‘Bike City’ benefits KwaZulu-Natal

first_img17 July 2013With thousands of mountain bike enthusiasts expected to converge on Pietermaritzburg’s Cascades MTB Park in a month’s time for the UCI MTB Masters World Championships and UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships, KwaZulu-Natal is set to benefit once more from a major cycling event.The province has completed detailed studies that show that cycling events have brought more than a R1-billion worth of value and economic spend to the region.With the province of KwaZulu-Natal having invested R24-million into hosting major international cycling events over the past three years, the latest research shows that this has triggered an economic injection of R79-million into the regional economy, while at the same time providing international marketing exposure for the city valued conservatively at R1.68-billion, exclusively from the global TV coverage of the events.Long term commitmentThis substantial return on investment has resulted in the province making a long term commitment to sustaining its support for hosting international cycling events and reinforcing Pietermaritzburg’s positioning as Africa’s “Bike City”.“We are passionate about our international destination marketing, and the positioning of Pietermaritzburg as the continent’s ‘Bike City’ is now well established,” Clive Coetzee, the general manager of infrastructure management and economic services at the KwaZulu-Natal provincial treasury, said this week.“For the two weeks of the Masters and Elite World Champs, almost every hotel and B&B in the city is fully booked out, and the visitors to the event will spend significantly on local products and services. Huge sums of money are generated through the hosting of these events,” Coetzee said.‘Something really good’“We got involved almost by default,” said Coetzee. “When the uMsundusi municipality went into financial difficulty, it landed up on my desk. After evaluating it from a lot of different angles we realised that we have something really good going on here.“At that stage there was serious talk about Durban putting in a serious bid for the Olympics, which also became a factor in the early stages,” Coetzee added.“It is clear that the UCI [International Cycling Federation] are very happy with us and the way we have hosted these events, because they are coming back to us asking us to host more. That’s very encouraging and it positions us in the top five cycling centres in the world.”“If we do decide to commit to hosting the Olympics, then this is one box that we have ticked.”Continental cycling hubPietermaritzburg’s status as a “Bike City” positions the city as one of three continental cycling hubs, along with Copenhagen for Europe and Melbourne for Australasia.“As we increased our exposure and we saw the benefits, it became easier to secure the funding to the point where these cycling events are now a base item in our budgets, which means that we can commit to supporting these events for the next five to seven years,” Coetzee said.“It is important for us that these big international events have some sort of spill- over effect,” he continued. “We want kids to get involved in cycling and staying active, and people of this region to use the fantastic facilities that are now available to them.Healthy outdoor lifestyle“Already if you go to these facilities on the weekends you can see the number of families that are out there riding. It’s creating a culture of fitness and a healthy outdoor lifestyle, which, while it is difficult to quantify, it is very important to us.”Pietermaritzburg now has an international standard BMX track, a legacy of hosting a round of the UCI BMX Supercross in 2011, as well as the multi-functional mountain bike facilities available at the Cascades MTB Park.Coetzee confirmed that the success of positioning Pietermaritzburg as a “Bike City” has led to a sweeping plan to position other sporting codes with cities and towns in the province, and to start developing facilities and ultimately trying to attract top level events to those centres.“Maritzburg and cycling has been a massive success, so we now don’t need to try and sell the potential impact of this strategy,” Coetzee said. “We have brilliant support from Cycling South Africa and the UCI, and we have an experienced pool of top class organisers.Future plans“We would like to work towards a stage where we have a full calendar of events spread spatially around KwaZulu-Natal that builds up to the hosting of various international championships, especially those codes that are Olympic sports.”He added: “I don’t think people understand just how big this World Championships is going to be for Pietermaritzburg. The city will be flooded with foreigners – riders, their families and lots of media – and I hope that the people come in their tens of thousands to support it.“There is acknowledged recognition globally that cities that successfully host top sporting events are premium cities. That gets people excited and proud of being part of KwaZulu-Natal and being South African, and hopefully it will get them outdoors and active as well.“The MTB World Champs will be a very important case study for us, and one that we hope to replicate in other regions of the province.”The UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 26 August to 1 September 2013, and will be preceded by the UCI MTB Masters World Championships from 21 to 25 August.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Evalauting fixed costs on the farm

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The current farm economy landscape is affecting how farmers should look at fixed costs. As profit margins shrink and commodity prices go down, operations with high fixed costs could see prolonged periods of loss. Eventually, this can stress working capital and negatively impact operations if not adjusted quickly enough.Evan Hahn, Vice President Credit-Agribusiness with Farm Credit Mid-America says farmers should begin assessing their fixed costs situation.“Get the records straight. Having detailed, accurate farm records will help you make objective decisions,” Hahn said. “At Farm Credit, we encourage growers to keep an eye not only on their input costs but also on their fixed costs. This provides a fuller picture of operating costs and can help farmers determine if a fixed cost is positively or negatively affecting the bottom line.”What are two fixed costs farmers can look at right away?“This is an ideal time for farmers to analyze equipment utilization. Ask yourself: What equipment do I need to have? What is nice to have? And what am I not utilizing fully?,” Hahn said. “Land is another fixed cost that needs attention. When looking at land costs, begin with an honest assessment of the profitability of each acre. Land that doesn’t generate positive margins can stress an operation.”Armed with acre-by-acre numbers, Hahn says farmers will be better prepared to negotiate rental rates with landlords to ensure their operation remains profitable as commodity prices lower.AUDIO: The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins visits with Farm Credit Mid-America’s Evan Hahn about evaluating fixed costs on the farm.FCMA Financially Speaking Evan Hahn 4.10.17For more financial tips, insights and perspectives from Farm Credit Mid-America visit e-farmcredit.com/insightslast_img read more

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Masonry Heaters Burn Hot and Clean

first_imgOver the past two weeks I’ve written about wood stoves and pellet heating. This week I’ll focus on another way to burn wood cleanly and efficiently: using a masonry heater.A masonry heater, also called a masonry stove or Russian fireplace, is a wood-fired heating system that is fired intermittently at very high temperature to heat up the large quantity of thermal mass, which then radiates heat into the home. The heater has a circuitous path through which the flue gasses flow. Here, the heat is transferred to the stone, brick or other masonry elements of the heater. Key benefits of masonry heatersFrom an environmental standpoint, masonry heaters burn fuel very rapidly at a high temperature. This results in very complete combustion with little pollution generated. Except when first starting the fire, there should be no visible smoke.From a performance and comfort standpoint, masonry heaters take a long time to heat up, but they then continue radiating heat for a very long period of time, typically 18 to 24 hours. The outer surface of a masonry stove never gets as hot as a cast-iron or steel wood stove, but it retains its heat much longer. The surface area provides a large radiant surface, contributing to comfort. Are Masonry Heaters a Good Match for Superinsulated Houses?Green Heating OptionsShould Green Homes Burn Wood?Heating With Wood Safely and EfficientlyWood Stoves: Safety First Masonry FireplacesHeating StovesBecause the firebox may not be very large in a masonry heater and because a fast-burning, intense fire is desired, the firewood is cut and split differently. Often the length of acceptable firewood is less than with a wood stove (sometimes as short as 12 inches), and the optimal diameter of split wood is smaller — typically 3 to 5 inches.Because the heat from a masonry heater won’t warm up a space quickly (it may take several hours for the outer surface to reach peak temperature and peak heat delivery), it isn’t as effective as a wood stove at quickly taking the chill off. You need to plan ahead. And if it’s going to be a sunny autumn day and you have a lot of south-facing windows, starting the masonry heater in the morning may result in a period of overheating later in the day when the solar gain peaks.Some masonry heaters include bake ovens or warming areas built into the modules, offering a nice feature for those interested in wood-fired baking. Others include integral benches for seating. GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE center_img Product optionsMasonry heaters are often custom-built, and such units can satisfy a wide range of design needs and special requirements. Because they are large and heavy, provision must be made for such units — such as a concrete slab or concrete bearing walls beneath the heater. The Masonry Heater Association of North America is an excellent resource on masonry heaters and includes a directory of masonry heater builders.There are also some manufacturers of modular masonry heaters that can be assembled relatively easily. The best-known manufacturer is the Finnish company Tulikivi. Tulikivi heaters are made from soapstone or ceramic and are available in a wide variety of styles, both with and without bake ovens. Some include integral bench seats.If a house has the space for it, a masonry heater is often the best way to heat with wood. In new construction, particularly in rural areas, it’s definitely worth looking into. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. He also recently created the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. Operation of masonry heatersUnlike a wood stove, where you typically start a fire and then keep it going for a long period of time by adding fuel, with a masonry heater you operate it in batches, and the fuel is typically entirely burned by the time the next fire is started. This means that you have to start a lot of fires — which some people will find less convenient. RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

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Playing different roles, Jeron Teng steps up for depleted Alaska

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Teng’s skills weren’t the only thing put to the test but also his character after Blackwater fought tooth and nail in the final seven minutes of the game.The Elite erased Alaska’s 90-82 lead with an 11-2 run to take a 93-92 buffer with 3:41 left to play after Allein Maliksi’s three-pointer.Alaska, however, got back to its offense and scored on back-to-back baskets with Sonny Thoss giving the Aces a 103-100 lead with 34.3 seconds remaining on a free throw line jumper.Although Teng went scoreless in the final period, he made enough impact for the Aces to get the win.“I think it was our composure that brought us the win and we just stuck to the system,” said Teng. “It’s a good thing we made crucial baskets at the end.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘Hungry’ Rene Catalan not to be held back by age ahead of biggest fight yet ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img View comments Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Listed as a guard in the Aces’ roster, Teng, at times, had to play power forward just to fill in the gaps in the system but the 24-year-old said he’s fine with whatever role he’s given even if it means he has to adjust on the fly.“I just keep myself ready every time I get on the court and I always try to give my best whatever role coach asks me to play,” said Teng Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“I’ll do whatever it takes to win,” he added.Alaska is still missing Vic Manuel, JVee Casio, Simon Enciso, Yutien Andrada, and rookie GBoy Babilonia due to injuries and some players had to adjust and play multiple positions just to keep the system in place. Jeron Teng. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Jeron Teng is one of Alaska’s most diligent troopers and with the team still severely undermanned three games into its campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup, the sophomore wing man knew he had to step up to the plate.Constantly switching from being a backcourt player to playing up front, Teng shone brightly in his best game of the season, scoring 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting and grabbing six rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertelast_img read more

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Selfrepresented defendants increasingly common but bring challengesexperts

first_imgLegal experts say the spectacle of an accused murderer grilling the father of his alleged victim on the witness stand is an unusual manifestation of an increasingly common occurrence in the Canadian justice system.Self-represented defendants are arguing their criminal cases before a judge or jury with greater frequency, despite the fact that doing so takes an extra toll on all concerned, they say.In one recent example, Dellen Millard, who is accused in the murder of a Toronto woman who vanished five years ago, has been cross examining those close to his alleged victim as he represents himself at trial, leading to some testy exchanges in court.Experts say financial considerations are at the heart of most self-representations, since legal aid frequently will not cover costs when someone is being tried for a minor offence and can’t always be counted on when more serious charges are at play.Lawyers say other common scenarios for self-representation involve either mental illness, distrust of authority or a belief that the defendant is the best person to handle the case.Self-representations, they say, are becoming more common despite the fact that they prolong trials, place additional burdens on judges and take an emotional toll on both witnesses and the accused.Trevor Farrow of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School said self-representation is inherently at odds with Canada’s court practices.“The system is not designed around the idea of self-represented litigants, it’s designed around parties coming to court with counsel,” Farrow said. “I think self-representation has a significant impact on all aspects of the system.”The Millard case offers a particularly stark illustration of the emotional impact self-representation can have on witnesses involved in the trial.Millard, who is one of two co-accused in the death of Laura Babcock, came face-to-face with the victim’s father on the witness stand on the first day of his trial this week. He acknowledged the potential difficulty for Clayton Babcock, inquiring if he was nervous and found the situation difficult, but proceeded to ask him such questions as whether or not he abused his daughter.Farrow said defendants are also not immune from the strain of self-representation, which forces them to navigate a complex legal system they may not understand.This places an additional burden on judges, who must both safeguard the defendant’s legal rights while filling them in on procedural steps and other details that would typically be handled by a lawyer. The situation frequently leads to prolonged trials, Farrow added.Ingrid Grant, who acted as a legal support to another high-profile self-represented client, said most people who go before court without counsel are not doing so by choice.Grant said most are forced into that position by a dearth of financial resources. Legal aid has stringent criteria for the types of offences they will help with and the financial requirements under which people qualify for support, she noted. Defendants who don’t make the cut often represent themselves as a last resort, she said.Others, like convicted Via Rail terror plotter Chiheb Esseghaier, decline legal help while dealing with mental illness. Esseghaier has appealed his conviction and ensuing life sentence on the basis of his schizophrenia, which was undiagnosed and untreated at the time of the trial.But even without mental illness in the picture, Grant — who was appointed by a court to assist Esseghaier at one point — said self-represented people don’t usually mount effective arguments because of their lack of perspective on the case.“They’re emotionally invested in whatever the allegations are,” she said. “They know a whole history that they want to get out to the judge … They don’t understand what’s relevant and what’s not often, and a judge has to cut through that.”Grant said it’s not unheard of for self-representing defendants to question witnesses with direct relationships to the victims, but said the Criminal Code has provisions to prevent the situation. Prosecutors can file motions requesting that lawyers question witnesses who may be anxious about dealing with the defendant directly, she said.Such a scenario recently played out in a courtroom near Ottawa when Basil Borutski, a man on trial for the slayings of three women he dated, raised questions about the testimony of one of the victims’ sisters. Borutski made notes and drafted questions, but a lawyer was the one to directly cross-examine the witness.Farrow said the growing number of self-representations in the court highlights the need for change in the system.“What we are starting to realize is that we are woefully under-resourced when it comes to supporting people getting legal assistance,” he said. “And we are starting now to understand the cost on individuals, on families, and on society is really high. I think we need to start connecting the dots in terms of the better we support ourselves and each other in the … justice system, the better off the system will be.”last_img read more

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TRS banks on good show by regional parties in LS polls

first_imgHyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi on Monday said most of the regional parties are confident of turning in a good performance in the Lok Sabha elections, giving a boost to its chief K Chandrasekhar Rao’s idea of forging a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front post-poll.TRS spokesperson Abid Rasool Khan said most of the regional parties were confident of getting lot of seats, and claimed they were open to the idea of such a front proposed by the Telangana Chief Minister. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”As soon as the (Lok Sabha election) results are out, there would be parleys and formation of a (federal) front. If it has the majority, it will form the government,” Khan told PTI. If this proposed front falls short of numbers, it will decide what role it should play and “how it will have control over the government so that the states don’t suffer and policies of the states are not affected,” he said. TRS is counting on parties such as the SP, BSP, BJD and YSRCP to be on board the proposed federal front, party leaders have said earlier. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedKhan said his party was ready to support the YSRCP in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, where Assembly and Lok Sabha elections would be held simultaneously on April 11, so long as it has no truck with the BJP or Congress. In what way the TRS, the ruling party in Telangana, would back YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh is a matter of “political strategisation” between the leadership of the two outfits, he added. Khan said the AIMIM President and Hyderabad MP, Asaduddin Owaisi would campaign for TRS candidates in “all the districts, wherever we require his support, wherever there is sizeable population of minorities and Dalits, and we will extend our support to him in Hyderabad.” TRS deputy floor leader in the Lok Sabha and Karimnagar MP, B Vinod Kumar, claimed Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is also the TDP chief, was facing “lot of anti-incumbency” and it might help the YSRCP. Kumar said Chandrasekhar Rao would kick off the party’s campaign in Telangana with a public meeting in Karimnagar in March third week. The TRS, which won 11 of the total 17 seats in the previous Lok Sabha elections in 2014, was already in campaign mode with the party last week initiating Parliamentary constituency-wise meetings chaired by its working president K T Rama Rao. The TRS has said it aims to win 16 seats in the April 11 Lok Sabha polls in Telangana, leaving the Hyderabad segment to Owaisi who would be backed by the party.last_img read more

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Conte praised Pochettinos qualities

first_imgAntonio Conte praised Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching qualities as these two are about to face in the upcoming match – and the Italian coach defended his opponent’s inability to win a trophy with his team…Pochettino has been the Tottenham head coach for four years and he hasn’t managed to win a trophy there yet – but Conte is certain that is has nothing to say about his qualities as he is still a great manager.The former Juventus coach spoke about his upcoming opponent as he said, according to Talk Sport:“I consider Mauricio Pochettino a really good manager.”“I think that, if Tottenham grew a lot in this period, he has a lot of credit for that.”Stefano Sensi, inter milanReport: Inter go top with win over Udinese George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Inter Milan are top of Serie A after beating Udinese to make it three wins out of three.Antonio Conte’s career at Inter Milan, could…“We are talking about a team who, in the last period for many years now, they are competing to win the title.”“Two years ago, they were very close to winning the title when Leicester won it. Last season they tried to compete with us.”“Don’t forget that only one team can win the title.”“You start every competition with six teams, six top teams who are ready to win something during the season.”“For example, last season, Chelsea won the title, Manchester United won the Carabao Cup, and Arsenal won the FA Cup.”last_img read more

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Paul Ince hopes Mourinho can keep United job

first_imgThe 3-2 comeback victory on Saturday over Newcastle United might give the Manchester United manager some air to breatheManchester United boss Jose Mourinho has been under the spotlight for his fights with footballer Paul Pogba and the way the Red Devils are performing this season.But on Saturday his team was able to come back from a 2-0 disadvantage in order to win 3-2 over Newcastle United.And for former United captain Paul Ince, this might give Mourinho some room to breathe.“I’ve always thought that results can change things,” he said to The Irish Examiner.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“Everyone was saying the players don’t want to play [for Mourinho], they don’t want to fight.”“After the second half against Newcastle people might think differently,” he added.“We all know one swallow doesn’t make a summer, so are we papering over the cracks because they came back? To some extent, yeah, we are but it was an important result because they had to win after all the reports of Mourinho leaving.”“After the game, I’d like to think that’s a game to push Manchester United on. I’m not saying they will start challenging City and Liverpool for the title but it gives them some respite after everything that has been going on,” Ince explained.“Hopefully Mourinho stays, I’d like him to stay but he has to start changing his methods from those he’s used for years and understand the game’s gone forward.”last_img read more

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Wolves knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup

first_imgLiverpool are out of the Emirates FA Cup thanks to a 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Monday night.Jurgen Klopp handed debuts to Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones while 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever came on for the injured Dejan Lovren after just five minutes.Raul Jimenez opened the scoring for Wolves in the 38th minute after a sloppy mistake by James Milner.37′ | #WOL 1-0 #LIVJota wins the ball in midfield and quickly releases Jimenez down the right, the striker bursts into the @LFC box before finishing neatly into the far corner to put Wolves in front.#WOLLIV— Wolves (@Wolves) January 7, 2019With Liverpool’s only shot on target in the game, Divock Origi pulled level six minutes into the second half.51′ | #WOL 1-1 #LIVGoal @LFC. Divock Origi turns on the edge of the Wolves box before firing the visitors level with an accurate effort from 20-yards.#WOLLIV— Wolves (@Wolves) January 7, 2019Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.However, Nuno’s side was very much in control of the game and went ahead again five minutes thanks to a spectacular 30-yard strike by Ruben Neves.56′ | #WOL 2-1 #LIVNeves is picked out in space 25-yards from the @LFC goal, he takes a touch before firing a wonderful effort beyond Simon Mignolet. Wolves back in front!#WOLLIV— Wolves (@Wolves) January 7, 2019Liverpool now record successive 2-1 defeats after their Premier League loss at Manchester City on Thursday and were also knocked out of the League cup by a 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea last year.In an FA Cup fourth-round draw after the match, Wolves will play against either Shrewsbury or Stoke.last_img read more

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