March 14, 2020 The Latest: Organizers postpone Edinburgh Marathon Associated Press Most people quickly recover from the global virus after experiencing only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditWhatsappLONDON (AP) — The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times UK):___12:45 p.m. The Edinburgh Marathon has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The race was due to take place on May 24, but organizers have announced it will be postponed.Race director Neil Kilgour said a new date for the marathon in the Scottish capital is expected to be announced on Monday, ___10:45 a.m. Two more Fiorentina players have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as a club physiotherapist.The top-tier Italian league soccer team tweets that defender and club captain Germán Pezzella, forward Patrick Cutrone and physiotherapist Stefano Dainelli “are in good health at their homes in Florence.” They were tested after “showing some symptoms.”The club had already announced on Friday that 20-year-old striker Dušan Vlahović tested positive.With Cutrone and Pezzella added to the list with Vlahović, there are now nine Serie A players who have tested positive. The others are Daniele Rugani of Juventus plus five Sampdoria players: Manolo Gabbiadini, Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Antonino La Gumina and Morten Thorsby.Serie A is suspended until at least April 3 as part of a nationwide lockdown in Italy intended to contain the virus.
The USC men’s basketball team opened the 2011-2012 season earlier this month against Cal State Northridge — a team that finished with a losing record a season ago and remains ineligible for postseason competition this season because of a low Academic Progress Rate score. The NCAA penalizes program with scores below its 925 benchmark.Student engagement · The Galen Center opened in 2006 and holds men’s and women’s basketball games as well as volleyball matches. – Brandon Hui | Daily TrojanNonetheless, the opening night game, held at the Trojans’ five-year old Galen Center, drew 5,172 fans, including a packed, standing-room-only student section.One of the attractions for USC students was a reusable Trojan Fever cup giveaway that is good for free soda refills all season long.“The students change the atmosphere in the Galen Center, so it is important to fill every game,” said Associate Athletic Director and Director of Marketing Craig Kelley.The USC athletics-marketing department announced other initiatives to improve attendance for men’s basketball games at Galen Center in an email addressed to students signed by Athletic Director Pat Haden in early November.Last season, USC averaged just 4,691 fans per game at the 10,258-seat Galen Center, the lowest in the conference, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times two weeks ago.In an attempt to improve fan attendance, James Slagle, a graduate marketing intern, developed the Trojan Fever Loyalty Program earlier this fall so students can earn points and win prizes each time they attend USC football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer and select men’s water polo home games.Large sandwich boards have also been strategically placed around campus to increase awareness about basketball game times, in addition to text reminders from the Trojan Text Alerts program.There will also be free pizza given away in the student section at all games, and more student giveaways are being planned, according to Kelley.The email from Haden vowed to improve food variety and quality at Galen Center concessions, and indicated plans to implement in-seat ordering by the end of the season.USC students already have free admission to basketball games, but there are now reduced ticket prices across the board for men’s and women’s basketball games.In addition, the four entry tunnels at the Galen Center have been painted cardinal and gold and decorated with Trojan imagery to replace the less inviting gray concrete.“[Athletic Director Pat Haden] has made it clear to fans, students and staff that filling the Galen Center is his priority,” Kelley said. “Our student-athletes deserve the support of their fellow students, and we are here to get them into the Galen Center.”The players have noticed the large crowds through the first three men’s basketball games of the season.“I like how the crowd was hyped,” sophomore center Dewayne Dedmon said after the game against Cal State Norhridge. “It was a lot of fun.”
Every four years, the number of days on the calendar goes from 365 to 366, the United states elects or re-elects a president and the Summer Olympics kick off. Now, with less than six months until the 2020 Summer Olympics, I want to focus my column this semester on the games. Whether that’s spotlighting different players, sociopolitical issues or USC’s long history with the Olympics, I want to offer my analysis and opinion on the upcoming event. The Olympics provides any host worldwide recognition. For the 2016 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee estimated that around 3.5 billion viewers worldwide tuned in, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That was about half the world’s population at the time. The 2012 Games were when sprinter Usain Bolt was in his prime and swimmer Michael Phelps announced his first retirement after the Games concluded. I also discovered several new sports through that year’s Olympics — sports that I didn’t even know existed, like shooting and equestrian. I’ve lived through five Olympics but because I didn’t become a sports fan until later in my life, I only remember the last two. As a new decade begins, I’m looking forward to the last of those three — the Olympics, which will take place from July 24 to Aug. 9. The Summer Games will be held in Tokyo, Japan, marking the return of the Olympics to a city that hasn’t hosted it since 1964. The Olympics helps renovate a city and gives it a new look. When my hometown Tacoma hosted the 2015 U.S. Open for golf, the whole city turned itself around. Now, even five years later, Tacoma looks so much better for it. If the numbers repeat themselves, the prospects for Tokyo to garner the attention it’s hoping for appear good. Once the Olympics concludes, the televised coverage of the games will make more people inclined to visit Tokyo. The city that hosts the Olympics also has to construct or renovate many stadiums and buildings specifically for the games. The merits of this are controversial, but I think it’ll be good for the city. It pushes Tokyo to build new infrastructure and motivates the rest of the city to clean up in expectation of millions of visitors. With that said, Tokyo is more than ready to host its second ever Summer Olympics. Not only will the city etch its name in the history books, but it’ll also enjoy plenty of benefits from simply hosting the Games. This isn’t to say that hosting the Olympics will guarantee a profit. In 2016, Rio de Janeiro spent more than $20 billion to get ready. The hope was that the games would reinvigorate the city, but, unfortunately, many of the venues are now abandoned. The Olympics can also create much-needed profit for a city. After Los Angeles earned $215 million revenue from the 1984 Olympics, the number of cities submitting bids to host the Games jumped from two to 12 by 2004. Tokyo is expected to spend approximately $26 billion when all said is done — about $20 billion more than what the city originally predicted according to the Los Angeles Times. However, it doesn’t look like Tokyo will be struggling financially — the city is holding lottery applications for tickets since they sold out. Tokyo is built to handle events like this, and in my opinion, the city is more than ready to handle the political and financial challenges it is likely going to face leading up to the games.
Says cash could expose Eagles to match-fixing syndicateOlawale Ajimotokan in AbujaThe President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has offered insights into why the federation initially rejected the $390,000 cash gift by Japanese surgeon, Katsuya Takasu to the national U-23 team for winning the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Brazil.Takasu travelled to Belo Horizonte, where he gave two cheques to the team in the names of Coach Samson Siasia and John Mikel Obi, after Nigeria defeated Honduras 3-2 to finish third at Rio2016. NFF had blatantly refused to acknowledge the donation, though the Nigerian Embassy wrote the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, to allow Takasu present the donation to the team after a background checks were done on the Japanese.The largesse stirred controversy in the country with the Chairman, Senate Sports Committee, Obinna Ogba, among those who have questioned the proprietary of Siasia and Mikel decision to accept the donation on behalf of the team.Speaking on why NFF refused to commend Takasu in writing for his magnanimity, Pinnick told reporters on Tuesday night that the federation declined because it was not put in the picture initially when the doctor offered to donate the money.He said the donation was in breach of due process and the order of protocol originating from NFF and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) was also by-passed. As a result of the gap, they could not formally brief the sports minister.Pinnick insisted NFF position was anchored on protecting the integrity of Nigeria as taking money from questionable sources could expose Nigerian players to the match-fixing scheme of the notorious gambling ring in South East Asia.“We rejected the donation because it did not follow due process. We should be careful about who we receive money from and our concern is about the integrity of our players and coaches, so that they are not induced with money to fix matches by the betting syndicate in Asia,” Pinnick said.“It (the donation) did not pass through the proper channel. The minister would have communicated with government to see, for example, if Nigeria is in conflict with the man’s country of origin. A lot of processes were isolated,’’ Pinnick said.He also highlighted the challenges faced by the federation in buying flight tickets for the players of this weekend’s Africa Cup of Nations match against Tanzania, arising from the unbeareable effect of assessing money in the Treasury Savings Account (TSA).According to him the federation had to a sign a guarantee before its travel agency agreed to issue flight tickets to enable the foreign-based players come for the match.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Zero-energy (ZE) homes — efficient homes that produce or procure as much renewable energy as they consume over the course of a year — are often marketed as luxury homes, only available to the select few who are willing to pay a significant premium to do the right thing for the environment. In keeping with this luxury perception, research shows these homes are often more comfortable and healthier than conventional homes for a variety of reasons. Mainstream media outlets have suggested cost premiums as high as 40% for sustainable real estate. However, the economics for these homes have changed: ZE homes have quietly passed cost thresholds that make them not only good for the environment but also cost-effective. As the underlying technologies and design elements continue to improve and scale, these costs will continue to decline. Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) recently released Economics of Zero-Energy Homes: Single Family Insights. Our work aimed to address the perceived cost of ZE and zero-energy ready (ZER) homes — homes designed to achieve ZE levels of efficiency but that don’t yet have photovoltaics (PV). The report also provides both home builders and policymakers with guidance on how to bring these homes to market.RELATED ARTICLESZero Energy Ready Homes Gain GroundEvery New Home Should be Zero-Energy ReadyA New Guide for Net Zero BuildersTo Net Zero and BeyondThe California Model Here’s what we learned: Insight #1: ZE homes already approach cost parity Contrary to popular belief, ZER homes fall under a 3% incremental cost in most parts of the country, with that cost dropping under 1% in select locations such as Houston, Texas. Developers may even be able to construct these homes at cost parity in locations with stricter baseline codes (our analysis assumed construction meeting the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code) and aggressive incentive offerings from local utilities (which we did not consider in our work). The solar panels necessary to bring those ZER homes to ZE bring the incremental cost to 7% to 8%; however, a wide array of solar financing options can be used to cover part or all of that additional cost. Modeled Incremental Cost for ZE and ZER Homes Insight #2: ZE homes meet certain cost thresholds Savvy consumers consider upfront and ongoing costs in a variety of everyday purchasing decisions. Although research shows that consumers often apply a much higher discount rate than businesses or financial institutions do, consumers still consider ongoing savings and are willing to pay a premium for these savings. Many consumers consider ongoing cost savings as they look to purchase a home. In an effort to understand how the cost and value of ZE and ZER homes would stand up to this decision-making process, RMI compared the incremental upfront cost of these homes against four “cost thresholds” defined below: Mortgage threshold: The anticipated energy cost savings over the life of the mortgage. Resale threshold: The anticipated energy cost savings over 12 years (the average duration homeowners expect to stay in a home). Consumer willingness to pay threshold: The 4% first cost premium customers have stated they’re willing to pay according to consumer research. First cost threshold: Zero incremental cost compared with an identical code-compliant home. When the incremental cost of building ZE and ZER homes falls below these cost thresholds, savvy homebuyers are more likely to bear the cost of investment in ZE or ZER homes. For example, if the cost of upgrading a home to ZE is less than the cost of energy the homeowner pays over 12 years in a standard non-ZE home, then a homeowner using the resale cost threshold would be more likely to purchase the home. In many cases, these cost thresholds have already been achieved in local markets. ZER home cost threshold compared with incremental cost. ZE home cost threshold compared with incremental cost. Insight #3: Not all ZE homes are created equal RMI’s analysis considered hundreds of different energy measure combinations to identify the lowest cost pathway to net-zero design in four different climate zones. Although our analysis yielded concrete recommendations for cost-optimal ZE home designs, a variety of other solutions are available and may be specified based on local conditions or consumer priorities. The most interesting takeaway was that in the climate zones we analyzed (IECC 2–5), ZE and ZER levels of efficiency could be achieved without aggressive or cutting-edge envelope and HVAC solutions. Although these solutions may yield other benefits such as thermal comfort or passive resilience, from a strict cost standpoint, removing these leading-edge solutions from the ZE package resulted in a significantly lower cost premium. In all climates, the cost optimal solution from RMI’s analysis included 100% LED lighting, low-flow water fixtures, and Energy Star appliances, all of which reduce load at a very minimal cost premium. In addition, heat pumps were used for both space heating and water heating. The roof, walls, and windows were efficient but did not exceed the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) prescriptive efficiency levels. Although there is no one-size-fits-all cost-optimal solution to building ZE homes, our analysis indicated that these energy measures are cost-effective in almost any situation. We consider this analysis to be conservative, as we have a limited ability to consider integrative design approaches or opportunities unique to a specific homesite such as ground source heat pumps. We similarly do not consider district heating or cooling options to which some districts might have access. Similarly, we do not consider additional premium elements that today correlate with net-zero energy design (e.g., nicer appliances or finishes). We consider this analysis to be a baseline premium for a ZE or ZER home, with the opportunity to increase the performance, decrease the cost, or increase the value through custom or site-specific design elements. Insight #4: Costs will continue to decline Although the results of this report show that constructing ZE homes can be economical for most homeowners in most locations today, it’s important to understand how costs are expected to change in the future. Industry progress and demand for super-efficient building components is expected to drive cost savings over the next decade. Specifically, our projected cost decline is a result of PV costs dropping, reduced PV system size requirements (due to equipment efficiency gains), and efficient equipment becoming more mainstream. These factors should bring ZE homes in the four locations modeled within a 3% to 5% incremental cost by 2030, compared with a 6% to 8% incremental cost today. The opportunity for cost savings in ZER homes is less significant, with incremental costs projected to drop roughly 20% by 2030. Builders should reevaluate their ZE solution every few years to ensure it is still cost optimal with dropping solar prices and improving technology. Call to action ZE and ZER homes are still a niche product, currently representing less than a 1.4% market share of new construction. However, given the promising results of RMI’s analysis, the proliferation of homes certified through the DOE ZERH program, and California’s recently adopted requirement that all new homes be ZE by 2020, it is clear that this market is at a tipping point. RMI, DOE, and a host of other organizations are working with city policymakers and real estate developers to meet the call of this impending market transformation. Through our collective action, we can address an essential piece of our carbon footprint while unlocking the variety of benefits that ZE and ZER homes provide. ZE and ZER homes are market ready, and it is time to act! Alisa Petersen and Michael Gartman are both senior associates on Rocky Mountain Institute’s Buildings team. ©2018 Rocky Mountain Institute. Published with permission. Originally posted at RMI Outlet.