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“Transnational and Transregional Threat Networks are the Biggest Threat to the Western Hemisphere”

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo April 19, 2017 U.S. Army South (ARSOUTH) is headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and is U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Army service component. Its mission is to conduct and support multinational operations and provide security cooperation in 31 countries and 15 areas of special sovereignty in Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Major General Clarence K.K. Chinn assumed command of ARSOUTH on June 4, 2015. He is a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and received a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Army War College. Diálogo visited Maj. Gen. Chinn to talk about the challenges he faces when countering transnational threats and strengthening regional security in defense of the homeland.Diálogo: Having been in the position of commander of ARSOUTH for almost two years now (since 2015), how has your perspective of the AOR changed since you first assumed command?Major General Clarence Chinn, U.S. Army South commander: I am really impressed with our partner nations, because we would not be where we are today without their great support. People don’t realize where we once were. I had lunch with a young officer (25 years old) the other day, and he said: ‘Sir, I don’t get it. I don’t see us making any progress. Don’t know if we’re having an effect.’ And one of the guys who had been in the military 40 years, said: ‘You don’t get it because you don’t know what it was like in the 80s, and the 90s. We had boots on the ground; we had soldiers in many countries. They were doing the fighting.’ We are not doing any of that today. Our partner nations are protecting their own sovereignty, and not only that, they have the vision. They are looking at transnational trends and transnational networks, and they are figuring out how they are going to disrupt them or defeat them. I think it is a very strong, stable region. The military leaders want the same thing we want: stability, security, and economic opportunity. They understand also that they cannot do it by themselves. They have to work with other nations, and they have to share information so that they can be fast and transparent to defeat the criminal networks that are operating in their countries.Diálogo: Do you think the values of democracy are stronger in Central and South America now, in comparison to what we have seen in recent years?Maj. Gen. Chinn: I do. I think, the military wants to have strong stability and security internal to their country, but that only happens because we have folks that went before us, and had the vision. In our country, this is what we want, and I think that is the key — that they value democratic institutions. So, take a look at what has happened there [in Central and South America] in a short period of time. A president was impeached [in Brazil]; another president resigned [in Guatemala]. In previous years, that would prompt a military coup. But, it didn’t happen after those two incidents, and it’s because they have strong institutions that have been built over time. Not only internal to the country, but also through the relationships, through the education, and through everyone’s understanding of what the democratic process should be. The role of the military is to provide security to let the democratic process continue.Diálogo: What do you see as your biggest challenge as the commander of Army South?Maj. Gen. Chinn: The big part for us is protecting our southern boundaries, as well as protecting the nation from transregional and transnational threats networks. Those networks are always going to be the challenge. We should always be focused on the different networks that are out there, because that is really the threat to the United States. And it’s fortunate that we have great partner nations that really believe in the same things we do, which is, they do not want these transregional, transnational threat networks operating in their countries either, because it affects their sovereignty and their security. If you cannot have security, then you are not going to get investment. Therefore, I think, across the board, what we are interested in is assisting our partners so they can continue to strengthen their ability to support their own sovereignty. Then, when necessary, they can disrupt or destroy networks that are operating within their countries.Diálogo: What kind of networks are you referring to?Maj. Gen. Chinn: We see networks that transit illicit goods, people, weapons, money, and drugs throughout the Western Hemisphere, for example, MS-13 [Mara Salvatrucha], which is a network that operates in El Salvador and other Central American countries. We have to understand the networks if we want to be successful, and it takes a strong network to defeat another network. So, with that understanding, and the support of our partner nations, we can create our own network in order to share information, and in turn, be more overt, more transparent, and faster. We can infiltrate the networks’ decision cycle, and individuals in charge – no matter who it is, or where the network is.Diálogo: What role does the Conference of the American Armies play in the fight against these networks, and other security and defense issues in the region?Maj. Gen. Chinn: A very important role, I would say. There are 20 partner army commanders that are part of it. They meet every two years, and as of right now, the United States Army is the host of that conference. The last time we hosted was 1991. That tells you a little bit about how we operate, as far as armies, about everyone having an opportunity to lead and host. So, we are hosting it this year, in addition to one of the conferences where we discuss the emerging threats of the 21st Century. There will be dialogue between the army commanders over what we believe the threats are, and then, each one of us goes back to our respective countries offering help, for example, to the police, because in some countries the police, as you know, are part of the military. In other countries they are not part of the military, they are separate. What happens when they have to work together and create that synergy, so they can share that information, while also being transparent and understanding? It is not a competition. It is about protecting our countries.Diálogo: But it’s key for people to understand that the army, in these instances, is not doing police work, correct?Maj. Gen. Chinn: Exactly. Many folks think the army is out there with the police, therefore, they are policing. No, they are not policing. They are not trained to conduct policing, but in contingency situations, they can support the police. They are not arresting people; they do not have that authority. Nor does their Constitution allow it. So, the real key is that there is no partner nation or country I have seen, or that I have worked with, who, first, doesn’t comply with their Constitution when it says that the army can support the police; and, second, their Constitution says if the president directs the army to support the police, they will support the police. That is subservient to civilian authority. If it is not illegal, immoral or unethical, if the president says to do it, then you have to do it. But, there is not a single commander I’ve spoken with that hasn’t turned around and said – when I asked them where they would like to be in two or three years – that they don’t want to be supporting the police.Diálogo: It’s not their mission…Maj. Gen. Chinn: Right, and they are worried about it, too. As a good army commander, they should be worried about it, because they know they aren’t necessarily trained to do it – supporting the police. But, that is what they tell me. That is their challenge.Diálogo: And they are probably concerned about human rights violations as well, right?Maj. Gen. Chinn: Right. They do not want to get caught up in any type of potential human rights violations, because they don’t want to lose the trust and confidence of the people. In every country, just like here in the United States, you see that the most trusted and respected institution is the military. In some countries, the police are right up there on the same level, while in others, the police are not as highly regarded as the military. But it doesn’t really matter either way. What is important to understand is that the military is one of the most trusted and respected. That’s because of the leadership, right? You don’t become the most trusted and respected in a society unless you are doing the right things. Meaning, you are not facilitating human rights violations. It is very impressive that they are so well respected. But part of that also goes back to why they are so well respected. When the president asks them to do something, they are usually very successful.Diálogo: Members of the military participating in disaster relief activities also give them a lot of respect and credibility with different populations, right?Maj. Gen. Chinn: Yes, because that is where they have the most interaction with the people. When there is a disaster, or something happens, and the civilian government does not have the capacity or capability to confront those sometimes overwhelming challenges alone, they need military assistance. Different from the United States, where we have a National Guard, they [most countries in Central and South America, and the Caribbean] don’t have a National Guard, and no reserves. So, the president doesn’t have the options that we have here. They have to call on the military. So again, you run into this problem of the military not being trained to do humanitarian assistance or disaster relief, but they end up doing it, and they do it pretty well. These are very tough missions that we ask of our military leaders in the partner nations, and they do it. I am really impressed with their capabilities.Diálogo: Lastly, what do you have to say about the history of the military in this region taking part in peacekeeping missions all around the world?Maj. Gen. Chinn: That is another interesting piece. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there are 14 different peacekeeping missions that our partner nations are involved in right now. That is a lot. I was surprised, but in many cases, they have been doing it for a long time. Colombia has been doing the Sinai mission since its inception. A lot of folks don’t realize that Colombia has been involved in that, because they are quiet professionals. They just go there and do it without a lot of fanfare. The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti [MINUSTAH] is led by Brazil, and has Chile as the deputy. The United Nations’ peacekeeping missions are important because they put the partner nations on a global stage. They are not just regional, but global, and they are getting recognition for being a professional force. Additionally, folks don’t realize that El Salvador provides helicopters in Mali, Africa. Or that Peru is in the Central African Republic right now, on their second rotation, with an engineer company. But there are a lot of those types of things going on where folks just don’t really realize that we’ve got great partner nations down there, doing great things. El Salvador fought with us both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua all had forces in Iraq. Colombia has been with us in Korea, where they have suffered casualties, and once a year they perform a remembrance ceremony. Then, you look at the Brazilians who fought with us in WWII. In sum, we have a very strong relationship with a lot of our partner nations.last_img read more

Cavaliers edge Warriors to complete greatest comeback

first_imgOakland, United States | AFP |Past 10 winners of the NBA Finals:2016 – Cleveland Cavaliers2015 – Golden State Warriors2014 – San Antonio Spurs2013 – Miami Heat2012 – Miami Heat2011 – Dallas Mavericks2010 – Los Angeles Lakers2009 – Los Angeles Lakers2008 – Boston Celtics2007 – San Antonio Spurs Momentum swingsBack came Golden State, Green hitting three free throws and a 32-pointer in a 15-7 run to seize a 76-75 edge entering the fourth quarter after 17 lead changes and nine ties.Green scored 22 first-half points, hitting 8-of-10 shots from the floor and 5-of-5 from 3-point range after an 0-for-10 showing from beyond the arc in his prior three games.Green had four 3-pointers and a 3-point play in the second quarter and scored nine points in a 12-5 run that gave Golden State a 47-40 lead.He also had six rebounds and five assists in sparking Golden State to a 49-42 half-time edge as Warriors top scorers Thompson and Curry combined to shoot 5-of-17 overall and 3-of-12 in 3-pointers.James led the Cavaliers in the first half with 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists but also made four turnovers. ‘This is for you’“Cleveland, this is for you,” James screamed on the court after the frantic final seconds.“King” James had only the third statistical “triple double” in the seventh game of an NBA Finals, joining Jerry West in 1969 and James Worthy in 1988.James, in his sixth consecutive finals and seventh overall, led the series with 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists plus more than two steals and two blocked shots a game — the greatest all-around numbers ever produced with a crown on the line.Only two other clubs down 3-1 in the finals had ever forced a seventh game, none in 50 years until the Cavaliers epic comeback.It was only the fourth time in 19 NBA Finals seventh games that the road team won, the first time since Washington captured the 1978 title in Seattle.Golden State suffered the worst choke in NBA Finals history after having won an NBA record 73 regular-season games.“It sucks,” said Draymond Green, who led the Warriors with 32 points. “It hurts to lose when you had a 3-1 lead.”The winner-take-all showdown captured the attention of US President Barack Obama, who watched the end of the game on Air Force One after returning from a family trip, and commanded high-priced fans, courtside tickets with a face value of $8,500 being resold for as much as $49,500.Fans saw a thriller after six lopsided prior outcomes in the historic series.James made three free throws and added a 3-pointer to give the Cavaliers an 89-87 lead, but Klay Thompson’s layup lifted the Warriors level with 4:39 to play.The teams each went six possessions without scoring after that, time and again thwarting their rivals until Irving’s 3-pointer.After another Cavaliers’ stop, James was fouled by Green as he tried for a title-clinching slam dunk. Instead, he made a free throw to produce the final margin and the Warriors could not close the gap in the dying seconds.The Warriors had not lost three games in a row since 2013.NBA scoring leader Steph Curry had 17 points while fellow Warriors 3-point sharpshooter Thompson managed only 14.The Warriors took their biggest lead at 54-46 but back-to-back 3-pointers by J.R. Smith and an Irving layup pulled the Cavaliers level early in the third quarter.Curry scored the next five points but then went 0-for-4 with three turnovers over more than three minutes and Cleveland went on an 14-2 run, Irving scoring 10 in the spurt that gave the Cavaliers a 68-61 advantage. LeBron James delivered one of his mightiest all-around performances and the Cleveland Cavaliers completed the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history Sunday, dethroning defending champion Golden State 93-89 to capture their first league title.James scored 27 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and passed off 11 assists to win the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award for the third time in his career as the Cavaliers became the first club to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win the best-of-seven series title.“We were able to put together some spectacular games down 3-1,” a tearful James said moments after the victory. “This is special.“I kept that positive attitude. I don’t know why we had to take the hard road. Against all odds.”Kyrie Irving added 26 points, including the crucial 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining to give Cleveland the lead for good, as the Cavaliers took the series 4-3 and brought Cleveland its first major sports champion since the 1964 NFL Browns, ending the longest such title drought for any American city. All-time NBA Finals Game SevensResults list from NBA Finals game sevens after Sunday’s showdown between Cleveland and Golden State (road teams won in 1969, 1974, 1978 and 2016):1951: Rochester Royals 79, New York Knicks 751952: Minneapolis Lakers 82, New York Knicks 651954: Minneapolis Lakers 87, Syracuse Nationals 801955: Syracuse Nationals 92, Fort Wayne Pistons 911957: Boston Celtics 125, St. Louis Hawks 123 (double-overtime)1960: Boston Celtics 122, St. Louis Hawks 1031962: Boston Celtics 110, Los Angeles Lakers 107 (overtime)1966: Boston Celtics 95, Los Angeles Lakers 931969: Boston Celtics 108, Los Angeles Lakers 1061970: New York Knicks 113, Los Angeles Lakers 991974: Boston Celtics 102, Milwaukee Bucks 871978: Washington Bullets 105, Seattle SuperSonics 991984: Boston Celtics 111, Los Angeles Lakers 1021988: Los Angeles Lakers 108, Detroit Pistons 1051994: Houston Rockets 90, New York Knicks 842005: San Antonio Spurs 81, Detroit Pistons 742010: Los Angeles Lakers 83, Boston Celtics 792013: Miami Heat 95, San Antonio Spurs 882016: Cleveland Cavaliers 93, Golden State Warriors 89Past 10 winners of the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award:2016 – LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers2015 – Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors2014 – Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs2013 – LeBron James, Miami Heat2012 – LeBron James, Miami Heat2011 – Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks2010 – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers2009 – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers2008 – Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics2007 – Tony Parker, San Antonio SpursShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Palm Beach County Schools to Provide Every Student Access to a Computer

first_imgWith virtual learning a potential done deal, Palm Beach County is giving the district $10,000,000 to establish critical infrastructure to allow all students to have internet access.Initially one computer was provided per household, but sharing was not an option for large families. Now the district will ensure every student has a laptop providing a 1:1 computer ratio that gives every student the access to a computer with a camera.So far, 61,000 student Chromebooks have been loaned out to families for distance learning and the district has ordered 82,000 additional devices to be delivered on August 17.The district is also working on a connectivity plan to provide internet service to families who do not currently have a reliable connection.The district hopes to provide free Wi-Fi to 7,500 students in the Glades and Lake Worth Beach regions. Students without internet access will be provided a password for free internet.Parents will be able to log into an individualized education program meeting via Google Meet where a distance learning plan will then be laid out for those students.The plan the board approved also includes guidelines for when students will return to school. Traditional classes can resume in Palm Beach County when the county enters phase 2 of reopening.The school board meets again Wednesday, July 22. to determine a start date for the school year which will likely be August 31 rather than August 10th.Palm Beach County School Board Chairman Frank Barbieri will join The South Florida Morning Show Wednesday at 8:05 to talk about the upcoming virtual school year and how many students will or won’t be able to participate.last_img read more

Fit again Smith Hogs it at North Hants

first_img ‘Beware the sick golfer’ is the age-old golfing adage and it was never more appropriate when Jordan Smith won the Hampshire Hog, the biggest title of his young career, at North Hants. The England International shot rounds of 69, 67 for a four under par total of 136, finishing a shot clear of English champion Harry Ellis. A week ago, Smith pulled out of an England training get-together after going down with a virus. So his victory was something of a surprise to the Wiltshire 20 year old. “The virus laid me low last week so this win is a bit of a surprise,” he said. “I didn’t play that fantastic, just steady, but I holed a few birdies.” He also eagled the par five 17th in his opening 69, holing from 12 feet, and almost repeated it in the afternoon but his 20-footer for another three left him with a tap-in birdie, one of four ne accumulated before spending over a hour waiting to see if anyone would catch him. Ellis, bidding to become the first Hampshire player to win the title since Justin Rose in 1995, also opened with 69 and was on track until he double-bogeyed the par four 14th. He had the chance to repair the damage and catch Smith with an eagle at 17. But he had to settle for birdie and 68, which left him a shot short. Three players, England internationals Jack Hiluta, Callum Shinkwin and Josh White, all scheduled for this weekend’s match with Spain, and British Boys champion Matthew Fitzpatrick, shared third place on 138. So Smith adds his name to an illustrious honours board that includes former Open and Masters champion Sandy Lyle, Sir Michael Bonallack as well as Rose. “When you see the likes of Justin Rose and Sandy Lyle as previous winners, these players are legends and you aspire to what they have done. If you start by winning events they won you know you are heading in the right direction,” added Smith. Defending champion Callum Shinkwin once again showed his liking for North Hants with a course record 65 in the afternoon to win the Hampshire Salver, with an aggregate of 273 from the Hampshire Hog and the previous day’s Selborne Salver at Blackmoor. Leading final scores: 136 J Smith (Bowood G&CC) 69 67 137 H Ellis (Meon Valley) 69 68 138 J Hiluta (Chelmsford) 69 69, C Shinkwin (Moor Park) 73 65, J White (Chipstead) 71 67, M Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire) 69 69 139 S Robertshawe (Army) 70 69 22 Apr 2013 Fit again Smith Hogs it at North Hants last_img read more

PETA honours Virat Kohli for animal empowerment

first_imgAdvertisement roNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsn2Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E703r( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) akq5Would you ever consider trying this?😱4p43hCan your students do this? 🌚hRoller skating! Powered by Firework PETA, the renowned animal rights organization, named India skipper Virat Kohli as the ‘Person of the Year for 2019’ for his animal advocacy efforts, on Wednesday. A vegetarian himself, Virat Kohli had publicly called for efforts to improve the living conditions for animals and even sent a letter on PETA India’s behalf to release Malti, an elephant used for rides at Amer Fort, who was reportedly violently beaten by eight men, according to PETA India.Advertisement The World Cup winner is often spotted at an animal shelter in Bengaluru to check on the wounded and neglected dogs being treated there, and advices his fans to adopt animals rather than buying them.Advertisement “Virat Kohli is a fierce animal rights proponent who never hesitates to run out cruelty to animals any way he can. PETA India encourages everyone to follow his lead and always be an advocate for animals in need.” PETA India Director Sachin Bangera said.The previous recipients of this award include Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, former Supreme Court Justice KS Panicker Radhakrishnan, actors Anushka Sharma, Hema Malini, R Madhavan, and Jacqueline Fernandez.Advertisement India’s vegan captain will lead his side against Bangladesh in the historic pink-ball Test match at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata from November 22 onwards.  Advertisementlast_img read more

Photo library: Buildings and structures 15

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Buildings & Structures contact sheet (1.1MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Buildings in the city centre. Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Buildings in the city centre. Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: The city skyline. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: The Hilton Hotel. Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: The Hilton Hotel. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Rhino sculpture outside the Hilton Hotel. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: The Durban International Convention Centre. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: The Durban International Convention Centre. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: The Durban International Convention Centre. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES 15:{loadposition bd}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected]last_img read more

Ohio’s top conservation farmers honored

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Department of Agriculture today recognized five families as winners of the 2019 Conservation Farm Family Awards at the Farm Science Review in London. Ohio Farm Bureau is a sponsor of the awards.“It is one thing to talk about the importance of conservation on the farm, but it is quite another to practice it every day like these award-winning families,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda. “I am proud of each of them for being good neighbors, handling the land with care, and helping to responsibly keep food and agriculture a top-ranking industry in Ohio.”The five families honored were: Kurt Farms of Hardin County; Rick and Janice Brill of Lorain County; Doug and Beth McConnell of Muskingum County; Timothy and Lynn Miller of Logan County; and Fred and Kristy Walters of Hocking County.“Each of the five farm families we recognized operates in a different area of Ohio, with differing acreages, soils, and topography,” said Kirk Hines, chief of the department’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation. “What binds these families together is the commitment to conservation, and dedication to thinking of the next generation of farmers to come.”Since 1984, the Conservation Farm Family Awards program has recognized 186 Ohio farm families for their exemplary efforts conserving soil, water, woodland, wildlife and other natural resources on the land they farm. Conservation farm families also host a variety of educational programs, opening their farms to schools, scout groups, farm organizations and others.The families each receive $400 from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, are featured in the September issue of Ohio Farmer magazine and receive plaques from ADS Hancor Inc. Ohio Farmer magazine has sponsored the Ohio Conservation Farm Family Awards since the program’s inception. Nominations are sought annually between January and May, and Ohio farming families are encouraged to apply. For more information or to apply, individuals can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).2019 Winner profilesArea 1 Winners — Kurt Farms has more than 470 acres in Hardin County, raising corn and soybeans. In 2014, Kurt Farms worked with the Hardin Soil and Water Conservation District and The Nature Conservancy to install a half-mile, two-stage ditch, which carries a normal flow of water, as well as a high flow on benches planted with vegetation. Through a partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ohio Farm Bureau, Kurt Farms became part of the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network to educate on conservation practices. The farm has been the site of dozens of tours, trips, and demonstrations for farm and community groups, media, school and college groups, and political representatives. Kurt Farms was named the 2018 Hardin SWCD Cooperator of the year in 2018.Area 2 Winners — Rick and Janice Brill of Brill-View Farms have more 1,800 acres in Lorain County used for corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. They recently sold the milking cows and are now raising 200 calves and heifers. Brill-View Farms has been a cooperator with Lorain Soil and Water Conservation District since 1971. The Brills work with Sunrise Cooperative to adhere to the 4Rs with both fertilizer and manure applications. Brill-View Farms has hosted many farm tours for school groups and dairy groups through the Holstein Association. Rick is a member of the Lorain County Farm Bureau, Sunrise Cooperative board of directors, and Lorain County Dairy Auction Committee.Area 3 Winners — Doug and Beth McConnell farm 482 acres in Muskingum County, raising corn and soybeans. They also custom-raise Jersey heifers for a nearby dairy. They have transitioned to using rye cover crops on corn and soybean acres. Most of their property is considered highly erodible land, and they use no-till and cover crops to reduce erosion. They have also implemented rotational grazing for their cow/calf herd. The McConnell Family Farm won the Muskingum SWCD Resource Conservationist of the Year in 2018. They are Muskingum County Farm Bureau members.Area 4 Winners — Timothy and Lynn Miller have more than 2,400 acres in Logan County used for no-till corn and soybeans. Farm Bureau members, the Millers apply their own fertilizer, using variable rates based on field needs identified with grid soil sampling and yield monitoring.  Besides doing their own fertilizer application and spraying, the Millers install their own subsurface drainage as needed. The Miller family has hosted the Top of Ohio Ag tour to educate the non-ag community about agriculture. The Miller family was the Logan SWCD Cooperator of the year in 2015.Area 5 Winners — Fred and Kristy Walters farm 335 acres in Hocking County with 203 acres managed as a woodland. The farm also includes grasslands used for pasture, hay production, wildlife food plots, and pollinator habitat. They also maintain a cow-calf herd of registered Angus cows. The Walters are currently developing a tree farm that was previously clear-cut in the 1990s. Utilizing a Woodland Stewardship Management Plan by the Division of Forestry, they have become a certified American Tree Farm. In addition to the forests and grasslands, the Walters have planted pollinator plots and wildlife food plots. The plots help support deer, turkeys, and other wildlife on the farm. The Walters have been cooperators with Hocking SWCD for 39 years.Photo caption: Pictured are Kurt Farms of Hardin County; Rick and Janice Brill of Lorain County; Doug and Beth McConnell of Muskingum County; Timothy and Lynn Miller of Logan County; and Fred and Kristy Walters of Hocking County. Photo by Kelli Milligan Stammenlast_img read more

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint — Part One

first_imgHow many of you have searched the Web to calculate your carbon footprint? I have, and it is exciting, intimidating, and perhaps an all-consuming process. More than 10 years ago my husband and I signed on with Xcel Energy support wind power. We installed a programmable thermostat and set the temperature higher in the summer and lower in the winter. Now, because we live in a county that is offering homeowners carbon reduction on a “green” platter, we can delve even deeper into understanding our carbon footprint.Climate Smart is a loan program for Boulder County homeowners to make energy-efficient and renewable-energy improvements to their residential properties. Last November, voters passed a measure to reduce our environmental impacts, the first community to do so. From what I hear, we are being closely watched as a potential model for other municipalities around the country.We have seen a large increase in greenhouse gas emissions across our county, which prompted Boulder to adopt the Kyoto Protocol toward a long-term carbon neutrality goal. Thousands of us—including my husband and me—are applying for a greener, healthier, happier (makes me happier to walk my talk on multiple levels), and more affordable home energy package through the Climate Smart program.The program basically supports energy-efficiency and renewable-energy measures through a countywide pool of funds obtained through sale of bonds. Property owners opt in, and the great news is that homeowners can get loans that may even cover the full up-front cost of improvements. A special assessment is placed on the residential property, and payments are made via property taxes, which keeps the repayment responsibility with the benefitting property.Boulder County will be monitoring the results of the program with measurable metrics. Participants will be required to sign a utility-bill waiver so that the program’s impact can be assessed for the first round of loan distributions.The county has apportioned $28 million for residential properties. Assuming an average loan size of $10k, the program can provide approximately 2,800 residential loans. The minimum loan is $3,000 per home, and the maximum is as follows:Open loans funded by taxable bonds: 20% of statutory actual value of property or $50,000, whichever is lessIncome-qualified loans funded by tax-exempt bonds: $15,000, as per federal lawIncome-qualified loans may be combined with open loans up to the open loan maximumWe—the homeowners—will support the program through a $75 application fee, a loan origination fee (1 to 2% of the loan value), and a small portion of the assessment rate.Repayment will be made through a 15-year loan attached to the annual amount due on property taxes. Paying the remaining loan balance is acceptable, but no partial prepayments are allowed.In addition, rebates and incentives are available through federal deductions and “Solar Rewards” through Xcel, our energy provider. The Xcel rebate will be deducted from the loan amount, lowering the overall amount of the loan up-front.This awesome program has no ineligibility of any kind and creates an opportunity for many—including us—to participate. So far, only 1,200 homeowners have registered, but program administrators anticipate that 2,800 more will enroll during the short window of opportunity between April 1 and April 10.Priority loans will be given to homeowners who have had energy audits, including blower door test with infrared, efficiency measures, and time/date stamp on application. Keep your fingers crossed that we are selected to participate!We have received several not-to-exceed bids for solar electric power and will be applying on-line on the morning of April 1st! Stay tuned for Part Two, where we take action to reduce our energy usage.last_img read more

Determining Your Life’s Purpose

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now The most important decision you will ever make is the decision as to what you will do with your life. Your one life. This is more difficult than it sounds.This decision requires that you navigate between two primary questions.What Are You Here For?First, you have to determine what your purpose is. Why are you here?What are you here to do?What contribution are you going to make?What is the mark that you are to make?There is no purpose that will satisfy you long-term if it doesn’t make some contribution to others. You are going to measure your life by the contribution you made to others and the gratitude you feel for those that were there for you.How Do You Want to Live?The second idea is as important. How do you want to spend your time?What does your ideal day look like?What lifestyle do you want for yourself?Who do you want to spend your time with?How do you design this life?There is more than one way to live your purpose. Your way need only be the right way for you. Others will choose their own path, and their path need not look like yours.Living IntentionallyMuch of the circumstances of your life are accidental. You don’t choose your parents. You don’t choose the place of your birth. You don’t choose who you fall in love with.But you have to be very intentional about what to do with your life. It’s likely that you haven’t spent enough time asking yourself these questions and working on the answers. Your answers may change from time to time because your intentions may change.If you don’t determine the purpose of your life and how you will live it, someone else will, and that is a recipe for unhappiness. Your primary job is to determine your life’s purpose and then get busy fulfilling it.last_img read more

Saudi on track to restore third of lost oil output experts

first_imgRiyadh: Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is expected to restore Monday at least a third of the production lost to weekend attacks on two major oil facilities, according to experts and reports. The Saturday strikes on national energy giant Aramco’s Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oil field knocked 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) off production, over half of the OPEC kingpin’s output, sending shockwaves through markets. Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said Sunday the kingdom would use its vast inventories to partially compensate for the lost production, and the US also authorised the release of its reserves. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US But oil prices saw a record surge on Monday, with key contracts more than 10 percent higher as finger-pointing at Iran fuelled fresh geopolitical fears. The Energy Intelligence specialist newsletter cited industry sources as saying Aramco was “close to restoring as much as 40 percent” of the lost production, or about 2.3 million bpd. The Wall Street Journal cited people familiar with the damage estimates as saying the hit facilities would take weeks to return to full production capacity. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls However, one of its sources told the newspaper: “We should be able to have two million barrels a day back online… by tomorrow (Monday).” Industry consultant Energy Aspects also estimated the country would be able to restore almost half the lost production as early as Monday. Aramco said Saturday it would provide an update within two days, and all eyes are on official word on the state of play, which could offer reassurance to jittery markets. A report by Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television said Monday however that Aramco was ready to restart the Khurais plant, which handles 1.5 million bpd. Saudi Arabia pumps 9.9 million bpd, almost 10 percent of global demand, of which seven million bpd is destined for export. The kingdom also has a spare capacity of around two million bpd that it can draw on at times of crisis. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Huthi rebels have claimed responsibility for Saturday’s strikes, one of the most destructive attacks on Saudi oil facilities, but the kingdom has not yet officially accused any side. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed the finger squarely at Tehran, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen. US President Donald Trump has raised the possibility of military retaliation, saying Sunday that Washignton was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack. Tehran denies the accusations but the news revived fears of direct conflict after a series of attacks on oil tankers in sensitive Gulf waters earlier this year that were also blamed on Iran.last_img read more