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    Category: Flooring Installation

    The 10 Best Hardwood Floor Installers in Jacksonville, FL 2020 - March 16, 2020 by admin

    Hardwood floor installation can take anywhere from a few days to more than two weeks, depending on demolition, wood type, the condition of your subfloor, total square footage of the project, and installation method. Demolition is necessary if you have existing flooring you want to replace with hardwood floors. New-construction homes do not require this step, as the subfloor is primed and ready for floor installation. During demolition, the flooring crew may find that your subfloor has damaged wood, uneven surfaces or other problems that must be addressed before the new wood can be laid down. Crews may charge on an hourly rate for subfloor repair, and the work can take a few hours to several days, depending on whats hiding underneath your floor. The wood for your new floor generally arrives a few days before any work begins. This allows the wood to acclimate to the relative humidity in your house, which prevents it from shrinking or expanding after installation and causing gaps or buckling. The actual wood installation may take several days or more, depending on the size of your home and what type of custom cutting and designs are desired. If your flooring is not prefinished, the unfinished wood must then be sanded and stained in the home to treat and protect your new investment. Typically, stain takes a full day to dry, and multiple coats are applied. Baseboards and trim must also be installed. With all these variables at play, you can see why its important for a wood installation pro to provide an estimate only after seeing your home.

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    The 10 Best Hardwood Floor Installers in Jacksonville, FL 2020

    Volunteer coaches leave their mark on new KIDSPORTS facility – The Register-Guard - March 16, 2020 by admin

    Dana Sparks @danamsparks


    Volunteer coaches for KIDSPORTS programs left their mark on the new Civic Park facility under construction in south Eugene.

    The coaches signed the cement foundations last week where the foundation of the facilitys ground floor courts wood flooring will be installed next month. It served to honor the volunteer coaches and their efforts in making local programs possible.

    The ground floor of the facility, off Amazon Parkway between East 19th and East 24th avenues, hosts four middle school-size basketball courts which can convert to two NCAA-size courts and be used for volleyball, pickleball, badminton, wrestling, futsal and more, according to a news release from Eugene Civic Alliance.

    Between now and the June 6 grand opening, a variety of projects must be completed: finishing the field house interiors, laying the gym floors, landscape work, final paving, finishing construction of the ticket booth, setting up bleacher seating and other projects, according to Carly Demanett, Eugene Civic Alliance media and communications director.

    Phase one construction costs equal $30 million with $5.5 million still left to raise. The project remains on schedule.

    Eugene Civic Alliance anticipates having the keys in hand by May 21.

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    Volunteer coaches leave their mark on new KIDSPORTS facility - The Register-Guard

    Save lots of green on new floors – - March 16, 2020 by admin

    SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. This weekend, many of us will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day with lots of green, but you can save lots of green on new flooring, too. Freshen up your home with free installation on new floors from 50Floor through the month of March. Take advantage of this deal for as many rooms as you choose. It all starts with a free, no pressure, in-home design consultation, where the experts will bring samples to you so you can make sure you make the best decision for your space. On installation day, let 50Floor do all of the work for you quickly, professionally and efficiently. They can get the job done in as little as one day. For more information, go to or call 877-50Floor. Mention 'Great Day' for an extra $100 off your order.

    Tune into Great Day Live weekdays from 9 to 10 a.m. on WTSP-TV.

    Hosts Kendall Kirkham and Java Ingram bring you the latest in what everyones talking about, from trending stories, lifestyle and entertainment news, buzz-worthy, pop culture moments, and all things fun and exciting happening around Tampa Bay.

    Whether its people making a difference, talented artists and musicians, delicious food, fun activities to do and make with the family, lovable animals, entertaining events and big names coming to town, weve got you covered. We hope to bring you a wealth of information to live your best life and start your morning right!

    Like us on Facebook at @greatdaylivetampabay or on Instagram at @greatdaylivetampabay.

    If you have an interesting segment idea, send an email to

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    Flat block owners to get right to add floors with no permission needed – The Guardian - March 16, 2020 by admin

    The shadows are about to lengthen across suburbia. Property owners are to be granted new rights to install extra storeys on housing blocks without planning permission in a government push to boost homeownership that appears likely to provoke furious neighbourhood debates.

    The scheme, which will begin this summer, is expected to transform the skyline of residential areas as owners are allowed to build upwards by two storeys without their designs being policed by planners.

    Critics say the new right, announced on Thursday by the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, as a bold and creative measure, risks a new generation of substandard homes and raising tensions between neighbours.

    Building upwards currently requires planning consent, which involves checks on how well designs fit with nearby homes and the potential overshadowing of neighbours properties.

    The new right will deliver new and bigger homes and increase density in line with local character and make the most of local infrastructure, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said.

    It will apply to purpose-built blocks of flats rather than individual houses, a ministry official said.

    Max Titchmarsh, a London-based architect who has researched ways to add housing above commercial buildings, said it could be a total car crash.

    Developers wont need to make the units compliant with the national planning policy framework and you will get undersized homes, he said. There will be no screening for quality.

    The Labour MP Helen Hayes said it would be a repeat of the unmitigated disaster for many communities that was the result, in her view, of a similar permitted development right to turn office blocks into homes.

    The job of planning is to balance competing concerns and make sure outcomes reflect the common good, she said, warning a building free-for-all could cause tensions.

    Jenrick announced the scheme as part of a suite of measures aimed at solving the housing crisis, which included a consultation on allowing developers to demolish vacant commercial and residential blocks and replace them with housing without planning consent.

    'The housing delivery system is broken, not the planning system'

    He also announced early plans for a new town near Cambridge as part of scheme for four large new housing developments in an arc between Oxford and Cambridge, a long-planned development corridor.

    District councils voiced significant concerns that the new permitted development right for building upwards would allow developers to avoid paying what they owe for local infrastructure and for local affordable homes.

    Mark Crane, the District Councils Network lead member for stronger economies, said: Districts continue to grant nine in 10 planning permissions, while tens of thousands of homes with planning permission remain unbuilt the housing delivery system is broken, not the planning system.

    David Renard, planning spokesman for the Local Government Association, said the government should not take away more of the powers councils and communities need over planning.

    He said the planning system protected communities so they can ensure new developments are environmentally friendly, safe, supported by the right infrastructure and include affordable homes.

    The ministry said it would also introduce a renters reform bill that would abolish landlords right to evict tenants on a no fault basis, and promised a much-delayed social housing white paper, previously promised after the Grenfell Tower disaster to ensure that residents in social homes are treated with dignity and respect.

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    Flat block owners to get right to add floors with no permission needed - The Guardian

    Looking Out: Daylight Saving Time adds to problems of the Evil Thermostat – The Daily Telegram - March 16, 2020 by admin

    I am no fan of Daylight Saving Time, I say into the phone. If people want to go to bed later or get up earlier, or if businesses want to change their hours during the summer, let them do it, but leave the clocks alone.

    Why do you feel that way? says my ever-patient, beloved wife, Marsha, who is off visiting our kids and grandkids.

    Just common sense, I say. That and the Evil Thermostat.

    Oh, that! says Marsha, knowing exactly what I am talking about.

    The Evil Thermostat lives in our bathroom. A couple of years ago, we had a new tile floor installed. Marsha does not like to be cold. I do not like to be hot. Our bathroom has a register in it, so the furnace does a good job of keeping it warm. I was happy.

    Getting a new tile floor required compromise, and that compromise meant that it WOULD have electric radiant heating. Period.

    This added considerably to the cost of the new tile floor, as the floor people had more work to do; our wonderful electricians, Gus and Mike, had to add circuits and other mysterious stuff; and of course there was the cost of the grid itself, carefully laid beneath the tiles.

    The system came with its own thermostat. We can program the floor to be warm for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. It is very nice for Marshas always-cold feet. Simple.

    Indeed. Simple, if it were not for the Evil Thermostat.

    1. The buttons are itsy bitsy.

    2. The icons and legends describing the functions of said buttons are itsier and bitsier.

    3. The manual that tells how to use the thing is teeny weensy.

    4. The font of the print in said manual is teensier and weensier.

    5. The directions, once photographed, enlarged and examined are non-intuitive. Indecipherable.

    I obtained the phone number of the American company that imports the German thermostat and heating grid systems. When changes are needed say, upon travelling and needing to turn the system on and off a nice lady named Judy leads me through the steps to reprogram the thing.

    This is not the end of the troubles, however.

    Seeing our electric bill rocket upward after getting our new radiant floor, it occurs to me that since we normally keep the bathroom door open when not in use, the electric floor is trying to heat our whole house two hours every day.

    Marsha, we need to keep that door closed all the time, I announce.

    Right, she says.

    We are human. We forget to close the door. The electric meter spins like a top.

    No problem: While Marsha is out of town visiting our kids and grandkids, I install a pneumatic door closer. The door is now closed 100% of the time and the electric meter is back to normal. Success.

    Then along comes Daylight Saving Time. I have to change the clock on The Evil Thermostat. I call Judy so she can lead me through the button-finding-and-pushing process.

    Problem No. 1: With the bathroom door closed, I cant get a cellphone signal. No Judy, no program. Fortunately, Judy is patient as I leave the bathroom, get an instruction point, go back in, push a button, go back out, get another instruction point

    Future Problem No. 2: Marsha, upon return, will have to learn to lean backward at a 30-degree angle to overcome the power of the pneumatic door closer.

    Jim Whitehouse lives in Albion.

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    Looking Out: Daylight Saving Time adds to problems of the Evil Thermostat - The Daily Telegram

    STEVE MAXWELL: Infloor heating retrofit and septic tank root cellars – SaltWire Network - March 16, 2020 by admin

    Infloor heating retrofit

    Question: Will a combination of infloor heating and hot water radiators work well together? I really dont like the noise and dust kicked up by our forced air furnace, and I want to have warmer feet. My plan is to install infloor heating under the first floor (installed in the basement between floor joists), but with radiators in the second floor because I cant get to the underside of that floor to install hot water pipes. Will this combination work?

    Answer: Yes, I know for sure it will because I installed a system like this in my own home. Theres infloor heating in the ceiling of the unfinished basement to heat the first floor, and antique cast iron radiators also on the first floor, plus the second and third floors. As I was installing all this, I got the infloor heating working first, before any radiators were in place. I discovered that infloor heating alone was not sufficient to heat even the first floor properly when outdoor temperatures got down below freezing. The heat had to travel up through a 5/8-inch thick plywood subfloor with 3/4-inch thick pine on top. All I can figure is that this much wood didnt allow enough heat transfer to keep things warm when it true Canadian cold hit. Thats a lot of wood for heat to move through, hence the marginal heating performance. These days our house is nice and warm no matter what the weather, with 23C in every nook and cranny. The thing that made the difference was installing radiators everywhere in the house, including the first floor. In practice the infloor heating keeps the floor warm to the feet, but the radiators do the bulk of the space heating. I installed a thermostat system that directs heat to the floor pipes, while also directing hot water to radiators. I have it set to deliver about 75 per cent of overall heating energy via the radiators, with the rest going to the floor. The control system I chose is made by a Canadian company called Tekmar and its fabulous. We have an outdoor wood boiler, and the control system keeps room temperatures to within 0.5C of the set point all the time.

    Q: Whats the easiest way to build a walk-in root cellar? Ive always wanted one. When I was a child on our farm in the 1960s my father would bury potatoes in the garden to keep over winter. We also buried cabbage. I remember how sweet the potatoes were when we dug them out in the spring. I want these experiences again, but with a root cellar.

    A: Root cellars are all about preserving fruits and vegetables naturally for months, all without refrigeration. One of the easiest ways to create a large-walk-in root cellar is by starting with a concrete septic tank (unused, of course). You take out the dividing wall (if the tank has one), cut a doorway in one end, then bury the tank in a bank of earth. Waterproof the top of the tank, install a couple of vents, then set up shelves and store produce next fall. Find a concrete septic tank manufacturer, then see if they have any that didnt come out of the molds properly. A tank thats defective for actual septic use will probably be fine for a root cellar.

    Besides being much faster to build than a piece-by-piece approach using concrete blocks or stone, the advantage of a septic tank is that the structure is much stronger and completely waterproof. You never have to worry about ground water making its way into your cellar. Download a free guide on how to build a septic tank root cellar at

    Steve Maxwell is always looking to balance efficiency with authenticity on his Manitoulin Island, Ontario homestead. Visit Steve online at for how-to articles and videos.

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    STEVE MAXWELL: Infloor heating retrofit and septic tank root cellars - SaltWire Network

    A Party Along the Parti: Could Be Architecture Transforms the McCormick House – Newcity Design - March 16, 2020 by admin

    Can you imagine lounging in the McCormick House living room, hanging out with your friends playing a game of chess or putting on a puppet show in the childrens playroom? How about sneaking into the kitchen looking for treats? Well, now you can do all that courtesy of Joseph Altshuler and Zack Morrison, who are bringing their playful design approach into the 1952 historic landmark. The duo behind the design practiceCould Be Architecturewho are also architectural designers, educators, curators and writerstalks about their ideas and practices with Newcity design editor Vasia Rigou to shed light on the Elmhurst Museums McCormick AfterParti exhibition that has the Mies van der Rohe home turned into a frosted candylandcomplete with bright pink curtains and mint green furniture.

    First things first: Can you talk about the title, McCormick AfterParti?

    Parti refers to the basic diagram for an architectural design. This installation celebrates Mies van der Rohes floor plan for the historic McCormick House by arraying curtains and interpretive furnishings along the locations of the houses original wall partitions. The furnishings invite audience interactions and prompt participatory events throughout the run of the installationit hosts a party along the parti.

    What kinds of boundaries do you feel youre pushing in your effort to turn the McCormick House into a home?

    Our installation demonstrates a totally normative approach to restage the walls and programmatic functions of the original house. However, in its current state, the McCormick House operates somewhere between a historical home (as a museum piece) and a contemporary gallery space. Our project challenges both identities. By completing the incomplete or removed components of the house, the installation invites visitors to experience the space as a type of historical reenactment. At the same time, the shapely attitude of the feature furnishing pieces entices visitors to literally sit on, play atop and eat from the gallery content and questions the often hands-off expectations of an art exhibition.

    Can you talk about the importance of color in your work?

    We see colorspecifically bold and vibrant coloras an immediate signifier of joy. We position immersive, super-graphic fields of color to shape space and provoke character. Specifically within McCormick AfterParti, the choice of and use of color provides an exaggerated and playful counterpoint to the International Style material palette of the existing house. The minty green furnishings and bright pink curtain partitions complement and question the modern, neutral palette of dark wood floors, clear glass, white-painted steel and honey-colored wood panels that make up the existing building. We hope that our installations juicy color qualitiesthink watermelon-mint agua fresca!will tempt visitors to linger a little longer within this midwinter oasis of funky furniture pieces.

    What was the biggest challenge you had to face bringing this exhibition to life within a historical space?

    Our biggest challenge is grappling with and making accessible meaning and pleasure out of the complexity of histories represented by the building. Like so many other architects, we admire Mies van der Rohes canonical contributions to the advent of modern architecture. At the McCormick House, were inspired by the modernist approach to modularity, adaptability and clarity. At the same time, seventy years later, we believe that it remains important to question the values and politics embedded within its design, including the stark architectural separation between an adults wing and a childrens and servants wing. Our installation challenged us and challenges others to negotiate admiration and critique simultaneously. By reenacting the missing original walls, but then undermining their boundaries by positioning colorful furnishings that poke through them, we hope the installation engages audiences to similarly question the values within their own domestic spaces.

    Your design approach is focused on creating seriously playful spaces, things and happenings that celebrate what your world could be. What do you hope the viewer will take away from this exhibition?

    Candy. Really, we hope viewers will take away and enjoy small, tasty confections offered from the sink fixtures within our reenacted kitchen-counter installation. In a broader sense, we hope that visitors will question the physical and behavioral qualities that they may take for granted about their own houses and homesincluding furniture, color, shape and intimacy, and the overlap of all of these domestic ingredients.

    What are you most excited about?

    Were particularly excited to give license to visitors to inhabit a significant Mies van der Rohe-designed space in unexpectedly playful, hands-on and irreverent ways. Steel-and-glass modernist architecture often exudes a pristine, polite and perfectionist quality that we hope our installation will challenge by inviting people to get a bit goofy and make themselves at home, whether it involves lying down on a bed, playing with puppets in the playroom or sneaking a treat in the kitchen.

    Could Be Architecture: McCormick AfterParti at the Elmhurst Art Museum through April 12

    Greek-born Vasia Rigou is a Chicago-based art critic and pop culture journalist, largely on the subjects of contemporary art, design, and fashion. She moved to Chicago in 2013 to study Arts Journalism at the School of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC,) where she was awarded the New Artist Society Merit Scholarship. She grew up to appreciate art after years of carefully planned, culture-filled travel itineraries and museum-hopping around Europe with her family. During this time, she received a bachelors in English Literature, in her native Athens; a masters in Media, in Nottingham, UK; and studied foreign languagesEnglish, German, and Spanish at the University of Salamanca, Spain. Her writingreviewing museum exhibitions, gallery shows, art fairs, fashion shows, and music festivals among othershas been published nationally and internationally both in print and online. In 2017, she founded and now serves as editor-in-chief of independently published website focused on the visual and performing arts, digital media, and popular culture. When shes not writing about art or looking at artwine in hand, she keeps up with Chicagos creative entrepreneurial and startup community, makes lists for pretty much everything, drinks immense amounts of coffee and takes cross-country road trips every chance she gets.

    Contact: Website:

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    A Party Along the Parti: Could Be Architecture Transforms the McCormick House - Newcity Design

    Ten Highlights of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney 2020 – Concrete Playground - March 16, 2020 by admin

    It's time to hit the galleries, as 22nd Biennale of Sydney is set to return from Saturday, March 14 through Monday, June 8. Sure, three months might sound like a lot of time, but this massive biennial showcase spans over 700 artworks and 101 artists from 65 different countries as well as several galleries across our city, from Campbelltown to Cockatoo Island.

    The 2020 edition is entitled Nirin,which means 'edge' in the language of western NSW's Wiradjuri people. It is helmed by a new First Nations artistic director, famed Sydney-born, Melbourne-based interdisciplinary artist Brook Andrew. Andrew has selected an impressive lineup of artists and creatives many of them First Nations from around the world to exhibit at the Art Gallery of NSW, Woolloomooloo's Artspace, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Cockatoo Island, MCA and the National Art School for the exhibition's 12 weeks.

    The showcase brings together artists from all over the globe, with fresh perspectives on Australia that span culture, gender and place. Expect installations, performances, sculptures, videos, paintings and drawings that examine what it means to be First Nations. Here are ten highlights that you can't miss.

    Due to current concerns surrounding COVID-19, the Biennale has implemented precautionary measures at all its galleries, in line with advice from WHO and the NSW Department of Health. Venues are cleaned more frequently and hand sanitiser is readily available. It's also asking all visitors to practise good general hygiene and stay at home if they're feeling unwell. You can read its full statement and any updates over here.

    Teresa Margolles' mixed-media installation Untitled is one of the most powerful and heart wrenching works of the entire Biennale. The Mexican artist's work acts as a memorial to murdered women and transgender women across both Mexico and Australia. Over 70 women were murdered in Australia last year alone. Untitled compiles acts of violence and trauma from several sites in each country with Sydney-specific sites included. Margolles collected particles from these murder scenes through sponging the area with water and collecting any particles or residue that remained.

    The water collected from each site is used in the actual work, incorporated as droplets (each representing one life) that fall onto an electric copper hot plate in regular intervals. As you hear the water evaporate, it signifies the loss of a life, though every drop leaves a mark. Surrounding the installation is a blood-red butcher curtain, giving the entire scene an eerie edge. Margolles' work is a very visceral and emotive piece, with the viewer acting as witness to forgotten acts of violence.

    Sydney-based photographer and Gomeroi/Murri/Yinah woman Barbara McGrady brings modern First Nations issues front-and-centre with her collaborative work, Ngiyaningy Maran Yaliwaunga Ngaara-li (Our Ancestors Are Always Watching). This Biennale installation acts as a photographic archive of McGrady's extensive work, which truly represents contemporary Aboriginal history. The artist aims to 'engage audiences with images through a black lens and document the diverse Aboriginal experience' across themes such as sports, song and dance, community, politics and protest.

    The blacked-out room screens multi-channel audio-visuals across several large televisions, while R&B, rap and other culturally-specific music plays through the speakers. Black couches invite viewers to hang around and truly immerse themselves in the exhibition.

    The massive Artspace installation by Collectivo Ayllu is a collection of 11 works, which together form a labyrinth-like exhibition of four 'stations' all up. The political action group, formed in Madrid in 2009, includes five artists from South America: Alex Aguirre Snchez (Ecuador), Leticia/Kimy Rojas (Ecuador), Francisco Godoy Vega (Chile), Lucrecia Masson (Argentina) and Yos Pia Narvez (Venezuela).

    The work aims to critique western heteronormative values through the lens of the Spanish colonisation of the 15th and 16th centuries of which all of the Collective's members identify as descendants. This powerful installation tells the repeated and ongoing story of colonial pain and adds a contemporary lens to it. The floor of the entire winding exhibition is covered in sand, making reference to the images of colonisers landing on the beaches of South America and around the world. The artists have constructed the installation as an Andean huaca a fundamental Inca sanctuary or sacred place.

    At AGNSW, the Biennale has been very appropriately integrated into the galleries on the ground floor, which primarily houses European art. This artistic decision forces the viewers to re-evaluate the history of art in Australia and the Euro-centric lens it often takes. Taking centre stage in the AGNSW Grand Courts is Retaule dels penjats (Altarpiece of the Hanged People) a prominent 1970s work by Spanish artist Josep Grau-Garriga. His three-storey textile installation truly takes over the space, reaching to the ceiling, and works as a direct dialogue with the architecture of the gallery. His three-dimensional woven characters are a hanging memorial to tormented and suffering victims of war and martyrdom, which the viewer is forced to address this massive installation literally cannot be missed.

    A stunning work by the Yolu digital artists of The Mulka Project, Watami Manikay (Song of the Winds) will transport viewers to another time and place. The artist collective works with digital technologies and video art. This specific project weaves the kinship of Yolu clans through the four winds in the form of a three-walled, floor-to-ceiling video projection that moved from sunrise to sunset depicting lapping waves and sunny beaches. The focal point of the installation is a painted larrakitj (hollow ceremonial log), which represents the guna rock that grounds each clan to its identity. It changes colour and glows in time with the mesmerising film. The cyclical work aims to express the 'countless generations of evolving Yolu art practice'.

    For artist Ahmed Umar's autobiographical work he created an earthenware tomb, one which is meant for him. The lid of the ancient-looking, ceramic sarcophagus includes a full body cast of Umar. It is part of a sculptural triptych that the artist created after opening up about his sexuality and being considered 'dead' by close family members. The tomb is both a reminder of the pain of oppression and a celebration of his death. This piece is a protest against his upbringing in Sudan, and Umar (dressed in traditional Sudanese clothing) also physically protests alongside the artwork (he'll appear at various times throughout the festival). He holds a sign that reads 'Sudan executes gay people under its government endorsement'. His form of protest creates a timely and meaningful piece of art that needs to be seen.

    For Biennale 2020, Christchurch-based and Tongan-born artist Kulimoe'anga Stone Maka has created an expansive tapestry which nearly takes up an entire gallery floor at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The two-in-one painting re-enacts the meeting between Queen Salote of Tonga and the UK's Queen Elizabeth II, when the latter visited Tonga in 1953. The tap cloth depicts Maka's actual memory as a ten-year-old boy, with yellow barricades around the piece recalling the crowds on the day. His memory also includes seeing someone with blue eyes for the first time which you'll notice as blue dots on the tapa cloth. The artist's technique nods to the Tongan art of ngatu 'uli (black-marked bark cloth), which has a 'material connection to his homeland'. Through his work, Maka is simultaneously telling both a personal and global story of connection.

    Tongan Australian artist Latai Taumoepeau's The Last Resort depicts an all-too-real dystopia where idyllic island landscapes have literally become garbage dumps. It specifically explores the vulnerability and fragility of the Pacific Island nations' saltwater ecosystems. Performer Taliu Aloua wears brick sandals and holds an 'ike (Tongan mallet), while surrounded by a wall of glass bottle-filled sacks. A sea bed of glass lays at her feet. She repeatedly (and very loudly) smashes the bottles with her feet and mallet, and adorns broken sacks in replace of a lei around her neck. This ongoing endurance performance acts as a response to the physical and emotional (as well as geo-political) labour of Pacific Island people against the agents of climate change. Their connection to the land and the true destruction happening to it is viscerally depicted here.

    Smoan artist Luli Eshrgh created a peaceful and beautiful ceremonial space for the 22nd Biennale. Re(cul)naissance honours precolonial kinship systems, using natural light to shun western religious beliefs of bringing 'light' to colonised nations; instead, this work fully embraces Indigenous practices that are 'considered deviant by western missionaries'. The work specifically interacts with Smoan and other Indigenous concepts, namely 'mlamalama the process of enlightenment through paying attention to symbiotic p (the origin of the universe), lagi (multiple heavens) and other kin animals. The space and video performance openly explores multiple genders and sexualities in an engaging way that offers up a future 'free of colonial shame'.

    Eshrgh collaborated with artists Tommy Misa, Sereima Adimate and Kiliati Pahulu on this project.

    French artist Laure Prouvost's Biennale artwork is potentially the most unsettling of the bunch. Into All That Is Here With The Two Cockatoo Too is a site-specific work that uses the entirety of the island's Dog Leg Tunnel. Within the dark tunnel, Prouvost provides an immersive experience that touches many senses and mimics the 'daily flow of images and texts that assail us'. Think of it as content overload, while trying to traverse a house of horrors. You'll hear whispers throughout the tunnel, and one of those voices may just be the artist herself who at times will be lurking in the shadows and encouraging you to sit with her. Further in, the tunnel begins to 'wind' as constructed black curtains make you weave in-and-out, which starts to feel endless. Needless to say, you better not be afraid of the dark for this one.

    Top image: Hannah Catherine Jones 'Ode to Diaspora'; photograph: Zan Wimberley

    Published on March 16, 2020 by Marissa Ciampi

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    Ten Highlights of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney 2020 - Concrete Playground

    Four to the floor: Why Nottingham cabbies are at the forefront of EV innovation – - March 16, 2020 by admin

    Wireless charging technology being trialled outside Nottingham train station may offer a glimpse of the future for electric vehicles

    In 2020 it feels safe to assume most people are by now familiar with battery-powered cars, even if only a few have actually ever driven one. There are, after all, more than 270,000 plug-in vehicles on UK roads, and the EV charging points dotted across the country now outnumber petrol stations.

    But, how about an EV that forgoes physically plugging into a power supply, and instead charges up its battery wirelessly, simply by briefly parking over a panel on the floor?

    To some in the green tech world it may sound like the latest inevitable milestone in fast-moving technological progress which has already seen cars drive themselves hundreds of miles across the UK. But for many people, drawing energy up through the road to power a car no doubt looks and sounds like a futuristic piece of sci-fi kit, most likely to be found on the streets of Silicon Valley.

    Yet such technology is far from futuristic - it's operating right now. And you do not have to cross the Atlantic to find it. Instead, the pioneering system is to be found at a train station in Nottingham.

    In the coming weeks, a six month pilot is set to kick-off which will see 10 electric taxis charging up just outside Nottingham station via five specially-designed 'pads' installed on the ground, thanks to 3.4m of funding from the government. The project is being carried out via Innovation Gateway, a coalition of organisations set up to share knowledge and innovations to help reduce costs and environmental impacts from the built environment.

    The charging technology is situated within a taxi rank, and therefore ring-fenced solely for use by the 10 specially-modified taxis, made up of a combination of LEVC TX electric black cabs - which have now become an everyday sight on the streets of London - and Nissan ENV200 models.

    Similar trials have already taken place in other parts of Europe, while in the UK electric car charging tech firm last year secured2.3m from the government to deploy wireless charging on residential streets in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, and the London Borough of Redbridge, in collaboration with Open University and the University of Warwick. But Nottingham train station marks the first major test of its kind for wireless on-the-go charging in the UK, explains Wayne Bexton, head of energy services at Nottingham City Council.

    "It's quite straightforward," he tells BusinessGreen. "There's already charging infrastructure on the roadside. It's just added hardware which goes into the ground, so the vehicles pull over, and their batteries are topped up using electromagnetic, wireless charging. Part of the trial is to find out how long it takes to top up the battery to the level required by the drivers."

    Indeed, the trial is not just an opportunity to show off flashy tech for the sake of it. The idea, Bexton explains, is to capture data on how cab drivers use the technology, and what kind of benefits it can bring to them, their customers, and the wider use of roads in the city. Indeed, wireless charging will not be suitable for all types and uses of electric vehicles, but for busy cab drivers, a very quick top-up charge between trips could keep their cars going for longer throughout the day without the fear of losing out on business when the battery runs low.

    "It could potentially boost a taxi driver's earning potential, as these wireless chargers at the taxi rank allow them to recharge while they're waiting for passengers," Bexton says. "It facilitates shorter, more frequent charging, and benefits vehicles with smaller batteries. It also helps remove some of that so-called 'range anxiety' which has been referred to even by some of the cab drivers committed to taking part of the trial, suggesting there is some nervousness about how long they can drive for, and how many pickups they can do. So I think this technology should hopefully just give them reassurance that running out of battery power isn't going to be an issue."

    It may offer a glimpse of the future, but wireless charging perhaps does not yet offer a straight-swap for traditional EV charging via a plug and adaptor, so do not expect to see the technology appearing on household driveways and carparks right across the country any time too soon. That is because it takes longer to charge up a battery wirelessly, which is why it is being tested for top-up taxi charging. Rough early estimates, which the trial is in large part designed to more accurately refine, indicate an 11kWh charging pad might take up to three hours to charge up an EV battery from empty to full, or 4.5 hours for a 7kWh pad, according to Nottingham City Council.

    Nevertheless, if the trial proves a hit, the Council hopes to keep the charging panels in place at the taxi rank for the foreseeable future. And, as the technology improves, it potentially offers an efficient top-up solution for electric buses to reduce their downtime, as well as for EV drivers who live in properties without their own garage or driveway from which to directly plug into their mains, explains Bexton.

    "It's proven technology, but the trials are aimed at finding out how it actually works on the roads, which could maybe pave the way for more of these, maybe even making them available to members of the public as EV adoption increases," he explains. "If it does work, if someone is going to the shops, they could perhaps leave their vehicle in a parking bay where they could wirelessly top up the battery power with these electromagnetic chargers. Or, when you think about people living in apartments and flats who may not be able to have an opportunity to have a charger themselves, they're going to need the public network to support them owning an EV. So it's these kinds of innovations that I think can help that transition."

    It is far from Nottingham's only green transport initiative. With the Council having set an ambitious target to become a carbon neutral city in 2028, it is now publicly consulting on an action plan to get there, and is already well on the way after slashing CO2 emissions by 41 per cent since 2005.

    It has already been making significant strides towards reducing traffic and emissions on the roads, too, which Bexton concedes make up a "chunky" part of Nottingham's CO2. Yet thanks to investments in public transport and the city's tram network, as well as around 6m of low carbon vehicle project funding via the government's Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) initiative, Nottingham has managed to keep traffic and air pollution relatively under control where other similar sized UK cities have often struggled. And it is right into these wider carbon neutrality efforts from the Council that the wireless taxi driving trial slots in.

    "It's a case of bringing the taxi drivers on that journey as they are critical for the city's infrastructure," Bexton says. "Other cities have seen a rise in emissions from transport, but we in Nottingham have seen it stay level, which is good."

    As is now common sense across the green economy, Nottingham's low transport efforts also link up closely with its policies for energy, of which 24 per cent in the city now comes from local, renewable energy. To take just a handful of examples, there are 5,000 domestic and 60 commercial scale solar PV installations across the city, in addition to the UK's largest district heating network which currently serves 5,000 homes and 150 commercial businesses with excess heat from an energy-from-waste incinerator.

    It has not been easy pursuing an ambitious decarbonisation agenda over a decade which has seen council budgets severely squeezed, Bexton acknowledges, but he says the various initiatives have been possible thanks to such strong support from Nottingham residents.

    "The whole agenda has been massively embraced," he says. "I think we're starting to see huge interest and enthusiasm for this agenda and the desire to do the right thing across citizens and businesses in Nottingham. We're seeing that shift in people's day-to-day behaviours, and some of the requests that come into the Council around environmental issues. People are a lot more knowledgeable on this agenda than they ever have been, which is great. It really does mean we can get on and support that across the city."

    If the wireless electric taxi trial proves a success, cab drivers could be yet another section Nottingham's population who have been won over to the city's ambitious carbon neutral agenda.

    This article was sponsored by Innovation Gateway

    Read the original:
    Four to the floor: Why Nottingham cabbies are at the forefront of EV innovation -

    New look Salisbury Wetherspoon to create more jobs – Spire FM - March 16, 2020 by admin

    Published by Mike Draper at 5:48am 12th March 2020. (Updated at 6:09am 12th March 2020)

    An additional 30 full-time and part-time jobs will also be created, including bar staff, kitchen staff and cleaning team members, when The King's Head Inn reopens.

    The pub and hotel, in Bridge Street, which first opened as a Wetherspoon in July 2002, is undergoing a refurbishment project. It's been almost 6 years since The King's Head Inn and hotel was last refurbished, at a cost of more than 1m.

    The work will include a full redecoration of the pub, with new flooring installed throughout, as well as refurbishment to the seating.

    Behind the scenes, improvements to the kitchen area will take place, new glass racks and back bar decoration installed.

    The refit will also see improvements to the order and pay operation. The pub's known for its often long and slow queues for place orders at bar during busy times.

    Pub manager Robert Stephens told Spire FM News:

    "Wetherspoon is spending 525,000 on the pub, providing further substantial investment into the area, as well as creating 30 new jobs for local people."

    "Myself and my team will look forward to welcoming customers back into The King's Head Inn, in April, and we are confident that they will be impressed by the new look pub."

    Staff from The King's Head have be deployed to other Wetherspoon pubs in the region, during the 33-day closure for the work, and will return for the reopening.

    New look Salisbury Wetherspoon to create more jobs - Spire FM

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