‘Funny’ Water

first_imgUniversity of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents, like Adam Speir in Madison County, Georgia, often get calls from homeowners who are concerned about the quality of their well water. Water from municipal sources is routinely monitored for safety, but water from private wells isn’t monitored unless homeowners take steps to ensure that it’s safe.“Most often, clients will describe their water as ‘funny.’ Either the water smells funny, maybe it has a funny color or it might even be that there is something funny floating in the water,” Speir said.These are serious concerns. UGA Extension provides answers through water testing by the UGA Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratories (AESL), which offers over 30 different water tests.The most common well-water complaints involve high mineral content, bacteria contamination and “rotten egg” smells,” Speir said.Proof of high mineral content may show up in bathroom fixtures that become stained orange, green, red, gray or black. Homeowners may also notice a metallic taste or smell. The minerals typically found in high concentrations are iron, manganese and magnesium. “This is a common issue for several reasons, especially in deeper drilled wells. In Madison County, we sit on top of bedrock that is composed of many of these minerals. Our groundwater is often acidic, dissolving these minerals from the surrounding bedrock,” Speir said.Shallow, bored wells — those less than 50 or 60 feet deep — typically do not have these issues. These wells don’t have access to water in deeper bedrock, where the water has dissolved these minerals. Several options are available for treatment: water softeners, oxidation or aeration pumps, chlorinators and greensand filters.Bacteria are common in nature, and it’s fairly common in groundwater and can cause contamination. Most bacteria are harmless to human health, but some are capable of causing human disease. The AESL Soil, Plant and Water Laboratory tests for two indicator bacteria, total coliforms and E. coli. Bacteria contamination is most commonly seen in shallow, bored wells. The presence of coliform bacteria indicates the intrusion of surface water, organic material from the surface, cracks or failures in wellhead protection, or failures in the well casing that allow surface water intrusion. The presence of E. coli indicates contamination by human or animal feces from sewer or septic systems, wildlife or livestock. The risk of human illness is much greater with E. coli contamination than with total coliform. Maintaining good surface wellhead protection and the structural integrity of well casings is important to preserve water quality. “If bacteria are present, UGA Extension recommends disinfection through shock chlorination and boiling your water for a minimum of five minutes before using it for drinking or food preparation,” Speir said. “If you are installing a new well, make sure it’s not located close to septic drain fields or animal manure.”If well water smells like rotten eggs, the problem could be the result of hydrogen sulfide gas and could indicate bacteria contamination or organic matter in the water, he said. If the smell is only present in hot water, the magnesium corrosion rod in your hot water heater could be converting naturally occurring sulfates into hydrogen sulfide. “It’s difficult to do a lab test for hydrogen sulfide, but treatment options include a shock chlorination to help disinfect the well, replacing the hot water heater’s magnesium rod with an aluminum or zinc rod, or installing an appropriate water treatment system,” Speir said. Other well-water issues can be tracked back to high levels of nitrates from failed septic systems or nutrient runoff, lead and copper contamination as a result of metal pipes in older homes, or even pesticide contamination.  One single test can’t detect all the possible contaminants in well water. UGA Extension recommends the basic water chemistry test performed at the AESL. This test determines hardness, pH levels, and concentrations of 16 minerals and metals.If your well water hasn’t been tested in three or more years, start with a comprehensive water chemistry analysis. UGA recommends that well owners in Georgia’s Piedmont and Blue Ridge regions test annually for uranium, and well owners in the southern Coastal Plain region, below the fall line, should test for arsenic. Well water should be tested for safety if you experience flooding; suspect contamination; notice changes in color, odor or taste; or have problems with the well structure.For information on collecting and submitting well water for testing, contact your local UGA Extension office, visit aesl.ces.uga.edu, or call AESL at 706-542-7690.last_img read more

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Top U.S. Energy Regulator Resists Call to ‘Blow Up’ Electricity Markets With Coal, Nuclear Subsidies

first_imgTop U.S. Energy Regulator Resists Call to ‘Blow Up’ Electricity Markets With Coal, Nuclear Subsidies FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Hill:FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee, whose agency would be responsible for implementing Perry’s plan, told reporters Friday that he would not put in place a policy stemming from the proposal if it would “blow up” competitive electricity markets or not withstand court challenges.Chatterjee’s comments were the first time he has weighed in on Perry’s proposal from last month.Perry’s plan, officially made in the name of ensuring a resilient electric grid, has rocked the energy world amid charges that it would dramatically overhaul how electricity is sold. It would require that electric grid operators pay coal and nuclear plants for their costs and a fair rate of return if they have 90 days of fuel on-site.Chatterjee was cautious in commenting on the proposal, and did not fully commit to supporting or opposing any particular action.“I’m sympathetic to some of the things that Secretary Perry has raised,” Chatterjee said at FERC’s Washington headquarters.“This idea that there are perhaps attributes that certain generating sources have that have values that are not appropriately being captured by our existing market structure. We need to look at that carefully and examine that and make a determination on whether changes need to be made to continue to enhance the market structure that we have,” he continued.“I also believe strongly in markets,” he said. “We’ve invested nearly two decades and billions upon billions of dollars in our existing market structure, and I don’t want to do anything to disrupt that market structure. And I also want to ensure that whatever steps the commission takes withstand legal scrutiny and are legally viable.”Chatterjee, a Republican native of coal-heavy Kentucky who previously was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s top energy adviser, said that he’s confident FERC can write a regulation that helps the grid “in a legally defensible manner that doesn’t blow up markets.”But it may not look much like Perry’s original proposal.He went on to say that he isn’t even certain that there is a resilience problem with the electric grid that needs FERC action, but he’s committed to using FERC’s processes to figure that out.“Reliability is not an issue today,” he said. “We have to look at the long term. I think valuing resilience is an extension of reliability, and we have to look to the long term. We don’t know what the future’s going to hold.”More: Energy commission head ‘sympathetic’ to parts of proposal to prop up coal, nuclearlast_img read more

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US, Peru Boost Military Ties to Fight Terrorism, Drugs

first_img The United States and Peru are boosting their military ties as they work to step up joint counternarcotics and counterterrorism efforts, the country’s defense chiefs said on October 6. “The United States is part of the family of the Americas and we face some common challenges; we face the challenge of terrorism, of drug-trafficking,” U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said after meeting with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and his counterpart, Pedro Cateriano. Cateriano echoed Panetta’s remarks, adding that Lima and Washington, D.C. would update their bilateral defense cooperation accord dating back to 1952. “Our country will do whatever it can to work with our friends here in Peru to provide whatever assistance is necessary in order to make sure that Peru can provide better security and prosperity for this country and can help provide for the security and prosperity of this region,” Panetta said, saluting Lima as a “strategic partner”. Peru – where drug traffickers work jointly with Shining Path guerrillas – became the world’s prime producer of cocaine last year ahead of Colombia, according to estimates by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2012, Washington is devoting $84 million of aid to Peru, according to estimates by the Congressional Research Service, with $29 million going toward the fight against drug trafficking and $4.5 million for defense and counterterrorism efforts. The budget is expected to drop to $74 million next year. “The United States stands ready to work with Peru on joint planning, on information sharing, on trilateral cooperation with Colombia to address our shared security concerns,” Panetta said. In South America, Washington’s effort is not aimed at establishing permanent bases but rather “at working with countries to develop their capabilities so that they can provide for the security and prosperity of their own countries,” he added. A U.S. defense official who requested anonymity said Panetta also proposed integrating U.S. advisers into the Peruvian Defense Ministry. To date, only Afghanistan and Montenegro benefit from the new Ministry of Defense Advisers program, known as MoDA. By Dialogo October 10, 2012last_img read more

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Credit unions snap up business credit

first_imgBusiness lending at U.S. credit unions has skyrocketed during the past five years while the nation’s community banks have seen that lending line basically flatline, an SNL analysis found.Growth in credit union business loans from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2015 was 66.47% while commercial and savings banks of less than $5 billion in assets saw just 0.43% growth during that period. Year-over-year growth at Sept. 30, 2015, was 12.41% at credit unions but only 0.22% at community banks.Both newcomers and experienced do itMany credit unions that have traditionally done business lending continue to make it a core part of their strategy for 2016 and beyond. Meanwhile, some companies that have not offered those loans are now considering it, Pam Easley, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Extensia Financial LLC, which serves as a strategic adviser to credit unions on business lending, told SNL. continue reading » 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Why some financial brands win with millennials (and some don’t)

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In marketing, the concept of “relatability “— meaning, at the simplest level, being easy to understand and feel connected to — is more often used at the campaign level than at the brand level, where it can be harder to quantify. Nevertheless, if people can’t relate to a brand, it may never even be considered.This is a problem for banking brands, because “relatability” correlates directly with someone’s level of trust — a core factor influencing any financial relationship.According to a new research by BrandCap, consumers only find one in four banking brands relatable. Out of all the financial institutions studied, the top four were Marcus, Venmo, Finn, and JPMorgan Chase (the only traditional banking brand). Coming in last were HSBC, Navy Federal Credit Union, TD Bank, and Wells Fargo.On the surface it would seem that effective use of technology might be the primary differentiator between the high- and low-scoring institutions. But David Martin, U.S. Chairman of the BrandCap consultancy, sees it differently.last_img read more

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Cops: Northern State Crash Kills Teen, Injures 4

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A collision on the Northern State Parkway Friday night killed a Rosedale teenager and injured four others, State police said. Authorities said 17-year-old Justin McClyment was in the the front passenger seat of a BMW that slammed into a tree after colliding with another car just after 11 p.m. McClyment was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The crash occurred on the eastbound lanes between Exits 30 and 31, police said. The other car involved in the deadly crash, a Chevrolet Malibu, collided with the BMW, sending the Malibu off the roadway and crashing into the center median before flipping over and landing on its roof in the westbound lanes. The driver of the BMW also lost control and struck a tree on the right shoulder, police said. The driver and passenger in the Malibu suffered minor injuries and were transported to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset for treatment, police said. The driver and rear seat passenger in the BMW both suffered serious injuries and were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment, police said. None of the injured were identified. Police did not say what caused the crash. The investigation into the crash is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call State police in Farmingdale at 631-756-3300. All calls are confidential.last_img read more

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LIRR: Hicksville & Jamaica Hubs to Get Multi-Million Dollar Makeover

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island’s commuters can expect major modernization efforts at both the Long Island Rail Road’s Hicksville and Jamaica stations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, work has begun on a $121 million initiative to rebuild and modernize the Hicksville station, considered by the agency to be the busiest train station on Long Island. In addition, the LIRR has awarded a $64.9 million contract to create a new platform and tracks at the Jamaica station, the LIRR’s central hub and main transfer point for the railroad.In Hicksville, the upgrades to the 55-year-old station will include Wi-Fi throughout the station, plus USB charging stations inside an enhanced glass-enclosed waiting room. New platforms will be outfitted with improved lighting and a translucent canopy roof, and aging stairways, escalators, elevators will be improved.The railroad is also investing in a video security system, audio and digital communications systems, and better signage. The renovated station will also include new laminated art glass installations. Construction at Hicksville is slated to begin later this month, and the station work is expected to be completed by the spring of 2018.“Revamping these two heavily trafficked transportation hubs will provide better, faster and more reliable train service for Long Island Rail Road riders,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “Time and time again, transportation investment has a ripple effect of progress and economic growth on the surrounding community.”Artist rendering of what a renovated Hicksville Long Island Rail Road station would look like.The formal announcements on both projects were made at the Conference on Sustainable Development and Collaborative Governance held Wednesday afternoon at the Huntington Hilton.The MTA also announced that the LIRR’s Jamaica station is slated for upgrades that seek to increase the hub’s capacity and usability.The new platform and tracks at Jamaica station will allow the LIRR to more easily re-route trains, take tracks out of service, and support supplemental train service to and from Atlantic Terminal for customers attending games and events at the Barclays Center. The new platform will also feature glass-enclosed heated waiting areas, as well as Wi-Fi and USB charging stations for riders. In addition, the station will be adorned with brightly colored art glass installations on the station’s westerly bridge, and also on the stairs leading from the new station platform to the AirTrain mezzanine.The rebuilt station at Hicksville and new platform at Jamaica, slated to open in 2019, are two in a series of the LIRR system-wide capacity improvement projects, which also include an uninterrupted second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, and a third track on the Main Line from Floral Park to Hicksville, as well as the East Side Access project to bring LIRR trains into Grand Central Terminal.Once East Side Access is complete, the new platform at Jamaica station will help to enhance service between Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Jamaica Station, enabling shuttle trains to depart every 7½ minutes during rush hour and every 15 minutes during off-peak hours, providing a higher level of service than that available under current timetables, according to the MTA.The projects are supported by the state’s $27 billion MTA Capital Program, according to the governor’s office.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s esteemed master planner. More of his views can be found on TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

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Jobs bill puts spotlight on graft in natural resources sector in Indonesia

first_img–Ardila Syakriah contributed to this report.Topics : Amid rampant corruption in the natural resources sector, the government is proposing centralized licensing and environmental management in the omnibus bill on job creation, in a move that would be a step back for regional autonomy.The bill, which consists of 1,028 pages, aims to revise 79 prevailing laws, including the Spatial Planning Law, Environmental Management Law and Forestry Law.Under the bill, local administrations would be stripped of their power to manage natural resources and the environment and the central government would be the only authority on spatial planning and land, forest and coastal area management. Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) executive director Nur Hidayati said Amdal had been ineffective in preventing environmental damages because of rampant corruption, but it did not mean that it had to be eliminated.“If it is found to be ineffective, it should be fixed instead. The reason it is ineffective in the first place is because there is no political will to save the environment,” Hidayati said.She said it was critical to protect the environment since Indonesia was prone to natural disasters.The Corruption Eradication Corruption (KPK), through its National Movement to Save Natural Resources (GNP-SDA), has conducted annual research to eradicate graft in the natural resources sector since 2009.One of its recent studies revealed that there was possible corruption during the issuance of Amdal and other environmental permits. In 2018, it was reported that at least 40,000 environmental studies may have been tainted by bribery.The antigraft body estimated that, within a year, Rp 51 trillion had been lost to bribery. In the forestry sector, it costs a company or a group an estimated Rp 688 million to Rp 22 billion a year to obtain a license.The KPK has also investigated 27 corruption cases in the natural resources sector since 2009.KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri said the cases were usually related to kickbacks or other forms of gratuities that local administrations received to process business permits.  “The modus operandi of the cases was similar, namely the abuse of authority to grant permits, which leads to cash transfer [bribes],” Fikri said, adding that he was skeptical that the omnibus bill would put a stop to the illicit practice.The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has investigated 27 corruption cases in the natural resources sector since 2009. (JP/Hengky Wijaya)Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) estimated that graft in the natural resources sector caused Rp 6 trillion in state losses last year, the highest of any sector.Like Fikri, ICW researcher Egi Primayogha expressed doubt over corruption ending with the central government in charge.“A transfer of authority will not end corruption as long as bureaucracy is still nontransparent, incompetent and slow,” Egi said.For two decades, Indonesia has run under a system in which authorities and budgeting are decentralized, giving regional autonomy to local administrations. The move to decentralize power was aimed to end the development gap between Java and other islands as the result of the highly centralized government under Soeharto.Think tank Regional Autonomy Watch executive director Robert Endi Jaweng said removing licensing powers from local administrations would be against Law No. 23/2014 on regional administrations. The law lists the environment as an area that should be managed under local governments.Robert said that, to end corruption, the central government could issue business permits, while local administrations could remain in charge of issuing environmental, spatial and building permits.”The one that understands the environmental situation in each region is the local administration. Does the central government even have the capacity to supervise all 514 cities and regencies?” he said.Robert said that while the proposed centralized licensing provisions in the omnibus bill should be looked at as an opportunity to eradicate corruption, they should be subject to review.”The other option is the central government improves its ability to supervise the regions. This is important because [corruption cases] might be caused by a lack of guidance and supervision from the central government,” he said.Indonesia Regents Association chairman Abdullah Azwar Anas said the association supported the bill since it aimed to woo investors.“But environmental oversight should be our collective responsibility,” said Anas, who is also the regent of Banyuwangi, East Java.center_img It would cut layers of licensing processes, including the requirement for businesses to obtain an Environmental Impact Analysis (Amdal) document, which is currently issued by local administrations. If the bill is passed into law, the process will be supervised by the central government.Businesses would still be obliged to prevent environmental damages, but they would have to report to the central government, which would hold all supervising duties.Waste-dumping permits are currently acquired through governors, mayors or regents. Under the omnibus bill, the central government would hand out the permits.Environmental restoration funds that companies are required to prepare would have to be deposited at banks selected by the central government. Currently, regional leaders select the banks.last_img read more

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Luxury apartments come with a virtual butler

first_imgThe SOKO skyhomes (all images) start from $2.9 millionA virtual butler that can book a nanny, a limo, even a dog walker, is just one of the features included at SOKO Waterfront West End.The 120 riverfront apartment complex was recently completed by developer, Spyre Group, with the two luxury skyhome penthouses officially launched on March 15. The skyhomes are on the market from $2.9 to $3.2 million.Spyre Group director Andrew Malouf said the finishes in the skyhomes were a key feature, with the internal gardens and “real lawn” among the selling points.“They have 50sq m of real lawn, or artificial turf if they want, so they aren’t downsizing and sacrificing that outdoor entertaining space,” he said. “You could turn it into a putting green if you really wanted to.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours agoThe skyhomes are located on level eight of the SOKO Waterfront complex, and have VIP lift access. Mr Malouf said skyhome residents could be as “private as they wish”.One bedroom apartments within the $78.3 million development have already sold out, with two bedroom apartments starting from $584,000. Three bedroom apartments start from $979,000 and four bedroom apartments start from $1.679 million.The building and apartments were designed by architects, Vabasis, with Dunn and Moran behind the landscaping and Harward+Brown in charge of the interiors.Each apartment includes quality appliances, ducted airconditioning, block out blinds and washers and dryers. Two and three bedroom apartments have more features, with an in-built coffee machine and wine fridge located in the three bedroom residences.Communal features include a rooftop infinity swimming pool, barbecue and outdoor kitchen, sauna, bike racks, car numberplate recognition systems and CCTV. Every resident has access to the virtual butler system.Spyre Group has another two projects in the pipeline, Elysian Broadbeach and Zahra New Farm.last_img read more

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Susan Martin exits Local Pensions Partnership

first_imgSusan MartinMichael O’Higgins, chair of LPP, said: “We’d like to thank Susan for her significant contribution to the establishment and success of LPP and wish her the very best for the future.”Martin was one of the leading architects of LPP, one of eight investment pooling vehicles created by UK local government pension schemes (LGPS). It also provides administration services to several other LGPS funds.LPP combined LPFA and the Lancashire County Pension Fund, with the Berkshire Pension Fund officially joining last year.Further readingLGPS pooling: Funds under pressure to comply About 30% of assets have been absorbed by the new LGPS pools LPP’s chief investment officer Chris Rule has been appointed interim CEO. Rule also previously worked for LPFA prior to the creation of LPP. Susan Martin, chief executive of local authority consolidation group Local Pensions Partnership (LPP), has resigned from her role.In a statement this morning, LPP said Martin left the £17bn (€19.8bn) company yesterday.Martin led LPP for three years, and was previously CEO at the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA), one of the founder shareholders of LPP. According to her LinkedIn page, Martin plans to take up a portfolio career “combining coaching, consultancy and non-executive roles”.last_img read more

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