Court funding ‘vital’ for businesses

first_imgCourt funding ‘vital’ for businesses Mar 15, 2004 Managing Editor Regular News Uniform levels of judicial service are critical to us in the retail industry’ Mark D. Killian Managing Editor Florida’s business community added its voice to the chorus calling on the legislature to properly fund the court system as it moves to carry out Revision 7 to Art. V of the constitution.An adequately funded, effective, and responsive court system is essential to Florida’s economic well-being, according to Rick McAllister, president of the Retail Federation of Florida.“Protecting our business climate is why I’m here today,” McAllister told a gathering of reporters recently in Tallahassee at a press conference where Florida TaxWatch released the findings of its study to determine how much state funding is needed to carry out Revision 7.“In order to maintain the gains we have made, it is vital that we achieve a smooth implementation of this major funding shift for our judicial system, without allowing services to fall short.”TaxWatch has recommended the legislature provide an additional $35.6 million over Gov. Jeb Bush’s recommendation to adequately fund Florida’s court system. That amount includes more money for judges and judicial assistants for a system that handles 31 percent more cases on average than other states. The state court system has spent the past seven years planning for the implementation of Revision 7, which resulted in a $170-million funding request from the Supreme Court. Gov. Bush has called for the legislature to provide $104.4 million in funding and Florida TaxWatch recommends $140 million in funding. (See March 1 News. )Dominic Calabro, president of TaxWatch, said his organization’s study shows that underfunding of the courts would have significant consequences, including a likely slowdown in civil and family court cases in some circuits. Florida’s citizens and businesses also might have to wait months, instead of weeks, for legal due process, he said.“Underfunding in other states has led to civil courts being in session only four of five days a week or three of four weeks a month,” Calabro said. “It has led to cases not being heard for months on end and a resulting delay in justice. If prolonged, negative commercial and economic development consequences would follow.”Florida Bar President Miles McGrane said the legal community also seeks adequate funding for Florida’s trial courts and has confidence the legislature will provide exactly that.“We believe this TaxWatch study will be of great assistance to our legislature by providing additional data and documentation on which our legislators may base their decisions,” McGrane said.The TaxWatch report said inadequate funding could lead to:• Backlogs of civil cases, thereby hampering citizens’ and business activity.• A reduction or elimination of drug courts by counties receiving decreased state funding.• Reductions in the quality of justice, especially in larger counties.• Negative commercial and economic development consequences if underfunding is prolonged.• Subversion of Revision 7’s intent of a uniform level of judicial service for all Floridians.“If the civil court system is a roadway and the roadway is running at full capacity, what happens if you shut down one lane of traffic — what happens to that system?” McGrane asked. “It is going to slow down or come to a stop.”McAllister said that is exactly the mistake California made and “today businesses there find themselves waiting two or three years to have business issues resolved. That is very business unfriendly.“It is important that the justice served to us be of the highest quality, especially in the bigger counties where the caseloads are so large and the press for time is so great,” McAllister said. “Uniform levels of judicial service are critical to us in the retail industry.”McAllister said a robust judicial system is critical to the future of Florida because investment and jobs depend on businesses and businesses want to locate and expand states with strong judicial systems.“Will the state of Florida provide a court system that works for our business economy?” McAllister asked.The Study’s Findings TaxWatch’s study found more funding is needed for special masters and hearing officers, professional court administrators, judges and judicial assistants, staff attorneys and law clerks, an integrated statewide court technology system, a resources management system for reporting performance and accountability data, and contingency funding to cover unknown costs likely to result from this first-time integration of courts.“If we limit the court’s ability, through inadequate funding, to carry out its constitutional obligations, businesses and citizens may find themselves in the back of the line awaiting their entitled helping of justice,” Calabro said.To help bridge the budget gap and ensure proper court funding, TaxWatch offered the legislature six “well-researched” sources of approximately $180 million in nontax revenue and identified “$30 million worth of cost savings, innovations, and productivity improvements to provide future savings beyond FY 2004-05.”“We have a marvelous court system that we hope will be up and running as it is come July 1,” McGrane said. “In Florida we just cannot stop the progress we have worked so hard to achieve; we must keep our courts running; we must have the same court system on July 1 that we have today.”To access the full TaxWatch report visit www.floridataxwatch.org. Court funding ‘vital’ for businesseslast_img read more

Reading the rights act

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Rick Fox’s Echo Fox confirm North American LCS franchise spot

first_imgEcho Fox, the esports organisation with roots in the FGC has confirmed it has secured one of ten North American League of Legends Championship Series (“NALCS”) spots in the new permanent partnership scheme. It comes as little surprise given the list of teams and franchises that have been accepted, with big sports investment coming from many and three NBA teams hopping straight in. Most recently, Echo Fox was included as part of an investment partnership between Vision Esports and the New York Yankees. The investment will allow accelerated growth and increased brand awareness for the Echo Fox organisation and brand across the globe. The partnership aims to “mirror the management of Echo Fox in a manner similar to traditional professional sports properties”. Rick Fox, former NBA Champion and Echo Fox founder commented: “Riot Games has been at the forefront of esports since it installed the LCS back in 2014. We are extremely honoured and proud that Echo Fox will be one of the charter franchises in North America and our selection further proves that Echo Fox will continue its ascent to becoming the number one esports organisation in the world”. Jared Jeffries, recently appointed President of the organisation commented: “We are on the forefront of something magnificent for the esports world and we’re looking forward to competing against nine other world class esports organisations to win this inaugural season”. The Echo Fox organisation now houses teams competing in 12 different esports titles and holds a roster of over 40 competitive players. League of Legends will be the organisations first venture into the “big three” esports titles and it’s quite the gig. Rick Fox will be up against some familiar faces as the Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets all field teams next year. Esports Insider says: Congratulations to Rick and the team. League is very different from many of the titles they compete in but here’s hoping they embrace the new league spot. There’s some big names in the NA LCS next year, that’s for sure.last_img read more

Special tractor run for Lucy McGeehan (6) raises vital funds – Picture Special

first_imgPeople from all over Donegal and the North West came together last week at a tractor run to raise vital funds for Lucy McGeehan. The six-year-old schoolgirl was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma – a rare cancerous tumour of the bone.The tractor run, which started at Biddy Friels in Drumoghill, was organised by Donegal Vintage Working Day Association. Clive Wasson was in attendance to capture the day’s best moments.David Smyth at the Tractor Run to Raise funds for Lucy McGeehan on Saturday last. Photo Clive WassonLiam Sweeney at the Tractor Run to Raise funds for Lucy McGeehan. Photo Clive WassonLucy McGeehan and her mother Lynn (Centre) at the Tractor Run to raise funds for Lucy which started from Biddy Friels, Drumoghill on Satruday last. Photo Clive WassonAlan Robb at the Tractor Run he organised to Raise funds for Lucy McGeehan. Photo Clive WassonMichael Boyle at the Tractor Run to Raise funds for Lucy McGeehan. Photo Clive WassonBill Devenney from Manorcunningham at the Tractor Run to Raise funds for Lucy McGeehan arriving at Biddy Friels on Saturday. Photo Clive WassonBilly Malcolm and Willie McHugh at the Tractor Run to Raise funds for Lucy McGeehan at Briddys Friels on Saturday last. Photo Clive WassonJanet Woods and Chanice Gordon at the Tractor Run to Raise funds for Lucy McGeehan. Photo Clive WassonViolet Hamilton, Niamh McCrory and Patrica Tinney at the Tractor Run to Raise funds for Lucy McGeehan. Photo Clive WassonPaddy, Damien and Paddy Snr. O’Brien at the Tractor Run to Raise funds for Lucy McGeehan. Photo Clive WassonSpecial tractor run for Lucy McGeehan (6) raises vital funds – Picture Special was last modified: September 9th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Warriors icon Al Attles, 82, feeling well enough to attend an NBA Finals game at Oracle

first_imgWe interrupt this get-away Friday for an unexpected and heartening addition to the Warriors injury list:Al Attles, probable.Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated is reporting that Attles, Warriors icon and newly minted Hall of Famer, intends on attending an upcoming NBA Finals game at Oracle Arena.“My goal was to get to at least one game and not be in a wheelchair,” the 82-year-old Attles told Spears on Monday. “A cane will work. I am looking forward to coming out. I am hoping that the team can …last_img

Raiders release J.J. Nelson, promote Marcell Ateman

first_imgALAMEDA — The Raiders released wide receiver J.J. Nelson Thursday and signed Marcell Ateman, who made a U-turn from the waiver wire back to the 53-man roster.Nelson, signed in the off-season to provide a downfield receiving threat, missed the last two games with an ankle injury and coach Jon Gruden appeared to be growing frustrated with the inability of the wide receiver to be available for practices and games.After a strong training camp and exhibition season, Nelson was played in Week 1 …last_img

New fuel pipeline for Moz and SA

first_imgThe new 450km pipeline will alleviate pressure on inland fuel supply in South Africa. (Image: South African Qualification & Certification Committee) The proposed route of the new pipeline. (Image: Petroline Holdings)Janine ErasmusConstruction on a R5.8-billion ($620-million) fuel pipeline between the Mozambican port of Matola in Maputo province and Kendal in South Africa is due to start later in 2009. The 450km-long pipeline will transport up to 3.5-million litres per year and is expected to prevent potential fuel shortages in South Africa.The multi-product pipeline will take just six months to build, as project operator Petroline intends to have it up and running as early as possible in 2010. Petroline is a locally-registered company that also owns the sections of the line that run through South African soil.When complete the pipeline will facilitate the importation of petrol and diesel from Mozambique, which has extensive natural gas and coal reserves but no oil reserves. Of the pipeline’s total capacity of 3.5-million litres of fuel and diesel, a maximum of 1.5-million litres will be diverted to Nelspruit while the remainder will be transported to Kendal.“Our aim is to have this project operational before 2010,” said Mateus Kathupa, CEO of shareholder Petróleos De Moçambique (Petrómoc), “in order to have an additional capacity in terms of oil supplies to South Africa.”Matola is closer to Johannesburg, South Africa’s busiest city, than the port of Durban which is the traditional entry point for fuel imports.The pipeline will travel 64km from the existing coastal storage facility at Matola in Mozambique to the South African border at Komatipoort. It will then run for a distance of 135km between Komatipoort and Nelspruit in Mpumalanga province, followed by the 249km stretch to Kendal. At its final destination there is the possibility of the pipeline joining with the current Transnet Pipelines network for inland distribution of fuel.The refurbishment and upgrade of Matola port is part of the project, as are new tank storage facilities at the Nelspruit depot.Annual revenue from the new pipeline is expected to exceed R7.5-billion ($800-million).Mozambique-South Africa co-operationThe Mozambican-South African consortium Petroline Holdings received its licence to build the pipeline from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa at the end of March 2007.Petroline has four major shareholders – these are the Woesa Consortium which holds 25%, Gigajoule International with 20%, Petrómoc with 40% and Companhia De Desenvolvimento De Petróleo Moçambique which holds 15%.Construction of the pipeline was originally scheduled for September 2008 but was delayed because the environmental impact studies have not yet received final approval. According to Katupha, issues such as compensation to people who live on land across which the pipeline will pass have yet to be resolved.Five studies have been undertaken, three in South Africa and two in Mozambique. In South Africa the national Department of Environmental Affairs is working on the project and in Mozambique it is the Ministry of Coordination of Environmental Affairs that must give the go-ahead. Approval is expected no later than May 2009, following which construction will begin apace.Fast-growing economyIn December 2005 South Africa suffered severe fuel shortages which impacted on many sectors of the economy. Airlines lost revenue because their planes were grounded, while many farmers suffered losses because they could not harvest at the optimal time. Motorists had to drive to several locations before they found a functioning service station.The Moerane Report of 2006, under the leadership of Advocate Marumo Moerane, investigated the crisis and found that one of the major causes of the shortage was the lack of adequate pipeline capacity in South Africa. This caused disruptions in the chain of supply.Additionally the Moerane commission predicted that the current economic growth rate in South Africa meant that there was a strong possibility of fuel demand outstripping supply capacity by mid-2009, as inland supply routes were not up to the task.The new pipeline is expected to alleviate much of the shortage in capacity and go a long way towards ensuring that such a crisis will not happen again.Since it operates in both South Africa and Mozambique, the pipeline presents another prime opportunity for integration and development between countries in the Southern African Development Community.Because the direction of flow can be reversed, the line could also be used to ferry fuel products to out of South Africa for distribution to neighbouring countries such as Botswana.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected] linksHighest global quality fuel in SA Infrastructure development in SAThe Southern African Development CommunityUseful linksPetroline HoldingsPetrómocNational Energy Regulator of SANational Petroleum Institute, MozambiqueMinistry of Coordination of Environmental Affairslast_img read more

The Best Velocity for Moving Air Through Ducts, Part 2

first_imgThis is the second post in a 2-part series on the physics of moving air through ducts. If you missed it, click here for The Best Velocity for Moving air Through Ducts, Part 1. The first thing to know about the velocity of air moving through ducts is that the slower you get the air moving, the better it is for air flow. That was the main point of my last article. It asked the question, is low velocity bad for air flow in ducts? And the answer was that, in terms of air flow, you really can’t get the air moving through the ducts too slowly. But that’s not the end of the story. If it were, you’d always try to get the lowest velocity possible by using the biggest ducts that fit the space without blowing the budget. There’s another relevant fact, however, and ignoring it can lead to trouble.RELATED ARTICLESThe Best Velocity for Moving Air Through Ducts, Part 1The Continuity Equation and Air FlowDo High-MERV Filters Always Reduce Air Flow?Designing Duct System Vents for Good Air FlowIs It OK to Close Air Conditioner Vents in Unused Rooms? Second Law troubles In moving air through a duct system, we want good airflow, but remember that the object isn’t just to move air throughout the house. It’s to move heated air in winter and cooled air in summer. When that conditioned air is moving through the ducts, the second law of thermodynamics comes into play because we have a temperature difference between the inside and outside of the ducts. The second law of thermodynamics says that when you have objects at different temperatures, heat flows from the warmer to the cooler object. In winter, the warm air in our ducts can lose heat to the surroundings. In summer, the cool air gains heat from the surroundings. And the amount of heat that flows between the duct and its surroundings depends on three things: Surface area of the ducts Temperature difference between the ducts Insulation level (as given by U, the heat transfer coefficient, or R, the resistance to heat flow) The equation that ties these things together is: Q here is the rate of heat flow and the units we use for it here in the US are British thermal units per hour (BTU/hr). Heat transfer into moving air As the conditioned air moves through a duct, it gains or loses heat in proportion to those three factors. But that just tells you how many BTUs go into or out of the duct in an hour. The other factor is how much air is involved in picking up each BTU. The factor that governs this is velocity: The slower the air moves in a duct, the more BTUs each cubic foot gains or loses. And it’s not just time of contact that’s responsible. To get the air moving slower, we need bigger ducts so there’s more surface area, too. The upshot of all this is that when you’re sizing ducts, you have to consider the space those ducts are in. If you put ducts in conditioned space, you can move the air as slowly as you’d like. When you put the ducts in an unconditioned attic, you want to move the air at a higher velocity, pushing it up near the maximum recommended by ACCA Manual D, 900 feet per minute (fpm) for supply ducts and 700 fpm for return ducts. Mike MacFarland’s duct sizing tool My friend Mike MacFarland in Redding, California is a home performance and HVAC wizard. He knows the principles and has studied the research and he installs some of the best duct systems in the country. He uses the following ranges of velocity for ducts in different types of space: 600 to 750 fpm  —  Exposed ducts in unconditioned attics 400 to 600 fpm  —  Deeply buried ducts in unconditioned attics Less than 400 fpm  —  Ducts in conditioned space He put this into a chart that allows you to find the duct diameter that gives you the right velocity and air flow rate (cfm). The full chart covers duct sizes ranging from 4 inches to 18 inches and air flow rates from 0 to 1,200 cfm.  (You can download the full chart by clicking on the image below or the link at the bottom of this article.)  Here’s the bottom part of the chart, covering air flow rates up to 300 cfm: Mike MacFarland’s duct sizing tool. Photo: Mike MacFarland, Energy DocsIf you need a duct to move 100 cfm, for example, you’d go with a 7 inch duct if it’s in conditioned space, a 6 inch duct if it’s buried deeply in the attic insulation, and a 5 inch duct for exposed ducts in an unconditioned attic. The takeaway here is that low velocity is great for air flow but sometimes bad for heat transfer. By selecting duct sizes that yield velocities appropriate for the conditions, you get the best of both worlds. Download Mike MacFarland’s Duct Sizing Tool Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

Nokia Lumia 900 launched in India at Rs 32,999

first_imgNokia’s Windows based Smartphone Lumia 900 has quietly been launched in India. The new phone, which is available on Infibeam.com at a price of Rs 32,490, features a powerful camera and has a good storage capacity. According to reports, the Nokia Lumia 900 runs on the Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system. It also boasts of having 1.4 GHz Scorpion, 512MB RAM, 4.3″ touch screen, besides having Corning Gorilla Glass and AMOLED display technology.The report published on Tech2.com says, “Rs 32,999 price tag seems a bit heavy for a Windows Phone 7 device, especially one that’s never going to get Windows Phone 8. We also think the Lumia 900 is a bit out of date, especially with the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 being unveiled.”Nokia Lumia 900 has a 1830mAh battery that offers a maximum of 300 hours of stand-by time, and seven hours of talk time. It has an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash with an aperture of f/2.2.The major features of the Nokia Lumia 900 are:- 4.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen with ClearBlack technology- GPRS, HSPA, EDGE,HSUPA, GSM, HSDPA, LTE, WDCMA, Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA- GPS and A-GPS support- Bluetooth v2.1 with EDR- 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash, VGA front facing camera- 512MB RAM, 16GB internal memory- microUSB 2.0 portWith Agency inputslast_img read more