‘Despicable’ fire attack on social housing site under investigation

first_imgGardaí have launched a probe into a fire which was started on a building site in Letterkenny on Halloween night.Significant damage was caused when a lorry was set alight and another damaged on a construction site on Long Lane which has been designated for social housing.Fire services rushed to the scene in the early hours of Friday morning to bring the fire under control. The scene has been sealed off by Gardaí who are investigating the criminal damage incident and conducting door-to-door enquiries.The fire occurred in the Ard Ban site, where construction had just recently begun on the long-awaited 29-unit social housing scheme.The cab of one lorry on the site was extensively damaged by fire and the window of another lorry was broken in.Ard Ban, Long Lane, Letterkenny. Photo: Cllr Gerry McMonagle Cllr Gerry McMonagle has branded the fire as a ‘despicable attack on the community’.He said: “We have waited over three to four years for this site to open and for work to begin. Now, within a month we have this act of vandalism.“It is not only an attack on the lorries but it is an attack on the community. We all know how badly these houses are needed in Letterkenny.“People in the area are angry to see the work delayed. The contractor has lost a day’s work, workers lost a day’s work and we just want to see it up and running again to see the homes completed as soon as possible.”The Ard Ban development has been estimated at €5million and will consist of 12 two-bed units, 14 three-bed units and two four-bed units.Cllr McMonagle is urging the public to provide information to help gardaí with their investigations in the wake of the fire. “If anyone saw anything I would strongly urge them to pass it on to the gardaí to get the people responsible brought to book. I would also call on the people responsible to think about their actions,” he said.The incident is believed to have occurred between 1am and 2am on Friday 1st November. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Letterkenny Garda Station on (074) 916 7100 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.‘Despicable’ fire attack on social housing site under investigation was last modified: November 3rd, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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)last_img read more

Ex-Giants pitcher Randy Johnson gets trolled in Edgar Martinez HOF speech

first_imgThere are a lot of reasons to love baseball’s Hall of Fame weekend. Not the least of which is the “now they can be told” stories.One was told on Sunday, and it was aimed, good-naturedly, at Randy Johnson — born in Walnut Creek, reared in Livermore, spent his last MLB season with the Giants (winning his 300th game), and a member of the Hall of Fame class of 2015.Johnson spent considerable time with the Seattle Mariners as a teammate of Edgar Martinez, who was inducted over the weekend. The …last_img

Wind Power Today and in the Future

first_imgLast week we reviewed the history of wind energy, including its use for pumping water and generating power. This week we’ll take at look at the state of the art with wind power and what’s ahead.The growth of wind power over the past decade has been nothing short of spectacular. In ten years, from 1998 to 2008, installed world wind energy capacity increased more than 12-fold, from 9,700 megawatts (MW) to 121,000 MW, according to the World Wind Energy Association. During the same period, U.S. wind power capacity increased nearly 13-fold, from 1,946 to 25,170 MW. Having been the world leader in wind power until 1997, the U.S. lost that position to Germany for the next ten years, but recaptured the world leadership in 2008, with a remarkable 49.7% increase in capacity over 2007. This is still just a tiny percentage of our total power generation, but it’s increasing faster than other energy source.The vast majority of this growth has been not in individual wind turbines for homes or businesses, but in utility-scale “wind farms” that aggregate multiple wind turbines and feed the electricity into the utility grid. By locating multiple wind turbines near each other, operation and maintenance can be much more efficient. The first large wind farms were built in the 1980s in California, in some particularly windy mountain areas, such as Tehachapi Pass and Altamont Pass, where thousands of wind turbines were installed. By today’s standards, these early turbines were tiny—often just 35 kilowatts (kW) in capacity.In the past decade, most of the installed capacity of wind power has been with far larger wind turbines—some as large as 3 MW (nearly 100 times as large as those installed in California in the ’80s). With wind power, there is a significant economy of scale—bigger is better. This is partly because larger wind turbines are taller, reaching 300 or 400 feet into the sky where wind speeds are significantly greater than they are near ground level. But these new, larger turbines also benefit from the latest in aerodynamic design so they’re more efficient, and, per unit of output, they are much less expensive. According to Tony Rogers, senior engineer at the wind energy consulting firm DNV Global Energy Concepts, state-of-the-art wind turbines are up to 51% efficient—meaning they convert over half of the energy in the intercepted wind into electricity (by comparison, photovoltaic panels convert less than one-quarter of the sunlight striking them into electricity).Another advantage to larger machines is that the blades rotate at slower speeds. While the blades of a 35-kW wind turbine in a stiff breeze will be a nearly invisible blur, the blades of a 1 MW machine will be readily visible as they spin. This results in far fewer bird fatalities—admittedly a significant concern in California’s wind farms from the 1980s. Bird fatalities from today’s MW-scale wind turbines are very low.While I am a huge fan of wind power, it’s important to be honest about the limitations of this form of power generation. When a coal-fired or nuclear power plant is rated at 1,000 MW, we can be confident that it will operate most of the time with that power output. Utility folks refer to the “capacity factor,” or the amount of power produced over a given period of time compared with the amount that would have been produced had the plant operated at its rated output for that entire period. The average capacity factor of coal plants in the U.S. is 74% and for nuclear plants 92%, while most wind farms have capacity factors of just 25-40%, due to the intermittent nature of wind. Thus, replacing a 1,000 MW coal-fired power plant with wind would take 2,000–3,000 MW of wind power capacity, and even then the power output often will not match the electricity demand.To be able to distribute electricity from wind, there needs to be a robust distribution network. Because wind farms are, by their very nature, spread out and often in remote areas, the cost of this distribution can be expensive. In the U.S., the plains states have the greatest wind resource, but the greatest demand for electricity is on the east and west coasts. (One of the components on the just-passed stimulus package is funding to improve the nation’s power grid—in part to facilitate greater reliance on distributed power sources, such as wind and solar.)Finally, some people object to wind farms on aesthetic grounds. The offshore wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound is perhaps the best example of high-profile opposition, with Senator Ted Kennedy and his environmentalist nephew Bobby Kennedy staunchly opposed, but there are plenty of examples of local opposition in the Green Mountain State. I happen to think wind turbines are attractive—perhaps because I associate them with clean energy. Driving Route 9 as I come through Wilmington, I love catching a glimpse of the 11-turbine, 6-MW Searsburg Wind Power Facility—or getting a much better look at the turbines from Route 8. While there is the above-mentioned significant economy of scale, perhaps a reasonable compromise for the more pristine ridgelines would be to keep wind turbines small enough (like the Searsburg models) that aircraft warning lights are not required.In the future, if wind power continues to grow at such a rapid pace, there will come a time when wind power production exceeds demand. Then what happens? One possibility is for large wind farms to use excess electricity to produce hydrogen (through electrolysis, which splits water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen). The hydrogen would be stored and used for fuel-cell-powered cars and busses—whose tailpipes produce only water. Iceland is already experimenting with this approach, as part of an effort to become the world’s first carbon-neutral nation. Wind power won’t provide a large fraction our energy needs here in Vermont, but it can and should be part of a diversified renewable energy strategy that can help to green the Green Mountain State.last_img read more

Marin Cilic crushes Kei Nishikori to claim US Open title

first_imgMarin Cilic of Croatia reacts as he holds serve in the third set against Kei Nishikori of Japan during their men’s singles final match at the 2014 US Open tennis tournament in New York on September 8, 2014. Photo: Reuters.Croatia’s Marin Cilic swept past Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-3 6-3 to win the US Open on Monday and reach the pinnacle of the sport one year after a doping ban kept him out of the year’s final grand slam.The big-serving Croatian overwhelmed a weary Nishikori in one hour, 54 minutes to clinch a ruthless victory and deny his 10th-seeded opponent’s bid to become the first Asian man to win a grand slam.With the win, 14th seed Cilic becomes the first Croatian to win one of the sport’s four grand slam championships since his coach Goran Ivanisevic celebrated a Wimbledon victory in 2001.”This is all hard work in these last several years and especially this last year,” said Cilic. “My team has brought something special to me, especially Goran, we were working really hard but the most important thing he brought to me was enjoying tennis and always having fun.”Kei Nishikori”I enjoyed my best tennis over here and played the best ever in my life.”The final marked the first time since the 2005 Australian Open that at least one of tennis’s big three of Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer was not playing for the title.The two players walked onto the Arthur Ashe Stadium court under overcast skies and much more forgiving conditions than the sweltering heat they faced through much of the fortnight.advertisementWhile both men were playing in their first grand slam final it was Nishikori who displayed more jitters as Cilic quickly found his range and unloaded on his helpless opponent by blasting 17 aces to Nishikori’s two.Nishikori had his opportunities with nine break chances but could convert just one while Cilic was five of 11 and enjoyed a 38-19 edge in winners.”It’s a really tough loss but I’m really happy coming to my first final,” said Nishikori, who appeared to run out of gas after beating three consecutive top-10 opponents and having to endure a pair of five-setters. “Sorry I couldn’t get a trophy today but for sure next time.”It was a really fun two weeks here. I hope I can be coming back next year.”‘Pretty nervous’Cilic had Nishikori on the back foot from start to finish, speeding through the opening set in 33 minutes.The 14th seed, using his huge wingspan to reach out and bash forehands across court and a booming serve to score easy points, again had an early break in the second and added another to go up 5-2.Nishikori mustered a fightback to score his only break of the match and close to 5-3 but the relentless Cilic broke right back for a 2-0 lead killing any momentum his reeling opponent was building.Marin Cilic of Croatia.With a maiden grand slam within sight, Cilic kept his foot on the gas and grabbed an early break in the third.The only nerves Cilic would show came when he double faulted on his first match point.But it was only a momentary lapse as he buckled down and finished off a reeling Nishikori with a backhard winner before letting out a mighty scream as he fell onto his back and raised his arms in celebration.”You never know when the nerves are going to kick in,” said Cilic, who returned to competition last October after a four-month ban for what he always maintained was the result of ingesting a banned substance through a tainted supplement.”I think both of us were pretty nervous in the first set especially.”Everything I was working for and dreaming came today and I feel for all the other players that are working hard, I think this is a big sign, a big hope that if you are working hard things are going to pay off.”last_img read more