first_imgWhy does everything new getting built in the Mission look like it’s made of earth-tone Legos? Planning codes, costs, and opposition, suggest a few of those in the architecture know.  Planning regulations prevent egregiously out of place structures like 20-story round towers from being plopped into the Mission, says San Francisco Chronicle architecture critic John King. But developers interested in preventing any slowdowns in the process is also a restraining factor, he said. “They’re going to wrap it in whatever they think will attract the eye of potential renters or buyers that the planners will allow,” King says. “So that’s why, on Valencia street, to varying degrees, all those buildings kind of look like they’re trying to… I  hate to get into the lazy cultural characterization … but you get all these condo buildings that are kind of designed like they’re trying to appeal to the 28-year-old tech worker who just got a lot of money and wants to hang out on Valencia street.”Hill and Valencia Streets.Architect Anne Cervantes also attributes some aesthetic trends, particularly when it comes to remodeling Victorians, to youth. “I don’t know why, younger people come and they’re obsessed with this modernism, and have to paint the buildings black with red doors,” she says. But the invasion of the boxes can’t be blamed purely on wealthy youngsters. The Planning Department, while not necessarily requiring specific aesthetics, does seem to set the stage for them.Zoning generally determines height limit, and planning does have guidelines for the size of a building, says Orrin Goldsby, an associate and project architect at Kerman Morris. The firm designed the V20 building at 20th and Valencia Streets as well as the remodel of the New Mission Theater, now the Alamo Drafthouse.The code gets pretty specific: “The planning code has prescriptions for the square bays [windows]. There is allowance for angled bays, but they tend not to look particularly nice on contemporary buildings, so that’s why you will see a lot of the square bays,” he says. According to some architects, while communities can slow a development down, their involvement can also mean getting a more interesting building.17th and Capp Streets.When it comes to working on public housing, “I have the community give a take through the beginning of design all the way through the design process, so they have ownership of the building,” says architect Ann Cervantes. “A lot of people don’t do that.”There’s another tech factor, and it’s not the buyers: How architects draw has changed, says architect John Lum.“The advent of CAD [computer-assisted drawing] and 3D has clearly influenced the design of our buildings, and you can see that very very clearly in some of these multiunit buildings that do look almost like CAD renderings,” he explains.Community buy-in influences the look of what is produced. Some of the city’s most lauded new developments have gone up in Hayes Valley, where community groups were heavily involved in the decision-making process. “[There was] this land kind of in the city’s control, and neighbors who said, ‘we want cool, contemporary buildings that have a fresh new look to them, and we want 50 percent affordability when you add everything up,” King says. “What you’ve seen in Hayes Valley is a number of good architects hired by developers looking to do buildings that will get some attention. They see it as, ‘it’s worth it to me paying higher fees to hire these guys or this woman, because it’s going to help me get through the process.’”John Lum, an architect whose offices are in the Mission District, says he is part of a discussion between the local chapter of an architecture group and the developers who worked in Hayes Valley. King points to buildings like 450 Hayes St., 400 Grove St., and 8 Octavia among others as examples of buildings that don’t look “pressed from a mold.”26th Street.“The community got involved and did not say, ‘housing shouldn’t be built’ nor ‘density is bad.’ It came with an enlightened viewpoint. In the Mission it’s different,” he says, pointing to the proposed Mission Moratorium on market-rate housing.Often, buildings are opposed because neighbors find them too tall and don’t like the idea of a flood of newcomers who will compete for parking. Or tenant advocates who fear the gentrification fallout of new high-end housing being built oppose the project wholesale. Aesthetics aren’t really the point in those cases.“People are so invested in their community in San Francisco, since community is so politically charged. That protectiveness often works against surprising, interesting architecture,” King says. “In the Mission, in terms of the housing being proposed, I don’t think that the look of it really matters. It’s a gentrification fight. The big fights over the different projects are very much having to do with a sense of displacement, the sense of who will be in those buildings.”That is the stated concern of anti-gentrification activists, who are often wont to ask, “Who is it for?”  King refers to a massive development waylaid at 16th and Mission streets after years of opposition as an example of a building where the exterior is the least of people’s concerns.“If the developer wrapped that up in adobe and clay tile roofs, it wouldn’t make any difference. There’s no premium to think, hey, can I get a design that will be in sync with what people want?” King says. Other neighbors have been known to give the feedback, “it’s out of character.” That can be a reference to anything from facade materials to shape of the building, but most often, it’s about size, or “massing.”19th and Valencia Streets.Cervantes cites the example of a building at the corner of Mission and Cesar Chavez streets designed by Christiani Johnson Architects, which houses a Walgreens on the corner and condos above. Varying blocks of color and insets in the outer walls, as well as a soft curve on the corner, make it “respect the scale” of its surroundings, Cervantes says. But of course architecture is subjective. Lum disagreed, voicing some distaste about the materials included at the corner building.  And trying to make things fit in by copying what’s already there doesn’t seem to be the answer either. King says trying to make new buildings blend in by  imitating existing architecture was more popular in the 80s and 90s, but has gone out of style. Goldsby says the firm he works at stays away from that kind of thing. “When architecture is brand new, we tend to try not to do false historicism,” Goldsby says. Plus, the number of units still has to be enough to make sure the expense of the building is reasonable and, as Goldsby says, “Cramming a large building program into Victorian shell can be difficult.” Rather, it’s about context. “I believe in contextualism, especially when you’re dealing with the rich fabric of San Francisco,” Cervantes says. “I see it almost like an archeological site, you can see the layers of time on a building.” Tags: housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img 0%last_img read more

first_imgWhen the barbarians arrived at the gates of besieged cities of yore, they weren’t riding venture capital-backed scooters — though, in a way, underwriting a band of for-profit marauders was the medieval precursor to venture capitalism. But, lo, that’s San Francisco circa right now, a city that has allowed itself to be pillaged by a succession of barbarians to the point where you can now scoot right down Market Street and plant your flag where you see fit. Bad decisions, bad media coverage, bad actors, and so much money — it’s this city on two silly wheels Well, we had it coming. Years ago, my colleague Benjamin Wachs coined a term for events in which more folks show up to do coverage than to participate: “Panopticonference.” This was more than a decade ago, prior to the ascent of social media and the resultant rise to sovereign status of the “hot take,” even among the professional media. Now almost every event is a panopticonference and the facts on the ground are, all too often, smothered under the resultant lava flow of hot takes. As such, a Dianetics commercial-worthy erupting volcano of hot takes has inundated us, cementing the narrative that our city has hit the panic button due to a deluge of two-wheeled tech-bro invaders and our leaders are derelict in their duty to do damn near anything else while they crack down on these ungainly interlopers. Alas. The record will show that our Board of Supervisors has, thus far, devoted one item on a 62-plus item legislative agenda to scooters during a solitary meeting. The City Attorney whipped up some pro-forma cease-and-desist letters, and Public Works deployed a couple guys in pickups to toss scooters in the back — which the companies deploying them, capitalized to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars of VC money, have retrieved for a few thousand bucks. This does not exactly constitute the Spanish Inquisition. Now, if any business with hundreds of millions of dollars on hand decided to drop thousands of objects into our city without consulting with the government, by design, as part of its move-fast-break-things business model — be it scooters, food carts, buses, cars, hotel rooms, rendering plants, Morris dancers, etc. — it would be incumbent on the government to act. Regular readers of this column are aware of my mother’s corollary on such matters: “You can’t shit on my head and make me wear it like a hat.” You would think wealthy, for-profit companies using the public right-of-way should be held to at least the same standards as paleteros selling popsicles in the park. And paleteros, to their credit, don’t rifle through all the data on your iPhone as a major component — if not the major component — of their business model. The dominant “hot take,” however, has essentially been: “Why focus on scooters when we haven’t solved every other problem this city has?” This, the young people tell me, is called “Whataboutism.” It’s a deflection, and it ignores the fact that San Francisco, a $10 billion-a-year municipal corporation that employs more workers than attendees of an entire Oakland A’s homestand, is capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. So, yes, this city can craft permitting requirements for electric scooters while also allowing you to use 311 to report double-parking or malevolent drivers or other foul automotive behavior. And, most notably, it can do so while spending some $77 million a year to clean our streets — including new teams focusing on needles and other such detritus. Conflating San Francisco’s response to scooters deposited around town by wealthy industrialists and the city’s constant and well-funded attempts to clean up the tangible residue of a nationwide humanitarian crisis is ridiculous to the point of offensiveness — and it’s unfortunate to see media coverage of San Francisco reduced to recapitulating Travis Bickle’s fulminations about filth on the streets. The fetid state of swaths of today’s city is due in large part to a homeless problem borne by four decades or more of catastrophic failures on the federal and state level with regard to housing funding and construction and curtailment of mental health resources — as well as an ongoing drug crisis, and this city’s own rampant inequalities and housing conundrums. This, to put it mildly, is more complicated than an outlaw business tracing back to identifiable individuals. There is a necessary and serious discussion to have about broken lives on this city’s streets. But scooters do not belong in it. Because San Francisco cannot solve America’s homeless problem with a cease-and-desist order. Whether scooters represent an unmet need or an unrealized want remains to be seen. But we can argue that the scooters could serve a useful purpose and also concede that VCs operating unregulated, for-profit businesses on city streets — and engaging in malthusian competition with one another — is not the way to an urbanist’s nirvana. It’s in any city’s interest to oversee how companies are using its public goods for profit. And it’s also in this city’s interests to oversee what those organizations do with residents’ information. The business model of most every vehicle-sharing outfit leans heavily on harvesting user data. Scooters are no exception; an alarming amount of your information will be scraped out of your mobile phone or gleaned via your internet activity, including where you go and when. A serious scooter-user will probably have to use multiple scooter apps — meaning they will be casting personal data to the wind. There’s a reason that the hard bargain the city drove with the Ford GoBikes people resulted in riders’ movements not being tracked as they navigate the city (provided you sign up on the GoBike site, and not the Ford Pass site). That could have been a problem if, say, Immigration and Customs Enforcement demanded the data. It would also have been problematic if data revealed a rider’s destination was, say, Planned Parenthood. Or, more benignly, Old Navy — and then the rider was bombarded with ads on his or her desktop computer.The GoBike docking stations, while ungainly, also prevent bikes from piling up in the trendy parts of town while being absent from poorer places a for-profit operation would gladly skip. The city mandated that bike stations be in underserved neighborhoods and be restocked regularly — and that indigent people can get a year’s membership for $5 cash. These are the sorts of concessions that come out of working with the city instead of acting imperiously and then hiring former city officials and PR mavens to marshal useful idiots to lobby the government on your behalf. City sources tell me that the regulations in the works for scooters mirror Seattle’s — which are lenient. So that means that yet another bad actor who did you-know-what on San Francisco’s head is probably going to get a sweet deal after all. But that’s on us. This is the city that knows how … to acquiesce to the whims of moneyed interests. We acquiesced to tech companies high-handedly operating vast private shuttle lines throughout the city and even squatting in Muni stops. We acquiesced to Airbnb running an expressly illegal business that cannibalized affordable housing during a housing crisis; we acquiesced to blackmail from Twitter; and we acquiesced to the hordes of Uber and Lyft and other vehicles rolling into town. “The scooters went full Uber on us,” noted a city official.   San Francisco fancies itself a savvy and technologically advanced city, but the notion of connected industries co-opting leaders likely dates back to Mesopotamia. The sight of wealthy corporations and individuals overtly flouting the rules with deference from the powers-that-be harks to the developing world — but, then, so does this city’s juxtaposition of wealth and poverty. Our remaining law-and-order types grouse that we roll out the red carpet in San Francisco for law-breakers. They’re thinking about the dope dealers and robbers and auto burglars who commute into town daily. But one needn’t limit this observation to street crime. Hell, at least we’re consistent. The purveyors of electric scooters put out publicity material lauding their product as if it’s the Jetsons’ car that folds into a briefcase. So, fine. Write moderate regulations. Be as lenient as you please. Then ban all the bad actors who came in here lawlessly; let some other VC-backed companies save the world with their electric scooters. Otherwise we’ll continue to carry the reputation as everybody’s test bed and pushover. And we’ll deserve it. Tags: Transportation Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletterEmail Address 0%last_img read more

first_imgA mural depicting Cesar Chavez, the co-founder of the United Farmworkers Union, was vandalized sometime Tuesday night.The mural “Y tu, y yo y Cesar” was dedicated to Chavez, to the community and to other revolutionary heroes, said Carlos Gonalez, the artist, who’s also a former probation officer.It was defaced with gang tags, including a “16” scrawled on part of Chavez’s face and an X crossing out the eagle, the symbol of the United Farm Workers.In recent years, the eagle has also been adopted as the icon of rival prison gangs. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Already, Gonzalez said, community members who work with youth have offered “to educate” those responsible about the mural’s history and heroes. It was particularly troubling, he said, that the vandals are likely from the Mission.Gonzalez first painted a mural on the York Street wall in 1984 with muralist Ray Patlan, his mentor. “It was a mirror of the neighborhood, snapshots of people here,” he said, adding that gang members helped paint the first mural.Ten years later, that mural had aged and he asked Patlan for permission to paint another mural over it. Chavez had died in the spring of 1993, and Gonzales wanted to honor him as well as other heroes, including Pancho Villa. To keep with the spirit of the first mural, Gonzalez also added members of the community and the mural was painted with the help of at-risk youth.The mural, he said, will be restored. center_img Email Address,0%last_img read more

first_imgSTE Leonard continues our countdown to this year’s Academy Tour of Australia with reflections of 2009:“The Tour saw the emergence of four of this year’s first team squad, Tommy Makinson, Josh Jones, Jordan Hand and Joe Greenwood. The story of the latter is one of real inspiration to all our young players.“Joe, who hails from Saddleworth, was an unsigned player who came into the Australia squad late in the day. He was under no illusions that he was going to have to work tremendously hard when out in Australia but set out as soon as we set foot in Sydney to impress every coach on the tour with his attitude, hard work and performances in the games. Needless to say the club didn’t waste any time after touching down in Manchester in securing the services of Joe for the future years.“The tour also saw Anthony Walker, now at Wakefield, Carl Forster now at Salford, Nathan Ashe and Scott Hale who now plays in the premiership. Sunday’s trophy winning Swinton side featured Aaron Lloyd with an array of players playing in Division 1 also making the 2009 tour.“The tour was also to see the first defeat of a touring side when we lost to Cronulla Sharks by 34-20 in sweltering heat. In true Saints’ spirit the squad dusted itself down and went into the last game with the Penrith Panthers with nothing but a win in their minds.“The outcome was one of the finest games of our trips to date with a hard earned win by 16-10.“The tour always concludes with an awards ceremony back at base at the foot of the Blue Mountains – the winners were Carl Forster, Anthony Walker and Nathan Ashe who all went on make first team debuts for the club.“One of the highlights of the tour has to be Mike Rush’s encounter with what can only be described as a whopper of a snake making its way out of the mid-day heat under the sleeping quarters of the said Mr Rush.“The scream was blood curdling and just when we thought he had got over his encounter with a quiet afternoon nap, he was cruelly attacked with a hose pipe brushing his cheek while he rested… Again he matched the scream to the same decibel level and from that tour to this he has never slept in the same room.“The comment of the tour was moments after the snake was seen and Mike had set off on his Forrest Gump run away from the scene… one of the players asked which way was is the snake going Mike?“To which he replied “you don’t think I’m bloody chasing it do you!”“All great memories.”Tourists:1. Nathan Ashe2. Marcus Baines3. Adam Barber4. Joseph Bate5. Jordan Case 6. Liam Fishwick7. Carl Forster8. Jack Francis9. Thomas Fry10. Joshua Greaves11. Scott Hale12. Jordan Hand13. Daniel Hunter14. Thomas Johnson15. Daniel Jones16. Joshua Jones17. Ben Karalius18. Aaron Lloyd19. Thomas Makinson20. Jordan O’Neill21. David Pike22. Adam Tatlock23. Daniel Wakefield 24. Anthony Walker25. Callum Welsby 26. Stephen Yates27. Joseph GreenwoodResults:St Helens 18 v 6 West Tiger CubsSt Helens 36 v 6 Balmain Tigers St Helens 20 v 34 Cronulla SharksSt Helens 16 v 10 Penrith PanthersThe Tourist’s View:Keiron Purtill, Coach: “The experience of a lifetime should be the title of the tour. What an absolutely fascinating insight into the world and lifestyle of a full time rugby player it gives to young players. The memories made on this trip could never be replicated by staying in the UK.“As a coach it was intriguing watching young boys leave and come back young men. Having to adapt to new situations for some – the first time to cook, clean and wash for themselves was an eye opener.“Then for them to deal with full time training playing in testing conditions against bigger and more physical players with intimidating crowds and overcome this. All this is a testimony to all the staff and players who have been involved from the first tour to present. A legacy has been left for others to follow.”Ross Mitchell, Physio: “The 2009 tour was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I had no hesitation in agreeing to go as the travelling Physio. The whole trip was incredible, not just for the players but the staff too. A real team bonding experience for all, with loads of activities and experiences that I’ll never forget.“The rugby was a tough challenge and the lads got a real taste of being a full time professional. It’s something I’ll never forget and I am very grateful that I got to go.”The 2009 Tourists.Keiron Purtill and Ian Talbot.last_img read more

first_imgDerek Traynor’s side are looking to secure their play-off spot in the Academy Championship and a win would take them top of the table.His squad is:Alex Eckley, Ben Sims, Brandon O’Neill, Callum Hazzard, Chris Follin, Jack Welsby, Jake Wingfield, Joe Sharratt, John Hutchings, Jorge Lewtas, Josh Simm, Kev Brown, Matty Foster, Ryan Horne, Sam Royle, Sean Croston, Tom Nisbet.Entry is £5 and £2 and is free for 2018 Members.last_img

first_img Young wants to teach others about how treacherous the ocean can be by sharing tips that could potentially save lives.“Many hazards on the beach, rip currents, other stuff, shark attacks,” attendee Carson Mauney said.Teaching beach goers about rip currents, what is in the ocean and how to perform CPR were all on the lesson plan.Related Article: When will bridges close due to bad weather?“Educate people about the water and you can see it’s kind of a rough day today. People get in trouble in the water especially if they’re not familiar with the ocean and so that’s what we are here for, is to try to just make people more aware of the dangers of the ocean,” Oak Island Water and Rescue Team Lieutenant Tony Young said.With the help of Oak Island Water and Rescue Team, Oak Island Fire Department and volunteers there was plenty of help to teach these skills.“CPR is one of those things you can actually save somebody’s life and it’s not hard to learn. It’s very useful and you don’t know when that time will have to come,” Oak Island Fire Marshal Joe Snapp said.If that time does come, knowing how to handle the situation properly could help save someone. OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — While many go to the beach to relax, it can be easy to forget the dangers of the ocean.“You hear about people getting hurt or something it’s in Australia or Hawaii, it’s not here. It’s never in your home town, so it’s definitely important. I learned a lot. I learned that it’s good to be prepared. That’s why I do this and ya know to teach, try to help teach others,” event organizer Mike Young said.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_imgCars and trucks were moving slowly along Highway 74 on the way to Wilmington due to a sheet of ice on the road on January 5, 2018. (Photo: Basil John/WWAY) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Conditions throughout Brunswick county are icy and tricky. The magical feeling the snow brings has been replaced by a frustration because of the ice on the road.Highway conditions throughout Brunswick county were spotty, making the drive throughout Brunswick county fairly risky. Earlier today, there was massive back-up on Highway 74. Cars and trucks were slowly moving along a sheet of ice to get into the Wilmington Area. Those conditions led to a shut down of Highway 74, going eastbound. By the afternoon, it was reopened and several snow plows were seen cleaning the road. Many people were worried going out on the roads.- Advertisement – “I think it could be a little bit better in spots. I know the shady spots is pretty bad. I hit a spot a little earlier up 17 and I kind of slid a little bit. So they could probably do a little bit better cleaning up but I don’t think they got that equipment like they do in other areas,” Buddy Thomas, said.“I was hoping as we came up seventeen that we would see at least a scraper with a salt truck behind it, you know it’s starting to get slushy now. Now would be the time to get it up and we didn’t see anything. So I think with the refreezes probably tonight and the next couple of nights it’s still going to be a mess in the shady spots,” Joyce Thomas, said.Multiple area throughout Brunswick county reported better conditions. Places like Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Oak Island, Calabash and Shallote were doing much better and their roads were mostly clear.Related Article: ICE detains man driving pregnant wife to hospital to deliver baby, says he’s wanted for homicide in MexicoBrian Watts with emergency services asks for people to still be careful this weekend and some ice remains on the roads.last_img read more

first_imgThe 24th annual Cucalorus Festival will take place November 7-11, 2018 (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (News Release) — For the fifth year in a row, Cucalorus Film Foundation is proud to announce their receipt of an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).The $20,000 grant will support the 24th annual Cucalorus Festival, happening November 7-11, 2018 in downtown Wilmington, NC with its three main programs: Film, Stage and Connect.- Advertisement – Cucalorus connects visionary leaders in film, performance and technology and supports the creation of new work, the development of new ideas, and the establishment of new partnerships through festivals, residencies, funding and education.Cucalorus explores innovation and creativity wherever it shows up in our world and supports the development of creative leaders who shape economic and cultural trends at both the local and global level.National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.Related Article: Support local filmmakers at Cape Fear Independent Film FestivalThe Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.Cucalorus is one of two organizations in Wilmington, NC to receive funding through this grant.“These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to Cucalorus, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu.“NEA funding allows Cucalorus to support bold new artists from all over the world, to connect them with North Carolina audiences, and to showcase the City of Wilmington as a world class cultural destination,” says Cucalorus Executive Director Dan Brawley. “We’re proud that our organization continues to receive support from the most important arts funder in the country.”At Cucalorus 23 last November, 203 separate events during the 5-day festival brought an accumulated attendance of 19,069 to Wilmington.For more information about Cucalorus, visit cucalorus.org. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.last_img read more

first_img At that time, NWS offices across the states will be issuing a tornado warning test.All communication devices that are setup to receive emergency codes from the National Weather Service will sound their siren alerting the public of a tornado warning for their area. This includes cell phones, television and radio broadcasts and NOAA Weather Radios.For radio stations, a message will be heard from the National Weather Service explaining that this is a test.For television stations, a crawl will appear on the screen notifying viewers of a tornado warning, as well as audio explaining that it is only a test.Cell phones that are set up to receive emergency codes from the National Weather Service will also receive a warning and test message.Schools and the public are encouraged to practice their tornado safety procedures at that time.Related Article: How well does Carolina Beach respond to tropical systems?In the event that significant weather is expected, the statewide tornado drill will be rescheduled and a message will be announced to the public of the change. Tornado drill (Photo: MGN Online) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A statewide tornado drill is scheduled for Wednesday morning in both North and South Carolina as part of the National Weather Service’s “Severe Weather Awareness Week.”The drill will take place at 9 a.m., March 7, 2018, in South Carolina and at 9:30 a.m. in North Carolina.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_img Ranging from the increase in medical calls to which the department is responding to additional equipment or procedures needed to ensure firefighters remain safe, the 22 points raised by Martinette’s memo come from a staff survey. While the document only includes one budget request — about $18,000 for 63 bulletproof vests — for the $18.7 million agency, it does raise the possibility of such requests in the near future.Bill Saffo, Wilmington’s mayor, said, “There’s a lot of work to be done in the next couple of years, and these folks are always strategically planning and looking at things, so I’m sure they’ll be coming to us with some specific recommendations in this year’s budget.”Click here to read more at StarNews. (Photo: Dustin Dorsey/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) Fire departments across the country are seeing a shift in services from firefighting to medical aid, a shift Wilmington is not immune from, according to a memo from the city’s fire chief to city management that raises a series of concerns that could impact the agency in future years.“It is in the spirit of conversation that I bring these issues to you and in doing so hope to create a degree of understanding as to what it will be important the fire department work on should we want our services to continue being high performance,” WFD Chief Buddy Martinette wrote in the July 25 memo to Tony Caudle, one of Wilmington’s deputy city managers.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_img United Way Day is a way to help fund more of those programs. Watch the video of Shaun Olsen, with the United Way of the Cape Fear, who appeared on Good Morning Carolina to tell us more. LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Hurricane Florence damaged homes and businesses and it also caused a huge drain on non-profits and local charities that depend on the United Way for funding.A big part of what the United Way does is provide funding to partner agencies such as Communities in Schools, the Food Bank, the Domestic Violence Shelter and dozens more. The United Way says they always receive more requests for funds from these agencies than their community campaign can support and this year was tough.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new Henrietta has arrived in the Port City.According to the Cape Fear Riverboats, the river boat will soon be available for events, private charters, and sightseeing.- Advertisement – They say they are also considering to use the boat for dinner/cocktail cruises, but on a smaller scale than what they had on the Henrietta III.In April 2016, the Henrietta III was sold and moved south to be a part of the Pleasure Boat Cruises in Fort Myers, Florida.Henrietta is located on the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington.last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement A new law to curb digital and online piracy in Nigeria will be drafted next year as disclosed by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).The law will replace the old act and the NCC said it has worked with Microsoft, Google and MultiChoice in formulating it.Aderemi Adewusi, deputy director and head of public affairs department of the commission, was speaking to staff at the Abuja offices of This Day newspaper. – Advertisement – Adewusi said Google had trained NCC staff on how to tackle online piracy and the organisation will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the internet giant, with Google supplying machinery needed to monitor and regulate activity.The bill is currently in its draft stage, while meetings with stakeholders are ongoing, and will be presented shortly.Despite challenges in both human and financial resources, Adewusi said they have won several convictions in cases brought against pirates.Between January and July the NCC have seized around NGN1.1 billion (US$6.8 million) worth of materials with 109 cases awaiting prosecution.The agency, Adewusi said, is in dire need of the press in order to change people’s attitudes towards piracy.He added: “We represent a very big industry and if you have been aware, throughout last year and lately there have been so much in the press about raids and enforcement activities and despite our size and financial constraint, we are doing the job as we can and more committed to our mandate of dealing with copyright offenders.”Credit: Humanipolast_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Social Media giant Facebook is testing a new, content-heavy mobile ad that wraps a lot of the company’s existing ad formats like image carousels and autoplay video into one product.The new ad looks like a Facebook post, but opens into a full screen ad that operates like a mini version of an advertiser’s website, allowing users to scroll through multiple pages of videos, images and text.Users can click away to an external site, although the ad content is primarily hosted on Facebook. – Advertisement – The video below from Recode gives a preview of what the the new ad format looks like. Your browser does not support iframes.Facebook is only testing the format with a small group of advertisers, meaning there’s a great chance you won’t even see these ads on the app any time soon.Via RECODElast_img read more

first_imgTechnologies That Are Still Alive And Kicking. Image Credit: The Byte Beat Advertisement Sony’s announcement Tuesday that it would soon retire its Betamax videotapes — which debuted to great success in 1975 before being booted into obscurity by VHS tapes the following year — provoked much of the same reaction: They were still making those?It turns out there’s plenty of outdated tech still being produced and used across the world, and not just for the sake of nostalgia. Here are five technologies we can’t believe are still alive and kicking.Floppy disks favored by the U.S. governmentImage Credit: Quartz – Advertisement – You might not have touched a floppy disk since the early ’90s, but they’re still in use at the White House, a New York Times story revealed in January.According to a profile of Obama’s top tech adviser Megan J. Smith, the administration is still “run in part on the floppy disk,” a storage device first developed in the 1960s.However, they may not be all that common. Smith later told Bustle that she hasn’t actually seen any being used.Floppy disks are also in use at the U.S. Air Force nuclear missile facilities in Wyoming. Last year, “60 Minutes” discovered that land-based nuclear missiles at the facility are operated by archaic computers running massive 8-inch floppy disks.The U.S.’s ancient voting machinesThe U.S.’s ancient voting machines. Image Credit: DispatchVoting machines used in the U.S. are so outdated, they’re kept operational using spare parts off eBay, a “Daily Show” segment reported Monday.The old and expensive machines can cost around $6,000 and are prone to breaking, often causing huge lines at polls and turning people away from voting, correspondent Ronny Chieng explained.The $2 billion that Congress provided states to upgrade machines was used up over a decade ago. Meanwhile, Chieng notes, effective voting machines in India are the size of a briefcase and cost $175.“If only you could harness the billions spent on these campaigns and their stupid ads,” he laments.Audio cassette tapesAudio cassette tapes are selling better than ever for some suppliers. Image Credit: WikimediaIt’s no secret that the booming vinyl market has found customers in the generation raised on CDs and MP3 players, but you might be surprised to learn that audiocasette tapes are selling better than ever for some suppliers.The National Audio Company, the largest and one of the last remaining audiocassette manufacturers, told Bloomberg Business that it’s been a banner year for the Springfield, Missouri, company.“Now, we’re making more audiocassettes than we’ve ever made, and that’s something to say in 2015,” NAC president Steve Stepp told Bloomberg Business in September.“There was a drive from the independent bands to get that warm analog sound again, and it just continued to grow and grow,” NAC production manager Susie Brown explained.[related-posts]Beepers beloved by doctorsImage Credit: KevinmdWhile cell phones have driven beepers, or pagers, to near extinction, the medical industry still largely relies on them. Doctors and nurses carry the devices because they “are creatures of habit,” and because the cost of supplying smartphones to staff and securing cell service on hospital campuses is prohibitively expensive for medical institutions, analyst Ronald Gruia told Fortune in 2013Because they don’t rely on rechargeable batteries or finicky cell networks vulnerable to busting during an emergency, Vice explains, beepers remain the most secure form of communication among medical professionals responding to crises.Fax machines in JapanImage Credit: Japan TimeWhile the U.S. was adding fax machines as artifacts to the Smithsonian Museum, The New York Times reported in 2013, Japanese households bought 1.7 million old-style fax machines in 2012 alone. Although sales dipped to closer to 1.2 million in 2014, The Japan Times noted, the machines remain a fixture. “There is still something in Japanese culture that demands the warm, personal feelingsthat you get with a handwritten fax,” business owner Yuichiro Sugahara told The New York Times.Nearly all business offices and nearly half of private homes had one as of 2011, the country’s Cabinet Office told the paper.Fax machines are similarly common in Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported in January.[The Huffington Post]last_img read more

first_imgGoogle Inc. rolling out an improved detection and filtering mechanisms for it’s Google Play Store. (Image Credit: Android Central) Advertisement On it’s newest updates rolled out last weekend, Google has added a Free Apps Section in its Play Store app marketplace that serves up a paid Android app for free every week. However, one detail to note is that the new free apps section only appears to be available on US storefront for now as the company didn’t specify/mention/comment whether the new section would be made available globally.The apps are free for a maximum of 8 days and only once in 30 days.One of the apps seen in the free app section is a card game based on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time franchise; Card Wars which costs $2.99, but can now be picked up at no charge right for now. – Advertisement – According to online reports, the search-firm only recently allowed developers to run sales on their paid apps (along with the ability to make them available for free for as long as they liked) while displaying the full price.According to Android Police, accessing the Free Apps section is fairly simple. If you’re using a desktop, simply point your browser to the Google Play Store and then click on the Apps section. Once in there scroll down right to the very bottom to find the free app section.Notably, Apple also has the free app section which it introduced in 2012 offering one free app per week.Editor’s Note: The store previously had a free weekly app promotion in 2015, but it seems to have died out at some point.last_img read more

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first_imgShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778EMAIL: jadeboyd@rice.eduRice University’s Moshe Vardi wins IEEE Computer Society Goode AwardRenowned logician honored for fundamental and lasting contributions to computer scienceRice University computer scientist Moshe Vardi has been named the winner of the IEEE Computer Society’s 2011 Harry H. Goode Award.Vardi, Rice’s Karen Ostrum George Professor in Computational Engineering and director of Rice’s Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology, is a renowned logician and member of the National Academy of Engineering. He also holds the high-profile post of editor-in-chief of the Association of Computing Machinery’s flagship publication, Communications of the ACM.The Goode Award was established to recognize achievement in the information-processing field — either a single contribution of theory, design or technique of outstanding significance; or the accumulation of important contributions on theory or practice over an extended period. In announcing this year’s award, the society said Vardi was honored for his “fundamental and lasting contributions to the development of logic as a unifying foundational framework and a tool for modeling computational systems.” Logic, which is sometimes called “the calculus of computer science,” is fundamental to research areas such as artificial intelligence, computational complexity, distributed computing, database systems, design verification, programming languages and software engineering. Using logic as a framework, Vardi has cultivated research in intelligent databases, multi-agent systems and automated reasoning.Vardi earned his doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1981 and is the author and co-author of approximately 400 articles and two books, “Reasoning about Knowledge” and “Finite Model Theory and Its Applications.” He was honored with the 2010 Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award for his leadership, including the organization of an influential 2006 report on overseas job outsourcing in the software industry. The report dispelled some myths about software offshoring and reinforced the case that computing plays a fundamental role in defining success in a competitive global economy.Vardi’s other honors include the 2010 Distinguished Service Award from the Computing Research Association, the 2000 Goedel Prize for outstanding papers in the area of theoretical computer science and the 2008 ACM Presidential Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, the European Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europea; he also is a Guggenheim fellow and a fellow of IEEE, the ACM, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.The Goode Award is named in honor of computer scientist Harry Goode. For further information about the award, including a list of past recipients, visit: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/awards/harrygoode. FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

first_imgAddThis ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327druth@rice.eduJade Boyd713-348-6778jadeboyd@rice.eduRice unveils new method to grow synthetic collagenNew material may find use in reconstructive surgery, cosmetics, tissue engineeringIn a significant advance for cosmetic and reconstructive medicine, scientists at Rice University have unveiled a new method for making synthetic collagen. The new material, which forms from a liquid in as little as an hour, has many of the properties of natural collagen and may prove useful as a scaffold for regenerating new tissues and organs from stem cells.“Our work is significant in two ways,” said Rice’s Jeffrey Hartgerink, the lead author of a new paper about the research in Nature Chemistry. “Our final product more closely resembles native collagen than anything that’s previously been made, and we make that material using a self-assembly process that is remarkably similar to processes found in nature.”Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is a key component of many tissues, including skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and blood vessels. Biomedical researchers in the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine, or tissue engineering, often use a combination of stem cells and collagen-like materials in their attempts to create laboratory-grown tissues that can be transplanted into patients without risk of immunological rejection.Animal-derived collagen, which has some inherent immunological risks, is the form of collagen most commonly used in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery today. Animal-derived collagen is also used in many cosmetics.Despite the abundance of collagen in the body, deciphering or recreating it has not been easy for scientists. One reason for this is the complexity collagen exhibits at different scales. For example, just as a rope is made of many interwoven threads, collagen fibers are made of millions of proteins called peptides. Like a rope net that can trap and hold items, collagen fibers can form three-dimensional structures called hydrogels that trap and hold water.“Our supramolecules, fibers and hydrogels form in a similar way to native collagen, but we start with shorter peptides,” said Hartgerink, associate professor of chemistry and of bioengineering.With an eye toward mimicking collagen’s self-assembly process as closely as possible, Hartgerink’s team spent several years perfecting its design for the peptides.Hartgerink said it’s too early to say whether the synthetic collagen can be substituted medically for human or animal-derived collagen, but it did clear the first hurdle on that path; the enzyme that the body uses to break down native collagen also breaks down the new material at a similar speed.A faculty investigator at Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative, Hartgerink said scientists must next determine whether cells can live and grow in the new material and whether it performs the same way in the body that native collagen does. He estimated that clinical trials, if they prove warranted, are at least five years away.The paper’s co-authors include Rice graduate students Lesley O’Leary, Jorge Fallas, Erica Bakota and Marci Kang. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Robert A. Welch Foundation and the Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program of Texas.###A high-resolution image is available for download at:http://www.media.rice.edu/images/media/NewsRels/Hartgerink.jpgCAPTION: Rice University researchers Lesley O’Leary (left) and Jeffrey Hartgerink have unveiled a new method for making synthetic collagen, which could prove useful for regenerating new tissues and organs from stem cells.CREDIT: Jeff Fitlow/Rice UniversityA copy of the research paper is available at:http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchem.1123.htmllast_img read more

first_imghttp://news.rice.edu/files/2012/06/Closed-edge-graphene-nanoribbons.jpgResearchers at Rice University found that nanotubes of a large diameter can spontaneously collapse into closed-edge graphene nanoribbons when atoms on the inside wall get close enough to attract each other. (Credit: Ksenia Bets/Rice University) ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduFlattened nanotubes are full of potentialRice University researchers reveal details of ‘closed-edge graphene nanoribbons’HOUSTON – (June 20, 2012) – Squashed nanotubes may be ripe with new possibilities for scientists, according to a new study by Rice University.Researchers at Rice’s Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology have come up with a set of facts and figures about carbon nanotubes that appear to collapse during the growth process; they found that these unique configurations have properties of both nanotubes and graphene nanoribbons.What the researchers call “closed-edge graphene nanoribbons” could kick-start research into their usefulness in electronics and materials applications.The pioneering work led by Robert Hauge, a distinguished faculty fellow in chemistry at Rice, is detailed in a paper that appeared online this month in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.“A collapsed nanotube looks a lot like graphene in the middle, but exactly like buckyballs (carbon-60 molecules, a Nobel Prize-winning discovery at Rice) on the sides,” Hauge said. “That means you have the chemistry of graphene in the middle and the chemistry of buckyballs on the edges. And you can separate the two electronically by putting functional groups on the sides to isolate the top and bottom layers.“If you do edge chemistry that turns the sides into insulators, then the top doesn’t communicate with the bottom electronically, except through some van der Waals-type or excited-state interaction,” he said. “That’s where the new physics and perhaps electronic properties will come from.”The finding may lead to grown-to-order, two- or four-layer graphene nanoribbons with perfect edges, a product difficult to attain by unzipping or otherwise slicing nanotubes. “The graphene world is searching for ways to make well-defined ribbons,” Hauge said. “They always have to cut up graphene and end up with ill-defined sides that affect their electronic properties. These have the advantage of a much better-defined edge.”Hauge’s awareness of earlier work on nanotube collapse led him to study the phenomenon. “I’ve been interested in growing larger diameter nanotubes, based on catalyst particle size, for some time now,” he said. “We thought they could collapse, so we started looking for the evidence.”The team found that folds, twists and kinks in nanotubes seen through a transmission electron microscope and measured through an atomic force microscope were good indicators of collapsed nanotubes. These nanotubes were about 0.7 nanometers in height along the middle and a little more at what the researchers called the “highly strained bulbs” at the edges. But finding flattened tubes didn’t indicate how they got that way.Hauge approached Rice theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson to see how the intrinsic energy of atoms in graphene – one of his specialties – would allow such a collapse to happen. Yakobson put graduate student and co-author Ksenia Bets on the case.“Originally, we thought this would be a small and simple problem, and it turned out to be simple – but not that small,” Bets said. Using molecular dynamic simulation, she fit data from the experimentalists to atomistic models of single-wall nanotubes. “And then, using the same parameters, I produced results for double walls, and they also fit exactly with the experimental data.”The results gathered over six months confirmed the probability that at growth temperature – 750 degrees Celsius – flexible nanotubes fluttering in the gas breeze inside a furnace could indeed be induced to collapse. If two atoms on either side of the inner wall get close enough to each other, they can start a van der Walls cascade that flattens the nanotube, Bets said.“At first, it takes energy to press the nanotube, but you reach a point where the two sides begin to feel each other, and they begin to gain the energy of attraction,” Hauge said. “The van der Waals force takes over, and the tubes then prefer to be collapsed.”He said the energy required to collapse a nanotube decreases as the tube’s diameter increases. “It’s like a straw,” he said. “For a single-wall nanotube, the bigger it gets, the easier it is to distort.”More significant were calculations that determined the specific diameters at which nanotubes become prone to collapse. There’s a point, Hauge said, at which a nanotube could go either way, so the dispersion of nanotubes to nanoribbons in a batch of a particular diameter should be about equal. As diameter increases, the balance shifts in the ribbons’ favor.“It’s a playoff between the strain energy on the edges versus the van der Walls interaction in the center,” he said. Specifically, they found that freestanding single-wall tubes become amenable to collapse when they are at least 2.6 nanometers in diameter — what the researchers called the “energy equivalence point.” Theory dictates that diameter would drop to 1.9 nanometers for a single-wall tube sitting on a graphene surface, he said, because of additional atomic interaction with the substrate.Double-wall nanotubes reach energy equivalence at 4 nanometers, Hauge said, but nanotubes with more walls would take much more – probably too much – energy to collapse.Bets’ formulas agreed nicely with his group’s observations, Hauge said. “What we measured in this paper for the first time is the point where the energy of a collapsed tube is equal to that of an uncollapsed tube,” he said. “That’s the tipping point. Anything above, energetically, prefers to be collapsed rather than uncollapsed. It’s a fundamental property of nanotubes that hadn’t been measured before.”The discovery has implications for bundles of nanotubes beginning to see use in fibers for electrical applications or as strengthening elements in advanced materials. “The question is whether a layer of collapsed tubes in a bundle is actually more energetically favorable than that same bundle of hexagonally shaped tubes,” Hauge said. “That hasn’t been determined.”Many basic questions remain, Hauge said. The researchers don’t know whether a nanotube collapses along its entire length, nor whether pressure from outside could start a chain reaction leading to collapse. “It’s possible that you could apply pressure to force everything to collapse, and it would stay that way because that’s what it wants to be,” he said. They would also like to know whether a nanotube’s chirality – its internal arrangement of atoms – influences collapsing.But he believes nano researchers will have a field day with the possibilities. “This should get people thinking about the whole area of larger-diameter nanotubes and what they might offer,” he said. “It’s like what that guy on the radio used to say: We’ve all heard the story of nanotubes – and now we know the rest of the story.”Lead author of the paper is Chenguang Zhang, a visiting student at Rice also affiliated with Tianjin University. Co-authors with Hauge, Yakobson and Bets include former graduate student Zhengzong Sun; graduate students Seung Soo Lee and Francesca Mirri; Vicki Colvin, Rice’s vice provost for research, the Kenneth S. Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor of Chemistry, and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; and James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science. Yakobson is the Karl F. Hasselmann Chair in Engineering and a professor of materials science and mechanical engineering and of chemistry.The research was supported by Lockheed Martin, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research MURI program and the Air Force Research Laboratory, with partial support from the China Scholarship Council.-30-Related links:Read the abstract at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn301039vRichard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology: http://cnst.rice.edu/Default.aspxImage for download: FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more