Omnibus bill an imperfect win for ag

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Congress moved forward with a FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that would fund government through the end of this fiscal year and bring the U.S. into compliance with the World Trade Organization on Country of Origin Labeling.The congressional omnibus spending and tax extender bills will benefit agriculture greatly if passed, the American Farm Bureau said. Farm Bureau said the bills would provide relief to America’s farmers and ranchers, but is disappointed that Congress failed to stop the Waters of the U.S. rule.“This tax extender package gives farmers and ranchers critical tools to help them reinvest in their businesses,” said Bob Stallman, AFBF president. “Tax provisions like Section 179 small business expensing and bonus deprecation free up cash flow for farmers and ranchers to put their money to work. New provisions will let our members make important upgrades that reduce costs, increase efficiency and help make their businesses sustainable for generations to come.”A provision to stop the EPA’s unlawful Waters of the U.S. rule was surprisingly missing from the package, as was language that would have set a nationwide standard for labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients. Congress’s failure to act will bring the heavy cost of a patchwork of state labeling mandates to farmers and consumers as early as next month.“We are truly disappointed that Congress did not include legislation to stop implementation of WOTUS,” Stallman said. “The courts have already expressed serious legal concerns about the rule, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office has concluded that EPA broke the law with its covert propaganda campaign to drum up ill-informed support for it. We remain committed to working with Congress to stop EPA and help America’s landowners, businesses and state and local governments avoid years in court to overturn the rule. This measure undeniably resulted from an illegal and deceptive process. Defeating WOTUS remains a priority of Farm Bureau. We will explore all avenues to ditch the rule.”AFBF also supports omnibus provisions to repeal of country-of-origin labeling requirements, which would effectively prevent Canada and Mexico from initiating retaliatory actions.“Farm Bureau supports COOL programs that are in line with world trade rules,” Stallman said. “Current COOL programs, unfortunately, risk serious retaliation by Canada and Mexico now that the World Trade Organization has approved more than $1 billion in tariffs against American beef, pork and other U.S. commodities if COOL is not changed.”last_img read more

Going Deep Green in Gainesville

first_imgA Florida couple originally planned an extensive remodel, but ended up committing to green deconstruction, design, and rebuildingNo matter how much the downturn rattles the housing market, location is still king, and it is such a potent factor for some homebuyers that it can make up for a host of unforeseen issues in a listing.That turned out to be the case for Claire Sever and Jeff Bunkin, who bought a house in a Gainesville, Florida, neighborhood that is close to the center of town. They originally planned an extensive remodel, but financial realities and an interest in green took them down a different path.It became apparent, for starters, that the cost of remodeling the 1,600-sq.-ft. home was comparable to the cost of building a new house. Claire and Jeff chose to do the latter. They took a decisive turn by careful deconstruction and salvaging, followed by sustainable design and building.A patient approachThe couple’s green-build odyssey, described in a recent article published by The Gainesville Sun, included the use of Bearded Brothers Solutions, a specialist in deconstruction and resale of used building materials, and a design plan that included not only energy-efficient strategies but a ranch-style exterior that meshes well with those of other homes in the neighborhood.Working with a local builder, Ivan Solbach, Clair and Jeff thought through how each room in the two-story 2,400-sq.-ft. house would be used, even after their two daughters depart for college years from now.Steel-and-Styrofoam SIPs support the building’s reflective metal roof, and the shell’s 2×4 framing is insulated with spray foam. Solbach says many clients still opt to spend money on fancy finishes, such as granite countertops, over energy-efficient extras, but the opposite was true for Clair and Jeff, who equipped their home with a solar hot-water system, a 4.69-kW photovoltaic sytstem, low-e windows, and a 1,500-gal. underground cistern that collects water for irrigating the property’s drought-tolerant indigenous plants.There’s evidence all this commitment to green will yield significant long-term benefits: As the Sun notes, the house earned a HERS index rating of 37 and has already been certified as “Florida Friendly” by, a joint program of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Program, and other state agencies.last_img read more

You Are Working Part-Time

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now A lot of people work part-time. Here is how you can tell if you are one of them.Part of the time you are at work you are working on what is important. Part of the time you are working on what is urgent. The important work should be where you spend your time and energy, but the urgent can easily crowd out the important. Problems don’t age well, and you have to deal with urgencies.But if the work you are doing isn’t important and/or urgent, then you are working part-time.If your email is open while you are working, you are working part-time. The constant and never-ending chime that informs you that someone else wants your attention isn’t your real work. There is no one who derives meaning and purpose in their life by reacting to email. If your full attention goes to your email every few minutes, you are working part-time.If your web browser is open and you are on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you are opening yourself up to distractions, almost all of which provide no value to you, won’t help you win new clients, and invite you to chase some novelty down the rabbit hole. If you spend time here instead of your real work, you are working part-time.If you get roped into water cooler chatter about this and that, or if you get caught up in the latest gossip about that one guy who did that one thing that one time, then you have decided that your fear of missing out on a mildly amusing story should override what’s paramount. That’s what part-timers do.If your job includes the responsibility of making outbound calls and you made a total of 10 outbound calls in a day, then you are working even less than part-time.Being a part-timer isn’t about the fact that you are being paid to produce outcomes. It has nothing to do with your work hours. Focus is as important for those who work for the company as it is for those who are entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur working 70 hours might just as easily be a part-timer as someone being paid by Big Company, Inc.Time is the only thing you have that can’t ever be replaced. You decide whether you spend or invest that time. When you spend time, it is gone forever, with nothing to show for it. When you invest your time, you get a return on that investment (and the down time you use to recover is a necessary and worthwhile investment).last_img read more

Injured Madarang hopes to play for Malditas in SEA Games

first_imgLATEST STORIES NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Assistant coach John Paul Merida said they are leaving it to head coach Marnelli Dimzon to decide on Madarang’s fate.But Merida said they have backup strikers like Kyren Angela Dimaandal and Hali Moriah Candido Long who can step up the plate.The young, energetic squad is bolstered by Fil-foreigns players including Madarang, Long, Faith Sean Ruetas and Patricia Tomanon and is often mentioned in the same sentence as their famous counterparts, Philippine Azkals.ADVERTISEMENT “It doesn’t hurt. But it’s stiff. The swelling is down really,” said the 19-year-old Madarang who have not joined the team in practice. “I mean I really want to play but it’s what’s best for me and what’s best for the team.”But Team Philippines’ orthopaedic surgeon Felix Victor Gaddi didn’t recommend her to play, saying “risk outweighs” the gains.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsMadarang, according to Gaddi, needs at least two months of rest. She just might be saved for the 2018 Asian Cup in Jordan.Incidentally, the Malditas qualified in the Asian Cup following an impressive showing by Madarang who scored four goals in total in the qualifier in Tajikistan. The Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelocenter_img Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Malditas’ Eva Silva Madarang. INQUIRER/Marc Anthony ReyesKUALA LUMPUR — Given the choice, Eva Silva Madarang is willing to defy the recommendations of the coaching staff and even team doctors so she can play in the Southeast Asian Games women’s football opener against host Malaysia Tuesday.The bubbly Madarang, who hails from Thousand Oaks, California, dislocated her right elbow on Tuesdayhen the Malditas underwent training camp in Japan.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

J. Wray and Nephew Honourees Retirees for 800 Years of Service

first_img The director also thanked the families of the retirees for their support in enabling the honourees to contribute extensively to J. Wray and Nephew’s development. Story Highlights The 26 retirees have collectively given over 800 years of service to J. Wray and Nephew Twenty-six  retirees of spirit distillers, J. Wray and Nephew Limited, who have collectively given over 800 years of service to that entity, were recently honoured during a special luncheon hosted by the company.The retirees, all men, were recognised for service of up to 50 years, which they gave at various levels and in several capacities at J. Wray and Nephew’s agriculture division. These included positions on the farms, and in the factories, distilleries, and administrative departments at the Appleton and New Yarmouth sugar estates inSt. Elizabeth and Clarendon, respectively.Their inputs, over the years, have contributed significantly to J. Wray and Nephew’s development into one of Jamaica’s leading spirit distillers. In this regard, they were presented with special commemorative plaques.Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, headed the guests attending the luncheon, held at Neil’s Auditorium, Ward Avenue, Mandeville. Others included company directors, managers, and line staff, union delegates, and family members.In a glowing tribute, Senior Director of the Agriculture Division, Ian Maxwell, noted that the honourees were instrumental in modernising the firm’s operations by assisting in various inputs, which transitioned the entity into the 21st century.Citing examples, Mr. Maxwell said the field workers assisted in transforming the reaping process from manual to mechanical methods, and significantly modernising the irrigation procedure through the introduction of drip irrigation systems. The latter, he informed, helped to significantly increase sugar cane yield, pointing out that one of the estates recorded outputs totaling approximately 170,000 tonnes per hectare.The Senior Director also pointed to significant developments occurring in the factories and distilleries at both estates. These, he outlined, included: re-tooling and modernising of factory operations through the implementation of an automated process to facilitate the milling of 150 tonnes of cane per hour, up from 65 tonnes; construction of state-of-the-art bagasse operated boilers to replace three older outdated versions; installation of five new 5,000 gallon stills at Appleton’s distillery; and replacement of old fermenters at New Yarmouth’s distillery with modern versions.Mr. Maxwell also pointed to progress in environmental preservation.“You (retirees) have helped us in the transformation  from the way in which we used to dispose our waste from the distillery…(and) we have moved in a more environmentally friendly (manner) whereby the waste is now applied to the cane fields to take advantage of its nutrient value,” he outlined.While noting that “we are still not there yet”, Mr. Maxwell said the firm will be moving to advance the treating process to the stage where “we can recycle the end product in our production process.” He informed that J. Wray and Nephew hopes to commission a treatment facility into service by the 2015 sugar cane crop season.The senior director also highlighted the work of persons attached to the administration department, whom he said, were instrumental in the upgrading of the firm’s management information system (MIS). This undertaking, he pointed out, “has greatly enhanced (efforts) in managing our business in a very efficient way.”He said retired members of the administration department also played a part in developing J. Wray and Nephew’s recreational programme and activities and also had high praises for those who represented Jamaica in various sporting disciplines.Mr. Maxwell noted that J. Wray and Nephew has experienced “changes of ownership” of its parent company, particularly over the last decade, with the latest being Gruppo Campari out of Italy.“We are proud to be a part of…Gruppo Campari, which ranks sixth in the world (as a spirit distiller)…and that was before the takeover of J. Wray and Nephew Limited. I can safely say that with the inclusion of J. Wray and Nephew Limited in the Campari Group, this ranking will improve considerably in a short space of time,’ he stated.The director also thanked the families of the retirees for their support in enabling the honourees to contribute extensively to J. Wray and Nephew’s development.In his remarks, Minister Clarke, who also worked at Appleton as farm manager, commended J. Wray and Nephew for recognizing the people, “who have given their lives to the service of the company”.In lauding the honourees for their sterling service, the Minister noted that: “the contributions that you have made in the growth and development of the industry is something that you must be commended for. Wray and Nephew is what it is because of your… hard work and your dedication.”Mr. Clarke pointed out that many, if not all of the retirees, “will leave with a heavy heart”, having grown attached to their jobs and the entity. He however, encouraged them to enjoy their deservedly earned retirement, stating that “this is the time, now, when you must put up your feet and feel at ease.”Replying on behalf of the honourees, Altamont McKenzie, expressed appreciation to J. Wray and Nephew for the gesture, noting that “it’s good to get the recognition while you are around and still going strong.”Human Resource Manager, Venton Brown, advised that a workshop to assist the honourees to transition into post retirement is being planned for later in the year. Their input over the years were deemed to have contributed significantly to J. Wray and nephew’s development into one of Jamaica’s leading spirit distillers.last_img read more

Daniel Thorassies body found in Red River

first_imgAPTN National NewsTen months ago, Daniel Thorassie fell through the ice on the Red River while playing hockey with his brother. Now, police divers say they may have found his body.last_img

MGM offers deal to shooting victims its suing

first_imgLAS VEGAS, Nev. – MGM Resorts International drew criticism Tuesday for saying hundreds of survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting, who are being sued by the casino operator, could opt to have the money that will be used to serve them a lawsuit instead donated to a charity.The company in July sued more than 1,900 victims of the Oct. 1 mass shooting at one of its properties and has been working to notify them as it faces a standard 90-day deadline.MGM told the victims’ attorneys it would rather make the donations to charities than spend the money to pay people to serve the legal notices.“The money spent on personal service of process — up to $250 per person — could be better directed to do some affirmative good,” MGM’s attorneys wrote in the letter shared with The Associated Press.MGM offered to make a $500 charitable donation for each person who waives being served or authorizes an attorney to accept service on their behalf, but a victims’ lawyer quickly called it all “nonsense.”Attorney Robert Eglet, part of a group representing most of the victims, said the company is just trying to “spin” its attempt to save money on serving legal notices.“It will cost the MGM significantly more than $250 to serve them,” Eglet said. “This is just more outrageous conduct by them.”Serving defendants is a crucial step in a civil lawsuit. It informs a defendant that a lawsuit has been filed against him or her, provides the individual a copy of the complaint and starts running a 21-day deadline for the person to respond to the lawsuit.Eglet said the firms representing most of the victims have not been authorized to accept the legal notices. That would force MGM to find and serve each of the 1,977 people it sued.Letters explaining the offer of charitable donations were sent Tuesday to 37 attorneys representing victims.As part of MGM’s offer, each defendant would choose a charity that supports survivors or families of slain victims, and the donation would be made in his or her name.If the offers are not accepted, “we will personally serve the complaints courteously and respectfully,” MGM spokeswoman Debra DeShong said.The casino operator filed the lawsuits in an attempt to have a federal judge declare that it has no liability to survivors or families of slain victims under a federal law enacted after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The law limits liability when a company or group uses services approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. MGM argues it is free of liability because the security vendor for the outdoor venue was federally certified at the time of the attack.Twenty-two thousand people were at an MGM-owned outdoor venue for a country music festival, when a high-stakes gambler broke the windows of his 32nd-floor casino-resort suite and began shooting. The gunman killed 58 people and injured more than 800 before taking his own life.MGM has insisted its lawsuits, which don’t demand money, are meant to avoid years of costly litigation.___Follow Regina Garcia Cano on Twitter at read more

Diageo to build new whiskey distillery in Kentucky

first_imgLOUISVILLE, Ky. — Spirits giant Diageo is taking a deeper plunge into bourbon and American whiskey production with plans for a new distillery in Kentucky.The company says the $130 million venture includes plans to build a distillery and warehouses in Marion County.Diageo says the distillery will support its “growth ambition” in the bourbon and American whiskey categories.The new distillery will supplement Diageo’s Kentucky operations at its Stitzel-Weller distillery in Louisville and its Bulleit distillery near Shelbyville. The company says the new distillery will be able to produce up to 10 million proof gallons per year, or 3.8 million 9-litre cases.Diageo says its Bulleit bourbon brand had double-digit growth in the U.S. in the past year.The company says it hopes to start production at the new distillery in 2021.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Grade four students set for Doig Day

first_imgStudents will travel out to Doig River at 10:00 a.m. and return to school around 2:00 p.m. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The grade fours of School District #60 will celebrate Doig Day tomorrow with the Doig River First Nations.Doig Day will see the students travel to Doig River to participate in cultural activities and displays. The children will learn valuable skills like bannock making, tracking, hunting, hyde preparation, and more, during the day.School District #60 has made the trip out to Doig River for over 20 years now and has no plans to stop in the near future.last_img

Local farmers to start canola harvest this week

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the amounts of rain experienced for most of the summer in Fort St. John and surrounding areas, it looks like farmers are now getting a break in the weather.Kelly Kassian, manager of Viterra in Fort St. John, the crops and fields were affected by the steady rain but are now ready for harvest, starting on canola by the end of this week.“They didn’t mature as fast as we wanted them to because of all the rain and everything but they’re coming along now. We should have some canola start getting swathed down by the end of this week.” As for the peas, Kassian says they will be a bit delayed as they need more sun and time to dry up and mature before they are ready to harvest.According to Kassian, some of the fields were hit hard by the unfavourable weather as some had wet spots and even crops knocked down.Environment Canada is calling for mostly warmer temperatures and sun this week, with a chance of showers on the weekend.last_img read more