Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Three graduate members from the Madison Plains FFA chapter recently received the highest degree attainable in the FFA, the American Degree.The three were recognized at the 87th annual National FFA Convention in Louisville Kentucky. The Degree requires the recipients to meet specific extensive requirements. This year’s recipients included Roger Mason, Rachel Garrison, and Ethan Fryer. These three members combined made a total community economic impact of $98,000 over their four years of agriculture education. And dedicated over 9,509 hours of their time to their home chapter.The Madison Plains FFA Chapter is very proud to see its members go so far and would like to congratulate them on their hard work.
How can you design buildings without being passionate about how they are built and the materials they’re made from? How can you engineer something strictly by the numbers, sneering at the “artytechs” who actually care about the user experience?When I was a junior in high school beginning to consider what I would study in college and do with my life, I was torn between pursuing architecture and engineering. I had already spent a few summers working as a carpenter and painter, and my favorite TV show was This Old House. I knew I wanted to build things, but after talking to practicing architects and engineers, I was dismayed by the rift between the two disciplines.A visit to Tedd Benson’s timber frame workshop gave me the answer. Dr. Ben Brungraber, Benson’s engineer, told me that there was a discipline that blended the two fields: architectural engineering. You mean, I can study the art and the science of building?Well, it turns out that while architectural engineers receive a liberal education in the science of building, we don’t fit neatly into a box. And an architectural engineer who spends 10 years as a nomadic carpenter really doesn’t fit neatly into a box.Not that I’m a big fan of conforming, but after working with architects, engineers, and builders of all sorts, I now understand where I do fit in. I’m a designer with special interests in green building and building science, and sensitive to the nature of building materials. The problem is that I can’t call myself an architect because I don’t have the right degree. I spent my 20s working as a carpenter and learning how to run a small business; for the last few years, I’ve been designing and managing projects. So last winter I decided to go back to school.Although I started my first semester looking to just get through it as quickly as possible, it turned out to be a refreshing, exploratory, intense (and time-consuming!) semester. During work hours, I met with new clients, drew kitchen details with Autocad or Sketchup, sized ridge beams, and argued with a vendor who supplied us with leaky doors. At 3 p.m. twice a week, I drove an hour to hand-draft and build paper models of theoretical projects through which we explored “spatial typologies,” “limitations of method,” and other abstract ideas. Several times I had to leave the three-hour classes early, skipping out on such discussions as the differences between two-point perspective and three-point perspective so that I could keep an evening meeting with a client to discuss bathroom budgets and the relative merits of dense-pack cellulose versus closed-cell foam insulation.Weekends became sleepless work-a-thons, painstakingly hand-drafting plans and elevations, concentrating on line value and rendering shadows accurately, or attempting to finish a model for a Monday afternoon class presentation. At work the next day, I would crank out shop drawings for a custom home theater, size another ridge beam, or discuss stormwater management strategies. Then I would zip off to the class, which consisted mostly of 20-somethings, with an instructor in his mid-30s like me.What I learned, now that I’ve caught up on my sleep and had a chance to reflect, is best summed up by our final project, a nondenominational “sacred space.” We were to work with an actual site for the first time and to think deeply about what we wanted the user to experience, but not to worry about frivolous details such as budget, construction techniques, or the location of the bathroom. Three elements were required in the design: an entry that incorporated the idea of a transition from unprotected to protected space; a stair that expressed the concept of circulation and connection; and a culminating space that fostered a sense of sanctuary, peace, and self-reflection.I had some fun with the drawings, using a night scene with the building lit from within to expose the structure in the elevation pictured above. But the project really made me think about the design process and the homes we design. It’s easy to focus on the nuts and bolts, solving the problem at hand. It’s up to the designer, however, to inject some “sacred” into the spaces we create and to really consider the user experience. It’s also the designer’s responsibility to keep from getting stuck in a box.
Mr. Green, who was addressing Thursday’s (July 20) staging of a workshop held at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, lamented that the document has been in the planning stage for the past 15 years, and stressed that it is time to have it completed and presented to Cabinet for approval. State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence (NPACV) is to be finalised within six months.This will follow a revision of the document which will incorporate recommendations to come out of a workshop focusing on the plan’s continued development.The goal of the NPACV is to create and maintain a protective environment, supportive of and responsive to the issues of violence, child abuse and maltreatment of children in Jamaica.Mr. Green, who was addressing Thursday’s (July 20) staging of a workshop held at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, lamented that the document has been in the planning stage for the past 15 years, and stressed that it is time to have it completed and presented to Cabinet for approval.He noted that the plan is not to “reinvent the wheel,” but for all stakeholders to work together one final time to “review what we have done so far, update as much as possible and come out of this with a clear direction to ensure that we can have a national plan to treat with the issue of violence against our children.”The plan, which is to be implemented over a five-year period, involves collaboration among several Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments, civil society groups and other stakeholders.In his remarks, State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., said the problems cannot be solved in isolation, noting that he is pleased to see all the stakeholders working together to enhance mechanisms to protect the nation’s children.“It is the only approach for us to be successful and to have a sustainable solution to the problems that face our children,” he said.Senator Charles Jr. called for all involved to “continue to challenge the system, and where there are gaps, where there are deficiencies continue to work together to see how we can solve those issues (regarding violence against children),” he urged.The core objective of the NPACV is to reduce the impact of violence against children through an integrated approach to prevention, control, intervention responses, monitoring and evaluation.This is to ensure that the rights of children are preserved, and that an environment is created to stimulate their positive growth and development into productive citizens of Jamaica.The workshop was staged by the Child Development Agency (CDA) and the Youth Ministry, and sought to address the key issues and challenges pertaining to children as victims, perpetrators and witnesses of acts of abuse.Additionally, it was also a demonstration to stakeholders and the country of the Government’s willingness and commitment to take on the issue of violence against the nation’s children and show joint Government and private/public partnerships in tackling the issue.Participants included representatives from the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Health, CDA, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Youth Ministry, Office of the Children’s Registry, Office of the Children’s Advocate, Ministry of Justice, Hear the Children’s Cry, and civil society organisations. Story Highlights State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence (NPACV) is to be finalised within six months. The plan, which is to be implemented over a five-year period, involves collaboration among several Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments, civil society groups and other stakeholders.
zoom The previous year was very weak for newbuild ordering as contracting activity fell to its lowest level in over 30 years in numerical and tonnage terms, according to Clarkson Research.Low levels of newbuild demand have continued to limit ordering across the majority of vessel sectors, and the majority of shipyards have struggled to win orders. However, record ordering activity in the cruise and passenger ferry sectors provided “a degree of positivity” for European yards in 2016.The 480 vessels reported ordered in 2016 represent the lowest level of newbuild contracting in over 20 years. While ordering in the containership and tanker sectors declined, the 48 and 46 vessels that were contracted in the bulker and offshore sectors respectively in 2016 represented record lows.The orders that were placed in 2016 were also smaller when compared to 2015, with owners contracting vessels as single units or in pairs. There were only 10 contracts placed for 5 vessels or more in 2016, compared to 63 contracts in 2015. The number of yards reported to have taken an order for at least one vessel (1,000+ GT) in 2016 fell to just 126, down 47% from last year’s total of 238 yards.A total of 44 Chinese yards were reported to have secured 212 orders of a combined 40 million CGT in 2016, representing a 66% y-o-y decrease in contracting volumes in CGT terms.Eleven South Korean yards were reported to have taken orders for 59 ships of 17.8 million CGT in 2016, down 83% y-o-y in CGT terms, while nineteen Japanese yards reportedly took 64 orders in 2016, and contracting levels declined 89% y-o-y to 1.3 million CGT.Meanwhile, European shipyards secured a reported 93 orders of a combined 3.4 million CGT in 2016. This is the second largest volume of orders in terms of CGT in 2016 and placed European yards ahead of their South Korean and Japanese counterparts for the first time since 1999.Ordering at European yards in 2016 decreased 29% in numerical terms from 2015 levels, however, in terms of CGT contracting increased by 33% y-o-y. This was greatly assisted by record newbuild interest in the cruise and passenger ferry sectors in 2016 and these vessel types account for 83% of the total CGT ordered at European yards in 2016. 15 orders for large cruise ships (100,000+ GT) accounted for 61% of orders in CGT terms. Of the 35 European yards reported to have taken an order in 2016, only seven won a contract in this sector.The weak newbuild ordering “has been felt across most vessel sectors and by most shipbuilders,” according to Clarksons.“The big Asian nations all experienced downturns in contracting, though strong cruise ordering supported some European yards, allowing them to ascend the builder rankings. As we begin 2017, yards in most parts of the world will be hoping for a brighter year,” Clarksons said.