Fire Ants Here to Stay

January 17, 2021 0 Comments

first_img“We know how to control fire ants and do it economically in urban settings,” Sparkssaid. “We haven’t found an affordable way to control them in open rural areas, such aspastures.” “We’re developing control programs,” she said. “We’re studying learning how to bestuse the control programs we already have. And we’re finding more environmentallyfriendly ways to control fire ants.” “If you get rid of them one year and don’t treat the next,” she said, “they’ll be the firstthings to come back. But they’ll become established in higher numbers, because theywon’t have larger mounds to compete with. Instead of 20 to 40 mounds, you’ll havehundreds.” But zapping fire ants is an every-year commitment. “If you treat them only one year,”she said, “you’ll be worse off than if you didn’t treat them at all.” “I don’t anticipate that phorid flies will be released in Georgia for fire ant control untilscientists at the Gainesville laboratory have studied them for many years,” Sparks said. “The fact that it’s a biological control agent indicates this fly won’t totally eliminatefire ants,” said Beverly Sparks, a University of Georgia entomologist. “We can get them out and keep them at levels that are acceptable in urban settings,”Sparks said. “But if you have 300-400 acres of pastures, it’s no longer cost-effective.” But don’t expect the tiny flies to decapitate Georgia fire ants soon. Scientists are working on other biological controls, too. For now, though, everythingthey know about killing fire ants won’t get rid of them. “All we can do now is controlthem,” Sparks said. “We tend to think of fire ants in terms of eradication,” Sparks said. “Phorid flies andother biological controls will stress colonies. They’ll suppress them. But they won’ttotally get rid of them.” Sparks’ research shows the best fire ant control is a simple two-step process.”Broadcasting a bait twice a year will reduce fire ant populations by 90 percent,” shesaid. “Then supplement the bait by treating problem mounds that survive with a contactpesticide.” A few phorid flies in Florida will have Georgians cheering them on in their naturalwork, chopping off fire ants’ heads.center_img With current products, effective fire ant control costs $20 to $25 per acre per year, shesaid. In home lawns, school yards and recreational fields, that’s reasonable. So scientists look for new ways to control them. Another UGA researcher, Ken Ross,is studying fire ant genetics. The technology to eliminate fire ants hasn’t arrived, she said. But for most people,controlling them is another matter. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released some Brazilian phorid flies July 9 tobegin field tests near its Gainesville, Fla., lab. But Sparks said biological controlagents won’t banish fire ants from U.S. soil. Sparks, a research and extension scientist in the UGA College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences, focuses her own research on controlling fire ant populations. Specifically, Ross is trying to find why fire ants go from single-queen tomultiple-queen colonies. In the latter, worker ants sometimes destroy egg-layingqueens. If he can find the genetic trigger that causes that, he may be able to causesingle-queen mounds, in effect, to commit suicide. The prospect is fascinating, as is the ant-beheading phorid fly. The tiny fly lays its egginside a fire ant’s body. The egg hatches into a larva, which moves into the ant’s headand causes it to fall off. The fly completes its development inside the fallen head. Fire ants compete intensely with each other, she explained. Untreated, their populationwill level off at 20 to 40 mounds per acre. But don’t get too excited. Having to treat fire ants year after year is far too costly to be practical in farm-sizeareas.last_img read more

A Special Treat

December 30, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgClick here to subscribe to the Pharr Out BlogHey y’all,When Brew and I REALLY indulge ourselves – like buying a soda or ice cream cone, we call our extravagance a “special treat.” Yesterday was our one-month wedding anniversary (yes, we keep track and yes, we celebrated it… for better or worse we are THAT couple) and it was full of special treats.The day started much like any other; I woke up at 5:30 AM, rolled over, kissed my husband adios and was off hiking before 6. About 3 hours into my morning hike I had a VERY special treat that I had been waiting on for a long time. I was a few miles from the VT/MA border when I heard something ahead of me on the trail. I looked up and- much to my surprise- saw a bear 30 yards away, my first bear ever on the East Coast. My initial thought was, “BEAR!!!” But then the more logical and conditioned side of my brain quickly chimed in: “No way. You’ve hiked over 5,000 miles on the East Coast and lived here your whole life and never seen a bear. You’re banned from bear sightings on this side of the Mississippi!” Then the two sides of my brain conferred through an intuitive checklist: Black? Check. Furry? Check. Rather large yet stalky? Check. Big, chubby ears? Check. (For some reason the ears were really important and this animal definitely had bear ears.) So yes, with requirements met, I decided that I was in fact staring at a bear. Then the creature spotted me, and bolted deep into the woods. But it was too late! I had seen it! I had spotted a bear! Yessss…!!!My next special treat of the morning came from entering a new state. Not a state of mind, mind you, but a literal state. That is, I crossed the border from Vermont to Massachusetts. I love Massachusetts because it brings on a slew of short states that you can hike across in 2 to 3 days and feel like you’re making real progress.When I finally reached the pre-appointed road, I ran into my husband’s arms and told him about the morning excitement (Yes, I literally ran into his arms and yes, I do it at every road crossing). Usually for lunch I grab some peanut butter and a banana, sit down for 10 minutes, then walk on, but on this day Brew had picked up a special anniversary lunch- a Subway sandwich! I love Subway! Some people are haters. In fact, I had to turn Brew onto the sandwich chain; but I say if you don’t like it, it’s your own fault… I mean you create your own meal – you’re your own Sandwich Artist, for goodness sake. And without prior guidelines, Brew had created a masterpiece.After lunch I climbed up Mount Greylock and Brew started up the mountain with me. Usually you can get water on top of the mountain at the lodge, but this summer all services at the summit are closed for renovations. Brew didn’t want me worrying about water, so before he hiked back to the car, he ran to a water source three-fourths of a mile off the trail to fill up my bottle. Talk about chivalry.Now I must have some kind of homing device that sets off rain clouds as I get close to the summit of Greylock. When I was a mile from the top, the sky opened up and I had to hike in a complete downpour. Unlike my ‘05 hike, though, there was no thunder or lightning or marble sized hail pelting me. And that in itself was a special treat.I met Brew that evening in Cheshire, MA. We found a place to sleep and shower before going out for pizza and ice cream. And when we got back to the tentsite while we were brushing our teeth, Brew discovered that his Vaseline jar had spilled all over his backpack. While he was cleaning things up, he had the nerve to laugh at me and say I “looked like Pocahontas” with my hair parted in the middle and my headlamp over it. He might have gotten the better of me if he hadn’t spit toothpaste into his beard then laughed so forcefully that he farted super-loud. But then that brought me to tears, and the tears blinded me and caused me to hit my head on the doorframe, which turned my tears of laughter into tears of pain and confusion. (This entire episode took place in about 2 minutes, sans alcohol. Amazing, eh?)Clearly, it was time for us to bring this day to a close. We ended it just how we began: in our tent lying beside each other. My favorite and best special treat of the trip is having Brew here to support me and share in this experience. Here’s to a great first month, and many more down the trail.last_img read more

When to Speak Up When You See Danger on the River

December 30, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,Last weekend I watched a couple with their dog getting into a flat-bottom canoe without air bags. I wondered whether they mostly paddled flatter sections of the river upstream. I debated whether to say something about the danger posed by paddling without float bags. I decided against it.Later that day we came across the same group after their boat had capsized. We helped them get their canoe and gear to shore. They told us that their dog was probably already on the bank, waiting for them.When we righted their boat, we discovered that the dog hadn’t swum to shore. She had gotten trapped underneath the canoe. Despite our best efforts to resuscitate her, she was gone.I feel partially to blame. Am I?Yours,Didn’t Dare to Speak——————————————————————————Dear Didn’t Dare to Speak,What a tremendous weight to carry around. The blame game is dangerous to play. The what-ifs and could-have-beens are too many to speculate. And no matter how long you linger in the feeling-guilty-space, you will never know if events might have unfolded differently had you said something.Didn’t Dare to Speak, all we can do is learn from the past. And we can all learn to do better the next time around.Once I too was at a put-in and saw something that made me want to say something. There was a father and his two children, both under ten. Nobody was wearing a helmet as they started rafting down the Class III stretch of whitewater. A feeling welled up deep in side of me, a truth that begged to be voice. But instead, I told myself, don’t meddle, you’re just starting to paddle. What do you know about rafting anyway?Not an hour I looked into that father’s eyes as he held the body of his nine-year old daughter. The raft had rapped on a rock, she alone had fallen out, and hit her head. His eyes met mine with a bewildered, hollow look. I would have traded a million times over the mind-your-own-business glare that he might have given me at the put-in, had I said his children should wear helmets.We are all connected, more than we even imagine. Loss ripples through us, and all of us grieve. Because of our humanity, we have a right to share our concerns for one another. That kind of caring is at the very essence of our humanity. Be part of what makes the river community so strong by daring to speak when you see danger on the river.Best,Mountain Mamalast_img read more

Motorcyclist, 27, Killed in Huntington Station Crash

December 18, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 27-year-old motorcyclist was killed Friday in a two-car crash in his hometown of Huntington Station, Suffolk County police said. The tragic crash occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Walt Whitman Road, police said. The motorcyclist, Brett Rainey, was riding a 2000 Yamaha northbound when he struck a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan traveling southbound. The motorcycle and minivan collided as the 18-year-old driver of the Chrysler attempted to turn left into a parking lot, police said. Rainey was transported to Huntington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. The driver of the minivan and his three male passengers were not injured in the crash, police said. The driver remained at the scene following the collision, police said. Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks, police said. The investigation is continuing.last_img read more

Reclaim your credit union’s brand visibility at the ATM

December 18, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgOut-of-sight and out-of-mind – these have become issues for many financial institutions when it comes to ATM transactions. Branch offices aren’t the neighborhood fixtures they used to be and even if they were, ATMs long ago left the once exclusive nest of bank lobbies and credit union drive-through lanes. ATMs went out into the world, into the aisles of retailers woven into the fabric of peoples’ daily lives. Convenient and visible – these attributes fit ATMs, but not so much the financial institution brand that’s either nowhere to be found or too hard to find. Now is the time for the FI to reclaim brand visibility at the ATM – but ATM branding is just the beginning.ATM BrandingWith Federal Reserve data debunking any notion of consumers abandoning cash, there’s little room for debating the importance of providing cardholders with convenient ATM cash access in all the right places. In the age of instant gratification, cardholders want ease of ATM access and they want it on their terms – fee-free and conveniently located. Branding a retail ATM can deliver on those desires, but maximizing visibility and brand recognition at these ATMs still requires some wise decision-making by a financial institution.A prominently branded ATM – a topper and full machine wrapping – is a sensible first step in reclaiming brand visibility at a retail ATM. However, the effectiveness of that mini-billboard for an individual bank or credit union’s brand also depends on the retailer’s location. Analyzing cardholder brick-and-mortar spending patterns, as well as ATM transaction data is the difference between a branded ATM and a well-placed branded ATM. The ability to help a financial institution find that sweet spot between their cardholders’ point-of-sale and ATM usage patterns needs to be a core competency of any ATM branding partner a bank or credit union considers.And don’t stop at branding the ATM’s exterior. Accomplished ATM branding partners can help financial institutions own the transaction experience by programming a user experience remarkably similar to branch ATMs. Add-in multi-tasking please wait/advertising screens, plus branded receipts and in-store coupons and suddenly real value has been added to a retail ATM experience reclaimed by the branding bank or credit union.Location Services aka pre-transaction pointingCollaborating with an ATM branding partner, analyzing card usage data – by conducting that due diligence, a financial institution can be confident it has chosen a location its cardholders will find convenient. Nevertheless, in an app-driven world, why wait to be found? Balance inquiries, account transfers and mobile deposits are table stakes for smartphone banking and so too should be an ATM and branch locator considering the built-in GPS capabilities. Best practices: Display all available locations, on premise and off, and incorporate a birds-eye-view, street map and the ability to launch a mapping service. In short, reclaim brand visibility by pointing cardholders to the branded ATM.Text Alerts aka post-transaction pointingBalance reminders, transaction notifications, fraud alerts – these are well-known text alerts sent by financial institutions, but what about ATM fee alerts? Sometimes, the best life lessons are born of mistakes and painful moments. This same philosophy can be applied to instances when a cardholder, for example, is in an unfamiliar neighborhood, forgets to check their ATM locator and instead used a competitor’s ATM, paying a surcharge-fee in the process. If only that cardholder could be pointed to their financial institution’s branded ATM, located in the convenience store just a block away.They can with text alerts. While the alert can’t prevent a cardholder from using an out-of-network ATM in the moment, it can alter future behavior by reminding them of a nearby branded (and fee-free) ATM while the pain of paying a surcharge-fee is still fresh. Call it disruptive marketing, call it a convenience message in the aftermath of incurring a convenience fee. The bottom line is a financial institution can reclaim brand visibility in this moment with a message of convenience that drives future transactions to an in-network, branded ATM.In-sight and top-of-mindBranch networks may shrink and ATMs may increasingly be found off-premise. However, with the availability of retail ATM branding opportunities, custom-fit to cardholders’ established behavior, there simply is no excuse for a financial institution’s brand to be out-of-sight and out-of-mind at the ATM. Brand an ATM in the right store, then use the technology in the palms of cardholders’ hands to maximize that investment by pointing them to your brand at the ATM, when and where they need it. 138SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Karl Kraus As VP, Product Management – Financial Services for Cardtronics, Karl Kraus is responsible for guiding and executing product strategy and new product development for Cardtronics’ Financial Services business unit. Prior … Web: www.cardtronics.com Detailslast_img read more

Woman hurt in shooting, suspect charged in town of Fenton

December 8, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgTOWN OF FENTON (WBNG) — New York State Police say a suspect has been arrested in connection to a shooting on Standish Avenue in the town of Fenton on Saturday. Authorities charged 73-year-old Darrel M. Rich for assault in the 1st degree, a felony. They say a 58-year-old woman was shot and transported to Wilson Hospital. Rich was processed and transported to Broome County Central Arraignment and Processing. New York State Police Binghamton, Broome County Sheriff’s and Port Dickinson Police Department responded.center_img Details about the 58-year-old’s injuries and the nature of the incident were not released. State Police say the shooting remain under investigation.last_img read more

Moore of the same after 25 years on top

October 20, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgProperty shares are looking much better value than physical property and there is a need for consolidation in the sector with too many companies and liquidity only in the leading stocks.This is the sort of property analyst’s message that the industry has become used to in the 1990s. But the same message was being heard 50 years ago when Warburg (then known as Hurst-Brown, Buckmaster and Peter Hicks) began property research.Warburg’s first note, which came out in January 1949, was re-published this week to celebrate the broker’s 50 years of research and the retirement of head analyst Roger Moore after 25 years.Moore was arguably the doyen of property analysts and, until recently, was voted the best in the sector every year.Fifty years ago, there were 132 quoted property companies – roughly the same number as today.‘Very little changes over the cycles other than the names of companies and personalities,’ concludes Moore.‘Property will always be a sector prone to feast or famine and one in which fortunes can be made with little equity capital outlay won or lost. History shows that the shrewd investor cystallises or consolidates gains but those who become so intoxicated by their success that they begin to think they are infallible often lose their fortunes in cataclysmic fashion.’last_img read more

NASCAR to investigate after noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage

October 19, 2020 0 Comments

first_img“As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.”Earlier this month, NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from all races as the sport moved to distance itself from a checkered past on race amid global protests against the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.However, before Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega in Alabama, a plane flew above the track with the flag and a second banner that said “DEFUND NASCAR.”Topics : NASCAR has launched an investigation after a noose was found in a garage stall at Talladega belonging to Bubba Wallace, the only African-American competing in its top Cup series.”Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” NASCAR said in a statement on Sunday. “We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act.”We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport.The 43 car, for those of you who don’t follow NASCAR, is Bubba Wallace. pic.twitter.com/RaE4gwKTt2— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 22, 2020last_img read more

Byron expands footprint in Gulf of Mexico area

September 28, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgImage source: Byron EnergyOil company Byron Energy has been awarded three more blocks in the Gulf of Mexico by the U.S. government, following four blocks awarded to the company earlier this month.Byron said on Wednesday that the blocks were awarded to Byron Energy Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on June 19.The company added that its South Marsh Island block 70 (SM 70), Vermilion block 232 (VR 232), and Vermilion block 251 (VR 251) at Gulf of Mexico OCS Lease Sale 250 held on March 21 was deemed acceptable by the BOEM.Byron was the high bidder on SM 70, VR 232, and VR 251 along with Eugene Island blocks 62, 63, 76, and 77 which were awarded on June 8.The company bid $1,101,100 for VR 232 as the lease bonus amount. Byron’s bid for VR 232 in OCS Lease Sale 247, in March 2017, was rejected and this amount represented the value placed on the block by BOEM. Byron has mapped a gas and gas condensate prospect on the block with an in-house calculated gross prospective resource potential of 11 Bcf and 170,000 barrels. This prospect could be tested from the Byron operated SM71 F platform, but there are currently no plans to drill VR 232 until production levels at the platform allow it to be produced efficiently in the event of success.Also, Byron identified two other higher risk/higher reward exploration prospects on VR 232 which require further geophysical evaluation before a drilling decision is made.According to a participation agreement between Byron and Otto Energy from December 1, 2015, Otto elected to participate in the acquisition of VR 232, pending award, for a 50% interest in VR 232.Under the agreement, Otto must pay an amount equal to a gross 133% of Otto’s 50% interest share of acquisition costs, which includes the dry hole cost of the initial test well, plus a gross fifty percent 50% of other past costs paid by Byron.In electing to participate in VR 232, each company will own a 50% working interest and a 43.75% net revenue interest in the block. Upon the award of VR 232, Otto has no further rights to participate in any blocks or projects, including SM 74, under the December 2015 participation agreement.Byron also said that it identified several higher risk exploratory leads on both VR 251 and SM 70. These leads will be evaluated once Byron completes its South Marsh Island project seismic reprocessing work in late 2018.Apart from VR 232, the company placed a bid of $225,520 for the 5,000-acre VR 251 block and a bid of $273,370 for the 5,468-acre SM 70 block. Byron does not currently carry any in-house reserves for either of these blocks.Maynard Smith, Byron’s CEO, said: “We are very pleased to have received all seven of the leases we bid for in Sale 250.”“We have greatly expanded our footprint in the SM71 area where we now hold working interests in seven leases. By the end of the year, we will have newly processed Reverse Time Migration seismic data and inversion data over all of these leases.“We look forward to working with Otto on VR 232 and building further value upon the success of SM 71. Otto has been a very good partner at SM 71 and has displayed great patience after the VR 232 bid was rejected last year.“[…] now, through Sale 250, we have added a total of seven new blocks to our inventory of future projects. Our team is currently focused on the final planning for Bivouac Peak as we prepare to initiate the drilling phase of that project in the second half of 2018.”last_img read more

Best cleaned communities around the island to be awarded

September 26, 2020 0 Comments

first_img Share 18 Views   no discussions Share LocalNews Best cleaned communities around the island to be awarded by: – November 10, 2011 Tweetcenter_img Share Hon. Gloria Shillingford.Twenty one communities around the island are set to receive awards from the Ministry of Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs in collaboration with the Department of Local Government, as judging for the National Day of Community Service comes to a close this Friday, November 11th, 2011.A first, second and third prize award will be given to communities making up the seven Local Government Districts on the island for being the best cleaned, tidy and beautiful community, following the observance of National Community Day of Service on November 4th, 2011.Minister responsible for Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, Honorable Gloria Shillingford said the judging period ran from November 7th to 11th, giving the communities enough time to get rid of debris and garbage collected during the November 4th cleanup campaign. The criteria for the judging will cover five areas.“At the end of this National Day of Community Services, the best cleaned, tidy and beautiful community will be selected by a group of judges and a 1st prize of EC$1,000, 2nd prize EC$800 and 3rd Prize EC$500 will be awarded accordingly.Criteria for judging will include the following: tidiness of the community, clean environment free of garbage and shrubs, aesthetics; flowers planted and hedges, efforts made to landscape the community and clean and cleared drains”, Shillingford disclosed.The Department of Local Government will be primarily responsible for judging the various communities. Acting Local Government Commissioner, Mrs Claudine Roberts.Acting Local Government Commissioner, Mrs Claudine Roberts said that while they are pleased to be awarding these twenty-one communities, it is their intention to increase the prizes in the near future. “We wish that we had a lot of money to ensure that the prices are greater but as we go along, because this is just the first of three cleanup and beautification segments, we will probably seek to have more funds to make available to the councils and the improvement committees as well as cash prizes. They will not only be getting cash prizes this year, but they will also be getting plaques “.The seven Local Government Districts are:North – Capuchin to Portsmouth including Paix Bouche, Bense, Penville and Vieille CaseNortheast – Calibishie to MarigotEast- Atkinson to Petite SoufriereSouth East- Grand Fond to DelicesSouth- Petite Savanne to Bellevue Chopin, including Pichelin, Grand Bay and Tete MorneSouth West- Scotts Head to Goodwill including Roseau Valley, Trafalgar, Giraudel, Morne Prosper to Cochrane, Roseau, GoodwillWest- Canefield to Dublanc with Layou, Campbell, Warner including Belles and Sylvania All communities will receive a cash prize as well as a plaque.Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring!last_img read more