Category: xltdbyltxeld

Source of the Quaternary alkalic basalts, picrites and basanites of the Potrillo Volcanic Field, New Mexico, USA: lithosphere or convecting mantle?

first_imgThe <80 ka basalts–basanites of the Potrillo Volcanic Field (PVF) form scattered scoria cones, lava flows and maars adjacent to the New Mexico–Mexico border. MgO ranges up to 12·5%; lavas with MgO < 10·7% have fractionated both olivine and clinopyroxene. Cumulate fragments are common in the lavas, as are subhedral megacrysts of aluminous clinopyroxene (with pleonaste inclusions) and kaersutitic amphibole. REE modelling indicates that these megacrysts could be in equilibrium with the PVF melts at ~1·6–1·7 GPa pressure. The lavas fall into two geochemical groups: the Main Series (85% of lavas) have major- and trace-element abundances and ratios closely resembling those of worldwide ocean-island alkali basalts and basanites (OIB); the Low-K Series (15%) differ principally by having relatively low K2O and Rb contents. Otherwise, they are chemically indistinguishable from the Main Series lavas. Sr- and Nd-isotopic ratios in the two series are identical and vary by scarcely more than analytical error, averaging 87Sr/86Sr = 0·70308 (SD = 0·00004) and 143Nd/144Nd = 0·512952 (SD=0·000025). Such compositions would be expected if both series originated from the same mantle source, with Low-K melts generated when amphibole remained in the residuum. Three PVF lavas have very low Os contents (<14 ppt) and appear to have become contaminated by crustal Os. One Main Series picrite has 209 ppt Os and has a {gamma}Os value of +13·6, typical for OIB. This contrasts with published 187Os/188Os ratios for Kilbourne Hole peridotite mantle xenoliths, which give mostly negative {gamma}Os values and show that Proterozoic lithospheric mantle forms a thick Mechanical Boundary Layer (MBL) that extends to ~70 km depth beneath the PVF area. The calculated mean primary magma, in equilibrium with Fo89, has Na2O and FeO contents that give a lherzolite decompression melting trajectory from 2·8 GPa (95 km depth) to 2·2 GPa (70 km depth). Inverse modelling of REE abundances in Main Series Mg-rich lavas is successful for a model invoking decompression melting of convecting sub-lithospheric lherzolite mantle ({epsilon}Nd = 6·4; Tp ~ 1400°C) between 90 and 70 km. Nevertheless, such a one-stage model cannot account for the genesis of the Low-K Series because amphibole would not be stable within convecting mantle at Tf ~ 1400°C. These magmas can only be accommodated by a three-stage model that envisages a Thermal Boundary Layer (TBL) freezing conductively onto the ~70 km base of the Proterozoic MBL during the ~20 Myr tectonomagmatic quiescence before PVF eruptions. As it grew, this was veined by hydrous small-fraction melts from below. The geologically recent arrival of hotter-than-ambient (Tp ~ 1400°C) convecting mantle beneath the Potrillo area re-melted the TBL and caused the magmatism.last_img read more

Oil rebounds as Trump hints at price war deal within ‘next few days’

first_imgUS President Donald Trump said a deal is imminent between Russia and Saudi Arabia to bring an end to the price crisis that has ‘ravaged’ oil markets – claiming a potential 15 million bpd production cut to be on the cards Donald Trump says both Riyadh and Moscow ‘know what they have to do’  to end the disruption to oil marketsA production binge among Opec members had been expected to begin this month as the existing cutback agreement expired on 31 March.Just yesterday, state-backed Saudi Aramco boasted of a “record-breaking” effort to stockpile 15 tankers with more than 18.8 million barrels of oil ready for shipment.But President Trump talked up the chances of a de-escalation in the price war, saying his recent conversations with Russian president Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had led him to believe they would “make a deal in the not too distant future, because it’s very bad [for both countries]”.Russian and Saudi leaders have been at odds since they failed to agree measures to respond to the effects of coronavirus (Credit: Kremlin)He added: “We have a great oil industry and the oil industry’s being ravaged. I think [Russia and Saudi Arabia] will work it out over the next few days. It’s too simple not to be able to — they both know what they have to do. I have confidence in both that they will be able to work it out.“They’re talking, and I think they’ll come up with something.” President to meet oil executives to discuss protection of US oil interests, as first shale bankruptcy confirmedThe US leader also confirmed he would hold meetings with his country’s top oil executives later this week, amid troubling time for the US shale industry which has emerged as a prime casualty of the deteriorating price environment.There have been strong calls from both industry and politicians for an intervention to protect US oil interests, with the warnings from analysts about the likelihood of insolvencies realised yesterday as Denver-based Whiting Petroleum filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.President Trump said: “We don’t want to lose our great oil companies. We’re the number one producer in the world — a month ago when you said that it was great, but today it’s not so meaningful.“But there’s a way that can be pretty well solved. I think I know what to do to solve it.”Reporting by the Wall Street Journal suggests the meetings scheduled with US oil firms will discuss the possibility of imposing tariffs on Saudi crude oil, which Riyadh has been offering to global markets at a heavily-discounted price since the stand-off with Russia began. …..Could be as high as 15 Million Barrels. Good (GREAT) news for everyone!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2020Via its state news service, Saudi Arabia confirmed it would seek a an “urgent” assembly of the Opec+ alliance – and notably “other countries” – to discuss potential measures to address the market crisis.It said in a statement: “Today, the kingdom calls for an urgent meeting for Opec+ group and other countries, with aim of reaching a fair agreement to restore the desired balance of oil markets.“This invitation comes within [the] framework of the kingdom’s constant efforts to support the global economy in this exceptional circumstance, and in appreciation of President Donald Trump of the United States of America’s request and the US friends’ request.”Despite the renewed market optimism, crude oil prices remain around the sub-$30 per barrel range – their lowest for years and well below the break-even level for most producers. US President Donald Trump claims a deal to end the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia could be struck within the next few days (Credit: White House/D Myles Cullen) Embattled oil markets have rallied today (2 April) on remarks from President Donald Trump that an end might be in sight for the Saudi-Russian stand-off that has sent crude prices plummeting in the past month.Speaking at a White House press briefing, the president said the two countries had been negotiating, and he believes a deal is likely within the “next few days”.Crude oil prices — which have been in freefall since a failed Opec+ meeting last month to agree production cuts in the face of coronavirus-weakened demand, and the subsequent price war waged by Riyadh and Moscow — surged on the president’s remarks, with both Brent crude and West Texas International up more than 20% in the day’s trading.In a Twitter update, Trump said he had spoken with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and was hopeful of an agreement between the respective leaders to cut oil production by up to 15 million barrels per day (bpd).He wrote: “Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more.“…..Could be as high as 15 Million Barrels. Good (GREAT) news for everyone!”Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2020last_img read more

Irish estate agent to market properties only after sale contract prepared

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Irish estate agent to market properties only after sale contract prepared previous nextHousing MarketIrish estate agent to market properties only after sale contract preparedCould this be the answer to the UK’s lengthening ‘days to sell’? Dublin agency says waiting for problems with title and local searches to be sorted after agreeing a sale is ‘archaic’.Nigel Lewis29th June 201801,355 Views An Irish estate agent has come up with a novel solution to the problem of homes taking longer and longer to sell on the Emerald Isle.Dublin-based Hunters, which is not affiliated to the UK firm of the same name, says it will now only begin marketing a property when a contract of sale has been pre-prepared by the vendor’s solicitor.This in effect would be a ‘home information pack’ or ‘seller’s pack’ of the sort attempted by Tony Blair’s Labour government in the UK during the late noughties in which any problems with title, planning compliance and local searches was sorted out before a property was taken to market by an agent.Hunters, which says homes in Ireland are taking up to 200 days to sell, is calling on other agents within the country to do the same and only market properties once a contract of sale has been drawn up.“Taking a property off the market because it is ‘sale agreed’ and transferring control of the process to the buyer’s solicitor is no longer appropriate – and it’s not in our clients’ best interest,” Rowena Quinn (pictured), Managing Partners at Hunters, told The Irish Times.“Contracts should be prepared prior to the commencement of the sale process, and there is no reason that all solicitors cannot co-operate with this,” she said.To ensure its new system works, Hunters has drawn up a list of local solicitors who are prepared to draw up a contract of sale within three weeks of the agency being instructed before the property goes to market.The company says blockchain technology could reduce this period to five working days in the future. Hunters Rowena Quinn sale contract dublin June 29, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

O.C. Police: Be Safe on Halloween and Beware of Zero Tolerance for Mischief

first_imgThe Ocean City Police Department wants everyone t0 have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. To help families better enjoy this annual event, here are a few safety tips that can be followed when trick-or-treating:Wear reflective clothingStay in large groupsYoung children should be accompanied by an adultObey the pedestrian safety laws — it is dark, and vehicle drivers may not see youCarry a flashlightCostumes should not restrict visibilityDo not open any candy until you get home and your parents inspect the itemsReport any suspicious person or activity to the police immediatelyPolice also would like to advise all residents that any act of criminal mischief during the upcoming Halloween will be handled with a zero tolerance. Persons taken into custody for any violations will be subject to the appropriate action under the New Jersey Criminal Code, city ordinance or juvenile courts. Please accept this as your only warning.In previous years, the Ocean City Police Department has been proactive in working within the school community and neighborhoods to keep these acts of vandalism to a minimum. Chief Chad Callahan requests the cooperation of the parents in assisting the community in preventing property damage from occurring. Extra officers will be on patrol in areas that have been identified as having problems in previous years.Many persons have felt that some acts are acceptable and just harmless fun. These acts include, but are not limited to: egg-throwing, toilet paper and shaving cream. Persons that have been the victims of these acts do not consider them as harmless fun. These incidents create property damage and are a major inconvenience to the homeowner that results in a financial hardship for the cleanup of the material left behind.The Ocean City Police Department asks for everyone to cooperate with making this a safe and enjoyable Halloween.— News release from the Ocean City Police Capt. Steven Anglast_img read more

Levchuk Wins Third Ward Race

first_imgThird Ward City Councilman Jody Levchuk is pictured with his daughters, Leni and Jordyn, and wife, Jill. (Photo courtesy Jody Levchuk Facebook page) Levchuk said he was not only pleased for his business and employees, but for the many other Boardwalk and downtown merchants in Ocean City who make a living through their businesses.“I am glad our city is somewhat opened for business,” he added. “My neighbors recognized my abilities. I am glad the public saw that.”Both Levchuk and Wilson ran campaigns based on the issues. They stuck to the issues of flood mitigation, road work, infrastructure and the importance of preserving open space.Continued improvements to infrastructure was an important issue in the campaign.Cape May County Clerk Rita Marie Fulginiti said candidates have 15 days following the election to file in Superior Court if they want to challenge the results. The Ocean City election was conducted exclusively by mail-in ballots because of the pandemic.It was unclear whether Wilson, 51, a father of two who serves as vice president of Council, would file an election challenge.“At this point, we would like to congratulate Mr. Levchuk on a very well-run campaign. My team worked very hard,” Wilson said.Wilson, a member of the governing body since 2011, focused his campaign on the work he has done with Council to improve the infrastructure throughout the city.“We’ve left a legacy for future generations that will be unparalleled. We made improvements to this town to better the quality of life for all of the residents,” he said. “I would have loved to have continued to give back to the community, but now I can use this time to give back in other ways.”He also reflected on his children, Tony and Julia.“I’ve shown Tony and Julia what it is like to give back to your community,” he added.Candidates who ran unopposed were incumbents First Ward Councilman Michael DeVlieger and Fourth Ward Councilman Bob Barr and newcomer Tom Rotondi, ran for the Second Ward seat vacated in January by former Councilman Antwan McClellan, who was elected to the state Assembly.Barr received 732 votes, DeVlieger garnered 688 and Rotondi had 403 votes.To view the complete tally of votes, visit Ward Councilman Tony Wilson has been a member of the governing body since 2011 and currently serves as vice president. Murphy is allowing the restart of non-essential construction and the reopening of non-essential retail stores for curbside pickup only starting May 18.center_img By MADDY VITALEPolitical newcomer Jody Levchuk was victorious over incumbent Third Ward Councilman Tony Wilson in the vote-by-mail Ocean City municipal election.According to the official results released Friday afternoon by the Cape May County Clerk’s Office, Levchuk garnered 573 votes to Wilson’s 559.“I am as happy as can be,” Levchuk, 43, a married father of two, said in an interview Friday. “I love Ocean City and I am ready to get to work.”The businessman, who co-owns Jilly’s Boardwalk businesses, said his first priority when he takes office will be to listen.“I will listen to the Council, the mayor (Jay Gillian) and the people who elected me. I will learn how my position will best help my community,” he said.Levchuk also noted that he was excited that some restrictions on businesses were lifted by Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday as the Jersey Shore and the state slowly open back up amid the COVID-19 pandemic.last_img read more

Professor’s book selected for Canto Classics series

first_imgDuring the turmoil in Uganda after the fall of repressive leader Idi Amin Dada, political scientist Robert Bates was in the field. At the time, he was widely known for his astute public policy analysis of agricultural decline in Africa. His war-zone experience led to the great concern of the latter part of his career — the study of political violence.Now one of his books on the subject, “When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa” (2008), is being published by the Cambridge University Press. It was selected for the Canto Classics series, which features the most influential titles over the past half-century. With the inclusion, Bates joins intellects such as literary critic C.S. Lewis, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, British anthropologist Jack Goody, and Harvard University colleague Theda Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology and a faculty associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.A deep commitment to fieldwork has been paramount for Bates, the Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard and a faculty associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. On his office door he has a picture of himself in long white beard and Panama hat, looking, as he does, like a restless scholar ready to set out on expedition.Since arriving at Harvard in 1993, Bates has conducted fieldwork in Brazil, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, and Ghana. His scholarship has been steadily funded by the Weatherhead Center, the largest international social science research center within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. His awards have included a Weatherhead Initiative grant of a half-million dollars for interdisciplinary work on Africa.“You can’t just apply some theory that everybody is talking about in Cambridge or London or Paris. You’ve got to get there and walk the ground and look,” Bates said. “Research support from the Weatherhead Center started, I’d say, as soon as my toe hit Cambridge soil. And it has been absolutely pivotal.”Bates was born in Brooklyn and raised in a family committed to Civil Rights and racial integration. As a high school student at the Pomfret School, he traveled to Africa for the first time. Many years later, in an essay for The Annual Review of Political Science, Bates remembered: “I came back from the trip knowing that I had connected with something that had changed me. When I left Pomfret, I knew what I wanted to do with my life: to think hard, to work in Africa, to focus on politics.”After attending Haverford College, Bates did his graduate work at MIT in behavioral approaches to the study of politics, which emphasized habits that are inculcated in people, such as traditions. When his early field research led him to reject that thinking, he grew interested in economic reasoning and models. Fortunately, his first faculty position at the California Institute of Technology drew him into an atmosphere in which colleagues were looking at the intersection between neoclassical economics and politics.His books, including “When Things Fell Apart,” have modeled his belief that, “It is crucial to have a dialogue between the nature of the problems we study and how we characterize them on the one hand, and what we see and touch on the other.”In this book, Bates locates the origins of insurrection in the actions of the government. Too many scholars and policymakers mistakenly focus on rebel insurgencies without paying better attention to the behavior of those whom they seek to drive from power, according to Bates.In Africa, he wrote, the reasons for political violence included a widespread fiscal crisis, the authoritarian nature of its states, and their rulers’ penchant for preying on the public. He said of the rulers, “By rendering their people victims, they provoked insurgencies.”Focusing on the sub-Saharan region of Africa, Bates developed data on roughly 40 countries. He combined systematic inferential work with qualitative insights. He studied many of the countries in depth — some down to the village level. “You have to go there and lift up the hood and see what’s going on to generate the numbers. That’s the only way as far as I’m concerned,” Bates said.He employs game theory, an approach for which he is known: “So what you want to do is look at the behavior that you’re witnessing in the field and figure out the logic behind it,” he said. “When you return from the field, you write the game down as you understand it and see if your theory is right. In equilibrium, do people behave the way you think you observe them behaving? If so, you may have the right game. If not, you throw that understanding away and try again.”Today Bates would like to see more of his colleagues approach contemporary political violence with a greater emphasis on the factors that lead states to breakdown. “Everybody in the academic world is looking at these insurgent groups — ISIS or al-Qaida and other groups — as if they were spontaneously assembling themselves. But they were the product of failing states. It was the way Syria was run or the way Iraq was run that made it rational for people to pick up guns and protect themselves and their families and their businesses,” he said.“When I look at what my colleagues are doing, they’re still studying these groups sui generis — as in, you know, let’s get inside them and see how they work. I hope somebody will do that but I also think if you want to understand where they are coming from, you have to step back in time and look at what drove people to that,” he said.last_img read more

Whew, that’s done!

first_imgFor many, writing a senior thesis is the ultimate academic challenge of College life. About half of Harvard students undertake this weighty endeavor, which is required only for honors students at most Schools. On deadline day, their original research, writing, and tortured all-nighters are sometimes rewarded with interdepartmental parties featuring cake and champagne.More tributes follow the March filings — at least for a lucky few — in early May with the announcement of the Hoopes Prize, which recognizes outstanding undergraduate research. A few days later, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) holds its annual Design & Project Fair, where dean’s awards are bestowed for outstanding engineering projects.Lyra Wanzer ’19, who built an electroadhesive treaded microrobot, was one of this year’s four winners. She was delighted. “I put so much work and time in this,” said Wanzer, a Vermont native who fell in love with robotics in high school. “So many hours for a whole year.”Students in the engineering bachelor’s program at SEAS are required to work on a capstone project, similar to a thesis, which aims to solve a real-world problem. Wanzer built a 6-centimeter-long microrobot with treads like a military tank. It can stick to conductive surfaces and could be used for search and rescue operations or inspecting pipes, engines, and other places where the human hand can’t reach.Across the University, the thesis is a rite of passage that students approach with mixed feelings. There is dread about the amount of work involved — each thesis must be between 10,000 and 20,000 words, 60 to 100 pages, and involve original research — but also a deep feeling of accomplishment once it’s finally done.Such was the case for David Shayne ’19, who is concentrating in social studies with a secondary in visual and environmental studies. Shayne handed in his thesis on the history of the American economic crises one hour before the deadline. He was tired after sleeping little in the previous 48 hours, but mostly overwhelmed by pride and joy.“I’m exhausted and stunned that the thesis exists and that I produced so many pages [about 100],” he said, looking a bit disheveled on the March 13 deadline. “I did my thesis by the sheer tyranny of will. It’s a weird and wonderful feeling.”,In most Schools a thesis is optional, but it is a requirement for students on the honors track. About half of all students across the College pursue honors within their concentrations; the numbers vary according to Schools and departments. Lauren Bimmler, undergraduate program administrator in the English Department, said 34 out of 48 seniors there are on the honors track.A lower percentage of SEAS students write senior theses. This year, 42 out of 140 computer science concentrators wrote one, as did 30 out of 100 students concentrating in applied mathematics.For Hyo-Won Jeon, who is concentrating in social studies, working on her thesis meant sacrifice. When she handed it in, she felt relieved.“Every day was truly a test,” said Jeon, who spent the night before the deadline at the library working on her paper on intercountry adoptees who don’t have U.S. citizenship. “The hardest part was not being able to spend time with my friends because I was working.”Students don’t undertake the challenge alone. The University offers tutorials, seminars, and workshops on how to choose a topic, do research, and write the thesis, and assigns advisers who guide students through the whole process. They may also apply for grants for research and travel.For seniors in the S.B. engineering program, SEAS requires the two-semester capstone course “Engineering Design Projects” (ES 100). This year’s projects showed a wide array of interests, from a 3D-printable implant to replace part of the ear’s canal wall to a wearable device that provides early detection of infection in pediatric patients to a portable gadget that measures atmospheric mercury levels.Seniors concentrating in applied mathematics also demonstrated a broad array of interests, said Sarah Iams, assistant director of undergraduate studies in applied mathematics.Hyo-Won Jeon (right) hands in her thesis to Nicole Dejong Newendorp. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer“It’s a cool, wide range of topics, from sports theses to economic questions to decoding Inca quipus,” said Iams.In the English Department, students can write critical or creative theses. Bimmler said creative theses, such as collections of poems or short stories, novellas, and screenplays, are on the rise. Two years ago, Obasi Shaw ’17 turned in “Liminal Minds,” the first rap album ever submitted at the English Department.This year, there were 13 creative theses and next year officials anticipate 23, said Bimmler.For many students the best part of tackling a thesis is that they can choose any topic, depending on their interests or fields of study. Among this year’s Hoopes Prize winners are works on female judges and crime in India, American country music in Italy, Nazis in America, gang violence in El Salvador, and the spread of the invasive strawberry guava in Madagascar’s rainforests.Schools have different deadlines for students to turn in their theses. In the Social Studies Department, it’s always the Wednesday before spring break to allow students enjoy the recess without any thesis-related concerns. At SEAS, it’s the last Friday of March.On deadline day, some Schools hold small parties with champagne, cake, and hors d’oeuvres to cheer on students as they arrive with the product of their labor. It’s a well-deserved celebration, said Anya Bernstein Bassett, senior lecturer and director of studies in social studies.“They take on an independent project and go through the ups and downs because there are always challenges,” said Bassett. “Your interview subjects won’t talk to you, you go to a field site and it’s not what you expected, and they have to manage through that. It says so much about who they are and how committed they are.”Senior lecturer Anya Bassett (from left) accepts theses from Layla Siddig, Rohan Shah, and Anwar Omeish. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerJuliana Rodrigues ’19, who’s concentrating in social studies, shared the sentiment.“It’s a capstone for your educational experience at Harvard,” she said. “It’s a way to reflect back on everything you’ve learned in your time here and bring that all together that speaks to who you are and what you value.”Anna Antongiorgi ’19 is concentrating in English with a secondary in Theater, Dance & Media. Her creative thesis was both an intellectual and emotional enterprise. She wrote a collection of 120 poems inspired by her love of writing and dancing.In many ways, the paper didn’t feel like homework, said Antongiorgi, who began dancing at age 5 and started writing poems in high school. At times, it was cathartic, at times overwhelming, but mostly it was enjoyable. The process has led her to ponder new possibilities.“I’m still writing,” said Antongiorgi. “It felt like it was just the beginning. I don’t feel finished.”last_img read more

Start Date For High-Risk Winter Sports In NY Pushed Back

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) WNY News Now File Image.LATHAM (AP) — The tentative start date for high-risk winter sports has been moved again for New York high schools, this time to early January, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday.Basketball, ice hockey, wrestling and competitive cheer would be able to start Jan. 4, contingent upon authorization from state health officials. Those sports were originally scheduled to start in mid-November and that date was pushed back to the end of November because of the pandemic.Dr. Robert Zayas, executive director of NYSPHSAA, said member schools had expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in COVID-19 infection rates.Low and moderate risk winter sports, which include bowling, gymnastics, indoor track and field, skiing, swimming and diving, are still on schedule to begin Nov. 30. Zayas said NYSPHSAA had proposed a prohibition on teams traveling outside the state or hosting teams from other states. He said he also proposed limiting high school athletes from participating with any other teams other than their high school teams.He said decisions about state championships would be made at a later time.last_img read more

Veggie Farm Shareholders

first_img“The buyers’ club is made up of about 30 people from around the area who want fresh,high-quality, organic produce,” Putnam said. The original cash outlay is also an obstacle for some potential customers. CSAs usually charge$500 to $1,000 for memberships. On a damp fall morning, Margaret Putnam and Cynthia Hizer hurry to gather greens from thegarden before the rain comes. The produce offered, and the opportunities for on-farm activities, may differ from farm tofarm. But all CSAs depend on a committed group of shareholders, Lohr said. Lovel said his best customers are those who like to cook and eat most meals at home. The shareholders at Hazelbrand Farms are called “the buyers’ club.” “The consumers benefit because they know where their food comes from,” she said. Each week during the growing and harvesting season, shareholders get their share of freshvegetables from the farmer. “We get money in the spring and pay it back in produce throughout the summer,” Lovel said.”One of the chief obstacles for farmers is the original cash outlay.” CSAs are as much about building community as about farming, Putnam said. “They help smallfarmers like us find people in the community who believe in what we’re doing and are willingto support us,” she said. Community Supported Agriculture allows farmers to share the business risk with theircommunity. Individuals contract with the farmer to grow vegetables for them, which thecustomers pay for in advance. They become “shareholders” in the business. “I have more turnover than I’d like on the CSA,” Lovel said. “One in eight really turns out tobe a customer that orders regularly. The others fizzle out.” “People have had CSAs for years, but they’re really growing now,” Putnam said. Shareholders expected the produce to be their main supply for the season, but ended upsupplementing the new foods with their old favorites from the grocery store. Atlanta is a prime market for CSAs because of its demographics. CSAs allow farmers to devote most of their time to producing food, rather than marketingtheir products. “CSA shareholders in the Southeast are a fairly high-income group,” Lohr said. “The CSAstructure works best in large urban areas. However, they can be structured for otherpurposes.” They own Hazelbrand Farms, an organic farm in Newton County. They, like organic farmersacross the country, are moving to a new system of doing business called CommunitySupported Agriculture. “It sounds like a lot, but it’s $22 per week for the season,” Putnam said. “Most people spendmore than that for produce at the grocery store if they have a family.” “Turnover rates from 30 percent to 50 percent aren’t uncommon for CSAs in the UnitedStates,” Lohr said. “When turnover is high, demands on farmers’ time can be overwhelming.” “Farmers benefit because they receive an immediate source of capital and are able to share therisk with a community of supporters,” said Luanne Lohr, an economist with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. They found that while many shareholders thought they wanted to try new varieties ofvegetables, the exotic vegetables didn’t appeal to their families, and many went unused. Hugh Lovel, who operates the Union Agricultural Institute in Blairsville, Ga., has had a CSAfor 10 years. It gives him the cash flow for his farm. He charges a membership fee and adeposit, which members get back in produce. UGA researchers joined seven Southeastern CSAs to find out what influenced that turnover. Recent research by Lohr and research partner Deborah Kane showed that CSAs’ biggestproblem is keeping shareholders.last_img read more

UK pension funds shy from liability-matching in favour of alternatives

first_imgUK defined benefit (DB) pension funds have slowed their shift towards risk-reducing fixed income investments while allocations to alternatives saw a bump, latest figures reveal.The data comes from The Purple Book, the most authoritative set of DB statistics, published and analysed by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).In its ninth year, The Purple Book shows the DB universe of 6,057 schemes has collated assets of £1.13trn (€1.43trn) as of the end of March 2014, with a funding level of 67% on a full buyout basis.The book showed DB schemes had begun to level out a shift from UK Gilts toward corporate fixed interest and index-linked bonds. Index-linked bonds accounted for 41.1% of the total bond allocations, an increase of 20 basis points from 2013.However, allocations increased by 8.3 percentage points between 2009 and 2013, with significant jumps year on year.This trend was at the expense of UK Gilts, which saw its share of bond investments fall by 10.5 percentage points over the same period. However, that has now increased by 10bps over the last year.Overall, scheme allocations to bonds fell by 10bps to account for 39% of investable assets.Stephen Rice, the PPF’s chief actuary, said there was no concrete reason for the levelling-out, but he suggested it might have to do with the pricing of assets.“It has been levelling off,” he said. “If I were asked to speculate as to why, I would suggest it is because [index-linked bonds] are very expensive. Real yields are pretty much negative.”He also said the slowdown in a shift from equities might also be due to the costs of switching.A trend of outflows from equities did continue, with allocations now accounting for 39.4% – an 80bps drop and the first time it has fallen below 40% since the Book’s inception.However, within equities, the shift away from UK stocks towards global and unlisted ones was also a strong trend.Private equity now accounts for 8.7% of equity allocations, having only accounted for 1.9% in 2009.Overseas equities’ share of allocations rose by 1.1 percentage points to 62.4%, with these stocks now accounting for more than double that of UK stocks, which take up 28.9%.The rise of alternatives, excluding property, continued, as hedge-fund allocations rose by 1.2 percentage points to 6.2% and ‘other’ asset classes rising 40bps to 3.9%.While risk-reduction in investment portfolios had levelled, other measures used by DB schemes were on the up.Schemes covered by the Book received around £25.6bn in deficit-reduction contributions, as the average recovery plans increased to 8.4 years.Buy-ins, buyouts and longevity hedges also reached a new peak over the year, with the 15 months from the start of 2013 seeing £24bn of these arrangements – in around 270 deals – an increase of more than a 100.Andrew McKinnon, PPF CFO, said: “The Purple Book has shown a slowdown in de-risking, demonstrating the steady decline has levelled off and could point to the end of a long-term trend.”last_img read more