first_imgManagement at Letterkenny General Hospital had to contact HSE bosses to get permission to buy a new kettle.Staff at the surgical ward of Letterkenny General Hospital were left stuck for a cuppa when their kettle packed in.But when they asked for a new one, they were told they would have to apply to management. And due to cost-saving protocols, management at the hospital were forced to apply to outside Area Management.The hospital has a budget of €100.4 million for the year ahead.But staff have been told to cut-back on all purchases.The HSE said their financial position is very challenging and significant efforts are being made to reduce expenditure in areas that do not impact on frontline services. “As part of an ongoing cost containment programme, all areas of expenditure are under constant review and we have processes in place to ensure that all expenditure is approved accordingly – these processes apply to all purchases whether a single item or a large supply order.“As part of these processes orders for non-clinical supplies and any area of discretionary spend are routed via the Area Management Office for approval before the expenditure is incurred. These include things such as stationery, crockery, furniture and hardware,” said a spokesman.But Mayor of Letterkenny, Dessie Larkin, said the simple ordering of a kettle should need to take up valuable time by HSE managers.“I can understand the HSE keeping costs down but the purchase of a kettle should not need all this authorization.“Junior Minister for Finance Brian Hayes launched a purchase card scheme recently for Local Authorities to cover such items and cut out the need for a paper trail and additional work created by invoices and the like. “This strikes me as the perfect candidate for this scheme and the simple purchase of a kettle should not need authorization from hospital management,” he said.DonegalDaily.Com – Beware Cheap ImitationsFollow us on Twitter  – MANAGEMENT FORCED TO CONTACT HSE TO BUY NEW KETTLE! was last modified: February 9th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:HSEkettleLetterkenny General Hospitallast_img read more

Raiders’ Gruden puts Jets loss aside and wants his players to do the same

first_imgALAMEDA — Jon Gruden was in a better mood Monday after the Raiders most one-sided loss of the season than he was the day after any of the three straight wins that preceded it.“Tough day yesterday, but the sun came up today,” Gruden said at his weekly press conference Monday with a 34-3 loss to the New York Jets still fresh in his mind.There was one bit of troubling news, as wide receiver Hunter Renfrow was lost for an extended period and perhaps the season with a rib injury.Gruden rejected …last_img read more

South African web use surges

first_imgThe report – “South Africa’s Exploding Internet” – states that the number of South African internet browsers increased by 121% in the last two years, from 1.8-million in May 2005 to 3.8-million in May 2007.Over the same period, the number of South African web page “views” grew by 129%, from 91-million to 207-million.Affordable internet connectivity has been boosted recently, with state-owned telecoms company Telkom offering ADSL and broadband, cellular operators like Vodacom and MTN offering 3G and HSDPA access, and other companies like Sentech and iBurst offering wireless broadband.South Africa’s second fixed-line network operator, Neotel, is expected to offer similar services once it becomes fully operational.“In terms of the number of people using the internet, the most developed markets in the Northern Hemisphere have seen a plateauing of growth over the last year or so,” says Nielsen/NetRatings analyst Alex Burmaster.“In contrast, South Africa has seen phenomenal expansion – growing by around 50% in each of the last two years.“This type of growth is, of course, something we have seen across all markets as the internet has taken hold and moves away from being a niche activity to a very mainstream form of media and an integral part of life.”African language potentialThe majority of South Africa’s internet population speaks English, and the vast majority of South African online content is English.However, while the South African internet is experiencing huge growth in this area, Burmaster believes the opportunity for future “hyper-audience” growth lies in targeting African language speakers.English is generally understood across South Africa, being the language of business, politics and the media, and the country’s lingua franca. But it only ranks joint fifth out of 11 as a home language.According to the 2001 census, isiZulu is the mother tongue of 23.8% of South Africa’s population, followed by isiXhosa at 17.6%, Afrikaans at 13.3%, Sepedi at 9.4%, and English and Setswana each at 8.2%.Nielsen/NetRatings’ research report made the following findings on the demographics of South African internet surfers:SA’s internet population is split 54% male (2.15-million people), 45% female (1.79-million people)At 1.42-million people, South Africa’s 25- to 34-year-olds are the most dominant age group, accounting for 36% of the country’s online population – closely followed by 35- to 49-year-olds (1.37 -million: 35%).English is the dominant language – being the home language of around 2.10-million online South Africans (52% of SA’s internet population). Afrikaans follows at 1.11-million (28% of SA’s internet population).Burmaster says South Africa’s internet population is more concentrated around 25- to 49-year-olds than is the case in other English-speaking internet countries.“In South Africa this group makes up around 70% of the internet population, compared to less than 50% in the UK, around 45% in Australia and 40% in the US,” he said.last_img read more

Ohio State students dedicate capstone project to save wetland

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chip Tuson, Program Manager, Marketing & Communications for the Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental SciencesEach autumn, seniors majoring in Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering (FABE) at The Ohio State University begin a yearlong capstone design experience. Students form teams to address real-world problems sponsored university, local, and national clients and organizations. This year, 118 FABE students completed 23 projects. In addition, 39 Agricultural Systems Management (ASM) students also worked on 12 projects in a similar exercise.One group of ecological and biological engineering students chose a project close to home with those familiar with Ohio State’s Columbus campus: restoring the Carmack Woods. The Carmack Woods are a 6.5-acre undeveloped area on the west side of the Columbus Campus.“There was a point in time when the university considered developing the Carmack Woods area into a parking lot because they are losing a large parking area near medical campus,” said the team, consisting of ecological engineering majors Monica Backs, Lucas Froelich, Jake Radeff, Patrick Sanders, and biological engineering major Gio Papio. “Each of us listed this amongst our top requested projects because we each have a passion for the environment and preserving it for future generations.”The site was sponsored as a capstone project by the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW). While Ohio State no longer plans to turn the area into a parking lot, FLOW hopes to keep the area protected — a goal that the student team believes will ultimately benefit the University.Under the University Sustainability Goals, Ohio State is planning to double the tree canopy converge on campus. By preserving the Carmack Woods, the group believes it can help Ohio State reach its sustainability goals while restoring the area to be a healthy wetland of benefit to the campus and local community.“Wetlands have a tremendous importance to environmental wellbeing. They can hold water for long amounts of time, which can heavily reduce the amount of toxins in water. Additionally, by holding storm water, wetlands slow storm water entering the sewer system, and can prevent erosion. Finally, wetlands store large amounts of carbon, preventing it from returning to the atmosphere,” the group said.The group began by delineating the area as a wetland, a major step in preserving the Carmack Woods for years to come: “Should Ohio State choose to develop Carmack Woods, it is required by law that any area delineated as a wetland would have to be ‘moved’ or re-established elsewhere for mitigation. These constructed wetlands take a long time to become established and are not as environmentally beneficial as naturally occurring wetlands. The mitigation process is also expensive, which is another factor the university should consider.”With the help of a Coca-Cola Sustainability Grant from the Office of Student Life Energy Management & Sustainability, the team was able to purchase equipment to remove harmful native plants and native species to plant in the woods.“Receiving the grant from Coca-Cola shifted our focus immensely. What started as a boardwalk design project became an invasive species removal and ecosystem re-establishment endeavor,” said the team.Previously, replacing the invasive honeysuckle plaguing the Carmack Woods with native plants would have been too expensive. But with funding from the grant, the group shifted focus to improving the ecological health and biodiversity of the area by replacing honeysuckle shrubs with native trees and plants. In order to see this goal through, the team sought help from the local and campus communities.“By opening up the site for students and the surrounding community, we hope to increase public interest in the area and bring awareness to the environmental importance of wetlands,” said the group. “Getting their hands dirty and helping preserve a natural area close to home will be an exciting, fulfilling and fun experience.”The outpouring of support was tremendous. “We have received a lot of help and donations from external sources such as FLOW, Coca-Cola, Green Columbus, MAD Scientists & Associates, LLC., Pay It Forward, Mount Leadership Society Scholars, and other student organizations on campus.”The Carmack Woods capstone team hosted three volunteer events over the months of March and April. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the team was able to remove invasive species and plant over 500 native plants, shrubs, and seedlings in the woods.Though their project took place over a few months, the impact of this capstone team will be felt on the Columbus campus for years to come. To learn more about other capstone projects from FABE and ASM students, visit and follow the department on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @OhioStateFABE. Or to become an industry sponsor and work with future Capstone teams, contact one of our FABE course instructors, Jane Fife at [email protected]last_img read more

Urban Rustic: Kneewalls, Subfloor, and Exterior Walls

first_imgKeeping it mostly foam-freeWe’ve tried very hard to keep foam out of the wall assembly and the overall structure itself (based on environmental concerns). However, one place where it did find its way in was the insulated headers above the windows and doors (see Image #7 below).Once the perimeter walls were up, I went around with an impact driver and decking screws to tighten the connection between the Zip and the framing members, especially at the top of the walls. Although the Liquid Nails adhesive helps a lot, it still makes for an imperfect connection between the sheathing and the framing members. This should make sealing these areas easier, and the connection more durable.Having seen construction adhesive and nails in action, I would recommend a glue-and-screw approach if you’re trying to fully maximize the tightness of the connection between the sheathing and the framing. Because our lot is sloped, the plans called for a series of kneewalls. When I saw the first piece of Zip sheathing about to be installed, I realized the bottom edge, which is exposed OSB, would be sitting directly on top of the Roxul insulation on the outside of the foundation. While it’s unlikely that water will find its way to this edge (the flashing for the wall assembly will be installed over the exterior face of the sheathing at the bottom of the wall), it seemed like a good idea to tape this edge with Tescon Vana for added protection and peace of mind (even if it only protects this exposed edge until the rest of the wall assembly is installed).For the kneewalls, we protected all of the exposed seams in the framing lumber with Contega HF sealant before also applying the Tescon Vana tape, all of which was done prior to the Zip sheathing being installed. The sealant takes about 48 hours to cure enough before you can effectively cover it with the Pro Clima tapes (something to consider when setting up scheduling goals).For the bottom edge (the exposed edge) of the Zip sheathing, I cut the Tescon Vana tape like I was wrapping a present (see Image #2 below). Once the Zip sheathing was installed on the kneewalls, I could move into the basement and seal up the connections between the Zip and the framing members, in addition to hitting any seams in the framing itself (see Image #3 below). The walls go upOur wall assembly is almost entirely based on Hammer and Hand’s Madrona Passive House project, which I discussed in an earlier post.In preparation for construction, I built a mock wall assembly in order to make it easy to explain to anyone on site how the various components should go together. It also gave me a chance to practice using the Contega HF sealant, along with the various Pro Clima tapes from 475 High Performance Building Supply.We were careful to lay down a consistent and continuous bead of construction adhesive (trying to avoid a bead that runs back and forth between fat and thin) before the Zip sheathing was installed over the studs (see Image #4 below). We were fighting the rain, ice, and mud, but I was able to get the Tescon Vana tape over some of the seams in the Zip sheathing before the walls went up.Sample wall sections were a quick way of explaining important details.Sammy and Billy helped me apply the Contega HF sealant to each nail hole, and then make it lie flat with a swipe of the spatula, so the Tescon Vana tape that will be applied later will also lie flat (see Image #5 below). The final step before the walls were raised was to staple the B75 gasket to the bottom of each sill plate. Then the walls could be plumbed (see Image #6 below).There was only one section of wall where the B75 gasket rolled up on itself. No doubt this occurred because this was the most difficult section to get into place because of the stair opening. Otherwise, the guys had no issues with the gasket.On the wall where the gasket did roll up on itself, I will cut off the excess that ended up on the interior side before sealing the connection with the subflooring, and then spend some time filling the void on the exterior side with backer rod and sealant as well.Zach is the only dedicated, full-time framing carpenter on the crew. (The other guys do a variety of carpentry-related work.) He has a production background, and it shows with the energy and ease with which he works. He clearly enjoys what he does for a living. Sammy and Billy may not realize it yet, but they’re learning a lot from him (even if he does razz them all day long). Once the house gets closed in, I will go back and tape the connection between the top of the foundation and the mudsill for one last layer of protection against air infiltration. RELATED ARTICLES BLOGS BY ERIC WHETZEL Let the Framing BeginDetails for an Insulated FoundationThe Cedar Siding Is Here — Let’s Burn It An Introduction to a New Passive House Project Adding the subfloorWe decided to use Huber’s Advantech subflooring after years of reading about it in Fine Homebuilding magazine, and based on the online comments from installers who see the added benefits that come with what is an admittedly higher price point. For instance, it’s more resistant to moisture, so it should result in more stable, flatter flooring (whether hardwood or tile) when the house is complete, in addition to preventing annoying floor squeaks.In order to maintain a high level of indoor air quality (IAQ), we’ve been seeking out low- or no-VOC products. So, in addition to the Advantech subflooring, which is formaldehyde-free, we chose the Liquid Nails brand of subfloor adhesive (LN-902/LNP-902) because it is Greenguard-certified. Another great resource for anyone trying to build or maintain a “clean” structure is The Red Listavailable at the International Living Future Institute’s website.One thing to keep in mind: Liquid Nails subfloor adhesive takes much longer to dry when it’s cold and wet outside — at least two to three days in our experience (sometimes even longer). Creating High-Performance WallsHigh-Performance Walls, Part 2High-Performance Walls, Part 3High-Performance Walls, Part 4Six Proven Ways to Build Energy-Smart WallsBlue Heron EcoHaus: Adding Walls and RoofDesigning Superinsulated WallsThe Klingenberg Wall Editor’s note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The first blog in his series was called An Introduction to a New Passive House Project; a list of Eric’s previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric’s blog, Kimchi & Kraut.last_img read more