Ice Damage.

first_imgThe winter storm that swept across north Georgia last week covered trees with an icy overcoat. Now homeowners are cleaning up fallen trees and broken limbs. “The pine resin starts to come out and sends an open invitation to bark beetles,” Moorhead said. “They’re extremely hard to control, and there aren’t any really effective sprays.” “If the ice storm caused your pine trees to lose a big section of the top or the main stem, you probably don’t have many alternatives other than taking the tree out,” Moorhead said. “Pine trees don’t store a lot of food in the root system. So when they get injured, they don’t have as much to fall back on.” Pines Not So Lucky Some insecticides can control bark beetles, Moorhead said. “First you’d have to cover the entire tree to the point of wetting, and it will provide some protection,” he said. “But with large trees that’s not very practical.” Pine trees are another story. Beetles Big Problem Thousands of trees are lost each year as a result of ice, wind and lightning damage, says a University of Georgia forester. The resulting annual property value loss in Georgia is estimated at more than $10 million. This doesn’t include future liability costs. Broken Branches Less a Problem Bark beetles fly in, bore through the tree’s bark and lay eggs underneath. There the larvae form feeding galleries and introduce a fungus called blue stain. This causes the tree to dry out and eventually die. Besides injuring the tree’s structure, a large break in a pine tree’s top opens a virtual buffet for harmful insects. “When hardwood trees are injured, a branch will break off, there will be some decay and maybe a weak insect attack,” said David Moorhead, a professor of forestry with the UGA Warnell School of Forest Resources. “The damage usually won’t kill hardwoods because the trees have such a good reserve in the root system.” If the winter ice storm left your pine trees with just broken branches, the prognosis is much better. “Properly prune the branches back to the whorl or main stem,” Moorhead said. “Then you can do a good job of keeping that tree healthy. You’ll need to clean up and prune off any broken branches without destroying the form of the tree.” Bark beetles are active year-round, but more so in warmer weather. “As soon as it warms back up and we get days in the 50s and 60s, we’ll start to see the bark beetles coming out,” Moorhead said. To learn more about trees and storm damage, contact your county Extension Service office. Or check the UGA Extension Forest Resources publication, “Storm Damaged Trees,” at .last_img read more

Katrien Devos

first_imgKatrien M. Devos, a professor of crop and soil sciences and plant biology at the University of Georgia, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.This year, AAAS has awarded this honor to 391 members in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin in February at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.Devos, who holds a joint appointment in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, was elected as an AAAS Fellow for her important contributions to the field of comparative genomics of the grasses, particularly cereal grains, that are commonly grown in less developed countries.“Selection as an AAAS Fellow is a major milestone in a scientist’s career, and thus the University of Georgia is enormously pleased that Dr. Devos has been selected for this honor,” said David Lee, UGA vice president for research. “This peer recognition is important to our faculty and it also brings added distinction to the university.”Devos earned her Ph.D. from the University of Ghent, Belgium. She conducted pioneering research on the comparative genetics of cereals at the John Innes Center in Norwich, U.K., before joining UGA in 2003.Her current research focuses on the structure, function and evolution of grass genomes, particularly switchgrass, wheat, millets and the turfgrass seashore paspalum.Devos recently received a $1.8 million collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation to study the genetics of finger millet – an important food security crop for many farmers in Eastern Africa – and of the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae, which causes blast disease in finger millet.The resources developed under this project will help breeders create more efficient, sustainable varieties of finger millet that are also resistant to blast disease.last_img read more

Cops: 1 Dead in Multi-Car LIE Crash, Driver Arrested

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 20-year-old Manhasset man has been charged in a crash on the Long Island Expressway late Thursday that killed his passenger, Nassau County police said.Homicide Squad detectives arrested Johnathan Santos Friday and charged him with second-degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired. Santos was scheduled to be arraigned Friday at First District Court in Hempstead. Police said at least two cars were involved and detectives are investigating the possibility of a third. The crash occurred near Route 135 around midnight. A police spokeswoman said Santos was behind the wheel of the car that crashed into a guardrail. The force of the collision caused a passenger in the car to be ejected. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Investigators are still waiting on a toxicology report to determine what was in Santos’ system at the time of the crash, the spokeswoman said. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Police are withholding the victim’s name pending notification of next of kin. Police had shut down all eastbound lanes of the LIE for several hours overnight before reopening it at 6 a.m.last_img read more

Match Preview – Warrington vs Hull

first_imgWarrington Wolves vs Hull FC
Warrington Wolves vs Hull FC

In believing Putin on Russia collusion, Trump sides with enemy

first_imgIt is a striking declaration, a betrayal of American trust and interests that is almost treasonous in its own right.On Saturday aboard Air Force One, en route to Hanoi, Vietnam, Trump said of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s assault on our elections:“He just — every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I believe — I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he’s very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth.”Trump went on to call the fact that Russia interfered in our election an “artificial Democratic hit job” that would cause people to die in Syria because Putin’s hurt feelings about being called on his crimes would prevent him from making a deal to end the bloody conflict in that country.And he called former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John O. Brennan and former FBI Director James Comey “political hacks.”Trump was grasping at straws and throwing all of them into the air. Believe Putin. Care about his feelings. Blame domestic enemies. Undercut the investigation. Use helpless Syrians as a shield.This kind of turn-the-other-cheek diplomacy depends on American submission and an eventual Russian awakening to the moral failing of their assault, neither of which is going to happen. It depends on Putin having a heart and a guiding sense of morality, both of which are in question.John McCain rightly issued a blistering rebuke of Trump, writing in a statement:“There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community. … Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart.“To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”The truth here is that we are seeing in real time how the president’s personal paranoia impedes our national policy and our national interests.The uncomfortable fact here is that Trump is pursuing his own interest, not American interests.And, on the question of Russia attacking our elections, Trump and Putin’s interest align against the facts and against America. Again, like Neo dodging bullets in “The Matrix,” Trump bends over backward to dodge making this simple, factual statement: Russia attacked our elections when he was elected, and they must pay for their crime so that this never happens again.Trump won’t acknowledge the crime because Trump was the beneficiary of the crime.Trump won’t insult Russia because it may well be that he was installed by Russia. Trump is as much a Russian project as an American president.This means that he is compromised, in capacity and function, and that means that Trump’s fear of dishonor places the rest of us in danger of future attacks and exploitation. Trump is Putin’s dupe.Charles M. Blow is a columnist with The New York Times.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Editorial, OpinionConsider the strategic and historical magnitude of what “President” Donald Trump said last week:He said that he believed the intelligence conclusions of a nation hostile to this country — Russia — over the intelligence conclusions drawn by American agencies. That alone is beyond inexcusable. Trump is betraying this country by trying to curry favor with his new comrade.They both have an interest in casting doubt on whether Russia attacked our elections.Putin wants to be seen as innocent and Trump wants to be seen as legitimate, and neither is completely true.Let’s say this again, as a clear declaration: Russia attacked our elections. They stole emails that were published and broadcast ad nauseam. They created and distributed propaganda on social media designed to exacerbate our divisions, content that was seen by nearly half the country.We may never know precisely how all the Russian efforts influenced our elections — which of these might have influenced the vote of individuals or conversely turned other voters off of the process altogether so that they just stayed home — but saying that it had no effect defies logic and is indeed laughable.We don’t know if the Russian election meddling was dispositive, but we know that it was disruptive.On Sunday, Trump tried, pathetically, to take back the slap in the face he had delivered to this country and its intelligence agencies, saying of Putin: “I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not, I am with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with the leadership.”last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces Funding to Renovate Vacant Commercial Space in Lancaster with a Thrift Store and Grocery

first_img March 10, 2020 Jobs That Pay,  Press Release New retail store will provide jobs for people facing barriers to workGovernor Tom Wolf today announced that Commonwealth Cornerstone Group (CCG) has completed a $5 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) transaction to renovate a vacant commercial building in Lancaster creating a combination thrift and grocery store. The new retail shop plans to open this year.The 27,000-square-foot retail space, located at 515 N. Franklin St., will be known as Treasures Market, and it aims to provide affordable merchandise and fresh food in a section of Lancaster that currently lacks access to these items. The store will offer discounted groceries, furniture, clothing and other retail items made available from closeouts and donations. Additionally, Treasures Market will provide jobs for low-income people and for those facing barriers to employment.“This new store will be a welcome sight for surrounding communities in Lancaster County,” said Governor Wolf. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified three ‘food deserts’ in nearby areas that now will have access to fresh groceries that currently aren’t available. Closer proximity to more nutritious food will improve the quality of life for people there.”Treasures Market is expected to serve more than 31,000 people living within a one-mile radius of the store. About 61 percent of these people are considered low-income and 44 percent have low access to food, based on economic mapping data. The area served by the new store has an unemployment rate 2.33 times the national average.The new market will be jointly run by a subsidiary of the Treasures of Hope Foundation, known as Treasures Markets, and by the Water Street Mission. Treasures Markets will manage the day-to-day operation of the store. The Water Street Mission will facilitate the placement of low-income people and others facing barriers to work for employment at the market. Treasures Markets will distribute a portion of its profits to the mission in support of its work within the community.“The market’s customers and its employees will all benefit from the creation of this new store,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. “People who weren’t able to find employment elsewhere will get the training and jobs they need to get work experience and become more self-reliant.”This project is expected to create 10 temporary, full-time construction jobs. Following renovation of the building, the project is expected to support 40 employees with an average starting wage of $12.33 an hour, or $25,646 a year. Based on the educational requirements of the new jobs, it’s estimated that 92 percent of these positions, or 37 jobs, will be accessible to low-income people.Treasures Markets will begin outreach efforts to hire people facing barriers to employment, including homelessness, disabilities, prior incarceration and long-term unemployment. These employees will receive career training and opportunities for advancement.About Treasures of Hope Foundation and Treasures MarketsThe Treasures of Hope Foundation is a nonprofit that serves Lancaster via community outreach efforts. Through the profits from its Treasures Markets subsidiary, and from grants and donations, the foundation will generate positive community impacts by making contributions to food banks, homeless shelters and other community service organizations. Treasures Markets was created to manage the operation of the planned Treasures Market retail stores. Its board members include members of the Water Street Mission and people with significant retail management experience.About Water Street MissionThe Water Street Mission is a nonprofit that serves the city and county of Lancaster. Founded in 1905, it provides low-income people with services including clothing, food, spiritual support, health services, dental care and career counseling. It provides more than 170 homeless people with shelter on a nightly basis. The programs overseen by the Water Street Mission are made possible by the work of more than 5,000 volunteers who donate more than 72,000 hours of community service each year.About Commonwealth Cornerstone GroupThe goal of CCG, through its administration of New Markets Tax Credits, is to fund projects in key areas of communities that have historic or cultural value and offer opportunities to spark economic revitalization. CCG utilizes NMTCs to provide loans and equity investments for business expansion, mixed-use development, and community facilities across Pennsylvania. Examples of past developments that have benefited from CCG’s investment of tax credits include Mill 19 at Almono in Pittsburgh, the Susquehanna Health Innovation Center in Williamsport and Eastern Tower in Philadelphia. Learn more at: the New Markets Tax Credit ProgramThe New Markets Tax Credit Program was established by Congress in 2000 to spur new or increased investments in operating businesses and real estate projects located in low-income communities. The NMTC Program attracts investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax return in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial institutions called community development entities, such as Commonwealth Cornerstone Group. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Governor Wolf Announces Funding to Renovate Vacant Commercial Space in Lancaster with a Thrift Store and Grocerycenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

UK roundup: Aon on dwindling DB actuarial valuations

first_imgMatthew Arends at AonAon said the actions and aolutiona open to schemes range from gaining clarity over the covenant strength of a scheme sponsor, taking stock of the options available for recovery plans, and reviewing potential investment options.Arends said: “When it comes to measuring covenant strength for spring 2020 valuations, relying on the process from 2017 isn’t going to work.“Instead, there may be merit in forming a provisional view of covenant strength but waiting for a few months to monitor the actual progress by the sponsor before finalising the view.”“These are exceptional circumstances, so it will not only be funding plans that are affected – sometimes significantly so – by current events,” he continued.He said that this is a time to review long-term funding and investment plans as well. “Schemes’ existing plans may now look overly optimistic and simply not suited to the environment we are experiencing and expect to face in the short to medium term.”Barnett Waddingham on inflation and DB schemesAs the UK’s inflation rate, CPI, fell to 1.5% in March from 1.7% in February, Ian Mills, principal and senior investment consultant at Barnett Waddingham, has highlighted the positive impact of low inflation rates on final salary pension schemes.“The dip in the CPI inflation rate to 1.5% could be a precursor of lower inflation to come. The COVID-19 crisis is already having a huge impact on the economy and it’s inevitable that this will feed through to consumer prices.”He added that there could well be further falls in inflation in future months, “but while the nation remains in lockdown and market volatility persists, the lower inflation rate may warrant a glimmer of hope for the funding levels of some final salary pension schemes”.“If the lower inflation rate is sustained, it will ease the pressure for some DB schemes with sizable deficits,” he said, adding that employers of such schemes could then see the value of their liabilities drop, “offering a window of opportunity for struggling schemes to address their deficits and edge closer to their endgame”.For pension funds that are already in the process of de-risking, a lower inflation rate may accelerate the drive to make buyout a reality, he said.Mercer launches Financial Wellbeing hubMercer has today launched a complementary Financial Wellbeing resources hub to assist employers and their staff and pension members through challenging times brought on by COVID-19.The hub’s website, which provides practical information for employers to help their employees maintain their financial wellbeing, also includes an associated site with toolkits aimed directly at individuals.Both sites and all the resource within are free to access for employers, employees and their friends and families.The employer resource site will see regular updates on current and emerging best practices in financial wellbeing benefits and approaches.Mercer will also regularly post expert commentary and information around evolving government and financial institution assistance measures relevant to employers and their employees.The employee tool-kit site offers videos, podcasts and articles with practical financial information, money saving hints and tips, checklists and planners, and links to other useful association and government sites providing support and information.Sylvia Pozezanac, Mercer’s UK CEO, said: “Many organisations have been focusing on the immediate business and employee health implications of the coronavirus. As the economic impact of the pandemic comes to the fore, the short and long-term financial wellbeing of employees is now rising up the agenda.”She said that many companies like Mercer are “well aware that many families rely on incomes now affected by the many businesses impacted by COVID-19”.“Drawing on our own approach to financial wellbeing, as well as the personal experience and expertise of our colleagues across our business, we have created this hub of information to support and give back to our clients and their people.”A Mercer spokesman confirmed to IPE that Mercer’s own Master Trust also provides its own members with access to the hub. For a typical pension scheme with a liability value of £250m (€280m), a 6% worsening of funding level corresponds to deficit increasing by £15m, it added.Matthew Arends, head of UK retirement policy at Aon, said: “Actuarial valuations with effective dates on 31 March or 5 April 2020 will be anything but repeats of 2017 valuations, given the impact that COVID-19 has had on pension scheme funding and sponsor covenants.“And this is despite, in many cases, significant deficit contributions having been made over the last three years.”He added that the degree of impact of COVID-19 on scheme sponsors has also been “very mixed”.“Some sponsors have seen little impact so far, whereas others are badly affected, restricting the affordability of pension contributions,” he said, adding that the priority for schemes should be “to understand their specific circumstances – of both the scheme itself and of the scheme sponsor”.“Only then can they determine the appropriate actions for their particular scheme.” Aon has said that the actuarial valuations of a quarter of UK defined benefit (DB) pension schemes are likely to be badly impacted by the recent COVID-19-related disruption to financial markets.Using its Risk Analyzer tool, Aon has reviewed the movement in funding levels of 190 pension scheme clients since their last valuations in the spring of 2017. The analysis shows a very diverse range of experiences.While the last month or so has been challenging, overall across the last three years, the consultancy found that a quarter of schemes were likely to have seen an improvement in funding level, but half of schemes would have seen anything from little or no change to a 6% worsening in funding levels.Aon said the remaining quarter of schemes’ funding levels would have fallen by more than 6% due to market conditions.last_img read more

Hitachi Zosen and Universal Foundation Add Japan to Bucket List

first_imgUniversal Foundation has established a cooperation with Hitachi Zosen for a feasibility study to assess the application of mono bucket technology at an offshore wind project in Japan.According to Universal Foundation, the project is looking to combine the achievements from commercial projects in Europe and the US with the specific conditions and requirements relevant to the Japanese offshore wind industry, and aims to support cost reductions for the country’s projects.Hitachi Zosen is executing the works under a partnership with Kyoto University and Toyo Construction Co. Ltd. The decision to engage Universal Foundation was based on a comparative assessment of various foundation types for a 15-turbine wind farm.On an EPCI cost assessment, it was concluded that the mono bucket is the most cost-effective and has the potential to shorten the length of the construction period, making it an attractive overall solution for the specific wind farm, the company said.“This project enables early engagement in the developing offshore market in Japan. We can provide support with our knowledge from Europe and the US on suction technology and how the Mono Bucket technology can be applied in Japan,” said Søren A. Nielsen, Head of Technology at Universal Foundation.In May 2016, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MILT) amended the country’s Port and Harbor law to allow construction and operation of offshore wind farms at port-associated sea areas, which helped kick-start a number of projects.In December last year, Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) requested the government to introduce a new law which will allow construction of offshore wind farms outside port-related sea areas, emphasizing that the general common sea is much broader and has much larger potential, estimated at around 100GW.last_img read more

Phase III of Saqr Port Dredging Starts This Month

first_imgImage source: RAK PortsPhase III of dredging work in connection with the Saqr Port Berth Extension Project is scheduled to begin on 24th June.These dredging operations, to be undertaken near RAK Maritime City approaches, are set to last approximately four weeks.According to the latest Notice to Mariners issued by RAK Ports, during this period, the existing project exclusion zone will be extended temporarily towards western side and marker buoys will be in position.“On 17th June sinker pipelines in connection with the dredging operations will be submerged to seabed across RMC Channel. During the time period 06:00 – 12:00 hrs on 17th June the access channel to and from RMC/Stevin Rock will be closed,” RAK Ports said.Sinker pipelines will be demobilized on completion of dredging operations and RMC channel will again be closed during demobilization of sinker pipelines.last_img read more

Police concerned cannabis reform can’t be policed, won’t shut out gangs from black market

first_imgStuff 6 December 2019Family First Comment: Read all the concerns from the police – and then ask yourself, who’s opinion do you trust more? The Police who deal with this every day, OR Chloe, Andrew, Helen and the Drug Foundation.Police concerns…• One of the proposed benefits is to free up police resources but that is not actually the case. And If it was be to more closely monitored, that would put more demand on police.• Tax and pricing could be a problem. If you can’t drive that price down, that is not going to get rid of the black market.• There were some concerns from members about breaching the legal grow limits, which would be hard to police.• There was also some confusion around the purchase limits of 14g a day. Unless you have a database, how are you ever going to police that.• Members were also concerned that a law would support the idea that it was ok to use cannabis and that it was not harmful#saynopetodopePolice are raising concerns about how cannabis would be legalised if there’s a yes vote at next year’s referendum, and if gangs will really be shut out of the market.On Tuesday, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced the details of the cannabis bill to be voted on in next year’s referendum, and a new government website to provide information on both the cannabis and End of Life Choice referendum being held in 2020.Personal possession of 14 grams of cannabis, the sale of cannabis edibles, and growing up to four cannabis plants per household, are all included in the bill, which the public will be asked to vote “yes or no” at the 2020 general election.New Zealanders could buy the equivalent of 42 joints each day under the draft law to legalise cannabis use.The New Zealand Police Association President Chris Cahill said, without a doubt, there would be challenges for cops and he questioned if they would even bother policing it.Cahill has just returned from a trip to Canada, where cannabis has been legal for about one year.The reality was that police in New Zealand, just like in Canada, did not spend a lot of time investigating cannabis supply because there were so many other drugs, Cahill said.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more