The Benefits and Costs of Upgrading to Natural Gas Heating

Natural Gas Heating pic

Natural Gas Heating
Image: scientificamerican.com

New York resident Ana Docoito-Nelson manages properties for Gramatan Management, Inc. As a property manager, she oversees improvements in her firm’s holdings in the New York area. In recent years, Ana Docoito-Nelson oversaw the conversion of six buildings from oil to natural gas heating.

Converting a boiler or furnace from oil to natural gas carries many benefits. Natural gas is an efficient and relatively clean fuel source that is good for the environment. It is also significantly cheaper than oil-based systems, even in the short term. Another significant benefit is that once you are connected to gas lines, natural gas can be used to power other systems and appliances in the house. This can further serve to reduce expenses while also improving energy efficiency.

The costs associated with upgrading begin with obtaining new equipment. A new natural gas boiler or furnace typically costs between $1,500 and $3,000, or about half of what an oil heating system would cost. Tax credits can offset some of this cost in many jurisdictions.

Hooking up this new system will also incur costs. If there is not already a gas line reaching the building, the utility company will need to install one with a backhoe. This can cost a typical homeowner up to $1,500. From there, a qualified contractor will need to pipe the gas from the meter to the heating system, which may cost another $500 – $1,000. If you need to line a chimney or remove an oil tank, additional costs up to $5,000 may be necessary.

The good news is that under current market conditions, these costs can be recouped in five years or less.

Anatoly Marchenko: An Advocate for Human Rights

Anatoly Marchenko pic

Anatoly Marchenko
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Ana Docoito-Nelson serves as property manager for New York’s Gramatan Management Inc. In this role, Ana Docoito-Nelson oversees the daily operations of the property and actively works to enhance its value. Outside of work, Ana Docoito-Nelson enjoys reading, and was particularly impacted by My Testimony, written by Anatoly Marchenko.

A Soviet dissident and author, Anatoly Marchenko actively campaigned for human rights in the post-Stalin Soviet Union. His radical views led to his arrest. He became widely known after the publication of his book, My Testimony, an autobiographical account of his time in prison and Soviet labor camps.

Following the publication of his book in 1969, Marchenko became very active in the human rights movement in the Soviet Union. Along with Yuri Orlor, Elena Bonner, and others, he became a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Group. The group appealed to other nations and eventually started an international movement that advocated for human rights issues. His protests, appeals, and writings continued, leading to more time in prison.

He died at the age of 48 in a Soviet prison following a three-month hunger strike demanding the release of all Soviet political prisoners. Throughout his life, he spent nearly 20 years in prison and exile. Shortly after his death in 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev began releasing several political prisoners as international pressure intensified.

Portrait Photography – Highlighting the Eyes

Portrait Photography pic

Portrait Photography
Image: digital-photography-school.com

As the property manager for Gramatan Management, Inc., Ana Docoito-Nelson is accountable for day-to-day operations and capital improvements of the management firm’s buildings. Outside of work, Ana Docoito-Nelson enjoys portrait photography.

There are several factors to capturing a perfect portrait, but perhaps the most important is eyes of the subject. The well-lit face of a comfortable subject means little when the eyes aren’t sharp or out of focus. Some cameras come equipped with a feature allowing the photographer to track focus on the eyes, but there are other simple ways to ensure they are highlighted.

Eyes can be brightened by having the subject stand facing a bigger and brighter natural light source, such as large windows in a room. But there’s more to focusing on the eyes than making them brighter. The subject must appear connected and involved. The photographer can engage them in visualization tricks to put them at ease. Finally, programs such as Adobe Lightroom can be used to make any post-production fixes.

Create a Chapter of Food Not Bombs in Seven Steps

Food Not Bombs pic

Food Not Bombs
Image: foodnotbombs.net

Ana Docoito-Nelson is a property manager with Gramatan Management Inc., in New Rochelle, New York. In her time away from work, Ana Docoito-Nelson volunteers with Food Not Bombs (FNB).

FNB is a global grassroots movement that works to reclaim food that would have been needlessly discarded or wasted. The organization was founded in 1980 by a group of college students who were protesting a nuclear power station in New Hampshire. When one of the founders was arrested at the protest, the bake sales held to raise money for his legal fees quickly took on a goal of social change. Today, FNB has chapters all over the world and looks to inspire the general public to curb food wastefulness and address widespread issues of poverty and hunger.

FNB provides those interested in supporting the cause locally a seven-step process to creating a local chapter. The steps are simple, and are as follows:

1. Establish yourself. Set up a phone number/email/etc. so interested people can contact you.
2. Let others know you exist. Put up flyers, make Facebook events, talk to local organizations; do whatever you can.
3. Obtain a vehicle. Whether by rental or by asking a friend, you’ll need this to transport food.
4. Look for sources of food. Oftentimes, these are restaurants, hotels, schools, and other businesses which provide meals, because these places throw out a lot of food.
5. Deliver your food to local shelters, food kitchens, and other charities. Get to know these people.
6. Once you have a good amount of food coming in, start to set some aside for future events where you can share your literature and mission.
7. Once you have a presence in your community, think of hosting a weekly food sharing with those who are hungry and homeless. And that’s it. The rest is up to you.

Should a Photographer Obtain Permission When Taking Portraits?

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PhotoSecrets
Image: PhotoSecrets.com

As a property manager with Gramatan Management, Inc., Ana Docoito-Nelson has extensive experience in administration, customer service, and organizational leadership. Ana Docoito-Nelson has travelled widely and enjoys photography, particularly taking portraits of people within their cultural environment. When taking portraits, it’s important for a photographer to be aware of local laws, customs and etiquette.

In the United States, it is legal for people to be photographed in public places without their permission. As long as the images are not used for commercial purposes, a signed model release form is not required. Many photographers prefer to take pictures of people without asking for formal permission because they feel the resulting image is more natural and authentic. If necessary, permission to use the photo can be acquired after the photo has been taken. Other photographers prefer to approach the main subject in order to avoid potentially awkward encounters.

While privacy laws may differ from place to place, it is always a good idea for a photographer to be aware of local cultures and customs while travelling so that potential subjects are more willing to allow their portrait to be taken. Most times, photographers find that after a friendly, respectful encounter, a simple lift of the camera and a questioning look can serve as a universal sign for, “May I take your portrait?”

A photographer keeping these suggestions in mind can often obtain unique and interesting pictures of people in their cultural surroundings.

How to Safely Enjoy Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga pic

Bikram Yoga
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Ana Docoito-Nelson, works for Gramatan Management, Inc., as a property manager. When not on the job, Ana Docoito-Nelson enjoys Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga, because people perform it in an environment that is heated to 105 degrees.

Bikram yoga has unique effects on the body, and practitioners must make provisions for these in order to get the most out of their yoga sessions. Because of the heat component of this type of yoga, students must remember the importance of staying hydrated. The body needs between 64 and 80 ounces of water each day just for normal activities. An individual performing Bikram yoga can expect to drink twice that amount to stay hydrated during a 90-minute exercise session.

The body also needs potassium and salt to safely perform Bikram yoga. It’s a good idea for those with a deficiency in either of these minerals to take supplements before class. Not having enough of either mineral often results in nausea or headaches.

Postures and Breathing in Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga pic

Bikram Yoga
Image: bikramyoga.com

Ana Docoito-Nelson is a property manager with Gramatan Management, Inc. in New Rochelle, New York. In her position, which she has held since 2012, Ana Docoito-Nelson manages daily office operations, and oversees enhancements to the value of the properties under her charge.

In her spare time, Ms. Docoito-Nelson enjoys practicing Bikram yoga. Bikram is a style of hatha yoga, developed by the yogi Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s. Bikram involves 26 poses, practiced in a specific sequence, in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

The 26 postures in the Bikram yoga practice are designed to oxygenate every part of the body. A session begins with a standing series that includes familiar yoga asanas like eagle and triangle pose. Students then move to the floor, where the remaining 14 poses, such as bow pose and camel pose, are practiced.

While performing the 26 postures, students are instructed to engage in 80-20 breathing. This breathing style requires taking in a full breath before beginning the pose and, while doing the pose, exhaling and then inhaling only 20%. Keeping 80% of the breath in the lungs at all times is believed to improve balance and energy.