Jerry Blevins looks to re-establish lefty specialist role in A’s return

first_imgMESA, Ariz. — Jerry Blevins returns to the A’s a different pitcher, a veteran who is now well-traveled with plenty of experience. But that sense of humor he had his first time around remains intact, and it was on full display as he arrived at Hohokam Stadium for the first day of workouts.“I don’t think I’ll get sick from mold in this one,” Blevins joked when talking about the differences from his first A’s stint, referring to the club’s older spring home of Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The …last_img read more

Preds spoils Sharks clinching party at the Tank

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceSAN JOSE — The party will need to wait for at least two more days.The Nashville Predators spoiled the Sharks opportunity to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 14th time in 15 years on Saturday, earning a 4-2 win at SAP Center. In doing so, the Predators handed the Sharks their first back-to-back regulation losses at home this season.The loss also cost the Sharks an opportunity to regain first place in …last_img read more

Boulder Commons Sets New Standard for Net-Zero Leases

first_imgBridging the landlord-tenant divideAt Boulder Commons, Morgan Creek Ventures worked with RMI and its counsel, the legal team at Holland & Hart, to develop a first-of-its-kind lease structure that built a strong business case for both tenants and landlords to actively contribute to meet the development’s net-zero goals.This process resulted in a lease that allocates a budget for factors like energy use or transportation that could make or break the development’s ability to meet energy demands through on-site renewable energy sources (in this case, a 596-kW PV system) on an annual basis. So, for example, RMI is incentivized to stay within its plug load energy budget of 7 kBtu/sq. ft. If RMI exceeds this budget, it will be charged a fee to offset this overage with renewable energy certificates (RECs), and be required to meet with the landlord to discuss ways to more proactively manage energy use. This establishes a win-win situation, because RMI has full control over how this energy budget is allocated and managed through plug loads, and Morgan Creek Ventures can more accurately size its PV system because it knows what types of loads to expect.Transportation-related emissions are treated similarly. Unbundled parking in the lease, where the costs for parking are separated from the cost for space rent, incentivizes RMI to use alternative commuting. If RMI’s staff commute by public transportation, carpooling, or riding their bikes instead of using personal vehicles, over time RMI will pay less in rent as parking spaces are turned back over to the landlord to be put on the market. (Parking costs account for approximately 13% of RMI’s total lease cost.)“For RMI, Boulder Commons is a great choice because it is in line with our mission. This will also attract many other companies that may not even care about sustainability or energy because it is simply a better space, and less expensive than comparable buildings in the area that don’t perform as well,” said Cara Carmichael, a manager with RMI’s buildings program. “Developing the net-zero lease was particularly exciting because we created something new. There is no template.” Growing the net-zero movementIt was only one year ago when RMI opened the doors to its very own beyond net- zero energy Innovation Center in Basalt, Colorado. This 15,610-square-foot owner-occupied office and convening center has since garnered national and international attention as the highest performing building in the coldest climate zone in North America.The new agreement reached at Boulder Commons enables RMI to not only continue to “walk the talk,” but to also advance the entire building industry with market-based solutions to net-zero buildings, developments, and districts.Net-zero buildings have experienced a boom in popularity over the past year. A report from New Buildings Institute revealed a 74% increase in certified and emerging net-zero buildings from 2015 to 2016. But despite industry progress, the number of leased net-zero buildings lags significantly behind owner-occupied projects. This presents a challenge to the industry’s long-term growth and viability.Although the value proposition for an owner-occupied net-zero building is clear (lower energy and maintenance costs, higher employee productivity, and fewer employee sick days), the value proposition for both landlords and tenants in a leased building depends on a more complex relationship.How do you true up energy use and costs on a monthly basis when they are typically calculated on an annual basis? How does a developer recoup the investment from a PV system when traditionally tenants pay a monthly bill to an electric utility and landlords have committed to buying less, not more? How can tenants prioritize energy efficiency when they manage and control only a small portion of the energy-using infrastructure and equipment? And conversely, how can landlords encourage tenants to save energy, particularly as plug loads overtake lighting to become the driving end use in net-zero energy buildings?Managing these complexities while giving shared net-zero goals “legal teeth” is where the net-zero lease comes in. RELATED ARTICLES Creating a net-zero lease model for othersOnly a handful of other developers are actively developing net-zero multi-tenant projects, and we consulted with all of them on their process, cost structure, and lessons learned.According to Carmichael, one of the biggest challenges with NZE buildings — and an area where there was truly no precedent in leased spaces — was the need to build ongoing annual energy reviews into the lease to enable continuous improvements in the building’s operations. This led to a lease requirement around base building commissioning, and a continued dialogue about other means to explore efficiency with each tenant in the building.Another groundbreaking component of the lease is its treatment of offsets. At Boulder Commons, any energy purchased from the utility is required to be offset with RECs. But, committing to a single compliance path — especially when spread over a potential eight-year lease term — made project financiers uncomfortable because of long-term price uncertainty. Therefore, RMI negotiated that alternative offsets for any “dirty” power used could be implemented, including community solar, white tags (energy efficiency certificates), green power directly from the utility, or other “clean” energy attributes.“We’ve pushed the concept of net zero in lease scenarios and established completely new ways of billing tenants for operating building use,” said Carmichael. “By having this as a model for others to use, it goes a long way. The more prototypes we can celebrate, the more confidence we’ll inspire among developers and financiers that net zero is not only a better standard environmentally but a better standard economically, as demand for high-performance buildings continues to outpace supply.” My Net Zero ConundrumZero-Energy Construction Is ‘Set to Explode’ The Department of Energy Chooses a Definition for Net ZeroA Business Model for Net-Zero Energy DistrictsNet-Zero-Energy versus PassivhausCalifornia Leads the Nation in Net-Zero Projects © 2017 Rocky Mountain Institute. Published with permission. Originally posted on RMI Outlet. Kelly Vaughn is RMI’s marketing manager. Just two miles from downtown Boulder, Colorado, a new net-zero energy (NZE) development is under construction: Boulder Commons. The project consists of two commercial buildings totaling roughly 100,000 square feet of professional office space and boasting a restaurant, coffee shop, and community gathering flex space — all accessible by Boulder’s vast trail and public transportation network.Rocky Mountain Institute’s Boulder-based employees will be proud to call 14,000 square feet of this development home upon project completion this fall. But perhaps more exciting than the organization’s forthcoming move is a recent major milestone involving the building owner, Morgan Creek Ventures: the signing of the first net-zero lease in the state of Colorado, and the first net-zero lease for any multi-tenant development of this size.“Boulder Commons is setting a new bar for sustainability, and our tenants share the belief that how we act as a company matters,” said Andrew Bush from Morgan Creek Ventures. “Having RMI as an anchor tenant as well as a partner in developing a lease structure that aligned landlord and tenant goals and incentives around net zero on an annual basis pushed us further than we could have ever gone ourselves.”last_img read more

It Isn’t Selfish, It’s Ethical: The Importance of Self-Care

first_imgBy: Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFTPixabay[Heart Hand Hands Love by ArtsyBee, September 3, 2015, CC0]“Now that we have absolute evidence of the negative consequences of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress reactions that are too high and that your resilience can’t deal with… all of those things are unethical. It’s unethical to work with other people when you know that you’re not functioning at your best because of the need for self-care and for attending to your own particular needs.” –Dr. Charles FigleyWe were all deeply engrossed in conversation within the chat pod during Dr. Figley’s captivating keynote session for the 2017 MFLN Virtual Conference when he expressed the above thought that hit me like a ton of bricks and stopped me in my tracks. I’m not being selfish, I am being unethical when I don’t take time for self-care. And, for me, unethical trumps selfish any day of the week.When Dr. Figley first mentioned self-care, a barrage of comments started to ensue, which included far more negatively related connotations than positive ones. Here are a few that stood out:“It’s easy to feel like you should be “tough enough” to not need to take time for yourself.”“There is a social stigma and negative association with self-care. It is oftentimes viewed (unfortunately)as selfish and is therefore taken with a layer of guilt.”“It feels selfish to make sure my oxygen mask is on before I take care of others.”“Sometimes finding time for self-care is hard when so many are in so much need.”Sometimes the struggle is that the needs seem so urgent… an example would be the failing health of a loved one. It’s so hard to say ‘no, I need to take care of myself”.As Military Family Service Providers, it’s easy for all of us to have these thoughts and associations with self-care. But, isn’t it a totally different ballgame when you hear that what you are doing is unethical? Isn’t it ironic that the one reason most of us had for NOT taking time for self-care (selfishness) was actually doing more harm than good? But, if the “unethical card” isn’t enough reason for you to start practicing self-care like it was for me, here are some great responses from other participants in our chat pod who seemed to have a much more positive spin on self-care:“My emotional bucket can get empty and needs a refill sometimes.”“So many forget that if your emotional bank account is overdrawn, you can’t invest in anyone else… Self-care is so important, decompressing from tough cases and having your listening board to bounce thoughts off…”“I learned that I have to sit with the discomfort of other people’s judgment when I take care of myself.”“Encouraging helping professionals to take time for self-care and opening conversations like this one are so important! We need to continually encourage self-care as part of the culture for the profession.”So, whether your reason for taking time for self-care is because you recognize that your glass is empty or because you know you are being unethical, you are doing yourself AND your clients a huge favor that can make all the difference in the world!We would love for you to share your motivation for taking the time for self-care in the comments below.This post was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT, the Social Media and Programming Coordination Specialist for the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development concentration on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.last_img read more