Whitehall suffers setback in hitting diversity targets

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgThe Cabinet Office has defended its record on promoting staff diversity inthe Civil Service after the latest disappointing figures on its progress. The percentage of women in the senior Civil Service decreased last year by0.3 per cent to 25 per cent – 10 per cent short of the 2005 target. The numberof women in top management positions also fell by 0.5 per cent to 20.7 percent, more than 4 per cent short of the 2005 target. Numbers of disabled staff remained at about 1.7 per cent of the workforce,but numbers still need to almost double by 2005 to reach the target of 3 percent. Sarah Kissack, diversity team leader at the Cabinet Office, was disappointedby the figures but said the policies are in place to enable the service tomeets its diversity targets. Schemes to promote women, disabled and ethnic minority staff includementoring, focus groups, leadership development programmes and action plans. Kissack’s team are to have meetings with all departments in a bid to sharegood practice throughout the service. Kissack said the Civil Service would continue to focus on recruiting diversestaff at all levels through advertising and sponsorship – targeting the groupsthat need increasing. She added that the overall diversity of the Civil Service workforce reflectsthe working population and aims to develop their skills to fill senior roles. “We are more reflective of diversity than the general workforce anddiversity among our graduate intake is increasing. Our aim is to bring in andbring on this talent.” By Paul Nelson Whitehall suffers setback in hitting diversity targetsOn 26 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Mayweather pulls out of Dec. 31 fight, says he ‘never agreed’ to bout

May 8, 2021 0 Comments

first_img Beau Lund November 8, 2018 /Sports News – National Mayweather pulls out of Dec. 31 fight, says he ‘never agreed’ to bout FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailKohjiro Kinno / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Floyd Mayweather Jr. won’t be stepping out of retirement in time for the New Year after all.The 41-year-old retired boxer said in an Instagram post Wednesday that the fight between him and 20-year-old Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa that was announced earlier this week wasn’t going to happen, saying he “never agreed to an official bout.”“I was asked to participate in a 9 minute exhibition of 3 rounds with an opponent selected by the ‘Rizen Fighting Federation,’ Mayweather said.“This exhibition was previously arranged as a ‘Special Bout’ purely for entertainment purposes with no intentions of being represented as an official fight card nor televised worldwide,” he explained. “Once I arrived to the press conference, my team and I were completely derailed by the new direction this event was going and we should have put a stop to it immediately.”The fight was set to be held on Dec. 31 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Should it have taken place, it would have marked the second time Mayweather had stepped out of retirement. He last did so in August 2017 to face the UFC’s Conor McGregor, who he knocked out in the 10th round of the boxing match.“I want to sincerely apologize to my fans for the very misleading information that was announced during this press conference and I can assure you that I too was completely blindsided by the arrangements that were being made without my consent nor approval,” Mayweather said. “For the sake of the several fans and attendees that flew in from all parts of the world to attend this past press conference, I was hesitant to create a huge disturbance by combating what was being said and for that I am truly sorry,” he added.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.center_img Written bylast_img read more

Seven men in court following Oxford sexual abuse raids

May 3, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgSeven men charged with histori­cal sex offenses appeared in Oxford Magistrates’ Court earlier this week. The charges include conspiracy to rape; indecent assault; kidnap; traf­ficking for sexual exploitation; bug­gery; and supplying class A, B and C drugs. The offenses are alleged to have taken place from 2000 to 2005.The men first appeared in court on the October 20 following a series of police raids on the October 18. Mr Mohammed, the lawyer of one defendant, declared that his client was “someone who vehemently denies these allegations, he is here to clear his name”.The dawn raids in which the men were first arrested took place at 11 properties and involved 160 officers from Thames Valley police force. One defendant was arrested at his place of employment, the BMW plant located in Cowley. The opera­tion, code-named Operation Rolo, took two to three months to plan.Oxford East MP Andrew Smith told Cherwell, “I strongly support, as do the public, the police action to bring these cases to justice. It’s clear from the Bullfinch enquiry that in the past victims were not always listened to. It’s good that this is be­ing rectified, and that whilst there is no room for complacency, police and social services procedures and practice have improved a lot.”Sat in the dock on October 20 was Cee J. Jackson, 54, who paused to wave to his wife as he was led down to the cells; Haji Naim Khan, 36, who gave a weak smile and waved to the dock, and Moinul Islam, 40, who was referred to by his lawyer, Julian Richards, as a “man of good character”.Mr Islam and Mr Jackson are jointly accused of conspiracy to commit rape and conspiracy to commit buggery between February and March 2014.There are another three defen­dants, who cannot be named for legal reasons, one of whom merely stared directly ahead throughout the hearing.Superintendent Joe Kidman said in a statement to the Oxford Mail, “Tackling child sexual exploita­tion, both non-recent and current, remains an absolute priority for Thames Valley Police and this com­plex investigation and yesterday’s arrests demonstrate this.”“I understand today’s events will have an impact on the community and residents will be concerned about the nature of these arrests.“As you will understand, this is an ongoing investigation. We are not able to provide all the information straight away, but we will keep the community updated when we can.“Tackling child sexual exploita­tion is an absolute priority for Thames Valley Police.”Director of Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre, Lisa Ward, told Cherwell, “It’s good to see Thames Valley Police making child sexual exploitation and other forms of sexual violence a priority in our local area.“The charging of men in relation to historic offences are a reminder that the sexual abuse of children and adults—especially of women and girls—is endemic in today’s society.“Our work supporting women and girls who have experienced sexual violence across Oxfordshire tells us that this is a long-term, deep-rooted problem in society, and that survivors should be able to ac­cess specialist support, tailored to their needs and experiences should they require it.“We warmly invite anyone who feels they need support to contact us on 01865 726295. “The force has also launched an ap­peal to find a woman who gave a 16 year old victim a lift in 2004, shortly after a group of Asian men had at­tempted to assault her. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the police using the non-emergency number 101.Judge Ian Pringle QC set April 18 as a provisional trial date. The trial is expected to last two to three months and the men will next ap­pear in court on December 8.Thames Valley Police declined to comment while court proceedings were ongoing.last_img read more

“READERS FORUM” DECEMBER 27, 2018

May 3, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgWe hope that today’s “READERS FORUM” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way? WHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays“Readers Poll” question is: If the Republican primary for the Mayor of Evansville was held today who would you vote for?Please go to our link of our media partner Channel 44 News located in the upper right-hand corner of the City-County Observer so you can get the up-to-date news, weather, and sports.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected]: City-County Observer Comment Policy. Be kind to people. No personal attacks or harassment will not be tolerated and shall be removed from our site.We understand that sometimes people don’t always agree and discussions may become a little heated.  The use of offensive language, insults against commenters will not be tolerated and will be removed from our site. Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

OCHS Band Booster Dinner Feb. 7

May 2, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgThe annual pasta dinner raises money for scholarships for band members. (Photo courtesy JASM Consulting) The Ocean City High School Band Booster pasta dinner will be held Friday, Feb. 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.Dinner includes spaghetti and meatballs, bread, salad, soft drink, dessert and coffee. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students.Takeout dinners are available from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.The annual pasta dinner is used to raise funds to provide scholarships to senior band members. The OCHS Band Boosters have been running the pasta dinner for more than 25 years. The food is prepared and served by parents with the help of students. Live entertainment will be provided by the OCHS Jazz Band.Attendees do not need to RSVP to the event and should purchase tickets at the door.Ocean City High School is located at 501 Atlantic Ave.last_img read more

DESSERT PHOTOS: Ok, now you’ve been warned, here’s the first dessert restaurant in London

April 20, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgCafé Royal will launch on 3 March, with menus created by executive pastry chef Sarah Barber.The dessert restaurant on Regent Street will feature a selection of tasting menus, all served with optional wine pairing and available from 6pm to 10.30pm daily.Each menu will include a range of savoury bites to prepare the palate, before offering a variety of sweet plates.The Sarah in Wonderland menu includes Queen of Hearts (raspberries, Champagne and roses); Mad Hatter (Black Forest gateau, kirsch and cherries) and Eat Me, Drink Me (Snickers, chocolate malt shake). Three-course Childhood Memories menus will also be available, which include takes on nostalgic favourites such as rhubarb and custard, and Jaffa Cakes.The opening of the evening dessert restaurant will run alongside the launch of Barber’s new food and drink menus in Café Royal, with breakfasts, light lunches, afternoon teas, hot drinks and wines available from 8am to 6pm daily.The pâtisserie in Café Royal will offer petits gâteaux such as pistachio and apricot mille-feuille, strawberry lemon candy cane, raspberry rose sphere, and large entremets, including strawberry crispy mousse with almond sponge and lemon curd, and Black Forest gâteau with chocolate mushrooms….Powered by Cincopa Video Hosting for Business solution.BB Cafe Royal 17/02/16Loaf cakesflash 16cameramake Canonheight 2288orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 2/5/2016 8:37:52 PMwidth 3543cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIBlack Forest gateau and chocolate mushroomsflash 16cameramake Canonheight 2246orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 2/5/2016 8:04:14 PMwidth 3543cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IICarrot and pecan loaf and cream cheese frostingflash 16cameramake Canonheight 2503orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 2/5/2016 8:28:40 PMwidth 3543cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIDundee loaf, Earl Grey tea and candied fruitsflash 16cameramake Canonheight 2432orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 2/5/2016 8:23:21 PMwidth 3543cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IILemon drizzle loaf, lemon confit and buttercreamflash 16cameramake Canonheight 2575orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 2/5/2016 8:18:07 PMwidth 3543cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe three course tasting menuflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3231orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 9:33:20 PMwidth 4661cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe three course tasting menuflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3275orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 9:43:58 PMwidth 4809cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe five course tasting menuflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3075orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 10:46:56 PMwidth 4467cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe five course tasting menuflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3663orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 10:46:56 PMwidth 4638cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe five course tasting menuflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3111orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 11:00:51 PMwidth 5470cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIEat me, Drink meflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3658orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 9:52:07 PMwidth 4846cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIEat me, Drink meflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3498orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 11:45:03 PMwidth 4846cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe tasting menu – Jaffa cakeflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3097orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 8:57:09 PMwidth 4520cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe tasting menuflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3528orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 9:12:28 PMwidth 4957cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe tasting menuflash 16cameramake Canonheight 2887orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 10:34:28 PMwidth 3007cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe tasting menu – Milky Wayflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3443orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 8:51:03 PMwidth 2756cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe tasting menu – Queen of Heartsflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3544orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 9:59:38 PMwidth 5228cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe tasting menu – Queen of Heartsflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3707orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 10:12:56 PMwidth 5228cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe tasting menu – Queen of Heartsflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3752orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 10:10:13 PMwidth 3882cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe tasting menu – Rhubarb and Custardflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3582orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 8:24:35 PMwidth 5490cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIflash 16cameramake Canonheight 3105orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS3 originaldate 1/18/2016 8:38:52 PMwidth 4170cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIlast_img read more

Pink Talking Fish Announces 2018 Fall Tour Including Giant Country Horns Collaborations

March 2, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgToday, Pink Talking Fish has announced the dates for their extensive upcoming fall tour, which will see the band joined by The Giant Country Horns during their two-night Colorado run. The multi-band tribute act, which blends the music of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, and Phish in a high-octane musical cocktail, also has a number of dates on the calendar, with the tour spanning from the end of August through mid-December.The beginning of their fall tour finds Pink Talking Fish running through a number of previously announced festival appearances, including Boston’s Rock On! Concert Cruise (8/31), New York’s Adirondack Independence Music Festival (9/2), Massachusetts’ Wormtown Music Festival (9/14–16), Ohio’s Resonance Music & Arts Festival, and Massachusetts’ Spirit Of Shrewsbury Fall Festival (9/29).The band’s headlining club performances begin in earnest on October 3rd at South Carolina’s Charleston Pour House. This first show in Charleston kicks off a four-night run across the South that spans till October 6th, with stops in Charlotte, NC; Atlanta, GA; and Asheville, NC. Next, the band heads to the mid-Atlantic, moving through Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina before heading to California on October 24th for an appearance at Solana Beach’s Belly Up followed by a performance at Hangtown Music Festival. Briefly returning to the East Coast on October 27th, Pink Talking Fish rounds out their October dates in Asbury Park, New Jersey, for “Convention Hell” at Convention Hall—a special concept show during which the band will specifically pay tribute to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon.Pink Talking Fish will head to Las Vegas at the start of November to complete their previously announced Halloween run at Vinyl Las Vegas. These shows will serve as late-night Phish afterparties with distinct concepts for each performance. On November 1st, Pink Talking Fish will perform their “PTF Is Bowie” concept—which combines the music of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, Phish, and David Bowie—in celebration of Phish’s David Bowie musical costume during their 2016 Halloween experience. On November 2nd, Pink Talking Fish will commemorate the 20-year anniversary of Phish’s impromptu performance of Dark Side Of The Moon.The band picks up their fall tour on November 21st, hitting Hartford, Connecticut’s Infinity Music Hall & Bistro before continuing on to Portland, Maine’s Aura on the 23rd. A stop in Buffalo, New York, on November 28th precedes a performance at Detroit’s The Magic Bag and a two-night run at Columbus, Ohio’s Woodlands Tavern on November 30th and December 1st. From there, Pink Talking Fish heads to Colorado, where the group will join forces with The Giant Country Horns—the famed horn section that joined Phish during the Vermont quartet’s 1991 summer tour—during shows in Fort Collins and Denver on December 6th and 7th. Finally, to close out their fall tour, Pink Talking Fish rounds things out with a show in Chicago on the 14th and Pittsburgh on the 15th.For more information and ticketing, head to Pink Talking Fish’s website here.last_img read more

Enemy of ash

March 1, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgOfficials at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum recently announced that the emerald ash borer had arrived in Boston.The bright-green beetle — its scientific name is Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire — is three-eighths of an inch long. It is thought to have hitchhiked a ride to the U.S. Midwest sometime in the 1990s, but wasn’t discovered until 2002, in dead ash trees near Detroit. Since then it has spread east, arriving in western Massachusetts two years ago.The Gazette spoke with Andrew Gapinski, manager of horticulture at the Arboretum, and Michael Dosmann, curator of living collections, about how the beetle might affect the park’s 175 ash trees as well as forests nearby. GAZETTE: What happened at the Arboretum last month?GAPINSKI: A single adult beetle was found in one of our monitoring traps at the Arboretum. The traps are part of a partnership between the Arboretum and the DCR [Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation], which sets up these traps statewide. We’ve been working with DCR for the last three or so years, knowing that the EAB was headed our way.John DelRosso, our head arborist, was leading a group of summer interns here through the Fraxinus [ash] collection, and one of the interns spotted this suspicious-looking beetle in the trap. We immediately called the DCR and they stopped by the next day. Though they had a suspicion what it was, they sent it to USDA-APHIS [U.S. Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service] for confirmation. We heard back a day later that it was in fact the first emerald ash borer to be found in Boston.GAZETTE: What is an emerald ash borer, and why is it so bad?GAPINSKI: The emerald ash borer is a beetle that’s native to Asia and specifically northern China, eastern Russia, and the Korean peninsula. In 2001, there was suspicious ash decline in the Detroit area that was overlooked as ash yellows, a disease we see in ash all the time. In 2002 they reared some insects from these dying ash trees and found this beetle they couldn’t identify. In 2003 it was finally identified as what we know today as the emerald ash borer.It was thought to have been introduced to North America through wood-packing material, like crates, from China. Based on forensic evidence, it was probably in the U.S. in the early 1990s, allowing the population to build to the point where they actually started to [cause] significant ash decline and death, because it takes several years for the insect to kill the tree.One of the purple traps used to catch the emerald ash borer, an invasive pest that has been killing ash trees since its introduction in 2002.GAZETTE: How did it get from Michigan to here?GAPINSKI: If you look at a map of the spread of the emerald ash borer, Michigan is the epicenter of the introduction, it radiates to Ohio and Indiana, which are pretty much infested, as well as a good portion of Illinois, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. It’s now turning up more and more in New York, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, and other states on the edge — including the New England states.If you look on the periphery, particularly in the earlier stages of the infestation, there’s these “wildfire” spots, where it jumps from the moving edge or front of the range, to a point hundreds of miles away. Most of these events are thought to be from people transporting firewood from an infested area to a noninfested one. So somebody in Wisconsin is headed to Minnesota and they bring firewood with them and enter a state park. The firewood happens to be ash and they end up spreading the insect.The original spread of the insect from its introductory point in Michigan is also thought to have been spread by nursery material — ash trees growing in nurseries that are sold to Ohio and so on. So early on, before they knew what they had on their hands, they were probably transporting the insect around via that nursery material. This is no longer the case due to quarantines within counties and states.GAZETTE: How important is the ash tree, both in forests here and in landscapes?DOSMANN: Ash is a very significant genus of trees in North America. We have about 16 species of native ash, none of which have shown any clear resistance to emerald ash borer. In the Midwest, you might have pockets of forest that contain a canopy of up to 35 percent ash, which can be quite devastating to an ecosystem when they are killed. … In New England it is far less dominant. As far as a street tree goes, ash was highly planted following the decline of American elm in the middle of the 20th century, which was devastated by another invasive pest known as Dutch elm disease. If you go to Minnesota you can find communities that have 65 percent ash planted as their street trees. So in those situations certainly, the effects both to the natural and urban ecosystems can be devastating. The costs of removal — running into the millions — can nearly bankrupt a municipality.GAZETTE: The forests here have a lower proportion of ash?DOSMANN: Ash is less common in Massachusetts’ natural areas, particularly in the eastern half of the commonwealth. In the Boston area, there is not a lot of naturally occurring ash. As far as our street trees go, [ash makes up] 6 percent of Boston’s urban tree canopy; nearby cities like Cambridge or Brookline will be similar. Although any loss of a species to an environment is significant, the impact in the Boston area is going to be much less than we’ve seen in the Midwest because of the lower representation of ash, both in the wild and urban landscape. A few years ago, I collaborated with USDA to survey and collect seed from ash populations in New York and Pennsylvania, where ash is much more abundant, in advance of EAB. The goal was to get the seed in long-term storage, to rescue these populations and potentially reintroduce them in decades to come if the insect can be brought under control.GAZETTE: What does the presence of a single beetle at the Arboretum mean about the forests and trees surrounding the Arboretum? Does that mean this is possibly not a problem and controllable? Or does it mean it’s probably pretty widely spread outside the Arboretum?GAPINSKI: The Arboretum was the first to detect emerald ash borer in Boston, but that doesn’t mean that’s the first beetle in Boston, I think that’s clear.We actually feel good about us finding it first, because it means we’re doing the right things. We take a proactive approach to vigorously monitor these high-risk, high-consequence pests that invade in our collections and our communities. The collaborative deployment of our traps with DCR paid off. My guess would be that there’s emerald ash borer in other places in Boston, but they are just undetected. It’s highly unlikely that this one beetle landed on this one trap in the Arboretum and it’s the first occurrence.GAZETTE: What are the implications within the Arboretum? How many trees are in the ash collection and are they doomed, or is it controllable?DOSMANN: Responsible stewardship of the Arboretum’s living collection of temperate trees and shrubs integrates prioritization with management or treatment options. Of the 15,000 plants in our living collection, ash makes up just about 175 individual trees, 30 of which are young plants in our nursery. So, compared to our maple or our crabapple collections, it’s relatively minor, representing about 1 percent of our total. However, when you look at many of the individuals’ provenance and other documentation, there are a number of important specimens — even a few centenarians collected over 100 years ago in Asia — that are a priority and ones we want to preserve.Of those 175 individual trees, we’ve deemed about half to be of sufficient significance to either treat or deploy other management tactics in order to protect and preserve that lineage from EAB threat.EAB is a very treatable pest. There are certain chemical treatments that have been proven to be very effective means of control for at least two years, maybe more, on a single application. So when you talk about cost effectiveness for a high value specimen, that’s worth doing for us.GAZETTE: And you’re confident you can do that?GAPINSKI: Absolutely.GAZETTE: What makes one ash tree more valuable than another ash?DOSMANN: Like other museums, the Arboretum assesses a tree’s value based upon its documentation. For example, an ash tree that was purchased from a nursery down the street will have a far different level of documentation compared to one that was collected from a wild population, where the “passport data” are far more robust and useful for purposes of scholarship and conservation. Furthermore, as an individual tree in the Arboretum serves a research purpose, it can accumulate additional value. Perhaps a scientist made a discovery on a particular specimen — regardless of its provenance. We take those types of things into account as well. Lastly, let us not forget that some individual trees just happen to be beauties and magnificent representations of their kind. Such a specimen can hold keen and clear aesthetic value that warrants its preservation.GAZETTE: Does this mean that the ash borer is now resident and will be in the Arboretum except for the trees you decide to treat? Or is it possible to eradicate it, as was done with the Asian longhorned beetle in the Boston area?GAPINSKI: A clear distinction to be made here is the difference between Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer. The Asian longhorned beetle has popped up in a number of states. It was first found in New York City in 1996 and since has been in Chicago, Ohio, and New Jersey, and locally in Worcester and Boston. Those “spot fires” have been under eradication programs, some of which have been very successful, such as the one in Boston. Emerald ash borer is not the same because it wasn’t identified in time. Although early eradication efforts were made for EAB, those initiatives soon focused on simply slowing the spread of the pest, which continues today.It’s just going to be one of those invasive, nonnative pests that we manage in our landscapes, like hemlock woolly adelgid, which has devastated hemlock populations in the eastern U.S., Dutch elm disease, winter moth — these are all Asian-introduced species that affect our tree canopy. This just gets added to that management list.In light of pest introductions like the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle, both of which were brought to North America in wood-packing material, there was an international treaty put in place in the mid-2000s that mandated that all of these wood shipping crates be heat treated before transport. Although it’s too late for emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle, hopefully those regulations reduce the spread of these exotic pests for the future. Because certainly there’s more out there.GAZETTE: Any advice for landowners in the Boston area?GAPINSKI: If I were a landowner, I would be looking at my property to see if I had ash trees, certainly, and keep an eye out for signs of infestation. The first indication is dieback in the canopy, the highest branches. Usually the insect is going to start out up in the canopy and you’ll see some decline.And once you start seeing that decline, it’s three to five years to mortality. So be observant and contact UMass Extension, DCR, or another agency that can identify the beetle for you.As far as preservation of ash, if I had a specimen ash tree — aesthetic value, shade for the house — I would consider whether the cost of treatment is going to be worthwhile long term, because it would certainly be a long-term commitment for the management of that individual tree.last_img read more

It never rained

January 26, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgROCKPORT, Mass. – Last January, I got a phone call from my mom, Jane, that I never could have expected. “Meghan, how do I ask a guy if he wants to go on a date?” My parents got divorced eight years ago, but never had my mom liked a guy enough to make the first move – that is, until David came along. David is a tall, sweet, handsome father from the heart of Revere, Mass. His daughter attended the same dance school as my sister, Erin, and my mom noticed how gentle and attentive David was with his three kids whenever she went to pick up Erin after class. “How do I let him know that I’m interested?” Welcome to the club, Mom. “Ask him out!” I suggested. So, she did. They got coffee, started to date, fell in love and were engaged within a year. I take all the credit. And this weekend, my mom and David finally made it official. After my boyfriend, Anthony, and I landed in Boston, we set straight to work. We only had three days to pull off the outdoor wedding from scratch. After spending Friday and Saturday crossing things off our checklists and reuniting with family members, the big day finally arrived. The wedding was held at The Yankee Clipper Inn in Rockport, Mass. It’s a colorful port town near Gloucester, the city known for “The Perfect Storm.” It was a foggy, cool day and the Clipper is an eight-bedroom inn perched right on the harbor’s rocky shore. The inn was like something on a postcard. I, however, felt as if the low-hanging clouds, at any moment, would condense into rain and ruin the outdoor ceremony. The happy couple was supposed to say their vows right on the edge of the lawn, under an arch that Anthony and I had decorated. I prayed that the downpour would hold off for at least a little while. “It’s not going to rain,” Anthony reassured me. “At least just wait until the ceremony is over,” I bargained with the elements. “Just until we can get under the tents.” This was my J-Lo “Wedding Planner” dream come true, except I was also a co-maid of honor with my sister, and I had the best team I could have asked for. They say it takes a village, but they hadn’t seen my family and friends in action yet. We stowed the bride in her room to get ready, hung the garland, laid out the tablecloths, set up the dance floor, moved in the band, put the finishing touches on the flowers and directed guests to their seats. The patio and tables were covered in hydrangeas spray-painted the right color at the last minute by my brilliant friend and florist, who pulled an all-nighter to finish his job at the bakery and still arrange all our flowers and bouquets. Our neighbor of 18 years made a gorgeous, three-tiered chocolate and buttercream frosting cake covered in icing seashells. My sister’s prom date brought his band to serenade us through the night, her French teacher took professional photos and a family from church served as the catering company. The bridesmaids, my sister and my future stepsisters, all wore soft pink and sea green dresses they picked out themselves, while my future stepbrother and his dad wore suits and white roses for boutonnières. Most importantly of all, my mom positively glowed in a tea-length white frock with sheer polka-dotted tulle. Everything and everyone came together perfectly. The band was warming up, my mother was blushing, I had the wedding ring and I was ready to finally call David, Dan, Analise and Ysabelle my family. My mom only looked like she was going to cry once, while her brother walked her down the aisle. But she made it through the vows, and I could see love made perfect in David’s eyes as he promised himself to my mother. The rest of the night was a blur. Relieved and ecstatic, we partied until the sun went down. I couldn’t thank everyone enough for how much they did for my mom and David. As crazy and hectic these past few months have been coordinating and planning and re-checking all the lists and reservations, each small contribution that everyone gave made this wedding all the more meaningful to my mom and our new family. Even though I had to fly back to Chicago before the week-long family camping trip to Maine, I feel rejuvenated and hopeful. Living in South Bend, so far from my mom and sister, has been difficult, but now I know that they’re all together, watching over each other and having way too much fun without me. This weekend was life-changing, beautiful and insane. And it never rained.  Contact Meghan Thomassen at [email protected],Last January, I got a phone call from my mom, Jane, that I never could have expected. “Meghan, how do I ask a guy if he wants to go on a date?” My parents got divorced eight years ago, but never had my mom liked a guy enough to make the first move – that is, until David came along. David is a tall, sweet, handsome father from the heart of Revere, Mass. His daughter attended the same dance school as my sister, Erin, and my mom noticed how gentle and attentive David was with his three kids whenever she went to pick up Erin after class. “How do I let him know that I’m interested?” Welcome to the club, Mom. “Ask him out!” I suggested. So, she did. They got coffee, started to date, fell in love and were engaged within a year. I take all the credit. And this weekend, my mom and David finally made it official. After my boyfriend, Anthony, and I landed in Boston, we set straight to work. We only had three days to pull off the outdoor wedding from scratch. After spending Friday and Saturday crossing things off our checklists and reuniting with family members, the big day finally arrived. The wedding was held at The Yankee Clipper Inn in Rockport, Mass. It’s a colorful port town near Gloucester, the city known for “The Perfect Storm.” It was a foggy, cool day and the Clipper is an eight-bedroom inn perched right on the harbor’s rocky shore. The inn was like something on a postcard. I, however, felt as if the low-hanging clouds, at any moment, would condense into rain and ruin the outdoor ceremony. The happy couple was supposed to say their vows right on the edge of the lawn, under an arch that Anthony and I had decorated. I prayed that the downpour would hold off for at least a little while. “It’s not going to rain,” Anthony reassured me. “At least just wait until the ceremony is over,” I bargained with the elements. “Just until we can get under the tents.” This was my J-Lo “Wedding Planner” dream come true, except I was also a co-maid of honor with my sister, and I had the best team I could have asked for. They say it takes a village, but they hadn’t seen my family and friends in action yet. We stowed the bride in her room to get ready, hung the garland, laid out the tablecloths, set up the dance floor, moved in the band, put the finishing touches on the flowers and directed guests to their seats. The patio and tables were covered in hydrangeas spray-painted the right color at the last minute by my brilliant friend and florist, who pulled an all-nighter to finish his job at the bakery and still arrange all our flowers and bouquets. Our neighbor of 18 years made a gorgeous, three-tiered chocolate and buttercream frosting cake covered in icing seashells. My sister’s prom date brought his band to serenade us through the night, her French teacher took professional photos and a family from church served as the catering company. The bridesmaids, my sister and my future stepsisters, all wore soft pink and sea green dresses they picked out themselves, while my future stepbrother and his dad wore suits and white roses for boutonnières. Most importantly of all, my mom positively glowed in a tea-length white frock with sheer polka-dotted tulle. Everything and everyone came together perfectly. The band was warming up, my mother was blushing, I had the wedding ring and I was ready to finally call David, Dan, Analise and Ysabelle my family. My mom only looked like she was going to cry once, while her brother walked her down the aisle. But she made it through the vows, and I could see love made perfect in David’s eyes as he promised himself to my mother. The rest of the night was a blur. Relieved and ecstatic, we partied until the sun went down. I couldn’t thank everyone enough for how much they did for my mom and David. As crazy and hectic these past few months have been coordinating and planning and re-checking all the lists and reservations, each small contribution that everyone gave made this wedding all the more meaningful to my mom and our new family. Even though I had to fly back to Chicago before the week-long family camping trip to Maine, I feel rejuvenated and hopeful. Living in South Bend, so far from my mom and sister, has been difficult, but now I know that they’re all together, watching over each other and having way too much fun without me. This weekend was life changing, beautiful and insane. And it never rained.last_img read more

Reliance chairman says India on path to renewable energy transition in next few decades

December 31, 2020 0 Comments

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:India will fully move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the next few decades, the chairman of Reliance Industries, operator of the world’s biggest refining complex, said on Monday.Reliance, which operates two giant refineries with a combined capacity of 1.4 million barrels per day in western India, aims to become a net zero carbon company by 2035.“India is in the right mindset to completely, in the next few decades, move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Be Atmanirbhar (self dependent),” Mukesh Ambani said at a book launch event on Monday.India, the world’s third biggest oil importer and consumer, ships in about 80% of its oil needs.Reliance Group, which works across the oil, telecom and retail sectors, aims to build up a mix of clean and affordable energy with hydrogen, wind, solar, fuel cells and battery power, Ambani told shareholders earlier this year.[Nidhi Verma]More: Reliance says India will fully shift to renewable energy in next few decades Reliance chairman says India on path to renewable energy transition in next few decadeslast_img read more