Williams Honored

first_imgAfter more than 30 years, Frank Williams has retired from his position as the groundskeeper for the University of Georgia Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden (CGBG) at the Historic Bamboo Farm, but he still works there three days a week. Even at 75, he hasn’t slowed down.Friends of the Coastal Gardens (FOCG) recently named a classroom at the Savannah, Georgia garden complex in Williams’ honor to show their appreciation for his hard work and dedication. Photographs of Williams adorn the walls of the Frank Williams Classroom.“I was honored when Mr. Jim asked me if they could honor me,” said Williams of FOCG President Dr. Jim Andrews. “Mr. Andrews has always come up with ideas, and he has worked alongside me to make things happen here. When we started work on the camellia garden, it looked like a junkyard. But we dug up stumps, worked hard and got it done.”Williams’ work at CGBG has always been very labor-intensive, but he never complains, and he has never taken a sick day.“The work was hard, and I did a lot of it by myself. But I believe you can’t let the work, work you. You have to work the work,” he said. “And, at the end of the day, your work will speak for you. I prayed for this job and God answered my prayers. And I told Him I would work hard at it.”Williams’ work does speak for him. More than 100,000 visitors come to CGBG each year and enjoy the results of Williams’ weeding, mowing, tending, planting and pruning. Seeing visitors enjoy the garden brings Williams joy.“The more I do out here, the more people come. They enjoy the beauty, and they enjoy nature. I cleared trees and cleaned up the back part of the pond, and now more people come to that spot and get peace,” said Williams.He is fondly called “Mr. Bamboo” and earned his nickname by tending CGBG’s 160 varieties of bamboo. Now an expert on the plant, Williams says bamboo can grow 18 inches in 24 hours. Williams strongly suggests home gardeners think long and hard before adding bamboo to their landscapes.“If you get it, you’ll be stuck with it because it’s really hard to get rid of,” he said. “People always come here to see the bamboo. I used to wonder what they saw in the bamboo, and then I saw something.”Over the years, Williams began to appreciate bamboo and has since crafted bamboo chairs, tables, display racks and fans.“If someone has an idea for something made from bamboo, I can do it,” he said.Williams also turns bamboo pruned from the groves into bamboo chips to use as mulch throughout CGBG. He says bamboo chips keep weeds down and don’t decompose as quickly as bark or pine straw.Gardeners know that there are always things to do in a garden. Williams favorite garden chores are pulling weeds and working in the bamboo. His secret to staying cool working on Georgia’s hot summer days is to wear a thin, long-sleeved shirt and to drink cold water.Like many state workers who manage limited budgets, Williams found ways to stretch dollars and often recycled or repaired items at CGBG. He repaired an old surplus tractor and brought it back to life to use in the garden.Now, Williams teaches the new generation of garden workers how to maintain the gardens and the tractor.“Mr. Frank is a great example and mentor to the younger employees at the garden,” said Tim Davis, current CGBG director and University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Chatham County coordinator. “When others would sit out of work, Mr. Frank is always here. He recently came to work and never missed a day despite being treated for a medical condition.”Williams, who was fighting cancer, happily reports he is cancer-free.“Way back, I told the Lord if He found me a job, I would work and work and work,” he said. “I did and I was able to build a house that’s paid off. And it’s got insulation. It’s not like the one I grew up in where you could see the ground through the cracks.”To learn more about CGBG, go to coastalbg.uga.edu.last_img read more

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A Marquee ‘Clean Coal’ Project Is Failing

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ian Austen for the New York Times:An electrical plant on the Saskatchewan prairie was the great hope for industries that burn coal.In the first large-scale project of its kind, the plant was equipped with a technology that promised to pluck carbon out of the utility’s exhaust and bury it underground, transforming coal into a cleaner power source. In the months after opening, the utility and the provincial government declared the project an unqualified success.But the $1.1 billion project is now looking like a green dream.Known as SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3, the project has been plagued by multiple shutdowns, has fallen way short of its emissions targets, and faces an unresolved problem with its core technology. The costs, too, have soared, requiring tens of millions of dollars in new equipment and repairs.“At the outset, its economics were dubious,” said Cathy Sproule, a member of Saskatchewan’s legislature who released confidential internal documents about the project. “Now they’re a disaster.”The utility that runs the project, SaskPower, and advocates for carbon capture argue that the setbacks are typical teething problems associated with any new and complex technology.“Over time, as more companies, countries engage in carbon capture and storage technologies, the price for everybody is going to come down,” Mike Marsh, the chief executive of SaskPower, told a legislative committee in January. “That will make it easier to employ.”The Boundary Dam Power Station sits near a wealth of resources not far from the North Dakota border.Hundreds of years of coal reserves are buried under the ground nearby, virtually eliminating transportation costs. And the mining creates employment in an area with limited job prospects.“It’s a low-cost, stable supply,” Mr. Marsh said. “There’s a tremendous opportunity in North America to continue to utilize coal.”To the utility and the provincial government, the process known as carbon capture and storage seemed tantalizing when a review of the power system began 11 years ago.The technology offered a way to stick with coal in a carbon-conscious era. It was especially attractive in Canada, where rising emissions from the oil sands have more than offset reductions elsewhere, including Ontario’s abandonment of coal-fired electrical generation.Through the process, machinery would first remove most of the soot and ash from the coal’s exhaust. The exhaust would then pass through a kind of chemical called an amine that would snatch the carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, out of it. The gathered carbon dioxide, separated from the amine, would be compressed, moved through pipelines and ultimately buried underground.Variations of the technology have been used as far back as the 1920s. And small demonstration projects have largely worked, including one in Norway that opened in 2012.Boundary Dam, which received a major Canadian subsidy and opened in September 2014, was the first full-scale deployment of the technology to cut emissions from burning coal. Saskatchewan picked a process owned by Shell, encouraged by its history with petrochemicals.At the outset, the utility and the province said the project was working as intended, capturing 90 percent of the plant’s carbon. It was the equivalent, they said, of taking 250,000 cars off the road. Environmentalists and politicians from around the world came to check out Boundary Dam.But the success story disintegrated last November when Ms. Sproule, a member of the opposition New Democratic Party, unveiled the confidential documents in the provincial legislature. She wouldn’t identify the people who provided the documents, although the government confirmed their authenticity.The documents showed that the system was working at only 45 percent of capacity. One memo, written a month after the government publicly boasted about the project, cited eight major problem areas. Fixing them, it said, could take a year and a half, and the memo warned that it was not immediately apparent how to resolve some problems.A chart covering the first year of operation showed that the system often didn’t work at all. When it was turned back on after shutdowns for adjustments and repairs, the amount of carbon captured sometimes even dropped.The buoyant public remarks, Mr. Marsh said, accurately reflected the company’s early assessment of the system. “We were very optimistic when this plant came online,” he said.Still, he acknowledged that “there were a few statements that it was achieving more than it had.” Mr. Marsh characterized many of the problems as design issues, such as inadequate temperature control systems, rather than fundamental flaws.But Boundary Dam has exposed a problem with Shell’s process when used with coal exhaust. Despite the plant’s initial filtering, tiny particles of ash still remain in the exhaust and contaminate the amine, reducing its ability to grab carbon, Mr. Marsh said.The control room of a carbon capture and storage facility at Boundary Dam Power Station. Credit Michael Bell/CPTOR, via Associated Press“Over all, we are pleased with the performance of the capture technology,” Shell Canada said in a statement, adding that it was working with SaskPower “to optimize operations and capture any lessons that can be applied to improve future projects.”But the costs are piling up.One shutdown last spring to clean and replenish the chemical cost 17 million Canadian dollars. Mr. Marsh said that the company was still looking for a way to prevent the contamination.The repeated shutdowns have caused SaskPower to miss multiple carbon dioxide deliveries to Cenovus Energy, the Canadian oil company that signed a 10-year contract with the utility to buy most of the gas. (Cenovus uses carbon dioxide to force oil from largely depleted wells.) SaskPower has had to pay 7 million Canadian dollars in penalties, offsetting most of the 9 million Canadian dollars in payments received.On top of that, the carbon system is a voracious consumer of the electricity generated by Boundary Dam, which has 150 megawatts of capacity. Mr. Marsh testified that about 30 megawatts of capacity were consumed by the system, and an additional 15 to 16 megawatts were needed to compress the carbon dioxide.Tim Boersma, the acting director of the energy security and climate initiative at the Brookings Institution, said that extensive power loss is a significant factor keeping other utilities from following SaskPower’s lead.“That is exactly the reason this is not going to fly,” Mr. Boersma said. “The plant’s efficiency goes down so dramatically.”As it continues to sort out the plant’s problems, SaskPower is damping expectations. The utility cut its emissions reduction target for this year to 800,000 metric tons, from one million.The company said it is working with the engineering firm that designed the project to solve the problems and increase efficiency. Mr. Marsh said there were indications that performance was improving. Last month, the utility said the system was working at 67 percent of capacity.Even some environmentalists are hoping for a turnaround.George Peridas, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and clean air program, said his group did not endorse the use of coal, but it accepted that coal would continue to be part of the energy mix.Carbon capture, he said, will be a “vital part” of reducing emissions. Based on discussions with SaskPower, Mr. Peridas said he was confident that Boundary Dam would eventually work out.“I don’t see any indication that the carbon capture system of this plant is broken,” Mr. Peridas said. “It’s had a bumpy start.”Technology to Make Clean Energy From Coal Is Stumbling in Practice A Marquee ‘Clean Coal’ Project Is Failinglast_img read more

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Leicester look to extend lead at the top

first_imgThat kicks off at 1.30pm.At the same time, Liverpool will be full of confidence ahead of their trip to Bournemouth.It’s after the Reds epic Europa League win over Borussia Dortmund on Thursday.At 4pm, Arsenal will be aiming to move up to third place with a win over London rivals Crystal Palace at the Emirates. The Foxes go in to the game at the King Power Stadium with a seven-point lead at the top of the table.It’s after five successive victories without conceding a goal.Manager Claudio Ranieri is delighted with their defensive strength.last_img

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