Building Retrofit Proposal Shaved from NYC’s Green Plan

first_imgWith its abundance of high-density residential and commercial buildings, New York City already operates with a relatively high degree of energy efficiency. But many of us who regularly visit the place sometimes struggle with the notion that it could someday be a green-building showcase.Part of that struggle is based purely on perception – the feeling that current economic pressures have pushed energy efficiency down the list of priorities in a town where the building mix includes everything from the architecturally stunning to the regrettable, the dignified to the tacky, the well maintained to the decrepit, and the ambitiously green to the environmentally wasteful.City leaders have decided to impose at least a few new standards on the energy efficiency component of that mix. In an effort to reduce New York’s greenhouse gas emissions, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and many on the city council have been promoting legislation that would further the “ambitiously green” agenda. As affirmed last week, though, lawmaking is rarely easy in New York: the plan’s supporters eliminated a provision from the proposal that would have required buildings of 50,000 sq. ft. or more to be audited for energy efficiency and then, based on audit findings, renovated to improve their performance.A timing issueThe deletion came at the behest of building owners, who cited the lousy economic climate, which includes lenders who are reluctant to offer financing for such projects. Highlighting that constraint, That constraint, a recent story in the New York Times points out, is the fact that the city has only $16 million in federal stimulus funds available for loans toward what would have been about $2.5 billion in private investment for improvements.Supporters of the plan said that the renovation requirement, which was a major component of the overall package of provisions, would have affected about 22,000 buildings and, along with the other initiatives in the plan, would have created 19,000 construction jobs. Those supporters say that even without the renovation requirement, the legislation will still create almost as many jobs, although one local construction-industry group, the Building Trades Employers’ Association, isn’t convinced.“I’d be shocked if 5,000 of those jobs were created,” the association’s president and chief executive, Louis J. Coletti, told the Times. “The world of real estate and construction financing have been upended by the economic crisis.”Building owners still aren’t happy about the likely costs they’ll have to bear when complying with the audit requirement, which remains in the legislation. Audit information would be passed along to tenants to help them identify ways they could cut energy costs. The Times also notes that the plan includes the city’s first energy code for all buildings, along with requirements for lighting upgrades and energy system inspections. In any case, even with the elimination of the renovation requirement, the remaining provisions have prompted at least some of the plan’s supporters to see the glass as half full.“Even though the bill is not as strong, it’s still ahead of the rest of the country,” Ashok Gupta, director of energy policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York, told the paper.last_img read more

Security Forces Going After Gang Leaders – Spencer

first_imgStory Highlights Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, says the Government is taking the formation and participation in gangs very seriously and the security forces will be going after gang leaders and apprehending them. Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, says the Government is taking the formation and participation in gangs very seriously and the security forces will be going after gang leaders and apprehending them.“We will be diminishing their status as heroes within the communities; they will face the full force of the law. Their assets will be seized and any assets [that] they have placed in the names of family members will also be seized. We will ensure that those who align themselves with organised criminal groups will be punished and will be relentlessly pursued,” he said.Mr. Spencer was speaking at the opening ceremony for the ‘Chance, Choice, Change (Triple C)’ Day Camp on Wednesday (September 19) at the Caymanas Golf and Country Club, St. Catherine.The Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, popularly called the ‘anti-gang’ law, is being reviewed to provide clarity about how a gang will be declared and special measures in court proceedings to protect witnesses.The law makes provision for the disruption and suppression of criminal organisations, outlines offences in order to restore a sense of security in the Jamaican society and strengthen the capacity of law-enforcement agencies to deal with crime more effectively.The Triple C Day Camp formed part of activities for Anti- Gang Week 2018 being observed from September 16 to 21 under the theme: ‘Gang Life equals no Life.’More than 50 students who are in conflict with the law and are on probation, attended the one-day camp, which featured special presentations by members of the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).The intervention was organised by C-TOC in collaboration with the Safety and Security Unit of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS).A 2017 study undertaken by the Ministry of National Security reported that there are 274 gangs operating in Jamaica with some 9,000 members. Seventy-seven of these gangs are considered major organised criminal enterprises.The report also stated that there are growing numbers of children within schools who are involved in or associated with gangs.center_img “We will be diminishing their status as heroes within the communities; they will face the full force of the law. Their assets will be seized and any assets [that] they have placed in the names of family members will also be seized. We will ensure that those who align themselves with organised criminal groups will be punished and will be relentlessly pursued,” he said.last_img read more