Often purchased as a gift plant, bigleaf hydrangea can be transplanted in landscapes and enjoyed year after year.Bigleaf hydrangea prefers morning sun, afternoon shade and moist, well-drained soil. It will grow in locations with afternoon sun, but will probably wilt and need more supplemental watering. They don’t like full sunDo not expect the plant to take full sun. The large leaves of hydrangea result in more water loss in the heat of summer. So, hydrangeas perform best when given a break from the sun. Bigleaf hydrangea can be easily grown in containers and make an excellent patio plant. An advantage of growing the plant in a container is that it can be moved indoors on a cold night.Also called French, Japanese or snowball hydrangea, the plant is known for its flower colors that can be changed from pink to blue or from blue to pink by adjusting the soil pH. The color variation is due to the presence or absence of aluminum compounds in the flowers. If aluminum is present within the plant, the flower color will be blue. If it is present in small quantities, the color will be in between, or violet, and if it is absent, the flowers will be pink.Aluminum affects bloom colorSoil pH indirectly affects flower color by affecting the availability of aluminum in the soil. When the soil is acidic, pH 5.5 or lower, aluminum is generally more available to the roots. When the soil is neutral or alkaline, pH 7.0 or higher, aluminum levels are decreased. To gradually change flower color from pink to blue, broadcast one-half cup of wettable sulfur per 10 square feet and water it into the soil. To make the flowers pink, broadcast 1 cup of dolomitic lime per 10 square feet and water it into the soil. Granular products can be applied anytime throughout the year. However, it takes patience to change hydrangea flower colors, as it can take a year to see a noticeable change.A quicker way to change flower color is through liquid soil drenches applied in March, April and May. To make the flowers turn blue, dissolve 1 tablespoon of aluminum sulfate in 1 gallon of water. To make the flowers turn pink, dissolve 1 tablespoon of hydrated lime in 1 gallon of water. Drench the soil around the plant with the solution. Avoid getting the solution on the leaves.It is not hard to change hydrangea flower color; simply decide which method best suits you. With the right care and materials, you can have hydrangeas of your color choice.
Lithuania planning 700MW offshore wind project, will meet 25% of nation’s electric needs FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享OffshoreWind.biz:Lithuania’s Ministry of Energy has submitted a draft government resolution to stakeholders for coordination on locations in the Baltic Sea suitable for offshore wind farms.The draft Government Resolution proposes the construction of a wind farm with a capacity of up to 700 MW. A wind farm of this capacity in the Baltic Sea would produce approximately 2.5-3 TWh of electricity per year, which is 25 percent of the country’s current electricity demand, the ministry said.The resolution also provides the exact area in the Baltic Sea where the development of wind turbines would be the most efficient. The territory planned in the Baltic Sea covers an area of 137.5 km2, with a distance from shore of approximately 29 kilometres, an average water depth of 35 metres, and an average wind speed of approximately 9 m/s.Lithuania plans to announce the first auctions for offshore wind in 2023. The power plants should be built and start generating electricity by 2030.[Adnan Durakovic]More: Lithuania opens with 700 MW offshore wind pitch
After years of improvement, air quality in the U.S. is declining Tokyo considers starting Olympic races at 3 a.m. to avoid climate-change-related heat waves An analysis of 163 studies that included more than 23,000 people with dementia found that spending time outdoors was more effective than drugs in counteracting aggression and agitation in dementia patients. Researchers found that outdoor activities, including gardening, were more effective than anti-psychotic medication in controlling aggressive behavior and are suggesting that policymakers prioritize non-drug treatments of aggressive and agitated dementia patients. An analysis of studies finds that access to the outdoors is more effective than drugs in treating dementia Research suggests that an uptick in driving and natural gas use have contributed to the increase in pollution, even as coal use declines. Wildfires in the West have also contributed to the growing number. Researchers also suggested that relaxed enforcement of the Clean Air Act might have also contributed to the rise in pollution. The analysis shows that the increase in air pollution between 2016 and 2018 was associated with nearly 10,000 additional premature deaths. Finding it harder to breathe while out for a hike or a bike ride? The feeling isn’t just in your head. A new study shows that damaging air pollution, which had been declining for decades, began increasing across the U.S. in 2016. The data found that fine particulate pollution increased 5.5 percent across the country between 2016 and 2018, after decreasing nearly 25 percent between 2009 and 2015. Nick Muller, a professor at Carnegie Melon and one of the co-authors of the study, calls the change “a real about-face.” Tokyo, host of the upcoming 2020 summer Olympic games, is considering starting the marathon and race walking events as early as 3 a.m., reports Kyodo, a Japanese news agency. The middle of the night start time is being considered after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to move the races to Sapporo over concerns about heat. Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said last week that she believes the races should be held in the city. “We have made many preparations and there’s no change in my thinking that [the races] should be held in Tokyo,” she said. Worldwide, there are more than 50 million people living with dementia. Seventy-five percent of dementia patients suffer from aggressive behavior, agitation and anxiety.
As events last year in Paris, San Bernardino, and elsewhere have shown us, we can no longer bind ourselves to the idea, “It can’t happen here.” Nothing in our nature as not-for-profit financial cooperatives makes us immune to acts of terrorism or active shooter incidents. We must examine the risks, create response plans, and ensure staff members are trained and prepared to carry out these plans.This article is intended to provide suggestions and note resources your credit union can use in developing your response plans. It is divided into four sections: offsite (non-branch) considerations, onsite considerations, scenario planning, and finally a list of additional resources.OffsiteThere are many situations in which a group of credit union employees or employees and members may be gathered away from a credit union office/branch:credit union annual meeting,employee training or recognition events,participation in a local parade or other event (e.g., cancer walk) ora “booth” set up at a community event. 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Three Massachusetts men pleaded guilty last week to orchestrating a sophisticated multistate ATM robbery spree, netting them $500,000, including more than $170,000 stolen from a credit union ATM.David Barker, 39, Efrain Montero, 41, and Jonathan Santos, 35, of Lawrence, pleaded guilty to indictments charging them with the burglary and attempted burglary of thirteen ATMs and commercial businesses, according to the Essex District Attorney’s Office.Assistant District Attorney Philip Mallard said the men scouted for ATM locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.The men travelled in a stolen van to targeted ATMs and used tools access them. Wearing masks and dark clothing, two of the three men neutralized the alarm and security system, while the third man looked out for police. After cutting wires to the ATMs security system, they waited and listened on a scanner to be sure that police had not been alerted.
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Veteran’s Day got me thinking about the bond between credit unions and the military. A recent survey demonstrates how that bond is alive and well, and, if you look at the history of our movement, all credit unions owe a debt of gratitude to service members.The survey to which I am referring underscores that credit unions are still living up to their reputation for helping members of the military. Specifically, of the 20 top lenders which provide government VA loans, Navy Federal offers the best rates. Based on analysis of HMDA data, of the VA lenders examined in 2019, 10 had a rate spread that was above the average prime offer rate. In fact, there was more than a 1.25% spread between the lowest annual percentage rate offered by Navy FCU and the highest rate offered by New Day Financial.You would think from the comments of some of our Congress members that the CFPB had stopped taking enforcement actions. In fact, one of its most recent settlements involved Low VA Rates, LLC.The settlement demonstrates that the substantial rate spread reflects more than the complexity of offering VA loans. Guess what? The rates weren’t quite as low as advertised. continue reading »
The New York State Police say they worked with the Oneonta City Police Department and arrested 41-year-old Brian Ruple for four gas station robberies. Additionally, Ruple was arrested for the robberies at Loise’s Gun Shop in the town of Davenport and the Dollar Tree in the town of Oneonta. Police officials say Ruple was also charged with burglary in the third degree, a class D felony. The police department says Ruple was held at the Oneonta Police Department until his arraignment. 3:32 P.M. UPDATE: Police officials say both charges are concerning reported robberies that occurred at the Quickway Convenience Store at 65 Chestnut St. and Taylors Gas Station, 472 Main St. Both locations in Oneonta. The New York State Police say they also arrested 41-year-old Derrick Gray of Laurens for his role in the robberies at the Mirabito’s in Oneonta and Otego. They say he was charged with one count of robbery in the second degree, a class C felony and attempted robbery in the second degree, a class C felony. ONEONTA, N.Y. (WBNG) — The Oneonta Police Department says a person has been charged in connection to two robberies that occurred on Friday. ONEONTA, N.Y. (WBNG) — The New York State Police say they received two burglary complaints at local businesses in Otsego County. —– The Oneonta Police Department says the investigation was conducted by their detective unit in addition to the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The police department says 41-year-old Brian Ruple of Oneonta was charged with one count of robbery in the first degree, a class B felony and attempted robbery in the first degree, a class C felony.
Global tensions simmered over the race for a coronavirus vaccine Thursday, as the United States and China traded jabs, and France slammed pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi for suggesting the US would get any eventual vaccine first.Scientists are working at breakneck speed to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which has killed more than 300,000 people worldwide and pummeled economies.From the US to Europe to Asia, national and local governments are easing up on lockdown orders to get people back to work — while fretting over a possible second wave of infections. A move to reopen The reopening of economies continued in earnest across Europe, where the EU has set out proposals for a phased restart of travel and the eventual lifting of border controls.”Maybe it’s a mistake, but we have no choice. Without tourists, we won’t get by!” Enrico Facchetti, a 61-year-old former goldsmith, said of Venice’s reopening.And Japan — the world’s third largest economy — lifted a state of emergency across most of the country except for Tokyo and Osaka.New Zealanders mingled with friends and hit the shopping malls for the first time in seven weeks as a national lockdown ended.And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said national parks would partially reopen on June 1.But in Latin America the virus continued to surge, with a 60 percent leap in cases in the Chilean capital of Santiago, prompting authorities to impose a total lockdown on the city.South Sudan reported its first COVID-19 death. And in Bangladesh, the first case was confirmed in the teeming Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, which are home to nearly one million people. ‘Darkest winter’ On Capitol Hill, an ousted US health official told Congress that the Trump government had no strategy in place to find and distribute a vaccine to millions of Americans, warning of the “darkest winter” ahead.”We don’t have a single point of leadership right now for this response, and we don’t have a master plan,” said Rick Bright, who was removed last month as head of the US agency charged with developing a coronavirus vaccine.The United States has registered more than 84,000 deaths linked to COVID-19 — the highest toll of any nation. Topics : Two US agencies warned Wednesday that Chinese hackers were trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research — a claim Beijing rejected as “smearing” its reputation.US President Donald Trump, who has ratcheted up the rhetoric against China, said he doesn’t even want to engage with Chinese leader Xi Jinping — potentially imperiling a trade deal between the world’s top two economies.”I’m very disappointed in China. I will tell you that right now,” he said in an interview with Fox Business.”There are many things we could do. We could do things. We could cut off the whole relationship.” Increased freedom of movement means an increased risk of contracting the virus, and so national labs and private firms are laboring to find the right formula for a vaccine.The European Union’s medicines agency offered some hope when it said one could be ready in a year, based on data from clinical trials already underway.But Marco Cavaleri, the EMA’s head of vaccines strategy, acknowledged that timeline was a “best-case scenario,” and cautioned that “there may be delays.”The race for a vaccine has exposed a raw nerve in relations between the United States and China, where the virus was first detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan. US jobless claims rise The prospect of the disease lingering leaves governments facing a delicate balancing act between suppressing the pathogen and getting their economies up and running.In the US, more grim economic data emerged Thursday, with nearly three million more Americans applying for unemployment benefits. That takes the overall total to 36.5 million — more than 10 percent of the US population.Further signs of the damage to businesses emerged when Lloyd’s of London forecast the pandemic will cost the global insurance industry about $203 billion.European markets closed down, but Wall Street rallied despite the new jobless claims. France miffed at SanofiWorld leaders were among 140 signatories to a letter published Thursday saying any vaccine should not be patented and that the science should be shared among nations. “Governments and international partners must unite around a global guarantee which ensures that, when a safe and effective vaccine is developed, it is produced rapidly at scale and made available for all people, in all countries, free of charge,” it said.But a row erupted in France after drugmaker Sanofi said it would reserve first shipments of any vaccine it discovered to the United States. The comments prompted a swift rebuke from the French government — President Emmanuel Macron’s office said any vaccine should be treated as “a global public good, which is not submitted to market forces.”Sanofi chief executive Paul Hudson said the US had a risk-sharing model that allowed for manufacturing to start before a vaccine had been finally approved — while Europe did not.”The US government has the right to the largest pre-order because it’s invested in taking the risk,” Hudson told Bloomberg News. Macron’s top officials are scheduled to meet with Sanofi executives about the issue next week. The search for a vaccine became even more urgent after the World Health Organization said the disease many never go away and the world would have to learn to live with it for good. “This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away,” said Michael Ryan, the UN body’s emergencies director.
The Bundesrat noted that the yield on Swiss seven-year bonds stood at -0.38% when the commission made its recommendation in August.In a statement, Hanspeter Konrad, president at ASIP, told IPE he supported the proposed reduction.“The decision is necessary in light of the low-interest-rate environment, accentuated through the negative rate of interest set by the Swiss National Bank.The industry has repeatedly criticised the central bank’s monetary policy, as well as its now-reversed decision to shield both the country’s largest pension fund, Publica, and its own occupational scheme from the impact of negative deposit rates.But Konrad struck an upbeat note about the return prospects for the country’s second pillar.“Due to the current low-price environment, this [1.25% rate] nevertheless results in a welcome real return,” he said. The rate has fallen, if not steadily, over the last decade, standing at 2.5% in 2006 and falling to 1.5% by 2012.It was then increased to 1.75% in 2014.According to the Credit Suisse Pensionskassenindex, the average fund would have seen a loss of 0.14% over the first half of the year. The Swiss government’s decision to cut the minimum interest rate for pension funds has been welcomed by local pension association ASIP.The Bundesrat said 2016’s rate would be set at 1.25%, a reduction of 50 basis points over the level agreed for 2015.The cut is in line with a recommendation supported by a significant majority of the statutory occupational pensions commission (BVG-Kommission).The Mindestzins, which dictates the level of compensation active members must be granted each year, is reviewed annually in line with prevailing Swiss government debt yields and return expectations from other assets.
“We believe these proposed revisions will contribute to more comparable and comprehensive sustainability reporting by companies,” the manager said.While supporting the revisions, Carine Smith Ihenacho and Wilhelm Mohn, chief corporate governance officer and head of sustainability at NBIM, respectively, who signed the letter, also said: “It would be helpful for the GRI to also include quantitative and qualitative indicators on the outcomes and effectiveness of companies’ efforts to address potential and actual negative impacts.”The pair said they encouraged the GSSB to consider including such indicators in both the universal and topic standards.Smith Ihenacho and Mohn also said they supported the Valuing Respect Project of US non-profit organisation Shift, which they said aimed to develop more meaningful ways of evaluating business respect for human rights – and outcomes for people in particular.“Over time, we expect a clearer and more complete picture of indicators measuring outcomes and effectiveness to emerge,” NBIM said, adding that this underlined the need for a dynamic approach to standards for human rights disclosure, where metrics gradually crystallised.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), has called for a major set of sustainability standards to include indicators about actual outcomes of work companies do to improve human rights.The Oslo-based manager of the NOK10.3trn (€963bn) sovereign wealth fund made the suggestion in its response to the Global Sustainability Standards Board’s (GSSB) consultation on revisions to the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Universal Standards, which ended on Wednesday.In the letter published on NBIM’s website, the division of central bank Norges Bank said it was commenting specifically on responsible business conduct and human rights disclosures, saying it saw this as an important addition to the GRI Universal Standards.NBIM welcomed the proposed revisions, including a clarification of the focus of the GRI standards, revised definitions of key concepts such as ‘impact’, ‘material topic’ and ‘stakeholder’, as well as a proposal that firms reporting according to the standards would no longer have a choice between core and comprehensive options.