Lifeboat launched off Fanad Head

first_imgRescue volunteers with the Lough Swilly RNLI have been dispatched on a call off Fanad Head this Saturday afternoon.The alert was raised after 2pm after a fishing vessel broke down at sea.The RNLI lifeboat was launched at 2.20pm to assist the crew of the vessel, which is located 20 nautical miles north west off Fanad Head. More updates to follow. Lifeboat launched off Fanad Head was last modified: December 14th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

49ers pregame: Garcon, Ward trade bait; Richburg, Savage inactive

first_imgGLENDALE, Ariz. — Two days before the NFL trade deadline and a couple 49ers have surfaced on the rumor mill.Wide receiver Pierre Garçon and defensive back Jimmie Ward are drawing interest, according to reports from ESPN and Sports Illustrated.San Francisco 49ers’ Pierre Garcon (15) reacts to call against Carolina Panthers in the third quarter of their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, September 10, 2017. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)Garçon offers veteran …last_img read more

Farmers drop organic labels over certification process, access to markets, study says

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Midwestern fruit and vegetable farmers are more likely than their counterparts in other regions to give up federal organic certification, according to a Purdue University study. Access to organic markets and consumers as well as the demands of obtaining and retaining certification seem to be the most significant drivers of their decisions.Obtaining U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification can be an expensive, year-long process that requires changing management practices and working with certifiers who determine if farms meet the government’s extensive requirements. But that’s worth it for many farmers who can command higher prices for organic products since demand has been rising quickly over the last decade.In 2017, organic food sales topped $45 billion — up 6.4% from 2016, according to the Organic Trade Association. Sales have more than doubled since 2010. Fruits and vegetables are the top-selling category, making up nearly 37% of organic food sales.“Consumers are demanding more organic fruits and vegetables, so there is a push to certify more farmers,” said Ariana Torres, a Purdue assistant professor of agricultural economics and horticulture & landscape architecture and co-author of the study. “There’s been a lot of money invested from the federal and local governments to get more farmers organically certified. The decision to decertify can have an effect on those programs, organic food supply and the bottom lines of farmers who spend so much to get into the program in the first place.”Despite the boom in demand, the number of organic farms has declined from 14,540 in 2008 to 12,818 in 2015. Some of that is due to consolidation of small and medium farms into larger operations. But some operations are simply leaving the organic program.Torres and Maria Marshall, a Purdue professor of agricultural economics, published their findings in the journal HortScience. Data are based on more than 1,500 farmer surveys.Of the 234 farms that were or had been organic at some point, the authors find that 36% had dropped certification. Large- and medium-sized farms were less likely to decertify than small farms. These farms may be able to produce enough volume of fruits and vegetables to access high-value, high-volume markets.That may be because fewer of the smaller organic farms are located near markets that would purchase large quantities of organic produce. Transportation to larger population centers may be less cost-effective for small organic farms.Also, many farmers who decide to opt out are likely selling their organic produce directly to consumers through farmer’s markets or community-supported agriculture programs.The data show that 72% of farmers continued to use organic practices even after decertification. Those farmers seem to be committed to organic agriculture and might be able to obtain premium prices for continuing to use organic practices without the need for an official certification.“Your customers know how you farm in those situations,” Torres said. “The farmers don’t need that tag to say the farm is USDA certified. The farmers just need to have a good relationship with the buyers.”In California and the Northeast United States, where decertification rates are lower, access to large markets likely keeps farmers in the program because they need certification to obtain premium prices.“If you’re a larger operation or selling to supermarkets, that requires you to be certified organic,” Marshall said. “But if you’re selling close to home, directly to consumers, you’re probably more likely to decertify.”Organic farmers were also likely to opt out of certification if the process became too much of a hassle.“Farmers were more likely to decertify if they perceived that loss of freedom, paperwork, cost of certification, interaction with the certifier, and lack of information were barriers to remain certified. It seems that the requirements embedded in the certification process were detrimental to the decision to remain certified,” the authors wrote.Understanding the reasons why organic farmers decertify may help inform government decisions on certification rules and processes.“That may be something that lawmakers may want to keep in mind,” Marshall said. “We want to maintain as many organic farmers as possible. Maintaining them is a lot less costly than certifying new ones.”Torres added that improving access to markets, especially for small operations, might make a difference.“If we want to incentivize farmers to remain certified, we probably want to support the access to markets,” Torres said. “If you’re small enough and can’t reach the market, programs that group certified small farms together to get them better access to large markets could be helpful.”The USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture Organic Research and Education Initiative supported the research.last_img read more

Cloud Computing: 4 Ways To Overcome IT Resistance

first_imgCloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting kyle falkenhagen Tags:#cloud computing#enterprise Guest author Kyle Falkenhagen is director of product management at ServiceMesh.Business and IT leaders are bombarded with cloud computing hype and promotion. Yet very little is said about how the cloud affects the evolution of the IT organization itself. Enterprise cloud adoption is a transformative shift where the greatest implementation challenges are often more about people and process than technology integration.Agents of change, especially in large enterprises, must overcome various forms of resistance. This includes organizational fiefdoms and the IT silos that evolved with them. These four organizational change strategies can help IT departments fight fear and inertia as they move to cloud computing:IT Change Strategy #1: Use Tiger Teams To Break Down IT FiefdomsWhile no one is shocked that IT silos can hinder cloud adoption, you may be surprised how quickly you’ll encounter resistance. For example, setting up IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) offerings for your first private cloud will likely involve separate groups responsible for storage, computing, networking, platforms and security. Coordination among these groups is already difficult and you’ll quickly find that many cloud vendors have product interoperability issues that cause documentation gaps, integration problems and incompatibilities. Teams will have to escalate issues through multiple vendors, causing long delays and strains between IT fiefdoms not accustomed to relying on each other.The key is for siloed groups to share activities across traditional boundaries. To encourage this, leading companies have created Tiger Teams: small cross-functional groups of skilled, respected and entrepreneurial-minded workers. They should be experienced enough to navigate their home departments to accomplish needed tasks, politically astute enough to marshal resources and enterprising enough to push projects to completion. And they need a strong sponsor who can provide political cover and help break through entrenched resistance.IT Change Strategy #2: SWAT Away “Analysis Paralysis”One large financial institution implemented a cloud strategy with an incumbent vendor that claimed to offer the right strategy and products. The firm waited too long for proof points and had vastly disappointing results. When it tried to bring in other cloud vendors, they merely added confusion to the existing failed effort – leading to analysis paralysis and the inability to decide on the proper next steps.Unfortunately, this scenario is being played out in many large enterprises. If you can’t afford a year of paralysis, create a SWAT team.Smaller and more discreet than a Tiger Team, a SWAT team is quietly let loose to “get something done.” It emerges only when it has a concrete working model to integrate with the IT ecosystem for evaluation. Because it runs “small, fast and dark,” a SWAT team can be easier to initiate than a Tiger Team. A SWAT team’s goal is to break the paralysis and create a tangible model that everyone can improve. Building a SWAT team is relatively cost effective, especially compared to the opportunity cost of spending a year just trying to decide what to do.IT Change Strategy #3: Challenge Legacy ObstinacyMany organizations cling stubbornly to legacy applications and platforms, often including proprietary applications running on no longer supported platforms. While some groups may propose porting those applications to a modern, standardized, platform and as-a-Service offering, legacy zealots may claim that’s too risky.But there are many different techniques for cloud migration, including some require little to no re-architecture efforts. One size does not fit all when it comes to migrating applications to the cloud.That’s critical, because the benefits of eliminating non-standard platforms and infrastructure in favor of lower cost, cloud-based service offerings are too important to ignore. Because cloud computing promises automated processes that lower costs and speed cycle times for application provisioning, maintenance, patching and updating, cloud-based IT service costs will almost certainly decrease over time. Legacy system costs, meanwhile, typically continue to creep up. Many times, simply running numbers can help overcome emotional objections to changing the legacy status quo.IT Change Strategy #4: Challenge Habitual InefficiencyMost organizations existing IT processes and governance approaches are the result of years of layering of systems, technologies and process exceptions. Today’s cloud initiatives present a significant new opportunity to improve process automation and implement new governance best practices. That will likely breed resistance based on the idea of, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Don’t buy it. The process has likely been broken for years.Part of the resistance is political, as people within the IT organization understandably worry about positions being eliminated or particular fiefdoms losing prestige and power. The misperception may also exist that automation is fraught with risk.But the real risk lies in not doing anything.While some positions may in fact be eliminated and other roles may change with a move to the cloud, this is far better than the alternative. Sub-optimal IT efficiency can lead to lower enterprise productivity, a loss of competitiveness, lower profits and ultimately the risk of wholesale outsourcing of IT operations.Successful Organizational Change ManagementAddressing organizational change is vital to ensure the success of enterprise cloud-computing initiatives. By incorporating the right approach and building strong arguments to overcome resistance, you can help your organization make the changes necessary for successful implementation of enterprise cloud strategies.center_img Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Related Posts last_img read more

Will turn J&K into heaven: Rajnath

first_imgUnion Home Minister Rajnath Singh continued his four-day “outreach” visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, vowing to “turn Kashmir into a heaven (jannat), even as a delegation of the Congress party led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh landed in Jammu as part of a similar outreach to several other areas of the State this week.Mr. Rajnath Singh, who visited Anantnag in south Kashmir on Sunday, praised the role of the Jammu and Kashmir police as well as paramilitary forces for their “unassailable and unmatched courage.”“Kashmir will be free from terror and no force in the world will be able to stop it from becoming heaven again,” said Mr. Singh, during his interactions with the police and CRPF in Anantnag, one of the Valley’s most volatile areas.Police role laudedOn his second day in the State, Mr. Rajnath Singh lauded the role of the police force, which lost 25 personnel this year in militant attacks, the highest in the past four years.He promised more bullet-proof vehicles, bullet-proof vests and a trauma centre for the police, as well as helicopter services for security forces in J&K. Monmohan Singh arrives for a meeting with party leaders, in Jammu on Sunday.    “This is not an ordinary sacrifice, this is the supreme sacrifice. Even the Prime Minister has praised your courage. Not only J&K but the whole nation is proud of your bravery and valour in facing terrorism sponsored by the neighbouring country,” said Mr. Singh.Paying tribute to constable Imtiyaz Ahmad, killed on Saturday in a militant attack, Mr. Singh said he “can’t bear the tears” of families of policemen killed.“J&K police are giving their sacrifice for Kashmir, for the country and for Kashmiris, but it is unfortunate that people are not ready to understand it,” he added.Congress delegationThe high-level Congress group, headed by Dr. Manmohan Singh, met a number of delegations in Jammu, which included groups representing women, minorities, migrants from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, besides prominent civil society members.The Congress delegation, which is planning to visit the Kashmir Valley next week, is holding a wide-ranging interaction with civil society groups to “understand the changing ground realities.” It will later apprise the party at the executive meeting being held on Kashmir.Senior Congress leader Dr. Karan Singh, former Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, and AICC general secretary Ambika Soni are also part of the group.“This visit is aimed at holding talks with a cross section of society in J&K to know about issues confronting the State. We had announced our visit much earlier than him (Union Minister). However, it’s good if any engagement has started with Kashmir,” said Mr. Azad.Omar meets MinisterNational Conference working president Omar Abdullah led a party delegation to meet Mr. Rajnath Singh and raised the issue of J&K’s special status. Referring to the “deteriorating situation” in the Valley, Mr. Abdullah sought a sustained and open-ended political engagement with the stakeholders in Kashmir “irrespective of their ideology.” He also urged New Delhi and Islamabad to make sincere and sustained efforts towards resumption of a comprehensive dialogue on all outstanding issues including that of Kashmir.As a result of the VIP visits to the State, heavy security arrangements have been made in Jammu, Srinagar and Anantnag.“The shutdown during Mr. Singh’s visit once again proved that Kashmir is not a law and order issue or an internal matter of Delhi but a human and political issue which needs to be resolved by accepting its disputed nature,” said Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.However, another Hurriyat faction chairman Syed Ali Geelani said, “It’s meaningless to talk about development as people are being mercilessly killed and properties vandalised.”last_img read more

Villagers demand new lease of life for Ramgarh dam

first_imgAn agitation for protection of catchment area of the historic Ramgarh dam near here, once considered the lifeline of Jaipur, has revived with the villagers and farmers of the region staging a sit-in near the dam demanding immediate removal of encroachments. The dam, which earlier supplied drinking water to the city, has dried completely in the last decade.Local villagers, who participated in the agitation on Monday, said that the Ramgarh lake had hosted rowing events during the 1982 Asian Games. Numerous encroachments which came up in the catchment area have halted free flow of water to the dam. Its construction was completed in 1904 during the reign of erstwhile Jaipur ruler Sawai Madho Singh II.The sit-in was led by Rajya Sabha MP Kirorilal Meena, who called upon the Congress government to take urgent steps to remove encroachments in compliance with the repeated directions of the Rajasthan High Court. In an order passed in 2012, the High Court had defined catchment area as the land of pond and tributaries from where water flowed.While directing the State government to remove encroachments, Justice M.N. Bhandari at the High Court’s Jaipur Bench had observed that construction at agricultural land in the catchment area could be allowed within the permissible limits, but care should be taken that it did not obstruct flow of water to the dam.Jaipur MP Ramcharan Bohra, Chomu MLA Ramlal Sharma and former chairperson of State Women’s Commission Suman Sharma also took part in the sit-in. Mr. Meena said he had sent a memorandum to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot with a suggestion that the Chambal river water be supplied to the dam through the proposed Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project. “The Jamwa Ramgarh Tehsildar’s report that there are no encroachments and no obstructions in the flow of water is misleading,” he said. The memorandum also carried a list of 109 “influential persons” who had constructed buildings in the dam’s catchment area. It said a large number of poor villagers had been ousted from the area.last_img read more