Photo: www.nursetogether.com / CC BY 2.0CORNING – Face masks remain a hot topic when discussing the COVID-19 crisis, especially after Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order Wednesday mandating people wear a mask in public when they’re performing an essential activity without the possibility of safe social distancing. Congressman Tom Reed spoke with regional reporters this week, and WNYNewsNow asked if any shortages of masks have been reported in either Chautauqua or Cattaraugus Counties. The Republican says every county in the U.S. 23rd Congressional District has, overall, seen an “acute” shortage within the past 30 days.“Each and every day, we get better and better at meeting those acute shortages,” Reed said. “That’s why we do our daily hospital calls…By having those direct lines of communication, I can tell you that it’s getting less and less pervasive over the entire counties, but we still do have hot spots that pop up every once in a while.”An executive order from Cuomo requiring essential businesses to provide cloth or surgical face masks to their employees who interact with the public went into effect Wednesday. WNYNewsNow will continue to cover the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, putting facts over fear. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Sustainable agriculture experts and Extension specialists from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will be offering several workshops and classes at the 2013 Georgia Organics Conference. Conference goers can expect to learn a great deal about farm management and produce marketing, as well the basics of organic plant disease management, sustainable grazing, vegetable cultivation and the outlook for crops needed to fill niche markets in the Southeast. Among the UGA faculty and staff presenting at the conference are: Elizabeth Little, assistant professor of plant pathology and Extension specialist, will present a holistic approach to plant health management. With over 16 years at the UGA, she has developed a program of practices that will help growers manage plant diseases organically. Robert Tate, manager of UGA’s Organic Demonstration Farm, will discuss the markets for ginger and winter lettuces in the Southeastern produce market. The U.S. imports 25,000 tons of ginger each year, but it can be grown in Georgia. Tate, who coordinates UGA’s Certificate in Organic Agriculture, will outline the production methods for ginger and summer lettuces. Menia Chester, Fulton County Extension coordinator and Fulton Fresh director, will present on a panel discussing strategies for feeding people living in urban food deserts. She will highlight successes in getting fresh produce into communities without access to fresh foods. David Berle, professor of horticulture and faculty advisor for UGA’s UGarden, will put his teaching chops to use during a workshop on organic vegetable production for beginning gardeners. Gerard Krewer, professor emeritus and Extension specialist, will help lead an in-depth workshop on planting and caring for a backyard orchard. Krewer is a blueberry expert and will lead the portion of the workshop on organic blueberry and blackberry production. Julia Gaskin, Sustainable Agriculture coordinator at the CAES, will lead a workshop discussion on the marketing and production benefits that smaller farmers can realize by forming or joining food hubs. Will Getz, an Extension Specialist and professor at Fort Valley University, will help lead a workshop on goat husbandry. The workshop will focus on the basics of raising goats and sheep and the different marketing possibilities for goats and sheep. For more information or to register for the conference visit http://georgiaorganics.org.
Chittenden Corporation Reports Increased Earnings Per Share, and AnnouncesNew Share Repurchase PlanBurlington, VT Chittenden Corporation (NYSE:CHZ) Chairman, President and Chief ExecutiveOfficer, Paul A. Perrault, today announced higher earnings for the year ended December 31,2006 of $85.5 million or $1.83 per diluted share, compared to $82.0 million or $1.74 per dilutedshare a year ago. For the fourth quarter of 2006, net income was $22.5 million or $0.48 perdiluted share, compared to $21.8 million or $0.46 per diluted share earned in the fourth quarter of2005.In making the announcement, Perrault said, I am pleased to report to shareholders that yourCompanys discipline and strong strategic implementation continues to deliver solid resultsdespite the challenging environment . Chittenden also announced its quarterly dividend of $0.20per share, which will be paid on February 9, 2007, to shareholders of record on January 26,2007.Perrault also announced that the Board of Directors approved a new share repurchase plan onJanuary 17, 2007 for one million shares of the Corporations common stock. The repurchase ofthe common stock may be done in negotiated transactions or open market purchases over thenext two years.FOURTH QUARTER 2006 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTSÀ‰ Commercial loans increased 7% from the end of 2005.À‰ Average deposits for 2006 increased 4% from 2005 with solid growth in CMA/moneymarket deposits of over 4%.À‰ Net interest margin held steady for 2006 at 4.24% and the fourth quarter increased 6basis points to 4.29%.À‰ Nonperforming assets declined 22% from the third quarter of 2006.À‰ The efficiency ratio improved to 54.6% for the fourth quarter of 2006.À‰ The Company repurchased 762,500 common shares in the fourth quarter and thetangible capital ratio remained over 7.00% at year end.ASSETSThe Companys securities portfolio declined from both the prior year end and on a linked quarterbasis to $1.1 billion. The decrease in securities was primarily utilized to fund loan growth andreduce borrowings. Total loans increased by $210 million from the end of last year to $4.7 billionat December 31, 2006. The Company experienced solid loan growth in 2006 throughout all of itsmarkets with particularly strong increases in its multifamily real estate, commercial real estateand construction portfolios.LIABILITIESTotal deposits decreased $20 million from September 30, 2006 reflecting the start of the normalseasonal decline in deposits, which is primarily driven by the operating cycles of the Companysmunicipal and commercial customers. Borrowings at December 31, 2006, were $210 million, adecrease of $17 million from the end of last year due to lower FHLB advances.NET INTEREST INCOMETax-equivalent net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $64.0 million, compared to$63.7 million for the same quarter of 2005 and $63.5 million for the third quarter of 2006. Theincrease in net interest income from the same period a year ago was due to higher averageearning assets, which was partially offset by a slightly lower net interest margin. The Companysnet interest margin for the fourth quarter was 4.29%, an increase of 6 basis points from the thirdquarter of 2006 and a decline of 1 basis point from the same period a year ago. The increase innet interest margin from the third quarter of 2006 was attributable to higher interest recoveries onformer non-performing loans. The decline in the net interest margin from the fourth quarter of2005 was due to an increase in funding costs, which was partially offset by an increase in theyield on interest earning assets. The increase in funding costs was driven by strong competitionfor both commercial and consumer deposits as well as increases in the federal funds rate in2005 and 2006.NONINTEREST INCOMENoninterest income was $17.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, compared with $16.1 millionfor the third quarter and $17.4 million for the same period a year ago. The increase in noninterestincome was primarily attributable to higher investment management and trust fees and othernoninterest income, which was partially offset by lower gains on the sales of mortgage loans.The increase in other noninterest income from the fourth quarter of 2005 was primarily due to$1.1 million received in relation to the Companys interest in a mortgage insurance captive, whichwas partially offset by higher amortization on investments in low income housing limitedpartnerships.NONINTEREST EXPENSENoninterest expenses were $46.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to $46.0million for the fourth quarter of 2005. The increase from the same quarter a year ago is primarilya result of higher salary expense which related to increased share-based compensation costsand new branch openings in 2006. The Company recognized $785,000 of share-basedcompensation in the fourth quarter of 2006 as compared to $4,000 in the same quarter a yearago.INCOME TAXESThe effective income tax rates for 2006 were 31.5% for the fourth quarter and 32.1% for the fullyear compared with 34.2% and 34.5%, respectively, for the same periods in 2005. The lowereffective income tax rate was attributable to higher low-income housing and historic rehabilitationtax credits.CREDIT QUALITYThe provision for credit losses was $2.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2006 compared to $1.4million for the same quarter of 2005. The increase in the provision for credit losses from thecomparable period in 2005 was primarily due to higher net charge offs and nonperforming loans.Net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans were 4 basis points for the fourth quarter.hittenden Corporation of 2006, up from 2 basis points for the same quarter a year ago. The increase in net charge-offsprimarily relates to one commercial finance loan that was placed on non-accrual status in the firstquarter of 2006. The allowance for credit losses as a percentage of total loans excludingmunicipal loans was 1.39% at December 31, 2006 compared to 1.43% for the fourth quarter of2005.
Construction begins on world’s largest floating solar project in Singapore FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Construction has begun on what is being called one of the world’s largest inland floating solar PV systems, a 60MW project on the Tengeh Reservoir in Singapore, which is also one of the first in the world to integrate green technology with water treatment.Singapore’s PUB (Public Utilities Board) National Water Agency announced on Tuesday that, along with its subsidiary Sembcorp Industries, it had begun construction on the 60MW peak floating solar PV system on Tengeh Reservoir, on Singapore’s northern border with Malaysia.The 60MW floating solar plant will be integrated with PUB’s water treatment plants and, when completed and operational next year, will generate enough clean energy sufficient to power PUB’s local water treatment plants, offsetting around 6% of its annual energy needs.As a sovereign island city state with a total land area of only 724.2 square-kilometres and heavy urbanisation, Singapore does not have a lot of room for traditional renewable energy generating technologies. Solar energy is Singapore’s most viable renewable energy source, but even then, large-scale deployment of solar panels is difficult due to its dense urban landscape and limited available land. This leaves rooftops and vertical spaces, as well as PUB’s largest expanse of water bodies and reservoirs, which can now serve a dual purpose of water catchment and electricity generation.The Tengeh Reservoir floating solar plant is also incorporating new innovations in floating solar PV design and construction. For example, according to PUB, “Every component of the system was carefully designed and selected based on Singapore’s climate conditions in order to maximise energy generation, minimise environmental and water quality impact, and be durable enough to fulfil a service lifespan of 25 years.”Double-glass solar PV modules were used instead of single-glass modules so as to enhance durability in a wet and humid environment. The PV modules are also supported by certified food-grade quality high density polyethylene (HDPE) floats which are UV-resistant so as to prevent degradation from intense sunlight exposure.[Joshua S Hill]More: One of world’s biggest inland floating solar systems begins construction in Singapore
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Passing into law The SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 1595), which would institute a safe harbor for financial institutions serving legal marijuana businesses, would increase insured deposits at credit unions by about $200 million by 2022 and $350 million by 2029, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).The CBO also estimates that the legislation would decrease net direct federal spending by $4 million and reduce the federal deficit by $2 million over the next decade.The bill is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 184 lawmakers, and was introduced by House Financial Services Committee members Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., Denny Heck, D-Wash., Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, and Warren Davidson, R-Ohio.In March, the House Financial Services Committee advanced the bill on a 45-15 bipartisan vote. NAFCU lobbyists expect that the full House could consider the bill later this summer. continue reading »