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Rainfall recovery


first_imgThe recent abundance of rainfall may have you ready to build an ark. When it comes to the soggy soils and boggy beds in your landscape, a few tips from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension experts will help your plants recuperate.During rainy periods like we have been having this spring and summer, our lawns seem to need cutting way too often. Be diligent about not letting the grass get too tall. The rule of thumb is to never cut off more than a third of the leaf blade or it could stress the plant. And If possible, let the grass dry before you mow. However, lately it has been hard to find a time when the lawn is dry. Don’t let grass grow too highThe advantages of cutting a wet lawn outweigh the disadvantages of letting the grass grow too tall. If you must cut wet grass, make frequent stops, allow the blade to stop completely and remove clumps of grass clippings from the mowing deck. It also helps to mow half rows so the cutting blade is halfway over the cut grass and halfway over the uncut grass. This lessens the amount of grass clippings coming out of the side of the mowing deck during each pass.The lawn isn’t the only issue in wet weather. Vegetable gardens can have issues, too. Hot humid wet weather contributes to an increase of disease in the garden. There are also some systemic fungicides as well as organic fungicides available to help protect plants. Contact your local UGA Extension office for specific recommendations. Stay out of wet gardensNever work in or walk in your garden while the soil is wet. This will cause compaction around the roots of the plants. If you see standing water in the garden, you may need to dig a small, temporary trench to direct the water away from the plant roots. If you garden in containers, remember to empty saucers frequently. This will prevent the plants roots from standing in water. Standing water is also a prime breeding ground for mosquitos. Succulents do not like wet conditions. They are native to dry, arid desert like areas, not the southern rain forest like conditions that we have been experiencing lately. Keep them out of the rain until the weather pattern shifts.Inconvenient but beneficialKeep things in perspective. The recent rains have replenished our water table, we haven’t needed to spend as much money on irrigation, and landscapes are green and lush. Nonetheless, keep our farmers in your thoughts. These relentless rains affect their livelihood. Ruined wheat crops lay melting in the fields and many other crops never got planted because the fields are too wet. Hayfields are producing pleny of forage, but it can’t be cut if there is no sunshine to dry it first.So, in comparison, should we really be complaining about our landscape plants?last_img read more


Moody’s lowers airport and BED credit ratings


first_imgMoody’s Investor Services has completed separate reviews of the Burlington International Airport (BTV) and Burlington Electric Department (BED) and has announced a downgrade of the credit rating for each department.  BTV’s rating moved from Baa3 to Ba1.  BED’s rating moved from A3 to Baa2.  The Moody’s analysis acknowledges progress that has been made to address issues in each department as well as the fundamental strength of Burlington’s economy.  Moody’s also cites as a contributing factor the City’s overall credit status and current negative outlook. City officials are optimistic about addressing Moody’s concerns, with action steps already in place to continue making financial improvements.  On top of progress made this year, both BED and BTV forecast continued financial improvements in the short and long-term.The Moody’s analysis comes after more than a year of challenges in both the airline and power industry in the context OF a severe national recession. A February 2010 Moody’s analysis of the U.S. Airline sector concluded that, despite the fact that many indicators are stabilizing, the overall outlook for the industry is negative going forward 12 to 18 months (http://www.ci.burlington.vt.us/docs/2022.pdf(link is external)). A difficult national power market has added significant volatility to market power prices. Market power price volatility is a major factor in the Moody’s analysis of BED.The Moody’s analysis for both BTV and BED cites the strength of the Burlington economy.  This includes one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S., most recently measured at 4.9 percent, a low housing foreclosure rate, stable property values, steady revenues and five straight years of surpluses in the City budget. Airport AnalysisThe BTV review follows up a Moody’s report in May downgrading the airport from Baa1 to Baa3.  At that time, Moody’s cited concerns about BTV’s projected 2010 debt service coverage ratio of .86x, decreased enplanements, and sufficient cash liquidity in the event access to cash is needed.  The most recent analysis cites these factors as continuing reasons for the downgrade from Baa3 to Ba1, while also acknowledging BTV’s progress in addressing these issues.  In particular, the airport increased its projected debt service coverage ration from .86x to 1.08x or better for FY10, with an anticipated ratio of 1.29x in FY11.  Moody’s connects the lower ratios to decreased enplanements.  BTV experienced a decline of 8.99 percent in enplanements between FY09 and FY10, due substantially to runway construction at the airport which is expected to be completed by November 1.  The Airport is working now to establish a line of credit which will help to address liquidity.Moody’s assigned a negative outlook to the airport.  The rating could improve if BTV improves the debt service coverage ratio to 1.4x and addresses Moody’s liquidity concerns.  The report states it could go down if liquidity and the debt service coverage ratio does not improve and enplanement declines continue.BED AnalysisIn its analysis of BED, Moody’s states that ‘[t]he downgrade is primarily related to recent volatility in purchase power prices that have increased rates above average.’  Moody’s also cites the utility’s low debt service coverage ratio for FY10, exposure to increases in market power costs, and negative outlook on the City’s general A2 credit rating.  At the same time, Moody’s recognizes BED’s efforts to dramatically increase its debt service coverage ratio in FY10 (from .86x in FY09 to 1.86x in FY10) and its active search for long-term fixed price power contracts, while acknowledging that BED’s finances are separate from the City’s.As of the end of FY10 BED improved its cash reserves from $1M to $8M and forecasts a debt service coverage ratio of 2.27x in 2011 and 1.75x for 2012 and 2013.  Moody’s analysis recognizes these efforts while expressing concern that the ratio could go to 1.26x in FY14 unless more fixed price power contracts are put in place to minimize volatility in energy costs.Because of the financial improvements and management’s active search for new power contracts, Moody’s assigns a stable outlook to BED.  BED’s rating could go up or down depending on future debt service coverage ratios as well as the long-term price stability of its power mix.‘BED and the Airport are already addressing the issues raised in the report and these should not be a basis for long-term concern,’ said Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss. ‘With sound financial planning in place and fundamental strength in the local economy, as we go forward BED, BTV and the City are in a good position to respond to and resolve Moody’s concerns.’The complete Moody’s reports are on-line and can be found here:BTV: http://www.ci.burlington.vt.us/docs/2703.pdf(link is external)BED: http://www.ci.burlington.vt.us/docs/2704.pdf(link is external)Source: City of Burlington. 10.15.2010– 30 —last_img read more


Saving Our Snow: Champion Skier And Climate Change Activist Alison Gannett


first_img Unlike most professional athletes, Alison Gannett was an environmentalist before she became a world champion freeskier. Gannett has been researching global warming ever since she graduated from the University of Vermont with an environmental science degree 20 years ago. In the 90s she provided the action shots in Warren Miller films and won multiple World Cup Freeskiing Titles. She has since formed three nonprofits to fight climate change, including the Save Our Snow Foundation and the Office for Resource Efficiency, which offers free consultation for reducing carbon emissions in Colorado’s Gunnison Valley. A trainer for Al Gore’s Climate Project, Gannett also walks the talk. She lives in a straw bale house she built in Crested Butte, and on her Global Cooling tours, she drives around in the world’s first solar-powered SUV that gets over 100 miles per gallon.Has climate change accelerated faster than you anticipated?Every year the situation has become a little bit scarier. I call it global weirding, instead of global warming, because we really get such extremes. A common misconception is that we’re going to just get more floods or more droughts or less snow. The answer is we’re going to get it all. We’re going to have less precipitation when we need it and more when we don’t.How have you taken action?I’ve come up with a four-step framework to make solutions to climate change easier for people called C.R.O.P. It means calculating, reducing, and offsetting your carbon footprint, and producing your own power. It’s a simple framework that can be found on my website (alisongannett.com) that works on a personal level or on a larger scale for businesses or governments.How did you get into extreme free skiing?It was kind of by accident. I was skiing in Crested Butte on the Headwall when a Warren Miller crew saw me. They came up to me and said, “You should be in our movie. How’s next week?” I was a dedicated environmental scientist first. I never imagined I would be a professional extreme skier.With all of these projects, how do you balance your time?I do presentations for elementary schools and  governments of entire countries. But I also get in a good amount of skiing, yoga, and riding my bike to recharge my batteries.Next adventure?I have a big expedition planned in Greenland. There’s serious melting going on there—if half of Greenland melted, the sea level would rise 10 feet, putting the Southeast coast in serious jeopardy. I’m torn, because my traveling emits carbon. I have to balance my low-carbon lifestyle at home with my desire to get out and advocate for solutions to global warming.last_img read more


Injury forces Bopanna out of Wimbledon


first_imgLondon, July 6: Indian star Rohan Bopanna’s campaign at the Wimbledon tennis tournament came to an end after he was forced to retire with an injury in the second round of the men’s doubles category here on Friday. Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin were trailing 4-6, 6-7, 1-2 to the unseeded British pair of Frederik Nielsen and Joe Salisbury when the Indian picked up an injury and was unable to continue. Nielsen and Salisbury will face the Colombian team of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the next round. The sixth seeded Colombians had defeated Andres Molteni of Argentina and Roman Jebavy of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 earlier on Friday. IANSlast_img


6 more Venezuelan women deported


first_imgThe economic crisis in Venezuela is at an all-time high, with the country not being unable to issue passports because of the lack of paper.This was the complaint of six Venezuelan women, who were taken before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged for entering Guyana illegally.The women – Gilario Beltron, Inchar Milogros, Donijie Martinez, Amser Orocopey, Adriana Alfonso and Yarilys Foucoult – made appearances before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and decried the situation in their homeland which has rendered them helpless.Last month, they entered Guyana through Eteringbang, Cuyuni River but did not present themselves to an immigration officer as they were all without passports.When questioned as to the cause of such, with the help of a translator, the women all complained that the situation in Venezuela is so terrible that passports are difficult to obtain as a result of materials to make such being unavailable.According to Orocopey, “my family are literally dying out” as she pleaded for a chance to stay in Guyana. The Chief Magistrate deported them and fined each woman $30,000 or a default of four weeks imprisonment.On Friday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon announced that the Guyana Government has put systems in place to facilitate Venezuelans wanting to seek refuge here.“We have made arrangements at our side of the border to receive… Venezuelans who might be fleeing from violence in those communities. We have an international obligation to provide certain limited facilities for them and we are prepared to do that,” the Government spokespersons asserted.While Government is discharging its international humanitarian responsibilities, there continues to be a high number of attacks wherein local mining camps and miners are robbed reportedly by nationals crossing over from both Venezuela and Brazil.Over the past two years, Venezuela has been experiencing economic turmoil following the decline of oil prices on the world market. The country is in its fourth consecutive year of recession.Reports coming out of the Spanish-speaking country reveal there is a massive food shortage and limited access to basic healthcare and basic amenities such as electricity in certain parts. Additionally, there continues to be rampant outbursts of looting and violence across some of the most affected cities in the neighbouring country.last_img read more


Stomach bug the reason, defends Nick Kyrgios after Shanghai Masters walkout


first_imgNick Kyrgios said a stomach bug and a shoulder problem had forced him to retire after losing the first set in his Shanghai Masters first-round match against American Steve Johnson on Tuesday.The mercurial Australian, who lost to Rafa Nadal in the China Open final on Sunday, took a 4-2 lead in the tiebreak before Johnson fired a series of winners to take the set 7-6(5).Kyrgios then ran up to his opponent, shook his hand and walked off court to boos from the crowd, leaving Johnson and chair umpire Fergus Murphy confused.Local media reported that Kyrgios received two code violations during the set and was docked a point in the tiebreak.Reports also said he told officials he would quit if he lost the set, but Kyrgios took to Twitter to apologise to his fans.”I’ve been battling a stomach bug for the past 24 hours and I tried to be ready but I was really struggling on the court today which I think was pretty evident from the first point,” Kyrgios said.”My shoulder started to hurt in the practice which didn’t help either and once I lost the first set I was just not strong enough to continue because I’ve not eaten much in the past 24 hours,” he added.”I’m hoping to be okay for the doubles and will make a decision tomorrow morning, hopefully off of a good night’s sleep which I didn’t get last night.”I’m gutted to be honest to be honest as I was keen to keep the good momentum that I built in Beijing going and finish the year strong. I’ll do what I can to make sure I do.”advertisementKyrgios was fined $16,500 by the ATP last year for deliberately throwing a game away during his second-round defeat by Mischa Zverev in Shanghai.Argentine Juan Martin del Potro overpowered Russian teenager Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4 in the second round.American Sam Querrey powered past Yuichi Sugita 6-3, 6-2 and Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov beat Viktor Troicki 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-0 in first-round matches.last_img read more




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