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‘Mere Inaccuracies In Reporting Cannot Justify Initiation Of Prosecution’: Madras HC Quashes Criminal Defamation Proceedings Against ET Journalist & Editor [Read Judgment]

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first_imgNews Updates’Mere Inaccuracies In Reporting Cannot Justify Initiation Of Prosecution’: Madras HC Quashes Criminal Defamation Proceedings Against ET Journalist & Editor [Read Judgment] Akshita Saxena7 May 2020 1:20 AMShare This – x”There is something called ethical imperative. It envisions that inherent powers go with implicit duties. Courts often nudge and remind the executive that possession of power is coupled with a duty to exercise the same. Judicial power can be no different. When freedom of press which is a fundamental right is at stake, higher judiciary is obliged to exercise not only its inherent power…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?Login”There is something called ethical imperative. It envisions that inherent powers go with implicit duties. Courts often nudge and remind the executive that possession of power is coupled with a duty to exercise the same. Judicial power can be no different. When freedom of press which is a fundamental right is at stake, higher judiciary is obliged to exercise not only its inherent power but also exert itself a bit. An unused power is a useless tinsel. There is no point in merely saying that press is the foundation of democracy.” The Madras High Court on Wednesday quashed the criminal defamation proceedings instituted against the Journalist Sandhya Ravishankar and her husband, also the Editor and Grievances Redressal Officer of the Economic Times, in connection to an article about illegal beach sand mining of atomic minerals along the southern coastline of Tamil Nadu, published in the 2015 issue of the ET Magazine. While doing so, the bench of Justice GR Swaminathan made significant observations with regards the role of higher judiciary in “safeguarding the freedom of press”. “I am clearly of the view that there is no point in merely singing paeans to freedom of press, if one cannot go to its rescue when the said right is faced with a serious threat,” he said while holding that the very institution of the impugned complaint is an abuse of the process of court. The court remarked that when freedom of press which is a fundamental right is at stake, higher judiciary is “obliged” to exercise its inherent powers. Relying on a Supreme Court ruling in State of Madras v. VG Rao, AIR 1952 SC 196, the bench held that courts play the role of “sentinel on the qui vive” to protect the Constitutional rights of citizens. “The sentinel must ever be alert to danger and charge forth when required. The Court can never desert its duty when it comes to protection of fundamental rights. Those observations will apply to the entire higher judiciary,” Justice Swaminathan remarked. Background The Petitioners, Sandhya Ravishankar and her husband had approached the High Court seeking quashing of the criminal defamation case filed against them by a sand mining corporation and the consequent summons issued by the Judicial Magistrate,. It was pointed out that the articles in question were published after the Madras High Court issued notice on PIL filed over illegal beach sand mining. The complainant corporation had alleged that the Petitioners herein, by way of the impugned article, made false statements and undermined their reputation in the public eye and caused them irreparable harm. They had also alleged that Ravishankar’s husband had earlier applied for employment in a news channel in which the Complainant had substantial stakes, and now, she wrote the article out of hatred and malice and to settle scores with the complainant, for having declined to employ her husband. Findings Article based on a PIL The Court noted that the contents of the impugned article were inspired from a PIL filed before the High Court, alleging illicit mining of beach sand minerals. The same was published only after notices were issued on the PIL, including to the complainant-Respondent. Further it observed that even though the original Petitioner in the case was relieved from the proceedings for lacking in bonafides but, “the PIL did not get terminated or closed”. Rather, the court took cognizance of the allegation that illicit sand mining was still going on. In face of this factual matrix, the High Court remarked, “The fact that the Hon’ble Division Bench is actively seized of the matter is more than sufficient to indicate the importance of the issue raised by the third petitioner…” Case falls within Exception 3 The court upheld the Petitioners’ argument that their case fell within the third exception to Section 499 of IPC, on criminal defamation. As per the third exception, criminal defamation proceedings would not be attracted if a publication is carried out in good faith and on a public question. Accordingly the court held, “The article penned by the third petitioner raised an issue in which the people at large definitely have an interest. The article has been published only in the wake of the notice issued by the Hon’ble First Bench of the Madras High Court. When the Hon’ble First Bench thought it fit to issue notice based on the allegations made by a litigant and when it raised a public question, the media is certainly entitled to carry a story on it. This is something that would on the very face of it fall within Exception No.3 to Section 499 IPC.” Mere inaccuracies in reporting cannot justify initiation of prosecution In light of an American ruling in New York Times vs. Sullivan 376 U.S 254, the bench held that “minor errors” in reporting do not call for initiation of criminal proceedings against the media. In the said case, the US Supreme Court had held that “Erroneous statements” were “inevitable in free debate” and therefore, the very existence of free debate required the protection of such statements, the bench quoted from Book titled “Offend, Shock or Disturb”, authored by Gautam Bhatia. The above decision of was later cited with approval by the Supreme Court in R. Rajagopal v. State of Tamil Nadu (1994) 6 SCC 632, whereby it was held that “Where the publication is based upon the facts and statements which are not true, unless the official establishes that the publication was made (by the defendant) with reckless disregard for truth. In such a case, it would be enough for the defendant (member of the press or media) to prove he acted after a reasonable verification of the facts; it is not necessary for him to prove that what he has written is true…” The “Sullivan principle” was further amplified by a division bench of the Madras High Court in Rajagopal v. J. Jayalalitha, AIR 2006 Mad 312. Highlighting the same, Justice Swaminathan clarified, “There can always be a margin of error. The permissible width of the margin will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The media can avail this defence whether the complainant is a public official or a private entity. Mere inaccuracies in reporting cannot justify initiation of prosecution.” In this backdrop, having found no material to substantiate the allegations and for the reason that a PIL on the subject matter was pending before a division bench of the High Court, the court conclude that it was best suited to quash the criminal complaint. In doing so the he also highlighted the crucial role played by the judiciary in upholding the independence of the fourth pillar of democracy. “If a summary examination of the materials produced by the accused can bring their case within one of the Exceptions, I can give relief to the petitioners here itself instead of making them undergo the ordeal of trial. Such an activist role will have to be played by the higher judiciary because it is a matter of record that criminal defamation proceedings have become a tool of intimidation and before corporate bodies and powerful politicians whose pockets are tunnel deep and whose hands are long even media houses having good resources have capitulated,” he held. Wife-an independent personality Maneuvering its “activist role”, the bench went on to recognize the capacity of a wife “to act independently and make her own free choice”. Condemning the allegations that Ravishankar had penned the article at the behest of her husband, the court observed that the same “undermines the agency” of a woman. “If I accept the contention of the complainant’s counsel, that would undermine the agency of the woman concerned. This concept of agency has considerable philosophical import and was evolved by the feminists during the last century. The complainant wants me to assume that the third petitioner lacks personal autonomy. The third petitioner definitely has the capacity to act independently and make her own free choice. I cannot assume that the third petitioner was a pawn or tool at the hands of her husband. Her innate dignity can be upheld only by deleting the fourth petitioner from the array of accused,” he held. The observation was made in the backdrop of a finding that the complainant had not placed any material before the Court to show that the husband was a complicit in the writing of the impugned article. Procedural Irregularities The court also pointed out various procedural irregularities inherent in the criminal proceedings pending before the Trial Court. It noted that the Petitioner-husband had not been named and was addressed on the basis of the title held by him at his company. Discouraging such practice, the court highlighted that where the accused is an individual, he/ she will have to be named in person with appropriate description. If the accused is not named in person and is merely referred to by designation, the court ought to return the complaint as defective. In this case however, the bench noted, “the trial magistrate appears to have mechanically taken cognizance of the offences even without noting that the A1 and A2 have not been named in person at all. That apart, there is absolutely no allegation whatsoever against the first petitioner. Merely because he has not redressed the grievance projected by the complainant, he cannot be accused of having committed the offence of defamation. Therefore, I have no hesitation to come to the conclusion that the impugned proceedings deserve to be quashed as regards the petitioners 1 and 2.” Further on the aspect of territorial jurisdiction the bench held, “A mere look at the cause title would have revealed that the accused are not residing within the jurisdictional limits of Judicial Magistrate No. I, Tirunelveli. But without holding any enquiry, summons were issued. The learned trial magistrate has not taken note of the mandate set out in Section 202 of Cr.PC. Thus, there has been no application of mind while taking cognizance of the offences.” in a concluding remark the court said, “The petitioners 2 and 3 cannot be said to have defamed the complainant by publishing the article in question. The very institution of the impugned complaint is an abuse of the process of court. Quashing the same alone would secure the ends of justice. I have already held that there is absolutely no material whatsoever against the petitioners 1 and 4. The impugned proceedings are accordingly quashed and this criminal original petition stands allowed. Connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.” Case Details: Case Title: Grievances Redressal Officer, M/s.Economic Times Internet Ltd. & Ors. v. M/s.V.V.Minerals Pvt.Ltd. & Anr. Case No.: Crl OP (MD) No. 9067/2016 Quorum: Justice GR Swaminathan Appearance: Advocate Anand Chandrasekar for Advocate P. Muthuvijaya Pandian (for Petitioners); Advocate V. Lakshminarayanan for M/s Kingsly Solomon (for Respondents) Click Here To Download Judgment Read Judgment Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Doherty seeking support for bill to curtail vulture funds

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first_img DL Debate – 24/05/21 Harps come back to win in Waterford Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty Doherty seeking support for bill to curtail vulture funds News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Pinterest Pinterest Previous articlePublic meeting to discuss future of InishtrahullNext articleTanaiste claims Good Friday Agreement ‘shaken’ by Johnson News Highland By News Highland – September 13, 2019 Facebook FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 Google+center_img WhatsApp Facebook WhatsApp The Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson is urging people to put pressure on Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to support his No Consent, No Sale Bill, which would curtail the rights of banks sell homes to vulture funds.Deputy Pearse Doherty says Permanent TSB’s planned sale of nearly €300 million worth of loans is unacceptable, particularly as the Government is a majority shareholder.The Donegal TD was speaking after it emerged that 11 home repossession orders were granted in Donegal between January and June this year, nine of them relating to family homes.He says the Dail has the means to take action…………Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/pearsvulture.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. AudioHomepage BannerNews RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Derry draw with Pats: Higgins & Thomson Reaction Twitter Twitter Google+last_img read more

MX Oil shareholders to vote on name change, share capital consolidation

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first_imgAIM quoted oil and gas investment company MX Oil is planning a name change following a recent investment by a UAE shaikh. The company is also looking to consolidate its share capital in a push to lift its share price.OML 113 containing the Aje field in which MX Oil owns a share; Source: PanoroIn a circular to shareholders on Wednesday, MX Oil, which owns a share in the oil-producing Aje offshore oil field in Nigeria, said that a resolution would be placed before its shareholders at the next general meeting to vote on a name change from MX Oil to ADM Energy plc.“The Company has been considering a change of name for some time. The rationale for the name change to ADM Energy plc follows the recent strategic investment by Shaikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Al Maktoum. The Company’s strategic investor has an extensive network of influential contacts within the oil and gas industry and the Board regards his support for the Company as an important opportunity.”Shaikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Al Maktoum in April acquired 1,335,000,000 MX Oil shares and is now the company’s largest shareholder with 29.86% of issued share capital.Subject to shareholder approval, once the company has formally changed its name, the company will also change its ticker from MXO to ADME.Shareholders will also vote on, among others, a resolution to consolidate share capital of the company.“It is expected that, immediately prior to the General Meeting, the Company will have 4,471,349,664 Existing Ordinary Shares in issue… The Directors consider that it is in the best interests of the Company’s long term development as a public quoted company to have a more manageable number of issued ordinary shares and to have a higher share price.”Accordingly, it is proposed that the Company’s share capital be reorganized such that every 100 Existing Ordinary Shares be consolidated into 1 new ordinary share of 1 pence. The MX Oil general meeting will be held on June 7 in London.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Offshore Energy Today, established in 2010, is read by over 10,000 industry professionals daily. We had nearly 9 million page views in 2018, with 2.4 million new users. This makes us one of the world’s most attractive online platforms in the space of offshore oil and gas and allows our partners to get maximum exposure for their online campaigns. If you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today contact our marketing manager Mirza Duran for advertising options.last_img read more

Guide to the history and importance of Robben Island

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first_imgAs a symbol of the brutality of South Africa’s apartheid past and of the immense courage of those who fought for the country’s freedom, Robben Island, about 12km offshore from Cape Town, is a pivotal beacon in the history of South Africa.(Image: The Robben Island Museum)Brand South Africa reporterThe island was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in 1999.In its description of the site, Unesco writes: “The buildings of Robben Island bear eloquent testimony to its sombre history, and at the same time symbolise the triumph of the human spirit, of freedom, and of democracy over oppression.”‘Unwanted’ peopleAlthough people lived on Robben Island thousands of years before the sea separated it from the Cape mainland, it was used as a place to house “unwanted” people – mostly prisoners – from the mid-1600s, when the Dutch colonised the Cape, to the late 20th century. It was also used as a military base during the Second World War.Those who fought against Dutch colonisation in southern and eastern Africa, religious Muslim leaders, opponents of British empire building in Africa, prisoners of war, criminals, leprosy sufferers, mentally ill patients, and more recently opponents of the apartheid government, were all packed off to Robben Island.As author Lawrence Green wrote: Robben Island was “an island of exiles”.The windswept island, with its astounding legacy of confinement and brutality for those exiled there – and its paradoxical existence as a sanctuary for bird and animal life – is a place of mystery and amazement to the many who visit it.Memories of brutalityFor the many freedom fighters imprisoned there, including Nelson Mandela, who was incarcerated for 27 years, and Pan Africanist Congress leader Robert Sobukwe, who was housed there in solitary confinement, Robben Island holds less mystery and more torrid memories of brutality, isolation and victimisation.But the island is remembered just as much as the site where anti-apartheid activists honed their principles of non-racialism and human rights, where they educated themselves – and their prison warders – and strengthened their resolve to attain freedom.As African National Congress (ANC) stalwart and former Robben Island prisoner Ahmed Kathrada remarked around the time of Mandela’s release from prison: “While we will not forget the brutality of apartheid, we will not want Robben Island to be a monument to our hardship and suffering. We would want Robben Island to be a monument . reflecting the triumph of the human spirit against the forces of evil. A triumph of non-racialism over bigotry and intolerance. A triumph of a new South Africa over the old.”Kathrada’s wish has been realised. On 1 January 1997, Robben Island became the home to the Robben Island Museum, a national museum and monument that displays its astounding history to the many tourists who flock there in search of more information and understanding about South Africa’s past.Website: www.robben-island.org.zaA place to learn about SA’s democracyThe museum is also a place of learning, with workshops, tours and camps for children and adults keen to learn about both historical and modern-day South Africa and its embracing of a culture of human rights and respect for ethnic, cultural and religious diversity.Daily tours are offered, weather permitting, leaving from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront. The tour is three-and-a-half hours long, including the two half-hour ferry rides. It is a good idea to pre-book your ticket through the website.Visitors can expect an enriching experience. There’s plenty to see on the island: from the maximum security prison that held political prisoners, to the memorabilia of prisoners incarcerated there, to the quarry mines where prisoners were forced to dig, to the church, to the many buildings dating back to the Second World War. There’s a small village where the island’s main centre is located.Bird sanctuaryRobben Island generates its own electricity and is involved in a research initiative to draw electricity from the strong waves that pound its shores. It also gets its water from nine boreholes.The island is a natural sanctuary for bird life – the northern part is a bird sanctuary – and has about 132 bird species, some of which are endangered.Many birds use the island for breeding purposes, including the Crowned Cormorant and Black-crowned Night Herons that flock to the island in numbers. The African Penguin, once close to extinction, also breeds prolifically on the island.Plant life also thrives on Robben Island, but farming and the introduction of exotic species have upset the natural fauna to some extent. The spectacular veld flowers typical of the West Coast also occur on the Island during spring.There are 23 species of mammals, including small herds of bontebok, springbok, steenbok, fallow deer and eland. Ostrich, lizards, geckos, snakes and tortoises also call the island home.Marine life around Robben Island is also rich, and the ferry trip offers tourists a chance to spot Cape fur seals, southern right whales and dusky and heavyside dolphins.Source: South African History OnlineWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Vapor Barriers, Radon, Basement Slabs, and VOCs — How to Stop the Poison?

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first_imgHow’s this for a dicey scenario: Arlene DiMarino is a homeowner with chemical sensitivities who lives a couple of blocks away from an EPA Superfund site.“I am aware of a toxic plume of underground water that is close by,” she writes in a Q&A post. “I am concerned that these VOCs can permeate the cement floor and foundation.”She plans to pour another layer of concrete over the existing basement slab. This will give her an opportunity to insert a vapor barrier to block any toxins from migrating into the house. But what’s the best product to use?Alternatives to 6-mil polyAs GBA senior editor Martin Holladay points out, concrete itself is a good air barrier, as long as any cracks that develop are sealed with caulk.But, he adds, it’s important to install a vapor barrier — typically 6-mil polyethylene with taped seams — under any concrete slab. Air Barrier or Vapor Barrier? (podcast)RELATED ARTICLES 7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 1. The BasementVapor Retarders and Vapor BarriersForget Vapor Diffusion — Stop the Air Leaks!Radon and Air TightnessGreen Basement Renovation: Adding Under a HomeGreen Basics: Foundation Drains Vapor Barriers Are a Good Thing, Right?CONSTRUCTION DETAILS RELATED MULTIMEDIAcenter_img Other points of view are quick to emerge, like this flat statement from Robert Riversong: “I would never use standard 6-mil polyethylene under a concrete slab.”Instead, Riversong recommends a product called Tu-Tuf, a robust, cross-laminated, 4-mm-thick plastic that’s advertised as free of pinholes. (It’s made by Sto-Cote Products and sold widely over the Internet.)David Meiland suggests a product called Stego Wrap, which is 15 mils thick and said by the manufacturer to resist tears, splits, and punctures.There’s also something called SlabShield, writes Andy Ault. SlabShield combines two layers of polyethylene and one of aluminum. The polyethylene sandwich protects the aluminum, a highly effective vapor barrier, from lime in the concrete. The manufacturer also claims that SlabShield provides a thermal break.Ault says he used SlabShield on a Habitat for Humanity LEED Platinum project and was pleased with the result.“It is much stronger than typical 6-mil, so it is designed for that type of rugged application that Robert alluded to,” Ault writes. “We had volunteers walking on it, and it never missed a beat. The ship-lap edge design also gave us a high comfort level that the taped seams will perform well.”Yet another possibility, writes Craig, is Red Guard, a waterproofing and crack-prevention membrane made by Custom Building Products.“Typically it is used under tile, and it is being used in some applications as a shower pan liner,” Craig says. “It seems perfect for a situation between slabs because it acts as a crack isolation membrane and vapor barrier, so it should seal any cracks in the original slab and prevent any new cracks from leaking vapor through. “A building scientist disagreesAs posters recommend tougher and tougher vapor barriers, Garth Sproule points to a conversation with Joseph Lstiburek, who couldn’t care less if a sub-slab layer of plastic has a few holes in it.Even if Arlene were to don a pair of golf spikes and walk all over her plastic vapor barrier, it would still do a pretty good job, Lstiburek says in a Green Building Advisor podcast. “So what’s the total surface area of the punctures compared to the total surface area of the plastic?” he says. “If I’m there for about two hours, maybe it’s 10 percent. So I basically have reduced the vapor control layer effectiveness of that plastic sheet by 10 percent.”When the barrier is topped by four inches of concrete, she’ll have a very effective air barrier and “a darn good vapor retarder.“So I haven’t increased, even from a measurable perspective, the amount of water vapor transmission from the ground into the floor with the ripped and torn plastic sheet,” Lstiburek says. “That’s why I always laugh at the people that say, ‘Well, you gotta tape the joints and you gotta be careful not to puncture it.’ Give me a break!”Replies Riversong: “I disagree with Dr. Joe. With a good sub-slab radon-mitigation system that effectively depressurizes the soil, an intact concrete slab might be good enough. But, if there is any positive soil gas pressure, then no concrete slab will be tight enough to prevent radon intrusion, which can pass through a crack too small for the eye to see.”What about a real radon-mitigation system?In new construction, the area beneath the basement slab is often vented to the outside, giving radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, a way to escape. The vent can be passive or powered by a fan.This is the retrofit measure recommended by Riversong, who suggests removing the existing concrete slab, and adding a layer of crushed stone and a perforated pipe connected to a roof vent.Others agree. “Pulling everything existing and starting from scratch is never a bad strategy,” writes Ault, “but that will at least double your cost (if not more), so you need to be sure that the cost/benefit ratio makes sense for you.”As Ault points out, ceiling height also is a concern. If a new slab lowers the basement ceiling height to less than 7 feet, it could be a code problem should Arlene or a future owner want to make the basement a living space.Our expert’s opinionHere’s GBA Technical Director Peter Yost’s opinion:Looking at Arlene’s basement problem from the radon perspective is a good one, in my bookIn my own home, with a leaky basement floor and no spare head height at all, and a radon problem exacerbated by the installation of spray foam insulation on the basement walls, I tried a variety of ways to air seal the radon out, to no avail.If you can’t keep it out, flush it outAnd when I called a local radon technician to see about a sub-slab depressurization system solution, he let me know that it was unlikely that he could pull hard enough with even two fans to depressurize such a leaky slab. So our solution was a heat-recovery ventilator servicing just the basement.But exhaust fans use energyThe HRV drove the radon concentration well below the EPA threshold of 4 pico-curies per liter. It was a practical, easy solution to a soil gas problem, albeit with a steady energy penalty (our FanTech HRV pulls about 1 watt per cfm on any of the three 100/150/200 cfm settings).If you can’t give up the height, and you don’t have the stomach to completely redo your basement slab, I would go after any potential or actual soil gas problem with some sort of exhaust strategy, purchasing the highest-efficiency fan your money can buy (there are HRVs in the GBA Product Guide with efficiencies up to more than 5 cfm per watt).One way to offset the extra energy useOne last note: I reduce the energy penalty of our HRV in the late fall/winter/early spring by hanging our wash in the basement. The HRV easily handles (by exhaust exchange) the 4 pounds of water left in a load after our horizontal-axis washer is done with it. And I’ve checked the interior relative humidity in the basement to verify that this approach is not a problem; it barely bumps the interior RH. Sub-Slab Retrofit for Radon VentUnderground Water Barrier Retrofit (Rubber Membrane)Underground Water Barrier Retrofit (6-Mil Poly)last_img read more

Report on Our Ductless Minisplit Heat Pump

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first_imgIt’s been pretty chilly outside, if you haven’t noticed. A number of people have asked me how our air-source heat pump is making out in the cold weather. I wrote about the system last fall, well before we had moved in. Is it keeping us warm? We’ve only been living in the house for a few weeks, but here’s a quick report.So far, so good. Our 18,000 Btu/hour Mitsubishi mini-split heat pump (MSZ FE18NA indoor unit and MUZ FE18 outdoor unit) is doing remarkably well in keeping us comfortable. We don’t have any oil or gas heating in the house, only the electric heat pump and a small wood stove that we’ve fired up twice so far. The indoor heat pump unit is mounted on a wall next to our kitchen, and it’s been operating pretty steadily in this cold weather. (Even though we’ve heated with wood for decades and have all the wood we could ever use, I’ve been curious how the house will do just on electricity, so have refrained from using the wood stove.)A thermometer in a bookcase on an outside wall diagonally across the kitchen-dining-living space from the heating unit is reading 66°F as I write this, with the outside temperature about 12°F. A thermometer in our upstairs bedroom read 70° when I got up this morning, and has typically been about 68° — and remarkably uniform. RELATED ARTICLES GBA Encyclopedia: Ductless Minisplit Heat PumpsJust Two Minisplits Heat and Cool the Whole House Will Minisplits Replace Forced-Air Heating and Cooling Systems?Installing a Ductless Minisplit SystemTwo Years With a Minisplit Heat PumpLooking for the Best Minisplit OptionMinisplit Heat Pumps and Zero-Net-Energy HomesHeating a Tight, Well-Insulated HouseNew Englanders Love Heat PumpsLoving My MinisplitsAre Seven Heads Better Than Three? Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. Monitoring our energy consumptionWe have an eMonitor (made by PowerWise Systems of Blue Hill, Maine) installed to track the home’s overall electrical consumption as well as the consumption of a number of individual loads. The monitor has clips that clamp onto different circuits in the electrical panel as well as the electrical main coming into the panel, and it somehow measures electricity flow through those cables. We’re tracking consumption separately for our heat pump heating system, our heat-pump water heater, and our heat-recovery ventilator.Most of the time the air-source heat pump has been drawing about 2,500 watts, with very brief spikes up to about 3,400 watts (I suppose those spikes occur when a pump or fan kicks on). To put this in perspective, the 2,500 watts in the standard heating mode is about twice what our KitchenAid toaster draws (1,200 watts), though of course the toaster operates for only short periods of time.Since we hooked up the eMonitor and started collecting data (five days ago), our Mitsubishi heat pump has used 221 kWh of electricity — during a fairly cold stretch. This is about what the entire solar-electric system on our barn cranked out during this period — and roughly three times the output of that portion of our PV system allocated to the house. (It’s a “group-net-metered” system, with two-thirds of the output going to neighboring homes.)It will be interesting to look at this data over the course of months and years to see how the electricity consumption averages out over time and  how that compares to our solar production. Heat distribution with point-source heatingBecause our heat source is on a downstairs wall, I had been very curious how effectively heat would be distributed throughout our 1,600-square-foot house. The main kitchen-dining-living space keeps a fairly even temperature in the high-60s. A downstairs study or guest room at the far corner of the house and separated from the heat pump by a hallway and doors (with the door open) stays a little cooler, though watching a movie there last night was fine with a sweater.Upstairs, the bedroom on the north side of the house has maintained a remarkably constant 68-70°F on all but the coldest nights. When the outside temperature dipped to -6°F, our bedroom dropped to the mid-60s. Last night, with the outside temperature down to 7.5°F, we actually closed our door to keep the bedroom a bit cooler, and the temperature dropped from 70°F to 67.8 by morning.I don’t have a thermometer in the south bedroom, which is being used as a home office by my wife, but it feels about the same. There are two double-hung windows instead of a single casement window, so there is certainly more air leakage, but there is also solar gain through those windows. The bottom lineAll in all, we are very satisfied with the air-source heat pump. It works well, in large part because our house is so energy efficient. This is a superb heating option (and cooling, by the way) for a house with a very well-insulated building envelope. Once we install the low-e storm windows on the double-hung windows on the south and east sides of the house, we should do somewhat better. (With our superinsulated house, the south and east windows are a weak point, both relative to air leakage and R-value.)And on a cost per delivered BTU basis, with the air-source heat pump we’re spending just 58% of what we would spend on oil heat (assuming an Energy Star oil boiler operating at 83% efficiency with #2 heating oil at $3.91 per gallon vs. electric heat in an air-source heat pump with a coefficient of performance of 2.25 and electricity costing 15¢ per kWh). (You can plug in your own assumptions and compare fuels on BuildingGreen’s online calculator.)Plus, on an annual basis we should be producing as much electricity with solar as we consume — net-zero-energy. So we’re pretty happy. Warm and happy. When the mercury dropped to –6°F a few days ago, the house got colder. I saw one reading on the outside wall downstairs as low as 61°F and our bedroom got down to about 65°F. It was chilly enough that I fired up our small wood stove for the first time, and that fairly quickly raised the downstairs temperature to a comfortable 68°F. With our tight construction there are few drafts.last_img read more

Giving Back: Managing Stress and Money During the Holidays

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first_imgBy: Molly Herndon, MS and Jason M. Jowers, MS MFTPixabay[Christmas Snowman by PublicDomainPictures on April 5, 2014, CC0]The holiday season is here and with it comes holiday cheer and, often, holiday stress. Self-care is very important in working through emotional and financial stress during the holidays. Read more about ways to manage holiday stress here.The holiday season is a great time to talk with your kids about money. When children ask for big-ticket items, use the moment as an opportunity to talk about money and budgeting. Dr. Jennifer Hunter shares some great tips on Holiday Shopping on a Budget in this podcast.Neale Godfrey, our latest presenter in our Family Finances webinar series, is an expert in raising financially responsible children. Godfrey’s recent webinar covered ways our own financial management style influences our children’s, and ways we can improve their understanding of smart money management. The recording of this webinar is available now. Click here to watch the recording and to find quizzes and other resources to support parents working to teach their children financial responsibility, under Event Materials.Charity is a huge component in instilling the values of giving back to their community and to those less fortunate. Look for ways you and your children can work together to benefit those in need this season. And don’t forget, one of your most important asset to share with others is your time – this is an important lesson to share with kids, too.  Here is a list of volunteer opportunities for families. This blog was written by Molly Herndon, Programming Coordinator for MFLN Personal Finance and Jason Jowers, Programming Specialist for MFLN Family Development.last_img read more

Archer Tagle settles for silver in recurve event

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first_imgNicole Marie Tagle. Photo from Philippine Sports Commission Facebook pageArcher Nicole Marie Tagle settled for silver in the individual women’s recurve, bowing to Diananda Choirunisa of Indonesia in the gold medal match in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games Sunday at National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia.Engaged in a tight battle, the final went down to the fifth set before the 15-year-old Dumaguete native yielded to the top-seeded Choirunisa, 4-6.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LATEST STORIES LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Uichico, Gilas confident as PH shoots for 18th basketball gold SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief MOST READ Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Tagle earlier beat Myanmar’s Thida New in the semifinals, 6-2, to assure herself of the podium finish.It was still a triumphant campaign for Tagle, who gave the Philippines its second silver medal in the biennial meet.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMale standouts Luis Gabriel Moreno and Florante Matan missed out on advancing to the semifinals of the individual men’s recurve.Rogelio Miguel Tremedal, Mark Javier, Pia Elizabeth Biduare, Kareel Meer Hongitan, and Mary Queen Ybañez all failed to progress to the quarterfinals. View comments WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more

Second Indo-Bhutan Friendship Car Rally flagged off

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first_imgItanagar, Nov 21 (PTI) Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig (Retd) B D Mishra flagged off here today the second Indo?Bhutan Friendship Car Rally 2017 which has 17 participants. Addressing the participants prior to the flag off, the governor hoped that the event would help in cementing the age-old relationship between India and Bhutan and provide a platform for exposure of traditional and cultural association and their tourism potential.He said the rally would enhance people-to-people contacts between India and Bhutan.”It will also showcase the potential for adventure and motor sports in Arunachal Pradesh,? he said and called upon the participants from both the countries to carry the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India and Bhutan would stand as one to face any adversity.The rally has been organised by the International Friendship Car Rally Association of Dirang and sponsored by state tourism department along with Hyundai and Nissan companies.The rallyists would travel through Itanagar?Basar ? Mechuka-Guwahati-Phuentsoling and end at Thimpu on November 28.The Indian team is being led by Everester from Arunachal Pradesh Anshu Jamsenpa. Karma Lhatrul Dorji Rinpoche is leading the Bhutanese team. PTI UPL KK KKlast_img read more