GROW Liberia Ends Stakeholders’ Meeting on RSS Development

January 14, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgStakeholders in the agriculture and business sectors last Friday concluded a one day consultative meeting on the status of the development of Ribbed Smoked Sheets (RSS) of rubber in Liberia.The meeting was organized by GROW Liberia and brought together over 30 rubber farmers from the 15 counties.Jaime Reibel, Team Leader of GROW Liberia, said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the growth and development of the RSS industry and how farmers can get access to finance.He said in order to improve the industry the government and banking institutions should see the need to provide rubber farmers with the required finance. Reibel said Liberia has remained one of the poorest countries in the world, with an economy heavily reliant on export earnings from the agriculture sector, and promised to change the trend through successful agriculture programming.Agriculture is the main stream of Liberia’s economy and therefore needs the collective efforts of everybody to join with government to revamp the sector and to grow high-value rubber in Liberia, he said. He said a five year program funded by the Swedish government through the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) will create an enabling environment in the RSS industry for farmers to get access to loans.Facilitating the meeting, Mr. Stanford Peabody, Portfolio Manager of GROW Liberia, informed the participants that the meeting was not just about producing RSS, but how they can tackle the issue of finance that affects rubber farmers.He said there are a lot of farmers who want to explore the rubber market but could not do so because they find it difficult to get loans from commercial banks.In separate remarks, representatives from the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) and ECOBANK told the gathering that commercial banks are willing to give out loan to farmers.“We want customers to come to the bank and let us discuss the process. We only give loans to people or farmers who are making business or selling their produce,” a bank representative indicated.However, they admonished farmers not to be deterred or feel weak about getting loans from the banks and noted, “We are there for you.” RSS is made directly from latex which is treated and then made to coagulate. The coagulated latex sheets are then air dried or smoked in ovens and are visually graded on the basis of certain parameters, and then packed in bales.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Donegal road group urges motorists to be vigilant this Bank Holiday weekend

December 21, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgRoad users in Donegal have been urged to be vigilant and responsible over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend to avoid fatalities and serious injury. The Donegal Road Safety Working group issued the warning as the county prepares itself for a busy holiday period – statistics indicating an increased risk of collisions during public holidays.The group are now appealing to all road users to play their part in helping to ensure the safe use of our roads. Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer, said: “With pleasant weather forecast for the weekend, longer daylight hours, pedestrians and cyclists are reminded always to wear reflective or fluorescent clothing which will help you to be seen from a distance and motorists also need to exercise care and be fully aware of vulnerable road users on the road.“Road Safety continues to be a high priority for the Donegal Road Safety Working Group but sadly, there have been four fatalities on Donegal roads to date in 2019.“Over the Easter holiday period, many people will set out to visit family and friends, some making long journeys. Remember that everyone is in the same position as you, don’t get frustrated if you are stuck behind slow-moving traffic, be patient and wait until it is safe and only overtake when it is safe to do so.“With high traffic volumes on our roads driver fatigue can set in and motorists are urged where fatigue is setting in to pull over to a safe location and rest.” Over the weekend, An Garda Síochána will place extra emphasis on the enforcement of the key lifesaver offences of driving while intoxicated, speeding, non-use of seatbelts and the use of mobile phones.The Garda campaign will involve extra high-visibility patrols, with an intensified schedule of checkpoints in both rural and town locations.“We are appealing to motorists to slow down, never drive after drinking or taking drugs, always wear a seat belt, drive with greater care and attention and never use mobile phones while driving,” O’Donnell added.“On behalf of the DRSWG, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very safe and happy Easter.  Let us continue to work together to make our roads safer.”Donegal road group urges motorists to be vigilant this Bank Holiday weekend was last modified: April 18th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal Road Safety WorkingEasterlast_img read more

Warriors report: Rookie guard Jacob Evans sent down to G-League

December 20, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgThe Warriors have assigned rookie guard Jacob Evans and two-way guard Damion Lee to their G-League affiliate in Santa Cruz.Evans – who the Warriors drafted 28th overall in June – is averaging 0.5 points, 0.4 rebounds in four minutes but has failed to make an appearance in game action in three of the last four games.Lee, the Warriors’ two-way guard, is averaging 4.9 points in 15 appearances, shooting 43 percent from 3-point range this season, including a five-point, two rebound performance …last_img read more

What the AngelList Debate Means for the Future of Startup Investing

December 16, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgTags:#Analysis#start guest author 1 Over the weekend there has been some controversy surrounding AngelList, the network that connects startup entrepreneurs and investors. Before AngelList, investment dealflow was private and networks revolved around a few connected angels and VC?s. Since the angel network was created, transparent angel investing has exploded and entrepreneurs from any background can get funded.To my surprise, VC? Bryce Roberts, a partner at O?Reilly Tech Ventures, was so concerned about the network that he deleted his AngelList account. In his post, Roberts says he was not turned off by the quality of startups, but by the investment philosophy pushed by the service. The predominate philosophy pushed by the service, he said, favors a light-touch investment style similar to throwing darts on a board, as opposed to a more concentrated approach.Chris McCann is the co-founder of StartupDigest, the members-only guide to the tech startup world. Every week StartupDigest publishes weekly newsletters about the best events, jobs, and what to read for your industry. Follow McCann on Twitter @Mccannatron.Roberts also takes issue with the emphasis on ?social proof? on AngelList. Since most companies have little to no revenue, who else has already invested in the deal is heavily weighted to prove value. This, he argues, leads to a herd mentality.Other VC?s and Angels such as Jason Calacanis and Dave McClure responded to Roberts and took the opposite stance – McClure and his fund 500startups have done 20-plus deals directly from AngelList and they greatly prefer the ?spray-and-pray? approach vs. the concentrated approach.There’s now a heated discussion in the investor class about AngelList. Based on my experience as the co-founder of StartupDigest, I believe that the startup investing industry is quickly being organized more like the public investing market, and what we are seeing now is a battle of two major investment theses: the index approach and the concentrated investment approach.Index vs. Concentrated InvestingIn the traditional stock market an index is a small sample of the market that represents the stock market as a whole. The reasoning behind investing in an index fund is that it closely matches the overall market – and it’?s very hard to beat the efficient market. The most popular traditional indexes are the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Standards and Poor?s 500, and the Nasdaq composite Index.The opposite approach of index investing is an actively managed or concentrated investing approach. In this approach, you take your competitive advantage (your market-specific knowledge) and invest heavily in a few companies you know well. Two famous investors who take this approach are Warren Buffet and Benjamin Graham.In Roberts’ account of why he deleted his AngelList account, it?s clear that he favors the concentrated approach to startup investing. Roberts would rather not invested on ?social proof? alone and would rather take time to find companies that he can actively manage and leverage his competitive advantage with.McClure’s rebuttal to Roberts is that the index philosophy is not only easier but better than the concentrated investment approach. Instead of investors holding onto proprietary connections and introductions for their portfolio companies, these relationships are being displaced by the dominate social networks (Facebook, Linkedin, Quora). Dave argues that instead of providing connections you should let founders do 95% of the work and offer support with operational areas of expertise like design, data and distribution.Think of individuals like McClure, Paul Graham and George Zachary as market analysts. These new super angels are really signals in that marketplace that are causing others to invest or not invest.How This is Changing the Startup Investment WorldNo matter what investment philosophy ultimately proves to outperform the other, the startup investment world is changing rapidly.Services like AngelList are making the startup investment world more organized and efficient than ever. Quickly, startup investing is looking more like the public markets, and power is quickly shifting to the entrepreneur from the investors.AngelList is operating very much like the NASDAQ stock exchange of the startup investment world, where deals and angel investors are public. Just look at AngelList?’s new markets feature, where you can break out specific investors and deals by sub-markets. I don’t think it will take very long for investors to be able to invest in whole markets and entrepreneurs to pitch a whole group of investors in a certain market.Think of individuals like McClure, Paul Graham and George Zachary as market analysts. These new super angels are really signals in that marketplace that are causing others to invest or not invest based on their due diligence and research.The big shift is not entrepreneurs getting to choose whether they want money to grow their business, specific functional expertise from their investors, or a combination of both. More and more power is shifting away from the investors to the entrepreneurs and this trend does not look to be slowing down. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Building Resilience for a ‘Close Encounter’ with Disaster

December 16, 2019 0 Comments

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Defining Habitable Temperatures Designing Homes and Communities That Can Survive a DisasterResilient CommunitiesResilient Design: Passive Solar HeatResilient Design: Dramatically Better Building Envelopes Designing Houses and Communities To Be Smarter and More ResilientResilience: Designing Homes for More Intense StormsMaking the Case for Resilient DesignGreen Building Priority #9 – Create Resilient HousesMaking Houses Resilient to Power Outages Avoid deadly heat during summertime blackoutsBe careful to balance heating and cooling. Summertime blackouts can be deadly, with high indoor temperatures causing heat stroke. Before air-conditioning was common, we reduced our need for cooling through simple design measures. For example, small roofs or overhangs over different designs over windows are a nifty design feature, common on older homes, that make your window’s paint job last longer. They can also be designed to allow in low-angle winter sun, when you need it for heating, but block summer sun that is high in the sky. Using awnings and blinds, as well as opening windows at night to flush the heat out are other great ways to naturally stay cool. Use onsite renewables. When a tree hits the power line, or worse, it’s great to have a renewable power source onsite. We live off the grid, and at one point last fall, our neighbor stopped by to charge her iPhone at our house after a tree knocked out power on our road. I was happy to share the electrons, which were plentiful that day. Sometimes being a practical person isn’t that fun. Last night my wife and I were watching the classic 1977 movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”Leading up to the climactic scene, the protagonists are racing to the location where they expect aliens to appear, while outrunning the U.S. Army and the United Nations. To do this, they must escape the authorities and their cattle cars, drive a station wagon off-road through Wyoming, and spend several hours scrambling up the dry, rocky landscape around Devil’s Tower.Setting aside whether they or their station wagon are capable of these feats, I kept thinking, why the heck didn’t they bring some water along? Forget the aliens—I’d be trying to slake my thirst after a couple hours of this! Instead of the closing credits, I’d like to see the scene after our hero boards the flying saucer, as he figures out how to intone to the alien, “Do you have some H2O?” Hopefully that’s on the in-flight service menu. I just got off the phone with a reporter from Florida who saw my column from a couple weeks ago about how to measure nuclear radiation and contamination. He asked me, “How can homeowners shield themselves from the types of plant accidents that are occurring in Japan? Are there green solutions that may make life easier should such a disaster happen nearby?”He immediately assumed that there is not much you can do, relative to nuclear safety. Not so—there is a lot you can do depending on the situation. I’m a journalist, not an expert on nuclear issues, there is a lot you can to do to protect yourself from the worst fallout by staying sheltered. Regional and federal authorities, as well as other groups, have a lot more information on those issues. Would you be prepared?Let’s say there has been an incident where your most practical and safe option is to stay at home, but external power, water, and services are not functioning. Would you be prepared, or would you be like the guy trying to figure out how to ask aliens for water?A lot of us have learned the hard way that we’re not very well prepared. A couple major ice storms in the last decade in New England, the August 2003 blackout, Hurricane Katrina, flooding in the Midwest—you may not have to look far back in your memory banks for a situation that challenged your home’s livability, or at least someone you know or saw on TV. There is a lot you can do — it’s called passive survivabilityThe good news is that if you’ve thought about things in advance, there is a lot you can do to make your home or community more livable in extreme conditions. There is a concept for this, pioneered by my colleague Alex Wilson: passive survivability. Passive survivability is, in short, a building’s ability to maintain critical life-support conditions if services such as power, heating fuel, or water are lost. Resilient design is another term for this, and both concepts can be extended from the building to the community scale.The neat thing about passive survivability is that it’s not just for emergencies. Using these practices can reduce your environmental impact, and your energy bill, year-round. center_img Using, not wasting, solar heatingLosing power or heating fuel in the winter can not only render buildings quickly uninhabitable, but exposing water piping and hydronic heating pipes to freezing temperatures can cause catastrophic damage both to those systems and to the home itself, due to water damage.To counter this, maximize your use of passive solar heating. If building new, orient on an east-west axis, with the long side facing south. Use windows on the south face with a high solar-heat-gain coefficient. (With good insulation, passive solar doesn’t take as many windows as you may be picturing, by the way.)If you don’t have the luxury of spinning your home around on its lot to get better solar orientation, stop and observe. How is solar heating as a resource is being used—or blocked? Blinds that are always closed, or landscaping that started out small but that is now blocking the sun through the winter, may be hindering your access to free heat. Doing an energy audit may reveal easy ways to make your home tighter, and keep inside the solar heat you do get. Intermediate steps to going off the gridGoing off the grid is a big move, but there are intermediate steps. For a few hundred bucks you can buy out-of-the-box systems that use a couple of small solar panels and basic electronics. These can help with smaller essentials like charging a phone in the event of an outage.For a more sophisticated system, get help from a local professional. It’s common these days to use grid-tied solar power, and that’s a great way to get started, but you won’t have access to that power if the grid goes down unless you design it with that in mind. That may require an inverter, a battery bank, and other switches and controls. Look at key appliances that you would like to keep on during an outage—like your furnace, for example—and try to keep a system affordable by addressing just these loads. It will cost you a bit, but there are very attractive tax incentives in place right now to lighten the load. Don’t forget the root cellarOne great resource you don’t hear discussed a lot these days is a root cellar. Having canned goods and root vegetables put away for the winter (or as part of your year-round pantry) used to be common practice, but the 24-hour supermarket seems to have blotted this kind of space from our memories. Besides having access to tasty, nutritious food from your own garden year-round, a root cellar provides a great buffer in case services get interrupted following an earthquake or oil embargo. The empty shelves in Tokyo last month demonstrate the value of that. Your house may have had a root cellar in the past, or you may find a space like the bulkhead that’s perfectly suited to it.Consider storing extra water. You can get kits at any hardware store to set up a gutter and a rain barrel to collect a few extra gallons, or you can get fancy and set up a rainwater harvesting system tied into your home water supply. Either way, such a system will provide a buffer for washing your hands, flushing the toilet, or even cooking and drinking with (provided the system is designed with proper sanitation), in case you lose power to your well pump, or the city loses power to its treatment systems.And you’ll always have a glass of water on hand in case you want to chase down some extra-terrestrials. Just make sure to offer them some, too. Mars is pretty dry these days. Making life safer and easier if Fukushima happens nearbyI don’t do well without food, water, and other basic stuff like that. Sometimes it makes me complain about movie plots. Sometimes it leads to interesting conversations. Tristan Roberts is Editorial Director at BuildingGreen, Inc., in Brattleboro, Vermont, which publishes information on green building solutions. What are your thoughts on resiliency in your home and community? Leave your comments and questions below.last_img read more

Puerto Rico Leaders See an All-Renewable Future

December 16, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgStill rebuilding from the 2017 hurricane that all but wiped out the island’s electricity grid, political leaders have proposed that Puerto Rico generate all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050 and end the monopoly of the bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). Caribbean Business reported that the proposed legislation would also establish energy-saving requirements for all government agencies, end the use of coal by 2027, and phase out bunker C oil for generating power. The move to renewable energy would be a major departure for Puerto Rico. The Commonwealth currently relies mostly on imported fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. About 40% of Puerto Rico’s electricity is generated by burning bunker C (No. 6 residual oil), and another 30% from No. 2 diesel.RELATED ARTICLESIn Puerto Rico, Off-Grid Energy Is Looking More AppealingA Caribbean Island Transitions to PVSolar Industry Offers Help in Puerto RicoWhy Solar Microgrids Are Not a Cure-All for Puerto Rico’s Power WoesAre Solar-Plus-Battery Systems Coming to a Neighborhood Near You? Hurricane Maria caused catastrophic damage to the island in September 2017, causing the largest blackout in U.S. history and killing hundreds if not thousands of residents. Thousands of homes and businesses are still without electricity. Regulatory responsibility for energy would go to the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) while PREPA’s fate is sorted out in bankruptcy court. Senate Vice President Larry Seilhamer said the measure is aimed at providing Puerto Rico with a “robust, resilient, affordable and reliable system.” “To this end,” he said, “we are promoting the reconstruction, modernization and updating of the transmission and distribution system of the network. The monopoly is put to an end as we know it today to give way to competition in power generation and fuel diversity.” The legislation would move the island’s electrical system to renewables in stages, beginning with a 20% share by 2025, then 50% by 2040, and finally to 100% by 2050. The plan would promote the use of small-scale power plants and encourage what Seilhamer called “prosumers,” people who both consume and produce electricity (akin to solar system owners who export excess electricity to the grid). Anyone buying or operating generating assets currently managed by PERPA would be required to either modernize or replace them with more efficient plants within five years of taking them over. Separately, Politico reports that at least six Democratic gubernatorial candidates as well as some possible presidential hopefuls are backing a goal to move the U.S. to clean energy over the next few decades. Many details, however, are missing and there is no general agreement on such issues as the role of nuclear energy and natural gas in the mix. Former Vice President Al Gore told Politico, “When lots of candidates in widely different political environments are all running on a platform of 100 percent renewable energy, it means that voters are telling them they want leaders who will help solve the climate crisis. So these candidates have concluded correctly that acting on the climate crisis is a no-brainer.”last_img read more

8 families ostracised on sorcery charge

December 3, 2019 0 Comments

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IAF choppers transport wreckage of private aircraft that crashed near Kedarnath shrine

December 1, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgThe wreckage of a private aircraft that had crashed near the holy Kedarnath shrine recently was transported out of the site by a team of two Mi-17 helicopters in challenging circumstances, IAF officials said on October 27.The aircraft of UT Air Pvt limited had crashed a few days ago at an altitude of 11,500 ft at the Kedarnath helipad, just short of the holy shrine, they said.“It was not feasible to transport the wreckage to a lower region due to only-foot-track connectivity to Kedarnath. The company requested IAF, through Uttarakhand civil administration, to render assistance in evacuation of their downed aircraft before the closure of Kedarnath shrine this month end,” a senior IAF official said.On Saturday, Mi-17 V5 helicopters of the Indian Air Force were tasked to undertake this challenging task.“At dawn on Saturday, two helicopters were pressed into action, with one of them tasked to provide logistical support and the other for extricating the downed civilian aircraft by carrying it underslung,” he said.“The IAF crew displayed deft handling as the aircraft was hooked below the helicopter and then skilfully flown back through the narrow valley, all the way to Sahastradhara near Dehradun,” the official said.The safe evacuation is testimony to the responsiveness of the IAF in support of the civilian administration and the skill of IAF aircrew, he said.last_img read more