Aldi and Lidl once again achieved record-breaking growth in the 12 weeks to 30 March, while grocery shares fell overall.The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel revealed a ‘dramatic market slowdown’ across the big four, with share growth of just 0.6%.The figures are distorted by Easter falling late this year, which was included in 2013 data for the same period. Kantar predicted that ‘corrected’ market growth would stand at 1.5%, including 0.9% estimated growth from Easter sales, which would still be low.On the other hand, Aldi reported its highest-ever growth of 35.3%, which boosted it to a record market share of 4.6%. Likewise, Lidl enjoyed a record-breaking month and now accounts for 3.4% of the market.The ‘big four’ supermarkets faced declining sales over the 12-week period, exacerbated by the late falling of Easter. All have experienced share declines, with Asda posting the most resilient performance.Waitrose held on to its record 5% share of the last period while The Co-operative retained its 6.1% share. Frozen food outlet Farmfoods reached a record share of 0.8%.“Amid a challenging market backdrop, individual retailer growth might be expected to be restricted,” said Kantar Worldpanel director Edward Garner.Grocery inflation stands at 1.8% in the 12 weeks to 30 March – its lowest level since July 2010.
A few months into using the Yakima Hold Up, I am left wondering why everyone is not using this bike rack. Rarely do I feel this confident that a product outshines its competition to the degree that the Hold Up does. The rear mounted bike rack can be installed in less than five minutes. It literally takes longer to read the directions than it does to mount the rack onto a hitch.Once in place, it securely transports two 29er mountain bikes or 700 cc road or cross bikes. Having utilized roof racks in the past, which result in tired arms and frustrations after a long ride, not to mention the ever present danger that you just might drive into the garage forgetting your bikes are up top, I find the Hold Up to be the perfect solution. It also outperforms other rear mounting racks that function by suspending bikes by the top tube. In my experience, that style of bike rack allows the bikes to bang together and can also result in worn out bearings if the wheels are not secured for long trips.Perhaps the best feature of the Hold Up is the mindless simplicity it lends to bike loading, unloading and transport. The rear tray sports a cradle for the back tire with an adjustable security strap. The front wheel of the bike is secured in its tray with a moveable arm that locks in place over the front of the tire. The front arm also has a built-in cable lock to allow you to secure your bikes if you decide to stop by your favorite watering hole or brewery post-ride. An additional feature for SUV’s and minvans is the easy to use built-in pivot system of the rack. Even fully loaded, the rack can be easily lowered to allow you to access the cargo area of a minivan or SUV. The rack can then be raised back up once you are finished loading or unloading your bike accessories. If you are still not convinced that the Hold Up is the best bike rack on the market, did I mention it sports a bottle opener? That’s right, pop a top on a cold one while you watch your poor riding companions struggle to load their bikes on top of their car long after you’ve loaded up your ride on the Hold Up.MSRP $439.00 (Extension for 2 more bikes $329.00); yakima.com
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Tom SakashCan credit union-wide volunteer programs cut down on employee turnover? Apparently, yes. Just ask the credit unions that have implemented them.First Tech FCU, based out of Mountain View, Calif., makes volunteering easy for its employees.CU Effect LogoNot only does the credit union incentivize community involvement by carving out paid time for employees to volunteer, but by hosting company-wide volunteer resource fairs and by regularly sending out information on upcoming opportunities, it removes a number of barriers to participation.The result? Last year, First Tech employees logged more than 18,000 hours of community service, up from roughly 2,400 hours in 2011 when the credit union first started tracking the number.But it’s not only the community that benefits. continue reading »
According to Denver police, Kelly was at a Halloween party hosted by former teammate Von Miller on Oct. 23 on the night of the incident. He’s accused of walking into a couple’s home after 1 a.m. local time, sitting on their couch and “mumbling incoherently.” Former Broncos quarterback Chad Kelly has pleaded guilty in a Denver court to second-degree criminal trespassing, The Denver Post reported Wednesday.By pleading guilty, Kelly, 24, has agreed to one year of probation and 50 hours of community service. The man in the home then attacked Kelly with an aluminum vacuum-cleaner tube, causing Kelly to flee the property. He was picked up by police two blocks away from the Halloween party. Related News John Elway says 34-year-old QB Joe Flacco is ‘just getting into his prime’ As a result of the rest, the Broncos decided to release Kelly, who they selected with the last pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has yet to be re-signed to another team.It’s not the first time Kelly has been in trouble — he was kicked off the Clemson team in 2014 for arguing with the coaches, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor stemming from a 2014 bar fight and gained national attention for trying to fight at his brother’s high school football game in 2016.
Oil bonus scandal……over stashed US$18MBy Michael YoungeAn important civil society body is expected to take to court this week the Government of Guyana over its decision to stash in a special account US$18 million given by oil giant ExxonMobil as a signing bonus in 2016.Guyana Times understands that the action will be filed as soon as all the paper work is completed and the entity is satisfied that there are no loopholes in its case.The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and at least one other anti-corruption body are expected to join in the action, given their concern over the move by the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Government to justify its decision to illegally hold the money outside of the Consolidated Fund.People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Parliamentarian the former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, speaking with the Guyana Times on Sunday, confirmed that his party has decided this is the best course of action, given the stubbornness of the current Administration, and its apparent inability to respect the rule of law as well as the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMAA).Nandlall insists that this money, now sitting in a special account at the Bank of Guyana, was illegally placed there; and he has chided the Government for its double-standards and continued deception.Asked if this is the only recourse, given that his party failed in its bid to table in the National Assembly a motion to adjust the estimates of the 2018 budget, Nandlall responded in the affirmative.Nandlall has taken issue with the formal outline by President David Granger for the transfer of the money from the Bank of Guyana account into the Consolidated Fund. President Granger had said he is willing to respect any ruling of the court or credible legal advice which proves that a criminal or illegal act has occurred by the non-transfer of the funds into the Consolidated Fund.“As I said, it was put there for a reason; and if I am advised by the lawyer that we are in breach of any regulations, we would comply with the ruling of any court or legal advice… We need it there, and that’s why we put it there, but the money is safe,” the President said.Nandlall had expressed concern over the President’s statement, and is reminding him that the Opposition People’s Progressive Party has, from the onset, been pointing out the illegality.“…a number of important stakeholder organisations and financial as well as legal luminaries have already advised him to put the money into the Consolidated Fund, but he still refuses to do so,” Nandlall pointed out, before stating, “There is no alternative but to give the Government a court order”.Asked if he believes that Government would adhere to the order if it is granted, Nandlall remarked. “We will have to wait and see.”The Opposition MP also criticised the advice being given to the President on the matter by both Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams.“Having regard to motions which Carl Greenidge tabled in the last Parliament and legislation that he piloted from the Opposition benches, calling on the Government then to deposit all monies — including monies that were in the lottery fund and several other extra -budgetary funds — to place them in the Consolidated Fund, his current position demonstrates a high level of hypocrisy and duplicity”, Nandlall stated.Asked if the Attorney General was also culpable for giving poor advice on the matter, Nandlall remarked, “I don’t think the Attorney General appreciates the constitutional violation. He seems to be at sea.”President Granger on Friday refused to accept that his Government had committed a criminal act when it failed to deposit a whopping $US18 million into the Consolidated Fund. It had negotiated this fund on behalf of the people of Guyana, and had received the money from oil giant ExxonMobil as part of an amended agreement which would spell out the company’s scope of operations in Guyana.Instead, the President sought to further defend the actions of his Peoples National Congress-led A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change Government (PNC-APNU/AFC Govt) by claiming that he would not “knowingly” breach the laws of the country.“Well, I do not accept it was illegal. I will not knowingly do something that is unlawful,” he said, adding, “It has not been proven that a crime… We feel that where the money is located at the time would insulate from being misused or stolen”.He declined to guarantee that officials in his Government would not be tainted or compromised, and induced by the actions of ExxonMobil, as the company’s track record in other countries points to harrowing tales of bribery and corruption.President Granger made this statement despite his Government’s reasoning that taking a 50% salary increase just after six weeks in power would remove the temptation to steal or engage in corruption, after this newspaper broke the story about the clandestine move back in 2015.“God couldn’t confirm that His people wouldn’t commit adultery, and people are still compromised after thousands of years”, the President reasoned, before committing himself to doing everything under the law to safeguard the integrity of his Government and the future of the Oil and Gas industry.“If any maleficence is reported to me, and there are culprits, the culprits will be subjected to the process of the law,” he remarked. He insisted that he was not aware of any body in his Government being compromised.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Last Monday afternoon’s city council saw a lengthy debate over whether to officially register a coat of arms.A motion was tabled by staff asking Council to request a ‘Grant of Arms’ for the City of Fort St. John from the Canadian Heraldic Authority, Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, so that a proper coat of arms could be created and registered. City staff would draft up an application including a description of the community and its history, which would be followed by an official artist’s draft. The estimated cost of the draft artwork and registry was approximately $2,400.The city has unofficially had a Coat of Arms since the 1970’s, a copy of which is mounted on the wall above the Mayor’s chair in the council chambers. According to city staff after questions regarding the ownership of the arms were asked, the city does not own either the trademark or copyright over the symbol. Since the arms are also not registered with the Governor General’s office, they are currently not protected.- Advertisement -After a lengthy debate over whether it would be worth spending $2,400 dollars for an official coat of arms, Councillors Dan Davies and Gord Klassen voted against the motion, saying that the city’s current logo is adequate. The fate of the city’s current unofficial coat of arms mounted to the council chamber wall is currently unknown, although several ideas were floated including auctioning off the copy to recoup the cost of registry, or donating it to a museum.
Dr Mamphela Ramphele and Dr Mo Ibrahim, two distinguished world leaders. The ZK Matthews auditorium at Unisa in Pretoria was the venue for this year’s lecture. The annual Nelson Mandela lecture has featured prominent leaders such as former US president Bill Clinton, former Irish president Mary Robinson, and Nobel laureate, the late Wangari Maathai.(Images: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello HatangCEO, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory+27 11 547 5600RELATED ARTICLES• A nation of paradoxes: Robinson• ’The infinite gardens of Mandela’• ’Befriending the mistakes of the past’• Madiba’s legacy is forever• Scholarship builds future MandelasSource: Nelson Mandela Centre of MemoryDr Mo Ibrahim, businessman, academic and philanthropist, delivered the 11th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the University of South Africa (Unisa) in Pretoria on 17 August 2013. He joins luminaries such as former US president Bill Clinton, former Irish president Mary Robinson, and Nobel laureate, the late Wangari Maathai, who have all shared their opinion on important social issues through the annual event.This year’s lecture was attended by guests that included deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, academic and political party leader Dr Mamphela Ramphele, Professor Mandla Makhanya, the Unisa vice-chancellor, struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada, former Pan Africanist Congress president Mostoko Pheko, and Prof Njabulo Ndebele, chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. Singing superstar Lira sang the national anthem, to the delight of the attendees.Mandela spent much of his 27 years in prison studying law through Unisa and on 17 May 1989, while still imprisoned at Victor Verster Prison, he graduated in absentia with an LLB from the institution.The theme for this year’s lecture was Building Social Cohesion and was a call for all South Africans to work towards a united, cohesive, democratic and national society. The address was directed at all African nations, however.According to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which monitors development in Africa, South Africa moved up from 31st in 2000 to 22nd in 2012 in terms of rural development, but there is still a lot to be done.Overall South Africa is number five in terms of governance, according to the foundation’s survey. However, the gap between the rich and the poor is still stark.“South Africa is the least equitable country in the whole world, and it’s only legitimate for us to ask after 20 years of independence, why is that? It’s a challenge our friends in South Africa need to face up to,” the Sudanese national told guests.He touched on policy issues, including the subject of land: “You tried the system of willing buyer, willing seller and it didn’t work. Isn’t it time to find a solution within the Constitution to deal with this issue?” he asked.Another sacred cow, he said, was the matter of black empowerment, aimed at bridging the gap between the rich and the (mostly black) poor. “Did it help?” he asked. “If so, why are we at the bottom of the Gini table?”Ibrahim did not leave young people out of his address. “What are we preparing (young people) for?” he asked. “Are we producing the kind of people that future jobs will require? I am not sure.”He referred to the millions of young Africans who are about to enter the job market as “a tsunami”.“Where will the jobs come from?” he asked. “Without jobs, there will be no hope for the youth … and this is a major problem.”Ibrahim also urged African leaders to address the issue of education. A united Africa?On the need for African integration, Ibrahim cited another statistic: only 11% of trade in Africa takes place between its 54 states. Travelling between countries is hampered by strict controls and visa requirements.“Getting visas is a major problem,” he said, before confessing to using his British passport, and not his Sudanese one, to travel within Africa. A British passport, he said, is welcome across the continent. Women in Africa“We cannot talk about social cohesion without talking about women, the pillar of the African economy – 70% of the population is dependent on the land, and women do agriculture, not men,” Ibrahim pointed out.Violent crimes committed against women, he said, represent a serious threat to the African economy.“One cannot afford to lose this vital production element of society essential for social cohesion,” he said.He commended the South African government for being one of the most progressive in the world in terms of female representation in leadership, but pointed out that this is not reflected in society. “Cultural issues are difficult to face and it takes everyone in society to address them.” South Africa does matterIn conclusion, Dr Ibrahim called on South Africa to live up to its promise and to show the type of leadership that is fitting of the most advanced economy on the continent.“South Africa really matters to us Africans,” he said. “We look up to you. We look with admiration at the wonderful struggle for freedom, your founding fathers, especially Nelson Mandela, who is an African icon.In a frank rebuke, Dr Ibrahim said the African community expected more of us.“You are not doing your job,” he said. “We expect more of you. We expect leadership – we have a serious deficit. South Africa needs to step up and play a better role in Africa.“We are waiting. Don’t keep us waiting for a long time.” Read Ibrahim’s full speech below:I am really honoured to stand here before you today to deliver this lecture. I must confess l looked up the list of previous speakers and found out they fell mostly under categories of either presidents or Nobel Prize laureates, l am neither. l wish to congratulate the trustees in opting for a commoner like me to present this lecture – brothers and sisters, please manage your expectations.Building social cohesion is our topic today. I believe social cohesion is really about really holding our society together.It is about building a national identity that transcends ethnic, religion, class and gender. It is more than just a passport or an ID, it is where we achieve common purpose as citizens and when we really feel that we have equitable access and participation in the political, economic, social and cultural life of our country.It’s not about entitlement, but about equal opportunities and hope. It is about dialogue, listening and talking the Madiba way.Nelson Mandela is gifted with many extraordinary qualities, but for me the most potent quality he has is his ability to build bridges; to search for and find that common ground with others. And then use that common ground to build on understanding and find solutions. That is Madiba’s way.There is no doubt that great progress has been achieved in this country over the past 20 years. We do publish every year, my foundation, an index of governance, the African Index of Governance.We measure the 88 indicators of performance of each government in all aspects of their activities. South Africa ranked, in the year 2000, as number 31 in rural development out of 54 countries in Africa. Last year it was 22nd. There has been much improvement from 31 to 22nd. It is not a fantastic score, but it is a market improvement. It also tells us that a lot still has to be done about rural areas.I must say also that overall, South Africa is number five, it comes fifth in our overall index of governance. It’s a remarkable score to be number five out of 54. It is not bad at all. It is really good. However, the gap between rich and poor people in this country is still remarkable.The Gini table, which l admit is not the perfect measure but is a very important indicator, lists South Africa right at the bottom.This is the least equitable country in the whole world, and is it only legitimate for us to ask, after 20 years of independence, what exactly is really going on here? That’s the real challenge that our friends here in South Africa need to face up to. I think what we need is to have a good conversation about our policies on what worked and what did not work. We need to be brave, really, and have that kind of discussion.If we start with the issue of land, a very important issue, this country adopted a policy of willing seller and willing buyer. I think, and you would probably agree, it did not work.Isn’t it time for people to seek other solutions? Isn’t it time to find a solution within the Constitution that offers an equitable solution to all parties to address that issue? It is a very important issue for our people in the rural areas. And the government needs to have the courage in order to deal with that. Governance is never easy, but it has to be faced and this is a very important issue and it has not been addressed in the past 20 years.Black empowerment, the adopted black empowerment policy, was the objective of bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. Isn’t it the time to check what really happened with black economic empowerment? Did it help really bridge the gap between the rich and the poor? And if it did, why are we at the bottom of the table? I think we really need to have a conversation about that – at least for the sake of social cohesion. Talking about social coherence, we must also talk about young people, the youth. The youth are the largest constituency in our continent.Not only in South Africa, but in our continent. Half of the African population is below 19 years old. This is the largest constituency in Africa. This can be wonderful news but it can also be a major problem for us. It can be wonderful news because our democracy in South Africa and in Africa is the inverse of that democracy in Europe, China and Japan. There are no young people really in China or Japan. There have stopped having babies for some reason. Can Africa dream of being the future factory of the world instead of China? China is going to have a crunch in the next 10 or 20 years. Can we do that? What a wonderful prospect for us to have, that huge productivity of such young people can bring to our factories, our land and work place here. But in order to do that, we need to do two things:The first thing will have to be attention to education and training of that group of young people. What are we preparing them for? Is our education system matching our business needs? Are we producing the kind of people that future jobs will require? Are we doing that? I am not sure. I was having a conversation an hour ago with the vice-chancellor here and we both agreed that 2% of African students are studying agriculture, yet 70% of our people are living off the land. So we have an issue here of matching educational and training programmes to the job market. How many business people are involved in the educational process? I think none. That’s the first issue.The second issue is African economic integration. Only 11% of our trade is amongst the Africans. We refuse to let our people travel from one country to another. We always need a visa. And l also say, sadly, although being Sudanese, whenever l travel in Africa l always carry a British passport, because l am welcome.My colleague here, a member of our board, had huge trouble in getting a visa to be able to join me here. He was a secretary-general of the UN, a board member, but just to get a visa here is a major trouble. But with my British passport l am welcome here through your immigration lines. Is that acceptable?And let us take this further, as 54 countries, we are all subscale. We only have 14 exchanges, stock markets. Only six or seven of them have any liquidity. How can anybody start a business in a country which does not have a liquid stock exchange? If you are looking to invest money, you are looking at the dollar, you are looking for the exits. We have countries that have farming, we have countries that have tomatoes rotting because we cannot move tomatoes from here to there. There is no scale.If China was 54 different countries, would China have been where it is today? So let us get it clear in our heads that for us to move forward, we need to understand the important economic integration of Africa. We need freedom to move people, goods and capital across our borders. That is essential. So l think these are the two prerequisites. Simple. It’s not difficult. We need to get that in order for us to move forward. And we have an amazing future. We are a very rich continent. But what happens if we fail? We have a tsunami of young people, millions of young Africans coming for jobs every year. Where will these jobs come from? This is a recipe for a serious upheaval.Millions of young people without jobs and more important without hope, is a major problem. If you haven’t locked up your doors and called the army, that is a bleak future to face. That is a very serious issue. l hope that our leaders, and not only South Africa but all across Africa, can help us sleep tonight knowing that the tsunami of young people is coming, which we need to deal with. Our future depends on how we are going to deal with those young people. That is the mother of all social cohesion issues we face.Still on young people, given what is happening, given the demography of Africa, the majority of African people are under 19 years old. Below 25 years old is over 60% of the population. How much space do they have in the public arena? Who is listening to them? Are they invited to the table? The future they deserve is there. They understand the future better than us, and maybe they have better solutions than us. Have we had space for young people to come forward and join us in this process of thinking about what needs to be done? That is the challenge we need to deal with.Let’s go back to the numbers, l love the numbers, I am an engineer. I say half the population are around 19 years old. Do you know what the medium age is for African presidents? If you just compare the two numbers, you can see how divided we are. Where is the social cohesion here? This may be very interesting to note, Obama became president at 47 years old. Clinton at 46 years old. So people in their 40s are being elected to run a country that is not only the greatest super power, but it has a GDP economy of 15-trillion dollars a year – 15 times the total economy of Africa, which is about a trillion dollars.And those guys who are 40 years old are deemed to be able to run the US. Here we have somebody in our neighbouring country, who at 90 years old, is about to start a new term. So what is wrong with us? And the other day l was thinking, if Obama senior decided to take the young Obama back to Kenya, where would the young Obama be today? You may guess, l know, he will never be president of Kenya.We cannot talk about social cohesion without talking also about another important thing in our society, women.Women are actually the pillar of the African economy. Seventy percent of our population depend on land, on agriculture. Who does agriculture? Women do agriculture. They do agriculture, family and kids and also schools. And yet women have not yet been allowed the dignity they really deserve in our society. There still is this male dominated xenophobia about women and we have to admit that.We have a problem here in Africa. And we really need to face the real problem. Rape is a terrible crime. Somehow it is widespread in Africa and widespread here in this country. That is not acceptable. So we cannot afford to lose what is vital productive element in our society, one essential for our social coherence.One thing l have to say here, is that l really wish to commend the government and the people of South Africa, l note that you have quite a good number of women in government, in parliament, as heads of state, companies and parastatals. Actually you have a high percentage of women, higher than any African country, actually higher than any country in the world and that is a wonderful achievement. So we have great tolerance and acceptance of the role of women and they do amazing jobs, really, but in the rest of society we don’t see that respect being reflected. We have a cultural issue and that is something we need to work on because culture is very difficult to change unless everybody is willing to work on that issue.Just to mention in figures, Africa in general improved a lot on ratings over the past 10 years on gender issues. We moved 37% up so that’s a great achievement over the past 10 years. But we are coming from a very low base so we should not pat ourselves on the back, not yet. There is a lot of work that needs to be done.Now finally I would really like to say that South Africa matters. Of course it matters to you as South Africans; it also matters to us as Africans. We look up to you. You are the most advanced – economically, industrially – country in Africa. We look in admiration to your wonderful struggle to freedom. We look at your founders, founding fathers, the great Mandela, he is our hero. He is an African icon. Not only for you, he is our hero too. So we expect a lot from you. And we will not refrain from being critical when we see you wavering and misbehaving because you matter for us. You are the locomotive. You are supposed to pull this region forward, economically, socially and culturally. We expect more from you.Unfortunately we have a deficit in leadership in Africa. In all of our 54 countries, you will understand exactly what l mean.We have a serious deficit in leadership. South Africa needs to step up and really play a better role in working with Africa. Leadership is not about bossing people around. Leadership is not about securing a seat on a security council on behalf of Africa or chairing the African Union.The leadership we are looking for is true engagement with Africa. We need a cohesive voice for Africa and that cohesive voice you can really help formulate. We need a cohesive voice on the issues of transparency, tax evasion and a lesser transfer of funds, a lot of issues really important for Africa, where we really need your strong voice to be there.You have a role to play in Africa by understanding Africa, by engaging with Africa. That is what we are looking for. We are waiting, don’t keep us waiting for a long time. As transcribed
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On-farm grain storage can be a key component of any farmer’s grain marketing plan, but what if you don’t have enough? There are now some options for grain storage that may be just what some farms need to leverage what they harvest this fall.On-Store is a new, fully aerated temporary grain storage system that is offered as a 20,000 or 50,000 bushel system.“The most important aspect of On-Store systems, with the widening basis and new for immediate storage, is that these can be up and operational in just one day,” said Scott Gladish, On-Store’s national sales director. “So, you’ve got all that additional storage in a small amount of time and added flexibility with harvest time logistics when there is no need to choose between sitting at the elevator or sitting in a combine.”The On-Store systems consist of a galvanized steel grain ring, grain vac unloading system ports and an aeration system that is equipped with a five or 10-horsepower fan.“Farmers are utilizing these units to hedge against the markets, which have not been friendly as of late,” Gladdish said. “The markets don’t care if farmers have issues or if their cost of production is higher than what corn pays, but if you are able to increase storage it can allow for better hedging against these lower markets.”Installations of these units are dealer supported and require very little preparation on the farm.“The farmer will need to get the ground level in a 60- or 90-foot ring, building a crown in the middle with a box blade, sloping it off 1% to 2% to the edge,” Gladdish said. “Then there is a very thick 40 mil floor moisture barrier on the floor to protect the corn.”More information can be found at www.onfarmonstore.com and members of Ohio Corn and Wheat can pick up an exclusive 10% discount on all orders.
UPDATE: Both the House and Senate passed this legislation on December 18. President Obama was expected to sign it into law. For more, read this. Congress tackles a spending bill this week that promises to keep federal tax credits for solar and wind projects intact as part of a deal ending a ban on U.S. crude oil exports.The $1.15 trillion spending bill announced earlier in the week would extend the Production Tax Credit for wind projects through 2020, a post at Greentech Media said, while the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar projects would stay at the current 30% through 2019 before falling over the next several years to 10% in 2022.The ITC had been scheduled to drop to 10% for commercial projects and disappear altogether for residential installations at the end of 2016. The tax credit for wind projects was dropped at the end of 2014, but developers who had started construction were able to make use of it this year.Cory Honeyman, a senior solar analyst at GTM Research, said that the tax credit extension is “without question a game-changer for U.S. solar’s growth trajectory.”Lawmakers were expected to vote on the measure Thursday night or Friday morning, and while Democrats have said they support the plan, there is still opposition to permitting oil exports for the first time in 40 years. Democrats view that as an oil industry subsidy as well as an environmental threat.The impact of continued tax credits would be huge.GTM Research predicted that the tax credit extension would result in 25 gigawatts of new photovoltaic (PV) capacity over the next five years, 54% more than would have been added without the credit.“The ITC extension currently written into the omnibus spending bill will result in a 20-gigawatt annual solar market in the U.S. by 2020,” said Shayle Kann, senior VP of GTM Research. “At that rate, more solar will be installed each year than was added to the grid cumulatively through 2014.”Honeyman added that continuing the ITC would likely result in utility-scale solar contracts for less than 4 cents a kilowatt hour “on a regular basis over the next two years,” GTM Research said. No phase-out until 2022Under the current proposal, the ITC would remain at 30% through 2019 before dropping to 26% in 2020, and to 22% in 2021. In 2022 and after, the tax credit would be pegged at 10% of the cost of a project for non-residential and third-party owned residential systems. Homeowners who installed systems on their own houses would get no tax credits after 2022.GTM Research said that a “commerce-construction” provision allows projects coming online by the end of 2023 to qualify for the larger tax credits.The ITC, along with falling prices for PV modules, has been a major driver of solar installations, and the move to keep it alive will provide a big boost for installers. The Wall Street Journal reported shares of SolarCity, the country’s largest installer, were up 34% on Wednesday on news of the deal.The Solar Energy Industries Association says that the continuation of the tax credit could add as many as 140,000 jobs to the industry’s existing workforce of 200,000.Wind projects will be able to claim a credit of 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour through the end of 2016, before the production tax credit begins to fall. It would be phased out completely in 2020. The biggest markets for wind are in Texas and California. Patten Energy Group, which develops wind projects in the Texas panhandle and elsewhere, saw its shares close 11% higher on Wednesday. Its CEO said that the tax credit extension “will save jobs,” The Wall Street Journal reported.Extending the tax credits for wind will cost taxpayers $14.5 billion, the newspaper said, while continued solar credits will cost taxpayers $9.3 billion.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday urged the Hurriyat to respond to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fresh peace overtures, saying “maximalist and rejectionist approach will be of no help to the institution of dialogue”. “The Hurriyat’s response to Ramzan ceasefire, which Mr. Modi went ahead with despite opposition within the party and the security establishment, and the backing of the dialogue process through special representative has been unfortunate and negative. Maximalist and rejectionist approach is no contributing factor to the institution of dialogue,” PDP Minister and J&K government spokesman Naeem Akhtar told The Hindu. Mr. Akhtar praised Mr. Modi for his “statesmanly steps and support to Kashmir-centric initiatives” pushed by the J&K government.“We are ready to consider the Hurriyat’s demands on the confidence building measures (CBMs) provided they (the Hurriyat) contribute to the dialogue process first,” he added. Ready to consider demandsThe J&K government spokesman said all major political interventions on Kashmir had come through BJP leadership so far since 1990s, “whether free and fair elections of 2002, reopening of roads between parts of J&K and reaching out to Pakistan”. “It’s true in many cases in the past talks could not yield desired results. But where do one start again. It has to be an incremental thing. This dialogue process has the potential to be crucial first step and many things will follow up,” said Mr. Akhtar.Mr. Modi during his day long visit on Saturday had asked armed youth to join mainstream and said the Ramzan ceasefire was a reach-out to the youth of J&K. He also stressed that Centre’s special representative would talk “to all groups”. However, the Hurriyat leaders had described the ceasefire as “a joke” and sought a complete end of “war in Kashmir once for all”.Soz’s appealFormer minister and senior Congress leader Saif-ud-Din Soz has said, “ Mr. Modi has lumped all agitating youth together. Mr. Modi’s non-response to the Chief Minister’s plea for creating an atmosphere of reconciliation in Kashmir shows a situation of harder times for the future of the coalition government in the State. The parties and groups need to raise an effective voice for a dialogue process to be initiated by the Centre with the leadership that is totally alienated, the Hurriyat,’’ Mr. Soz added.