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Lone Star: Starting All Over Again

first_imgIt is normally not easy for a ruined life to be turned over without huge costs. Sometimes a ruined life leaves behind only fleeting memories of the bygone years.In this instance, the remains of a ruined life are used as examples to guide the future.Interestingly, sport is a world of its own; and what was not done yesterday can be done today to change the course of its development for the better.Since the horrible year of 2002, when the national soccer team, Lone Star, crashed against the Black Stars of Ghana and dashed the hopes of thousands of soccer fans, Liberian football has not been able to recover its name or its numerous fans.Many who were old enough to remember the years before 2002, could speak with relish of the time when football was football in Liberia. It was the time that a game between Mighty Barrolle and Invincible Eleven was like the greatest match of all time.Those memories remind us of the names like James Salinsa Debbah, described by sports writers at the time as ‘Most Celebrated Player,’ and George Oppong Weah as the ‘Wizard Dribbler.’So, after the loss of Liberia’s chance for the World Cup in 2002, and the advent of DStv, as well as the loss of the leadership of Invincible Eleven and Mighty Barrolle from the league leadership, Liberian football was even described as being dead, by current FA Boss Musa Bility.For the last twelve years, the national team has not been able to ably represent the country and the latest disappointments were those squandered by both junior and senior national teams recently.After those disappointments, inquiring minds want to know what went wrong and what could be done to remedy what happened.Every knowledgeable soccer administrator knows the steps to achieving success in sports. These steps will include selecting quality players from the national league and blending them together with the professionals abroad who will demonstrate their commitment to support the national agenda.There are also technical issues they are not necessary to be described here. However, the fact now is that Liberia is out of 2015 African Cup of Nations; and this makes good that we must begin at the beginning and plan for the 2017’s edition.It is not shameful to admit that both administrators and players, including the fans, did not do their part well for success, since 2002.This is time to advance suggestions of substance without blaming others. The Sports Writers Association of Liberia must join the Liberia Football Association to examine some of the pertinent issues that were overlooked or that did not come into play that could be responsible for the failure of our football development and the way forward.In doing this, we must remove emotion from our actions and be brave enough to take decisions that could change the destiny of football development.Yes, Lone Star is ruined to its bones, and we know that despite ignominious year of 2002, we can change our football destiny but only if we are determined to do so.One interesting element that could get the nation’s football back on its feet is for Chief Patron President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to play more of a leadership role in this revival.This is because recent history tells that it was only when the late president Samuel Kanyon Doe played a leading role in football that Liberia soccer soared over many nations in Africa.President Doe made it mandatory for government ministries to find employment for national football players to give them the security they needed to devote their time to the game.It was the time that George Oppong Weah and his friends were discovered to take on the soccer world. And the result of those efforts produced the best for Liberia, as history will proudly confirm. Now is the time for the chief patron to make a difference.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Are modern genetics worth the money?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomistI have conducted a number of trials and comparisons over the years and generally have concluded that new is better when it comes to choosing a hybrid or variety. One such comparison I have been making over several years now is of a modern hybrid to open pollinated corn varieties. This may be used as a comparison for those who grow open pollinated corn for sale as organic, although I used herbicides here for weed control. For 2019, I compared a modern traited hybrid, an early modern traited hybrid, a modern open pollinated variety and several older open pollinated varieties.Reid’s yellow dent has a history with Ohio and has played a significant role in modern corn breeding. Green Field and Krug are selections from Reid yellow dent. They were all tall, and had some leaning problems, so looked like Reid across the board. I planted all the treatments at 28,000 seeds per acre. I got 90% plus germination on the modern genetics and about 65% stand on the older varieties. And this year with no derechos at South Charleston, they all stood reasonably well.Typically when I make this comparison between my modern hybrid and Reid’s yellow dent, I have about a 100-bushel advantage for the modern hybrid. This year, the differences were a bit more at 175 bushels per acre. I use this information when talking with consumers about the value of modern technology in plant breeding. As to why the Rea Hybrid did so poorly — raccoons love this stuff and took about 75% of the ears at roasting ear stage.Economics? I think you can do the math. Put in $4 per bushel and maybe $10 for the open pollinated varieties if sold as certified organic.last_img read more

Seeking Higher Ground

first_img RELATED ARTICLES We need a new mindsetNRDC’s analysis of this problem shows just how much we need to change our approach. We need to switch from a mindset of “flood, rebuild, repeat,” to one in which we offer homeowners timely assistance to move out of harm’s way.Among our key findings:(1) Since 1978 there have been more than 30,000 SRLPs. These properties represent 0.6% of all NFIP policies (5.1 million policies), but a disproportionate 9.6% of all flood damages ($57 billion since 1978).(2) The homes of low and moderate income owners are more likely to incur damages that exceed the property’s value. For single-family homes worth less than $250,000, the average home is worth $109,882, but suffers $133,923 in total flood damages.(3) In coming decades, sea level rise may cause as many as 2.5 million properties to repeatedly flood and the NFIP could pay as much as $447 billion to repeatedly rebuild before they are finally inundated.(4) In many instances, it would be less expensive to help these homeowners relocate to higher ground. Among the 2.5 million properties at risk, as many as 1.6 million cost less than $250,000 and their owners could have their homes purchased for less than the anticipated damages. Rob Moore is a senior policy analyst in the NRDC’s water program. This post originally appeared at the NRDC’S Expert Blog. The Natural Resources Defense Council has released a groundbreaking report, Seeking Higher Ground, that takes a hard look at the plight of people whose homes are repeatedly flooded and the difficulties they face in acquiring assistance to move somewhere safer.Under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal disaster aid program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), some of the most flood-prone properties in the country have been repeatedly rebuilt even when it would be less expensive to help homeowners move to higher ground. NRDC has proposed an innovative program that would guarantee a homeowner a buyout of their flood-prone home, enabling them to move to a safer location in the aftermath of a flood.Since 1978, more than 30,000 properties have been flooded so often they’ve been designated “severe repetitive loss properties” (SRLPs) under the NFIP. That’s not a designation any homeowner wants. On average, these properties flooded five times every 2 to 3 years. Some of the most affected properties have flooded more than 30 times. In each case and after every flood, the NFIP paid to rebuild the property at a cost of $5.5 billion. Flood, Rebuilt, Repeat: The Need for Flood Insurance ReformBuilding for Reduced Flood RiskMaking the Case for Resilient DesignResilience: Designing Homes for More Intense Storms Designing Houses and Communities To Be Smarter and More Resilientcenter_img Today there are thousands of these properties. In the coming decades, our analysis indicates there will be millions of these properties as a result of sea level rise and the impacts of climate change. Congress will act soonSeeking Higher Ground details some of the problems facing the NFIP that Congress needs to address. Congress is currently debating the future of the NFIP and must reauthorize it before the end of September. NRDC is calling on Congress to adopt a series of “climate-smart” reforms to the NFIP that would make the program better able to provide the kind of assistance people need.Among the recommendations:(1) Through the NFIP, provide homeowners with a guaranteed buyout if they no longer want to rebuild. The first, and sometimes only, assistance provided by the NFIP is to rebuild in the same vulnerable location in the same vulnerable way. That’s a recipe for disaster in far too many cases. For homeowners who want to move out of harm’s way, the NFIP should help, not hinder, them in making that choice.(2) Give owners the right to know about their home’s history of flood damages. Often, people buy a house only to find out later that it is susceptible to flood damage. If previous owners filed an NFIP claim, FEMA has knowledge of that property’s flood history. Homeowners, whether they currently have NFIP coverage, should have a right to this information. Providing the flood history of a property can help homeowners make informed decisions.(3) Make more data on the NFIP publicly available. The public has a right to know where flood damages occur, the cost of those damages, and what communities are doing to reduce their vulnerability to flooding and sea level rise. FEMA should make this information available to decision makers, researchers, community organizations, and the public.(4) Flood maps should show how sea level rise and other effects of climate change will impact future flood risk. Flood maps are used by government officials, developers, and planners to decide where it is safe to build. Without the inclusion of future flood risks, communities cannot make fully informed, sustainable decisions.(5) Invest in resilience and in reducing our vulnerability to flooding. According to the National Academy of Sciences, more funding should be dedicated to reducing vulnerability to flooding, rather than repeatedly rebuilding. Little spent to move people to safetyFEMA’s current approach to address the problem of homes that are repeatedly flooded is to ensure the owners have coverage under the NFIP and then rebuild their properties — over and over again. While FEMA provides assistance to reduce the risk of flooding, these programs can take years to provide assistance to homeowners. Moreover, they have been woefully underfunded by Congress. For every $100 the nation has spent to rebuild homes through the NFIP, we’ve spent a paltry $1.72 to help people move out of harm’s way.While many of these homeowners would like to move out of harm’s way, they find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get assistance to do just that. One such person is Olga McKissic, who owns a home in Louisville, Kentucky that’s flooded four times. Play the short video below to hear Olga’s story.Since she was last flooded in April 2015, she has been trying to secure assistance from FEMA to buy out her home. Sadly, she has been told by local officials that it could take years before that happens, if it happens at all. In the meantime, Olga must hope that her home doesn’t flood again.“It’s a nightmare to live here with the thought and the anticipation that it is going to flood again,” Olga says. “I don’t want other people to have to go through this.” Sadly, more and more people across the country are finding themselves in Olga’s situation.The number of people in the same situation as Olga is growing ten times faster than the number of people who receive mitigation assistance and are already repeatedly flooding. With sea level rise, we could have millions of these properties in the coming decades.last_img read more

IRAs: Last Chance to Reduce 2015 Income Taxes

first_imgIf workers don’t qualify, income-wise, for either a tax-deductible Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, they can still fund a non-deductible Traditional IRA and later convert it to a Roth IRA, if desired. If a worker has an employer retirement plan, income limits apply to qualify to deduct a contribution to a Traditional IRA. The phase-out AGI ranges for 2015 income taxes are $61,000 for single taxpayers and heads of household and $98,000 to $118,000 for married couples filing jointly. The maximum contribution allowed by law for IRAs (Roth and/or Traditional) in both 2015 and 2016 is $5,500 for workers under age 50 and $6,500, with an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution, for workers age 50 and older. These numbers assume an earned income equal to these amounts. Workers can contribute the smaller of the annual limit allowed by tax law or their taxable compensation during the calendar year. If one spouse in a married couple filing jointly has an employer retirement savings plan and the other does not, the tax-deductibility of a Traditional IRA contribution phases out between an AGI of $183,000 and $193,000 in 2015. See https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/2015-IRA-Deduction-Limits-Effect-of-Modified-AGI-on-Deduction-if-You-Are-NOT-Covered-by-a-Retirement-Plan-at-Work. Workers can’t make contributions to a Traditional IRA once they reach age 70½. However, they can still contribute to a Roth IRA, provided that they have earned income (e.g., salary from a job or net earnings from a small business or freelance work).For more information about IRAs, visit this IRS page with frequently asked questions (FAQs): https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-regarding-IRAs-Contributions When workers qualify by income for a partial Roth IRA contribution, they can put the remaining amount of the contribution limit into a Traditional IRA (e.g., $2,500 Roth IRA and $3,000 Traditional IRA in 2015). By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected]’s “crunch time” for federal income taxes. While the tax filing deadline is usually April 15, it is April 18 this year due to a Washington D.C. holiday called Emancipation Day. Bottom line: taxpayers, including most military families, have an extra weekend to prepare their taxes. That’s the good news. The bad news is there is not much you can do now to lower your tax bill. Opportunities, such as charitable donations and Thrift Savings Plan contributions, and capital losses on investments, all went out the window at midnight last New Year’s Eve.U.S. Army photos by Pfc. Ma, Jae-sangThe only way that taxpayers may be able to save money on taxes now is to contribute to a tax-deferred individual retirement account (IRA). The deadline for deposits to 2015 traditional and Roth IRAs and SEP IRAs for self-employed workers is also April 18, 2016 (see https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Traditional-and-Roth-IRAs). Below are some key points to know about IRAs and the tax savings that they can provide:There are many types of IRAs: Roth, Traditional, Rollover, and Spousal, to name a few. Not every IRA provides an initial tax deduction, but they all provide tax-deferred growth on both the amount contributed (saved) and earnings on that money. Roth IRAs also provide the potential for tax-free growth. Income limits apply to qualify to contribute to Roth IRAs. For 2015 income taxes, the adjusted gross income (AGI) phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA was $116,000 to $131,000 for single taxpayers and heads of household and $183,000 to $193,000 for married couples filing jointly. If single workers, or both spouses in a married couple filing jointly, are not covered by an employer’s retirement plan, Traditional IRA contributions are deductible regardless of income.last_img read more

TCEM underfire again two months later still no tire shredder

first_img#MagneticMediaNews#TCEM#noshredderasyetforprovodump TCI: TCEM contract not renewed, Gov’t back in charge of dump sites Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #noshredderasyetforprovodump, #TCEM Wheeland MP says ‘Enough is enough’; Official statement on Landfill fire Recommended for youcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, May 15, 2017 – Grand Turk – The fight to keep mosquito breeding down and residents’ concern about other environmental hazards have led to new vexations expressed to Magnetic Media about the dump in Providenciales and the dump in Grand Turk.    In the capital, the resident watching the situation says he remains perplexed that not only has the ‘mountain of tires’ as he calls it, grown to an even higher height but despite a promise to remove and shred, Turks and Caicos Environmental Management or TCEM has still not done it.  The company contacted Magnetic Media after our last report to explain that they were bringing in a shredder for Provo only, that it would be in country within weeks, but that was two months ago.  For Grand Turk, no shredder is coming to deal with the tires there; TCEM has another method in mind but it is yet to be approved by TCIG.  The concerned citizen in GT says he also worried about salina contamination,  “The ground water run-off is still going straight on the north end of the dump which is completely open and from there into the salina and out to the reef, flowing right past the House of Assembly.    Please keep them honest as they think this is forgotten about already and they have gotten away with it.”   In Providenciales the problem with tires is the same, despite the contract being signed since and with annual payment to TCEM topping one million dollars.  Plus, images and cell phone video of fire burning at the dump were shared with us and when checked, Magnetic Media confirmed that there was a dump fire – one week and a half ago – at the Provo location on Millennium Highway.While it is not TCEM setting these irritating and possibly toxic fires, it is said that the problem points to security breaches or that the garbage collected in Provo is not being buried as TCEM is contracted to do.  Magnetic Media is told the contract with TCEM is up for  review as it expired since March this year. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Burning rubber at Provo Landfill; fire again blamed on arson… againlast_img read more