Staley guides US to another gold using calm demeanor

first_imgUnited States coach Dawn Staley gives instructions to her players during the Women’s basketball World Cup final match between Australia and the U.S.A. in Tenerife, Spain, Sunday Sept. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Andres Gutierrez)SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA, Spain — Dawn Staley knows the pressure that comes with coaching USA Basketball. It’s gold medal or bust.She experienced it first as a player with the U.S., then as an assistant and now as the team’s head coach. She’s been successful in each position, helping the Americans win gold.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Clinical Nishikori off to flier at Japan Open MOST READ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal “No matter how many times you’ve been a part of it, the pressure is still there,” she said. “When you look in the players’ eyes. I knew Diana when we hit the semifinals, she took on a whole different look. When your best players gave that look you get out of the way. As the game progresses the pressure releases itself.”Staley inherited a team that had won two straight World titles and 16 consecutive games in the tournament. The U.S. had gone 94-1 since the 1996 Olympics in major international competitions. She had been part of many of those wins as a player. Now’s she kept the unbelievable run going as a coach.“The expectation is whenever It’s your first time, it’s way different from being a player to coaching,” said Geno Auriemma, who coached the U.S. to the previous two world titles. “Winning that first gold medal, I don’t care who you are, it’s hard. There’s no escaping that. She’s done a great job of staying with the system and staying level-headed.”Next up for Staley and the U.S. will be the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. While the pressure will be the same, winning another gold will be a bit easier in a way, as the final three rounds aren’t played on three straight days like they are at the World Cup.“It’s always the hardest one to win,” Taurasi said. “Physically tough, mentally tough. Playing three games in three nights you don’t do that anymore in the pros. It’s the only tournament that challenges you in that way.”ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Taurasi credited the way Staley played when they both were on the U.S. team in the early 2000s for helping set a tone that she’s continued with Bird on the present team.“She did it in such a way that Sue and I said that’s how you become a pro and win a gold medal,” Taurasi said. “That comes from Dawn and what she put into this team a long time ago.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil “Dawn’s demeanor is so calm and confident I think that helped us,” said four-time World Cup gold medalist Sue Bird after the U.S. beat Australia to win a third straight World Cup title. “I think that helped us. … Dawn, the entire time, was saying you know what, we’re worried about guarding them, but they had to worry about guarding us, too. It put it into a nice perspective and allowed us to be calm and that’s what we needed.”Staley helped guide the U.S. to an unprecedented third straight World Cup gold medal on Sunday night with the 73-56 win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“It’s USA Basketball, if you’re part of it more times than not you’re going to win especially with players like Sue, Diana (Taurasi) and Stewie coming back,” Staley said.Even with the collection of stars assembled on the U.S. roster, Staley knows it’s not as simple as showing up. The World Cup is a grueling tournament with six games in nine days. The Americans will always get everyone else’s best shot. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California collegelast_img read more

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“Big Foot” jailed for 33 years

first_imgHotelier’s murderBy Shemuel FanfairFormer Diamond, East Bank Demerara resident Bryan Leitch called “Big Foot” will spend the next 33 years behind bars for killing the owner of a South Road, Georgetown hotel. He was sentenced on Wednesday to serve the term of imprisonment some two weeks after being found guilty of the lesser count of manslaughter by a 12-member jury at the High Court.Bryan Leitch, called “Big Foot”Leitch was indicted for killing South Central Hotel’s owner Joseph Jagdeo whose lifeless bound and gagged body was found in Room 10 at his establishment on November 14, 2013.Police contended that the now convicted man committed the act hours prior after he stole the Jagdeo’s cellphone. The prosecution contended that on November 13, 2013 Leitch and a female companion rented a room at the hotel. However, Jagdeo misplaced his cellular phone after the couple had left the reception area. He later confronted Leitch about the theft.The sentence was handed down by Justice Sandhill Kissoon who encouraged Leitch to take advantage of the prison programmes available so that he can add to society in his later years.His attorney, Lawrence Harris had begged the court for mercy, highlighting that his client is only 24 years old and had a troubled life and even spent time at the New Opportunity Corps. This was highlighted in the probation report presented to the court. However, the court while deducting time spent on remand from the sentence, added five years for the way in which the victim died.Dead hotelier Joseph JagdeoLeitch’s Caution Statement (CS) had stated that he was “sorry” for his actions. On December 1, 2013, retired Police Sergeant Phillip Bowman took the CS which quoted Leitch as saying that on the morning in question, Jagdeo came to his room and told him to leave the hotel which angered him.“I was vexed and I tell he and I tie he hand and put a cloth around he mouth and tie it, I push he under the bed and put the room key on the bed. I then go to the office and took out he cellphone; I sorry for what happen, I didn’t go to kill he,” the excerpt from the CS had stated.Prosecutors Lisa Cave and Mandell Moore appeared for the State.last_img read more

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Highland wrestler wants to ease the pain

first_imgPALMDALE – Ryan Gifford’s injury temporarily shelved his passion and created another. The Highland of Palmdale wrestler’s junior season abruptly ended during practice a day before last year’s Southern Section individual tournament with a knee injury. Gifford was already bothered by a slight knee injury from his sophomore season, in which he reached the CIF tournament but didn’t finish. He said he had felt the knee pop out in the past, but was able to fix it. Not this time. “I was (ticked) off, I can’t even explain it,” Gifford said. “I’ve never had a full tournament of CIF individuals and I never had the chance to see how far I can actually go.” Despite putting an end to his season goals and the sport he loves on ice, the injury led to Gifford’s interest in wanting to become an orthopedic surgeon. Gifford, a 160-pound-category Golden League runner-up for the Bulldogs, has developed an itch to learn about surgical and rehabilitation procedures after completing his recovery during the offseason. Instead of competing for a berth in the Master’s meet, Gifford spent the next day on a hospital bed after undergoing surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right knee. “I was wrestling a coach from Littlerock High School and I went to do a move, he grabbed my leg and I just felt my knee go completely out,” Gifford said. “It came out of place and it wouldn’t pop back into place.” center_img “I’ve always wanted to be a doctor,” Gifford said. “But I wasn’t sure in what field.” The senior wrestler continues to study the subject. Gifford wrote about his experience and about witnessing live surgeries at Antelope Valley Hospital for a class project. He has stood next to doctors during two orthopedic surgeries since his injury. Gifford’s plans include attending medical school at the University of Utah after graduating from BYU. But before that, he will serve on a two-year mission as part of his Mormon faith. Gifford is not sure where his mission will take him, but before leaving he plans to attend Antelope Valley College for one semester. “To tell you the truth, my future in wrestling, I can say I don’t want to pursue it that much,” Gifford said. “Maybe if there’s a perfect opportunity I might take hold of it.” With a recovered knee and his first full healthy season, Gifford’s first priority is helping the host Bulldogs win today’s 11 a.m. Div. V dual meet championship. Coach Michael Young’s team will take on Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates in first-round competition. Young will then begin to think about the Northern Division individual championship tournament Feb.16 and 17 at Pacifica High in Oxnard. Highland, which earned a berth in the Section championship after clinching its 13th league title in 15years, was eliminated by eventual champion Royal of Simi Valley in the quarterfinals last season. Young said Gifford will be an integral part to winning, with his 38-12 record that includes 25 pins. He had twokey pins in a first-round win against Kaiser of Fontana in last year’s dual meet championship. “Ryan is a very intense workman-like kid,” Young said. “He starts a job and he gets to it. He’s the type of kid you want to have on your side in a tough situation.” Gifford has earned his teammates and opponents’ respect for being a leader and for his work ethic on and off the mat. “(Gifford) is a tough kid,” said Trevor Leach, coach of Quartz Hill, which takes on Canyon Springs of San Bernardino in the first round of today’s dual meet tournament. “He’s in a good position to scare other wrestlers. He’s helped my kids be able to handle good wrestlers like him after facing him.” Teammates such as Mike Larkin, the Bulldogs’ 152-pound division league champion, and Chad Ellis, the 189-pound champion, took notice of Gifford’s toughness and integrity while rehabbing his knee. “Ryan and I use each other to get better,” said Larkin, who has the team’s best record at 40-12. “He’s my rival on the mat in practice. “He’s a tough guy. Even with his knee hurt I would find him lifting weights. Just having that one person that has me always thinking of another way to take him down has done nothing but helped me improve my game.” Ellis, a junior, wants to take on a leadership role next season, same as Gifford has done this year. Gifford credits much of his work ethic and leadership ability to former Highland standout and friend Steve Frehn, a wrestler at Stanford. Frehn was the school’s first Section titlist in seven years when he took the 145-pound championship in 2005. “(Frehn) is definitely the cornerstone of my career,” Gifford said. “He’s the one that made it all happen for me. Since he once told me he wrestled everyone as if he was wrestling a champion, I do the same.” Gifford also learned to trust his instinct and regain confidence in his knee from Frehn. “I’d go into every single match thinking my knee might pop out again,” Gifford said. “I had to fight through that. Halfway throughout the season I felt more comfortable, more secure about my knee. It’s actually now the strongest knee.” ivan.orozco@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Huskies stun the No. 2 Bruins

first_imgStill, the sting of losing here for the third straight season was felt harshly. “We didn’t play hard enough,” UCLA center Lorenzo Mata said. “That’s something we have to do every game. We have to play harder than our opponent, and it’s something we didn’t do.” The Bruins did not excuse their lack of energy on circumstance, namely wrapping up the Pac-10 title Thursday at Washington State, which rendered this game meaningless. When UCLA lost at West Virginia without Collison, the starting point guard, is was understandable. But to have a game altered substantially because a key reserve did not play speaks toward the Bruins vulnerability. Aboya, UCLA’s top reserve at power forward and center, averages 4.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, and also brings intangibles in experience and a toughness, which the Bruins clearly lacked. Washington’s dynamic inside duo of power forward Jon Brockman (20 points, 13 rebounds) and center Spencer Hawes (13, 15) combined for 33 points and 28 rebounds, and led the Huskies (18-12, 8-10) to a 15-rebound (44-29) advantage. UCLA center Ryan Wright and power forward James Keefe, who teamed to replace Aboya, scored two points, committed four fouls and failed to grab a rebound. “They didn’t get a rebound between the two of them in 14 minutes,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said when asked to assess the play of Aboya’s replacements. Mata and power forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute were forced to play alone inside, without much of a break against the bullish Brockman and Hawes. Mata and Mbah a Moute combined for 15 points and 15 rebounds. Wright and Keefe were so ineffective, Howland played them four combined minutes in the second half. Howland also went nearly eight minutes, a large chunk of it when UCLA cut a 48-32 lead to 52-51 with 2:54 to play, without making a substitution. And UCLA’s rebounding deficiencies were accentuated when Hawes’ tip-in of a missed Justin Dentmon shot gave the Huskies a 54-51 lead, and slowed the Bruins’ momentum. Josh Shipp had a chance to tie it on UCLA’s next possession, but his 24-foot 3-point attempt, which Howland said was “too far” of a shot, missed the mark with two minutes remaining, and the Huskies held on to win. Shipp led UCLA with 13 points, Afflalo added 12 and Collison had five as he labored through a 2 for 15 shooting display. UCLA, which missed its first seven shots and trailed 9-0 nearly six minutes in, scored a season-low 20 points in the first half and shot suffered through a horrific shooting 31.3 percent overall. Perhaps the best news for UCLA is Aboya said he expected to play Thursday in the Pac-10 tournament. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With backup Alfred Aboya and his 17 minutes per game on the bench with a knee injury, No. 2 UCLA was pounded on the boards, lacked the type of intensity Aboya usually helps generate, and ended the regular season with a 61-51 loss to Washington in front of 10,000 at Hec Ed Pavilion. The loss ended a five-game winning streak, but doesn’t figure to impact the Bruins’ chances of being a No. 1 seed in the West in the NCAA Tournament, providing top-seeded UCLA (26-4, 15-3 Pac-10) doesn’t exit next week’s Pacific-10 tournament early. center_img SEATTLE – Arron Afflalo said it time and again, and so did Darren Collison. They are UCLA’s leaders, but both said throughout the season how, despite UCLA’s star power, every member was invaluable. A theory that may have fallen on deaf ears before was advanced markedly Saturday, when the Bruins showed the razor-thin line between them being one of the nation’s elite teams, and just another good team. last_img read more

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Protesters erect tent city in front of L.A. City Hall

first_imgOne year after promises were made to improve the treatment of the city’s 40,000 homeless, a tent city was erected Thursday in front of Los Angeles City Hall to protest the lack of progress and what some claim is the criminalization of poverty. After erecting a dozen tents on the South Lawn, more than 300 people held a demonstration, calling for more housing for the homeless and an end to a Los Angeles Police Department crackdown on Skid Row. “Exactly a year ago, our leaders came to Skid Row and pledged to end homelessness in 10 years,” said Bob Erlenbush of the Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness. “But, once the television cameras left, we heard nothing. All we got was lip service and rhetoric and no action.” Several advocates for the homeless joined in the one-day protest, which Erlenbush said will return to City Hall on a periodic basis to drive home the point on the need to take action. However, Mark Rosenbaum, chief legal adviser for the ACLU, said the city has shifted its responsibility for the homelessness problem over to the LAPD, whose solution is simply to jail the homeless. “A while ago, we all took offense at the idea of people being stopped for driving while black,” Rosenbaum said. “Now, we have a problem of people being arrested for walking while black.” But Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose district includes Skid Row, defended the city’s program and the LAPD crackdown. “The ongoing conflict about what activities should be allowed in Skid Row needs to stop,” Perry said. “The police effort was designed to protect those people, particularly women and children, who often become the victims of crime.” Erlenbush said the organizations want city, county and state officials to live up to the promises made last year to deal with the long-standing homeless problem. Advocates want Villaraigosa to name a deputy mayor to coordinate homelessness issues and to provide housing programs throughout the region, rather than concentrating them in the downtown area. And they want city officials to convene a summit on homelessness to coincide with Homeless Memorial Day on Dec.21. “We need to think big,” Erlenbush said. “New York City has a program that will develop 165,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years. In Los Angeles, we’re talking about 4,251 units.” rick.orlov@dailynews.com 213-978-0390 Aides to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he sympathizes with the homeless and has been working to resolve the problems, with a big boost coming from a $200million trust fund to build below-market housing. They also defended the Safer Cities Initiative, in which the LAPD deployed 50 additional officers to fight crime on Skid Row. The program has resulted in about 6,000 arrests, but it has been criticized by advocates, who claim the homeless are being unfairly targeted. But the mayor issued a statement saying the program is designed to protect, not harm, the homeless. “They have enough of daily struggle without having to fend for themselves against crimes,” Villaraigosa said. last_img read more

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Padilla, Montañez debate in Senate race

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventMontañez countered with her own achievements in the state Assembly. “I’ve been a very effecitve member of the state Legislature. I think my track record speaks for itself,” Montañez told the audience at a private school in Winnetka. Montañez, who had worked on Padilla’s council re-election effort, listed her experiences since being elected to the Assembly in 2002, including her focus on urban environmental cleanup, consumer protection and health care. Both agreed in general on a number of topics like immigration reform, transportation and health care during the cordial debate. “If there is anyone who has experience, it’s myself, and I will continue to be protective of California,” Montañez said. Padilla pointed to his six years of helping to balance city budgets and defending local budgets from state government. “I would not take away from local budgets. There’s got to be a better way,” Padilla said. Primary elections will be held June 6, when each party selects its front-runners. Election watchers have said Padilla and Montañez share some similarities. Both entered municipal elected office in their mid-20s and are seen as having substantial political careers ahead of them. Both are Latino Democrats who grew up in the Northeast Valley. If elected to the Senate, Montañez said, she expects to work on the same issues she pushed as an Assembly member, citing additional goals including fighting for transportation bond measures to help the Valley, affordable housing and sound development planning. Padilla has said he also ran for council re-election because there are still projects he is trying to bring to completion, such as a new City Hall building in the Northeast Valley. Padilla, who fought against secession, said if elected to the Senate he would work to ensure that the Valley gets its fair share of new infrastructure funding, and make sure those investments don’t increase sprawl; improve access and affordability of health care; and work on childhood diabetes prevention. The two veteran politicians face two other challengers. Donnie Adlen, the 64-year-old owner of several auto wrecking yards in Sun Valley, is running on the Republican ticket. Calling himself a moderate Republican, Adlen said he has a pro-choice stance on abortion, free university education and more funding for nonprofit organizations. Pamela Brown, an economics professor at Pierce College who is running as a Libertarian, backs pension and budget reforms in addition to lowering California’s minimum wage from $6.75 to the federal rate of $5.15 per hour to improve the job market. susan.abram@dailynews.com (818) 713-3664160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WINNETKA – Los Angeles City Councilman Alex Padilla and Assemblywoman Cindy Montañez, both Democratic candidates for the highly contested 20th District state Senate seat, kicked off their first local debate Thursday night by highlighting their strengths in office, but avoiding any mudslinging. Both are vying for a seat soon to be vacated by termed-out Richard Alarcon, D-Van Nuys. Padilla, who has sat on the City Council since 1999, touted his local accomplishments such as hiring more police officers for the Northeast Valley. “You can clearly see that I have a track record of not just fighting for the Valley, but delivering for the Valley,” Padilla told a crowd of more than 100 residents at the debate sponsored by the Reseda, Canoga Park and Winnetka neighborhood councils. last_img read more

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MacLOCHLAINN LASHES OPPONENTS OVER A5 ROAD ‘DEBACLE’

first_imgDonegal North East Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has launched a broadside at political opponents in the county, accusing them of double-dealing over the A5 road project.He insisted that the British Government as co-signatories of the St Andrews Agreement must meet their responsibilities to the A5 project. He called on the Irish Government to engage with their British counterparts on how all parties to the St Andrews Agreement can collectively deliver this essential peace process commitment.But it was his call for ‘genuine political unity’ in the county which will rile opponents. Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “There is no doubt that the Irish Government have reneged on their promise on the A5 to the people of Donegal and the North West in terms of the St Andrew’s Agreement which sought to bridge the gap of inequality between our region and the rest of the Island.“However, I am conscious that the British Government also signed up to the St Andrews Agreement and the two Governments now need to discuss how they can work together to address this issue. To date, this has been the elephant in the room in all of this.“The Irish Government have to repay a loan of billions of pounds sterling with interest back to the British Government as part of the bail out package agreed a year ago. Britain’s banks were bailed out rather than the Irish people. At the very least, the Irish Government should seek to engage with their British counterparts around how the A5 project could be slotted into that arrangement”.He continued: “I also repeat my call for genuine political unity across the North West on this issue as has been the case down the years. “It has been very noticeable that some local representatives are all over the place on this A5 issue, bizarrely seeking to blame Sinn Féin in the North and when that backfired, forming political alliances that exclude Sinn Féin, then spurning those alliances and remarkably stating that there are no other options outside the island of Ireland for funding this project.“This is not political leadership. It is irresponsible opportunism. I appeal to all political leaders in the region to quit the messing around and start singing from the one hymn sheet again.”© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldaily Follow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comMacLOCHLAINN LASHES OPPONENTS OVER A5 ROAD ‘DEBACLE’ was last modified: November 22nd, 2011 by BrendaShare 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:a5 road projectDeputy Padraig MacLochlainnlast_img read more

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Rand study links out-of-reach produce prices to child obesity

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The study examined the weight gain of 6,918 children of varying socio-economic backgrounds from 59 U.S. metropolitan areas as they advanced from kindergarten to third grade. Researchers compared the weight gain figures with the price of different types of foods and the number of food outlets in the areas. They did not examine what the children ate, however. The results showed that young children who live in communities where fruits and vegetables are expensive are more likely to gain excessive amounts of weight than kids who live in areas where produce costs less. That connection was stronger than the proximity to fast-food restaurants. On average, children in the study gained 29 pounds. But for the region with the highest relative price for produce – Mobile, Ala. – children gained about 50 percent more excess weight as measured by body-mass index (a ratio of height to weight) than children nationally. Among kids in the area with the lowest relative cost for fruits and vegetables – Visalia, Calif. – excess weight gain was about half the national average. The study also found that many children who live in poverty have just as much access to grocery stores as kids in higher-income neighborhoods. The finding, Sturm said, “flies in the face of a lot of theories,” including some that the poor do not have enough access to grocery stores. Susan Foerster, chief of the Cancer Prevention and Nutrition Section of the California Department of Health Services, said the findings support what she has heard from the low-income families she serves. “Lower-income families are more price-sensitive,” she said “They have to be careful with how much they spend in food, because housing and transportation is expensive in California.” Foerster said the study provides evidence that low-income people need help buying healthy food. However, Elizabeth Frazao, a U.S. Department of Agriculture economist, noted that a separate USDA study showed low-income consumers, when given an additional dollar, didn’t increase their purchase of fruits and vegetables. “There’s this perception that fruits and vegetables are expensive when maybe it’s not so much the cost, but the pleasure and taste that people get,” said Frazao, whose department funded the Rand study. “If you have a dollar, would you rather buy apples, a candy bar or soda?” she asked. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A new study suggests the price of fresh fruits and vegetables has a stronger connection to weight gain among children than whether they live near fast-food outlets. It adds more confusion to the muddy picture of what causes youngsters to gain weight. Advocacy groups have suggested a strong link between obesity and the proximity of fast-food restaurants or the lack of supermarkets stocked with fresh food. But the new study by the Santa Monica-based Rand Corp. think tank found little support for that connection. “You see lots of stories about the poor becoming obese because they’re in neighborhoods with lots of restaurants and no access to healthy food,” said Roland Sturm, a co-author of the Rand study. “We show that well, maybe those stories don’t hold up.” last_img read more

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An American hero

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The world lost a true American hero Monday with the passing of Rosa Parks, considered by many to be the mother of the civil-rights movement. But, in a very real sense, Parks will never die. She is a woman who will live in history as the person who sparked the civil-rights struggle of the 20th century with a simple act of courage on Dec. 1, 1955. The diminutive seamstress and activist became world famous when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, thus defying the racist Jim Crow laws of the day. She was arrested, and her fight became the rallying cry of all black Americans who were no longer going to put up with sitting at the back of the bus, and for Americans of all races who were no longer going to tolerate bigotry in their land. It took tremendous courage to stand in the face of the entrenched racism of her time, and that’s why Rosa Parks’ name has resonated so loudly and so long for Americans. Heroically, she called on the country to live up to its founding ideals. Parks showed us all that even individual acts of bravery and good conscience can, indeed, change the world.last_img read more

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Designing a ‘One Knob’ Incentive Program

first_imgThe phrase “energy efficiency programs” (or just “programs”) refers to utility-sponsored or state-sponsored programs that offer homeowners a rebate, incentive, or subsidized financing to make energy efficiency upgrades in their homes. Many of these programs work under the Department of Energy’s “Home Performance with Energy Star” program (HPwES). The cliffhangerThat sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? It’s within our grasp. We just have to get programs out of the way by focusing on results, implementing accountability, and using both of those to drive towards market transformation. This new program design, One Knob, is very simple and easy to understand.More details on my One Knob proposal are coming in an upcoming article. Goals of “One Knob”Whining without proposing a solution is an awful thing to do, so here are three key goals that any good program should achieve. These three things are necessary components to keep programs on track. Without these attributes it is unlikely that Home Performance (HP) will ever scale:Focus on results. Let market forces rule. Free contractors to sell projects that solve homeowner problems. Get bureaucrats out of project decisions and leave the improvement decisions to the collaboration between homeowners and contractors. Stop telling how to achieve program goals — just provide rewards to the extent that program goals are achieved.Accountability. Provide real accountability and real energy savings. No more claiming credit for “hopeful projections.”Market transformation. Deliver remarkable results to homeowners so that they tell everyone they know.These sound nearly impossible, don’t they?They’re not. They can all be achieved with a program called One Knob (as in “one volume control”). Even better yet, this can be achieved with current contractors, current employees, current programs, current equipment, and current technology. It will take a little retraining, but not much.(Briefly, the “One Knob” proposal calls for the level of incentives paid to be based on saved energy. If 10,000 kWh per year are projected to be saved, and the rebate is $.40 per kWh saved, then the homeowner gets a check for $4,000. Contractors have the most control over results, so the contractors will make the projections. The program will publish contractor metrics — that is, actual energy savings compared to projected savings — and will rank the contractors based on these metrics. High-ranked contractors will get automatic job approval, leading to less administrative overhead for the contractor and the program.)I’ll eventually fill out the program concept. But first, a discussion of what currently exists, and then what is possible to attain for the three desired goals (a focus on results, accountability, and market transformation). In a recent article, I told the warts-and-all story of how energy efficiency program design was a huge factor in putting my award winning business under. I promised to talk about solutions this time.If you are the type whose initial response to new ideas is typically; “No, No, NO!”, you probably should read no further.… If, on the other hand, you are comfortable having your schemas stretched and altered, if you are open to and enjoy having your thinking challenged, hopefully you will enjoy this.You’ll note that my tone in this article may be a little harsher than usual. There was no other way to write it. At some point, no matter how nicely you put it, those who stretch the truth may find the truth offensive. Ultimately this is not an attack on bad people, but rather bad structures. This series of articles is an attempt to expose harmful program structures that pervert process and prevent optimized outcomes — and then to offer a different path, a path that removes perversities and aligns all stakeholder interests. Accountability: What could beAccountability, through the trust it creates, can be its own reward. One Knob can create a system where excellence is recognized and exalted. This will push the best contractors to the top and allow them to charge more for their services.J.D. Power and Associates did this for the automobile industry. The company took an industry with terrible quality and no metrics and created a ranking. The ranking rewarded Honda and Toyota and almost bankrupted the Big Three. Now quality is significantly better throughout the industry, and ten-year-old cars with 150,000+ miles are common. Consumers and the high-quality companies won; low-quality companies had to raise the bar or die.Once you make quality a ranking metric, quality matters. What is quality in home performance? Measurable results.The home performance industry is one of the few construction disciplines that actually has measurable results, not just customer satisfaction metrics. We have lots of metrics to rank contractors on: actual energy saved, actual vs. predicted energy saved, actual blower door reduction, actual vs. predicted blower door reduction, $ invested/energy saved — the list goes on and on. With HPXML, we have access to ALL of this. (HPXML is a central database that pulls information from various energy modeling software for easy analysis by programs.) We have this right now. Today. Very little new is required. Market transformation: What could beWhat makes someone excitedly tell their friends about something? A spectacular result.Comprehensive home performance work that goes beyond an attic insulation job, but stops short of a deep energy retrofit, can deliver spectacular results. If we gain sufficient control over heat, air, and moisture movement, we can deliver the Four Tenets of Home Performance: comfort, health & safety, durability, and efficiency. These are projects that anyone with about $75 a month or more to improve their home can do.How nice is it to be comfortable in your home all the time? Or to not worry about icicles ripping down your ceiling ever again? Or to have your kid’s asthma, that landed him frequently in the hospital, subside? The home performance industry can deliver remarkable results. It truly requires systems thinking, but we can do it. And those results can help create a groundswell. Programs can play an important role.Here are some of the benefits of home performance market transformation:A healthier, longer-lived populace, with reduced allergies, asthma, flu, colds, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc. (Health & safety is the second tenet of home performance, after all.)A more comfortable populace. Home performance work improves indoor environmental quality, or total comfort.A more productive populace. Comfortable people are more productive.A healthier planet: substantially reduced usage of fossil fuels (and an easy transition to pure renewables at little or no additional cost).Jobs. This is literally a trillion dollar industry at a very conservative $10,000 per home times 100 million existing homes. Think that could help out a bit in providing jobs?Happier, more productive, more innovative contractors. If programs were ridiculously simple yet provided solid accountability, contractors would be free to figure out results driven best practices. Programs control from aboveCurrently, either directly or indirectly, project work scopes are created by bureaucrats who don’t actually do or sell the work. These bureaucrats don’t talk to the homeowner, they don’t have to manage the crews, they don’t have to worry about overhead or any of the other things that come with running a real company, and they don’t worry about homeowner outcomes.This is true of both the simple rebate programs like the Dominion East Ohio program in my region, or the programs created by Efficiency Vermont, or the much more complex programs in New York and California. This makes working with programs very complex and screws up incentives, because all parties are pulling for different things.Incentives are misaligned and often perverse. Check this out: “There was a huge emphasis on quantity even if the quality was very poor. Managers often resorted to lying to meet unrealistic quotas. They suffered from perverse incentives that placed fulfilling political goals ahead of efficiency. Firms in general had little incentive to be efficient or control costs.”That sounds like home performance programs, doesn’t it? It’s actually from a blog by Robert Nielsen about why communism failed. The author goes on to say, “One of the greatest failings of communism was its inability to innovate.”In the end, what was one of my biggest complaints about the program I worked with in Ohio? My flexibility was severely limited; I couldn’t innovate. I had to do work one way: the way the program wanted. I was not able to let market forces work and deliver what clients were looking for. We just chased rebates, taking our eyes off solving systemic problems. This seems to be true of every program in the country.While it’s still early, my current projects which receive no program assistance are running in the $15,000 to $40,000 range. My old average job was $2,500. This is what happens when you slow down, build trust, and really focus on homeowner wants and needs. There are still trust barriers that impede sales. If these projects had third-party results tracking and could get incentive for energy savings, or on-bill financing, this approach is likely to take off. Want to help?Share the heck out of this! Comment! Make noise! Nothing is going to change unless we push for it.Go join the Linked In “Get Energy Smart” group. We’re going to need help making enough noise to get things changed, so please add your voice! We’ll update you with action steps there as well.Connect with me on Linked In and mention “One Knob.” Feel free to email me at nate [at] energysmartohio [dot] com. Footnotes.1. Here is an example of bad program design, but first a definition. A negawatt is a saved watt of energy, or negative watt, defined by Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Here is an actual example of how the Negawatt kicker (incentive) works in the Energy Upgrade California program. Would you like something that works like this? Or something simple? The kicker is $0.75/kWh if the home doesn’t have existing AC, $0.30/kWh otherwise, and $1.60/therm. A minimum 10% total site savings needs to be projected. The percentage-based component starts at $1,000 and increases by $500 for every addition 5% projected. The electric and gas savings are then modified by factors designed to counter (as you might have guessed) historical over-projection. Kwh savings are left alone if no AC, but hit with a 0.4 modification otherwise (60% reduction). Gas savings are hit with a 0.8 factor. For instance, a home without AC that models 25000/18000 kwh existing/improved, and 1100/800 therms existing/improved would be 27.6% site savings. Modified by the therm factor, it would be 24.5% savings, which puts it in the $2,000 tier with a $5,250 kwh and $480 therm kicker, for $7,730. Is this the best we can do?!2. In New York, jobs must “pay for themselves” and have a 1 SIR or better, meaning the energy savings from the project will pay for the project within the lifespan of the improvements. The trouble is, with current low energy prices, that just doesn’t happen. So what do you do? You lie. You inflate initial blower door numbers. You fudge the model to show really high initial usage. I have this directly, and off the record, from multiple contractors in New York. This also leads to crappy realization rates. If I promised to make your pickup truck get 50 mpg, is there any prayer I might deliver? Nope. But I had to say that to get the program to say yes to the project and feed my family. That is a great example of a perverse incentive.3. This is per Ori Skloot in an update video about EUC 2.0. (Go to 2:30 in the video). What exists today: Programs built without considering resultsEnergy efficiency programs are complicated. The simple ones like the one that killed my business have simple rules, but they complicate work scopes, the sales process, and the jobs themselves. More complicated programs have rules so complicated that they are laughable, except it’s not funny. (1)In part, this comes from programs trying to make sure homeowners, ratepayers, and taxpayers don’t get cheated, but they end up cheating homeowners out of results and contractors out of sustaining profits.Stakeholder priorities are badly misaligned, as well. Program objectives are for high project count and to claim the highest amount of dubious energy savings possible. Homeowners don’t care that much about saving energy; they’re more interested in solving comfort and control problems, and frankly they are very skeptical of energy savings claims. Trouble at the kitchen tablePrograms make life at the kitchen table, where all projects are sold, much harder. They are friction when we need grease.Complex rules change; work scopes get changed to fit rebate or fuel type requirements; jobs get adjusted on the fly; rebate structures change; jobs get shut down because they don’t meet payback requirements… and on and on.One of the worst problems caused by managing projects from above is that it creates a culture of collusion. Contractors are often forced to lie to get a job approved and pay their bills. (2) Program implementers spend time teaching contractors to game models to “pass” instead of helping them improve diagnostic and design skills.Programs are essentially trying to control home performance work from the top down, not unlike the communist-controlled Soviet economy. How did that work out again? To be fair, this is true of most large bureaucracies. The term “red tape” exists because of bureaucracy.Summing up: programs just aren’t simple or results-focused, and this leads to all sorts of accidental barriers that keep home performance work from scaling up. Market transformation: What exists todayI was born in 1978. Energy efficiency programs have been in place in one form or another since then. I’ve heard that at current job volumes, it will take 500 years to retrofit the homes that need to be retrofitted in the next 20 years.The large Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) programs were projecting 0.5% growth for 2013. Wouldn’t we need just a little bit faster growth than that to get there? Tell me how we’re achieving market transformation right now?I’m a home performance consultant. I was an home performance contractor. Yet I couldn’t define home performance for you three years ago. We only barely have a name for ourselves. Consumers have no clue who we are. About one home performace job per 1,000 HVAC jobs is done, according to the recently passed Phil Jeffers. How is that “winning”?California has only hit 10% of its goal. New York is watching contractor participation, job size, and job count fall. My program with Dominion East Ohio has turned into a glorified HVAC rebate program. One program in Connecticut is an HVAC-only program — how is that home performance? How is that comprehensive, whole-house thinking? How are we winning again?Currently, the parallels between communism and current energy efficiency programs are so strong that I can literally lift passages of articles about what made communism fail and drop them into this paper.Could anything that can be so directly and easily compared to communism possibly be expected to achieve capitalistic market transformation? Focusing on results: What could beWhat if programs only had One Knob to adjust? What if this simple adjustment was aimed specifically at delivering actual energy savings and solving homeowner problems?One singular adjustment that could be changed, with changes that could be announced months in advance, so there weren’t ugly surprises at the kitchen table? What if this knob could be used to speed up or slow down the market predictably like the Fed does with the discount rate? What if this could drive us towards performing comprehensive energy retrofits to millions of houses instead of thousands because it actually solves homeowner problems?What if a massive industry focused on results could come into existence, one that could finally put a happy ending on the Great Recession? One Knob can do this. Details are coming. Stay tuned. Author’s note: This series is aimed at the home performance industry. My company values transparency, so we put it in the public sphere for homeowners to see and understand our thinking. Accountability: What exists todayCurrently there is no real accountability for results, either for solving homeowner problems or for actual energy savings.Contractors can blame programs for hamstringing them when projects don’t deliver what was promised. Programs can blame contractors for doing shoddy work. Utilities take the “lies” from programs to give to Public Utility Commissions mandating energy savings, and nothing really gets accomplished. Fingers point every which way.Homeowners spend lots of money with mediocre results, and contractors are exhausted by constant program changes created by bureaucrats who make these changes to justify their existence. No one party actually is accountable or rewarded for actual results.To repeat, this is not the fault of people; it is the fault of the structure. Programs are not market-based.Programs often have absolutely shocking costs per project due to a lack of accountability. Energy Upgrade California has spent $200 million in overhead costs since inception to deliver 3,615 jobs. That’s $25,000 per job in overhead, before incentives. (3) This is for jobs that are substantially smaller than $25,000 each. Worse, those projects deliver to the consumer only one third of the energy savings projected by Energy Upgrade California. This program has achieved less than 10% of its goal, by the way.California is easy to shoot at because it has been so ridiculously wasteful. Their 34% realization rate is the worst of the published program results. New York is in the 45% to 75% range, depending on fuel.Other states have published results which hover in the 40% to 60% range. Who is holding these folks accountable? If a friend borrowed $1,000 and paid you back $600 and said, “We’re square,” would that be good? That’s what programs and our industry are effectively doing. We’re lucky no one actually tracks their energy bills, or there could be a lawsuit. It doesn’t have to be this way.All the while, naive and idealistic contractors struggle to make a living in the home performance field. I tapped out with a program-dependent business model. The system is wasteful, inefficient, and can’t provide a decent standard of living for contractors.In the current world of contracting there is a fervent race to the bottom on price and quality. I starved to death trying to provide quality without charging enough for it, and Energy Smart is far from alone. Chris Dorsi, author of Residential Energy and founder of the Habitat X Conference, advocates for higher pay scales for insulation contractors, so it’s a common problem.Without metrics for quality or accountability for results, doing anything more than the bare minimum is a competitive disadvantage. RELATED ARTICLES Hard Truths of Home PerformanceThe ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ FallacyHow an Efficiency Program Killed My Business Nate Adams is a recovering insulation contractor turned Home Performance consultant. His company, Energy Smart Home Performance, is located in Mantua, Ohio. Using a comprehensive design approach, he fixes client woes with a market-driven process that he hopes will lead to market transformation for our industry.last_img read more

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