Glaring woes noted by foes of night lights

first_imgOn Tuesday, Petzold implored the Santa Clarita City Council to reverse the city’s growing light pollution, which does more than obscure the view, he says. It wastes natural resources and poses a health risk to people and animals, disrupting their internal clocks. And, sky glow takes away some of the magic. “The night sky that inspires us and gives us a sense of natural awe like the Grand Canyon is needlessly washed away,” he said. “Think about a 10-foot curtain hung around the rim of the Grand Canyon.” He was inspired by a story in an astronomy magazine urging readers to prod city officials to halt “erosion” of the nighttime sky. Petzold urged the council last week to adopt a law banning the use of promotional searchlights in town. Council members typically don’t comment on requests made during the public comment period, and while the issue has been raised before, the council has no plans to place the item on a future agenda, a city spokeswoman said. The Tucson-based International Dark-Sky Association strives to preserve and protect the nighttime environment by promoting effective outdoor lighting. “We are not nocturnal by nature,” said Lee Karalis, a spokeswoman for IDA. “We’re a 24-hour society, but we’re becoming a 24-hour-a-day world as well. We want the creature comforts of the day all through the night.” The group doesn’t oppose outdoor lights at night, but spurns “bad and unnecessary” lighting, Karalis said. That includes light that causes glare, is hard on the eyes, that trespasses onto neighbors’ properties, and is so overly bright it bounces off buildings and blocks stars from view, she added. The city observes strict lighting guidelines at public parks and ballfields and requires homes and businesses to follow codes that limit excess light spillage. “Every time we do inspections on commercial property, staff goes out in the evening to assure that they have the lights directed downward,” said Jessica Humphries, a city planner. “We ask them to install light shields to block unneeded light.” Those wishing to view the stars close up can join the local astronomy group Saturday at Vasquez Rocks, just after sunset. For information, log onto www.lgscv.org. judy.orourke@dailynews.com (661) 257-5255160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – A local astronomy buff cheers when the power briefly cuts out because his neighbors stream outdoors to see what’s up. He’s right there beside them. “Then, I can show them the night sky objects we ordinarily can’t see any more,” said Steve Petzold. “It’s a cheap thrill.” Petzold laments that ambient light cast upward from the city often obscures the light show provided by nature: constellations, galaxies and nebulas. A tradeoff for the convenience of close-in shopping centers and housing tracts might be greater difficulty spotting the twinkly stars on Orion’s belt. last_img read more

Two-sport star Van Dyk still going strong

first_img29 April 2013South Africa’s Ernst van Dyk, who won a silver medal in the hotly contested London Paralympic hand cycling road race at Brands Hatch, is a two-sport star. His most recent foray abroad brought him more wheelchair racing success in the Boston and London marathons.Van Dyk, a nine-time Boston Marathon winner, claimed silver this time around in the American city and picked up bronze in London a week later.“These two marathons have always been back-to-back, so to win a double six days apart would be quite an achievement,” he said in an interview with Cycling South Africa.HecticVan Dyk endured a hectic six days in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, but thankfully returned home unscathed. “Initially we heard the first explosion,” he said. “Nobody was sure what it was. I thought it might be premature fireworks and everyone ran to the window of the hotel where we were celebrating the end of the race.“As we stared out, the second explosion occurred right in front of our window. It was an incredible blast and people got badly hurt. I couldn’t imagine who would do such a thing.“The Boston marathon has so much history. And they didn’t attack the runners. It was targeted at the families supporting the athletes.”SwimmingThe South African star, who as a 17-year-old also competed in swimming at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics, has been one of the leading wheelchair racers in the two marathons for the past 14 years, but he also switches to hand cycling from time to time too.“For the London Paralympics I focused on cycling,” he said. “During the Beijing Paralympics, I won a gold medal in the cycling road race and a bronze medal in the wheelchair marathon. I was the only athlete to medal in two sporting codes.”Discussing last year’s Paralympic Games, Van Dyk added: “For London, we did not get a lot of athletics spots, so I gave up my place, which I achieved by finishing in sixth at the 2011 World Champs, so that a youngster could make the team, seeing that I was already going for cycling.”Van Dyk says the two sports of hand cycling and wheelchair racing are similar in terms of tactics. “The big difference is that in wheelchair racing we don’t have a crank, chain or gears. So physically, it’s very pure.Only two“I’m one of the very few athletes doing both disciplines. I think there are only two of us.”Besides his achievements in competition, Van Dyk is also very proud of the fact that he was the first person with a disability to graduate with a degree in sports science from Stellenbosch University.He is an ambassador for the International Paralympic Committee and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Invest in South Africa via the JSE

first_imgSouth Africa boasts mature capital markets that serve the domestic economy as well as the wider continent. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is the world’s 19th largest exchange, and offers investors five key financial markets: equities, bonds, currency, equity and commodity derivatives. History The JSE was formed in 1887 to facilitate the first South African gold rush. Following the first legislation covering financial markets in 1947, the JSE joined the World Federation of Exchanges in 1963 and upgraded to an electronic trading system in the early 1990s. The bourse demutualised and listed on the JSE in 2005. In 2003 the bourse launched AltX, an alternative exchange for small and mid-sized listings, followed by the Yield X for interest rate and currency instruments. The JSE acquired the South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX) in 2001 and the Bond Exchange of South Africa (BESA) in 2009.Equity market With a market capitalisation of $929-billion as of the end of 2012, Johannesburg is the biggest exchange on the continent, significantly larger than both Cairo ($60-billion) and Lagos ($55-billion). It is also highly liquid, with the value of trades hitting R3.4trillion ($418.2-billion) in 2012, up from R3.3trillion ($400.1-billion) in 2011 and R3-trillion ($364.5-billion) in 2010. There are approximately 400 companies listed on the exchange across Main Board and AltX. While a number of heavyweights like AngloGold Ashanti, British American Tobacco, SABMiller and telecommunications firm MTN account for a large share of the market, the exchange has cultivated a diverse variety of offerings. The JSE is indexed by the FTSE/JSE Africa Index Series, a partnership between JSE and the FTSE Group. The main two measurements of performance are the All Share Index (ASI), covering 99% of market capitalisation, and the All Share Top 40 Top Companies Index, which tracks the top listings in a representative spread of sectors. South African bond market South Africa’s fixed-income market accounts for 96% of the value of all African bonds. The majority of South African bonds are issued by government and state-owned entities but the number of corporate bonds issued is growing. Bond trading is available on the stock exchange, which also offers over-the-counter depository services and a variety of bond-based derivatives, including bond futures, forward-rate agreements, vanilla swaps and standard bond options. The JSE is aiming to attract new issuers to the bourse, including those offering rand- denominated foreign notes, which are now treated as domestic securities following a successful negotiation with the South African Reserve Bank. In November 2012 the Namibian government floated a R850-million ($103.6-million) 10-year bond priced at 8.26%, the first tranche of a R3-billion ($365.7-million) programme, and the JSE hopes to encourage other African countries to list debt on the exchange.Derivatives The JSE offers trading of a variety of derivatives, including futures and options on equities, bonds, indices, interest rates, currencies and commodities. The JSE is ranked the sixth top exchange by number of single stock futures traded and ninth by the number of currency derivatives traded in 2012 in the World Federation Annual Derivatives Survey. FSB website: www.fsb.co.zaReserve Bank website: www.resbank.co.za Website: www.world-exchanges.org Foreign listings In 2011, South Africa’s inward listing rules were changed to allow foreign domiciled companies to be treated as domestic listings. While foreign firms had been allowed to list on the JSE since 2004, they had been subject to foreign exchange rules, which limited the amount of these equities that local investors could hold. The lifting of these restrictions has been an important regulatory shift for the exchange makes the JSE a more attractive listings destination. Information supplied by the JSE. For more, visit www.jse.co.za Reviewed: 6 June 2013Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material While these regulatory changes will likely hasten the move of trading from OTC to the JSE, the JSE have also taken steps to make the exchange a more attractive platform for this activity. This includes improving transparency in the JSE’s fee structure and continuous product innovation. Membership More than 110 equities and 50 bond brokers are licensed in South Africa, a mixture of local and foreign outfits. There are more than 100 equity derivatives members, 50 commodity derivatives members and more than 50 currency derivatives members.Technology The JSE has undertaken major technological upgrades to improve the latency of trading times and embarked on reform of the clearing and settlement timeframe. In July 2012 the JSE implemented a new trading platform the Millennium Exchange in the equities market, while at the same time moving the trading system from London to Johannesburg. Following this successful transition trades can now be executed up to 400 times faster than under the previous TradElect system. The change allows for increased liquidity and more high-frequency traders. Regulation The JSE currently acts as the frontline regulator, setting listing requirements and enforcing trading rules. The Financial Services Board (FSB) supervises the JSE in the commission of its regulatory duties and, as the JSE has no criminal or civil jurisdiction, processes any cases where statutory legislation has been contravened. The regulatory landscape is set to change significantly in the near future, as South Africa looks to implement a twin peaks model of oversight. Under the new system, prudential supervision will be transferred to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and market conduct regulation will be led by a bolstered FSB. The JSE will continue to act as frontline regulator while it will report to the FSB as the lead regulator, a concept endorsed in 2012 to avoid overlaps in jurisdiction between the FSB and the Reserve Bank. South Africa is currently ranked 1st in the world in terms of regulation of securities exchanges in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Survey for 2012- 2013. This is an accolade for both the JSE its regulators. last_img read more

Australian Open to have 10-point tiebreakers in deciding set

first_imgWimbledon announced in October it will next year have a standard first-to-seven-points tiebreaker when the deciding set reaches 12-12.The U.S. Open was the first Grand Slam tournament to introduce final-set tiebreakers, with a first-to-seven-points game at 6-6.The French Open is the only remaining Grand Sam still decided by a long deciding set by advantage.The Australian Open begins on Jan. 14. FILE – In this Jan. 28, 2018, file photo, Croatia’s Marin Cilic wipes sweat from his face as he plays Switzerland’s Roger Federer during the men’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships, in Melbourne, Australia. The Australian Open in January will play a 10-point tiebreaker in deciding sets, joining Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in using tiebreakers to avoid long matches. Temperatures often soar to 37 degrees Celsius (100 F) and beyond during the tournament. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)MELBOURNE, Australia — The Australian Open in January will play a 10-point tiebreaker in deciding sets, joining Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in using tiebreakers to avoid long matches.The tournament said on Friday the decision, reported widely a month ago but denied by Australian Open officials, came after consultation with current and former players and tennis officials. Temperatures often soar to 37 degrees (around 100 F) and beyond during the tournament.ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley says “we asked the players — both past and present, commentators, agents and TV analysts — whether they wanted to play an advantage final set or not, and went from there.“We went with a 10-point tiebreak at six-games-all in the final set to ensure the fans still get a special finale to these often epic contests, with the longer tiebreak still then allowing for that one final twist or change of momentum in the contest. This longer tiebreak also can lessen some of the serving dominance that can prevail in the shorter tiebreak.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefIn the men’s singles draw, the first four sets will feature a seven-point tiebreaker at 6-6, with the final set going to a 10-point tiebreaker at 6-6.In women’s singles play and men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles, the deciding set of three sets will be played with a 10-point tiebreaker at 6-6. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Rockets’ Chris Paul out at least 2 weeks with hamstring injury MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion View commentslast_img read more

Magnificent Seven: City have PL’s best attack

first_imgManchester City Magnificent Seven: Man City have the best attack in the Premier League Sam Lee Last updated 2 years ago 00:42 24/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Raheem Sterling Leroy Sane Manchester City 2017 Getty Images Manchester City Premier League Guardiola Yaya Touré İ. Gündoğan Kevin De Bruyne Raheem Sterling Leroy Sané Sergio Agüero Opinion Videos Pep Guardiola is able to call upon seven players who can all do pretty much everything in the final third of the pitch Manchester City racked up another convincing scoreline against bottom club Crystal Palace, proving that they have the best collection of attacking players in the league.Leroy Sane was a somewhat surprise inclusion in the City side, but it was he who opened the scoring with a wonderful piece of individual brilliance, plucking a high ball out of the air, flicking it over Scott Dann and finishing through Wayne Hennessey’s legs. Man City 18/1 to beat Chelsea 3-1 Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing The German then set-up Raheem Sterling with an inch-perfect cross to make it 2-0, underlining once again that there is much more to his game than his ability to dribble past players at pace.It is that variety in attack which makes City so dangerous. Kevin De Bruyne played the ball to Sane in the build-up to the second goal, and it was the Belgian’s excellent ball to the back post which allowed Sergio Aguero to square for Sterling to tap in his second of the game. That’s five goals in his last four games for Sterling, having scored five in his last 31 games.Sane then put in a superb cross for Aguero to head in his seventh goal in seven games.Manchester City Crystal PalaceDe Bruyne and David Silva, who passed to Sane for the first, are working wonders in the middle of the pitch, providing City’s forwards with chance after chance. Silva managed seven Premier League assists last season, but his two against Palace take him to six in total already.And with Aguero looking hungry for goals but just as eager to set up his team-mates – which was best demonstrated when he squared to Jesus against Liverpool – Premier League defences need to be on the look-out.This victory was achieved with both Jesus and Bernardo Silva, who is slowly but surely showing his wonderful talents for his new club, on the bench. Jesus did not even get on the pitch.Fabian Delph’s late cameo – and superb goal – showed he could well be another useful (and unexpected) option in midfield, even if there are still problems in defence; Benjamin Mendy’s injury here highlighted how City are short of another left-back, while Vincent Kompany is currently out with another calf problem.But with seven attack-minded players who are all capable of taking teams apart by themselves, there will be few teams, either in England or further afield, who will be able to cope with City in this mood.last_img read more

a month agoCoady furious after Wolves loss: We must be better!

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Coady furious after Wolves loss: We must be better!by Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveConor Coady says Wolves must improve to get out of their current form slump.The Premier League club lost to Braga in the first Europa League clash of the campaign on Thursday, making it zero wins from their last three matches.Speaking after the game, Coady said: “It’s disappointing the run we’re on. We need to get out of it as quick as possible. It doesn’t matter what competition we play in we need to get out of it.”It’s everyone playing on the pitch. We all need to rectify it. We all need to come together. We should have scored to be honest.”We should have kept the clean sheet. We need to be better.” last_img read more

9 days agoMan Utd watching Napoli star Fabian Ruiz

first_imgMan Utd watching Napoli star Fabian Ruizby Paul Vegas9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United have been watching Napoli star Fabian RuizThe Spanish international, 23, has risen to stardom since joining Napoli from Real Betis for £26million in 2018.And his exploits have attracted the attention of Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are in the market for a new control midfielder.Goal claim the Spanish heavyweights will battle it out for Ruiz next summer, but Napoli plan to tie him to a new contract with an £87million release clause.And the Manchester Evening News says United were also monitoring Ruiz over the summer. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

EU signals possible legal action against Italy over budget

first_imgBRUSSELS — A top EU official says Italy’s draft budget for next year is in breach of the rulebook underpinning the euro and he is signalling the start of a legal procedure against the country over the spending plan.European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters Wednesday that “Italy’s draft budgetary plan is in particularly serious non-compliance.”He said that “with what the Italian government has put on the table, we see a risk of the country sleepwalking into instability.”Dombrovskis signalled that the Commission, which supervises the budget plans of European Union member states, could start a so-called “excessive deficit procedure” over Rome’s spending package.The move ramps up tensions between the Commission and Rome’s populist government.The Associated Presslast_img read more

SC to lenders Defer declaring DAMEPL dues as NPA

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the consortium of lender banks that had financed the Delhi airport metro express line of Reliance Infrastructure to defer declaring outstanding dues as non-performing assets.The bench of Justice SA Bobde and Justice AS Abdul Nazeer asked the banks to defer declaring outstanding dues as NPA as Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) opposed Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited’s plea that it (DMRC) be asked to service DAMEPL debts. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderSenior counsel P Chidambram appearing for the DAMEPL told the court that DMRC, which is operating the airport metro express line, be asked to shoulder the responsibility of serving the debts. He also cited the earlier Delhi High Court order asking DMRC to service the debts. Initially court appeared inclined to agree that DMRC should service the debts. “Prima face we are with you. One who is running the train should service the debts”, Justice Bobde said agreeing with Chidambram.last_img read more

The Patriots Are Almost Certainly Not Going 160

When do we get to stop jabbering about the Patriots? Last winter, the New England Patriots marched through the playoffs and won the Super Bowl. Then we spent all spring and summer worrying about whether their quarterback, Tom Brady, had knowingly deflated footballs — and then we had to start the conversation over again when his four-game suspension was overturned. And now that football is actually being played, the Pats are still on everyone’s minds: At 3-0, with the NFL’s second-best SRS rating,1SRS is the Simple Rating System, Pro-Football-Reference.com’s way of adjusting a team’s average scoring margin for the strength of its schedule. (The upstart Falcons are No. 1.) they’ve started so hot as to inspire speculation about another 16-0 season.But the Patriots media frenzy may have finally swallowed itself when Skip Bayless was asked on Tuesday’s “First Take” about New England’s chances of going undefeated and said it was “extremely probable” that the Patriots would go 16-0.We touched on this during a segment of our sports podcast, Hot Takedown (Pats chatter begins at the 7:00 mark), but the notion that it’s “extremely probable” for any team to go 16-0 after three weeks of the season was too absurd for us to confine our dissent to a podcast.Let’s get this out of the way: It’s extremely improbable that New England will win each of its remaining 13 games. According to our Elo ratings (a system for estimating each NFL team’s strength at any given moment), New England has only a 4.4 percent probability of navigating the rest of its schedule without a loss. In other words, if you played out 100 versions of the 2015 season, the Pats would fail to go undefeated in about 96 of them. Bayless is holding out for our real-life timeline to be one of the four leftovers.It’s easy to see why the Patriots are so unlikely to win out. They aren’t even favorites in all of their remaining contests — Elo says there’s a 53 percent chance they lose to Denver on the road in late November. And among the games in which they are favored, they’re far from guaranteed victors. Nine teams have a greater than 20 percent chance of knocking them off — there’s a 42 percent chance they don’t even emerge from their bye week and make it to 4-0 against the Cowboys on Oct. 11. (Granted, Elo is unaware that Dallas will be without QB Tony Romo for that game, but a Romo adjustment would still leave New England with roughly a one-third chance of being upset.)This year’s Patriots team is really good. Through three weeks, the 2015 edition has a slightly better Elo rating (1698) than the 2007 version that went 16-0 had (1697) at the same point in the season.2If this sounds contrary to what I said at the 9:05 mark of this week’s Hot Takedown, it’s because I goofed. There I was referring to the fact that, in the subset of our Elo simulations where New England went 16-0 this season, its final Elo rating of 1820 was slightly lower than the 1832 mark the Pats had after the 2007 regular season. But that’s all down the road — as of now, three weeks in, the 2015 Patriots’ Elo is slightly higher. But the 2007 Patriots were arguably the best team in pro football history (to the extent such a thing exists), and they still required a great deal of luck in close wins in the second half of their schedule.It’s very hard to go undefeated, which is a big part of why streaks capture our imagination. If it were as easy as Bayless seems to think it is, we wouldn’t care as much. Read more: The Best NFL Teams Of All Time, According To Elo read more