Man in Motion coming to Fort St. John for tour anniversary

first_imgRick Hansen will be visiting Fort St. John during the 25th Anniversary of his cross-Canada tour.The Man in Motion, himself, will be making a special stop in the city on May 21, 2012.- Advertisement -In conjunction with Hansen’s visit, local heroes who have made differences in people’s lives will be honoured.Those who are recognized will receive a replica of the Rick Hansen Medal, which had originally been specifically designed by the Royal Canadian Mint.The tour will cross 600 communities in all provinces and territories across Canada. Around 7,000 residents are expected to participate in the relay, passing the original medal across the country. The official tour starts in Cape Spear, N.L. on August 24, 2011 and will end in Vancouver on May 22, 2012.Advertisementlast_img read more

GRA flagged for not selling seized vehicles to highest bidders

first_img…vehicle sold for $400,000 despite $1.8M competing bidWhile the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) can be proud of its increased tax collection for the 2018 fiscal year, the same cannot be said for the manner in which it has sold and disposed of seized vehicles.One of the vehicles seized by GRAIn the Auditor General’s 2018 Report, GRA was reported to have collected a total of $68.1 million from the sale of seized items for that year. Of all their seizures for 2018, the majority (38 per cent) was motor vehicles and spare parts.Almost immediately, the Audit Office reported having difficulties ascertaining what happened to six of 28 vehicles which were sold by way of tender in July 2018. It was found that two of the vehicles that were subject of the tender were found to be registered to two Government agencies rather than the highest bidder.According to GRA, however, four were sold and two were indeed assigned to the agencies. However, GRA noted that this was approved by the Commissioner-General, Godfrey Statia, something allowed by the Customs Act. The Audit Office, nevertheless, urged that they sell vehicles to ensure they maximise revenue.But more drama would follow the sale of vehicles. According to the report, the AG could not ascertain whether the bidders for 27 of a total of 71 vehicles honoured their obligations. GRA confirmed that indeed, 16 of the bidders did not honour their obligations.While some of the vehicles were eventually sold, some were again assigned to various departments. A worrying trend noted by the Auditor General concerns the vehicles being sold for rock bottom prices to various bidders.According to the AG, a Honda All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) was sold to someone who did not bid for the particular item but rather, made multiple purchases. This person rode away with a bargain, paying $161,000 for the ATV despite another bidder offering a sealed bid of $285,000.In another case, a vehicle was sold to someone for $400,000, despite the first bidder offering $1.8 million for the vehicle during a sealed bid exercise held in February 2019. The AG also noted that out of 34 vehicles that were supposed to be sold during the exercise, nine were removed at the request of the Commissioner-General.“However, no documentation to substantiate same was presented. Two were removed after publication of which 194 bids were received by intended purchasers, resulting in an estimated loss of revenue of $14.4 million,” the AG said, adding that his office could not determine if the bidders honoured their obligations through payments for the remaining 25 vehicles.In their defence, GRA stated that one motor vehicle was sold in accordance with the Customs Act, which, according to them, allows the Commissioner-General “to dispose of items in a manner as he may direct”.They also pled ignorance of the other vehicle referenced by the AG. In his recommendations, the AG repeated urgings that vehicles be disposed of with the view of maximising revenue and that all relevant documentation be presented for audit review.Last year, the parliamentary Opposition had actually approached the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to investigate fraud allegations at the GRA when it comes to seized vehicles. Specifically, the Opposition wanted to investigate how seized vehicles were finding their way onto the streets without being registered or gazetted.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo told reporters at one of his press conferences that hundreds of motor vehicles were being imported into Guyana and were not being placed on the register for Want of Entry and, therefore, were never gazetted and put up for auction. In fact, Jagdeo posited that these motor vehicles, most of which were luxury vehicles, were finding their way onto the streets.“The hundreds of luxury vehicles like Land Cruisers, Lexus, Hummers, BMW that came into the country were seized by GRA, never made it to the register for the Want of Entry and so were never gazetted and placed at the auctions.These hundreds of vehicles found their way into the hands of people sympathetic to the Government resulting in billions of dollars of lost revenue,” he had disclosed. For his part, Statia has denied any impropriety at his agency.last_img read more

UNANIMOUS BACKING AS MICHAEL MURPHY RECEIVES CIVIC RECEPTION

first_imgMichael Murphy listens to tributes being paid to him at council chambers in Lifford today.Michael Murphy was the toast of his native Donegal today when he received a civic reception in honour of his sporting achievements.The 24 year old Glenswilly man has packed more into his career already than most veterans would hope to achieve in a lifetime.Michael was surrounded by family and friends as he received the honour at council chambers in Lifford. As well as his proud mother and father Mick and Mary, Michael was accompanied by his grandfather, 85 year old Joe Hutchinson from Buncrana.Mayor of Donegal Cllr Ian McGarvey said young people should look to Michael if they wanted to make their families proud.Michael’s father Mick said he was delighted for his son and paid tribute to the GAA star’s mother Mary.“There is no way around it. I am delighted for all the great things that have been said about Michael but I have to reveal that his mother has him spoiled including allowing him to get as much sleep as he can.” Michael himself said he was completely taken by surprise by the honour.“I was shocked, I always thought these events were for people in the later years. But I do appreciate it.“I have been very fortunate as a footballer and a person to have achieved what I have.“I have been fortunate to have such a good family, such a good club and such good friends.“I would like to thank my mother and father. Some people say I am spoiled and maybe I am but I would like to think it has made me what I am today,” he said. Mayor McGarvey said “He was nominated by Cllr Ciaran Brogan and it was backed 100% by all the members who recognised the achievements of this young man.“People ask themselves who they can be. All they have to do is to look at how Michael has conducted himself.“I know the dedication he has had to put in but it shows that the dedication can p[ay off in the end,” he said.Liam Ward, Director of Services at Donegal County Council said he had watched Michael from a very early age – and was not always happy to have done so. “This is very proud moment for Michael and his family an his entire community of Glenswilly for what is a tremendous and proud day.“There can be no more special way than is bestowed on him today.“It was a special time for Donegal when we won the All Ireland final and the council recognizes that and the part sport plays in everyday life.“The council has recognised a lot of other sports including kick-boxing, hurling and soccer.“We are living in challenging times and it is important for our young people to have outlets to express their talents and skills.“It is also important for them to have role models. In Michael we have that.“I have watched Michael playing from Under 12 level right up to senior level.“I have to say I wasn’t always supporting him. I do remember from being involved with Glenfin GAA club coming off the wrong end of a defeat with Michael having scored a personal tally of 1-12,” he said.Cllr Ciaran Brogan said it was his honour to be able to nominate Michael for the civic reception.“I decided because of the huge contribution to football and how he has changed the lives of many that I would nominate him.“I can say today that Michael Murphy has and will changed the lives of many people. Sometimes we leave it too late to recognise people but I think it is important that we embrace it now.“He is an only child but can you imagine what we could have done if Mick and Mary had have had half a dozen children,” he said.Cllr Noel McBride, of Fine Gael, said everyone around Ireland and further afield knew the name Michael Murphy for all the right reasons.“You are probably one of the best-known footballers in the 32 counties. No matter where we go we are asked about you and the name of Michael Murphy comes up.“We can all be so proud of how you have elevated out county.“You always say it is a team effort but you played a very large part of that.“You have done us so proud and we thank you today.“I simply ask you to savour the moment. It is a big day for you and your family,” he said.Cllr Mick Quinn of Sinn Fein said he had known Michael for a long time as a neighbour of his from Glenswilly.He said anytime he sees him on TV or hears him on radio, he is proud to say he is one of ours.“He is the topic of conversation in households all over Donegal and I have that myself in my own house.“As well as having a footballing talent he also has the dedication that is needed to hone that talent.“But it is the respect that he shows for everyone is that people remember him by. He is a hugely decent human being.“There is a summer camp in Glenswilly and the highlight of that is the last day because the kids know that Michael is going to turn up.“The amount of time that he puts aside for his local community is amazing,” he said.Cllr John Campbell spoke on behalf of the Independents.“It used to be when I was going to college that people spoke of Donegal and Daniel O’Donnell but it is now Michael Murphy.“The commitment that you give to young people in your community and across Donegal is immense.“I feel your best years have yet to come and I feel you will be back here again with an even biggest list of honours,” he said.Cllr Martin Farren, on behalf of the Labour Party, said it was no accident that he was such a good footballer as he was a third cousin!“I know your grandfather Joe is very proud and your late grandmother Sheila was so proud of you.“I would just like to wish you all the best for the future,” he said.UNANIMOUS BACKING AS MICHAEL MURPHY RECEIVES CIVIC RECEPTION was last modified: December 16th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:civic receptionDonegal County CouncilglenswillyMichael Murphylast_img read more

Arsenal legend tells talkSPORT he will join England’s Under-21 coaching set-up

first_img Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? They are on the brink of qualifying for next summer’s European Championship finals, needing just a point from their final two games against Andorra and Scotland this month.And with the FA keen to ensure BAME representation at all levels of the England coaching structure, Campbell, 44, has been given a chance to show he could become a part of Boothroyd’s team long-term.Speaking to talkSPORT’s Ian Abrahams after a Premier League Masters XI against African Legends charity match, Campbell said: “I’ve accepted to go with England Under-21s with Aidy Boothroyd and I’ve accepted that.“It’s for the friendlies against Germany at home and Italy away. For me, what’s happening there is great.” silverware Campbell has been outspoken in the past when expressing his disappointment about failing to land coaching roles, referring to himself as “one of the greatest minds in football” after talking about receiving a rejection to become Oxford United manager in February.But Campbell insisted he would be ready when given the opportunity, while also urging any young England players receiving a call-up to the senior chance to take their chance.He added: “I’m doing my courses, staying in football, watching football at different levels and I’m taking all my notes so when it does come I’m ready.“I like to play good football so a player could come to me and then come for a year and go back to their club a proper player with experience for sure.”Listen back to the full Campbell interview with Moose above 2 2 MONEY Campbell has been desperately trying to get into coaching Campbell made 73 appearances for England Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won center_img Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions RANKED REVEALED REVEALED Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury BEST OF Sol Campbell has told talkSPORT he has accepted an invitation to join England’s Under-21 coaching set-up next month.The former Three Lions and Arsenal defender was contacted by Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd ahead of their friendlies with Germany and Italy. huge blow Latest Football News ADVICE last_img read more

SPECTACULAR LUNAR ECLIPSE ON WEDNESDAY

first_imgBY KENNETH McDONAGH: A Penumbral lunar eclipse, will occur on 28th November, 2012 here in Ireland.It will start at 12:14pm and end at 4:00pm.Irish people should be alert for the moon turning red during the day and the sky’s look set to be clear with a possible freezing fog in places but it should not cause to much harm just get to high ground. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra (shadow). This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a full moon.The type and length of an eclipse depends upon the Moon’s location relative to its orbital nodes. Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth.A lunar eclipse lasts for a few hours, whereas a total solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes at any given place, due to the smaller size of the moon’s shadow. Also unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are no brighter (indeed dimmer) than the full moon itself.  SPECTACULAR LUNAR ECLIPSE ON WEDNESDAY was last modified: November 27th, 2012 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:SPECTACULAR LUNAR ECLIPSE ON WEDNESDAYlast_img read more

Will 49ers George Kittle return this week? Cardinals coach ‘sure’ of it

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Of course the Arizona Cardinals are preparing to face George Kittle. After all, the 49ers tight end took a helmet off his left knee and still remained in their Halloween meeting long enough to spark a 28-25 win.Kittle did not finish that game, however, nor did he play in Monday night’s 27-24 overtime defeat to the Seattle Seahawks, so uncertainty is swirling about the severity of his health and a potential comeback as soon as Sunday’s visit by the Cardinals.San Francisco 49ers …last_img read more

What’s Up with Alley Oop?

first_imgHere are some recent stories about human evolution.  Some might deserve to be in the comics.1.  Lucy walked up right into the trees:  Nathaniel Dominy thinks Lucy’s ankle bones don’t rule out the possibility she was a tree-climber.  By studying the Twa tribe in Uganda, whose members routinely climb trees looking for honey, Dominy and colleagues found the fossil evidence of Australopithecus afarensis ambiguous.  That’s because the muscle and tendon changes associated with habitual tree climbing don’t fossilize.  PhysOrg posted a video clip explaining the problem.  Dominy’s work was published in an open-access paper in PNAS, where the abstract states,Paleoanthropologists have long argued—often contentiously—about the climbing abilities of early hominins and whether a foot adapted to terrestrial bipedalism constrained regular access to trees. However, some modern humans climb tall trees routinely in pursuit of honey, fruit, and game, often without the aid of tools or support systems… Here we show that Twa hunter–gatherers use extraordinary ankle dorsiflexion (>45°) during climbing, similar to the degree observed in wild chimpanzees…. [O]ur results imply that derived aspects of the hominin ankle associated with bipedalism remain compatible with vertical climbing and arboreal resource acquisition. Our findings challenge the persistent arboreal–terrestrial dichotomy that has informed behavioral reconstructions of fossil hominins and highlight the value of using modern humans as models for inferring the limits of hominin arboreality.“Not so fast,” PhysOrg put it.  Claiming that Lucy didn’t climb trees “may be a rush to judgment in light of new evidence” in the paper.2.  Clothes make the Peking Man:  The Homo erectus specimens collectively dubbed Peking Man apparently exhibited another human trait: they were fastidious about fashion.  Reporter Owen Jarus said in Live Science,“Peking Man,” a human ancestor who lived in China between roughly 200,000 and 750,000 years ago, was a wood-working, fire-using, spear-hafting hominid who, mysteriously, liked to drill holes into objects for unknown reasons.And, yes, these hominids, a form of Homo erectus, appear to have been quite meticulous about their clothing, using stone tools to soften and depress animal hides.Jarus pointed out that these people made spears like Heidelberg Man, but they’re not sure if they learned the skill independently or at the same time.  As for the drilling of holes, just because living humans can’t figure out why they did it doesn’t mean the cave dwellers didn’t have good reasons.  They apparently made tools for their fashion industry.  “‘If they are depressing the hides, if they are softening hides, they can use the hides for their clothes,’” something no sophisticated hominids would dare live without.”  Alley Oop wore clothes, we remember from the cartoons, but since the hides didn’t fossilize with the skulls, we can’t really know how chic Mrs. Oop looked.3.  Climate makes the man:  If you can believe a headline on PhysOrg, we are what we are because the weather was what it was.  “Fluctuating environment may have driven human evolution,” it reads; “A series of rapid environmental changes in East Africa roughly 2 million years ago may be responsible for driving human evolution, according to researchers at Penn State and Rutgers University.”  How did they come up with this notion?  By looking at leaves in an ancient lake.  Presuming the dates of those leaves tell a climate story, and presuming they match epochal periods of human evolution, they placed cause with effect.  But if anthropogenic climate change is a big modern debate, perhaps the hominids caused the climate change, not the other way around.It seems this idea could be testable.  See if people in the polar regions are regrowing fur.  Without asking questions like this, the researchers convinced themselves that they had found natural “forcing mechanisms” to drive hominid evolution toward scholarship.  They didn’t explain why other species didn’t simultaneously learn abstract language and philosophy.4.  Out of “Out of Africa” theories:  A new find musses up common ideas about humans emerging out of Africa.  Pamela Willoughby has found evidence of continuous habitation at two sites in Tanzania between 200,000 years ago and the present.  According to PhysOrg, this “may lead to a rethinking of how, when and from where our ancestors left Africa.” Many paleoanthropologists believe a genetic bottleneck after the Ice Age shows there was a migration into Europe at around 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, but Willoughby’s evidence includes the whole period before and after the bottleneck – all the way to the present.  She explained why this represents an upset:“It was only about 20 years ago that people recognized that modern Homo sapiens actually had an African ancestry, and everyone was focused on looking at early Homo sapiens in Europe who appeared around 40,000 years ago,” she said. “But we now know that as far as back as around 200,000 years ago, Africa was inhabited by people who were already physically exactly like us today or really close to being the same as us. All of a sudden, it’s not Europe in this time period that’s really important, it’s Africa.”What were hominids identical to us doing for 200,000 years against the inexorable forces of evolution?  Didn’t they read the bumper stickers, “Evolve or perish?”  Willoughby’s upset is just the latest upset until the next upset.5.  Annus horribilis, a new endangered species:  Latin speakers will know that Annus horribilis means “terrible year,” not a Linnaean classification name.  But according to Science Magazine (Dec. 21), it was a terrible year for Homo sapiens var. anthropologist – a recent entry in the endangered species list.  A lot of anthropology graduates can’t find work.  There just aren’t that many jobs labeled “anthropologist,” so graduates are evolving into subspecies that adapt their image to a changing environment.  With multiculturalism a buzzword in certain quarters, anthropologists can advertise themselves as ones able to “research human life, history, and culture, and apply that knowledge to current issues” such as “diversity in the world”.  The article did not describe the plight of a minor subspecies of the clade, paleoanthropologists.None of these stories really matter, because paleoanthropology is a field where every year or two they announce, “Everything you know is wrong.”  Since there are infinitely more wrong ideas than correct ones, changes to this pattern are unlikely when the blind lead the blind.  We offer paleoanthropology stories less as scientific discovery as much as funny pages. (Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Dairy aid helps, but not enough

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) needs to better reflect the dairy-farm incomes lost to tariff retaliation when it calculates its next round of trade mitigation payments, the said today.In a letter sent Tuesday to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, National Milk Producers Federation Chairman and dairy farmer Randy Mooney cited four studies illustrating that milk producers have experienced more than $1 billion in lost income since May, when the retaliatory tariffs were first placed on dairy goods in response to U.S. levies on foreign products. In contrast, the first round of USDA trade mitigation payments, announced in August, allocated only $127 million to dairy farmers.“We are ever-grateful for your advocacy on agricultural trade, which is crucial to the economic health of our industry,” wrote Mooney, who operates Mooney Dairy in Rogersville, Missouri, with his wife, Jan. “However, our members are greatly concerned about the level of aid that was provided in the initial effort.”The letter details four analyses, including two independent studies using sophisticated economic modeling, that each show losses to dairy producers far above USDA’s initial payment level.NMPF analyzed the CME dairy futures-based milk prices through the end of 2018, based on the settlement prices in late May, just before retaliatory tariffs were announced, with those same prices after tariffs had been thoroughly incorporated into market expectations.  The expected impact of the retaliation may result in roughly $1.5 billion in lost revenue for producers during the second half of 2018.USDA’s own monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) showed a drop in its forecast milk prices for the full 2018 calendar year of $0.70/cwt., after the imposition of the tariffs. The WASDE estimate amounts to a loss in dairy farm income of $1.5 billion for the year.An Informa Agribusiness Consulting study estimated that the tariffs would lower U.S. dairy farm income by $1.5 billion for the full year 2018.The Center for North American Studies at Texas A&M University, estimated an annual loss of $1.17 billion.“These estimates show that farmer losses from the tariffs will notably exceed $1 billion in 2018,” Mooney wrote. “Significant income losses will continue” if tariffs imposed by Mexico and China — two of the largest dairy export markets for the United States — remain in place.Perdue has said a second trade mitigation payment to producers may be made this year, after additional calculations of farmer losses.“We are eager to work with you on a plan that better reflects the struggles dairy producers across the country have faced due to the tariffs,” Mooney wrote. “Thank you for considering the critical implications of these trade challenges for us as dairy farmers and cooperative owners.”last_img read more

Fusing Green and Universal Design

first_imgA toilet with a 17-inch-high seatWhen choosing a toilet, select one that will use less water. WaterSense labeled toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush or less while still providing equal or superior performance.Select a toilet that is a little taller than the standard toilet which is 15 inches from the floor to the top of the seat. A 17-inch-high toilet seat makes it easier to get on and off, to transfer to and from a wheelchair.Also, install a grab bar on the wall next to the toilet to make transfers safer and easier. The grab bar should be positioned at a height that is convenient for the occupant, generally between 33 inches and 36 inches from the floor. Be sure to reinforce the wall with plywood or wood blocking to secure the grab bar (see Images #4, #5, and #6, below). Consider long-term value when weighing the initial product costWhen comparing prices on products that have green and universal design features compared to those that do not, recognize the benefits to the occupants and the saving in the long run. Universal design features provide more independence, safety, accessibility, and comfort. Green features provide energy and water savings.In view of the benefits over the long haul, the investment in these products becomes an easy choice. Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. works with architects, designers, builders, and consumers that want to create inspired and livable homes (web site: UDDL.com). She is an internationally known speaker, consultant, and author (RosemarieSpeaks.com). Her newest resource, the Universal Design Toolkit, is an illustrated 200-page e-book with online videos and webinars. The concept of universal design has been embraced by architects, interior designers, and other design and building professionals since the 1980s. It is a framework for the design of living and working spaces and products benefiting the widest possible range of people in the widest range of situations without special or separate design. Universal design is human-centered design, accommodating people of all sizes, ages, and abilities. Universal design creates social justice, providing opportunities for more personal activity and mobility.Having lived in the Universal Design Living Laboratory using a wheelchair for the past five years, I have a unique perspective. I have learned the importance of space planning and that small differences in the width of a door, height of a threshold, or slope of a ramp can impact a person’s independence. I have experienced the joy of rolling on hardwood and tile flooring. No longer do I have sore shoulders as I did when rolling on the carpet in my previous home. Safety features like grab bars in the toileting area and shower have kept me from falling, and they make transfers easier. Life is easier when a home includes universal design features and products. RELATED ARTICLES Engineered hardwood flooringWhen the time came to select flooring, we knew that the flooring had to be easy to roll on in a wheelchair or walker. We selected a hickory veneer engineered hardwood flooring with a matt finish to prevent glare. We installed this flooring on a 4 mm. thin acoustic underlay engineered from recycled rubber tires (see Image #2, below). This mat reduces the sound transmission through subfloors and is softer on people’s joints when walking.In a universal design home, there are green options for hardwood flooring. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass and is harder than maple or oak. Eucalyptus is a hard and durable wood that is harder than cherry or walnut.If carpeting is preferred in a home, select one that is easy to roll on in a wheelchair. Choose a carpet with a thin pad underneath and a low pile. One green recycled fiber carpet choice is made of polyester fiber recovered from plastic soda bottles. Wool carpets are also considered green. Incorporating green features and productsWhen my husband and I began the planning process to design our home we wanted to include green features and products in addition to universal design. We were aware that a green home is healthier, conserves natural resources, protects the environment, is more energy-efficient and sustainable. The concept of being sustainable has three components: environmental, economic, and social.In 2009, when my husband and I were reviewing the LEED certification application with the U.S. Green Building Council for our home, we discovered that no points would be earned for the universal design features in our home. I had a discussion with representatives of the USGBC and asked, “How can a home be sustainable if it isn’t accessible?”The USGBC was receptive to my suggestion that points be added to the LEED certification program for universal design features. They hired a consultant who interviewed me and others to create a list of universal design and visitable features that would be added to the next version of the LEED application. Visitable features in a home enable people who use wheelchairs and walkers access into the home through a no-step entrance, a 36-inch-wide entry door, and access to a half bathroom on the first floor.A home that is socially sustainable will serve the family that lives in the home for many years. People will be able to enter the home easily, even if they use wheelchairs and walkers. Universal design features and products improve the occupant’s ability to be independent. When universal design features are incorporated into the home design from the beginning, there is less likelihood that the home will need to be remodeled should the occupants acquire a disability or sustain an injury.As a result of our planning and construction practices, our home earned a Silver LEED rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. It received a Gold rating on the National Green Building Standard certification program through the National Association of Home Builders. Selecting products that support green and universal designWhen we began selecting the construction materials, products, and appliances, we evaluated each of them on the criteria that they be both green and universal design. We read labels looking for the structural components that may offgas volatile organic compounds. We looked for verification that they were energy-efficient, made of sustainable products or recycled materials, and used less water.Here are a few of the products that we selected that are both green and universal design.center_img Universal DesignGreen Building and Aging-in-Place DesignKitchen for a LifetimeVideo: Tile a Barrier-Free BathroomResidential Remodeling and Universal Design Wide doors with lever handlesTo make each room more accessible for people who use wheelchairs or scooters, install 36-inch-wide doors. Also, install lever handles rather that door knobs (see Image #8, below). Lever handles are easier to operate for people with paralysis or arthritis. The cost difference for these wider doors and lever handles is minimal. The benefits are long-lasting, providing for independence and greater access to the entire home.Exterior door thresholds should be ½ inch or lower to be easier to roll over in a wheelchair. The exterior main door should have multiple height peepholes or include glass in the design so that all residents can view the porch to see who is there.Heavily insulated fiberglass exterior doors are a weather-resistant energy-efficient green solution. Select interior doors made from fast-growing wood species like poplar or from lumber certified by a credible third-party certification program like the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. On June 13, 1998, my husband, Mark Leder, and I went for a bicycle ride on a rural wooded trail in Granville, Ohio. After riding for a few minutes, Mark thought he heard a gunshot and slowed down to investigate. As he scanned the scene he saw a large tree falling. He shouted, “Stop!” But the warning was too late. I was crushed by a 7,000-pound tree and paralyzed from the waist down.Coming home from the hospital in a manual wheelchair after my spinal cord injury, I realized how my two-story home intensified my disability. My husband and I knew that we had to sell our home and find something more suitable.In September 2004, we hired an architect to draw the house plans for our new home in Columbus, Ohio. There was a steep learning curve for me in ramping up to build our home. We assembled a team of interior designers and over 200 corporate contributors to assist us. Serving as the general contractors, my husband and I spent 32 months building our home.This home, named the “Universal Design Living Laboratory,” is the top-rated universal design home in North America; earning three national universal design certifications. (Here is the link to take a virtual tour of our home.) Permeable landscape paversWhen selecting landscape pavers, consider those that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They meet pedestrian slip-resistance standards with a static coefficient of friction of 0.8 and offer smooth travel for people using wheelchairs.Permeable pavers allow for rain and melted snow to percolate through the pavers, making these a green choice (see Image #9, below). In an environment with freezing temperatures, these permeable pavers are a great choice since water doesn’t accumulate and they are less likely to ice over and are therefore safer to walk on. Casement windowsA way to save on heating and cooling bills is to install multiple pane low-e windows filled with argon gas. Some types of low-e coatings significantly block the sun’s ultraviolet rays.Casement windows are preferred to double-hung windows due to their ease of operating, especially for a person who uses a wheelchair (see Image #3, below). These windows allow more air circulation due to the size of the operating sash. The window locks must be reachable from a seated position. Adjustable showerheads and hand showersAdjustable height hand showers mounted on a vertical bar provide more benefits than a showerhead mounted on a shower wall (see Image #7, below). Hand showers should have at least a 6-foot-long hose. People who need to be seated in order to take a shower have the independence and greater adjustability to position the showerhead on the vertical bar. This bar on many models is constructed so that it also serves as a grab bar. Additional horizontal grab bars will be needed in the shower for safety.Showerheads on hand showers should be lightweight and ergonomic. Ranges in cost may be due to a number of factors including material composition, integrated technology, size, style, functional design, finish, and the life of the warranty.To conserve the amount of water used to take a shower, select a showerhead that is WaterSense labeled. The specification is that the maximum flow rate value of the showerhead must be equal to or less than 2.0 gallons of water per minute. Water is conserved by mixing more air into the water stream. By installing high-efficiency hand showers, the average household could save more than 2,300 gallons of water per year. Since these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, households will also save on energy costs.last_img read more