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Greek Parliament votes for new austerity

first_imgA protester chants slogans during a demonstration in Athens, Greece, on May 6, 2016.Responding to a sudden new attack of austerity programs, unions in Greece called a two-day general strike and mass demonstrations beginning on May 6 that saw hundreds of thousands of workers walk out and take to the streets. Despite the strong strike and protests, the Greek Parliament voted to approve the hated new austerity measures on May 8.This current class struggle is a continuation of the battle between the Greek workers and the big European banks, allied with the Greek rich.Workers, especially in the public sector, closed schools and universities and kept public transportation to a minimum by stopping railways, trams and subways in the capital. Even by May 9, ships and ferries were still at anchor in the ports.Water and electricity services as well as telecommunications were handled by a minimal workforce, and only emergency health care services were maintained. Journalists also joined the general strike, so no newspapers were published over the weekend, and newscasts on radio and television were limited to two reports, dealing only with the strikes, at noon and in the evening.A coalition of the Syriza and Anel parties, which won last September’s elections, leads Greece’s government. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Syriza had first been elected in January 2015 by voters who believed his party would fight austerity. However, working with the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Stability Mechanism, these parties agreed on new cuts that especially hurt the working and poor people of the country.For example, the new austerity package includes another hike in the value added tax — a type of sales tax — to 24 percent. It reduces the amount of income exempted from taxes, while charges that workers must pay for pension insurance were raised for the 14th time since the crisis started six years ago. Currently, a third of workers in Greece are unemployed.The Tsipras government moved the vote in Parliament to May 8 to try to slip the austerity measures through before meetings with European Union finance ministers in Brussels on May 9. The EU ministers may demand even harsher cuts.Tsipras cynically defends the current measures as “social reform” in this new betrayal. His grouping within Syriza succeeded in purging the party’s left wing before last September’s election. All remaining Syriza representatives voted for the new package.The striking unions include the All-Workers Militant Front — which is close to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) — and also the more social democratic union confederations. Together, they represent 2.5 million workers. The unions denounced the new austerity program as “a guillotining of the pension system.” The two different union groups held separate marches and rallies through downtown Athens, the capital, and kept up protest actions throughout the weekend.KKE Secretary General Dimitris Koutsoubas said that two worlds were clashing head on in Greece: “On the one hand, the world of work of wage earners, all those who suffer and bleed for years, and on the other side the world of wealth, in incredible abundance, the world of corruption.” The dispute “will be decided on the street,” continued Koutsoubas, adding that what was necessary was “a further uprising, a mobilization of the people, organized massive and powerful strikes, and demonstrations across the country.”Quotes and strike report from a May 7 article in the German daily newspaper Junge Welt by its Athens correspondent Heike Schrader.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Purdue Team Heading Effort to Create Ag Research Data System

first_img By Andy Eubank – Oct 16, 2013 Facebook Twitter SHARE Purdue Team Heading Effort to Create Ag Research Data System Previous articleElanco President Honored at World Food Prize EventNext articleNCGA Accepting Applications for 2015 Corn Board Andy Eubank Purdue University researchers are leading an effort to develop a nationwide, unified system for storing and making available to the public the abundance of research data that could help the agricultural industry and policymakers not only now but also many years in the future.Sylvie Brouder, a professor of agronomy, and five other Purdue agricultural and library sciences faculty and staff members organized a meeting in Potomac, Md., Oct. 10-11 to identify concrete steps for developing an online system for open-access agricultural data.The Smarter Agriculture workshop was held in the Washington, D.C., suburb in part to involve federal agencies. The Obama administration has mandated that the direct results of federally funded scientific research be made available to the public digitally. That would promote greater and easier access to data that could be used to help drive innovative breakthroughs in areas including health, energy, the environment, national security and agriculture.The workshop attracted scientists, librarians, modelers, educators, publishers, leaders of professional societies and partners from the private sector. Program managers of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which provided a grant that funded the conference, were unable to attend because of the government shutdown. Participants focused on identifying the key challenges and opportunities from their perspectives.“The workshop format was designed to brainstorm, identify and foster beneficial linkages toward the broad goal of developing a functional data infrastructure for agriculture,” Brouder said. “We want to make research data useful to the agricultural community and policymakers. This infrastructure is critically necessary.”Open access to agricultural data also could be used in education to help graduate students better interpret and present data, Brouder said.Brouder likened the need for greater access to agricultural research data to how the medical profession has used findings from numerous studies conducted over many years to help people determine whether and when they should be screened for breast cancer and prostate cancer. She said data from her research on crop nitrogen responses could be repurposed to enable modelers to project how nitrogen applications would affect the environment of an entire watershed without conducting a full series of their own field experiments.“The theory is that my data is more useful in aggregate with your data rather than as stand-alone,” Brouder said. “Traditionally, data in agricultural research have no purpose beyond the current research. But it really does have value beyond that one experiment.”She also said the agriculture industry today would know much more about carbon loss from soil if data from experiments decades ago had been preserved.“If we had kept certain benchmark pieces of data, we would have had that historical data context in which to conduct our experiments today,” she said.There are many issues to resolve, such as determining ownership of the information and where it would be stored – with so much data to preserve, multiple sites most likely would be needed – and developing a “common language” for data. Brouder noted that even a seemingly simple term as “yield” would need precise definition so the data could be analyzed correctly. Farmers, she explained, typically refer to corn yield with the grain having 15.5 percent moisture content, while modelers predicting global yields perform their calculations presuming grain contains no moisture.“If we are going to move to open-access data in a meaningful way, we need to label the data in a meaningful, standardized way,” she said.A statement on the challenges and opportunities from the perspectives of workshop participants is being composed. It will help with the development of data infrastructure for the Purdue College of Agriculture’s plant sciences initiative, announced in September, as well as ongoing initiatives nationwide.More information from the workshop is available on the Smarter Agriculture website.  SHARE Home Indiana Agriculture News Purdue Team Heading Effort to Create Ag Research Data System Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

80 Level Enhances Job-matching Service With New Job Posts Tool

first_img TAGS  Facebook WhatsApp Facebook 80 Level Enhances Job-matching Service With New Job Posts Tool Local NewsBusiness Pinterest LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan 28, 2021– 80 Level, a leading source of information for the latest innovations in digital art and video game development, today announced the addition of a new recruiting offering: Job Posts. The new tool is part of 80 Level subscription service, the video game industry’s premium job-matching service that connects top-tier creative talent with hiring gaming companies. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: 80 Level Job Posts — great way to find quality talent or get hired, if you’re looking for a new opportunity. (Graphic: Business Wire) The new Job Posts tool gives companies the opportunity to publish job openings on 80 Level and then be served up a curated list of qualified artists from the platform’s Artist Community Database. The streamlined matching process instantly/seamlessly identifies pre-qualified candidates (artists who meet the job description criteria) and produces the list for easy direct communication. “Job Posts will speed up recruiting and staffing projects, letting you get back to what you do best – make games,” said Kirill Tokarev, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of 80 Level. “The all-in-one service takes the search out of the search process by flagging quality candidates and providing a direct line of communication between talent and recruiters/hiring managers.” The Job Posts tool will leverage 80 Level’s searchable database of more than 1400+ top artists, where companies can connect with employment-ready talent by sending questionnaires to find out more about the candidate. Artists can reply to the companies that best fit their goals, experience and skill sets; ensuring a more compatible match. For additional information on 80 Level and Job Posts, please visit: or listen to the 80 Level podcast on available today. About 80 Level: 80 Level is the best source of information for video game technology, art, and talent. They gather and illustrate best practices from developers, publishers, creators, and middleware providers in exclusive articles, focusing on bringing the best technology insights from game developers across the globe. 80 Level features interviews, case studies, breakdowns from top industry specialists, working with the likes of EA DICE, Blizzard, King, Ubisoft, Monolith, Autodesk, Bethesda Softworks, and Epic Games. View source version on CONTACT: Media Contact: Tyler Koke DKC tylee—[email protected] Ryh-Ming Poon Head of Global Communications [email protected] KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA EUROPE UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA INDUSTRY KEYWORD: ELECTRONIC GAMES TECHNOLOGY HUMAN RESOURCES ENTERTAINMENT OTHER TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AUDIO/VIDEO SOFTWARE GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT SOURCE: 80 Level Copyright Business Wire 2021. PUB: 01/28/2021 11:02 AM/DISC: 01/28/2021 11:02 AM Twitter By Digital AIM Web Support – January 28, 2021 Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp Previous articleKhoros Advances CX Leadership with Acquisition of AI & Machine Learning Leader Flow.aiNext articleGlobal Alcohol Wipes Market Report 2021-2025 – Digital AIM Web Supportlast_img read more

Millions Missed Housing Payments Last Month

first_img Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly,, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. In estimating how much distress the COVID-19 crisis has brought upon homeowners, the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA) determined, via its Research Institute for Housing America (RIHA), that some 6 million households missed rent or mortgage payments in September.Though the percent of homeowners and renters behind on their payments in Q3 decreased slightly from Q2, the overall amount remains high.”In September, 8.5% of renters (2.82 million households) missed, delayed, or made a reduced payment, while 7.1% (3.37 million homeowners) missed their mortgage payment,” MBA reported.Some experts predict that the worst might not be over.”Rent and mortgage payment collections improved over the summer as more people went back to work, but high unemployment continues to place hardships on millions of U.S. households. There is growing concern that absent a slowdown in the number of coronavirus cases and another round of much-needed federal aid, millions of households in the coming months face the prospect of falling further behind,” said Gary V. Engelhardt, Professor of Economics in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. “With the current eviction moratorium expiring in January, the situation could be even more challenging for renters. Many renter households across the country could find themselves with no place to live and no means to repay missed payments.””The tens of millions of student debt borrowers behind on their payments also has future ramifications for the housing and mortgage markets. Borrowers ending up in default would see an adverse effect on their credit, in turn making it potentially more challenging for them to rent or qualify for a mortgage.”The RIHA’s data comes from the Understanding America Study (UAS), an internet panel survey of about 8,000 households specially tailored to study the impact of the pandemic.Authored by Engelhardt and Michael D. Eriksen, Associate Professor of Real Estate at the University of Cincinnati, the study provides “close to real-time economic data on the rapidly evolving financial consequences of the pandemic by following the same set of households from before the outbreak through the end of September,” the MBA reported.Below are key findings from the study, which can be found in full, here:Receiving unemployment insurance (UI) benefits:       Renters – Rose from 3% at the beginning of April to 7% by the end of September;       Mortgagors – Remained unchanged at 3% at the beginning of April and 3% at the end of SeptemberProperty owners continue to play a key role in helping renters:        11.0% of renters missed one payment over the two quarters, 4.0% missed two payments, 2.8% missed three payments, and 3.8% missed four or more payments.         13% of renters received permission from their landlord to delay or reduce their monthly payment (by week).        In aggregate, rental property owners lost as much as $9.2 billion in third-quarter revenue from missed rent payments.     Mortgagors were less likely to miss a payment during the second and third quarters:         4.7% of mortgagors missed one payment over the two quarters, 2.0% missed two payments, 1.5% missed three payments, and 4.2% missed four or more payments.         Around 20% of mortgagors received permission from their lender to delay or reduce their monthly payment (by week).         In aggregate, total missed mortgage payments were estimated to be as much as $19.4 billion for the third quarter.          Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago About Author: Christina Hughes Babb Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago October 19, 2020 1,891 Views Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Share Save Sign up for DS News Daily Related Articles Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago  Print This Post Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago 2020-10-19 Christina Hughes Babb Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Millions Missed Housing Payments Last Month Previous: The Week Ahead: Calabria, Carson, Kraninger to Address Industry Next: Q3 Foreclosure Starts Have Decreased Most in These Cities The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News Home / Daily Dose / Millions Missed Housing Payments Last Month Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agolast_img read more

HUD to Enforce Discrimination Protections for LGBTQ People

first_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Related Articles February 11, 2021 1,001 Views Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly,, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Tagged with: Fair Housing Act HUD Joe Biden Share Save Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Previous: A Growing Number of Millennials Say ‘No’ to Homeownership Next: Zillow Group to Acquire ShowingTime HUD to Enforce Discrimination Protections for LGBTQ People Subscribe  Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / HUD to Enforce Discrimination Protections for LGBTQ People The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Fair Housing Act HUD Joe Biden 2021-02-11 Christina Hughes Babb Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago While housing discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin” has long been illegal under 1968’s Fair Housing Act, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Thursday effectively added “housing discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation” to the type of complaints it will investigate, act upon, and apply funds toward.The action comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s day-one executive order instructing agencies and departments to enforce prohibitions on such discrimination. HUD officials told reporters it is the first agency to have announced implementation of this executive order.During a press call on Wednesday, a senior HUD official said a “significant” share of fair housing complaints it receives involve sexual orientation or gender identity. (Separately, HUD told NPR it received 197 such claims over the past year).”Housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity demands urgent enforcement action,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing Equal Opportunity, Jeanine M. Worden. “That is why HUD, under the Biden Administration, will fully enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Every person should be able to secure a roof over their head free from discrimination, and the action we are taking today will move us closer to that goal.”According to HUD officials, various discrimination studies reveal same-gender couples and transgender people experience demonstrably less favorable treatment than their counterparts when seeking housing, specifically renting, which underscores the significance of its action. Until now, LGBTQ discrimination was not clearly defined as illegal and actionable discrimination.”The memorandum relies on the Department’s legal conclusion that the Fair Housing Act’s sex discrimination provisions are comparable in text and purpose to those of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars sex discrimination in the workplace,” according to HUD. “In Bostock v Clayton County, the Supreme Court held that workplace prohibitions on sex discrimination include discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD has now determined that the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination in housing likewise includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”Damon Y. Smith, Principal Deputy General Counsel reaffirms that legally, based on Bostock, and ethically, this is the correct move.”We are simply saying that the same discrimination that the Supreme Court has said is illegal in the workplace is also illegal in the housing market,” Smith said.Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, a senior attorney at Lambda Legal who has worked on LGBTQ housing discrimination cases including Bostock told VOX reporter Jerusalem Demsas that  “Discrimination is oftentimes hard to address because you will have your inquiry about a home be rejected and you may not know why. The federal government has the tools to document complaints more systematically, to engage in deeper-level investigations, and to take more comprehensive enforcement through their office of civil rights.”In summary, Gonzalez-Pagan echoed HUD-counsel Smith, telling the news outlet, the measure communicates “to real estate agents, landlords, property owners that this discrimination is not acceptable, is actually unlawful.” About Author: Christina Hughes Babblast_img read more

Expanding Belvoir group gathers for conference and awards at stately home.

first_imgBusiness is clearly doing well at franchise operation Belvoir. The company has just held a very posh conference and awards bash at a stately home in Oxfordshire, with 32 gongs up for grabs and a new Mini for the raffle winner.All companies need a little team building activity and arguably, franchised businesses need it more than others as they know they are part of something big – 300 offices across the UK – but running their own business within the group.This event obviously made everyone feel very much part of a team, with a full day conference with a range of key note speakers, Dorian Gonsalves, COO, said, “this year our keynote speakers were simply outstanding.“The theme was ‘What If’ and we chose this because we wanted to give our franchisees innovative and inspirational advice that will help them to provide their clients with world-class levels of customer service, which will really take their businesses forward to the next level.”The 2017 Belvoir Conference was held at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire (pictured, below), followed by a black tie champagne dinner. Comedian and author Gyles Brandreth (pictured, left), provided after dinner entertainment and also hosted the awards.“The evening culminated in the presentation of Belvoir’s two top awards,” said Dorian. “The first was the Gold Award for Belvoir New Franchise of the Year, which was won by Luke Marchbanks from Belvoir Bournemouth.“He is one of our youngest franchisees, only joining the company just over a year ago, but Luke is extremely ambitious and actually started his business with an acquisition.“Within three days of rebranding to Belvoir Bournemouth he had over 100 boards up and is currently achieving phenomenal results in both sales and lettings. We are very excited about what the future holds for this young entrepreneur.”Karyn and Kevin win Franchisee of the Year“The finale was the presentation of the Belvoir Gold Award for Franchise of the Year, which was won by Karyn and Kevin Kelley of Belvoir Haywards Heath (pictured, left).Since joining Belvoir this very likeable husband and wife team have achieved every target they have ever set, and are also incredibly generous with the time they give to new franchisees and the help they give to Central Office with various projects and innovations.It is only a couple of years since Kevin and Karyn won Belvoir New Franchise of the Year, and tonight they also won Bronze for Group Contribution. We are very proud of Kevin and Karyn and all that they have achieved – they are highly deserving of Belvoir’s top accolade and I wish them every success for the future.”Congratulations to all. We look forward to seeing Belvoir franchisees at The Negotiator awards belvoir awards Belvoir conference Dorian Gonsalves March 24, 2017Sheila ManchesterWhat’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 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Expanding Belvoir group gathers for conference and awards at stately home. previous nextAgencies & PeopleExpanding Belvoir group gathers for conference and awards at stately home.Haywards Heath franchisee wins star gong, lucky raffle winner bags new Mini and comedian Giles Brandreth comperes.The Negotiator24th March 201701,000 Viewslast_img read more

CenFRA advises Vale of Mowbray on expansion plans

first_imgRobotics and automation expert CenFRA has been working with Melton Mowbray pork pie manufacturer Vale of Mowbray to reduce the cost of a planned expansion project.Vale of Mowbray had decided to extend its site, and invest in new equipment, in order to cope with increased demand for its pies. However the company was unsure about how the changes would be integrated with the existing site, so approached CenFRA, which carried out in-depth analysis using event simulation.CenFRA created an interactive 3D computer model of the proposed factory layout, including the technical details of the existing production equipment to evaluate and quantify the benefits and implications of integrating new equipment on a ‘virtual scale’.Through this analysis, CenFRA identified that the intended plan would only be capable of handling a year’s increase in production and advised that an alternative approach should be adopted. Vale of Mowbray therefore came up with a revised plan, which CenFRA established would be capable of handling a substantial increase in capacity on a more long-term scale>>Never too late to automate>>Want some advice? Talk to CenFRAlast_img read more

Eddie Vedder Plays Tom Petty’s Guitar, Honors The Late Legend At Private San Francisco Show

first_imgWatch Bob Weir Play Tom Petty’s “Breakdown” While Wearing A Shirt With His Own Face On It Bob Dylan Honors Fallen Friend Tom Petty With “Learning To Fly” Cover In CO [Watch] How Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” Went From A Studio Joke To A Worldwide Smash Hit In the wake of Tom Petty‘s sudden passing last week, musicians from around the world and across the spectrum of genres and styles have paid tribute to the iconic songwriter in some way or other. This past Monday, Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder gave his ceremonial tip of the hat to Petty during a “secret” intimate performance as part of live music platform Citi Sound Vault, an exclusive program for Citi card holders that provides  unique concert experiences for members. Although not much has surfaced from the show (i.e. setlist, full video) due to the intentionally exclusive nature of the series, one lucky fan in attendance gave us a glimpse into the special performance.In addition to songs from his usual solo catalogue, Vedder reportedly picked up Petty’s old red Telecaster for a run through The Heartbreakers’ hit “I Won’t Back Down”.You can see some assorted photos and clips from Eddie Vedder’s intimate performance at The Chapel in San Francisco on November 6th below via Instagram. Widespread Panic Debut Tom Petty Cover, Dedicate Night Two In Vegas To The Ladieslast_img read more

Golden Berry

first_imgThis 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 and follow me on Twitter: @CGBGgardenguru.last_img read more

Relax, Recharge, and Reset in Highland County

first_img 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 or view VDOT’s Highland County Map at 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 or the Department of Wildlife Resources at  If you need a guide, check out Bull Mountain Guide Service at  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 .  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 ( 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  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, 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, 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 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, or learn more about other destinations at  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  More information on the Civil War history and trails in the area can be found at and  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 last_img read more