Category: cxfid

Peachy Outlook.

first_imgNot since the early 1990s have Georgians had such promise for an abundant crop of sweet Georgia peaches. University of Georgia experts say this may indeed be a very good year. “If everything works out well, it should be one of the best crops we’ve had in a decade,” said Kathy Taylor, a UGA Extension Service scientist in Fort Valley. That means the weather must cooperate with growers for the next five weeks or so. Right Rain, Winter Weather Peaches are about 80 percent water. Timely rains, when the young fruit starts growing, helped get this year off to a good start. “There’s plenty of water,” Taylor said. “We’re excited that we also had plenty of cold weather this winter.” Peach trees need at least 850 hours of temperatures below 45 degrees, called chill hours, to grow a bountiful crop. “We’ve had a bumper crop of chill hours this year,” Taylor said. So far, most Georgia peach trees have had about 1,300 chill hours, the most in 19 years. And it shows. “The buds have come on much earlier than normal,” Taylor said.Beware Jack Frost Amid all the pretty blooms and buds, little peaches are already growing, making them susceptible to late-season frosts. “Last week’s frost damaged some young fruit — more in south Georgia because their crop comes earlier,” Taylor said. “But they will still have a crop this year.” The frost only lightly thinned the crop in the rest of the state, saving the growers a little labor cost. If frost stays away past Easter, consumers can expect to pay about the same retail prices as we paid last year. “Prices varied last year depending on the retail source and location,” Taylor said. “They were generally between $1 and $3 per pound. That may not be so relevant in Georgia. Peach growers have no control over the retail price. Produce brokers, not peach farmers, have the most influence over retail prices.”First to Market Georgia-grown peaches could hit the national and international markets first this year, as much as seven days earlier than those grown in rival California. And that would give Georgia producers a significant economic advantage. If Georgia peaches get to market first, growers could get about 25 cents per pound. If not, producers could see prices as low as 15 cents per pound. “In terms of taste,” Taylor said, “we will have probably very good flavor if all these weather conditions hold up well for us.”last_img read more

Waste Not.

first_imgThe manure from dairy cattle can be recycled in an environmentally friendly way. No, not just in compost. It can actually provide energy, feed and maybe even drinking water for cattle, says a University of Georgia scientist.Finding ways to effectively use the manure on dairy farms is a problem for farmers. And to stay competitive, dairies are now raising more cattle on less land. It’s becoming critical to find ways to handle all that waste.Larry Newton, an animal and dairy scientist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, says the manure doesn’t have to be a problem anymore. In fact, it can be a valuable resource.Newton and a team of UGA engineers, scientists and economists have created a manure management system that can take recycling to the limit. It can clean up the environment, maintain a healthy water supply and even help cows give more and better milk.Working out a systemNewton’s system combines parts of other systems, such as fermentation and hydroponics, that effectively dispose of human and some industrial wastes in cities.”We just have to find the right management that works for cattle and then work out the economics to see if it’s worth the producer using the system,” Newton said.The processTo start the process, the manure is flushed from the dairy barns where cows are kept and milked. It’s then placed in a settling basin. The solid waste settles to the bottom. The liquid waste is then siphoned from the top and sent to a machine called an anaerobic digester.The remaining solid waste in the basin can be composted or treated to produce a product more easily transported away from the dairy and applied as fertilizer.The digester uses a fermentation process without oxygen to produce methane gas, which reduces the odor.”The main purpose of the digester is to convert the plant nutrients in the liquid waste into more digestible forms for plant roots to absorb,” Newton said.The nutrient-rich wastewater is then sent through greenhouses, where forage plants are grown in trays using the wastewater without soil. This is called hydroponic production.Self-sustainingThe methane gas from the digester can power water heaters or heat the greenhouses where the digester liquid is used to hydroponically grow the forage plants cattle can feed on.After the plants filter and absorb the nutrients from the digester liquid, it could potentially be used for the cattle’s drinking water. This would reduce the use of water pumped from the groundwater supply.Newton is confident the system will work. But it may not be for everybody.”It will be there as an option for some producers, especially those with a limited land base for dairy,” he said.Newton will test his system at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station dairy facility in Tifton, Ga.”That’s what we (farm scientists) are here for,” he said. “We can test to see if things like this work and where they might fit into a farmer’s operation.”Extra benefitsBecause of the change in seasons and feeding practices on most dairies, fresh forage is not always available to cattle. But cattle that feed on fresh forage could produce more milk, Newton said. This could help farmers and shoppers. Newton’s system could provide year-round forage.A bonus is that conjugated linoleic acid is found in highest concentrations in the meat and milk of animals that eat fresh forage. Conjugated linoleic acid has been found to reduce bad cholesterol and the growth of certain cancers, Newton said.last_img read more

New Additions

first_imgAzaleas can also be planted in shaded areas. The new, ever-blooming types, such as ‘Encore,’ provide attractive blooms throughout most of the growing season. Azaleas can be a bit finicky and prefer well-amended and well-drained soils. They do not like to live in wet soils.Another shrub that is gaining popularity is the hardy abelia. Abelia is a drought-tolerant low-maintenance shrub that has been frequently used in the past. Plant breeders at the University of Georgia have released several cultivars. Michael Dirr developed ‘Rose Creek,’ a cultivar with an attractive mounding form that blooms mid to late summer, and ‘Canyon Creek,’ a cultivar with multi-colored foliage. Carol Robacker has released ‘Raspberry Profusion,’ a cultivar that blooms heavily from May to September with raspberry-colored sepals and wonderful fragrance. The foliage on these varieties is much more spectacular than the older varieties. Depending on the cultivar, abelias come in a variety of sizes. Dwarf abelias are suitable as foundation plants around most homes. The larger size grandiflora and bigger cultivars need to be planted where they can expand to their full size. Abelias prefer full sun, but can also handle light shade. They are durable and resilient and require little care.Crape myrtles are a bit overused in the landscape, but many new cultivars are worth a second look. A lot of the breeding efforts have focused not only on bloom color, but on tree size. In addition to the old standbys, several of the crape myrtles now have even more spectacular bloom colors. One I particularly like is ‘Dynamite.’ It produces crimson red foliage and cherry red blooms most of the summer. Another variety, called ‘Fantasy,’ has a wonderful, white bloom color and a beautiful bark configuration that is second to none. The bark is striped cinnamon in color and provides spectacular interest even during dormancy. For limited space or to grow a crape myrtle in a container, there are super-dwarf selections. The ‘Dazzle’ series of crape myrtles are available in a multitude of bloom colors and only reach a mature height of 3 to 5 feet. They can actually be used as a crape myrtle ground cover.There are so many plants to choose from that it sometimes seems daunting. The key is to focus on selecting plants that are ideally suited to the conditions in your landscape. Add a few and create a focal point that makes your landscape the talk of the neighborhood. Fall is the perfect time to admire blooming shrubs and trees. In many areas of the state, people take great pride in adorning their landscape with spectacular shrubs that exhibit color, shape and texture.Some people would love to have a better-looking landscape, but are fearful of picking out the proper plants. By making careful selections, you can enhance your landscape and add showstoppers that create curb appeal.It is essential to first take a good inventory of your existing landscape. Educate yourself on your landscape’s sunlight exposure, slope, drainage and soil type. All of these factors can have a huge effect on what you can successively grow. By nature, some plants prefer shade, while others thrive in full sun. Some plants adapt to either location. Some plants prefer moist environments, while others must have impeccable drainage to survive.It is also important to pay attention to the mature size of the plants. There is nothing worse than placing a small, 1-gallon container plant in an area where there is no room for expansion, especially if the shrub will ultimately grow to a mature height and spread of 15 to 20 feet.In general, plants perform best when they are not pruned heavily. If your landscape contains a forest full of trees and produces lots of shade, there are plants available for those areas. One of my favorites is the hydrangea, which is a versatile plant that does well in shaded locations. If you have a lot of room and need a specimen plant, consider the native oakleaf hydrangea. It is not a foundation plant, grows to heights of 10 to 12 feet with an equal spread and has attractive, oak-like foliage and towering, white bloom panicles.If you want a more compact plant, consider a dwarf version of the oakleaf hydrangea. The available bigleaf and French hydrangeas are ever-blooming and can be maintained in the 4- to 5-foot range. ‘Endless Summer’ and ‘PeeGee’ hydrangeas are two of the more popular cultivars.last_img read more

Southern Vermont College launches a new PLAN

first_imgSouthern Vermont College has unveiled a new initiative which helps make a career in nursing more affordable for interested students. The President’s Leadership Award for Nursing (PLAN) program offers students who are currently enrolled in community college and have met the prerequisites the opportunity to continue their education and career path at SVC, with cost-saving incentives.The PLAN offers eligible students a $7,500 scholarship, a free Nursing I textbook, and involvement in Monthly Leadership Seminars and a weekly Nursing Boot Camp. Southern Vermont College’s small classroom size, low student-teacher ratio, ‘Hands on Learning’ environment and new Simulation Lab offers many advantages over other programs. ‘At SVC a student receives a private college education at a state college price,’ said Director of Admissions Jeremy Gibbons. ‘The PLAN helps make a nursing degree even more affordable.’Southern Vermont College’s Division of Nursing offers both ADN and BSN programs, multiple clinical sites in Vermont and Massachusetts, national and state accreditation, multiple channels of academic and peer support, and a top-notch faculty with in-depth, professional experience.To qualify for the PLAN, students must enroll by July 15, 2011. Interested students are encouraged to visit www.svc.edu/plan(link is external) to see a short video on the program, to contact Admissions Office at 802-447-6304 or admissions@svc.edu(link sends e-mail), or apply online www.svc.edu(link is external).Founded in 1926, Southern Vermont College offers a career-enhancing, liberal arts education with 21 academic degree programs for more than 500 students. SVC recognizes the importance of educating students for the workplace of the twenty-first century and for lives as successful leaders in their communities. SVC’s athletic teams are part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III and the New England intercollegiate Collegiate Conference (NECC). The College is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has been designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Community-Engagement Classification institution.last_img read more

Evaluation program provides judges with valuable feedback

first_imgEvaluation program provides judges with valuable feedback October 15, 2002 Managing Editor Regular News Evaluation program provides judges with valuable feedback Mark D. Killian Managing Editor Designed to provide judges with substantive input concerning perceived strengths and weaknesses, The Florida Bar’s Judicial Evaluation Program is seeking greater participation from the membership.Created in 1997 by the Bar and the judiciary, the program provides confidential evaluations of judges by the lawyers who appear before them.“It is like a suggestion box,” said First DCA Judge Marguerite Davis, the committee’s chair. “Judges appreciate receiving this confidential information because it makes them aware of perceived problems and criticisms, and they use the information to improve their performance of their judicial duties.”The Bar, which staffs and funds the program, has forwarded more than 15,000 completed evaluations to Florida judges in strict confidence.The Supreme Court of Florida, the five district courts of appeal, and many trial judges are already participating in the evaluation program.Judge Davis said the program is a way for those who work in the system to provide the judges they practice before with constructive feedback for self-improvement.“Our job is to serve the public and be as good as we can and if someone can tell me what to do to improve, well okay,” Judge Davis said. “Every judge reads what they get and they look at it and they think about it. . . and if it is something that is bothersome and they can improve on, then that’s our job.”Davis said the program not only helps judges evaluate their performance, but it also gives the lawyers a chance to “say their piece.”The evaluation program works like this: The court distributes the evaluation form at the close of a dispositive hearing. The lawyers complete the evaluation and return it to the Bar if it relates to trial judges, or to the clerk if it relates to district courts of appeal judges and Supreme Court justices. After receipt by the Bar or the clerk, the unopened envelopes containing the evaluations are accumulated and forwarded to the judges quarterly. The evaluations are confidential under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.05 1(c)(4).You may participate in the program even if the judge you are appearing before is not. Just download an appellate or trial court evaluation form from the Bar’s Web site, and using plain white paper, fill it out following the instructions on the form. Mail the trial court evaluations in a plain white envelope to: Judge (Name), County/Circuit, c/o Judicial Evaluation Committee, P.O. Box 11067, Tallahassee 32302-3067. Do not put a return address on the envelope and mark the envelope “Confidential: To Be Opened Addressed Judge Only.” Mail the appellate court evaluations following the instructions given on the evaluation form.In order to keep the program confidential, do not use letterhead or firm envelopes and refrain from making any identifying comments. Evaluations not following these instructions will be discarded.Evaluation forms and instructions are available from the local clerk’s office, from www.FLABAR.org, and from Doris Maffei at The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300, telephone (800) 342-8060, ext. 5670. Maffei is also available to answer questions about any aspect of the program.last_img read more

Credit unions might not always be a better choice than faceless multinational banks

first_imgby: Nicholas PellAny time you read about credit unions, you probably hear about how much better they are than banks. They offer, it’s said, unparalleled benefits to members when compared alongside the big, corporate bank you’re using. But are credit unions always better than banks? The answer is no, they’re not. But who are credit unions right for? And who is better off using a bigger, multinational bank?The Benefits of Big BanksMike Sullivan, director of education with Take Charge America, says these days he does most of his banking with credit unions. But when we asked him to talk about this topic, he started wondering why he used credit unions and asking himself if that had always been the case. He realized that when he traveled more, he did more of his banking with bigger banks. “I liked that if I showed up in Tokyo or London I could find a branch,” he said. “I could get help with financial affairs when I needed it.”John Heath, managing attorney with LexingtonLaw, agrees that national banks offer far more in the way of convenience than local credit unions. “There’s a major convenience factor when you’re traveling, whereas credit unions tend to be local.”Sullivan is quick to note that this rule of thumb applies to more than just international travel. It also applies right here in the states. “If you travel in the U.S., you’re more likely to find a branch of Citi or Chase than you are your local credit union,” he said. He concedes that this is one area where bigger banks get a win over credit unions but also over smaller community banks. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

COVID-19: Over 100 early released prisoners have reoffended, police say

first_imgIn total, 106 repeat offenders have been reported.The crimes committed by the convicts mostly consisted of robbery, vehicle theft, drug abuse and child sexual abuse.As of Sunday, the Law and Human Rights Ministry has released more than 37,014 convicts and 2,259 child detainees under the COVID-19 assimilation and integration program, with the government planning to release a total of 50,000 prisoners.Law and Human Rights Ministry’s corrections directorate general Reinhard Silitonga said on Monday that the program has been successful in reducing overcrowding and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities, noting that only one confirmed COVID-19 case in prison had been recorded so far.Topics : More than 100 convicts who were released early in an effort to prevent the further transmission of COVID-19 in prisons are back to committing crimes, according to the National Police. National Police spokesperson Ahmad Ramadhan said there had been reports of recidivism in several regions, including Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Yogyakarta, Banten, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and North Sumatra.“There were 13 cases of recidivism each in Central Java and North Sumatra and 11 in West Java,” Ahmad said at a press conference on Tuesday. “Those three provinces recorded the highest number of repeat offenses from released prisoners.”last_img read more

‘Super cyclone’ bears down on Bangladesh, India

Bangladeshi forecasters said it would hit around 6:00 pm (1200 GMT), with a potential storm surge up to five meters.The storm could “cause large-scale and extensive damage”, said the head of India’s weather office Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, with a surge of several meters.Storm surges can force a wall of water to cascade several kilometers inland, and are often the biggest killers in any cyclone, typhoon or hurricane.Sanjib Banerjee from West Bengal weather office said that parts of Kolkata could see “severe damage”. Early Wednesday the sky there was ominously grey. At the coast it was raining and the sea rough.”We have mobilized more than 20,000 policemen, emergency workers and volunteers, boats and buses to evacuate around 300,000 people from coastal villages,” state premier Mamata Banerjee said. “It’s a very difficult task when the state is combating the coronavirus pandemic,” she said. Regular victims Bangladesh’s low-lying coast, home to 30 million people, and India’s east are regularly battered by cyclones that have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in recent decades.The eastern Indian state of Odisha was hit by a super cyclone that left nearly 10,000 dead in 1999, eight years after a typhoon, tornadoes and flooding killed 139,000 in Bangladesh. In 1970 Cyclone Bhola killed half a million.While the storms’ frequency and intensity have increased — a phenomenon blamed partly on climate change — deaths have fallen thanks to faster evacuations, better technology and more shelters.But Bangladesh authorities still fear that Amphan will be the most powerful storm front since Cyclone Sidr devastated the country in 2007, killing about 3,500 people and causing billions of dollars in damage.The country has been feverishly working to bring 2.2 million people to safety, while West Bengal was relocating 300,000 others.The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) aid group said people faced “an impossible choice” of braving the cyclone by staying put, or risking coronavirus infection in a shelter.Authorities in both countries said that they were using extra shelter space to reduce crowding, while also making face masks compulsory and providing extra soap and sanitizer.”We are also keeping separate isolation rooms in the shelters for any infected patients,” Bangladesh’s junior disaster management minister Enamur Rahman told AFP. “At least 50 people took shelter in my concrete-built house. They came last evening. We gave them food,” Abdur Rahim, a Bangladeshi shrimp farmer on the edge of the Sundarbans mangrove forest told AFP.”There is panic. The women are worried… A few months ago Cyclone Bulbul smashed our village, destroying at least 100 homes. We hope Allah will save us this time.”Early Wednesday the vast weather system — visible from space — was 125 kilometers offshore with gusts up to 200 kilometers per hour, the equivalent of a category three hurricane, the Indian Meteorological Department said.It was expected to ease slightly but still pack a ferocious punch when it crosses the coasts of West Bengal state and neighboring Bangladesh on Wednesday “afternoon to evening” with gusts up to 185 kph.  Several million people were taking shelter and praying for the best on Wednesday as the Bay of Bengal’s fiercest cyclone in decades roared towards Bangladesh and eastern India, with forecasts of a potentially devastating and deadly storm surge.Authorities have scrambled to evacuate low lying areas in the path of Amphan, which is only the second “super cyclone” to form in the northeastern Indian Ocean since records began.But their efforts have been hampered by the need to follow strict precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, with infection numbers still soaring in both countries. Rohingya refugees Although outside the predicted direct path of the storm, there are fears for the safety of almost a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in southeastern Bangladesh — most living in vast camps and housed in flimsy and makeshift shacks.The first coronavirus cases were reported there last week, and by Tuesday there were six confirmed infections.The UN said emergency items such as food, tarpaulins and water purification tablets had been stockpiled, while authorities said the refugees would be moved to sturdier buildings like schools.”Heavy rains, flooding [and] the destruction of homes and farmland, will increase the likelihood of the virus spreading, particularly in densely populated areas like the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar,” ActionAid said.”It will also undoubtedly increase the number of lives and livelihoods already lost to this pandemic.” Topics : read more

AutoNaut Presents Its Next Generation USV

first_imgAutoNaut, developer of autonomous wave propelled vessels, has rolled out the new generation of 5-metre AutoNaut unmanned surface vessel (USV) with several new and upgraded features.The latest wave foil technology enables speeds of 1-3 knots to be consistently maintained, with no need for fuel and for long endurance missions. The vessel has been ruggedised throughout and features improvements in the deployment system – for launch/recovery from ship or direct from slipway, the company explains.An enhanced rudder system makes the USV even more manoeuvrable – able to keep station within a 25 metre radius. Finally, the 5-metre has additional space and power to allow for multiple sensor, including: MetOcean, ADCP, Passive Acoustic Monitoring, Surveillance and as a Communications Gateway.Pete Bromley, technical manager at AutoNaut, says: “We’re really proud of the improvements made in this boat – we’ve learned a lot from all the missions conducted in the last year or so and the growing team we have here have brought some great ideas to the development.”“The versatility of the 5-metre is key,” says Phil Johnston, business development. “With so many options for the sensor payload it’s a game-changer in terms of how we can provide solutions for clients, whether in oil and gas, defence or marine science”.last_img read more

Pope praises Jordan as tour begins

first_img 77 Views   no discussions Share Tweet Sharing is caring! FaithLifestyle Pope praises Jordan as tour begins by: – May 24, 2014center_img Share Share The Pope greets reporters on his plane to the Middle East, including the BBC’s Jeremy BowenPope Francis has praised Jordan for its “generous welcome” to Syrian refugees at the start of a three-day visit to the Middle East.The Pope was welcomed by King Abdullah II and in a speech at the royal palace, he stressed the need for an “urgent” solution to the Syrian conflict.He went on to celebrate Mass at a stadium in the capital Amman and will later meet Syrian refugees.The tour’s official purpose is to improve ties with the Orthodox Church.However, correspondents say many will expect Pope Francis to use his influence to try to ease tensions in the Middle East.In his speech, he also called for more respect for religious freedom, calling it “a fundamental human right”.“I cannot fail to express my hope that it will be upheld throughout the Middle East and the entire world,” he said. Christian minorities have been subject to increasing attacks in some parts of the Middle East in recent years.He thanked Jordan for its “efforts to seek lasting peace for the entire region” and said this would also require a “just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.On Sunday he is to begin two days in the West Bank and Israel.He told journalists that the trip would be “challenging” but rewarding, AP reports.Restraining ordersThe Pope will be accompanied by a rabbi and an imam – friends from his native Argentina – and hopes to improve relations between Christians, Muslims and Jews in the Holy Land.His journey comes only a few weeks after the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed.Israel has issued restraining orders against several Jewish right-wing activists this week over concerns that they could try to disrupt the visit.Police said offensive “anti-Christian graffiti” was discovered on the wall of a church in the southern city of Beersheba on Friday.A general view of Manger Square as workers prepare for the visit of Pope Francis to the West Bank town of Bethlehem on 23 May 2014Preparations were well under way at Manger Square in Bethlehem ahead of the Pope’s visitThe Pope’s journey marks the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and the head of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Athenagoras.The meeting ended 900 years of separation and enduring antagonism between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity.On Sunday, Pope Francis will travel to Bethlehem in the West Bank and preside over Mass in Manger Square, near the site where Jesus is believed to have been born.He will also meet the current Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch, Bartholomew, and they will sign a declaration of friendship.His schedule on Monday is set to include a visit to the al-Aqsa mosque complex in Jerusalem’s Old City followed by the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall.Pope Francis will be the fourth leader of the Roman Catholic Church to visit Jerusalem, after Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who went there in 2009.BBC Newslast_img read more