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  • Defending champs Milex Eagles post first round win

    first_imgKINGSTON:Defending champions, the Milex Eagles, got off to a winning start in 2016 KPMG Squash League which kicked off on Tuesday at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.The tournament will see 16 teams vying for top honours. However, the competition’s handicap format adds an element of unpredictability to the proceedings as it creates a level playing field among players, regardless of experience and skill levels.Milex Eagles look like a good bet for two in a row as they beat Lemons Aide 3-0 in the first round of play. The team now includes two decorated junior champions; All Jamaica Under-17 Boys Champion, Tahjia Lumley who beat Don Nemhard 20/21, 21/18, 21/17, 21/18; and Caribbean Under-19 Girls Champion, Akelia Wiltshire from Guyana, who defeated Raymond Donaldson 21/17, 17/21, 21/19, 21/19. Alex Jordan sealed the deal for the Eagles when she beat Stewart Maxwell 21/12, 21/18, 23/20.In contrast, the Transformers, another highly touted team, had a rocky start losing 0-2 to Lemons Black & Tan. Former All Jamaica Ladies Champion, Alyssa Mullings, was beaten 21/19, 18/21, 20/22, 21/12, 15/21 by veteran Bobby Vaughan and rising star Mia Lake went down 19/21, 21/19, 9/21, 20/23 to Anthony Ayoub.New entrants, Levy Tax headlined by 13-time All Jamaica Men’s Champion, Wayne Burrowes, beat UTech Saints 2-1. Burrowes beat Mario O’Connor 11/21, 21/19, 21/18, 21/19 to give his team the lead; then Luke Roberts followed on by defeating Mike Fennel 21/17, 21/13, 21/11. Sebastian Levy lost to Sean Flynn 21/10, 21/11, 21/6; but Levy Tax had already secured the overall win.Similarly, debutantes, the Dream Team beat the Screaming Eagles 2-1. Nicholas Benjamin beat Stewart Murray 21/11, 17/21, 19/21, 21/9, 21/19 to put the Dream Team ahead but then Shane Murray beat Richard Ardito 21/16, 23/21, 21/14. However, Adam Ardito defeated Rajeev Venugopal 21/20,23/20, 21/14 and the Dream Team emerged victorious.The tournament, which will also enjoys support from associate sponsors, JN General Insurance, is scheduled to run for eight weeks. The first stage will feature round robin matches in groups of four, and the top two teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals.last_img read more

  • In Maine, a Builder’s Vision of Green

    first_imgJason Peacock wants to build houses that impart the benefits of green building to the people who occupy them, and he took a major step in that quest last fall with the completion of a 950-sq.-ft. two-bedroom in Wiscasset, Maine, a village on the Sheepscot River, northeast of Portland.Peacock is a LEED Accredited Professional, and the house, which he hopes will be the first of at least four he wants to build on 36 wooded acres he owns in Wiscasset, includes a photovoltaic system and design, materials, and construction intended to conform to LEED for Homes Platinum criteria.Small house on a spacious lotCalled Souler House, it features a frost protected shallow foundation (a foundation system commonly used in Scandinavian countries; click here for a primer on the subject produced by the National Association of Home Builders Research Center), 2×6 exterior walls insulated to R-25 with open-cell spray foam. Peacock installed a VaproShield permeable moisture barrier and used fiber-cement board and a rain-screen wall.The ceiling is insulated to R-50 and the standing-seam roof is recycled aluminum. Air leakage is minimal: a blower-door test showed 1 air change per hour at 50 Pascals pressure difference. Peacock also used plenty of reclaimed material, including wood around the front door, which, notes a website called Green Homes of Maine, he salvaged from an airplane hangar.An air-to-air heat pump, Convectair electric heaters, and a Regency wood stove help keep the building comfortable in winter, and a 3.6 kWh Kyocera photovoltaic system supplements the home’s electrical needs.Looking aheadPeacock told Green Homes he plans to make photovoltaics, LEED Platinum criteria, and the performance level of the house standard for all of the other homes he builds at the Wiscasset site, adding that he might offer some of them for sale or rent them to seasonal visitors. In an email to GBA, Peacock noted that the weekly off-season rental rate will be $800, and the peak-season rate will be $1,200.So far, he told GBA, he has sold three lots on the site, although because of still-lagging economic conditions he doesn’t expect building on those lots to commence until 2013. But if the rental business on Souler House is robust enough over the summer, he might build another house for himself. Souler House, he added, was appraised last year at $195,000, including the 36-acre site.Like Souler House, the other houses he builds on Wiscasset likely will be small and solar-powered.“I do like the small-house movement and I strongly believe that life is better when you have less stuff,” he said. “So my next home will potentially be smaller with a large decks to enjoy outside spaces and views. It’s not a requirement for the community, but all the homes will probably be 1,000 square feet or less. I’ve been working on a design for a 650 square foot, two bedroom home that I’m excited to build. These houses will be great for people that believe that ‘Less is More…’ ”last_img read more

  • Storytelling Day Got Some Spanish Flavour

    first_img National Storytelling Day (NSD) was given a Spanish flavour this year, with the work of late Spanish icon of children’s literature, Gloria Fuertes, presented at libraries across the country. The day, which was observed on November 20 at the 13 parish libraries, was organised by the Storytelling Foundation of Jamaica, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in Jamaica and the Jamaica Library Service. Storyteller and Founder of the Storytelling Foundation of Jamaica, Dr. Amina Blackwood-Meeks, told JIS News that the Foundation has partnered with other embassies in the past to bring storytellers from different parts of the world to Jamaica. National Storytelling Day (NSD) was given a Spanish flavour this year, with the work of late Spanish icon of children’s literature, Gloria Fuertes, presented at libraries across the country.Hundreds of primary- and secondary-school students and teachers were introduced to stories and poems written by Ms. Fuertes.The day, which was observed on November 20 at the 13 parish libraries, was organised by the Storytelling Foundation of Jamaica, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in Jamaica and the Jamaica Library Service.At the Joyce Robinson Hall at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, the work of Gloria Fuertes was presented by Spanish teachers in training at Shortwood Teachers’ College, who read some of the poems in the Spanish language and in patois.Teachers from Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College conducted readings in Montego Bay while teachers from Church Teachers’ College read in Mandeville, and a Spanish teacher from Spain went to the library in Portland.Storyteller and Founder of the Storytelling Foundation of Jamaica, Dr. Amina Blackwood-Meeks, told JIS News that the Foundation has partnered with other embassies in the past to bring storytellers from different parts of the world to Jamaica.She cited storytellers from South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the wider Caribbean.“This is our third collaboration with a foreign mission, and we hope to expand that,” she added.Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Spain in Kingston, Carmen Rives, told JIS News that the embassy was happy to partner in the staging of the NSD and at the same time promote the Spanish language in Jamaica.“We thought that the figure of Gloria Fuertes, for whom we (Spain) are celebrating a 100th birthday anniversary this year, would be a perfect match,” she said.Ms. Rives noted that apart from encouraging the learning of the Spanish language, the activity will empower the teachers who participated.‘We want to encourage Jamaican teachers to keep teaching in Spanish and to increase their capacity and also focus on the primary students,” she said.“We are trying to reinforce the Spanish teachers in Jamaica and to help them to connect with the Spanish language,” she added.NSD is part of the annual storytelling festival dubbed ‘Ananse Sound Splash’ being held from November 19 to 23, and involves reading at libraries, workshops, and discussion fora, among other activities.It seeks to raise the profile of Jamaica’s rich oral tradition and promote storytelling encounters between senior citizens and younger members of the community as a values-based recreational and educational activity.The objective is to celebrate Jamaican folk tales while highlighting the importance of storytelling in shaping morals and values from an early age. Story Highlightslast_img read more

  • Kristin Davis Attends Ivory Crush In Times Square

    first_imgKristin Davis attended an event in Times Square over the weekend that saw the US Fish and Wildlife Service crush 1 ton of ivory.Kristin Davis Attends Ivory Crush in Times SquareCredit/Copyright: FacebookThe event aimed to raise awareness of elephant poaching in Africa, and the trade of illegal ivory.“That was an elephant’s mother, or father,” said Kristin. “It’s hard to talk about, but we have to. Never buy ivory, even if it’s ‘antique.’ These things come from living animals. In 10 years, if we don’t do anything, there may not be any more elephants.”Kristin Davis Speaks Before Lighting Empire State BuildingCredit/Copyright: FacebookLater that day, Kristin – along with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – attended a special ceremony that saw her light up the Empire State Building for awareness of the cause.Kristin Davis On The Empire State BuildingCredit/Copyright: Facebooklast_img read more