Raiders’ corner Rodgers-Cromartie retires

first_imgFor complete Oakland Raiders coverage follow us on Flipboard.ALAMEDA — The Raiders made no deals at Tuesday’s trade deadline but did have a surprise retirement.Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who signed with the Raiders on Aug. 23, announced his retirement on social media Tuesday. Coach Jon Gruden informed the team during morning meetings that the two-time Pro Bowler was hanging it up.Rodgers-Cromartie, 32, went from 55 snaps on defense in London against Seattle to zero in a 42-28 …last_img read more

Nestlé expands operations in South Africa

first_imgNestlé is building two new multimillion-rand factories in South Africa. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) The company has vowed to increase investments in South Africa. (Image: WordPress) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ravi Pillay Corporate Affairs Director Nestlé South Africa +27 11 514-6779 or +27 82 908 2580  RELATED ARTICLES • Toyota SA project to create 800 jobs • Nestlé unwraps new cocoa plan • SABMiller invests more in Angola • South Africa to create 5-million new jobsBongani NkosiNestlé is building two new multimillion-rand factories in Babelegi, a small town in the North West province, where it will manufacture some of the products it currently imports.Construction of the cereal and Maggi factories has started in Babelegi, Nestlé South Africa’s corporate affairs director Ravi Pillay confirmed in an interview on 3 February 2011.Contractors started ground work on the 16 000 square metre Cheerios and Milo cereal plant after a sod-turning ceremony on 2 February. Both projects are set for completion by mid-2012.Nestlé is investing R505-million in the new facilities and in the upgrade of a newly acquired soya venture in Potchefstroom, also in the North West. This forms part of its expansion drive in South Africa, where the multinational has been operating for decades.“We will continue to invest in South Africa, in line with our long-term commitment to business sustainability and economic development,” said Sullivan O’Carroll, chairperson and managing director of Nestlé South Africa. The cereal factory has been allocated R244-million. Cheerios and Milo, products that Nestlé currently imports to South Africa, will be produced in Babelegi for the first time when the plant is fully equipped.Some R155-million has been set aside for the factory that will manufacture the Maggi range, including instant soups, stocks, sauces, seasonings and instant noodles. While some of Nestlé’s Maggi products are imported, most are currently produced in factories located in Gauteng and Harrismith in KwaZulu-Natal.The new plant will ensure that all Maggi products are made in South Africa. “New Maggi products will come through,” said Pillay.Nestlé recently bought the Specialised Protein Products (SPP) company in Potchefstroom. The acquisition of this and upgrades will cost R106-million, said Pillay.Through this new venture, Nestlé will be able to increase production of non-dairy creamers and begin making soya-based products.The multinational has retained 120 employees from SSP.Employment opportunitiesA sizeable number of people have already found jobs in Nestlé’s factory in Babelegi, and more opportunities beckon.“There will be many spinoffs to the local economy of Babelegi due to these investments,” Pillay said.The two new factories in the area will result in the creation of at least 230 new permanent jobs, according to the group. Coupled with the 120 employees from SSP, Nestlé will be responsible for 350 new employees following the expansion project.It said 70 new permanent jobs will be created in the cereal products factory, while the construction process will result in at least 100 contractor jobs.Some 160 permanent jobs are expected to become available at the new Maggi plant and about 200 employment opportunities will be created during that factory’s construction.“A number of our employees will go to factories around the world for manufacturing training,” said Pillay.Stimulating the local economyNestlé enjoys a substantial market share in South Africa. The group has factories and distribution centres in six of the country’s nine provinces, including Mpumalanga, the Western and Eastern Cape and Free State.Its popular products include baby formula milk Nido and Nespray, as well as baby foods like Nestum and Cerelac. Nestlé South Africa ventured into mineral water in 1987 and produces a range of ice-creams as well.Producing locally has a direct impact on prices for both customers and the multinational. “Having products closer to our customers is always affordable,” added Pillay.Local farmers will also score big as Nestlé suppliers. “By manufacturing locally we’ll also be stimulating the agricultural sector,” he said.STYLE–> STYLE–> read more

BuildingEnergy: The Best Little Conference in the Northeast

first_imgThe official theme of this year’s NESEA conference was “Real Solutions, Real Experts.” But that’s kind of a cop-out. NESEA’s conference is always filled with experts and solutions every year. The unofficial theme, it seemed to me, was “How Deep is Your Deep Energy Retrofit?”A keynote address from deep in the energy trenchMarc Rosenbaum (“I are an engineer”) wove his keynote address from peak oil to deep energy retrofits with a side trip to whether or not LEED-certified buildings use more energy than code-compliant buildings (a commentary on the conference’s public forum ).Deep energy retrofits are the most important part of the housing sector because of the number of existing houses compared to the number that are being built (there are about 160 million existing houses, about 60 million of which were built before the energy embargo of ’73 — meaning that they’re really leaky). Despite what the lobbyist group for commercial real estate developers claims , Marc and many of the NESEA attendees are proving that super-efficient buildings are old news — they’re possible, affordable, and easy to accomplish.Marc then took us on a tour of a few deep energy retrofits that his company, EnergySmiths has been working on. The slide show of his presentation is here if you want to have a peek at some of the projects.What Would Mother Nature Do?After the keynote, I headed off to the hour-and-a-half sessions: First stop, Ecological Sensibility in Home Building (with a healthy dose of biomimicry thrown in). The presenter, Kevin Stack , is a builder in upstate New York who does many things right. Kevin focused most of the presentation on new construction, but much of his emphasis was on site work, which most ecologists would qualify as retrofit work.Among one of the more interesting tidbits of Kevin’s talk was using exterior Velcro (the design for which came from nature) to attach siding. There are no nails to penetrate the sheathing, and it’s a built-in rain screen. The Velcro, Kevin said, would delaminate plywood and pull the foil facing off polyisocyanurate foam board before the adhesive pulled off. He’s only two years into this test, so it’s still early, but “so far, so good,” he reports. Look for Kevin and his houses to be appearing in GreenBuildingAdvisor.com sometime soon.What Would Dr. John Do?Next up was John Straube ’s “What Would I Do?” session. Dr. Straube took us on a journey of his (and his gal Victoria’s) deep energy retrofit of a bungalow (which looked suspiciously like a ranch to me) in Toronto. One tip from Dr. Straube: Buy an ugly house that has bad siding. Why? Because it’s easiest to do energy retrofits from the outside, and it’s easy to justify tearing off bad, ugly siding. According to Straube, a simple shape is better because it’s easiest to keep the air, thermal, and water barriers continuous.John used a modified Larsen truss to thicken the outside walls so that he could spray five or six inches of foam on them. He drove gutter spikes through a 2×2, used a three-inch scrap of PVC pipe as a standoff, and then drove the gutter spike/2×2 into the walls. A pretty quick, cheap, and elegant solution. He kept the vented roof and flat ceiling, making sure to seal all the leaks between house and attic with a Froth-Pak before filling the attic with cellulose. Let me repeat that: filling the attic with cellulose (except for the vent channels, that is). His reasoning? Cellulose is cheap, and the majority of the cost is getting the guy into the truck and out to the house. A few extra minutes and a few extra bags of insulation only cost a few extra bucks.As for R-values, John quit counting after R-60. The basement was detailed like all Building Science Corp. basements — rigid foam and a thin concrete slab on the floor, spray foam on the walls followed by a stud wall and drywall. Dr. Straube’s presentation“Don’t Do What Paul Eldrenkamp Did”The last session of the day before my long drive home was a tag-team session with Paul Eldrenkamp of Byggmeister Construction and Mark Rosenbaum of EnergySmiths. I already talked about Marc (let’s just say he had microphone troubles again), so I’ll stick to Paul. Paul presented a series of stories and lessons learned in the deep energy retrofit arena.The lessons:1. Deep energy retrofits aren’t always about insulation.They’re also about how people who live in houses use energy.2. You have one chance to get the envelope right every 30 or 40 years. Don’t blow it.The easiest way to tighten the envelope is from the outside: Replace the siding, add foam, tighten, and replace windows. It’s now or never.3. Every now and then, stop and think about whether you’re doing the right thing as a builder. Consider the types of projects that you do and don’t do. Paul decided to focus on deep energy remodels and lost a million-dollar contract because the potential customers weren’t interested in using less energy. It was hard to lose the job, but it was the right thing for his company to do.4. Much of our nation’s climate policy is being determined by the sales skills of remodeling contractors. Related to the above lesson. Most deep energy retrofits aren’t economically justifiable until the energy costs are real and they reflect the true cost of consuming. Remodelers that can succinctly explain to customers the real costs and benefits of energy-efficient houses can help us out of our energy quandary faster than Congress can. Hint: Payback doesn’t reflect future energy cost increases or better health.5. Don’t be unduly scared of people named Joe.6. Don’t install interior finishes until after the blower door test. Don’t assume that foam insulation is foolproof; experiment responsibly, and monitor for durability.All in all, the best little conference out there. I go every year because the people at this conference know the answers to the big questions and are enthusiastic about digging in. Some other conferences are full of people who complain about having to change and look for ways to drag their feet.last_img read more