisphere, jumping from 13 in the world a few years ago to 29 now, 16 of them in developed countries.Climate action in megacitiesAnnise Parker, the mayor of Houston in the US, said the city has reduced greenhouse emissions in the last seven years by 26%, and would take that figure down by another 5% in the next five years. And, instead of talking in lofty long-term goals, Houston’s officials tell citizens that by changing 28 000 street light bulbs to LED bulbs, the city has saved $3.6-million. “We talk about bottom lines instead of talking about greenhouse gases.”Another mayor spoke of how they had to teach citizens how to sort waste, with signs and symbols, the latter to include children. And another spoke of how the city invites businesses to help reach emission targets, with a whopping 93% of companies reporting to the city on reaching their targets.Parks Tau, Johannesburg’s executive mayor and host of the summit, spoke of reversing the effects of apartheid planning, which located the majority of citizens on the periphery of the city. His Corridors of Freedom plan would see densification of the inner city, thus reducing carbon emissions. The city’s BRT system has also achieved the same benefits, and by 2020 the city is expected to save 1.6-million tons of carbon dioxide.Tau sees climate change measures as a communal responsibility, involving communities and the private sector.The summit also marks the launch a directors’ programme which will provide dedicated, on-the-ground staff to selected cities. “This significant investment by the organisation in member cities will result in the development of projects and policies to support local sustainability efforts, as well as increase the ability of cities to share best practices through participation in C40 networks,” C40 Cities said in a statement.last_img read more

Country values and the Amish furniture boom

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Mike Ryan, OCJ field reporterOhio has been home to the Amish since 1808, when the first settlers moved west from Pennsylvania to settle the scenic, rolling eastern Ohio. Today, roughly 60,000 Amish reside in Ohio across more than 50 individual settlements and over 400 church districts.The Amish culture is known for its agrarian nature, but as farm technology has changed, food safety practices have evolved and farmland availability has become an issue for some Amish communities in recent decades, the Amish have looked to new areas of enterprise to make a living, including making furniture. The now booming Amish furniture industry started simply with just a handful of barns and shops. As more English discovered the value and craftsmanship of Amish-made furniture the niche business took off and now there are more than 80 regional locations that bridge the logistical, transportation and technology gaps between Amish craftsmen and modern shoppers. One such business is Oak Creations of Millersport that is celebrating 25 years of working with the Amish and the English. This Buckeye Lake region storefront is a testament to the owners’ passion for high-quality Amish furniture — for which they have a sharp eye — and their loyal customer base who appreciates the individualized attention offered by owners and operators Mike Finlaw and Rosann Franks, and their daughter, Emily Finlaw.They sell beautiful Amish handcrafted solid wood furniture in oak, cherry, maple, and other hardwoods, specializing in high-quality home furnishings at affordable prices in a wide variety of styles, wood types, finishes, and custom designs. Oak Creations attributes some of their longevity to the strong business and personal relationships they have with their Amish builders, with whom they deal directly.“We are passionate about our relationships with both our customers and our builders, and we need builders who are passionate about what they do. Our craftsmen have the same values as we do; and their passion for and pride in their product shows,” Rosann said. “Their respect for family values and strong work ethic goes hand-in-hand with what we are doing with our business.” Mike has been around wood his entire life, working in his family lumber business, Finlaw Lumber of Zanesville, and managing building supply companies in Columbus prior to getting into the furniture business. And this skill and expertise from a life of woodworking gives him discerning vision for well-wrought pieces. The direct relationships with the talented builders are important.“We have very solid, long-term relationships with our builders. I try not to deal with a middleman and I deal directly with over 150 Amish builders. We have worked with some of them for over 20 years, and they are like extended family,” Mike said. “We always help them out and we are very loyal to our builders. We try to stick with Ohio builders, and most of our products come from Stark, Holmes, Tuscarawas, and northern Coshocton counties.” At least two trips a week are made into Ohio’s Amish country to touch base with craftsmen and to pick up product.“I make 10 to 20 stops throughout Amish country every Monday. I place orders, transport furniture to finish shops, pick up hardware, and freight small finished products back to the store. These weekly business stops are also good for business relations, as lack of access to telephones for some in the Amish community can make communication a challenge,” Mike said. “The box truck goes up to Amish country on Wednesday and we then do deliveries Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.”The heirloom Amish furniture industry and Oak Creations itself have changed greatly over the past twenty-five years.“In the beginning, the demand was for only oak furniture with designs coming from a very limited catalogue. But the industry has exploded over the last 25 years and there has been great change in what is wanted and offered,” Mike said. “When we first opened, our products were coming from suppliers in Michigan that my cousin Roger, who had a furniture store in Kalamazoo, used. We quickly outgrew this, began dealing directly with our builders, and started doing more custom jobs and working with other wood types and design styles.”Once quality products are secured, Oak Creations then relies on quality customer service to match the right places with the right furniture. Rosann and Emily, who has a background in Interior Design, work with customers on a sense of proportion and creative insight that helps customers conceptualize what is needed and what would look best to really pull a room together.“Mike has an eye for how furniture should be built and good design work. For custom work, which consists of over half of our business, he can envision what a customer needs and what the finished product will look like. Our vision for what is needed and what may look best is a gift we give the customer. Our job is to educate the customer about quality and design, let them know what they should be looking for in a product, and then let them decide,” Rosann said.Long-standing customer loyalty is a boon to Oak Creations, which strives to provide personalized attention to patrons of the furniture shop.“With our furniture, we are creating a look that is both current and timeless. Certain people want to go more contemporary and others want to be more traditional, and we can accommodate either taste,” Emily said. “We design a lot of our own furniture, as well, and we strive to create a beautiful piece that is solid and well-constructed, but also at a reasonable price. Our furniture is not the most expensive and not the least expensive, but it is the best value. We are selling great quality, hardwood furniture for less than imports can be bought.”The business connects the niche production of Amish craftsmen and the consumers who appreciate and value those products.“There is a niche of people who appreciate and enjoy quality furniture and may want to pass it down. We cater to people who embrace the home as a place for family and friends. Our tables bring a lot of families together at the start of the day and at the end of the day,” Roseann said. “If it was just about money, I would have gotten out of the business a long time ago.”Today, Oak Creations’ sole location in Millersport is a 6,400 square-foot showroom adorned with beautiful furniture and filled with an array of unique country decor that is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. A visit to Oak Creations shows the Finlaws’ expertise in both furniture and hospitality and this year’s Holiday Open House will be held Nov. 1-10. Located at 2474 Blacklick-Eastern Road, Oak Creations is a study in Amish craftsmanship and down-to-earth country values. They can be reached at 740-467-2600 or at www.oakcreationsofmillersport.com.last_img read more

Adityanath cracks whip on latecomers

first_imgFollowing reports of Noida Authority staff allegedly not reaching office on time, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday sought the employee details of both Noida and Greater Noida Authorities.Mr. Adityanath also ordered that 73 employees of the Noida Authority, who had not been marking themselves present on biometric machine, be marked absent for the corresponding days. He also ordered that their salaries be deducted.Noida and Greater Noida Authority CEO Deepak Agarwal confirmed this. “The Chief Minister has asked for details such as the employees’ income, assets, ranks, tenure, departments, etc. While 40% of the staff members in the Greater Noida Authority have submitted their details, employees of the Noida Authority are yet to file the same,” said Mr. Agarwal.Plugging corruptionSoon after assuming office on March 19, Mr. Adityanath had directed Ministers and top officials to provide details of their income and assets within 15 days. He had said rooting out corruption in government offices was his main agenda. However, a majority of the officials failed to adhere to the deadline of April 7.Mr. Agarwal further said that to improve work culture in the authorities, he had asked the employees to mark their attendance on biometric machines. Failure to comply with the order would amount to strict action, he added.The Noida Authority had on March 23 installed biometric machines to crack down on employees who would reach office late. The Noida Authority’s offices are located in sectors 6, 5, 19 and 39. According to rules, the employees must reach office by 9:30 a.m. and not leave before 5 p.m. The two authorities work for five days a week. ‘30% staff absent’“During an inspection, I found that around 30% of the staff was absent. Whoever reaches office after 9:30 a.m. will be marked absent,” said Mr. Agarwal.Earlier, every employee had to sign on an attendance sheet. However, many would sign the sheet in the month-end. With the introduction of biometric attendance, the flaw was exposed. Explanation sought“We have also sought an explanation from those who were not present at 9:30 a.m.,” the CEO said.“If they will fail to furnish a satisfactory reply, we will take action against them. If absent employees are repeatedly absent, we will take departmental action against them,” he added.last_img read more

Zach Crabtree: ‘My Campaign (For President) Would Be Unreal’

first_imgIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! Robert Allen and Co. have been doing some solid preseason videos from different players on the team this year. We looked last week at why Mason Rudolph would trade places with Mike Gundy (the Bass Pro house!) and this week Zach Crabtree is asked about how he would campaign for president since it was him and Brad Lundblade who were picked as the most likely to eventually become POTUS.“My campaign would be unreal,” said Crabtree. “No. 2 (Mason Rudolph) would probably lead it. I’d actually probably pick No. 17 (Austin Hays) to be my lead spokesperson. No. 2 would be a major role in it. A great vice president. A popular guy. Definitely would get some votes for you in your campaign. They’d have fun seeing him up there on stage.”“I’d probably lean more conservative,” he said when asked about his policies. “Going back to the basics of America.”“Be free with Crabtree?” Allen asked.“Make Stillwater great again,” someone else said.last_img read more

Police respond to accident in GraceBay

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, March 6, 2017 – Providenciales –  Police and other emergency services yesterday were dispatched to a two motor vehicular accident in the Gracebay area of Providenciales.   Reports are that a vehicle overturned, persons are trapped and possible injuries sustained…Accident occurred at 9:36pm…#MagneticMediaNews ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Related Items:#magneticmedianewslast_img read more

No Sachin No MS Dhoni Virat Kohli only Indian on this list

first_imgIndian captain Virat Kohli is buzzing around after the heartbreak of the World Cup. The skipper is once again up and running, bouncing between his gym training sessions and turning up for different endorsements. During all of this, he doesn’t forget to keep all his social media followers extremely interested. It is, hence, no surprise that Kohli is the only cricketer in the Instagram top 10 sporting ‘Rich List’ for 2019 as he takes the ninth spot worldwide.Portugal and Juventus footballer Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way with Brazilian superstar Neymar and Argentina talisman Lionel Messi completing the top three. These results have been produced by HopperHQ.com (an Instagram scheduling tool), and it estimates that the Indian captain charges £158,000 (Rs 1,35,66,749) for every post and that makes him one of the highest-paid athletes on the picture-sharing social media portal.At the time of writing this article, Virat Kohli had 36 million followers on Instagram which makes him one of the most popular sporting celebrity on the platform. He is also the number one ranked batsman in both ODIs and Tests and recently helped India reach the World Cup semifinal in England and Wales.Cristiano Ronaldo has 173 million followers, and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is the number one ranked athlete on the app. He charges a whopping £784,000 (Rs 6,73,49,082) per Instagram post.Instagram top 10 ‘Rich List’ Virat KohliICCCristiano Ronaldo (Football): Rs 6,73,49,082 per postNeymar (Football): Rs 4,98,24,576Lionel Messi (Football): Rs 4,47,35,925David Beckham (Football): Rs 2,46,43,398LeBron James (Basketball): Rs 1,88,04,544Ronaldinho (Football): Rs 1,76,88,293Gareth Bale (Football): 1,50,26,462Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Football): Rs 1,38,24,345Virat Kohli (Cricket): Rs 1,35,66,749Luis Suarez (Football): Rs 1,27,08,094Kohli will now lead the Indian team in the tour of West Indies and after the exit in the semi-finals of the World Cup, the skipper wants his side to be ready and believe in their abilities at all times. He also believes that he has learnt a lot from his failures and setbacks and that, these things make him strong. Kohli and teamGetty Images”I have learnt most in my life from failures and setbacks. The worst setbacks have not only motivated me but also improved me as a person, made me understand the importance of those times more than the success. It makes you sit down and think about what you need to do now, build a roadmap for yourself. Secondly, these moments show you the people who are going to stand by you in tough times and the people who will jump ship,” the skipper said in a recent interview to TOI.last_img read more

A Neighborhood In West Houston Hopes To Encourage Commuters To Do Things

first_img X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: – / 7If your commute this morning was a slow crawl down the freeway,  Louis Jullien probably beat you to the office.“I like to tell people it’s six minutes from door to desk,” says Jullien. “So it’s a brisk commute.”Jullien lives out in west Houston in the Westchase District, in an apartment nestled between the steel and glass office towers.He works at the district’s office near Richmond and Beltway 8. And he gets there on foot.“So I kind of cut through these two tall buildings over here,” Jullien explains. “You’ve got NOV Tower and then there’s 10333 Richmond over there. And I kind of cut through the back.”According to a recent survey, Jullien is part of a tiny minority. The Westchase District has over 30,000 residents, but only about 1 percent walk to work.That’s compared to over 80 percent of the district’s workers who drive by themselves, like most commuters in Houston. And that’s a lot of vehicles. Over 88,000 people work in the district.But what do the numbers say about bike commuting in Westchase? Even fewer people do that, less than 1 percent.We spoke with Blair Johnson, a health and wellness consultant who lives in a neighborhood just off Wilcrest. She’s an enthusiastic cyclist but she says she prefers to drive her bike to a trail, rather than get out on the streets.“I am a nervous Nellie. I am the one that rides with all the protection, the hat and all that,” says Johnson. “I get out there and I get very nervous, because the cars are too close and the condition of the road.”So in a bustling business district that was built for cars, how do you get people to try something else? The Westchase District is proposing a long list of ideas in its new Bike/Pedestrian plan.To see what’s happening right now in  Westchase, we hop in the car with Irma Sanchez. She’s the district’s Vice-President of Projects.Our destination is the new Brays Bayou Connector Trail, a route that links the current Library Loop Trail with the Brays Bayou Trail. The connector runs a couple of miles along a drainage easement and it also allows access to Metro’s Westchase Park and Ride.The new trail is expected to open later this spring. The cost was about $4 million, with much of the money coming from the Federal Transit Administration.Walkers and cyclists can stay on the trail for the entire distance. It also includes several underpasses, so cyclists won’t have to cross streets.And Sanchez agrees that’s the only way a lot of people are going to get on a bike.“The majority of our community, and I think Houston overall, they’re not quite ready yet to be riding their bicycles with traffic,” says Sanchez. The overall goal for the Westchase District is to have about 40 miles of bike routes both on street and off. The plan also calls for things like new crosswalks and improved intersections. The long-term plan is expected to cost about $58 million with the money coming from various sources.Along with reducing congestion, Sanchez hopes the improvements will help lure younger residents to the district who don’t want to drive as much. “It, in essence, will have residential destinations closer to commercial and they’ll be able to commute by walking and taking the bus,” adds Sanchez. Back out in front of the office towers, pedestrian commuter Louis Jullien says it’s a day that can’t come soon enough.“So many people complain about the traffic in Houston,” remarks Jullien. “And I’m not one of those people fortunately.”The Westchase District will soon break ground on its next project. It’s a trail along a utility right-of-way, the first of its kind in Houston. Listen 00:00 /03:33 Sharelast_img read more