January 17

‘Earth Day’ Op-Ed

first_imgEarth Day (April 22) Op-EdBy Susan VarlamoffUniversity of GeorgiaFew would argue that future generations don’t deserve clean air,water and land. So why is the road to protecting our naturalresources often blocked with contentiousness?Having worked in the environmental field in industry,environmental groups and academe for the past 25 years, I believeit’s because we don’t take time to listen and understand others’viewpoints.The good news is that two groups with differing views are nowtrying to bridge the communication gap. To overcome the fingerpointing on water issues, the Association County Commissioners ofGeorgia conducted an exchange program.Y’all comeThey brought rural officials to Atlanta and Atlanta officials tosouth Georgia so each could see and understand the other’sconcerns. What a difference it made, said Glenn Dowling,associate legislative director.The Georgia Environmental Council, an association ofenvironmental organizations, facilitates forums on variousissues. It tries to promote understanding between theconservation community and government, industry and others.Environmentalists will have a chance soon to speak with farmersabout water rights, water conservation and water quality.A new day dawned on Georgia’s environment when the governorappointed an ecologist and scientist to direct the GeorgiaEnvironmental Protection Division. Carol Couch leads by exampleas she tours the state listening to environmentalists,scientists, farmers and industry representatives to understandtheir perspectives on issues.High idealsIn her mission to protect and enhance Georgia’s environment,Couch promises to be just, consider political and economicfactors and base decisions on sound science.A sustainable society is often compared to a three-legged stoolsupported by economic, environmental and social legs. If we hopeto maintain our equilibrium, we must give equal consideration toeach factor. Herein lies the problem.Many statements I’ve heard over the years illustrate howmisinformation can damage our ability to work together to achievesustainability. Examples include: If only we’d listened to thecommunity, we might have avoided the protracted landfill battle.Gosh, we didn’t know pesticide levels in urban watersheds exceedlevels in rural watersheds – all along, we’ve blamed farmers. Andthose environmentalists will drive us out of business!You gotta be kiddingWhat amazes me, too, is the uninformed perceptions people have ofgovernment, various industries and the conservation community.Granted, bad actors find their way into every interest group, butas our mothers said, “You can’t judge the whole by a few.”Farmers aren’t trying to pollute the very land they rely on toproduce food and their livelihoods. What sense would that make?Industry provides work so we can provide for our families andhave the time and resources to bike, hike and canoe in our parks.Georgia’s economy needs to keep jobs within the state.Many environmentalists are well-educated professionals who gaveup lucrative positions to keep our rivers from flowing with rawsewage, to persuade the government to hold public hearings onimportant decisions and to prohibit mining in the cherished andirreplaceable Okefenokee Swamp. We need environmental watchdogsto safeguard our natural resources.Time is shortWith the complexity of environmental issues, we can’t afford towaste more time not listening to one another and opting insteadto go along with preconceived ideas and our own narrow agenda.Time is not on our side as we face critical water shortages anddegradation of our air, streams and land in Georgia.”A true environmentalist is a humanitarian who’s interested inthe welfare of the greater community,” said Neil Veilleux, a 4-Heducator at Jekyll Island and a Fulbright Scholar studyingenvironmental public policy in Germany next semester.”I would expect that almost everyone would want to protect thesocial community, and by extension the ecological community,” hesaid, “for both themselves and future generations.”(Susan Varlamoff is the public relations coordinator with theOffice of Environmental Sciences of the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

December 31

‘Localized Great Depression’ at ‘Ground Zero’ in Kentucky and West Virginia

first_img‘Localized Great Depression’ at ‘Ground Zero’ in Kentucky and West Virginia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Largely the result of a wounded coal sector, there are counties in West Virginia where more than one-third of the citizens are out of work.The situation — the equivalent of a localized Great Depression, according to one economist — has hit hardest in the Central Appalachia coalfields. The region has long depended on coal and as its seams have gotten thinner and more difficult to reach, the industry has also been forced to fight anemic domestic and global demand in the face of low natural gas prices, government regulations and a global economic stall.Some of the largest mines in the country such as Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal Inc.’s operations in Wyoming are also just beginning to issue large-scale layoff notices to its employees. However, for years, places in West Virginia and Kentucky have watched as miners are laid off by the hundreds in a region with few other options.A recent SNL Energy analysis showed most of the job losses that occurred in the coal sector have occurred in a “ground zero” of sorts, a narrow band of 16 counties that extend across eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. Another analysis showed coal job losses rapidly accelerated in 2015, with the industry shedding nearly 35% of its employment since a near-term peak at the end of 2011.Retired Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., told S&P Global Market Intelligence that the current political environment could stymie progress for years. He encouraged coal miners to keep their heads up as the state endures the effects of the sector’s collapse.Rockefeller insisted in a keynote speech at the conference things are not going to get any better for the coal sector, regardless of whether the country votes a Republican or Democrat into the White House. A Goldman Sachs report earlier in the year declared the fate of thermal coal “irreversible” and an SNL Energy analysis showed 1 in 4 tons of the coal recently produced in the U.S. comes from a company recently filing bankruptcy.Rockefeller said it is time for the state to own its challenges and find the will and leadership to do what needs to be done.Rockefeller said the state has been “so coal-dominated” in its economy, psychology and politics that people are afraid to speak up, but now is the time to “take control of the future.”“As we go through this process, let’s not go through it grimly. … What you do is you surround yourself with hope, which is the most important word in the English language as far as I’m concerned,” Rockefeller said.Joyce McConnell, provost and vice president for academic affairs, opened the conference with a call to focus on three pillars of policy to address coal’s downturn: education, health and prosperity. She said the college has a “moral obligation” to examine opportunities to improve energy and sustainability.“We knew in 2008 the signs were already on the wall about the decline of the coal industry and the need to transition our economy from one purely based on extraction — whether it’s coal or gas or oil or timber — to one that’s an economy that is not only knowledge-based, but is innovation-based,” McConnell said.“It takes time to diversify an economy and we have to think about the near-term, the middle-term and the far-term. That’s the human reality.”The situation is dire. John Deskins, director of the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research, said his organization is working on the latest economic forecast and the next issue is about to be even less optimistic for coal than before. In 2008, Deskins noted, West Virginia produced 150 million to 160 million tons of coal. In 2016, he forecasts production could go as a low as 80 million tons.“Statewide mine output during the first quarter of 2016 will likely come in at its lowest level in decades and could be the lowest total for quarterly production outside of a strike episode since the 1930s,” said Brian Lego, BBER research assistant professor, in a news release from the bureau’s latest state business index. “Environmental policy, falling export demand, warmer-than-normal winter weather and increased utilization of natural gas by electric utilities have all combined to weigh heavily on coal production.”The decline in coal production has also created a sizable hole in the state’s economy due to lower severance tax collections.Deskins said the popular political notion in the state that a new presidential administration could reverse coal’s fate is “not at all true.” Among coal’s challenges are low natural gas prices, and even in West Virginia, the gas and oil sector is projected to soon surpass coal in share of the gross domestic product.Deskins said that though the pain is largely concentrated in certain pockets of the state, his office has officially declared West Virginia to be in a recession.Appalachian Power Co. President and COO Charles Patton said the writing is on the wall for change in the electric sector.“Once you get through the political morass, at the end of the day, most Americans believe there is something going on and we need to take steps to address it,” Patton said. “That belief is common knowledge in business. … The fact that technology has driven down the cost of renewables to such a point and there is sufficient capacity out there, all utilities are beginning to change their view of the future.”Full article ($):Replacing Coal, part 1: ‘Great Depression’ grips pockets of Mountain Statelast_img read more

December 30

Well Hung

first_imgFull confession time: I’m not a hammock guy. Now, hold off before you start typing your hate mail. I understand why a lot of people like to spend the night in hammocks. They’re relatively lightweight alternatives to tents that pack easy and set up even easier. Slap a couple of straps around two trees and you’re golden. No need to clear a tent site of rocks and sticks, no need to even find level ground. I get it. And I understand why a lot of backpackers have come around to the hammock revolution in recent years. I’m just not one of them, mainly because I like to sleep flat, on firm ground. I don’t want to curl up like I’m back in my mother’s womb. But mostly, the slightest bit of movement from a hammock makes me throw up in my mouth. I know; I’m a delicate flower.So I wasn’t super stoked when I got a new Lawson Hammock to test out. I don’t want to go out like Jimmi Hendricks, drowning in my own vomit, which I’m convinced is what will happen if I spend the night in a hammock. Alas, I’m a journalist, so I set up the hammock and faced my fears. Luckily, Lawson’s Hammock isn’t like most other hammocks on the market. It’s more like a one-person version of those whimsical tree tents that came out of nowhere a couple of years ago. While most hammocks are built to sag and cradle you in its parachute-walled caress, the Lawson has tension polls on either end of the “floor” that give you a relatively flat surface to lay on. Yes, the floor gives with your body, but add a good sleeping pad, and you increase the stiffness while still being able to enjoy a little bit of the give that hammocks are known for. Even better, the Lawson has a built in screen, sort of like a one-man bivy, that gives you a secure “tube” to keep the bugs and creepy crawlers out. Add the rainfly, and you’ve got a dry nest sandwiched between the trees. It took me a couple of tries to set the Lawson up (the strap system isn’t as idiot-proof as some of the others on the market), but once the hammock was up, I dug it. It’s spacious, comfortable and doesn’t feel like you’re being wrapped in a parachute. It’s versatile too—if you’re in a spot without properly spaced trees (nature can be difficult sometimes), you can set the Lawson up on the ground like a bivy. Like I said, it’s more of a tent than a hammock. But a tent that you can hang between two trees. 4lbs; $169; lawsonhammock.comRelated Articles:last_img read more

December 18

Oil Country FCU CEO sentenced for embezzlement

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Having sole access to records enabled a former president/CEO of the $19 million Oil Country Federal Credit Union to embezzle more than $47,000 over four years from the Titusville, Pa.-based cooperative.Lisa Hauptmann was sentenced Friday to serve one day in prison, six months of community confinement and six months of house arrest, according to federal prosecutors. U.S. District Court Judge David S. Cercone in Erie, Pa., also ordered her to pay restitution of $47,600. continue reading »last_img read more

November 18

Zagorje got its tourist card – Zagorje Card

first_imgFrom February this year, Zagorje also received its tourist card – Zagorje Card, thanks to the Tourist Board of Krapina-Zagorje County.The tourist card is used to increase tourist spending and the sale of experiences and content throughout the county. Tourist card Zagorje Card is free, lasts five days from the day it is picked up, and offers a 10% discount on services in three categories: culture, gastronomy and spa, ie SPA offer.The idea for the Zagorje Card came about last year, and after half a year of preparation in February this year, Zagorje also received its tourist card, which in a short time proved to be a complete success, according to the Krapina-Zagorje County Tourist Board. “We currently have 25 stakeholders, but day by day there are new business tourism entities that want to get involved, which makes us very happy. We initially printed 5.000 cards, but as the response is better than expected, they will have to print new cards, which is great news. “Points out Martina Belina from the Krapina-Zagorje County Tourist Board and adds that the cards are printed in five different variants and motifs, and each card comes with a brochure listing all the stakeholders and their locations, so that tourists can better cope and inform about benefits offered by Zagorje Card.Great news for all tourism workers and tourists, both domestic and foreign, because most importantly, the whole story works great, ie there is demand, and therefore consumption. Rounded cycles and win-win to everyone’s satisfaction.Enjoy sightseeing of Zagorje museums and castles, traditional Zagorje cuisine or spend a day in one of our water parks with thermal water – the message is the Tourist Board of Krapina-Zagorje CountyZagorje card tourist card can be found in all tourist boards, information centers and hotels in the county, and a list of all stakeholders can be found HERE. Also, the Tourist Board of Krapina-Zagorje County invites all tourist entities to contact them if you want to join this great tourist story.  read more

October 19

Bali’s Denpasar to impose COVID-19 restrictions that keep businesses running

first_imgSince last month, the city administration has required all traditional markets, grocery stores, shopping centers and all businesses to run only until 9 p.m. at the latest. Authorities have conducted inspections to monitor compliance with the policy.”Without the PKM we could so far only urge people [to obey], but without sanctions. Now [under the PKM], we are able to sanction those who ignore the measures,” Dewa said, adding that the sanctions varied starting from only a reprimand to the withdrawal of operation permits.While the restrictions are in place, restaurants have been urged to maximize takeouts. “They should reduce the seat capacity to implement physical distancing. So, we urge them to prioritize takeaway,” he said.Students and civil servants will continue to study and work from home. Citizens are required to wear masks while going outside. Authorities previously would give free masks to those found not wearing one while out in public. However, Dewa said, under the PKM, the violators would just be told to return home.Denpasar will also tighten supervision at the city’s entry points and only allow outsiders to enter the area for important reasons. Authorities are set to conduct random COVID-19 rapid tests in the borders.Read also: Bali puts entire village on lockdown after hundreds tested in Bangli regency”Those who seek to enter the city for unnecessary reasons will be denied entry to Denpasar,” Dewa said.The city administration decided to implement the PKM after they found out that many COVID-19 cases in Denpasar involved those who had returned to the city from outside. For instance, Dewa said, a family was infected after the father had come back to the city from their hometown in Buleleng in North Bali.”We hope Denpasar residents understand that the PKM should be implemented to protect all people,” he said. “The faster we can address [the pandemic], the faster we can live normally.”Bali Governor Wayan Koster has warmly welcomed Denpasar Mayor Ida Bagus Rai Mantra’s plan to implement the restrictions. He suggested that all regencies across the resort island, especially those with surging numbers of coronavirus cases, follow suit.As of Wednesday afternoon, Bali has confirmed 332 COVID-19 cases and four fatalities linked to the disease. Out of the total number of infections, 126 are local transmissions while the majority are still imported cases.In Denpasar alone, health authorities have recorded 62 coronavirus cases with two fatalities. At last 47 people have recovered from the disease, while 13 are under treatment at hospitals.Topics : The city administration opted to impose community activity restrictions rather than the generally favored large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) as they wanted to keep the local economy running, said Dewa Gede Rai, the spokesperson of Denpasar’s COVID-19 task force.“Under the PKM, people don’t have to close their businesses. All economic activity keeps running with several conditions imposed,” Dewa told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.The new policy allows all businesses, including warung (sidewalk shops), restaurants, malls, traditional markets and grocery stores, to keep operating and other social activities to keep running normally. However, Dewa said, all of them should strictly implement health protocols and comply with the limited operating hours.Read also: Bali relies on local customs in facing COVID-19 outbreak: Governor Denpasar city on the resort island of Bali is set to impose its own kind of mobility restrictions starting Friday in an effort to clamp down on the transmission of the coronavirus.The curbs, officially called restrictions of community activities (PKM), aim to limit people’s daily activities, make masks mandatory in public, tighten security at all of the city’s entry points and enforce a policy of physical distancing.Though most of the measures have been in place over the past two months, the new restrictions will officially be stipulated in a Denpasar mayoral regulation and coupled with sanctions.last_img read more

September 29

UK DC alternatives exposure jumps by one-third in two years

first_imgThe proportion of UK pensions assets in defined contribution (DC) plans invested in alternatives such as property and commodities has grown significantly over the last two years, while exposure to developed equities has fallen, according to a report on the sector.In its latest six-monthly FTSE DC report, asset manager Schroders said the pension schemes of companies in the FTSE 100 index had lifted their exposure to alternatives to 12% by March this year, up from 8% in March 2013.Meanwhile FTSE 250 schemes had raised their allocation to the asset type to 9% from 5% over the same period, the study showed.Exposure to developed equities, on the other hand, had fallen over the past 24 months, with FTSE 350 schemes’ exposure to these assets falling to 71% in March 2015 from 79% in March 2013. This exposure consisted of 29% UK equities and 42% global equities, Schroders said.Schemes of FTSE 100 companies had cut their allocation to UK equities markedly in the last six months alone, bringing it down to 25% from 29%, with total developed equity allocations down to 69% from 72%.The survey threw light on shift towards fixed income that had been occurring over the last 12 months, Schroders said.Among FTSE 350 schemes, fixed income allocations had doubled to 14% from 7% over the period, with the bulk of this growth having taken place over the last six months.Almost a third of schemes in the survey now had a fixed income allocation of at least 20%, whereas a year ago, this had only been true for 3% of schemes, Schroders said.Stephen Bowles, head of UK institutional defined contribution at Schroders, said he welcomed the growing diversification of DC pension scheme investment, noting that auto-enrolment had boosted pension scheme membership.“This means an appropriate truly diversified defined contribution default strategy is more critical than ever before,” he said.More than 5.2m people in the UK now had access to company pension schemes through auto-enrolment, with 4.5m of those belonging DC schemes, the firm said.last_img read more

September 26

Over thirty persons participate in National Petroleum Lubrication Workshop

first_img Share 76 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Tweet Sharecenter_img Share LocalNews Over thirty persons participate in National Petroleum Lubrication Workshop by: – August 5, 2011 Mr. Heskeith Brumant handing over certificate to one of the graduates.Over thirty (30) persons who participated in a National Petroleum Lubrication Workshop are being advised to exercise prudence when purchasing brand oils and lubricants.The participants were presented with certificates following the one-day workshop which was held at the Garraway Hotel on Thursday.The workshop aimed to provide the participants with knowledge on lubricants and their technology, information on applications for lubricants and safety guidelines on lubrication storage and handling.Facilitator of the workshop, Dwayne Bryan of Trinidad and Tobago National Petroleum, said that the workshop covered a number of pertinent information on lubrication fundamentals.“It is basically to introduce the participants on the new ultra line of lubricants. We covered areas like the health and safety aspect, general guidelines on what to do and what not to do and best practices on lubrication. The participants shared their views on what goes on in their companies which allowed us to interact with each other to see how best we can move forward with the whole aspect of lubricating equipment”, Bryan said.Dominica National Petroleum is hoping to conduct these trainings on a quarterly basis.According to Bryan, “this is just the first step, we’re hoping to implement it again and this time, to get the mechanics involved. They will see that just not international brands such as Castrol and Shell are in the game but there are other good quality lubricants.”Bryan is advising the participants to be careful when choosing types of lubricants, since brand does not necessarily guarantee quality.“Always compare products…always take a look at data and specifications and not just go and buy brand name or anything you see on the shelf. Always compare products and make your choice based on that,” he said.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

September 25

NFA assures Capiz farmers of adequate ‘palay’ buying fund

first_img“Should farmers need to dry their palay to meet the 14 percent moisturecontent required by the food agency, they can use the NFA’s mechanical dryerfor a very minimal fee,” Jumagbas said. This warehouse of the National Food Authority in Barangay Bolo, Roxas City procures a total of 1,215 bags of clean and dry palay from two individual farmers and three farmer cooperatives last Sept. 13, 2019. NFA VIA PIA NFA-Capiz officer-in-charge HerrielleJumagbas said they have adequate fund to buy the palay produce of local farmers. “We will accommodate the palay harvest of our farmers as we donot have a limit as to the number of bags for the province to procure,” shesaid. Jumagbas even urged the farmers to selltheir produce to the NFA especially with the very low buying price of privatetraders. She also said that they can deploy amobile procurement team in the municipalities if there is a request for it.center_img Starting Sept. 13 this year, NFA ispurchasing clean and dry palay atP19.00 per kilogram sans additional incentive such as drying, delivery andcooperative incentive fees. ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The National FoodAuthority (NFA) assured farmers that it has sufficient fund for palay procurement. She said that their warehouses in BarangayBolo in this city as well as in Santa Cruz in Dumalag town and in Mangoso inSigma are open to buy the palayproduce of farmers. Record from NFA Capiz showedthat it has already procured a total of 47,228 bags of clean and dry palay from Jan. 1 to Sept. 13.  (With areport from PIA/PN)last_img read more

September 24

Lady Bulldogs Win Against Lady Wildcats In Volleyball

first_imgIt was an up and down night for volleyball at the dog pound with close sets and blow outs in the same matches at all levels.In the Varsity match the lady dogs followed the pattern of the night, coming out cold and hitting -.083 with 10 errors on 36 swings. Things settled down after dropping the first set, but we still had our share of peaks and valleys. We ran some plays that looked like a college team running quicks, and others we just looked flat and on our heals. Varsity takes out wildcats in the end 20-25, 25-18, 25-12, 15-19.Batesville vs FC Varsity VB (9-30)In the JV match our players really struggled to find the court offensively at the start of the first set, committing way more hitting errors and keeping the game close. The second set was more consistent and fundamental volleyball. Dogs win 25-24, 25-17.Batesville vs. FC- JV VB (9-30)Freshman could not find a rhythm agains the younger wildcat team as the Lady Dogs lose 25-22, 12-25, 15-13.The Bulldogs can take some time to regroup as the varsity team will play on Saturday at the Richmond Invitational. First match of pool play will be against Guerin Catholic @ 9 AM.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Jody Thomas.last_img read more