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Ithaca’s youth join global strike against climate inaction

first_imgITHACA, N.Y. — “What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now!” hundreds of young people chanted as they marched from Ithaca High School down to the Commons. By “striking” Friday, local students joined tens of thousands of other youth across the globe who showed up to protest inaction on climate change. “Like you, they’ve all come to realize a simple fact: we need to take action on climate change. Right now, our generation is facing an uncertain future plagued with disasters of biblical proportions. And what’s infuriating to me, as a member of the next generation, is that this isn’t a future we made for ourselves. This is a future formed with the interests of corporations and inactive governments who have enabled them as the world around us crumbles to the ground. … Today, we demand that politicians across the globe take our future seriously and treat climate change for what it is: a crisis.” Speakers protested government inaction on climate change. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice) Maya Soto, a sophomore at LACS, said it was important to march not only as young people but also in solidarity with indigenous communities. “As a young indigenous woman I feel the need to step up to the plate with other people here who are fighting for climate justice. It’s also fighting for indigenous sovereignty, and that is very important to me,” she said. Students and adults linked up on Cayuga Street next to the high school at about 11:30 a.m. before heading off toward the Commons. Along the march they chanted “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Fossil fuels have got to go,” while holding signs reading “Young Lives Matter” and “Make The Climate Great Again.” “I think the current administration doesn’t believe it exists and today’s youth, who are charged with doing something about this, are trying to show everybody that it’s really happening, and that we should stand up and listen to them. It makes my heart grow seeing all these students here today,” he said. “I’m doing what a lot of people are doing. I’m protesting for climate change policies to change. I think that we are the younger generation, that we are the ones that’ll be most affected by the change and we’ll be the ones left with whatever society has left,” said Jacob Ellis, a sophomore at Lehman Alternative Community School. Taking the microphone at the rally, Dominic Woolf, a senior research associate in crop and soil sciences at Cornell University, pledged to support the young people who have created this movement. A couple hundred people gathered for the rally. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice) “Honestly, when we were starting out we were hoping to just get like 15 people, and it’s obviously way more than that, which is brilliant. We’re basically just hoping to raise awareness about what’s been going on and people need to take action and that the youth really care. We want action. We want change,” Patt said. Students at the rally explained that their generation will be most impacted by climate change and were proud to stand in solidarity with similar marches taking place across the world. “This movement has been built in just a matter of weeks by young people and children who have found the voice and strength to demand that their futures finally be respected,” Woolf said. “Some people say I should be in school instead. Some people said I should study to become a climate scientist so that I can ‘solve’ the climate crisis. But the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is wake up and change. And why should I be studying for a future that soon will be no more when no one is doing anything whatsoever to save their future?” Thunberg said during a Ted Talk in February. “I think that if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not coming to school for a few weeks, imagine what we could all do together if we wanted to.” Tagged: climate change, global strike for climate change, ithaca high school, lehman alternative community school, new roots charter school, student rally Data from NASA shows the past five years have been the warmest on record, and a report last year by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that without aggressive action, the world will face worsening wildfires, food shortages and other catastrophic effects as early as 2040. After the marchers streamed onto the Ithaca Commons and spread out around the Bernie Milton Pavilion, one of the event organizers, IHS senior Mira Driskell, told the gathered crowd that by showing up today, they have officially claimed their place in a global movement to protest climate inaction. The Global Climate Strike was sparked by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student who sat before her country’s Parliament in August and refused to attend school to protest adults’ lack of action of climate change. Over 2,000 events were scheduled in at least 125 countries for the March 15 climate protest, making it one of the largest climate protests in history. Students rally for climate change on the Commons. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice) “All the solutions are known and they are achievable, and the only thing that’s been missing up until now is the social momentum to actually do what is needed,” he said. Woolf told the crowd that he has worked on climate change solutions for about 30 years, and in all that time he said he has found “very few occasions to really dare to hope that we can sufficiently act on and solve this issue.” However, he said the movement launched Friday gives him hope. Though this global movement is youth-led, students agreed that adults can help by listening to the younger generation and by showing their support on climate action. As Pearl Wood, a student at LACS, put it, “The time is now and we can’t wait any longer to protest about the climate. I think everybody, both students and adults, should be taking about this issue, but I think youth are the best ones to continue the momentum for the movement because historically a lot of positive change has been led by youth. I also think adults should listen to the youth because that’s ultimately who’s going be living here in years to come.” Students at the rally shared a sentiment of hope despite bleak climate forecasts. Sophia Patt, a member of Green Team, said they originally expected around 15 people to attend the rally, and that they were proud of the large turnout. Featured image by Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice. Some students in Ithaca said they are frustrated that the issue of climate change has sparked a debate rather than launching a national emergency here in the United States. “The reason it’s turned into a controversy is because we live in corporate America and all the people who have the money know that if we started boycotting all of the main businesses they would go out of business. I hope this rally makes people feel empowered to make changes in their own lives because we can’t compensate for the people that refuse to be a part of this movement,” said Genevieve Chase, a student at New Roots Charter School. One of the organizers, IHS senior Mira Driskell, addresses the crowd gathered March 15 on the Ithaca Commons. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice) Mark Johnson, IHS’s Green Team teacher advisor, likewise said he was proud of his students for joining the global strike and taking the lead on climate change. J.T. Stone J.T. Stone is a contributor for The Ithaca Voice and a 2020 graduate of Ithaca High School. Questions? Story tips? Email him at [email protected] More by J.T. Stonelast_img read more

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Visitors to SA hit 1.2-million in July

first_img30 October 2013More than 1.2-million foreign travellers arrived in South Africa in July, a year-on-year increase of 12%, Statistics South Africa reported on Tuesday.There were 1 289 022 foreign arrivals to South Africa, according to data collected by Department of Home Affairs immigration officials at the country’s ports of entry. In July 2012, South Africa had 1 195 266 foreign travellers visit the country.A majority – around 90% – were in South Africa for holidays, compared to only 6.5% in transit, 1.8% for business and 1.6% for study purposes. A total of 3 285 691 travellers (both arrivals and departures) passed through all South African ports of entry in July 2013. This is about 200 000 more than the same month last year.Of the tourists who visited the country this year, 204 120 were from overseas. The top 10 home countries of visitors were (in descending order): United States, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, China, Australia, France, India, Brazil and Italy.Around 564 460 visitors were from Southern African Development Community countries. Travellers from Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and Botswana made up the majority of visitors.The leading rest-of-Africa countries in terms of visitors were Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Gabon.Air travel was most popular with tourists, with 89.4% of overseas tourists arriving in the country by air, and 10.6% by road.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Beck’s Hybrids 2015 Ohio PFR results are in

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest For the third year, Beck’s Hybrids has surveyed Practical Farm Research, or PFR trials, at their London, Ohio facility. The purpose of the PFR program is to test situations that farmers need to make decisions about for upcoming seasons, like how to manage nitrogen, whether or not to foliar feed a crop, testing products that are currently available and studying different cultural practices used by farmers all over Ohio.Tile was put into some of the ground in March and by April 18th the 2015 planting season began for Beck’s Ohio PFR trials.“Planting dates on corn and soybeans is something we test every year,” said Alex Johnson, Beck’s Sales Team Agronomist for Ohio. “Looking at the data, 2015 was nothing new as planting early gave us more yield. We know that to hold true for corn, but that was the case for soybeans as well in 2015 and those soybean seeds proved the value of seed treatment to protect those plants early on.”There were some freezing conditions on the PFR plots 2 inches into the soil after the earliest planted mid-April dates. Those plants still yielded higher than later planted fields in last year’s trials.Farmers spend at least $100 per acre, on average, on nitrogen. That called for Beck’s to test out some new equipment on their London PFR’s, like 360 Y-Drops, high-clearance spreaders with urea and some of the different ways of applying nitrogen.“A lot of rain caused some nitrogen loss early on in our plots,” Johnson said. “That means that any of the practices that got the bulk of nitrogen on later were the ones that paid the best and the more nitrogen we put on was generally better than less nitrogen last year.”Beck’s also tested some unconventional ideas that would cost a farmer little or nothing to implement, like putting sugar in the furrow on corn seed, which resulted in a 10 bushel yield bump. Johnson said that this was just the first year of that kind of test, but something he will be keeping an eye on.“Another economically friendly test we performed was moving our sidedress coulter over to only 7.5 inches away from the plant and that gave us a yield increase as well,” Johnson said. “That is something that can be done at little or no cost to the producer that may put money in their pocket.”As far as the fungicide application studies on Ohio’s PFRs in 2015, a treatment did pay off even though the disease pressure at the London location was considered on the low side.“We tested different timings, with fungicide applications at the V5 and VT stages,” Johnson said. “The VT timing gave us a return on investment and because of no disease pressure in V5, that application was not economical.”Take a look at all of the Beck’s Hybrids 2015 Ohio PFR results.last_img read more

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DIY “hillbilly” hot tub

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio showWe’ve got a small cabin in rural Knox County my wife and I use for hunting and fishing and paddling retreats. Often we return to the cabin cold and shivering from these pursuits and have long yearned for hot tub to greet us at the end of the day, but could never justify the cost, nor do we have the power, to operate one. Channel surfing the various DIY shows a few weeks ago, I watched a clip of a guy building and off-the-grid hot tub featuring a stock tank, copper tubing and a firepit. I watched as he coiled the copper around a five gallon bucket and hooked up each end to the tank filled with 150 gallons of water, connecting one end of the pipe low on the side and one above, just below surface level. He removed the bucket from the coil, placed the spiral of copper in the firepit, filled it with firewood and lit it. Three hours and several small logs later, he had 102-degree water circulating through his tub, thanks to what is called ‘thermal siphoning.’ The process automatically causes the heated water from inside the copper coils to rise and flow into the tank via the upper inlet, drawing the cooler water below from the outlet back into the coils in the firepit for heating and eventual discharge back into the tub.Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been perfecting my own version of the hillbilly hot tub, having purchased a 180 gallon stock tank at Rural King, an 80,000 btu propane-powered convection heater from Home Depot and 1,000 feet of half-inch diameter copper tubing from Menard’s, each costing roughly $100. The latter I plan to coil inside the heater’s chimney and use a propane flame, rather than an open fire, for a more efficient and controllable heat source. We decided on the 180 gallon tank after, to the delight of the clerk at the Mt Vernon Rural King, sitting inside several they had in stock to test for the right fit without going overboard on the volume of water we’d be needing to heat.I plan on assembling and testing the tub during turkey season and will report on the outcome in the next issue. Unless something goes south in the meantime and you hear word of our progress via the local news… Spring turkey seasons openTurkey season get underway this month and as in the past few years, the state is divided into two zones: a south zone, which opens to hunters on Monday, April 22, and a northeast zone, which opens to hunters on Monday, April 29. Hunters can view the 2019 spring turkey season zone map at wildohio.gov.The ODNR anticipates approximately 50,000 licensed hunters will take up shotguns before the season ends on Sunday, May 19, in the south zone, and Sunday, May 26, in the northeast zone. The spring turkey season is open statewide, except for Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in Williams County, which requires a special hunting permit. All hunters are required to have a hunting license, in addition to a spring turkey hunting permit. Hunting hours from April 22-28 in the south zone and April 29 to May 5 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon. Hunting hours from April 29 to May 19 in the south zone and May 6 to May 26 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. Hunting hours during the two-day youth season are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.The spring season bag limit is two bearded wild turkeys. Hunters can harvest one bearded turkey per day, and a second spring turkey permit can be purchased at any time throughout the spring turkey season. Turkeys must be checked no later than 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest. All hunters must report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system, which is available online, by phone or at a license agent. A complete list of participating license agents can be found at wildohio.gov. Visit the Turkey Hunting Resources page at wildohio.gov, or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) for more information about the game-check process. Fur auction season concludesThe Ohio State Trappers Association (OSTA) concluded its annual fur auction season in Kidron on a high note earlier this month. Most trappers were pleased with the prices received, according to OSTA President Keith Daniels, who reported that there were about 60 plus sellers that sold and some averages prices paid were $4.32 on muskrats, $5.78 for raccoon and $17.44 for coyote pelts. For more details on OSTA, pricing and upcoming events, visit osta.org. Tycoon Lake levels loweredThe water level in Gallia County’s Tycoon Lake is being partially lowered so crews can monitor and evaluate a small area of soil movement on the lake’s south dam. According to ODNR engineers, there is no immediate risk of uncontrolled release of water from the 183-acre lake located near Bidwell. The movement of soil material, known as a slide, was discovered by ODNR staff during a routine inspection in mid-February and the affected area measures 55 feet wide and 45 feet long.Workers have covered the affected area with heavy plastic sheeting and sandbags to help reduce its exposure to further precipitation events. The area is monitored daily while ODNR staff looks into the cause of the slide and further response action. Meanwhile, due to the lower water levels, the boat ramp near the south dam is closed. However, once the water level is lowered, the agency is evaluating potential locations for a temporary boat access until the dam repairs are completed, and the lake level is returned to normal. Cuyahoga catches are edibleThe Ohio Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that fish caught in the Cuyahoga River are now safe to eat. It has taken about a year for the proclamation to get legs, as the Ohio EPA previously requested that the federal EPA lift their restrictions after fish tissue samples showed significant health improvements. The U.S. EPA finally eased restrictions on fishing from the Gorge Dam to Lake Erie. The EPA now recommends that if anglers catch fish in that stretch, they consume in accordance with general state guidelines, which essentially suggests no more than one meal per month of fish from the Cuyahoga.Hatchery tours offeredOhioans have the chance to see state fish hatchery operations firsthand and view this year’s fish production in progress when the ODNR Division of Wildlife hosts open houses at all six state fish hatcheries this month. The events are free and open to the public, and they have been timed to showcase fish as they hatch out and are in hatchery production buildings.“Several family-friendly activities will be held at each hatchery, including the opportunity to see fish eggs and fry in the production buildings, as well as juvenile and adult fish in the raceways and ponds,” said Kendra Wecker, chief of the Division of Wildlife. “Other activities vary by location but include casting contests, opportunities to view electrofishing boats and archery activities.”The fish hatchery facilities at Hebron, Senecaville and St. Marys held open houses on April 13,where fish grown include walleye and saugeye, and yellow perch at St. Marys. Pond rearing of catfish and sunfish is also underway there. The facilities at Castalia, Kincaid and London will hold open houses on Saturday, April 27, from noon to 3 p.m. Fish grown and featured in these hatcheries include rainbow trout, muskellunge (Kincaid and London), steelhead (Castalia) and brown trout (London). The following are the open house locations for April 27: Castalia State Fish Hatchery7018 Homegardner RoadCastalia, Ohio 44824419-684-7499 Kincaid State Fish Hatchery7487 State Route 124Latham, Ohio 45646740-493-2717 London State Fish Hatchery2470 Roberts Mill Road SWLondon, Ohio 43140740-852-1412 Get more information about all six of Ohio’s state fish hatcheries atwildlife.ohiodnr.gov/species-and-habitats/fisheries-management.last_img read more

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Warriors think Westbrook’s style is ‘easy to defend’—report

first_imgFrontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ LATEST STORIES Read Next Although most defenses appeared helpless against the seemingly unstoppable guard, the reigning NBA champions Golden State Warriors reportedly do not fear his daredevil play style.In an episode of the “Low Post” podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe shared that some members from the Warriors locker room believe that the high-flying guard is “so easy to defend, it’s like cake to them.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAlthough his statistical average against the Warriors remained stellar, Westbrook only shot 37.5 percent from the field and turned the ball over 32 times in four contests. The Thunder also dropped all four games.However, he visibly lacked on-court support last year, often putting the entire team on his shoulders for most of the year. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook walks down the court in the final seconds of Game 2 of the team’s NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Houston.  APAfter averaging a triple-double and bagging the 2017 NBA MVP Award, its’ safe to say that Russell Westbrook had his way against most NBA defenders throughout the 2016-2017 NBA season.The 28-year-old point guard relied on his freakish athleticism to dominate the competition, tallying unworldly averages of 31.6 points, 10.7 boards and 10.4 dimes, while playing 81 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gamescenter_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC That won’t be the case this year, as fellow perennial All Stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are now on board and ready to take some load off the mercurial guard. /ra Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Offseason overhaul complete, new era begins for Celtics LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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“SIXTY SECONDS IN TOUCH”

first_imgAnother bevy of interesting Touch facts from everywhere… * A massive thank you to Karley Banks who kept everyone around Australia updated on the results and stories from the 2004 School Sport Australia Touch Championships on the Gold Coast. Her efforts were enormous and the stories incredibly entertaining! Her work helped ensure great coverage for the event and for Touch! If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the articles she has written. * Interest in Australian Touch is growing world-wide. As the number of hits on the website increases from around Australia, other countries also seem to be checking us out. We’re being looked at from Austria, Taiwan, Samoa, Egypt, Denmark, Thailand, Netherlands, the US and Togo just to name a few. For all those Touchies out there who are asking “Where the heck is Togo?” I had to have a look on the net myself with Lonely Planet providing all I needed to know… “Togo is a pencil-thin strip of land, but receives rave reviews from travellers. While Lomé and the beaches that surround it are the big draws for most vacationers, those who push on will be wowed by its unique village cultures and the vivacity of their markets and festivals. If there were a popularity contest among countries in West Africa, Togo would probably be a strong contender. Its political turmoil in the early 1990s reduced the stream of travellers to a trickle, but the tide is turning and the attractions that once brought them remain largely the same.” Full country name: Togolese Republic Area: 56,600 sq km Population: 5.4 million Capital City: Lomé (pop 600,000) People: 37 ethnic groups (the largest are Ewé, Mina and Kabyè); less than 1% European and Syrian-Lebanese Language: Ewe, French Religion: indigenous beliefs (70%), Christian (20%), Muslim (10%) Government: republic under transition to multiparty democratic rule Head of State: President General Gnassingbé Eyadéma Head of Government: Prime Minister Koffi Sama GDP: US$6.2 billion GDP per capita: US$1,300 Annual Growth: 4.8% Inflation: 15.7% Major Industries: Phosphate mining, agricultural processing, cement, handicrafts, textiles, beverages Major Trading Partners: Canada, US, Taiwan, Nigeria, Ghana, China, France, Cameroon * The latest media statistics are in…Touch has reached almost 30 million people Australia-wide via the newspapers, radio and television. This combined with nearly 14 million hits on ATA’s site this year, plus on-line journals and news articles, plus the websites of all local, regional and State Touch Associations is great news! Lets keep up the great work promoting our sport and its participants! * And we’re off and racing for the 2004 Melbourne Cup. The race that stops the nation takes place tomorrow (as if you didn’t know) and my money will be on Vinnie Roe, although Makybe Diva will be out for that back-to-back win and Elvstroem, Pacific Dancer and Media Puzzle will all be up there. (The way I figure it is that if I bet on at least half of the field I can’t look like I was wrong.) * A big mention has to go to the Wallsend Touch Association. Over the past few months Wallsend have been going to great lengths to develop their association website. It now includes heaps of information on competitions and draws, including downloadable fixtures. There is information on their sponsors, great biographies on their life members and also player and referee profiles. In addition, check out their photo gallery as well as a social calendar. As if that’s not impressive enough, you can check out the rules and by-laws, as well as media releases that have been issued! Check out www.wallsend.touch.asn.au * The NSWTA All Schools finals for year 7-8’s heats up this weekend. NSW Touch had a record 359 teams enter the year 7-8 competition this year, with the competition held at 24 venues around the State. Winners from each of those regions progressed through to the State finals. Keep an eye on the website next week for all the results of the finals. * Touch SA have continued to develop sponsorship programs for the sport, which is growing rapidly in the Aussie Rules dominated state. Their latest development is a sponsorship agreement with the Commonwealth Bank. Check out http://www.touch-sa.asn.au/main/index_news.html for the story. * Victoria Touch are looking to start a new junior Touch competition in November. With every junior competition that kicks off in the smaller Touch states, it’s a big plus for development. If you have any questions about their new competition, give Victoria Touch a call on (03) 9654 2866. * Monterey Keys Touch Association in South Queensland held their Cancer Cup on Sunday. The Cancer Cup was held to raise money for prostate cancer. 28 teams competed in mixed divisions; 11 years, 15 years, 35 years and Open. From all reports it was a great day of Touch, with former Olympian and Lord Mayor Ron Clark presenting the prizes from the Cup. It’s fantastic to see the sport of Touch supporting such a great cause! * Youth World Cup now just 2 ½ months away! The 20’s sides and 18’s squads head to Runaway Bay next weekend, November 12-13. There the 20’s will be put through their paces in their first training as teams, while the final selections will be made for the 18’s sides. Keep watching the ATA site for all the latest news. * Just a quick note, after the winding forward of our clocks for daylight savings, Queensland are behind us…meaning their office opens at 10am our time. Not sure who’s luckier, the earlier starter or earlier finisher? * 8 weeks till Christmas! All story ideas or requests can be sent to Rachel Moyle, [email protected]last_img read more

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Watch: UNC Seniors Marcus Paige And Brice Johnson’s Emotional Interview After Beating Duke

first_imgMarcus Paige and Brice Johnson hug after Duke game.YouTube/UNCTarHeelsAthleticsOnce the final buzzer sounded and UNC had officially closed out a 76-72 win at Duke, the ESPN cameras made a bee-line for Tar Heel seniors Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige. Johnson’s 18 points and 21 rebounds led the way, while Paige (11 points, six boards, three assists) hit four clutch free throws to seal the victory. This was the first win at Cameron Indoor Stadium for either player. Both guys talked about how much this win meant and what it means to be ACC regular season champs. last_img read more

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Federal ministers reconnect with proNAFTA allies in US as new stage nears

first_imgOTTAWA – Federal cabinet ministers have fanned out south of the border in hope of energizing U.S. supporters of the beleaguered NAFTA deal as yet another critical round of talks is set to begin in Montreal later this month.In this latest effort to sing NAFTA’s praises to the Americans, the stakes appear highest for Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.On Sunday, MacAulay will deliver Ottawa’s message from a big stage in Nashville, where he will become the first Canadian cabinet minister to deliver a keynote address at the annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation. The conference is a huge gathering of more than 5,000 delegates from across the U.S. agricultural industry.MacAulay’s speech comes at a crucial time for the future of the deal, which he says has had big impact on the continent’s farming sectors.But the significance of his address will be even greater given the higher-profile event on the convention calendar expected in the days after his appearance — a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump.Trump, who will become the first American president to address the convention since George H. W. Bush in 1992, has repeatedly threatened to begin withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement.“It’s without a question a big deal,” MacAulay told The Canadian Press in an interview when asked about speaking before Trump at the same convention.“This is very important, this meeting, in my opinion, and I’m very pleased to be there and hopefully it works well.”Fortunately for MacAulay, the U.S. farming lobby has been a leader in opposing the push to abandon NAFTA, which means his pro-trade message is likely to get a warmer reception than that of his presidential counterpart.In his address, MacAulay is expected to remind the crowd how about 80 food and agriculture organizations sent a warning to the U.S. administration that pulling out of NAFTA would immediately hurt their industries and kills tens of thousands of jobs.MacAulay, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale have all been meeting political and business leaders in the U.S. this week to promote NAFTA’s benefits.Their visits come ahead of the next round of bargaining, which starts Jan. 23 when negotiators from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico reconvene in Montreal.Goodale met with strong pro-NAFTA officials in Kentucky, including Gov. Matt Bevin and the leaders of the state’s chamber of commerce.In prepared remarks for his speech Friday, he stressed the importance of identifying and dealing properly with any genuine unfairness in the deal, rather than “tanking the whole relationship.”Meanwhile, McKenna travelled to California for meetings Friday with officials, including Gov. Jerry Brown, who also supports NAFTA.Canada’s message hasn’t changed as it renews its defence of the trade deal, said McKenna, who continues to repeat the mantra that NAFTA is key to tackling environmental challenges and boosting economic growth in all three countries.“I think what we’re doing is just looking at all the opportunities to make the case for why NAFTA is really important,” McKenna said.One U.S.-based trade expert said the “maple charm offensive” by Canadian political leaders over the past year has been effective at providing outside support to pro-NAFTA supporters in the U.S. Congress.But Dan Ujczo, a lawyer for Dickinson Wright in Columbus, Ohio, doesn’t think the needle has moved much for those opposed to or even undecided on the deal.“I don’t think hearts and minds have been changed,” said Ujczo, who wants Canada to deploy a fresh set of messengers — and messages.It’s time to go beyond touting NAFTA’s benefits and start acknowledging that there have been some losers in North American integration, Ujczo said — and explain how best to help those people.Canadian businesses should also be playing a bigger role in the U.S. outreach effort, he added.January is likely to be a critical month for NAFTA, since it includes another round of potentially substantive negotiations as well as Trump’s latest State of the Union address.Until then, Trump’s NAFTA message Monday will be “an important measuring stick” on how the administration plans to proceed, he said.“While I don’t expect the president to make any promises about not withdrawing from NAFTA, I think his comments will add some clarity as to how effective the farm lobby’s advocacy has been.”— Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

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Passenger Transportation Board says Greyhound can stop serving Northeast BC on June

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Passenger Transportation Board of B.C. has ruled in favour of Greyhound’s application to halt passenger bus service in Northeast B.C. as of June 1st.Last August Greyhound Canada announced that it was planning to cut nine routes across the province, including the Dawson Creek – Whitehorse and Prince George – Dawson Creek routes. The company is also seeking to greatly reduce service on other routes in Southern B.C. after saying that many of its routes are no longer profitable.Greyhound says that ridership on routes connecting the northern half of B.C. with Prince George has declined by 51 percent since 2010, including a 30 percent drop in the last five years. In its ruling, the Passenger Transportation Board explained that Greyhound’s routes in the Peace Region and along Highway 16 have extremely low ridership and very large operating losses that impair the company’s viability.“Greyhound is a for-profit company,” read the Board’s decision. “A review of the company’s financial information demonstrates that the cross-subsidization model of the past no longer holds true. There are insufficient profits on the profitable routes to subsidize its losses on these routes.”Greyhound told the board that by eliminating 1.6 million scheduled miles in the province, it will be able to retain a remaining 3.7 million scheduled miles. “Keeping a viable inter-city passenger bus service in at least some parts of the province is preferable to no service from Greyhound.”However, the Board also found that the public’s need would not be met if Greyhound were allowed to eliminate the four routes without adequate notice, due to the reliance on current service.“Immediate stoppage on these routes and route segments would endanger public safety given the harsh winter climate, inhospitable terrain, and the isolation of those living and working along these routes.”However, the Board ruled that weather conditions should improve by May 31st to a point where public safety would no longer be at risk.During a series of public hearings on the application, Greyhound said it is losing $35,000 per day, which works out to a loss of nearly $13 million per year. The company has called on the provincial government to subsidize intercity bus travel, similar to the subsidies provided to municipal transit.last_img read more

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Ohio State revamps athletic academic logos

Ohio State released a new athletic logo to the public Monday, the same day it approved the use of the non-rounded in Block “O” in its academic logo. After a Board of Trustees vote Friday, the Block “O” will also take the place of the round “O” on OSU’s university seal, which is mostly seen on diplomas and official university documents. Jacquie Aberegg, assistant vice president of OSU marketing, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that school officials started working on updating the seal about two years ago. The end result was all part of OSU’s mission to give the school one notable identity that gives it the best representation of academics and athletics. “We engaged hundreds of students, alumni, faculty, staff and parents through the course of this project and looked for a visual cue,” Aberegg told the Plain Dealer. “We learned that there is a common link – that the symbol is symbolic of all of those things, the breadth and depth of the academic program and the connection to the athletics. The Block “O” is the best of our history and will help us into the future.” School officials told the Plain Dealer that changes to these university symbols will be put into effect over the next few years during which time current material, like stationary, is used up. Officials told the paper that the new logo will be applied online, to documents and on buildings, but more permanent items will not be replaced. While the Block “O” has been OSU athletic department’s logo for decades, the words “Ohio State” on the department’s symbol will be all black instead of black and white now. The academic logo has been changed to a Block “O” with the words “The Ohio State University” to the right of it. No changes were made to the OSU Alumni Association’s logo of a Block “O” with a Buckeye leaf over top of it. read more

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