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Exotic Christmas Gifts

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first_imgIf you’re shopping for a holiday gift plant, you’re bound to see some odd, exoticplants among your garden center offerings.Some may be growing on what looks like little stumps. Most have brightly colored leavesor peculiar flowers and thick, waxy leaves.They’re called bromeliads.”Bromeliaceae is a very large family of plants,” said Paul Thomas, ahorticulturist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. “They’re epiphytic,which means they grow on trees, usually in very tropical environments.”The bromeliads you’re apt to buy in stores aren’t Georgia products. They come fromSouth and Central America, from Peru and Chile up through Mexico.”Georgia has a native bromeliad,” Thomas said. “It’s called Spanishmoss, which is a Tillandsia plant. As you go further south into Florida, you’llfind many other Tillandsias.”Another famous bromeliad is the pineapple. That’s one of the biggest plants in thefamily, although there are a few bigger species.”So you have bromeliads that you eat, and you have some that can be used aspacking material,” Thomas said. “Another whole group is floriferous — they’regrown for their exotic flowers.”Among these plants, the ones you’ll find in stores this Christmas and throughout theyear, are Cryptomeria, which are sometimes called “Christmas stars” andother names. “They’re noted for their multicolored, flat, pineapple-likeleaves,” Thomas said. “They make a wonderful indoor ground cover and neat potplants.”One spectacular bromeliad is a Vriesia. “This plant has huge red bracts onthe flower scape,” he said. “It sends up what looks like a large, bright redsword, which opens up to reveal bright blue flowers.”Bromeliads come in countless shapes and sizes, from tiny things to giants. And thegreat thing about them, Thomas said, is “they’re all fairly easy to grow.”They grow best in medium light. So they do well in east- or west-facing windows. Andthey grow well under artificial light.”You can carry them outdoors in the summer, and they’ll bloom like crazy,”Thomas said.But remember, they’re epiphytes — they grow on other plants. “They like to bewatered, but they’re used to having the water run off,” he said. “You can growthem well in a pot in a regular potting mix, but you have to let the mix dry out from timeto time.”Or you can attach them to slabs of bark. “They’ll slowly root into the bark,”he said, “but you’ll have to water them more often.”A unique thing about watering bromeliads, Thomas said, is that their leaves arecomplete rosettes, forming perfect cups.”That’s how a tree dweller survives,” he said. “They’re used to catchingwater that way. So water the plant from top to bottom to keep adequate moisture in thosecups.”To keep the plant looking its best, you’ll need to give it a thorough shower everycouple of weeks or so.These plants don’t like a lot of fertilizer, though. Thomas’ rule-of-thumb is to dividethe label recommendations of your normal houseplant fertilizer by four.Bromeliads are annuals in Georgia. They’re not cold-tolerant. In south Florida, though,they keep growing as long as people take care of them.”You can have bromeliads that are 10 or 15 years old,” Thomas said, “ifyou bring them inside when it turns cool and keep them watered.”Bromeliads are resistant to most diseases, as long as you don’t let the roots getsaturated. They’re resistant to most insects, too.And even apartment dwellers who don’t have many windows can have big collections ofbromeliads.”Many of these plants are tiny,” Thomas said. “The entire plant may bethe size of your thumb. And they grow very slowly. So you can have a big collection ofbromeliads on a single window sill.”last_img read more

Welch announces staff changes

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first_imgUS Rep. Peter Welch announced Tuesday a set of staff transitions geared toward supporting his work on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, to which he was appointed in January.Welch hired Stephanie Krenrich as Senior Legislative Assistant with a focus on health, education, housing and the environment. Mary Sprayregen, who previously served as Welch s Business Liaison in his Vermont office, has joined the Congressman s Washington office as a Legislative Assistant with a focus on business, energy, telecommunications and appropriations. I am pleased to welcome Stephanie Krenrich to our team and Mary Sprayregen to our Washington office, Welch said. Stephanie has proven herself as an accomplished legislative assistant and brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to our office. Mary was an invaluable asset to our Vermont office and to the state s business community, and I am excited she will be joining our Washington team.Stephanie Krenrich (Senior Legislative Assistant), a six-year veteran of the House, brings extensive legislative experience to the Welch office. Krenrich previously served as Legislative Assistant for Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and for Rep. Lane Evans (D-Ill.). Before that, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer for the Montana Legal Services Association in Helena. Krenrich graduated from New York University with a degree in politics and will graduate from Johns Hopkins University with an M.A. in government later this year.Mary Sprayregen (Legislative Assistant), a native of Charlotte, Vt., has worked in Congressman Welch s Vermont office as Business Liaison since January, 2007. Prior to that, Sprayregen served as Director of Government Affairs for the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and GBIC. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Skidmore College with a B.A. in sociology and law, Sprayregen has also worked as a policy researcher evaluating Vermont s reparative probation program and as an English teacher in Italy.Source: Representative Welchlast_img read more

How Summit Credit Union is changing lives with its ‘Project Money’ program

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first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Many of us are constantly looking on how we can build a better financial foundation, get out of debt, or simply get a better handle on our finances. Where do you go for this guidance? Well, how about your credit union?Summit Credit Union is changing financial lives with its highly successful “Project Money” program for seven years, helping members find a firm footing financially through friendly competition. continue reading »last_img read more

Reform package of tourism laws adopted

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first_imgGET INVOLVED IN THE PUBLIC DEBATE ON THE MANNER AND CONDITIONS FOR OBTAINING CONCESSIONS ON TOURIST LAND IN CAMPSITES Cappelli also said that these laws are aimed at making tourist boards (TZ) financially self-sufficient and more involved in destination management. “This is one of the first steps to finally put everything in its place and to see if we manage destinations at all, if we do it well and how many tourists there are in a destination at all. An important role in this is taken over by the current CNTB Head Office, which is becoming practically a marketing agency, something like “Visit Britain”, a German tourist organization, etc. “said Cappelli. DRAFT PROPOSAL OF TOURIST LAW PACKAGES Cappelli: The three new tourism laws are a major reform and decentralizing step forward These are the final proposals of the law on tourist boards and the promotion of Croatian tourism, membership fees in tourist boards and the tourist tax, which the Government sent to Parliament today. Regarding the Law on Membership Fees in Tourist Boards, Minister Cappelli pointed out that the rate for calculating the membership fee was 28 to five, which relieved the economy of HRK 11 million. Also, 21 activities are exempt from paying that membership fee, while some new activities have been introduced, such as banks. “More will be encouraged through the fund for underdeveloped areas and the continent, for which 9 percent will be allocated compared to the previous 7,5 percent, and of these funds will be allocated to regional tourist boards that earn less than HRK 500 thousand of revenue per year, as a difference up to the amount of HRK 500 thousand. However, after the expiration of five years, the funds will be distributed to tourist boards and regional and local in these areas through a public tender”, Explained Cappelli, adding that he wants to equalize everything so that they can ‘start’ equally.The Law on Tourist Tax stipulates that in the future the amount will no longer be determined by a Government decree, but will be determined by county assemblies, and the Minister will prescribe only minimum and maximum amounts, for example from 10 to 15.”We have introduced a 2 percent novelty in both membership fees and tourist fees for projects and programs of joint tourist boards, and an important thing about the fee is the introduction of charging options for cruisers in maritime and inland waterway transport, but the decision is left to city councils , if they want they can importSaid Cappelli. Photo: Government of the Republic of Croatia At today’s 150th Session of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the reform was adopted package of tourism laws. RELATED NEWS: The laws are expected to be on the parliamentary agenda as early as next week. The law on tourist land is coming soonHe also announced that a change was coming soon of the Law on Tourist Land, which is important for investments, as well as to prepare the development of a new strategy for the development of Croatian tourism from 2020 onwards, which, according to Cappelli, “this Government will pass the most important laws for tourism before the expiration of the mandate.” 20 years, to encourage further investment and get a stronger, better and more efficient system needed in tourism, ”concluded Cappelli. The three tourism laws that the Government sent to the Parliament today are a big reform and decentralizing step forward, because large funds and decision-making are left to cities and counties, said the Minister of Tourism. Gari Cappelli at a press conference after the Government session and added that the mentioned laws are reform and go for the improvement of the system of tourist boards and its harmonization with modern trends. He also pointed out that the law on tourist boards encourages the association of tourist boards, which is happening in the field even before the law is passed, for example in the Imotski region, and similar announcements are made from Gorski Kotar, Kvarner, Hvar, Makarska Riviera and elsewhere. is, according to him, proof that it is going in the right direction.last_img read more

Post-pandemic foreign policy must change, former minister says

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first_imgA former top diplomat has sparked a debate about the direction of Indonesian foreign policy as the rules-based international order comes under increasing pressure for its management of the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis.Former foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda called on the nation to pivot away from multilateralism and focus its efforts on bilateral and regional diplomacy, after what he said was a lack of leadership by the United Nations and international agencies.Hassan’s appeal touches on criticism of the UN’s slow COVID-19 response, as the organization and its related bodies have been embroiled in the geopolitical rivalry between China and the United States. “The United Nations and international organizations are no longer effective,” Hassan declared as he criticized the World Health Organization for allowing an attack on its credibility.Read also: The strange war against the WHO amid its battle with COVID-19He said that over the past six months, the pandemic had managed to speed up the end of globalization, evident in the way countries were becoming more dependent on their own national responses and bilateral cooperation initiatives and less on the multilateral system.Hassan took Indonesia’s cooperation with South Korea on the production of face masks and personal protective equipment as an example of the current development. “Understanding the great changes in the global and regional landscape, both in geopolitical and geoeconomic [terms], it is necessary to refocus Indonesian diplomacy after the pandemic,” he said during an online discussion on Wednesday.Read also: Insight: COVID-19: The challenge to multilateralism and regionalismHassan said that while the 1945 Constitution maintained that Indonesia had to contribute to world peace, the nation should also be realistic about the fact that efforts to restructure the world order had not been successful.Indonesia’s foreign policy mission was formed on the basis of an excerpt from the Preamble of the Constitution, in which the formation of the government was partly predicated on the goal of establishing “a world order based on freedom, abiding peace and social justice”.Going forward, bilateral diplomacy should strive for tangible and measurable targets in order to strengthen “national post-pandemic independence” in a range of areas as new global trends emerge, said the former minister, who is credited with preparing the current cohort of senior Foreign Ministry officials.He also said that regional diplomacy was needed to help protect Indonesia “from our existential threat as a nation state” and that the nation’s diplomacy must be more grounded.Hassan’s criticism of the global order comes ahead of the UN’s 75th anniversary and amid a physical shutdown of the organization as a result of the pandemic. This has limited diplomatic efforts and helped embolden nations that are skeptical of the body’s professed multilateral ideals.Hasan’s comments also follow Indonesia’s latest forays into UN leadership. The country has secured a seat on the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and serves on the Security Council and the Human Rights Commission.Read also: Indonesia secures seat on United Nations Economic and Social CouncilOn many occasions, the Foreign Ministry, led by Retno Marsudi, has insisted upon the need to maintain the multilateral system to ensure global access to vaccines, medical supplies and equipment and to mitigate the economic impacts of the outbreak.Retno again defended multilateralism on Thursday at a virtual meeting between ASEAN and Russia, saying the global fight against COVID-19 should be seized as an opportunity to strengthen collaboration among countries.She raised the issue of eroding trust among nations and stressed the need for all parties to set aside their differences.“Indonesia wants to see multilateralism work in a more effective way – a multilateralism that puts forward collective interests and prevents the mighty from taking everything,” the minister said.Read also: Indonesia stresses need for multilateralism in ASEAN-Russia meetingSeparately, Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar acknowledged growing concerns that the global supply chain was becoming too dependent on a very limited number of countries.Such dependency had become an unacceptable risk, he said, as the world had witnessed scarcity in medical supplies and equipment earlier this year because many of the raw materials for mass production came from only one or two countries.“This can be interpreted as a nationalist or protectionist attitude, but I see it as a consequence of, and the lessons learned from, what we have been through over the last few months,” Mahendra said during a public lecture on Wednesday.Indonesia recorded a record surge in COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 1,331 new confirmed cases, a day after the country officially surpassed Singapore, in gross terms, with the highest number of recorded infections in Southeast Asia. Indonesia’s population is about 48 times larger than Singapore’s.Read also: Indonesia records another record number of new COVID-19 casesThe foreign service has been actively involved in global health initiatives and in forging bilateral deals, which observers say have helped ease the burden on the state’s pandemic response.“We see all of this disruption not as a source of nervousness but as an opportunity. As some wise people have said, ‘We should never waste a good crisis,’” Mahendra said.Topics :last_img read more

A mammoth sized mansion in Maudsland will go under the hammer

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first_imgMammoth mansionPOISED on a 4,736sq m block, this enormous Maudsland property captures hinterland views and has space for up to 10 cars. With a commanding presence in Maudsland’s new estate, Huntington Downs, the five-bedroom home was custom built in 2011 by builder Tony Trimarchi to use as his personal home. gcb realestate 20 Huntington Drive Maudsland 30 March 2017“The current owner has landscaped a lot of the sloping property and has created an outdoor entertaining area with a fire pit and timber decking so you can enjoy the views from the top,” Mr Contreras said.The property has a sustainable design with solar panels and a water tank.The master planned community is eight minutes from the motorway. 20 Huntington Drive MaudslandThe home at 20 Huntington Drive has high ceilings, concrete floors and a large open plan design.Daniel O’Halloran bought the property with his partner Yvonne Carberry in 2013.Platinum Properties Real Estate agent Antonio Contreras who is marketing the property describes the it as Maudsland’s trophy home. 20 Huntington Drive Maudsland“I have had a lot of interest from interstate buyers but predominantly Brisbane buyers with big families who are after rural living that is still convenient to town.“It is the best of both worlds with Hinterland but you’re only minutes from Helensvale.”The home includes a cabana, pool house and swimming pool.center_img 20 Huntington Drive Maudsland“There are only a small number of homes in the estate, it’s still a very new community but this home outshines most in the area,” Mr Contreras said.“It was built on a grand scale and bedrooms are larger than a regular home.”More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North9 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoMr Contreras said buyers were attracted to the average homes in the estate. 20 Huntington Drive Maudsland20 Huntington Drive Maudsland5 4 10Auction: April 9, 11amFeatures: Firepit, swimming pool and timber flooringArea: 4,736sq mAgents: Joe Farr and Antonio Contreras, Platinum Properties Real Estate, Runaway BayInspection: By appointmentlast_img read more

First oil flows from Hail field offshore Abu Dhabi

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first_imgSpanish oil and gas company Cepsa and Japanese petrochemicals firm Cosmo Oil have started oil production from the Hail oil field offshore Abu Dhabi. Hail oil field was put into production on Tuesday, November 7 in the Abu Dhabi Oil Company (ADOC) concession by Cepsa and Cosmo Oil, through the company Cosmo Abu Dhabi Energy Exploration & Production, which is one of ADOC’s shareholders with a 64.4% stake.Cepsa and Cosmo created Cosmo Abu Dhabi Energy Exploration & Production three years ago to operate in Abu Dhabi and look for new opportunities in the United Arab Emirates.Hail is the fourth offshore crude oil field to start production in the ADOC concession in addition to the Mubarraz field, Umm Al-Anbar field and Neewat Al- Ghalan fields. All of them are located in shallow waters to the West of Abu Dhabi and were put into production in 2017, 1973, 1989, and 1995, respectively.The Hail field will allow Cepsa to significantly increase its production. The Hail field is adjacent to the existing fields, making maximum use of existing facilities. It is located on an artificial island communicated via subsea pipeline to current production and export facilities on Mubarraz Island. The development also includes ten producing wells.The Hail oil field was acquired when the existing oil fields renewed their concessions for 30 years on December 12, 2012. After the acquisition of the concession, ADOC carried out the analysis process such as the 3D seismic survey and drilling of the appraisal wells, reclamation of the new artificial island and construction of facilities, as well as drilling new wells.Cepsa holds a 20% stake in Cosmo Abu Dhabi Energy Exploration & Production and the other 80% interest belongs to Cosmo Oil. Both Cepsa and Cosmo form part of Mubadala Investment Company’s portfolio (Cepsa 100% and Cosmo 20.8%).According to Cosmo’s statement on Wednesday, the production from the Hail field is the first oil field development in the Middle East by a Japanese operator since 2011.Cosmo added that Hail oil field production volume was estimated to be equivalent to that of the existing oil fields.last_img read more

i3 Energy in FPSO, funding talks for North Sea fields

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first_imgi3 Energy, a company working to develop its Liberator and Serenity fields in the UK North Sea, is in talks with banks and potential farm-in partners to secure the necessary funding.London-listed oil company, which hopes to produce 200 MMbbls from the two fields, on Thursday said it continued to progress its previously announced joint venture (“JV”) farm-out process “and has been pleased with the response”. “Several companies are conducting due diligence, with additional parties scheduled to enter the process in January, and i3 expects to set a bid date during the course of February,” i3 Energy said.Apart from JV talks, i3 said it was working with senior and junior lenders in the UK and North America negotiating loans that would, on finalization of agreements, provide between US$100 and US$130 million.Split between two FPSOsAs for the development – Liberator Phase I – which it expects to bring on stream by mid-2020, the company is looking at an FPSO option. So far, i3 has two options. Repsol Sinopec-operated Bleo Holm FPSO, or an FPSO to be directly leased by i3.In December 2018, i3 received indicative terms from Repsol Sinopec for Liberator’s use of Bleo Holm FPSO via Ross field infrastructure. i3 on Thursday said the parties were working together agreeing on the terms for Liberator Phase I construction and tie-in, and transportation, processing and operating services agreements.“These agreements are expected to be finalized alongside the 2019 field development plan (“FDP”) approval by the UK Oil and Gas Authority,” i3 said.Also, as an alternative to the use of the Bleo Holm, i3 has said it has also executed a Memorandum of Understanding for the provision of a standalone floating, production, offloading and storage (“FPSO”) vessel for the company’s 2020 delivery of Liberator Phase I.” i3‘s lease of the FPSO would eliminate its reliance on access to third-party operated infrastructure. The Company will continue to assess both offtake solutions in order to maximize shareholder value as it moves towards its final investment decision at FDP approval,” i3 said.Rig securedAlso, Dolphin Drilling on Thursday confirmed the signing of a letter of intent with i3 for an offshore rig charter. Subject to finalization of the deal, which is subject to securing the funds, i3 will use the rig for a three-well appraisal program starting in June.i3 expects to spend up to 25% of the abovementioned loan which has yet to be secured on the drilling appraisal and development campaign. The rest would be spent for the residual 2019/2020 Liberator Phase I production wells, subsea installation and field tie-in.The company expects its three-well 2019 drilling programme to cost c.US$41 million with additional capex to 2020 first oil of c.US$90 million, inclusive of considerable contingency.Majid Shafiq, i3‘s CEO, “We are very pleased with the progress we are making to move the Liberator field towards development and with the ongoing technical maturation of the upside in our acreage to drill-ready status. We look forward to the completion of our FDP and funding initiatives and the commencement of a very exciting drilling programme this summer.”Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

Regulator blocks Pieridae Energy’s asset buy from Shell

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first_img According to the company, this issue only applies to the Waterton and Jumping Pound gas plants. The company also managed to renegotiate extensions of the key deadlines regarding the LNG project under its long-term deal with Germany’s Uniper. Pieridae announced in April this year it would postpone its decision on the Goldboro LNG project due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The first train will have a capacity of or 4.8 million tonnes per year. “The scope and extent of the contamination at the site is not well known and is not well described in the applications”, the regulator said. The Goldboro LNG facility will have two trains with a combined production capacity of 9.6 million tonnes per year. “The issue for denial was the fact that there is no precedent for splitting a licence or no ability under the current legislation to do so”, Pierideae said. Pieridae and Shell Canada are evaluating options on the transfer applications and will continue to “attempt to seek clarity from the regulator to define an appropriate path forward,” the statement said. However, in a decision released Thursday, the Alberta Energy Regulator claims the deal is against the intent of environmental laws saying it was not happy with how the deal would have split the liability for cleaning up the sites, especially at a pair of gas processing plants. Alberta’s energy regulator has blocked a deal between Canada’s Pieridae Energy, the developer of the Goldboro LNG export project, and Shell’s Canadian unit citing clean-up concerns. Pieridae said in a response to the ruling on Friday it was “disappointed” by the regulator’s decision regarding the transfer of licences for the Foothills assets. Pieridae has a 20-year agreement with German utility Uniper for all of the volumes from the first Goldboro liquefaction train. The Foothills assets are seen as an anchor production for the Goldboro LNG project in Nova Scotia. Pieridae closed a deal worth C$190 million ($134.9m) in October last year to buy Shell’s midstream and upstream gas assets in the southern Alberta Foothills. The Goldboro LNG developer says the decision has nothing to do with Pieridae’s financial position nor its ability to clean up certain assets. last_img read more

Dominica’s citrus sector receives assistance from Cuban specialists

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first_imgAN orange affected by Citrus Tristeza Virus. Photo credit: agnet.orgDominica’s citrus industry is currently benefitting from the expertise of three Cuban specialists who are on island providing training in dealing with citrus viruses.The Citrus sector has been affected by a plant virus called Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) which according to Wikipedia is a “viral species of the Closterovirus genus that causes the most economically damaging disease to its namesake plant genus, Citrus. The disease has led to the death of millions of Citrus trees all over the world and has rendered other millions useless for production”.Coordinator of Dominica’s Citrus Certification Programme, Joseph Blandford explained that the three specialist who will be on island for three months are assisting in three areas; quarantine, sanitation and implementation.He said these areas are pertinent in ensuring an effective certification program which is in compliance with the “prescribed protocol” to provide “disease-free planting material” to farmers.According to him one of the specialist who is assisting with the propagation aspect of the programme, will help ensure that the program “follows the protocol and the necessary steps and procedures to ensure that we actually are producing healthy, disease-free planting material”. The other is assisting with the “disease-free part of it where we are doing the cleaning up of the material that we have”.Blandford noted that the specialist have complimented Dominica for having “excellent varieties” and should therefore seek to “clean up and replicate them” instead of only import planting material.Meanwhile the other specialist is assisting with the disease aspect of the programme. This entails “identifying the various diseases and showing us the steps and procedures to inoculate them so that we can cross reference what we are producing with the disease to ensure that those plants that we are producing are actually free from this disease”.Blandford admitted that citrus plants are affected by a wide range of viruses however the Citrus tristeza virus is the major concern right now.Dominica Vibes News LocalNews Dominica’s citrus sector receives assistance from Cuban specialists by: – May 11, 2012 Share Sharing is caring! Tweetcenter_img Share Share 33 Views   no discussionslast_img read more