Sustainable Gardening Book

first_imgSusan Varlamoff’s title at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences – director of the Office of Environmental Sciences – suits her. She was a boots-on-the-ground environmentalist long before moving to Georgia and joining the university. As a housewife and the mother of three young children living in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, she successfully fought the expansion of a toxic landfill that was proposed for her neighborhood. Then, she wrote an award-winning book about it, “The Polluters: A Community Fights Back.”The University Press of Florida released Varlamoff’s new book, “Sustainable Gardening for the Southeast,” this month. In it, she aims to teach home gardeners how to protect the environment around their houses. The concept for the book began eight years ago, when Varlamoff initially became employed by CAES on the college’s Griffin, Georgia, campus. She read a water quality study that showed pesticide levels in urban watersheds are higher than in rural watersheds. Varlamoff, along with a team of CAES scientists, reasoned that farmers in rural areas minimize pesticide use due to its high cost; furthermore, professional pesticide applicators must be certified. “This led us to believe that homeowners were harming the watersheds by improperly applying pesticides,” she said.As a result, the UGA team developed a survey for home gardeners, mainly in the metro Atlanta area, to learn if urban gardeners wanted to learn more about sustainable gardening and then implement the practices they learn. The survey revealed that approximately 70 percent of homeowners wanted to garden and protect the environment, and they wanted more information on how to do so. The team produced a training manual and brochures that UGA Cooperative Extension agents used to present trainings.The development of these materials led to Varlamoff’s decision to compile the information in book form. “It’s an issue that’s time has come. Basically, I pulled together science-based information from Southern land-grant universities on various aspects of environmentally friendly gardening. There are a lot of books on these individual topics, such as water conservation and natural pest control, but not one book on the entire topic,” she said.The book teaches readers how to create an ecosystem in home landscapes, according to Varlamoff. “We talk about using this pesticide and that one, but if you create functional ecosystems, then Mother Nature will do the heavy lifting and manage pests naturally,” she said.Topics covered include reducing water usage through xeriscaping, planting trees to reduce climate change, growing food and bringing wildlife to your doorstep. The most important thing, Varlamoff says, is to begin with nutrient-rich soil as the foundation. Varlamoff has used her Lilburn, Georgia, landscape as a 23-year field study site. “I can see how different my landscape is from more than 20 years ago until now. I don’t have any plants that attract a lot of pests,” she said. “If they do, poof! they go to the compost pile.”She has eliminated all invasive plants, like kudzu and privet, and added many native plants. “My neighbor is a native plant aficionado, and she gives me plants that find a home in my garden,” Varlamoff said.Her “low-maintenance” landscape attracts 20 different types of birds as well as other wildlife. “It’s beautiful to have a yard that is filled with critters because it’s a wonderful nature lesson for children,” said Varlamoff, who is now a grandmother of two. Installing different types of trees and native plants is what attracts local, native insects and wildlife that work together to keep pests “in check” without pesticides, she said. “As I say in the book, if you really want to make an environmentally friendly statement in your landscape, plant a native oak tree,” she said. “They are the biggest biodiversity attractors.”“(UGA turfgrass specialist) Clint Waltz suggested reducing the amount of turfgrass in my landscape to 40 percent, so I did. I’ve turned my whole backyard into a woodland area with paths, and I’ve reduced the grass area in the front by putting in shade trees,” she said. “I tried to take a very balanced approach. You can create an environmentally friendly landscape without sacrificing beauty, and I still have plenty of grass for picnics and family activities.”Varlamoff says home gardeners don’t have to turn their backs on plants that don’t fit the sustainable gardening model. “It’s OK if you have a camellia. It’s beautiful. It doesn’t attract a lot of wildlife, and it’s not native, but that’s OK,” she said. “A few of the plants my husband likes are semi-invasive, but we keep them because he likes them.”While doing research for the book, Varlamoff found several studies that link cancer cases to families who used DDT in their landscapes in the late 1950s. “The study said the risk of acute leukemia was seven times higher in these families,” she said. This hits close to home for Varlamoff, who was 14 years old when her 5-year-old sister died of leukemia. “There’s nothing like walking behind your sister’s coffin to make an impression on you. To me, there are very few good reasons to use pesticides in your landscape.”“Sustainable Gardening for the Southeast” can be ordered through the University Press of Florida at upf.com.last_img read more

Insight Archery aims to help children in our area

first_img“Not only are we getting the community together to enjoy something we are all very passionate about, but to come together to raise money and donate toys,” said participant Katie Stankiewicz of Smithville Flats. “It’s a very heartfelt community we are in,” said Cole. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — For the tenth year in a row, Insight Archery held its Toys for Tots Archery Tournament this Sunday. “When you get multiple people together who are very passionate about something and are willing to give back to others a lot of really good things can come from that,” Stankiewicz said. Cole says that’s especially true in a community like this one. “For the two o’clock line I have people from Brooklyn coming to shoot so we kind of pull them from all over the state,” Cole said. Making sure all children in the Broome County area have a happy holidays, and Stankiewicz says, having fun while doing it. The event was an opportunity for shooters to come together and use their shared passion to help the community. Something that archers like Stankiewicz say we could see more of by using common interests to bring people together to help others. “They donate a toy and basically they get to shoot,” said Mike Cole, owner of Insight Archery. “Last year we had our highest turnout with 64 shooters. This year we have over 70,” Cole said. “We’re just a huge extended family and I feel like the more we give to each other and help each other out the more uplifted this country and this community will be,” Cole says participants in the tournament don’t only come from this community. Cole said Insight Archery is already looking forward to tournament number eleven next year.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Jan. 10

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionFight for reasonable gun control lawsThings are quiet now. The last mass shooting has faded, and people go about their business. Tomorrow? Who knows? Maybe we’ll see a mass shooting that takes a hundred lives.Each time it occurs, we react with appropriate horror and disgust. And what happens? Bury the dead, treat the wounded, and then nothing. Nothing. When will our elected representatives have the courage to address this threat to us and our children?I encourage you to view the documentary that was presented on CNN, “Fareed Zakaria GPS: Global Lessons on Guns,” which aired on Nov. 25. It presents lessons to be learned. It shows that other countries allow reasonable gun ownership. It asks why we can’t. It addresses homicides and suicides and shows that other gun-loving countries don’t have nearly the problem that the United States does. And perhaps surprisingly to some, it’s not all because of mental illness (although there is no question that it contributes in a small way).We really must stand up to the vocal critics who don’t want to accept reasonable rule changes for gun ownership, including removing assault weapons from the public. No one is trying to take all guns away. It just makes sense to know who has them and to make sure no one who shouldn’t have them does. Use facts for truth, not for own biasesWhat’s become of us as a nation? Have we descended into two tribes sniping at one another with cherry-picked facts that reflect our biases rather than the whole truth? Timothy Gaffney’s Jan. 1, letter for instance, criticized Diane Hombach’s  Dec. 26 letter in which she claimed Obama won over 50 percent of the popular vote, something no president has accomplished since Reagan. That’s not true: While Obama garnered 52.9 percent in 2008, both Bush presidents topped 50 percent in 1988 and 2004. Mr. Gaffney went on to state that the 2018 midterm elections were nowhere near as devastating to Republicans as the 2010 midterms were to Democrats. (Republicans lost a mere 40 House seats in 2018, whereas Democrats lost 64 in 2010, plus Republicans picked up three Senate seats in the latest election.)On the surface, Mr. Gaffney’s point is correct. But he overlooks the fact that in 2010, Republicans won the popular House vote by a margin of only two-tenths of a percent more than Democrats won in 2018 (7.2 percent vs. 7.0).  As for the Senate, even though Republicans gained three seats in 2018, they won only 41.5 percent of all votes cast in Senate races, whereas Democrats won 56.9 percent. Those disparities occurred because of Republican gerrymandering and the fact that the Senate, which grants every state two senators regardless of size, favors small (red) states.Why do folks insist on searching only for evidence to support their pre-existing viewpoints instead of trying to determine the whole truth behind the headlines?Fred ComoBurnt Hills Media biased toward Clinton FoundationThis is in response to Bill Denison’s Dec. 31 letter. He’s wrong about the Clinton Foundation somehow being “shady” and not legitimate.Did they receive some donations from “awkward” sources? Of course. But who hasn’t been in a room with people of questionable character? You have to make do. In the Clintons’ case, this meant not offending the donor(s) by returning the cash.Some question the large influx of cash that flowed into the foundation while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. I’m sure it was just a coincidence (kind of like when Barry Bonds was hitting all those home runs at an advanced age but wasn’t on steroids). Same thing with Bill Clinton’s huge speaking fees, just like birdwatchers pay a lot of money for exotic bird calls. Who among us wouldn’t pay big bucks to hear the call of the “Raspy-Throated Clinton.” As for the Clintons getting rich off of their foundation, I’m sure it was just a “bookkeeping error.” Someone probably mislabeled a file, which accounts for the discrepancy.  Finally, The Gazette has to sell newspapers. Which headline do you think they’re going to use: 1) President Trump uses rare tax deduction to save on taxes or 2) Trump uses unfair tax loophole to avoid paying fair share of taxes? Also, unfortunately, most of their national stories are written by two “news” organizations: The New York Times and The Washington Post, which seem to be subsidiaries of the Democratic National Committee. Hopefully, this explanation clarifies any confusion.Ken TrumanAlbanyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Don’t just nod in agreement; do something. Let your legislators know that this great country we love doesn’t have to remain one of the more dangerous places on Earth when it comes to guns.Jerry BoehmAlbany Regarding Jim Vincent’s Dec. 27 letter, “Consider negatives of legalizing pot,” there is no rational defense of any state law that prohibits marijuana sales to responsible adults. The gateway-drug theory isn’t scientific fact. Yet many writers keep citing that archaic bunk in vain attempts to malign the female flowers of cannabis plants.What is the long-term effect of lawmakers and bureaucrats blocking public access to those truly beneficial plant materials?Various positive economic impacts will result from legal cannabis commerce in New York. For sure, the local property taxes paid by new businesses and lucrative careers in this rapidly growing field both will enjoy wide appeal.    Unfortunately, stoned drivers do pose serious traffic risks, and teenagers always tend to be rebellious. But those realities do not justify a blanket ban on recreational cannabis products sold to adults. At present, saliva kits that detect recent pot smoking by drivers are available to police agencies. Researchers also continue developing more accurate roadside tests.A spokesman for the American Medical Association went on record in 1937 strongly opposing the original anti-“marihuana” law passed by Congress. At the time, it was perfectly legal for doctors to prescribe cannabis extracts as medicine.  No legitimate case for pot prohibition center_img He tells us that his “gut” is smarter than most people’s brains. And since the gut is where excrement is made and expelled, I have a better understanding of the things he actually says.Rudy NydeggerBallston Spa Today, New York is among more than 30 states with active medical cannabis programs. They clearly conflict with the Schedule I classification in the Controlled Substances Act,  which claims that cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use.” All prohibitive cannabis laws were totally indefensible from the start.Lawrence Goodwin Milton Give Trump his own walled-in countrySince we have a president with little regard for the truth and based on his own utterances, he appears to be unethical, immoral and probably criminal, I have a solution: We should let Trump have his own country, and he can be king for life. I propose that we draw a line in West Texas down to the Mexican border. This part of West Texas will be called Trumpsylvania. Trump could be king and even have a congress that would do whatever he wanted. He could put the Trump name in gold on all the buildings in the country. He could even go to war for water rights and turn Trumpsylvania into a giant golf course. He could also build a 30-foot high concrete wall around his whole country to keep the undesirables out. Tax rates would have to be high to begin with to build up the military and pay for the wall. But rich, overweight, old white males would be exempt from taxes. Public school wouldn’t be necessary because he would teach people how to use their “guts.” They would not need libraries either, so some money could be saved that way.  Grateful to Malta vets group for caringThank you to the Malta Veterans Appreciation Program, Renee Farley, Dave Wallingford, Craig Warner, Bryan Haas, Paul Mosseau and all the volunteers who support veterans. I’m an 84-year-old female veteran from the Korean Conflict. My children didn’t want me to drive anymore, so I sold my car. The Malta veterans program drives me to appointments. And every Christmas, they come with Santa, bringing gifts, cookies and candy. The best part is that they sing Christmas songs. What a wonderful group of people.Doris PrincipeMaltalast_img read more

Plenty of homes never make it to market but still seem to sell, follow these five tips for buying off market

first_imgYou don’t necessarily need a crystal ball to work out if a property is available for sale off market.NOT every property makes it to market with plenty being transacted without a sign even being hammered into the front lawn.So how do you snare yourself an off market property?Buyers agent Darren Piper of Universal Buyers Agents said off-market sales were a way that some savvy home buyers and investors could avoid the pitfalls of buying at auction or with more competition.Owners sell off market for a number of reasons, he said, including not wanting dozens of people traipsing through your home at open inspections.Finding the properties was all about networking. Mr Piper said a buyer’s agent could do the hard yards, letterbox drops, cold calls, and doorknocking. “In my experience the majority of off-market or pre listings are available by having strong relationships in place with agents,’’ he said.“I firmly believe some of the best buying is off-market,’’ he said.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach Northless than 1 hour agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Mr Piper’s 5 tips for buying off market are:– Even though it’s off market don’t forget the checks and balances. Do your due diligence such as building and pest inspections and council searches.– Have your finances ready to go before you start searching.“This puts you in a very strong position when ready to negotiate,’’ he said.– Make sure you know the market and what the property is worth as 90 per cent of off market properties don’t have a price on them given they are not “listed”.– Understand why the seller isn’t putting the property on the market. This could be as they are very private or don’t want open homes.– Be patient. Given the property isn’t on the market the sellers might need more time to consider where to move to if living in it. Rent back options can work really well in this situationlast_img read more

Older dads linked to rise in genetic disorder

first_img Sharing is caring! Share Tweet 17 Views   no discussions HealthLifestyle Older dads linked to rise in genetic disorder by: – August 23, 2012center_img Share Share Most mutations are linked to the father’s age rather than the mother’s, experts believeA genetic study has added to evidence that the increase in some mental and other disorders may be due to men having children later in life.An Icelandic company found the number of genetic mutations in children was directly related to the age of their father when they were conceived.One prominent researcher suggested young men should consider freezing their sperm if they wanted to have a family in later life.The research is published in Nature.According to Dr Kari Stefansson, of Decode Genetics, who led the research, the results show it is the age of men, rather than women, that is likely to have an effect on the health of the child.“Society has been very focused on the age of the mother. But apart from [Down’s Syndrome] it seems that disorders such as schizophrenia and autism are influenced by the age of the father and not the mother.”Male-drivenDr Stefansson’s team sequenced the DNA of 78 parents and their children. This revealed a direct correlation between the number of mutations or slight alterations to the DNA, of the child and the age of their father. The results indicate that a father aged 20 passes, on average, approximately 25 mutations, while a 40-year-old father passes on about 65. The study suggests that for every year a man delays fatherhood, they risk passing two more mutations on to their child.What this means in terms of the impact on the health of the child is unclear. But it does back studies that also show fathers are responsible for mutations and that these mutations increase with age. And, for the first time, these results have been quantified and they show that 97% of all mutations passed on to children are from older fathers.“No other factor is involved which for those of us working in the field is very surprising,” said Dr Stefansson.He added that the work backed other studies that have found links between older fathers and some disorders.“The average age of fathers has been steeply rising [in industrialised countries] since 1970. Over the same period there has been an increase in autism and it is very likely that part of that rise is accounted for by the increasing age of the father,” he said.Genetic ‘diversity’The findings should not alarm older fathers. The occurrence of many of these disorders in the population is very low and so the possible doubling in risk by having a child later in life will still be a very low risk. Nearly all children born to older fathers will be healthy. But across the population the number of children born with disorders is likely to increase if this theory holds true.Older fathers and therefore genetic mutations have been linked with neurological conditions because the brain depends on more genes for its development and regulation. So mutations in genes are more likely to show up as problems in the brain than in any other organ. But it is unclear whether the age of fathers has an effect on any other organ or system. The research has not yet been done.The reason that men rather than women drive the mutation rate is that women are born with all their eggs whereas men produce new sperm throughout their adult life. It is during sperm production that genetic errors creep in, especially as men get older. Writing a commentary in the Journal Nature, Prof Alexey Kondrashov, of University of Michigan, said young men might wish to consider freezing their sperm if future studies showed there were other negative effects on a child’s health.“Collecting the sperm of young adult men and cold storing it for later use could be a wise individual decision. It might also be a valuable for public health, as such action could reduce the deterioration of the gene pool of human populations,” he said.Dr Stefansson, however, told BBC News that from a long-term perspective the decision by some men to have children later in life might well be speeding up the evolution of our species. “The high rate of mutations is dangerous for the next generation but is generating diversity from which nature can select and further refine this product we call man,” he said.“So what is bad for the next generation may be good for our species in general.”However a spokesman for the National Autistic Society said: “While there is evidence to suggest that genetic factors may play a role in some forms of autism, there are many ‘younger’ fathers who have children with the condition. “Far more investigation needs to be done into the connection between genetics and autism before we can draw any reliable conclusions.” BBC Newslast_img read more

Newly elected President of Nurses Association wants Code of Ethics to be adhered to

first_img 16 Views   no discussions Share Share In photo: A doctor’s stethoscope. Photo credit: abc.net.auCalls have been made by the newly elected president of the Dominica Nurses Association for health practitioners here to adhere to the Code of Ethics of the profession.Julie Blaize, who was addressing the 54th Anniversary of the Dominica Nurses Association on Monday, said the Code of Ethics is the nurse’s guide to professionalism.She said according to the code, nurses have four fundamental responsibilities which are to promote health, to prevent illness, restore health and alleviate suffering and respect of human dignity.“Nurses also have to respect the right to life and choice, respect the patients’ rights and dignity. Four fundamental elements of the Code of Ethics include nurse and people, nurse and practice, nurse and the profession and nurse and coworker,” she said.Dominica Vibes News LocalNews Newly elected President of Nurses Association wants Code of Ethics to be adhered to by: – August 23, 2011center_img Sharing is caring! Tweet Sharelast_img read more

SB 185 passes house and senate

first_imgINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana House of Representatives voted unanimously in support of a bill requiring a refresher training course for law enforcement officers.Senate Bill 185, sponsored by Representative Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) would establish a training refresher course for officers who have already graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy but were inactive for two or more years.Audio Playerhttp://wrbiradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/FryeLawEnforcementTraining.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.According to Frye, the bill establishes training guidelines when long-term breaks occur for reserve officers, full-time officers, and students that are paying their way through the training academy while also attending school.The bill has been approved by the House of Representatives and Senate and awaits a signature from the governor.last_img read more

Deadline approaches for ‘Paint the Plow’ campaign

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — The Indiana Department of Transportation reminds middle and high schools teachers across the state that the application deadline for the 2019 Paint the Plow campaign is March 15. All schools interested in taking part in the program are encouraged to get their applications in before the deadline.Paint the Plow is open to all middle schools, high schools and career-technical schools across the state. Classes/programs from middle and high schools are invited to paint an INDOT snow plow blade with original artwork to represent their school. Applications and additional program details can be found online here.In addition to being seen in full service during the winter weather months, the blades may be used at events within the school’s community to enhance public awareness, promote safety and foster greater appreciation of both INDOT and the school’s art program.Only students who are currently enrolled in the applicant school may participate in the creation, execution and completion of the art project.last_img read more

Cricket News WATCH: Shehan Jayasuriya, Kusal Mendis Collide Near Boundary During T20I Match Against Kiwis

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Sri Lanka cricketers Shehan Jayasuriya and Kusal Mendis collided during the second T20 International match against New Zealand. It was the final over where New Zealand requires seven runs of the six balls.The collision was such drastic that both the players instantly fall on the ground while trying to catch the ball at the long-on. It was Mitchell Santner who lofted the delivery for a boundary, however, Shehan took the catch but his body touched the rope and it was declared four runs by the field umpire.The official Twitter handle of New Zealand Cricket wrote, “Drama in the deep! A great catch from Jayasuriya but he collides with his teammate and goes over the boundary. Santner awarded SIX. Receiving medical attention now, hopefully all ok’’.This is not the first time that these two players and suffered injuries on the field, recently, both Mendis and Jayasuriya fell of the bikes while taking a victory lap inside R Premadasa Stadium.The guards and groundsmen on the stadium rushed to the cricketers because the duo struggled to get well from the autumn.The third T20I between Sri Lanka and New Zealand to be played on Friday in Kandy.last_img read more

‘Green Machine’ steamroll T&T

first_img24 – 17 to retain RAN South Zone 15s titleTWO tries from Avery Corbin, and one each from stalwart Richard Staglon and newcomerRichard Staglon on his way to scoring his try for Guyana against Trinidad.Ahmad Isaacs, as well as two conversions from Captain Ryan Gonsalves saw Guyana defeating rivals Trinidad and Tobago 24 – 17 to retain their Rugby Americas North (RAN) South Zone 15s title yesterday at the St Stanislaus College Ground.With the win, Guyana will now travel to Mexico City for their July 1 clash with the Mexicans; their second in as many years, for RAN’s overall title. The last time the two sides met, Mexico outclassed the ‘Green Machine’ 32 – 3.Meanwhile, despite the weather and a waterlog field, Guyana was able to claw their way from being down 5 – 0 in the early stages, after James Phillips scored for a try for the visitors, but the ‘Soca Ruggers’ would later miss their conversion.Successive tries by Staglon and Corbin and a conversion by Gonsalves, later saw Guyana closing the half 12 – 5, much to the delight of the vociferous crowd at the venue which was hosting Rugby for the first time, after the usual battle ground at the National Park was deemed unsuitable for play.Guyana’s Claudius Butts makes his way through the strong Trinidad defence (Delano Williams photos)It was a see-saw battle in the second stanza, with the two countries having their fair share of possession, but it was Isaacs who would break the drought for Guyana when he paced down the wing to score his second try of the championship, having scored one against Barbados.Gonsalves was not able to make good of the conversion, but Guyana was up 17 – 5. However the Trinidadians continued their relentless pursuit and was able to pierce Guyana’s ‘air tight’ defence to score through Karlon Alexander.Johnson Alleyne’s conversion meant that the Trinidadians were on the verge of a comeback, as the visitors put the score 17 – 12, but still trailed.With chants and loud cheers from the crowd, Corbin displayed the type of Rugby that placed him as one of the top players in RAN, when the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) soldier powered his way through the middle and staved off a bullish Trinidadian defence to score his second try of the game.Gonsalves scored the conversion to put Guyana up 24 – 12. But it was not over as yet.Trinidad and Tobago, with time running out, tried desperately to get back into the game, especially since a draw would’ve seen them through to face Mexico and hand them the title.The ‘Soca Ruggers’ could’ve only mustered a try (24 – 17) as time was not on their side and had to watch Guyana celebrate another title.Last year, Guyana had defeated Trinidad and Tobago 23-18 in the Twin Island Republic to win the title.last_img read more