Norwegian company Equinor has signed an agreement to acquire 49% stake in KrasGeoNac (KGN) from a Russian petroleum refining firm Rosneft for nearly $550m.The acquisition price includes a cash consideration of $325m at the effective date of 1 January 2019, and customary adjustments.KGN holds 12 conventional onshore exploration and production licenses in Eastern Siberia, Russia.Equinor stated: “As part of this agreement, Equinor has redirected its remaining exploration commitments offshore in the Sea of Okhotsk and as such has no outstanding obligations in that area.”One of the acquired licenses is in productionThe North Danilovsky development, one of these licenses, has commenced production in July this year and is estimated to produce nearly 40,000 barrels of oil per day by 2024, with subsequent plans to increase this to 70,000 barrels of oil per day.The oil and gas condensate field is located in the northern part of the Danilovsky license area in Katangsky district of the Irkutsk Region, 300km from Ust Kut, 190km to the north of Kirensk.Verkhnechonskneftegaz is a field development operator of the project, which is said to be the first stage in the development of a new oil-producing cluster.The cluster is a result of the discovery of four fields within the Danilovsky, Preobrazhensky, and Verkhneichersky license areas.Equinor stated: “Pursuant to the 2018 agreement between Equinor and Rosneft to cooperate on health, safety and sustainability, Equinor will collaborate with Rosneft in these areas across the KGN assets.”Recently, the company has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 7018/5-1 in the production licence 960 in the south western Barents Sea.The well was drilled about 100km southwest of the Snøhvit field, and about 195km west of Hammerfest, was classified as dry and will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. KrasGeoNac holds 12 conventional onshore exploration and production licenses in Eastern Siberia Equinor acquires 49% stake in KrasGeoNac from Rosneft. (Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.)
VIDEO LINK TO SCOTT MASSEY INVENTIONhttps://www.heliponix.com/product/under-the-counter-heliponix-gropodMEET SCOTT MASSEYScott Massey was born in Evansville, Indiana on March 20, 1995, to Thomas and Joanne Massey. After graduating from Memorial Catholic High School, Scott went on to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering technology with a certificate in entrepreneurship at Purdue University. During the summers of 2014-2015, Scott interned at Separation By Design in Evansville, Indiana, designing fluid control equipment in the oil and natural gas industry, and made patent drawings for a local attorney.While a Junior at Purdue, a job opening was posted at the Purdue Horticultural College seeking an engineer familiar with fluid control systems to work on a hydroponic research study. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without dirt using nutrient-rich water recycled over the roots in a closed loop. Most hydroponic systems are indoors, meaning they can grow to produce year-round, using 95% less water, and can grow to produce three times faster without the use of pesticides. After being interviewed, Scott was selected to work as a student researcher on this project during the school year. This research study was funded by NASA to conduct controlled environment agriculture (CEA) growth trials in an International Space Station simulation that identified the ideal spectrum (color) of light using LEDs needed for plants to grow food in space. Plants only require a small portion of visible light (red, blue, and some white) to photosynthesize properly. Focusing only on the necessary colors of light needed to grow reduces lighting energy consumption, the most expensive operational cost for CEA. The study specifically used different combinations of red-blue-white LEDs to identify peak photosynthetic output by measuring the Carbon-dioxide input and Oxygen output. Scott worked alongside Ivan Ball who was studying electrical and computer engineering technology. Ivan was born on December 4, 1993, in Owensville, Indiana to Kenny and Karen Ball, and attended Gibson Southern High School before attending Purdue.Scott and Ivan learned about the amazing benefits of hydroponics that could be used to solve the inefficiencies in agriculture today.Scott then applied to several commercial, hydroponic farms for an internship for the summer of 2016. He was disappointed to learn that many of these farms (which have access to state-level agricultural energy pricing which can be as low as $.015 per KWH) still had very little revenue due to the operational costs of indoor growing, so they could not afford to hire a summer intern. Scott then went on to apply to other industries to find an internship outside of Evansville to build up his resume. That time came when a large construction company gave him an offer to work as a project engineer in Hawaii. After accepting his offer, Scott was unexpectedly reassigned to build section-8 government housing for low-income families in El Paso, Texas along the border of Juarez, Mexico. “The area of town I managed was originally named Angel’s triangle but was called the Devil’s triangle by the locals due to the crime in the area. I oversaw a Spanish speaking workforce which removed asbestos from the housing complexes and renovated it for new residents.” Scott witnessed his first major food desert first hand. A food desert is when a low income (often inner city area) is too far away from grocery stores with fresh produce, so the residents are forced to resort to fast food for most meals. “I learned how the food desert epidemic has become a perpetual cycle plaguing our inner cities. When the residents only eat fast food, they become obese and develop health complications that most of the residents can’t afford to seek treatment for which causes them to seek additional government assistance. I found it ironic that HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) allocated $1 Billion to El Paso which was being used to wheel in new appliances the front door, and wheel the used, but still functional appliances out the back door. Suddenly the idea of a hydroponic appliance that could grow fresh produce in a consumer’s home did not seem that crazy. I began making concept drawings and researching prior art patents to determine what this design might look like.” Scott finally came up with a design for the Heliponix™ GroPod. It was a dishwasher-sized aeroponic appliance that used a high-pressure spray nozzle to continuously water the plants. It could grow ahead of leafy greens in approximately 35 days. It could fit over 40 plants in the growing device that could fit under the counter. This accelerated growth rate staggered over the 40 planting ports could yield a full head of leafy greens on a daily basis.At the end of the 2016 summer, Scott returned to Purdue for his senior year with designs for the Heliponix™ GroPod in hand. Scott immediately reached out to Ivan for assistance in programming the software and designing the electrical hardware for the device that they built in Scott’s apartment kitchen. “This started as just a gardening hobby, but it was too expensive. I began working night shifts delivering newspapers for the Exponent to generate the funds needed to keep building prototypes. I quickly realized that this would not provide enough funding, so we entered into business plan competitions to try and win more capital.” Scott drafted a business plan for Heliponix™ (formerly Hydro Grow) which sold the appliance as an initial purchase and then sold a nonperishable, seed pod subscription as a recurring revenue stream similar to a Keurig K cup. “I think a good analogy for this would be the evolution of the ice industry. Ice was originally harvested only in the winter and delivered before it melted. Then refrigeration was invented which made ice available in any city through ice factories independent of the climate throughout the year. However, the market ultimately favored buying personal ice factories (refrigerators) over buying ice. I believe produce farming will follow the same pattern. Farming has been historically defined as harvesting one season a year and delivering it before it perished. Now hydroponic factory farms are profitable through more efficient LEDs (plus agricultural energy pricing) to make fresh produce available in any city independent of the climate throughout the year. I believe the final frontier of produce farming will be in-home aeroponic appliances from non-perishable seed pods!”Scott and Ivan unexpectedly won first place at their first pitch competition in Muncie, Indiana at the Innovation Connector Big Idea Pitch Competition. “After winning that first competition, I thought why stop? We applied to every university business plan competition that we could find.” Scott and Ivan eventually won just under $100K before their graduation. “Our gardening hobby quickly grew out of hand, so we spent the rest of 2017, after graduation, perfecting the design to be sold. It felt pretty good to start selling Heliponix™ GroPods in 2018 to our first customers. Most hydroponic systems can only yield 40-50 grams/kWhr. Only through the design, we filed our first provisional patent on, could we grow over 100 grams/kWhr. This revolutionary approach towards CEA has made it profitable for the consumer without government subsidies for the first time.” The company is currently assembling the GroPods literally in-house, in a garage in Southern Indiana where all of the main parts are sourced from Indiana suppliers or 3D printed on site.Scott and Ivan have secured their first government contracts, created several jobs for software engineers, and have seen a sharp increase in sales. “We can’t make these fast enough, so we are currently exploring opportunities to increase manufacturing productivity,” said Ivan. Scott has been selected by the Mandela Washington Fellowship to visit Togo, Africa on behalf of the U.S. Department of State to teach lectures about sustainable agriculture at the University of Lomé for April 2018. “What’s really interesting about our work in Africa is that it does not have a commercial agenda since the funding has already been provided. We are creating an open source, a pictorial manual that shows even an illiterate person how to assemble their own low-cost hydroponic system that could feed a small family leafy greens. We only ask that they post about their builds on social media to track the impact of the project. The manual will be available across the continent for free. Our progress in Africa will not be tracked in dollars earned, but instead, the number of mouths fed and lives saved from hunger. Most of the countries in Africa import over 80% of their food, so this isn’t just an issue of environmental sustainability. This is a national security threat for these countries if their food supplies are cut, so they need to become independent” said Scott. Scott is predicting that the world’s largest produce farming company will own no land within the next 30 years.According to the United Nations, we need to increase our global food output by 70% if we are going to avoid a global food crisis in 2050. However, this will be difficult, because agriculture already accounts for 80% of American freshwater consumption. More information can be found out about Heliponix™ at www.heliponix.com or emailing [email protected] LinkEmail
Ability Explosion presented Harvard with an award “in recognition of its commitment to accessibility, in particular, online learning and website design.” Lisa Coleman, chief diversity officer and special assistant to the president, accepted the honor on behalf of the university at a ceremony in Miami Beach that featured special guest speaker Actor Steve Guttenberg.“Harvard strives everyday to make the community open and accessible to all.” Coleman said. “We are working hard to break down barriers, and employ the latest technologies to enable individuals with disabilities gain full access to all the university has to offer. Given the challenges associated with rapid increases in the use of information technology, I am delighted that Ability Explosion has recognized our continuing efforts and commitment.”The Ability Explosion awards were presented to businesses, organizations, and individuals “who have been instrumental in creating awareness in the world about people living with disabilities, as well as providing opportunities and access where there was none before, through workplace employment and consumer access,” said R. David New, founder of Ability Explosion, a Miami-based organization created to bring awareness to people with disabilities.
Teens tackle question of freedom in America Related Coed Hasty Pudding makes its debut A revolutionary musical Project lets students write and perform ‘Freedom Acts’ for the A.R.T. stage Women perform alongside male counterparts for first time in group’s 171-year history They are the very models of two modern major influencers.Gilbert and Sullivan are still very much part of the scene, nearly 150 years after their first production. Their 14 Victorian-era comic operas, wildly popular in their time, paved the way for the development of British and American musicals. And today their works remain among the most beloved, staged, and referenced pieces of musical theater in pop culture — from “Hamilton” to “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy” to “The West Wing” to Lizzo.This Friday, that high-voltage, fanciful, satiric tradition continues at Harvard as the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players set sail on a nine-show run of “H.M.S. Pinafore” at the Agassiz Theatre.The love-conquers-all comic opera about a captain’s daughter and a lowly sailor was the fourth collaboration of dramatist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan and arguably their most famous work, running for a near-record 571 performances after its premiere in London in 1878.“You just can’t listen to Gilbert and Sullivan without being entirely entranced,” said Ross Simmons ’21, the troupe’s historian. “The music just lifts your soul out of your chest” and the dialogue “contains great poetry.”Performing Gilbert and Sullivan on campus since 1956, Harvard’s resident company has become one of the leading troupes in New England dedicated to the work of the duo, consistently staging among the most well-attended and lavishly produced shows on campus.As with all the group’s performances, members are responsible for all aspects of production, from the creative to the technical. They select the show, set the budget, cast the actors, do the lighting, sets, and costumes, direct, and choreograph. The effort is massive and takes months of logistical work and weeks of rehearsal.,On campus, the company is known for its welcoming community and camaraderie. Anyone can audition for roles, and students who wish to join need only reach out, even if they’re not undergraduates, or even Harvard students. As a result, the members of the company often include Harvard graduate students, undergraduates from other universities, and Cambridge and Boston residents. This year, for instance, the music director, the male lead, and a number of orchestra members are from Tufts University.“I’ve done a lot of theater, and I’ve never seen a group of people come together in a way that [the Harvard-Radcliffe players] do,” said Mary Reynolds, the music director and a junior at Tufts.The company also sets no requirement for previous theater experience and encourages members to seek out roles that will push them out of their comfort zones.That’s the really beautiful thing about the Harvard G&S players, said Sabrina Richert ’20, the troupe’s president. “Everyone has a chance to try something new and learn together and from each other.” There’s a system “built in of people that can support and help you,” added Jamie Ostmann ’21, the group’s costume designer, who is taking the stage for the first time as part of the female ensemble. She noted the mentoring and encouragement she’s received from stage veterans running up to the premiere.The community extends beyond the rehearsals and performances. Members past and present become familiar through a number of informal and formal social events the troupe’s leadership organizes, including a Victorian Ball in the spring.With this type of structure in place, “you get a community where people keep coming back,” stage manager Ava Hampton ’21 said.Made up of about 60 members, the company ranges from Gilbert and Sullivan diehards to those getting their first taste.,Janiah Lockett ’20 was one of the uninitiated. Until a few years she didn’t know anything about Gilbert and Sullivan. Now, she is well-versed in their history and cultural impact, and this show marks her fourth production with the troupe — her first in the director’s chair.“After my first production, I just fell in love with it,” she said. The wordplay. The wit. The music. She loved all of it. “I just thought, ‘How are not more people doing this? This is so fun it’s incredible.’”With opening night days away, she feels the cast is in good shape after watching them bring the whimsy to life at a recent rehearsal. Yet while she is excited about the premiere, she admits it will be bittersweet, especially for the group’s seniors, like her, because it marks the last time they’ll work on a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta as undergraduates.Next semester, the group plans to take a break from the work of their namesake comic opera legends, staging Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s “My Fair Lady.”The company is doing so in an effort to expand its audience, said Richert. In particular, it wants to reach first-years who may consider the operettas dated. They hope new students will get involved and stay involved by attending or helping produce future G&S-focused shows, as Lockett and others have.“We think that this will be a good opportunity for recruiting and getting more people involved in the community on campus,” said Richert, who noted the break with canon will happen every two to four years. “We feel that expanding our repertoire a little bit will help bring new people into our organization and generate some more enthusiasm.”Ostmann agrees. The group is “like this little hidden secret of the Harvard community,” she said — and it’s OK to let everyone else in on it, too.The Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players will perform “H.M.S. Pinafore” at the Agassiz Theatre on Nov. 8‒10, and 14‒17. Tickets are available. ‘We Live in Cairo,’ about the 2011 Egyptian uprising, premieres at A.R.T.
It was the summer of 2013 when Erik Filep noticed the devastation. He and his wife were traveling from Central Virginia to Ohio to visit family, when seemingly out of nowhere the scene was completely different.“One summer everything was fine, there was no noticeable damage,” said Filep, former owner of Filep Forest Management, a Virginia-based company that provides forest and wildlife management for landowners. “Then the next summer when we went back up, driving the exact same route, there were just dead ash trees everywhere. It seemed very sudden.”Of course, as a forester with more than 10 years in the field under his belt, Filep knew the ash trees’ demise was anything but sudden. In fact, those trees had probably been slowly dying from the inside out over the course of at least a couple years, thanks to a tiny insect called agrilus planipennis, more commonly known as the emerald ash borer (EAB).Experts agree that EAB is the most destructive threat facing Southeast American trees today, and the ash is one of many Southern trees in trouble. The list of specific pests and diseases is lengthy, but the most significant threats affecting our forests fall into two categories: invasive species and climate change.Unwelcome guestsFilep and other experts agree that invasive pests like EAB, a green jewel beetle native to eastern Asia that feeds on the leaves of green, white, black, and blue ash trees, are at the top of an ever-growing list of threats facing southeast American forests.An increase in global trade has made it easier for insects to cross oceans and settle in the U.S., and those freeloading travelers making themselves at home in our forests are causing tremendous long-term damage.“The Southeast has a very similar climate to a large portion of Asia, and more specifically, China, which makes it the prime habitat for species found there,” Filep said. “This includes invasive species such as kudzu, tree of Heaven, Asian long-horned beetle, Japanese stilt grass and wisteria.”Rolf Gubler, a biologist who oversees forest health issues at Shenandoah National Park, noted that pests from other corners of the globe are able to thrive because there’s nothing here preventing them from doing so.“Many pests do not have any, or enough, natural enemies or predators to keep them in check in their new location,” he said, naming the gypsy moth and universally detested stinkbug as two other invasive species that have spread with ease.A green jewel beetle native to eastern Asia, the EAB is an invasive species in Europe and North America. After the females lay eggs, the larvae feast on the tree’s inner bark, hindering the flow of water and nutrients and ultimately girdling and killing the tree.“Once the emerald ash borer infects the tree, it can take a while for the tree to die,” Filep said. “It’s very hard to notice that the tree is in trouble until it’s pretty much too late.”The beetles arrived in the states in the 1990s, likely on hardwood packing material in cargo ships or airplanes from Asia. Since landing in the midwest more than 20 years ago, the pest has made appearances in 28 states including Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, killing tens of millions of ash trees. Adult EABs can only travel about a half-mile from the tree they emerged from, but the insects spread farther when people transport infested firewood, nursery trees or logs to non-infested areas.Native to Asia, the emerald ash borer is merely a nuisance to the ash trees over there and is typically found in low densities. But as an invasive species in the U.S., they are now considered to be the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America.Oak trees in the region are also threatened by a new pathogen. Bot canker—caused by the fungus Diplodia corticola—was observed in West Virginia for the first time last fall. The fungus limits the ability of oak trees to access essential nutrients and water, ultimately killing them. So far, it’s affected only small numbers of oaks, but it has the potential to be widespread, especially as other environmental stressors weaken trees.Have we been here before?This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve watched as nearly an entire population falls victim to an invasive threat. According to Virginia Tech professor of forest biology John Seiler, the destruction of North American ash trees “could be the chestnut all over again.”The chestnut was the sweetheart of American hardwoods. Wildlife and humans alike revered and relied on its sweet-tasting nuts that fell in the fall, and the tree was one of the most predominant species in Eastern forests. One in four trees in the East was a chestnut.Today, there are almost no mature chestnut trees. The species succumbed to chestnut blight, caused by an Asian bark fungus beginning in the early 1900s. By the 1950s, billions of chestnut trees from Maine to Georgia had died slow deaths, permanently reshaping the forest landscape in the eastern U.S.Other trees like the red oak filled in its niche, but without the chestnut, Eastern forests produce less food for wildlife.Should we try to stop the spread of invasive species and diseases? Virginia Tech professor of forest biology John Seiler said he is, generally speaking, in favor of human intervention. Though he has yet to witness a success story, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least try. If humans are responsible for the infestation of a destructive, invasive species, Seiler believes we have a certain level of obligation to try to get rid of the threat or at least slow down the damage.Filep agrees. “I think we have a responsibility, when we introduce something into the environment, it should be our place to try to fix it,” Filep said. “I feel that way about a lot of invasive plants, too. Almost all were introduced for erosion control, landscape trees, all sorts of idiotic reasons that were well-intentioned but went horribly wrong.”It’s getting hot out hereAccording to the Environmental Protection Agency, forests occupy about 740 million acres in the U.S., which is about one-third of the nation’s land area. And as global temperatures continue to climb, it becomes harder for those forests and their ecosystems to function and thrive. According to Gubler, trees adapted for northern climates that are found primarily on mountaintops are especially threatened by climate change.“Examples at Shenandoah National Park include the balsam fir and Canada yew at high elevations,” he said. “As temperatures increase, trees adapted for northern climates that are found in isolated populations at the tops of mountains will eventually phase out.”As global temperatures continue to climb, species either adapt or they don’t—some species will flourish and others will decline.“The irony is that many of the invasives will just shrug their shoulders and be stronger, and many natives will have more trouble,” said Mike Van Yahres, owner and operator of the 97-year-old Charlottesville-based Van Yahres Tree Company.The hemlock woolly adelgid, for example, a ruthless invasive pest that destroys Eastern hemlocks, is sensitive to cold temperatures. Rising temperatures allow the small, aphid-like insect that sucks the sap out of hemlock and spruce trees, to travel farther and spread more indiscriminately, wiping out thousands of trees in its wake.Hemlock, stock and barrelAlso native to Asia, the hemlock wooly adelgid was first reported in the U.S. in the 1950s near Richmond, Virginia.According to Gubler, hemlocks are “sort of a niche species,” growing alongside streams and other waterways to create cool, dark microclimates. By 2003, he said, Shenandoah National Park had lost about 95% of its hemlocks, which made up about 0.5% of the forest cover.“It’s hard to replicate when you lose those trees,” Gubler said. “There’s really no replacement conifer that comes in and takes over, so we’ve lost a lot of those unique microclimates.”The good news is that a handful of the trees did manage to hang on, and hemlocks are easier to treat and more likely to recover than ash. The NPS’s suppression plan involves two systemic pesticides, both of which contain imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide that is highly toxic to aquatic insects and pollinators. When treating trees near bodies of water, they use soil injections of Prokoz Zenith, with imidacloprid as its active ingredient. Using one of these two systemic insecticides, Gubler said they’ve treated roughly 2,000-4,000 hemlocks per year since 2006 using soil injections, and there’s been a noticeable improvement.“I think overall the outlook for hemlocks in the park is a lot better,” he said. “You can turn around a hemlock that’s 60 percent gone, whereas with the ash, the emerald ash borer gets under the bark layer and has a girdling effect, and you can’t bring that tree back.”Nature vs. nurtureA third generation arborist, Van Yahres is the grandson of a “tree surgeon” who was invited by the Garden Club of Virginia in the early 1920s to restore some of the historic trees at Monticello.“In doing so he started working with the farms and estates in Albemarle and surrounding counties,” Van Yahres said. “He wanted to preserve their old majestic trees and he had the resources to do it.”Van Yahres said he and his team are also some of the most “active environmentalists in what has historically been kind of a chemical industry.” His primary concern is that property owners will spray indiscriminately, killing the pest or disease in question but also eliminating other beneficial insects in the process.“Historically when we intervene on things like this, we’re oversimplifying and the argument could be made that we make it work,” Van Yahres said. “Killing one bad thing in exchange for killing a whole lot of good things is not keeping the balance of nature.”Take the gypsy moth, for example. Accidentally introduced in Massachusetts in the 19th century, the gypsy moth is known for its tremendous defoliation impact on hundreds of North American deciduous tree and shrub species including maple, elm, and oak. The notorious hardwood pest has destroyed millions of trees since the first outbreak in 1889. Over the years, natural predators like stink bugs, parasitic wasps and flies, Calosoma beetles and small mammals like mice and chipmunks have contributed to keeping the gypsy moth populations under control between outbreaks.“Now that it’s been here for a while, nature has come up with a whole bunch of enemies of the gypsy moth, and it’s no longer as big of a problem,” Van Yahres said.Nature is resilient, but the loss of a key species like the ash tree will diminish the health and productivity of the forest for millenia. Gubler leads a team of forest researchers on projects to treat individual trees throughout the vast Shenandoah National Park. He believes in human intervention, but at the same time he’s realistic about the current threats and how forests will adapt.If you are looking at forests from a native species integrity standpoint, then the long-term outlook isn’t great,” Gubler says. “The forest will still be green, but there will be less forest diversity and overall biodiversity as a result.”Do your part So what exactly can we do to help? Even without a forestry degree or experience as an arborist, here are a few ways you can contribute:Don’t transport firewoodAs appealing as it may be to dodge the cost of a bundle of logs by throwing some sticks from the backyard into the car before going camping, suck it up and pay the $10 at the campground. If EAB larvae live inside even just one piece of wood from your yard that’s moved to another location, they can emerge and infest the entire area, effectively spreading their destruction even farther.Know the signsIf a tree in your yard is exhibiting signs of an infestation, contact an arborist immediately. They may not be able to save the tree, but if they remove it in time it could prevent further spreading.Signs of EAB include serpentine galleries and D-shaped exit holes on the trunk, increased woodpecker damage, split bark and canopy dieback. Hemlocks infested by the HWA will have off-color needles that drop prematurely and white woolly egg sacs on the underside of twigs.Donate Organizations like the Hemlock Restoration Initiative, the Nature Conservancy, and the Shenandoah National Park Trust happily accept donations that go toward their research and efforts to combat threats like EAB and HWA. Also check out your local tree stewards.next in lineAsh and hemlocks aren’t the only species of trees battling pests and diseases.Tree: DogwoodThreat: Anthracnose fungusSymptoms: Tan spots and premature abscission of leaves, cankers on twigs, succulent shoots at the lower trunk, spotted flowers“Anthracnose attacks when conditions are just right, and 99 times out of 100 it’s a one- or two-year problem that goes away and the healthy trees survive,” said Van Yahres. Tree: Oak Threat: Sudden oak death, caused by plant pathogen phytophthora ramorumSymptoms: Leaf spots, cankers on the stems, twig dieback“It’s a very fast-moving disease. Once it starts the tree can die within a couple days to a week. Literally a tree can be fine and then it’s dead,” said Filep. “Fortunately it has not been found in the east to my knowledge, but the entire eastern U.S. is in major threat territory for that.” Tree: PineThreat: Pine bark beetleSymptoms: Popcorn-sized lumps of pitch (or “pitch tubes”), S-shaped feeding cuts on the inside of bark, needle discoloration from green to brown“The pine bark beetle came through with a vengeance 30 years ago or so, and it preyed on the weaker trees,” Van Yahres said. “From a forestry point of view the lesson is that when you plant too much of one kind of crop, it’s all susceptible to one kind of disease or pest. We don’t need to blame the pine bark beetle, we need to blame decisions made by people.”
A truce between two violent Salvadoran gangs that has reduced homicides from 14 to five a day has held for 100 days, although attempts to sabotage it are in the air, according to some mediators in the process of reducing tensions. “From the beginning, I’ve seen more bright spots than shadows. There will always be shadows, and it’s good that there should be some, because it’s only when there are shadows that work is done so that there can be more light,” said military chaplain Fabio Colindres, who is facilitating the process together with former guerrilla commander Raúl Mijango. The chief benefit of the process that the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Mara 18 (M-18) gangs began on March 9, for both mediators, is that the deaths of at least 800 people have been prevented. “We feel happy that this peace process is moving along gradually; naturally, there are always things that need to be improved, that need to be evaluated, but looking at the big picture, we have to thank God for what has been achieved,” Colindres emphasized. Nevertheless, both the military chaplain and Mijango denounced the existence of “shadowy sectors” interested in sabotaging the process. “There is external pressure for the process not to continue, for it not to move forward, but those of us who believe in peace should continue it,” Colindres emphasized. For Mijango, those who are conspiring to “block” the process are “extermination groups” that are killing gang members in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Gang members stated that the ceasefire between MS-13 and M-18 still stands. By Dialogo June 20, 2012
The Sweden-based marine survey company MMT Group has appointed Per-Olof Sverlinger as its new CEO, succeeding Peter Forhaug.The new CEO joined MMT on 2 May and worked in parallel with Forhaug until the beginning of June when he officially took the role.According to MMT, Forhaug will continue working at the company as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors.Sverlinger previously worked at the management consultancy company Triathlon Group, which he founded and where he was CEO for more than 15 years.From his role at Triathlon, Sverlinger is well acquainted with the operations of consultant companies and emphasizes the importance of good customer relations and skilled and enthusiastic employees, the company said.“We are welcoming P-O and wishing him all success in his role as CEO – I am confident that together we will continue the successful development of MMT,” said Johan Berg, Chairman of the Board of MMT Group.
The 4th Grade boys traveled to Milan High School on Sunday, January 17th to take on the Jac-Cen-Del Eagles and Greensburg Pirates.In the early contest the 4th graders were victorious 43-6. The young Bulldogs jumped out to an 17-0 lead and never looked back. They were led in scoring by Hank Ritter with 10, Chris Lewis 8, Sam Johnson and Bradley Wirth with 6. Conner Drake, Calvin Grote, Deacon Hamilton and Wirth each had 4 rebounds. Gus Prickel had 4 assists.In the second game the Bulldogs defeated Greensburg 26-11 in a tight contest early. Chris Lewis led the team with 11 points, Gus Prickel had 7 and Sam Johnson added 6. Lewis and Johnson had 4 rebounds each, while Hank Ritter added 3.The 4th Graders are now (15-1) on the year and advance to next Sunday’s Dirt Road Basketball League Final Four to be played at the Connersville Middle School at 2:00 PM.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Paul Drake.
Laurel, Ind. — A Monday afternoon crash injured one person in the Laurel area.The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department says Clinton Lewis Jr. was thrown from his scooter when he hit loose gravel on Derbyshire Road at 2:15..Lewis was wearing a helmet and was transported to Rush Memorial Hospital for treatment. His condition is not known.
By J.M. HallasPAIGE, Texas (April, 9) – Greg Dinsmore chased down Brian Walker, used the middle groove to get for the lead near halfway and then eased away in the final laps for the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified win Saturday at Cotton Bowl Speedway.“The car was spot on tonight,” said Dinsmore. “There’s always great competition here at Cotton Bowl. The track is always racy and gets the show over in a timely manner. I knew I had to get to do something to get to the front early.”J.J. Jennings went wire to wire in the Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod main. Once out front, Jennings put it on cruise control until challenged after a late caution by Earl Ingram and Robert Scrivner in the final laps.What was just supposed to be a shake down run in the Kenny Merritt-owned Medieval Chassis turned into a win for P.J. Egbert in the 20-lap IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature. Egbert got past early leader Kelvin Harper and then held off Charles Cosper while dicing through traffic at the finish.Wesley Warren picked up his third IMCA Hobby Stock feature win for the year in the 15-lap feature. Warren beat Alexis Shad back to the line to lead lap one and then was able to build up a good advantage over the field in the final half of the race to grab the victory.