BUSINESSMAN SAYS CUSTOMERS HAVE GIVEN HIM HUGE BOOST TO SAVE HIS SHOPS

first_imgA Donegal businessman who has been given 100 days to save his 100 year old business says his customers have given him a massive boost of confidence by spending more at his shops.Danny Lafferty (foreground) ponders the future as he receives huge support from locals in CreesloughDanny Lafferty’s three businesses went into examinership last week plunging the small village of Creeslough in into crisis.Mr Lafferty employs 40 people in the village which has a population of just 300. Locals fear the closure of Mr Lafferty’s businesses – the Corncutter’s Rest Bar, the Vivo supermarket and the Shell Service station – will end the economic life of the village.More than 500 people attended an emergency meeting of the village last Monday night to find ways of saving the businesses.At the meeting, Mr Lafferty appealed to people to spend a few more euro at his businesses to save the 40 jobs.Mr Lafferty has now confirmed that footfall at his shop is up and he is determined to remain open. “It’s early days yet but we have noticed more customers coming into the shops and they are spending a few more euro.“We are working to try and sort the creditors and suppliers and sort things out.“I have said that if people spend an extra €20 or €30 locally each week then we will have a real chance of surviving and holding those 40 jobs.“We still have a long way to go but the meeting last Monday night showed the huge amount of goodwill that is there for us.“We have won the first battle but this is a war and we have a lot of battles still to win,” he said. Mr Lafferty will go before the High Court in May to prove that his business is still a viable venture and he can pay back suppliers and operate a profit.BUSINESSMAN SAYS CUSTOMERS HAVE GIVEN HIM HUGE BOOST TO SAVE HIS SHOPS was last modified: March 7th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:businessesCreesloughDanny Laffertylast_img read more

Delight for thrifty shoppers as NCBI store reopens in Ballyshannon

first_imgCharity shop and sustainable fashion fans will be happy to hear that the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) store in Ballyshannon is reopening.A new chapter begins for the fundraising shop as Natalie Quinn takes up the reins as Shop Manager from popular former Manager Naomi Brady.The store will be full of great quality second-hand items once more, with a treasure trove of shoes, household items, books and a large selection of bric-a-brac to discover. The NCBI is appealing for volunteers to get involved with stock and customer service.Grainne Whiteside, Area Manager said “reopening the Ballyshannon shop was a priority for NCBI as it is so embedded in the local community. We will continue to sell quality preloved clothing, accessories and bric a brac. We call on anyone interested in volunteering with the NCBI shop to contact us; even giving us as little as three hours a week would be of great assistance. Pop in and see our new selection of stock”.NCBI’s chain of 115 shops play a vital and integral part in the charity’s overall fundraising efforts, allowing the national sight loss agency to provide vital life changing services to over 6,000 people each year, many of whom live in Donegal.Also by supporting shops, customers not only generate funds for NCBI services but support the drive for more environmentally friendly and sustainable fashion and furniture. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Natalie Quinn, Shop Manager on 0858211128 or shopvolunteer@ncbi.ieDelight for thrifty shoppers as NCBI store reopens in Ballyshannon was last modified: October 9th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Ballyshannonncbishoplast_img read more

Boston Mulls a New Template for Urban Housing

first_img RELATED ARTICLES A Boston startup is proposing a new housing model designed to solve a fundamental problem with urban apartments — they’re too big.The company, Livelight, and architect Tamara Roy developed a model for very small modular apartments that can be racked in steel-framed exoskeletons on small infill lots, expanding housing opportunities for one- and two-person urban households. The project also had the backing of the Boston Society of Architects.Livelight founder Addison Godine said he was approached by the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab and asked to design a micro-apartment on wheels. He and Roy, then the incoming president of the Boston Society of Architects, rolled up their sleeves and developed a prototype called the Urban Housing Unit, or uhü, and submitted the design in a competition for development of a city-owned lot in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood.“Among many initiatives one of their interests was compact living spaces as a potential partial solution to the housing crunch that was happening in Boston,” Godine said of the Innovation Lab in a telephone interview. “There is a great mismatch between the housing stock and the citizenry — 17% of the housing stock in Boston is studio and one-bedrooms but 67% of Boston city residents are one- and two-person households.” Cities Think Small to Ease the Housing CrunchTiny Houses Join the Building CodeBuilders Aren’t Jumping on the Tiny House BandwagonLumber Store Chain Now Offers Tiny Houses Their 385-square-foot prototype, built at a modular factory in Pennsylvania, was parked for its introductory exhibition at City Hall Plaza last August and has since been trucked to eight different sites around Boston. Thousands of people have taken the tour, and sometime this spring, the city is due to decide whether Godine can move forward with a proposal to rack seven units on the Roxbury property and put them on the market.Boston is one of a number of cities looking at very small dwelling units as a way of making affordable housing more available (see “Cities Think Small to Ease the Housing Crunch” in the sidebar below). What comes in the packageThe uhü is 13 feet 10 inches wide, 33 feet long, and 11 feet tall — something like half of a conventional single-wide manufactured home. Including the trailer, it weighs 20,000 pounds.Exterior walls are framed with 2x8s and insulated with R-31 fiberglass batts. Both the floor and the roof are framed with 12-inch I-joists and insulated with fiberglass. (The roof also has a layer of rigid foam insulation.) Godine estimated nominal R-values of 40 in the floor and between 50 and 55 in the roof. Windows are double-pane Marvin Integrity.Cladding for the prototype is a translucent polycarbonate material called Polygal, which allows the uhü to glow at night. If it were ever to be put into production, Godine said, it could have siding more appropriate for an urban property — something like fiber cement.The uhü is heated and cooled with a single-head Mitsubishi Hyper-Heat ductless minisplit with a rated capacity of 18,000 Btu. Godine said the unit is capable of producing heat with outside temperatures as low as -23°F. It also comes with a Nest thermostat, just so residents don’t squander the chance to save energy.The design also includes Intello, a membrane used for airtightness and vapor control. There was, however, no money in the budget for a blower-door test.It cost $85,000, including the trailer, all furniture, and all appliances. Godine would like to see the cost to drop to between $40,000 and $50,000. People needed to see the real thingThe city had been touring neighborhoods to talk about the potential of more compact housing and micro-apartments, Godine said, but more often than not the reaction was a blank stare. Staffers from the Innovation Lab tried marking the outline of a micro-apartment on a gym floor with blue painter’s tape, for example, in order to give prospective tenants an idea of what living in one would be like. It just wasn’t clicking.“It didn’t really communicate what a space could be like,” he said, “so they said what we really want to do is build a real one.”He and Roy were both familiar with little houses. Godine managed the 2011 Solar Decathlon team while a student at Middlebury College, a role that encouraged the study of small, unconventional residential spaces. Later, he worked for a company called Getaway that placed tiny houses in rural settings and rented them to city people. Roy had lived in a 300-square-foot apartment in the Netherlands with her husband and their baby while earning her master’s degree, and has become a widely known advocate for micro-apartments since then. She’s now a principal at Stantec, where her bio says she’s been nicknamed the “mother of the micro-unit.”Once Roy knew she was in line to take over the Boston Society of Architects, she saw an opportunity to promote a favorite theme.“I knew that I had this once-in-a-lifetime chance to put some of the ideas we have for making more efficient smaller units and getting the word out there that they weren’t going to be tenements or old boarding houses,” she said. “We could show it was really a solution that was going to meet the demand that people in smaller household sizes have in Boston.”She lined up a meeting with Godine, and they soon decided to join forces and respond to the request-for-proposal from the city. The pair decided modular made the most sense for the apartment prototype, and they contacted a number of factories before settling on PennKraft Building Systems in Pennsylvania.Once the uhü was delivered, the tours began. What the 3,000 or so visitors saw was a long, boxy structure with a kitchen, a code-compliant bathroom, a sleeping alcove, a living/dining area that could seat six for dinner, and a variety of storage shelves and lockers — all in a package much better insulated and air-sealed than a typical city dwelling.A video narrated by Roy at the Livelight website runs through the basics.According to Godine, only 2% of those who toured the uhü said it wasn’t for them or wouldn’t fit in their particular neighborhoods. Others expressed “some range of bewilderment” about the project but not necessarily a negative view. A number of visitors said they were familiar with the idea of micro-apartments because of television coverage of tiny houses. Reaction ‘mixed’ at neighborhood roll-outGodine’s plan, should he win the city’s OK, would be to stack a total of seven units in a three-story steel rack on the Roxbury lot (see the second to last image below) and put them up for sale. The studios would sell for $149,000 and the two-bedroom units — expanded versions of the prototypical uhü 52 feet long and measuring 621 square feet — would sell for $199,000.The steel rack is what Godine calls pallet rack framing, just as you’d see in Home Depot or any distribution warehouse. “The idea,” he said, “is you can slot in your uhü or whatever, much like boats slot into a marina.”One problem yet to be overcome is the city’s current minimum size requirement for dwellings. Studio apartments must be a minimum of 450 square feet; one-bedrooms must be 625 square feet.“You have to get around that somehow,” Godine said. “My company thinks you shouldn’t have to get around it. You should just be able to build this small because, really, there’s no problem with it.”Another potential problem is public acceptance of a design that’s more contemporary than its surroundings. Godine said the Roxbury proposal recently was the subject of a public presentation in the neighborhood and got a “mixed” reaction.“The question is whether they want this kind of design in their neighborhood at all,” Godine said. “It’s a fairly conservative neighborhood, and this many be rocking the boat with something contemporary looking.”last_img read more

Why is Maharashtra on the boil?

first_imgWhat happened?On January 1, members of the Dalit community on their way to Bhima-Koregaon, a village near Pune, were attacked, allegedly by Hindutva forces. In the violence, a young man was killed. Protests erupted, and by January 2, they spread throughout Maharashtra. Prakash Ambedkar, head of the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh party and a grandson of Babasaheb Ambedkar, called a State-wide bandh on January 3.Why is Koregaon-Bhima important?The Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar) is a memorial for British East India Company soldiers killed in a battle on January 1, 1818, in which a small group of infantrymen — about 500 of them Mahars (a Scheduled Caste community) — held off a numerically superior force from the army of Peshwa Bajirao II. The Mahars fought alongside the British, some accounts say, because the Peshwa had scorned their offer to join his army.That battle has not found a place in public memories of that time. Dalit activists put this down to a Brahmanic hold on the telling of Indian history. After Dr. Ambedkar visited the site on January 1, 1927, it became a place of pilgrimage for Dalits, an assertion of pride. In recent years, attendance has been in the lakhs, with Dalits coming from all over India. This year, the bicentenary, saw an especially large influx.What triggered the violence?Sambhaji, Shivaji’s son and successor, was captured by the Mughals; according to legend, he was tortured and his mutilated corpse thrown into the Bhima river. Govind Mahar, a Dalit, gathered the dismembered parts of his body and performed the last rites; later, Mahars of the village erected a memorial to Sambhaji. Govind Mahar’s tomb stands near Sambhaji’s in Vadhu-Budruk village, near Bhima-Koregaon.On December 29, a board came up in Vadhu-Budruk hailing Govind Mahar, which, locals say, irked the Marathas in the village, who believe that their ancestors performed Sambhaji’s last rites. Mahar’s tomb was vandalised. On January 1, a mob of 1,500 gathered and, armed with stones, bottles and sticks, attacked buses on their way to Bhima-Koregaon; they threw stones and torched more than 10 vehicles. The violence continued for over four hours. The police remained spectators, and the administration seemed unprepared for the unrest, though it knew of the assembly of a large number of youths at Vadhu-Budruk.Who instigated the violence?News reports say Manohar (a.k.a. Sambhaji) Bhide of Shiv Pratisthan and Milind Ekbote of Hindu Ekta Aghadi instigated the violence. Mr. Bhide, whose stronghold is Sangli district, has close ties with the RSS. He claims to travel across the State, lecturing the youth on Shivaji and his work. He has had cases filed against him for inciting protests against the film Jodha-Akbar, and is believed to have been involved in the Sangli-Miraj riots. Mr. Ekbote is a former BJP municipal corporator in Pune. After the party denied him nomination, he formed his own outfit, Hindu Ekta Aghadi. He, too, has been charged in the past with fanning communal tensions. Cases have been filed against both under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.What happened during the bandh?On January 2, Dalit organisations took to the streets in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Nagpur, Pune and many other districts, blocking roads and trains and allegedly forcing closure of commercial establishments.On January 3, in Mumbai, local trains and Mumbai Metro suspended a number of services; vehicular traffic, too, came to a halt, and many schools, colleges and offices remained shut. Similar protests brought life to a stop in every district. Violence erupted in Mumbai, Aurangabad, and Kolhapur, among other places. The bandh was arguably the biggest since 1997, when Dalit organisations protested against police firing at Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar, Ghatkopar. This bandh served as a potent reminder of Dalit strength and brought Mr. Ambedkar back into the reckoning as a political force and voice of Dalit aspirations.last_img read more