Steel Community – EGS Schuetzen http://egs-schuetzen.com/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 02:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://egs-schuetzen.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-4.png Steel Community – EGS Schuetzen http://egs-schuetzen.com/ 32 32 SunLive – Council to borrow $2M to replace water pipes https://egs-schuetzen.com/sunlive-council-to-borrow-2m-to-replace-water-pipes/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 02:00:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/sunlive-council-to-borrow-2m-to-replace-water-pipes/ Kawerau District Council has agreed to borrow $2 million, the first substantial debt New Zealand’s smallest district council has taken on in more than 18 years. In its long-range plan for 2021 to 2031, the council signaled its intention to borrow to replace all of the district’s existing steel and asbestos-cement water pipes over the […]]]>

Kawerau District Council has agreed to borrow $2 million, the first substantial debt New Zealand’s smallest district council has taken on in more than 18 years.

In its long-range plan for 2021 to 2031, the council signaled its intention to borrow to replace all of the district’s existing steel and asbestos-cement water pipes over the next six years.

The project has an estimated cost of $12 million.

Due to a combination of delays in works and the receipt of central government funding for three waters, the council has not needed to borrow so far.

Kawerau council is one of a handful of councils that do not have large debts.

According to the Taxpayers Union Ratepayers Report 2021, Kawerau has financing costs of 95 cents per year, per household, compared to a national average of $159 per household. The highest is Hauraki District Council, with $1175.73 per household.

Chief executive Russell George said this was partly because Kawerau was a young town and its infrastructure typically lasted 50 to 60 years, and partly because the council was cautious about the plan. budgetary.

The last time the council had loans for the service was 18-20 years ago for the upgrade of a swimming pool and sewage treatment plant.

Chief Financial Officer Peter Christophers told an extraordinary council meeting last week that while he could borrow the full amount needed to complete the project, due to the current uncertainty over the central government’s intentions regarding advice, he recommended only borrowing funds to cover the period until the transfer of three waters.

“We could get to the point in 2024-25 that the assets no longer belong to us. We will be in a better position to know exactly what our finances are at this time and what the government’s intentions are regarding advice.

Councilor Aaron Rangihika asked Mr Christophers who would be responsible for repaying the loan if the water infrastructure were transferred to the proposed new three water entities.

“If three waters come into play, where does the bill fall?” Mr. Rangihika asked.

“Indications are that the transition committee is going to review the amount we have in sinking reserves for our three waters as well as any loans we may be holding.”

Christophers said that due to the uncertainty surrounding local government reforms he was unable to give a more definitive answer at this time.

“That particular question hasn’t been finalized yet,” Christophers said.

Mayor Faylene Tunui said it reinforced the need for the council to be “at the top of the three-water conversation”.

“We have to express the point of view of this community, as it has been given to us. These variables make planning very difficult and very difficult to explain to your community who rely on us as a team, when we really don’t know.

The council voted to approve raising a $2 million loan from the Local Government Finance Agency of which it became a member last year.

The agency was set up about 10 years ago for councils to lend money at a lower price than they would pay on the open market. Managing Director Russell George has been delegated the authority to execute all necessary paperwork to lift the loan.

The reasons for renewing all the pipes in the neighborhood were the environmental wear and tear of the pipes and the manganese buildup which was now being released due to the chlorination of the water supply.

New PVC pipes should last up to 100 years according to manufacturers. The old pipes will be left behind as they could possibly be used in the future to run cables.

The nearly eight kilometer River Road segment of the pipeline renewal project is out for tender.

Communications manager Tania Humberstone said this included River Road offshoots and was due to be done next year. This would hopefully alleviate the low pressure issues experienced on Shepherd Road.

-Public interest journalism funded by NZ On Air.

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Visit Wraxall Yard by Clementine Blakemore Architects https://egs-schuetzen.com/visit-wraxall-yard-by-clementine-blakemore-architects/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 05:00:52 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/visit-wraxall-yard-by-clementine-blakemore-architects/ Clementine Blakemore Architects have just completed Wraxall Yard, transforming a series of derelict farm buildings in Dorset into a community space, workshop and holiday accommodation that provides an antidote to the sterile rental options prevalent for people with disabilities. “Too often accessible accommodation feels institutional and you wouldn’t want to stay there if you had […]]]>

Clementine Blakemore Architects have just completed Wraxall Yard, transforming a series of derelict farm buildings in Dorset into a community space, workshop and holiday accommodation that provides an antidote to the sterile rental options prevalent for people with disabilities.

“Too often accessible accommodation feels institutional and you wouldn’t want to stay there if you had more choice,” says Blakemore. “We wanted to create a destination that would be desirable for everyone.”

Wraxall Yard exterior shot of a modern brick building

(Image credit: Lorenzo Zandri)

The restoration and transformation of Wraxall Yard

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Building a Sino-Indonesian community with a shared future, a common aspiration of their people (Ambassador) https://egs-schuetzen.com/building-a-sino-indonesian-community-with-a-shared-future-a-common-aspiration-of-their-people-ambassador/ Sun, 13 Nov 2022 15:36:18 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/building-a-sino-indonesian-community-with-a-shared-future-a-common-aspiration-of-their-people-ambassador/ Photo taken on November 12, 2022 shows the logo of the upcoming 17th Group of 20 (G20) summit outside Apurva Kempinski, the main summit venue in Bali, Indonesia. (Xinhua/Wang Yiliang) JAKARTA, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) — Building a China-Indonesia community with a shared future is the common aspiration of the peoples of the two countries, Chinese […]]]>

Photo taken on November 12, 2022 shows the logo of the upcoming 17th Group of 20 (G20) summit outside Apurva Kempinski, the main summit venue in Bali, Indonesia. (Xinhua/Wang Yiliang)

JAKARTA, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) — Building a China-Indonesia community with a shared future is the common aspiration of the peoples of the two countries, Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Lu Kang said ahead of the 17th Group of 20 (G20) summit. . to be held in Bali, Indonesia.

China supports Indonesia in its work as G20 chair this year and hopes the summit will help strengthen international cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, boost the recovery of the global economy and maintain global food and energy security, Lu told Xinhua.

As two major developing countries, the two sides have maintained close communication and coordination in multilateral affairs, devoted themselves to safeguarding the common interests of developing countries, and contributed to peace, stability and development. development in the region and the world at large, he said.

The Ambassador pointed out that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, during the latter’s visit to China in July, decided on the general direction of building a China-China community with a shared future. Indonesian.

China and Indonesia are at similar stages of development, have related interests, follow similar philosophies and development paths, and share a closely related future, he said.

The two countries will continue to deepen their four-pillar cooperation covering politics, economy, people-to-people exchanges and maritime projects, he said.

This photo taken on Nov. 9, 2022 shows electric multiple units being tested for hot running on the test section of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway in Bandung, Indonesia. (Photo by Jiao Hongtao/Xinhua)

Once completed and operational, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed ​​Railway, a landmark project of the Belt and Road Cooperation, will significantly reduce traffic congestion, make travel more convenient for local people, improve the environment of local investment, will stimulate businesses and tourism along the route. , and accelerate the construction of a high-speed rail economic corridor, Lu said.

The success of the project will advance the development of bilateral relations and establish a new pattern of bilateral practical cooperation in various sectors, especially in infrastructure, he said.

Indonesia’s Morowali Industrial Park and PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industrial Park, also key projects of the Belt and Road Cooperation, have generated tax revenue, employment opportunities and foreign exchange earnings, and have offered Indonesia opportunities for greater participation in global stainless steel industrial chains. steel and new energies, he said.

Lu said China and Indonesia jointly wrote a chapter of friendship after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

China first provided assistance to Indonesia to fight the pandemic and launched bilateral cooperation in the research and development of vaccines and drugs against COVID-19, and supported Indonesia in the construction of a vaccine production center, he said.

Cooperation between Chinese and Indonesian companies on COVID-19 vaccines is an important achievement in building a closer China-Indonesia community with a shared future, he added.

The sound development of bilateral relations not only serves the long-term interests of the two countries, but also has a positive and profound impact at the regional and global levels, Lu said.

The Ambassador said he believed that under the joint leadership of the leaders of the two countries, China-Indonesia relations would continue to flourish and make more contributions to improving the welfare of their people, promoting a lasting peace and stability in Asia-Pacific. , strengthen solidarity and cooperation among developing countries and maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the world.

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Massive new plastics plant in southwestern Pennsylvania barely registers among voters https://egs-schuetzen.com/massive-new-plastics-plant-in-southwestern-pennsylvania-barely-registers-among-voters/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 08:55:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/massive-new-plastics-plant-in-southwestern-pennsylvania-barely-registers-among-voters/ ALIQUIPPA, Pennsylvania—From the tranquility of her backyard in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, Terrie Baumgardner fears her grandchildren will grow up without access to clean air, clean water and a safe space to play outside. For decades, Beaver County’s economy has been dependent on polluting industries, first steel, and more recently natural gas drilling. Many longtime residents, […]]]>

ALIQUIPPA, Pennsylvania—From the tranquility of her backyard in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, Terrie Baumgardner fears her grandchildren will grow up without access to clean air, clean water and a safe space to play outside.

For decades, Beaver County’s economy has been dependent on polluting industries, first steel, and more recently natural gas drilling. Many longtime residents, who remember the prosperity brought by the steel industry, hailed the construction of a massive new petrochemical plant from Shell and the politicians who support it.

Baumgardner and other environmental activists are discouraged that local residents and politicians favor the continuation of fracking and the new mega-plastics factory it has spawned, but they are not giving up their fight.

“People say that’s what we do in Beaver County – we trade our health for jobs,” Baumgardner said. “But that’s unfortunate, because it doesn’t have to be that way now.”

A reluctant activist, Baumgardner first became involved in environmental issues in 2011, when she learned of the dangers posed by hydraulic fracturing. Concern for the environment and the health of local residents led it to solicit signatures in 2016 as Shell moved towards building the plastics plant.

Spanning nearly 800 acres along the Ohio River, the plant is expected to open later this year. The facility will convert fractured gas into 1.6 million metric tons of polyethylene per year. Polyethylene, made from ethane, a form of natural gas, is the cornerstone of many common plastic products, from food packaging and trash bags to crates and bottles.

Despite Shell’s assurances that the facility will be safe for the surrounding community, environmental activists have warned that the plant will lead to air and water pollution and a prolonged reliance on fracking.

Under Shell’s permit, the plant can discharge up to 159 tonnes of fine particulates and 522 tonnes of volatile organic compounds per year. Exposure to these emissions has been linked to problems with the brain, liver, kidneys, heart and lungs. They have also been linked to miscarriages, birth defects and cancer.

“They’re going to dump all these toxic chemicals, hazardous air pollutants, volatile organic compounds and millions of tons of CO2 gas. What’s going to happen?” asked Bob Schmetzer, a local councilor from nearby South Heights and longtime spokesman for Beaver County’s Marcellus Outreach Committee. He opposed the plant since it was first proposed 10 years ago.

Jack Manning, a Beaver County commissioner, disagrees. “I have great confidence in the technology and in the skill of those who will operate the facility,” he said. “It’s a state-of-the-art, world-class facility.”

Manning blamed people’s apprehension on unfair comparisons between the plant’s environmental impacts and those of the steel mills that occupied the area. “These heavy particles are a different kind of pollution,” he said.

Shell assured residents of the safety of its plant. “At Shell, safety is our top priority in everything we do and that includes being a good neighbor by communicating about factory activities that could cause concern if they were not expecting it,” said Shell spokeswoman Virginia Sanchez said in a statement. “When we are in stable operation, our goal is to have little or no negative impact on our neighbors due to our activities.”

For activists, these assurances do little to allay concerns. On a grassy hill overlooking the huge complex, Schmetzer spoke with his friend and fellow activist, Carl Davidson. While the factory is not yet operational, the creaking noises of industrial machinery and the screeching of train carriages disturbed the clear autumn day.

Bob Schmetzer and Carl Davidson standing above the petrochemical plant. Credit: Emma Ricketts

Davidson, a self-proclaimed “solar, wind and thermal man”, wore a Bernie cap and alluded to his youth as a student leader of the New Left movement in the 1960s. While he estimates that around a third of residents were Concerned about the plant’s potential impacts early on, he expects that number to rise once it opens. “People are starting to see two things,” he said. “Firstly, there are all kinds of pollution that they are not aware of. And second, not all promised jobs are real.

The plant raised hopes of renewed economic prosperity in the region. However, now that construction is largely complete and thousands of workers have finished working on the site, the plant is only expected to employ around 600 people in the future, according to Shell.

While opponents are eagerly waiting for the plant to start operating, they don’t believe it will influence next week’s election. The Shell plant hasn’t been an issue in the tight race for the 17th congressional district in Beaver County between Democrat Chris Delluzio and Republican Jeremy Shaffer, both of whom support the pursuit of fracking.

In the closely watched state Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz, who both support fracking, the environment barely appeared in a nasty campaign focused on abortion rights .

Likewise, fracking and the environment were barely mentioned in the governor’s race between Democrat Josh Shapiro, the state’s attorney general, and Republican Senator Doug Mastriano, a Trump supporter and Holocaust denier.

Beaver County, despite only having 1.3% of the vote in any given election in Pennsylvania, is an indicator, according to Professor Lara Putman of the University of Pittsburgh. “It is socio-demographically similar to counties which collectively represent about a quarter of Pennsylvania’s population. So in that sense, when Beaver changes, other places change as well,” she said.

Baumgardner called the silence of political candidates “discouraging.”

“I wish they had the courage to speak up, take a stand and stick to it,” she said.

However, she understands the political risks associated with taking an environmental stand in a community that believes its economic fortunes are directly tied to pollution. She just wishes it wasn’t the case anymore. “We have alternatives,” she said. “We just need our political leaders to embrace them and get serious about renewable energy and the removal of fossil fuel subsidies.”

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According to Davidson, the key to waking up the public is making sure the alternatives are tangible. Good ideas are not enough to make people give up the job opportunities they have, he said. Clean energy projects are great in theory, but until workers can see real work with similar wages, many will continue to support the status quo.

Progress may be slow, but Baumgardner, Davidson and Schmetzer hope the realities of the factory will sway public opinion once residents’ senses are assaulted by the pungent smells and relentless cacophony of sound they s expect the new plastic factory to issue. They each stand ready to educate people about its health and environmental impacts, whenever they are ready to listen. They may be discouraged, but they are not discouraged.

“Nothing is going to stop me as long as my grandkids are here,” Baumgardner said.

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Death of John Henry, renowned sculptor and co-founder of Sculpture Fields https://egs-schuetzen.com/death-of-john-henry-renowned-sculptor-and-co-founder-of-sculpture-fields/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 22:24:54 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/death-of-john-henry-renowned-sculptor-and-co-founder-of-sculpture-fields/ John Henry Internationally acclaimed sculptor John Henry, co-founder of Sculpture Fields in Montague Park with his wife Pamela, has died aged 79 at his home in Brooksville, Florida. John and Pamela first imagined Sculpture Fields in 2006 when his studio was based in Chattanooga and led a grassroots effort to create an international […]]]>


John Henry

Internationally acclaimed sculptor John Henry, co-founder of Sculpture Fields in Montague Park with his wife Pamela, has died aged 79 at his home in Brooksville, Florida.

John and Pamela first imagined Sculpture Fields in 2006 when his studio was based in Chattanooga and led a grassroots effort to create an international sculpture park opening the park in 2016.

John Henry added to Chattanooga’s pioneering legacy by enhancing the cultural life of the community, it was said.

“I’ve known John Henry for over 30 years,” said Bill Overend, chairman of the board of Sculpture Fields in Montague Park. “To understand John, just look at his work. John was bold, direct and unrestrained in life but down to earth and he was happiest when swinging from a crane to put the finishing touches on a 100ft tall sculpture.

John Henry is best known internationally for his monumental abstract sculptures of intersecting welded steel beams and monoliths. After conceiving, designing and welding all of his sculptures in the studio, he places linear, flat pieces of colored steel in precariously balanced configurations. John’s work can be seen all over the world, from public installations to entrances to global headquarters.

When asked about his work in 2015, he told Nashville Arts Magazine that he likes to talk less about himself as a sculptor and more as a builder and likens builder terminology to artists who use intuition and inner vision rather than the literary vocabulary to communicate. “Years ago, cultures had a visual language and understood it. Now, however, we lack practice and are still trying to figure it out. We need language as a reference rather than experience as a reference. Art is not necessarily for immediate communication, but the experience of the learning experience itself.

John Henry was born in Lexington, Ky., and received his first degree from the University of Kentucky in 1965. He later earned degrees from other universities, including a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. in 1969. John was very active in the Chicago artist and sculptor community for the rest of his life, serving on numerous boards and art councils. He served as a trustee on the board of the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts in 1991 and has served on numerous committees, co-chaired the board of trustees from 2002 to 2003 and served on the executive committee of trustees until in 2012. The list of international installations, solo and group exhibitions, awards and selected positions, art chairs and curations are too numerous to mention.

“As the Board of Directors of Sculpture Fields in Montague Park, John will miss the drive, determination, clear eye for quality and leadership and will feel responsible for upholding the legacy of his life’s work by maintaining the ‘huge mark he left on the city of Chattanooga,’ said Jay Heavilon, board member of Sculpture Fields in Montague Park.

A memorial is planned for John Henry and details will be announced soon. Sculpture Fields in Montague Park is accepting donations in John Henry’s name to include in its fundraising campaign. To make a donation, go to www.sculpturefields.org

John and Pamela Henry


John and Pamela Henry

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In Pennsylvania Senate race, Oz and Fetterman change their minds on fracking https://egs-schuetzen.com/in-pennsylvania-senate-race-oz-and-fetterman-change-their-minds-on-fracking/ Mon, 31 Oct 2022 10:13:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/in-pennsylvania-senate-race-oz-and-fetterman-change-their-minds-on-fracking/ During a debate with Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman last week, Dr. Mehmet Oz raved about the economic potential of hydraulic fracturing in the state. “I’ve been consistent,” he said. “Fracting — it’s a very old technology — has been shown to be safe. It is a lifeline for this Commonwealth to be able to […]]]>

During a debate with Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman last week, Dr. Mehmet Oz raved about the economic potential of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

“I’ve been consistent,” he said. “Fracting — it’s a very old technology — has been shown to be safe. It is a lifeline for this Commonwealth to be able to create wealth similar to what they have been able to achieve in other states.

But Oz, who faces Fetterman in the U.S. Senate race, hasn’t always praised fracking, the method of oil and gas extraction that has made Pennsylvania the second-largest producer of natural gas. after Texas.

As a health columnist, Oz called for a New York-style moratorium on fracking in Pennsylvania pending the results of a public health study. (The Oz campaign did not respond to requests for comment on this story.)

Fetterman also changed his stance on hydraulic fracturing. During the debate, he said he had “always supported hydraulic fracturing”.

“I’ve always believed that our energy independence was essential and that we couldn’t be held, you know, a ransom for someone like Russia,” he said.

But in 2016, while running for the Senate in the Democratic primary, he backed a moratorium on fracking until new regulations were passed. (Later that year they were signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf.)

In a Reddit comment that year, he called fracking a “stain on our state and our natural resources” and said he had signed the Food and Water Watch pledge to end fracking. “I worry about the viability of a ban on fracking when the industry is already so entrenched in Pennsylvania,” he said.

Campaign spokesman Joe Calvello said in an email: “John has not supported a fracking moratorium or ban since Pennsylvania instituted tougher environmental rules to protect public health. . … John thinks we need to preserve the union way of life for the thousands of workers currently employed or supported by the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania.

An eternal electoral issue

Fracking, as it often does in statewide races, has become an issue in the Oz-Fetterman showdown, which could determine control of the U.S. Senate for the next two years.

Every candidate has at some point opposed hydraulic fracturing. Now they both support him.

Oz and Fetterman’s shifting views reflect the political realities facing candidates in Pennsylvania, said Chris Borick, professor of political science and director of Muhlenberg College’s Public Opinion Institute.

“Pennsylvanians have had this really, really complex relationship with fracking,” Borick said. On the one hand, he said, most voters don’t want to ban it. A recent poll found that 48% of Pennsylvanians “support” or “strongly support” fracking, compared to 44% who “oppose” or “strongly oppose.”

“On the other hand, Pennsylvanians have been pretty consistent in wanting fracking to be monitored, regulated, taxed in a way the state often hasn’t,” Borick said.

Berwood Yost, director of the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin and Marshall College, said the issue is trickier for Democrats like Fetterman. Many of their constituents worry about the potential for groundwater pollution from hydraulic fracturing and the long-term effects on the health of people who live near the wells. But Fetterman is trying to build a coalition that includes voters the Democratic Party has been losing for decades, he said.

“There is a huge number of particularly white working-class voters who believe that fracking, this type of energy development is good for the economy,” Yost said. “He’s trying to appeal to people in rural communities (by) saying, ‘We’re going to do things that benefit you because the economy has changed in a way that has hurt you. “”

Don Furko is one of the voters Fetterman is trying to woo. He is the head of United Steelworkers Local 1557 at the US Steel Clairton coking plant near Pittsburgh.

Many workers at his factory — at least those who are vocal — vote for Oz on issues like guns and abortion, Furko said. But he votes for Fetterman because he considers the former mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, to be on the side of workers like those at his plant. Fetterman visited the factory a few years ago after a fire there caused increased pollution from the factory for months. While many in the region have called for tighter controls at Furko’s factory, Fetterman has not. And as mayor of Braddock, Fetterman backed a plan to fracking at US Steel’s Edgar Thomson plant in the city.

“I think Fetterman, his position would be labor before environment,” Furko said. “If he were to straddle the fence…the foot he walks with will be the one that gets jobs.”

For voters, hydraulic fracturing is a fundamental problem

Election Resources

Yost says fracking isn’t a top priority for most voters — issues like the economy and abortion are. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have an opinion on it. Outside a mall in the Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin, Carol Martin said she supports fracking.

“It creates a lot of jobs and keeps people working,” said Martin, 82.

Her husband John, also 82, will vote for Oz. Carol says she doesn’t know who she will vote for. Its main problems are the economy and the war in Ukraine. Fetterman’s shifting views on hydraulic fracturing don’t bother her.

“Is it for now?” It is very good. If he was against it, then, well, he changed his mind. A lot of them change their minds about a lot of things,” she said.

Andrea Webb, 67, of Pittsburgh, says she is against fracking.

“As my granddaughter tells me, ‘Save the planet, Nana – save the planet.’ And fracking is very harmful, especially to people’s water supply, groundwater.

Even if Fetterman supports fracking, she will still vote for him. “I think he’s for it from an economic standpoint,” she said.

But hydraulic fracturing is not a major problem for her. Webb’s main problem is the economy. She thinks the government should do more to help low-income people.

Learn more about our partners, The Allegheny Front.

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Massive Steel Sculpture in Kitimat’s Oviatt Bike Park Celebrates Community and Place – Terrace Standard https://egs-schuetzen.com/massive-steel-sculpture-in-kitimats-oviatt-bike-park-celebrates-community-and-place-terrace-standard/ Thu, 27 Oct 2022 22:30:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/massive-steel-sculpture-in-kitimats-oviatt-bike-park-celebrates-community-and-place-terrace-standard/ By Sarah Zimmerman Nestled in the rainforest on the northwest coast of British Columbia is a towering grizzly bear sculpture made from dozens of lengths of steel. The 14.5-foot sentries watch over the new Oviatt Bike Park in Kitimat – a gift to the community by longtime Kitimat resident, businessman and philanthropist Jack Oviatt. The […]]]>

By Sarah Zimmerman

Nestled in the rainforest on the northwest coast of British Columbia is a towering grizzly bear sculpture made from dozens of lengths of steel. The 14.5-foot sentries watch over the new Oviatt Bike Park in Kitimat – a gift to the community by longtime Kitimat resident, businessman and philanthropist Jack Oviatt.

The state-of-the-art Oviatt Bike Park opened in August and the massive art installation is both a vigilant guardian of the small coastal town’s newest community asset, but also a symbol of resilience, pride and connection to the community. earth.

The towering piece has been painstakingly fashioned from a mix of solid one inch square steel and 2.5 inch flat corten steel bar. Over the course of six months, Steve Rogers, a photographer, artist and blacksmith based in Terrace, painstakingly reconstructed the giant grizzly in a huge shop.

The labor of love has resulted in another piece of public art set in wild outdoor spaces that Rogers has earned a reputation for in northwest British Columbia.

Rogers’ company, Great Bear Ironworks, has become known for producing distinctive steel sculptures that celebrate local wildlife, but are also installed in highly unlikely locations in British Columbia’s remote north. It is best known for what has become a must-see in nearby Terrace – the Terrace Wolfpack.

Affectionately referred to as “The Wolves” by locals, the collection of six steel sculptures sits on a dramatic rock outcrop located on the aptly named Terrace Mountain that overlooks the mighty Skeena River.

The installation has become an instant favorite with the community and is a must-do hike for locals and visitors alike to explore nature and experience the sculptures in person. It was the wolves’ experience that prompted Oviatt to choose Rogers for the bike park project.

The grizzly installation is one of a series of sculptures located in wild locations around the rugged coast of north-central British Columbia. Public art installations are just a few of the projects Rogers has created, along with a number of pieces for private art collectors.

Pieces ranging from wolves to crows are often located in spaces where art can be experienced in a unique way. The grizzly is distinguished both by its size and location, but also by its powerful posture.

Standing on its hind legs, front legs curling down in front of its belly with its giant jaws wide open – the sculpture exudes power and a bit of ferocity.

“I wanted to represent the bear other than a four-legged bear. My interest came from watching videos of Kodiak bears and grizzly bears fighting on the beach. I wanted to mimic that aggressive pride posture, rather than a moderate all-fours stance,” Rogers explains.

For Rogers, creating art that transforms people’s experience in wild spaces is exactly what he is trying to achieve. And for Jack Oviatt, the installation of such a large and impactful work of art in the new bike park transforms this space to attract bikers, art lovers, locals and visitors.

“In addition to the park, it will draw people to Kitimat,” says Oviatt.

The bear and the park are like a love letter to a community where he has lived and built his business over a long career. Oviatt wanted to leave a legacy that would benefit the community for generations to come, promote healthy living and give back to a community that gave him so much and he couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

“He’s fantastic,” Oviatt says of the giant Steel Bruin. “We’ve had great feedback from people everywhere. It fits well in the park.

Concept art for the Grizzly.  (Photo provided)

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What the Mahoning Valley could tell us about this year’s U.S. Senate race in Ohio https://egs-schuetzen.com/what-the-mahoning-valley-could-tell-us-about-this-years-u-s-senate-race-in-ohio/ Tue, 25 Oct 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/what-the-mahoning-valley-could-tell-us-about-this-years-u-s-senate-race-in-ohio/ In a few weeks, the people of Ohio will choose a new senator to replace incumbent Republican Rob Portman. For voters in the Mahoning Valley, this choice is close to home. One of the candidates, Tim Ryan, is from the area and has represented people here for almost 20 years as a congressman. The other, […]]]>

In a few weeks, the people of Ohio will choose a new senator to replace incumbent Republican Rob Portman. For voters in the Mahoning Valley, this choice is close to home. One of the candidates, Tim Ryan, is from the area and has represented people here for almost 20 years as a congressman. The other, venture capitalist and Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance, has the backing of former President Donald Trump, a popular local figure.

Not so long ago, it would have been easy to predict the outcome of a race like this in the Mahoning Valley. Sometimes referred to as Steel Valley, it is centered by Youngstown and includes Mahoning and Trumbull counties as well as parts of Pennsylvania. It is predominantly white and working class. Once a bastion of American industry, it was for decades ruled by the unions and their Democratic Party allies.

“That area, the Republican Party barely existed, it was a solidly Democratic area,” Paul Sracic, a professor of political science at Youngstown State University, told Ideastream Public Media.

But that all changed in 2016 when local electoral council offices were rushed with voters seeking to change their party affiliation.

“When they showed up at the election boards, they said they were joining Trump’s party,” Sracic said. “Trump came here and said ‘yes, you were right, all of your problems are caused by these horrible trade deals that were negotiated in the past by Republicans and Democrats.

Now the area isn’t just Republican – its “Trump Republican”. People here voted for Trump in 2016 and again by an even wider margin in 2020.

During a debate watch party at the Mahoning County GOP headquarters, Traci Clement told Ideastream that she decided to vote for Vance in the primary after getting Trump’s endorsement.

“At the moment he’s not a politician, it’s his first time running, so we have to give him a chance and I’ll give him a chance,” Clement said. So far, she said she liked what Vance had to say.

“He believes in what I believe in,” she said. “What’s not the abortion, the border crossing, the fentanyl coming in. I’m a 911 dispatcher, there’s been a lot of overdoses in Youngstown, it’s pretty serious.

Despite its democratic history, this region has long been socially conservative and deeply religious. It’s a boon for Vance, who has dubbed himself a “conservative outsider” and has been embraced by many of the most prominent figures in the MAGA movements.

But the main issue for most voters here remains the economy. The Mahoning Valley has been ravaged by job losses with steel mills closing and factories closing. For many, the deepest wound was the closure of the General Motors automobile plant in 2019, which had provided a steady stream of jobs since 1966. That plant has since reopened as a producer of electric vehicles, first under Lordstown Motors and more recently under Foxconn ownership. Today, the factory employs several hundred people and has produced two Endurance electric vans, but that workforce is only a fraction of what it employed in its heyday. Many in the Mahoning Valley blamed various trade agreements, including NAFTA, and tax policies for the plant closure and the decimated local economy. It is largely to these voters that Trump has appealed so much.

Trump’s endorsement helped Vance push through a contentious primary election, but he thinks he can appeal to more than just “Trump-Republicans.”

“I think there are a lot of voters who aren’t MAGA voters or traditional Republican voters, they’re just fed up with where they like to go in the wrong direction,” Vance said. “I think they’re going to vote Republican not because of any ideological affiliation but because they’re frustrated that their leaders let them down and they’re right to be frustrated.”

Once a swing state, Ohio these days leans Republican, but not overwhelmingly. This means that both candidates must steal voters from their opponent’s party. Vance said he was confident he could do it.

“I think we’ll win over a lot of Democrats, especially in the Mahoning Valley,” he said.

Vance said he was recently approached by such a voter at a restaurant in Vienna just before his second debate against Ryan, and he told that story during that debate.

“A Democratic union came up to me and said ‘listen, I’m supporting you because Tim Ryan’s been here for 20 years, he’s had his chance and he’s done nothing,'” he said .

But his opponent Tim Ryan has his own stories of seducing opposing party members.

On a recent Saturday morning, Ryan told a roomful of volunteers about a recent trip he had taken to a dark red county.

“I started walking with one of the county officials and said ‘how am I doing here? and he said “you have absolutely no idea how many Republicans are voting for you in this county,” Ryan told a cheering audience. “I was like ‘really, tell me one more time I want to hear this, this is like music to my ears.'”

Ryan said he’s confident he’ll attract many conservative voters across the state, voters he says are part of what he’s dubbed the “exhausted majority,” who don’t want Trump. and his allies in power.

“They’re thoughtful, Midwestern, tolerant and they believe in democracy and they know I do too,” he said. “And that I believe in a strong defense, and that I believe that you can be hostile to greed, you can be hostile to a concentration of wealth, you can be hostile to income inequality but you cannot be hostile to business. We need to work with the business community and not hate it. You know, we want the workers to get some of the action, we want them to be part of the deal, but we’re not hostile.

One such volunteer for Ryan is Jack Hineman from Bazetta. The Vietnam veteran has voted for Ryan since he first saw him campaigning on a street corner two decades ago. Hineman said Ryan has always been optimistic about the only thing that really matters to him: the economy.

“Since day one, he’s always been aware of China, of the problem, and it’s kind of funny because other people are jumping on the bandwagon now,” Hineman said. “He always said to be careful of China, they manipulate their currency and he has been aware of this for decades and for this and has never changed his position.

Hineman said Trump’s allure in this area has taken a toll on not only Democrats’ sense of stability in power, but also on friendships and family relationships. Still, he thinks there’s one thing that might cause some voters to backtrack.

“The numbers I don’t know are too close to tell,” he said. “There’s very vocal opposition, but especially since Roe V. Wade has taken the side route, there’s an undercurrent and so we’ll have to see.”

But, of course, it’s not just Mahoning Valley voters who will choose the state’s next senator. According to political scientist David Cohen of the University of Akron, many areas of Ohio have undergone recent political transformations.

“It’s a trend that you see in different parts of Ohio where the old strongholds in which the Democrats were doing better are starting to eclipse and move to the Republican party, and just as you see areas of Ohio that were typically Republican areas, especially in suburban areas, which are now starting to turn Democratic,” he said.

Ryan toured the state, visiting all 88 counties. He’s higher and more spent than Vance according to the latest campaign finance numbers. Vance, once criticized for not campaigning much, hosted high-profile events, including a rally with Trump in Youngstown, and received a major financial boost from National Republicans.

Both campaigns blanketed the airwaves and social media feeds of Ohioans with ads, and the two went on the offensive by facing off in two televised debates.

Polls have consistently shown the two candidates locked in an increasingly tight race.

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Gary Hattem Named New Chairman of Pratt’s Board of Directors https://egs-schuetzen.com/gary-hattem-named-new-chairman-of-pratts-board-of-directors/ Fri, 21 Oct 2022 18:40:36 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/gary-hattem-named-new-chairman-of-pratts-board-of-directors/ Gary Hattem The Pratt Institute Board of Trustees unanimously elected current Vice President Gary Hattem as the new Board Chair. The election took place during the plenary meeting on October 13, 2022, following the announcement of the resignation of Bruce J. Gitlin. Hattem has a long and deep connection to the Pratt Institute, having served […]]]>
Gary Hattem

The Pratt Institute Board of Trustees unanimously elected current Vice President Gary Hattem as the new Board Chair. The election took place during the plenary meeting on October 13, 2022, following the announcement of the resignation of Bruce J. Gitlin.

Hattem has a long and deep connection to the Pratt Institute, having served as a trustee since 2007 and is an active member of its Buildings and Grounds, Student Affairs and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committees. He graduated from the Master’s program in Urban and Regional Planning at the School of Architecture and, in 2007, was recognized with an Alumni Achievement Award. Hattem also holds a BS from Purchase College.

Hattem is an independent advisor, supporting community development, impact investing/social finance and philanthropy initiatives, and is founder and CEO of the Cultural Heritage Finance Alliance (CHiFA) and trustee of the Romanian American Foundation. He is a former managing director of Deutsche Bank, having founded and led the bank’s Global Social Finance group, which financed and structured funds to support microfinance, renewable energy, affordable housing and healthcare in the United States. United and in the developing world. . As Chairman of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, he led numerous donor collaborations to coordinate disaster relief efforts, support the creative economy, and build the capacity of community organizations. As chairman of the bank’s fine arts committee, he oversaw acquisitions of the region’s contemporary art collection.

Hattem was the first Executive Director of St. Nicks Alliance, a first-generation community development corporation, and is recognized as an innovative pioneer in advancing efforts to revitalize distressed communities for the benefit of low-income residents. His first position in the field was as a student intern at the Pratt Center for Community Development.

Hattem and his partner, Frazier Holloway, are longtime residents of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

“Gary has been a creative leader in the area of ​​philanthropy and community development and engagement,” noted former Chairman and current Vice Chairman Mike Pratt. “He has been a tremendous asset to the Board of Directors over the past 15 years of service and I look forward to his leadership as Chairman.

Portrait of a Bruce Gitlin.  He wears a tuxedo with an orange tie.  He is smiling.
Bruce J. Gitlin

At the October 13 board meeting, Bruce Gitlin stepped down as president after ten years of dedicated service and leadership. The announcement of his decision was met with expressions of deep gratitude from the members of the Board of Directors and the administration. Gitlin has been a tireless leader, applying his business acumen as well as his expertise in art, design, and manufacturing to important decisions that have advanced the Institute’s reputation as a global leader in higher education. He actively participated in all Board committees.

“Bruce has been an incredible partner for me,” said President Frances Bronet. “He is happily generous, tenaciously committed, his energy and dedication to his role as Chairman has been second to none and he leaves us all on a better and stronger footing.”

Gitlin is the third generation of his family to lead MILGO/BUFKIN, the internationally renowned metal fabrication company based in Brooklyn. The company has produced innovative designs that are integral to iconic architecture and installations around the world. With Gitlin as CEO, MILGO/BUFKIN has collaborated with Pratt faculty on numerous projects and on several key construction projects on Pratt campuses that were completed under his leadership. He received his bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from Lehigh University in 1963. He is a former board member of the Alaska Wilderness League and the Hunter Mountain Racing Foundation. Gitlin, whose father graduated from the Pratt School of Engineering in 1936, has served on Pratt’s board of directors since 1997, leading its buildings and grounds committee as he transformed the Pratt campus into a green destination for the community and visitors. He became chairman of the board in 2012, and in 2017 led the search for Pratt’s current chairman, Bronet. Gitlin will continue as an active board member.

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San Diegans SDG&E Electric Bills Will Soon Rise https://egs-schuetzen.com/san-diegans-sdge-electric-bills-will-soon-rise/ Wed, 19 Oct 2022 01:05:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/san-diegans-sdge-electric-bills-will-soon-rise/ Like just about everything else, your monthly utility bill is going to get more expensive this coming year. San Diego Gas & Electric officials estimate electricity delivery rates beginning Jan. 1 will increase 8% for an average residential customer, from 22.6 cents per kilowatt hour to 24.4 cents. If the preliminary numbers hold, that means […]]]>

Like just about everything else, your monthly utility bill is going to get more expensive this coming year.

San Diego Gas & Electric officials estimate electricity delivery rates beginning Jan. 1 will increase 8% for an average residential customer, from 22.6 cents per kilowatt hour to 24.4 cents. If the preliminary numbers hold, that means the average household bill will go up by about $15 a month.

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For the approximately 873,000 customers connected to natural gas, projections indicate that the average gas bill for a homeowner using 45 thermal baths per month will cost $110 in January, or $6 more than in January 2021. This translates to an increase of 5.8%.

SDG&E officials blamed higher electricity rates on upgrade spending forest fire safety, new customer service technologies (including the installation of a $300 million billing system) and the costs of various projects to support California’s transition to cleaner energy, such as building systems battery storage and charging stations for electric vehicles.

The higher gas bills are the result, according to the utility, of high natural gas prices across the country due to higher consumption in the aftermath of the pandemic. Additionally, Russia’s war with Ukraine has caused European countries to rush to source natural gas from outside Russia before winter sets in, leading to a supply shortage. which drove up prices in Europe with ripple effects on world markets.

Price increases are estimates and must still be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. But SDG&E officials told the Union-Tribune it was not a question of whether rates would be higher in January, but by how much.

“We believe that based on what we’re seeing in the market and what we’re seeing in terms of the investments we’ve made, these (estimates) are accurate,” said Scott Crider, senior vice president of SDG&E. .

The Utilities Commission, known as the CPUC, is expected to make a decision on January 2023 rates in December.

“We recognize that there’s never a good time for your gas and electric bill to go up,” Crider said. “But we are strongly committed to working with our customers, sharing this information early with them so they can be prepared, and we recognize that this is a difficult time.”

SDG&E officials released cost estimates Tuesday during a briefing with the San Diego City Council.

Last year, after SDG&E and the city agreed to a 20-year extension to the franchise agreement that grants the utility rights-of-way to provide electric and gas service within the city limits of San Diego, one of the provisions of the pact called for SDG&E to make a presentation to the board regarding its rates.

During Tuesday’s public comment period, five speakers called out and berated the utility.

“What’s driving our rates up isn’t San Diego families using more and more energy year after year,” said Karinna Gonzalez of Hammond Climate Solutions. “It’s SDG&E that continually builds more and more infrastructure, on which a rate of return is guaranteed to them.”

SDG&E, one of the subsidiaries of Sempra, the Fortune 500 energy company based in San Diego, made a profit of $819 million in 2021.

“It is unacceptable to use taxpayer funds to maintain aging fossil fuel infrastructure for profit, especially as taxpayers struggle to pay rising utility bills,” said Serena Pelka. , political advocate for the Climate Action Campaign.

“I recognize that $15 (in higher electric bills) is important to many of our customers per month…especially to many of our low-income customers,” Crider told the board, adding that under the CPUC rules, utilities in California do not profit from customers’ electricity or natural gas consumption.

If the January projections hold, this will mark the second year in a row that electricity delivery prices have increased by around 8% from the previous year.

For natural gas bills, the projected 5.8% increase isn’t as bad as last year, when the average residential customer’s bill in January 2022 rose 20.8% from January 2021.

News of the SDG&E rate hike comes as inflation eats away at San Diego-area family budgets. Last week, the federal government announced that overall consumer prices in San Diego in the United States rose 8.2% in September compared to a year ago.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in San Diego was $5.985 on Tuesday. As it marked the 13th straight day prices had fallen, it’s still 60 cents more than a month ago and $1.54 more than a year ago, according to AAA of Southern California. .

The cost increases will affect customers of San Diego Community Power and the Clean Energy Alliance, two Community Choice Aggregation, or CCA, programs that have recently been deployed and expanded in the San Diego area. However, it is too early to tell how the rates of each CCA will be affected.

Indeed, even if the CCAs buy electricity contracts for their respective jurisdictions, they do not deliver the electricity to their customers. This is still the job of traditional power companies such as SDG&E.

“We will take (projected SDG&E increases) into account when reviewing our rate-setting process,” said Barbara Boswell, CEO of the Clean Energy Alliance. “We understand that customers pay a total bill – they don’t just pay us for their electricity – and we keep that in mind when setting our rates.”

The Clean Energy Alliance serves customers in Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach and will soon be adding Escondido, San Marcos, Oceanside and Vista to its list. San Diego Community Power provides service to San Diego, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Encinitas and Imperial Beach and will expand to National City and unincorporated areas of San Diego County next year.

Immediately following the COVID-19 shutdowns, millions of Californians fell behind on their electric bills. Earlier this year, the CPUC reported that more than 3.6 million residential customers were in arrears of 30 days or more.

SDG&E officials estimated that about 20% of its customers had overdue accounts. As of October 12, SDG&E reports that 73,495 residential customers in its service territory have enrolled in publicly funded COVID-19 payment plans that provide financial relief to residential utility customers who are behind on their bills. .

For much of this year, San Diego has had the highest average electricity price in the country, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. If it’s any big consolation, Hawaii has held the top spot for at least two months. The average price in San Diego in September was 40.9 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to 47.4 cents in Hawaii.

The average price in the United States in September was 16.7 cents per kilowatt hour.

The CPUC warned that bills would rise statewide. The commission — which approves and enforces legislative orders for California’s three major investor-owned utilities — released an annual report that said:

  • Pacific Gas & Electric’s monthly bill for a typical residential customer will increase an average of 9.2% each year through 2025
  • The average SDG&E bill will increase by 8.2% each year over the same period, and
  • Southern California Edison will grow 4%.

SDG&E has spent around $3 billion fighting and preventing wildfires – which are passed on to taxpayers – since the deadly Witch Creek, Guejito and Rice fires in 2007 that destroyed more than 1,300 homes, killed two people, injured 40 firefighters and forced around 15,000 to seek shelter at Qualcomm Stadium.

Investments in the event of wildfires include safety measures such as replacing wooden poles with fire-resistant steel poles, burying power lines in high fire risk areas and setting up a network of over 220 weather stations that provide network operators with real-time weather data.

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