News story: New process for artists and sportspeople entering from Ireland

first_imgIt will be free to use and mean that eligible individuals in sporting and creative industries will be able to work in the UK for up to 3 months, bringing into line their entry conditions when arriving from other destinations.These new arrangements will allow musicians and sportspeople from countries such as Australia and America to apply for leave to enter remotely, putting an end to their requirement to apply for a visa to perform in the UK when entering through Ireland.This change follows close work with the sector and builds on the government’s already strong commitment to the creative industry. In June 2018 for example the exceptional talent visa was opened up to include leading fashion designers.Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: I am delighted to have worked, alongside our Live Music group, with the Home Office to identify a solution so that non-EU artists and their crews can still enter the UK via Ireland under a Certificate of Sponsorship. The live music industry, which contributes around £1 billion to the economy, will put this into practice so that we can continue to attract the biggest and most talented global artists to perform at our world-leading concerts, festivals and venues. UK Music’s CEO Michael Dugher said: Individuals will be required to have a Certificate of Sponsorship under the Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Creative and Sporting) route, which has been in existence since 2008. It provides an option for those non-EEA, non-visa nationals in the sporting and creative sector to undertake short-term engagement in the UK without being required to hold a visa to enter the UK.You can read detailed common travel area information on the process. Our creative industries are world leading. Not only do we produce elite talent, but we also host some of the most exciting live events in the world. Ensuring the best international talent can perform in the UK is vital for the creative industries’ continued success and that is why we launched this new process, ensuring creative talent can easily arrive to perform in the UK directly from Ireland. I look forward to continuing to work with UK Music and the wider sector so our leading live music industry can continue to thrive.last_img read more


EPL: Ruthless Liverpool clip City’s wings

first_imgRelatedPosts EPL: Salah nets hat-trick as Liverpool beat Leeds in seven-goal thriller EPL: Liverpool open title defence against underdogs Klopp speaks on Messi signing for Liverpool Liverpool have opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table courtesy of a 3-1 win over Manchester City in Sunday afternoon’s clash at Anfield.Jurgen Klopp’s side have now won 11 and drawn one of their 12 league matches this season, leaving them eight clear of second-placed Leicester City and third-placed Chelsea, and nine points clear of the reigning champions City, who stay down in fourth after suffering their third defeat of the campaign.Goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane proved enough for the home side to triumph despite City pulling one back late on through Bernardo Silva.City, who started the better, had a half-chance inside the first four minutes when John Stones met a dangerous corner from Kevin De Bruyne, but there were no takers on the defender’s flick.Liverpool made the breakthrough in the sixth minute when Fabinho found the back of the net with a powerful drive from distance, but there was some controversy surrounding the goal.Indeed, City felt that they should have had a penalty down the other end for a Trent Alexander-Arnold handball; VAR, though, checked the incident and were happy that no offence had taken place.Raheem Sterling then headed a De Bruyne free kick wide of the post from close range during a frantic period of the match inside a noisy Anfield.City were playing all of the football and had another opportunity in the 12th minute when De Bruyne delivered a stunning free kick into the Liverpool box, but Aguero could not make contact.The Reds incredibly doubled their lead in the 13th minute, though, when Salah headed a brilliant Andrew Robertson cross into the bottom corner.Pep Guardiola’s side had been the superior side in the early exchanges, their inability to defend had cost them dearly, though, as the league leaders opened up a two-goal advantage.Alisson Becker had to keep out a low Sergio Aguero strike in the 25th minute as the visitors looked to hit back, but the Reds were holding firm before committing players on the counter-attack.Angelino then had one deflected onto the post in the 29th minute after breaking into the Liverpool box, but the left-back continued to find it difficult to contain Salah down the other end.Roberto Firmino had the chance to send Liverpool 3-0 ahead 10 minutes before the break after finding space just outside the City box, although the Brazil international’s effort was always rising over the crossbar.Bravo then kept out a powerful drive from Firmino as the home side looked to put the match beyond City before the end of the first half at Anfield.Aguero had two chances for City in the closing stages of the first period, but the Argentina international fired one wide of Alisson’s post before finding the gloves of the goalkeeper minutes later.The visitors were the better team at the start of the second period and had a half-chance in the 49th minute through Ilkay Gundogan, but the midfielder’s deflected effort just looped over the Liverpool goal.The home side effectively put the match beyond their opponents in the 52nd minute, though, when Mane headed a Jordan Henderson cross into the back of the net for 3-0.Sterling had one deflected high of the crossbar as City attempted to respond, but Liverpool had their three-goal lead in tact heading into the final 30 minutes of action.Aguero had a golden chance to score in the 67th minute after being found by De Bruyne in a dangerous position, but the South American completely missed the ball.It just was not to be for the striker on the afternoon, and Gabriel Jesus was introduced shortly after with the Brazilian looking for success where his teammate had failed.City’s afternoon was almost summed up in the 74th minute when they went short from the back and Stones cleared into touch under no pressure, which left Guardiola bemused.Aymeric Laporte’s injury has hurt the champions badly, and it would be a huge surprise if they did not attempt to bring a new central defender to the club during the January transfer window.The visitors did have one back in the 79th minute when Bernardo Silva picked out the bottom corner from a low Angelino cross, which sparked a late rally at Anfield.Sterling was the player carrying the fight, and City had another shout for a penalty turned down when Alexander-Arnold appeared to handle once again.It just was not to be for the Citizens, however, as they suffered a 3-1 defeat to leave them in fourth position in the table, some nine points off the summit heading into a two-week break. Tags: FabinhoJurgen Klopplast_img read more


Dodgers stay hot, run away from Pirates

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig hit home runs in front of an announced crowd of 37,314 at Dodger Stadium. Taylor went 3 for 4 with a grand slam, Joc Pederson went 3 for 5, and three other Dodgers had two hits apiece.The Dodgers have won three in a row and eight of 10. Their last four victories have been by a combined final score of 43-10. It helps that the Dodgers have played only sub-.500 teams in that time – the Phillies, Giants, Padres and Pirates have all been struck with various shades of adversity in the season’s first month.At one point right-hander Jameson Taillon was scheduled to start Monday for the Pirates. Taillon, 25, has a 3.36 earned-run average 24 starts into a promising career. But he went on the disabled list Thursday with groin discomfort; Monday the team announced that Taillon was in Pittsburgh undergoing surgery for suspected testicular cancer.That opened the door for Trevor Williams, a 25-year-old relief pitcher, to make his second career start. It did not go well.Andrew Toles and Corey Seager began the game with nearly identical at-bats. Toles chopped a ball that dribbled parallel to the first-base chalk and never veered foul, a single. Seager chopped a ball a few feet fair that Williams failed to lob to first base in time, an error. With one out, Cody Bellinger walked to load the bases. Pederson drove a single to right field and Toles scored the Dodgers’ first run.Given a tremendous opportunity, Taylor continued to stake his claim as the Dodgers’ most surprising story of 2017. He saw three pitches from Williams – all sliders, all in the strike zone. Taylor tagged the third pitch to left-center field, his third home run of the season and his second career grand slam.A solo home run by Puig later in the inning gave the Dodgers a 6-0 lead.Counting a grand slam by Bellinger on Saturday – Sunday’s game was rained out – Taylor gave the Dodgers grand slams in consecutive games for the first time since September 2004.As the marine layer settled in over the stadium, the baseball stayed in the park. But the Dodgers were getting good pitches to hit and even better bounces, so it didn’t seem to matter.The Dodgers had runners on second and third base in the third inning when Yasmani Grandal hit a ball 84 feet down the first-base line in near-slow motion. Ordinarily a routine out, the Pirates’ infield was playing so shallow that first baseman Josh Bell couldn’t get to the ball in time. It bounced a few feet in front of the bag then veered foul for a two-run double.In the fourth inning, an RBI single by Turner and an RBI double by Pederson gave the Dodgers a 10-0 lead.In the seventh inning, Kiké Hernandez hit a grounder that bounced off the third-base bag, then up and over the head of third baseman Gift Ngoepe.Hernandez entered the game as a defensive replacement for Seager in the fifth inning. Seager was not hurt, but Roberts opted to rest his star shortstop for the final five innings of the blowout.Wood’s 11 strikeouts were a season high. In five starts this season he is 2-0 with three no-decisions and a 3.33 earned-run average.center_img LOS ANGELES >> Dave Roberts did not tell Alex Wood until Sunday that he would be starting Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.Maybe Roberts should keep Wood in suspense more often.Wood didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning of the Dodgers’ 12-1 win. He struck out 11 batters in five shutout innings and left with a 10-0 lead.• PHOTOS: Dodgers beat Pirates 12-1 at Dodger Stadium last_img read more


Mike Babcock, Dale Hunter and the candidates to replace Peter Laviolette as Nashville Predators head coach

first_imgThe Peter Laviolette era in Nashville is over, and now the search for a replacement begins in haste.Or maybe it doesn’t — Predators brass reportedly haven’t shown any urgency in even naming an interim successor to Laviolette even though we’re in the thick of the season. No interim coach has been named. As for who will coach the Predators tomorrow, it’s “TBA,” I’m told.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) January 6, 2020Regardless, the Preds will eventually need to find a new bench boss, and plenty of experienced coaches are currently out of work. Nashville heads into Tuesday’s matchup with the visiting Boston Bruins sporting a 19-15-7 record (45 points), four points and three spots out of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.NHL MOCK DRAFT v1.0: Senators select phenoms Lafreniere, Rossi; Kings get goalie of futureWhomever comes in will have just half a season to try to get the team back into the playoffs. Nashville has made the postseason in each of the previous five seasons, so the fan base has grown accustomed to watching hockey in late springtime and will be expecting more of the same in a few months.Predators coaching candidatesMike BabcockBabcock owns the highest profile of the available coaches — he spent the last several years being the highest paid bench boss in the NHL prior to his Nov. 20 firing by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Babcock currently finds himself out of a head coaching position for the first time in over 17 years, and his success in Detroit and Toronto make him a prime candidate whenever any team in the league parts ways with its coach.However, Babcock could just be content allowing the Leafs to continue to pay him, and his stock has definitely dropped after he struggled to get the best out of an offensively stacked Leafs team this season. There is also the small issue of several former Red Wings speaking out against his coaching style and alleged mistreatment of certain players — along with Babcock’s controversial choice in 2016-17 to make then-rookie Mitch Marner publicly rank his teammates’ work ethic — which could scare away any potential suitors for now.MORE: Franzen calls Babcock ‘worst person’ | Chelios backs Franzen’s claims | McCarty says Babcock cost Wings Cup in ’09Dale HunterTiming is everything, and the Predators job just so happened to open up a little over 24 hours after Hunter led Canada to its 18th gold medal in the World Junior Championship. Under Hunter, Canada showed tremendous growth — overcoming its worst-ever loss in the tournament to reach the top of the podium in the span of little over a week — and the 59-year-old’s stock is as high as its ever been. Hunter’s pedigree as a junior coach is stellar —  he’s helped build the London Knights into an OHL powerhouse over the last two decades — and he’s shown a willingness to step up into the NHL coaching ranks when the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately for Hunter, his coaching record in the NHL leaves something to be desired as he’s got less than one season as a big-league bench boss under his belt. If there was ever a time for him to take another swing at leading a pro club, it’s now.Peter DeBoerSimilarly to Laviolette, DeBoer is unemployed after an overall strong run with a Western Conference club. The San Jose Sharks made the playoffs in each of DeBoer’s first four seasons in charge, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016, but this season saw the team struggle prior to his Dec. 11 firing.  Regardless of how the Sharks fared to open the current campaign, the fact remains that DeBoer has enjoyed recent success as an NHL coach and is one of the most obvious names to take over at any club that needs a change.However, DeBoer himself poured water on any rumors linking him to the Preds almost immediately after Laviolette’s firing was made known. He told The Athletic on Monday that there has been “no contact” between him and the club.Peter DeBoer, fired by the San Jose Sharks, tells @TheAthleticNSH/@TheAthleticNHL that he has had “no contact” with the Predators.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) January 6, 2020John HynesAnother name that immediately made the rounds following the Predators’ announcement, Hynes has been unemployed for just over a month after the New Jersey Devils let him go in the wake of a horrid 9-13-4 start to the season. It isn’t all Hynes’ fault — the Devils have been sub-.500 since his departure and still sit second-last in the entire NHL — but his recent record doesn’t suggest he’s someone that can turn around a team with playoff ambitions.Add in the fact that the Devils only made the postseason once during his four full seasons at the helm in Newark, and Hynes’ name may not be the most inspiring one for Nashville fans.However, Hynes has a connection to Preds assistant GM Jeff Kealty, with whom he played college hockey, as pointed out by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Monday.Craig MacTavishIt’s been a while since MacTavish coached in the NHL — his last full season in charge of a team at this level was 2008-09, although he named himself interim head coach of the Edmonton Oilers for five games during the 2014-15 campaign. He hasn’t been out of the game, though. As noted, MacTavish was able to give himself interim coaching duties in the middle of the last decade because he was also the Oilers’ general manager at the time. He’s since returned to coaching, although he lasted just eight games in charge of KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl prior to being fired from that post in September.The year didn’t end poorly for MacTavish, though. He helmed Canada’s gold medal-winning Spengler Cup team to close the decade, and would surely be eager to get back into the coaching game in North America.Would MacTavish be open to taking a job outside the Oilers organization, where he spent much of his playing career and the overwhelming majority of his post-playing days?last_img read more


Outrage at second hammer attack on scenic picnic area

first_imgVandals have attacked a stone picnic bench at Horn Head outside Dunfanaghy.This is the second attack on the scenic bench in less than a year.The bench, which was funded by the local Tidy Towns committee, was first attacked in December of last year. The picnic bench was restored but vandals have struck again in recent weeks.Gardai have appealed to anybody who has information about the attacks to contact them.They also directly appealed to the vandals to desist from their attacks.Outrage at second hammer attack on scenic picnic area was last modified: October 1st, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:attackdonegalDunfanaghyHAMMERHorn Headpicniclast_img read more


SA’s 10-year growth streak ends

first_imgSouth Africa’s quarterly deterioration was “modest compared with that of other countries,” according to Business Report, which noted that, for the same period, GDP had fallen by 3.8% in the US, 4.3% in Thailand, 8.4% in Taiwan and 12.7% in Japan. It was the first quarterly contraction since the third quarter of 1998, and the biggest contraction since the fourth quarter of 1992, when South Africa’s GDP declined by 3.5%. South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) figure at market prices for the fourth quarter of 2008 shrunk by 1.8% quarter-on-quarter, from 0.2% growth in the third quarter, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced on Tuesday. Sectors that contributed to the negative fourth-quarter GDP figure include manufacturing and the electricity, gas and water industry. The wholesale and retail trade and hotels and restaurants sectors did not contribute to growth at all. SAinfo reporter and BuaNews 25 February 2009 Positive contributions to fourth-quarter economic growth came from finance, real estate and business services; agriculture, forestry and fishing; as well as general government services. “So in plain English terms, the economy has receded, but we are not in a recession,” Lamberti said. The wholesale and retail industries, as well as mining, quarrying and manufacturing, experienced either no growth or negative growth in 2008. The global economic crisis has resulted in declining demand for South Africa’s commodity exports, putting the country’s mining and motor manufacturing sectors, in particular, under increasing pressure. The main positive contributors for 2008 as a whole were the finance, real estate and business services industry; agriculture, forestry and fishing; construction; and general government services. South Africa’s economy contracted for the first time in a decade in the fourth quarter of 2008, despite positive growth in agriculture, finance and construction, as the country’s mining and manufacturing sectors came under increasing pressure from the global economic recession. The construction, transport, storage and communication, as well as personal services sectors, also experienced positive growth in the fourth quarter of 2008. Econometrix Treasury Management economist Russell Lamberti told BuaNews that the country was not technically in a recession yet, noting that the textbook definition of “recession” was two consecutive quarters of negative growth. South Africa’s growth figures for the first three quarters of 2008 were 1.7%, 5% and 0.2% respectively, Stats SA reported, with annual GDP growth coming in at 3.1% compared to 5.1% in 2007. Global crisis hits commodity exports Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more


Vacancies – Stakeholder Relationship Manager: Civil Society

first_imgVacancies – Stakeholder Relationship Manager: Civil SocietyApply for the “Stakeholder Relationship Manager: Civil Society” vacancy by emailing: [email protected] your contact details.Attach your CV document.DEPARTMENT OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONSSalary: R 758, 905 – R 992,058 (TCTC)Minimum years experience needed:5+Valid From:2017-05-26To:2017-06-09Job Description:To manage and influence relationships with key stakeholders as prioritised in the strategic plan, to extend Brand South Africa’s Marketing and Communications objectives. To play a key relationship manager role in the definition and delivery of projects by assessing the needs and expectations of stakeholders and ensure that they are effectively addressed. To leverage stakeholder resources effective and efficiently. The Strategic Relationship Manager is the main Brand South Africa custodian of these relationships with stakeholders for the sustainability of all collaborations.Minimum Requirements:Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science / Economics / Social Science / Sales and Marketing / Business Management or equivalentPreferred: Postgraduate degree in Political Science / Economics / Sales and Marketing / Business Management (e.g. MBA)5+ years combined experience in marketing, communications, public relations, stakeholder relations, (account management) at a senior levelTrack record of successfully brokering/negotiating collaborations and joint ventures in a highly political / pressured environmentComprehensive understanding of the political and legislative environment (domestic and international.Comprehensive understanding of the political, socio-economic and legislative environment (domestic and international)Thorough knowledge of the workings of the business and macro-economic environment (domestic and international)An understanding of the civil society environmentWorking knowledge of systems and processes and how they contribute to organisational performanceAdvanced knowledge of how to determine value from a customer perspectiveList of skills needed:Key Performance Areas:1) Contribute to the development of the overall stakeholder management strategyEstablish the correct networks and channels and provide input on portfolio priorities, plans and budgets.Feed market insights into the overall knowledge management system.2) Contribute to the development of programme specific projects and initiativesWith reference to Brand South Africa’s business plan and signed agreements with priority stakeholders, unpack, research, workshop and help develop implementation plans to activate the delivery of a project/initiative/campaign in line with the integrated marketing and communications programme and stakeholder expectations.Contribute to media plans and publications.Establish relationships with the right decision-makers and influencers and canvass all input from geographic and stakeholder plans and target group information.3) Sell the project/initiative/campaign plan for buy-in and approval (sign-off) with the stakeholder priority base (levels, locations, platforms, decision-makers, beneficiaries)Sell the project/campaign/initiative to the relevant stakeholder bases and decision-makers / beneficiaries to ensure buy-in in terms of the content, tone, roll-out mechanism(s), budget, audience target(s), collaborative ownership, timelines and output.Feedback stakeholder inputs, research, scanning of the environment, and other relevant information (budgets, changing priorities) back to Marketing and Communications for refinement and amendment in the activation plans to ensure sign-off.4) Facilitate and manage the stakeholder relationships in the delivery of the projects/campaign/initiative plansFacilitate, drive, and maintain the established relationships with key stakeholders on the signed-off projects/initiatives to ensure that delivery happens on schedule and that expectations, perceptions, feedback are managed actively and successfully.This also involves, on occasion, actual organising and delivery of meetings, events and functions.5) Compliance, monitoring and reporting.Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the stakeholder-implemented initiatives (including risks) and reflect this in the quarterly reporting in accordance with the contracted performance measurement and business plan scorecard of the organisation.To scan the wider policy environment to identify and exploit opportunities for future work where supportive of the strategic aims of Brand South Africa and to develop leads to establish relationships with policy makers and influencers and identify opportunities for joint future work where appropriate. (E.g. new international relations strategy, diplomacy rules for sectors and geographic regions).Ensure adherence to the project corporate identity, copyright, appropriate representation, referencing, necessary Brand South Africa support to effect the objectives of the stakeholder roll-out plans.This function also entails brand monitoring to ensure brand alignment.Monitor resource spend and financial expenditure in accordance with the approved project plans.Support Brand South Africa team members by providing capacity and information when neededTo participate actively in the advisory clusters6) Organisational management and governanceCompliance and implementation of the corporate identityDevelop policiesPerformance management of relevant supplier relations and inputting the specs for supplier relations management (where the supplier performance management system sits in Operations) and contributing to the SLAsSupport Brand South Africa team members by providing capacity and information when neededTo participate actively in the advisory clusters7) Compliance, Monitoring and reporting (including risk)Develop systems for monitoring and gathering knowledge on the activity of government, parliament and stakeholder organisations, informing the rest of the senior management team and contribute by offering advice on appropriate action and follow-up.Develop and deliver communication plans to promote and maximise the impact of Brand South Africa. This will, from time to time, include contributing to media plans and publications.Monitor and report on departmental plansMonitor the achievement of departmental plans through monthly and quarterly progress reports (on content, financial and staff, etc)Monitor & evaluate the effectiveness of the stakeholder management strategy (including risks) and reflect this in the quarterly report in accordance with the developed performance measurement structure of the organisation.Monitoring and reporting on departmental plans8) Staff management and developmentDelegate work assignments and tasks to appropriate individuals, providing sufficient direction so desired business outcomes can be achieved.Provide direct reports with leadership, direction, and coaching to achieve work objectives and improve performance and skills.Performance Management – ensure that team members achieve their Performance Objectives as per individual agreements.Staff development, motivation and trainingRecruit respective staff and select9) Financial management/ oversight and complianceBudget planning and allocation and monitor expenditure in accordance with strategic objectives and ensure compliance with relevant policies.Manage financial resources cost effectively.Apply for the “Stakeholder Relationship Manager: Civil Society” vacancy by emailing: [email protected] your contact details.Attach your CV document.last_img read more


Walk the (Geocaching) Line

first_imgShare with your Friends:More Tell us (and share some pics)…what’s your favorite natural area in which to geocaching? SharePrint Related10 mistakes to avoid while geocachingFebruary 26, 2019In “News”Six tips for finding a geocache in an environmentally friendly wayMarch 4, 2019In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”4 Tips to Avoid Getting ‘Hangry’: Snacks for the Geocaching TrailJune 15, 2013In “Geocaching.com Videos”center_img Unless you live on the moon, you’ve probably gone geocaching in some sort of natural area—food garden, arboretum, provincial park, nature reserve, etc. Most areas have designated walking or hiking paths, but it can be sorely tempting to march straight off into the bush looking like Kipling’s Mowgli.Here are three reasons not to release your inner Tarzan unless you’re in your own jungle oasis (or…potted plant patio).1) You are a big, strong human, and you will crush the plants.Are you in the new King Kong remake? If not, then there’s no reason to blunder around crushing things. Your wanderings off the path are likely to leave a trail, one that another geocacher might follow thinking it leads to a cache. By the time the next person finds out your trail doesn’t lead anywhere, they’ve made it look even more like a trail that leads somewhere. You see where this is going. Big strong human, please keep all arms and feet inside the designated trails…2) Stingy, bite-y, slimy things.What’s red and green and stings all over? Poison oak, poison ivy, and stinging nettles. And they can really ruin a geocaching party. Keeping to the designated paths (and wearing your cargo pants) is key to avoiding these antagonists of the plant world. Nettles, like human children, are best seen and not heard disturbed.3) Every step you take…the land manager is watching you.Alright, so that may be unnecessarily creepy. But it’s the land manager’s job to make sure activities like geocaching are done in harmony with the environmental goals of the area. It’s the geocacher’s job to know what that means for geocaching. It’s true that geocaching in public natural areas is a privilege, not a right. Is this patch of hillside closed-off to protect sensitive species? Don’t go there human! No find is worth being kicked out of a park.last_img read more


Understanding Pellet Stoves

first_imgWhat happens when the power goes out?Many pellet stoves can now be configured to use battery back-up and operate even during a power failure. I purchased an optional $52 cable that I can clamp onto electrical contacts on the stove and attach to a DC automotive battery. I haven’t had to use this yet (having lucked out the ice storm this winter), but if that ice had extended to lower elevations I would have been very glad to have this option. With the DC back-up, the auto-ignite feature doesn’t work (that takes about 400 watts of electricity), but you can ignite the pellets with a gel available from pellet stove retailers.As for the pellets, this heating season provided an important lesson. It turned out that I wasn’t the only homeowner who had decided to save money by putting in a pellet stove; lots of New Englanders did, and that resulted in a surge in demand for pellets.Shortages occurred leading pellet dealers to ration their hard-to-get pellets and raise prices significantly. Bags of pellets I bought from Fireside True Value and Agway were coming from as far away as Alberta, Canada — with the very obvious transportation energy use! New pellet producers are coming online and problems with the closest producer — New England Pellet in Jaffrey, New Hampshire — have been fixed, so this is likely to be less of a concern in the future. But it will always be a risk — you can’t produce your own pellets. Lots of plastic bagsI also struggled with the issue of buying pellets in 40-pound plastic bags and generating all that plastic waste. Pellet dealers are thinking about this too. My last pellet delivery was several 1,300-pound reusable “totes” that are delivered on pallets. I paid a deposit that I’ll get back for these totes. I use five-gallon buckets to carry the pellets upstairs to my pellet stove.Larger users of pellets can install galvanized-steel, outdoor silos and get their pellets delivered in bulk — without requiring any plastic. (You can see one of these at the new senior housing facility on Route 35 in Townshend.) Soon, suspended fabric bags with bottom outlets designed for garage or basement installation may be available for those wanting to buy pellets in bulk. Note, though, that high summer humidity levels could cause problems with bulk pellets if they aren’t kept totally dry; one of the advantages of the 40-pound bags is that they’re tightly sealed.As with any combustion device, proper installation and operation are crucial for safety. Accumulated ash and “clinker” have to vacuumed out of the bottom of the pellet stove regularly. Because this ash or clinker may be hot, a specialized metal vacuum cleaner with flexible metal hose is recommended for use with pellet stoves. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I resisted buying a pellet stove for a long time for a number of reasons. First, I would be tied to a fuel source that I don’t have control over — and whose price might go up if demand exceeds supply.Second, pellet stoves don’t work without electricity, and I didn’t want to risk freezing pipes in the event of a power outage. Third, I don’t really like the noise of the fan and the blowtorch-like flame. Fourth, I had heard about technical problems with early pellet stoves. And fifth, good pellet stoves cost a lot.While most of these concerns still apply, I went ahead a bought a pellet stove last summer.Here’s why.Unlike wood stoves, today’s advanced, thermostatically controlled, auto-igniting pellet stoves operate with very little intervention. Stacking firewood, bringing armfuls in from the woodshed every few days, and dealing with the mess aren’t required (though you still have to deal with bags of pellets — more on that below). So a pellet stove can operate more like an oil or gas heating system — by simply setting the thermostat. Pellet stove also generate much less pollution than wood stoves, which is important to me. RELATED ARTICLES Heating With Wood PelletsWhat’s the Greenest Option for Home Heating?GBA Product Guide: Heating StovesHeating With Wood Safely and EfficientlyShould Green Homes Burn Wood?Wood Stoves: Safety First Are Masonry Heaters a Good Match for Superinsulated Houses?How to Provide Makeup Air for a Wood StoveHeating a Tight, Well-Insulated Housecenter_img These stoves have electric fansUnlike wood stoves, pellet stoves use an electric fan to supply air to the combustion chamber. This fan-assisted combustion is cleaner and there’s no chance of smoldering. Rather than radiating heat passively from the surface of the stove, pellet stoves use a second fan to deliver heat by forced convection. This throws the heat further into the room, but it contributes to the noise concern and requires electricity. Pellet stoves have integral hoppers for storing pellets; mine holds 80 pounds (two bags worth) — enough for several days of typical use.Pellet stove technology has developed considerably over the past five years. From what I’ve read and from experts I’ve talked with, the Quadra-Fire AE (Advanced Energy) pellet combustion technology is the most advanced on the market. My Mt. Vernon has performed flawlessly so far. I chose this pellet stove because of its ability to burn different fuels. The sophisticated programmable control allows you to burn such fuels as wood pellets, dried corn, sunflower seeds, etc.; programming in a different fuel changes the combustion conditions and fuel feed accordingly. If new fuels become available, such as grass pellets, I’ll be able to download a software upgrade to adjust the stove operation accordingly. This stove also allows me to regulate the blower speed, which can help to minimize noise, program in different temperatures for different days and times of day, and control the temperature swing (which influences how often the stove comes on). There is a lot that could go wrong though; I’ll see how it holds up. I still heat with oil and a wood stove in our house, but I installed a Quadra-Fire Mt. Vernon AE pellet stove in the apartment and home office above our garage. It’s given me a great chance to try out this technology. I provide some background and observations on pellet stoves — and pellet management — below.last_img read more