20 Firespike

first_imgBy Bodie PennisiUniversity of GeorgiaA vigorous, shrub-like annual, Firespike (Odontonema strictum) likes to show off its strikingly beautiful crimson flowers and shiny, pest-free foliage. The 2007 Georgia Gold Medal winner is a standout in late summer and can hold its own in any landscape. Volume XXXIINumber 1Page 20 Firespike is not a native to North America but grows well here. It’s a perennial in extreme south Georgia, where it can come back beautifully after being cut back to the ground and mulched during winter.Its sparse, stiff branches grow mostly straight up to about 4 feet tall in a plant that’s 3 feet tall. Firespike’s dark green leaves, 2 to 3 inches wide and up to 8 inches long, have wavy margins and long, pointed tips.In late summer, Firespike produces abundant upright panicles, each 9 to 12 inches tall, of brilliant red, tubular flowers. The individual flowers are about an inch long and two-lipped. The blooms produce a sweet nectar that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies like magnets. It’s an irresistible addition to your garden.Firespike prefers places with full sun to partial shade and moist but well-drained soil. It’s one of the few flowering plants that can still have striking red blooms in partial shade. And once it’s established, it can tolerate all but the longest droughts.Low maintenanceIt’s a low-maintenance plant. All you have to do is give it a light sprinkling of a complete fertilizer, such as 6-6-6, each four to six weeks during the growing season.For best effect, plant Firespike as background plants in mass plantings in mixed-shrub borders, where it can rise above smaller plants in the foreground.It’s a knockout in large, mixed containers, too. Combine it with other Georgia Gold Medal winners like Mickey Mouse cuphea (2006), Georgia Blue veronica (2005) or Blue Fortune hyssop (2004).Under those conditions, a weekly dose of a liquid fertilizer will keep Firespike looking its best all summer long. Pinch or prune back the shoot tips through early summer to encourage branching, compact growth and more flowers.The flowers can be striking additions to cut-flower arrangements, too.Firespike is easy to propagate from softwood cuttings. The cuttings you root in the spring should bloom by fall. Cuttings can also be taken in the fall and overwintered for planting the following year.Like all Georgia Gold Medal winners, Firespike was chosen because it’s underused but deserves to be more popular in Georgia. When you take one home for your landscape, you’ll be taking home a winner.(Bodie Pennisi is a Cooperative Extension floriculture specialist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Twig munchers

first_imgIf something appears to be chewing off the ends of tree branches in your landscape, that something is most likely a twig girdler. Twig girdlers are long horned beetles – so named because their antennae are longer than their body. It is a pest of pecan and hickory trees, but may also attack persimmons, hackberries and other hardwood trees. Adults do the damageAdult beetles girdle twigs and small branches causing the ends to break away or hang loosely on the tree. It is not uncommon to see the ground under infested trees almost covered with twigs that have been cut off. The bugs don’t usually hurt adult tree unless they are munching in pecan orchards where the loss of branch tips could reduce nut production in the following few years. They can be detrimental to young trees by causing a deformity in branching, but the pests won’t kill the tree.Most girdled twigs are from 1/4 to 1/2 inch (occasionally up to 3/4 inch) in diameter, and 10 to 30 inches long. Cuts from outsideThe nature of the girdle itself distinguishes the twig girdler from other branch pruners and squirrels. The twig girdler’s cut is the only one made from the outside of the branch. The female lays her eggs in the tips of the branch, and then chews around the branch leaving a little wood attached in the center. This usually breaks off in the wind. The cut end of the branch looks like mini-beaver damage. Since the twigs are girdled while the leaves are present, the severed twigs retain the leaves for some time. Control by destroying eggsLook closely at the fallen branch, and you will see tiny holes where the eggs were laid. The holes will usually be by a bud scar or near a side shoot. The best way to control twig girdlers is to pick up the twigs and discard them since the larvae develop and pupate inside them. Insecticide is rarely justified or practical.For more information on controlling pests in home landscapes, find University of Georgia Cooperative Extension publications online at www.caes.uga.edu/publications.last_img read more

Board to debate fee increase

first_img B oard to debate fee increase More aggressive UPL prosecution. Creation of the Bar’s website, along with other critical technological improvements. The website allows members to sign up for and take online CLE courses, updates them on Bar activities, provides daily clipping services on stories of interest to the legal community, provides legal research links and, most recently, allows members to send change of address information to the Bar online. The evaluation of proposed attorney ads, and the provision of advisory opinions for both attorney advertisements and direct written communications to potential clients. Those efforts help attorneys comply with Rule Regulating The Florida Bar 4-7. PAO 99-4, which holds that an attorney paid on a salaried basis by an insurance company to defend company insureds faces a potential conflict of interest. Absent an actual conflict, however, the attorney ethically may undertake such representation only if: the attorney reasonably believes that he or she can adequately represent the insured’s interests; the insured consents after consultation; the attorney’s professional independence in representing the insured is assured; the attorney honors the duty of confidentiality owed to the insured; and the attorney is not assisting the insurer in conduct constituting the unlicensed practice of law. Senior Editor It’s been 11 years since the last one, but at its December 15 meeting in Coral Gables the Bar Board of Governors will consider asking the Supreme Court to raise annual membership fees. The board will also take on several other issues, including three proposed ethics opinions relating to duties of attorneys hired by insurance companies to represent policyholders. The Budget Committee, citing declining reserves and the need to meet new challenges, has proposed raising annual fees from $190 to $265 for active members and from $140 to $175 for inactive members. The board needs to act in December in order to give the Bar time to petition the Supreme Court for a rule amendment to allow fees to be raised. “Since the last annual fee increase from $140 to $190 in the 1990-91 budget year, inflation has increased 33 percent, meaning it takes $252 of today’s dollars to equal the $190 of 10 years ago,” said Budget Committee Chair Jesse Diner. “The proposed increase, to $265 for active members and to $175 [from $140] for inactive members, will hopefully last for five years if no new major programs are implemented.” Diner also noted the 1990-91 fee hike was only anticipated to provide sufficient funding for three to five years, but under careful stewardship the increase lasted much longer. “Hopefully, we can make this fee increase last much longer, as well,” he said. Eleven years is the longest the Bar has gone in its 51-year history without an annual fee increase, Diner added, and shows the fiscal responsibility of the Bar. But despite careful oversight, the deficit for the just-ended 1999-2000 fiscal year was just over $1 million and would have been around $2.2 million without the solid return on the Bar’s investments, he said. That loss, according to Budget Committee Chair-elect William Kalish, is projected at $2 million for the current 2000-2001 budget, even after the return on investments. “Fiscal responsibility dictates that reserves be no less than one-third of an annual budget,” Kalish continued. “After returns on investments, the Bar will fall below adequate reserves by the end of 2002. This projection is based on an investment return of eight percent, which some consider optimistic in today’s market and in light of the Bar’s relatively conservative investment strategy.” Diner, Kalish and President-elect Terry Russell also said the fee hike is needed so the Bar can both maintain its many improvements of the past decade and also meet new challenges. “A strong organization should never be stalled by a lack of resources,” Russell said. “The Bar must: Establish a strong program against continuing infringement on the practice of law by nonlawyers; continue to be committed to improving the access to legal services for all Floridians; keep up with technological advances and improve members’ electronic access to Bar services; and augment the Clients’ Security Fund.” The last fee increase led to improving and strengthening a number of Bar programs, as well as new efforts, including: PAO 99-3, which holds that an attorney is ethically prohibited from entering into an agreement with an insurance company to represent insureds where the attorney’s independent professional judgment and the client’s rights will be affected by restrictive billing practices imposed by the insurance company. December 1, 2000 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News On other matters, the board will hear a detailed report on the Bar’s campaign to educate voters on the November merit selection and retention local referendums and to urge them to vote “yes.” Representatives of the Government Lawyer, Tax and Workers’ Compensation sections will present their annual reports to the board. In addition, former Bar President Alan Dimond will report on the activities of the ABA Committee on Multijurisdictional Practice. Former Bar President Ray Ferrero, chair of the Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, will report on that company’s activities. Also expected to report will be Gerald Williams, president of Florida Lawyers Legal Insurance Company, and Michael Cohen, executive director of FL A, Inc. The board will also be making several appointments, including two lawyers for six-year terms on the JQC. The board will also pick one lawyer for a three-year term on the Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc.’s board, one lawyer from the Southern District for a four-year term on the federal Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference, and one lawyer from each district court of appeal jurisdiction for two-year terms on the Florida Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee.center_img Nearly doubling the contribution to the Clients’ Security Fund, which compensates clients when errant lawyers misappropriate their funds. “That program serves as a visible sign of the personal and professional integrity of the vast majority of Bar members,” Russell said. The opening of the Center for Professionalism and the funding of its programs and activities. Improvements to the Bar’s Lawyer Regulation Department, including creating the Ethics School for lawyers facing minor grievance charges can get the cases dismissed in exchange for attending classes aimed at helping them avoid future problems; a grievance mediation program that is frequently used, commonly for communication-related problems, to resolve disputes, and the new Attorney Consumer Assistance Program, which seeks to screen grievance complaints to determine which can be settled cooperatively between clients and attorneys. An expanded ethics advisory service, including wider availability of the toll-free ethics hotline. Board to debate fee increase Diner noted that even with the fee increase, the Bar compares favorably with other state bars and with other professions in Florida. At the $265 mark, the Bar would rank tied for 17th among the nation’s 34 mandatory state bars, including being behind California ($398) and Arizona ($340). That’s also lower than several voluntary bars — which do not fund grievance programs — including Connecticut ($525), Delaware ($355) and Tennessee ($310). Within the state, physicians pay $400 to belong to the Florida Medical Association, teachers pay $300 to $600 for the Florida Education Association, and engineers pay $250 for the Florida Engineering Society. Those figures do not include additional state licensing fees. Presented at the Board of Governors’ October 13 meeting by the Budget Committee, only for information, the proposed annual fee hike produced an extensive discussion. Board members appeared generally supportive, but emphasized that they wanted more information and to carefully examine the budget figures. The accompanying chart gives a breakdown on how Bar members’ annual fee money is spent. Aside from the budget, the board will hear appeals on three controversial ethics opinions approved by the Professional Ethics Committee. All involve the obligations of attorneys hired by insurance companies to represent policyholders when they are sued. The opinions have been under review, development and appeal for more than a year. The proposed advisory opinions are: PAO 99-2, which holds that an attorney hired by an insurance company to represent an insured may not provide information relating to the representation to an outside auditor at the request of the insurance company without the specific consent of the insured. Such consent cannot be implied by the contract between the insured and the insurance company. last_img read more

NCUA faces Ponzi scheme legal battle

first_imgThe NCUA is embroiled in a contentious legal battle to recover $100,000 in embezzled credit union funds invested in a $71 million Ponzi scheme.Ohio business owner John Struna is serving a federal prison sentence of more than three years for embezzling $2.3 million from Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union from 2002 to 2013. continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img

Is mobile-first, desktop-first, or element-first best for credit union web design?

first_img 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr For the past few years, the debate on the Internet has raged on. Which is superior: “mobile-first” design or “desktop-first” design. In the last few years, “element-first” design has also stepped forth as a contender. At first it seems like a clear-cut issue: which option will bring the best overall results? But the reality is far more nuanced. In this post, we’ll discuss the differences between the three approaches, and then dive into what we believe is the true solution for credit union web design.Desktop-First DesignWhat is desktop-first design?Desktop-first is the way all credit union websites were designed in the primitive era—the era when smartphones and tablets didn’t exist. Gasp! When mobile devices finally rolled onto the scene, the typical approach was to design a desktop version of a website, then reduce its elements and content when being rendered for mobile. This process is best known as graceful degradation: starting with all the bells and whistles, and then getting rid of some of them as you make concessions for different devices and browsers.Advantages:A potential advantage of desktop-first design is the brainstorming phase. If you don’t feel limited in your approach from the start, then you may be more creative. You might find a new way of looking at your site or customer base that you could have missed during mobile-only. continue reading »last_img read more

Team Biden not worried about ‘trespasser’ Trump refusing to leave White House

first_imgAnd just imagine Trump’s pique when he realizes the center of the media universe has shifted to Biden and his transition team just as soon as this race is called.  The Biden campaign was responding to multiple reports that Trump has no intention of conceding the election even when it becomes clear he has no path to victory.“Trump-world is becoming concerned that someone is going to have to reckon with him that this race is coming to an end — but who?” tweeted CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. Collins further reports that Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and other aides “have not attempted to bring Trump to terms of what’s happening and have instead fed his baseless claim that the election is being stolen from him.” – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Newsflash: Everyone still working at the White House is a spineless wonder. Hey, here’s an idea: How about just letting the whizzes at Fox News handle it? They seem up to the task.Okay, back to reality: Would a concession be nice and helpful in healing our democracy? Sure. But we all knew that if and when Trump was booted from office by the will of The People, he’d sooner burn it all down than leave peacefully. “Nobody I have spoken to on the campaign or in the White House believes that Trump would ever publicly acknowledge a loss, even long after the election is certified,” tweeted Axios reporter Jonathan Swan. – Advertisement – Yep. Trumper will go to his grave insisting the election was stolen out from under him because Georgia and Pennsylvania weren’t called for him when he was up with 50% of the votes reported. Seriously, has the guy ever even watched returns come in? Because Trump’s unhinged tirade from the White House briefing room on Thursday displayed a level of ignorance that is, frankly, irreconcilable with the bare basics of how elections are called.That said, Trump really did the Biden campaign a favor when he unleashed that attack on the fundamentals of our democracy just before a stretch of hours when Biden would blow by Trump in the Pennsylvania count and even edge ahead of him in Georgia. Team Biden no longer has any obligation to wait for a concession speech from Trump because one obviously isn’t coming. When the race is finally called for Biden, he can simply move ahead with his victory address to the country.In fact, Biden has been pitch perfect throughout this entire time of uncertainty—exuding confidence, counseling patience, and preempting Trump at every turn. The only way to handle a bully like Trump is to never give an inch—thus the “trespasser” designation. If Trump’s going to trash our democracy, then he may as well be treated like the garbage he’s spewing. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Madrid to toughen COVID-19 measures on Friday with targeted lockdowns

first_imgTopics : The Madrid region, one of the worst hit in Spain, is to introduce targeted lockdowns and other restrictions on movement on Friday in areas with high COVID-19 cases, local authorities said on Wednesday.Madrid accounts for around one-third of active coronavirus cases in Spain, with a higher incidence in high-density and low-income neighborhoods, mainly in the south of the city.”We are taking measures but it is not enough … Nothing will work if we are not responsible,” Antonio Zapatero, head of COVID-19 response in Madrid, told reporters. “There has been a relaxation of behavior that we cannot afford.” He said people were organizing parties, drinking in the street and not respecting quarantine rules.He did not give details of the measures to be announced on Friday, but said the health department was considering locking down areas with the highest incidence of the virus.Since restrictions on movement were lifted and mass testing began in late June, infections have risen in Spain from a few hundred a day to thousands, outstripping other hard-hit nations such as Britain, Italy or France.Spain’s cumulative number of cases, at 603,167, is the highest in Western Europe, while the number of deaths exceeded 30,000.Authorities in Madrid hope to start using quick tests from next week, which would help track coronavirus cases faster and reign in the epidemic.last_img read more

Selling a home during the wetcan flushing out the house hunters

first_imgLJ Hooker Cairns South sales agent Robyn Wakefield in the rain at a luxurious Bayview Heights house. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERSDESPITE the wet footprints and muddy puddles, selling a home during Far North Queensland’s wet season could actually have a number of hidden benefits.LJ Hooker Cairns south agent Robyn Wakefield said while the number of people through a home in poor weather was usually lower, those who did make the effort were often more committed.“If you have a really rainy day you get your serious buyers. I love the wet season because when you see a car pull up you get excited — you know these people are looking to buy as opposed to just perusing the market,” she said.“In actual fact it’s always the busiest time of year.”Ms Wakefield said the rain was also great for buyers to check for leaks or drainage issues.“As a vendor the wet weather can be a real eye opener. If you’re a responsible vendor you’ll get those things fixed,” she said.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days agoREIQ Far North region zone chair Tom Quaid agreed and said a spot of simple housekeeping measures would preserve a clean, tidy home during an inspection day.“A few towels or extra mats on the floor as well as a spot for umbrellas to prevent drips through the house will help keep a home looking neat and tidy,” he said. “Another thing for sellers to be mindful of is keeping the lawn as neat as possible despite the rain. “While no-one likes mowing in the wet, it’s very easy for grass to get out of control in this weather and worth getting a little damp if it means your home is looking closer to its best.”Mr Quaid said photography was even more important during periods of inclement weather.“In the wet weather it’s very easy to put things off so you need to make sure there is something enticing to make sure your buyer is willing to brave the rain,” he said.“Professional photography when the sun is shining is a must to make sure that the first impression buyers have of your home is a positive one.“A floorplan and 360-degree photography can also help to give your property an edge here.”last_img read more

Mercer Switzerland head of retirement to leave consultancy in autumn

first_imgWilli Thurnherr, head of retirement at Mercer in Switzerland, will be leaving the consultancy on 30 September.He had been in this position since 2007 and is rumoured to be joining another international consultancy in Zurich. Catherine Schoendorff, chief executive at Mercer Switzerland, is to head the retirement business on an interim basis.She confirmed to IPE that the consultancy was “looking into internal and external options” to replace Thurnherr. “We are sure we will be able to present a successor shortly,” she added.Further, Schoendorff stressed that Switzerland would remain a “market of great importance and a major growth opportunity” for Mercer.Schoendorff herself had been named country head of Mercer Switzerland in January this year.She joined the consultancy in 2011 after a decade at Hewitt as leader of its pension administration business in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.Over the last year, there have been several shifts in the Swiss international consultancy universe, with former Publica head Werner Hertzog having left Aon Hewitt Switzerland in May 2014.Around the same time, Edouard Stucki left as a senior consultant at Towers Watson Switzerland.At beginning of 2015, he joined comPlan’s asset management team, managing the assets of Swisscom’s Pensionskasse. In July last year, Mercer Switzerland announced its head of investment Christian Bodmer was to leave the consultancy.last_img read more

Strike duo to stay at Reds – agents

first_img However, despite both being linked with moves back to Italy the agents of Balotelli and Borini insist that will not happen. “[Balotelli] has a contract with Liverpool and can’t really be offered to other clubs,” agent Mino Raiola told Mediaset Premium. “He chose to leave Italy and was aware of what he was leaving; he hasn’t had the success he was hoping for, but he still needs time. “Juventus have denied their interest in him, and I have had absolutely no contact with Inter (Milan), so that’s the current situation now.” Borini’s representative Marco de Marchi has also denied his player will be leaving Anfield. “Borini will not return to Italy in January,” he told SportItalia. “He is happy with Liverpool, the club he is playing for.” Rodgers expects there to be little or no business done in this transfer window with any departures likely to be loans for players who have not had much pitch time. Liverpool forwards Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini will not be returning to their native Italy in the January transfer window, according to their agents. His injury list is easing with defender Jon Flanagan set to return soon having not featured since the end of last season because of a knee injury. The 22-year-old, who has been used on both the left and right side of defence by Rodgers, is out of contract in the summer and increased competition in those areas – Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno both arrived last summer – presents a challenge for him in the next couple of months. “When I saw that we signed two full-backs, I immediately thought ‘I need to up my game now’,” he told the Official Liverpool Magazine. “I know I need to consistently do well if I’m to get in the team and then stay there. “I want to keep developing as a footballer, that’s why not being available has been so frustrating, but competition for places doesn’t bother me. I’m always up for the fight. “I’ve been out for what has felt like a really long time. I’ve got in the team before and kept my place. Now I need to do that again.” There has been no update on the fitness of captain Steven Gerrard, who was withdrawn as a precaution at half-time at Sunderland due to tightness in his hamstring. With striker Daniel Sturridge to return from a long injury lay-off later this month, the pair are set to slip even further down the pecking order. In the absence of Raheem Sterling, who was given a short break by manager Brendan Rodgers, Borini was preferred to his fellow countryman in Saturday’s victory at Sunderland but neither are likely to feature prominently in the remainder of the season. Press Associationlast_img read more