SANTA CLARA — Tight end George Kittle’s record-setting season earned him his first Pro Bowl invitation Tuesday, and 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk will join him at next month’s all-star festivities.Three other 49ers are Pro Bowl alternates: defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, kicker Robbie Gould and special-teams player Mark Nzeocha.Other 49ers who were thought to draw consideration but got snubbed were cornerback Richard Sherman and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey.Kittle, a …
OAKLAND — If emotion and drama can springboard a baseball team, the A’s find themselves in a good spot about now.They have had plenty of emotion and drama since returning home from a one-win trip through Toronto, Boston and Pittsburgh.Saturday, Oakland won for the fourth time in five games on the homestand, beating Cleveland 3-2 behind more brilliance from the bullpen (save for the ninth inning) and another walk-off celebration as Ramon Laureano’s bloop single to right knocked in the decisive …
A leaky shellYou might say that everything above the mudsills was a modest bonus: a decent floor frame in the portion built on site, a ten-year-old roof in excellent condition, and a 12’x24′ deck. Oh, and a buried 250-gallon propane tank, still mostly full of gas.The house had a gas water heater and a gas furnace. The furnace was in a tiny attic-like spot in the 16’x32′ part, and I could see outdoors through the eave vents from the furnace location. The thermal boundary was, like the framing, creative.The blower door number was a tad over 3,100 cfm50 — about 0.63 cfm50 per square foot of shell area. We aim for 0.05 cfm50 per square foot of shell area at South Mountain, and frequently do better. In this project we reduced the leakage ratio 25:1. More on that to come. What Is a Deep Energy Retrofit?The High Cost of Deep-Energy Retrofits Did it make sense to buy a house that needed so much work?A sensible person may ask, Why did we buy this house anyway? We looked at a couple of parcels in West Tisbury (we were clear we wanted to stay in this town) and I felt that I didn’t want to go through the disturbance process that accompanies the development of raw land. I’ve been preaching that we need to fix what we have already built. I can assure you now that I have put my money, far too much of it in fact, where my mouth is.When all was said and done, we paid about $100,000 more for this house than a parcel would have cost, and we got an excellent well, a Title V compliant four-bedroom septic system (this is a good thing: we could expand), two underground electrical services — one 100-amp service for the outbuildings, and one 200-amp service for the house — two funky but useful outbuildings, an excellent concrete foundation housing 1,000 square feet of basement, and a developed site. One section of the house was moved here from EdgartownThe owner learned that there was a house in Edgartown that the property owner wanted to remove, and that the house was available for free if he moved it.The Edgartown house was a stubby L-shaped building, with a 16’x32′ section that contained a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, and a 22’x25′ section with living area.What I think happened — this is conjecture on my part — is that, in haste to get the project underway, the new foundation was possibly put into place before the conversation with the house mover occurred. I hypothesize that the house mover looked at the 22’x25′ piece and said it would be difficult/costly/impractical to move. So in the end the 16’x32′ portion was severed from the rest and moved, and the 22’x25′ section was duplicated new on site. RELATED ARTICLES In June 2013, Jill and I moved into our new house in West Tisbury on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.This house has an interesting history. The owner of the place had been living on the lot in a structure that began its life as the body of a box truck. It was 8’x16′ and had a small attached shed that housed the water pressure tank and the water heater. A small gambrel loft had been built on top; I could just barely sit up inside.There was a small gas heater, a 100-amp electric panel, a sink, and some built-ins. No shower. There was an outhouse on the property. You might say this was a tiny house before the Tiny House movement began. Marc Rosenbaum is director of engineering at South Mountain Company on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. He writes a blog called Thriving on Low Carbon. Marc teaches a 10-week online Zero Net Energy Home Design course as part of NESEA’s Building Energy Master Series. You can test drive his class for free. The floor plan left a lot to be desiredThe floor plan had only one bedroom and the south side was very modestly glazed, so we knew we were in for an interior gutting project and major re-framing of the exterior openings. Note to self: this is expensive; it’s better to buy a house with a floor plan and orientation you like!Once the drywall and fiberglass were removed, it was clear that some creative structural design had been incorporated. The 16’x32′ portion had no structural ridge or ties across, so it was held up by paint. The rear had three substantial wood ties across at roughly 6 to 7 foot centers, but we needed to remove the drywall to see that each was attached to the wall with a single 1/2-inch-diameter lag screw — about 1/10th of the fastening capacity that the design load would merit. Good thing it hadn’t seen a significant snow load. BLOGS BY MARC ROSENBAUM Solving Our Design ProblemsMoving to a New HouseMinisplit Heat Pumps and Zero-Net-Energy HomesPractical Design Advice for Zero-Net-Energy HomesDuctless Minisplit Performance During Cold Weather All this happened in 2002-2003. I suspect the portion that was moved wasn’t much older than that, as the glass in the Andersen windows was dated 1996 and the walls were framed with 2x6s.The interior finish of the house was no great shakes: green carpet, white vinyl flooring, and inexpensive kitchen cabinets. There were some unpleasant odors, traceable to some rodent activity, and a 140-square-foot patch of basement floor where the water pipe came in from the well and the pressure tank and water heater sat; this area didn’t have a concrete slab, just crushed stone over filter fabric. Smelly soil gases.Plus, the insulation was in the ceiling of the basement, so the basement ran cold, which on Martha’s Vineyard means mold.There was a very creative outdoor shower, complete with clawfoot tub (see photo above). Bathtubs are another tale I’ll discuss in the future.
Reliance Industries is likely to be the next bigwig to join Hockey India League. According to sources, the business house will be the new owner of the Mumbai franchise after Dabur reportedly terminated its contract with Hockey India. “As per the recent developments, there are discussions being held with the Reliance group to take over the Mumbai franchise. An official confirmation is expected within a month,” a source told Mail Today.The Dabur group had pulled out of the league citing financial reasons. However, Hockey India has denied this even as it has been trying to find a new owner in its place. “After the success of the first two editions, the top officials were looking at expanding the league in the next season. So, after the Mumbai franchise pulled out, they did not want the team to be removed and hence started looking for possible owners to replace them. However, there is nothing confirmed as yet,” he said. The league, which was looking to expand from six teams to eight next season, suffered a huge setback after two of the six current teams withdrew. Besides Mumbai Magicians, Ranchi Rhinos also exited due to an alleged tiff with Hockey India over the franchise fee.While the players of the Mumbai team have already signed fresh auction forms for the mini-auction slated for next month, the players of the Ranchi team have not been informed about the future course of action.”We have only received an email from Hockey India stating that the Ranchi owners have withdrawn. There was no mention about the auction. We are yet to sign the auction forms,” a Ranchi Rhinos player told MAIL TODAY.advertisementNew Pune franchiseMeanwhile, Hockey India, on Friday, officially announced the inclusion of a new Pune-based franchise in the league. With the coming in of this franchise, there are now five teams in the fray, after the withdrawal of Mumbai Magicians and Ranchi Rhinos. The Pune franchise has been brought by a businessman, Anirban Sarkar.
Facebook Americans write pop songs and make movies for every holiday in the year; Canadians not so much. Example? It might be titled Black Christmas, but it’s actually more of a Halloween film. However, it does offer one surprising gem from the same American-born director of that film, Bob Clark. Adapted from the works of American humourist Jean Shepherd, A Christmas Story is a grouping of vignettes about family life and small-town America in the mid-1940s tied together with a rather flimsy plot device. All nine-year-old Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun, but his mother and teachers, even Santa, seem to be conspiring against him. This Norman Rockwell-like portrait of Middle America has become a staple of holiday television viewing – rivalling It’s a Wonderful Life for repeat showings. Generally thought to be an American film, only the exterior of the family house was shot in Cleveland, Ohio. The rest of the film was shot on location in St. Catherines, Ontario, and the old Magder Studio in Toronto. The house in Cleveland has now become a tourist attraction over the holidays, as fans of the film gather to visit. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Life was going well for Christopher Partee when the woman approached him in tears.The forklift operator had recently been made a permanent employee at a Memphis warehouse newly opened by a supply-chain logistics company. His new supervisor was friendly to him, giving him special assignments and sometimes grabbing lunch with him. Partee thought perhaps he himself could eventually become a supervisor.But he was about to make a decision that would upend his life. The woman, Tiffany Pete, asked Partee if he would serve as corroborating witness in a sexual harassment complaint against their supervisor. Partee was apprehensive but says he had seen his supervisor make lewd comments to women at the warehouse nearly every day, telling them what to wear and propositioning sex. He agreed to help and to speak directly to the supervisor.Within days, Partee was fired, along with Pete and two other women who had complained about being harassed.“I was thinking about not getting involved because I had a feeling that something like this would happen, and it did,” said Partee, who eventually won a lawsuit against the company filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “But if a woman is crying, I’m not just going to sit there and do nothing. I’m not going to walk away and not do something about it. I’m just not that type of person.”Caught in the middle of workplace sexual harassment are often people like Partee: witnesses who struggle with how to respond. The scandals sending shockwaves through Hollywood, and the media and political worlds have left in their wake people who have expressed remorse for failing to do more to stop the inappropriate behaviour of powerful men.Among them are Charlie Rose’s executive producer, Louis C.K.’s longtime manager, and Billy Bush, who has apologized for laughing along when President Donald Trump bragged about grabbing women’s genitals on the “Access Hollywood” tape. NBC is conducting an internal investigation into why anchor Matt Lauer’s alleged misconduct wasn’t stopped earlier. The director Quentin Tarantino has said he knew enough about Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour to have done more.Lost in the conversation are the stories of people in more ordinary work places who do speak up — and what happens next.Often, according to lawyers who litigate sexual harassment cases, they end up facing the same repercussions as the victims they were trying to protect. Some are labeled disloyal and denied career advancement. Others are fired. While the law prohibits retaliation against witnesses who oppose sexual harassment, it can be difficult to prove their case in court. Lawsuits typically take years to resolve.The dynamic ensures that many people stay quiet, particularly among working-class people who can least afford to lose their jobs, said Faye Williams, the regional attorney for the EEOC who oversaw the lawsuit on behalf of Partee and the three women against the company, New Breed Logistics.“We find in our work here at EEOC, including our sexual harassment cases, many employees in the workplace often look the other way or choose not to get involved,” Williams said. “One can understand why. They are generally low wage workers, earning minimum wage, single parents, and desperately need to work to survive.”Still, Partee is far from the only witness that EEOC has represented in recent sexual harassment cases.In a case settled in 2015, four men lost their jobs at a dried fruit processing plant in California for helping their female co-workers file a complaint about supervisors who were making lewd comments and rubbing up against them. Two of the men had organized a meeting with management to allow the women to voice their complaints.In Mississippi, a janitor was fired after she corroborated a co-worker’s sexual harassment complaint during an internal company investigation. In Texas, a recruiter for a physician services provider was let go after he accompanied a woman who filed a complaint about their division CEO.It took years for those lawsuits to result in verdicts or settlements mandating compensation for the plaintiffs. In the meantime, some of the workers struggled financially.Two of the dried-fruit plant workers said in court statements that it took them three years to find permanent work. One of them said he frequently argued with his wife about why he stood up for his co-workers instead of staying silent. The other got divorced.Partee’s case took seven years to make its way through the courts. During much of that time, he relied on odd jobs and food stamps. He was forced to move out of his apartment and into his mother’s house. He fell back on his child support payments.As often occurs in sexual harassment cases, the EEOC had to prove that Partee engaged in “protected activity” under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that deals with sexual harassment. Specifically, the company argued that Partee did not, in fact, oppose sexual harassment because he had not formally agreed to participate in an internal company investigation before he was fired. Partee had also warned his supervisor to stop his behaviour but the company argued that simply asking a harasser to knock it off did not constitute protected activity.New Breed claimed that Partee was suspended for clocking in overtime hours without authorization. It tried to argue that the human resources official who suspended him did not know he had agreed to back up Pete’s complaint. In the end, EEOC provided evidence the official knew Pete had named Partee as a witness.In 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of appeals in Ohio upheld a $1.5 million verdict against New Breed which has been bought by another company.Partee received $315,000, enough for to buy a modest house and pay back child support and other debt. The father of five children, now grown, has yet to find permanent work as forklift operator, relying on temporary jobs. He does not mention the New Breed case when interviewing for jobs, fearing that it will backfire and he will be labeled a troublemaker.“It would scare them off, like I’m a risk. So I keep my mouth shut,” he said. “A lot of people, they like to call you a snitch. They want to put that around you.”Employment law attorneys say they don’t often come across people like Partee. On the contrary, a major challenge in sexual harassment cases is finding witnesses to back up the plaintiff, said Debra Katz, a partner with the Washington-based firm Katz, Marshall & Banks.“When someone calls me, my first inquiry is, ‘Who are the witnesses who can confirm this individual harassed you?’” said Katz, who has litigated discrimination and whistle-blower protection cases for 30 years. “Retaliation is a real fear. Often what we hear is “Don’t use my name in your letter but when an investigation comes up, I will come forward and say what I know.’”Some advocates are hoping the #MeToo movement will embolden witnesses to speak up. One group of actors, including Anthony Edwards, Tate Donovan and Daniel Dae Kim, have joined the #IWillSpeakUp campaign that calls out men for staying silent about sexual misconduct.“We know that the majority of men are not abusive,” said Tony Porter, CEO of A Call To Men, which launched the campaign along with Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation. “The problem is that the majority of men are silent about that abuse.”But often, people who learn of sexual harassment are uncertain about what to do. Even Jane Fonda, herself a victim of sexual abuse, has said she regrets not speaking out when another actress told her about a troublesome encounter with Weinstein. She has said that at the time, she felt it was not her place to publicize someone else’s experience.That’s a common dilemma for employees in everyday workplaces, said Lynn Bowes-Sperry, a professor of management at Western New England University who researches on the difficulties faced by observers of sexual harassment. She said it points to the need for more rigorous bystander training for employees “that provides them with the skills to take action rather than just basic knowledge regarding legal liability.”Far removed from the #MeToo movement, Partee said he has no regrets.The women “actually thanked me a lot for being there for them,” he said. “Now when I think about it, it sends chills through me because you know when you did something right.”——————————News Researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed from New York City.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama’s employee pension fund has become sole owner of one of the largest chains of local U.S. newspapers.CHNI LLC has been acquired by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. The company includes 68 daily newspapers and more than 40 non-dailies plus websites in 22 states.The Montgomery, Alabama-based newspaper group is being spun off Raycom Media Inc., which is being purchased by the Atlanta-based Gray Television Inc. Raycom was owned by the retirement system.CNHI previously operated with the state retirement system as its creditor. CNHI chief executive Donna Barrett says in a statement the acquisition will provide stability for the newspaper group.Financial details weren’t announced.Alabama’s pension fund has other non-traditional investments including golf courses, airliners and the largest office building in New York City.The Associated Press
Austria42410-5.35.915.9 10South Korea4823.4+11.4 17Slovakia1320.3+3.3 CountryGoldSilverBronzeTotalvs. Exp.REMAININGFinal Sources: Sports-Reference.com, International Olympic Committee Kazakhstan010.30.2+1.2 Austria410-5.35.9+15.9 Sources: Sports-Reference.com, International Olympic Committee That shortfall is easily the worst gap for any country that has won at least one medal in Pyeongchang — and the U.S. doesn’t have a lot of time left to turn things around.Lindsey Vonn, a favorite in the women’s downhill skiing race, and both the women’s and men’s hockey teams have a chance to provide the U.S. with some measure of redemption. And if all else fails, there are still a few more snowboarding events on the schedule. But even if the Americans pick up the pace and play to their historical form for the rest of the games, our formula puts their total medal count at 26, which would barely clear Team USA’s uneven performance at the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy.And considering what we’ve seen in Pyeongchang so far, 14 more medals seems like a stretch. Through Tuesday’s action, 67 percent of this year’s medals have been awarded, meaning that the U.S. is technically on pace (based simply on how many they’ve won to this point this games) for about 18 medals total. That would be the fewest that U.S. athletes have earned in a winter games since they nabbed 13 at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.No matter how you slice the numbers, this continues to be a highly disappointing showing for the U.S. in South Korea. 6United States53412-10.814.026.0 7Olympic athletes from Russia03811-1.95.316.3 6United States512-10.814+26.0 20Spain0220+2.0 China07-0.63.9+10.9 Ukraine1001+0.00.21.2 Italy2248+0.43.311.3 Finland0033-18.104.22.168 5France54413+2.74.417.4 12Sweden470.24.7+11.7 Belarus1102-0.91.03.0 16Great Britain1034+22.214.171.124 Australia0213+0.61.24.2 Slovenia01-1.20.8+1.8 20Spain0022+2.00.02.0 Who’s ahead of pace — or falling behind — in Pyeongchang?Actual and expected medal counts by country in the 2018 Winter Olympics 17Slovakia1203+2.00.33.3 Latvia01-0.50.2+1.2 Kazakhstan0011+0.30.21.2 23Liechtenstein0110+1.0 10South Korea4228+2.03.411.4 3Canada85619+2.711.930.9 4Netherlands65314+4.35.419.4 2Germany117523-2.99.432.4 Switzerland27-1.25.7+12.7 5France5132.74.4+17.4 1Norway11299.38.1+37.1 2Germany1123-2.99.4+32.4 Italy280.43.3+11.3 Poland1012-126.96.36.199 Latvia0011-0.50.21.2 Australia030.61.2+4.2 8Japan25310+4.91.811.8 It’s now clear that the United States is destined for a very subpar Winter Olympics. With just 12 total medals in the games so far, the Americans are currently sitting sixth in the medal count — a whopping 17 medals behind Norway, the overall leader.According to the simple medal tracker we introduced over the weekend, the U.S.’s tally is 10.8 fewer than we’d expect at this point in the Olympics. (Our analysis is based on how countries have done historically in the various Olympic sports.) CountryGoldTotalvs. Exp.REMAININGFinal Who’s ahead of pace — or falling behind — in Pyeongchang?Actual and expected medal counts by country in the 2018 Winter Olympics 3Canada8192.711.9+30.9 4Netherlands6144.35.4+19.4 16Great Britain142.40.9+4.9 Slovenia0101-188.8.131.52 12Sweden4307+0.24.711.7 Belarus12-0.91+3.0 Expected Medals 8Japan2104.91.8+11.8 Finland03-2.93.5+6.5 China0527-0.63.910.9 23Liechtenstein0011+1.00.01.0 Poland12-1.10.7+2.7 1Norway1110829+184.108.40.206 7Olympic athletes from Russia011-1.95.3+16.3 Ukraine1100.2+1.2 Switzerland2417-1.25.712.7 15Czech Republic1236+2.32.08.0 Expected Medals 15Czech Republic162.32+8.0
The first pick of this year’s NFL Draft, Jadeveon Clowney, is a defensive end, and his selection marks the first time since 2006 that a defensive player was taken No. 1 overall. But does that mean teams put more emphasis on defensive prospects as a whole this year? And while we’re at it, how much did they invest in each position?We can begin to answer these questions by looking at how many Jimmy Johnson draft-value-chart points teams devoted to each position (3,000 points for the top pick, 2,600 for the second, etc.). “The Chart,” as it’s affectionately known in NFL circles, isn’t a very good gauge of the relative value of each draft spot, but that’s mainly because NFL general managers tend to overvalue the right to pick early. Research on draft-day trades has shown The Chart does a great job of describing how valuable teams perceive each slot to be, which is a more relevant shade of meaning for our questions anyway.As it turns out, while Clowney and the 3,000 draft points the Houston Texans spent on him were a feather in the cap for defense, teams spent the majority of their draft points on the other side of the ball this year. Specifically, they used 52.9 percent of points on players listed at offensive positions, 47.1 percent on defenders and 0.03 percent (21.1 draft points) on punters and kickers.How do those proportions compare to other drafts? Well, last year, the numbers were flipped: 52.2 percent of draft points were devoted to defense, 47.6 to offense and 0.2 percent to specialists. The long-term tendency, though, is somewhere in between. Over the last 10 years’ worth of drafts, the average NFL team spent 50.3 percent of its draft points on offense, 49.3 on defense and 0.3 percent on special teamers. Here’s what that looks like graphically:Positionally, you might think this was a big year for defensive linemen, given Clowney’s top billing. But overall, defensive linemen received only 17.7 percent of all draft points, 3 percent below the position’s overall 2004 to 2014 average of 20.7 percent. (Meanwhile, their counterparts on the offensive line were up 3.4 percentage points to 20.5 percent.) Quarterbacks were also down 1.8 percent compared to their long-term average, and running backs had a 3.9 percent shortfall. The big winners of this year’s draft, then, appear to be pass-catchers: Teams spent 3.5 percent more on wide receivers and 1.3 percent more on tight ends than those positions’ usual distribution.Here’s the summary of the percentage of draft points spent on each position over the last 10 years of drafts:These long-term percentages can also give us an idea of how general managers tend to value positions relative to one another, but we need to adjust for how many players in each position are typically on the field at any given time — something we can do thanks to Pro Football Focus’s snap counts. Armed with that data, I computed an “index” of how important teams seem to consider a given position (given the amount of draft investment in it) relative to the average player on the same side of the ball.Teams spent 15.2 percent of their points on running backs over the past decade, despite running backs only making up, on average, 1.3 of the 11 offensive players (11.8 percent) on the field for any given snap. Running backs have an index of 128, then — meaning teams used 28 percent more draft points on them than we’d expect.This metric is far from perfect — the draft is a fundamentally forward-looking endeavor, while the snap counts are retrospective and track an entirely different set of players — but it provides a good reference point when comparing this year’s draft to the long-term valuation of each position.