RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR 13 more people in Donegal test positive for Covid-19 Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme By News Highland – September 18, 2020 Pinterest Google+ Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic WhatsApp 13 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Donegal this evening.Nationally, 3 more people with Covid-19 have died and there are 253 confirmed cases.71% of those diagnosed in the last 24 hours are under the age of 45.Dennis McCauley, Donegal Coroner and Chair of the IMO’s GP Sub Committee says he’s noticed more and more people admitted to hospital:Audio Playerhttps://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/virus7pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Google+ Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Facebook AudioHomepage BannerNews WhatsApp Previous articleMain Evening News, Sport, Nuacht and Obituaries Friday September 18thNext articleTaoiseach announces new restrictions for Dublin News Highland Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Twitter Twitter Facebook Pinterest Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Publicans in Republic watching closely as North reopens further
The USC Women’s Student Assembly is hosting Take Back the Night this week, which discusses sexual violence. On Monday, the WSA set up an exhibit Alumni Park to increase sexual assault awarness.
Where the vertically integrated monopoly remains, so do the problems. In states where “deregulation,” more accurately termed restructuring, was undertaken, the problems are almost as bad. While restructuring has produced some benefits by encouraging competition among generators and open access to the wholesale grid, retail service competition has not delivered on the promises with which the concept was originally pitched.In particular, robust markets for energy efficiency and other clean and distributed energy resource technologies and services have not emerged. These services are still overwhelmingly implemented through public purpose funds and programs, as mandates imposed on distribution utilities. Bringing innovation in distributed energy services to customers, especially residential and small commercial customers, is overdue and will require another round of structural change. The load management utilityYogi Berra tells us, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”Even with the uncertainty that accompanies a major undertaking like utility restructuring, some effort to visualize a desired end state is an essential first step in the journey. The utility of the future must embrace, not oppose, distributed energy resources. It must thrive on and encourage innovation, internalize environmental responsibility and customer empowerment, and provide a platform for innovation in product and service development. In short, the utility of the future must be the current system turned upside down.Today’s utility model can be summarized quite briefly: forecast and assume demand, build or acquire supply to fit, and implement demand-side options only to the extent forced to do so. The inverse of this model, or “the utility of the future,” is the load management utility (called the “distribution system platform provider” by the New York Reforming the Energy Vision publication).The load management utility is an entity operating under performance-based regulation and compensated not on throughput, but on service. Its mission is to manage electricity loads using every distributed resource and technology at its disposal, through third-party partners, using wholesale resources only when all distributed resource options are exhausted.The load management utility shifts market surplus downstream to customers, as happens with all mature markets. It utilizes a robust, locally integrated resource planning process, and provides transparent price information determining short, medium, and long term planning cost values for marginal distribution capacity and energy.The performance standards reward optimization of several factors, including short and long-term prices, environmental responsibility, customer satisfaction, grid reliability and service quality standards (especially for service to low-income customers), and minimization of revenue requirement.The load management utility uses its platform provider role to encourage third-party participation in provision of services rather than to exercise market power, operating essentially as an “independent distribution system operator.” The load management utility operates at the retail level, fully under the oversight of markets and state regulators. Its functions are therefore not wholesale transactions until it buys or sells energy or other services to the wholesale system operator, thus reducing problems associated with bifurcated jurisdictional authority over electricity rates and services.The load management utility is a vision of what today’s utility distribution service providers can become, for the benefit of the utilities, customers, and society alike. Its incentives align with the best interests of all three, eschewing the sub-optimization inherent in traditional approaches that seek to “balance” economic and environmental concerns, or economic and equity concerns. A revolution in scaleUtilities are more insulated from market forces than many other businesses, but they are not immune. Low natural gas prices, for example, have increasingly rendered coal-fired and nuclear generation economically unviable, while public concern over environmental and human health consequences has made these plants hard to site and difficult to permit.High natural gas prices induce conservation and shifting toward alternative sources of fuel. Nuclear power plants, with their chronic cost overruns and delays, strain the patience of investors and require ever-stronger incentives as well as questionable cost-effectiveness evaluations and contorted resource planning processes. Meanwhile, customers and the buildings they occupy are becoming increasingly energy-efficient. All this weakens growth in revenues at the utility level. Remarkably, the electricity industry is driven overwhelmingly by three key factors, all of which are completely beyond the control of either regulators or utility executives: weather, commodity fuel prices, and general economic conditions.A new and growing component of market pressure on utilities over the past few decades has been the shift toward smaller, more distributed energy resources and services. As chronicled in Small Is Profitable, published by the Rocky Mountain Institute, right-sized resources offer numerous economic, financial, operational, and engineering benefits for meeting the demand for energy services.These distributed energy approaches offer modularity, risk-reduction, resiliency, and other benefits now increasingly recognized and monetized by customers and entrepreneurial service providers alike. Growth in clean, distributed energy has not come easy, but many concede that the forces of change in the utility industry are now inevitable. ConclusionThe time has come to complete the transformation of the electric utility sector. A deliberate and sustained effort to establish robust markets for distributed energy services is the major remaining step in that process. Policy makers, regulators, and utility leaders must focus first on understanding the value of distributed energy resources of all kinds, creating meaningful opportunities for third-party technology and service providers to participate in competition for marginal energy service dollars, and shifting utility regulation to a performance based model of regulation. In the end, the process can lead to the emergence of the new central feature of electric service — the retail level load management utility. Karl R. RÃ¡bago is the executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center at the Pace University School of Law in White Plains, New York. This blog was originally posted at the website of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Building Energy conference and is republished here with permission. RÃ¡bago is a keynote speaker for the opening of the conference in Boston on March 4, 2015.For more than 100 years, taxpayers, ratepayers, investors, and policymakers have supported the growth and operations of the electric utility industry. The rate-making formula, under which capital investment is recovered and healthy profits are guaranteed, has helped make electric service in the United States nearly universal and relatively cheap. For much of the last century, the model leveraged increasing economies of scale to enable the provision of electricity as well as profits and dividends.Along with those benefits come significant costs. The electric utility industry is a major consumer of fossil fuels and a large emitter of greenhouse gases, mercury, and other pollutants. The implicit preference for large plants creates a business culture that is stodgy and resistant to change. One for one for one: One for allThe gap between where we are and where we must go is daunting. As difficult and expensive as it has been to install open-access wholesale markets, the realization of healthy markets for distributed energy will be exponentially more difficult. In an environment where the scale of solutions required is huge and the political risk associated with even proposing them is formidable, proposals for regulatory reform often lead to only incremental changes.Pilot programs have demonstrated all that they can. It is time to complete the process of bringing sustainability to the electric utility sector. Three major agenda items pave the way for the transition.Valuation analysis. The process of transformation should be primed with value-based pricing of distributed energy solutions. Assumptions about subsidies and cross-subsidies in net metering, energy efficiency, and other distributed systems should be flatly rejected in favor of actual analysis of full, long-term benefit and cost analysis. The analysis of the value of solar that began with Small Is Profitable should expand to all the major distributed energy resource categories — solar, savings (efficiency and demand response), storage, security, and smarts.Rates, charges, and incentives associated with these resources should be based on actual analysis of value to service providers, customers, and society. Once the value of distributed energy resources is understood, regulators can move to create competitive market opportunities for third-party providers of these services from within the current model through local integrated resource planning.Third-party participation. The utility sector must be aggressively opened to third-party service and technology provider participation, especially in distributed energy service markets. With advances in intelligence and information systems, there is no reason for electric service to remain so dumb and data-poor. The culture of utility management needs an injection of innovative thinking that third-party entrepreneurs can bring. Elements of retail electric service amenable to competitive service should be unbundled and offered up to competitive providers on open-access terms, just as has been done in competitive wholesale markets. This will lead to loss of market share among current big suppliers, but can provide far more value for ratepayers and society. With proper oversight, providing utilities an opportunity to compete fairly for some of that market share can mitigate such adverse impacts.Performance-based regulation. The utility sector elements that serve customers must move from cost-plus regulation to performance-based regulation. The old system was perfectly designed to encourage over-building of infrastructure and over-consumption of electricity. While the benefits of widespread electrification and economies of both generation and grid infrastructure justified that model for more than half of the last century, it has outlived its usefulness.The commodity model must be replaced with a service model. Instead of compensating utility service providers based on commodity production and delivery in a model focused on rates, a shift to performance regulation would reward service providers for maintaining grid reliability while helping customers manage their bills. It would also derive maximum energy service value from the most cost-effective blend of supply-and demand-side resources. This shift could align utility and customer interests while securing improved environmental, economic, and equitable performance in the near and long term.The entire transition process should be structured around a defined system of metrics. The utility sector today is not competitive, and markets are significantly distorted by the lack of meaningful competition among retail electricity service providers. In vertically integrated monopoly systems, fuel prices are still passed directly through to customers. In the restructured markets, the pervasive model is rate competition only, with little focus on service. An intentional path of market structure conversion is essential.Policy makers should adopt a “one for one for one” transition model: For every new megawatt worth of conventional generation or transmission capacity added to the system, regulators should secure the permanent retirement of one megawatt of existing conventional generation, and the permanent addition of one megawatt of distributed energy resources.The deal is easy to understand and offers a clear path toward the desired end state of robust distributed energy markets. Regulatory mandates can be relaxed as the market grows. Distributed energy acts as a hedge and price-check on additional investments in conventional resources. The retirement of existing conventional generation prevents significant excess capacity from frustrating transition efforts. The goal is the emergence of a new utility model remarkably reminiscent of the original light company model, but with the benefit of modern technology and competition — the load management utility. Challenges to growthRegulators, policymakers, and industry leaders now speak of the need for another restructuring of the energy industry, with the aim of transforming the sector toward “Utility 2.0,” or the “Utility of the Future.” But several obstacles stand in the way of realizing the full potential of distributed energy services.Pressure on public benefit funds. Public benefit fund programs always face funding pressure. Electric service providers and suppliers make money from sales or have revenues indexed to throughput, so they are often less than enthusiastic about supporting distributed energy. Policy makers and regulators, especially in restructured states, have few other mechanisms for reducing charges to customers, and face continued pressure to reduce or restrain growth of public benefit funds.Increasing fixed customer charges. A number of distribution utilities are seeking to change the ratio of fixed and variable charges for their services. Traditionally, customers are charged relatively small “customer charges” designed to recover metering and administrative costs. Other costs are recovered through volumetric charges based on kilowatt-hour usage. Now a number of utilities are seeking to increase fixed charges and thus their revenues. Because fixed costs cannot be avoided by lowering consumption, increases in these costs also increase payback terms for distributed resources, making installation less attractive.Generation capacity costs. Electric generating capacity reserve margins are extremely high in New York and New England, due largely to a massive growth in natural gas capacity over the past decade or so. This new gas generation creates opportunity for demand-side resources, such as demand-response programs in the winter, when gas supply constraints pose potential problems. But overall, excess capacity and relatively low natural gas prices create strong economic challenges for distributed energy market growth.Transmission and distribution infrastructure investments. Investments in the transmission and distribution grid comprise a two-edged sword for distributed energy resources. On the one hand, investment at the “Smart Grid 1.0” level, involving advanced metering infrastructure, distribution automation, and other system improvements, is critical to enable value optimization for many distributed energy options, especially demand response and load management.However, major transmission and distribution investments, especially hardening and some resiliency improvements, compete for scarce capital and create large, unamortized, rate base balances. Some utilities see increased deployment and operation of distributed energy as a threat to timely recovery of these investments.Attacks on net metering. Most notorious in utility regulatory policy arenas over the past few years are utility industry efforts to abolish or severely undercut net metering for distributed generation, particularly rooftop photovoltaic systems. Championed by the Edison Electric Institute, American Legislative Exchange Council, Americans for Prosperity, and other advocacy groups, the effort to end net metering is taking place in both legislative and regulatory forums. The standard argument is that net metering, which allows self-generation to offset consumption charges at the retail consumption rate, constitutes a subsidy, because the credit is greater than the cost of wholesale power.The argument continues that because the bill of a net metering customer is lower, the difference constitutes a shortfall in projected revenues for the utility that must be made up on the backs of non-solar customers. These non-solar customers, it is argued, are poor people who the utility can never imagine enjoying solar energy systems.Cynicism aside, the argument suffers most from the faulty premise that one can assume electricity produced at the point of consumption can never have more value than the wholesale price of electricity. And though a bedrock principle of utility ratemaking is that rates must be founded on cost-of-service studies and objective cost allocation exercises, not one cost-of-service study has yet supported the subsidy argument.Dozens of valuation studies have been conducted in recent years, most of which support the argument that distributed solar generation is worth more than the retail prices of electricity, and that solar customers who only receive retail rate credit are, in fact, subsidizing other utility customers.The real issue with distributed resources is that they reduce revenues for utilities and conventional generators in the commodity electricity business model. Distributed generation reduces the need for generation and transmission infrastructure, both today and in the long run. With rapid growth in distributed energy resources due to falling prices and increasing popularity, this emerging trend has been characterized as an existential threat to utilities. RELATED ARTICLES Solar Beats Utility Power in Many CitiesVermont Utility to Develop New Grid TechnologyPutting the Squeeze on Renewable EnergyWisconsin Alters Net-Metering RulesHawaii Tinkers With Its Solar FormulasIndiana Weighs a Bill Allowing New Solar FeesMaine Utility Drops Bid for Solar ChargesUtah Utility Seeks Fee for Net-Metered CustomersSolar Energy Costs Fall in 2013Net-Metering Is Preserved in KansasMajor Utility Wants Lower Net-Metering Rates
Posted on January 4, 2011June 20, 2017By: Carrie Ngongo and Sarah Burgess, Fistula Care ProjectClick 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Obstetric fistula is a devastating birth injury that befalls many of the women who narrowly escape maternal death following obstructed labor. Women who suffer from fistula can have their lives transformed by surgical repair. With support from USAID, EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care Project is working to improve treatment and prevention of obstetric fistula.Fistula Care is pleased to release several tools that will help clinical providers to provide quality fistula services:Family planning can help to prevent obstetric fistula as well as to assist fistula survivors to heal completely from surgery and achieve a successful pregnancy if desired. Family Planning for Women and Couples Following Fistula Care is a booklet for clients that provides information about family planning methods including considerations for fistula survivors and HIV positive women. To facilitate quality family planning counseling, Fistula Care has also developed two posters for service providers: Client-Centered Reproductive Health Counseling Following Fistula Repair and the Quick Reference Chart for Contraceptive Methods.Informed consent is especially important in fistula care services because many women who have lived with fistula have experienced a traumatic event and have become marginalized as a result of their injuries. The booklet, Informed Consent in Fistula Care, will serve as a practical guide for providers regarding the process of obtaining informed consent for fistula treatment.The Fistula Diagnosis Poster and Fistula Diagnosis Job Aid were both developed in Ethiopia by Fistula Care partner IntraHealth. The tools guide service providers though a series of questions to allow them to identify fistula and refer for care appropriately. French translations of this, and the other tools, are forthcoming.The Obstetric Fistula Digital Stories Facilitator’s Guide can help to provoke discussion and dialogue about fistula among women with fistula, health care providers, and members of the greater community. The guide is a companion to the Learn from My Story series, a set of short videos created by Ugandan women who have experienced fistula. The booklet provides the text of each woman’s story along with relevant discussion questions.The Fistula Care Project continues to provide support for fistula treatment and prevention in ten countries. Between 2005 and September 2010, 17,780 fistula repair surgeries were supported with funding from USAID.To subscribe to the Fistula Care Project newsletter, click here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Norwich defender Ben Godfrey grateful to Ferdinandby Paul Vegas7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNorwich City centre half Ben Godfrey is grateful to Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand for his career advice.Godfrey has been quick to turn to Ferdinand whenever he needs some help or tips on defending.“In terms of being a centre back, there’s not been a better person to speak to for advice in however many years,” Godfrey, who is represented by Ferdinand’s New Era Global Sports company, told the Mirror.“Anything he says, goes really. He’s class and he helps me so much. He’s got a lot of time for me. He’s a top guy and it’s good to speak to him.“I will get my clips together after a game, send them to Rio and he’ll come back and say: ‘to be honest, I’d have done this or this…’ or tell me what I’ve done well.”I’m always trying to learn and improve and there’s no-one better to give me advice.”
Police are asking anyone with information to please call Fort Nelson RCMP at (250) 774-2700, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.No further information is available at this time. FORT NELSON, B.C. – The Northern Rockies RCMP and North District Major Crime Unit are investigating the suspicious death of two people south of the Liard Hot Springs.On Monday, July 15, 2019, at approximately 7:19 a.m. Northern Rockies front line officers were called to an area on the highway approximately 20 kilometres south of Liard Hot Springs.Upon attendance, police discovered two adults deceased. Both deaths appeared to be suspicious and Northern Rockies RCMP called for assistance from North District Major Crime Unit.
Washington: US President Donald Trump has said he expects to have a “very fruitful” meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping next month in Japan, amid escalating trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies. Speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday, Trump also said he expects to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. “We are going to be meeting, as you know, at the G20 in Japan. And that will be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting,” Trump said on the possibility of his meeting with Xi. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe President’s remarks came as trade war between the US and China escalated after Trump last Friday increased the import duty on Chinese products worth USD 200 billion from 10 per cent to 25 per cent. He has also started the process of a similar increase on the remaining Chinese imports of over USD 300 billion. “We are taking in, right now, hundreds of billions of dollars. We are taking in billions of dollars of tariffs…. We have never taken in 10 cents until I got elected. Now we are taking in billions and billions…. In addition to that we have another USD 325 billion that we can do, if we decided to do it,” Trump said. “So we are taking it in tens of billions of dollars. We have never done that before with China. We have never done that before with anybody, frankly, because we have been taken advantage of all of our trade deals,” he said. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsThe G-20 Summit would also be the first opportunity for a meeting between the Indian prime minister and Trump after the election results are declared in India on May 23. However, Trump, during his interaction with the media at his Oval Office, made no mention of any meeting other than that with Xi and Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit. Like the Trump-Xi summit in Argentina last November, all eyes will again be on the two leaders in Japan because of the ongoing trade tension. Ahead of the meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Putin on Tuesday, Trump said on Monday that it made sense for the US to get along with Russia. “I’ll be meeting with President Putin also. I think the message is that there has never been anybody that’s been so tough on Russia but, at the same time, we’re going to end up getting along with Russia. It makes sense to get along with Russia,” he told reporters at his Oval Office.
Rabat – According to the Party of Authenticity and Modernity, a Moroccan opposition party, the government of the Republic of Paraguay announced the withdrawal its recognition of the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (founded by the Polisario Front).According to a statement issued by the party following a visit by its leader to Paraguay, the parliament of this Latin American country made an “important declaration.”Paraguay decided to “to suspend its relations Polisario, which it considers as an armed separatist movement, and to support international legitimacy,” in finding a political solution to the conflict, the PAM said according to Anadolo agency. This is the third country in less than three months to withdraw its recognition of the Polisario’s RASD after Haiti and Panama which signals the dwindling legitimacy of this separatist movement as a representative of the Saharawis.During his meeting with Mohammed VI at the White House last November, President Obama pledged to continue supporting the efforts made by the United Nations to find a mutually-agreed solution to the conflict, adding that the Moroccan autonomy plan presented to the security Council in 2007 is “serious, realistic, and credible.”“The United States has made clear that Morocco’s autonomy plan is serious, realistic, and credible, and that it represents a potential approach that could satisfy the aspirations of the people in the Western Sahara to run their own affairs in peace and dignity,” said the White House.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
This may sound odd, but I’m starting to get bored with Buckeye football. I know that there are still big games on the schedule, especially the Michigan game. But after getting beat by Purdue, playing a fluky game against Wisconsin and predictably blowing out New Mexico State, the whole thing is just starting to feel tired. I just haven’t been able to get behind this team. I still root for them, but watching the Buckeyes this year just isn’t the same.Luckily there’s another team starting their season, and it is one that I think is going to be a lot more entertaining. The men’s basketball team doesn’t have problems with unproven freshman or sophomores. Instead they have returning juniors Evan Turner, Jon Diebler and Dallas Lauderdale who are genuine, battle-hardened veterans of a couple long seasons. Add to that a return of National Championship-run team member David Lighty, super sophomore William Buford, and hard-working junior college transfers Jeremie Simmons and P.J. Hill. There are other guys that casual fans won’t recognize from their playing time, (including another Greek seven-footer, Zisis Sarikopoulos) but the starters have seen it all in the Big Ten, and are ready for another title.I even like the basketball coach more. Thad Matta had back surgery a little bit ago, but it hasn’t slowed him down at all. He looks like he runs as much as the players on some nights. Where football fans see a stuffed sweater vest standing on the sidelines whispering into a headset about the next punt, basketball fans see a guy in a suit yelling, screaming, sweating, and cheering his team to victory with every other fan. You can tell that he lives for basketball; he was born in a town called “Hoopeston.” I can’t see gum flying out of Tressel’s mouth, much less him picking it up and putting it back in after it hits the ground.From my seats in C Deck, I can just barely make out some of the numbers on the field as I try to remember what my fingers felt like. From my seats in Value City Arena, I can high five the players after they go on a 12-0 run to finish out the half. The chants are louder and clearer, the game is faster and the team is better. What better cure for the gridiron doldrums? Not to mention that when basketball season ends, there’s usually a 65-team tournament to savor. By contrast, football enjoys a month and a half of waiting before a bowl game that won’t matter unless some journalists and computers say it does. I won’t be tuning out the rest of the football games, but I am relieved that the better fan experience finally starts their season next week. Go Bucks!
Once you are recognized as the best, it becomes that much harder to stay there.Sometimes there are external factors, like the target that you wear on your back once the accolades start coming your way.But far more often, the struggle to stay on top is internal.There are many terms for this phenomenon: resting on your laurels, self-satisfaction or just plain laziness.Ohio State women’s basketball player Jantel Lavender will never fall into that trap.Lavender has been unanimously selected as the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, and the Buckeyes she leads have been picked to finish first in the Big Ten by both the media and coaches poll.Do such lofty expectations make her soft?“I think it’s motivation to continue to be at the level of a top team,” Lavender said.Saying it is motivating and actually displaying motivation are two very different things.When someone has to go to class, hit the weight room and then go to practice and impress a task-master like coach Jim Foster, words won’t cut it. Only action will.“If it means coming in and shooting 500 [3-pointers] a day or running extremely hard, whatever it takes is what I’ll do,” Lavender said.Statistics like the ones Lavender has racked up can be telling.In her freshman campaign, she averaged 17.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Those tallies increased to 20.8 and 10.7 respectively in her sophomore season.Is it an upward trend or has she reached the pinnacle?“I just come in every day with the attitude that I’m getting better every single day,” Lavender said. “There’s not a plateau for me. You can always add to your game.”Foster isn’t ready to call his star player a finished product just yet.“She needs to continue to work on her face-up game, shoot the [3-pointer] with a little more consistency and to continue to improve her left [hand],” Foster said.With goals, expectations and four new freshmen faces in the lineup, it is extremely important that team leaders set the tone.“If you have to motivate your best players to play hard every day, you’re stuck in the mud,” Foster said.“When your best players are your hardest workers, then you’re on the autobahn.”Lavender is a hard worker, and a self-avowed basketball junkie. A lot of players will say they model their game after a certain star player.Usually, it is a name that even the most casual of fans have heard of, such as LeBron James or Kobe Bryant.But Lavender looks for ways to improve her game in the most unlikely of places.“I love the game so much and constantly want to learn something new,” she said. “I’m a sponge. It can be a kid on the playground I’m watching that does something out of the ordinary.”Last year’s run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament and subsequent ouster has fueled the fire for the team to surpass the last two seasons’ accomplishments. That can only mean one thing: a national title.Will Lavender have what it takes to lead this year’s Buckeyes to another Big Ten title and beyond? She sounds ready.“There are no excuses,” she said of this season. “I know what needs to be done.”