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Research by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences could help Georgia’s watermelon growers produce sweeter results.UGA vegetable horticulturalist Tim Coolong conducts variety trial testing on watermelons as part of his work on the UGA Tifton Campus. He is researching the productivity and quality of multiple watermelon varieties tested at different locations and in various conditions statewide. Georgia farmers transport the bulk of the state’s watermelon crop in bin containers, so they rely on Coolong’s research to tell them how different varieties stack up. If a sweeter, more productive melon is developed that also meets farmers’ demands, they’ll be more likely to embrace Coolong’s research.Last year’s seedless watermelon varieties trials yielded promising results, Coolong said. The seedless melons produced excess fruit with decent size, very good quality and little hollow heart, which can downgrade a watermelon’s marketability. “We really like to see how the varieties break down as far as 36-count, 45-count. Size of the 36-count melons is usually about 18 pounds to about 21 pounds on average. A lot of our growers really need that information if their contract is primarily for 36-count fruit,” he said. “If a farmer’s contract is for 45-count fruit, they need to know if this variety will produce a majority percent of the fruit in the 45-count range.”Strengthened by an almost $144 million farm gate value in 2013, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Georgia’s watermelon crop tops the state’s list of most productive vegetables. Watermelons accounted for 14.4 percent of the state’s vegetable crop, topping bell peppers, sweet corn and onions. Georgia’s top 10 watermelon-producing counties by value are Berrien, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Dooly, Telfair, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth, all of which are located in south Georgia.Coolong credits south Georgia watermelon farmers for the rise in the crop. “If you could pick one vegetable that’s grown over a wide area in south Georgia, it would be watermelon. It’s grown in Dooly County, down to Lowndes County, over to Wheeler and into Toombs County,” Coolong said. “We have a lot of acres.”Georgia’s watermelon farmers will hear more about Coolong’s research and will receive updates about the watermelon industry at this week’s Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. Coolong is one of multiple UGA scientists and Extension agents who will speak at the event, set for Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 8-10.“This is the largest produce-related trade show and educational program in the Southeastern United States. It allows growers to network with colleagues, see new products and step in to any number of educational programs. Because of the diversity of programming at the conference, it allows growers to get updated on what they are already growing as well as attend sessions on different crops to see if they might want to grow something new,” Coolong said. read more
By Dialogo April 01, 2011 The Argentine Coast Guard training ship Pueyrredon (built in 1897), pulled into port in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 7, 1941, with 515 officers and men aboard for a five-day goodwill visit on a training cruise. Acquired for £782,000 ($1.2 million) in 1898 from Italy, the 8,000-ton ship was purchased by Argentina to patrol the waters of the South Atlantic at a time when border disputes with Chile still prevailed. The Pueyrredon made its first voyage as a “school ship” in 1918 under Commander D. Pedro Gully, with visits to Brazil, Puerto Rico, the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Panama, Venezuela, Barbados and Uruguay before returning to Buenos Aires. Pueyrredon was permanently classified a “school ship” in 1932 and used for an applied course at the Naval Military School until 1953. The 1941 voyage included stops made in the 1918 trip as well as ports of call in Costa Rica, Colombia and Aruba. Between August 30 and December 14, 1941, the ship traversed 14,700 nautical miles. read more
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Have you seen a grey fox, like the one above, on Long Island lately? If so, the state would like to hear from you (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service).Calling explorers of Long Island’s great outdoors: New York State is asking the public for help surveying the region’s furry mammals as a part of a new program to document local wildlife.The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is crowdsourcing its nature poll on LI and in New York City of seven species that often prove elusive: Gray fox, river otter, weasel, mink, skunk, coyote and beaver.“Citizen science efforts provide our wildlife managers with valuable data and give people the opportunity to partner with DEC to help monitor New York’s wildlife resources,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said.The effort is a more open-ended version of likeminded volunteer “bio blitz” flora and fauna surveys that have recruited the public in Nassau County over the years.When someone spots one of the seven species the state is interested in learning more about, the DEC asks that observers write down the physical description, location, type of habitat and take a picture—even if the animal is dead.The data can be uploaded to the DEC website here.The DEC is not interested in reports of common species such as red fox, raccoons, muskrat and opossum.For more information on how to tell the difference, visit their website, or call the DEC’s Region 1 wildlife office at 631-444-0311. read more
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County lawmakers this week passed a bill that phases out the sale of personal care products containing microbeads—tiny plastic balls designed to exfoliate the skin but also negatively impact the environment.County legislators Tuesday unanimously passed the measure, which phases out the sale of products containing microbeads over the next four years, giving manufacturers enough time to develop alternatives.“Today’s vote puts Suffolk County on the right side of history and nature on this issue,” said Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), who introduced the bill with Legis. Steve Stern (D-Huntington).New York State lawmakers have proposed similar legislation and two other counties statewide have passed likeminded laws. Another bill like it is being debated in Congress. And in June, Illinois became the first state to ban the sale of cosmetics containing microbeads by 2019.Suffolk’s bill follows a similar timeline. If Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signs the bill into law, the phase-out would begin in January 2018 for personal care products not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and allow an additional year for ones that are.The bill was proposed amid growing concern that microbeads, which are often less than 1 millimeter in size, have been found to soak up toxic chemicals on their way through sewage treatment plants. And because of their tiny size, they aren’t filtered by sewage plants—instead washing into waterways locally and nationwide, including the Long Island Sound.“A clean face should not mean dirty water,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, who backed the bill and described microbeads as “tiny toxic sponges.”Microbeads, made of polyethylene and plastic, are found in everyday personal care products such as facial scrubs. Once they absorb toxic chemicals and wash into waterways, they’re eaten by fish, resulting in contamination up the food chain. Esposito said the toxic chemicals that attach to the microbeads have been linked to ailments ranging from birth defects to cancer.Consumers can avoid purchasing products containing microbeads by downloading an app that scans product barcodes, such as Beat the Microbead. read more
However, when the 117th congressional term begins in January, an unprecedented 135 women, possibly more, will serve across both houses – with 103 Democrats and 32 Republicans voted in so far, according to Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). – Advertisement – – Advertisement –
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The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has tentatively signalled plans to launch a research project to investigate the chances of developing a fix for the ‘accounting mismatch’ problem produced by so-called hybrid pension plans.This effort will fall far short of a wholesale reconsideration of its employee benefits standard, International Accounting Standard, IAS 19.Instead, IASB members said they would prefer to put their efforts into developing an accounting model to address plans where the benefit promise varies with the level of returns on specified assets.Eric Steedman from consultants Willis Towers Watson welcomed the move. “This workstream makes no pretence of being a complete fix to problems the IASB first took up 12 years ago but has potential to mitigate one of the most troubling inconsistencies that can arise,” he said. Aon Hewitt consultant actuary Simon Robinson added: “Previous attempts such as IFRIC D9 have failed because they highlight that a fundamental review of IAS 19 would be required.“My initial take on this announcement is that it makes a certain amount of sense to make it quite a narrow scope change in this area. It seems like a pragmatic way to deal with a very specific issue.“I would guess it is aimed at countries like Switzerland rather than the UK, and might well just clarify that the typical Swiss approach used currently is a reasonable interpretation of the standard.”A total of nine board members supported the proposal to mount a limited scope research effort into pensions.A poll of board members showed no support for a broader look at pensions accounting issues.Staff will now approach the IASB’s IFRS Advisory Council for comments ahead of finalising their work plan.If the project goes ahead, the work could start in 2017, staff said.The staff recommended against any further research on other aspects of accounting for post-employment benefits.The decision comes in the wake of the board’s formal agenda consultation exercise.Driving the demand for action among constituents is the concern that numbers produced under IAS 19 are unreliable.Staff explained that actuaries have been qualifying their IAS 19 valuation reports on the basis that they believe the resultant values are grossly misleading.For example, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants argued that IAS 19 produces bigger deficits than economically exist.IOSCO is concerned “recent developments in employee benefit promises do not fit well within the existing accounting requirements”.Board members, however, were muted in their support for the move.Mary Tokar said: “We should do nothing rather than pursue the alternative you identified. We have tried several times to have a surgical approach on only hybrid plans. We have not succeeded. We should just cut our losses.“As soon as we start talking about the accounting mismatch between [the] obligation and [the] discount rate, we’ll get people who are not in hybrid plans saying, ‘Well, we have an accounting mismatch, too’.”Her colleague Stephen Cooper added: “It would be completely unacceptable for us to do nothing on this. This has been a problem for so many years. [For] the jurisdictions it does affect, this really annoys them. It is a problem with IAS 19.“It is illogical to compound at one rate and discount at a different rate, and you get a stupid answer. I don’t think we can defend IAS 19 and say it is the right answer.”Cooper added: “I didn’t like this capped-return model when it was first suggested because it ignores the time value of the options. I accept it solves one problem, which is to get the cashflows consistent with the discount rate.“And it solves the problem of the liability’s being overstated at the moment as a result of that incorrect discount rate.”Separately, it emerged that staff have no plan to carry out a post-implementation review of the 2011 changes to IAS 19.Meanwhile, as to the board’s likely work on discount efforts, IASB director Peter Clark said: “A further question is whether we would do either a general project or … any targeted project.“Our general assumption is the board is unlikely to want to take on standard-setting projects at this stage solely on discount rates.” read more
A famous Cape Town tourism hot spot has become somewhat of a sunken graveyard for ships as wrecks begin to pile in the busy harbour. Hout Bay Harbour is one of Cape Town’s tourism jewels and thousands come each year to soak up the seaside atmosphere or take a leisurely trip on a ferry. Its big attraction is seal island which is inhabited by thousands of cape fur seals and is a big hit with tourists but unfortunately Hout Bay has seen better days. Thats because the around 17 ships are wrecked inside the habour,some half submerged others fully,all though a potential dangerThe wrecks are clear to see and some are scattered around busy passage ways in the harbor,others seem to face the same fate in the near future. They been building up over the years,some even on top of each other,some have fallen victim to bad weather but most to crime“The wrecks are a bad thing because they are,apart from being unsightly they a navigation hazard,specifically a pollution hazard,they always leak various fluids into the sea and most of the tourists come here to see the wildlife and obviously if wildlife is affected,tourism will drop off.” Robert King, Skipper/Nauticat ChartersHout Bay harbor’s wrecks may be a sight for soar eyes but they could also harm the local economy,if the nearby seal pollution if affected.For now though,wildlife continues to make Hout Bay a big tourism draw card and with the peak holiday season fast approaching,the wrecks are for the time being seen,as just a minor inconvenience. read more
San Carlos City has also been arecipient of other international recognitions, such as the ASEAN’s 50 LandmarkCities and Environmentally Sustainable Cities, and Top 100 SustainableDestinations. “We are continuing our community-basedefforts aimed at providing livelihood opportunities to the locals while at thesame time involving them in environment protection and conservation measures,”she added. The ACTS aims to provide member-countrieswith a tool that would improve the quality of tourism in their cities andincrease their marketing competitiveness, while improving the situation oflocal residents and their livelihood by alleviating poverty. San Carlos will join two other citiesfrom the Philippines – the Iloilo and Baguio – as ASEAN Clean Tourist Cityawardees. The San Carlos City in Negros Occidental receives the Association of Southeast Asian Nations “Clean Tourist City” award for the second time – a recognition valid from 2020 to 2022. It will join two other cities from the Philippines – the Iloilo and Baguio. DYPR NEGROS CHRONICLES TIMES/WRITERS EDGE The awards ceremony will be held atThe Empire Hotel and Country Club, Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei Darussalam onJan. 16, 2020. (With a report from PNA/PN) Saballa said the city complied withthe indicators set by the ASEAN City Tourism Standard (ACTS), such asenvironmental protection and management, waste management, health, urban safetyand security, and tourism infrastructures and programs. The northern Negros city, which firstreceived the award in 2017, was among the Southeast Asian cities recognized forhaving endeavored to beautify their public areas, improve the environment andsanitation, enhance urban spaces, and promote man-made and natural attractions. Jennifer Saballa, officer-in-charge ofthe San Carlos City Tourism office, said on Wednesday the achievement showedvarious initiatives of the city government to promote sustainable tourismdevelopment. Closed-circuit television cameras wereinstalled around the city starting last year to meet the safety and securityindicator. “The city is again honored to receivethe international award, which is a product of the strong support of the localgovernment. We hope to sustain the efforts and look forward to more initiativesgeared towards ensuring sustainability,” Saballa added. BACOLOD City – The San Carlos City inNegros Occidental received the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)“Clean Tourist City” award for the second time, a recognition valid from 2020to 2022. Saballa said they are focusing ontourism development areas as part of the conservation efforts for naturalattractions and destinations in the city. read more
Two people were hospitalized Wednesday after a single vehicle accident on State Road 101 near Fox Run Road.Franklin County Deputies responded to the scene shortly after 1 p.m. following a crash involving a 2012 Kia Sedona.36-year-old Jason Fletcher was operating the vehicle that traveling north on S.R. 101. According to crash investigators, the car went off the west side of the roadway and over a steep embankment.Fletcher was transported by Air Care to University Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio for treatment of back injuries.A 21-year-old female passenger in the vehicle was sent to McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford for treatment.Police say Fletcher told them that he “blacked out” prior to going off the roadway. read more