Share this article View post tag: Revamp View post tag: Naval View post tag: Vengeance View post tag: HMS UK: HMS Vengeance Prepares for Revamp March 2, 2012 View post tag: News by topic Back to overview,Home naval-today UK: HMS Vengeance Prepares for Revamp View post tag: prepares One of the Britain’s most potent weapons is bowing out of service for the next three-and-a-half years – as her sister prepares to resume duties after a similar amount of time away from the front line. Nuclear deterrent submarine HMS Vengeance held a ‘de-dedication’ service on the eve of a £300m revamp in Devonport, where HMS Vigilant is about to emerge from the same complex revamp.After 11 years of providing the nation’s round-the-clock strategic deterrent, nuclear submarine HMS Vengeance is preparing for a three-and-a-half year revamp, which HMS Vigilant is on the cusp of emerging from.To mark the end of the first chapter of the life of the Faslane-based boat, a ‘de-dedication’ ceremony was held to thank all those who serve in Vengeance – and their families who support them.Around 150 family and friends met at the Clyde Off-Site Centre in Rhu for the ceremony, with the boat’s sponsor, Lady Sandra Robertson also attending. Witnessing the ceremony was Commodore of the Faslane Flotilla, Commodore Garrett and many former commanding officers of the vessel, while the Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland provided suitable musical accompaniment.After the ceremony, the crew, VIPs and guests travelled the short distance to HM Naval Base Clyde’s Supermess where the event was marked by a cake cutting ceremony.The youngest sailor on board HMS Vengeance, 19-year-old ET Shane McPherson, was given the honour along with the wife of the current Commanding Officer, Mrs Diane Blythe.Events drew to a close with a ship’s company dinner and dance at Scotland’s national football stadium, Hampden Park. Lady Robertson and her husband, former Secretary of State for Defence Lord George Robertson, were in attendance along with around 180 fellow guests.Vengeance will be the last of the V-boats to undergo the complex and demanding Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) at the specially-built complex in Devonport Naval Base.There her reactor will be refuelled to power her to the end of her active life in the late 2020s. In addition, new equipment will be fitted, existing kit overhauled, and systems and living spaces upgraded.And as the days of Vengeance draw to a close, the Vigilant era is about to resume; the penultimate submarine in the class emerges from her revamp in the same Devonport facility imminently.It has taken more than £300m, a dedicated team of some 2,000 experts from the Royal Navy, MoD and Babcock, and 2.3 million man hours to prepare Vigilant for the second half of her active life.In all, 26,000 items were removed from the 16,000-tonne leviathan and overhauled, 400 systems aboard thoroughly tested and 32,000 litres of paint (enough to fill the fuel tanks of more than 550 Ford Focus cars) applied to Vigilant’s 491ft hull.The boat arrived in Devonport in the autumn of 2008, refuelling was completed in November 2010 and waters lapped around her hull once more in June 2011, since when she’s undergone thorough testing ahead of sea trials this spring month and her return to Faslane.Phil Smith, project manager at Babcock, said the revamp of Vigilant had been “a significant achievement by all – and one to be proud of. The team is now working hard to ensure that Vigilant is ready to leave Devonport, capable of fulfilling her role well into the 21st Century.” [mappress]Naval Today Staff , March 02, 2012; Image: navy View post tag: Navy Industry news
View post tag: Maritime View post tag: Demonstrate August 29, 2012 View post tag: News by topic General Dynamics Canada will demonstrate its breadth of maritime defence capabilities at DEFSEC Atlantic 2012 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 5-7. General Dynamics is one of Canada’s leading defence systems integrators with extensive experience in handling multi-year projects of national significance, scope and scale. At DEFSEC, General Dynamics Canada will showcase its technology-based electronic systems, systems integration and in-service support offerings, with particular emphasis on new features and capabilities of its underwater ISR technology, including anti-submarine warfare and torpedo detection.Underwater Warfare Sonar Processing and Display Software Suite – New capabilities in anti-submarine warfare and torpedo detection will be demonstrated on a naval console running General Dynamics Canada’s latest software, which integrates towed arrays, hull-mounted sensors and sonobuoys to provide a clear and comprehensive picture of underwater threats.In-Service Support – Members of the In-Service Support team will be available to discuss their integrated engineering approach and their expertise designing comprehensive support systems for the maintenance of platforms throughout their in-service life.C-27J Canadian Spartan Team – Alenia Aermacchi’s C-27J Spartan is one of the most capable, cost-effective, and uncompromising search and rescue aircraft available today. General Dynamics Canada is teamed with Alenia Aermacchi, Provincial Aerospace and DRS Canada in pursuit of the Canadian Fixed Wing Search and Rescue project. Representatives from the team will be onsite to provide information on the C-27J Spartan.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, August 29, 2012 View post tag: DYNAMICS View post tag: Defence View post tag: General Equipment & technology General Dynamics Canada to Demonstrate Its Maritime Defence Capabilities at DEFSEC View post tag: Navy View post tag: DEFSEC Back to overview,Home naval-today General Dynamics Canada to Demonstrate Its Maritime Defence Capabilities at DEFSEC View post tag: Naval View post tag: Canada View post tag: capabilities Share this article
Registration will be held each weekday at the City Hall Recreation Office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.The Recreation Division will supply equipment such as goalie equipment, hockey sticks specially designed for indoor use, hockey balls and hockey goals.Games will be played Mondays and/or Tuesday nights, at either 6, 7, or 8 p.m., at Robinson School.The deadline for all applications & payment is December 22. All applications & payment must be returned to Room #13 in City Hall. The season is tentatively set to begin on Monday, January 8, 2018. For further information call Pete Amadeo at (201) 858-6129 or email [email protected] Mayor Jimmy Davis has announced that the Recreation Division has begun registration for the Co-Ed Indoor Floor Hockey League for children in grades 2nd through 8th. The fee for the Co-Ed Indoor Floor Hockey League is $25 per player. The fees collected will go towards the costs of running the program. The fee is non-refundable. The $25 fee includes a game shirt.All individuals who sign up will be placed on a team by the Division of Recreation. Individual applications are available in the Recreation Office.
PLATFORM:Thrive as a Community: “First priority should be to try to restore our year-round population and business community.”Get Control Over Spending: “It is unbelievable that out of a $70 million budget, we can’t find money to address our basic needs. We need to take a long, hard look at how we spend money.”Invest in Our Town: “In the last several years, we have watched our infrastructure deteriorate. Finally — in the fourth year of this administration and eighth year of our incumbent council candidates — we are beginning to address our huge infrastructure and maintenance needs with a capital plan that borrows $50 million over the next five years. We need to catch up, but the key is to allocate adequate funds out of the annual budget for infrastructure and maintenance on an annual basis.”Restore System of Checks and Balances: “Divergent opinions and interests from people of good will need a place at the table. We have a wealth of expertise and experience among our citizens that is largely untapped.”Let’s Build This Community: “My pledge to you is that I will bring citizens and property owners into the process.” REPORTER’S PROFILE:An independent voice, Sauder was a fixture at City Council meetings long before he had any intention of running for office.Sauder champions a number of causes, but common themes are what he sees as the decline of Ocean City as a year-round community and the loss of small businesses.“They are so preoccupied with rezoning this town for development,” Sauder says. “Zoning really is the key to the future of Ocean City.”“The key to getting our business community going is to get our residency up. The two go hand-in-hand.”He suggests the city should do more to uphold zones for single-family homes and should aggressively market Ocean City as a place to live.Sauder has never been reluctant to challenge conventional wisdom and regularly speaks at public meetings.On the oft-repeated phrase that “we’re working as a team, Sauder says, “That’s really not what effective government is. I think we need people to be more independent.”Sauder vows, if elected, to hold community meetings frequently and to solicit expertise from within the community.He approves of the city administration’s commitment to spending more on improving Ocean City roads and infrastructure, but he believes the city should do at least some of the work without borrowing money. At the same time, he says he sees the potential for spending cuts.“I think we could cut the budget easily by 5 percent, and I think that should be a goal,” Sauder says. DEFINING OCEAN CITY MEMORY:Sauder’s dream Ocean City day started by riding one of those vintage canvas-coated rubber rafts on his knees until they bled. Then he’d go to Campbell’s with his Dad for takeout seafood before heading to the boardwalk in the evening. BIO:Age: 59Education: Bachelor of Science degree from Elizabethtown CollegeNo. of years lived in Ocean City: 10 full-time (vacationed at family property since 1960)Family: Father of three children (two sons and one daughter)Occupation: Retired audit officer for bank holding company and systems analyst for Case-New Holland Farm Equipment. Works part-time in Ocean City.Public service: Regular attendee at City Council, Planning Board and Zoning Board meetings in Ocean City COMING UP:Ssauder will hold a “Meet the Candidate” event 7 p.m. Monday (March 31) in Room N116, at the Ocean City Free Public Library (17th Street and Simpson Avenue). All are welcome. Ocean City Council candidate Eric SauderFive candidates are running for three open seats on Ocean City Council in the May 13 municipal election.The winners will serve four-year terms in at-large positions. City Council includes seven members — four elected from the city’s individual wards and three elected at-large by the entire Ocean City electorate.Candidates are (in reverse alphabetical order): Eric Sauder, Pete Madden, Mike Hyson, incumbent Keith Hartzell and incumbent Michael Allegretto.The following includes biographical and platform information provided by the candidate and a brief profile — along with a favorite Ocean City memory (just for the fun of it).
It’s tough to imagine that it’s ever been bad to be Lukas Nelson. Between having Willie Nelson as a father, growing up on Maui and playing with Neil Young as part of Promise of the Real, the singer/songwriter and guitarist has lived a charmed musical life.But even by those lofty standards, these are good times for Lukas and his band. Come Sunday, the 29-year-old will be on stage with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga at the Academy Awards, performing the hit song “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, for which Lukas wrote a slew of songs (albeit not the one nominated).Before that, he and the Promise of the Real sold out the Troubadour in West Hollywood for two nights of rock and revelry. On Night 2, in particular, the group kept its grooves going for nearly three hours, spanning the spectrum from rock to rapture with a little help from their friends.With that much time under the lights, Lukas and POTR had ample opportunity to take their catalogue out for a walk—and then some. From “Livin’ It Up” and “Fool Me Once” to “Four Letter Word,” “Mystery”, “L.A.” and “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground”, the band busted out all of its biggest and best tracks for Lukas to lend his seemingly unlimited vocal range and ripping guitar work. The rest of the band—Corey McCormick on bass, Anthony LoGerfo on drums, Tato Melgar on percussion and Logan Metz on keyboard—backed him up beautifully throughout, and each got their chance to shine solo during an extended version of “Forget About Georgia.”Lukas even dug deep into his own archives and pulled out “Little Girl of the World” (from Dumb and Dumber To), and took the group’s new song, “Turn Off the News” for a raucous spin.In between all the originals, Lukas and POTR dropped in dollops of classic covers. There was a stirring rendition of Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” an ode to his dad with Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe” (which Willie and Lukas have been known to play together), and The Doors songs played with Dennis Quaid (“Riders on the Storm”) and without (“L.A. Woman”). Along with those came a tip of Lukas’ Tom Petty-style top hat with “American Girl,” a nod to Neil Young with “Cortez the Killer,” and a tribute to Pegi Young, the singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Bridge School who passed away on New Years Day.And, of course, Lukas couldn’t go that long without playing something from A Star Is Born. But rather than wind one of the yarns he wrote for the film, he and POTR pleased the packed house with “Shallow” featuring vocals from Hunter Elizabeth, who returned to close out the main set during “Find Yourself.”Lukas and POTR won’t be back on the road until March 1st, when they play the M3F Festival in Phoenix. In the meantime, they’ll be busy with all things Oscars as Lukas continues to live his best life as a burgeoning star. Photo: Brandon Weil Load remaining images
By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaPeanut lovers, ready your taste buds. Three new snack foodsdeveloped by University of Georgia scientists have moved a stepcloser to your supermarket’s snack food shelves.The three new products, peanut-butter tarts, peanut chips andpeanut crackers, should hit Georgia grocery stores by the newyear. Georgia Bell Plantation, Inc. will produce the new peanut snacks.The farmer-owned company has worked closely with UGA researcherson the Griffin, Ga., campus over the past two years.Peanut butter tartsThe peanut butter tart was developed to be a breakfast food andan alternative to protein foods that require cooking. It’ssimilar to the conventional fruit-filled tart.”But it’s filled either with peanut butter, peanut butter andhoney or peanut butter and either strawberry or grape jam,” saidKay McWatters, a UGA research scientist working on the projects.Peanut chipsThe peanut chip is a baked product made from peanuts instead ofthe more commonly used wheat or corn. The chips are made from thecold-pressed pellets that are left when oil is extracted frompeanuts.”The partially defatted pellets are ground into a powder, thencombined with either soybean or wheat flour to soften the textureof the finished chips,” McWatters said.The mixture is made into a dough, cut into squares and placed onsheets to bake, she said.Peanut crackersThe new peanut cracker is similar to baked chips. But it’s madewith wheat, rice and peanut flour. “This mixture produces atexture more like that of commercial crackers,” she said.Developing new peanut-based products is a major focus for UGAfood scientists. Georgia peanut farmers fund many of the projectsand reap the benefits.The work of UGA food scientists and nutritionists has helped toincrease the consumption of peanuts in the United States by 14percent over the past five years, said Rakesh Singh, head of theUGA Food Science and Technology Department.Georgia Bell Plantation’s peanut division expects to use 20million pounds of peanuts in the first production year alone.Farmers fund projectsThe research that led to these three new products was funded byGeorgia farmers through the checkoff funds they pay to the U.S.Department of Agriculture. The National Peanut Board and GeorgiaAgricultural Commodity Commission for Peanuts administer thesefunds.”These funds are used for research projects in the southeasternUnited States,” Singh said. “So actually, the farmers are fundingprojects that will help create a demand for their crops.”The three new snacks may be just the beginning for peanutlovers.Georgia Belle Plantation has expressed interest in licensing moreUGA-developed food products.UGA food scientists have several new peanut-based products in thedevelopment stage including a peanut-soy beverage, a peanutburger, peanut pasta and a peanut puff snack food.The development of the three newest products took off when J.C.Bell, owner of Georgia Belle Plantation, called his local countyExtension Service office for guidance.”Mr. Bell came to us for help and we introduced him to the UGAfood scientists in Griffin and later to the agribusiness centerfaculty in Athens,” said Keith Rucker, Tift County extensionagent. “By working through our office, he now has a feasibilitystudy and a business plan which would have cost him much, muchmore if he’d worked with a private industry source.”
The US Commission on Civil Rights has appointed 15 people to its Vermont State Advisory Committee.Kim Tolhurst, designated the authority of the staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, announced the appointment of â ¢Francine T. Bazluke of Essex Junction, John H. Bloomer of Wallingford, Luther M. Brown of Rutland, Ellen Mercer Fallon of Middlebury, Leslie Ann Holman of Burlington, Terrance D. Martin of Brattleboro, Marion C. Milne of West Topsham, Cheryl W. Mitchell of New Haven, Tara O’Brien of Brattleboro, Eric D. Sakai of Randolph, Stephanie L. Sidortsova of Westford, Diane B. Snelling of Hinesburg, Tracey H. Tsugawa of Williston, and Stewart R. Wood of Quechee. The Commission appointed Diane Snelling as Chair. The appointments are for two years.Congress has directed the Commission to establish advisory committees in all states and the District of Columbia to assist in its fact-finding function. These committees receive reports, suggestions, and recommendations from individuals, public and private organizations, and public officials, and forward advice and recommendations to the Commission. Members of State Advisory Committees serve without compensation, conduct civil rights reviews and investigations, and report to the Commission.###
By Dialogo June 02, 2016 The investment in the VRAEM includes assistance and incentive programs for farmers who replace illegal coca crops with alternative crops. The funds will also go towards implementing police stations and other initiatives. The additional aircraft will assist the Armed Forces in their ongoing efforts to fight organized crime and terrorism in the VRAEM. For example, in May 2016, the Peruvian Police’s Executive Counter-Terrorism Directorate (DIRCOTE) seized explosive material, garments such as boots and scarves, a solar panel, and others belonging to the Shining Path in the VRAEM area. Police General José Baella, DIRCOTE’s executive director, told Diálogo that the intervention was carried out in the Cusco districts of La Convención and Echarati, in the jurisdiction of the VRAEM, under the framework of the 2016 Caletas II Operation. “We have located at least 10 caches or hiding places [in the jungle] where terrorists kept war materials for use in different subversive operations.” The Military has added 24 helicopters, seven Cessna 172 Sky Hawks, a Piper PA-44, and four other aircraft that can transport Troops and strengthen the Armed Forces’ efforts to fight the illegal drug trade and terrorism, according to an analysis by Roberto Chiabra, Defense Minister under the administration of President Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006). Céspedes applauded the government “investing in roads, prioritizing investment in social infrastructure, and increasing social programs that reduce poverty and provide basic services such as water, sewage, and electricity”. The National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA), stated there are plans to invest about $5.1 million in 2016 to combat the illegal cultivation of coca in the VRAEM. The institution said the budget represents a 10 percent increase over 2015. Consequently, strengthening the operational capacity of the Armed Forces has improved public security, particularly in the country’s main coca-growing regions, such as the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM) and in the regions of Ayacucho, Junín, and Cusco. “Government security forces are confronting drug trafficking in the VRAEM, which poses the greatest security challenge in the region,” Gen. Acosta stated, adding that the government is also investing in roads, schools, and providing health care in the region. The Special VRAEM Command Chief, Peruvian Army General Fernando Acosta, stressed that the Peruvian government’s strategy, which consists of coordination between the police and Military, is enabling an expansion of government presence in areas that had been overtaken by narcotrafficking. “There is an intelligence committee that is operating on a permanent basis in the VRAEM area to determine the circumstances and the perpetrators of the ambush.” Using public funds to improve conditions in areas where organized crime groups and terrorists operate is a good investment, said Rubén Vargas Céspedes, a security analyst who studies drug trafficking, adding that providing legal alternatives to farmers is also an important component of the government’s anti-crime strategy. “It is important to generate a greater number of productive chains in the coca-growing areas focused on the export of quality products like cocoa and coffee to the international market. They could even create special credit and advisory programs.” Peruvian Armed Forces and police cooperate Fighting drug trafficking “Security forces seized 49 sticks of dynamite, 20 plastic containers [booby traps], an ammunition belt for a machine gun, material for making apparel [cartridge belts, backpacks], a rocket-propelled grenade, and a minesweeper,” Gen. Baella explained. Peruvian authorities have strengthened the operational capacity of the Armed Forces by adding new aircraft to fight terrorism and drug trafficking in coca-growing regions. In these locations, wild vegetation and geographical complications work in favor of the criminals and terrorist groups like the Shining Path, which is engaged in narcotrafficking. “With its new capabilities, the Armed Forces will also be able to handle crime, El Niño, and other acts of nature,” Chiabra said. “That equipment has multipurpose characteristics that are vital to operating efficiently in the difficult Peruvian geography.”
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The latest proclamations by a Suffolk County town and village to help spark improved Long Island Rail Road service in Suffolk County aren’t as electrifying as they might appear. In fact, they seem shockingly short-sighted.Starting last month, several municipalities made their pitch to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to electrify LIRR tracks to Port Jefferson, Riverhead and Patchogue, and their approach was reportedly echoed on Wednesday by the Suffolk County Planning Commission after a meeting of the Long Island Regional Planning Council at Hofstra University.To transit advocates, municipalities and proponents, electrification means no more diesel trains, more frequent service and quicker travel times to New York City. To a developer, adding electric service means one thing: The opportunity for increased “economic development,” usually in the guise of mixed-use, multi-family projects.In making their demands to the transit agency, municipalities must be ready to answer these questions: Does current ridership demand justify the capital investment? Further, is electrification even feasible? Lastly, can the Long Island communities that dot the train lines adequately handle the growth the increased electric service may bring?The Village of Port Jefferson was the first to announce that they back any effort the MTA will exert to electrify the LIRR’s Port Jefferson Branch. Roughly running along Route 25A and through the hills of the North Shore, the branch’s busiest stations are between Huntington and Syosset, before the track merges with the other lines at Hicksville. Currently, electric service terminates in Huntington, leaving dual use electric/diesel locomotives as the only option for the rest of the trek to communities eastward.According to Newsday, the LIRR has said that the electrification of the remaining 23 miles that span Huntington to Port Jefferson would roughly run $18 million per mile, for a cost of some $414 million. Other portions of track these advocates want electrified include the 25-mile stretch from Ronkonkoma to Riverhead, and 17 miles from Babylon to Patchogue. Add those figures up, and the sum is more than $1.1 billion.Next to climb on board, the Town of Brookhaven held its own press event urging the MTA to electrify the Montauk branch east of the Babylon station, which currently is a major commuter hub for the South Shore. The town said an electrified line would greatly benefit Patchogue, Bellport and Mastic-Shirley.Policymakers, from the village to the state level, have chimed in for electrification.“Electrifying the line would revitalize every single community along the line,” Port Jefferson’s Mayor Margot Garant told the Times Village Herald. Adding his support to Brookhaven’s proposal, State Sen. Tom Croci (R-Sayville) said that “demand will continue to grow as our population increases. Even with the development of the Ronkonkoma Hub, commuters will still need to use more than the Main Line. Given the reality that electrification will take at least a decade or more [to complete], it makes sense to start the process now so that the capacity will be there to meet the demand.”Over the last decade, development efforts across Long Island have focused on the areas around train stations. The argument driving these projects is the creation of affordable workforce housing for Long Island’s millennials, which according to countless stakeholder and anecdotal studies, are leaving by the bus load year after year for some brighter horizon.The projects, often residential in nature with a splash of commercial usage, are deemed transit-oriented by their backers, regardless if they are 200 feet or two miles from the closest LIRR stop, or if the residents who live inside them actually opt to take the train. Other terms for this “smart growth” favored by developers include “walkable downtowns.” The terms for such growth are diverse, but there is one constant: There is no substantive, concrete proof that these projects are actually increasing transit ridership.These trends make the calls for electrification by Port Jefferson and Brookhaven that much more interesting, especially when the stats of ridership and methods commuters get to work are examined.According to census figures, just 5.6 percent of Suffolk’s workers commute to Manhattan. The total percentage of workers from Suffolk who travel to NYC each day is 10.2 percent, down from 11.1 percent in 1990. In 1990, 8,986 of Brookhaven’s residents used public transit, while in 2012 it was 8,954 – highlighting the stagnant nature of LIRR ridership in the town.Some more sobering statistics: 88 percent of Suffolk’s workers drive to work, with the average commute time for a resident of the county being 28 minutes, indicating that these commuters work within either Nassau or Suffolk. A recent study by Suffolk found that around 8 percent of residents in these “smart growth” projects actually take the train to work, far less than one would expect.Given these paltry figures, is it worth the time, money and effort to electrify the LIRR’s Montauk and Port Jefferson branches at this time? If one were to listen to the gloom and doom development narrative being put forth by the stakeholder groups, you’d assume so, but the hard data tells a much different story. Simply put: The demand isn’t really there.It’s easy to grandstand for transit improvements, but much more difficult to actually fund and implement them.For one thing, consider the monumental costs that would be incurred by the MTA, an entity not known for its deep pockets due to the constant financial uncertainty with its capital budget, which is currently facing a $15-billion gap in funding its $32-billion five-year plan. Besides, the communities along the diesel portions of the transit system lack an adequate rail yard to both store and maintain the new trains that would be needed for any increased levels of service. Further, the challenging topography of the North Shore limits the ability of the trains to take full advantage of the speed that electrification could offer elsewhere.If the Village of Port Jefferson and the Town of Brookhaven want to nurture economic development, LIRR electrification is putting the cart before the horse. Both governments should focus on long-term job creation strategies that, over time, will generate further transit demand. Despite the popular narrative, the recent trend of “build it and they will come” cannot work in these communities, because the demand is not there. The MTA’s time, energy and capital should be focused on maximizing the LIRR’s underutilized existing assets, as opposed to trying to create new ones.If the Long Island region is to move forward, policymakers must accept on-the-ground realities and realistically plan for the future based upon them.Rich Murdocco writes on Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran planner. Rich will be contributing regularly to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By Alure Home ImprovementsNo doubt about it, the weather is definitely right for going outside and spending time getting all those home improvement projects done that you’ve been putting off until the forecast was totally agreeable.Here on Long Island, winter wasn’t too bad, especially compared to last year, but that doesn’t mean you can skip doing a thorough job this summer making the outside of your house sparkle. We won’t detail all you need to do to whip your lawn into shape, but your friends at Alure Home Improvements are more than willing to help you win the battle for the home front.What you want to do first is perform a complete inspection of your house, from top to bottom, and front to back. Don’t forget your garage, too, especially if it’s a stand-alone structure, because all too often homeowners forget about it until it’s in bad need of repairs.Take a look at your roof and chimney. Long Islanders didn’t have to endure blizzards this year like in past years when they seemed non-stop, but winter weather is notoriously hard on the exteriors, and now is the time to take a closer look. You’ll want to remove all the leaves from the roof valleys, eaves, dormers and skylights, and clean your gutters, too, while you’re at it. And if you discover any nests, be prepared to remove them very carefully when they’re either away or asleep.If you see any lifted, curled or damaged shingles, it could mean the underlying structure is exposed—and, left untreated, that problem could spell leaks. If you suspect damage to your roof, then go to your attic and check it out from underneath. Keeping a good roof over your head may sound like a cliché, but the stability of your house depends on it.Look around your chimney and skylights and check the condition of the flashing, which refers to thin, impervious material installed to prevent water penetration and seepage. If you spot any holes or corrosion, you may have to replace the flashing.Next, inspect your windows and doors for signs of wear and tear. Make sure the weather stripping is in good shape. You may want to seal any openings with caulk, foam, or glazing compound. If a gust of wind loosened a shutter, now is the time to fix it right. While you’re at it, wash the outside of your windows and repair any holes in your screens.Look around the joints of your house, the places where different kinds of materials meet, such as vinyl siding and cement foundation. You want to prevent insect invasion, water leaks, and hot air or cold air loss. You are on the prowl for holes, loose joints, cracked mortar and fissures. These are not the kinds of openings you want to leave untouched.If you spot mold or mildew on your siding, decks and trim, you should deal with it before the weather stays hot and humid. On large surfaces you can use a power washer to do the job. But on small areas, like under a windowsill, you may have to do it by hand. Mix a solution of 1 cup bleach, 1 cup white vinegar and a gallon of water. Make sure there’s proportionally much more water than bleach or you risk damaging the vinyl siding or the finish. Be sure to wear gloves when you scrub with a sponge. And don’t splash this solution on your plants and flowerbeds. If you need to repaint your siding or trim, use a mildew-resistant exterior paint.Check your decks and patios for any boards that are warped, loose or splintered. Replace them if the condition warrants it. Also, really do a thorough sweep and get rid of all leaves and debris that might have accumulated between the boards. If you don’t, it could turn to rot. You may have to refinish the wood deck if it looks faded or worn.Take a look at your lawn furniture. You want your guests sitting in those dirty and dusty chairs? If not, then maybe you should hose them down or wash them with a mild detergent. Check your metal furniture for rust or chipped paint. Sometimes just a spray enamel will make them shine for the hot summer months ahead, when your family and friends definitely want to hang out outside.Learn More About Alure Home ImprovementsDid your driveway, sidewalks or steps get cracked over the winter? You must repair them before they get any larger and pose a hazard. You can get patching material and fillers for asphalt and concrete from your hardware store. If the driveway or walkway has dry-set pavers, take the time to brush some extra sand or stone dust into the joints to keep them in place and prevent weeds from springing up between them.How is your heating and cooling system? Did you schedule your annual tune-up if you have central air? You can clean or change the air filters and remove dust and debris from around the grills and ducts. Your outdoor window air conditioners need attention, too. Remove the covers and clean the filters–some experts advise doing this every month of the summer.And remember, if you spot something serious, you can always rely on your friends at Alure Home Improvements for the best advice, no matter what the season is.