Back Nelson to make winning return

first_imgReigning champion jockey Dane Nelson, who has been riding successfully at Assiniboia Downs in Canada for the past four months, returns to the saddle at Caymanas Park today and should win the opening race over 1200 metres (claiming $350,000 – $300,000) aboard down-in-class SHADE OF BEAUTY.The Patrick Lynch-trained five-year-old mare showed little behind ITALIANO over this trip on a $450,000 tag last Sunday but has won three races so far this season, and on the strength of her good third to FORCE DE JOUR over 1100 metres on August 29, gets the nod over BELIEVE and AWESOME CODE in a field of seven.First-time runners ZUGULU, under leading jockey Shane Ellis, and the Wayne DaCosta-trained A THOUSAND STARS (Robert Halledeen up) have both looked well forward at exercise and should fight out the finish of the second race over 1100 metres for native-bred two-year-olds.It should be close based on their exercise reports, but preference is for A THOUSAND STARS, a bay filly by Storm Craft out of the Natural Selection mare Heart of Gold. The Richard Azan-trained ZUGULU is a bay colt by Hold Me Back out of Candy Girl, who was declared to run in the first race won by Blue Dixie on Sunday but was a late scratch.VALENTINE BOY, who showed good speed behind MEL AGAIN over 1200 metres some weeks ago, looks the best of a moderate lot of maiden five-year-olds and up in the third race over 1100 metres. Trained by Roy Matthews, VALENTINE BOY (Shamaree Muir up) is steadily improving and can put away WESTERN FAITH and TIZ A CAT in an eight-horse field.DEMOLITION BOY, with Ellis riding for trainer Welsh Soutar, is preferred to the lightly-raced but improving GOLD MEMBER and GANJA MAN in the fourth race over the straight for maiden three-year-olds. DEMOLITION BOY is well drawn at post position 11 and seems programmed to take this event.The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by STAN ROY (Ellis up) and the well-prepared 3-y-o filly JESSE’S FAVORITE, with veteran jockey Ian Spence riding for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny. Their respective dangers are MISS ADDI and KING WITHIN.EARLY SUPER-6 FANCIES(1) SHADE OF BEAUTY/ BELIEVE(2) A THOUSAND STARS/ ZUGULU(3) VALENTINE BOY/ WESTERN FAITH(4) DEMOLITION BOY/ GOLD MEMBER(5) STAN ROY/MISS ADDI(6) JESSE’S FAVORITE- O.C.last_img read more

Why 49ers Richard Sherman sees this as a gratifying season

first_imgSANTA CLARA — The only member of the 49ers’ season-opening secondary that isn’t on injured reserve is also the one who had the biggest injury concern: cornerback Richard Sherman.He didn’t make the Pro Bowl this week. He isn’t going to the playoffs. He doesn’t have an interception (so far) for the first time in his eight-year career. But Sherman’s transition from the Seattle Seahawks to the 49ers has been a success, both in terms of the veteran leadership he’s brought to a young defense and the …last_img

Lawmakers Spar Over CCC Funds

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorWASHINGTON (DTN) — The House of Representatives easily passed a continuing resolution Thursday afternoon to keep the federal government operating until at least Nov. 21 and also ensuring commodity and trade-aid payments would go to farmers without delay.The House voted 301-123 on the short-term funding measure that now goes to the Senate.While that should have resolved the fight over Commodity Credit Corporation funds used by USDA to pay for the Market Facilitation Program, there was still a fair amount of partisan finger-pointing Thursday morning at a House Agriculture Subcommittee hearing meant to focus on USDA disaster funds.Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, chastised Democrats over the possible tie of CCC funds as “shameful.” Conaway said Democrats tried to use the funds “as leverage simply because you don’t like President (Donald) Trump.” He added that the CCC funds in the future are at risk of being held hostage over politics.“From now on, this process will be a weapon both sides can use,” Conaway said. “Shame on us to allow that to happen.”Conaway also split the distinction between threats to delay funds in the continuing resolution to the Republican-led effort in 2012 to limit then-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s use of CCC funds after Vilsack gave disaster money to Arkansas in 2010 even though the Senate at the time would not pass a disaster bill. Conaway said Republicans at the time restricted “future promises,” while this time around, farmers have already been promised funds through the Market Facilitation Program.MFP has come in two cycles. The first cycle from last year has paid $8.6 billion to more than 1 million farmers. The new program that started this summer has paid just over $4 billion to more than 302,000 farmers.Conaway said the continuing resolution placed restrictions on USDA because it will require USDA to produce a report by Oct. 31 detailing how the CCC funds have been used and the analysis USDA used in how Market Facilitation Program payments are being divvied up.House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., responded that the limits were put in place by Republicans initially.“You guys put this in place, not us,” Peterson said. He added, “What’s happened ever since is the appropriations waived that provision. This time it became an issue.”Until the dispute over Commodity Credit Corporation funds came up last week, Peterson said, few members outside of the Agriculture Committee had any idea what the fund was or how it works. Peterson also said the initial effort to delay CCC funds came from the Senate, not the House, though Peterson declined to say where that information was from.“There weren’t a handful of members who knew what the CCC was before all of this started,” he said. “The president using this for farmers has elevated this thing.”The CCC fund allows USDA to spend up to $30 billion for commodity programs at the discretion of the agriculture secretary.Shortly later, Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities, tweeted a comment that appeared to be directed at Conaway, who led efforts to restrict food stamps for single people when Conaway chaired the committee.“Our caucus doesn’t need to be lectured by a racist Christian pretender who led the effort to starve America’s poor. Every Democratic member of this committee championed the efforts to protect MFP in this week’s CR negotiations,” Vela tweeted.All the while, Bill Northey, USDA undersecretary for farm production and conservation, waited to testify.Among Northey’s first comments was that sign-up for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program will be extended from Sept. 20 to Sept. 27 to give dairy farmers more time to enroll for 2019. Currently, USDA figures show slightly under 77% of eligible producers have signed up for the program, and USDA is trying to get as many of those other 23% to enroll as possible. So far, 20,647 dairy farmers have received $276.8 million in DMC payments.Some producers who had signed up for the old dairy program have not signed up for the new program yet, and USDA is trying to extend outreach to those farmers.“We have done all that we can and will continue to do so over the next week,” Northey said.Peterson and other lawmakers also had questions about USDA staffing at local Farm Service Agency offices. In 2004, USDA had 11,500 people at local FSA offices, but those numbers have fallen to about 8,400 now. Yet those local FSA offices are being asked to do more because of enrollment in disaster programs and the MFP payments.Northey said USDA is trying to hire more people as enrollment has begun in the commodity programs — ARC and PLC — and signup will also begin soon for the Conservation Reserve Program.“So we are working to staff up,” Northey said. “We certainly have burdened those folks with additional activities.Peterson said he’s aware of major agricultural counties in his district where the local offices are now only open two or three days a week and are using staff from other offices.“My concern is we don’t have the staffing out there that we need,” Peterson said.Northey agreed. “There certainly is no magic bullet in trying to serve all of the needs out there,” he said.Peterson also questioned the USDA hiring process for local FSA offices, saying he understands now that applications have to run through USDA headquarters in Washington where someone approves of the hires.“I don’t understand why we’re letting someone in Washington decide who should be hired in a local county,” Peterson said.Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

In Defense of Inconvenient Truths about Vinyl Siding

first_imgA recent blog of mine, “The Counterintuitive Cladding,” discussed the “green” bona fides of vinyl siding. The blog struck a variety of nerves, including from those who mistook an obvious opinion piece for a poorly written scientific paper.That said, my blog was not based on fantasy. It was based on decades of home construction experience as well as science, which defines what we believe today as much as religion did in the past. Unfortunately, science does not always confirm what we want to believe, and is not so easily interpreted to suit our biases. Just ask climate change deniers.I’ve had to vigorously defend my projects from criticism before – not just for vinyl siding, but for other green technologies such as advanced framing and frost-protected shallow foundations. In the process, I learned a lot about these technologies and I am a much better builder for it, so I welcome the opportunity to engage in rigorous debate. I know that many of the vinyl siding critics won’t be swayed, but for those with open minds and an interest in facts, please consider the facts that follow. Getting credit for using vinyl sidingThe most popular rating systems in the residential market are LEED and the ICC 700. Both give credit for the use of EPDs (or LCA information).In addition, the ICC 700 gives credit for products that do not require on-site finishing, recycled content, termite resistance — meaning they both give credits for vinyl siding. I know this because I have taken advantage of it. Information from USGBCSeveral readers cited LEED to confirm their negative attitude toward vinyl siding. The USGBC’s “Assessment of Technical Basis for a PVC-Related Materials Credit in LEED” report was broad and made many claims. Overall, the report embraced the Life Cycle Assessment approach.According to life cycle models, such as BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability, which was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology as a way to compare building products from a life-cycle perspective), vinyl siding proved to have a lower environmental impact than most other claddings except wood. But to have a lower impact, wood must remain unfinished. That means no stain and no paint, which is hardly realistic.On pages 58-59, the USGBC report makes the following claims about vinyl siding: “In terms of the relative performance of the different material options, the following general conclusions can be drawn. First, wood siding performs quite well; its maximum values are typically below the maxima for all other material options for most impact categories, and the midrange of its values is often the lowest of the four materials’ midrange values. Note that an important caveat is our assumption of no painting to the wood siding.“Another general conclusion is that fiber cement tends to perform the worst among the options, for most impact categories; the maximum value of its range tends to be at or among the highest within each impact category. The value ranges for fiber cement tend to be higher than those for PVC for most impact categories. For human health impacts of fiber cement, the highest values are based on the BEES data that assume the Portland cement content by 90%. Although other data sources such as MSDS do not specify Portland cement for the content, those high values have been kept since use of Portland cement for fiber cement siding can be reasonably assumed.”Note that the BEES analysis cited in my report was based on publicly available data submitted by individual companies; however, the fiber cement industry did not cooperate, hence the need for assumptions. I like fiber cement for certain applications and have used it, but it’s not a better environmental option than vinyl siding. Science says so.In the report’s Conclusions and Recommendations (page 98), the USGBC writers state: “Therefore, the current body of knowledge as analyzed in this report in Section 3 as it relates to the Task Group’s charge from TSAC does not support a credit in the LEED rating system for eliminating PVC or any particular material. Further, with respect to a PVC-related credit, the available evidence indicates that for some product categories, such a simple credit could steer designers to use materials which performed worse over their life cycles with respect to the bulk of the impact categories” — such as fiber cement. My reference to “Blue Velvet”All right, touché: The David Lynch movie “Blue Velvet” has nothing to do with vinyl siding.But “Blue Vinyl,” the Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand movie on the manufacture of vinyl siding and one woman’s search for an alternative, was responsible in part for today’s prejudice against the product. In any event, I’m not sure of the validity of comic documentary as a basis for choosing building materials. Consider the facts noted above from the EPA about dioxin reduction in the U.S., and that while the overall use of products made from of vinyl has gone up dramatically, dioxin release has also gone down dramatically. Let’s give credit when it’s due.While I hope I’ve soothed some of the nerves jangled by my previous post by presenting additional facts and citations, I know that misperceptions run deep and minds are frustratingly hard to change. I imagine that’s why Mark Twain said, “Never let facts get in the way of a good story.” RELATED ARTICLES What about smoke?Vinyl siding opponents often claim that the siding will smoke when burning and that the vapors are highly toxic. Even if you have a fire lapping at the siding at the nearly 700°F you would need for vinyl to burn, the toxic potency of vinyl would not be considered to be any different from that of wood when burning, since all burning materials release highly toxic smoke.The most important toxic product in any fire is carbon monoxide (CO), which is produced by all organic compounds as they burn. Vinyl releases less CO than most wood products, and as such its contribution to overall toxicity in a house fire is negligible (according to NIST Radiant Toxicity Test Results).Of course, all of this only matters if you install vinyl siding on interior walls. On exterior walls the net toxicity of vinyl siding in a fire is virtually zero. To get into the science, I refer you to a commonly referenced authoritative document on the subject, Casarett & Doull’s “Toxicology – The Basic Science of Poisons.” The Counterintuitive CladdingVinyl Windows and Vinyl SidingVinyl is LethalVinyl Is GreenRecycling Vinyl SidingJob-Site Recycling: PVCGBA Encyclopedia: Vinyl SidingLife-Cycle Assessment is a Tool, Not a Silver Bullet Is vinyl siding green? Fire dangerHere again, intuition is a poor substitute for knowledge. It would seem that vinyl siding would be highly flammable, but in fact it’s not.Composed mainly of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl siding’s chlorine base makes it harder to ignite and easier to extinguish. PVC won’t ignite, even from another flame, until it reaches about 730°F (387°C), and won’t self-ignite until about 850°F (454°C). Those ignition temperatures are significantly higher than common framing lumber, which ignites from a flame at 500°F (260°C) and self-ignites at 770°F (410°C). This, in part, explains why most vinyl siding can meet the stringent flame requirements for fire safety required by the International Building Code (which is adopted by every state). In addition, some vinyl siding is allowed to be used on ASTM E119 fire rated assemblies, because it does not contribute to the growth of the fire. Living Building ChallengeOn the other hand, the Living Building Challenge created a red list against PVC (which the USGBC recommended not doing in their report).Overall, the concepts of the Living Building Challenge are beautiful, and I have written very positively about the program, but it is not among the most influential rating systems, was not developed under any type of consensus or ANSI process, and, as far as I know, it is the only one with a proscription against the use of vinyl siding. The vinyl siding manufacturing processA few readers referred to manufacturing impacts, specifically referring to dioxin. I wonder if any of you have been to a vinyl plant. I have, and also to paper mills, brick factories and lumber mills. The vinyl plants are much cleaner, and have no perceptible impact on the surrounding environment or residential community. By comparison to brick factories, lumber mills and I am told fiber cement plants, vinyl is a clean technology.But I cite the Environmental Protection Administration’s words in support of my experience:“Dioxin levels in the environment have declined significantly since the 1970s, following EPA regulatory controls and industry actions. EPA’s best estimates of emissions from sources that can be reasonably quantified indicate that dioxin emissions in the United States decreased by about 80 percent between 1987 and 1995, primarily due to reductions in air emissions from municipal and medical waste incinerators, and substantial further declines continue to be documented.” (“Dioxin: Summary of the Dioxin Reassessment Science,” Information Sheet 1, U.S. EPA, June 12, 2000.)“As a result of EPA’s efforts, along with efforts by state government and private industry, known industrial emissions in the United States will be reduced by more than 90 percent from 1980 levels within the next year or so.” (“Questions and Answers about Dioxin,” Interagency Working Group on Dioxin, July 2000).The warnings on phthalates were rebutted by other readers, but it pays to reiterate that vinyl siding is rigid PVC, which does not contain phthalates. Fernando Pagés Ruiz is a builder and author. He has developed, built, and remodeled homes in California, Nebraska, and Wyoming, and has won a number of awards, including recognition from the National Association of Home Builders.last_img read more

U.P. police book 22 for putting up poster comparing Modi with Kim

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh police have arrested a person and booked 22 others, mostly traders, in Kanpur on charges of likening Prime Minister Narendra Modi to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in posters and hoardings.An FIR was registered at the Govind Nagar police station in Kanpur against the traders under Sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 32(2) of the UP Special Powers Act. Unable to smoothly operate their businesses due to the high circulation of coins in the market post-demonetisation, traders and hawkers in Kanpur had put up posters and hoardings to draw the attention of the government after their pleas to the local authorities and branches of the RBI had gone unheeded.On the controversial posters and hoardings, Mr. Kim and Mr. Modi were placed on either side, while mentioning that the former would not rest till he destroyed the world, while the latter till he destroyed businesses or trade. “Mein vyapar ko mitake dum lunga [I will not rest till I destroy businesses],” the caption under Mr. Modi read in Hindi.The posters also appeal Mr. Modi to explain through his ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme what small traders should do with the huge supply of rezgaari (small change).Ashok Verma, Kanpur South SP, said the posters were a “provocation to hurting public sentiments and threat to public order”.last_img read more

Milk, vegetables supply further hit in Rajasthan as farmers’ agitation continues

first_imgPrices of vegetables soared amid disruptions in supplies while procurement of milk was also hit in parts of Rajasthan as farmers’ agitation entered the fourth day on Monday.“Jaipur Dairy alone has suffered a loss of nearly ₹1 crore as ‘anti-social elements’ spilled nearly 60,000 litres of milk on roads. Twelve tankers were vandalised. Jaipur Dairy has lodged 8-9 FIRs for damaging and manhandling employees,” Jaipur Dairy chairman Om Prakash Punia told PTI. He said that problems are being witnessed in Sikar, Chomu, Kaladera and parts of Jaipur. Vegetable prices have shot up by 25-30% in Jaipur due to ongoing farmers’ agitation. The prices of vegetables have increased by 25-30% in the last three days because of restricted supply due to the farmers’ agitation, a vegetable vendor at Muhana vegetable market said. Vegetables are supplied in Muhana mandi, Lal Kothi mandi and to other retail markets in the city from areas like Sanganer and Chomu (Jaipur) but farmers are not supplying to the mandis (large wholesale markets), he added. Meanwhile, farmers’ body holding agitation in the State has blamed “anti-social elements” for spilling milk on roads and disrupting milk procurement.Protests have been peaceful and successful. Anti-social elements are behind disrupting milk procurement and spilling it on roads. We have set up milk points for consumers outside city limits for urban population, a core committee member of the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh said. The 10-day Gaon Bandh (rural shutdown) farmer protest was called ahead of the first anniversary of the death of several farmers in police firing in Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh, which sections of farmers supported in Rajasthan as well. The protest started on Friday demanding loan waiver, higher prices for their produce and immediate implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report on farming.last_img read more