Vidalia season underway

first_imgGrowing during Georgia’s winter months, the onions face many challenges from disease to wet and cold days to dry and hot weather and everything in between. And to help them stay in the black each year, growers have depended on the odd coupling of University of Georgia researchers and prison labor.Helping handsA select group of inmates from the Rogers State Prison near Reidsville, Ga., provide the essential, labor-intensive work that’s necessary at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center. The fledging center is the brainchild of Reid Torrance, UGA Cooperative Extension coordinator in Tattnall County. By Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaOn April 20, Georgia’s Vidalia onion growers started shipping this year’s crop, which is expected to be high in quality and yields. No grower can ship onions before this opening day, which the Georgia Department of Agriculture regulates to protect the quality and reputation of the state’s official vegetable. In vegetable research, he said, it makes a big difference when labor is readily available for timely harvests. The prison labor, worth $120,000 annually, is a big savings for the facility, which has become vital in an effort to support the state’s fastest growing commodity group. Worth $500 million annually, vegetables rank second behind poultry in farm-gate sales. Vidalia onions generated more than $140 million at the farm level in 2007. The center had cotton and soybean plots last year and will likely have them again, along with peanut, this year. Torrance needed working hands more than anything, and he didn’t have to look far. The prison inmates were right there.The center continues to grow. Scientists across the state from a variety of disciplines now conduct research there. Late in 1998, Torrance had a brainstorm: “We’ve got 9,000 acres out there at the prison, and surely they have a little corner out there somewhere where we can do some research.” He made some calls and arranged a meeting with UGA and Department of Corrections representatives along with legislators and onion growers. The old Page Nursery, a site where the Georgia Forestry Commission once grew pine seedlings, was determined the perfect site for a research facility. In spring 2000, 80 people attended the center’s first onion field day. In less than a year, a dozen projects relating to several disciplines were underway. Now the center needed to staff and equip the facility. “This is the only place in this part of the state that conducts commercial vegetable research, but also it’s unique because of the inmate labor detail,” Torrance said.center_img He hopes to continue to upgrade the center and get more UGA Extension agents involved with research there. Most importantly, he wants the center to be known for conducting accurate, reliable research for the state’s growers. (Faith Peppers is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) “Growers had always wanted research done in the onion belt,” said Torrance, one of the world’s foremost Vidalia onion experts. “Other than on-farm projects, we didn’t really have any place to do that.”Needed research facility “The difference between what we had and what we have now is night and day,” Torrance said. In 2008, the forestry commission gave all 142 acres of the old nursery to the college. Torrance raised funds and worked with DOC engineers to develop plans for a new building. UGA researchers quickly established onion research plots there. Soon after, Torrance inked a 15-year lease agreement for 22 acres of fields and three acres with usable buildings. Funding to support the center came from the legislature and private supporters. “At the onion field day now, we have more than 100 people. An international audience comes to see our varieties,” Torrance said. “We also have twilight field days for summer and fall vegetables. And, we have an emphasis on organic onion production.”last_img read more

Lakers’ Luke Walton will likely change lineups throughout season

first_img“Players have habits,” Walton said. “I think when you get tired and fatigued, you fall back on what you naturally do.”To break up that monotony, Walton put together a nearly two-hour practice that mostly involved scrimmaging. He will also give the players off on Sunday. Once the Lakers return to work on Monday, they will have finalized their opening day roster.Although Walton spoke with his staff and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak on Saturday, it appears unlikely the Lakers will determine how to cut their 17-man roster down to 15 until before the NBA’s deadline at 2 p.m. PT on Monday. The candidates will include Metta World Peace, Thomas Robinson and Yi Jianlian, all of whom practiced on Saturday. Loving touch Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The pre-game ritual involves more than just film study and an impassioned speech. Tom Herman, the University of Houston’s football coach, will also kiss his players on the cheek. “I’m not going to kiss any of our guys, but I like leading by love. But I had hippie parents,” said Walton, referring to his Hall of Famer father (Bill) and his mother (Susie). “That’s to be expected. That’s the way I was raised.” Walton has not always maintained his normally laid-back demeanor during training camp. During the Lakers’ exhibition loss to Golden State this week in San Diego, Walton could be heard talking to his players in a stern tone during timeouts. “It’s still about holding them accountable,” Walton said. “I don’t think you’re doing any of the ones you love any favors, if you’re not telling them what they need to hear when they mess up. But I’m not a big fan of embarrassing people and screaming them at some of people. If it’s something I need to talk about, you can do it in private.”Still, Walton noted that none of his coaches yelled at him at University of Arizona (Lute Olson), the Lakers (Phil Jackson) and the Cavaliers (Byron Scott). That explained why he “loves basketball so much.” “If we’re being lazy, he’ll get on us pretty good,” Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. said. “Luke’s the kind of coach that like you just don’t want to disappoint. It sounds weird saying it. But it’s almost like a parent. They don’t have to yell or scream or anything like that. But there’s the fear of disappointing him.”Injury updateAfter missing Friday’s preseason finale against Phoenix, Mozgov practiced on Saturday. Lakers guard Jose Calderon sat for the past week (left calf), but is expected to return for the season opener against Houston. center_img The eight-game slate concluded with Lakers coach Luke Walton telling his players he felt pleased with both their progress and effort. But that hardly left him satisfied. The Lakers enter their season opener against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday at Staples Center with a litany of issues he hopes to address. Although the starting lineup will likely feature D’Angelo Russell, Lou Williams, Luol Deng, Julius Randle and Timofey Mozgov, that lineup is far from definitive amid the team’s slow starts. “I’ve gotten a pretty good feel for the second unit group, but we have to figure something out with the starting group,” Walton said. “Until we get that under control, those lineups are probably going to change.”Walton also wondered if the Lakers will get their fouling under control. They have averaged 24.5 fouls per game, sixth worst in the NBA. Walton attributed those numbers on delayed rotations, gambling and reaching. last_img read more

Why We Still Need to Discuss Grid Defection

first_imgFor example, a recent study by Eric Hittinger and Jawad Siddiqui for the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) reexamined a subset of the issues RMI addressed in our original 2014 paper. Although Hittinger and Siddiqui reinforce many of the conclusions we made in the paper, media coverage of the RIT study contends that it “throws cold water” on the economics of customers using solar and storage to defect from the grid, and in particular RMI’s 2014 findings.We acknowledge that because grid defection is a relatively new topic for the industry, we must proceed with humility and openness to contrasting views; however, we also believe that it’s important to clarify misconceptions regarding the research RMI has conducted to date on this topic and its consequences for the electricity ecosystem. James Mandel, Ph.D., is a principal at Rocky Mountain Institute. Mark Dyson is a manager with RMI’s electricity practice. Todd Zeranski is a marketing manager at RMI. © 2017 Rocky Mountain Institute. Published with permission. Originally posted on RMI Outlet. A narrower scope limits the interpretation of new resultsThe RIT study takes the analytical structure of RMI’s 2014 paper and applies it to more locations in the U.S., with more-specific technology options. It arrives at many of the same conclusions as our 2014 study did for the present-day potential of grid defection (namely that grid defection makes economic sense today only in Hawaii where retail electricity rates are the highest in the nation).However, it also makes several assumptions that differ from ours. First, the study only examines current DER costs without considering future trends, as our 2014 paper did. Second, it does not consider the full suite of options available to customers, as our more recent studies — The Economics of Demand Flexibility and The Economics of Battery Energy Storage — explore in greater detail. Finally, it misses the point of why the future potential for cost-effective grid defection matters, even if most customers may not ever consider it.(1) Focus on present-day costs. The RIT study, which covers present-day PV, battery, and grid costs, does not consider how these costs may change a decade from now (i.e., cost declines in solar and storage, and cost increases in grid-supplied power). RMI’s original study explicitly aimed to highlight these points, studying cost trajectories from 2014–2050. Without acknowledging the future potential of cost-effective defection, the RIT paper misses the implications that a big portion of the ~$100 billion per year of utility capital investment today could be stranded by future customer investment. Major investment banks, among others, have also seen this potential danger to the current utility business model if present trends continue.(2) No consideration for a broader suite of DER options and use cases. The paper sets up a comparison of customer costs under a limited set of solar power scenarios (e.g., net-metered PV versus complete grid defection), but ignores other DER options that are potentially more likely. The paper does not consider options we explored in RMI’s more recent work that assesses the present-day customer value of demand flexibility under real-world utility rate structures, or the potential to gain expanded value from behind-the-meter battery energy storage systems. We have found that these middle-ground solutions, stopping short of full grid defection, offer much better economics for the customer, and likely for the utility and larger grid as well.(3) Why grid defection still matters. By failing to consider both the implications of changing future costs of defection, and the present-day cost-effectiveness of other DER solutions, the RIT paper misses an opportunity to emphasize why grid defection matters today even if it is only economic in the future — namely, that it empowers customers to determine the pace of decarbonization, retail pricing evolution, and other grid investments (e.g., in resiliency) that would otherwise be left entirely up to incumbent utilities.Because of these differences, the RIT study doesn’t actually challenge the core conclusion of our 2014 study and our more recent papers: that the rapidly evolving costs of the full range of modern DER options make distributed, customer-centric solar power increasingly practical and competitive in a rapidly expanding range of conditions. We believe this conclusion is more important and indicative of the future than absolute grid defection would be. Customers will play an important role in the integrated gridA conclusion that grid defection is not cost-effective now in most of the country glosses over the other ways in which customer preferences and investment decisions are actively transforming today’s grid. In our aforementioned papers, we detail how customers can invest cost-effectively in DERs (e.g., smart thermostats, batteries, electric vehicles) that provide better services and can reduce grid costs at the system level. Although these technologies do not amount to grid defection, they do indicate that DERs are playing an increasingly important role in the architecture of the grid.We continue to believe that increasingly cost-effective DER options will encourage customers to take a more active role in their energy, and lead utilities more rapidly into a new kind of electricity system, as we said in one of our earliest blog posts. Whether that leads to customers defecting from the grid or not, these customer choices will continue to transform the grid outside the scope of utility planning processes and regulatory structures. The lowest-cost and most desirable outcome for all customers will embrace this dynamic and seek to keep these customer-sited technologies integrated with the grid, rather than apart from it.RMI recognizes the systemic challenges presented by widespread grid defection, and will continue to advocate for an integrated grid. The “fork in the road” message we used in our 2015 follow-on study to the grid defection work, The Economics of Load Defection, frames how reforms in electricity tariffs, utility business models, and utility regulations are crucial to arrive at an integrated, resilient, and cost-optimal grid. RMI’s ongoing work in the electricity sector is tightly focused on that outcome. By JAMES MANDEL, MARK DYSON, and TODD ZERANSKIThe rapidly declining costs of distributed energy resources (DERs), including rooftop photovoltaics (PV) and behind-the-meter batteries, have introduced new dynamics into a traditionally slow-moving electricity industry. This paradigm shift has ushered us into a new era where previous assumptions about how, where, and at what scale electricity is best generated, transmitted, and distributed may no longer hold.In 2014, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released a groundbreaking analysis of the potential for “grid defection” — when and where it may be economical for customers to disconnect from their utility in favor of using on-site solar + battery systems. In the years since, as DER technologies have evolved and costs have come down even further, a number of fellow analysts have offered their own interpretation of the economics of these technologies and the implications for electricity industry stakeholders.center_img RELATED ARTICLES Misinterpreting the resultsBecause of the framing of the RIT paper, it may reinforce some mistaken beliefs on the evolution of the electricity grid that are worth noting.Claim 1: The “grid as a battery” for customer PV is the most economical choice. Hittinger and Siddiqui’s comparison of net-metered PV versus grid defection may suggest that the former option, net-metered PV, is always the least-cost solution. Yet both the RIT study and RMI’s own recent work have laid out that while net-metered PV may be the most favorable outcome for individual customers today, there are likely better ways to assess the value of and remunerate solar PV and other DERs on the grid. “Using the grid as a battery,” with solar PV and no other DERs like efficiency or demand flexibility, is likely to require continued investment in expensive and lightly utilized assets that utilities will find difficult to justify. It is important to encourage customers to manage some of their own capacity and flexibility needs, for example through updated retail pricing.Claim 2: Utility ownership of PV and other DERs is always the right solution. It is easy to take the negative results of the RIT study for the specific customer-sited DERs under consideration and assert that utility-scale and/or -owned DERs must be the most cost-effective choice. However, RMI’s recent work on the value of flexibility and storage has made clear that utilities, instead of owning or directly deploying DERs, can also reap their benefits by passing the correct price signals to consumers and/or aggregators. California, New York, and other leading markets are actively exploring these approaches. On-Site Storage Is the Great EqualizerBatteries for Off-Grid HomesNew York Proposes New Rates for Distributed EnergyAnalysis Sees Little Benefit in Off-Grid EconomicsRethinking the GridSolar Picture Is Brighter Than It Appears Green Building in the Cheap Energy Eralast_img read more

Fast Facts About Vitamin B12

first_imgBy: Annabelle Shaffer, Dietetics senior at University of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignVitamin B12 is an important nutrient needed by the body for healthy nervous and blood cells (NIH, 2011). Having adequate vitamin B12 also aids in the prevention of megaloblastic anemia (NIH, 2011). The recommended dietary allowance for adults is 2.4 micrograms daily (NIH, 2011). The media has touted vitamin B12 for increasing cognitive function, improving cardiovascular health, and increasing energy.Are these claims true?Current literature shows that these claims do not yet have adequate support:Cognitive function:How the brain thinks and functions is complicated, so it is not surprising that improving or maintaining cognitive function rests solely on vitamin B12.A randomized controlled trial concluded that correction of vitamin B12 deficiency does not harm or increase cognitive function (Dangour A, et al., 2015). Some correlations between vitamin B12 and cognitive decline have been identified, but more research on the specific role and effect of vitamin B12 is needed (O’Leary and Samman, 2010). Cardiovascular health:Similar to the brain, your heart health is complex.Multiple studies have studied the impact of vitamin B12 supplementation on total homocysteine (tHcy), a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. A study performed in 2005 showed a 7% decrease of tHcy with vitamin B12 supplementation (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005). Similar studies have not seen the same risk reduction. The prevention of stroke through vitamin B12 supplementation has shown similarly mixed results (O’Leary and Samman, 2010). Increasing energy:The causes of tiredness and fatigue can include nutrient deficiencies, organ declines, and stress, as well as other conditions.Vitamin B12 deficiencies are accompanied by weakness and fatigue. However, unless you are deficient, a supplementation of vitamin B12 will not increase your energy levels or athletic endurance (Lukaski, 2004; NIH, 2011).The bottom line is that vitamin B12 is important for several body functions, but it has yet to be proven whether it plays a significant role in the prevention of chronic diseases and the improvement of cognitive function.Where can vitamin B12 be found? What about vitamin B12 deficiency?Animal products, specifically organ meats, are naturally rich in vitamin B12. It can be found in dairy, eggs, chicken, and fortified cereals in lower amounts. Those following a plant-based diet and the elderly are at a higher risk for deficiency and may require a supplement or more of a focus on vitamin B12 fortified foods. Although vitamin B12 is not one of the “enrichment” vitamins mandated for flour, there are many foods enriched with the vitamin, such as:Fortified meal supplementsFortified instant breakfast drinksMany enriched ready-to-eat cerealsSnack mixes made from those ready-to-eat cerealsSome frozen waffles and pancakesSome vegetarian or meatless luncheon slicesSome fortified energy drinksSo how can you tell? The list of ingredients may say vitamin B12 or cobalamin, its chemical name.The symptoms of a deficiency include anemia, fatigue, and neurological disorders (Brown, 2017). Deficiencies are diagnosed through blood testing. ReferencesBrown, J. (2017). Nutrition Through the Life Cycle. 6th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage, pp.14-15.Dangour, A., Allen, E., Clarke, R., Elbourne, D., Fletcher, A., Letley, L., Richards, M., Whyte, K., Uauy, R. and Mills, K. (2015). Effects of vitamin B-12 supplementation on neurologic and cognitive function in older people: a randomized controlled trial1,2. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 102(3), pp.639-647. Available at:’Leary, F. and Samman, S. (2010). Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease. Nutrients, [online] 2(3), pp.299-316. Available at:, H. (2004). Vitamin and mineral status: effects on physical performance. Nutrition, [online] 20(7-8), pp.632-644. Available at: read more

NCAA postpones games anew due to bad weather

first_imgCelebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Track of Maring as of 8 p.m. of Monday, Sept. 11, 2017The NCAA has decided to postpone Tuesday’s games at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan due to the inclement weather.Fr. Glynn Ortega, OAR of host San Sebastian announced the cancellation of games Monday.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul LATEST STORIEScenter_img Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Arellano (4-6) was set to face off against cellar-dwelling Mapua (1-10), while Perpetual (4-6) was supposed to clash with San Sebastian (5-5).The games will be re-scheduled on a later playdate.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSignal No. 1 has been raised over Metro Manila as Tropical Depression “Maring” sustained its strength Monday night. MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Journeyman Watson finally gets chance to play in PBA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Musical Legend KBs Latest Save The Bays Release Das What Real Bahamians

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppNassau, 07 Mar 2016 – Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie, the musical artist who delivers tough messages to catchy rhythm and rhyme, released his latest Youtube salvo yesterday, taking aim at the government for threatening to replace important land use legislation with a weaker act that he fears fails to protect land or life. The song ‘Das What Real Bahamians Do’, written, performed and produced by ‘KB’, is the latest in a litany of the musician’s lyrics for the environmental movement Save The Bays and like the others, it puts the conscience of a country on notice.“Past songs like ‘Hold dey feet to da fire’ were important because they set the tone, making the point that people need to ask for and demand accountability,” said KB. “But today’s release dealing with the Planning and Subdivision Act was far more challenging. How do you make land use rights and responsibilities sexy? How do make the need for an environmental impact assessment for all developments something people relate to, make it fun, and translate the importance of the right to public consultation into a language that makes people care?”The Act has been a priority issue for Save The Bays, the grass roots environmental organization that has nearly 20,000 followers and friends on Facebook. Environmental attorney and consultant Romi Ferreira, a director of Save The Bays, has been spreading the message of the need to keep the 2010 legislation, speaking to Rotary and other civic organisations, appearing on radio talk shows, at public forums and in paid ‘Say No to PSA’ radio and print ads.“This bill, the 2015 Planning and Subdivision Act that would replace the 2010 Act that we all fought so hard for and was agreed upon, an Act that was passed unanimously, takes away the rights of Bahamians,” said Ferreira. “It takes away the right to be consulted. It is the legitimate expectation of a community to be consulted, to express its opinions and concerns and for those opinions and concerns to be considered before a decision is rendered that will alter that community’s future.”Under the proposed legislation, basic rights of public consultation would vanish and the decision to require an environmental impact assessment would be in the hands of a Cabinet Minister for developments of more than 100 lots despite The Bahamas having signed on to a global agreement to the contrary. The 100-lot scenario, says Ferreira, would only encourage developers to build in phases, 99 lots at a time.While Ferreira looks at the proposed legislation through the eyes of a senior lawyer who has taken environmental and public consultation cases all the way to the Privy Council in London, KB is hoping to get the message across in a way that touches a nerve with a beat that people can’t get out of their heads.“I don’ get it,” sings KB. “I don’t understand, why the government does give away our land…Y’all voted yes on the PSA, now ‘dat y’all in power, you wanna’ take it way…You shouldn’t change the rules when they don’t suit you, you shouldn’t change the law just for the few.”Save The Bays, which sponsors the music with a message and the production of videos appealing to tens of thousands of viewers, has picked up the pace for public online involvement of the environmental movement while partnering with several organisations that have long track records in environmental resource management. A petition to keep the 2010 Planning and Subdivision Act is on its website at and a separate petition calling for Freedom of Information legislation and an environmental protection act along with other measures has already attracted nearly 7,000 signatures. Environmentalist warns of a third possible Rubis leak Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Gov’t urged to deal swiftly with Clifton oil pollution Related Items:KB, kirkland bodie, Save The Bays Government ‘jumped the gun’ over Rubis leak riskslast_img read more