This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Assistance League of Pasadena, a nonprofit, philanthropic, volunteer organization serving the needs of Pasadena and the surrounding community. Its members kicked off the celebration March 10 with a ceremony in which a special flag of the United States was raised over its chapter headquarters. This special flag was flown over the United States Capitol on January 13, 2016, to honor the Assistance League of Pasadena on the date of the actual anniversary of when the chapter received its charter.We are very proud of our organization, its dedicated members, and our continued commitment to serving the changing needs of the Pasadena community. We will be celebrating this major milestone with events throughout the year, and we were thrilled to kick it off in such a special way,” stated the organization’s president Irene Miller. “And we were privileged to have our guest of honor, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, say a few words.”Mayor Tornek and attendees gathered in the courtyard of the Assistance League of Pasadena’s chapter headquarters and witnessed the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps of Blair High School, under the leadership of First Sergeant Ervin L. Turner, present the National Colors and hoist the United States flag, which will continue to fly over the headquarters throughout this celebratory year. The ceremony was presided over by chapter President Irene Miller. Board member Julie Escudero led the Pledge of Allegiance, guest Alan Pinel sang the National Anthem, and chapter member and ordained minister Jolene Cadenbach gave the invocation.Assistance League of Pasadena is a chapter of Assistance League – a national, nonprofit, volunteer organization formed in 1935, with over 26,000 member volunteers in 120 chapters. Founded in 1936, Assistance League of Pasadena is one of the longest standing chapters. Last year, the chapter’s volunteers dedicated over 15,000 hours of service and touched thousands of lives in Pasadena and the surrounding communities through their hands-on philanthropic efforts.For more information on the national organization, visit assistanceleague.org.For additional information on the Assistance League of Pasadena, contact the chapter office at (626) 449-2068 or visit its website at www.pasadena.assistanceleague.org. Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday First Heatwave Expected Next Week Subscribe HerbeautyAncient Beauty Remedies From India To Swear By For Healthy SkinHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself Right NowHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyRub This All Over Your Body And He’s Guaranteed To Swoon Over YouHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThink Outside The Ordinary: 9 Gifts That Do All The Talking!HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeauty More Cool Stuff Top of the News Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes 7 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Community News Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Business News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Community News Gatherings Assistance League of Pasadena Kicks Off Its 75th Year From STAFF REPORTS Published on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 | 11:42 am Make a comment EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
In this week’s edition of the “Consider This!” webinar series, Heidi Beidinger-Burnett and Mary Ann McDowell, both faculty in the University’s Eck Institute for Global Health, discussed the epidemiology of COVID-19. The hosts were joined by Alex Perkins, associate professor in the department of biological sciences, and Jenna Coalson, assistant professor of the practice in global health.In preparation for the fifth installment of the lecture series, Perkins and Coalson released short tutorials. These segments helped to further contextualize epidemiological modeling.Officials may have missed out on a crucial opportunity to manage the virus in February, Perkins noted in a 13-minute video. Using epidemiological modeling, he reasoned COVID-19 infections may have been “substantially underestimated” during the initial stages of the virus.Coalson dedicated her preview tutorial to explaining the implications of a virus’ “reproductive number.“ Coalson defined this value as the “average number of individuals directly infected by one infectious case through the total infectious period.” She pointed out the importance of reducing the COVID-19 reproductive number below one in order to slow the spread.The hosts opened the conversation candidly, delving into the backgrounds of the week’s guests. Although Perkins’s research focuses on mosquito-borne diseases, he said he explores “predictive understanding of where and when these diseases occur … and curtailing their burden.”In addition to five years of epidemiological consulting, Coalson has experience in malaria epidemiology research in Malawi and Ghana.The conversation shifted focus to herd immunity and The Great Barrington Declaration. The Declaration shows a divergence from prevailing COVID-19 policies and states that “as immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all — including the vulnerable — falls.”Both Coalson and Perkins pushed back against some of the Declaration’s claims, reminding viewers that not enough is known about the virus to corroborate.Coalson acknowledged the lower risks the virus poses to younger populations. Still, she noted that the behavior of young people may inevitably lead to a higher spread of COVID-19.“There are going to be these pockets of high spread of the disease,” Coalson said.Coalson said she has admiration for the efforts of Notre Dame students. She admitted that, in a dense contact network, it can easily become much more of a problem.“We owe so much to our students for it not being worse than it was,” she said.Coalson voiced concerns about managing the virus as temperatures continue to drop. Beidinger responded by asking Coalson to share tips for stopping the spread of the virus during the onset of colder months and the holiday season. Coalson recommended developing a “pod“ that would remind people to limit their social interactions to a defined number of people.Perkins pointed out that the spread of the virus is affected by many of the decisions that individuals control. He suggested that people consider doing things that allow them to stay socially distant.“It’s going to the grocery store or ordering them to your house. It’s going out to dinner or eating in,” Perkins said.Burnett and McDowell closed the lecture in tandem. Reciting their weekly outro, they reminded viewers to consider this: “The more you know, the more good you can do, be informed and act on accurate information, and share reliable information.”Tags: Consider This!, COVID-19, epidemiology, social pods
April 1, 2002 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News More modest changes still in the mix Massive rewrite of workers’ comp laws set aside Senior EditorEfforts for a massive rewrite of Florida’s workers’ compensation laws may have ended March 12 in a Senate committee when the bill sponsor scrapped most of the far-reaching provisions and settled for more modest changes.Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Palm Harbor, said he had been trying to work with a coalition of businesses seeking major changes, including limits on attorneys’ fees, but said he tired of dealing with them. The Banking and Insurance Committee passed his amended bill 10-0. It was scheduled for three other committees, but because of the approaching end of the session might go directly to the Senate floor.“Basically they told me it was all or nothing, forgetting temporarily who was sponsoring the bill,” Latvala told the committee. “My first inclination was to let the bill go for the year. But I really felt there are four or five sections of the bill that have some meaningful things in them that I thought were worth pursuing further.. . . I would rather chip away at the problem rather than have an all or nothing approach.”Rafael Gonzalez, chair of The Florida Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Section, said the section supported the revised bill, which he said would speed up the handling of claims.“We are especially appreciative of Sen. Latvala’s support of mandatory appellate mediation,” he said. “The appellate mediation program that existed has been very successful, but was done away with because of the lack of resources.”Latvala said his bill would:• Shorten the time for required mediation when a claim is filed from 124 to 90 days, and cut the time for the final hearing from 210 to 180 days.• Have expedited hearings from claims of $5,000 or less involving medical benefits only.• Allow continuances only for circumstances beyond the parties’ control, with any continuance order being required to contain a specific date for the next hearing.• Allow judges of compensation claims to dismiss claims that have been inactive for 12 months, unless good cause is shown.• Require appellate mediation. Latvala said both plaintiff and defense sides met with First District Court of Appeal Chief Judge Michael E. Allen to work out the best way to do that.• Require that all workers on commercial construction sites worth more than $250,000 be covered by workers’ comp. insurance. Some workers on smaller projects, as well as those on residential construction involving single family homes, duplexes, and triplexes, would continue to qualify for exemptions. That exemption issue is one of the touchiest in the workers’ compensation debate, according to senators and speakers at the committee.“This covers some issues that need to be covered. It addresses some issues that need to be addressed,” Latvala said of the amended bill. “If we get three or four good things done, I’ll leave it to the rest of you to get more done next year.”Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Tamarac, announced that if he wins reelection in November he intends to work with Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, a workers’ comp. defense lawyer, to craft a major overhaul of the system.“The problem with workers’ compensation is it’s broke. We try to put a Band-Aid on it every year,” he said. In next year’s bill, he continued, “Employers will get reasonable rates and workers will be protected and doctors will get reasonable fees, and we’ll try to make sure the benefits are equivalent to what the workers should get. We’re going to talk about permanent partial disability and restoring some of that so we don’t have so many seeking permanent total disability. And exemptions are going to be done in my bill; tell the home builders that.”Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, and next year’s Senate president, said he would support that effort, joking, “If. . . Sen. Campbell’s bill really perks along and looks good, someone in the Republican Party will claim it, and we’ll claim victory.”Under state law, construction companies can exempt some owners and officers from workers’ comp. coverage. But the problem, senators and speakers said, is some companies misuse those exemptions and others simply fail to pay premiums to cover workers. Those companies get a significant competitive advantage, which hurts companies that follow the law, and the state’s enforcement is weak and penalties are mild, according to critics.Banking and Insurance Committee Chair Sen. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, said one study showed while insurers get $2.9 billion in workers’ comp. premiums, another $1.4 billion is lost through fraud related to construction exemptions. He also said most of the fraud comes on projects not covered in Latvala’s bill.He and others noted while Florida has among the highest, if not the highest, premiums in the nation, payments to injured workers are among the lowest. But while that won’t be addressed this year, Latvala’s bill “I believe from the bottom of my heart is going to set a solid foundation for the workers’ comp. reform we need,” Posey said.The Senate bill, SB 2304, now becomes radically different from the House version, HB 1947, which raises the basic compensation scale for workers’ comp. plaintiff attorneys, but banned any extra fees for extra work, such as getting tests originally denied by an employer/carrier. The bill also reduced payments to some older workers and limited exams for injured workers. ( See story in the March 15 News. )Gonzalez, of the Workers’ Compensation Section, said after the meeting the House could amend its bill to match the Senate version in the last days of the session, recognizing the reluctance of the upper chamber to make major changes this year. Massive rewrite of workers’ comp laws set aside
Submitted by Duncan & AssociatesThis is one example of a sculpture created with donated canned food by Duncan and Associates employees to benefit the Food Bank.Beginning each October 1, Duncan & Associates begin a canned food drive donation to benefit the Thurston County Food Bank.Each associate donates canned food and then splits into teams and puts their creative efforts together to create a “sculpture” using the canned goods.Each entry is then judged and a winner chosen based on their level of crativity.The winning team recieved a monetary prize which they donated to the food bank as well as the food collected. Facebook2Tweet0Pin0
Mike Smith1332123%$322,280 Edwin Maldonado3548711%$185,000 Dan Hendricks831038%$71,890 Richard Mandella1755129%$385,840 A ‘SPECIAL’ MONDAY AT DERBY RESTAURANT With the Special Olympics World Games being held throughout Southern California from July 25-Aug. 9, the City of Arcadia will be among the many communities hosting a group of participating athletes and their coaches for three days prior to the competition.And the legendary Derby restaurant at 233 Huntington Drive is doing its part to help.This Monday, May 18, the Derby will donate, after costs, all proceeds from lunch, dinner and alcohol to a volunteer committee that has been making plans to house, feed, transport and entertain a contingent of approximately 100 from the twin-island country of Trinidad & Tobago and the Kyrgyz Republic, the former Soviet Union country of Kyrgyzstan.A number of jockeys, including Mike Smith and Gary Stevens, and retired great Laffit Pincay Jr., plus horse trainers and city dignitaries, have indicated they will be at the Derby on Monday. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 626 447-2430. A mention of Special Olympics is encouraged.For further information, contact committee member Larry Stewart at 818 512-1608. Rafael Bejarano4389919%$368,930 Joseph Talamo4472816%$257,942 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won FINISH LINES: Richard Baltas reports that Grade I winner Big Macher is in England with trainer Wesley Ward who will prepare the California-bred son of Beau Genius for either the King’s Stand at five furlongs on turf June 16 or the Diamond Jubilee at six furlongs on turf June 20 at Royal Ascot. “I spoke with Wesley yesterday and the horse seemed like he shipped in fine,” said Baltas, who also is the new trainer of 2014 Charles Town Classic winner Imperative. The son of Bernardini currently is at Bonnie Acres in Hemet for evaluation before returning to the track. “He’ll have at least a month’s rest,” Baltas said . . . With 4-5 favorite Wandering Heart creating a minus show pool of $129,722 while finishing fourth in a five-horse field in yesterday’s first race, show prices were greatly inflated. Victorious High Intensity paid $19.60, $6 and $21.40 across the board; runner-up Kiss My Face paid $3.80 and $5.60; and third-place finisher West Mid returned $29 to show . . . Through 12 racing days, favorites at Santa Anita were winning right about the national norm, 33.98 percent (35 of 103). Favorites on dirt were winning at a 32.86 percent clip (23 of 70), while on turf, 36.36 percent (12 of 33) . . . The Great Race Place presents its Santa Anita Carnival Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 23 through Monday, May 25. The entire family is invited for three days of live racing, carnival rides, games and prizes, with unlimited rides for children for only $10. Admission and parking to the Infield is free through Gate 6 off Colorado Place. SANTA ANITA STATISTICS John Sadler2434313%$156,198 NO SENSE RAILING AGAINST RAIL IN PREAKNESSSTEVENS FANCIES HIS VIEW FROM THE OUTSIDEBIG MACHER WITH WARD FOR ROYAL ASCOT RACE Santiago Gonzalez3447212%$166,588 -30- Felipe Valdez4368414%$221,580 Drayden Van Dyke3674219%$258,910 Doug O’Neill37711519%$340,000 PREAKNESS POSTS NO DETERRENT, HOLLENDORFER SAYSBob Baffert doesn’t always draw the rail. It just seems like it.While no records are immediately available, the Hall of Fame trainer seems to live onthe rail in post position draws. Such is the case in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, where the two horses he trains, Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah and third-place finisher Dortmund will break from one and two respectively in a field of eight going a mile and three-sixteenths. “I didn’t like the draw,” Baffert told Daily Racing Form. “I hate seeing them next to each other like that.”Horsemen in general, be they trainers or jockeys, have no great love of inside post positions. A strong intimidation factor seems to exist for both horse and rider.“The facts are the facts when you’re on the rail, going short especially,” said Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who is steadfastly approaching career victory No. 7,000. “Guys don’t seem to like being there.“I guess it’s considered a disadvantage. Part of the problem is riders on the rail feel like they have to send their horses out of there and try to get a good position and some horses don’t like to be sent off their feet out of there.“When horses break a little slow, the tendency is to try and rush them up from the one hole so they don’t get shuffled back too far. It’s a problem, but if you have a good enough horse, they can overcome it.”“A good enough horse” would certainly be an appropriate description of American Pharoah and Dortmund in the Preakness, which, at a sixteenth of a mile shorter than the mile and a quarter Kentucky Derby, is far from a sprint.“I don’t consider the Preakness post positions for them a disadvantage at all,” Hollendorfer said.STEVENS HAPPY OVER PREAKNESS DRAWAs far as jockey Gary Stevens is concerned, the post position draw for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes couldn’t have gone any better if he drew the race himself.Stevens was not only happy to have his mount, Kentucky Derby runner-up Firing Line, draw the outside post in the eight-horse field, but he seemed downright giddy that his major competition, American Pharoah and Dortmund, drew posts one and two, respectively.Moreover, Mr. Z, a late addition to the field after he was purchased privately by Calumet Farm, drew post three. Mr. Z, who finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby, remains in the care of trainer D. Wayne Lukas.“I’m pleased not so much where I drew but where Dortmund and American Pharoah drew, one and two, and Mr. Z outside of them,” said Stevens, a three-time winner of the Preakness. “I expect Mr. Z to show more speed than he did in the Kentucky Derby with new ownership.“Wayne’s going out for the kill; that’s going to make those guys make some decisions earlier in the race that they didn’t have the benefit of making in the Kentucky Derby. Now I’ve got that benefit.”In the Kentucky Derby, Firing Line dueled outside of Dortmund before putting that horse away in deep stretch. But, American Pharoah, who broke from post 15 in the Kentucky Derby, rallied several paths outside of Firing Line, pulling away from that rival late to win by one length.Stevens said Firing Line, owned by Arnold Zetcher and trained by Simon Callaghan, would have no problem sitting off the pace, something he did in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Feb. 7 when he made the lead in mid-stretch but was outgamed to the wire by Dortmund, who won that race by a head.“He’ll sit about any trip,” Stevens said. “I wasn’t overly concerned about the draw. I toldMr. Zetcher just prior to it I’d love to have the outside, but if we don’t I’ll be fine with where we’re at. But those three being down inside it gives me a lot of options.”Stevens also believes the fact that Firing Line had six weeks from the Sunland Derby to the Kentucky Derby gives him a fresher horse for the two-week turnaround from the Kentucky Derby to the Preakness.“I think it helps him,” he said. “That’s one thing Simon, Mr. Zetcher and myself talked about before. For a guy that’s never been through the Triple Crown before, Simon was sorting this stuff out prior to; he knew what he was getting into and how tough it was going to be on him and he felt the six weeks would be to our benefit.“We had the freshest horse going into the Derby and I got to think of the top three Derby finishers we may have come out of the race with the freshest horse going into the Preakness.”In conjunction with the Preakness, Santa Anita will present an attractive day of live racing along with a festive Preakness party featuring the Preakness Handicapping Challenge offering $100,000 in prizes this weekend, May 16 and 17.Santa Anita offers a $500,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool on Saturday as well as a guaranteed Pick 6 pool of $150,000. First post time is 11:30 a.m.For details, visit santaanita.com. ULTIMATE HOLIDAY WORKING WELL FOR ANGEL FLIGHTUltimate Holiday goes from an impressive maiden allowance win to the $75,000 Angels Flight for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs Saturday.Richard Baltas, currently in the mix for leading trainer with six wins through 12 days, was cautiously optimistic about her chances.“She’s been working great, although I was looking for a softer spot for her, but couldn’t find one, so here we are,” he said.Ultimate Holiday, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Harlan’s Holiday, captured her last race by 3 ¼ lengths on April 4, her first start since last Aug. 31.The field for the Angels Flight, the second race on an 11-race card: Ultimate Holiday, Felipe Valdez, 12-1; Tara’s Tango, Mike Smith, 1-1; Suva Harbor, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1; $1,500 supplemental nominee Moon’s Over, Elvis Trujillo, 6-1; Fantastic Style, Rafael; Bejarano, 9-5; and Ben’s Duchess, Joe Talamo, 7-2. Flavien Prat491111222%$635,920 Tyler Baze661391220%$543,750 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Richard Baltas2163129%$307,610 Philip D’Amato2072235%$278,960 Peter Miller2448117%$193,710 Elvis Trujillo3641411%$192,590 Gonzalo Nicolas373388%$117,276 (Current Through Thursday, May 14) William Spawr730043%$59,220 Fernando Perez4387719%$335,460 Tiago Pereira2446317%$187,920
Tag: 爱上海 TRIPLE CROWN CHAMPION AMERICAN PHAROAH BREEZES HALF MILE AT SANTA ANITA IN 49.80; BAFFERT CHARGE HAS FIRST WORK SINCE SECOND-PLACE RUN IN GRADE I TRAVERS AUG. 29–WITH $5 MILLION BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC NEXT UP
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 21, 2015)–Under the watchful eye of trainer Bob Baffert, Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah, with jockey Martin Garcia up, breezed a half mile this morning at Santa Anita in 49.80–his first official work since running second in the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 29.Based at Santa Anita last fall, winter and early spring, the Ahmed Zayat homebred colt by Pioneerof the Nile won the final start of his 2-year-old campaign, the Grade I FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita a year ago and was subsequently named Eclipse Champion 2-year-old.America’s first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, American Pharoah returned to Santa Anita following victory in the Belmont Stakes June 6 and was then vanned to Del Mar in mid-July in advance of an emphatic 2 ¼ length win in the Grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2. Subsequent to that, he was returned to Del Mar and prepared for the prestigious Travers.Along with the rest of Baffert’s stable, American Pharoah returned yet again to The Great Race Place early on Sept. 10 and has trained over the main track each day since as Baffert readies him for his career finale, and a likely showdown with superstar mare Beholder, in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Oct. 31.
This line sounds serious: “We have pretty much erased the record of Triassic ornithischian dinosaurs from North America, Europe and worldwide, except for South America.” This is what William Parker said about his find of a complete Revueltosaurus fossil in Arizona that upsets the leading story of the rise of the ornithischian dinosaurs (one of two major dinosaur groups). The fossil, earlier known only from teeth, was presumed to be a dinosaur, but now has been found to be mostly crocodilian. What damage this does to assumptions about dinosaur evolution is explained by EurekAlert and LiveScience.com.It is wondrous how Darwinians get their ability to build epic tales, animated features and all, on such flimsy data as a few teeth. If they can’t even get the class of an animal right from the teeth, how can they tell us all about the age, and which ancestor begat which? When the wrong story was assumed, for so long, and passed the peer review of children’s picture books, how much confidence does this give a reasonable observer that other figments of the story have validity? Dinosaur evolution theories will survive this catastrophic impact, as Darwinian tales always do; in fact, the vacancy left behind may open up more niches for rapid diversification of new plot lines. This is known as adaptive radiation. Any Darwinian with this positive spin rolling around in his head has evolutionary theory in a nut shell. (Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Tag: 爱上海 Good Publicity for I.D.:
Michael Behe got interviewed in the UK newspaper The Guardian and was compared to Galileo for being condemned by the NAS curia. See reprint on Discovery Institute.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Africa’s growth trajectory remains positive despite the current global economic turmoil, with sub-Saharan Africa set to grow at more than 5% over the coming decade, Brand South Africa said as international business and political leaders gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the World Economic Forum on Africa.“Africa offers the highest returns on investment of any region and is home to seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world,” Brand South Africa said in a statement on Thursday.The Economist projects that WEF Africa host Ethiopia’s economy will grow at 8.1% between 2011 and 2015, making it the third-fastest growing economy in the world.Over the last decade, the continent’s economic output has tripled, while sub-Saharan Africa’s grow over the coming decade, at a projected average 5%, would make the continent second only to emerging Asia as the fastest-growing region in the world.Yet, according to Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola, Africans “have not defined their economies and growth prospects to the world, but have allowed international bankers, political analysts and credit ratings agencies to take the initiative and write up – or sometimes belittle – the African growth story”.Africans ‘more confident in their continent’Speaking in Addis Ababa on Thursday, Matola said Africans were now demonstrating greater confidence in their continent.“According to recent Ernst & Young research, three of the top five fastest-growing investors into new projects in Africa between 2003-2011 were the African economic powerhouses – South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya,” Matola said.South African investment into Africa grew at a rate of 64.8% in this period.Regarding the various factors behind Africa’s phenomenal growth since the turn of the century, Matola said these included greater democratisation and stability, economic reform, urbanisation, improved uptake of ICT and financial services, a younger, growing and more affluent population, and the ongoing resources boom.According to Matola, the world is slowly waking up to the massive projects under way to build new roads, rail, ports and other infrastructure to link previously isolated countries and regions – to be accompanied by the expansion of free trade areas which will eventually encompass the whole continent.South Africa ‘pushing African investment, integration’To encourage further continental growth, South Africa is orientating its government policies, regulations and institutions to support African investment and integration.“Over the last decade South Africa has been the leading foreign direct investor in Africa, though it is now being joined by China and other developing nations,” Matola said. “Now our state institutions have been authorised to invest – particularly in infrastructure and industrialisation.”The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), South Africa’s state-owned development finance institution, has expanded its remit to include African investment and has established relationships with development finance institutions and regional forums in 34 African countries.The IDC will consider new or existing companies within Africa with funding needs of up to R1-billion (US$125-million).South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) – which mainly manages government workers’ pensions and has over R1-trillion ($125-billion) in funds – has set 10% of its funds aside for international investment, half of which will be in Africa.Of this, 40%-60% (up to $3.8-billion) will be earmarked for private equity.Most pessimistic ‘the ones not doing business here’According to the recently released Ernst & Young 2012 Africa Attractiveness Survey, foreign direct investment projects in Africa grew 27% between 2010 and 2011.“Unsurprisingly, the report found that people already doing business in Africa were extremely positive,” Matola said.“There are lingering negative perceptions – but only among those who are not yet doing business in Africa. Executives who don’t do business here, those who have the least exposure – and one presumes the least knowledge – are the most negative about Africa.”To participate in the African growth story, Matola said South Africa was investing heavily to improve its competitiveness and reduce unemployment.“Over the next few years we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on regional and South African infrastructure. This will enhance our advanced network of roads, ports, rail and communication networks which offer a trade link for the landlocked countries in southern Africa to the world, making South Africa a regional transhipment hub for sub-Saharan Africa.”Integrated Africa ‘on the way’According to Matola, no country in Africa can reach its full potential by working in isolation.“As South Africa, we will leverage our membership of BRICS [the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa grouping] to increase trade and investment into Africa and support the African agenda.“African countries should also promote their regional as well as their national advantages,” Matola said. “Investors are very excited about the pending 26-nation free trade area covering Southern, Central and East Africa.“By June 2014, nearly 60% of the economy of Africa, with a combined GDP of $1-trillion and encompassing 600-million people, will be a single free trade area.“Already we are creating the urban development corridors, the networks of interlocking regional infrastructure, and the reducing the non-tariff barriers which will unlock these huge markets.”South Africa, with its sophisticated and well-regulated banks, capital markets and services sectors, is being used as a deal-making, financial and professional services hub for the entire region to provide access to capital for African businesses and support inward investment and trade.Matola said there was an uplifting optimism in the air of Ethiopia’s capital.“There is a strong feeling that the continental progress in good governance and the more than decade-long growth spurt can be made sustainable. African countries and businesses seeking investment must tell their own story – or risk being misunderstood by potential investors and supporters.“Africa’s time has come,” Matola said. “It’s time the world knew.” Source: Mediaclub South Africa
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Every job has its ups and downs, but Brett Cuthbert admits that it is hard to get too frustrated when surrounded by thousands of beautiful flowers — especially around the holidays with acres of poinsettias under glass. “If you’re having a bad day you can walk into the greenhouse and see flowers,” Cuthbert said. “You have to love what you do and being able to see flowers every day certainly isn’t bad.”Brett is part of the third generation to run Cuthbert Greenhouse, Inc., in Franklin County that specializes in wholesale production of a wide variety of plants. The greenhouse business was started in 1951 to supply starter plants for the family’s 30-acre farm near Groveport. The operation has grown to two locations with 13 acres under glass and a small retail market. They primarily sell to Kroger, Giant Eagle, Kmart and other large retailers in the Columbus area.“We try to stay within 150-mile radius around Columbus most of the time,” he said. “We do go outside of that some, but that gets us in all of Ohio out to Indiana, Pittsburg and West Virginia. We do not typically go into Michigan much.”Of course, Easter and Mother’s Day are vitally important to the business but there is not much more stunning than when the greenhouses are filled wall-to-wall with the holiday hues of popular poinsettias this time of year. They sell between 150,000 and 170,000 poinsettias a year in 4.5-inch, 6.5-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch pot sizes, with the 6.5-inch size being the most popular.One of the most significant challenges with poinsettia production is anticipating what the newest trends will be in the quickly changing retail market.“We have to order our cuttings in February and trying to guess what the retailers want and how many they want the following Christmas can be tough. Will they switch something? It is not like manufacturing where they can tell you three weeks ahead of time and things can be changed,” Cuthbert said. “We place our initial order based on the previous year and then talk to customers about any changes they are considering. You have to have open communication with your customers to make sure you are supplying what they need. Sometimes it is a pure guess. Then, we always try to produce around 10% more than what we know we are going to need. Some of that extra production is due to plant loss that we will have and some is due to people wanting to change things. You need to sell everything you have grown, so you do not want to produce too many. It is a real balancing act.”Painted and glitter covered poinsettias are a recent trend for buyers.In general, the trends are fairly stable for poinsettias, but the details can change quite a bit with new varieties and shifting customer demand.“We buy un-rooted cuttings for three or four different reds and then we have marbles, pinks, whites and others. We usually have around 20 different varieties tailored around what is the best for us and what our customers want,” Cuthbert said. “Red is always the bulk of our poinsettias — around 75% of what we sell. I personally like the ones that are a little different.”White and pink poinsettias are increasingly popular because they are the most common colors for painting, which is a current trend.“We are doing more painting with floral paint and glitter. That is becoming more popular. It started five or six years ago and it has been growing more and more,” he said. “When we are painting them, it is on a white poinsettia 90% of the time. You can’t do it with spray paint. You have to use floral paint that lets the plants breathe. Floral paint has an alcohol base so a lot of it evaporates off. After you paint it and let it dry, you spray it with watered down glue and sprinkle the plants with glitter. It is a long drawn out process.”The cuttings for the poinsettias begin arriving in June and are started based on the desired end size and sale date of the plants.“After we get the cuttings we stick them in oasis to root them out for two to three weeks. Then we transfer the plant to a pot with our standard soil mix and wait until that roots out to the edge of the pots. To determine the number of bracts, which are the sets of colored leaves, you have to take a pinch off its top and that makes it fuller. If you pinch it too low you won’t have enough leaves. We do that around six weeks after we start them,” he said. “You have to grow the products to the correct specs for the customer. You have to make sure it is the right size with the right number of bracts. If it doesn’t meet those specs we leave it behind and we only sell the ones that meet the criteria. For an 8-inch pot, for example, you want at least 15 bracts. If you have too few it can hurt you. More is OK. An 8-inch pot and 10-inch pot have three plants and the smaller pots have two. You have to grow what the customer wants.”Poinsettias are among the more costly plants produced in the greenhouse due to the supplemental heat they require.“The poinsettia demand for us really depends on how many people are growing poinsettias. You have to heat all of these greenhouses and that cost often determines if people will grow them or not. We use natural gas for heat,” he said. “Poinsettias and the spring crops cost more to produce because of the heating costs we have.”The plants have to be carefully managed to maintain consistent quality.“When you water poinsettias you can’t get water on the leaves, so we have them on drip irrigation or ebb and flow bench irrigation where the water comes up from the bottom,” he said. “When you see a poinsettia you want a nice pristine leaf. Water leaves spots.“Insects can be a problem with poinsettias too. You just have to be diligent with them. White fly is the main pest. You just have to stay on top of it with your spray program. You can get botrytis if they sit wet. We have a fungicide in our soil medium to prevent problems with that. We always need to use new pots and fresh soil because you do not want to bring something in. When it gets to the store we can’t control it, so we need to do what we can to prevent problems after the plants leave here.”After months in the greenhouse, the sales season starts in mid-November as the plants assume their final hues.Water can leave unsightly spots on poinsettias.“Different varieties color up differently. Later varieties take longer to turn colors. You can also trick them with black cloth to give them shorter days and longer nights. They are photosensitive and that will make them turn faster if you need them really early. For most of them we don’t do that,” he said. “When they’re ready, we pull poinsettias one day and ship them to the store the next day. You don’t want a live plant sitting in a box for more than a few days.”The vast majority of the plants go to large retailers, but some are sold to smaller retailers, organizations and churches as well.“Fundraisers are really good for fall and Christmas so we do them with mums and poinsettias. We sell them at wholesale cost and then they can add $2 to $5 to them and raise money. Prices for us depend on the order size,” Cuthbert said. “We ship poinsettias until Dec. 24 when we take some to churches who want them for Christmas.”If they have too large of a supply, they can usually find someone who needs poinsettias and, likewise, when the Cuthberts come up short, they can usually find what they need.“The greenhouse industry is about friendly competition. If we need something we can buy it from somewhere else and if others need something they buy it from us. We help each other out,” he said. “Last year we ran short on 8-inch and 10- inch plants and we had to go to Cleveland to find them, but we have also had extra production where we have shipped to Texas in the past.”Cuthbert, his brother and cousin run the business with the help of up to nearly 50 seasonal employees at different points during the year. There are certainly challenges in keeping their market-savvy and budget-conscious retail customers happy, but even on the toughest days the Cuthberts have acres of reasons to smile.