Pictured from left: Dr. Christopher Conzen, Executive Director, HCCC Secaucus Center; Nathaly Ibarra Santillan, the first HCCC student to register for Secaucus Center courses; William J. Netchert, Esq., Chair, HCCC Board of Trustees; Dr. Chris Reber, HCCC President; and Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Executive. ×Pictured from left: Dr. Christopher Conzen, Executive Director, HCCC Secaucus Center; Nathaly Ibarra Santillan, the first HCCC student to register for Secaucus Center courses; William J. Netchert, Esq., Chair, HCCC Board of Trustees; Dr. Chris Reber, HCCC President; and Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Executive. On Thursday, Sept. 5, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) President Dr. Chris Reber hosted the opening reception of the college’s new Secaucus Center on the Hudson County Schools of Technology Frank A. Gargiulo Campus, at One High Tech Way in Secaucus.Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise, HCCC Board of Trustees Chair William J. Netchert, Esq., Hudson County Schools of Technology Superintendent Amy Lin-Rodriguez, and HCCC Executive Director of the Secaucus Center Dr. Christopher Conzen joined Dr. Reber at the event.“As a former educator, I appreciate the value of this partnership between Hudson County Community College and Hudson County Schools of Technology for our residents, and for the continued economic growth and development of the county,” said DeGise.“Our thanks to County Executive DeGise, the Board of Freeholders, and the Board and administrators of Hudson County Schools of Technology for their support in establishing the HCCC Secaucus Center,” Dr. Reber said.“Our Middle States-approved Secaucus Center focuses on expanding opportunities. It will serve all of Hudson County – especially those who live or work in Secaucus, Kearny, Harrison, and East Newark – with full-credit, college-degree programs offered in the evening. In addition, we are also providing High Tech High School students interested in STEM education with the opportunity to complete an HCCC associate degree upon high school graduation.”“The partnership between Hudson County Schools of Technology and Hudson County Community College aligns with our district’s mission to provide students of all ages with diverse learning opportunities,” said Superintendent Lin-Rodriguez.“By working collaboratively, our current high school students are able to earn an associate degree from HCCC upon graduation, and we are able to expand our post-secondary offerings. I thank County Executive Tom DeGise for continuing to invest in public education, allowing everyone to further their studies and prepare for future career opportunities.”At the event, Dr. Conzen introduced Nathaly Ibarra Santillan, the first student to register at the HCCC Secaucus Center, and presented her with a certificate.The HCCC Secaucus Center offerings include required courses in all HCCC majors. Further, two full-degree programs – Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts (General) and Associate in Science in Business Administration – will be offered in their entirety at the Secaucus Center.Classes are offered in weekday evening sessions, during which an HCCC Student Success Coach is available to assist with degree planning, financial aid and scholarship applications, and transfer/career planning.Hudson County Community College serves more than 17,000 credit and noncredit students annually.Thanks to the College’s comprehensive financial aid programs and services, approximately 83 percent of HCCC students receive financial assistance. HCCC 2019-2020 students are encouraged to apply for the free-tuition New Jersey Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program, which covers tuition and academic fees for eligible students.For more information about CCOG, current and prospective students may email [email protected], call (201) 360-4222, or visit the College website at www.hccc.edu/ccog.Hudson County Community College offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs, including award-winning English as a Second Language, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management, Nursing and Allied Health, and Fine and Performing Arts.The HCCC Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management program was ranked number six in the U.S. by Best Choice Schools. Over 94 percent of HCCC Nursing Program graduates passed the NCLEX first time out, placing the program’s graduates in the top tier of two- and four-year nursing programs nationwide.In 2017, the Equality of Opportunity Project ranked HCCC in the top 5 percent of 2,200 U.S. higher education institutions for social mobility.HCCC has partnerships with every major four-year college and university in the greater New Jersey-New York area and beyond, accommodating seamless transfer for further undergraduate and graduate education.
For the Going The Extra Mile project, 2017 was a year of milestones and great successes, with volunteers from around the country banding together to make a difference in their communities. Take a look back at a few of the organisation’s achievements last year.“There are so many positive actions taking place and so much joy and happiness being spread,” says Camilo Ramada, co-founder of GEM with David Shields.Mathiba MolefeFor the Going The Extra Mile (GEM) project, 2017 started off well enough, with its volunteer community growing steadily as word spread of its work, but few could have guessed the scale of its success.In 2017, Going the Extra Mile touched the lives of more than 30,000 people, with about 4,000 of them being direct beneficiaries of the efforts of the many volunteers who gave up their time to work towards improving lives.Throughout the year the project listed more than 370 events in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, working with 45 non-government organisations.At more than an event a day, GEM offered almost everyone an opportunity to make a difference at some point during the year.“There are so many positive actions taking place and so much joy and happiness being spread,” says Camilo Ramada, co-founder of GEM with David Shields.“There’s a social activity for everyone on the GEM app and if you haven’t already, download GEM project & check it out for yourself.”Onwards and upwardsHaving raised the bar in 2017, GEM is gearing up to make similar strides in 2018 with the continued support of its volunteer and stakeholder community.“We’re definitely keen on going nationwide,” explains Ramada. “What we want to do is identify champions in the communities we haven’t reached yet and get them to help us spread our reach and build our network of non-profit organisations and volunteers.”Currently working in three of the country’s nine provinces, in 2018 GEM aims to offer people across the entire country an opportunity to work for the greater good while earning rewards either for themselves or the listed organisation of their choice.Getting as many South Africans actively involved in the improvement of society as possible remains key to building a country that all residents can proudly call home. This is a view shared by Brand South Africa and, through partnerships such as the one with GEM, it is definitely a possibility.“We hope that the nation will continue to contribute to positive change because a nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live, is beneficial for everyone,” says Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing.Getting as many South Africans actively involved in the improvement of society as possible remains key to building a country that all residents can proudly call home.Get involvedRamada concludes: “South Africa is one of the best countries in the world, so why not get involved, why not work together to do good, feel good and be good?”To find out how you can volunteer for one of GEM’s projects, check out the GEM website and download the app or simply dial *120*GEM1# to get started. You can also follow GEM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
With permit in hand, it was now time to prepare for demolition. The plan is to live in the bedrooms while we do construction on the living room, dining room, and kitchen — rooms we collectively refer to as the common area, highlighted in the floor plan (see Image #2 below).After the common area is done, or at least livable, we will switch and live there while the bedrooms are under construction. Because we were about to lose our living room and kitchen during construction, we set up a living and dining space in the master bedroom and turned the covered back patio into a makeshift outdoor kitchen. (The living room prior to demolition is shown in Image #3 below.)We began clearing out the space. A lot of stuff we donated. Some stuff we kept and moved into other rooms. Some items were harder to move than others.Eventually all the rooms in the common area were empty. In the living room, the carpeting is extremely worn in some areas, and looks brand new in others. I’m leaving it in place to protect the hardwood floor underneath during construction. When everything else is done, I’ll remove the carpet and refinish the hardwood floor. And now the chimneyOnce upon a time our living room had a fireplace. It was a gas fireplace, but it looked like it had never been used. Wen moved into the house in 1992 and she said she can’t ever remember her family using the fireplace (see Images #5 and #6 below).The rocks lend some interest to the living room because of the angled wall, their texture, and their color. Fireplaces can be nice to look at, but they tend to be huge energy wasters, even if they’re not being used.The R-value of brick is estimated to be R-0.8 per 4 inches. So if the fireplace ranged in depth from 8 inches to 12 inches, then its R-value ranged from R-1.6 to R-2.4. It would be very difficult to air seal the perimeter of the fireplace, and for the flue itself it’s nearly impossible to get a good air seal with the damper. All in all, a fireplace represents a huge thermal liability in a building envelope because of unavoidable thermal bridging and infiltration. If heating with wood is a priority, then a free-standing wood stove is a much more effective and efficient option.A rotary hammer was a big help in breaking up the brick-and-mortar chimney.So that’s the technical energy efficiency and indoor air quality rationale for getting rid of the fireplace. But the hearth has a deep place in our psyche, I think, since fire and warmth have been so important to our survival. For most of our history, the fireplace was the essential anchor of our homes, the setting around which every domestic task was oriented. Without the hearth, where is the heart of the home? Can it be a coincidence that these two words differ by only one letter?That said, our hearth was never much of a center to our home. It’s not even clear that it was ever used. Even so, the prospect of its demolition seemed a little sad. We would be destroying the physical product of a skilled mason, razing the labors of a dead man’s dying trade. It felt like we were being too good for open fire, like we thought we are better than our forebears. Actually it’s true: we kind of are too good for open fire, with its inefficient heat, its air pollution. And if we’re not better than our forebears per se, then we are least more knowledgeable than them about the importance of a high-performance home.And so, with mixed feelings and though the path forward seemed difficult and uncertain, we embarked on the demolition of the chimney. Naively, I began with an actual chisel and a hammer. I didn’t know what to expect or how it would be constructed inside, so I started slow.We also began demolishing the stones on the wall surrounding the fireplace. They look like volcanic rock of some kind, and were set in what appeared to be mortar that was on the surface of the interior brick. Our neighbor let us borrow a tool called a rotary hammer that can act like a mini jackhammer to chisel out the rocks and bricks. This tool made the demolition go much faster (see the photo at left).One of the contractors who was helping me (or vice versa) put up the structure for the vaulted ceiling (more on that soon) let me borrow his rotary hammer, and after a few days most of the bricks of the exterior were down.The same contractor also generously let me borrow his 35-pound demolition hammer for the bigger chunks inside. Using the demolition hammer higher up was not possible, because doing so would have been unwieldy and unsafe. But now that we were at ground level, I could go at it. The demolition hammer was a heavy monster and tiring to use. But it was effective. Soon there were increasingly large patches of daylight coming into our living room wall where the fireplace used to be.All the bricks that I determined I could not reuse I schlepped, wheelbarrow load by wheelbarrow load, into the 30-cubic-yard dumpster. Based on the weight of each brick and an approximation of how many bricks I removed, I estimate the total mass of the bricks I removed to be something like 14,000 pounds. This unbelievable number seemed to be substantiated by a bill I later received from the dumpster company charging me for exceeding their 6-ton limit. RELATED ARTICLES Editor’s Note: This post is one of a series by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee, a husband-and-wife team living in the Los Angeles area who are turning their suburban house into an all-electric, zero-net energy home. They chronicle their attempts at a low-carbon, low-cost, and joyful lifestyle on their blog Frugal Happy. This post was written by Chris. BLOGS BY WEN AND CHRIS A Car-Free ExperimentAn Introduction I’m being somewhat glib about the prospect of beginning the demolition on the house, but it really was a scary thing to undertake. There’s so much uncertainty, so much self-doubt and second-guessing. How much is this project going to cost? Is it okay that I don’t really know what I’m doing? What if I mess it all up? So many questions, and so few easy or certain answers.The house was kind of shabby in places and had some deferred maintenance, but it was perfectly functional. And I was about to start tearing it apart and turn it into an unlivable construction zone! And this is my wife’s childhood home, no less.Before I began demolishing the ceiling drywall, I collected samples of it from different parts of the house and sent them off to a lab so that the “popcorn” finish could be tested for asbestos. It came back negative. And with the first hole poked in the ceiling, it begins…Demolition of the common areaThe idea was to take off the drywall in big sheets by trying to find the seams and pulling the nails out rather than just smashing it all apart. But as we were very much amateurs, we often ended up just smashing it apart. Wen and her brother Bin helped take out the ceiling.We got the living room ceiling out after several hours of work. For me this was the first of many, many long, hot, sweaty days. Next came the decidedly less fun and exciting process of shoveling up hundreds of pounds of drywall first into a wheelbarrow, and then into a huge dumpster (see Image #4 below).The dumpster gradually got more full. But it was still only about 75% full when they picked it up — not the most efficient use of an expensive resource.A lot of the equipment I bought can be used throughout the project, so it can be considered an investment. The dumpsters, however, I did not use efficiently enough. I underestimated just how how laborious the demolition would be, and struggled to fill the 30 cubic-yard dumpster by myself within the seven-day rental period. I overworked myself that first week, so much so that the next week I needed a few days to recover and couldn’t work. I learned later that I could have just extended the dumpster another week at no charge. I guess the lesson is to know what your options are and to be realistic and conservative about what you can get done within a certain time period, especially when you haven’t done it before and uncertainty is high.For some reason, there were no volunteer helpers for the cleanup part or any of the subsequent days of demolition. In any case, I pressed onward. After cleaning up the living room somewhat, I moved on to the kitchen. Also to be removed was the forced-air heating and cooling system of the house. We will be without central heating and cooling until I install the new heat pump system. We either donated or recycled the appliances.I wanted to open up the common area and remove walls that made small spaces feel dark and even smaller. One of those areas to be opened up is the front door entry (as opposed to the entry door from the garage). With the HVAC being moved, there would be more space to make a mud room area for removing and storing outdoor clothing like jackets and shoes, and for more easily transitioning between inside and outside. A bigger job than expectedThe demolition required a significant amount of time and money. I spent about 115 hours and approximately $2,500 on the demolition. Of the total, $1,300 was for dumpster rental (it turns out that dumpsters are expensive), and the remainder was mostly spent on tools, safety gear, and equipment, including wrecking bars, gloves, hard hats, goggles, respirators, ladders and scaffolding, a wheelbarrow and brooms and dustpans and shovels, and blades for the reciprocating saw, angle grinder, and oscillating multitool. It sounds like (and is) a lot money for a DIY demolition of a space that’s only about 700 square feet.With the ceiling gone and a good portion of the drywall on the walls gone and the kitchen appliances and about half the counter removed, and the forced-air heating and cooling system and ducts removed, I deemed the demolition sufficiently complete to begin construction on changing the roof structure of the common area. In retrospect, knowing what I know now through my own experience and based on conversations with actual contractors, even though the initial demolition felt like an enormous undertaking and a hell of a lot of work, it was far from complete.In retrospect it was premature to declare the house ready to begin construction. There were too many electrical wires hanging down from the attic, too many walls that had nails and staples and little annoying bits — or even entire sheets — of drywall and plaster on them. And the chimney and fireplace should have been gone.Everything should have been removed from the kitchen, including all the counters and cabinets, and yes, even the kitchen sink. Everything should have been down to bare, clean studs and ceiling joists. The initial construction — which I’ll talk about in another post — would have gone faster without having to backtrack and do more demolition. I didn’t know that then, but now I do. And learning’s the main goal of this project, so it’s okay. It’s good, in fact.Another thing I’ve learned is that there’s such a thing as taking the “insourcing” (that is, DIY) dictum too far. In this case, in fact I probably should have hired some outside help for the demolition. Considering what I ended up paying for dumpster fees because it took so long to do the work myself, getting outside help for demolition would likely have cost about the same or only slightly more, and would have been much faster. There’s only so much to be learned about the physical process of demolition. At some point it just becomes mindless tedium.But mindless as it is, sometimes it’s still fun. Building a new floorEventually we got everything out. The good news was that there was poured concrete below the fireplace. This meant that we would not have to excavate and pour a footing for the new concrete stem wall foundation.Now that I had finished the demolition grunt work, I hired two skilled contractors to help me form and pour the foundation wall. You only get one chance pouring concrete and I didn’t want to screw it up. We cleaned out the pit with water and compressed air so that the new concrete could bind well to the old concrete and brick. We constructed wooden forms for the new foundation wall and installed rebar.To tie the new foundation to the old, we drilled holes about 10 inches deep into the sides of the existing concrete walls flanking our new one. Then we cleaned the debris from the holes using compressed air and what appear to be giant pipe cleaners. This helps ensure a clean surface for the epoxy to set to. We then filled these holes with epoxy and inserted the new horizontal rebar that would go across the new section of foundation wall.The two pieces of threaded rod sticking up out of the top of the wall (see Image #7) will be used to tie down the sill plate (a 2×6 placed on top of the foundation wall) to the foundation, using the nuts and giant square-shaped washers at the bottom left of this image. This anchors the house to the foundation. After the foundation was poured, the contractors’ work was done and I was in charge of framing the new wall and floor on my own.After the sill plate was in place, the next step was to frame the rest of the floor using the existing pattern and spacing (see Image #8 below). I thought this was going to be difficult, but it turned out to be fairly intuitive. (This is notable because in general in this project tasks have tended to be much harder and more time-consuming than I expect.)The 2×6 band (or rim) joist goes on the outer edge of the wall and on top of the sill plate. The new 2×6 floor joists are sistered to the existing ones, overlapping enough to be supported by the 4×6 girder that’s spaced about 4 feet from the foundation wall, and which itself is supported by the concrete footing. Since the new floor joists were overlapping the old ones, I didn’t need to be precise about their length, as long as they were well connected to the existing joists, were supported by the girder, and terminated perpendicular to the band joist. I air-sealed the seam between the sill plate and foundation with spray foam, and the seam between the sill plate and band joist with caulk.Next I put in 3/4-inch plywood on top of the floor joists to form the subfloor, then a sole (or bottom) plate — the 2×4 lying flat that forms the bottom of the wall. Farewell to the Chimney?Tips from a Commercial Demolition Company An Agent of Green Invention in Philly: Row House DemolitionJob-Site Recycling: PVCGBA Encyclopedia: Job-Site RecyclingRecycling Vinyl SidingJob-Site Recycling: Asphalt Roofing ShinglesAsphalt Shingle Recycling LocatorJob-Site Recycling: Gypsum WallboardSaving Energy by RecyclingCarpet RecyclingVideo: Grinding Drywall and Wood Finishing up the exteriorNext on the list of things to do that I have never done before is: stuccoing the wall. I first used a pneumatic air hammer to chisel away the ragged bits of stucco around the perimeter. This was to straighten the edge and expose the existing lath wire and building paper so it could be more easily tied into the new section. I then put down two plies of 60-pound building paper, lapping the upper layers over the lower ones, like shingles. This is to drain away any water that gets behind the stucco.On top of the building paper I put horizontal strips of “pre-furred” metal lath (see Image #9 below). This would provide a substrate for the stucco to hang onto. I don’t think I did the lath quite right — there should have been more overlap, and the piece one up from the bottom is oriented upside down — but in the end it seemed to work well enough.I prepped the edges of the existing stucco with glue that’s supposed to help it bind to new stuff. Then I mixed the stucco powder with water in a wheelbarrow until it reached something resembling the consistency depicted in videos I’d watched and which I’d read about. Then it was time to try my hand at slathering it on. It took four coats instead of the typical three, and lots of trial and error, but the end result is not too bad. Once it’s painted it shouldn’t be terribly noticeable, I hope (see Image #10 below).I installed rafter tails and sheathing to roof the overhang where the chimney used to be. It’s pretty rough-looking so far, but it’s structurally secure and once it’s painted and cleaned up should be less offensive to the eye. After framing the wall, you might not have any inkling that there used to be a chimney there, except perhaps that the floor is different. Also the new studs stand out, but they will be covered up soon enough.All in all, removing the chimney was a huge amount of work. It took me approximately 90 hours to demolish the chimney and haul the bricks to the dumpster. And the dumpster itself cost about $950, after the overage fee. There were many moments when I questioned my decision to undertake it.Before beginning the renovation, I spoke with an experienced contractor about the prospect of removing the chimney and he said, “I removed a chimney once. Never again.” He advised me to leave it in place. In the end, I’m glad I did remove it, but I don’t know if I would have undertaken it had I known how much work it would entail. For anyone else contemplating a DIY chimney removal, I advise you to get the right tools, have patience, and work deliberately from top to bottom.
India’s stand-in skipper Suresh Raina admitted that his batsmen let the team down after they were handed a crushing 103-defeat by the West Indies in the fourth ODI here on Monday.”Credit to Windies for batting well. But we did not bat well at all to be honest,” Raina said after the match. “Our shot selection was wrong, we had no partnerships. Rohit (Sharma) was there but I and Yusuf (Pathan) got out at that time.”There was no partnership. Batsmen have to be there when chasing a total like 240-245. And the West Indies played well in the batting Powerplay.”Raina was, however, pleased with his bowlers’ performances. “(Amit) Mishra and (Ravichandran) Ashwin bowled well for us, Ashwin got us the wicket of Pollard who was batting well. Ishant and PK also bowled well,” he said.Rival skipper Darren Sammy was delighted that his team managed to break a sequence of three successive defeats. “We showed a lot of character and it’s good to come on the winning side. We played a lot better today, we have been improving throughout this series. We posted 250, bowlers have been getting early wicket, today we handled it better,” Sammy said.Opener Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard — both made valuable half centuries — came in for praise from the skipper.”Since Simmons came back he has been our main run-getter. Pollard got runs down the order, we keep losing track in the middle. As long as we keep improving, we are still a young team,” he said.advertisementAbout Andre Russell, Sammy said, “He is a total team man, I spoke to him and he told me, skipper I am going to give my best. He has a bright future.”Man-of-the-Match Anthony Martin, who acknowledged the loud cheers from the crowd, said the familiar conditions worked in his favour.”The conditions I know very well, it helped me a lot. Thanks to the crowd for supporting me. I am going to do the best I can,” Martin said.Asked what was his strategy going into the match, he said, “I just decided to keep it tight and let the batters do what they wanted to do.”- With inputs from PTI
Actor Abhishek Bachchan, who owns Jaipur Pink Panthers, a franchise of the Pro Kabaddi League, may do a full-fledged movie on the sport.It may be too early to talk about the movie, but sources close to the project say it would be as inspirational a film about the game of kabaddi as Chak De! India was for hockey.Abhishek makes sure he is physically present to cheer and motivate his kabaddi team, the Jaipur Pink Panthers.”Abhishek wants to make sure it’s the perfect kabaddi film. He’s on the lookout for the script,” said a source.For now, making kabaddi into a cool game is Abhishek’s game-plan. Though he is committed to join his good friend Shah Rukh Khan on their global tour to promote their film Happy New Year September onwards, Abhishek is making the best of the time before the concert tours to promote his kabaddi team at matches all over India.Abhishek makes sure he is physically present to cheer and motivate his kabaddi team, the Jaipur Pink Panthers.”There is little point in associating with a team, no matter which game, unless you’re physically present to motivate them,” said Abhishek.
KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, June 20, 2019 UCSD ranked among top 100 research institutions in the US SAN DIEGO ( KUSI ) – UC San Diego is one of the top 10 universities in the country for research output and fourth among the country’s public universities, according to rankings released Thursday by the Nature Index.The index, a research database run by the scientific journal Nature, released its annual list of the top 500 universities and institutions for scientific research around the world. The list considered research articles published during 2018 in the 82 scientific journals in the Nature Index archive.UCSD ranked ninth among U.S. research institutions and sat behind UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan and UCLA among public universities in the U.S. Harvard University ranked second overall and first among U.S. research institutions, while the Chinese Academy of Sciences topped the list.“Our culture of experimentation and fresh thinking allow our exceptional faculty and scholars to conduct high volumes of transformative research, which has a global impact,” said Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “UC San Diego is a unique place where fresh ideas are translated into solutions to benefit society.”U.S. universities accounted for roughly 150 entries on the list, the most of any country in the world. Chinese universities totaled nearly 100 entries on the list while the United Kingdom and Germany also had several dozen entries.The 2019 ranking is a step back for UCSD, which ranked 18th overall on Nature Index’s 2018 list. UCSD also ranked seventh among all U.S. research institutions in 2018 and third among public universities behind UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan. Posted: June 20, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter