BERKELEY, Calif. — It is a classic road rally, 600 miles from the liberal embrace of Berkeley to the anything-goes lights of Las Vegas. No speeding is allowed, or in some cases even possible. And if you stop to refuel, it had better be in someone’s trash.
On Saturday, five teams began the Escape From Berkeley, maybe the world’s most eco-friendly motor race, driving all manner of alternative-fuel-burning jalopies, roadsters, and even a frying oil-fueled Mercedes-Benz, with a single goal: to complete the race using no petroleum.
To read more visit : www.nytimes.com/2008/10/13/us/13eco.html
The bicycle commuter benefit, which is provided in its entirety here by the League of American Bicyclists, continues on for several paragraphs, establishing “limitations on exclusions,” “applicable annual limitations,” and other assorted legalese, but the essentials are these: Starting next year, employers who provide bike parking, bathing facilities, tune-ups, or other support for bicycle commuting, can deduct up to $20 a month per participating employee from their own taxable income.
To read the whole article go to : http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/13/buried-in-the-bailout-the-bicycle-commuter-act/?hp
The Associated Press
October 12, 2008
Fire investigators are trying to determine whether there was a functioning smoke detector in a Brooklyn apartment where a blaze killed a Guyanese immigrant and his 12-year-old nephew.
The fire early Sunday morning was the second to claim lives over the weekend _ and fire officials say working smoke alarms could have prevented the deaths.
A smoke alarm was found unplugged and its battery removed at a Manhattan apartment where a couple and their three children perished just a day earlier when a fire turned their home into a smoky deathtrap.
The city’s medical examiner’s office says all seven victims died of smoke inhalation.
A 10-year-old boy who survived Saturday’s fire in Chelsea remains in the hospital with critical injuries.
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
“The first of two bills before me today is Introductory Number 822-A, sponsored by Council Members White, Comrie, Dickens, James, Stewart, Sears, Recchia, and Weprin. Introductory Number 822-A alters the Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program (ICIP) from an exemption to an abatement program, now called the Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program (or ICAP).
“When done right, tax abatements can serve as a valuable tool to encourage economic development. However, it is important, particularly in these economic times, to ensure that these abatements generate economic development at the lowest possible cost. To this end, the City undertook a comprehensive review of the ICIP, the City’s largest such program, which cost over $400 million in foregone tax revenue in 2008. ICIP, established in the 1980s, grants short-term reductions in real estate taxes as an incentive for owners to invest in their properties and our City. The City’s analysis revealed that, over time, the program had become outdated and contained wasteful elements in need of reform.
“The enactment of the ICAP reform bill will help ensure that going forward benefits will be more consistently directed only to those projects that would not have happened otherwise, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade alone. By taking a hard look at this program and working with key stakeholders in the development community, State legislative leaders and the City Council, we arrived at a reform package that will both maximize the return on public dollars and promote economic growth.
“I want to thank Seth Pinsky, President of the Economic Development Corporation, Michael Dardia of the Office of Management and Budget, Finance Commissioner Martha Stark and all their staff for their work on this bill. I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation.”
To read more visit : http://home2.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c701c789a0/index.jsp?pageID=mayor_press_release&catID=1194&doc_name=http%3A%2F%2Fhome2.nyc.gov%2Fhtml%2Fom%2Fhtml%2F2008b%2Fpr402-08.html&cc=unused1978&rc=1194&ndi=1
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of approximately 1,500 75-gallon natural and propane gas water heaters. They are manufactured by A.O. Smith Water Products Co. of Ashland City, Tennessee. The recall involves A.O. Smith model FCG-75 300 and FCG-75 301 water heaters with serial numbers L07A071460 through L07A144966 and State model GS6 75 XRR S and GS6 75 CRR S water heaters with the serial numbers M07A009387 through M07A072884. The water heaters were sold by independent contractors and plumbers nationwide from November 2007 through January 2008. To arrange for a free repair contact the manufacturer at 1-866-880-4661 or visit the firm’s website at www.hotwater.com. For photos of the recalled products go to www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08241.html. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s hotline at 1-800-638-2772 or go to www.cpsc.gov/talk.html
Virginia Tech University’s Continuing and Professional Education department is offering a course on the subject of “Repair Design for New and Existing Wood Trusses” October 15th – 17th. Visit www.cpe.vt.edu/sdww for the course syllabus and registration information.
Habitat for Humanity 2008 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project has been helping in the development of Gulf Coast Houses, and will be responsible for more than 250 houses being built by the end of the year. To read more visit www.habitat.org/jcwp/2008
ADA Checklist for Emergency Shelters is available online at www.usdoj.gov/05publications/05_3_a.html
The following sites can offer information on emergency preparedness:
The American Red Cross: www.redcross.org
Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov
International Code Council: www.iccsafe.org
National Flood Insurance Program: www.floodsmart.gov
National Organization on Disability: www.nod.org
US Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Homepage: www.ada.gov
On May 4th 2007, Greensburg Kansas was hit by a category EF-5 tornado. The Heart of America Chapter (of the ICC), led by President Tina Rakes and Jerry Mallory had about 40 volunteers dispatched as part of the Kansas Disaster Assessment Team. This tornado was the reason for the development of Greensburg’s first Building Inspection Department. Through town meetings and professional opinions, the Greensburg Sustainable Comprehensive Plan was developed. The members of Greensburg wanted to develop a planned green community and to utilize the latest energy-efficient materials and technology. Through doing so, they promote the use of renewable or recycled products while providing a home for sustainable manufacturing and eco-industrial businesses. Therefore, the very determined Kansans with the help of others started building.
The Heart of America Chapter was founded in 1967, and serves citizens of Kansas through education, and by providing support for promulgations of ICC codes as well as involvement in Kansas Disaster Assessment Team. HOA is active in ICC Heartland Coalition Region IV and with Region X in the development of a mutual aid structure for regional disaster assessment. They also provided assistance, staffing, and training in the city of Chapman, Kansas after a tornado struck on June 11th.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the International Code Council have both been working together in order to relieve cities affected by natural disasters, and to prevent future devastation from such natural disasters. FEMA will now be using ICC experts to assist Mitigation Assistance Teams and deliver information to ICC committees for development and review of current codes.
The ICC’s Disaster Support Initiative is responsible for several things, such as:
-A Disaster Response Committee (established by the Board of Directors), chaired by Board member and City of Overland Park, Kansas, Codes Administrator Tim Ryan.
-A Disaster Response Network (established by the ICC) for volunteers to register as available assets for use by other jurisdictions.
-The MAT (Mitigation Assistance Team) program (managed by FEMA) provides subject matter experts from the ICC that perform forensic evaluation of building failure.
A three part Disaster Support Initiative that builds on ICC’s existing activities has emerged. Those three parts are as follows:
1. Disaster Communications
In order to show compassion and support, every effort will be made to reach code officials in or near the impacted areas. This will be so that the ICC can communicate its concern, compassion, and ascertain the areas needs. A report will be generated regarding specific event status, and an ad hoc Technical Response Team has been assembled to assist in drafting communications, which is responsible for targeting interest groups which will effectively convey the value of I-Codes in mitigating disaster impacts.
2. Forensic Review
Part of the new MOU includes a stronger commitment to using ICC’s resources in order to deliver FEMA’s findings to the ICC committees for review and recommendations as part of the code development process. The ICC will also put together a roster of experts to participate in the MAT process and will seek additional vehicles for participation.
3. Disaster Response
The ICC has created a Disaster Response Network (DRN) which compiles names of volunteers and acts as a clearing house for communities interested in receiving such assistance. The DRN however, does not include liability coverage or reimbursement of costs. A more formal approach may involve participation in the EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact), which is a program that allows resources from one state to be sent to another with full liability coverage and reimbursement of expenses (via the impacted state’s disaster grant).
The Disaster Response Network (DRN) is helping to certify Building Inspectors with the Heart of America Chapter, which will become accredited through ICC’s training and certification process.
In December 2007, New Orleans updated from 2000 ICC to the 2006 version of ICC with amendments for hurricane prone regions. One of the amendments called for buildings to be able to withstand 130 mph winds. 210,200 permits were issued from late 2005 to 2007 in New Orleans. The New Orleans Department of Safety and Permits (DSP) originally started with only 14 building inspectors, 9 mechanical inspectors, and 3 electrical inspectors with an overall count of 26 officials. It has now reached a total of 38, including 20 building inspectors, 9 mechanical inspectors, and 9n electrical inspectors.