Snow Basketball Roundup: 3/17

first_img Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailMen’s BasketballSWACLAS VEGAS-Matt Norman posted 23 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds as the Snow Badgers bested Southern Nevada 93-86 in SWAC men’s basketball action Wednesday. Ross Reeves added 21 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for the Badgers, who shot 52 percent. Snow improved to 13-6 and 8-4 in SWAC play. John Jenkins Jr. netted 21 points and 9 rebounds on 6-9 from the field for the Coyotes. Southern Nevada fell to 2-10 in SWAC play with the loss. The Badgers return to action Saturday at the Activity Center to host SLCC.Women’s BasketballSWACLAS VEGAS-Kennedy Eskelson led the way with 13 points and 6 rebounds while the Snow Badgers waxed Southern Nevada 66-57 Wednesday in SWAC women’s basketball action. The Badgers improved to 14-4 and 9-3 in SWAC play with the victory. Gisselle Gonzales netted 15 points for the Coyotes in defeat. The Coyotes fell to 0-12 in the loss. Snow’s season continues Saturday at the Activity Center as they host SLCC. Brad Jamescenter_img March 18, 2021 /Sports News – Local Snow Basketball Roundup: 3/17last_img read more

Horizon announces initial closing of acquisition in Poland

first_img Image: Horizon has completed the acquisition of two of the five concessions. Photo: courtesy of rawpixel from Pixabay. Horizon Petroleum announced that following its recent qualification with the Polish Government to conduct oil and natural gas activities, it has completed the acquisition (the “Acquistion”) of two of the five concessions to be acquired, as previously announced, from subsidiaries of San Leon Energy plc (San Leon). Most importantly, the Bielsko-Biala concession, containing the Lachowice natural gas discovery, is one of the concessions acquired. The acquisition of the other three concessions, under similar but separate transactions, are expected to close within 60 days. The closing of the Acquisition shows Horizon continues to make progress on it’s business plan of developing a natural gas production company focused on opportunities in Europe.Highlights of the AcquisitionThe Acquisition consists of operated concessions (100% working interest) containing a number of undeveloped natural gas discoveries in proven basins. The Lachowice discovery in the Bielsko-Biala concession is the most advanced of these discoveries and has the following attributes:Probable Undeveloped Reserves (2P) of 36 Billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) (6.0 million barrels of oil equivalent, (MMBoe)) valued at US$98 million Net Present Value discounted at 10% before taxes (NPV10 BTAX)Risked Best Estimate Contingent Resources (2C) of 171 Bcfe (28.5 MMBoe) valued at US$398 million (NPV10 BTAX)Unrisked Best Estimate Contingent Resources (2C) of 249 Bcfe (41.4 MMBoe)Risked Best Estimate Prospective Resources of 123 Bcfe (20.6 MMBoe)Unrisked Best Estimate Prospective Resources of 487 Bcfe (81.2 MMBoe)An anticipated phased development plan, consisting of a new vertical well expected to be drilled in Q2 2020, targeting facility-constrained natural gas sales of 3.0 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) by early 2021Two horizontal or highly deviated wells expected to be drilled in Q4 2021, targeting an increase in production to 17.5 MMcfe/d by Q1 2022Drilling to continue, targeting production increases to over 30 MMcfe/d thereafterDeal TermsThe terms agreed and previously announced by Horizon and San Leon were for Horizon to pay San Leon consideration at closing of US$900,000 in cash (net) (the “Cash Consideration”), C$1,000,000 in Horizon shares (the “Share Consideration” and collectively with the Cash Consideration, the “Consideration”), and a 6% Net Profits Interest (“NPI”), plus closing cost adjustments. Horizon and San Leon originally agreed that San Leon would transform the concessions to new concession agreements prior to closing. However, due to delays in this process, Horizon has agreed to take responsibility for the completion of the transformation of the concessions, and in exchange, the parties have agreed that payment of the Consideration will be made contingent upon the transformation of the Biesko-Biala concession. The transformation of the concessions involve the conversion of the Bielsko-Biala and Cieszyn concessions to the new Polish concession structure and the completion of the award of the three remaining concessions to Horizon. These transformations are expected to occur by the end of 2019 or early 2020. In the event that the transformation of the Bielsko-Biala concession is not completed, Horizon will not pay the Consideration to San Leon. Payment of the Consideration is subject to a number of additional conditions, including the transformation of the concessions, final approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, Horizon’s ability to raise sufficient funds to pay the Cash Consideration and the potential need for shareholder approval for issuance of the Share Consideration.Lachowice Development PlanHorizon is currently in the process of finalizing its development plan for the Lachowice natural gas discovery. It is currently anticipated that the development plan would begin with a new vertical well offsetting the Lachowice-7 location. Due to delays in the qualification process for Horizon taking operatorship of the concessions and the concession transformation process with the Polish government, Horizon is now targeting to drill and test the well in Q2 2020, with first production to occur by Q1 2021, with natural gas sales initially facility-constrained at approximately 3.0 MMcfe/d. The wells will produce natural gas under primary drive via the natural fractures and the matrix porosity within the reservoir. The project is considered pre-development and is expected to cost approximately US$7.5 million to first production. In previous disclosure, Horizon stated it was targeting first production from the Lachowice field by the second half of 2019. Horizon’s ability to achieve its revised target of Q1 2021 depends on its ability to raise additional capital to pay the Cash Consideration and the entering into of a joint venture agreement, as more particularly described below, or to obtain other satisfactory funding.A new horizontal or highly deviated well and a horizontal or highly deviated re-entry of the new vertical well (targeting >300 m natural gas column) would then be drilled commencing in Q4 2021, targeting an increase in production to 17.5 MMcfe/d at a new processing facility expected to be operational in Q1 2022. Drilling would continue targeting production increases to over 30 MMcfe/d thereafter. Operating netbacks are expected to be approximately US$6.80 per thousand cubic feet (Mcfe), based on current pricing, see Non-GAAP measures at the end of this Press Release. Timing of the development is subject to receipt of all regulatory approvals.Horizon continues to work towards closing the joint venture contemplated by the letter of intent (“LOI”) with a private European entity (the “Farmee”) as previously announced on August 18, 2018. Under the terms of the LOI, the Farmee has agreed to fund 100% of the capital expenditures required to bring the Lachowice field to first production, with Horizon continuing as operator. In return, the Farmee will receive 50% of the equity in the Horizon subsidiary that will hold the Bielsko-Biala Concession. Horizon and the Farmee will agree on the drilling and development program to bring the Lachowice field on production. The LOI is subject to a number of conditions, including a financing condition, as outlined in Horizon’s August 18, 2018 press release. Should the Farmee not be able to raise necessary funds for development, Horizon will consider other partners for the development, and/or proceed on a 100% working interest basis.Horizon does not currently have the funds committed to achieve its development plans as described in this Press Release.CorporateHorizon is currently examining options for improving the Company’s trading liquidity, access to new equity capital in Europe and its profile alongside its international E&P peers. As part of these deliberations, Horizon may consider listing on another exchange, such as the London Stock Exchange. In the event the Company decides to undertake an additional listing, it expects to execute a plan within the next 6-12 months.Source: Company Press Release The Bielsko-Biala concession, containing the Lachowice natural gas discovery, is one of the concessions acquiredlast_img read more

Comet Ridge’s Mahalo gas project granted petroleum leases in Australia

first_img Comet Ridge owns 40% stake in Mahalo project. (Credit: skeeze from Pixabay) Comet Ridge has been granted two petroleum leases, Petroleum Leases (PLs) 1082 (Humboldt) and 1083 (Mahalo), at its Mahalo gas project in the Denison Trough by the state government of Queensland in Australia.Issued for 30 years term, the PLs 1082 and 1083 are located in the northern part of exploration permit ATP 1191.Comet Ridge said that the petroleum lease awards represent the final regulatory approval required for the project to move towards production.The project already secured the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act approval as well as approval by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.Mahalo gas project set to move into production phaseComet Ridge chairman James McKay said that the company and its partners have conducted exploration, appraisal and development planning activities for many years to prove Mahalo as a valuable developmentready gas project.McKay added: “The Mahalo Gas Project is well positioned to deliver meaningful gas production into the domestic and export market as part of an emerging greater Mahalo fairway.“The streamlined approval process shows it has the support of the Queensland government and we look forward to working with our joint venture partners in progressing Mahalo towards a Final Investment Decision.”The Mahalo project is 40% owned by Comet Ridge while other partners include Santos with 30% share and Australian Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas (APLNG) holding the remaining 30% interest.Comet Ridge is also continuing it work at Mahalo North project including seismic interpretation to optimise drilling locations and make it development ready. It is planned to be tied into either the Mahalo Gas Project or other nearby gas processing and pipeline facilities. The petroleum lease awards represent the final regulatory approval required for the project to move towards productionlast_img read more

Blighted Gas Stations at O.C.’s Gateway May Be Redeveloped

first_imgThe former Exxon station at the corner of Ninth Street and Bay Avenue is expected to become a new home for Keller Williams Real Estate.An image-conscious town that bills itself as “America’s Greatest Family Resort” has had to deal with the specter of three abandoned gas stations marring the appearance of its main entryway.But plans are unfolding in Ocean City for one of these ghostly hulks at the foot of the Ninth Street Bridge to be redeveloped into a multimillion-dollar real estate office for Keller Williams.Moreover, the city is exploring the possibility of acquiring and demolishing the two other old gas stations as part of Mayor Jay Gillian’s five-year capital plan, which was unveiled last week.Gillian has proposed using $1.5 million for various property acquisitions this year within the $98.5 million capital program.Abandoned Getty and BP stations sit at the foot of the Ninth Street Bridge.Not wanting to tip its hand in negotiations with property owners, the city has not yet divulged how much of the $1.5 million it would be willing to spend to buy the gas stations. But city officials are making no secret of their desire to get rid of the blight.“That’s part of the mayor’s concern and why we may look to acquire them,” said Frank Donato, the city’s finance director. “It doesn’t seem like they will ever reopen as gas stations.”The mayor and other city officials are worried about the impression the rotting buildings are making on tourists. An old Exxon station at the corner of Ninth Street and Bay Avenue is one of the first things visitors see as they enter town. As visitors leave the city, they are confronted by empty Getty and BP stations on the other side of Ninth and Bay.“It’s a shame to have that blight when you enter the city through our main artery,” Donato said.Councilman Michael DeVlieger, who would like to see the gas stations demolished and turned into landscaped parks, said they look “like heck.”“To watch something decay at the entrance of the city is ridiculous,” DeVlieger said.As a first step, DeVlieger wants the property owners to remove the old underground gasoline storage tanks to lessen the threat of environmental contamination.DeVlieger questioned Gillian about the old gas stations when the mayor presented his capital plan to City Council on Jan. 19. Gillian responded that he too wants to see the sites cleaned up. The mayor also said that talks continue between the city and the property owners.Council approved an ordinance last June that gives the city more power to acquire abandoned properties considered a nuisance. It grants the city the right to take control of abandoned sites, borrow money for their renovation or rehabilitation and then recoup those costs through property liens at the time of sale, said City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson.The old gas stations “started the conversation” about having such an ordinance, McCrosson noted. However, she declined to say whether the city is currently negotiating with property owners to acquire the stations.As frustrating as the old stations have been for city officials, one of the properties finally appears headed for a full makeover. Eric Booth, sales agent for Keller Williams, said the real estate company has reached an agreement to buy the old Exxon site and expects to close the deal in February. He declined to disclose the price.Booth said Keller Williams plans to demolish the station and build a new office in its place to accommodate the company’s growing workforce. He estimated the project would be completed in about a year, giving Keller Williams an Ocean City hub in a prominent location.“The city should be very happy with a new, multimillion-dollar office building,” Booth said.In the meantime, the old Exxon station and its crumbling Getty and BP counterparts across the street, remain standing.“It’s our entrance, it’s our gateway. It’s our obligation to make it as beautiful as possible,” DeVlieger said of the need for a facelift.Showing its age, the former Getty site includes a rusty sign that displays the gas prices when the station was still in business. Compared to today’s low gas prices, caused by the plunging global cost of crude oil, the charges on the Getty sign seem almost comical. Getty’s prices were $2.73 per gallon for regular gas, $3.29 for plus grade and $3.39 for premium.last_img read more

No Debate Between Ocean City Mayoral Candidates

first_imgBy Donald WittkowskiMayor Jay Gillian has declined an invitation to debate his election opponent John Flood, citing lawsuits Flood and his son have filed against Ocean City.Flood responded that Gillian “seems awfully shy to talk or answer questions” about his record in office and is using the litigation as an excuse to avoid the debate.The government watchdog group Fairness in Taxes invited both candidates to a 90-minute debate on Friday night at the Ocean City Free Public Library. The League of Women Voters was scheduled to moderate, but withdrew because there would only be one candidate and it would not constitute a real debate.Gillian said he had to decline the invitation based on the advice of his legal counsel about two suits that Flood and his son, Justin, have filed against the city related to housing projects they want to build.“I’d like to thank both Fairness In Taxes and the League of Women Voters for offering to sponsor a mayoral debate. However, because my opponent is involved in two lawsuits against the city, legal counsel has advised me not to participate in the upcoming debate in order to avoid prejudicing the city in the pending litigation. I intend to heed that advice and must respectfully decline the invitation,” Gillian said in a statement.Flood expressed disappointment with Gillian’s decision, saying that “I know our residents will be disappointed too.”“Four years ago, when Jay ran for his first re-election, he declined that debate invitation as well. The mayor wants to run on his record but seems awfully shy to talk or answer questions about it to the public,” Flood said in a statement.John Flood says he is disappointed with the mayor’s decision not to debate him.Gillian, who won election in 2010 and 2014, said he has established an open-door policy with voters during his time in office.“I am confident that the voters are aware of my record, particularly in light of my practice of conducting open town hall meetings over the past eight years,” the mayor said. “As always, any voter who has questions is welcome to contact me for information.”With only two weeks to go before the May 8 municipal election, Flood said he fears voters will never have a chance to see the two candidates square off in a face-to-face debate.“What better way for the community to make a decision than to see them face-to-face giving their views of how the city has been run in the past, present and most importantly their vision for the future? I hope the mayor changes his mind and has the courage to show up as the community deserves nothing less.” Flood said.Flood added that he would be willing not to discuss the lawsuits if that’s what it would take to persuade Gillian to debate him. Despite the mayor’s absence, Flood said he still plans to show up 7 p.m. Friday at the library at the Fairness In Taxes forum to answer questions from the public.Flood said his litigation against the city has nothing to do with his campaign for mayor. His development company, Palmer Center LLC, filed suit after City Council voted in 2016 to revoke a controversial type of housing that has polarized the community and ignited complaints from surrounding neighborhoods.The zoning ordinance approved then by Council eliminated so-called “coastal cottages” from a redevelopment area where they were supposed to be clustered in the center of town along Haven Avenue.Flood has proposed building 10 coastal cottages on property he owns on 16th Street and Haven Avenue.The coastal cottage concept was originally approved by Council in 2013 as a way to create smaller, affordable homes that would attract more year-round residents, particularly younger families, to Ocean City.However, the lone coastal cottage project that was built on Haven Avenue was shadowed by complaints that it exacerbated flooding, parking and overcrowding problems in surrounding neighborhoods. In response to those complaints, Council voted to revoke coastal cottages from the Haven Avenue development corridor.Flood’s suit seeks a court order overturning the Council vote, according to City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson.Justin Flood, John Flood’s son, has also filed a lawsuit against the city over a housing project he plans to build.Meanwhile, Flood’s son, Justin, is suing the city over a 110-unit, multifamily development he has proposed on Eighth Street near the Boardwalk. Related to Justin Flood’s project on Eighth Street is his offer to build affordable housing on 16th Street, McCrosson said.McCrosson said the proposed site for Justin Flood’s affordable housing project is owned by John Flood, which links the mayoral candidate to the second lawsuit filed against Ocean City.The city has filed for a declaratory judgment in Superior Court asking for confirmation of its proposed plan to meet its state-mandated affordable housing obligations. However, Justin Flood has filed a motion to intervene in the city’s request for declaratory judgment because of his plans to build affordable housing on 16th Street.McCrosson said Justin Flood, through his company Flood Development LLC, has offered to develop affordable housing on 16th Street in exchange for approvals for his 110-unit project on Eighth Street at market prices. She said the number of affordable housing units he has proposed would equate to 15 percent of his larger project.last_img read more

In Brief

first_img– Colin the caterpillar and other party cakes are among six products being recalled by Marks & Spencer over fears that they could cause choking. The retailer is asking customers to return the cakes after coloured plastic strands from a sieve, used for processing, were found in some lines.- CAR company Peugeot has signed a £500,000 deal to supply a fleet of 400 of its 307 and 407 cars to Allied Bakeries’ managers.last_img

Speech: Strengthening collaboration and operational co-operation with Western Balkans Customs Administrations

first_imgHigh-Level Informal Regional Meeting of General Directors of Customs Administration of the Western Balkans SixThe British Government has been committed to working with Customs Administrations across the region for several years with a particular focus on tackling the common threat posed by serious organised crime. The British Government values the collaboration and co-operation our HMRC officers share with you and your staff on a daily basis.The 2018 Western Balkans London Summit has provided an important opportunity to recognise these relationships, and to further strengthen these links. It’s a great pleasure to welcome you all to the third High-Level Informal Regional Meeting of General Directors of Customs Administration of the Western Balkans Six, and the first to be held in Montenegro.The British Government thanks all six of the Western Balkans Customs Administrations for supporting and participating in this format which has evolved to encourage closer working between the Customs Administrations in order to assist greater facilitation of trade in the region. In particular I’d like to recognise the support of our hosts, Director General Joković and his team.I’m conscious that we are meeting three days after International Customs Day on 26 January, which recognizes the contribution and achievements of customs officers around the world, including colleagues working at borders and ensuring connectivity, often in difficult conditions, and is an opportunity to consolidate and enhance co-operation amongst Customs Administrations. This event is a great example of the sort of co-operation which International Customs Day seeks to highlight.As we celebrate the work that customs officers do to facilitate security and inter-connectivity, it is important to remember that the inter-connected nature of the modern world is itself an excellent enabler for today’s criminal networks. The UK is a strong supporter of the Joint Declaration on the Principles of Information Sharing. We recognise that in itself it does not provide all the answers, however it is an important commitment from the Western Balkans and provides a good framework for further co-operation and information and intelligence sharing. the British Government will double the number of British diplomats working on shared security issues in the region, including the deployment of further HMRC officers funding for customs-related activity in the Western Balkans will increase to over €1 million in the coming financial year, and HMRC will continue to support this initiative in the most effective ways possible the UK will also work with all relevant stakeholders to implement the Joint Declaration on the Principles of Information Sharing, which was signed by the Ministers of Interior and Security from across the region after the London Summit Podgorica hosted the first Berlin Process Security Commitments Steering Group in November 2018. The Steering Group recognised the work of this Customs Group and it was agreed that the Customs platform should be used as a template for further future exchanges, and to form an illicit finances group to look at improved sharing of spontaneous information / intelligencecenter_img There will no doubt be issues of policy and legislation that may have to be reviewed back at our respective capitals. This should not deter you, indeed it they may create fresh opportunities for providing dialogue between policy and operational staff. There is a duty upon those responsible for either operations or policy, to ensure that we work together to the best of our abilities to arm front-line officers, intelligence and investigation staff with timely data, information and intelligence, enabling them to best utilise our resources and inform operational decision making.Since your first meeting in June 2018 in Tirana, good progress has been made after you mandated your Operational Assistant Directors to discuss ways of for Customs Administrations in the region to better share spontaneous information and intelligence to help combat customs fraud. The recommendations your Assistant Directors agreed in Veles in October 2018, will be presented to you today for discussion.I wish you every success with your discussions and look forward to hearing the results. Thank you.last_img read more

Umphrey’s McGee Shares ‘Back At The ‘Nac’ Live Album, Joel Cummins Announces Rare Solo Show

first_imgToday, Umphrey’s McGee released a band curated “best of” album, Back At The ‘Nac, compiled of material from the band’s recent four-night New Year’s run at Atlanta, GA’s Tabernacle.Umphrey’s McGee notes that, “‘Back At The ‘Nac’ is a band curated ‘best of’ album recorded over 4 nights of the 2018 New Year’s Eve run at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA. BATN is over 3 1/2 hours of music featuring Antwaun Stanley, Jeff Coffin, and Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret Horns.”Back At The ‘Nac features noteworthy, exploratory renditions of “2×2”, “Blue Echo”, “Higgins”, “Slacker”, and “All In Time”, as well as many other choice cuts from the band’s recent jaunt in Atlanta.The album is available here for download, and can be streamed via and UMLive respectively.In other Umphrey’s McGee related news, keyboardist Joel Cummins announced a rare solo show, set to take place on Sunday, February 24th at Chicago, IL’s Tonic Room. Cummins solo performance will feature special guest Jason Kearney.For more information and tickets, head to the event page here.last_img read more

An inside view from Powell, complete with regrets

first_imgIn a visit to Harvard Law School, retired four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell shared lessons from his service as a close adviser to three presidents, tips on negotiating with difficult foreign leaders, and his thoughts on strengthening support for families and children in the United States.Powell on Friday took part in the American Secretaries of State Program developed jointly by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Business School. Law School Dean Martha Minow introduced the afternoon session, which was moderated by HLS Professor Robert H. Mnookin, HBS Professor James Sebenius, and HKS Professor Nicholas Burns.Powell served as national security adviser to Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989. From 1989 through 1993 he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, first for President George H.W. Bush, and then for President Bill Clinton. He was President George W. Bush’s secretary of state from 2001 to 2005.During the two-hour discussion Powell expanded on some of his 13 rules for great leadership, maxims such as “It can be done” and “It ain’t as bad as it looks, it will look better in the morning.” Sometimes, he confessed, it actually doesn’t look better in the morning. But the point is to stay positive. “You have to keep your team up.”Among the most personal of his rules: “Be kind, be calm.”“I have a horrible temper,” said Powell, who was born in Harlem to Jamaican immigrants, and grew up in the South Bronx.A cool head is crucial when negotiating, which Powell called an “intensely human experience.” Careful listening and respecting the views of others are equally important.“I found in negotiations, always get yourself partially on the side of the other person, understand what they need. Always show respect. … No country is unimportant, no person is unimportant, and I think that’s the way you go into a negotiation.”The moderators didn’t shy away from Powell’s most difficult chapter as secretary of state, pressing him about his role in making the case for the invasion of Iraq. On Feb. 5, 2003, Powell appeared before the United Nations Security Council with a clear message: Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and the potential to produce more. The United States had to act.Powell recalled that President Bush asked him on a Thursday to address the U.N. the following Tuesday. After reviewing an early draft of the intelligence-based presentation, he knew he needed more time.“It was awful,” Powell said. “It was badly done, and it was only years later that I discovered that it was not done by the National Security Council, it was done by the vice president’s office.”But the date was set, and Powell spent the next several days with his team and officials from the Central Intelligence Agency verifying the information. He told them: “Nothing goes in there that you can’t verify with multiple sources, nothing that’s wild that you can’t verify.”Not long after his U.N. appearance, the intelligence began to unravel.“By the summer, nothing was found, and evidence emerged that a lot of the information was incorrect.”Though Powell reminded listeners at HLS that 376 members of Congress had voted for the war months before his briefing — “based on that same intelligence estimate” — he admitted that his presentation was a mistake and said he wished he had trusted his instincts.“I regret it. I will always regret it. It was a terrible mistake on all our parts and on the intelligence community … I wish it had been different, I wish I had more time. Maybe if I had another week or two my instincts would have seen through this or been able to do double-checking, but I didn’t have more time. But I’m not looking for an excuse. I gave that presentation. I gave it believing that everything I had said had been double-sourced, triple-sourced, and was accurate, but it was not.”Powell touched on U.S.-China relations, describing his efforts to secure the release of 24 servicemen after their surveillance plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet in 2001 off the coast of China.After hammering out a deal, Powell received another missive from Chinese officials negating everything to which the United States had agreed. It was a pivotal moment, he said, and underscored an important negotiating rule: High-level talks often involve myriad stakeholders, and occasionally, you have to ignore some of them.Powell realized a branch of the Chinese government had sent the second letter out of “bureaucratic necessity. [They] had to be on record demanding something else, and we just simply pretended we never got it, and we accepted the deal we liked.”Those talks also led to phone calls at home. In an effort to foster better ties, Powell had offered up his home phone number and urged his Chinese counterparts to call any time. And they did.“They tested it every now and again,” sometimes with humorous results, Powell said, such as when the Chinese foreign minister rang him on a Saturday morning only to be interrupted by Powell’s two Yorkshire terriers barking at the FedEx deliveryman.In addressing tensions with Russia, Powell encouraged current U.S. negotiators to remember that the world’s largest nation has long been wary of foreign encroachment, and to consider a more diplomatic approach when dealing with President Vladimir Putin.“I’ve got no illusions about this guy, trust me; I know him, KGB through and through,” said Powell. “What he is doing now is terrible. But at the same time, I know you will never be able to deal with him effectively if you try to demonize him all the time.”Shifting from his experience as a military leader and statesman, Powell described his work with youth as “the passion of my life.” He founded America’s Promise, a foundation dedicated to providing young people with the resources they need to succeed, in 1997. The organization has built partnerships with more than 380 organizations, including businesses and nonprofits.“I want young people to have the same kind of structure in their lives that I had in mine,” said Powell who praised the public school system for his education, and credited his mother and father with giving him a supportive home and high expectations.“We didn’t come to this country on banana boats so you could stick something in your nose or drop out of something,” he was told by his parents, Powell recalled. “Don’t ever even think about it. Because if you ever come home and tell us you dropped out of high school, we are going to get rid of you and get some other kid.”last_img read more

Shumlin announces approval of federal farm disaster assistance for every county

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin announced today that the US Department of Agriculture has approved the administration’s request for natural disaster declaration assistance for farmers in all 14 counties in Vermont (Lamoille, Washington and Windham were named as contiguous disaster areas) to help with damage costs from storms and heavy rainfall that began in April. ‘I appreciate Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approving this request, and hope farmers who lost crops and equipment in the spring and summer storms will move quickly to seek emergency loan assistance from the Farm Service Agency,’ the Governor said. The Governor also thanked Vermont’s congressional delegation ‘ Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Peter Welch ‘ who helped secure storm-related federal assistance for farmers and communities from the spring storms and Tropical Storm Irene. The spring flooding forced many farmers to delay planting, and early season crops were flooded.  Eligible farmers can apply for two types of assistance. First, farmers have eight months to apply for the federal loans through the Farm Service Agency, which will be available immediately with an interest rate of below four percent. The loans can be used to restore or replace essential property, pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year, pay essential family living expenses, reorganize the farming operation; and refinance certain debts. Second, the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program will provide assistance in 2012 to farmers who meet certain loss qualifications (a 10 percent production loss affecting one crop of economic significance due to a disaster on a farm in 2011 in a disaster county).  There are other requirements to qualify, and sign-up dates have not been announced yet. Farmers should contact the USDA Farm Services Agency for both emergency loans and supplemental revenue assistance. ‘This is wonderful news about the declaration ‘ it’s another piece of the puzzle to help Vermont farmers comes back stronger than ever,’ said Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross, who spent the day touring the state with Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ‘It’s great to be with Deputy Secretary Merrigan, who knows Vermont well from her time with Sen. Patrick Leahy and is now visiting our state,’ he added. The declaration reflects damage that began during heavy rain on April 1. Eleven counties were deemed natural disaster areas, with three others also eligible for aid as contiguous disaster areas. Governor’s office. 9.26.2011last_img read more