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A passion for renovation in times of high demand and high prices

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A couple from Shreveport don’t let inflation ruin their dreams of beautifying Shreveport.

Susana and Peter Cerwinski joined the Shreveport community in 2017, having lived in numerous cities in the United States.

Susana, from Ayacucho, Peru, brings with her a touch of South America, taking her vision of the old and the new and creating something beautiful. Peter, a Virginian, is there for the ride, taking Susana’s visions and turning them into reality.

During the Cerwinskis’ 8-year marriage, they’ve completed over six home renovations and hope to make the hobby a lifelong career.

With a year of uncertainty due to a global pandemic, this couple are eager to explore the world of remodeling with wood at an all time high since 1997 and a newly acquired home.

“It will be a risk,” said Susana.

The couple bought a home in 2019, in the Springlake neighborhood, and finished just months before COVID-19 hit the ground running. They are confident in this new renovation but expect the prices to increase.

“I think if these prices continue what we did with this house, I think we spent $ 40,000 on renovations here. It will probably be 20-30% more in the other house. We’ll probably end up spending close to 70 or 80, ”said Peter. “We hope the prices will go down.”

Construction inflation

Peter and Susana Cerwinski renovated a home in Springlake during the pandemic.

The National Association of Home Builders reported that the price of lumber adds nearly $ 36,000 to new home prices.

Lumber is not the only building material to have seen an influx since 2020, but also copper and wire.

“The copper and the wiring are right behind, as far as something has gone up. There just aren’t that many dollars of that in a house. Small price fluctuations like these can be absorbed, but there is so much wood in building a house, ”said Dixey Robertson, general manager of the Home Builders Association of Northwest Louisiana.

The price of wood has increased by 250% since last April. In April 2020, contractors and renovators could buy a thousand boards for about $ 350, today that same wood costs nearly $ 1,200.

Robertson gave a three-part list of what is attributable to this surge in lumber prices:

  • Sawmills were anticipating a drop in demand for lumber, but there was an increase in demand.
  • Mills has experienced a labor shortage much like the rest of the United States due to COVID-19.
  • The tariff policy with Canada came into effect after the new administration entered the White House.

This pricing policy was implemented to combat alleged unfair trade practices by Canada.

On May 21, the White House announced a proposal to raise tariffs on Canadian lumber by 9%, which would contribute to the growing problem of housing affordability in the United States.

The new bathroom that Peter and Susana Cerwinski renovated in Springlake.

Renovations and wood

“I think the top prices will be for the flooring, the tiles and whatever kind of wood we have to buy,” Peter said. “I do all the joinery and everything and the prices have gone up. “

Robertson said wood is part of everything from cabinetry to flooring and fencing.

“Six months ago plywood cost between $ 37 and $ 40, now it costs you between $ 80 and $ 100,” said local carpenter and investor Salvador Gonzalez. “It’s a lot of increase.”

Plywood is a friend of any renovator or builder because of its versatility and that price increase. a project increase by half. Builders across the country are shutting down home production because of the risk of spending more than the market can bear.

Robertson pointed out that if a home increases by $ 36,000 due to inflation in the prices of items such as lumber, the market and comparable homes cannot support that increase.

Suppose a house was built in the middle of 2020 before building materials increased and it remained vacant and on the market. Then the builder decides to build the same house when the prices of building materials go up. These houses are the same as it costs more for the builder to build the second house.

This could be a problem for builders and Robertson said many builders here in our area have decided to wait until the economy is stable. The new subdivisions slowed production due to this inflation.

The new kitchen that Peter and Susana Cerwinski renovated in Springlake.

The future of construction

“People usually say go ahead and do it,” Gonzalez said.

The future of construction is in full swing. The Cerwinskis still pursue their passion to take homes that lack love and make them beautiful.

This couple is prepared for any price inflation. They are used to scouring local areas and beyond Shreveport to find the best deals.

“We hope the prices will drop. I think we will be able to cut costs a bit because most of the work we do on our own, ”said Peter. “We know we’re going to save in a lot of ways. “

Robertson said prices have mostly stabilized, meaning the highest prices on items such as lumber have peaked. This may mean that some form of stability is returning to the construction community.

Mooresville duplex has a European flavor

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Arched garage door openings, brick veneer, and multi-paned windows lend a European look to the Mooresville, a contemporary duplex with a traditional flavor. Each two-bedroom unit offers nearly 1,100 square feet of living space in a mirrored floor plan.

As you enter, you enter a vaulted living room fully open to a flat ceiling dining room at the rear. The rectangular bay window that illuminates and widens the space towards the street could be fitted with a window seat, left as is or filled with potted plants. For families who love to decorate a Christmas tree, this place can’t be beat!

Light enters the rear of the living / dining room through large sliding glass doors. These windows also provide access to a patio which could be covered and screened, if desired. Either way, occupants have a good-sized space to grill and share al fresco meals, all just steps from the kitchen.

Countertops and cabinets run along two kitchen walls, and people working at the sink have a bird’s eye view of the backyard. The children playing there are visible from the inside. Full-size laundry appliances fit neatly into an alcove on the opposite side of the room. Shelves or cabinets fill the wall space above.

A practical powder room is hidden behind a retractable door on one side of the utility room alcove, while a door leading to the garage is on the other.

Each of the Mooresville units has two bedrooms, a linen room and a full bathroom upstairs. From the attic / landing at the top of the stairs you can open onto the living room. A full bathroom provides a sound buffer between the bedrooms.

Associated Designs is the original source for Mooresville 60-005. For more information or to view other models, visit www.AssociatedDesigns.com or call 800-634-0123.


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Water views, green space and luxury welcome you to the Gulf Breeze house

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Bursting with natural light, this upscale waterfront home in Gulf Breeze is over 3,500 square feet and features four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a spacious living area, open kitchen, office space, home and a rear porch closed by a screen running the length of the house. Real Estate Broker / Partner Mark Lee notes that the house is “19 feet above the water and is designed to maximize the view of the water from the master bedroom and every common room.”

Upon arriving at the property, “a beautiful main entrance with large cobblestones and a circular driveway provides generous parking and access to the oversized two-car garage,” says Lee. Hosting large gatherings will be a breeze on the nearly half-acre lot.

Upon entering, owners will love the color scheme. “Light colored floors, white carpet and light tile throughout the house create a contemporary feel, but could easily switch to a coastal, transitional or more traditional style,” says real estate agent Gary Michaels.

The kitchen includes a prep island, bar seating and plenty of storage.

An elegant formal dining area faces the front of the house, overlooking the leafy entrance. The home office with fireplace is also forward facing, with glass doors providing privacy when needed.

“Attractive 10ft, 14ft high ceilings, coffered in the living room and vaulted ceilings in the family area accentuate the open kitchen with bar seating, dining area, and family room. With an easy flow from room to room, entertaining a crowd, large or small, is easy, ”notes Michaels. With a view of the water from every space, they will undoubtedly be popular with owners and guests.

Home chefs will enjoy working in the spacious kitchen, which includes an island for prep space, plentiful cupboards, and a walk-in pantry for additional storage. “The large master bedroom with en-suite bathroom has a sitting area with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the bayou. A short hallway accesses the two walk-in closets and ends in the spacious spa-style bathroom with a separate bespoke tiled shower, giant tub surrounded by tiles, two separate vanities, glass displays and timeless elegance, ”explains the agent. real estate Jeremy Johnson.

With a split floor plan, the home provides privacy for both owners and families or guests. A mini guest suite includes a full bathroom, while two additional bedrooms share the third bathroom.

The Florida lifestyle abounds in the home as’ a deep back porch runs the length of the home and provides welcome shade from the summer sun, as well as views of the landscaped yard and bayou. », Notes real estate agent Stephan Vance. Enjoy barbecues on the waterfront lawn or sit on your private dock.

The home includes many upgrades including a new roof in June 2021, two full coats of hard-coated stucco, bulletproof Miami Dade hurricane curtains, a security system, generator, new seawall and dock cover.

Realtor Cherry Fitch invites you to “Come live in a top-notch neighborhood with quick access to the bay and protected deep waters teeming with fish and crabs you can catch from the dock.”

103 Chanteclaire Circle, Gulf Breeze, Florida

  • List price: $ 1,800,000
  • Approximate Square Feet: 3,518
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Baths: 4 full
  • Built: 1999, with recent upgrades

Great Redwood Trail secures key funding for plan to complete 316 mile trail

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State Senator Mike McGuire couldn’t hide his excitement on Friday.

The 316-mile cycle and walking trail planned to one day connect much of its northern coast district, joining Humboldt Bay to the north and San Francisco Bay to the south, took a big step forward this week.

With a $ 16.5 million allocation included in the state budget of $ 262.6 billion, the trail project that McGuire and others have championed now has funding to go beyond it. ‘a simple concept towards a real design in the field.

Two-thirds of the dedicated funding will be used to develop a plan for the trail, the longest in the country on an old railway line. It would span four counties and cut the corner of a fifth in half, traversing towering redwood forests and the remote canyon of the Eel River.

The trail master plan will determine what it will look like in the stretches – paved in some areas, gravel and single track in others. It will also set the costs of construction, operation and maintenance.

“This will give us, for the first time, an accurate reading of construction costs,” said McGuire, D-Healdsburg.

“This massive investment,” he added, “represents a historic turning point, a diversion from a defunct and crumbling railway line to a path that will be an economic engine and an environmental showcase.”

The state’s new money “ensures the Great Redwood Trail is not a dream,” he said.

To reinforce that message, during Friday’s press conference, McGuire’s team unveiled the official sign that will be used to mark the trail: a majestic Roosevelt elk in bugle framed by ancient sequoias. The signs will start to mount later this summer, he said.

Some sections of the trail have already been built. Of the $ 16.5 million allocated by the legislature, $ 4 million will go towards improving the southern section of the trail, which is part of the trail managed by the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit.

“We already have a strong start on the track in Marin and Sonoma counties,” said Caryl Hart, who joined McGuire at Friday’s event. A member of the California Coastal Commission, she also sits on the board of directors of the North Coast Rail Authority, the public body that previously existed to oversee freight operations and rebuild parts of the old line north of Windsor.

With SMART now in charge of rail freight as well as passenger service, the NCRA has been revamped with one goal: to complete the Great Redwood Trail.

The latest progress is in the southern half, where teams are at work in Healdsburg on a section of track that is expected to be open by the end of this summer, Hart said. This segment and all others in Sonoma and Marin counties will double as part of the cycle and pedestrian path planned to accompany SMART’s 70-mile service line from Larkspur to Cloverdale.

The rail agency is also in charge of the last 2 miles north of the Sonoma-Mendocino border. About 24 miles of this network have already been built, with plans to add an additional 9 miles by 2023, although a recent lawsuit is likely to extend that time.

Last year Ukiah became the first town to officially open part of the Great Redwood Trail, with usable sections totaling just under two miles.

“And I’m proud to say we’re working hard to expand this trail to cover the entire length of town,” Mendocino County Supervisor Mo Mulheren said. A former mayor of Ukiah was instrumental in building these sections and securing a $ 3.5 million grant that will extend the trail through the rest of town.

Emily Sinkhorn, Director of Environmental Services at Arcata, noted with sadness that the rail corridor “was once an economic engine for our region”.

But it was an expensive endeavor to maintain in the age of road navigation, with landslides and washouts in the Eel River Canyon proving too expensive to continue.

The new money from the legislature, she said, helps ensure that the rail corridor “will once again serve a public benefit and expand transportation” – on foot and by bicycle, at least – “within communities. and between them ”.

McGuire was quick to amplify the point, touting the path as a powerful addition to the region’s tourist economy, drawing visitors to a journey of wilderness, farmhouses, and suburban cityscapes.

California’s outdoor recreation economy, he noted, generates approximately $ 95 billion annually and “is responsible for 700,000 jobs and $ 30 billion in wages.”

These numbers will have to compare with others weighing on the trail project, including its cost, which is expected to run into at least hundreds of millions.

Late last year, the California State Transportation Agency said it would take more than $ 1 billion to build and up to $ 4 billion more to tackle environmental impacts along the route. .

In the Eel River Canyon, abandoned rail cars and failed or collapsed bridges, tunnels and culverts must be removed. Toxins from decades of freight traffic will require intensive cleanup, and mitigation of disturbed wetlands is expected to cost more than $ 100 million.

McGuire called the report “hogwash” at the time, and transportation officials pointed out the numbers were “preliminary” and “variable.” The master plan, which is expected to last two to three years, aims to provide a more detailed examination of potential costs.

McGuire focused on the degree of “transformation” – he used the word several times – the new funds will be on Friday.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said, “and we’ve just taken a giant step forward to make it a reality.”

You can contact editor Austin Murphy at 707-521-5214 or [email protected] or on Twitter @ ausmurph88.


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Petaluma plastics company serves as business model to adapt to pandemic

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At the heart of it, Dubisar said, employers are converting the workplace from rows of assigned desks to a layout she called a “neighborhood” with a “free address” for employees when they are there.

Dubisar, who works with tech companies in the Bay Area and around the world, said they were struggling with varying percentages of employees returning to their offices.

“The workplace becomes an ecosystem of closed and open spaces where you can choose when and how you work,” she said. “It’s really important that there is a place where colleagues can meet.

Dubisar predicted that this period of “iterative experimentation” with workplace design and strategy would continue for at least a year before companies settled on a proper office layout and workforce strategy. work that does not diminish a healthy culture.

Stacey Walker, interior designer and director of TLCD Architecture in Santa Rosa, said people now have a different mindset about their work environment.

“This is the first time we’ve all been sent home, and we come back with a new perspective,” said Walker, who works with North Bay health, education and government employers. “And employers feel they need to listen to workers more about their needs.”

Michael Casolo, chief revenue officer at Unispace, a global workplace strategy, design and construction company established in 2010, said employers should focus on three key accommodations for their staff when deciding on their environment post-pandemic office.

These are: worker safety (which is the most important), functionality and workplace culture.

Unispace, with 45 locations in at least 25 countries, provides businesses with strategic workplace consultation and design, and then acts as a general contractor for clients who wish to build offices. Most of its clients operate in the technology, financial and professional services, and life sciences industries.

The future of the office, according to Casolo, makes it a place where workers can do their jobs full-time or part of the workweek and which can function as a third-party site for contractors. When it comes to space allocation, he said, many employers are devoting more of it to shared rooms for teams to meet, collaborate, train, grow and coach.

A key factor for businesses is to design a workplace and maintain a corporate culture for everyone, including “absent people so that they can still be connected to the brand,” said Casolo, based At New York.

Global growth ambition

After Miremont and his 40-year-old wife, the CFO, took over the production company, he set out to reconfigure it for modern, computerized manufacturing. Fortunately for the company, that painstaking job was almost done when the pandemic arrived.

His father moved the plastics manufacturing business from San Francisco to the Petaluma plant on North McDowell Boulevard in 1984. By the 1980s, the work was done by hand with 45 workers.

There is now a smaller, more highly skilled workforce using advanced manufacturing equipment that Miremont intends to continue to add for greater efficiency and to drive growth. The company’s annual revenue is between $ 3 million and $ 5 million, growing by around 20% per year over the past four years.

Miremont, who like his father has a background in philosophy and mathematics, expects another new machine to arrive by the end of the year. Its next step will be to expand the production space.

He intends to enter new global markets and, in five years, hopes to increase his income to around $ 10 million per year, requiring a payroll of around 30 people.

“We’re really trying to be a globally dominant plastics manufacturer,” he said.

While the manufacturing of plastics is the sole focus of the company, a diverse group of customers has allowed a lot of creativity and innovation. There are display projects for Apple and Google; the acrylic wine cellar for Paris Hilton; and autonomous guards used as barriers for a biomedical client in the x-ray area. Among other things, a San Francisco law firm recently turned to Architectural Plastics for products that are part of redesigning three floors of offices so people can work better in closed spaces.

The job for Hilton has given the company wide social media exposure after the hotel heiress posted photos of her brilliant wine cellar to her millions of Instagram followers. This photo-focused social media channel has also become a valuable marketing tool for the company to post photos of fabricated projects on its own Instagram page with 14,000 followers.

Social and business media, word of mouth, and customer referrals are the primary ways in which Architectural Plastics lands new projects. Miremont prefers this, saying his business operates as a business of “relating” to customers rather than pushing them to buy products.

Donation of products and time

The pandemic has been a successful chapter for the company and it has offered opportunities to give back. To this end, over the past 12 to 15 months, the company has offered many face shields, trained family operators that emerged over the past year to take advantage of the growing demand for plastic barriers for manufacturing. basic.

Miremont said he had acquired so many thin acrylic sheets that “we ended up being a resource in June 2020 when we were the only company on the west coast that had acrylic.”

A key business lesson he can learn from the turbulent operating climate of the pandemic?

“The biggest thing I’ve found is that if we’re really trying to do something right, the doors kind of open for you,” he said.

You can reach Editor-in-Chief Paul Bomberger at 707-521-5246 or [email protected] On Twitter @BiznewsPaulB.


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“We don’t want to organize events that people won’t want to attend”, it’s time for the big glass box show on Manhattan’s West Side

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It’s been 15 bizarre months at the Javits Center. How could it be otherwise?

The conventions have ceased to meet. Trade shows have stopped negotiating. Once COVID exploded, all public gatherings were suddenly against the law. But here’s the even stranger thing: In America’s “busiest convention center,” life sort of went on. It was just that instead of wearing B-to-B’ers badges and crazy costumed Comic-Conners, the six-block glass and steel box on Manhattan’s West Side was populated with COVID patients and those who hoped desperately not. to become one.

The Javits Center has rotated, as most New Yorkers have done, becoming a pop-up COVID field hospital and then, starting in March, a 24-hour vaccination center, delivering 643,000 injections since then, more than any other place on Earth.

“I said to the staff, ‘Think of this as another event,'” said Alan Steel, whose official title is President and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, which makes him the super. boss of Javits, unless you count his the de facto boss, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has a lot of other things to worry about.

Steel said, “We are moving things. We are putting things in place. We take things apart. People leave, then we start over. It’s not that unusual for us. Logistics is our business. “

Alan Steel, President and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation

Javits Center

Well now is the time to pivot again.

Javits isn’t the first major U.S. convention center to bring back post-COVID exhibitors. Venues in Florida, Las Vegas, and elsewhere are already hosting events again, although most of them are smaller and most cater to consumers, not travel-wary businesses. The first post-COVID Javits show will be NY NOW, the annual wholesale market usually (except last year) for retail buyers. It is scheduled from August 8 to 11 in a double event with the JA New York jewelry fair. Next comes the New York International Auto Show, August 20-29. Anthony Scaramucci’s investor-focused SALT conference takes place September 13-15, a Javits flight from Las Vegas.

“We are still working with these organizations to finalize their floor plans and also to finalize their policies,” Steel said. “They would like to have as few limitations as possible, and we understand that. But we’re all keeping a close eye on where the new variants stand at this point. So some things stay in the flow of the COVID era.

“You will probably see a little smaller events at the start because people didn’t have time to organize everything the way they normally would,” Steel said. “But we are now able to achieve full occupancy of the building, to pre-pandemic levels.” No more 30% max capacity, a previous plan. “We make everything as normal as possible as quickly as possible. We have a requirement that people should distance themselves socially as much as possible. So expect wider aisles, fewer cabin enclosures, oceans of hand sanitizer, full-power HEPA air filters, and a strong suggestion than people who aren’t vaccinated. should really wear face masks, but no mandatory testing at check-in booths.

Also see: As concerns emerge over the delta variant and J&J shot, health officials – and, so far, research – say vaccinees are still protected

At the Javits Center there is a new room to stretch. A $ 1.5 billion expansion was completed in May, adding 1.2 million square feet of event space, as well as a state-of-the-art broadcast studio for live streaming. Upgrades include a glazed entrance to 11th Avenue, a pavilion and rooftop terrace, and a significantly expanded truck yard facility that is supposed to streamline comings and goings and relieve traffic on the West Side Highway and surrounding streets. The new bells and whistles include 3,000 solar panels, a greenhouse and a 1 acre rooftop vegetable farm.

A $ 1.5 billion expansion was completed in May, adding 1.2 million square feet of event space.

Javits Center

Hervé Sedky, president and CEO of Emerald, the New York-based exhibition company behind NY NOW and JA, said that despite the expected low turnout, his company is investing heavily in exhibitions, including using the creative designer with a modern aesthetic Brad Ford. “Yes, it will be a smaller show and the economy is tougher,” Sedky said. “But we’re happy to be back. We play a crucial role in reopening the economy. We have to make it work. Now is the time to invest in these clients. If we do a good job now, we will have these relationships for life.

Related: Recovering from the ashes of COVID: Live music, silenced by pandemic, is finally a New York affair again

That’s what Steel hopes to hear, as he roars around August with his logistics team and crosses his fingers.

“My point of view from the start has been that we should open at a time when we have as few restrictions as possible,” he said. “What I didn’t want to see built into our process was having to take your temperature, having to show a vaccine passport – all of those things that would lower interest from a business standpoint. There were people who wanted us to open late June or early July. I said, “Let’s wait a few weeks until we can be a little more certain of the conditions. We don’t want to organize events that people won’t be prepared to attend. That does not make any sense.”

Ellis Henican is a New York-based author and former newspaper columnist.


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‘It’s a crime’: Concrete trail to Acropolis sparks debate | History News

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Athens, Greece – A concrete controversy rages on the Acropolis of Athens.

Architects and archaeologists say that paving the pathways for visitors to the millennial monument with concrete is a barbaric intervention.

“It is a crime to injure the Rock, because it is a monument,” architect Tasos Tanoulas told local newspaper EfSyn, using a shortcut to the Acropolis, an ancient fortress and temple complex that overlook the capital of Greece at 150 meters.

But the Greek Culture Ministry points out that the path visitors have taken for decades was also concrete, and the need to provide disabled access to the site acted as a catalyst for the redesign.

The old concrete path was bumpy and uneven, having worn about 4,000 pairs of shoes a day for 40 years.

An elevator has been built on the northwest side of the rock to allow wheelchair access.

“We have been talking about access for people with disabilities to the Acropolis since the 2004 Olympics,” said Yiannis Vardakastanis, president of the Confederation of People with Disabilities.

“Now we can say that anyone with a disability in the world who wants to visit the Acropolis can do so. “

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Acropolis attracted millions of visitors every year [Jason Psaropoulos/Al Jazeera]

Yet the fact that concrete was used again has sparked controversy.

“[The pathway] imposes itself aesthetically with its modern appearance and its sheer size, ”said Despoina Koutsoumba, president of the Association of Hellenic Archaeologists.

“The scene of a concrete city that we see from the top of the Acropolis has now climbed onto the Acropolis itself.”

Archaeologist Manolis Korres, responsible for the restoration work on the Acropolis, told Al Jazeera: “Sometimes people get carried away by prejudice and cling to labels. If this material were called otherwise, it might not meet with any controversy.

“Some people imagined a tiled floor and cobblestones would be very nice, but there has never been such a thing on this ancient road.

“This road was still bare bedrock and later had grooves to improve traction. He never had tiles. The only choice we had was to repair the damage with a material that looks like rock, and among the man-made materials, there is no other that simulates rock than concrete.

Purism versus tradition

What caused the recent uproar is that rather than simply rebuilding the concrete path made in 1978, Korres and his team widened it from five meters to 18.

But that, he says, means the path more closely matches what existed on the Acropolis 25 centuries ago.

“This was the building that the Athenians would pass through on major festivals to gather at the altar,” Korres explains, pointing to the site’s monumental gate known as the Propylaia, where the concrete path begins.

“Thousands would arrive in a day, which is why you needed such a wide door with five doors and a wide path.”

“The reason the trail narrows 40 meters into the site is because this is where there was a left turn leading to the altar. Most ancient visitors took this route, ”he says.

The widening of the track from five meters to 18 caused an uproar [Jason Psaropoulos/Al Jazeera]

Slabs of grooved rock left uncovered on the edges of the trail show that the new concrete trail faithfully follows the old one.

And the concrete is reversible, the ministry says, because it was poured over plastic sheeting that protects the bedrock.

“During the great Panathenaic feast, 10,000 Athenians per day were able to enter through this door. This is what it was designed for. We just never restored it because of the inertia, ”says Korres.

The widened trail is just the start of a much larger renovation project underway, which aims to restore what Korres says was the architects’ original vision for the Acropolis 25 centuries ago, when Athenian power was at its peak.

As visitors now have to squeeze along a wooden ramp through one of the five gates of the Propylaia, Korres plans to reestablish access through the five.

Later, a large marble staircase will replace a zigzag ramp that leads to the Propylaea from the bottom of the hill.

The shadows of the removed stone steps show that the Athenians had started to build this staircase when the Peloponnesian War interrupted work in 431 BC.

“A positive progression”

As debate rages among Greeks and pundits, for some visitors the changes are acceptable – and imperceptible.

“What they have there didn’t feel like it wasn’t in place or there wasn’t room. You didn’t really notice it as an eyesore or something. like that, ”explains Molly, an Australian visitor.

“I understand why they want to keep things preserved,” says Tyler Gates, an American. “But I also think that in the 21st century we are much more inclusive, we want people of all backgrounds and abilities to be able to participate in our historic monuments and our education. So I think it’s a positive progression for the company to have accessibility.

The widened trail is just the start of a much larger renovation of the Acropolis underway [Jason Psaropoulos/Al Jazeera]

Korres and the Culture Ministry have also been accused of redesigning the lanes to admit more tourists from cruise ships, in a bid to market the site.

But Korres says catering isn’t limited to tickets or disabled access; it’s about seeing the Acropolis as Athens in the 5th century BC wanted it to be seen, something modern people have never experienced.

“Since I was very young, the false impression that this entry gave bothered me,” he says.

“People have never entered the Acropolis this way. It’s foreign… when I resumed the restoration work here, I realized that this was something that could not continue.

“It was not the number of visitors [who had access] it concerns me. If it was only a hundred a day, they deserved to see what was here, rather than some ideas that restaurateurs had in the 1950s. “

Brightmark innovates on three RNG projects in Michigan

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Brightmark has launched three renewable natural gas (RNG) projects in Michigan, United States.

The projects are owned and will be operated through subsidiaries of Brightmark RNG Holdings, a partnership with Chevron USA.

In October last year, Brightmark and Chevron USA initially announced the formation of their joint venture (JV) to own projects across the United States to produce commercial dairy biomethane (RNG). Equity investments of each company in the new venture capital fund for the construction of infrastructure and the commercial operation of dairy biomethane projects in several states.

Chevron purchases RNG from these projects and markets the volumes intended for vehicles running on compressed natural gas.

Brightmark currently owns and operates 27 RNG projects in eight states and will operate six RNG projects in Michigan upon completion of these three projects, expected in the first half of 2022. Of this portfolio of RNG projects, 17 are owned by subsidiaries of the JV with Chevron.

The Red Arrow RNG project in Hartford will use anaerobic digestion (AD) to convert 200,000 gallons of manure per day from 5,750 dairy cows into approximately 128,000 MMBtu of RNG per year. The facility will generate approximately 34,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) credits each year. The RNG produced at Red Arrow Dairy will be injected into the ANR pipeline.

The SunRyz RNG project in Morenci will convert 133,000 gallons of manure per day from 3,250 dairy cows into approximately 76,000 MMBtu of RNG per year. The plant will generate approximately 27,000 tonnes of GHG emission credits. The RNG generated at SunRyz will be injected into the neighboring Rover pipeline.

“The addition of an anaerobic digester is just the latest sustainability upgrade we’ve achieved at SunRyz,” said Case Ryzebol, director of SunRyz Dairy.

“We’re always looking for ways to cut costs and be good stewards of the environment at the same time. Brightmark has given us the opportunity to do just that with this project.

The Meadow Rock RNG project in Greenville will convert 75,000 gallons of manure per day from 3,020 dairy cows into nearly 67,000 MMBtu of RNG each year. The facility will generate approximately 28,000 tonnes of GHG emission credits. The RNG produced at Meadow Rock will be injected into the ANR pipeline.

“Michigan has been a great partner and we’re excited to further expand our RNG footprint here and innovate on these carbon negative lifecycle projects,” said Bob Powell, Founder and CEO of Brightmark.

“The transition to a low-carbon energy economy creates significant opportunities for Michigan to put people to work in well-paying jobs in industries that are critical to tackling climate change.

“We are proud to be a leader in supporting more sustainable farming practices and these new RNG projects have the potential to deliver great financial and environmental benefits to the farmers and communities with whom we partner. “

Andy Walz, President of Chevron Americas Fuels & Lubricants, said, “Working with Brightmark to add new projects in Michigan reinforces our commitment to improving the way affordable, reliable and ever cleaner energy is developed and delivered.

“Chevron seeks to advance the energy transition by leveraging our existing capabilities across the entire RNG value chain – marketing, sales, distribution, brands and infrastructure – to maximize margin capture and help industries and consumers who use our products to build a low carbon future. “


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Gucci’s new archives unveiled at Palazzo Settimanni in Florence – WWD

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Florence, Italy – In the year of its 100th anniversary, Gucci celebrates its heritage while remaining resolutely turned towards the future.

In collaboration with the men’s salon Pitti Uomo, the brand unveiled its archives here, a striking 30,138 square foot space designed by creative director Alessandro Michele to bring together the brand’s creations under one roof and pay homage to its 100 years. of history.

A few press guests were escorted inside the building, crossing the colonnaded courtyard filtering the blinding sun of a blustery, sky-blue morning in Florence, and were invited to explore the space tucked away in the cobbled Via delle. Caldaie in the Santo Spirito neighborhood.

The archives are kept inside the 16th-century Palazzo Settimanni, records of which date back to 1427, located on the left bank of the Arno, where craftsmen and artists set up their workshops and workshops and where the city’s aristocracy grew up. built their sumptuous villas near the Palazzo Pitti, where the Medici family had settled.

The Palazzo Settimanni was acquired by Gucci in 1953 and over the course of seven decades has been adapted to contain the brand’s first Florentine factory, as well as workshops and a showroom. Signs of its past could be seen in its restored version run by the house under the direction of Michele, who sought to return the multi-layered space to its ancient beauty.

The Gucci archive space at Palazzo Settimanni in Florence, Italy.
Courtesy of Gucci

The five-storey archives, including the ground floor and basement, have been stripped of some recent additions to reveal traces of decorations, trompe-l’oeil frescoes and murals, which are spread out over three centuries from the 17th to the 19th. Renovations to the palace included removing a 90s cladding from the entrance hall to let natural light filter through the portico.

As a nod to its versatile past and the surrounding neighborhood teeming with workshops, Gucci enlisted local artisans to work on the renovation, including the terracotta tiling seen on several floors.

Details such as furniture, display cases, down to the lamps and handles on each door – the latter cast in the shape of scissors – were meant to exalt the craftsmanship of the house, which the archives aim to highlight and enhance. preserve.

“The Palazzo Settimanni, now free of previous additions, is transformed into a magical place to which I have given a feeling of porosity: you walk through it, the air enters it, you can walk through it as if it were ‘a travel. I am porous, absorbent, permeable, ”explains Michele. “I gave the palace an aura of a fairy tale that, for example, allows the small entrance hall to become a gateway to a dreamlike dimension. I envisioned it as a sort of secret place within the house, an interior sanctuary from which one leaves for the holy lands of Gucci, ”he said.

Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri with Creative Director Alessandro Michele posing inside the Gucci archive space in Florence, Italy, in front of the painting "Fantino con bambina," Oil on canvas;  1860-1870 by Domenico Induno.

Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri with Creative Director Alessandro Michele in front of Domenico Induno’s “Fantino con bambina” painting inside the Gucci archive.
Valentina Sommariva / Courtesy of Gucci

Gucci enlisted the help of Valerie Steele, museum director and chief curator at the Fashion Institute of Technology, who offered her curatorial eye for the layout of some of the spaces.

“The archives are a palace of memory,” she said. “Far from being a dusty granary, it is a dynamic system of knowledge and inspiration production. Archives are based on the desire to collect and categorize objects from the past, not out of nostalgia, but because the style of the objects evolves over time. This relationship to time means that a brand like Gucci, which has 100 years of history, is developing archives in order to bring tangible cultural heritage to life, today and for the future.

Each room on the three exhibition floors inside the palace is dedicated to a different theme – and product category – in homage to the brand’s history and named after Michele’s lexicon for the house, including “Radura”, which includes ceramics and household items; “Herbarium” for vintage stationery and “Maison de L’Amour” for hobby items from the 60s and 70s, which included vintage syrup cups and even an offbeat mirror framed by a gold cone.

The ground floor is entirely dedicated to accessories, with vintage handbags in the spotlight in the “Swan” room, where different versions of signature styles, including Bamboo and Jackie bags, are displayed inside. glass and steel cases and trace their evolution over the years – while proving their ability to stand the test of time. A 1955 handbag featured the original horse bit which has become a signature element of the house. Many styles are meticulously preserved inside cabinets with a handle in the shape of a ship’s wheel, as in the “Hortus Deliciarum” room, the old palace garden with an ancient fountain.

The adjacent mirror room, called ‘Le Marché des Merveilles’, showcases the house’s jewelry creations over the years, while the small leather goods and luggage creations each have a dedicated space on the ground floor. . In particular, the luggage is exhibited inside the room “1921 Rifondazione”, named after the year the company was founded.

The first floor is dedicated to ready-to-wear, shoes and textile accessories such as scarves, twills and ties, including some scarves featuring patterns that the illustrator and painter Vittorio Accornero de Testa created for the brand, like the signature Flora motif developed in 1966 The painter’s preparatory drawings on paper hang on the walls. Other rooms upstairs house rtw pieces and shoes, cataloged according to the year and season in which they were first presented. Here, too, the rooms are named after Michele’s lexicon, with nicknames such as “Blind For Love” and “Alchemist’s Garden”.

The Gucci archive space at Palazzo Settimanni in Florence, Italy.

The Gucci archive space at Palazzo Settimanni in Florence, Italy.
Courtesy of Gucci

Celebrating its credentials on the red carpet, Gucci installed a room called “Serapis,” which houses a life-size high-tech treasure chest. On request and with the help of a dedicated technician, the chest opens up to reveal some of Michele’s best-known red carpet dresses hanging from models, including looks sported by celebrities such as Lana Del Rey, Bjork and Dakota Johnson.

“My task was to bring many items home, virtually helping them return to the family. Towards a place which ostensibly preserves the past, but which is in reality a bridge to the contemporary. An old building is a living being. Like fashion, ”Michele said.

Aiming at the space to bridge the past and present of the legendary house, the Gucci Archives – which are not open to the public – are also set to host the Gucci Education initiative, which provides employees with education and training opportunities. The Florentine space will accompany the brand’s online education platform and community, which already offers training in areas such as retail, supply chain, digital and human resources.

As indicated, in 2018, Gucci also set up the “School of Love” workshop, organized in the company’s ArtLab industrial complex dedicated to leather goods and shoes, which it named the same year in Scandicci, near Florence.


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New deal could speed up firefighters’ response times in Louisville after the 2019 fire

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Mayor Greg Fischer and two fire chiefs signed a new agreement, the Louisville Fire Automatic Aid Agreement – “Plus One” Closest Unit Response, which came into effect Thursday. a certain jurisdiction, if there is another department that is closer to this race, they will respond as well, ”said Col. Gregory Frederick, Metro Louisville Fire Chief. There will be an automatic response from the main department as usual, as well as now an automatic response from the nearest fire department, which may be outside of typical jurisdiction. This means that streets near jurisdictional lines can have two departments in an emergency. “There may be redundancies until we are able to fix some of the bugs,” Frederick said. “Like I said, it’s a work in progress.” The Louisville metro and suburban county fire districts now have a half-mile buffer zone in and out of town. For the subway, this means that its coverage blends half a mile into the suburban county fire districts, and the coverage of the suburban county fire districts blends half a mile into the city. But even though the department the closest one is outside of the half-mile buffer zone, the department “Whose decals on the door don’t really matter until someone gets there,” Frederick said. The deal responds to a controversy that has been burning since a fire in 2019. A fire on Breckenridge Lane in St. Matthews took nearly 60 firefighters and 13 fire trucks to the scene of the 2-alarm blaze in June 2019. Trucks have been called from as far away as West Louisville. However, less than a mile down the street is in the St. Matthews Fire Protection District. But these crews were not called for help. The blaze was within the jurisdiction of the Louisville Fire Department. WLKY previously reported that discussions on a solution began in August 2019. The Louisville Metro Council Public Safety Committee discussed how the Louisville Fire Department and the Jefferson County Fire Department should interact. The new agreement attempts to address these issues. . Frederick said the redundancy of two sent units might not last forever. The deal could shape future dividing lines, as departments learn who responds fastest, where. Scheller’s in St. Matthews, which was one of the damaged businesses, is grateful to be back at its location. Scheller’s moved to a temporary location for almost two years while the building was rebuilt. It reopened in February 2021 with some modifications. “We’ve moved to a more open floor plan now, same footprint but just a more open floor plan,” said manager John Molnar.

Mayor Greg Fischer and two fire chiefs signed a new agreement, the Louisville Fire Automatic Aid Agreement – “Plus One” Closest Unit Response, which went into effect Thursday.

“What he’s going to do is make sure that wherever there’s an emergency, even if it’s in a certain jurisdiction, if there’s another department that’s closer to this race. they will also respond, ”said Col. Gregory Frederick, the Metro Louisville Fire Chief, said.

There will be an automatic response from the main department as usual, as well as now an automatic response from the nearest fire department, which may be outside of typical jurisdiction. This means that streets near jurisdictional lines can have two departments that present themselves in an emergency.

“There may be redundancies until we are able to fix some of the bugs,” Frederick said. “Like I said, it’s a work in progress.”

The Louisville metro and suburban county fire districts now have a half-mile buffer zone in and out of town. For the subway, that means its coverage blends half a mile into suburban county fire districts, and coverage of suburban county fire districts blends half a mile into the city.

But even if the nearest department is outside the half-mile buffer zone, the department will still be called.

“Which the decals on the door don’t really matter as long as someone goes there,” Frederick said.

The deal responds to a controversy that has been burning since a fire in 2019. A fire on Breckenridge Lane in St. Matthews required nearly 60 firefighters and 13 fire engines to attend the 2-alarm blaze in June 2019. Trucks have been called from as far away as West Louisville.

However, less than a mile down the street is the St. Matthews Fire Protection District. But these crews were not called for help. The fire was the responsibility of the Louisville Fire Department.

WLKY previously reported that discussions on a solution began in August 2019. The Louisville Metro Council Public Safety Committee discussed how the Louisville Fire Department and the Jefferson County Fire Department should interact. .

The new agreement attempts to answer these questions. Frederick said the redundancy of two sent units might not last forever. Agreement can shape future borders, as departments learn who responds faster, where.

Scheller’s in St. Matthews, which was one of the damaged businesses, is grateful to be back at its location. Scheller’s moved to a temporary location for almost two years while the building was rebuilt.

It reopened in February 2021 with some modifications.

“We moved to a more open floor plan, with the same footprint but just a more open floor plan,” said manager John Molnar.


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