Blame the freeze. Blame the record dry spell. Whatever the cause, hills covered with tinder-dry brush could easily go up in smoke unless they see some rain – soon. Laurel sumac, a bushy green shrub highly susceptible to frost, fell victim to this winter’s cold snap and now covers portions of the Malibu Hills with a brittle brown blanket. “If we don’t get some rain in March, it’s definitely a concern,” said county Assistant Chief Frank Vidales, head of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Forestry Division. With a succession of Santa Anas a recent memory, Los Angeles now vies with Death Valley as the most desiccated spot in North America. “We’re on track for the driest (year) ever,” he said. “We don’t see anything on the horizon for the next seven to 10 days. The end of March we see some storm potential, but not enough to make a difference.” The dry Santa Anas that pushed temperatures into the 80s and broke records throughout Los Angeles last week may return Saturday, he said. This bodes poorly for even drought-resistant native plants. Fuel moisture levels in Saugus-Castaic now average 68 percent – 8 percent above critical levels. In the fire-prone Malibu Hills, plant moisture averages just 75 percent. Shown a sample of the crackly brown leaves that splotch canyons from Calabasas to Malibu, Malibu Creek State Park officials immediately pegged it as laurel sumac. The relative of poison oak that resembles bay laurel grows up to 15 feet with roots down to 40 feet. Resistent to fire, laurel sumac was also extremely vulnerable to the frost that wiped out more than $1 billion in California crops in January. “That’s going to provide extra fuel if we have a fire this year,” said Suzanne Goode, senior environmental scientist at the park. The 68,000-acre Angeles National Forest, which has received more moisture at higher altitudes, has reported high fire danger since last summer. Because of high-fire conditions, forest officials recently cancelled a prescribed burn near La Ca ada Flintridge and increased the hours of federal firefighters. “The next few weeks are pretty important,” said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Stanton Florea. “We would like to get some more rain.” But while it rains in Washington state, freezes in New York and threatens bumpy weather in Florida, the Southwest may be in for a prolonged dry spell, according to national forecasters. This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a La Ni a cold current emerging in the Pacific that could banish Southland rain. Between 1987 and 1992, a La Ni a-inspired drought forced Southern California water agencies to first impose water rationing. “La Ni a is the demon diva of drought,” said Patzert, “and she’s peeking over the horizon.” dana.bartholomew@ dailynews.com (818) 713-3730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Since July 1, downtown L.A. has seen just 2.42 inches of rain – 9 inches less than normal. February, the normal month of downpours, got less than an inch. The last time Southern California was this parched was during the 1923-24 season, when 2.5 inches of rain fell through March 22. And with the rainy season expected to end in weeks, L.A. could easily match the Mojave hot spot’s 2.5 inches of moisture. “The bottom line: We’re knocking on the door of the record,” said Bill Patzert, climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Ca ada Flintridge. Eric Boldt, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Oxnard, agreed.
The Belgium international is eager to keep working hard on his game as he aims to fulfil his potential at the Reds.“I’ve made steps,” Origi told the club’s official website. “When I look at my potential, I can see a lot.“I had some very good moments and I had some moments where it was difficult which is normal because you’re still on the way. I’m not at my peak yet in my career.“For me, it’s about enjoying my game every moment. It’s not easy but you need to work hard, and the older you become the more you realise there’s a lot more than enjoying the game.“I’m really passionate. I wouldn’t want to end my career and not fulfil my potential. What I know is that I believe in my qualities. If I enjoy every minute then good times are coming and the bad times will make me stronger.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Liverpool’s striker Divock Origi celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the English League Cup quarter-final football match between Liverpool and Leeds United on November 29, 2016LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Jul 31- Liverpool striker Divock Origi is determined to live up to the potential he has shown in his first two seasons in the Premier League.The 22-year-old played only 16 top-flight games in the 2015/16 season, scoring five goals, but more than doubled his appearances last season with 34, netting seven goals and making four assists. read more
1 Liverpool have been casting their eyes over spritely Lazio star Felipe Anderson in recent weeks and anyone watching him last night will have been impressed.Reports in Italy last week claimed Brendan Rodgers’ scouts were present to watch him in action against Fiorentina.And if they happened to catch the Brazilian starlet, who has burst onto the scene this season with eight goals and six assists this campaign, against Torino on Monday night they will have had only good things to report.Anderson scored twice in the 2-0 victory, with one of the goals an absolute treat as he slalomed past two defenders and clipped an excellent shot into the bottom left corner.You can see both of the 21-year-old’s strikes below… Felipe Anderson celebrates
PORTLAND, Ore. – A landmark $150 million jury verdict against Philip Morris was vacated Wednesday by an appeals court that ordered a new trial to reconsider damages against the tobacco manufacturer after a trial judge ruled the amount was excessive. The March 2002 verdict, later reduced to $100 million, was the first such award in the nation based on claims that low-tar cigarettes led smokers to believe they were less dangerous than regular cigarettes. A jury ordered Philip Morris to pay $150 million in punitive damages to the estate of Michelle Schwarz, of Salem, who died of lung cancer in 1999 at age 53. The jury had agreed with lawyers for her family, who claimed Philip Morris fraudulently marketed its low-tar Merit brand as safer than regular cigarettes. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals But Multnomah County Circuit Judge Roosevelt Robinson found that amount “grossly excessive” and reduced it to $100 million. The Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the jury verdict Wednesday and sent the case back to the circuit court to reconsider the amount of punitive damages. The appeals court ruled that Robinson had failed to give the jury specific instructions requested by the tobacco company, but that he had the authority to reduce the amount of damages. The court also upheld the portion of the jury ruling on fraud, negligence and liability by Philip Morris. read more
Casting real life gangsters in iNumber Number was a clever move; it turns the feature film into a believable slice of life that has caught the eye of Universal Pictures. The American movie studio has optioned the remake rights. MEDIA CONTACTS • Viva Liles-Wilkin PR & Communications Quizzical Pictures +27 11 726 2828 RELATED ARTICLES • Cape Flats gang film an Oscar contender • KanyeKanye wins Chicago film award • A shot at movie stardom with Jameson • Locally-made films get Oscar nod • Inner city kids learn about filmMelissa Jane CookCasting real life gangsters in iNumber Number was a clever move; it turns the feature film into a believable slice of life that has caught the eye of Universal Pictures. The American movie studio has optioned the remake rights for the feature that opens in South Africa on 25 April 2014.It’s a fast-paced action thriller, in which the characters spiral into an abyss of corruption. In the iNumber Number world, the idiom “If you can’t beat ’em, join em” translates into good cops turning really bad. Written and directed by South African filmmaker Donovan Marsh, this heist spine-chiller is independently produced and low-budget by Hollywood standards.It’s a remarkable achievement. “I wanted to make South Africa’s first action film, with a true action hero,” says Marsh.Speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013, where iNumber Number premiered, Marsh said he had no ambition for the movie to leave South Africa. “[It] was originally only intended as a launch pad for lead actor S’dumo Mtshali, who won Quizzical’s reality show, Class Act.”But at the festival, it won plenty of praise for its superb acting, tense script and Marsh’s amazing action choreography and cinematography, all pulled off on a pittance of a budget. Now it is the first South African film that will be remade in Hollywood.“The film was first accepted into the Toronto International Film Festival, which is one of the biggest film festivals in the world, and there it got noticed by XYZ films and they picked it up. And then they started shopping around Hollywood, and we actually had three studios who were interested in making the film, so there was a bit of a bidding war going on, which was quite exciting, and Universal Studios eventually won it,” Marsh told Smart Monkey TV, the South African web TV channel. It uses video clip interviews, e-letters and other elements to offer “interviews with people who know what they’re talking about for those who are curious”. The storyChili (S’dumo Mtshali) and Shoes (Presley Chweneyagae) have been partners in the police force for eight years. After they make a risky arrest, their corrupt superior refuses to give them the reward they are due. Enraged, Chili realises that virtue does not pay and he sets about infiltrating a gang of cash-in-transit van thieves – against the better judgement of his partner. His scheme for a one-off score goes awry when the rest of the gang finds out his true identity. They take Shoes hostage and go through with the heist. Lured by the potential loot, but finding himself in the midst of a killing spree, Chili has a choice: either shake off his rage and cynicism to do the right thing, or indeed be really bad.The film is populated by oddball gangsters that bring comic relief to the brutal thuggery, and the acting is superb. Chweneyagae appeared in the hit film Tsotsi, and Israel Makoe, Owen Sejake, Warren Masemola, Hlubi Mboya, Percy Matsemela, and Carlo Radebe are well known to South African television and theatre audiences.Mtshali got the part after winning a TV talent competition, Class Act. “I made a TV show called Class Act, which is like Pop Idol but for actors, and we had this amazing winner, this guy called S’dumo Mtshali. He was voted in by the public at large and it was kind of my plan to create an audience for the movie. He won and his prize was to be in a feature film that I would write and direct for him.”The gangster, both fictional and in reality, is Makoe (Skroef), who has been heavily involved in crime. He was arrested for the first time at the age of 14 for house breaking and theft. In 1996, he was sentenced to eight years in prison. While serving his time, he decided to form a theatre group called Abaqobi Drama Group.iNumber Number was shot in Johannesburg and Soweto, but the remake will be set in Detroit and feature American stars. Marsh would love to see Dr Dre replace Mtshali in the lead role and Mos Def replace Chweneyagae.It will be remade from scratch for the international market through Universal Pictures by the creators of the hugely popular Fast & Furious franchise, Chris Morgan and Emile Gladstone, with Aram Tertzakian of XYZ Films. Tertzakian’s partners at XYZ, Nate Bolotin and Nick Spicer, will be the executive producers.“I’ve been in the industry for 20 years, but this definitely tops the list of achievements,” Marsh said. He will not write or direct the remake; instead, the studio and producers will seek a new writer. The original film was produced by Quizzical Pictures’ Harriet Gavshon as well as JP Potgieter and Mariki van der Walt. read more
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced the Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act (HR 3941) in early October. This legislation directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue positive investments in local food systems, community economic development, and public health.“The bill introduced by Senator Brown makes important investments that will allow farmers to reach new markets; increase community access to fresh, healthy, local food; and support the food infrastructure that connects producers to buyers. With commodity prices falling, farmers are increasingly looking for new opportunities and for some that means investments close to home where markets for locally and regionally produced food continue to rise,” said Amalie Lipstreu, Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA) Policy Coordinator. “Even with the growing demand for food produced in Ohio, some farmers struggle because they don’t have access to the infrastructure they need. It could be storage, transportation, or processing that limits the growth of markets that enrich farmers and local communities. Ohio is home to many thriving cities, rural communities, and farmland. By connecting the dots we can create wealth and health and move toward greater sustainability.” read more
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The 79th episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, sponsored by AgriGold, brings together host Ty Higgins alongside Joel Penhorwood, Matt Reese, and Dale Minyo.Ohio FFA members excelled at the 2018 National FFA Convention, with 434 American Degrees. Joel talks with Sydney Malone about her American Degree and hearing President Trump speak.Joel and Matt also sit down for a roundtable discussion with several Ohio FFA state officers.Ty gets an update on the latest #WaterDrama18 with Kris Swartz of Soil and Water as well as Ohio Farm Bureau’s Adam Sharp.All that and much more in the Ohio Ag Net Podcast.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest POET has reduced ethanol production at half of its biorefineries, with the largest drops taking place in Iowa and Ohio. As a result, numerous jobs will be consolidated across POET’s 28 biorefineries and corn processing will drop by an additional 100 million bushels across Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Missouri.In addition, POET will idle production at its bioprocessing facility in Cloverdale, Ind. The process to idle the plant will take several weeks, after which the plant will cease processing of over 30 million bushels of corn annually.While there are certainly numerous market factors at play, POET blames the undermining of the Renewable Fuel Standard by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.“The Renewable Fuel Standard was designed to increase the use of clean, renewable biofuels and generate grain demand for farmers. Our industry invested billions of dollars based on the belief that oil could not restrict access to the market and EPA would stand behind the intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Unfortunately, the oil industry is manipulating the EPA and is now using the RFS to destroy demand for biofuels, reducing the price of commodities and gutting rural economies in the process,” said Jeff Broin, POET chairman and CEO.The RFS authorizes waivers for small refinery exemptions to refiners that (1) process less than 75,000 barrels of petroleum a day and (2) demonstrate “disproportionate economic hardship.” Over the past two years, the EPA has issued waivers to refineries owned by ExxonMobil, Chevron, and other large oil companies — none of which are small and none of which have economic hardship.Domestic demand for ethanol has declined and driven Renewable Identification Number (RIN) values to near zero, which weakens the incentive for retailers to offer higher blends. With the waivers issued — including the recent announcement of 31 new waivers — the EPA has cut biofuels demand by 4 billion gallons and reduced demand for corn by 1.4 billion bushels.“POET made strategic decisions to support President Trump’s goal of boosting the farm economy. However, these goals are contradicted by bailouts to oil companies. The result is pain for Midwest farmers and the reduction of hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity,” said Jeff Lautt, POET president and COO.POET, the world’s largest biofuels producer, has a network of 28 production facilities across seven states. At full run rates, POET purchases 5% of U.S. corn and produces 2 billion gallons of ethanol, 10 billion pounds of distillers dried grains, and 600 million pounds of corn oil annually. POET, through its joint venture with DSM, also operates a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. read more
The theoretical benefits of weatherizing a home – energy savings, greater comfort, smaller carbon footprint – are significant. But for many homeowners, so are the complexities of weatherization and the concerns about return on investment.Soon, though, those complexities and concerns might be addressed by a new stimulus plan. As New York Times columnist David Leonhardt wrote in his “Economic Scene” column on Wednesday, the White House is considering a program for 2010 that would help demystify weatherization for homeowners, help contractors market a new set of government incentives to weatherize, and create a rush to retrofit that, if things go really well, would echo the enthusiasm that greeted the Cash for Clunkers program.Leonhardt points to two possible strategies for bringing such a program to life, one proposed by Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr, the other by former President Bill Clinton. Doerr’s plan, known as Home Star (right, a play on Energy Star), calls for spending $23 billion over two years, with $6 billion allocated for homeowner incentives.The subsidiesFor example, homeowners who complete at least two significant weatherization projects from a list of 10 identified by the program (air sealing ducts, perhaps, or insulating walls or installing energy efficient appliances) would pay at least half the cost of the improvements but qualify for a government subsidy of as much as $2,000. Completion of four such projects would qualify for a subsidy of up to $3,500.A subsidy of $4,000 (covering a maximum of half the project’s cost) would be available to homeowners whose weatherization improvements reduced energy consumption by at least 20%, with the subsidy increasing by up to $1,500 for each 5% increase in energy efficiency. About $2 billion would be set aside to audit the performance of participating homes’ improvements, and $3 billion would be used by contractors and retailers to help market the incentives and guide homeowners to the right set of retrofits.The Clinton plan, which, Leonhardt notes, would apply to both residential and commercial improvement projects, would reallocate clean-energy money from the stimulus bill that has not yet been spent and would offer building owners a fixed set of climate-appropriate improvements designed specifically for buildings in their region. This plan also includes a financing program that would attach the loan payments to the upgraded property’s tax bill, working in much the same way as the bond-funded Property Assessed Clean Energy program has been working for dozens of municipalities and many states (PACE was adopted this week by the state of New York).A 2010 optionIt’s too early to tell whether either plan – or elements of both – might eventually be proposed by the Obama administration. But Leonhardt points to a comment made to him by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who said a new weatherization stimulus program is “one of the top things” Obama is considering.Simplifying weatherization for consumers is an interesting challenge, especially since energy efficiency improvements can include such a wide range of solutions and prices, from replacing light bulbs to insulating walls and upgrading HVAC systems. Weatherization’s prominence in the news, though, has helped highlight some of the consternation and money concerns homeowners face, and government agencies are at least attempting to respond appropriately.Case in point: the Environmental Protection Agency recently unveiled a website designed to help homeowners and renters sort through the long list of possible energy efficiency improvements, sustainable-materials purchases, and new-home construction choices they might make. The site – whose pages link to other sites offering more-detailed information – does a fair amount of hand-holding, and makes the point that no weatherization job is too small to be ignored. Even if means just installing a low-flow showerhead or replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFLs. read more
Related Posts Tags:#Photo Sharing Services#web john paul titlow Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Version 3.0 of the world’s fastest-growing photo-sharing app went live on Thursday. Instagram’s newest update goes beyond filters and cosmetic changes and puts a renewed focus on geolocation. In the process, it makes photos more discoverable and the app more addictive. The update’s key new feature is called Photo Maps. It’s exactly what it sounds like: Turn it on, and you get an extension of your profile that lays out your geo-tagged photos on a map of the globe. How Geolocation Helps Social Content Discovery Geoocation has been a buzzword for years, but for Instagram it has always lurked quietly in background. If a user geo-tagged a photo, you could tap the location’s name and view a crowdsourced album of all photos taken at that location. This was an interesting feature, but it always felt like an afterthought. With Photo Maps, Instagram reemphasizes location, pulling what used to be a secondary data point out from the depths of the service and putting it front and center. In doing so, Instagram changes the way people browse each other’s profiles and discover photos on the service. Previously, the primary way to view one’s images was in reverse chronological order. Instagram photos, like tweets, got buried with time and you could view them only if you were curious enough to scroll manually back to earlier days. (This is easier now, thanks to the new version’s infinite scrolling.) Remember how Facebook’s Timeline resurfaced old status updates and wall posts? This is a bit like that, but it’s based on geography rather than the passage of time. The photos you Instagrammed on vacation last summer – when the service’s user base was a fraction of what it is today – suddenly have a new life. The location data included in each photo is very precise. Last December, I spent the holidays with family in Bedford, Massachusetts. On my Instagram Photo Map, a cluster of images floats far north of Philadelphia and New York, where I take the majority of my pictures. When I tap on the Massachusetts cluster – an interaction thoughtfully designed to be slick and fluid – I can see a sub-cluster of photos taken at my brother’s house, a photo I took while I was out for a run one afternoon, and a photo I snapped at the supermarket down the street. Each one is pinned to the map in the exact location the photo was taken, right down to the square yard. Of course, this precision raises possible privacy issues. Instagram is aware of this issue. Before activating Photo Map, the app lets you deselect some photos. This is a useful security feature that can be used to untag photos taken at your own house, for example. This Would Look Great on an iPadThe new Photo Map user interface is very nicely designed, as is the new user profile template that comes with it. But you know where this type of UI would look even better? On tablets. Sure, the iPhone version doesn’t look bad on the iPad’s 10-inch screen, but the additional screen real estate offers so many opportunities from a design perspective.There hasn’t been too much noise about an official iPad app from Instagram, perhaps because people were too busy clamoring for an Android version and subsequently blown away by Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of the company. But now that Instagram has a giant parent company and more resources, a tablet-specific version would make sense. If Instagram does launch a version of the app for bigger screens, Photo Map would be right at home. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market read more