Locula Foundation Identifies With 119 Widows, Single Mothers

first_img119 Woman who benefited the Locula Foundation’s gesture in Suakoko Town, Bong County As part of efforts to address some economic challenges of citizens in Suakoko District, Bong County, at least 119 widows including single mothers have received assorted food items value at (L$92,160.00). The items were donated through the kind courtesy of Locula Foundation, a not-for-profit organization in Liberia.The distribution was done in observance of the International Women’s Day which was celebrated on the 8th of March 2019, in partnership with the Suakoko Rural Women Organization. It was held under the theme: “Recognizing and Appreciating ALL Women Because All Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.”During the event, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Locula Foundation, Jerry Locula told the women, “Whether you are rich or poor, whether you speak English or not, whether you are living in the city or living in the village, whether you work in the office or you sell potato greens in the local markets; and, whether you hold bank account or not; all women, despite their socio-economic status, have equal rights not because they are women, but simply because they are human beings and have the same rights as men.”He said the organization recognized all women, regardless of whether they came from the far village of Gbornongalasue in Suakoko, Liberia or from the glamorous financial district of Manhattan in New York. All women past and present, he said, laid down the foundation and are primary stakeholders of International Women’s Day.Locula maintains that, for him personally, on this day, (International Women’s Day), the attention of the world should be called to take concrete actions in order to recognize, respect and promote the rights of women other than just making speeches without concrete actions.He stressed that International Women’s Day is a day where men and boys from all walks of life have to stand up and support the women’s rights agenda though positive actions. He also admonished fathers, sons, nephews and uncles of women to not wait for International Women’s Day before they can respect women’s rights, but at all times in their daily lives.He noted that as part of legal instruments Liberia has for the protection and promotion of women’s rights, he wants the national legislature to set a day aside through an act of legislation as National Women’s Rights Day in Liberia to be celebrated as a National Holiday. “It doesn’t have to be celebrated on March 8 as the United Nations does, but a particular day that all Liberians will take to campaign, crusade, celebrate, recognize, protect and promote women’s rights,” he pleaded.According to him, pending that legislation, one of the best things Liberians can do to advance women’s rights is to begin teaching boys to respect girls in their homes, families, communities, Mosques, Churches and the schools. “If boys can begin to respect the rights of girls at an early age, they will grow up respecting the rights of women at an older age,” Mr. Locula said.Meanwhile, at the end of the event, a cross-section of the participants, especially women, said that it was their very first time to attend an International Women’s Day celebration and praised the Locula Foundation for the education and advocacy.Every year, on March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day (IWD), it was first organized and celebrated on February 28, 1909 in New York by the Socialist Party of America and since 1975; the United Nations has been celebrating the day. On March 2, 2019, prior to the event in Bong County, 30 women from different backgrounds benefited from the Locula Foundation’s  micro-finance loan project in Duazon, Mirgibi County.The organization further thought it was important to celebrate with women in Suakoko Town for the first time in the town’s history. The foundation was established in August 2018 with the purpose of empowering single mothers to enable small business and/or improve their small existing businesses for reasonable income generation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

AFC beat Sharks to lift 2017 GOtv Shield title

first_imgIt was a sweet ending to the season for Leopards who have struggled to knit results in the league this season and the title breaks a trophy drought that dates back to 2013, when they won the same crown with a 1-0 result over rivals Gor Mahia.The way head coach Robert Matano raced from his technical area to go and lambast Oburu with endless hugs on the right corner showed just how much the title meant to Ingwe and more specifically the experienced tactician who lost the final last year to Tusker FC while with Ulinzi.Sharks had brought in much pressure in the second half and looked likely to get an equalizer, but once Oburu slammed the ball into the net with eight minutes left under the drenching rain at Kasarani, the job was done for Ingwe’s.AFC’s trophy hunger was evident from the first whistle as they were relentless, in attack throwing pace and bodies upfront. They had a superb opportunity in the fourth minute when Ray Omondi was put through by Whyvonne Isuza one on one with keeper John Oyemba, but the forward missed.Models carrying the GOtv Shield before the final between AFC Leopards and Kariobangi Sharks started.Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAHanded a rare starting opportunity by Matano, Omondi had just that one opportunity to prove his coach was right, but he took too much time with the ball, Geoffrey Shiveka racing back to make a superb tackle and knock the ball away.Another opportunity presented itself four minutes later when Oyemba made a weak punch in an attempt to clear an Isuza cross the ball landing on Musa Mudde who however lobbed the ball over with a gaping goalmouth.Aziz Okaka also had an opportunity in the 14th minute when he was accorded with some shooting space at the edge of the box, but the effort went just over with Oyemba well beaten.Ingwe’s early pressure finally bore fruit in the 18th minute when Abdallah rose high to thump in a header at the backpost from a Duncan Otieno corner.AFC Leopards players celebrating as AFC Leopards beat Kariobangi Sharks 1-0 to lift the 2017 GOtv Shield title. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAAfter conceding, Sharks rose back into the match putting pressure on AFC. Mathew Tayo came inches close in the 25th minute when he curled a shot just wide from inside the box after being set up by Elli Asieche.Five minutes later, Sharks thought they had a penalty shout after Massoud Juma was hacked inside the box by keeper Gabriel Andika after lobbying the ball over him but referee Peter Waweru waved play on.Juma had been shushed all through the game with goalscorer Abdallah being tasked with man-marking him, trailing his shadow toe to toe any slight move he made.-Black margic-The second half started on a wrong footing with a six minute stoppage after a scuffle ensued between AFC Leopards stewards and a Kariobangi Sharks technical bench official behind the AFC goal over claims of black magic.Football Kenya Federation match stewards joined the brawl and it almost turned ugly but things were quickly normalized and the contest switched back to the pitch.Sharks coach William Muluya made a double switch, pulling out right-back Paul Kamau for winger Ovellah Ochieng while Duke Abuya came off for Ebrimah Sanneh, a clear attacking intent.The change meant Sharks played with a back three and a five man midfield with Sanneh pairing up with the tightly marked Masoud for a two man attack.AFC nearly doubled the lead in the 63rd minute when Oburu picked the ball unmarked on the left but with space and time on his hands, the youngster shot meekly straight at Oyemba in the Sharks goal.With the heavens opening up to a torrential pour, the game’s intensity did not die down with Sharks piling pressure to get an equalizer while Ingwe kept their shape to try and guard their slim advantage.Substitute Ovellah came close to drawing Sharks level in the 65th minute when he curled a freekick from the right but it came off the bar with Andika beaten.Matano seeing his side hugely pushed back pulled out Ray Omondi for Alex Kitenge in a bid to beef up the attack. AFC were defending heavily and relying on breaks. They had one such opportunity after defending a corner, but Kitenge took too much time with the ball allowing Sharks’ players back.Muluya’s men piled the pressure but they were undone eight minutes from time when Oburu slammed the ball into the net after Oyemba’s save from an Okaka shot from the right fell kindly on his path.With a two goal advantage and the clock against their favor, Sharks’ pressure was hugely deflated and AFC ensured they defended in numbers to guard their advantage. 0Shares0000AFC Leopards players celebrating after winning the 2017 GOtv Shield title. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 20- Salim ‘Shittu’ Abdallah and Vincent Oburu were the real Shujaas for AFC Leopards, scoring a goal in either half as Ingwe clinched their 10th GOtv Shield title with a 2-0 win over Kariobangi Sharks at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani on Mashujaa Day.AFC Leopards who won Sh2m for the win will represent Kenya at 2018 CAF Confederations Cup. 0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Lloris hails France’s mental strength after Germany win

first_img0Shares0000France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (C) comes to the rescue in a 2-1 Nations League win over Germany he put down to their ‘mental strength’. © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFEPARIS, France, Oct 17 – Tottenham ‘keeper Hugo Lloris hailed the mental strength that saw World Cup winners France overcome a patchy opening period to beat Germany 2-1 on Tuesday.Germany travelled to the Stade de France looking for the win that would salvage their Nations League campaign, and some pride, following their disastrous World Cup. Joachim Loew’s side got the start they wanted when Toni Kroos fired a 14th minute penalty past Lloris.But after a much-needed half-time pep talk from coach Didier Deschamps, the hosts emerged after the interval to see Antoine Griezmann level just after the hour, and he clinched the win by converting an 80th minute penalty.Les Bleus captain Lloris was one of several players who admitted the hosts had desperately needed to raise their game against a rejuvenated Germany side that showed plenty of promise.“When we lift our level, the players’ talents really come to the fore,” said Lloris.He also hailed France’s defensive efforts in the closing minutes.“We had to stay alert at the back… stay calm and composed so as not to concede the second goal.”Following a scoreless draw against Germany in Munich, a 2-1 win over the Netherlands and a tense 2-2 draw with Iceland, France sit top of Group 1.Germany are bottom on one point after failing to register a win in the competition so far following their draw with France and a humbling 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands at the weekend.Despite an average age of 25, France are showing maturity beyond their years — a tendency vice-captain Raphael Varane believes was crucial to their World Cup success.Antoine Griezmann got both of France’s goals © AFP / FRANCK FIFE“We managed to win the World Cup thanks to our mental qualities, despite some difficult moments,” said Varane. Although he is only 25, the central defender has already won four Champions League titles with Real Madrid.He added: “We have to keep these values, and not allow panic to set in. We have confidence in ourselves, and we know what we’re capable of.”Yet without Griezmann making the difference on Tuesday, and the telling contribution of second-half substitute Kylian Mbappe against Iceland, France would have perhaps been faced with their first defeat since March.Atletico Madrid star Griezmann admitted the first half against Germany “was much like how we played against Iceland.“We weren’t ourselves, either in the one-on-ones or in terms of the efforts we made for each other.“The coach and the players talked at half-time and in the second half we saw the team that won the World Cup.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Frank Girardot: Voyeurs can visit L.A.’s crime scenes

first_img`You remember things. “Dried blood. The body was over there. Those little cards with the numbers. Families standing nearby sobbing. “Wilted flowers. The candles.” To photographer Leo Jarzomb and other veteran photogs and reporters, every corner has a story. Leo and I recently had this discussion in the course of adding another file to our collective memory bank as we stood near the scene of a triple homicide. When I first moved to Los Angeles, my interest in this sort of thing was more voyeuristic than professional. A friend of mine, Peter Houlahan, who grew up in Whittier, lived in a basement apartment on North Curson Avenue in Hollywood. We shared that interest. Late one summer night, probably after the clubs had closed, Pete took me on a tour of historical crime scenes. We visited the home where Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were butchered by members of the Manson family, the Chateau Marmont bungalow where John Belushi overdosed, and the apartment building where actor William Holden bled to death in a drunken stupor. Some months after that, I went to work for a newspaper downtown, and on another summer night, ran across my first active crime scene. To this day, the details I know are scant: Summer 1989. Location: Sixth between Main and Spring. Time: maybe 12:30 a.m. A trail of blood leads from a phone booth outside an all night check-cashing place. A man lies face down in the middle of Sixth. Cops stand around smoking cigarettes. Nobody knows anything. The paper ran a brief the next day, essentially saying just that. A few years later, a guy (one of many) gets dumped off the side of Azusa Canyon Road. He’s bound with duct tape. A search-and-rescue team hauls the body up from the canyon and places it on the turnout gravel. A coroner’s investigator chomping on a cruller or bear claw that’s dripping sliced almonds wipes his mouth and proclaims, “looks like the family of Julio Doe has lost another son.” There’s nothing spectacular about any of this; could be any day in the San Gabriel Valley. It becomes almost routine for guys like Leo and me. It turns out there’s a company that specializes in what my friend Pete did for kicks. Los Angeles-based Esotouric provides bus tours “into the secret heart of LA.” Their clients are likely voyeurs like me. They’ve got one Sept. 29, called “Blood and Dumplings.” It’s billed as a “criminal and gastronomical excursion into the San Gabriel Valley.” Those who can afford to part with $60 will get to see millionaire music producer Phil Spector’s castle in Alhambra, where B-movie actress Lana Clarkson was shot to death; Valenzuela’s Restaurant in El Monte, where author James Ellroy’s mother was last seen alive; and the Hawaii Supermarket in San Gabriel, where the “Man from Mars Bandit” was shot and killed by a police sharpshooter in 1951. “I think the San Gabriel Valley has some of the most interesting crime stories,” said tour promoter Kim Cooper, who also runs a popular true crime Web site known as “The 1947 Project.” Cooper, her husband, Richard Schave, and a guy known only as “Crimebo the Clown” put together a variety of crime scene bus tours of Los Angeles, Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. The Sept. 29 tour will end with a visit to 101 Noodle Express in Alhambra for dumplings and scallion pancakes. Actually all of the tours have a food element, Cooper said. “This is all really visceral stuff,” she said. “In one way we are living vicariously, and I guess eating is one way to remind ourselves that we are still alive.” Maybe the coroner with the cruller was on to something. frank.girardot@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811 Ext. 2717 http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvcrime160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARD TICKETS NOW ON SALE

first_imgTickets for the Donegal Sports Star Awards on Friday, January 31st are available now from the Mount Errigal Hotel.For further details ring the hotel on 9106700. Follow us also on donegalsportsstarawards.ie or on Facebook at at Donegalsports Starawards.DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARD TICKETS NOW ON SALE was last modified: January 10th, 2014 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:DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARDSlast_img read more

Crystal Palace sign Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate from West Ham

first_img Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer moving on Crystal Palace have signed Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate from West Ham for an undisclosed fee, the Selhurst Park club have announced.Midfielder Kouyate, 28, captained Senegal at the World Cup finals in Russia, playing in all three of their group games. IN DEMAND He has made 42 appearances for Senegal since making his international debut in 2012 and has also featured in two Africa Nations Cups. Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland RANKED Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ REVEALED LIVING THE DREAM Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti targets Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January three-way race LATEST Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing TOP WORK We’re delighted to announce Cheikhou Kouyaté has joined on a four-year deal! #SenEagle 🦅👉 https://t.co/W4x2CQUVyS pic.twitter.com/7ZiznZM51d— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 1, 2018“I’m so happy. It’s been a long day but now everything is good and I’m very excited to start with my new team-mates,” Kouyate told Palace’s official website. The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Latest transfer news “This is the right time to move because I needed a new challenge. I have good memories of West Ham, but I need to come here and give my best because I like the Crystal Palace project.”Kouyate made a total of 129 appearances in all competitions for West Ham, scoring 12 goals, since signing from Anderlecht in a £7million deal in 2014. 1 targets Kouyate captained Senegal at the recent World Cup last_img read more

Red-hot A’s will be without slugger Khris Davis

first_imgOAKLAND — Khris Davis fought the railing, and the railing won.Davis bruised his hip and oblique after colliding with a railing at PNC Park in Pittsburgh back on May 5. This happened as the slugger — playing left field at the National League park — was chasing a fly ball.That bruise had barked enough since: Davis was finally placed on the 10-day IL retroactive to May 22.“Never really got better, never really got worse,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of the injury prior to Friday’s series opener …last_img

SAA opens way to Okavango Delta

first_img30 April 2012 South African Airways (SAA) has launched a new service between Johannesburg and Maun, Botswana – gateway to the world-famous Okavango Delta – as the continent’s most awarded airline continues to grow its African network. The service, operational from 15 June, will complement SAA’s multiple daily flights between Johannesburg and Botswana’s capital, Gaborone. To be operated by SAA’s regional partner, SA Airlink, the service will allow travellers on SAA’s morning, non-stop flight from New York to Johannesburg to make a same-day connection to Maun with an arrival in the early afternoon. “SAA is committed to offering the most extensive route network to Africa’s best leisure and business destinations, and Maun serves as a key addition to that strategy, being the best airport from which to access the beauty of the Okavango Delta,” Todd Neuman, SAA’s executive vice-president for North America, said in a recent statement. “SAA’s new service to Maun will open up a new and convenient way to access one of Botswana’s most popular safari destinations through our partners at Airlink,” Neuman said. “Our morning non-stop service from New York to Johannesburg will provide travellers with the fastest way to arrive in Maun, so that they may spend more time exploring some of the best game viewing on the African continent.” SAA’s network features connections to nearly 20 destinations within South Africa, and more than 25 cities across the rest of the continent. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Bush re-elected to National Corn Board

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Anthony Bush of Mt. Gilead was re-elected to serve on the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) board for a three-year term during Corn Congress.Bush is a 4th generation grain farmer with years of experience working on behalf of corn and agriculture.“I am honored to continue my service to this industry that is so important to my family and our country,” Bush said. “I have been blessed with two kids that wish to pursue careers in agriculture, and they are the driving force behind my service here at NCGA.  It is their passion that inspires me to get involved and make a difference.”During his three-year term, he will combine hands-on leadership experience that he has gained from his current and past leadership experiences.  Bush serves as the NCGA finance committee chair and is a board member of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.  Bush is also past chairman of the NCGA Public Policy Action Team.Bush was elected during Corn Congress, a national policy meeting where farmer delegates of the respective corn state associations discuss grassroots policy.  Corn Congress allows farmers to speak directly with representation in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. This year the major area of focus included: ethanol, public policy, production and stewardship, trade policy and biotechnology, research and business development, and grower services.The NCGA Corn Board is 15 members board representing America’s corn industry charged with implementing the policies that guide the organization to best serve U.S. corn farmers. Board members represent the federation of state organizations, and acts as spokesmen to enhance the organization’s public standing.last_img read more

The State of Our Union

first_imgHard data types vs. big vision typesOne could say that Team Martins are the more absolute, hard data, fact-driven, number-crunching, “precision-in-thought-and-speech” types, and that Team Jacobs are the more theoretical, comprehensive, observational, big vision, “what-if and sort-of” types. Both are great. Both are equally valued and both are necessary. Both make the world go round. In fact, most of us are not only one or the other, but rather we fall somewhere along that verdant spectrum. And just because we may lean heavily toward Team Jacob it does not mean we do not like Team Martin, or vice versa. To the contrary, many of our very best friends and most valued work colleagues are on the other team.Let’s go back to the book. Below I am going to cite examples and explain my OK-I-admit-it-Team-Jacob self. I am not doing this to “fight back” against Martin. I am doing it to explain Team Jacob’s point of view — to translate, if you will. Here we go:When Martin calls Jacob out for saying foam and PVC are toxic, he is disregarding the fact that Jacob is considering the entirety of foam and PVC — from cradle to grave, from the people who live near the factories that make it, to the guys who have to install it, to the homeowners who live in it. Martin is considering what we know about foam and PVC now, but he is not considering what we will know about it in the future as our scientific knowledge evolves. Jacob is.When Martin scolds Jacob for not mentioning lead and asbestos, he is ignoring the fact that Jacob respects his readers’ intelligence and knows that everyone knows about lead and asbestos. Everyone. It is starting point. And perhaps Jacob could have put a great sentence in about how PVC and foam may one day prove to be our generation’s asbestos and lead.When Martin suggests that Jacob is trying to redefine what R-value means when he makes the statement that “R-value is dynamic … in response to different conditions,” he misses the point that everyone reading understands what the writer means, and that no one — no one — assumes that Jacob is saying that the absolute value of R is up for discussion. It’s as if Jacob wrote a dietary book and said that the calories that you need are variable based on how much you exercise. No one would think that Jacob meant that the definition of what a calorie is was being discussed.When Jacob writes about optimizing U-value for windows, anyone who has ever had a client gets what he means. You have to weigh the pros and cons of many factors and not just go for the best U-value every time. Yes, you are always trying to get the best U-value that you can, but you have to consider a lot of variables: overall costs, SHGC (change that and you change the U-value), operational needs (fixed, casement or double hung? Each has implications on what U-value you can achieve), and obviously size (frame-to-glass ratio changes everything.) There are a hell of a lot of decisions that go into optimization of window U-values on a job. Homes with vinyl siding and foam insulationIf we simply look at the best-known building tutorials in our small world, we have Joe Lstiburek’s Builder’s Guides. If you look at these books, the examples shown are of vinyl-sided homes with fiberglass or foam insulation. (And I know, these books have evolved in the last years — I am probably out-of-date on my critique.) I know why the Builder’s Guides have these examples; they are the results of Building Science Corporation being hired to test mass production housing and its building systems. And God knows what we would do without Joe’s guidance.I get it. But do we really want to send the message that building vinyl-sided boxes of foam is the best way to go? Or even that it is in the top ten best ways to go? Yes, of course, for affordability‘s sake this may be a valid direction, but there are so many other ways to skin the cat! This is a clear example of Team Martin getting the loudest microphone because of data, data, data!But shouldn’t the public be getting the full array of the information in all of its broad-side-of-the-elephant inclusiveness? And shouldn’t we be learning the full menu of options with which to build?Can you imagine that post-apocalyptic future that we all have anxiety attacks about in the middle of the night? Can you see yourself – a survivor! Yet you are unable to teach your children how to build anything of significance with what nature gave you, because no one ever wrote a book about anything but Foam and PVC. And fast-forward to your grandchildren wandering the devastated yet resilient earth 200 years in the future. All is nature except the endless dust storms of blowing open- and closed-cell foam that will never break down.We need to be all-inclusive and we need to respect nature, design, life cycles, the health, welfare and happiness of humans, along with that of the whole planet. We need to think it all through. Big picture.Yes, we vitally need the data. And, yes, we vitally need to be accurate and to speak accurately. But we need these to be a part of the whole. Just like “optimizing the U-value of windows,” we have to weigh a lot of factors before just saying that the most efficient option is the only way to go. An elephant in the roomWhat this led me to realize is that we have always had a version of Team Martin and Team Jacob, though as a group we do not discuss it. I cannot call it a battle; there aren’t really sides. But there is a “there” there. Many of us feel it in subtle ways. This sort of undiscussed rift in our very small and congenial sustainable building world. An elephant in the room, so to speak.What is this “indefinable something” of which I speak? Well, it is Big Picture, and it has everything to do with what we are doing and what message we are sending. It can be described as the difference between focusing on energy use and data in building versus focusing on a much more broad approach to sustainability in building. One can observe it in our industry’s obsession with Passive House.One can see it when we go to conferences such as NESEA and the sessions that are numbers- and data-based are given a great deal of cred, while sessions that are design- and theory-based are treated as non-rigorous calendar fillers. And one can see it when we read a book critique that is given strongly from the viewpoint of the highly specific lens of data and energy, and not at all from an overall understanding of sustainable building theories and practicalities. We need a mission statementWhich leads me to Part II. What are we doing? What is our mission?Buildings themselves are extremely complex and involve a lot of different parts and features. Within the sustainable building industry there are so many aspects upon which one might focus: Energy use, sustainability, design, materials, embodied energy, square footage, longevity, maintenance, air quality, occupant health, resiliency, carbon footprint, and the ever present bottom line. There are also issues of energy production, manufacturing, shipping, and the health and wellness of everyone along that chain. And there are the ever-enigmatic and ephemeral issues of happiness, beauty, and appropriateness.Which is the most important? Obviously, this is a rhetorical question.Like the blind men who encounter an elephant, many of us seem to focus on one specific aspect of the sustainable building “elephant.” In our world, the elephant’s trunk would be “energy.” It is the most obvious and intriguing part of the elephant, and it is so hard to resist. It is always nosing into exciting things like the bottom line, policy, and big industry. It is trumpeted by the stock market and by the media. Everyone is willing to talk about energy. For engineers and data wonks, it is the mother lode. It is a lifetime of calculations, challenges, and experiments. It is the opportunity to pin point accurate results and make firm statements with precise numerical evidence. It is the chance to understand what we are doing. Fantastic. But the result is that so often we have buildings that are pure elephant trunk. What about the rest of the elephant?Many of us want the whole damn elephant. Many of us see the whole picture and find all parts valid. Many equally valid. Yes, of course, we have LEED, the Living Building Challenge, the 475 team, and the bubbling “Pretty Good House” movement, among others. And these approaches are (sometimes) respected in our industry, but if you think about it — they usually get thrown in the back seat. All too often, these other approaches are ignored or discounted as fluffiness or “Yeah, I guess we can include that too.”’ RELATED ARTICLES Building Science Information for BuildersLow-Road Buildings Are Homeowner-FriendlyNostalgia for the Hippie Building HeydayStraw-Bale WallsWhat is Comfort?All About Embodied Energy We shouldn’t focus on energy aloneThis is where the writer’s book shines (back to the book and the book review). Essential Building Science is trying to talk about the whole elephant. The writer is a person who cares, who assumes he is talking to people who care and addressing the wide range of things in our industry that one can — and should — care about. He is trying to ensure that we don’t miss the point and that we don’t focus only on energy use to the detriment of almost everything else in the end.In looking for introductory yet comprehensive books on how to approach sustainable building, there are not a lot. As some of my colleagues have noted, “What else have we got?” There are others, for sure, and if one looks through Martin’s previous reviews, one can see that he generally dismisses natural building and most references to toxins. I get it, most builders do not build “natural houses,” and the issues of toxicity are not yet fully determined. However, can we just ignore these things? We speak different languagesIs Martin doing this to be evil? No of course not. Is he correct? Yes, he is correct if you read the comments in only one light. He is a self-professed Energy Nerd. However, if you read the comments from the Team Jacob perspective, Martin is wrong on most counts. Or at least completely misunderstood by all of Team Jacob. Fascinating. We speak different languages.It reminds me of the time that I was waiting on a job site with my mechanical engineer. It was a frigid cold day and we were outside waiting for an owner to appear. In a state of pure frozen hell, I turned to my friend the engineer and said “Wow, my feet! I can feel that cold seeping right into my bones.” He looked at me quizzically for a moment and then he said (without an ounce of humor) “You mean you can feel the heat leaving your body through your feet?” Sigh. Yes. Yes, that is precisely what I mean, my bad.When I say, “I feel the cold seeping into my bones,” everybody instantly and thoroughly understands what I am saying. When my friend the engineer says, “I can feel the heat leaving my body through my feet,” nobody has a visceral understanding of what he is talking about. After a moment’s thought the listener might acknowledge that the engineer is correct. But, in hearing the sentence, the listener does not feel that feeling of frostbitten feet, nor do the listener’s toes become numb in empathy. The listener does not care.This is perhaps the oldest shout-out to scientists and engineers throughout history, but: “Speak English.” Just because Team Martin folk try to outdo each other in how precise they can be in language, it does not mean that they are getting the message across any better. In fact, a lot of the time this is the very reason their message is ignored. And does it mean that Team Jacob is weak-minded, because we speak a more ubiquitously understood language? No. In fact (news flash!) we think it makes us smarter — on a higher plane — because we are also nerds but we have the ability to translate our understanding for others to then understand. Yes, this is deep semantics, but it is actually important. Is it really productive to dismantle and disregard an entire well-thought-out, valuable, and very accessible book because the reviewer only accepts one language pattern. I started to write this as a commentary regarding Martin Holladay’s review of Jacob Rascusin’s new book, Essential Building Science. But in doing so I realized that the direction of Martin’s critique opens the door to issues that I think our community really needs to discuss. So, I worked a little harder at putting my thoughts into some sort of logical and comprehensive order. Of course these are only my opinion.The bottom line of this realization is that, as a group, we may want to consider two goals:1. What are we doing? Should we have a mission statement? Something that guides all of our work and something that we can all use as a litmus test to check in on ourselves and our industry as a whole. Doctors have the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. Maybe ours could have a similar intention, but perhaps we could define it more thoroughly.2. What message are we sending? This would include both the message we send out to the world and the messages we send to each other. This would entail having a basic awareness of our public face and this would involve monitoring the way in which we speak to each other — within our industry — as parts of the whole.But why does any of it matter? I believe it matters because we are at crossroads. Because I was just at the U.N. Convention on Climate Change at which most of the world was trying desperately to enact the Paris 2015 accord. And because we have a new president who is most likely going to significantly change our lives and try to dismantle the way we do what we do and how we do it. This is important. We need to step up our game now. What we do and the message we send are vitally important right now. The limitations of the Passive House approachMeanwhile Passive House seems like the prize bull. Yes, Passive House is a dream come true. It is quantifiable, provable, accountable, and the basis for some fantastically competitive good fun for building geeks everywhere. It is also a flag we can wave to the rest of the world — a world that has always misunderstood and doubted what we do. A world that has always asked, “Yes, yes, but where is the data?”We can now show the world — with clean, hard evidence — that we can make houses that need almost no energy to heat and cool. The data is so impressive that any naysayer cannot disagree. But, Passive House obsesses over one thing: energy. It disregards everything else: occupant health, sustainability of materials, the embodied energy of products and systems, user experience, nature, texture, maintenance, resiliency and life cycle.We can’t just address the elephant’s trunk. We need to integrate energy use with the big picture and not let energy use hose down the sustainability of the planet with its powerful schnozzola. A holistic approachBasically I am describing the word “holistic,” but I feel I can’t use this Team-Jacob word because I believe that as soon as many of my readers see it on the page they will stop reading and discount this as a bunch of cow (or rather, elephant) poop. But we do need to think holistically about what we are doing. Can we really just keep plowing ahead — following the elephant’s trunk — to score the big energy goal!? Meanwhile we may be trampling the beautiful planet that we are trying to save.So, what are we doing? What is our big message? Our elevator speech? Our guiding light? How will the world know us? Since we ourselves are so variable, I would guess that our message will have many aspects and may not fit into one sentence. However, I, for one, would hope that our message is something along the lines of:We, the sustainable building industry, strive to study the way buildings are built, continually evolve our technologies, materials, and methods of building, teach and lead the same, as to ever advance our industry toward the ultimate goal of having the least harmful effect on the planet and perhaps one day of actually creating a symbiotic relationship between buildings and the earth that in turn will heal, nurture, and energize the planet. We will do this through relentless testing, analysis, and growth in all aspects of our work including:Building energy and its influence on the earth and our economy.The choice of energy we use and its impact on environment and civilizations.The assessment of and adherence to health and safety regulations.The impacts of our building standards on human well-being.The study of the embodied energy of all products and methods.The longevity and life cycles of our buildings.Opportunities to recycle and regenerate materials and energy.Opportunities to allow people and buildings to be maximally resilient.Occupant happiness and appropriateness of buildings for occupants.The ability for our buildings to calm, inspire, and guide.The relationship of our buildings to the earth and the cycles of nature.The relationship of humans to the earth through their interaction with built space.If we are going to move forward as an industry and lead, then we cannot be pulled around by the elephant’s trunk. We need to think it through first. We have to look at things up close and from dizzying heights. While we each may focus on our individual specialties, we still have to check ourselves against a higher set of standards and make sure we are not doing more harm than good.We have to present findings to the public that live up to our broader intentional goals. Let us state a mission that we can all stand behind, and let us all stand together with mutual respect and appreciation while working to uphold that mission. What message are we sending?What we do is perhaps obvious but I would say “undiscussed.” I am going to address that later in this piece. For now I want to talk about the message we are sending. In order to send a clear message to the world, we have to understand each other and speak clearly among ourselves. Reading Martin’s review of Jacobs’s book drove this point home for me. If we cannot speak clearly and respectfully to each other within our own industry, then we will not be able to send a clear message out.Basically (a bit of background), in the review of the book Martin points to a number of errors that he finds with Jacob’s book. However if one looks closely, most of the errors — as written by Martin — could, themselves, be considered misleading or perhaps erroneous. I find that they detract from the point of the book and completely diminish the overall message and intention of the book.Martin could have written a review that said something along the lines of “Wow, we have a new comprehensive and introductory book on building science and it really covers the wide range of applications available in our industry. Yes, there may be a few minor errors that might have been caught by a better editor, but overall, it does a great job covering a ton of ground in a clear and accessible manner.”But he did not. He chose another route. Fine. It’s just one review. However, it is the very way that Martin chose to review the book that got me thinking. Could I say Martin was wrong? No.But actually — yes, yes, I could. It turns out that it all depends on your point of view and the type of person you are. I spoke to colleagues and friends about it, and I started to see a very familiar pattern. Sides started to emerge. Teams, if you will. I’m just going to go ahead and say it: “Team Martin” and “Team Jacob.” We need to act as a teamOur community is full of a wide variety of people. Builders, designers, architects, engineers, inspectors, raters, vendors, policymakers, homeowners, and building operators, etc. Each of us has a different background and a different point of view. As we step forward into our unknown future, we need to act as a team. Support each other. Value each other’s skill set and incorporate all into a cohesive mission.When considering the future, I usually revert to Star Trek. In Star Trek Next Generation, for example, all members of the team are equally respected and included in decision making — including Counselor Troi, the touchy-feely psychologist type. After the team has gathered for a mission, the effects of any proposed actions are thoroughly considered by the whole team — with equal merit — before the landing party is allowed to set foot on a new planet and interact with its civilizations. We need our energy guys, we need our engineers and builders, but we need the rest of the team as well in order to ensure the most effective and well thought out approach and outcome. We need to be careful and respectful in how we talk to each other. Elizabeth DiSalvo founded Trillium Architects in Norwalk, Connecticut. DiSalvo is a graduate of Columbia University with a masters of Advanced Architectural Design and of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a five year Bachelor of Architecture and Building Science (1989). Elizabeth has been a registered architect since 1993. She is a member of the AIA, NESEA and the USCGB and has been on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Green Building Council. In April 2011, GBA published a review of her blog.last_img read more