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    Category: Sprinkler System


    With 1,100+ buildings in violation, NYC sprinkler law could cost owners big – amNY - December 8, 2019 by admin

    The citys Department of Buildings will begin enforcing a commercial sprinkler law passed in 2004 requiring all New York City landlords to install the fire prevention equipment.

    Despite the 15-year window for property owners to get up to code, it was revealed at a November City Council committee hearing that about 1,100 buildings were still not in compliance with the Local Law 26 and 86 building owners have completely ignored city notifications.

    The window officially closed Dec. 1, and all commercial building owners are required to have installed sprinkler systems in their buildings throughout the city, including numerous city owned structures.

    Our goal is compliance, said Andrew Rudansky, a spokesman for the Department of Buildings. Building owners who fail to comply with DOB orders regarding these sprinkler requirements may face additional violations, which carry additional associated civil penalties, until they come into compliance.

    Buildings officials revealed that 983 buildings have been issued Environmental Control Board violations for non-compliance with the sprinkler requirements. Officials indicate that these buildings are in various stages of compliance with the law, as many are actively engaged in sprinkler installation projects. The violations come with civil penalties of $1,250 which can be waived if building owners certify that they are in compliance with Local Law 26 within 40 days of the issuance.

    Some of the more notable buildings on the list include the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange many of the older Wall Street buildings were listed as non-compliant. Some of the city buildings were owned by Department of Corrections, Parks and Education.

    Continued noncompliance with these regulations could result in additional fines, with civil penalties of up to $25,000. Buildings will be subject to re-inspection every 60 days which could add to the total monetary damages.

    Experts in sprinkler installation told amNewYork full compliance with the law is difficult because older buildings may require expensive asbestos abatement; some businesses might also need to be relocated during renovations.

    Installing sprinkler systems can cost upwards of $4 a foot making the installation process very costly for some owners to afford. Once a system is installed, property owners are further required to have an engineer inspect every floor of their building to certify compliance with the law.

    In addition to city penalties, commercial owners face liability should there be a fire in their building provided that they are not in code compliance. One expert said, An insurance company might not even want to cover damage or injuries in a fire and that might fall on the owner.

    As the city presses demands for sprinkler compliance, the City Council is considering a bill introduced by Queens Councilman Barry Grodenchik, which will require residential buildings 40 feet or taller to have sprinklers installed within 10 years of the bill signing. The bill will be considered in the 2020 session.

    While it may be difficult for some landlords to afford sprinklers and problematic in many cases, Grodenchik maintained that it is necessary because the need is so real because 85 percent of fires are in residential buildings and most of the fatalities are residential.

    Experts in sprinkler installation say it is nearly impossible to install sprinklers in some residential buildings due to structural issues. In some cases, a standpipe would need to be installed in stairwells to a roof storage tank as street pressure would not accommodate the sprinklers above the third floor.

    A standpipe is used by firefighters in stairwells of buildings to stretch lines more closely than a fire hydrant on the street.

    Most of those buildings without standpipes were built before 1938, and were not required to have standpipes when they were built.

    Building experts say most of those buildings under 75 feet are outside Manhattan and are owned by small owners. One expert said, Bringing water above the third floor with street pressure is unlikely so they would have to install standpipes and water tanks. They could install pumps, but then they would have to install a backup generator in case electric goes out. This for many residential owners would be a financial calamity.

    Charles Rizzo, CEO of the Rizzo Group, which specializes in sprinkler consulting for commercial buildings, said the Council needs to conduct more careful deliberations of the consequences of forcing landlords to do this. He recommended that the law only apply to buildings that are 75 feet or higher because they are already retrofitted with standpipes under current law.

    This bill was a surprise to the community, Rizzo said. They need to provide alternatives rather than a wholesale solution.

    Some of the alternatives include requiring installation of building wide-notification systems and intercoms so that people have enough notice to evacuate in case of a fire.

    The new law also presents logistical challenges for the Buildings Department, which has hired 400 additional workers to review hundreds of commercial sprinkler applications.Many landlords are rushing to complete compliance in some form, buildings officials said.

    Edward Amador, a spokesman for Councilman Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. who is the chairman of the Housing and Buildings Committee, said Cornegy was concerned about enforcement because they seemed to be under sourced and understaffed and may have problems following through.

    Amador pointed to a recent hearing on lead abatement, during which an official from Housing Preservation and Development admitted that in 15 years, the agency wrote just two violations and only because they were forced to by a judge.

    Grodenchik said he realized there may be difficulty for some landlords to comply with a residential sprinkler requirements. He said they are considering low interest loans, tax abatements or credits for completing the requirements.

    However, insurance companies may not necessarily supporting the legislation with incentives. One expert pointed out that the damage from sprinkler head water to a building can be more expensive than personal injuries and therefore, insurance companies do not offer financial incentives for sprinkler installation.

    Jamie McShane, a spokesperson for the Real Estate Board of New York, said the organization is reviewing the legislation.

    The FDNY testified last month with the Department of Buildings commissioner about the necessity of sprinklers, and want the law enforced.

    Frank Dwyer, FDNY deputy commissioner said, Sprinklers are an important, life-saving tool which help reduce the risk of danger during a fire for both building occupants and firefighters.

    View post:
    With 1,100+ buildings in violation, NYC sprinkler law could cost owners big - amNY

    It needs improvements. But Americas Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration will still move floats to county property – Wicked Local Plymouth - December 8, 2019 by admin

    Permitting issues have delayed Americans Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration from moving its parade floats to new storage facilities on county land.

    PLYMOUTH Permitting issues have delayed Americans Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration from moving its parade floats to new storage facilities on county land.

    But officials and parade organizers appear to be in agreement on a plan that should get the rolling collection of Americana under wraps by the end of the year.

    Parade organizer Olly deMacedo said his group will have to do more work than anticipated before it can start moving floats into the vacant building behind the Plymouth County Correctional Facility. But the project is less than some originally feared and should easily be completed within the new deadline for moving the floats from the former Sears building in Kingston.

    DeMacedo met with Plymouth Fire Chief Ed Bradley and Building Inspector Paul McAuliffe Monday to iron out details of the move.

    The parade group stored most of its floats at Sears for the last few years, but the building is slated for demotion to make way for residential development. The county came to the rescue just before this years parade, offering to let deMacedo use a building that has sat vacant behind the county jail since 2009.

    The building was originally designed to house an indoor firing range for the county law enforcement community, but the plan fell by the wayside after the state took over the jail a decade ago.

    The county commissioners agreed to let deMacedo use the building to store floats for the next two years, but the plan didn't go before either Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald or town officials.

    McDonald has said he is pleased to help the parade but feared that the building would not meet with town building approval because it was no longer being used for official county business and thus was held to more rigid permitting standards.

    The building has a dirt floor and no heat, water or electricity. Further, any building over 7,500 square feet needs a sprinkler system.

    Bradley said the building is less than 7,500 square feet, so it will not need the sprinklers or water. But it will require electricity as well as a system to protect the soil from contamination.

    DeMacedo said has always been planning to install new doors on the building and will now install electricity as well. He will also begin pouring a concrete floor and will bring in industrial-sized trays to catch fluids that could leak from the floats.

    He said the parade organizers are still actively looking for a permanent home for the floats, but are pleased to have temporary storage.

    Its good to see the town working together, and were hoping in next few weeks to be getting in place over there, deMacedo said, acknowledging that the situation could have been a lot worse if he had to install sprinklers or drainage. Well do whatever they need us to do to comply and leave a nicer building for the county when were done.

    McDonald said he is glad to see the parade will have a place to store the floats in the short run, but noted that the building is not a long-termsolution.

    "It'sjust a shell of a building," he said, "sothe quicker they can get those floats intoclimate control thebetter it will be. At the end of the day, I'm glad we can help. I wish we'd been consulted, but I'mglad we could help."

    Read more:
    It needs improvements. But Americas Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration will still move floats to county property - Wicked Local Plymouth

    The Mystery at the Center of the Solar System – The Atlantic - December 8, 2019 by admin

    Read: Astronomers cant decide what the sun is made of

    To ponder the unknowns feels like sitting with an inquisitive toddler. Why is the suns outer atmosphere, the corona, so hot? Where does the solar wind come from? Why does it shoot out of the corona like that? What makes the sun flare up sometimes, shooting even more excited particles out into space? These are some of the questions that scientists hope Parker can answer before its mission ends in 2025, with a fiery plunge right into the sun.

    NASA released the first batch of results this week, published across four papers in Nature. The findings come from measurements of the corona, which is, remarkably, hotter than the surface itself. The corona extends millions of miles from the surface into space. The region is only visible to the naked eye during a solar eclipse, when the moon casts a shadow on the Earth and blocks out the sun, leaving only a golden ring hanging in a darkened sky.

    The corona unleashes powerful streams of high-energy particles, known as the solar wind, which can be felt all across the solar system, and far beyond Pluto. The data from the Parker probe show that the solar wind is far more turbulent near the sun than in our own vicinity, tens of millions of miles away. The wind drags the suns magnetic field out into space, and even bends the field enough for magnetic forces to completely flip around for a few minutes at a time, pointing back at the sun itself instead of into space. The researchers werent expecting the strength of this effect, as well as how often it seems to occur.

    Scientists also found that shifts in the suns magnetic field speed up the particles flowing away from the sun much faster than any of their models had predicted. Astronomers have spent decades probing the depths of countless distant stars in the cosmos, some of them billions of light-years away, but their own still keeps secrets from them.

    Read: Where is our suns twin?

    Scientists havent been able to make such close-up detections with instruments on Earth, or even with earlier missions to the sun, which never got as close. For studying the sun, proximity is everything. Imagine that we live halfway down a waterfall, and the water is always going past us, and we want to know, what is the source of the waterfall up at the top? says Stuart Bale, a scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, and the lead on a Parker instrument that examines the solar wind by measuring magnetic fields. Is there an iceberg melting up there? Is there a sprinkler system? Is there a lake, a hole in the ground? And its very hard to tell from halfway down. So what Parker has done is got us closer than ever to the sun.

    At every close approach, the Parker probe will also get closer to pulling off one of the toughest feats of robotic space exploration. It sounds counterintuitive, but its actually harder to reach the sun than it is to leave the solar system altogether. The suns gravity is always tugging at everything around it, from giant planets to tiny moons, but those objects are also looping around the sun at great speeds, which keeps them from falling toward it. To get to Mars, you only need to increase slightly your orbital speed. If you need to get to the sun, you basically have to completely slow down your current momentum, Yanping Guo, the mission-design and navigation manager for the Parker Solar Probe, explained to me.

    More here:
    The Mystery at the Center of the Solar System - The Atlantic

    NASA’s Sun-Orbiting Probe Reveals New Secrets of Our Host Star – Smithsonian.com - December 8, 2019 by admin

    In August 2018, NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe toward the sun to analyze and measure the G-type yellow dwarf star that makes life on Earth possible. Now, after the spacecraft completed 3 of 24 planned close orbits around the sun, researchers have released four papers published in the journal Nature detailing the probe's first findings.

    The $1.5 billion probe has flown closer to the sun than any spacecraft in history, passing through the suns upper atmosphere, or corona, for the first time. The probe is loaded up with several suites of instruments that collect data about solar wind, plasma flows, the suns magnetic field and more, reports Alexandra Witze at Nature News & Comment.

    Scientists at University of California, Berkeley led by plasma physicist Stuart Bale control the probes devices, fittingly dubbed FIELDS, that study the suns magnetic and electric fields. A second toolkit called SWEAPor Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons, operated by the University of Michigan and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatorymeasures the particles of solar winds. The probes imaging instrument WISPR is led by the Naval Research Lab. Another group of devicescalled the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun suite, led by Princeton Universitymeasures the suns outflow of energetic particles, like electrons and ions. Together, data from all of these instruments are revolutionizing what we know about the star.

    Solar winds constantly wash over Earth, but studying the phenomenon from an earthly vantage point is like trying to understand the origin of a waterfall by standing halfway down the cliff, explains Bale. Expanding on the waterfall analogy, Bale tells Witze, [i]f you want to know the source, you have to get up there and get closeris it coming from one hole in the ground? From a bunch of seams in the rocks? Is there a sprinkler system up there?

    The so-called fast solar wind, which flows at 500 to 1,000 kilometers per second, emanates from large holes in the corona near the suns north and south poles, reports Hannah Devlin at The Guardian. However, the origin of the slow solar wind, which is denser and travels at about half that speed, is not understood, explains atmospheric physicist Tim Horbury of Imperial College London, who is part of FIELDS research team.

    During each swoop toward the sun, the probe passes about 15 million miles above a coronal hole for up to a week at a time to measure the solar wind and magnetic fields, according to a Berkeley press release.

    Parker Solar Probe is also investigating a mystery that has long baffled solar physicists: the extreme heat of the outer atmosphere. The corona is a million degrees, but the suns surface is only thousands, Horbury tells Devlin. Its as if the Earths surface temperature were the same, but its atmosphere was many thousands of degrees. How can that work? Youd expect to get colder as you moved away.

    Data from the spacecraft shows that the movement of plasma in the corona is extraordinarily complex. The measurements revealed that quick reversals in magnetic fields and fast-moving jets of plasma cause turbulence in the solar wind. The researchers dubbed one particularly dramatic type of magnetic field reversal a switchback.

    As the solar wind flows away from the sun, the magnetic field lines would almost completely reverse for a few seconds or even a few minutes, causing abrupt changes in velocity. When the magnetic field snaps back to its previous orientation, it produces a spike in energy. While the researchers do not yet know what causes these magnetic reversals, the spacecraft's close observations will help them narrow down the possibilities.

    These switchbacks are probably associated with some kind of plasma jets," Bale says in the Berkeley release. My own feeling is that these switchbacks, or jets, are central to the solar wind heating problem.

    The Parker probe was able to measure solar wind while it was still rotating with the sun, finding that the speed and strength of the rotation was ten times more powerful than current solar models predict.

    Because the sun rotates, solar wind travels on a curved path. But after the energy is flung into space, its path eventually straightens out. Finding out the exact point at which that energy starts traveling in a straight line will tell researchers about the lifecycles of stars and the workings of protoplanetary disks, which will improve our understanding of how planets form.

    The probe also observed the suns dust-free zone. Our solar system is full of dust particles remaining from the planet-forming process that occurred over billions of years. Researchers long ago predicted that the heat of the sun could vaporize this dust into gas creating an area with much less dust. The probe has finally found supporting evidence of this phenomenon and researchers suspect it will likely encounter less and less dust as it swings closer to the sun.

    Scientists also used the probes data to measure the outflow of electrons and ions that sometimes produce solar flares or coronal mass ejections (CMEs). So far, the Parker probe has recorded several new types of particles and ejection events that researchers are unable to observe from Earth, explains Princetons David McComas who leads the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun suite of instruments.

    Its amazingeven at solar minimum conditions, the sun produces many more tiny energetic particle events than we ever thought, says McComas in a NASA press release. These measurements will help us unravel the sources, acceleration, and transport of solar energetic particles and ultimately better protect satellites and astronauts in the future.

    As Mike Wall at Space.com reports, this new data is really just a taste of what the probe will likely discover if its 4.5-inch-thick, carbon-composite shield can survive the remaining 21 dips closer and closer to the sun over the next five years. Eventually, the craft will fly as close as 3.83 million miles above the sun.

    We knew we were going into a region we've never been before. It is a voyage of discovery, Nicola Fox, director of the NASAs Heliophysics Division, tells Nell Greenfieldboyce at NPR. It's going to the last sort of major region of our solar system to ever be visited by a spacecraft. And as we continue to get closer and closer, then I'm sure that we are going to continue to see more and more surprises."

    See the rest here:
    NASA's Sun-Orbiting Probe Reveals New Secrets of Our Host Star - Smithsonian.com

    Affordable Starter Homes in the Lincoln Area | Home and Garden – Lincoln Journal Star - December 8, 2019 by admin

    This darling 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch home was built ahead of it's time with modern construction including a poured concrete foundation, exterior wall insulation, and over a foot of blown insulation in the attic. It has been owned and cared for by a single family and never used as a rental. The main floor features beautiful refinished red oak wood floors with a completely updated bathroom. Laundry hookups are available in the bath on the main floor or in the basement. The kitchen has new sink, faucet, garbage disposal, dishwasher, cooktop hood, and slate back splash. The basement is finished with a large family room and additional bath and laundry. The fenced double lot backyard is perfect for gardening, outdoor games, and pets and also features large cement patio has extra deep footings to allow for a room addition if desired. This is a perfect starter home conveniently located on an Emergency snow/bus route for quick snow removal. Come take a look today!

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    Affordable Starter Homes in the Lincoln Area | Home and Garden - Lincoln Journal Star

    Permits for 20 new construction projects issued in San Francisco last week – Yahoo News - December 8, 2019 by admin

    Photo: Unsplash

    Wondering what buildings are coming down or going up in San Francisco? Local building permit data can shine a light on what's under construction near you.

    In the past week, the city issued 383 building permits, according to data from BuildZoom, a platform that helps homeowners and businesses with new construction and remodels.

    Twenty of those permits were for new building construction, three were for demolition projects and the remainder were for repairs and renovations.

    Read on for a selection of the most noteworthy new permits.

    Applicant TSL Construction & Consultant Inc. received a permit for new construction of a structure at 128 Elsie St. In the permit, the work scope is described as: "New construction of a single-family home. Five bathrooms, one kitchen, four shower pans. Underground plumbing."

    Contractor BH Chen Inc. received a permit for new construction of a structure at 18 Turk Murphy Lane.The permit defines the project's work scope as: "Install new fire sprinkler."

    Applicant De Anza Tile Co Inc. received a permit for new construction of a structure at 1 Market St. The permit defines the project's work scope as: "Waterproofing at two new shower pans on level six."

    Contractor AM West Mechanical Inc. was issued a permit for repair/renovation of a structure at 3475 16th St. The permit defines the project's work scope as: "Install new water service line for new fire sprinkler system."

    Contractor Innovative Construction Implement was issued a permit for addition of a structure at 1309 Ninth Ave. In the permit, the work scope is described as: "New ADA restroom. New service area."

    Contractor Berisha Construction received a permit for repair/renovation of a structure at 1251 37th Ave. The work is described as: "New plumbing throughout whole home."

    This story was created automatically using local building data from BuildZoom, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing.

    Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.

    Story continues

    More here:
    Permits for 20 new construction projects issued in San Francisco last week - Yahoo News

    Over 22 years, St. Paul housing agency added sprinklers to every high-rise – Minneapolis Star Tribune - December 5, 2019 by admin

    The St. Paul Public Housing Agency spent two decades adding sprinklers to every unit on every floor in each of its 16 high-rise apartment buildings.

    Thats why St. Pauls retired fire marshal, Steve Zaccard, believes public housing residents in that city would have been saved from the kind of fire that killed five people in Minneapolis last week.

    If the sprinklers are maintained, a deadly blaze like the one in Minneapolis is not possible, Zaccard said in an interview this week.

    The Cedar High Apartments, where last weeks deadly blaze occurred, is one of 42 high-rises operated by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. That 25-story building at 630 S. Cedar Av., has partial sprinkler coverage on the main floor and lower mechanical equipment rooms but lacks sprinklers on the upper levels where people lived.

    Zaccard sees what happened in Minneapolis as a teaching moment.

    Im hoping these folks have not died in vain, that we can finally get some remaining high-rises sprinkled, he said.

    Government codes did not widely require sprinklers in high-rise buildings until the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Cedar High building was one of many public housing buildings constructed before that.

    Over the years, Minnesota lawmakers have considered requiring the owners of older high-rise buildings to retrofit them with sprinklers, but none of those proposals were adopted. After one of those efforts failed at the state level, Zaccard and the St. Paul Public Housing Agency decided they could wait no longer.

    The residents expect a lot from us, said Jon Gutzmann, executive director of St. Pauls agency. They expect safe, affordable, quality housing for sure.

    The agency began work on its first major high-rise sprinkler installation in 1990, when it began a larger remodeling effort at the Neill Hi-Rise in the citys Cathedral Hill district.

    Over more than 20 years, it spent $8.3 million on the sprinkler project, with the final installation at the Ravoux Hi-Rise in 2012. Gutzmann said the authority used money from the roughly $7 million to $8 million in annual capital funding it received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Zaccard commended the agency for sticking with the project, noting that over that period of time, that two decades, funding was very lean at times, and they had to delay it.

    He continued: It took them a while, but they were persistent and accomplished it.

    Zaccard, who retired in 2017 after more than 30 years with the fire department, said sprinklers are 96% effective at controlling fires.

    While the exact number of fires prevented can be hard to determine, the St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections said it hears of about one fire each year in a public housing high-rise thats extinguished by the sprinkler system, according to spokeswoman Suzanne Donovan.

    The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) has sprinklers inside the apartments in 16 of its 42 high-rise buildings, which are about 50 years old on average, according to spokesman Jeff Horwich. In the days since the fire, residents and politicians have called on the authority to add in-unit sprinklers to more of its buildings. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said earlier this week that he would support efforts to require sprinklers in the authoritys high-rise buildings but the additional piece is that we need the necessary funding.

    Horwich said in a statement that sprinkler systems are a priority for comprehensive building modernizations we undertake, and are included in the modernizations that are currently underway. He said he could not comment further.

    The Housing Authority wrote in a draft of its 2020 annual report that it currently has $152 million in unmet capital needs, including $69 million for mechanical systems, which includes plumbing and fire systems. A separate progress report submitted to the authoritys board showed that as of late August, another building had a sprinkler system update in progress. That building is in the same complex as the high-rise that caught fire.

    The authoritys report also noted that federal capital funds meet only about 10% of its needs. In 2020, we project no dramatic reversal in this decadeslong trend, the report added.

    The authority concluded: While we continue to press the federal government for increased capital funding, MPHA and the families we serve cannot afford to simply wait.

    Go here to see the original:
    Over 22 years, St. Paul housing agency added sprinklers to every high-rise - Minneapolis Star Tribune

    NASAs Parker Solar Probe Is Unlocking the Suns Mysteries – The New York Times - December 5, 2019 by admin

    Since it launched last year, NASAs Parker Solar Probe has made three dives toward the sun as it reached the fastest speed ever clocked by a human-built vehicle. Scientists released the missions first batch of findings on Wednesday, revealing that the dynamics of our star are even weirder than once imagined.

    Four papers published in the journal Nature describe what the spacecraft observed during its first two flybys, as it passed within about 15 million miles of the surface of the sun. That is about half the distance that the planet Mercury orbits the sun.

    All of this brand-new information about how the way our star works is going to help us understand how the sun drives change in the space environment throughout our solar system, said Nicola Fox, director of the heliophysics division at NASA, during a telephone news conference on Wednesday.

    The information could help scientists develop ways to provide advance warning of solar storms that could knock out satellites and electrical grids or endanger the health of astronauts in orbit.

    The sun is essentially a big ball of hydrogen and helium, and for something that we see every day, it remains a complex ball of mystery.

    One puzzle that scientists have been pondering for decades: Why is the solar atmosphere superhot?

    The surface of the sun what we see as a yellow disk in the sky is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That is toasty, but cool compared with what lies above, in the thin atmosphere known as the corona.

    There, the temperatures jump by a factor of 300 or more, to millions of degrees. The corona also accelerates the solar wind the million-miles-per-hour stream of particles that fly outward from the sun.

    Justin C. Kasper, a professor of space sciences and engineering at the University of Michigan and the principal investigator of one of the solar probes four instruments, said scientists said they had a hunch that the vibrating of the suns magnetic fields like the plucking of a guitar string was critical to heating the corona. So they were curious about what the vibrations would look like closer to the sun.

    As expected, the vibrations did get stronger. But the instrument also picked up additional, powerful waves. Kind of like rogue waves in the ocean, Dr. Kasper said.

    As one of the big waves swept the spacecraft, the speed of the solar wind would, within seconds, rise by 300,000 miles per hour. Each wave would last seconds to minutes. Just as quickly, in seconds, it goes past us, and were back in the normal solar wind, Dr. Kasper said.

    The waves were so strong that they could flip the direction of the magnetic field, producing S-shape twists that the scientists called switchbacks, like the twisty paths carved in the side of a steep mountain.

    These are very large and energetic events, Dr. Kasper said. Were really excited about this, because we think it tells us a possible path to understanding how energy is getting from the sun into the atmosphere and heating it.

    With the closer view of the sun, scientists also now have a better idea of where the solar wind originates.

    Most of the solar wind measurements to date have been in the neighborhood of Earth, more than 90 million miles from the sun.

    Stuart Bale, a physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who leads an instrument that measures the electric and magnetic fields in the solar wind, said trying to study solar winds from Earth is like observing the waterfall halfway down.

    The water is always flowing past us, he said. It is very turbulent, chaotic, unstructured. And we want to know what is the source of the waterfall, whats at the top. Is there an iceberg melting up there? Is there a sprinkler system? A lake?

    By the time the solar wind reaches Earth, clues about its origin have been jumbled and become difficult to discern.

    We want to know the source of the water, whats at the top, Dr. Bale said.

    He said that data from the Parker Solar Probe now shows that the so-called slow solar wind, moving at relatively slow speeds of less than a million miles per hour, emerges from what are known as coronal holes locations associated with sunspots and where hydrogen and helium are colder and less dense near the suns Equator. (Faster solar winds traveling more than a million miles per hour were known to originate from coronal holes near the poles.)

    The spacecraft has also been putting together a picture of the cloud of dust surrounding the sun and the corona bits shed from comets and asteroids that have passed. The dust was thinner closer to the sun, matching the expectations for a long-theorized dust-free zone around the star.

    As the Parker Solar Probe gets closer repeated flybys of Venus in the coming years will eventually nudge it to a trajectory that will take it within four million miles of the sun it is likely to confirm that observation and reveal new mysteries.

    Its a bit early to say whether these discoveries actually overturn existing models, Daniel Verscharen, a space scientist at University College London who wrote a commentary accompanying the Nature papers, said in an email. They definitely show that there is a lot more happening close to the sun and that its absolutely worth going there to explore further.

    A European Space Agency mission, Solar Orbiter, is set to launch in February. While it will not get as close to the sun as the Parker Solar Probe, it will carry instruments that will provide different views and provide more clues on solving the mystery of the solar wind.

    Eugene N. Parker, a retired University of Chicago astrophysicist whom the spacecraft is named after, predicted the existence of the solar wind in 1958. It was humbling to see the probes launch and watch it disappear into the night sky, Dr. Parker, now 92, said in a statement provided by the university. But now that data is finally coming in and being analyzed, things are getting really exciting.

    Link:
    NASAs Parker Solar Probe Is Unlocking the Suns Mysteries - The New York Times

    Global Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System Market 2019 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 – Breaking News Updates - December 5, 2019 by admin

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    Global Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System Market 2019 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 - Breaking News Updates

    First Phase of College Avenue Construction Closes for the Season, on Schedule – Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun - December 5, 2019 by admin

    College Avenue reopened to traffic earlier this week as the first of three phases of construction came to a close. The 100-300 block of College Avenue had been closed to cars with its asphalt torn up since the College Avenue Sewer Replacement Project began on August 7, with construction crews installing new water and sewage lines.

    The road has been repaved for the winter and spring to allow vehicles to drive as usual. In the next construction phase, most likely beginning in May, New York State Electric and Gas Corporation crews will dig up College Avenue once again and install a gas line, as well as an electric line underground to replace the current above-ground electric lines.

    Since the road reopened, TCAT routes 11N, 30, 51 and 70 have resumed normal paths along College Avenue, according to a TCAT press release. The return of the bus route to this section of the road has helped business at the Green Star grocery, as people waiting for the bus frequently stop into the store for a snack, according to Green Star employee Jimmy Pomm.

    But another local employee saw the effects of construction differently. Elber Calderon at Enzo Pizzeria told The Sun that business has remained steady throughout the construction.

    Thomas Knipe, Ithacas Deputy Director for Economic Development, said that city officials are aware of the potential negative impacts that the construction might have on businesses. To address these issues, the city posted signs near the construction site indicating that the businesses remained open as usual, Knipe said.

    Some employees at nearby businesses have had trouble parking since the project reduced parking spaces in the area, according to Calderon. Graham Kerslick (D-4th), Alderperson for the 4th Ward, said that limited parking was an issue that city officials are trying to mitigate.

    Another concern that residents and local employees voiced about the construction was the dust in the air, which contractors have tried to quell, Kerslick said.

    The sewer and water lines have not been replaced since 1895, according to Erik Whitney, assistant superintendent of the Department of Public Works, Water & Sewer.

    We got our moneys worth out of this infrastructure, Whitney said. Its roughly a 100-year life cycle with the water and sewer, so this is a once in a lifetime project for everyone involved.

    Aging aside, Whitney said that the water and sewage system needs an urgent update to provide adequate fire protection to the increasing population of Collegetown. According to Alderperson Stephen Smith (D-4th Ward), housing developments over the last five years have increased the living capacity of the area by approximately 1000 people, including the area of the College Avenue construction.

    If a sprinkler system is activated, we need to know that the flow rate is enough to provide fire suppression, Whitney said. This was completely different with two or three story buildings. The new water pipes are larger than those installed in 1895 to supply sufficient water to these buildings in case of a fire.

    The water and sewage pipes are being installed first because they are buried deeper than electrical and gas lines at around 5 and 8 feet deep respectively to avoid freezing in the winter. Electrical and gas lines, buried around two feet deep, will be installed next construction season.

    Whitney said that the work has gone smoothly, finishing this stage of the project under the 800 thousand budget. Smith, though, was less optimistic.

    I wouldve liked to see power lines buried at the same time as the water and sewage work, Smith said. But NYSEG is notoriously difficult to coordinate with, and notoriously bad at maintaining a construction schedule. Its obviously unfortunate to have two consecutive years of construction, but were having growing pains.

    He added that the need for an improved sewage system is so serious that it could not wait for the NYSEG work happening next construction season. Theres always inconvenience, primarily for college students, Whitney said. Having one of the four years disrupted is a high percentage of their time here.

    Unlike the water and sewage work, the electrical work is less urgent, according to Smith. The motivation for moving the electrical lines underground is to avoid outages or fallen power lines during a storm, as well as to improve the appearance of Collegetown.

    This lattice work of power lines, its something you generally dont really notice, but it gives this exposed underdeveloped, temporary feel to things, Smith said. Its just not as neat and orderly or well designed as wed like a street with College Avenues prominence to be.

    According to Smith, much of the reason that this work is happening now is that development in Collegetown has been discouraged since the 1970s. In 2012, city officials changed course, changing parking, zoning and height regulations to enable the larger developments which make replacement of the 134-year-old water and sewer lines even more urgent.

    Smith said that permanent residents in Collegetown, tired of the student-dominated scene, implemented a regulation that every new building must have available one parking space for every two residents. This requirement meant that high-capacity buildings were effectively prohibited.

    You can never build enough parking for a 50-unit apartment building, Smith said. But this strategy has unintended negative consequences, according to Smith. Many homeowners or developers paved over lawns to provide parking spaces, and renters spread out to surrounding single-family neighborhoods.

    The 2012 decision also allowed developers to build taller buildings, and got rid of the requirement that structures cannot be built within five feet of the property line, therefore allowing owners with side-by-side properties to build adjoined buildings.

    You see this in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York City, Smith said. It has this charming urban vibe.

    The final stage of construction, scheduled to be completed in two years, involves redesigning the surface of the street.

    This is a good opportunity to rethink what we want Collegetown to look like are the sidewalks wide enough, does it make sense to provide so much longterm on street parking should we install bike lanes, Smith said. People have even suggested blocking it off to all traffic besides bikes and busses.

    Smith said the redesign is constrained by the age of the street. It was built for two carriages to pass each other, not two buses, he said.

    But Smith, ultimately, saw a glass half-full. This is all in the purpose of creating a better neighborhood where people can feel comfortable and people can enjoy living, Smith said. Thats the light at the end of the tunnel.

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    First Phase of College Avenue Construction Closes for the Season, on Schedule - Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun

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