Sunday, 25 June 2017

Where Is Home? | HuffPost

A few years back, I traveled around the United States doing research for an article about the epidemic of homelessness in our country. Like many people who've never slept in the street or been housing deprived, I believed before making this journey that homelessness was a geographical-financial condition, in essence, and one that could be remedied simply by giving folks a place to live.



I had never considered that home meant more than a physical structure, a door to lock, a stable location, nor that home was as much a metaphor as it was an architectural co ntainer. Not before interviewing a wide range of "the homeless," several of them philosophers in their own right, did I begin to explore the spiritual meaning of home and its impact on everyday human life, regardless of whether one had a permanent address or not.

I came to understand that homelessness is a state of mind that many of us have experienced, in fact, more often than we care to admit. In times of transition and struggle, during intervals of heartache, confusion, and disappointment, it is common for all of us to have feelings of dislocation, uprooting, and abandonment, the sense of being alone in the universe without a place to call one's own -- literally or figuratively. In these "homeless" times, we come to learn that home means more than four walls and a ceiling. Home is where we find our balance, the pivoting point that connects us to the earth. Sociologists studying the homeless have examined this phenomenon. As one scientist writes, "It is of more than semanti c significance that we call these people 'homeless' instead of 'houseless' or 'shelterless.' Home has an existential importance that reflects our discomfort at being on the earth in the first place."

Viewed in this way, the question of home takes on a whole new meaning. Home is not only where we hang our hat but also where we find our heart. In addition to providing shelter from the storms of weather, home offers refuge in the spiritual sense, a protected place in which to thrive; this is why Buddhists describe dharma initiation as "taking refuge" in the teachings. The place we call home is where we find community and the experience of belonging. That is why we may feel more at home with a group of like-minded strangers than we do with biological family. To belong, to fit in, to feel comfortable enough to be ourselves; to be seen and heard without judgment; to know that we will be taken care of in times of need, unconditionally; these are our deepest human longings. Next to t hese nurturing aspects of home, the material comforts that many of us focus on -- the perfect decor, the two-car garage, the central A/C and the sub-zero fridge -- matter very little to the heart.

The heart craves connection, acceptance, belonging, a nest to come home to, a place to just be; a sanctuary where we can rest without fear of rejection, aggression, or prejudice. This is why many seekers, in search of such a place, sometimes feel as if our authentic lives were elsewhere, away from our familial context, in so-called spiritual contexts where we imagine we can be who we truly are. Lots of seekers begin with the reflexive belief that spirituality and everyday life are awkward bedfellows. Bitten by the enlightenment bug, we may inadvertently split our existence in two, between the extraordinary and the ordinary, the sacred and the profane, the high and the low, the spiritual and the unspiritual. In our newfound enthusiasm for the examined life, we inadver tently reject the familiar in favor of the otherworldly, the esoteric, the counterintuitive. There are times for radical change, of course, moments when it's necessary to leave what we know behind and venture into unknown territory, geographically and philosophically; when we must be cruel toward the status quo - discarding past commitments, allegiances, and beliefs -- as a way of being kind to our aspirations and vision of who or what we wish to become. But when seeking becomes an escape mechanism, an excuse for running away from our lives rather than toward them, it may be time to come home.

Our human need for exploration, discovery, and boundary-pushing is, without question, a beautiful thing that imbues life with meaning and sets us apart from other life forms that lack the ability to take destiny in their own hands. But like all forms of power, this unique capacity for self-reinvention comes with its shadows, two of which are spiritual ego and escapism. Among seekers, th ere may be a tendency toward spiritual condescension and righteousness, and an underlying, unspoken belief, that by splitting our lives in two, and focusing on the spiritual, that we will somehow be free of the ordinary pain that is part and parcel of human existence. Beginning my own seekers life 30 years ago, I certainly harbored the secret hope that dedication to spiritual values would make my own struggles and pains disappear. But this is the opposite of what really happens. Spiritual life isn't meant to save us from pain. It's meant to save us from taking pain personally. As we practice, we don't become different people, apart from who we are in life, but deepened, widened, more expansive, creative, and free versions of what we already are, free of the idea of ourselves. As we evolve, our experience of suffering does change. Linked by pain to the rest of humanity, we come to recognize pain as a shared burden, not a personal offense or mistake. We experience pain with less suffe ring, less ego to defend, less spoiledness to counteract, and join the rest of humanity in this common cause of evolution and celebration we call life.

There is nowhere https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-bH7dZ-o2Y to escape from (or to) and that's the good news. This message is echoed across traditions. "When a thing is everywhere, the way is not to gravel but to love." (St. Augustine) "To seek is not to find." (Rumi) "I came to a spot in the road where all paths were one." (Dogen) "Most seekers are just Narcissus in drag." (Da Free John). The fact of the matter, I came to realize, is that home and spirit are https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/21-ways-to-save-your-remodel-0 here and now -- right where we're planted in this very moment. If we can't find God in the present moment, we can't find Her anywhere.



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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-matousek/where-is-home_b_8926636.html

Designing a Pollinator-friendly Garden | HuffPost

2013-01-18-honeybeeonsunflower.jpg

Photo by Sharon Kitchens

Whether your garden is a floral retreat or a source of food, you will need pollinators to ensure long-term productivity.

Jim Bobb, the chairman of the Eastern Apicultural Society of North America, offers some advice on designing and maintaining a pollinator-friendly garden. A Master Gardener for more than 10 years now, Bobb has led plant identification walks concentrating on all the plant groups found in Pennsylvania and the North American Eastern Piedmont flora. He has been keeping bees for nearly 20 years.

What is at the root of your selection criteria when it comes to ordering seeds for a pollinator-friendly garden?

It is important to first discover the periods of dearth for your bees. In eastern Pennsylvania we have a strong spring flow and a weaker fall flow. The critical time is the summer dearth, usually July and August. Find the period of dearth and grow plants that flower during that timeframe.

Location is also very important for the placement of hives. Try to find a place that has one or two flows throughout the year. Many people do not realize that trees are flowering plants and that maples, locusts, tulip poplars, and basswood are fantastic nectar producers-so forested areas can be heavy honey-producing sites. If there is a very weak fall flow, you will need to plant asters, goldenrods, and other fall blooming plants or feed supplemental sugar syrup.



Which pollinator-friendly plants do you feel offer the best nourishment for pollinators?

First, it depends on the size of your garden. If you have space, plant trees. Trees that bloom in the summer are especially great for honey bees. The Korean Bee Bee Tree blooms in late July, early August and attracts so many bees that the entire tree hums. You would plant this tree if you want a beech but don't have 80 years to wait, the Korean Bee Bee Tree achieves the size of a beech in 20 years. The Raison Tree Sprinkler System Installation Flower Mound also blooms in the summer and buzzes with bees. A fall-blooming Seven Sons Tree will also attract bees, has beautiful peeling bark, and the red flower stems persist for weeks after blooming, making the plant look as if it is in bloom until frost.

If you do not have large space, small trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals can fo rm a wonderful mixed garden. Plan to emphasize pollinator plants and limit the use of ferns and wind-pollinated plants, such as grasses and corns, which will not attract pollinators. There are thousands of spring-blooming flowers and bulbs. If you choose native plants, you will most certainly attract local pollinators.

Again, I would concentrate on flowers that bloom in the summer, when there is a nectar dearth. Start with the mint family, most all will bloom repeatedly throughout the summer. One of my favorites is the Mountain Mint -- it has a white-dusty covering on the leaves and the flowers bloom continuously well into fall. Herbs also bloom all summer and thrive in dry weather.



Many sedums will also bloom into late summer. A common ornamental, Autumn Joy Sedum, will attract a host of bees.

Don't overlook the aster family. Brown-eyed Susan will bloom all summer and attract bees. Another aster, the common sunflower is a native, which now is available in hundreds of sizes and color combinations.

The Pea Family has many pollinator-friendly plants. Two that I personally enjoy are Sweet Yellow Clover and Sweet White Clover. These biennials will start growing the first year and then bloom the second year, dispersing seeds to continue the Sprinkler System Flower Mound cycle. Each species blooms for several weeks and since their bloom is somewhat staggered, the bloom season will extend for many weeks.

No pollinator garden is complete with milkweeds. One of my favorites is an orange-blooming Butterfly Weed. It will attract bees and butterflies; the leaves are also the food source for monarch caterpillars. (Plant plenty of parsley for the swallowtail caterpillars.)

There are many more plants that can be added to this list. Just study a plant's bloom time and color and you can easily predic t the type of pollinator that will visit your garden.

Is it important to incorporate a range of color in a pollinator garden to make the area more enticing to pollinators?

The reason for flower color, size, and shape is to attract pollinators. There is a fierce competition going on in your garden and each plant must discover an advantage to outcompete the others. Some open early in the morning, others late in the day, and some at night. So, a table can be drawn to describe the type of pollinator each flower is seeking.

If you want to attract bees, plant flowers that bloom with all the colors of the rainbow, except for red. (But for the color red, the bees see all of the same colors that we do. They do see ultraviolet, which we cannot see.) Grow flowers that smell good to you, bees are attracted to those same smells. The shape really doesn't matter, except that the bee's tongues are not as long as hummingbirds and some other insects, so narrow tubular flowers ar e not attractive to bees.

If you want to attract butterflies, plant hot colors -- red, yellow, orange, purple are all wonderful colors. They will only go to flowers that have flat landing pads -- not cup- or tube-shaped flowers. (Butterflies must be able to see 360? to watch for enemies.)

For hummingbirds, plant tubular flowers that are red, reddish purple, or reddish orange. Hummingbirds have no sense of smell, so often hummingbird flowers have no fragrance.

Moths fly at night, so moon garden plants attract them. Grow plants that bloom white at night and have strong night fragrances.

Flies are attracted to flowers that do not smell appealing to us. Queen Anne's lace, and similar plants, will attract flies.

Purple flowers that smell like dead meat will attract carrion flies.

Do you have any tips for natural pest prevention in a pollinator garden?

I would encourage companion planting. Tomatoes, roses, and potatoes have many pests. Plan ting https://ambler.temple.edu/arboretum marigolds around plants will control aphids, nematodes, cabbage loopers, Mexican bean beetles, and cabbageworms.

Are pollinator-friendly gardens essential to the future of honeybees?

Dr. Douglas Tallamy, in his book Bringing Nature Home, explains the need for a network of pollinator gardens and hedgerows to provide not only the nectar and pollen for animals but also a habitat for our wildlife to survive. If we turn all of our land into grasses and paved area, we will lose not only our honey bees, but also the rest of our fauna.

Education

Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State -- Find out what you need to certify your garden as "Pollinator Friendly"

Pollinator Partnership - site has planting guides for different regions

Attracting Native Pollinators by The Xerces Society

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-kitchens/designing-a-pollinator-fr_b_2505413.html

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Gardening





Toad Lily

No fall garden should be without toad lilies. These Asian curiosities bloom...

Phlox

Phlox are one of those bounteous summer flowers any Sprinkler Installation Fort Worth large sunny flowerbed or...

Trumpet Vine

Plant a trumpet https://www.lowes.com/pd/Spectracide-Weed-Stop-for-Lawns-32-fl-oz-Weed-Killer-Plus-Crabgrass-Control/4736729 vine and you're sure to have hummingbirds visiting your yard i...

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Let easy-growing groundcovers be the solution Sprinkler System Installation Fort Worth to your landscaping problems....

Salvia

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http://www.bhg.com/gardening/

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Fire Sprinkler Recall - CBS News

About 35 million building sprinklers across the country need to be replaced because they might not work during fires, the government and the Pennsylvania manufacturer said Wednesday.



The sprinklers are installed in homes, offices, day-care facilities, hospitals and other buildings, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.



Central Sprinkler Co., of Lansdale, Pa., discovered some of its sprinkler heads have O-ring seals that can corrode, said L. Dennis Kozlowski, chief executive of Tyco International Ltd., which owns the sprinkler company. The firm has received 13 reports of sprinklers failing to work during fires.

"We immediately shared our concerns with the authorities," Kozlowski told reporters. He noted the deterioration of the sprinklers "takes place over a very long period of time."

Tyco will provide free replacements for all the recalled sprinklers, the safety commission said. The first sprinklers replaced will be the oldest, those showing signs of damage or those in buildings such as nursing homes and hospitals.

The recall includes another 167,000 sprinklers sold by Gem Sprinkler Sprinkler System Co. and Star Sprinkler Inc., which are also owned by Tyco, the safety commission said.

The recalled fire sprinkler heads have the words "CENTRAL" or "STAR", the letters "CSC", the letter "G" in a triangle, or a star-shaped symbol stamped on either the metal frame or the flower-shaped metal piece at one end of the sprinkler head.

About 2.5 million sprinklers installed in other countries, most of them in Canada, are also included in the recall, said Central Sprinkler spokeswoman Anne Buchanan.

People seeking more information about how to replace their sprinklers should call the company toll-free at 1-800-871-3492.

Building owners, however, shouldn't shut off their sprinkler systems because of this recall, said Joseph Hirschmugl, a spokesman for Chicago-based Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which provides safety certifications and has been testing the recalled sprinklers.

"People should remember that sprinklers are important life saving devices," he said, noting that the recall is a precaution.

The vast majority of the recalled sprinklers are of the GB or glass-bulb type that contain alcohol or another liquid in a bulb mounted on the sprinkler head. Heat rising from a fire expands t he liquid, causing the glass to shatter. That releases the sprinkler's plug and allows water onto the fire. An O-ring seal keeps the plug from leaking.

The testing organization said in April that some glass-bulb sprinklers produced by Central Sprinkler had crystallized deposits or corrosion around the rubber seal, which indicated leaking water.

It has recommended that the sprinklers be replaced Sprinkler System Installation Richardson since March 2000, but at the time, Brad McGee, a Tyco senior vice http://www.goodmanslandscape.com/ president, said it was too early to consider a recall or replacement of the sprinklers.

In 1998, Central Sprinkler recalled 8.4 million Omega brand fire sprinklers because thy could fail in a fire. Those sprinklers, which were installed nationwide in schools, hospitals, hotels, offices and homes, failed to activate in about 20 fi res during the 1990s, causing injuries and millions of dollars in property damage, the safety commission said at the time.

MMI The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fire-sprinkler-recall/

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Toro Co (TTC) Company Profile

The Toro Company (Toro), incorporated on November 7, 1983, is engaged in the designing, manufacturing and marketing of professional turf maintenance equipment and services, turf irrigation systems, landscaping equipment and lighting products, snow and ice management products, agricultural micro-irrigation systems, rental and specialty construction equipment, and residential yard and snow thrower products. The Company operates through three segments: Professional, Residential and Distribution. Under the Professional segment, Toro designs professional turf. Under its Residential segment, it markets its Residential segment products to homeowners. The brands include Toro, Exmark, BOSS, Irritrol, Hayter, Pope, Unique Lighting Systems and Lawn-Boy. Its subsidiaries include Red Iron Holding Corporation, Toro LLC, Hayter Holdings Limited, The Holiman Co. Inc. and Exmark Manufacturing Company Incorporated.



Toro designs professional turf, landscape and lighting, rental and specialty construction, snow and ice management, and agricultural products. These products are sold to professional users engaged in creating, renovating and illuminating landscapes; irrigating turf and agricultural fields; installing, repairing, and replacing underground utilities; managing snow and ice needs, and maintaining turf, such as golf courses, sports fields, municipal properties, as well as residential and commercial landscapes. Its markets include golf market, landscape contractor equipment market, sports fields and grounds equipment market, snow and ice manageme nt market, rental and specialty construction market, underground construction market, and residential/commercial irrigation and lighting market.

The Company's products for the golf course market include large reel and rotary riding products for fairway, rough, and trim cutting; riding and walking mowers for putting greens and specialty areas; greens rollers; turf sprayer equipment; utility vehicles; aeration equipment, and bunker maintenance equipment. The Reelmaster 3555-D and Reelmaster https://www.garden.com/ 3575-D are fairway mowers. These mowers, as well as most other Reelmaster and Greensmaster models, include its new EdgeSeries Reels. It manufactures and markets underground irrigation systems for the golf course market, including sprinkler heads, controllers, turf sensors, and electric, battery-operated and hydraulic valves. The TruJector feature provides an adjustable angle of nozzle trajectory, as well as a water distribution co ntrol. Its INFINITY Series golf course sprinklers with the Smart Access feature are designed to provide access to critical components of the sprinkler without needing to dig. Toro's Lynx central control system allows superintendents to control the irrigation of their course from a Web-enabled device, or via its National Support Network, which provides remote troubleshooting. It manufactures and markets Twilightgolf lighting products that include a collection of Light Emitting Diode (LED)-powered cup lights and removable lighting fixtures designed to illuminate putting greens during club events or special functions.



In the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzdF7T-Gf6A landscape contractor equipment market, Toro markets products to landscape contractors under the Toro and Exmark brands. Products for the landscape contra ctor market include zero-turn radius riding mowers, heavy-duty walk behind mowers, mid-size walk behind mowers, stand-on mowers, and turf renovation and tree care equipment. The Company offers products with electronic fuel injection engine options, which are designed to provide fuel efficiency and lower emissions. The TITAN HD zero-turn radius riding mower features the ability to attach tools and other accessories to the mower with tool-mounting brackets. The Exmark Radius zero-turn radius riding mower features a heavy-duty fabricated frame and control to provide commercial durability, reliability and comfort. The GrandStand MULTI FORCE stand-on mower features hydraulic systems intended for maintenance and operator controls.

In the sports fields and grounds equipment market, products include riding rotary, reel mowers and attachments, aerators and debris management products, which include debris vacuums, blowers and sweepers. Other products include infield grooming equipment and multipurpose vehicles, such as the Toro Workman GTX that can be used for turf maintenance, towing and industrial hauling.

In the snow and ice management market, products are marketed under the BOSS brand, and include snowplows, salt and sand spreaders, and related parts and accessories for light and medium duty trucks, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility task vehicles (UTVs), skid steers and front-end loaders. The HTX V-Plow is designed for light-duty and half-ton trucks.

In the rental and specialty construction market, utility loaders are the cornerstone products for its https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzdF7T-Gf6A Toro Sitework Systems business, which are designed to manage the efficiency in creation and renovation of landscapes. The Dingo TX 1000 compact utility loader provides market operating capacity in a lightweight, maneuverable design. It offered approximately 35 attachments for its compact utility loaders, including trenchers, augers, vibratory plows and backhoes, as of October 31, 2016. Products for the rental and specialty construction market include compact utility loaders, walk-behind trenchers, stump grinders and turf renovation products, many of which are also sold to landscape contractors. Toro also has a line of rental products that feature concrete and mortar mixers, material handlers, compaction equipment and other concrete equipment.

In its underground construction market, it manufactures a line of directional drills and riding trenchers used to install water, gas, electric and telecommunication distribution systems. Its underground products are used by specialty contractors around the world. In its residential/commercial irrigation and lighting market, Turf irrigation products marketed under the Toro and Irritrol brands include rotors; sprinkler bodies and nozzles; plastic, brass, and hydraulic valves; drip tubing and subsurface irrigation; electric control devices, and wired and wireless rain, freeze, climate and soil sensors. These products are designed for use in residential and commercial turf irrigation applications. Its micro-irrigation market includes products that are designed to apply water precisely, including Aqua-Traxx PBX drip tape, Neptune flat emitter dripline, Blue Stripe polyethylene tubing, BlueLine drip line and NGE emitters, which are all used in agriculture, mining and landscape applications.

The Residential segment provides products, such as walk power mower products, riding products, home solutions products and snow thrower products. The Company manufactures and markets various walk power mower models. It offers a line of rear-roller walk power mowers, which provides a striped finish. The Lawn-Boy all-wheel drive lawnmower is designed to climb hills and power through rough terrain. Riding products primarily consist of zero-turn radius mowers that are designed to save homeowners time by using maneuverabili ty to cut around obstacles. Its TimeCutter SS and TimeCutter MX zero-turn radius riding mowers are equipped with its Smart Speed control system, which is designed to allow the operator to choose different ground speed ranges with the flip of a lever without changing the blade or engine speed.

Toro designs and markets home solutions products under the Toro and Pope brand names. Toro brand name products include yard tools, such as electric, gas, and cordless grass trimmers; electric and cordless hedge trimmers, and electric, gas, and cordless blower-vacuums. It designs and markets garden product offerings, such as underground, hose and hose-end retail irrigation products. It also manufactures and markets a range of gas-powered single-stage and two-stage snow thrower models, as well as a range of electric snow thrower models. Single-stage snow throwers are walk behind units with lightweight four-cycle gasoline engines. Its two-stage snow throwers are generally designed for areas of deep and heavy snow. Its Distribution segment consists of Company-owned domestic distributorship, which has been combined with its corporate activities.

http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=TTC

Lawns - Avocados, kittens and lawns: consequences of the California drought crisis - Pictures



Thanks to the drought, there are more rattlesnakes around than usual. And to make matters worse, they're now snaking their way into residential neighborhoods and California backyards where small children play.

A 2-year-old girl, named Ishneed Kaur, was bitten by a rattlesnake, June 9, 2015, while playing in her backyard in Pittsburg, California. She had to be airlifted to Children's Hospital in Oakland for immediate treatment.



That same week, a 4-year-old boy was bitten after stepping https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Patio-Lawn-Garden-Sprinklers/zgbs/lawn-garden/553974 on a baby rattlesnake coiled on a bike https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjreVlmEbis trail in Folsom, California. When his ankle started to swell and turn purple as a result, the child's mother, Jacklyn Caramazza, jumped into action and sucked the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjreVlmEbis venom from his wound; a dangerous move, which may have saved the boy's life, but most experts don't recommend.

http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/californias-epic-drought-fallout-and-consequences/15/

What Are Irrigation Sprinkler Systems?

Irrigation sprinkler systems are a specific type of overhead irrigation system that is commonly used on farms, yards and even some golf courses. These systems can vary in size. Some are very complex, while others have enough power to water one homeowners yard. The objective here is to protect grass, plants and gardens from drought. Irrigation systems provide regular water (essential to any plants photosynthesis process) as well as cooling (important for temperature stability) and the suppression of dust.

Many irrigation sprinkler systems spray in a fixed pattern. These spray heads are designed to adhere to a pattern so as to prevent overlapping. Most of these patterned systems do not operate at pressures above 30psi because of the threat of misting. There are also high-pressure sprinklers, powered by impact sprinklers, and these move in a circular shape. There are also some types of sprinkler systems that are buried under the ground. These systems are industrially used and als o used for agriculture.

Residential Sprinkler System Installation irrigation sprinkler systems also come in a great variety, with multiple levels of size and function. There are also sprinklers that oscillate or drip. The easiest way to connect a residential sprinkler system for irrigation purposes is to attach it to an outdoor faucet and bibb. While some residential systems are complex enough to require professional installation (if they connect to the plumbing) the majority are of the DIY variety.



Whats nice about residential irrigation sprinkler systems is that they can function on timers and automate the entire process. You can schedule water and cooling sessions and remain confident that they will continue to work even if you leave town. These systems also come with retractable heads that make Sprinkler System Installation the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landscaping lawn look nicer and stay out of the way of lawn mowers. Modern sprinkler systems are non-invasive; you wont even know they are there! (Unless you get splashed)



These systems come with several parts when sold, including pipes, control equipment, and other plumbing pieces. The piping connects to the water source by fittings. The most interesting aspect of home irrigation sprinkler systems is the artificia l intelligence factor. Todays systems can actually adjust the amount of watering automatically based on external conditions. For example, a home irrigation system can make adjustments for rainy days, runoff and evaporation. This prevents overwatering and under watering.

What about systems that utilize underground sprinkler technology? These systems are made possible through electronic and or hydraulic technology. When the device is activated the solenoid is magnetized and lifts a steel plunger near the center of the system. When this happens, the plunger allows air to escape the system from the center, and from a diaphragm on the top. The water flow now has higher pressure and lifts the diaphragm. The water escapes through piping and is eventually flushed out to the surface. Sprinklers on the surface usually operate by pattern and spray from anywhere from six to fifteen feet with full rotation. You can buy residential irrigation sprinkler systems from lawn and garden stores o r look online for more information for industrial strength irrigation systems.

http://system.ezinemark.com/what-are-irrigation-sprinkler-systems-31da1368d93.html

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Traveler beware: Older hotels and motels across US lack fire sprinkler systems

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A fast-moving fire that killed four college students in a suburban Birmingham motel illustrates a deadly problem facing travelers around the country: Many older hotels and motels can legally avoid installing sprinklers that stop blazes before they kill guests.

Since a catastrophic fire killed 87 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas in 1980, a national push to require sprinkler systems in new hotels and motels has helped bring fire deaths down significantly.

Yet federal officials say an estimated 3,900 hotel and motel fires are reported to U.S. fire departments each year, causing on average 15 deaths, 150 injuries and $76 million in property loss. The National Fire Protection Association says it's rare for a guest to die when a fire breaks out in a room with sprinklers, and that there hasn't been a documented fire in a sprinklered hotel that killed more than one person.

"It's much safer to stay in a sprinklered facility. It's unfortunate most travelers don't give that a thought," said Robert Duval, senior fire investigator with the NFPA.

While newer hotels must install sprinklers, older ones do not, and they take in travelers around the country. A study by the U.S. Fire Administration for 2005-2007 found that about 60 percent of hotels and motels reporting fires lacked sprinklers.

The National Fire Protection Association also found every single fire death from 2002 to 2005 was in a motel or hotel that lacked a sprinkler system. More recent statistics weren't available.

If the Birmingham-area hotel had sprinklers, Duval said, the fire "would have been a non-event. Everybody would have gotten to go home."

The Days Inn Motel in Hoover, a wooden structure built in 1964 to resemble an old South plantation, wasn't required to have sprinklers. State Fire Marshall Ed Paulk said four college students from Mississippi who died in the Jan. 19 fire would still be alive if the motel h ad been equipped with sprinklers.



"That would have prevented the loss of life," Paulk said.



Safety advocates and industry officials say travelers often aren't aware of whether their hotel has sprinklers. The president of the Greater Birmingham Lodging Association, Mairs Baxter, said it is "very rare" for customers to ask.

"The only ones I've noticed that do that are representatives of government associations," said Baxter, who is also general manager of a Birmingham-area LaQuinta Inn.

Anecdotally, the presence of sprinklers doesn't appear to be something the older and less-expensive places advertise. In a spot check of older and cheaper hotels and motels, a reporter saw that their websites generally note amenities such as Internet access and cable TV, but not sprinklers, even if they have them. In phone interviews, fire safety equipment wasn't mentioned by clerks, unless asked. The check included about 20 hotels in nine states.

Federal government employees are required to stay in hotels with sprinkler systems on business trips. FEMA provides an Internet search engine -- http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/applications/hotel -- of approved accommodations.

Steve Muncy, a spokesman for the American Fire Sprinkler Association, said many older hotels do not install sprinkler systems because of the cost.

"It's not cheap," said Muncy, whose trade group represents sprinkler installers and manufacturers. "The older the b uilding, the more expensive it is. The cost varies depending on the size and age of the building. Obviously it's cheaper in a one- or two- story motel than in a high rise."

Nationally, sprinkler systems are required by local ordinances and building codes in most hotels built or remodeled within the last 10 years, but those laws generally don't apply to older facilities. It's also hard to track where sprinklers are required, partly because sprinkler regulations are often in local ordinances and not state laws.

In Alabama, all motel and hotel rooms must have smoke detectors, but sprinkler requirements vary by city.

They were not required at the Days Inn in Hoover, where the Mississippi University for Women students checked in for a day of shopping.

The four -- 18-year-old cousins Alondan "Angel" Turner and Catherine Ann Muse of Cordova, Ala.; Jamelia Brown, 18, of Grenada, Miss.; and Joslynn McGee, 19, of Corinth, Miss. -- were staying in a room upstairs an d a few doors down from the room where a maintenance worker, Dhirajlal Bhagat, 55, had been burning incense in a makeshift Hindu shrine. The fire began after he left the room.

Without sprinklers, there was nothing to slow the fire as it spread up the outside walls. The two-story building had firewalls, but Paulk said those were mostly ineffective since the fire spread on the outside.

The blaze blocked firefighters from reaching the women, who sought shelter in a bathroom.

There was a far different outcome on Nov. 8 at a Clarion Suites Hotel in Yuma, Ariz., where an occupant started a fire while using an appliance to heat cups of liquid. After the person left the room, the device overheated, catching the surrounding counter and wallboard on fire, said Yuma fire spokesman Mike Erfert. But a sprinkler head kept the fire from spreading to other rooms.

The MGM Grand fire on Nov. 21, 1980, that killed 87 is the Sprinkler System Installation Rockwall second-worst hotel fire in modern U.S. history. It prompted the adoption of strict fire codes in Las Vegas and elsewhere.

There has not been a fatal high rise hotel fire in Las Vegas in at least 15 years, partly because of ordinances adopted by the city following the MGM fire, including one requiring sprinklers in all high-rise hotels, said Tim Szymanski, public information officer for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.

Most times, high-rise hotel fires are confined Sprinkler System Rockwall because of sprinklers by the time fire fighters arrive.

"They https://www.amazon.com/Lawn-Garden-Sprinklers/b?ie=UTF8&node=553974 are worth their weight in gold, Szymanski said.

http ://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/04/traveler-beware-older-hotels-motels-lack-sprinkler-systems.html

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Home builders beating back fire sprinkler laws

HARTFORD, Conn. - Nearly three dozen states have rejected the idea of requiring sprinkler systems in homes by enacting legislation or rules that prohibit mandatory installation.



Home builders, still reeling from the recession, say requiring sprinklers would add to their costs. They have found allies in state legislatures and rule-making bodies that have turned aside arguments by fire safety officials that requiring sprinklers in homes save lives.

The National Association of Home Builders has not taken a position on state action banning mandatory fire sprinklers in homes, said program manager Steve Orlowski, but the group has argued that installing residential sprinklers should be up to homeowners.

Either through legislation or code, 34 states have prohibited mandatory residential fire sprinklers, Orlowski said. Only two states -- Califo rnia and Maryland -- have adopted codes requiring installation of home sprinklers, he said.

In other states, sprinkler legislation died or is pending until next year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Connecticut, for example, is deferring action until next year. A measure requiring automatic fire extinguishing systems in one- and two-family homes failed to make it to a vote in the Public Safety and Security Committee.

Sen. Anthony Guglielmo, the committee's ranking Republican senator, said legislators did not have enough information about the cost to builders and municipalities that would enforce the law. Legislators will take up the issue next year only after hearing the recommendations of officials and others brought together by the state Department of Public Safety, he said.

The International Code Council, an organization of building inspectors, fire officials and others who set building standards, recommended in 2009 that st ates and municipalities adopt codes requiring sprinkler systems in homes and townhouses less than three stories high. The regulations took effect Jan. 1.

The National Fire Protection Association has said sprinklers will particularly help young children, the elderly and the disabled by giving them time to escape burning homes.

Opponents of requiring sprinklers cite their cost -- and subsequent impact on home prices -- and voters' dissatisfaction with government mandates.

In Missouri, lawmakers extended for eight years rules that require builders to offer sprinklers but do not mandate them.

"Our main concern, in this housing market, is that the requirement for mandatory fire sprinklers could cost $7,000 to $15,000 per home," said Missouri state Sen. Eric Schmitt, Republican chairman of the Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Sprinkler System Denton Committee. "In this market, it's very di fficult to justify."

In New Hampshire, Gov. John Lynch tried to vetoed legislation that prohibited local planning boards from requiring sprinkler systems in homes as a condition of approval for local permits. The decision about whether to require fire sprinklers should remain a local one, Lynch said.

Legislators overrode the veto.

Sen. John S. Barnes, Republican chairman of the Public Municipal Affairs Committee, said the override vote was not easy because he typically favors local control. But he does not believe any government body should be ordering http://www.the-landscape-design-site.com/ homeowners to install fire sprinklers.

"If I buy or build a house, I think I should decide whether I put in a sprinkler system," he said.

John A. Viniello, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, said the process by which codes are approved is flawed. Codes regulating wiring, construction a nd other facets of home construction are informed by expert advice from industry and others, he said.

But Sprinkler System Denton when legislatures have a role in the process, codes too often are modified or scuttled, he said.



"Once the politicians get involved, it's over," he said.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/29/home-builders-beating-back-fire-sprinkler-laws.html

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Toshiba's Westinghouse Electric is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

by Sherisse Pham @Sherisse March 29, 2017: 6:35 AM ET

Westinghouse, which was bought by Toshiba in 2006, has suffered billions of dollars in losses due to delays and cost overruns at nuclear plants under construction in Georgia and South Carolina.

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The bankruptcy filing is the latest embarrassment for the two industrial giants. Huge losses at Westinghouse have thrown its surviv al into doubt and raised questions about the future of the two U.S. nuclear power projects.

The financial disaster has spread to the Japanese firm, which last month wrote down the value of Westinghouse by 712.5 billion yen ($6.4 billion).

Toshiba (TOSBF) said the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing will limit its exposure to future losses at Westinghouse. The U.S. company will no longer be under Toshiba's control and will be stripped out of its financial results, the Japanese conglomerate said.

Toshiba warns net loss could hit $1 trillion

"The environment of nuclear power is so severe at this moment, it was not a sustainable business," said Kazunori Ito, an equity analyst at Morning Best Electrician Service in College Station Star.

Westinghouse's bankruptcy filing "is the only way for Toshiba to limit or determine the amount of loss at this point," he said.

That loss is going to be hug e.

Dumping Westinghouse could drag Toshiba to a net loss of about 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) for the financial year ending this month, the Japanese company said Wednesday, nearly three times the 390 billion yen ($3.5 billion) loss it had flagged last month.

 Vogtle Westinghouse GeorgiaA nuclear power plant that Westinghouse is building in Georgia.

Westinghouse and Toshiba are working with the owners of the two U.S. nuclear power projects to come up with plans to continue construction "during an interim period," the Japanese firm said. It wasn't immediately clear what will happen to the unfinished projects in the long term.

Toshiba first warned of a massive hit from its U.S. nuclear unit back in December.

Since that news emerged, the company has twice delayed its audited earnings, and its shares have more than halved in value.

Toshiba and Westinghouse, storied companies now struggling to survive

Westinghouse is what is left today of what was once a major industrial conglomerate that helped change the world during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Founder George Westinghouse, a prolific inventor, started making air brakes which greatly improved the safety of train travel and freight transportation. He was a key advocate of the alternating electrical current that is still used around the globe today, rather than the direct current which had been pioneered by Thomas Edison.

Related: Toshiba chairman steps down as company takes hit from U.S. nuclear business

Toshiba is an iconic Japanese company that now faces the threat of being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange because of its delay in publishing earnings and a $1.2 billion accounting scandal that was uncovered in 2015.

To help shore up its finances, Toshiba is looki ng to sell a significant stake in its prized memory chips business.

It's a humiliating fall from grace for a company that has been around since the 1870s. Toshiba manufactured Japan's first light bulb and gave the country its first electric washing machines, vacuum cleaners and microwave ovens.

Toshiba then charged into the tech industry, making a global name for itself as a pioneer laptop maker and developer of flash memory technology.

A nuclear bet gone sour

The company bet big on the nuclear industry in 2006, acquiring Westinghouse for $5.4 billion. It was a bold deal that came at a time of renewed interest in nuclear power.

But the meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011 changed things. In the face of souring public opinion on nuclear energy and stricter safety requirements, hopes of a nuclear renaissance soon faded.

Analysts said Toshiba paid too much for Westinghouse, forcing it to maintain https://www.niceic.com/find-a-contractor/find-contractors an aggressive nuclear power plant sales forecast. That led to Westinghouse acquiring nuclear construction business CB&I Stone & Webster in 2015.

The deal was supposed to help Westinghouse complete the U.S. reactor projects. Instead, costs spiraled out of control. Toshiba later admitted that it may have overestimated the value of CB&I Stone & Webster.

-- CNNMoney's Chris Isidore contributed to this report.

CNNMoney (Hong Kong) First published March 29, 2017: 3:41 AM ET



http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/29/investing/westinghouse-nuclear-bankruptcy-toshiba/index.html

Saturday, 10 June 2017

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