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Wily Coyote: Friend of Foe?

first_imgThis spring, a juvenile female coyote in Great Smoky Mountains National Park repeatedly approached visitors, looking for human food. Rangers eventually had to euthanize the coyote. “We hardly ever deal with nuisance coyotes,” says wildlife biologist Bill Stiver. “They don’t come into our campgrounds and picnic areas as regularly as bears do.”Although there were no coyotes in the Southeast prior to the 1950s, their presence is now growing quite rapidly. Virginia, for instance, is witnessing a population increase of 29 percent each year. Native to the Midwest, the coyote has migrated east to fill the predator niche of the red wolf and eastern cougar.Ranging in size from 20 to 50 pounds, coyotes are extremely adaptable and opportunistic. During the winter, a coyote is likely to eat almost entirely meat, while during the summer, meat only makes up about 30 percent of its diet.In the Southeast, farmers have reported millions of dollars in losses due to coyotes preying on cattle, sheep, and goats. Yet their existence serves important ecological benefits. As top-level predators, coyotes help control populations of rodents, deer, rabbits, geese, and woodchucks.“We know coyotes are taking deer and small mammals,” says Stiver. “We’ve seen a lot of evidence of coyotes taking feral hogs. So, in some respects, the coyote is our ally, because we have a pretty aggressive wild hog control program here in the park.”Wild coyotes are also aiding environmental efforts in Fairfax County, Va. They kill Canada geese (which can spread harmful bacteria) and deer. Virginia is one of the top ten states for deer-related automobile accidents; there were 51,000 in 2009.Still, some livestock farmers would rather do without this top predator. As a result, at least 15 counties in Virginia pay bounties for the killing of coyotes. Bounties range from $25 to $100 per coyote killed.But wild dogs and hunting dogs pose an even greater threat to their animals than do coyotes, say Aaron Wilson and Anna Bedell, owners of White Oak Dairy Goat Farm. “Coyotes are only going to put in the energy to attack and kill one thing at a time. But dogs will just kill for fun.” In a 2004 report on livestock protection in West Virginia, the USDA concluded that dogs had been “the most significant predator of sheep in Appalachia.”As the coyote population continues to migrate and expand eastward, both the natural and human landscape will inevitably be changed by the coyote’s presence. “They’re stealthy, crafty, difficult to track, and nearly impossible to eradicate,” says Stiver. “They’re here to stay.”last_img read more

Colombian Soldiers Shine in International Paralympic Competition

first_img From his wheelchair, Sergeant First Class Francisco Genaro Pedraza Osorio frowns, inflates his cheeks and throws a heavy cannon-like iron ball. All around him, others twist their bodies and use their legs to propel themselves, something he can’t do. All around him, over 300 militaries marked by battlefield scars participated in the Marine Corps Trials sporting event, which came to an end on March 6, at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, San Diego, California. Organized by the U.S. Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment, the week-long annual event tested the athletic skills of handicapped military officers from the United States and a dozen other countries that competed in shot put, discus throw, archery, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, swimming, cycling, and track and field trials. However, Pedraza considers that the excitement from the competitions was not the most important aspect. “I came here to compete, but actually the best part was the brotherhood that blossomed among officers from all over the world, as well as the chance to meet people that overcame their disabilities, just like me,” he states. Colombia was the only Latin American country represented at the Marine Corps Trials, with 15 Army and Marine officers, including Sergeant First Class Pedraza. The event, celebrated annually for the last three years, is part of a program that gives wounded, sick or injured soldiers the chance to start athletic training and develop a healthy lifestyle, despite their disabilities. Moreover, 50 Marines from the Trials will be selected to represent the Marine Corps at the 2013 Warrior Games, an annual Paralympic event that will take place from May 11-17 at the Olympic Training Center and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Challenges At the Marine Corps Trials, Pedraza made his debut in the pentathlon: swimming, shooting, shot put, discus throw and hand cycle. “The competition was tough and the event for me was a new challenge. My forte is the hand cycle,” said the Colombian sergeant. Still, he took gold for the shot put and discus throw and silver for the hand cycle, closely following favorite Joe Townsend, a British Soldier that was selected in 2012 to light the torch at the XIV Paralympic Games in London, England, for his sport achievements. However, the most difficult challenge in Pedraza’s life was the unexpected jolt on the morning of September 2, 2004, in remote point of the Colombian jungle. “After two days in combat, an antipersonnel mine planted by guerrillas exploded while we were trying to perform an evacuation by air,” he says. Several of his comrades were injured: one lost his right leg, another suffered lung perforations, and a third Soldier’s jaw was destroyed. The explosion blasted one of Pedraza’s legs. The other one was later amputated. “As a Soldier, you know you run that risk. Then you have to face a dilemma: to remain feeling sorry for yourself or to try to move on,” the Colombian officer said. Pedraza chose to keep fighting, and once recovered from the wounds, he joined the Colombian Army Health Battalion Sport League. Since then, he has participated in two Paralympic cycling world tournaments and in marathons in different Colombian cities, as well as in Miami, New York, and Panama. Colombia shines with medals His Colombian colleagues also took home medals from the Marine Trials in San Diego. Marine Héctor Sipamocha, who lost his sight in a grenade explosion, took gold in tandem cycling, and the 200 meter and 1,500 meter track and field events. Sipamocha, who competes with the help of a guide, took home the 100-meter silver. For his part, Colombian Army Lieutenant Diego Cuesta, took home gold and silver medals for the 100 and 200-meter races respectively. At the pool, Cuesta left all the other swimmers behind at the 50 and 100-meter freestyle and the 50-meter backstroke competitions. Fellow Colombian Army Lieutenant Jonathan Martínez, who also suffered partial vision loss in combat, won the 1,500-meter silver and 200-meter bronze. Martínez closely followed Cuesta at the swimming competition, collecting bronze for the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke. Another Colombian delegation champ was Army Second Lieutenant Camilo Sánchez Castellano, who rose to the podium on three occasions, earning silver for the 50 and 100-meter freestyle, and the 50-meter backstroke competition for double amputees. Pedraza’s upcoming challenges are in Toronto, Canada, where he is scheduled to participate at the Parapan Am Games 2015, and in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the XV Paralympic Games 2016. “That is this very minute,” he stated, implying that he will keep representing Colombia for a long time. Not on the battlefield this time, but in the arena of sports. By Dialogo March 08, 2013last_img read more

Long Island Kosher BBQ Festival Draws Thousands

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Kosher Barbecue Championships Grand Champs from Atlanta, GA.Thousands of people descended on Westbury last weekend to cheer on nearly two dozen competitors vying for the top spot in the Long Island Kosher Barbecue Championship and Kosher Food Festival.BBQ fans came hungry for the second-annual festival, which featured competitions in a number of categories, including best ribs, beans, chicken and brisket. Competitors even battled for booth decoration and best team name.“Your own creativity is the limit,” said Michael Glickman, a volunteer from Temple Beth Torah, where the festive crowd gathered to visit multiple tents of delicious kosher barbecue foods.Ten of the 22 teams were Long Islanders, while others grill-masters came from as far away as Georgie and Florida for the competition. The field of competitors was made up of first timers and veterans, such as Eric Devlin, who helps run barbecue events across LI.“The important thing is, it’s all fun,” said Jay Hack, of White Plains. “Technically it’s a competition, but everybody helped everybody else.”Hack, who considers himself a “fantastic tailgater,” was making his first foray into the Kosher barbeque competition after hearing about it at his local synagogue. Those attending the festival raved about his marinated barbeque pineapple and deep-fried motzah balls.Teams began to cook and set up their tents Saturday evening and worked through the night. All of the materials—utensils, meats, ingredients and barbecue grill—were provided by the temple to ensure that they were kosher.Live entertainment from a local Jewish music groups filled the air as folks made their way to the barbecue team competition tents.Competitors put their talents on display in front of Kansas City Barbeque society judges, kosher cooks, food jockeys and two celebrity judges, sports broadcaster Len Berman and competitive eater Don “Moses” Lerman.When the grilling was complete, the judges tallied up the points and named, Grillin Tefillin from Atlanta, Ga., the Grand Champions.This festival was dedicated to Temple Beth Torah Marvin Rembo, who had died less than a week before the event, which he lobbied for last year.Canned foods and a portion of the proceeds were donated to local charities to support hunger relief on Long Island.Fairway Market, Mid Island Animal Hospital, Long Island Cares and M’Yad L’Yad (Long Island’s Helping Hands) sponsored the festival.last_img read more

3 steps for your annual financial checkup

first_imgBudgeting, insurance and investments are all key elements that benefit from regular review. by: Mel BondarSometimes in life to stay on track, you have to do things that aren’t fun. Whether it’s an annual trip to the dentist or spring cleaning, certain activities have long term benefits that are reaped by sucking it up and doing what you have to do for a few hours once or twice a year.If you hate personal finance and avoid all things money (other than just making and spending it), it’s time to put your foot down and get your mid-year financial checkup on.You should really keep an eye on your finances at least monthly, but even if you are vigilant about budgeting and using every frugal trick up your sleeve, there are still certain items you should review at least once a year. Even regular brushers and flossers can still get cavities – those regular dental visits minimize how often they appear and make it easy to take care of them when they are there before they turn into root canals.Step One: BudgetThis is the first step in your personal finance journey. Review your existing budget and make sure it still makes sense. When you’re new to sorting out your finances, it’s easy to set your budget and, once you’re actually staying within its confines, forget about it. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Hair no longer on hold: Services across the Southern Tier prepare to reopen

first_img(WBNG) — Hair services across the Southern Tier are preparing to open their doors under phase two of New York’s reopening plan. “We’ll take a guys name and number. If it’s a nice day out take a chair, line up on the sidewalk.” No matter which type of service you visit for a style, they’re just as eager to return, as you. “We’re so excited to do hair and see everyone. I believe there’s hope and a lot of opportunity on the other side of this,” said Parker. Fifteen miles away in Owego, Andy & Son Barbershop is doing the same. In addition, Salon Trend will provide masks for clients, and stylists will wear masks while working. “There’s going to be some new things, a shield around the desk, new forms everyone has to sign, we can’t have people drop in like they used to. The precautionary measures are just going to look a little more extreme.” Parker says Salon Trend already closely follows New York state guidelines, and right now they’re enforcing everything they already do to keep the salon clean. Master barber and owner Matt Romano said “it’s been a long two months,” being closed, and he is eager to return to work. center_img “Like” Nicole Menner on Facebook and “Follow” her on Twitter. The barber shop will operate at half capacity, and take other measures, like marking chairs, wearing personal protective equipment and keeping a minimal amount of people inside the shop. “Everyone is being amazing and patient, but we have just been moving hundreds of people back a week, back a week, back a week,” said Salon Trend owner Sherette Parker. “It’s part of our life. You establish these great rapports with all your customers, you become part of one’s life,” said Romano. Parker says her team was “beyond excited” when they learned the news, but also “a little apprehensive because everyday we went from April 15 to thinking we were opening to April 30 to May 15,” adding “this seems a little more real.” If all goes as planned, phase two will begin two weeks from when phase one began, which is May 29. May 29 marks Salon Trend’s six-year anniversary. Vestal’s Salon Trend is just one of many salons across the Southern Tier ready to welcome clients, after being closed for two and a half months. last_img read more

Keeping tabs on H5N1 media coverage

first_img(CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) – Less than 2 years ago, H5N1 seized the headlines.News coverage of the deadly strain of avian influenza peaked in October 2005, with 878 general news stories and 879 business stories appearing during that month (see graph). In April 2007, monthly coverage had plummeted to only 16 general news stories and 134 business stories, based on a search of the LexisNexis database for the keyword “H5N1” in 50 major international newspapers and 702 leading business publications.Helen Branswell, medical reporter for the Canadian Press, says she largely prints out information on H5N1 and files it away for later use. “I find, these days, I’m not paying less attention to it, but I’m not writing as many stories about it,” says Branswell, who is known for her expertise on covering pandemic influenza. “There was a time when it seemed important to cover everything that moved. Now it seems like it’s important to follow the important trends and events and write about them.”Sustaining the former level of attention over time is difficult with so much other news to cover and a pandemic possibly decades away. “It seems to be more of a long-haul experience than I would have recognized when I first started covering this,” Branswell says. “It’s tough to know how much attention to put on it.”Declining news coverage and fewer government meetings and announcements, rather than the official numbers of human H5N1 cases, account for the waning public interest in the virus, says Peter Sandman, a risk communicator and deputy editor of Weekly Briefing. Very few Americans are probably aware enough of the case numbers to be misled by them, he says. “My guess is that the numbers haven’t been driving [public awareness] in the first place,” he adds. “By and large, people respond much more to the way that numbers are framed than to the numbers themselves.”But while media coverage strongly influences public opinion, says Greg Dworkin, MD, the number of stories is not a good way to measure what’s going on with H5N1.”It’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing that you don’t see as many news stories about this,” says Dworkin, editor of the Flu Wiki Web site, which tracks news and information about influenza.”I think the media will report a change rather than a steady drip of information, so you can’t use [media coverage] as a gauge of what’s going on,” he adds.Sandman says that the general public’s interest was never high enough to be self-sustaining. “It reached a peak—albeit a pretty low peak—when the media coverage peaked, and it declined when the media coverage declined,” he says. “But the interest of the pandemic preparedness community hasn’t declined. Neither has the interest of health departments and other government agencies.”And neither should the interest of a corporation that’s thinking straight about business continuity.”last_img read more

Dickinson spirit

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Homeowner’s ditch building their own home for a four-level mega-mansion

first_img64 The Sovereign MileLESS than a week before building his own home, homeowner David Jenkins pulled the plug and bought 64 The Sovereign Mile instead.“My builder really wasn’t impressed,” Mr Jenkins said. “It all started because my wife Sandra and I couldn’t find the right home with the right style so we bought a block of land. 64 The Sovereign Mile“We built a wine cellar in the 10-car space basement because it was so big,” he said. “It is home to my burgeoning wine collection now.“It is a great space to sit and have a glass and it is often a talking point with friends.” The home features a 10 seat tiered media room and a lift. 64 The Sovereign Mile“It is the same with all things, when you stop looking, you always find what you’re looking for. That was the case with this house.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North10 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“We sold the block and moved in the home which was 200m down the road.” Mr Jenkins said the style was spot on and was simillair to what the couple had planned to build. “It was much bigger than what we were going to build,” he said.center_img 64 The Sovereign Mile“Sandra and I joke that we have to text each other to talk to one another in the house.”The four-level beauty includes a main bedroom across the fourth floor.Dramatic window angles and ceilings create a contemporary space while the fireplace and wine cellar are a touch of luxury Mr Jenkins added himself.last_img read more

Netherlands roundup: PGGM joins €921m dam project

first_imgDutch pension manager PGGM has joined a consortium tasked with reinforcing the Afsluitdijk, the large dam and causeway closing off the former Dutch Zuiderzee from the Wadden Sea.PGGM is participating through its joint venture with construction company BAM. The €921m project has a duration of 25 years and is and aimed at constructing, maintaining and financing the Afsluitdijk. It is to be carried out by Levvel, a consortium also comprising Van Oord Aberdeen Infrastructure Partners and consultancy RebelValley.According to Rijkswaterstaat, the government department for waterways and public works which commissioned the project, three consortia had tendered for the job. Slagers, the Dutch butchers’ industry scheme, is to add 4,000 membersJohn Klijn, also a trustee of the union, said that until now, poulterers’ staff usually lacked a pension plan or had poor insured arrangements.In his opinion, increasing Slagers’ active participants was also “an opportunity” for the butchers’ scheme.Klijn said he didn’t expect problems with adjacent sectors about the poulterers joining Slagers.“The difference with VLEP, the scheme for the cold meat industry, is clear, as a company processing more than 5,000 kilos of meat a week, is subject to mandatory participation in the industry-wide pension fund,” he said.Although the scheme for the retail sector (Detailhandel) also considers poulterers as affiliated shops, Klijn didn’t expect problems here either.“No more than a handful of poulterers have joined Detailhandel, but they will move to Slagers next year,” he said.Currently, Slagers has 13,450 active partipants, 46,340 deferred members and 9,955 pensioners. It hass 2,400 affiliated employers.The industry-wide pension fund has outsourced its administration to AGH. Its assets are managed by Kempen Capital Management.Agreement against double taxation between Netherlands and BelgiumDutch and Belgian tax authorities have reached an agreement to prevent double taxation of Dutch pensions in Belgium.In a letter to parliament, Menno Snel, Dutch state secretary for finance, said that the Netherlands wouldn’t levy income tax on these pension benefits if Belgium charged “sufficient” tax.As of 1 January, the Dutch tax authority introduced a levy on pensions of more than €25,000 as a consequence of Belgian case law that had made it unclear to the Dutch Inland Revenue whether pensions would be taxed sufficiently in Belgium.The measure affected 1,300 Dutch pensioners in Belgium and Belgian pensioners receiving benefits from a Dutch employer.This had resulted in situations of double taxation, according to Snel.He said that the agreement would allow the Dutch Inland Revenue to charge if the tax in Belgium was deemed too low. Belgium would refrain from double taxation in these cases.According to the state secretary, the Dutch and Belgian tax authorities would also start exchanging information to prevent double taxation as well as double non-taxation. Levvel’s responsibilities include strengthening of the 32-kilometer dam – completed in 1932 – and install pumps to drain away water to the Wadden Sea.The consortium will also construct a new cycle path along the Wadden Sea.The Afsluitdijk reconstruction is a public private partnership project, including a government contribution and bank financing.PGGM said that it would contribute 40% of the assets required for the project, comprising “dozens of millions of euros”.It said the investment would provide “stable and long-term returns against a modest risk”.Earlier this month, the joint venture of PGGM – the asset manager of the €197bn healthcare scheme PFZW – and BAM was commissioned to widen the motorway A10-A24, north-west of Berlin, Germany.The €650m reconstruction also comprised financing, maintaining and managing the motorway. PGGM and BAM have been granted a 70% stake in the projectThe joint venture was also involved in the €600m construction of new sea locks in IJmuiden, which has turned out to be much more expensive than planned.However, this mainly came at the expense of BAM, which has made a provision of almost €70m for setbacks. PGGM has said that, as financier and future operator of the project, it would not suffer from delays and higher construction costs.Poultry sellers escape paltry pensions in butchers’ schemeApproximately 4,000 staff from the Dutch poultry industry are to join the €2.2bn sector pension fund for butchers (Slagers), increasing its active participants by 30%.According to the FNV union, the agreement for pensions accrual formed part of a new collective labour agreement, which is to come into force as of March.last_img read more

The up and down nature of Cairns real estate

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:02Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:02 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenAustralia’s most expensive houses02:02The Cairns property market is on the “start of recovery” after a whirlwind few months of rises, declines and rises again.Property valuers Herron Todd White say a “perfect storm” had Cairns placed at a declining market on the national property clock in their residential report, after the June report showed the city was set for a rise. Now, the latest report released on Friday showed Cairns was on a “start of recovery” on the clock. The Cairns property market is back at a recovery phase after a whirlwind few months of rises, declines and rises again. Picture: iStock MORE NEWS The report’s monthly property clock takes into account many factors, including the number of listings, sales, prices, and demand before providing a general overview of a city’s real estate market to determining where it sits on the clock. Herron Todd White Cairns research consultant Rick Carr said changes in consumer confidence were behind the rapid changes where the city completely bypassed “peak of the market” on the clock. He said the region hadn’t experienced a peak since 2008. Research Director Rick Carr from Herron Todd White says big swings in consumer confidence has seen Cairns jump around on his firm’s property clock. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN“Generally speaking a rising market is a good balance between prices, sales and buyers,” Mr Carr said. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“The peak of the market is generally skewed towards sellers with strong prices,” he said.“The July report (which reported the decline) was based on activity in April where confidence was down. “Although during this whole period we’ve seen house prices hold in Cairns, it was a perfect combination of listings falling away and demand falling away as well, equally. “Confidence to list houses was low because people were afraid of the unknowns of the market but also because they didn’t want to list a house and have people wandering through it at the time.” He said the latest report reflected a boost in confidence as a result of easing restrictions including the state border reopening, leading to an increase in listings and sales with the median sale price for houses in June ending at $410,000, for units at $220,200 and $200,600 for vacant land.“Overall sales are still down for this time of the year but we are rising out of the slump. How long the rise lasts (with coronavirus) is the question.” The report said the slump in April had turned around May and June. Whole floor at Harbour Light Cairns for salecenter_img QLD’S house price boom suburblast_img read more