Despite the numerous punches thrown by Mother Nature so far this year, Vermont’s apple growers are still standing. ‘Most growers are subscribing to the concept of the glass being half full, not half empty,’ reports Steve Justis, Executive Director of the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association. ‘Tropical storm Irene did cause some damage to orchards, but overall, losses were fairly light. We have a good crop of apples, and we’re still pretty early in the season.’ Many growers saw apple-laden trees blown down from Irene’s strong winds and heavy rains, but Justis estimates that less than one percent of the state’s trees were damaged. ‘Several growers last week felt that the rains were a mixed blessing— many orchards were getting dry—they needed the rain’, Justis noted. ‘A few early varieties, including Jersey Mac and Paula Red have already been harvested, but the main season is still ahead of us’, notes Justis. ‘McIntosh, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Empire, Macoun and others will be ready for picking in a matter of days.’ While McIntosh is still the state’s leading variety, representing over 50 percent of the crop, some newer varieties, including Honeycrisp, are growing in popularity. Vermont also excels with many heirloom and antique varieties, ranging from Ananas Reinette (1500’s, France) to Wolf River (1850’s Wisconsin). Vermont’s 2011 apple harvest is expected to be 600,000 bushels, down 28 percent from the 833,000 boxes harvested in 2010 and 35 percent below the five-year average of 919,000 boxes. The Vermont crop was hindered by record rainfall at the beginning of the season, but recent widespread hail took the biggest bite of production. The national apple crop is expected to be down three percent in the East, up 58 percent in the Midwest. The western states will be down three percent, for a national gain of three percent over the 2010 crop, and equal to the national 5-year average. Vermont apple growers are concerned about the numerous road closings across the state, which may keep retail customers away. The Vermont apple growers association has stepped up its marketing efforts this year. Many Vermont growers are participating in the Pick for Your Neighbor program with the Vermont Foodbank and the Apples to iPods promotion with the Vermont Department of Tourism. Growers have also incorporated artwork by nationally-acclaimed Vermont graphic illustrator Hal Mayforth to encourage consumers to eat more apples.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Long Beach man has been accused of attacking a pair of golfers after shouting a string of racial slurs at them at the Eisenhower Park golf course in East Meadow this week.Grant Smith was playing golf as a single at white course when he made rude comments on the third hole to two men ages 66 and 65 and then yelled racial slurs at them on the fifth hole at 9:35 a.m. Tuesday, police said.Smith, 48, then struck the 65-year-old victim with a golf club in the left calf, breaking off the head of the club and threatened to stab the victims with the broken club, police said.The victims called 911 as Smith fled the course. The man who was hit was treated at an area hospital for a contusion.Smith was arrested Thursday and charged with assault and menacing.He will be arraigned Friday at First District Court in Hempstead.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Aries – Grand Cross (Pluto in Capricorn, Moon in Cancer, Mercury in Libra and Uranus in Aries) – anxiety over a financial matter may account for arguments with a partner or mate. Most of the month will be problematic. Be prepared to contend with last minute expenditures concerning a relative. Eventually, someone comes through with help.Taurus – Ruling planet in 4th house – with Venus taking up residence in your social arena for the next few weeks, you should have no trouble filling in your calendar with exciting invitations. Gemini – Ruling planet in 5th house – there will be more opportunities than you ever imagined for a new romance is in the stars for you now. You can afford to take your time before making commitments.Cancer – Moon in the 1st house – with the Moon in your sign, you’re able to get new projects off the ground quickly. Lady luck is on your side; make the most of this opportunity. Leo – Venus in the 1st house; ruling planet in the 3rd house – you are blessed with personal magnetism and charm this month. Join friends for a good time. Be as important to yourself as you are to others.Virgo – Jupiter in the 1st house – a change may be in the air and you must be willing to go with the flow. If a family decision is necessary, call on your wit to keep it pleasant. Libra – Ruling planet in the 11th house – associating with others is one of your very favorite things and you’ll have plenty of chances to indulge this month. Your friends make you feel good now; full of optimism, generosity and fun. You’re eager to share your good fortune with them.Scorpio – Venus squared to your natal Sun – take care not to fumble any lucrative long-term agreements that could improve your future security. You may get a preview of the future later on.Sagittarius – Saturn in the 1st house – ambition is the name of the game this month. If you use your power of persuasion and make the right impression, you can go right to the top.Capricorn – the Moon opposite your natal Sun – the New Moon promises a new chapter in your job prospectus. Financial advancement can spur you on to new heights. Travel can also be broadening.Aquarius – Venus opposite your natal Sun – you will notice kindness and consideration to and from friends, along with humanitarian feelings toward people in general. Volunteer work can feel very rewarding to you now.Pisces – Mars and Jupiter opposite your natal Sun – be alert to petty problems that could cause your blood to boil. Investigate each situation carefully then count to 10. Watch your money.IF YOU KNOW YOUR RISING SIGN, CONSULT THE HOROSCOPE FOR THAT SIGN AS WELL.Psychicdeb has been a professional astrologer for over 25 yrs. Self-taught, she began her studies in astrology when she was 8 yrs. old learning what she could from her mother’s astrology magazines. As she got older and learned geometry, she searched for books on Astrology and taught herself how to construct a chart. She teaches Astrology for a nominal fee. Psychicdeb also uses the tarot to do psychic readings channeling her spirit guide Helen. Reiki is one of her obsessions. She is a Reiki Master and loves to teach others the benefits of Reiki. Namaste. You can find her at the Original Psychic Fairs on Sundays. A listing of the Fair dates can be found on her website at: www.astro-mate.org
29SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Not meeting your savings goals? You’re not alone. A recent survey by America Saves found that fewer than half of U.S. households felt they were making progress in meeting their savings needs.If you want to get serious about bulking up your emergency fund but don’t think you can afford to, you’re wrong. Very small steps like these can add up big, especially over time.1. Keep the changeThose quarters in a pocket or purse are money literally in your hand. Setting aside just 50 cents a day can add up quickly. Do it for a year and you’ll have more than 180 bucks. continue reading »
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Armed with a voice unique even among his fellow American Idol winners, Taylor Hicks is poised to release next year the long-waited sequel to his 2009 sophomore effort, The Distance. He’s back on the road, playing songs blending soul, rock, country, and blues from his forthcoming album and Idol days. Ahead of his Oct. 11 performance at My Father’s Place at the Roslyn Hotel, the Press spoke with Hicks about his influences, favorite venues to play, and what else he’s been up to since Idol.What was your first significant musical memory? I think catching a clip of Otis Redding in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1967. And then I went and found the clip, and then I started studying from there. That’s when I think I got the disease.How conflicted were you when deciding to drop out of Auburn University to pursue music full time in Nashville? It was just kind of in the back of my mind for a long time. Being an entertainer is not easy. Catching a break is not easy. But I felt like there were some tools that I could work with. And luckily I’ve been in show business for over a decade now.Was there a catalyst, or rather something that made you say, “Let’s go to Nashville and give this a try?” I think it was just learning instruments, starting out on harmonica, learning guitar, then starting writing. I think those were all pathways to knowing that you have a calling. All of them were self taught, so I think those were pretty good indicators.You’re set to release your first studio album since 2009’s The Distance. How has your sound changed during this hiatus? I don’t think that the sound has changed much, I think the songs’ strengths are something that’s different. I think that these collections of songs, whether they were written or not, are the strongest I’ve ever put out.Was there a specific moment after your run on American Idol when the reality of being a winner truly set in? Believe it or not, I think one of those moments was realizing I was able to do a golf Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. I walked up onto the tee box and my foursome was Alice Cooper, Clint Eastwood, and Scott Hamilton, and there were four or five thousand people waiting for me to tee off. I think that was one of those moments where it was a little bit surreal. They were all standing there waiting on me, because I was late for my tee time..What’s your favorite venue to perform at? The Crystal Ball Room in Portland, Oregon. It’s a historic ballroom, been there since the ’20s. It’s a really historic musical dance venue that will allow a fan to be able to jump two feet off of the floor, because it still has springs in the floor from the old spring ballroom dancing days. That’s the coolest venue I believe I’ve played in.What is your memory of Long Island from either prior visits or while on tour? It’s long. And traffic’s hell. I’m just kidding. The coolest memory, I opened for Earth, Wind, and Fire at Jones Beach. I just feel like that’s a really cool venue. Love that area. There’s a lot of blue collar mentality, and I feel like I’m a blue collar artist.You spent a year at Bally’s Las Vegas as their house musician. What was your favorite aspect of your residency? To be able to be in Vegas and have a show is one of those things that you always dreamed of. As an entertainer, to have one in my mid-30s, it was something that you’re just really fortunate to be able to have the opportunity. But then to be able to be a part of the history of the landscape of Vegas was something else.How did you decide to pivot to television and food with your INSP series State Plate? I co-own a restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama called Saw’s BBQ. And I’ve been in the restaurant business for about nine years. I felt like television is kind of where I was born. And I felt like being around and having hosted a few things along the way, just small, good things, this was an opportunity to really learn how to host television. Luckily, with four seasons, and 50 states, and 50 plates, we were able to pull that off.You recently teamed up with charity NS2 Serves. What made you come together and would you like to say anything about them? Wonderful organization. And really making a difference in the lives of veterans. To be able to put a veteran to work is a wonderful thing to do, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to say that you’ve done. And the organization just really makes sense, and it’s effective. That’s a very important word when you’re dealing with organizations in that capacity. Effectiveness.It was said in a prior interview that had an “in” on American Idol that would tip you off to results before they were formally announced. How did that connection come to be? I’m not familiar with what you’re talking about *wink, wink.*Taylor Hicks plays My Father’s Place at The Roslyn Hotel at 8 p.m. Oct. 11. The venue is located at 1221 Old Northern Blvd. in Roslyn. Tickets are $40. For more information, visit myfathersplace.com
Source: Mark PrinsWouter Koolmees, Dutch social affairs minister“If our funding doesn’t improve, we will already have to apply a discount next year,” said Peter Borgdorff, director of the healthcare scheme.“It can only be prevented if social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees decides to suspend cuts,” he added.Trade union FNV had already called on the government to delay rights discounts during the implementation of the pensions agreement between the social partners and the cabinet in June.Borgdorff said: “At the conclusion of the accord, the parties said that rights cuts would be avoided. It doesn’t improve the credibility of the pensions system, if discounts have to be applied within a year.”Rights cuts at the four largest pensions funds would affect almost eight million pension entitlements in the Netherlands. However, the current ultimate forward rate of 2.2%, against which the schemes are allowed to discount their liabilities, cushioned the drop in interest rates.Aon estimated that the falling rates had caused the valuation of liabilities to rise more than 4% on balance.It attributed the drop in rates to the escalating trade conflict between the US and China, a worsening economic outlook, and increasing uncertainty around Brexit.The consultancy also cited hints by several central banks that they were considering monetary easing. However, it noted that this had limited losses on equity markets.“If our funding doesn’t improve, we will already have to apply a discount next year.”Peter Borgdorff, director of PFZWSchemes’ so-called policy funding – their average coverage of the past 12 months – is the main criterion for rights cuts and indexation, and this is to fall further in the coming months as a result of the recent funding drop. Mercer said it expected the policy funding to drop to 104% on average at the end of this month.Although the cabinet had temporarily lowered the minimum required coverage ratio from 104.3% to 100%, it has also raised the so-called critical funding level, which is different for different schemes.Pension funds with a coverage short of this critical level must immediately cut pension rights and benefits, as they cannot make a reasonable case for recovery to the required funding of around 125% within 10 years.The cabinet is also to reduce the allowed assumptions for future returns as of 2020, which will limit pension funds’ recovery potential.ABP and PFZW under pressure, tooAlthough the most recent funding figures of the large pension funds date from the end of June, a funding drop of five percentage points since then would mean that the coverage ratios of civil service scheme ABP, healthcare pension fund PFZW, and the metal schemes PMT and PME had dropped to between 90% and 92%.Under the old rules – with a minimum required funding level of 104.3% – PMT and PME were already facing cuts next year.However, given the current situation, even the new threshold of 100% won’t be sufficient to prevent discounts, which could be as high as 8%.ABP and PFZW have a year’s respite on cuts compared with the metal schemes.However, in their new recovery plan next year, in which they must factor in the lower parameters for future returns, their funding must be above the critical level to avoid immediate cuts.The critical funding level for ABP and PFZW will be 95% and 94% as of 2020. If PFZW’s funding would stand at, for example, 91% at the end of this year, it must cut pension rights and benefits by 3% next year. More Dutch pension funds are facing cuts of pension rights and benefits following a dramatic funding drop in the first week of August.As a consequence of a combination of persistently lower interest rates and falling equity markets, their funding decreased by no less than four percentage points, according to Aon Hewitt and Mercer.Funding had already dropped at least one percentage point on average in July.The consultancies said that long-term interest rates had decreased 20 basis points on average, resulting in the 30-year swap rate – the main criterion for discounting pension funds’ liabilities in the Netherlands – falling to around 30bps as at the end of Wednesday.
The Christian Institute 28 January 2015A man who underwent a sex change then had it reversed is warning that surgeons are too quick to operate in cases like his.Walt Heyer, 74, now advises people who want to have a sex change that their problem is psychological.Heyer, from Los Angeles, was married with two children before he had surgery to look like a woman in the 1980s.‘Very very upset’He got divorced three months before the operation, after which he lived as Laura Jenson.His daughter – who was 15 at the time – was “very, very upset” by his decision, and his twelve-year-old son said it would have been “easier” if Heyer had died.He described the physical transition from male to female as a “battle”, but it wasn’t until he began studying psychology that he decided the sex change had been a mistake.http://www.christian.org.uk/news/former-transsexual-says-surgeons-too-quick-to-operate/
Reuters 1 September 2015The number of U.S. college students smoking marijuana every day or nearly every day is greater than it has been in 35 years, according to a study released on Tuesday.Nearly 6 percent of college students reported using pot daily or near-daily in 2014, up from 3.5 percent in 2007 but less than the 7.2 percent recorded in 1980, the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study found.Less frequent pot smoking was also on the rise, according to the study, although not as sharply.“It’s clear that for the past seven or eight years there has been an increase in marijuana use among the nation’s college students,” said Lloyd Johnston, the study’s principal author. “And this largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors.”Loosened marijuana policies in states across the country have likely contributed to a rise in use by teens and young adults, who increasingly perceive the drug as harmless, the study said.In 2014, 35 percent of 19-to-22-year-old high school graduates said they thought regular marijuana use was dangerous compared to 55 percent in 2006, the study said.Nationwide, attitudes about marijuana have notably changed recently, with Colorado and Washington state voting to legalize recreational use in 2012 and Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia following suit.The percentage of college students using any illicit drug also rose to 41 percent in 2014, compared to 34 percent in 2006, an increase driven mostly by the uptick in marijuana use, the study said.http://news.yahoo.com/daily-pot-smoking-u-college-campuses-35-high-041158895.html
EducationLocalNewsSecondary Kitwanie Carbon wins the Tourism Youth Congress organized by Caribbean Tourism Organization by: – September 19, 2011 Share 34 Views no discussions Share Ms. Kitwani Carbon. Photo credit: onecaribbeandiaspora.comRoseau, Dominica – (September 19, 2011) – Winner of the local Tourism Youth Congress made Dominica proud when she represented her country and emerged victorious at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Tourism Youth Congress held on September 17, 2011. The Tourism Youth Congress was part of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Industry Conference held from September 16 – 17 in St. Martin. Miss Carbon participated in the Congress as Dominica’s “Junior Minister of Tourism” and presented on promotion of the wellness sector as being critical in enhancing Dominica’s tourism product. Miss Carbon capitalized on the fact that Dominica’s topography makes it ideal for promotion of wellness activities and is well known for its centenarians, thus making healthy living an ideal component of the Dominican tourism product. Director of Tourism Colin Piper and Minister for Tourism Hon. Ian Douglas witnessed Kitwanie’s presentation amongst 10 other “Junior Ministers of Tourism”. Mr. Piper stated that he was quite impressed with the level of preparation that Miss Carbon put into her presentation as it was evident that she had done considerable research on the topic. According to Piper, “Kitwanie showed the ability to think on her feet and propose original ideas in response to the mystery question.” Participating students were allotted three (3) minutes to present on a tourism issue affecting their country and one (1) minute to respond to a mystery question. Kitwanie is a fifth form student at the Convent High School and spent a portion of the summer vacation researching material for the Tourism Youth Congress and seeking the assistance of teachers at Convent High School as well as other community leaders involved in debating and public speaking. Discover Dominica Authority facilitated Miss Carbon and a chaperone’s trip to St. Martin for the event. The management and staff of the Discover Dominica Authority would like to extend sincerest congratulations to Miss Carbon for her success at CTO’s Tourism Youth Congress. During her reign as Junior Minister of Tourism, the Authority plans to involve Miss Carbon in various activities for promotion of Dominica’s tourism product. Press ReleaseDiscover Dominica Authority Sharing is caring! Share Tweet
Bill Warren opens the Ripley County Food Pantry on the third Monday of each month.OSGOOD, Ind. – Shelves are stocked right now at the Ripley County Food Pantry but that will change once the holiday season arrives.The pantry opened eight years ago and has grown from serving forty people a month to now over 250 residents twice each month, pantry president of operations Bill Warren says.“We have really been blessed to have enough food to do that,” Warren exclaimed.“During this holiday season, people might spend their money on gifts or thanksgiving dinner or something and they come up short. So they come to us for food and so far we have been able to take care of that need.”In addition to food and non-perishable items, Warren said the pantry is actively accepting monetary donations to buy produce for needy residents.“Our goal is to give the first person and the last person the same amount of food,” Warren continues. “In order to do that, when I go shopping I buy food in 20 cases, whatever it is, it has to come up to 250 or I don’t buy it.”The food pantry is located at the Ripley County Fairgrounds, Bldg. 16C, in Osgood. It is open on the third Monday of each month. A mobile pantry is held on the first Friday of each month.For more information contact Bill Warren at (812) 756-2560.