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‘Plug and Play’ Solar Finds Markets in Nebraska and Ohio

first_img‘Plug and Play’ Solar Finds Markets in Nebraska and Ohio FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Midwest Energy News:Utility customers in Ohio and Nebraska are among those taking advantage of a new and simpler technique for connecting solar arrays and other renewable energy systems to the grid.ConnectDER, as it’s known, generally eliminates the need to enter a home and it greatly reduces the amount of electrical work required.“It allows you to inject the solar on the customer side of the meter prior to getting into the home,” said Michael Shonka, a solar installer who has put the new equipment in a half-dozen homes in the Omaha area. “This means we can cut out $1,000 to $2,000 worth of cost in the system because you don’t need electricians to go through foundations trying to get to the service panel, and you don’t need to rearrange the panel.”Some people know it as “plug and play” solar.The ConnectDER “collar” plugs into the meter socket, typically on the outside of the house, and then the meter plugs into the ConnectDER, meaning that the solar panels’ inverter connects directly with the meter without having to go through the household service panel.In Nebraska, the Omaha Public Power District approved the equipment this past summer, and the Lincoln Electric System is now evaluating it. In Ohio, utilities in Tipp City, Yellow Springs and Westerville permit the new technology, as do about a dozen other utilities from Vermont to California and Hawaii.Shonka said he is “always looking for innovations in the industry,” and heard about ConnectDER at an industry meeting.“I recognized this as being a problem because every time I went to do an installation, I ran into issues with how to make the electrical connection.” The last few feet of wiring, he said, “are very expensive. You have to get through foundations, run wire in conduit through the inside of the house, rearrange the circuit-breaker box.”Marketing the product is time-consuming, said ConnectDER’s product manager, Jon Knauer, because, “Each new market that we want to sell it into requires utility approval. Over time that gets easier, because once we have a couple utilities sign off, the others tend to follow along. We’re still in the phase of opening up new markets.”He’s hopeful that in the Midwest, with its numerous municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives, the technology may spread more rapidly than in other regions.Smaller non-profit utilities “make decisions fairly quickly. The (Omaha Public Power District) approved it in a month or two, which isn’t very long. And there are a lot of statewide municipal or co-op associations that you can take the product to and say, ‘This group of utilities similar to you are doing this, and maybe you should think about doing the same.’”More: New connection technology is cutting cost of solar installationlast_img read more

Is it Safe to Open Mail and Packages During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

first_imgHealth experts add that the risks are very low that COVID-19 will remain on envelopes or packages long enough to infect anyone who handles them.Officials reiterate that it remains a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, and to also avoid touching your face, after handling deliveries.As many other businesses across the nation, the U.S. Postal Service has been limiting visitors to its facilities, and is practicing social distancing guidelines. Is it safe to open mail and packages during the pandemic?According to the the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the answer is “yes.”They say there is no evidence that the virus is spreading through mail or parcels.Instead, it is mostly spread as droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes are then inhaled by people nearby.last_img read more

France take early lead over England

first_img14 May 2016 France take early lead over England It’s first blood to France! The visitors took the honours in the opening session of this weekend’s international with a 2½-1½ win over England in this morning’s foursomes at Formby Golf Club, Lancashire.It was a hard-fought morning, played under sparking blue skies, and three of the four games went to the 18th. The early advantage went England’s way and the team was up in all four matches over the opening holes, but the French gradually made ground and finished strongly.However, the pairings of Josh Hilleard/Scott Gregory and Ashton Turner/James Walker made sure that England stayed in touch before the singles session.Hilleard and Gregory (pictured) secured England’s winning point with a very solid performance which included five birdies and took them to 3up after 14 holes – and which then helped them withstand everything France could throw at them.Their opponents began a fightback in dramatic style on the 15th, where they were lucky to find their ball in deep rough, chipped out sideways – and then holed the shot to the green for a birdie three. The next two holes were also won by France, but the England pair played beautifully on to the 18thgreen and secured a 2 hole win after their opponents bunkered their approach.Turner and Walker halved their game with very gutsy golf. They led for the first 12 holes of the match, but had dropped two behind after 15. But they were far from finished: they won the short 16thwith a birdie, held on for a half on 15 where they completed a remarkable up and down when Walker holed a nasty, downhill six-footer; and won the 18thafter their opponents went out of bounds.In the top game, the writing was perhaps on the wall when the French pair holed a 40-footer on the first for a half. However England’s Alfie Plant and Bradley Moore made a good start to their game and were still all square after 13. But the French closed them out with a run of par, par, birdie and a 3/2 scorelineJamie Bower and Paul Kinnear were involved in an intensely close match and held a one-hole lead after 16 holes. But the French birdied the 17thto get on level terms and won the 18thwith a par after the England ball caught a greenside bunker.“It was what we anticipated,” said England captain Kevin Tucker. “We knew it would be a tight, hard match.”His advice to his players for the singles is simple: “Play your own game, you are well prepared, keep playing as you have prepared.”Image © Leaderboard Photography.last_img read more

Louise Harrison: Keeping the Music Alive

first_imgLouise Harrison, older sister of the late Beatle George Harrison, is working to Help Keep Music Alive—the music her brother spent his life creating.Today, Harrison’s music is being learned and performed by young, aspiring musicians in schools all across the country.Harrison was in New York City this week to promote a recently released CD of music the Beatles recorded 50 years ago when they made their first studio recordings in Hamburg, Germany.And while she is on the media circuit, Harrison is taking the opportunity to raise awareness about her latest effort to promote music education through her organization, Help Keep Music Alive.The nonprofit organization raises money for school music programs via performances by a Beatles tribute band, the Liverpool Legends, which travels to high schools and colleges.Help Keep Music Alive, were George’s words, his sister noted, and this work will be “carrying on in the spirit of what he wanted.”Harrison, who was speaking from New York by telephone on Tuesday (the 10th anniversary of George Harrison’s death from cancer), said this program grew out of a public service announcement George did in conjunction with the 1995 movie “Mr. Holland’s Opus”, about a dedicated high school music teacher, in which George stressed the importance of education and encouraged young people to take their musical aspirations seriously.The program, still in its very early stages, would like to partner with schools that have performance spaces capable of holding 800 or more, arranging a Liverpool Legends appearance at the school with band members portraying the Fab Four during various stages of their career. The Liverpool Legends will incorporate some of the school’s students into their show, giving the young artists a showcase, and the proceeds from the performances, with the exception of expenses, would go to the educational institution.The band has performed for schools four times so far, with two taking place in Chicago last weekend. And at one of the shows, Harrison said, a 16-year-old musician approached the “George” character afterwards saying, “This is an evening that I will be able to tell my grandchildren.”“It was really, really gratifying,” to hear that, she said.And who knows what that student may achieve one day, she observed.Louise has lived in the U.S. since around 1963, but still possesses that distinctive Liverpool lilt, that, for those of a certain generation, immediately conjures up images of John, Paul George and Ringo in the skinny suits and mop-top haircuts of the early ‘60s. Louise told of her brother’s beginnings in music. When George was about 14 he saw an early performance of Elvis Presley on TV, “with the girls screaming and everything,” and it struck him, Louise said. A few nights later George approached his mother and asked, “Hey, Mum, do you think you could buy me a guitar? I think that is the kind of job I could do.”“A typical 14-year-old boy’s idea, let me do something that would make all the girls scream,” Louise said. With the guitar, he continued to hone his playing his entire life and career. “All the time, his whole life, he was saying, ‘I hope one day I could be good at this,’” she recalled.That early innocence and vitality and raw energy is on this CD, “The Beatles with Tony Sheridan: First Recordings 50th Anniversary Edition, Louise explained. And that is reflected on the CD’s cover with the four band members (with Peter Best, in the days before Ringo joined as drummer), clad as American rockers in Brylcreem-ed hair, leather jackets, white tee shirts and leather jackets, expressing their joy in early American rock and roll.“You get a sense they were starting to get to be pretty proficient musicians,” when you listen to this recording, she said.And from there they grew and matured as artists, spreading a musical message that still resonates today, 40 years after the breakup of the band.“Their message was just so positive,” Louise said, “to encourage people to be loving and caring about each other, to care about the home you live in, the planet that we live on,” she explained, “and to try to live together in peace and harmony.”“All these things, they’re messages that have been given to humanity throughout the ages,” Harrison noted.All you need is love.last_img read more

A Casual Christie Fields Questions At Town Hall Meeting

first_imgOCEAN — Gov. Chris Christie took his show on the road last Tuesday, coming to Monmouth County for a “town hall” meeting in the Ocean Township Community Gym, 1100 West Park Ave.During the informal afternoon, Christie outlined his accomplishments since taking office, chided his critics in the  the media and in the Democratic legislasture, and shared a little information on what made him the person he is.“We are all a product of our parents,” he said, noting that his father, who was in attendance at the gathering, is a gregarious man of Irish heritage and his deceased mother was Sicilian. “But in the automobile of life, he was the passenger,” he said, in a sort of kidding tone. “My mother set the rules.”Christie spent much of his time fielding questions from the more than 500 people filling the gym, who asked him to respond to a broad spectrum of topics, including tort reform to curb health care costs, education funding, the regional green house tax initiative that the Governor decided to opt out, and campaign finance reform.Lou Parisi, a senior from Loch Arbor, said he pays about $13,000 a year in property taxes for his 90-year-old home, with a considerable amount of his taxes  allotted to public education. “I ask you what steps would you take to make sure we pay our fair share of property taxes but no more?” Parisi asked.Christie told Parisi he tried to direct more of the available state education funding toward suburban schools, but was waylaid by the state Supreme Court, which ruled that additional funds would have to be allocated to what are commonly called Abbott districts.“That’s why I’m trying to change the Supreme Court,” but Democrats on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee have stalled two nominees, he charged.“We need to get people on the Supreme Court who understand the limits of a judge,” Christie said. “The role is to interpret the law, not make law.”Striding around in shirtsleeves and holding a microphone, the governor said that he and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno were elected to “turn Trenton upside down.”And given the fact that Senate President Steve Sweeney and Christie have reached an agreement for a 10 percent income tax credit, “When you have Democrats fighting on how we cut taxes not if we cut taxes,” he said, “you know we’ve turned Trenton upside down.”“If Kim and I had not come to Trenton, this would not have happened,” he said.Over the course of a little more than a hour of questions and answers, Christie offered some morsels of political red meat for the partisan members of the audience, taking swipes at former Democratic Governors Jon Corzine and Jim McGreevey and state Senator Richard Codey, for their “wasteful, over the top spending;”and aiming others at teachers’ unions, which he charged were blocking his attempts to reform public education.He also expressed support for constructing another nuclear power plant in the southern part of the state, which, he said, would create jobs and provide energy.Christie also said he plans to seek mandatory treatment for non-violent drug offenders in a secure facility. Treating drug offenders would lead to a much lower recidivism rate, he said. “This is not soft on crime,” said Christie, a former U.S. Attorney, acknowledging that the longstanding War on Drugs hasn’t worked. “This is smart on crime.”Adam, a young boy from Long Branch, offered the last question of the day, asking if Christie would be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential candidate for the 2012 election. “If he calls and asks about vice president, I’ll listen to him,” Christie responded. But he told Adam, “If you’re going to make a guess, you can guess that Chris Christie will be governor in January 2013.”That remark was met with a large round of applause from the polite and largely supportive audience.“I hope he runs for president in 2016,” said Ocean Township resident Dorothy Johnson, describing herself as Republican as she was leaving the town hall meeting.“He talks to you like he’s talking to a person,” she said. “He’s not talking to you like he’s a politician looking for your vote.”NJ Governor Chris Christie in Ocean Township on TuesdayThese types of events are good for the governor because he’s very effective in them, John Weingart, associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics, at Rutgers University, told The Two River Times on Wednesday.“He’s far from the first person to do this but he’s very good at it and I think he’s getting tremendous benefit from it,” Weingart said, “in terms of governing and in terms of future elections.“There is also the celebrity factor,” given Christie has commanded a national stage and had been the topic of conversations, and his overall command of the issues is of a great benefit for Christie, Weingart pointed out. “It makes him appear much better at these things than most governors, than most people on politics.”last_img read more

Team Kootenay gets ‘positive experience’ at B.C. Summer Games

first_imgTeam Kootenay then ran into two very tough teams from Thompson Okanagan and Fraser River-Delta, losing 5-0 and 7-1 respectively.Fraser River-Delta did not lose a game during the entire tournament, taking home the gold medal.The only goal of the tournament Fraser River-Delta allowed was scored by Castlegar’s Josh Fogal.In the consolation round, Team Kootenay ran into some bad luck losing to Vancouver Island/Central Coast 3-1.Team Kootenay held a 1-0 lead on the Lower Mainland zone on a goal by Cranbrook’s Jordan Klassen before the players ran out of gas.”Due to some logistical errors by the games organizers earlier in the day — the bus missed picking  the team up,  our boys had not had breakfast or lunch (the lunches were late being delivered and did not arrive in time to get to us before our game,” Dyck explained.”In the second half we continued strong initially, but by the midpoint of the second half you could see the boys running out of gas.”In the seventh-eighth matchup, Team Kootenay once again outlasted North West 3-1. Klassen, Mikey Stambulic of Cranbrook and Midway’s Sam Foy scored for Team Kootenay. A few breaks one way or another and Team Kootenay may have finished up the standings at the recent 2012 B.C. Summer Games last month in Surrey.The team, coached by Kerry Dyck and James Baxter of Nelson and Michael Stambulic of Cranbrook, finished the boy’s soccer tournament with a 2-3 record and seventh place in the province.”In the end it was a very positive experience,” said head coach Kerry Dyck. “Most of all, the camaraderie we developed as a team (they are a terrific group of boys and it was a real pleasure to work with them and I am extremely proud of them) and just being part of the experience of the BC Summer Games were real highlights,” Dyck added.Six of the players on the team were from Nelson — Milo Baranyai-Sheppard, Thomas Baxter, Jaden Dyck, Ezra Foy, Angus Paterson and Jesse Thurston — and two players were from Castlegar — Josh Fogal — and Midway — Sam Foy.The rest of the players were from Cranbrook.Nelson opened the round robin by bouncing North West 3-1.Cody Sugihara of Cranbrook scored twice while Jesse Thurston added a single.last_img read more