BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION 1 MANCHESTER UNITED 0Brighton and Hove Albion made sure of Premier League football next season with two games to spare after a Pascal Gross goal gave them a memorable 1-0 home win over Manchester United on Friday.It was no more than Brighton deserved after outplaying their more illustrious rivals throughout the contest and they sent a passionate home crowd into raptures after Gross headed home a 57th-minute winner.The German forward got on the end of a sharp Jose Izquierdo cross from the left and the ball crossed the line before Marcus Rojo’s desperate attempt to keep it out.The result lifted Brighton into 11th place on 40 points from 36 matches and left them assured of finishing above the bottom three as they visit champions Manchester City on Wednesday before their final game away to Liverpool.United stayed second on 77 points ahead of Thursday’s trip to West Ham followed by a home game against Watford. The result also meant that they lost this season to all three promoted teams – Brighton, Huddersfield and Newcastle United.Brighton manager Chris Hughton was delighted after seeing the Seagulls, who beat United 1-0 in their last top-flight meeting at this venue in 1982, avoid relegation.“There’s a group of players with great belief and discipline,” Hughton told Sky Sports.“We learned after the first few games that the performances were good enough and we weren’t always going to get beat, and that gave us confidence.”The club’s chairman Tony Bloom said: “When we finally got to the Premier League, it was about nights like tonight. The players have been brilliant all season, and tonight was perhaps our best performance.”Hughton’s counterpart Jose Mourinho gave forwards Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial a rare start together but they failed to impress as the visitors looked disjointed and bereft of ideas, with their final pass going astray all evening.In fact, only a string of good saves by keeper David de Gea kept United afloat in the opening half as he kept out long-range efforts from Glenn Murray and Izquierdo before he denied Gross from close range.There was nothing the Spaniard could do after Izquierdo got the rub of the green to get past his marker and find Gross at the edge of the six-yard box, with the 26-year old from Mannheim showing sharp instincts in front of goal.United, who had 68 percent possession but few meaningful attempts, launched a fierce onslaught in the closing stages but Brighton’s defence held firm.An ecstatic Gross revealed he was initially unsure whether he scored before referee Craig Pawson awarded the goal.“I wasn’t sure,” said Gross. “Heading is not my strength, I tried to get it on target. We worked so hard all season but we always believe. We never stop and that’s why I think we won it.”Although Mourinho declined to name the players who performed below par, his scathing criticism made it clear who he was unhappy with.“You have the answer now when you ask ‘why always (striker Romelu) Lukaku?’,” he said.“We are probably not as good as people think we are individually. The players that replaced others did not perform at a good level and when individuals do that it is difficult for the team to play well.”
Three members of the team of Harvard graduate students looking for practical solutions to reduce the use of fossil fuels in rural Alaska. (Photo: Annie Feidt/Alaska’s Energy Desk)Rural Alaska runs on diesel. Although many communities are open to alternative energy ideas, they don’t have the funding to even explore them. But help could come in the form of graduate students from Harvard University, who have been tasked with the assignment of solving some of Alaska’s fossil fuel energy woes.Listen nowHarvard law student Mike Maruca may sound like he’s describing a spring break trip.“We also got to drive out to Seward and went skiing at Alyeska,” Maruca said. “We managed to catch the northern lights last night, sort of. They were not very clear.”But Maruca’s actually in Alaska for a class that’s looking for practical solutions to reduce the use of fossil fuels, especially in low-income, under-served communities.With Alaska in a multi-billion dollar hole, state funding — including a lot of grant money — has been slashed. Maruca thinks it’s time for Alaskan communities to start looking for funding outside the state.“Private money such as from a large company or from a university might be able to, in some cases, step in to where public funds used to support such projects,” Maruca said.The team’s goal is writing a proposal to reduce 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. The value of that reduction — measured in carbon credits — could be sold to private companies looking to offset their own carbon footprints.“The innovation is here,” Maruca said. “All that we are looking into is a way an outside player that might want to capitalize on carbon credits might be able to fill a gap or make something happen that wouldn’t otherwise occur.”By the way, Maruca says 50,000 tons of CO2 is the average total emissions for a community of 20,000 to 25,000 people for a year.But most communities in Alaska aren’t that big – which Caroline Lauer – a student studying urban planning – says is one of the biggest challenges for the team.“The high bench mark has forced us to be creative in figuring out how can we package a bunch of different innovative options to get as close to 50,000 as possible,” Lauer said.The team members didn’t have the chance to visit rural Alaska, but they were in Anchorage in this month, meeting with energy experts from across the state.One of those experts is Christopher Emrich, the city administrator and clerk for the Aleutian community of False Pass. He’s totally on board with this project.“Oh, I think it’s fantastic,” Emrich said. “Sounds like a wonderful idea.”False Pass is a 73-person community that runs on diesel, which is expensive: Emrich says the city spends around $200,000 a year on it.“The cost of energy is paramount with these small communities for surviving into the future especially if funding is getting cut,” Emrich said. “If they got to be paying like us, a quarter of our budget for diesel, that’s not sustainable”’Since 2012, False Pass has been looking into tidal power — which would allow the community to be less reliant on diesel and more self-sufficient. But it comes with a hefty price tag, around$7 million, and the community can’t foot the bill alone.Right now the Harvard students are just working for course credit. They don’t have any real funds to invest in rural Alaska.But that doesn’t phase Emrich. He is doing everything he can to make sure False Pass’s energy projects are as ready as possible just in case any outside financing comes along.