Kampf Repeats As Grand Blue Mile Women’s Champion; Noelle Wins Men’s Race

first_img Complete Results Photos Story Linkscenter_img DES MOINES, Iowa – Heather Kampf successfully defended her Grand Blue Mile title on Tuesday evening, winning the women’s 1-mile invitational race in 4:37.52. Chad Noelle, competing in his first race as a professional, took the men’s title in 4:12.11.”Any time you’re successful somewhere, when you come back and try it again, it breeds confidence,” Kampf said. “It was great to come back and have a good race. Knowing the course is great, it’s logical, I like the course and it’s easy to understand how to race it.”Kampf held off Nicole Sifuentes, who finished second in 4:37.95, while Nikki Hamblin was third in 4:38.78.Noelle narrowly edged the talented men’s field as Frezer Legesse finished just one one-hundreth of a second off the winning pace while Riley Masters was third in 4:12.34.”This was a good way to start my career as a pro and I’ll be back to race on the Blue Oval in the 800 meters,” Noelle said. “It’s a surprise to myself, it feels really good. All of those guys are studs.”The Grand Blue Mile is an annual one-mile fitness run/walk sponsored by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in partnership with Nationwide and the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee, to engage individuals at all stages of fitness, encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. The Grand Blue Mile marks the competitive start of the 2016 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee. More than 3,500 runners took part in the 7th annual race in downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway.  Drake Relays competition continues on Wednesday with the start of the decathlon and heptathlon inside Drake Stadium. At 6 p.m., 10 of the top pole vaulters in the world are set to compete in the first Capital Square Vault, an elite pole vaulting competition held inside the Capital Square building in downtown Des Moines.2016 Grand Blue MileMen’s Invitational Results1. Chad Noelle, 4:12.112. Frezer Legesse, 4:12.133. Riley Masters, 4:12.344. Nate Brannen, 4:13.235. Robby Nierman, 4:13.586. Drew Windle, 4:14.35Women’s Invitational Results1. Heather Kampf, 4:37.522. Nicole Sifuentes, 4:37.953. Nikki Hamblin, 4:38.784. Rachel Schneider, 4:40.035. Amanda Eccleston, 4:44.416. Katy Moen, 4:50.047. Stephanie Jenks, 5:15.16Competitive and Recreational Division ResultsPrint Friendly Versionlast_img read more

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Free entry into SA national parks

first_imgStudents of the Southern African WildlifeCollege in Hoedspruit, Limpopo. It is hopedthat National Parks Week will encouragemore people to choose conservationas their career.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Reynold Thakhuli Sanparks GM: Media, Events andStakeholder Relations+27 12 426 5170 or +27 83 552 2020Janine ErasmusSouth Africans visiting the country’s national parks will get in for free during National Parks Week, which runs from 14 to 20 September 2009.The promotion will kick off with a ceremony in the Kruger Park’s Mopani camp.There are certain entry conditions during this time: presentation of a valid South African identity document is compulsory, although schoolchildren and other youth under 16 will be allowed in for free without proof of identity.However, free access will not be granted to commercial ventures like tour operations. In addition, the free access only applies during the week i.e. until 18 September.It’s also worth noting that Boulders in the Table Mountain National Park is not part of the free access scheme and normal tariffs will apply to all visitors. Boulders is the picturesque home of the famous Jackass penguin colony and is one of only three areas, along with Silvermine and the Cape of Good Hope, in the largely open-access Table Mountain park that asks for a conservation fee.Conserving natural heritageSouth African National Parks (Sanparks) oversees the annual week-long awareness drive, which was launched in 2006 with the ongoing theme of Know Your National Parks.The initiative aims to promote national parks as affordable holiday destinations for local and international visitors, particularly those with families.Sanparks CE David Mabunda said the National Parks Week campaign encourages South Africans, especially those in nearby communities, to visit their parks. This will help to develop a greater sense of national pride in this precious natural heritage, which will translate to more appreciation and conservation of the areas, ensuring their survival for future generations.“Through this project we also aim at building stronger constituencies and ambassadors of conservation and the environment,” commented Mabunda.Besides the free access, Sanparks has planned a host of activities in all parks – including exhibitions; tree-planting; clean-up and conservation drives; interaction with schools, pensioners and other community groups; and walks and talks with game rangers, among others.“The survival of the South African national parks system and our natural and cultural heritage lies in the people of South Africa and this year we are focusing on involving young people and communities,” said Mabunda.Sanparks says it will continue to promote National Parks Week in recognition of the natural treasure under its protection.“National parks provide recreational tourism experiences, opportunities to learn and grow, and places of quiet refuge,” said the organisation in a statement. “Through this week’s celebration we want to positively influence and inculcate responsible behaviour towards national parks and the environment as a whole.”Saving ecosystemsSanparks was established in 1926 when the National Parks Bill was tabled in Parliament, replacing the previous game reserve system. The latter placed more emphasis on the protection of animals than the protection of ecosystems as a whole. Also in 1926 the Kruger National Park became the first in Sanparks’s stable and the inaugural Sanparks board was appointed.Today the organisation is responsible for the management of almost 4-million hectares of protected land in 22 national parks.These are West Coast, Table Mountain, Bontebok, Karoo and Agulhas, in the Western Cape province; Knysna, Wilderness, Tsitsikamma, Addo Elephant, Mountain Zebra and Camdeboo in the Eastern Cape; Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld, Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Tankwa Karoo and Mokala in the Northern Cape; Golden Gate in the Free State; Marakele and Mapungubwe in Limpopo; Kruger in Mpumalanga; and Groenkloof in Gauteng.In recent years Sanparks has largely focused its efforts on making national parks more accessible to visitors to the country, so the tourist drawcards can continue contributing to the economy and help develop the rural areas surrounding them.Queries or comments? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.last_img read more

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Top Intranets Embrace Mobile Accessibility and Social Networking

first_imgCognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Intranets are becoming a higher priority for organizations. Intranet teams are growing in size, and the best of them are embracing new trends such as mobile accessibility and social networking.These are some of the findings from Jakob Nielsen’s annual report on the top intranets for 2010. Companies that made the list this year include General Electric, Trend Micro Devices and Walmart. Nielsen is recognized as one of the world’s foremost usability experts. His findings appear solid, though it is apparent that Intranet development is just on the verge of becoming a central communication environment for enterprise collaboration.This year, Nielsen says, top companies on the list had a median size of about 6,300 employees, which continues a year-to-year trend toward smaller businesses. He attributes it to the increase in availability of small-company-friendly intranet technology.In addition, intranet teams are growing, up to 14 people, 27% higher than the average team size in 2006. This is not a big surprise. The need to develop the best possible internal communications environments now cuts across multiple platforms, ranging from the web to mobile devices. More resources are required to keep these platforms synced and accessible to the employees in the organization.Mobile Intranet SitesThe best intranets had a separate mobile site for their employees. Of the companies polled, only 30% actually had a dedicated mobile site. Expect this to change in the year ahead. People are still getting to know how to use smart phones. It’s still rare for companies to launch application environments for users, but at least one company did: an iPhone web app. Soon, though, users will expect to have access “anytime, anywhere,” to their organization’s network. Social FeaturesThe social Web is finding its way into intranets. Nielsen cites two trends:social features for employees as individualsworkgroup support and other features that encourage work-related connectionsHe cites Walmart for its discussion and profile pages and Trend Micro’s TrendSpace, which includes the capability for employees to create their own content. Trend Micro goes as far as offering an elaborate system of reward points that accrue to employees when they contribute to the intranet’s community features.It’s noteworthy that social features are still just emerging in intranet environments, especially with the advent of enterprise collaboration services. Companies still have the chance to be recognized as innovators in this space, especially if they implement real-time update capabilities and mashup environments.Intranet Design is MaturingOverall, Nielsen comes to the conclusion that intranet design is maturing. In many respects, the Intranet has come of age.In the year ahead, intranets will change even more. Mobile usability and social networking features will continue to evolve, especially as teams begin to experiment with the wide variety of enterprise collaboration services now available. alex williams Tags:#enterprise#news#NYT#Trends IT + Project Management: A Love Affaircenter_img Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

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Making Healthier, Greener Foam Insulation

first_imgFlame retardants used in foam insulationWe don’t want insulation materials to catch fire, so it is logical to add flame retardant (FR) chemicals to these materials if it will prevent them from catching fire. That’s the reason HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) is added by all polystyrene insulation and TCPP (Tris [1-chloro-2-propyl] phosphate) is added to most polyisocyanurate and spray polyurethane foam insulation. These are both halogenated flame retardants — the first using bromine, the second chlorine. RELATED ARTICLES GBA Encyclopedia: Rigid Foam Insulation Polystyrene Insulation: Does It Belong in a Green Building?Avoiding the Global Warming Impact of InsulationInsulation to Keep Us Warm — Not Warm the PlanetCalculating the Global Warming Impact of Insulation The efficacy of flame retardants compared with thermal barriersCombustion studies that were done in the 1970s showed that if the insulation is not protected with a thermal barrier, there is no correlation between the presence of flame retardant and the extent of the resultant fire. Thus, the inclusion of a flame retardant does not seem to appreciably increase the fire resistance of foam insulation, according to a peer-reviewed technical paper recently published in the journal Building Research and Information.However, thermal barriers like 1/2-inch drywall work extremely well at containing fires. The 15-minute protection provided by 1/2-inch drywall gives occupants time to escape a fire. In other words, of the two measures used to impart fire safety to a building assembly (flame retardants in foam insulation and thermal barriers) almost all of the fire safety benefit is provided by the thermal barrier. The problem with these halogenated flame retardants is that they have significant health and environmental risks. The HBCD that is used in all polystyrene (both extruded and expanded) is being targeted for international phase-out by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. It is highly persistent in the environment and bioaccumulative in the food chain; it is believed to cause reproductive, developmental, and neurological impacts. Less is known about the TCPP used in spray polyurethane foam and polyisocyanurate, but there is significant concern in the health and environmental community.Building codes require that foam-plastic insulation meet a very specific flammability standard. But building codes also require — for most applications — that foam insulation has to be separated from living space by thermal barriers, such as gypsum drywall. As readers of this blog know, I’ve come down fairly hard on certain types of foam insulation over the years. The downsides include the blowing agents used in extruded polystyrene (XPS) and most closed-cell spray polyurethane foam and the flame retardants that are added to all foam-plastic insulation to impart some level of fire resistance.Now there’s an effort afoot to change building codes in a way that would allow manufacturers to remove the hazardous flame retardants. This is the subject of a just-published feature article in Environmental Building News (log-in required).This is a significant energy issue, because layers of foam insulation provide the easiest way to achieve the level of energy performance needed to approach net-zero-energy performance. If we’re going to add a lot of foam insulation to our homes, we want that to be safe for the occupants and the environment.center_img Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. Changing building codes to allow elimination of flame retardantsBecause the vast majority of the fire safety in a building enclosure is provided by the thermal barrier, a group of environmentally aware architects, chemists, and code experts is seeking to change building codes to allow non-FR foam to be used in applications where adequate protection is provided by a thermal barrier. (Full disclosure: I have been involved in this initiative.)The code change would allow the FR-free foam to be used below-grade, where the insulation is sandwiched between concrete and earth (hardly a fire risk), and where the foam is separated from the living space by a 15-minute thermal barrier, such as 1/2-inch drywall.For the former application (below-grade insulation), I believe it’s a no-brainer. Over half of XPS is installed below-grade, so I think there could be a very viable product free of flame retardants for this application. The change to building codes wouldn’t mandate the elimination of flame retardants, but it would give manufacturers the option to do so if they chose to. Eliminating the flame retardant for above-grade applications where there is a 15-minute thermal barrier isn’t a slam-dunk, but I believe the case being made is strong.Changing building codes, however, is a long, challenging process; I don’t know what chances the initiative has. In my article research, manufacturers expressed reservations that they don’t want to have to produce, distribute, and market two different lines of material, and they point out that they also have to be concerned with fire safety of material being stored and during construction (before drywall is installed).On the other hand, though, foam insulation manufacturers spend a lot to incorporate flame retardants into their products. The insulation contains a not-insignificant amount of these chemicals: 12.5% TCPP in open-cell spray polyurethane, 4% TCPP is closed-cell spray polyurethane, and 2.5% HBCD in extruded polystyrene. A lot of the strategies for “greening” building products increase the manufacturing costs, while removing expensive flame retardants should reduce costs. So there is some interest by the industry in this change.As described in our Environmental Building News article this month, “Getting Flame Retardants Out of Foam Insulation,” the code-change initiative is being targeted, initially, at the International Residential Code. If successful, an effort to change the International Building Code (for commercial buildings) will follow.last_img read more

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WB Governor sends report to Centre

first_imgWest Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has sent a report to the Centre on Friday on the ongoing violence in Darjeeling over the demand for a separate Gorkhaland State. “In the report, the Governor said all the stakeholders involved in the Gorkhaland issue should try to resolve the matter through discussion and restore peace in the Darjeeling hills,” sources in the Raj Bhavan told The Hindu.Earlier on Friday, a delegation of three Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) MLAs — Amar Singh Rai, Rohit Sharma and Sarita Rai — met the Governor and apprised him of the situation in Darjeeling. “The GJM delegation also stated that the State government is yet to issue any formal order stating that Bengali will not be made compulsory in the schools in the hills,” sources in the Raj Bhavan said. ‘Outsiders’ work’Addressing the media after the meeting, Mr. Sharma claimed that “those who are indulging in arson in Darjeeling are not GJM members but outsiders.” He also said the delegation had urged the Governor to “inform the Centre about the situation in Darjeeling and the suffering of the locals due to the State government’s stand over the Gorkhaland issue.”The GJM delegation also accused the State Government of “using force to disrupt the peaceful movement for the separate State.” (With PTI inputs)last_img read more

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Farmers get major chunk in Madhya Pradesh budget

first_imgMadhya Pradesh Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot on Monday increased the budgetary allocation for farmers by 145% over the previous year to ₹22,736 crore. Presenting his maiden budget in the Vidhan Sabha here, he said, “Under the loan waiver scheme, the State government has waived loans to the tune of ₹7,000 crore of 20 lakh farmers in two months. For the remaining farmers, ₹8,000 crore will be set aside.”To resolve farmers’ issues and implement schemes successfully, Mr. Bhanot said the government has decided to set up a farmers’ advisory council, comprising farmers’ representatives. Moreover, under the Krishi Bandhu Yojana, farmers will be trained in farming techniques. Horticulture schemeTo improve the income of those involved in horticulture and food processing, the State government has decided to launch a horticulture and food processing scheme, for which ₹100 crore has been earmarked. The government has decided to cover fishermen and shepherds under the Kisan Credit Card scheme.For panchayat and rural development, ₹25, 015 crore has been set aside, which was 26 % more than the previous year’s allocation, he said Quoting scriptures to stress the importance of cows, Mr. Bhanot proposed to earmark ₹132 crore for cow welfare and three models to develop gaushalas in the State.The government has also decided to hike grant to the State Waqf Board and Haj committee as well, he saidThe social security pension for elderly, widows and disabled has been raised to ₹600 per month from ₹300. This may benefit more than 42 lakh people, he said.Stating the government has decided to reserve 70% of vacancies for locals in new private firms, Mr. Bhanot said, “Immediately after assuming office, the Chief Minister had directed that changes be made in the industrial policy to this effect.”Industrial policyAs for industrial investment, he said, the government has approved a pilot project for a land pooling scheme and formulated a new industrial promotion policy. Mr. Bhanot said a new startup and a micro, small & medium enterprises policy has also been drafted.last_img read more

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