Become a Master Gardener

first_imgApril ReeseUniversity of Georgia Applications for the Athens training must be in by Nov. 1. Spaceis limited. Classes will meet Tuesday and Thursday mornings from8:45 to 11:15 a.m. The cost is $130. Certified Master Gardenerscan attend sessions for $5 each. (April Reese is a news writer with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) To learn more about the program or get an application, callAndrea Fischer at (706) 542-6195, or email her at (sbgvol@uga.edu). Or visit theMaster Gardener Web site (www.gamastergardener.org). Now in its 13th year, the 22-session Master Gardener programprovides intensive classes in horticulture principles andpractices and pest management. The Georgia Master Gardener Volunteer Program is run by the UGAExtension Service and the UGA College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences. The Athens-Clarke County program issponsored by the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the countyextension office. Master Gardeners must pass a final exam and agree to return 50hours of volunteer service in the first year. The service may beanswering questions in the extension office, helping conductgardening clinics, working on community beautification projectsor helping at the State Botanical Garden. Topics include soils and plant nutrition, insects, plantdiseases, landscape design, vegetables, woody ornamentals, turfgrasses, weeds, organic gardening, wildflowers, trees, smallfruits, composting, mulching and more. Nearly 2,500 active Georgia Master Gardeners gave more than103,000 hours of service in 2000. For people who love gardening and enjoy helping others, thechance to glean from the best gardening minds’ knowledge shouldbe intensely appealing.For those who want to be Master Gardeners or for current MasterGardeners who want to brush up on their skills, the StateBotanical Garden will offer training in Athens, Ga., Jan. 8through Mar. 25. Check with the University of Georgia Extension Service office inyour county to see if a Master Gardener training is offeredcloser to you.last_img read more

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Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway files abandonment notice for track in Maine

first_imgMontreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) said today that it has filed a “Notice of Intent ” with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to abandon certain of its lines. This notice is required by the STB as a preliminary step in the abandonment process. MMA continues to provide regular rail service and is continuing to work with Maine DOT in order to find a solution that would permit continued rail operations on these lines. Last summer when the company first announced it wanted to abandon some of its track, it put the value of that section at $17 million for the track and the land. MMA has an interchange in Newport, Vermont.MMA seeks to discontinue service and remove 233 miles of track in Aroostook and Penobscot counties in the state of Maine.  The possibility of an abandonment was originally announced  in August 2009. Affected lines include track serving Houlton, Presque Isle, Caribou and Fort Kent. MMA lines between Millinocket and Montreal, Brownville and Searsport, and Madawaska to Van Buren are not included in this application. MMA anticipates that the actual Application will be filed in late February and that the proceedings at the STB will take approximately 3 months to complete.MMA said it has suffered substantial operating losses on these lines in the last three years due to low shipping volume and high operating costs.MMA continues to meet with representatives of Maine in an effort to find an alternate solution that will preserve rail service in the area. Robert C. Grindrod, president of MMA, said, “We have been working closely with Maine DOT since the possibility of abandonment was first discussed. We are seeking an alternative solution and consider abandonment the last resort in a process that offers several options short of abandonment.””We will continue to seek solutions,” Grindrod said, “but we must stop the cash drain that has already and continues to undermine the financial health of the entire company. However, I want to assure our shippers that service will continue during this process, and we are hopeful that an acceptable solution can be found.”Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway began operations in 2003 and currently operates 754 route miles of track in Maine, New Brunswick, Quebec and Vermont. It was formed when it boughtSOURCE Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway. BANGOR, Maine, Feb. 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ —last_img read more

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Cross-Country in Canaan: The Land of Milk and Honey

first_img“Behold, the land of Canaan.” According to legend, this was the exclamation made by fur trader George Casey Harness as he stood atop Cabin Mountain, W.Va. It was the mid-1700s, and as he gazed out at the sprawling wilderness of old growth spruce and laurel, he was reminded of the Old Testament’s Canaan, “the promised land of milk and honey.” In the eyes of an adventurous entrepreneur like Harness though, this Canaan Valley was much more than a land of milk and honey: it was the jackpot. Just a few years later, the Industrial Revolution would plant seeds of innovation and progress into the minds of men everywhere. For Canaan, that meant the loss of nearly every towering tree to saw and hatchet. The nearby town of Davis acquired the nickname “Stump Town” for the large swaths of land that, once shrouded by dense forest, now lay exposed, dotted with remnants of a former time.When the lumber industry all but died in the area, a new, and much more sustainable, means of revenue came to the valley: skiing. Tales of the region’s lengthy snow season had trickled throughout the East, and by the mid-1950s, the first commercial ski area in the South was established on Canaan’s Weiss Knob. Present-day Canaan Valley is now one of the most recognized ski destinations in the Southeast, bringing downhill, telemark, and cross-country skiers alike to the snow-capped peaks from mid-December often until as late as March.The locals in town will be the first to assure you that even if you spent a week in the valley, you wouldn’t be able to see everything the area has to offer. With the help of White Grass Touring Center owner Chip Chase and Jessica Scowcroft, spokesperson for the Tucker County Convention & Visitors Bureau, we have compiled a three-day Tour de Canaan that lets you experience the best of what this quiet West Virginia valley has to offer. In Canaan, timing is everything, so aim for January or February when the area usually has a steady amount of snowfall. We recommend making this trip during a three-day weekend when the night scene is as active as your daytime skiing. Be warned: with the exception of the resorts, most places only accept cash or check.Day 1Check in at Timberline Four Seasons Resort. Unlike typical resorts, Timberline is a quaint ski destination run by a close-knit community of powder lovers who are eager to show you down the slopes. Lodging is offered within steps of the lifts, making it easy to get up and get shredding early in the morning. If downhill is your thing, check out the Salamander run, a two-mile trail that drops 1,000 vertical feet. For the Nordic and cross-country crowd, get a one-way ticket to the top of the slopes and hit up the 17 kilometers of backcountry trails that take you into the backside of Dolly Sods Wilderness Area. From there you can take Forest Road 80 to the Cabin Mountain Trail and experience a view of the valley similar to what Harness must have seen nearly 200 years ago.  The Cabin Mountain Trail heads back down the mountainside into Timberline’s neighbor, White Grass Touring Center. Be sure to pay your day fee for skiing on the White Grass trails before taking the Timberline Trail back to the resort.After skiing, head into the town of Thomas for a locally-sourced burger at Tip Top Café. Coffee shop by day, burger and beer joint by night, this unique hole-in-the-wall only serves burgers on Friday, but it’s well worth the visit. Top it off with a Moscow Mule made from ginger beer and Hellfire bitters. It’s refreshing with a kick.Chip Chase, Jess Daddio, and friends of BRO and White Grass enjoying the view from Weiss KnobChip Chase, Jess Daddio, and friends of BRO and White Grass enjoying the view from Weiss KnobDay 2After checking out of your room at Timberline, drive a few miles down the road to the Breakfast Nook. Grab a cup of coffee and one of their melt-in-your-mouth homemade biscuits before heading over to White Grass Touring Center. There you will likely get the chance to meet local legend and White Grass owner Chip Chase. For over 30 years, Chase has been exploring Canaan Valley by ski and knows the area’s cross-country ski scene best. If he’s free, get him to show you the way, but you can just as easily get around thanks to their impeccably maintained trails. Coded green, blue, and black for varying degrees of difficulty, the trails at White Grass weave up and down the mountainside and are dotted with warming huts stocked with woodstoves and snacks. The view from Weiss Knob is spectacular, but the exposed bald is windy so be sure to bring extra layers. Only plan on bringing one bottle of water so you can refill it along the way at the Fountain of Youth, one of the few mountain springs you’ll encounter along the way.When you return to the center, be sure to grab a meal at White Grass. Using mostly local, organic ingredients, the café features everything from hearty soups to veggie burgers. Since you’ve been burning off those calories on the slopes, you might as well treat yourself to a pitcher of nearby Mountain State Brewing Company’s beer while you’re at it. The Miner’s Daughter Oatmeal Stout is my favorite. Check in down the road at Canaan Valley State Park and stay at the campground, in a furnished cabin, or one of the luxurious rooms in the newly renovated lodge.Day 3On your last day in the area, you’ll have to decide between more downhill skiing or more cross-country skiing. Canaan Valley State Park has its own downhill ski area and the lodge offers shuttles to and from the lifts. The ski area is also home to the longest snow-tubing run on the East Coast, which makes for a great family activity. If you want to continue to explore the valley by cross-country ski, check out nearby Blackwater Falls State Park. Although the trails are not groomed specifically for cross-country skiing, you’ll only need a few inches of snow on the ground to cover the roots and rocks that litter the trail. The Blackwater Falls themselves are an easy roadside destination to hit on your way out of the park, and if you happen to still be in the valley come sunset, Lindy Point Overlook offers a great place to catch the view.Local Legendchip-chaseChip Chase is a man of small stature but enormous personality. You can read his 30+ years of ski experience in the weathered lines around his face. When he isn’t cracking a joke or singing a favorite Adele song, he’s giving you pointers on your step-step-turns and pizza wedges. His enthusiasm for both the sport and the area are contagious, and it’s nearly impossible to leave White Grass without a smile on your face. When asked what he likes most about his job, he says, “On the weekends, my staff runs the ski center, and all I do is hug people and I walk them to their cars,” a testament to his ability to make out-of-towners feel like family after just one visit.last_img read more

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What’s in Your Pack: Chris Barchet, Category Director, MSR Winter & Water Products

first_imgWant to know what someone who works in product development for one of the top camping/backpacking brands in the world carries in their pack for a weekend backpacking trip? Of course you do.A long-time resident of the Pacific Northwest, Chris Barchet literally grew up playing in the Cascades — his backyard and product testing haven. We tagged along with Barchet and Seattle’s Mountain Madness guide service for some peak bagging and product testing last week in the North Cascades along the Pacific Crest Trail.Here’s what we found out:osprey-pack-msr“I began backpacking with the Boy Scouts adhering to their motto, ‘Be Prepared,’” said Barchet, category director, MSR Winter and Water Products. “My 50-60 pound pack had everything under the sun…just in case. Ten years ago I had the opportunity to hike the John Muir Trail, but carrying 50lbs for 200+ miles was not appealing. I did what I could on a budget – cut parts off our packs, made a Pepsi Can Stove, only brought a tarp (no tent) and sawed the handle off my tooth brush.”“With minimal expense I was able to drop over 20 pounds from my total pack weight and reached the summit of Mt. Whitney in under 12 days,” he said. “After that I evolved my backpacking gear to be very light by making my own pack, purchasing an ultralight sleeping bag, etc., until my gear weight was about 12 lbs.”“Now I take a more moderate approach. I want to maintain a reasonable level of comfort on the trail and at camp,” MSR’s Barchet explained further. “For each trip I carefully select the right balance of gear to make the whole adventure enjoyable. This might mean carrying a warmer tent if I’m going with my wife, or leaving the heavy rain parka at home if the forecast looks good.”“To keep things light I try to use each item for multiple purposes – like using my insulation layer as part of the sleep system. I rely on past trips as a guide for what to take and what to leave. At the end each trip I update my gear list with notes to make the next one even better,” he advises.The pack configuration shown here is for 2 nights, 2 people, based on a North Cascades climate and topography, approximately 10 miles/day, camping below tree line, with a dry and warm weather forecast, low bug season, and some scrambling. Adjust as necessary.Sleep System:MSR FlyLite Tent8 Carbon Core Stakes (these things are crazy light)Therma-Rest X-Therm, SmallTherma-Rest Navis Sleeping BagSealLine Cirrus 30L Dry SackWater:MSR AutoFlow Gravity FilterPlaty 2L BottleMSR AquaTabs (First Aid Kit)Food:MSR WindBoiler w/ 4-oz. Fuel CanisterSnack BagSealLine Cirrus 20L Dry Sack w/ Bear Line (not shown)Clothing:Down Jacket w/ HoodMSR Sport TuqueLight Rain JacketWool Long Sleeve ShirtEssentials:Map & CompassSunglasses & Sunscreen/Lip balmHeadlampKnifeLighterSpoonToothbrush & ToothpasteFirst Aid Kit (moleskin, bandaids, athletic tape, ibuprofen, gauze, anti-bacterial wipes)Duct TapeT.P. & Hand SanitizerMSR Swift 3 Trekking PolesLuxury Items:Flip FlopsCameraWearing (not shown):Trekking PantsWool T-ShirtBaseball CapHiking Boots & Wool Sockschris-barchetlast_img read more

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What every credit union needs to know about chip technology

first_imgDoes your financial institution offer a credit or debit card program to your members/customers? If so, you should be looking into implementing Chip-and-PIN card technology prior to October 1, when the card associations’ new fraud liability rules step in.Chip-and-PIN cards, also called EMV or smart cards, utilize a computer chip embedded in the card to authenticate transactions. When this card is inserted into a chip enabled reader to make a purchase, the chip on the card communicates with the reader by sending a one-time, dynamic code unique to that transaction.Benefits of Chip Technology:Because chip cards generate a one-time, dynamic code that changes with each transaction, it is impossible for criminals to develop a counterfeit card with data stolen from a Chip-and-PIN card.The security enhancements built into chip technology far exceed that of magnetic stripe technology and will be integral to helping reduce your financial institution’s payment card data breach and fraud exposure when the physical card is used.Chip-and-PIN technology will reduce your financial institution’s exposure to card data compromises, and therefore alleviate the time and resources used by your financial institution to process fraud claims and card reissues associated with these exposures.Chip-and-PIN technology has the potential to build on your financial institution’s reputation and member/customer base, since consumers are continuing to become more aware of the available security layers in the payment space.Adopting chip cards makes it easier for cardholders to travel internationally, since much of the world, including Europe, Asia, and Canada, has already converted to chip technology. In fact, some merchants and ATMs in some nations no longer accept magnetic stripe cards.Chip Technology Need-to-Knows:Chip-and-PIN cards virtually eliminate card present fraud when a point-of-sale purchase is made in a face-to-face environment. However, Chip-and-PIN does not address card-not-present fraud, i.e. online, mail, telephone, or lost/stolen card fraud.Financial institutions should continue to deploy multiple layers of protection and enhance existing fraud detection systems to help combat payment fraud in both the card present and card-not-present environments. Payment card fraud can have a very large financial impact on the financial institution.If you do not have chip enabled cards by October 1, you may be targeted by criminals and have the potential of increased magnetic stripe fraud. Therefore, the adoption of a chip technology strategy and action plan in 2015 is pivotal.Consider upgrading or replacing your ATM terminals to accept Chip-and-PIN technology before the card associations’ fraud liability shifts occur in 2016 and 2017.Securely encrypting payment data is critical at the time of entry at the point-of sale terminal.‘Contactless’ payment acceptance using near field communication technology will continue to help secure contactless transactions, including those made on mobile devices.Utilizing tokenization instead of the 16-digit card number for payment transactions will limit a criminal’s ability to perform a fraudulent payment transaction and will reduce your financial institution’s risk of storing or transporting sensitive data.The adoption of Chip Technology will increase your financial institutions financial stability, reputation, and member/customer base, and therefore should be top of mind for your financial institution in 2015.This information was previously distributed in January exclusively to clients of Allied Solutions via their risk mitigation emails. To find out more about how to receive these exclusive risk alerts, please contact risk.alerts@alliedsolutions.net. 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ann Davidson Ann assists credit unions in identifying areas of risk in their operations and recommends sound loss control measures to help reduce loss exposures.Davidson has over 40 years working with … Web: www.alliedsolutions.net Detailslast_img read more

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Unwind in stylish gem close to the peninsula beaches

first_imgThe living area ta 80 Albert St, Margate.The home has one modern bathroom while, in the kitchen, there are stone benchtops and 2-pac cupboards.Outside there is a deck as well as a covered outdoor entertainment area which overlooks a fully fenced yard. The home at 80 Albert St, Margate.THIS cute cottage is within walking distance of the beaches of Margate.The house at 80 Albert St is listed for sale with offers in the high $400,000s.Owners Roy and Sharon Sharpe said they loved the fact there was nothing left to do but relax and unwind in what they considered one of the prettiest gardens around.“Our home and garden is well laid out, with a practical design that reduces effort and is very functional,’’ Mr Sharpe said. The outdoor entertaining area at 80 Albert St, Margate.“We love dining outdoors together as this is a peaceful and protected garden from all the elements in summer and winter. ”Inside, the home has reverse-cycle airconditioning, ceiling fans and a functional kitchen.More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019There is a north-facing alfresco area and there is also rear access to the property, where there is a powered shed/garage.There is space on the 412 sqm block to potentially park a caravan or boat.center_img The kitchen at 80 Albert St, Margate.There is also easy access as the property has two-street frontage.The two-bedroom home is about a five-minute walk from running and walking tracks, beaches, cafes, shops and the local jetty.It has 4.5kw solar electricity and a rainwater tank and there is a heated outdoor shower.There is an additional room, which could be used as a craft room or an office.The main bedroom has double wardrobes and there are polished timber floors throughout the house.last_img read more

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Aussies are saving again, with new home building on the rise

first_imgDespite a rise in earnings, Aussies have cut back on spending as record low rates spur on new housing. Picture: AAP IMAGE/Troy Snook.RECORD low interest rates have spurred not just a rise in new home building, but for the first time in five quarters, Aussie households are saving again.A strong savings habit has been the cornerstone of a rise in home ownership in Australia, which has become supercharged after falling interest rates in recent years.Latest Australian Bureau of Statistics national accounts figures found households had turned a corner and it’s coming at a time when gross domestic product (GDP) also grew 0.6 per cent, which was 2.8 per cent higher than the same time last year.ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman said despite a 1.2 per cent rise in wage growth, Aussies had brought consumption growth down to just 0.1 per cent.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus22 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market22 hours ago“This weak household spending combined with growth in household income resulted in an increase in the household saving ratio for the first time in five quarters,” he said in a statement. Earnings have gone up, so has housing construction. Picture: Jodie Richter.A whopping 17 out of 20 industries saw positive growth in the September quarter, according to ABS, with Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett seeing a welcome “bounce” in new home building of 1 per cent.“Interest rates are remaining lower for considerably longer than expected and this has provided detached house commencements with a bounce — something that (the) GDP figures have captured,” he said.“In addition to this, building activity on the ground remains buoyed by the task of completing the large volume of new homes which were commenced last year.”He expected a modest slowdown in new home building activity going forward, with pressure coming off restrictions on foreign investor participation in key housing markets and another round of APRA constraints.“Australia’s economy is still not growing quickly enough to warrant an increase in interest rates any time soon. We need interest rates to remain very low in order to nurture a healthier pace of economic expansion.”last_img read more

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Dutch supervisor on Brexit volatility risks, MiFID II impacts

first_imgThe Dutch financial markets supervisor still considers that the largest potential risk posed by the completion of Brexit is “unpredictable and significant volatility on the financial markets”, it has said.In its annual report for 2019, Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) singled out the valuation of sterling and the euro as main risk factors.It added that the derivatives markets could also experience unexpected shocks.However, the regulator said that its impression was that the local financial sector was sufficiently prepared for Brexit.  The UK government and the EU are due to resume post-Brexit talks via videoconference this week. The current transitional period is due to last until the end of the year, and the UK government has been saying it did not intend to seek an extension.AFM’s report also revealed that Brexit and the introduction of the European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) had increased the number of monthly transaction data received from Dutch companies more than sixfold to 50 million.AFM said that MiFID II had provided a much better picture of individual investors’ behaviour, and that it had improved the supervisor’s ability to trace market manipulation and insider trading.It said the number of suspicious transactions had risen from around 340 to 450, and that this had resulted in dozens of investigations as well as “informal measures”, such as verbal and written warnings.The regulator is also the watchdog for pensions communication, and said that the elaboration of the pensions agreement should focus on simplifying the pensions system, “as clear communication is difficult if the system is too complicated”.“Complexity causes problems in the implementation of a new pensions system and undermines support,” it argued.The regulator is among the Dutch cabinet’s advisors on the legal aspects of pensions reform.It said its aim is to include a limited number of choices, and to ensure that the envisaged new pensions system is cost-effective and also addresses the impact on pensions from increased job mobility as well as the needs of self-employed workers.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

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Nigerian start-up redefines cassava meal business “Garri”

first_imgBuhari meets with Nigerian governors If you are from West Africa, chances are that you not only know Garri but you might have consumed it. Garri is a popuplar West African staple food made from cassava.It’s quite popular and widely consumed in Nigeria. It’s sold virtually everywhere in the open market.One young Nigerian is now refining the sale of Garri and aiming to make a fortune out of it. CCTV’s Deji Badmus reports. Nigerian steel plant to start production 40 years after being built Related Nigerian farmers seek more incentiveslast_img read more

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Dominicans told to expect hotter days

first_img Share Sharing is caring! LocalNews Dominicans told to expect hotter days by: – July 21, 2011 Share Sharecenter_img 16 Views   no discussions Tweet Photo credit: patrickdriessen.blogspot.comDominicans have been told that the atmosphere around them will become dryer by almost 15% before the end of the next century and there is expected to be less cool days and nights.Collin Guiste who is coordinating a program to make Dominica more climate change resilient says the temperature is expected to increase in coming years.He told a National consultation on Climate Resilience this morning that Dominica is getting hotter as climate change is taking its toll on the island.“There is evidence to suggest that the climate of Dominica is changing. Both maximum and minimum temperatures have increased in the past years. The warming trend is expected to continue and the country is expected to be warmer by up to 1.3 degrees Celsius by 2015 and up to 2-3 degrees by the end of the centenary. Projections are for up to 20% percent dryer by the mid-century,” he said.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

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