Douglas administration officials announced three major affordable housing grants on Tuesday that will create or restore housing in Springfield, Johnson, and Bellows Falls. At a ceremony at the Rockingham Canal House in Bellows Falls, Deputy Commissioner of Housing and Community Affairs Tayt Brooks presented a grant for $3.5 million to Stewart Property Management, which will be used to assist in the purchase and rehabilitation of Rockingham Canal House, a 41-unit affordable senior housing property. “Foreclosed properties of this nature are exactly what the Neighborhood Stabilization Program was designed to help,” Brooks said. “This property, which also provides affordable housing for disabled residents, was foreclosed on and was at risk of being lost, including the federal rental and operating assistance provided to the property. That is why I am so excited to be here today to announce that because of this grant we will preserve important affordable housing units for Vermonters who really need them.”Late last year the federal government authorized Vermont to distribute $19 million in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to be used to buy and resell foreclosed homes and to refurbish other buildings as part of the response to the mortgage crisis.The state’s plan for distributing the funds calls for providing $7 million to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency to buy and re-sell foreclosed homes to low- and moderate-income Vermonters. $3.1 million of the funds will be made available to municipalities that can administer their own such Neighborhood Stabilization plans. $8.9 million will go to non-profit or private developers for specific projects, with $3 million of the money administered for housing funding by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and $5.9 million administered by the Vermont Community Development Program.A grant for $1 million was also awarded to Springfield Housing Unlimited and Housing Vermont, which will be given as a deferred loan to help restore the historic Ellis Block building, which was almost completely destroyed by a fire on July 8, 2008.The partnership has already begun work on the building, which included the movie theater which premiered the Simpson Movie and 9 affordable apartments on the upper stories.“This is an important project for Springfield,” Brooks said. “The Vermont Community Development Program provided a $165,000 grant to seal the building and prevent further damage last winter.”The final grant is for $1.4 million to Lamoille Housing Partnership and Housing Vermont for a deferred loan to Johnson Community Housing to redevelop the contaminated, vacant and blighted former Vermont Electric Cooperative building in downtown Johnson into 24 new affordable rental units, known as Johnson Community Housing.“This property is located just blocks away from stores, banks, restaurants and the elementary school making it an ideal location for housing,” Brooks said.Governor Jim Douglas praised the staff at the Vermont Community Development Program for its work on crafting the NSP plan and committing all of the NSP funds which it controlled.“Not only did this team help craft the mechanism for disbursing this money, but only weeks after receiving approval from the Legislature they have succeeded in getting all of the money out the door, where it can begin creating jobs,” Douglas said. “These projects will put Vermonters to work redeveloping these sites and creating affordable housing opportunities for Vermonters in need.”To view the complete plan visit: www.dhca.state.vt.us/VCDP/NSP.html(link is external)###
An oil slick was spotted on January 25 on the beaches of Aqqah, Fujairah, a home to renowned beach resorts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), satellite imagery provided by Tanker Trackers, a pro-bono website that monitors the flow of oil at sea, shows.The oil is believed to have been spilled during a ship-to-ship transfer, according to the co-founder of Tanker Trackers, Samir Madani.These ship-to-ship transfers are necessary due to the shallowness of certain parts of the Persian and Oman Gulfs, hence two smaller tankers are sent to load up oil to a very large crude carrier, which needs at least 22 meters of depth.As a VLCC is much higher than the tanker feeding it, the discrepancy can lead to spilling of oil.It appears that the oil transfers often result in spills in the region, which are not that known to the public, and often neglected by the authorities.Namely, on January 11 another oil spill was reported by Tanker Trackers off Basrah, Iraq.Basrah, Iraq – February 2nd, 2018, 29.63° N, 48.72° E #OOTT pic.twitter.com/9jJIpp2jGI— TankerTrackers.com???? (@TankerTrackers) February 3, 2018A ship-to-ship transfer, which took place on January 11, is believed to have been the source of the spill.The spill, which spread over a distance of at least 11 kilometers in the following days drifting closer to shore, was reported to the Ministry of Oil of Iraq and the Port of Basrah.However, the authorities remained unfazed by the occurrence.The good folks at @MarineTraffic were delighted to reconstruct this STS for us. The tanker in the middle is a 334m long VLCC called NAJAF, came in from South Korea and is still in the area, awaiting more oil. Please note that the spill occured a day prior to this video. #OOTT pic.twitter.com/lKVz0A5Oqt— TankerTrackers.com???? (@TankerTrackers) January 17, 2018In UAE on the other hand, the authorities seem to be frustrated by the frequency of these spills, Madani told World Maritime News.In 2005, the Fujairah Port issued an order to tankers to conduct ship-to-ship transfers outside the port area amid common oil slicks that were reaching the port waters.Most of these anchorages where ship-to-ship transfers take place are rocky and pertain to the international waters, which makes it even harder to hold those accountable for damages.Furthermore, as the area is a transit point for many ships it is very difficult to find the source of the spill.Tanker Trackers has made it its mission to help find these sources of spills by utilizing satellite imagery.World Maritime News Staff
Action in York gets underway without reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, who decided against defending his title. The former world champion takes on the Maltese veteran, Tony Drago.Meanwhile, Limerick’s Leo Fernandez will face four-time World champion, John Higgins.Kilkenny’s David Morris faces Michael Georgiou, and Joe Swail is up against Joel Walker.
Longtime Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli, fired this spring after 24 seasons at the school, has been hired to be an assistant on new Michigan coach Juwan Howard’s staff, Martelli said Monday.“THE NEXT CHAPTER !!!” Martelli tweeted, in part, tagging Howard’s and the Wolverines men’s basketball’s Twitter accounts and closing with the University of Michigan-centric hashtag #GoBlue. THE NEXT CHAPTER !!! @umichbball @JuwanHoward THX to @saintjosephs @A10MBB ,Big5,Philly hoops allowing me and my family to take away lifetime memories and lifelong friendships #GoBlue— Phil Martelli (@PhilMartelli) June 3, 2019Martelli, 64, will serve as Howard’s top assistant, according to multiple reports, as well as a savvy sounding board for Howard in his first season as a college head coach at his alma mater.Martelli was 444-328 in nearly a quarter-century at Saint Joseph’s, leading the Hawks to the NCAA Tournament seven times and the NIT six times. His best team, in 2003-04, went 30-2, was ranked No. 1 and held the top seed in the 2004 NCAA Tournament before bowing out in the Elite Eight. Related News Guard Jahvon Quinerly transfers to Alabama from Villanova According to the Detroit News, in addition to hiring Martelli, “all signs point to” Howard retaining assistant Saddi Washington and adding Knicks assistant Howard Eisley to complete his staff. Washington was an assistant to departed coach John Beilein for three seasons, and Eisley is a Detroit native who was a high school teammate of Jalen Rose, like Howard one of the “Fab Five” at Michigan.