New Jersey wins major victory in legal challenge to PennEast Pipeline

first_imgIssued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the decision reverses an earlier district court ruling that had allowed PennEast to condemn approximately 40 parcels previously and permanently preserved for recreational, conservation and/or agricultural uses through State tax dollars Image: New Jersey wins major victory in legal challenge to PennEast Pipeline. Photo: courtesy of PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay. In a major legal victory for the State and New Jersey’s environment, a federal appeals court today ruled that PennEast, a private company, cannot condemn State-owned lands in order to build part of its planned 116-mile natural gas pipeline across New Jersey, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced.Issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the decision reverses an earlier district court ruling that had allowed PennEast to condemn approximately 40 parcels previously and permanently preserved for recreational, conservation and/or agricultural uses through State tax dollars. Agreeing with New Jersey’s arguments, the Third Circuit held that, under the Eleventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the State is immune from condemnation lawsuits by private parties, including pipeline companies. (Under the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity, the State cannot be sued by a private entity without its consent.)“We will not hesitate to stand up to private companies when their actions violate the law—or, in this case, the U.S. Constitution,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “From the very beginning, we have made clear that the Eleventh Amendment prohibits private pipeline companies like PennEast from condemning state properties for private use, and we’re pleased that the Third Circuit agreed with our position. This is great news for New Jersey and the environment.”In issuing its ruling, the Third Circuit held that the federal Natural Gas Act – which PennEast argued allowed it to condemn all needed properties along the path of its proposed pipeline – does not overcome New Jersey’s sovereign immunity under the Constitution. Source: Company Press Releaselast_img read more

OUSU to take months to replace ‘vital’ officer

first_imgOxford University Students’ Union has found itself without a “vital” member of its team after the contract of its Strategic and Financial Manager was abruptly ended last week.Eleanor Crichton, a graduate from St Anne’s, took office in June on what was intended to be a nine-month paid contract.However, she will now not be replaced by a full-time professional until at least August next year, with some of the position’s responsibilities having to be dropped as a result.Lewis Iwu, OUSU President, has refused to divulge the reasons for her departure, saying it was a “confidential personnel matter.” But he did admit there had been “teething problems” with the position that he hoped would be “ironed out” with the next appointment.He also admitted that OUSU hadn’t properly vetted candidates for the position when they were interviewed last year.OUSU President Lewis Iwu created the position of Strategic and Financial Manager during his time as Finance Manager of OUSU two years ago. “The role of Strategic and Financial administration Manager is key to the long term vision and finances of the Student Union. The role will provide us with expertise, continuity and professionalism which I think will benefit the students of Oxford,” he stated.In the meantime, the position will be filled by Richard Hardiman, last year’s OUSU Vice-President for Finance.Iwu was keen to stress that Hardiman is only an “acting” Financial Manager and insisted that he would be replaced as soon as a more suitable candidate was found. However, both Iwu and Hardiman confirmed that Hardiman’s contract had been agreed until the 28 August 2009.Hardiman is to stay as Financial Manager for over ten months in order to give OUSU time to hunt for a new candidate, said Iwu. He stated that the search for a new employee will not begin until January when the OUSU General Office Manager returns from leave, and expects to spend “at least four to five months” investigating the background and quality of potential applicants to ensure that they are able to better identify the “right type of candidate.”Richard Hardiman was on the panel that was responsible for appointing Crichton.He said that those on the panel felt Crichton had been the “strongest” candidate out of the final people that they saw. “It wasn’t that we brought some body in to fill the gap, regardless of who they were,” he said.However, Hardiman admitted that the job description had been “written in such a way that it did not attract the most appropriate candidate” and explained that it was now necessary to “look at the type of applicant that was attracted by the job description last year and tweak it so that it attracts someone that job description suits better.”Iwu too admitted failures in the recruitment process. He stated that the advertised job description had perhaps been “too vague” and would be “tightened” in the next advertisement.last_img read more

“Fuck You Willetts” banner unveiled in Union

first_imgTwo protestors unveiled a banner in the Union on thursday during the debate on higher education which read ‘Fuck You Willetts (And Made In Chelsea Is Shit Too)’ during a speech by David Willets, the Minister of State for Universities and Science.The banner was unveiled from the upper balcony, and was accompanied by chanting by the two protestors, who shouted “David Willetts, get out, we know what you’re all about” and  “Cuts, job losses, money for the bosses”.  The motion being debated in the Union was “This House Believes University Education is a Right not a Privilege”, a motion which David Willetts was arguing in favour of, whilst the Made In Chelsea star Spencer Matthews was arguing against the motion. The two female protestors are reported to not be members of the Oxford Union. They were both removed from the chamber shortly after the banner was unveiled. Twitter was quick to react:Amy and Manishta became legends as they banner dropped David Willets at Oxford Union to angry Tarquin groans…— Matthew Smith (@MatthewSmth) October 31, 2013Protesters storm the @OxfordUnion interrupting David Willets’ closing speech #educationdebate— Alys Key (@FashionMoriarty) October 31, 2013Oxford Union is always good entertainment. This week, a huge banner offering profanities for the university secretary and security. Again.— Liam Saddington (@Saddy_94) October 31, 2013 This protest followed a day-long protest in favour of the nationwide lecturer’s strike on Thursday which included a sit-in in the Examinations Schools, in protest against poor pay for academics and University staff. A small group of protestors also concentrated outside the Union gates before the debate.last_img read more

New Oxford study identifies main suicide risk factors

first_imgLast week, researchers from the University of Oxford and the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, published a new study on lifetime suicide risk factors in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). In the 12 months before July 2017,the rate of suicide for universitystudents in England and Wales was4.7 deaths per 100,000 students,which equates to 95 suicides or aboutone death every four days. Suicide isthe foremost leading cause of deathworldwide among persons aged 15 to24 years of age. Professor Seena Fazel of Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry said: “This is the first evidence synthesis to look at suicide at a population-wide level and through the course of peoples’ lives, which is particularly useful because many risk factors contribute differentially in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, and we have attempted to identify both replicated factors and their strength. Suicide prevention methods were also analysed in the study. It was found that the risk of suicide could be managed through regular follow- up and brief psychological therapy, while for persons with symptoms of mental illness, pharmacologic treatment should also be considered. The suicidal person, family members, and those who provide care should all take part in ensuring a safe environment, with removal of the means of suicide such as guns or certain medications. The study also looked at specific subgroups to determine the key risk factors for different areas of society including prisoners, military and veteran populations, discharged psychiatric patients, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. “Preventing suicide involves understanding the full picture of contributing factors throughout a lifetime, and there is no simple solution or fix. What we wanted to do in this review was to provide an overview of the latest evidence of how to identify higher-risk individuals, and one that could be used in any country.” The study differentiates between individual risk factors, such as physical or mental health problems, and environmental risk factors, such as access to firearms or the effects of the media. It also focuses on identifying the various points in people’s lives when they will be more susceptible to these risk factors. The study finds that depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, substance use disorders, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury are all factors which increase the likelihood of completed suicide by a factor of more than 3 over the course of a lifetime. The researchers found that factors such as genetics and family history play a part in suicide risk throughout life, while other factors including depression, substance abuse, lack of social support and financial problems become stronger after adolescence. last_img read more

Chamber Installs New Officers and Directors

first_imgBill McMahon returns for another year as president of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce welcomed William McMahon III as its new president at its annual installation dinner Thursday at the Ocean City Yacht Club.McMahon thanked outgoing President Brian Broadley and drew laughter from the crowd as he presented him with a carved elephant (an apparent reference to an infamously inappropriate joke told by a comedian hired by Broadley for a Chamber roast of Bill Elliott).McMahon thanked his wife, Anita (“a rock”), and he thanked the Chamber staff (“the best”).He said he’d work to help Ocean City “continue to grow as the best vacation resort and an even better place to live.”Carol Heenan (Garden Court Estates) was installed as first vice president. Kim Davidson (Ocean City Home Bank) was reinstalled as secretary and Robert Adams (Tidelines Management) was reinstalled as treasurer.See complete list of directors installed on Thursday. Bill McMahon is installed as president of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce.Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce directorslast_img read more

News story: DASA Download: Achieving exploitation from innovation

first_imgInnovation BuzzTo achieve the UK’s vision to maintain its strategic advantage through the most innovative defence and security capabilities in the world, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) works collaboratively with government, industry and academia to identify requirements and bring together the right people to develop workable solutions rapidly. We also support implementation of innovation into the hands of end users. This positive cultural shift within the defence and security sectors to embrace and catalyse innovation has created new funding streams, for instance the Defence Transformation Fund, and programmes such as the Spearhead Initiative. And, likewise in the Security sector, new innovation funding streams are being launched to stimulate innovation activity. For example, the Department for Transport (DfT) recently introduced a number of new Innovation Focus Areas with DASA to provide an uplift in capability available to transport operators.Blurring linesCurrent and future threats facing the UK and our allies are such that the lines of responsibility are blurring between Defence and Security requiring a cohesive working approach across the sectors. Indeed, the National Security and Capability Review recently highlighted the imperatives of working across government through the Fusion Doctrine to maximise the collective effect of the UK’s national security capabilities.Critical CapabilityAt DASA, our mission is to drive innovation in the Defence and Security eco-system, and we, the exploitation team, have a core role to play to ensure that the innovative concepts funded through DASA are best placed for successful implementation.As a service provider, we provide the Government with a critical capability to reach out to our networks and to find and fund some of the UK’s brightest ideas. Aligned to this, DASA helps our innovators to transfer their innovation across the defence and security landscape, cross-fertilising capabilities and helping them to understand how to access the marketplace.To support our innovators we provide advice, liaising and leveraging our networks to ensure that innovators are best placed to maximise the potential from government investment. However, achieving the adoption and uptake of the majority of novel ideas requires significant input and support from across the defence and security environment, hence the importance of our work to mobilise the ecosystem.Fingers on the pulseDASA is at the forefront of policy and operational response; we react quickly to requests to harness private sector capability to counter threats facing the UK. We are aware of the diverse challenges facing the defence and security sectors. We endeavour to understand priority areas for capability development, in addition to the barriers which may impact innovators from accessing the defence and security marketplace. And, we are keen to capitalise on our knowledge in these areas by encouraging relationships within the defence and security ecosystems. The planned appointment of embedded DASA staff in Front Line Commands will continue to improve our understanding and support of our cross defence colleagues.Most recently, in the Security sector, we’ve been doing our bit to find and fund innovation that could potentially detect knives, collaborating with the Home Office in their campaign to tackle knife crime.DASA’s ‘Improving Crowd Resilience’ Programme was established in collaboration with the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) in the Home Office, as a direct response to the 2017 terror attacks, intending to accelerate crowd safety innovations and technologies. We were delighted when one of our suppliers, Krowdthink, achieved a customer contract in early 2019, just two months after concluding their DASA funded work. The Krowd App, which enables security teams and the public to instantly communicate, is now being used for the first time at the Broadgate Quarter in London.In the Defence sector, we manage an international programme, known as ‘Don’t Blow It’, that brings together experts around the world within the field of chemical and biological weapon disposal. DASA collaborates with overseas partners where there is a need to tackle common problems.Increasing innovation agility in DefenceAs reflected in the Modernising Defence Programme, the character of warfare is changing, requiring us to be more agile in the way we adopt innovation. In response, the Defence Innovation Unit, which manages the Defence Innovation Fund has determined that this funding should be used to accelerate the adoption of innovation, with the aim to achieve a user demonstration within 3 years. To make this happen, it is essential that the defence eco-system builds the connectivity that can underpin the innovation supply chain with all players being engaged and incentivised, as everyone has a role to play. Changing behaviours and new ways of working are always complex, but DASA is leaning into the challenge, working directly with partners across defence and security to start bringing exploitation to the fore.EasiBridge, a DASA funded micro SME, is a pan-defence innovation success story. DASA embedded the exploitation process from the initial funding point in Summer 2018, engaging the Army in trials and keeping the end user in mind throughout the project. In Spring 2019, EasiBridge gained their first military order from the Army Rapid Innovation and Experimentation Laboratory (ARIEL) to deliver innovative bridging equipment to The Royal Engineers for further testing.Stimulating the security marketThe security sector is a complex and fragmented market which poses its own challenges to innovators trying to navigate their way to the right stakeholders. DASA has worked closely with private sector operators to ensure that funds from OSCT and DfT which aim to enhance the security of airports and crowded places deliver a step-change in capability.Whilst defence funding seeks to implement novel capability directly within the defence supply chain, OSCT and DfT funds, to date, have aimed to stimulate the market place. Innovators have been prompted to bring forward novel capability for private sector operators, such as airports or those responsible for securing crowded places, to consider adopting these solutions.Exploitation – our priorityWe are realistic in acknowledging that despite exploitability being a key funding criteria, not everything we fund will make it through to the hands of the end user. However, even the unsuccessful ones can have great value to both Government and the supplier, helping develop understanding about what hasn’t worked and why. Some competitions set out to simply inform the research programme; we know that their journey to a business ready solution may be a long one. DASA is here to help the innovation process be more successful, but we must also be prepared to fail; we must try new things, test things, and engage the end-user community at all stages of a programme to realise the value proposition. If it doesn’t work, the time hasn’t been wasted – we’ve learnt something and can use this to look for a better, more suitable solution. And, who knows, that innovation could be suited to another important task or find value in markets outside defence and security.In recognition of the challenges that SME suppliers face in the development of their innovation post DASA funding, we are developing new services that will support our suppliers’ knowledge. We want to help them to understand the options for funding from other sources of funding. This access to finance service will also include mentoring, to help the supplier ensure that their novel capability is underpinned by a business that is able to scale-up. This will enable defence and security to access innovation that is delivered by sustainable businesses.DASA can only go so far to ensure the successful uptake of innovation. We can help to accelerate the adoption of innovation, but we do not do it alone. We are part of a much larger innovation ecosystem, but we are doing our best to oil the cogs in that system.There is a buzz of activity in innovation across government, but we must not let that buzz create a flurry of activity that has no substance. We all have a part to play to ensure that the best solutions are harnessed and we must also ensure that innovations and ideas are funded, tested, nurtured and integrated quickly for the better good of defence, security and UK prosperity.last_img read more

Patisserie Valerie to open in Debenhams

first_imgGrowing confectionery chain Patisserie Valerie has signed a deal to open six Debenhams concession shops.The concessions will open in Oxford, Hereford, Redditch and the new Wandsworth site, which is opening soon. Other locations are yet to be confirmed.The retailer said it aimed to open the Patisserie Valerie spaces for the autumn/winter period. They are being added to make use of under-used store space. By doing this Debenhams aims to secure higher returns, improve choice and increase shopper numbers.Debenhams UK director of space planning Mark Jordan said: “The addition of new concessions comes as we extend our successful space optimisation trials and continue to look at new and exciting ways of enhancing the experience for our customers. Broadening our food offer will see a number of fantastic new brands join our portfolio and offer our customers a variety of options for casual dining. For some food brands it will be their first outlet in a town where they do not already have a presence and we are confident this will be a key footfall driver.”In 2013, the patisserie business opened its first concession store in Next stores.Patisserie Holdings, parent company of the brand has had a strong year so far, seeing underlying profit increase 23.1% to £8.7m in the six months to 31 March 2015.last_img read more

Stop Expecting Vulfpeck To Be A Jam Band, Because They Aren’t One

first_imgVulfpeck is a band that refuses to play by the rules. They will maintain their strength through perfection and consistency, they will not cheapen their own product, and they do not need to overplay. They will continue to release new music every year, and they will continue to do what they want. This is Vulfpeck, a Michigan-based rhythm quartet who deserves more than just your 60-minute festival-attention.Internet-famous since 2011, the funk-influenced musicians have only just begun receiving widespread recognition and national attention – as they’ve performed at Fool’s Paradise, Bonnaroo, Tipitina’s, Red Rocks, Lockn’, Outside Lands Music Festival, North Coast Music Festival, and Central Park SummerStage in just the last six months. While many fans caught on to Vulfpeck’s music after their 2015 Thrill of the Arts release, true fans have been tuned in since the beginning – and they are not the ones complaining about setlist structures.By nature of Vulf, the band does what they want. It takes a unanimous vote for them to even consider playing a gig. With bandleader Jack Stratton playing virtually every role of the management team, the band is using themselves as somewhat of a business-social experiment to find out what works and what doesn’t in the music industry – and we are just the guinea pigs. From Sleepify to Flow State, two projects that have gone way beyond the box to poke fun at industry practices, this band has continuously pushed the boundaries of standardized thinking – and they’ve grown exponentially as a result of such risk-taking behaviors.Yet, Vulfpeck has received mixed reviews to their season-spanning setlist, especially getting some serious heat after playing two similar setlists back-t0-back at Lockn’. To a lesser extent, the same is being said of their recent NYC gigs. What gives? This isn’t Phish; they haven’t been a band for thirty years; they are, by no means, a “jam band.”This is a band that is introducing their music to large-scale audiences for the very first time. They are going to play the songs that are statistically well-received by their loyal fanbase, and they are going to play them flawlessly. If consistency is the key to perfection, then why must those naysayers shake their fists at the band’s strive to expertise? They are catchy, quirky, and completely uninhibited by the dark walls of this industry. Let. Vulf. Be.The thing is, their music certainly appeals to a higher-level music appreciator, much like those found at jam shows. Vulfpeck’s compositions are intricate, their technique is refined, and their musicianship is about as tight as it comes. It’s no wonder that jam band fans are joining the so-called “Vulf-pack”; they’re just downright good at what they do. The problem comes when you start drawing comparisons, something done easily at a jam-centric festival like Lockn’.With all that being said, there are a few truths to come out of this jam scene test-run.1. The band shines the brightest as a small venue act. Regularly selling out all of their shows, from multi-night runs at Brooklyn Bowl in NYC to London, it is a guarantee that the room will be filled by fans and critics alike. They deserve this professional setting to prove themselves. No one standing in a field and coming off a 24-hour acid trip needs to experience Vulfpeck. Their music is here for the enthusiastically interested only.2. It is when there are multiple players beyond the core four that Vulfpeck’s geniusness is truly most palpable. The nature of their tightly-knit, one-of-a-kind compositions are fully revealed when there are additional musicians contributing to them. Especially when playing alongside professionals like Bernard Purdie, Cory Henry, Eric Krasno, Adam Deitch, Rachael Price, and other fantastic players, the band is challenged to up their game. And it’s in these instances that their technical musicianship is truly displayed.3. Vulfpeck only performs things to perfection, because that’s what your money is going towards. You don’t see pop icons performing a half-anything. Vulfpeck is no different.While the “jam band” world thrives on diverse setlists and extended jams, that’s just not what Vulfpeck is about. They are about musical respect and appreciation. They play the songs that we all know and love so that every attendee gets what they came for. They introduce covers only with reason. They aren’t playing songs from the new record because they aren’t ready to spoil them. While largely instrumental, their compositions exceed normalcy with ease.When The Beautiful Game comes out, it will be like Christmas morning. That’s how records are supposed to be, a surprise. With only a few details known about the ten-track album, we can all be sure to know that it will be satisfying. It’s Vulfpeck. Expect nothing less.Finally, I’d like to point something out about this week’s performances in New York. This tweet from May 31 ties together a string of occasions: Stratton has been mixing vintage videos of groove master Purdie with other live performances for years, starting with this mix of Ethel Caffie-Austin, then Herbie Hancock, Ziel, and Cory Henry. Needless to say, the Vulfmon’s obsession with Bernard “Pretty” Purdie has been evident since the beginning.So, to see Vulfpeck share the same stage with Purdie for four days straight was a treat. But not only that, they debuted all three of the previously mentioned songs; one for each night.The fact that they played “Kid Charlemagne,” “Ooh Child”, and “MMMBop” for the first time, alongside Pretty Purdie, was extremely unique to what most band’s are capable of doing these days. Live music is about producing your best efforts while simultaneously making dreams come true. This is exactly what Vulfpeck is doing, and they aren’t going to slow down any time soon.Carry on.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s students discuss diversity of religion at the College

first_imgSaint Mary’s held a Belles of Different Faiths panel Thursday, during which five students discussed their faiths, practices and some of the misconceptions behind their religions. Sophomore Iman Omar, senior Colleen Zewe, senior Taylor Thomas, sophomore Emily Barr and sophomore Abbee LaPlace were on the panel. Editor’s note: Omar and Zewe are News Writers for The Observer. Ann Curtis | The Observer A panel of five Saint Mary’s students from different religions reflected on their experiences at the College on Thursday.Thomas, who formerly practiced Judaism, said Judaism is about being a decent person.“Judaism really pushes the fact that you should be a decent person — not because you have to but because you want to, that you want to help the person next to you,” she said. “In my household, we don’t believe in blind love. You want to push the person you love to strive to be more, just as you do for yourself, as well.”LaPlace said the Torah encourages others to live kindly and fairly. “A rabbi had commented on a Torah portion and he said, ‘When we treat others kindly, fairly and lovingly we are trying living Torah,’ meaning that we are truly living in the way that HaShem wants us to live,” she said. LaPlace said her favorite tradition as someone who practices conservative Judaism is mitzvah.“Mitzvah are good deeds … so being kind to one another, making someone smile,” she said. “I think the biggest Mitzvah I do is teach Hebrew to second graders, and I teach Torah study to my fifth and sixth graders.”LaPlace said her biggest struggle has been overcoming anti-semitism.  “There’s always been the jokes, there’s always been the taglines, and it took me a very long time to realize that the people who say those things aren’t completely bad, they aren’t cold-hearted people, they are just very ignorant,” she said. “They don’t take the time to learn about other people, they just assume.”Barr, from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, said people have many misconceptions about love in her religious community.“Most people have heard that in the past, we have [practiced] polygamy,” she said. “It hasn’t been practiced for over 100 years now.”Barr said she has struggled with attending a school where she is the only one who practices her religion.“I don’t want to say it’s been lonely because that sounds negative, but it kind of has been,” she said. “Arizona and Utah have been settled by Mormons so there’s Mormons everywhere. There are churches on every corner. Then I came here, and there’s one church within 50 miles.”Thomas said she feels some of the professors who teach religion at Saint Mary’s do not always take every religion seriously. “I never had any issues with the ministry on campus. I feel like my biggest issue has come from the classes themselves,” she said. “I am not a fan of a lot of the religion professors here. Not all of them — there have been some really great ones — but some of the professors have rubbed me the wrong way. I know a lot of them are Catholic, so when they speak about Catholicism there is all this love and passion, and then the minute they switch to discussing other religions … you can tell by their tone of voice they don’t take other religions seriously.”In some of her classes that discuss religious myths and legends, Barr said, she feels she cannot fully participate and share the myths and religions particular to her faith. “One thing that’s been interesting is I’m taking a class called ‘Myth, Legend and History,’ and we talk a lot about the saints and the Virgin Mary” she said. “And I’ve enjoyed the class, but I feel like I can’t contribute to the class because with my perspective, I’d have to explain for awhile before my point makes any sense.”LaPlace said she has encountered some students who have singled her out for her religion. “Coming in as a freshman, I was told to find a new friend and introduce yourself,” she said. “So the first time I walked into the dining hall, I walked up to this girl and said, ‘Hey, can I sit with you?’ And she looked at me, looked at my necklace — the Star of David — and said, ‘Are you Jewish?’ And when I said yes [she] told me I could not sit with her. … That was my first taste of my community here as a Belle, and that just kind of threw me off for a really long time.”LaPlace said she wishes the College would try harder to involve all faiths and religions within the community. “Something I really struggle with is that there are a lot of talks here at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “Last year in particular I noticed that there are a lot of ones about the New Testament and the Quran, which is great, but how hard is it to call a rabbi and ask if they can add the Torah into this talk? It’s small things like that that bother me.”Thomas said she has had to defend her religion in recent years due to the rising tensions between Palestine and Israel. “I’ve had people come up to me and yell at me, saying, ‘You’re Jewish, how dare you? Israel is destroying lives,’” she said. “I’m not going to give you my opinions about Israel, but it’s really hard because a lot of people will tell me my people are murderers. We all just have to look at the individual and stop assuming stereotypes about everyone.”LaPlace said she often feels like she has to defend her pro-Israel stance. “I am pro-Israel,” she said. “But not pro-Israel in the fact that, yes it is a Jewish state and yes, it’s somewhere I belong as a Jewish person, but everyone else belongs there, too. Pro-Israel is not just about it staying a Jewish state. It’s the kindness of everyone.” Barr said religion should not condemn, but encourage love and virtue. “Hate the sin, not the sinner,” she said. Tags: Diversity, Faith, love, religionlast_img read more

Water grass wisely

first_imgThe recent excessive heat and dry conditions are evident when you look at the plant life in our area. There have been isolated showers across the state, but many areas have not received the much needed rain. Unless you have been watering it, the grass in your lawn is probably wilted and browning. But if you’ve been watering improperly, you may still find yourself with a less-than-healthy lawn.Raise your mower heightThe way you manage your lawn will influence the amount of water required to keep it healthy. Increased nitrogen fertilization and thatch build up increase the amount and frequency of irrigation needed. During dry periods, raise the mowing height and mow with a frequency in which no more than a third of the leaf tissue is removed. Raising the mowing height will allow the grass to maintain a deeper root system, thereby helping the grass to find more water.Thatch is plant material between the soil surface and leaves of the turf. A thick thatch layer will increase run-off and encourage a shallow root system. You may need to dethatch your lawn if the thatch layer is thicker than half an inch. Aeration will also help slow down thatch development, increase water infiltration and reduce run-off.Know when to waterIrrigate your lawn efficiently and effectively to get the most benefit from the water you’re using. Irrigate when you see the signs of moisture stress — a dull and blue-green color, folded leaf blades, wilted blades or when your family’s footprints remain visible in the grass.Water also needs to be applied at the correct time to achieve the best results. Try to wait to water turf until just before wilt occurs. The ideal time to water your lawn is before sunrise, but this is not easily accomplished unless you have an automatic sprinkler system or you are an early riser. If you can’t wake before sunrise, water your lawn between midnight and 10 a.m. Water loss at night from irrigation is 50 percent less than from midday irrigation. Irrigating after dew develops will not increase disease problems because wet grass is wet grass — no matter how much water is applied. In contrast, if you water before dew forms or after the dew has dried from the morning sun, this will extend the period of time when your lawn is wet and may enhance disease development. Apply the right amountHomeowners often ask University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents how much water to apply to their lawn. Frequent, light irrigations produce shallow root systems, so soak the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. This will require about a half to an inch of water. Applying water to this depth will help prevent the roots from staying near the soil surface and will force them to grow deeper as the soil surface begins to dry out. Not sure how much water your lawn is getting from the sprinkler? Search for irrigation scheduling or contact your local Extension office to guide you. Hopefully, the much needed rain will arrive soon and give lawns across Georgia relief from the hot and dry conditions. Until then, follow the tips from UGA Extension and water your lawn wisely.last_img read more