Police issued fines to over 50 cyclists who jumped red traffic lights in central Oxford on Friday. The operation, which took place at the junction of Broad Street and Parks Road, formed part of a road safety campaign. Two plain clothes officers situated outside the junction between Broad Street and Parks Road radioed descriptions of cyclists who ignored red lights to uniform officers further down the road, who pulled them over. The cyclists, the majority of whom are students, were issued £30 fines and given advice on road safety. In Trinity Term last year, nearly 200 cyclists were fined in two operations at the same junction. PC Stephen Higa said that police were not trying to victimise students. “The main reason is safety. If a cycle were to go through a red light, the consequences are potentially catastrophic.” However, the experience was too much to handle for some. One female student, who was stopped for passing an amber light, broke down in tears after she was pulled over. She was not fined as she did not pass a red light. Officers had only wanted to offer her safety advice. A student who has just finished his course at Oxford Brookes was among those who received fines. He said that the police should “use more discretion”. He continued, “A verbal warning would have been appreciated. I’ve got shit all money at the moment.” PC Higa said that there were further operations planned this month on Queen Street and Cornmarket.
We hope that today’s “READERS FORUM” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?WHAT”S ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays “Readers Poll” question is: If your an elected official and someone gives your campaign $500,000 what do you feel they expect you to do from them?Please go to our link of our media partner Channel 44 News located in the upper right-hand corner of the City-County Observer so you can get the up-to-date news, weather, and sports. We are pleased to provide obituaries from several area funeral homes at no costs. Over the next several weeks we shall be adding additional obituaries from other local funeral homes. Please scroll down the paper and you shall see a listing of them..If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected]: Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.”READERS FORUM” FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Whilst the work is carried out there will be some disruption to motorists using the A56 and Victoria Road. There will also be some parking restrictions on Victoria Road.The flood alleviation project involves making Victoria culvert structurally sound. Culverts are structures which carry water underground. They were often built to allow development to take place around them such as roads, homes and businesses. Many people live and work near culverts and may not even know they are there.A new culvert will be installed beneath the disused railway embankment to replace the existing one which has collapsed. The team will also re-line or replace a number of sections along the length of the culvert at locations under Victoria Road and the A56 Skipton Road.A new and improved trash screen will also be fixed at the inlet of the culvert, to help reduce the risk of it becoming blocked with debris and making it easier and safer to clear when water levels are high.The Environment Agency continues to explore other options to reduce flood risk from all sources in and around Earby. Over the next 12 months, the team will investigate the options in more detail, which include flood storage areas on Earby Beck, the New Cut and Victoria Clough and installing a flood defence wall at Boot Street.The Environment Agency is looking for volunteer flood wardens to play a key part in keeping Earby prepared and informed before, during and after a flood. Anyone interested in becoming a flood warden can email [email protected] to find out more.By signing up to the Environment Agency’s free Flood Warning service residents and businesses can receive flood alerts and flood warnings for Earby Beck and/or Earby New Cut directly to their phone and emails, 24/7. To find out if you’re at risk and register for Flood Warnings please visit: www.gov.uk/flood We would like to thank residents and businesses for their patience and understanding while we carry out this essential work to reduce flood risk and protect their properties. A £1million flood alleviation project which will provide vital protection to 91 homes and 17 businesses in Earby is now likely to be delayed.The project has been set back due to a major obstruction being discovered whilst drilling the new culvert beneath the disused railway embankment just under halfway along the route.The Environment Agency’s contractors, JBA Bentley, are on site working hard to find a solution so that the culvert repair can be completed as quickly as possible. The work started on Monday 23 July and was expected to take 13 weeks.To reduce the impact on local residents the current temporary traffic lights on the A56 will be removed on Friday (14 September). They will be reinstalled for a shorter period of time when a solution has been agreed.Next week new temporary traffic lights will be installed for around two weeks at the junction of the A56 and Victoria Road, near the Co-op food store, so that further sections of Victoria Clough culvert can be repaired.Other elements of the project are progressing well with the completion of 43m of structural re-lining of Victoria Clough culvert from the junction of Valley Road and Victoria Road. The road is expected to be re-instated and re-opened by Friday 21 September.Paul Swales, flood risk advisor for the Environment Agency, said:
You may not know Andy Carroll‘s name, but if you have ever seen a full scale The String Cheese Incident production, wandered the Electric Forest, or the Suwannee Hulaween’s Spirit Lake you certainly know his work. Serving for more than a decade as Cheese’s lightning director and de facto art director, including some of their legendary “Incidents,” Carroll has since moved away from the knobs and slides of the light board and is now responsible for some of America’s most impressive fusions of art and music.For the Suwannee Hulaween, which will be held at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL from October 28-30 (tickets and more info here), Carroll curates Spirit Lake, a veritable cornucopia of natural art installations, free floating fractal imagery, fire breathing dragons and things beyond imagining. A simple stroll around the shore is akin to wandering through portals into parallel, psychedelic dimensions of mad creative expression.Before opening new vortexes for the incoming hordes of Hulaween faithful to explore our own Rex Thomson caught up with Carroll to learn the path that led him to his place as one of the finest art directors in the industry. Enjoy!Live For Live Music: It’s amazing how inspiration can affect different people different ways. While onstage inspiration gets turned into sound, in the fields you help folks turn their inspiration to physical arts. Do you see any difference in the creative well springs, or is it all one shining light of creation?Andy Carroll: That’s a good question. In a way it all comes from the same place, and in a way it doesn’t. One thing that is definitely different is how we interact with the different kinds of art. Music is in the air, the art I deal with is something tangible. You can interact with it, be surrounded by it. People connect with it in different ways.L4LM: Some of the efforts of you and the team of artists you have assembled have become permanent installations in the Spirit Of Suwannee Music Park. How does it feel to contribute art that will be enjoyed by people for years to come?AC: It’s nice, but we are more concerned with making new art. We will be bringing back some of what we have done in the past, but we are focused on making new wonderful, crazy things for people to enjoy.L4LM: One of the things I liked best about the installations you do is the use of indigenous materials to create intricate all natural display. How do you decide what elements of the region to focus on?AC: I love incorporating nature into our installations. Any chance we have to bring the world around the music into the decorations, we’re happy to do it.L4LM: Let’s get some perspective on your personal artistic viewpoint. What’s your artistic background?AC: I don’t necessarily have one. I was into art, and I was encouraged by my parents to pursue art, like drawing. I got into lighting live music. I was with the String Cheese Incident for sixteen years, up until just a couple years ago. It was during that time that I kinda got tossed into doing art on a large level, to the point where it became a career.It started with the lighting world, the concert lighting world, but over the years as the art crept in more and more it really transformed what I was doing into a different experience.Now I focus not so much on the music, but what happens between the stages. My focus is to make it so there is more immersive, interactive stuff for the patrons to enjoy other than just going to the concert.It makes the whole experience this incredible new thing that is just continuing to unfold before their eyes. Each year brings out new things from artists who are from all around the world. I love working with these artists and designers to make this a truly next level experience for the people. It is super fun, but it’s not the way I envisioned it going. It came about so organically… right time, right place I suppose.L4LM: Artists are known for their mediums. Would it be fair to classify what you do as designing interactive outdoor displays?AC: That would be a fair way to describe it I guess. Really what I do is to try and make it so artists can share their craft with the world.L4LM: For a project like Hulaween, you bring teams of artists assigned to different areas. How many people would you say end up working on projects you’re overseeing?AC: Oh wow. I’d say it’s a couple hundred all together between the artists, lightning crew and so on. Actually, that’s one of the hardest parts of what I do, organizing and coordinating who goes where and when.L4LM: It’s always the most difficult part of being in charge… organization.AC: Exactly. And you know artists…no offense to them, I am one myself…but artists can be difficult. Artists have these fantastic creative minds but when it comes to thinking logistically…getting them organized is really a challenge. Keeping these people on point, it’s difficult. But these things have to get done by the time the show starts. The show MUST go on.There’s a timeline we have to stick to…so we have to keep everyone working full time to get these things done by the time the curtain goes up, so to speak. Everyone is pretty good about bringing it in on time. We make it happen. L4LM: What’s the process like to bring an idea to you and the event and see it turned into a reality?AC: There’s a range of ways. Between random emails or calls…some see me at the events and hit me up there. On the website we put out a call for artist submissions. I get lots of messages that are basically “Yeah…I’m so-and-so and here’s my idea. Can we make this happen?”Then we get into a back and forth, and try and figure out whether it’s a good fit, and whether we can make it happen. I really try and include just about everybody. I feel like it is a good opportunity for the people who want to be involved in this world. I try and find a place for them in Spirit Lake. And sure, maybe it’s just a small little nook, but they get to have the experience. Planning their art, pitching their art, bringing it and sharing it with everyone…that’s a pretty enriching experience. It can really turn them on, and I want to give them that opportunity. Then there’s a lot of artists I’ve wanted to work with for a long time at other events, like Burning Man or whatever. I’ll reach out to them and say “Hey, we’ve got this event on Halloween weekend, it’s amazing, your art is amazing, let’s try and work it out.” There’s these art things that go viral on Facebook and social media, and I’ll try and track down their name or their website. Then I basically reach out, “cold call” them, and try and get them to do something with us. Sometimes they’re local, sometimes they’re on the other side of the world. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. But now I have this epic roster of artists in my Rolodex that I talk to throughout the year. Between the random calls to me and the random calls I’ve made and the random calls to me, it’s built up pretty quick. Sometimes I’ll have this list of five artists that I really, REALLY want to work with and I’ll be totally disappointed if I lose even one of them. And that happens, but three other ones I hadn’t even just pop up. It always seems to work out great. And the more this event goes on, the more people who hear about it, the more artists see what’s going on and think to themselves “Wow, that would be really cool to be part of.”L4LM: You have a great canvas for them to work on as well.AC: Yeah, The Spirit Of Suwannee Music Park really adds to the experience as well, obviously. My friends and my wife, they all went to school in Florida. When those friends find out what I do, they go “Oh my god! I’ve been going there since I was a little kid!” People love that place, and that connection helps a lot too.It’s a draw on its own. People are ready to go there just to be there. And then when we add in a really cool event like Hulaween, that just makes it all the more cool.L4LM: One of the recurring themes in your art environments is my favorite element…FIRE! Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to play with it?AC: Yeah, totally. But it’s so primal. It gives light, it gives warmth. It’s awesome to have this event at The Suwannee Music Park where we actually can have fire. Most places don’t even allow it at all. Between fire marshals or whoever…and dry weather years, it’s tough to get it approved almost anywhere. I know Florida can have dry weather years too, but it’s usually pretty well hydrated. And we always take the proper precautions as well. But it’s super fun and I love it. Everybody loves fire. It totally takes things over the top, and I am very happy to be bringing it back this year.L4LM: Is there an overall theme to the madness or is it just chaos?AC: Not necessarily either, actually. We’re more just about general creativity. We want people to be inspired. And we want these artists to bring that inspiration, whether from something they saw at Spirit Lake last year, some other event or just out of their own imaginations to Spirit lake. I love the feeling of knowing that someone was inspired by something they saw and brought art into their own regular lives. I like thinking that someone was inspired by something they saw, and went home and had that thought, like “Oh my gosh! We could do that! You know we could do that! We’ve got all those materials piled up behind your house that’s been sitting there for ever. We could do that!”I love that sort of general creativity. But with it being on Halloween, we do have that scary, fun vibe to play with. I like starting with the waves of creative passion that flow free through the artists, and to find something in that that we can make real. I want artists to bring their work to Spirit lake, and for that to turn the next group on.L4LM: Any hints you can drop about this year’s mayhem to come?AC: No specifics, other than it’s going to be super awesome. There are some amazing new things coming from previous artists and new things from new people that take stuff in directions we haven’t even thought of going before. It’s gonna be amazing, but I just can’t give it away yet. You’ll have to come see for yourself!L4LM: Well, judging from how few tickets are left, I’m guessing there will be plenty of people getting lost inside the world you’re helping to create. Thanks for taking some time from your mad scheming to chat with us about the fun to come at Hulaween.AC: Thank you! I’m really looking forward to this.For tickets and information about Suwannee Hulaween, head to the official website. Photos for this article were taken by Dave Vann for a Spirit Lake feature that ran in 2015.
Lake Street Dive released their new album, Free Yourself Up, via Nonesuch Records on Friday. The release coincides with the unveiling of their new music video for “Good Kisser”, one of the first singles from the new record.Lake Street Dive – Free Yourself UpFree Yourself Up marks Lake Street Dive’s second release on Nonesuch Records. The band—drummer Michael Calabrese, bassist Bridget Kearney, singer Rachael Price, and guitarist/trumpeter Michael “McDuck” Olson—produced the album themselves at Nashville’s Goosehead Palace Studios with engineer Dan Knobler.Lake Street Dive also kicked off an extensive in their hometown of Boston on Friday night. Most dates on the first leg are already sold out, but they’ve got a lot more coming up between now and November, including shows with support from artists like Madison Ward and the Mama Bears, Mikaela Davis, and Robert Finley. Ticketing information for the upcoming shows can be found via the band’s website and you can order Free Yourself Up here.Lake Street Dive – “Good Kisser” Lake Street Dive Tour Dates:May 4 – Boston, MA The Sinclair* SOLD OUTMay 5 – Turners Falls, MA Shea Theater* SOLD OUTMay 6 – Kingston, NY Ulster Performing Arts Center*May 8 – Burlington, VT Higher Ground* SOLD OUTMay 9 – New Haven, CT College Street Music Hall*May 10 – Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Steel* SOLD OUTMay 12 – Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore* SOLD OUTMay 13 – Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls* SOLD OUTMay 15 – Chicago, IL Thalia Hall* SOLD OUTMay 17 – St. Paul, MN Palace Theater^May 18 – Des Moines, IA Simon Estes^May 19 – St. Louis, MO The Pageant^May 21 – Albuquerque, NM Kimo TheaterMay 23 – Los Angeles, CA Ford Theater* SOLD OUTMay 24 – Anaheim, CA House of Blues*May 25 – San Francisco, CA The Fillmore* SOLD OUTMay 27 – Napa Valley, CA Bottle Rock Festival SOLD OUTMay 29 – Vancouver, BC Commodore* SOLD OUTMay 30 – Seattle, WA Showbox at the Market* SOLD OUTJune 1 – Ogden, UT Ogden Music FestivalJune 2 – Stateline, NV Montbleu Resort CasinoJune 20 – Cleveland, OH House of BluesJune 21 – Charleston, WV Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West VirginiaJune 23 – Ottawa, ONT Ottawa Jazz FestivalJune 25 – Toronto, ONT Toronto Jazz Festival SOLD OUTJune 26 – Royal Oak, MI The Royal Oak Theatre ~June 28 – Rochester, NY International Jazz FestivalJune 29 – Red Bank, NJ Count Basie Theatre ~June 30 – Tanglewood, Lenox, MA Live from Here w/ Chris ThileJuly 2 – Richmond, VA The National ~July 3 – Black Mountain, NC Pisgah Brewing (Outdoor Stage) ~July 5 – Baltimore, MD WTMD First Thursday (Free Show)July 7 – Portland, ME Thompson’s PointJuly 8 – Marshfield, MA Levitate FestivalJuly 10 – Charleston, SC Charleston Music Hall ~July 12 – Raleigh, NC North Carolina Museum of Art ~July 13 – Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse ~July 14 – Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse ~July 16 – New Orleans, LA House of Blues ~July 17 – Houston, TX House of Blues +July 19 – Fayetteville, AR George’s Majestic Lounge +July 20 – Dallas, TX The Bomb Factory +July 21 – Austin, TX Austin City Limits, The Moody Theatre +August 30 – Grand Rapids, MI Frederik Meijer GardensAugust 31 – Lexington, KY Manchester Music HallSeptember 1 – Peoria, IL The Monarch Music HallSeptember 3 – Iowa City, IA Englert TheatreSeptember 4 – Omaha, NE SlowdownSeptember 6 – Morrison, CO Red Rocks AmphitheatreSeptember 7 – Aspen, CO Belly Up AspenSeptember 10 – Bozeman, MT Bridger Brewing #September 12 – Missoula, MT The Wilma #September 13 – Woodinville, WA Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery #September 14 – Portland, OR Revolution Hall # SOLD OUTSeptember 16 – Templeton, CA Whale Rock Music and Arts FestivalSeptember 18 – San Francisco, CA The Fillmore #September 19 – San Francisco, CA The Fillmore #September 20 – Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern #September 22 – Glen Ellen, CA Sonoma Harvest Festival > SOLD OUTSeptember 27 – Oklahoma City, OK The Jones AssemblySeptember 28 – Columbia, MO Roots N Blues BBQ FestivalSeptember 29 – Memphis, TN Levitt ShellOctober 11 – London, UK 02 Shepherd’s Bush EmpireOctober 25 – Louisville, KY Brown TheatreOctober 26 – Milwaukee, WI Pabst TheaterOctober 27 – Chicago, IL The Riveria TheatreOctober 29 – Indianapolis, IN The VogueOctober 30 – Madison, WI The SylveeNovember 1 – Nashville, TN Ryman AuditoriumNovember 2 – Columbus, OH Newport Music HallNovember 3 – Ithaca, NY The State TheatreNovember 5 – New York, NY Beacon TheatreNovember 6 – New York, NY Beacon Theatre #November 9 – Washington, DC The AnthemNovember 10 – Upper Darby, PA Tower Theatre *Mikaela Davis supports^Liz Vice supports~ Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear supports+The Rad Trads support# Robert Finley supportsView All Tour Dates
Notre Dame’s Play Like a Champion Today (PLC) program will expand its scholarships that honor young athletes for their moral integrity instead of sheer athletic ability, program director Kristin Sheehan said. Sheehan said the program has partnered with the Trusted Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization in Oregon, to create 12 new scholarships this year. The PLC program, an initiative developed through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), strives to educate youth and high school coaches nationally to develop character and integrity in athletes physically, emotionally, morally and spiritually. The Inspireum Soccer Awards, initiated this year, will give $25,000 in academic scholarships to 12 high school soccer players who best exemplify a combination of athletic ability, courage and personal character. Sheehan said the Soccer Awards would give more young female athletes a chance to be recognized. “This award certainly opens the field for young women to be acknowledged for character this year,” she said. Sheehan said the Soccer Awards program is one of two awards programs sponsored by PLC and the Trusted Sports Foundation. The second program, the High School Football Rudy Awards, and the Soccer Awards honor young athletes for their courage in the face of difficult circumstances. “Very often that award would exemplify someone beating the odds, a situation when an athlete had [faced] adversity in his or her life and continues to flourish in [his or her] character,” Sheehan said. “Really, these kids are heroes.” Sheehan said so much emphasis is placed on physical performance today that young athletes can easily lose sight of how important personal character is to sports. “In a world where we sometimes have negative examples of sports figures who are excellent at what they do physically, they aren’t [necessarily] the best [role models,]” she said. The High School Football Rudy Awards program presents $25,000 in academic scholarships annually to 12 young football players recognized for a commitment to excellence as well as demonstrated personal character. The awards are based on the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, known for his determination to make the Notre Dame football team as shown in the film, “Rudy.” “They are awarded to a high school student who most exemplifies the ‘Rudy’ spirit,” Sheehan said. “That is integrity … perseverance, persistence, hard work ⎯ all those virtues and values that we would applaud from a young athlete.” Sheehan said PLC began its partnership with the Trusted Sports Foundation back in 2008 after Ruettiger, who is involved with the charity, came to speak at PLC’s annual sports leadership conference. Any student across the nation can be considered for the awards, Sheehan said. “What we talk about is how to create champions from every child,” Sheehan said. “The character traits that we would focus on would be hard work, determination, persistence, fortitude, respect, justice, sportsmanship, integrity, care for others and passion.” Sheehan said a champion isn’t always the star player on the team, but a person of both athletic excellence and character. “What this award really celebrates is … character and integrity through sports,” she said.
Lin-Manuel Miranda Star Files View Comments We hoped he would bring his epic rap skills to Saturday Night Live! Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda hosted the iconic NBC comedy show on October 8, and he did not throw away his shot to tip his hat to his Tony-winning tuner. Miranda re-vamped the Hamilton anthem “My Shot” to include some choice words for Donald Trump, a cameo from SNL creator Lorne Michaels and a slew of back-up dancers. Though we loved the opener, our new favorite song has to be “Crucible Cast Party.” Take a look at the videos below to see why! Lin-Manuel Miranda
Summer’s fresh vegetables and fruits bathe your taste buds in fabulous flavors. Andthey’re chock full of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.Phyto what?”The ‘phyto’ means ‘plants,'” said Holly Alley, a nutritionist with theUniversity of Georgia Extension Service. “The plants we eat contain hundreds, perhapsthousands, of chemicals.”Don’t be so quick to say “yuck.” Phytochemicals are good guys. In fact, theymay be one of the best things about some of our favorite foods.”We don’t know exactly what they do,” Alley said. “But eating foods withphytochemicals may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.”Scientists have known for 20 years that people who eat lots of fruits and vegetablesare less likely to have most cancers, she said. But they haven’t known why.The answer, or at least some of the answers, may be in the phytochemicals. Researchersare studying this group of compounds to find out exactly how they affect people’s health.So far, they’re pretty sure they’re not like vitamins.”Vitamins are essential chemicals in foods that prevent and cure specificdiseases,” Alley said. “For instance, if you don’t get vitamin C in your diet,you’ll get scurvy. And if you get scurvy, taking vitamin C will cure it.”If you don’t get phytochemicals in your diet, you won’t necessarily get cancer.”And so far,” she said, “there’s no evidence that eating foods withphytochemicals will cure any type of cancer.”But the evidence is growing, she said, that these compounds may help protect youagainst certain cancers. They seem to have a number of functions.Some, Alley said, may help your body get rid of cancer-causing agents, calledcarcinogens. Among them are limonenes, found in citrus fruits; ellagic acid, found ingrapes; caffeic acid, found in fruits; and allyl sulfides, found in garlic, onion, leeksand chives.Others may help keep cancer cells from growing. Two of these are protease inhibitorsand saponins, both found in beans.Still others are believed to block estrogen, a hormone that increases the risk ofbreast and ovarian cancer. These include isoflavones, found in beans; and indoles, foundin vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and greens.These compounds’ names are long and strange now. “But they may become as common asvitamin names in the future,” Alley said.Cooking may destroy a few of the compounds, such as allyl sulfides in garlic. Butcooking can actually make some chemicals more available.”So until we know more,” she said, “it’s best to eat a variety of bothraw and cooked fruits and vegetables. And phytochemicals are one more good reason to eatat least five servings a day.”
Brazilian mining company to take $1.6 billion charge, shift focus from thermal to met coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Vale SA expects a total of US$3.2 billion in noncash impairment charges in its fourth quarter results this year, related to its New Caledonia nickel operation and its coal business.The Brazilian diversified miner said Nov. 26 that it expects reduced production from its New Caledonia mine for its remaining life, due to reliability issues related to production and processing operations, resulting in an impairment charge of approximately US$1.6 billion.In addition, technical issues have affected the expected yield of Vale’s coal business, leading to an additional impairment charge of approximately US$1.6 billion.Vale said it will implement a new mining plan for its coal business, aiming to prioritize higher quality ore in a bid to maximize the metallurgical coal share of the product mix and with a lower stripping ratio.Its Moatize coal mine in Mozambique will implement a new flow sheet following a three-month maintenance period in 2020, targeting increased plant productivity to a run rate of 15 million tonnes per year by the second half of next year.More ($): Vale outlines US$3.2B impairment in Q4’19 due to nickel, coal mines
Sol Systems, Microsoft partner on 500MW of community-based solar projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Sol Systems and Microsoft announced [last week] they will work together on a portfolio of 500 megawatts of U.S. solar projects as well as investments in communities on the front lines of climate change.Washington, D.C.-based Sol Systems will finance, develop and operate the new solar projects, which will add to its existing 1 gigawatts of solar in operation or construction. The portfolio represents the largest single renewables investment yet from Microsoft, which plans to reach “carbon-negative” status by 2030 and by 2050 remove more carbon than it has historically emitted.While the size of the portfolio alone is notable, the partnership is also unique for its emphasis on community involvement. Unlike many corporate renewables purchases, which have become a significant driving force for new solar and wind additions, the Microsoft and Sol Systems collaboration emphasizes community impact.Projects will be sited in “under-resourced communities” disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change. The companies did not detail how those communities would be selected, though Sol Systems noted a particular emphasis on communities that have been significantly economically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.Project size will range from between 2 megawatts and 10 megawatts in urban environments to installations larger than 50 megawatts. The two companies did not provide specifics on where the solar projects would be located but said the portfolio will span several states, with some built in the territory of the PJM Interconnection.On the same day as unveiling the partnership with Sol Systems, Microsoft announced it was joining up with eight other companies including Mercedes-Benz and Starbucks to help develop research and guidance for corporations transitioning to net-zero emissions by mid-century. The Environmental Defense Fund, a green group that has promoted market-based approaches to combatting climate change, is another founding member and the only non-profit organization among the current group.[Emma Foehringer Merchant]More: Microsoft and Sol Systems to build 500 megawatts of solar, boost community investment