This time of the year, everyone is thinking of decking the halls with hollies and their colorful red berries, but you just may want to consider adding a touch of gold. Can you even imagine hollies with bright golden berries? These would show out in the landscape like small trees or shrubs adorned with a thousand little golden lights — and the same for the mantel! My preference, however, would be to see birds celebrating with a Christmas feast.Here at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens (CCBG) at the Historic Bamboo Farm in Savannah, Georgia, we are like the holly headquarters for the low country. We’ve got the imports, the hybrids and fantastic natives that most have never seen. Two of my favorites are outstanding deciduous natives; the possumhaw (Ilex decidua) and the winterberry (Ilex verticillata).The possumhaw is native to 19 states from Texas to Illinois, eastward to Maryland and everywhere south. The possumhaw has been known to feed nine species of birds, including the beloved bobwhite quail. The winterberry, on the other hand, is native to a much larger area, including 33 states and much of Canada. It feeds at least 20 species of birds and has been in cultivation since 1736. That makes it heirloom status in my book.Please don’t let the fact that these holly varieties are deciduous discourage you from trying them in the landscape, because when the leaves diminish or fall, the berries are even more dazzling. As you are probably guessing, both the winterberry and the possumhaw have superior selection in both red and golden berry form.‘Finch’s Gold’ is the selection of possumhaw holly that we are growing, and your first thought may have been that it gets its name from the bird you may see devouring the fruit. The truth is that it is named for Bill Finch, who discovered it in Mobile, Alabama. This terrific plant is cold hardy from zones 5 through 9 and can form a small tree 12 to 15 feet in height with a spread of 10 feet. We are also growing ‘Warren’s Red,’ a superior selection that loads up with uncountable red berries.Our winterberry hollies are more shrub-like, reaching 5 to 8 feet in height. The winterberry is more cold hardy with zones from 3 to 9. We are growing ‘Winter Red’ and ‘Winter Gold,’ both of which offer staggering beauty with their colorful fruit.Possumhaws and winterberries are easy to grow and good nurseries normally have them. Regardless of the varieties you choose, plant in sun to partial sun and in the same places you might plant a crape myrtle. Use them to frame entryways for special accents or along driveways and around the patio. Anywhere the landscape looks drab in the winter is a great place for the possum haw or winterberry holly to brighten. It is always a good idea to include a male variety in close proximity to ensure maximum berry production. One well-known horticulturist said that you could garden for 12 lifetimes and never see an insect or disease bothering the plant. In most years, however, our berries are stripped by cedar waxwings, American robins or mockingbirds, which always seem to stake a claim. These pests will most likely cause a family celebration and bring out the cameras.This winter and spring, when you are at your garden center choosing new trees or shrubs, look for hollies loaded with fruit and bearing no leaves — you just may strike gold with a great selection of one of our native species. To learn more about the Coastal Botanical Gardens, visit http://www.coastalgeorgiabg.org/ and follow me on Twitter: @CGBGgardenguru.
Rt. 250 and Rt. 220 are the two main roads to be traveled in Highland, intersecting at the county seat of Monterey in the center of the county. For a map to help plan your trip, check out the brochure at www.highlandcounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Sweet-Rides-Motorcycle-Map.pdf or view VDOT’s Highland County Map at www.virginiadot.org/travel/resources/county_maps/45_Highland.pdf. Sweet Spot #5: Relax with fishing along the cool, clean streams and ponds Highland County offers three rivers for public fishing: the Bullpasture, the Potomac and Laurel Fork. Discover information on places to go and regulations with Fish Virginia First at www.fishvirginiafirst.com/partner_pages/highland-county or the Department of Wildlife Resources at dwr.virginia.gov/fishing. If you need a guide, check out Bull Mountain Guide Service at www.bullmtnguides.com. If you want a fun experience with children to introduce them to fishing, visit Hiner Town Trout Fishing, roughly one mile north of Monterey off of Potomac River Road (Rt. 220) at 222 Hiner’s Lane. You can fish in a small pond from 9 am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday or by reservation on Sunday at 540-679-6194 (if you call before Saturday). Family units must remain six feet apart. Stay updated at www.facebook.com/Hiner-Town-Trout-Fishing-102282044733901 . Finally, if you are just in the mood to taste some fish, get your fresh or frozen trout at the Virginia Trout Company at 5480 Potomac River Road, Monday through Wednesday from 8 am to noon (www.virginiatroutcompany.com). Sweet Spot #4: Take a hike on unspoiled, sparsely-populated trails Highland County is well known for its maple syrup industry, being one of the most southern places in the U.S. that the sweet “liquid gold” can consistently be produced. Maple syrup producers and their sugar camps dot the landscape, each with their own stories, history and techniques. Because of the freezing and thawing cycle in late winter, the county hosts an annual Maple Festival during the second and third weekends in March. Outside of that March timeframe, eight Highland County sugar camps plan to be open by appointment to explore for a tour, local syrup sample and fun. Pick up an official passport, get yours stamped after each sugar camp visit, and if you complete all eight, you’ll even get a free gift! Set to begin in September of 2020, get full details at www.virginiamaplesyrup.com. Call ahead to each syrup producer for details and COVID-19 protocol. Wanderlove is about doing what you love with the people you love. Experience the unspoiled views and hidden gems in our mountain community of Highland County, one of the least populated counties east of the Mississippi River that is ideal for those seeking solitude and a refreshing sense of freedom. Highland is characterized by rural landscapes, dark night skies, and small towns. Plan your next road trip at www.highlandcounty.org, or check out the following sweet spots for your itinerary. Sweet Spot #6: Discover the history of an area that looks much the same as it did over 100 years ago DCIM\100MEDIA\DJI_0157.JPG Get off the road and lace up your boots for hiking in the clean mountain air. Four trails are featured in Highland County’s section of Virginia’s Western Highlands Trail Guide at issuu.com/tnc27/docs/virginia_s_western_highlands_trail_guide4x8.5-5-we, each with varying degrees of difficulty and features. Sweet Spot #3: Find all the beautiful shapes and colors on the Barn Quilt Trail Sweet Spot #2: Taste pure deliciousness on the new Virginia Maple Syrup Trail Barn quilts are painted wooden quilt blocks adorned on barns and houses. Beginning in 2011, Highland County was the first county in Virginia to have its very own Barn Quilt Trail. Starting in mid-September, pick up a copy of the newly revised Barn Quilt Trail brochure or view the online version at www.highlandcounty.org to locate over 50 unique barn quilts on a leisurely country ride. With interesting names like “Five Reds,” “Colaw Apple,” or “Jacob’s Ladder,” each barn quilt tells a story, usually with significant special meaning about the owner, nature, family, business or design. Feeling the itch to discover more? That’s your Wanderlove calling, and we have you covered! Find out more at www.highlandcounty.org, or learn more about other destinations at www.Virginia.org/WanderLove. Happy travels! The Highland Historical Society runs a beautiful museum known as The Mansion House that served as a hospital during the Battle of McDowell in May of 1862. Located at 161 Mansion House Road in McDowell, you can learn more about Highland’s history. The Mansion House accepts free-will donations for entry and is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. through the end of October. More info and a virtual view of its newest exhibits can be found at www.highlandcountyhistory.com. More information on the Civil War history and trails in the area can be found at www.civilwartrails.org and www.shenandoahatwar.org. It’s easy to elevate your travel experience in Highland, but now you can get even higher. Over 100 steps up the Sounding Knob Fire Tower will give you a lasting memory – and maybe even some wobbly legs! It is located up a gravel drive on Sounding Knob Road just 1.3 miles south of its intersection with Rt. 250. Enjoy the majestic view now through November 1, 2020 from sunrise to sunset every day. The practice of social distancing is required, and please be sure to exit right when leaving Sounding Knob Road and entering Rt. 250. Vehicles with very low clearance may have difficulty with water breaks on Sounding Knob Road, but most vehicles have no issues. Sweet Spot #1: Climb the Sounding Knob Fire Tower
continue reading » NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger is highlighting credit unions’ engagement with small businesses in recognition of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week, which began yesterday.“Credit unions are committed to serving and strengthening their communities, and one of the ways they do so is through providing small businesses with necessary capital that stimulates economic growth,” said Berger. “NAFCU looks forward to continuing our partnership with the SBA to find opportunities for credit unions to better serve small businesses through lending.”The SBA kicked off the week with a number of events over the weekend, including a hackathon and national awards ceremonies. All events are scheduled to be broadcast live via the administration’s Facebook page; a workshop on social media tips for small businesses will broadcast today at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
How to find the best deals during online sales? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. The report suggests that Chromebooks saw an impressive growth with HP more than doubling volumes from a year ago to hit 3.2 million units. Most of the shipments from HP were directed to the US. In the Chromebooks category, Lenovo stands second with 1.8 million units shipped. It saw a year-on-year growth of 300 percent. This is largely attributed to the COVID-19 crisis forcing students to study online and adults to work from home. Dell, Acer, and Asus are also reported to have posted strong Chromebook shipment volumes, making it to the list of top five in the global Chromebooks shipment category for the third quarter of 2020.As mentioned, tablets also saw impressive growth with Apple leading the shipments with 15.2 million units and a growth of 47 percent. Samsung managed to come in second with over 9 million shipments and a growth of 80 percent from last year. Canalys says that Samsung has achieved such strong sales for the first time since Q4 2015. In the tablet category, Huawei comes in third with 5.1 million shipments and a growth of 38 percent. Amazon saw an annual growth of 7.9 percent, whereas Lenovo grew 58.9 percent year-on-year.Meanwhile, the desktop segment saw an overall market decline of 32 percent. In this category, desktop workstations saw a decline of 27 percent whereas tower and small desktops saw a decline of 33 percent year-on-year. All-in-ones saw a modest annual growth of 7 percent in Q3 2020.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Chromebooks and tablets have seen stellar growth in the third quarter of 2020, whereas the desktop market saw an overall decline of 32 percent, according to a market analysis report from research firm Canalys. Its quarterly report on the PC market ecosystem reveals that Chromebooks were the best performing product in the PC landscape in Q3 as shipments grew 122 percent to a total of 9.4 million. Detachables like tablets and notebooks also grew 88 percent, and were reportedly the second-best performing products in the personal computing segment.Canalys reports that Lenovo shipped the most number of tablets, notebooks, and desktops at 23.5 million in Q3 2020. They were closely followed by Apple with 22.1 million Mac and iPad shipments. Other big players in the top five global PC category include HP, Dell, and Samsung. The overall global PC market saw total shipments of 124.5 million with 23 percent year-on-year growth.- Advertisement –
BLOG: Medicaid Expansion by the Numbers (INFOGRAPHIC) Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Government That Works, Healthcare, Human Services, Medicaid Expansion, The Blog Check out this by-the-numbers infographic on the Medicaid Expansion graphic from earlier today below, as well as a map of where enrollees live. December 10, 2015 By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf Map: Where Do Enrollees Live? Click map to view larger. What do 500,000 newly eligible Pennsylvanians look like?Pennsylvanians age 21– 30 years old represent 34 percent of the newly eligible. The second largest age group are those age 31 – 40 year, at 24 percent.55 percent are woman and 45 percent are men59 percent are white, 23 percent are African-American, 10 percent are Hispanic and 4 percent are AsianEvery county has had a resident able to obtain access to health care coveragePhiladelphia is home to 22 percent of the newly eligible enrollees14 counties have 10,000 or more newly eligible individualsSullivan, Pennsylvania’s smallest county, now has 217 newly eligible residents covered under Medicaid Infographic: Medicaid Expansion By the Numbers SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
France: A ceremony to mark the official start of work on Rennes’ 12 km VAL mini-metro was due to take place on January 6.Germany: Stadtwerke Mainz AG has taken delivery of the first of 16 GT6M-ZR 100% low-floor light rail cars from Adtranz; they will be used on the Finthen – Hechtsheim route.Great Britain: Altram consortium of Ansaldo Trasporti, John Laing and Serco Group, has announced plans to build another seven light rail vehicles as part of its 17-year concession to build a 7 km extension to Manchester’s Metrolink, and operate the entire light rail network.London Underground has prequalified three consortia for its Connect radio communication project. They are Gensys, led by GPT, and consortia led by Racal/BRT and BT.Iran: Alcatel SEL has won a US$20m contract for signalling equipment for Tehran metro Line 1.Mexico: On November 26 Bombardier-Concarril announced that it had won a US$131·5m contract to refurbish 28 nine-car MP-68 rubber-tyred Mexico City metro sets, plus four spare cars; work will be carried out at Bombardier-Concarril’s Sahagun works, with delivery of reconditioned sets over two years from autumn this year.USA: Raytheon Infrastructure Services Inc has ordered a US$17m microprocessor-based train control system from Harmon Industries Inc, providing automatic train identification for the initial Bayonne – Hoboken section of New Jersey’s Hudson – Bergen light rail line.Bids are due in February for construction and equipping of a standard gauge fully automated mini-metro linking Jamaica and Howard Beach stations with New York’s JFK airport.Philadelphia’s Market – Frankford line has restored evening and weekend services following completion of a $326m redecking of a steel viaduct.
The average discount rate applied by many Pensionskassen in Germany is still above 3.5% despite the yield from bonds having fallen in recent years, Udo Mangold, senior consultant at Towers Watson Germany, told delegates at the consultancy’s Pensionskassen Day in Frankfurt.This means pension funds have had to issue guarantees on reaching this return level – and this is “strangling Pensionskassen” and decreasing benefits, he said.“Too high guarantees are endangering the future survival of a Pensionskasse,” he added.According to Mangold, lowering the discount rate to 0% or 1% would allow Pensionskassen more freedom in their investments, as well as higher returns, which over the long term would benefit members. Earlier this year, Rainer Jakubowski, managing director at Germany’s largest Pensionskasse, the €25bn BVV, argued that limits on investment options were leading to “wrong” asset allocations.At the Towers Watson conference, Marco Herrmann, head of strategy, law and communications at the BVV, confirmed that his fund was already in the process of lowering discount rates – including in existing contracts.According to Mangold, the average discount rate in Pensionskassen will remain high over a long period if a new discount rate is only applied to new contracts.“Transitions where the Rechnungszins is lowered in existing contracts have already been made, and they have been okayed by the German supervisor BaFin,” he said.The consultant also pointed out that guarantees were based on the assumption new entrants would be paying into the Pensionskasse continuously over the next 45 years, which was not always the case.He warned Pensionskassen against promising a life-long pension payout when the contract was signed, as opposed to offering a one-off payout of accrued assets on retirement.“Providers can always offer a pension payout option later,” he added.Herrmann suggested a way to increase assets in Pensionskassen would be to allow a higher percentage of the salary to be transferred.The German government argues that many members have not even reached the 4% threshold currently allowed.But the BVV representative pointed out this was different for members in his fund, which all are working in the financial sector.“In fact, we would need an 8-10% threshold to ensure they can keep up their standard of living on retirement,” he said.The BVV is now trying to encourage more people to contribute to the Pensionskasse themselves.
Eumedion, the Dutch corporate governance and sustainability platform for institutional investors, has welcomed the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) as its newest member.Rients Abma, Eumedion’s director, said: “As a reputable player, CalPERS will add weight to our efforts to improve corporate governance and sustainability at Dutch listed companies, as well to our influence on policymakers in both the Netherlands and Brussels.”He said the US pension fund was the first to join the Dutch platform, adding that CalPERS’s investments in the Netherlands totalled approximately €900m.CalPERS becomes the second-largest pension fund among Eumedion’s 70 members, after the €373bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP. Eumedion membership is available to all institutional investors with a stake in companies listed in the Netherlands.Approximately 50% of the organisation’s members are pension schemes; three lobbying organisations for pension funds are affiliated members.Currently, the platform has 12 foreign members, including the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme, Railpen and Capital Group, as well as US-based asset manager BlackRock.According to Abma, Eumedion’s members manage approximately €4trn in assets.He added that their combined investments in the Netherlands covered 25% of Dutch listed equity.Eumedion recently called for engagement with fossil fuel companies rather than divestment.It also argued against granting extra voting rights or a ‘loyalty dividend’ for long-term investors, “as this would chiefly benefit governments and families at the expense of other investors”.The proposal was part of the EU’s Shareholder Rights Directive.Eumedion is chaired by Peter Borgdorff, director of the €178bn Dutch healthcare pension fund PFZW.
BusinessTech 28 October 2017Family First Comment: Supporting parents in South Africa against an ideologically-flawed smacking ban!Family First NZ, a leading family group in New Zealand, is warning South African families that a smacking ban will do more harm than good by criminalising good parents, and harming children and families with little effect on the real issue of child abuse.“A decade on from the passing of the controversial anti-smacking law in New Zealand, the law has maintained its very high level of opposition, but most significantly the law has had a ‘chilling’ effect on parenting and rather than tackling rotten parents who are abusing their children, it has targeted well-functioning parents,” said Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.“An independent legal analysis at the end of 2014 by a prominent NZ public lawyer of court cases involving prosecutions for smacking found that statements made by politicians that the smacking ban would not criminalise ‘good parents’ for lightly smacking their children are inconsistent with the legal effect and application of the law.”A report at the beginning of last year analysing the 2007 anti-smacking law, “Defying Human Nature: An Analysis of New Zealand’s 2007 Anti-Smacking Law”, found that there was not a single social indicator relating to the abuse of children that had shown significant or sustained improvement since the passing of the law.Police statistics show there has been a 136% increase in physical abuse, 43% increase in sexual abuse, 45% increase in neglect or ill-treatment of children, and 71 child abuse deaths since the law was passed in 2007.A survey this year found that two out of three New Zealanders said they would flout the law.An earlier survey in 2011 – four years after the law was passed – found that almost a third of parents of younger children say that their children have threatened to report them if they were smacked, and almost one in four parents of younger children say that they have less confidence when dealing with unacceptable behaviour from their children.“New Zealanders predicted all of this before the law was passed, but their concerns were ignored. The politicians and anti-smacking lobby groups linked good parents who smacked their children with child abusers, a notion roundly rejected – and still rejected – by NZ’ers,” said McCoskrie.“The anti-smacking law assumes that previous generations disciplined their children in a manner that was so harmful that they should now be considered criminals. But anti-smacking laws are problematic because they contradict many adults’ own childhood experiences with discipline and their long-term outcomes.”“We would warn South African parents that this law will harm and rip apart families. Even just an investigation – without prosecution – by the police or social services is hugely traumatic and destabilising to families.”“The supporters of smacking bans such as the UN are influenced by political ideology rather than common sense, good science and sound policy-making. Parents use occasional smacking because it works and it’s appropriate. Criminalising good parents who simply want to raise law-abiding and responsible citizens is bad law-making,” said McCoskrie.https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/207817/south-africas-anti-smacking-law-lessons-from-new-zealand/SA smacking ban will do more harm than good, says NZ groupIOL 30 October 2017Family First NZ, a leading family group in New Zealand, is warning South African families that a smacking ban will do more harm than good by criminalising good parents, and harming children and families, with little effect on the real issue of child abuse.“A decade on from the passing of the controversial anti-smacking law in New Zealand, the law has maintained its very high level of opposition; but, most significantly, the law has had a ‘chilling’ effect on parenting, and rather than tackling rotten parents who are abusing their children, it has targeted well-functioning parents,” says Bob McCoskrie, the national director of Family First NZ.“An independent legal analysis at the end of 2014 by a prominent New Zealand public lawyer of court cases involving prosecutions for smacking found that statements made by politicians that the smacking ban would not criminalise ‘good parents’ for lightly smacking their children are inconsistent with the legal effect and application of the law,” he said.A 2016 report analysing the 2007 anti-smacking law, “Defying Human Nature: An Analysis of New Zealand’s 2007 Anti-Smacking Law”, found there was not a single social indicator relating to the abuse of children that had shown significant or sustained improvement since the passing of the law. Police statistics showed a 136 percent increase in physical abuse, a 43 percent increase in sexual abuse, 45 percent increase in neglect or ill-treatment of children, and 71 child abuse deaths since the law was passed in 2007.A 2017 survey found that two out of three New Zealanders said they would flout the law. An earlier survey in 2011, four years after the law was passed, found that almost a third of parents of younger children say their children have threatened to report them if they were smacked, and almost one in four parents of younger children say they have less confidence when dealing with unacceptable behaviour from their children.“New Zealanders predicted all of this before the law was passed, but their concerns were ignored. The politicians and anti-smacking lobby groups linked good parents who smacked their children with child abusers, a notion roundly rejected – and still rejected – by New Zealanders.“The anti-smacking law assumes that previous generations disciplined their children in a manner that was so harmful that they should now be considered criminals. But anti-smacking laws are problematic because they contradict many adults’ own childhood experiences with discipline and their long-term outcomes,” says McCoskrie.“We would warn South African parents that this law will harm and rip apart families. Even just an investigation, without prosecution, by the police or social services is hugely traumatic and destabilising to families. The supporters of smacking bans, such as the UN, are influenced by political ideology rather than common sense, good science and sound policy-making.“Parents use occasional smacking because it works and it’s appropriate. Criminalising good parents who simply want to raise law-abiding and responsible citizens is bad law-making,” according to McCoskrie.https://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/family/parenting/sa-smacking-ban-will-do-more-harm-than-good-says-nz-group-11770446Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.
West Florida Defeats Ouachita Baptist in Conference Opening Match Share Sept. 29, 2007Box ScorePENSACOLA, Fla. – In a tale of two halves, the UWF Men’s Soccer team shut out Ouachita Baptist 3-0 Friday night. The first half was a struggle offensively for the Argonauts as they only could manage 7 shots, while in the second half, they were able to open it up and take 18 shots.The Halftime Score was 0-0, as Ouachita Baptist (5-3) matched the Argos intensity. However, the second half was controlled by West Florida and they rode two goals from Keith Savage and a goal from Jimmy McHenry to take the shut out.Savage scored the first goal of the match eight minutes into the second half off a pass from Rafael Segal. Savage then gave the Argos some breathing room as he scored again at minute 69, as a result of some nice passing from Nolan Intermoia and Curtis Brashear. McHenry closed out the scoring when he stolen the ball from the defense and put in an unassisted goal at minute 81. The Argos defense did the rest of the work.West Florida Keeper Juan Garcia recorded a shut out, with three saves, but much of the credit goes to the defensive work of Garcia’s teammates, as they only allowed Ouachita Baptist 8 shots.The Argos win puts them at 1-0 in the conference as they take on another GSC opponent, Harding, on Sunday at the UWF Soccer Complex, beginning at 12:30 pm. Print Friendly Version