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first_imgby the PEW Charitable Trusts/StatelineHave you ever posted a negative review on a site like Yelp or TripAdvisor? It could be risky: Some businesses have inserted “gag clauses” in the fine print of service agreements barring you from doing just that. Some have even threatened legal action against complaining customers or slapped them with financial penalties.That’s why legislatures in two states — California and Maryland — have enacted laws that prohibit such “non-disparagement” clauses in consumer contracts, and several others considered similar measures this year.“To prevent someone from writing a negative review or sue them for doing that is plain wrong,” said Massachusetts Democratic state Rep. John Scibak, who sponsored a measure to prohibit the clauses. “People should be able to provide their feedback without repercussions.”Scibak’s bill died in committee this year, but he plans to refile it in January. He hopes the Massachusetts legislature will soon follow the lead of California, the first state to pass gag clause legislation, known as the “Right to Yelp” law, in 2014.The California law bars companies from using non-disparagement clauses unless consumers knowingly and voluntarily waive their right to complain. Violators face a civil penalty of $2,500 for the first violation, $5,000 for each subsequent one and an additional $10,000 for “willful, intentional, or reckless” violation of the law.This year, Maryland became the second state to approve a ban on consumer non-disparagement clauses. The Maryland law, which Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed in April, considers gag clauses an unfair and deceptive trade practice under the state’s consumer protection law, and merchants who violate it are subject to civil and criminal penalties. The law also prohibits consumers from publishing proprietary information or trade secrets.Maryland Democratic state Del. Jeffrey Waldstreicher, who sponsored the bill, said he views it as a consumer rights issue. Discouraging consumers from providing truthful reviews that can be shared with others “starts to chip away at our whole system of e-commerce,” he said.Waldstreicher said he was particularly outraged when he learned that a wedding venue had allegedly forced brides and grooms to sign a clause in their contracts saying they could be sued if they or any of their guests wrote negative reviews.“It was so outlandish that not only the client could be sued, but they could be sued for what their guests said,” he said.This year, at least three other states — New Jersey, Oklahoma and South Carolina —considered gag clause bills. None has passed.It’s a new issue, said Pam Greenberg, a researcher at the National Conference of State Legislatures, and “legislators are hearing more and more from constituents about these problems.” More gag clause measures are likely to be introduced in state legislatures in the years to come, she said.A federal measure that would ban consumer gag clauses also is moving through Congress. The U.S. Senate passed the Consumer Review Freedom Act by unanimous consent in December. Last week, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee adopted a related bill and forwarded it to the full committee.Gag Clause ConflictsNo one knows how many companies insert non-disparagement clauses into consumer contracts or how many customers have been affected by them, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a nonprofit technology policy think tank. But the issue has arisen in a number of industries, from retail to hospitality.Several cases involving gag clauses have drawn national attention in recent years. In one instance, an online novelty gift company allegedly demanded $3,500 from a Utah couple who posted a negative review about poor customer service on ripoffreport.com. The couple refused to pay and ran into trouble getting credit after the company reported the unpaid debt.In another case, a Texas pet-sitting company that cared for a couple’s two dogs and a fish sued them for $6,766 after the woman wrote a lengthy, negative review on Yelp.Consumer advocates say most customers aren’t aware of non-disparagement clauses, which often are buried deep within boilerplate language. They’re usually found online when customers click the “accept” button under “terms and conditions.” In written contracts, they’re tucked into the fine print.Paul Levy, an attorney for watchdog group Public Citizen, said large businesses such as banks and telephone companies generally don’t use consumer gag clauses, but small businesses sometimes do. He said his group and other consumer advocates think that’s a bad idea.“These clauses prevent consumers from saying true things about people with whom they’ve done business,” Levy said. “They prevent other consumers from learning the truth about how companies have done business. And they hurt other businesses that operate on the up-and-up and don’t need these clauses to protect themselves.”Right to Yelp laws are actually “pro-small business,” Levy said. “They protect the good businesses against unfair competition by those who want to suppress the truth about themselves.”Levy said businesses have other ways to counter negative online postings. They can — and often do — respond online to dispute comments or apologize for poor service. And Levy noted that laws banning non-disparagement clauses don’t preclude businesses from suing customers for defamation if they believe the comments are false and are damaging their reputation.“There are cases in which false statements can hurt people. Libel law is there to take care of them,” Levy said. “You don’t need a non-disparagement agreement.”But that’s easier said than done for small-business owners, said Karen Harned, executive director of the Small Business Legal Center, part of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), an industry association.Many small businesses can’t afford to hire an attorney and bring a lawsuit against an ax-grinding customer who writes nasty reviews, Harned said. Online sites often allow reviewers to remain anonymous, she said, and a single consumer with a grudge can write numerous negative posts and harm a business’ reputation.But Harned said the NFIB hasn’t taken a formal position on Right to Yelp laws because it also has concerns about freedom of speech.“Small-business owners are very pro-First Amendment,” she said. “We’re not sure gag clauses are the right solution.”Right to YelpOnline review companies have supported legislative efforts to pass Right to Yelp laws. So have groups such as the California Retailers Association and the National Retail Federation, as well as the Internet Association, a trade association that includes Amazon and eBay.Laurent Crenshaw, director of public policy at Yelp, said the whole point of websites such as his is to give consumers the ability to read other customers’ reviews and take them into consideration before making a purchase or using a service.“We are opposed to gag clauses that attempt to silence individuals and prevent them from sharing their honest experience online,” Crenshaw said. “When a business owner inserts a clause into a contract, at the end of the day they’re trying to silence the person.”Crenshaw said he isn’t aware of any organized opposition to legislation that would do away with gag clauses. In the California and Maryland legislative hearings, for example, no one testified against Right to Yelp bills.And support for these types of measures thus far has been bipartisan, both in states that passed them and in Congress.That’s why Maryland’s Waldstreicher said he thinks other state legislatures will follow the lead of his state and California.“This is a law that makes a meaningful difference and is also politically popular. Even states that have divided government may pass it,” he said. In Maryland, which has a majority Democratic legislature, “We did it with the signature of a Republican governor who is considered very pro-business.”NEWERTop State Stories 6/16OLDERSober DormsHave you ever posted a negative review on a site like Yelp or TripAdvisor? It could be risky: Some businesses have inserted “gag clauses” in the fine print of service agreements barring you from doing just that. Some have even threatened legal action against complaining customers or slapped them with financial penalties.That’s why legislatures in two states — California and Maryland — have enacted laws that prohibit such “non-disparagement” clauses in consumer contracts, and several others considered similar measures this year.“To prevent someone from writing a negative review or sue them for doing that is plain wrong,” said Massachusetts Democratic state Rep. John Scibak, who sponsored a measure to prohibit the clauses. “People should be able to provide their feedback without repercussions.”Scibak’s bill died in committee this year, but he plans to refile it in January. He hopes the Massachusetts legislature will soon follow the lead of California, the first state to pass gag clause legislation, known as the “Right to Yelp” law, in 2014.The California law bars companies from using non-disparagement clauses unless consumers knowingly and voluntarily waive their right to complain. Violators face a civil penalty of $2,500 for the first violation, $5,000 for each subsequent one and an additional $10,000 for “willful, intentional, or reckless” violation of the law.This year, Maryland became the second state to approve a ban on consumer non-disparagement clauses. The Maryland law, which Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed in April, considers gag clauses an unfair and deceptive trade practice under the state’s consumer protection law, and merchants who violate it are subject to civil and criminal penalties. The law also prohibits consumers from publishing proprietary information or trade secrets.Maryland Democratic state Del. Jeffrey Waldstreicher, who sponsored the bill, said he views it as a consumer rights issue. Discouraging consumers from providing truthful reviews that can be shared with others “starts to chip away at our whole system of e-commerce,” he said.Waldstreicher said he was particularly outraged when he learned that a wedding venue had allegedly forced brides and grooms to sign a clause in their contracts saying they could be sued if they or any of their guests wrote negative reviews.“It was so outlandish that not only the client could be sued, but they could be sued for what their guests said,” he said.This year, at least three other states — New Jersey, Oklahoma and South Carolina —considered gag clause bills. None has passed.It’s a new issue, said Pam Greenberg, a researcher at the National Conference of State Legislatures, and “legislators are hearing more and more from constituents about these problems.” More gag clause measures are likely to be introduced in state legislatures in the years to come, she said.A federal measure that would ban consumer gag clauses also is moving through Congress. The U.S. Senate passed the Consumer Review Freedom Act by unanimous consent in December. Last week, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee adopted a related bill and forwarded it to the full committee.Gag Clause ConflictsNo one knows how many companies insert non-disparagement clauses into consumer contracts or how many customers have been affected by them, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a nonprofit technology policy think tank. But the issue has arisen in a number of industries, from retail to hospitality.Several cases involving gag clauses have drawn national attention in recent years. In one instance, an online novelty gift company allegedly demanded $3,500 from a Utah couple who posted a negative review about poor customer service on ripoffreport.com. The couple refused to pay and ran into trouble getting credit after the company reported the unpaid debt.In another case, a Texas pet-sitting company that cared for a couple’s two dogs and a fish sued them for $6,766 after the woman wrote a lengthy, negative review on Yelp.Consumer advocates say most customers aren’t aware of non-disparagement clauses, which often are buried deep within boilerplate language. They’re usually found online when customers click the “accept” button under “terms and conditions.” In written contracts, they’re tucked into the fine print.Paul Levy, an attorney for watchdog group Public Citizen, said large businesses such as banks and telephone companies generally don’t use consumer gag clauses, but small businesses sometimes do. He said his group and other consumer advocates think that’s a bad idea.“These clauses prevent consumers from saying true things about people with whom they’ve done business,” Levy said. “They prevent other consumers from learning the truth about how companies have done business. And they hurt other businesses that operate on the up-and-up and don’t need these clauses to protect themselves.”Right to Yelp laws are actually “pro-small business,” Levy said. “They protect the good businesses against unfair competition by those who want to suppress the truth about themselves.”Levy said businesses have other ways to counter negative online postings. They can — and often do — respond online to dispute comments or apologize for poor service. And Levy noted that laws banning non-disparagement clauses don’t preclude businesses from suing customers for defamation if they believe the comments are false and are damaging their reputation.“There are cases in which false statements can hurt people. Libel law is there to take care of them,” Levy said. “You don’t need a non-disparagement agreement.”But that’s easier said than done for small-business owners, said Karen Harned, executive director of the Small Business Legal Center, part of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), an industry association.Many small businesses can’t afford to hire an attorney and bring a lawsuit against an ax-grinding customer who writes nasty reviews, Harned said. Online sites often allow reviewers to remain anonymous, she said, and a single consumer with a grudge can write numerous negative posts and harm a business’ reputation.But Harned said the NFIB hasn’t taken a formal position on Right to Yelp laws because it also has concerns about freedom of speech.“Small-business owners are very pro-First Amendment,” she said. “We’re not sure gag clauses are the right solution.”Right to YelpOnline review companies have supported legislative efforts to pass Right to Yelp laws. So have groups such as the California Retailers Association and the National Retail Federation, as well as the Internet Association, a trade association that includes Amazon and eBay.Laurent Crenshaw, director of public policy at Yelp, said the whole point of websites such as his is to give consumers the ability to read other customers’ reviews and take them into consideration before making a purchase or using a service.“We are opposed to gag clauses that attempt to silence individuals and prevent them from sharing their honest experience online,” Crenshaw said. “When a business owner inserts a clause into a contract, at the end of the day they’re trying to silence the person.”Crenshaw said he isn’t aware of any organized opposition to legislation that would do away with gag clauses. In the California and Maryland legislative hearings, for example, no one testified against Right to Yelp bills.And support for these types of measures thus far has been bipartisan, both in states that passed them and in Congress.That’s why Maryland’s Waldstreicher said he thinks other state legislatures will follow the lead of his state and California.“This is a law that makes a meaningful difference and is also politically popular. Even states that have divided government may pass it,” he said. In Maryland, which has a majority Democratic legislature, “We did it with the signature of a Republican governor who is considered very pro-business.”NEWERTop State Stories 6/16OLDERSober DormsFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

first_imgThe Pride of Britain Awards are hosted by the Daily Mirror and ITV each year, where winners are drawn from over tens of thousands of public nominations. The Prime Minister welcomed this year’s Pride of Britain winners and their families to a Downing Street reception last week to celebrate their incredible stories of bravery and determination.Now in its twentieth year, the Pride of Britain Awards recognise the achievements of individuals from across the UK who have demonstrated kindness, courage and perseverance.This year’s inspirational winners include the British divers who were instrumental in saving the lives of a group of young boys in Thailand after they were trapped in flooded caves, Emma Picton-Jones, recognised for her work to support those with mental health difficulties in rural communities and Eddie O’Gorman whose foundation Children with Cancer UK has raised more than £230 million to fight the disease.Prime Minister Theresa May said: It is truly astounding to see a young boy like Max, who when faced his own health struggles and spending 10 months in hospital waiting for a new heart, only became more determined to help others. I would like to thank him for all of his hard work in raising awareness for this issue and as we make these important changes to our organ donation system, potentially saving up to 700 lives a year, it only seems right to name the new legislation after him. The Prime Minister also presented ten year old Max Johnson with the Child of Courage award. After being diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy – a disease which affects the heart muscle – Max campaigned to bring in an opt-out organ donation system in England.In recognition of his story, the legislation to change organ donation rules will become known as ‘Max’s Law’, a tribute to his pivotal efforts. Max’s visit comes the week after this law made a crucial step forward as it passed through the House of Commons.Prime Minister Theresa May added: From incredible acts of bravery to decades of community service, this year’s winners have all made a life-changing impact in their local communities and beyond through their compassion and determination. It’s humbling to hear the stories of all the awards winners, all of them doing extraordinary things and showing such generosity of spirt. I feel privileged to be able to offer them my congratulations. Thank you for your inspirational courage and selflessness – you set an example to us all.last_img read more

first_imgNew Orleans funkers Galactic and venue Tipitina’s teamed up last year to present the highly-successful inaugural run for the Landing Festival. The NOLA event was scheduled again for 2016, but construction on the site of Lakeshore Landing has postponed the event indefinitely.According to recent reports from NOLA.com, the Landing site will be the new home of a South Shore Harbor Amphitheatre, and plans to construct the venue will be one of the biggest projects on the NOLA lakeshore in years. The site is actually owned by the owners of Tipitina’s, and these new plans are aimed at revitalizing one of the most beautiful areas of the Crescent City.“We want only the best festival experience for attendees and musicians alike and will continue to make sure we provide exactly that at the Lakeshore Landing site.” states Roland Von Kurnatowski, owner of Tipitina’s and the Lakeshore Landing. “We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and look forward to presenting and celebrating a rejuvenated experience.”While this is unfortunate news for those who planned to attend the 2016 Landing Festival, the new property looks to be incrediblly nice. It will feature an outdoor amphitheatre/festival grounds, a state-of-the-art recording studio, a boating exhibit, restaurant, covered open-air pavilion for private events and so much more!We’re hoping that once this project is completed, Galactic can go on funkin’ around at the beautiful Lakeshore Landing.last_img read more

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.Gabby Thomas almost gave up on Harvard before her college career had really begun. Balancing grueling track workouts with a demanding science-heavy class schedule pushed her to the brink freshman year. Then, she did the thing people needing advice do every day: she called her mom.“She just said ‘you’ll be OK, you’ll be fine,’” recalled Thomas of the conversation with her mother, Jennifer Randall, a statistics professor at UMass Amherst, who told her daughter she should give it time. So, Thomas stayed, dived into her studies, and made NCAA history.Today the 5’11’’ sprinter and Atlanta native knows she made the right choice.“Here I am. I am more than fine,” said Thomas, a neurobiology concentrator and a standout track athlete for the Crimson who signed a contract with athletic shoemaker New Balance in October, foregoing her last year of collegiate eligibility to race against the elite in her sport. Currently an assistant coach as she completes her senior year, Thomas still trains with the team, traveling to meets and occasionally running in the professional races that are held alongside collegiate events. She supports the Crimson runners however she can, offering up everything from emotional encouragement to tips on relay handoffs. “Honestly, it’s a lot of fun. I enjoy being there for them in any way that they need it,” she said.“I’ve just had such an amazing experience here,” Thomas said of her Harvard time. “Everything has just gone so well for me, and I am so grateful for every opportunity that I’ve had.”“Gone well” is one way to describe it; others might call it exceptional. During her University career Thomas managed to compete in Olympic qualifying trials in 2016. She also logged multiple personal, Harvard, and Ivy League bests, setting the School and Ivy League records in the outdoor 100-meter and 200-meter dash and the indoor 60-meter dash, and becoming the Ivy League Most Outstanding Track Performer at the league’s outdoor and indoor track and field championships in 2017 and 2018. And she excelled at the triple jump, long jump, and the 4×100- and 4×400-meter relays.But her biggest title, the one that got her seriously thinking about turning pro, came last year at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas. Fresh from a Harvard study abroad summer program in Senegal, Thomas was eager to run. “I was ready to be at Harvard again,” she said. “I was ready to compete with track and I think that really showed.”,She smiles as she recalls her record-breaking 200-meter dash at the national meet last March. An earlier runner had posted a blistering time, meaning Thomas would have to tie the then-NCAA record of 22:40 to win. “All I could do was focus on what I could do in the moment: run as fast as I could and try to win the heat,” she said. “When I saw it was a collegiate record, I couldn’t believe it.” Others appeared just as stunned by her time of 22:38, a personal and NCAA best.She credits her sprint coach and her fellow track athletes with helping her excel at Harvard.“My teammates have inspired me so much since freshman year. Watching senior … Autumne Franklin and junior Jade Miller work so hard really shaped me as an athlete,” said Thomas of the standout sprinters. Now as a leader on the team, the Harvard athletes she watches over continue to motivate her to push herself, she said, “to be a good example.”In her youth, soccer was Thomas’ top sport, but when her high school required that she pick a spring activity, her mother insisted on track. When it came to her studies, Thomas had a “knack for science,” and initially envisioned a career spent researching autism. “It’s close to family, very personal,” she said of the developmental disorder affecting her younger brother.But a Harvard first-year seminar and a summer internship helped point her in a different direction. Through the course came a fuller appreciation of the disadvantages facing African Americans in the nation’s health care system. Research at a local hospital helped her decide that she wasn’t cut out for a life in the lab. She added a secondary in global health and health policy to her concentration and plans to pursue a master’s in public health once she hangs up her running shoes. Eventually, she sees working in health care administration or public policy with a focus on health care disparities.“My work at Harvard changed my perspective,” said Thomas.Evelynn Hammonds, chair of the Department of the History of Science, Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science, and professor of African and African American Studies, worked with Thomas on a global health and health policy independent study project. “I have always been impressed with Gabby’s passion for studying issues of race and health,” said Hammonds. “She always asked very thoughtful questions and clearly wants to look at issues such as health disparities with the aim toward finding solutions to these vexing problems.”But classes and track weren’t the only things keeping Thomas busy. She also carved out time to serve as diversity director for Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business, join the Sab Club, and mentor Cambridge middle schoolers.One of her immediate post-college goals is to train for the USA track and field outdoor championships in July. Top finishers qualify for the World Championships two months later. She is also aiming for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. After that, it’s “really hard to say.”“I never thought I would be going professional until less than a year ago. It just happened so quickly and it was a great opportunity, but I haven’t really thought about that at all. I think I am just going to take it day by day, year by year.”“Looking back,” Thomas added, reflecting on her Harvard time. “I am very happy that I didn’t give up on being here.” The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

first_img The London production is currently in the early stages of casting. The New York cast of Here Lies Loves includes Ruthie Ann Miles as Imelda Marcos, Jose Llana as Ferdinand Marcos and Conrad Ricamora as Ninoy Aquino. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 3, 2015 The Public Theater’s acclaimed Here Lies Love is crossing the Pond! According to the Daily Mail, the U.K.’s National Theatre will open its newly named Dorfman Theatre (formerly the Cottesloe), with the off-Broadway hit this fall. Directed by Alex Timbers and with music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, the musical recently received 11 Lucille Lortel nominations. Related Shows View Comments Here Lies Love Here Lies Love tells the story of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos, her meteoric rise to celebrity and subsequent descent into infamy. Set to the beat of a throbbing dance club score, the production is an immersive theatrical experience that puts audience members directly into the action in a 360-degree scenic and video environment. The show goes beyond Marcos’ legendary obsession with shoes and explores the tragic consequences of the abuse of power.last_img read more

first_imgBroadway alums Jeremy Kushnier (Jersey Boys), Lynne Wintersteller (Grand Night For Singing) and more will star in the off-Broadway premiere of worldwide hit Shear Madness. Directed by Bruce Jordan, the hair salon-set murder mystery comedy, which has been seen by more than 11 million people, will begin previews at New World Stages on October 22, with opening night scheduled for November 11.Joining Kushnier and Wintersteller in the cast will be Adam Gerber, Kate Middleton, Patrick Noonan and Jonathan Spivey.Marilyn Abrams and Jordan adapted Shear Madness from the 1963 play Scherenschnitt by German playwright Paul Pörtner. Their English reworking opened in Lake George in 1978 with Abrams and Jordan starring and at the helm. After further developments, the show moved to Boston for what it was treated as an out-of-town run before New York. Over 30 years later, the comedy still resides at Beantown’s Charles Playhouse.The show incorporates improv and audience participation as theatergoers question the cast of characters in a unisex hair salon after the landlord, Isabel Czerny, is murdered. Think Drood with blow dryers.Shear Madness will feature scenic and lighting design by Will Cotton, costume design by Rodney Harper and sound designer by Bruce Yauger. View Commentslast_img read more

first_imgBy Bob WesterfieldUniversity of GeorgiaWarm weather is a welcome sight for gardeners. But the problems it brings with insects and disease are not. Fortunately, there are several things we can do to help prevent and control them.As you begin to establish your vegetable garden, put most of your money and energy in the soil. Unless you are one of the lucky few with good bottom soil, great garden soil must be created. Soil testing will provide a recipe for fertilizer and lime if needed. Maintaining proper nutrition will go a long way to healthier, pest-resistant plants.Soil amendments are also critical. Compost, bagged top soil or aged manures should be added into organic-deficient sands or clay. The addition of organic amendments will create large spaces between soil particles and better drainage and oxygen exchange. This leads to more vibrant plants.Another technique to stop pest problems is through crop rotation. By planting different families of vegetables in different areas of the garden, we can essentially “starve out” localized pests. For instance, tomatoes and potatoes are in the same vegetable family and should never be planted in the same spot during the same year.Encourage beneficial insects. There is a whole army of good insects out there ready to control most of your pests if you just learn to coax them in. Avoid wide-spread applications of broad spectrum insecticides, particularly early in the day when most of the beneficial and pollinating insects are present. Consider planting colorful flowers or perhaps a bed of wildflowers to attract predator insects and pollinating bees. Although you can purchase beneficial insects such as lady beetles or lace wings, it is doubtful that they will do much good on the small acreage of a typical home garden.Resistant varieties can also be used. Varieties of vegetables are readily available that may be disease or insect resistant to a number of problems. Remember, sometimes the downside of very resistant varieties is less flavor compared to old standbys.Consider ventilation in your garden when planting rows or laying out tomato cages. Crowded plants that have no room for air movement around them can lead to disease problems. Allowing a few feet around plants gives room to move around and harvest without damage to the plant and allows air to dry off plants.Irrigation is also a critical management strategy. Plants should be watered at the ground level when possible. Overhead irrigation should be avoided. The use of soaker hoses or irrigation tape is an excellent way to keep foliage dry and help control moisture-loving diseases. Remember to water plants at night or early in the morning and only when plants need it. Usually, a garden only needs water once or twice a week. Overwating can lead to problems.We don’t want to grow the largest squash or cucumber when freshness and flavor are involved. Harvesting early and frequently will ensure a continued production and helps to prevent damaging disease and insects that can easily detect aging fruit or vegetables. Finally, if there is a need to spray for control of a pest, consider the least toxic route first. There is often a safe organic alternative way to control pests without the use of something more toxic. Frequent scouting by walking through the garden regularly will help reveal problems early and sometimes just hand picking a few bugs is all it takes for control.By following a few simple procedures it is possible to have close to a perfect garden. It’s a matter of creating great soil, using defensive tactics and keeping a careful watch.last_img read more

first_imgMali gold miner turns to off-grid solar, storage to save money, cut fuel oil use FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kitco News:B2Gold’s board approved “one of the largest” off-grid hybrid solar/heavy fuel oil power plants to power its mine in Mali. The company made the announcement yesterday in its second-quarter results.B2Gold reported record quarterly consolidated gold production of 246,020 ounces. Consolidated gold revenues from continuing operations was $267 million on sales of 203,700 ounces.B2Gold’s solar plant will have 30 megawatts of solar generating capacity with a significant battery storage component. The company estimates the plant will reduce processing costs by 7%.“The Fekola Solar Plant will be one of the largest off-grid hybrid solar/heavy fuel oil (HFO) plants in the world,” said B2Gold in a news release. “It is expected that it will allow for three HFO generators to be shut down during daylight hours which will save about 13.1 million litres of HFO per year, at a capital cost of approximately $38 million.”The Fekola Solar Plant is scheduled for completion in August 2020 and has a four-year payback.More: ‘One of the largest’ off-grid solar plants to power B2Gold minelast_img read more

first_img September 1, 2003 Regular News A judge may not voluntarily appear in a videotape to be used in a personal injury settlement negotiation, according to the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee.The inquiring judge once taught karate, and one of the judge’s former students was injured in a serious car accident which will necessitate extensive therapy.Attorneys for the parents of the injured student plan to sue an automobile company for an alleged design defect and asked the judge to appear on video showing the former student’s quality of life prior to the accident. On the video, the judge would talk about the former student, which would be shown to the automobile company as a part of a settlement negotiation, but not at trial. Opinion Number: 2003-06While disallowing the judge’s participation in the video, the committee said the question was not easily resolved under the Code of Judicial Conduct.“On one hand, Canon 2B of the Code of Judicial Conduct provides that a judge shall not lend the prestige of office to advance the private interests of another. The inquiring judge’s voluntary participation in a videotape will be used in settlement negotiations of a personal injury lawsuit and will advance the private interests of the inquiring judge’s former karate student,” the committee said. “On the other hand, judges participate in activities that have no relationship to their judicial duties like teaching karate. In this light it can be argued that the judge’s participation in the video has nothing to do with the judge’s judicial office and, therefore, the judge is not lending the prestige of his or her judicial office to advance the private interests of another.However, the committee said, ultimately judges must accept that they are judges 24 hours each day.“Although the attorneys for the judge’s former student may want to use the inquiring judge in this video strictly because of the judge’s role as his former karate instructor, the judge nevertheless is voluntarily aiding this plaintiff in seeking compensation in an adversary process,” the committee said.With the one exception, all the committee members agreed the judge may not ethically participate in the video.The one dissenting member said that if the inquiring judge “is not referred to as a judge, is not wearing a robe, and he or she makes no reference to his or her other judicial office in the video, the judge is not using the prestige of his or her office in violation of Canon 2B.” The Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee is expressly charged with rendering advisory opinions interpreting the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct to specific circumstances confronting or affecting a judge or judicial candidate. Its opinions are advisory and conduct consistent with an advisory opinion may be evidence of good faith on the part of the judge, but the Judicial Qualifications Commission is not bound by the interpretive opinions by the committee. Panel looks at judicial testimonycenter_img Panel looks at judicial testimonylast_img read more

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