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Emperor’s Candlestick

first_imgI was working on a magazine piece this week on nostalgia gardening. We tend to think of nostalgia gardening as growing something that is heirloom or antique. It is also represented in a plant that reminds you of another time or place. One plant that I hated to leave out was the emperor’s candlestick. Its Latin name is Senna alata, formerly Cassia alata. Emperor’s candlestick is considered a shrub in the tropics, yet where I have seen them growing wild, they appear dwarfed in comparison to how they look in our landscapes. This is probably due to the shallow topsoil. Though the plant is seen in gardens as a beautiful flower, it is a valuable medicinal plant in developing countries. In Mexico and Samoa, it is used to treat snakebites. In other countries, it is used to treat herpes and venereal diseases, ringworm and digestive disorders. Butterfly lovers treasure it as a host plant for sulphur butterflies.Emperor’s candlestick can be successfully grown as an annual just about anywhere in the country. Here in Savannah, Georgia, it is an annual flower and is as stunning as it gets from summer through frost. The candlestick plant is in the legume family, and even though it does not bloom until midsummer, the large, pinnately compound foliage provides a textural extravaganza even when flowers aren’t present.Since it does grow large – up to 8 feet tall with the compound leaves stretching out 3 feet in each direction – you will want it close to the back of your border. I have grown them in beds where I had over a dozen, and while pretty, it was a little overwhelming. The way to go is probably with two to three plants in a mixed border. One of my favorite partners for emperor’s candlestick is the spicy jatropha, or Jatropha integerrima. Another terrific combination could include Cuphea ‘Vermillionaire,’ which has scarlet flowers and reaches about 3 feet tall and just as wide.My one bone of contention or frustration with garden centers is that they usually do not have emperor’s candlestick early enough to allow us time to grow them into the 8-foot-plus range. Actually, they are now getting harder to find. Once you do start growing them, you are in business, because they produce long pods loaded with seeds. These dried seeds will give you the opportunity to grow them whenever you want. In recent years I have found seeds well priced through online shopping.Once you start collecting seeds, store them in a dry location over the winter. Next spring, pop open the pods and plant the seeds about three-quarters of an inch deep in full sun in well-drained, well-prepared beds. I like to lightly scratch these seeds with sandpaper to help speed up my germination process. If you want to see your plants reach that 8-foot monolithic stature, feed them monthly during the growing season. Even though they are considered drought-tolerant plants, watering and mulching them keeps them looking lush and ever so tropical for your little corner of paradise.last_img read more

Are your people part of your long-term strategy?

first_img 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Owen Jeff has over 12 years of experience in the financial services arena. Prior to Rochdale, Jeff worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and was part of the … Web: www.rochdaleparagon.com Details It’s that time of year again: strategic planning season! Boards and management teams are busy analyzing, discussing and strategizing for the next three to five – hopefully even ten – years. Discussions revolving around technology, fields of membership, branches, mergers, financials, relevancy, technology, competition, and products and services abound. Detailed analyses are occurring around asset and loan growth as credit unions strive to quantify the earnings needed to support new technology, to understand increased regulatory burdens, and satisfy members’ ever-evolving needs and desires.As exciting as strategic planning season is, the challenges seem to grow more daunting each year as both member and regulatory expectations grow, competition becomes more fierce and opportunities to generate income become more strained. In all these discussions, however, the key to conquering so many of these challenges ­– our people – so often goes undiscussed.It seems to me that there is a general expectation that if we can build the plan, our people will just fall in line. Our people and their acceptance of and involvement in our plan is the last thing that crosses our mind. It’s not that we don’t care about our people, or even that we fail to recognize that they are critical in executing our carefully prepared plan. It’s that we take it for granted that they will execute the plan. They have historically performed when called upon, and we take for granted that they will continue to meet our needs and demands, whatever they may be.What I think gets missed is that our people have their own strategic plans. Even if it’s not formal, documented, or even fully understood, most people have some thought as to what they want to do, how they want to spend their time, where they want to go with their careers and lives, and what it takes for them to excel. If we are unable to achieve some sense of alignment between our plan and theirs, or if they don’t understand where the two intersect, we risk undermining our plan from the beginning. Our long-term plans depend entirely on our ability to engage our people and get their buy-in; what is most important to us needs to be important to them.Over the past two months, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with several credit unions that have made the decision to include their staff in the strategic planning process. While the management and board set the general direction and objectives for the organization, they also value the input of their staff enough to solicit their ideas and opinions as well.I read a quote recently that went something like this… Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress.  Working hard for something we love is called passion.  The question that entered my mind is what are we doing to articulate the intersection of strategy and stuff that our staff love to do.  Simply stated, I think it involves defining a higher purpose than just performing financial transactions. Maybe you’ve heard the story about an exchange between President Kennedy and a janitor during the early days of NASA. On a visit to Cape Canaveral, President Kennedy supposedly asked a man with a broom what he did, to which the janitor replied, “Well, Mr. President, I’m helping to put a man on the moon.” How well do we engage our employees around our higher purpose? What would your people answer if the same question?Study after study has shown that a workforce motivated by a strong sense of higher purpose is essential to engagement. One survey found that working for an organization with a clearly defined purpose is second only to pay and benefits in importance to employees, ranking ahead of promotion opportunities, job responsibilities, and even work culture. Two-thirds of the respondents said that a higher purpose would motivate them to go the extra mile in their jobs. Another study showed that almost half of today’s workforce would take a 15% pay cut to work for an organization with an inspiring purpose.Whether you are moving into or wrapping up your strategic planning process, don’t forget to include your people. Ensure that you are defining your vision – your higher purpose – and that you effectively communicate it to your staff. Put in the time definitively linking your strategy with your higher purpose, and the staff will understand the why behind your goals and objectives.last_img read more

Mosque on wheels rolls in to help Muslims pray at Tokyo Olympics

first_imgThe organisation’s CEO Yasuharu Inoue hopes athletes and supporters alike will use the truck.”I want athletes to compete with their utmost motivation and for the audience to cheer on with their utmost motivation as well. That is why I made this,” said Inoue, pointing to the white truck parked next to Tokyo Tower on Wednesday.”I hope it brings awareness that there are many different people in this world and to promote a non-discriminatory, peaceful Olympics and Paralympics.”Tokyo 2020 said on Wednesday that they were looking at various avenues to provide appropriate facilities for all religious groups.”The Organising Committee is preparing a list of religious or faiths centres that could be contacted or visited if requested by residents of the Villages during the Games,” Tokyo 2020 told Reuters in an email.”In the Games’ venues, multi-faith prayer spaces for athletes and spectators are under consideration in venue operations planning.”According to a investigation by Waseda University, there were 105 mosques in Japan at the end of 2018. But with these spread across the country and many of them small and on the outskirts of Tokyo, it may be difficult for Muslims who need to pray five times a day.Inoue said he has already spoken to several Olympic committees, including most recently Indonesia, about helping their athletes.Topan Rizki Utraden, an Indonesian who has lived in Japan for 12 years, came to the Mobile Mosque for the first time with his daughter.He said it can be challenging to find a quiet place to pray in Japan, particularly outside Tokyo.”It is really difficult to find mosques near your place,” said Utraden.”If you are in the city there is no problem but if you take a road trip outside Tokyo it is difficult.”Sometimes I pray in a park but sometimes the Japanese look at me like ‘what are you doing?'”Topics : There is also a dearth of prayer spaces in hotels and public areas across the Japanese capital.This is where the Mobile Mosque, a fully-equipped 48-square-metre prayer room that opens up on the back of a parked truck, comes in.The back of the modified truck can be widened in seconds and the vehicle also includes Arabic signage and outdoor water taps for pre-worship cleaning.The Yasu Project, the organisation behind the enterprise, plan on pitching up outside venues during the Olympics, which run from July 24 – Aug. 9. For the thousands of Muslim athletes, officials and supporters arriving in Tokyo for the Olympic Games later this year, it may be a struggle for them to find an appropriate place to pray.The answer might just be found roaming the streets of Tokyo on the back of a truck.By the time the Games start in July, there will be prayer rooms available at the currently under-construction athlete’s village. However, some venues may not have a designated space.last_img read more

Brazil reports a record 1,349 virus deaths in 24 hours

first_imgBrazil reported a record 1,349 coronavirus deaths in a 24-hour period Wednesday, the health ministry said, as the pandemic continued to take a grim toll on Latin America’s hardest-hit country.The figure brought the total death toll from the new coronavirus in Brazil to 32,548, with 584,016 confirmed infections — the second-highest caseload worldwide, after the United States.Brazil’s death toll, which has doubled in 17 days, is currently the fourth-highest worldwide, after the US, Britain and Italy. Experts say under-testing in the country of 210 million people means the real numbers are probably much higher.President Jair Bolsonaro has fiercely criticized coronavirus isolation measures, even as the number of infections and deaths continues to soar in Brazil.The far-right leader has urged business leaders to wage “war” on state governors who order stay-at-home measures, arguing they are needlessly hurting Latin America’s biggest economy.Bolsonaro, who famously compared the virus to a “little flu,” appears to have pinned his hopes on the drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to stop it. Mexico death toll surges Underlining the pandemic’s new epicenter in Latin America, Mexico meanwhile reported more than 1,000 coronavirus-related deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time.The daily death toll of 1,092 was more than double the 470 fatalities reported the day before.Health undersecretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell explained the stark jump by saying that some of the deaths recorded on Wednesday had occurred more than two weeks earlier.The country of more than 120 million people has now recorded 11,729 deaths — the second-highest toll in Latin America, after Brazil — and 101,238 cases, the office said.Despite the rapid rise in cases, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government began gradually reopening the economy this week, in what he called a transition to “the new normal.”The Pan American Health Organization warned Tuesday of a possible jump in infections in Latin America after some countries, including Mexico, started relaxing stay-at-home measures. He has gone through two health ministers since the pandemic began, firing one and reportedly falling out with the other over his insistence on recommending hydroxychloroquine despite a lack of scientific consensus on its safety and effectiveness against COVID-19.The former number two under ousted health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, Joao Gabbardo, told AFP that Brazil was now facing a complex scenario with different trajectories of infection in different regions.”We have several curves,” Gabbardo said, adding Brazil could face a similar situation to Italy, “which had a large number of deaths in the north and not in the south.”Brazil has been hardest hit so far in the southeast — the business and industrial corridor that includes Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro — the impoverished northeast, and the north, including the Amazon region with its vulnerable indigenous population.The impact has been felt less in the south of the country so far.However, Gabbardo warned that if the coronavirus starts to spread rapidly in the south, which is about to hit cold winter temperatures and peak season for respiratory infections, “there could be very high pressure on the health system.” Topics :last_img read more

Arsene Wenger fires transfer warning at Manchester United

first_imgUnited look set to finish outside the top four (Picture: AFP)‘They’ve spent a lot of money but still they have a big job to do,’ Wenger told BeIN Sports.‘What will be interesting in the summer for me is that you have many big clubs who are out to buy players. I think there will be more money than good players on the market.‘So it will not be easy to get it right because you have Real Madrid out there, Bayern Munich out there, Paris Saint-Germain out there, Man United out there, then Arsenal and Chelsea out there on the market’.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsFew could have envisaged the extent of Manchester United’s decline when Sir Alex Ferguson stood down in 2013.Wenger is probably best placed to speak on such a monumental change and the Frenchman says the club’s current state is not just down to Ferguson’s retirement.‘I would say it is because of three main factors, he was a huge personality, Alex Ferguson in the game, and his importance at the club, his quality was dominance. After that, when he stopped I believe it was the end of a generation,’ said Wenger.‘For me the end of the generation was coinciding with Ryan Giggs, an exceptional player who came to an end, and the second thing is the recruitment policy was not successful.‘The older generation was a famous period of United, so they lost the quality and the spirit because all these players were ready to die for Manchester United, plus the players they bought have not all been successful.‘All these three things together show that it’s not easy to keep continued success, it’s going in cycles up and down.’MORE: Gary Neville critical of Manchester United’s handling of Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford Advertisement Comment Arsene Wenger fires transfer warning at Manchester United Metro Sport ReporterSunday 28 Apr 2019 11:25 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link548Shares Arsene Wenger has a warning for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Picture: BeIn Sports)Arsene Wenger has warned Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he faces a mammoth task to get the club back on track.United’s hopes of finishing in the top four are hanging by a thread after they failed to capitalise on defeats above them with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Old Trafford.The draw means United have won just two of their last ten matches and there’s likely to be a mass exodus at the club this summer with the likes of Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo all likely to depart.AdvertisementAdvertisementHowever, attracting players to the club without the lure of Champions League football will make things even more difficult and Wenger has warned Solskjaer he’s already flagging behind Europe’s elite.ADVERTISEMENT Advertisementlast_img read more

Governor Wolf Praises Senate Action to Combat Hazing

first_img Press Release,  Public Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today praised a bipartisan, unanimous vote in the Pennsylvania Senate in favor of Senator Jake Corman’s Pennsylvania Timothy J. Piazza Law to combat hazing.“I thank Senator Corman and bipartisan members of the Senate for advancing this important bill to combat hazing and help prevent another tragedy,” Governor Wolf said. “We must give law enforcement the tools that they need to hold people accountable and we must ensure schools have proper safeguards to protect students and curb these practices. I urge the House to swiftly pass this bill and get it to my desk for my signature.”According to the sponsor, the proposed bill increases penalties for all of those involved in hazing; requires schools to have policies and reporting procedures in place to stop hazing; and informs students and parents of what is happening on campus. It also establishes clear-cut parameters on hazing for organizations such as fraternities and sororities. Governor Wolf Praises Senate Action to Combat Hazing April 18, 2018center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Gold Coast Plastacraft bosses used their skills to make the perfect polished plaster home

first_img3 Emu Court, Sorrento.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North7 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoMs Fazekas said the home was designed to have a contemporary style with the environment in mind. “It was an older home when we first moved in and there was only so much we could do to change it without completely rebuilding it,” she said. 3 Emu Court, Sorrento.“The house was orange and it needed love. I am a big fan of natural materials and using products that are environmentally friendly. “The materials have a lovely natural shine to it. Paint tends to break away and we wanted a design that would stand the test of time.” 3 Emu Court, Sorrento.The couple said the home had been a retreat for them.“It’s always relaxing having a morning coffee on the patio,” Ms Fazekas said. 3 Emu Court, Sorrento.THIS single-level Sorrento home is packed with impressive features including a pool, spa and wine cellar.Belinda Fazekas and Mark Dolbel own their own solid plastering business Plastacraft and have applied their expertise in surface finishes to their family home. center_img 3 Emu Court, Sorrento.Designed with a resort-style in mind, the 792sq m home at 3 Emu Court was renovated with a mix of natural materials and polished plasters. “We’ve done the house in natural finishes,” Ms Fazekas said. “The exterior has had a sand coat finish and inside are polished plasters.” 3 Emu Court, Sorrento.“The house is really well spaced out too, so even though it’s one level it still has a lot of features.”last_img read more

Global energy demand stumbles for third year -BP

first_imgFor illustration only (Image BP)By Ron BoussoLONDON (Reuters) – Global energy demand continued its sluggish growth last year as China’s growth fell to its lowest in nearly 20 years while renewables flourished, BP <BP.L> said in a report on Tuesday.Slower demand growth helped stall the acceleration of greenhouse gases emissions for a third year to levels not seen since the 1980s, although emissions remained well above targets set out by nations in Paris in 2015 to fight climate change, BP said.Global energy demand grew by 1 percent in 2016, a rate similar to those seen in the previous two years but well below the 10-year average rate of 1.8 percent, BP said in its benchmark Statistical Review of World Energy.“This is a third year where we’ve seen weak growth in world energy demand… The new normal is that all of this growth is coming from developing economies,” particularly China and India, BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale told reporters.China’s growth during 2015 and 2016, 1.2 and 1.3 percent respectively, although still the strongest in the world, marked its lowest over a two-year period since 1997-98.While the slowing energy demand growth was a result of sluggish global economic activity, it also stemmed from more efficient of engines and factories, he said.Among fossil fuels, oil consumption grew at the fastest annual rate at 1.6 percent last year as low crude prices boosted consumption.Oil production grew by half a percent, or 400,000 barrels per day, the lowest gain since 2009, as energy companies slashed spending.U.S. shale, or tight, oil production fell dramatically last year but has rebounded strongly in recent months as oil prices have risen, a factor that the market should get used to, Dale said.“U.S. tight oil is like a Weeble: It falls off but then it bounces back up again,” Dale said. “Any sense of trying to kill tight oil makes no sense.”As oil demand growth continues to outstrip production growth, global oil stocks which have plagued the market since 2014 will start falling “more materially” in the second half of this year, Dale said.Gas saw similar growth to oil.Cheaper and abundant gas supplies in the United States and China’s drive to switch to cleaner feedstock for its power plants led to a 1.7 percent drop in demand for coal, the most pollutant fossil fuel.Coal’s share in the energy mix declined to its lowest since 2004 at around 28 percent. Production saw its largest ever annual drop at 6.2 percent, BP said.“It feels to me like we are seeing a decisive break in coal relative to the past,” Dale said.RENEWABLES SURGERenewables such as solar and wind power were the fastest growing source of energy, rising by 12 percent and accounting for a third of the overall growth in demand.Still, renewables provide only 4 percent of the world’s primary energy as China overtook the United States for the first time as the largest producer of renewable power.The slowing growth in energy demand, the shift to cleaner fuels and higher energy efficiency meant that carbon emissions grew by 0.1 percent last year, similar to the previous two years, making it the lowest three-year average for emissions growth since 1981-83.“While welcome, it is not yet clear how much of this break from the past is structural and will persist. We need to keep up our focus and efforts on reducing carbon emissions,” BP CEO Bob Dudley said.(Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by Jason Neely)last_img read more

South Korea’s Mar LNG imports rise YoY

first_imgLNG World News Staff Image courtesy of KogasLiquefied natural gas (LNG) imports into South Korea rose 22.5 percent in March year-on-year, according to the customs data.The country received 4.30 million tonnes of LNG last month, as compared to 3.51 million tonnes in the corresponding month the year before.Qatar, the world’s largest LNG exporter, Qatar, remained the dominant source of South Korean imports with 1.24 million mt of the chilled fuel imported from Qatar in March. These volumes rose by 0.35 million tonnes as compared to last year.LNG deliveries from Australia were slightly down to total 0.72 million tonnes while imports from the US rose 0.46 million tonnes from last year to total 0.53 million tonnes.The rest of South Korea’s LNG deliveries in March were sourced from Oman, Malaysia, Indonesia, Netherlands, Brunei, Russia, France, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Spain, Angola, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.South Korea’s average LNG price in March was at $9.38 per MMBtu, the data shows.In the January-March period, South Korea received 12.99 million tonnes of LNG. This compares to 11.38 million tonnes in the same period the year before.last_img read more

CORONAVIRUS FEARS: Palace urges Filipinos to be calm, don’t discriminate

first_imgDiscrimination against Chinese touristshas been reported in several countries as well as in the Philippines, amidpublic fears of acquiring the deadly infectious disease. Students wearing protective masks during a school activity in Manila. AP “We should not let fear turn us againstone another, especially if these fears are unfounded. We must not stigmatizepeople, especially when they are at their most vulnerable, but empathize withthem instead,” he added. Andanar ensured that the Dutertegovernment is already coordinating with other countries and their governmenthealth agencies, as well as with international health organizations to containthe 2019-nCoV. Andanar also guaranteed that there is a“concerted effort” from government agencies to implement necessaryprecautionary measures to prevent the spread of China’s novel coronavirus to manyparts of the Philippines. Presidential Communications OperationsOffice Secretary Martin Andanar appealed to the public to stay “calm,level-headed, and compassionate,” assuring them that there have already beenglobal efforts to stop the 2019-nCoV epidemic. The new strain of the virus, whichoriginated in Wuhan City, China, has spread to over a dozen countries, many ofwhich are Southeast Asian nations. The death toll from the 2019-nCoV outbreakin China has already climbed to 259. “As the issue of a viral outbreakaffects everyone, let us not engage in discriminatory behavior, nor act withany bias towards our fellowmen. The reality is everyone is susceptible to thevirus,” Andanar said in a statement. MANILA – A Malacañang official has urgedFilipinos to avoid actions that may discriminate people suspected of beinginfected by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) acute respiratorydisease. “Preventing the outbreak of the2019-nCoV is not something we can do alone,” he said. “Let us not resort topanic, sow fear-mongering or spread misinformation. Solidarity, empathy, andcooperation are what we need to successfully take actions that will overcomethis health concern.” “With the first case of 2019-nCoVconfirmed yesterday and the World Health Organization having declared the virusas a public health emergency of international concern, we have intensified ourpreventive and control measures. It is a concerted effort being taken by ourdifferent agencies, to ensure that an outbreak is avoided,” he said./PNlast_img read more