A Farmer’s Thanksgiving Prayer

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The harvest is finally doneThe bins are packed fullSame can’t be said for my walletAfter this year that’s for sure But the bills are all paidAnd the equipment is cleanIt’s getting hard to stay awakeBut I’m still just living the dream It may not be worth itTo fight the bad luck and weatherBut those things don’t matter muchWhen the family is back together After living in the fieldThrough the harvest and the choresThere’s no better place to beThan through that front door I do have quite a lotConsidering how I make a livingMy prayers have all been answeredBut I’ll save one for Thanksgiving Dear Lord God in HeavenNot sure exactly what I didFor a hard working, loving wifeAnd this house full of kids Please don’t think for a secondThat I have what I deserveJust know that I am thankfulAnd it’s You that I’ll continue to serve Amenlast_img read more

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Florida Rolls Back Efficiency Goals

first_imgUtilities argue electricity consumption has plunged on its ownFrom Duke’s point of view, power use had already declined dramatically.Since the last state-required energy goals were established in 2009, Duke said, Florida “has experienced the most severe economic recessing since the Great Depression,” resulting in an overall decrease in electricity use by Duke customers of nearly 14 percent. That’s one of the steepest declines in the country, Duke added, where the average drop in energy use has been 0.1 percent.Florida regulators recognized last year that consumers were already reducing the amount of power they used, the utility said, but it wasn’t necessarily due to conservation programs.Duke added that Florida’s energy-efficiency efforts are well established, and that Duke’s own efficiency programs have saved customers more than $1.25 billion on energy bills and offset the need to built 17 power plants since 1981.“While other states have only recently begun energy-efficiency efforts, Duke Energy has been actively promoting energy-efficiency efforts in Florida since the oil embargo in the last 1970s,” Ivey said. “As a result, many of the efficiency savings other states may be seeing now, we in Florida reaped those benefits and savings decades ago.” Lower goals for energy savingsUnder state law, commissioners set 10-year conservation goals for each utility, and utilities respond with specific programs they will use to meet the goals, Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for Duke Energy Florida, wrote in an email. Commissioners can ask a utility to add, drop, or modify a particular program.Conservation programs might target such things as duct sealing, attic insulation upgrades, heat pump replacement, reflective roofing, and upgrades to wall insulation and windows.In its decision last week, the commission was voting on new goals for reductions in electrical consumption for affected utilities — reduction efforts which regulators call “demand-side management.” In Duke’s case, Sterling said, the new 10-year conservation goal is 195 gigawatt-hours, exactly what Duke had proposed.Five years ago, the conservation goal for Duke was 3,205 gWh.Two other utilities affected by the ruling got just what they had requested, far below the goals recommended by two intervenors. Only Flower Power & Light was overruled by the commission, which set a conservation goal of 526 gWh instead of the utility’s proposed goal of 59 gWh. Florida’s Public Service Commission has voted to trim energy efficiency goals sharply and to end solar equipment rebates by the end of next year.According to an article in the Tampa Bay Times, the panel voted 3 to 2 late last month in support of the proposals from the state’s big utilities, which also had the support of the commission’s staff.Utilities had urged deep cuts in energy efficiency programs and an end to solar equipment rebates on the grounds that neither program was cost-effective. The newspaper said that the utility owners argued that it is now cheaper for them to produce electricity than it is to pay for programs designed to conserve it. (This is exactly the opposite conclusion of a recent report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which found the cost of energy conservation programs is about half of what it cost to generate power at a conventional coal-burning power plant.)The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) categorized the rollbacks as “stunning” when compared with the energy goals that the commission established only six years ago.The commissioners agreed to schedule workshops on improving solar energy, but the Tampa newspaper said that might not be enough to prevent a legal challenge to the most recent vote. SACE executive director Stephen Smith was quoted as saying that the commission’s vote might amount to a violation of state law. Solar incentives are “not cost-effective”Florida utilities offered a variety of incentives for photovoltaic (PV) and solar hot-water systems, including a $2 per watt rebate for residential PV systems, with a $20,000 maximum payout. Investor-owned utilities wanted the rebates to end; others, including the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, didn’t.Between 2011 and 2013, investor-owned utilities wrote rebate checks totaling $49.7 million for about 5,600 residential and commercial PV and solar hot-water projects.But the programs treated non-solar customers unfairly, the utilities argued.“The [investor-owned utilities] all agree that the solar pilot programs were not cost-effective and the general body of ratepayers — in particular, non-participants — have been subsidizing the incentives provided to participants installing solar PV,” the commission’s staff analysis reads.In recommending that solar pilot programs be allowed to expire at the end of 2015, the staff agreed with one utility witness who said, “It is simply not a responsible use of taxpayer dollars to promote these programs under any cost-effective test.”“The programs are not cost-effective and experience gained since the last goals proceeding indicates that consumers have continued to install systems without any rebates,” the staff concluded. “The current solar rebates represent a large subsidy from the general body of ratepayers to a very small segment of each utility’s customers.” New power plants are approvedWhile energy efficiency and solar rebates get the boot, the Tampa Bay Times said, “utilities will go into the holidays with their biggest wishes this year, including billions of dollars in new power plants that will come online in the next decade.”That includes a $1.5 billion natural gas plant that Duke Energy wants to build to take the place of the Crystal River nuclear power station and two coal-burning units.The newspaper pointed out that Florida is fighting a trend that is helping other states save energy. In Vermont, for example, energy efficiency efforts — such as subsidies for high-efficiency light bulbs — have helped the state meet more than 2 percent of its annual energy needs through conservation. “In Florida,” the newspaper said, “the number is 0.25 percent — and now dropping.”SACE also had sharp words for the commission. A statement issued after the vote said in part, “Florida’s power companies use a host of methods, rejected long ago by the majority of U.S. utilities and commissions, to support their anemic proposed goals, including arbitrarily eliminating all efficiency measures that have the highest energy savings to customers…“The line between the [Public Service Commission] and the monopoly utilities they are charged with regulating has become increasingly blurred. The massive amount of money poured into political contributions and lobbying by the state’s monopoly utilities is clearly paying off at the PSC — to the detriment of customers. It’s time we removed the word ‘Public’ from the agency’s name.”last_img read more

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Canadas relationship with Indigenous peoples deteriorated over past decade UN report

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA–Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples has deteriorated over the past decade, a report by the UN rapporteur responsible for investigating the human rights situation of Indigenous peoples.James Anaya, the UN rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples, found that “human rights problems faced by Indigenous peoples in Canada have reached crisis proportions.”The report  also found that the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples was getting worse.“The relationship between the federal government and Indigenous peoples is strained, perhaps even more so than when the previous special rapporteur visited Canada in 2003,” said the report. “Despite certain positive developments that have occurred since then and the shared goal of improving conditions for Indigenous peoples.”Anaya visited Canada in the fall of 2013, touring communities in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. He also met with federal officials, including Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt and the RCMP.According to his report, Canada talks the talk of reconciliation, but it doesn’t walk the walk.“The government of Canada has stated a goal of reconciliation, which the special rapporteur heard repeated by numerous government representatives with whom he met,” said the report. “Yet, even in this context, in recent years, Indigenous leaders have expressed concern that progress toward this goal has been undermined by actions of the government that limit or ignore the input of Indigenous governments and representatives.”Anaya found that the economic conditions of Indigenous peoples has remained unchanged over the past decade.“The most jarring manifestation of these human rights problems is the distressing socio-economic conditions of Indigenous peoples in a highly developed country,” wrote Anaya. “Although in 2004, the previous special rapporteur recommended that Canada intensify its measures to close the human development indicator gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians in health care, housing, education, welfare and social services, there has been no change in the gap.”Aboriginal Affairs Minster Bernard Valcourt, however, viewed the report as validating Canada’s handling of Indigenous issues.“The report published by the special rapporteur today acknowledges that, while many challenges remain, many positive steps have been taken by the Government of Canada to improve the overall well-being and prosperity of Aboriginal people in Canada,” said Valcourt, in a statement. “Our numerous laws, policies and programs aimed at addressing Aboriginal peoples’ concerns allow for a positive collaboration with Canada’s Aboriginal and Northern communities as we work together on shared priorities and towards a renewed relationship built on reconciliation and trust.”Anaya’s report also calls on Canada not to push through natural resource projects unless there is “free, prior and informed consent.” The report lists several projects which face concerns from impact First Nations communities, including Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project, the Alberta tar sands and shale gas exploration near Elsipogtog First Nation.The report recommends that Ottawa extend the Truth and Reconciliations Commission’s mandate for as long as it needs to finish its work and provide compensation to all residential school survivors.“The government should ensure that the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is extended for as long as may be necessary for it to complete its work,” said the report. “And should consider establishing means of reconciliation and redress for survivors of all types of residential schools.”Ottawa has refused to compensate former residential school survivors who went to day schools, were taught in sanitariums or were boarded out.In his report, Anaya criticized Ottawa’s treatment of the Mohawks of Akwesasne who are forced to go through customs checkpoints without ever leaving Canada. Akwesasne straddles the Canada-U.S. border.“The federal government should work with Indigenous peoples in international border areas, in particular the Mohawk nation of Akwesasne, to remove barriers to their free movement within their traditional territories,” said the report.The report also calls on Ottawa to call an inquiry into the high number of murdered and missing Indigenous [email protected] (PDF, Unknown)last_img read more

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Ohio State womens volleyball splits weekend matches against Illinois and Northwestern

Senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary (11) gets set before a serve during a match against Illinois Nov. 22 at St. John Arena. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Tim Moody / Lantern reporterStill fighting to grasp a semblance of tournament life, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team picked up a much-needed win against Northwestern, after falling to Illinois one night before.The Buckeyes (17-13, 5-13) topped Northwestern (16-14, 8-10), 3-0, Saturday in a late-night match.First serve was pushed back from 7 to 8:30 p.m. because a 3:30 p.m. kickoff for Ohio State’s football team.Senior defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo said her team came in knowing it needed at least one win over the weekend, and hoping to redeem themselves against the Wildcats.“(Northwestern) beat us when we went there and we were extremely frustrated,” she said of the Oct. 16 match. “So we came in here and we weren’t going to let them play with us.”OSU jumped out to a 20-14 lead in the first set and never looked back, eventually winning 25-16. Senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary led the way with 7 kills and just 1 error in the opening period.From there, the Buckeyes went up, 7-2, in the second before the Wildcats pushed back. The Scarlet and Gray were eventually able to pull out a 26-24 win.After that, OSU fell behind, 7-3, early in the third, but fought back to take a 12-11 lead. The Buckeyes eventually finished off the sweep, 25-18.“It was a great start to finish match,” coach Geoff Carlston said. “The kids did the game plan perfectly. It’s exactly how we drew it up, exactly how we wanted to play.”Leary posted 23 kills on the night to lead the way as the Buckeyes finished with a .298 attacking percentage as a team, compared to the Wildcats’ .148. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Mitchell added 10 kills while junior setter Taylor Sherwin had a match-high 46 assists.“(Sherwin) put me in really good situations with their setter being up,” Leary said. “She kept giving me the ball and setting me where I needed to be set.“She did a really good job this weekend.”The victory against Northwestern came on the heels of a Senior Night loss to No. 20 Illinois Friday. OSU came out playing well, but eventually fell 20-25 in the first set. The Buckeyes followed that up with a 25-17 victory in the second, but could not hold the momentum as they dropped the final two sets (21-25, 20-25).Leary led all players with 16 kills, finishing the match with a .324 attacking percentage, while freshman middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe and junior outside hitter Erin Sekinger each tallied 13 kills.Carlston employed a two-setter approach against Illinois, as Sherwin tallied 27 assists and freshman setter Maggie Heim added 23. Mandolfo led all players with 26 digs.After the match, OSU’s three , Leary, Mandolfo and libero Davionna DiSalvatore were honored during Senior Night festivities.Even though the team lost on Senior Night, Mandolfo said it felt good to get at least one win out of the weekend.The three seniors will have one more chance to play in St. John Arena, though. OSU is scheduled to wrap up its home schedule Wednesday against No. 2 Penn State. The Buckeyes are set to travel to Iowa City, Iowa, after their date with the Nittany Lions for their regular-season finale against Iowa Saturday. read more

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Reus Dortmund passed the test of manhood

first_imgBorussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus insists they were made to suffer in “brutal” fashion against Atletico Madrid, despite winning 4-0 on WednesdayThe Bundesliga leaders handed Atletico a shock 4-0 thrashing at Signal Iduna Park in Group A of the Champions League.Goals from Axel Witsel, Raphael Guerreiro (twice) and Jadon Sancho gave Dortmund a great win.But Reus insists that the scoreline does not reflect on the “brutal evening” their Spanish visitors gave them.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“It’s sensational! We had to suffer a lot, especially in the second half. Atletico really turned up the tempo. But we had the ball more from the 60th minute onwards,” Reus told Sport1.“Atletico had a lot of respect for us. It was a brutal evening for us. We passed the test of manhood, not just because of the result, but because of the way we got it. We knew we had to suffer. I’m extremely happy with the team.”Dortmund now leads Group A with a three-point advantage over Atletico, who can take their revenge in the return fixture on November 6 at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.last_img read more

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