March 16, 2020
  • 10:54 am PCB wants Windies for day-night Test
  • 4:35 pm WADA to probe new doping reports
  • 1:45 pm Bolt waves off Gatlin threat
  • 1:39 pm Warriors set record for assists in big NBA win
  • 1:36 pm No position on bleaching – ISSA

first_imgView comments DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced The Philippine national basketball team is set to announce its final 12-man lineup late Friday evening but head coach Yeng Guiao said he’s still waiting for the confirmation for Jordan Clarkson’s inclusion.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NCAA: San Beda overcomes Letran in OT LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil “We still don’t know but of course we want him to play,” said Guiao. “We want to know if all the permits have been secured so we’re still waiting.”“That’s one thing we discussed with the officials, but we’ll take the risk of reserving a slot for him because if we don’t give him one and he ends up getting the accreditation then that’s just too bad.”And as part of their preparation for the Asian Games, Guiao said his team will have a scrimmage against TNT on Saturday at Moro Lorenzo Gym in Ateneo.ADVERTISEMENT Clarkson, who is born to a Filipino mother, plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers and will need clearances from the NBA, his club, and an accreditation from the Olympic Council of Asia to allow him to play in the Asian Games in Jakarta.READ: Guiao awaits word on Clarkson’s inclusion in Asian Games roster FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“We’re still waiting on the situation of Clarkson, I don’t know if you guys have word of it but right now I still don’t have the confirmation,” said Guiao in Filipino Friday at Meralco Gym.Guiao, whose team’s main financial backer is Smart, will still reserve a slot in the final 12-man lineup for Clarkson and he’s willing to risk bringing just 11 players in Jakarta on Sunday. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more

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first_imgDear Editor,Every human being has some moral compass and decency. Whatever moral authority and decency Khemraj Ramjattan might have possessed, he has totally lost today. His arrogant boasting, taking responsibility for the closure of sugar estates, for putting people out of jobs – the very people who helped him become a Minister and rise to the position of a Vice-President – prove he has totally lost his mind, has no moral authority and any decency left in him. The sad caricature of Ramjattan today – despised by the vast majority of Guyanese, including in his own home region, some of whom once genuinely admired and treated him as a hero – is utterly humiliating. He is now a traitor who betrayed decent people, a liar who “sings for his supper”, a consummate soup-drinker. Ramjattan is a despised puppet, dangling on a string. His parents had higher hopes for him.Last week, Ramjattan boasted he, Moses Nagamootoo and their AFC colleagues did not just “went along” with APNU to close sugar estates, they actually advocated for the closure. He went out of his way to take credit for the closure of the estates, taking credit for terminating the employment of more than 7000 workers, directly jeopardising the livelihood of more than 60,000 persons, including children, women and the elderly, and indirectly jeopardising the livelihood of tens of thousands more. After the closure, the unemployed sugar workers had to fight for their severance and many of them had to approach the courts to force APNU/AFC to pay the legally-required severance. This is the burgeoning insanity, the steaming garbage this arrogant, blithering idiot is taking credit for. It is disgraceful to see him singing for his supper, all because he wants power and salivating at the prospects of being Prime Minister, zero chance it may be.It is baffling, outrageous, unfathomable, just plain bizarre that Ramjattan is owning and boasting of the most potent, painful mistakes APNU/AFC made since May 2015, one that APNU/AFC itself is trying to hide from, one that has led to the most humiliating defeat any Government can experience, more than two-thirds rejection in Two Local Government Elections and the loss of a No-Confidence Motion. Mark my word, APNU (PNC) itself will distant themselves from the closure of the estates and the termination of employment for more than 7000 people, insisting in the upcoming election campaign that they merely “went along” with the AFC.Not only did they close four estates, but APNU/AFC is doing everything, including pushing incompetence and mismanagement of the remaining three sugar estates, everything to demoralise the remaining sugar workers and create the excuse for the entire closure of sugar in Guyana. Ramjattan and none of his colleagues can now assure anyone the rest of sugar will not close under APNU/AFC, should they still be there in 2020. Who will believe the same people who told them during the 2015 elections campaign that no estate will be closed and every worker will receive a 20 per cent wage increase, and, immediately after closing four estates, terminated more than 7000 jobs, and froze all sugar workers’ wages that they will not proceed to close the whole industry? I said before the 2015 elections that one of the major goals of APNU/AFC was to close sugar estates and eventually sugar. They railed that I was fear-mongering. But, sadly, my prediction came through. Now I am again predicting, should APNU/AFC stay in Government, the other estates will also be closed, with Uitvlugt being next, followed by Blairmont and eventually Albion.Ramjattan, as he bloviates nonsense, refuses to talk about the $30 billion loan they took on the books of GuySuCo. He refuses to talk about the more than $1 billion in interest already paid. He refuses to say who has the money, how it was spent. NICIL insists it has given GuySuCo more than $17 billion of the money already and that GuySuCo cannot tell them what they did with the money. GuySuCo denies this assertion, but Ramjattan is boasting he personally, together with his AFC colleagues, including Moses Nagamootoo, are the ones calling the shots.As families sink deeper into poverty, as local small family businesses like the grocery shops struggle for survival, as local seamstress and tailors barely survive, as local vendors find it hard to make ends meet, this blithering, arrogant man feels he needs to boast and take responsibility for the suffering foisted on innocent people. Why? Because he wants to be Prime Minister, he wants to continue to live the “good life” on the backs of poor people, he wants to suck the blood out of the very people he once fooled into voting for him. Now it is election time, he will make more promises to them, he will brazenly lie full-throated, as he sings for his supper. If ever there was a poster child for a soup drinker, Ramjattan has laid claim to being the champion soup-drinker poster child. Meanwhile, since the disgraceful admission that AFC played the pivotal role in estate closing, Nagamootoo has gone silent. Is he also willing to publicly boast he too is responsible, as Ramjattan confessed?Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more

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first_imgOpen ArmsBy: Matenneh – Rose L. DunbarIt took many soft hearts like flying cottonThat welcomes the broken and in painsRoom and board for a common strangerWith no known story of if a ghost or realGood hearts brought forth a blissful unionFree to many weary meals fixed with praysAs was told they reflect a good SamaritanOpen ArmsIt will not take away from you but raiseThat perfumes a desolate desperate soulRoom for wisdom free just desire humilityWither quickly as vapor for failure to learnGoodness as grease flows perpetuallyFreedom looms richly near airy fingersAppease any with a warm wide welcomeOpen ArmsDiscourage But Not DefeatedBy: Matenneh – Rose L. DunbarHave the zest to be a force to compete withFaint from the shame that played out beforeLet it loose for you are not the first to stumbleEars fill of the echoes of the many versionsStill and focused to make the win before allWill not easily let go of my dreams plus wantsSurely…..Discouraged But Not DefeatedGot energy to trample those nagging pestsSome with fans of wicked edges that woundsLuring innocent hearts so frail not to rise againSet back by chance still too weak to stand upEnlightened by a touch so divine it lifts higherShall not be dissuaded by the market place noisePurely….Discouraged But Not DefeatedMorning MistBy: Matenneh – Rose L. DunbarMorning MistRefreshing gust of heavens dewSoothing the age lines of yesterdayOn my color coated working faceThe cool morning rain sprinkledMoist stringed droplets right on meA glass hand that hangs on the windDoused my day in calm and beautyI glee for the chance to fell the MasterMorning Mist  REFLECTION ON THE LIFE OF ARCHBISHOP WILLIAM NAH DIXONBy Togba-Nah TipotehYou, ArchBishop William Nah DixonA Godly SonHailed from the County of RivercessAs a Child of God and nothing lessThe Rivercess of peopleWho are in body feebleBecause they smell their wealthTorturing their daily health Yet they do not taste their wealthTo build up their daily healthYes, the people do not tasteWhat few others use as wasteThis too is the Country called LiberiaWith all of its malariaThe Country of Smell No TasteWhere big shots are in no hasteTo end the massive povertyThat is still Liberia’s realityThen enters you, ArchBishop William Nah DixonA Rivercess SonWith a running visionSet on a burning visionNot for yourself But for otherself Starting a long time ago Exactly some fifty years ago You built the School for the Deaf and Dumb While few others damaged Liberia with their bomb Seeing the people starving When few others were greeding You, ArchBishop William Nah Dixon A Rivercess Son Set out to Feed The People No matter how feeble Then the Civil War came With no better name, it came And made Liberia worse Giving Liberia a curse Then you, ArchBishop William Nah Dixon> A Patriotic Rivercess Son Joined hands with other patriotic Liberians Taking action together as Muslims and Christians To put an end to the Civil War With the people saying NO MORE WARWE WANT PEACE PEACE WITHOUT CEASE You, ArchBishop William Nah DixonA Peaceful Rivercess Son Set on a Peace Mission  Directly by your Godly Vision Spoke on the radio wave With the voice to you that God gave This was the voice of the people No matter how feeble The voice that brought Liberia to a standstillWithout any violent societal illOn January 10, 1997With Blessings from HeavenOpening up the People’s GateBringing in Liberia’s most democratic event to dateAs over one million Liberians stayed homeThey were no where in the streets to roamThey stayed home, voting for peace over warAnd the Civil War ended, as we all sawNow, let us memorialize ArchBishop William Nah DixonA  Patriotic Rivercess SonBy taking action together for justiceWithout any form of prejudiceBecause it is only justice that brings peaceThe peace that comes without cease Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgLocal school officials are cautiously praising a court ruling that would require the state to reimburse public school districts for the costs of operating state-mandated programs. “This is a very big deal,” Gary Matsumoto, chief financial officer for the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, said of the ruling made March 13 by a Sacramento County judge. Judge Gail Ohanesian ruled that the state cannot avoid reimbursing districts for the cost of overseeing state-mandated programs simply by declaring such programs necessary toward implementing a voter- approved ballot measure. Among the non-funded mandates are the costs of overseeing charter schools, compiling annual school accountability reports, and meeting certain requirements under the Brown Act open-meetings law. School districts have said that the legislation, approved in 2005 as an attachment to a budget trailer bill, could cost districts as much as $300 million in administrative costs. Matsumoto said the ruling could mean his district could be reimbursed “a couple of million dollars” if it stands. But he believes the ruling will be appealed – in which case it could take several years before the issue is ultimately decided. Glenn Sheppard, Montebello Unified School District’s assistant superintendent for business services, believes the judge’s decision could stimulate dialogue among state officials about fixing the mandated costs process, he said. The process for compensating districts is “at a limbo,” Sheppard added. Montebello’s reimbursment would be less compared to other districts, but Sheppard said the ruling’s main message is that Sacramento’s interpretation of state-mandated programs is wrong. School officials said that they are now obligated to perform duties not required in the past, including compiling and creating accountability report cards for every school. But they are not getting state funding for that work. The labor and hours that go into developing the reports are significant, Matsumoto said. Districts keep a tab of hours and submit a reimbursement claim to the California Department of Education, said Denise Jaramillo, director of fiscal services for the Alhambra Unified School District. “If the government has the funds, then we can get some money back,” she said. The 2005 law did not affect funding for the actual programs, but rather the potential reimbursement to local districts. An analysis compiled for legislators who were voting on the bill specifically said it would not affect schools. “This is a small, yet key, victory for districts,” said Brian Lewis, executive director of the California Association of School Business Officials, which was not a party to the lawsuit but has lobbied against the change. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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first_imgOver the next two years, more student-centered programs will be implemented, district officials said. Madelena Arellano, the district’s director of student achievement, English learner program, said there are plans to implement the WRITE program at Baldwin Park High School. The program is used at the Escondido Union High School District and involves teaching the same material to students in English and then Spanish. Arellano said that teaching the requirements in both languages help students to better understand the material. Arellano said the PROMISE initiative has encouraged officials to take a more critical look at each student’s data. Factors to consider include looking at how long students been in the country and why they are still considered English learners. The six-county initiative is critical piece of reform because it focuses solely on this population, Spiegel-Coleman added. Many state-sponsored initiatives focus on every child, but English Learners need more attention as the achievement gap grows between this group and fluent English speakers, Gustafson said. “We are not saying there is a magic bullet, but PROMISE creates a road map and we want success for all of our student,” she said. caroline.an@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We don’t want them to lose their own language,” she said. Organizers are seeking financial support for the initiative and have applied for various state and federal grants, and a delegation visited Washington to talk with local political leaders to secure additional funding. On average, it takes about five years for an English learner to be considered fluent in the language. Students have to pass a battery of exams including the California Standards Test and California English Language Development Test. The school districts involved in the pilot study share ideas, teaching practices, research and also visit school sites to observe programs in classroom – a virtual classroom, said Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, senior project director for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Baldwin Park’s first year has focused on teacher training at the elementary school, and the district is looking to open a dual-language preschool at Heath Elementary, which allows for students to have some familiarity with English and Spanish when they enter kindergarten. BALDWIN PARK – Three schools in Baldwin Park Unified are near the end of the first year of a three-year pilot project to help improve proficiency and achievement of students whose first language is not English. Baldwin Park in 2006 was chosen to participate in the PROMISE Initiative, a collaboration between Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties and 15 schools, including Baldwin Park’s Health Elementary, Holland Middle and Baldwin Park High School. Southern California is home to nearly 65 percent of the state’s English learners; the six counties involved have more than 1 million English learners, according to Jan Gustafson, director of PROMISE. Baldwin Park has 6,752 English learner K-12 students. Such a large student population motivates school officials to find new methods to help this population not only become fluent English speakers – but also to remain fluent in their native language, Gustafson said. last_img read more

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first_imgIt is also worth looking at who else contributes to the sheriff’s re-election campaign and what it is that they expect to get from him in return. Certainly much has already been made in the press of contributions from Barron Hilton – which might or might not have had anything to do with preferential treatment proffered to his granddaughter. What would have happened to an appointed police chief who took money from a billionaire and then commuted a family member’s sentence? And then there are vendors, such as tow-truck drivers and service providers, who regularly donate to the sheriff. What do they get in return for their contributions? Sheriff Lee Baca has the largest jurisdiction of any sheriff in the country. He should be a role model as well. He needs to stop thinking like a politician and make public safety in Los Angeles County his first and only priority. Steve Remige is president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! THE sheriff of Los Angeles County wears two hats: He is a politician who needs to do all the things that politicians must do to get elected, such as make promises, raise money and live in the public eye. And he is a law enforcement professional who, in his day-to-day job, should think about public safety first, be beholden to no special-interest groups and fairly lead his 13,000 employees – even those who do not support his political aspirations. How well is Sheriff Leroy “Lee” Baca doing at separating his job from his political office? Not so well. The Daily News has reported that 73 percent of sheriff’s employees with ranks of captain or higher who were promoted in the past three years made campaign contributions to Baca. Many did so shortly before or after their promotions. The sheriff’s spokesman ham-fistedly explains that the good news is that the other one-quarter of those recently promoted to senior management haven’t made any personal payments to the boss. At least not yet. And what happens to the deputies who don’t support the sheriff with cash or endorsements? In 2005, the deputies’ union, the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, declined to endorse Baca for re-election. Since then, he has taken every opportunity to get back at the men and women who serve him. This charge is borne out by the numbers. Baca’s increasingly draconian management has resulted in an 833 percent rise in unfair labor-practice charges from 2005, the year of his last election, to 2006. The sheriff shut down deputies’ access to ALADS’ Web site and e-mail addresses, citing “unfair criticism from the union’s newsletter,” and cut off deputies’ access to such “subversive” material as picnic announcements and Blue Cross referral links. This isn’t just a petty issue. Not listening to the deputies because they haven’t paid the price of admission is a threat to public safety. Baca does not have open lines of communication to understand how policy translates to tactics, or what deputies on the ground need in order to do their jobs. Instead, he listens to the circle of men and women who are giving back part of their salaries to keep him in power. last_img read more

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first_imgA meeting in Donegal Town of the Donegal, Sligo & Leitrim branch of the Irish Road Haulage Association has voted unanimously to join a national protest on the streets of the capital in the coming weeks.The news follows similar votes held earlier this week in Cork, Galway, Roscommon, Mayo and Limerick earlier in the week, and further votes are expected over the coming week. The news was welcomed by local haulier, John McLaughlin from Convoy, who organised a similar protest in Letterkenny this time last year.Speaking after the meeting which was attended by 60 drivers, John McLaughlin from JML Diesel protest said: “It was the right decision. Other branches are meeting this week, and we are expecting a similar response from them. Over the next fortnight, the Irish Road Haulage Association will be calling an Emergency General Meeting to decide on how, and when, to conduct the protest.“It’s important, not just for the haulage industry, but for everyone across the country, and we are expecting strong support for the protest. We have laid our demands on the table before, but it appears that civil servants with no knowledge about the industry are deciding our fate, using incorrect information, and basing their policies on opinion rather than fact. We have now presented the facts to the Department, and this time we will be heard, and if no action is taken, further protests will follow.“The government have an opportunity, and if they do not take this chance, we will bring the capital to a standstill.” Mr McLaughlin has taken his own protest further in recent weeks, and along with other campaign groups in Donegal, has established Donegal Action Against Austerity. Also at the meeting in Donegal Town was fellow group member Ryan Stewart, who is calling on campaigners across the country to take part in a National Day of Protest.Mr Stewart told donegaldaily.com: “The austerity measures we have had imposed on us recently are not confined to the haulage industry. The hauliers have an agenda of their own, and that has to be respected – they cannot act on behalf of the whole country. Everyone is affected, and while we welcome the move from the hauliers, we want other groups to take this opportunity to get their arguments on the table as well, whether it is in relation to the household charge, student fees increases, septic tank charges or carbon tax and fuel prices.”“We want everyone to get out on the streets, and say plainly to our government, that ‘enough is enough’ and we will not take any more disproportionate cuts. Everyone accepts that the deficit has to be dealt with, but when we are paying bondholders, and letting the wealthy off the hook at every turnaround, it is no wonder that we are where we are. Other ways have to be explored, the hauliers have shown this, and this protest should be one that the government will not forget in a hurry.” You can join the group on facebook at www.facebook.com/actionagainstausterityPic John Boreland  DONEGAL HAULIERS VOTE TO BRING DUBLIN TO A STANDSTILL was last modified: January 16th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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) Tags:DONEGAL HAULIERS VOTE TO BRING DUBLIN TO A STANDSTILLlast_img read more

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first_imgMotorists are being urged to take care on the roads tonight (Tuesday) as more frost develops across Donegal.After a bright and sunny day, another cold and frosty night is in store for the north west.Temperatures are expected to dip to lows of between 2C and 6C. Met Eireann has warned that a ground frost will develop overnight, before clearing to give a cool and breezy day on Wednesday. Donegal County Council has announced that all main roads will be gritted from 9pm. Drivers are being reminded to assume that no road is ice-free.ALL routes will be gritted from 9PM on Tue. 29/10. The Donegal gritting route index as follows:06: Inishowen West04: Inishowen South01: National Primary North02: National Primary Central03: National Primary South07: Milford South08: Milford North09: Cill Ulta East10: Cill Ulta West11: Na Rosa12: Binswilly13: Stranorlar North14: Stranorlar East15: Stranorlar West16: Donegal West17: Donegal North18: Donegal South19: Donegal National Secondary05: Inishowen EastBT: Buncrana TownLT: Letterkenny TownCheck Donegal County Council’s interactive map for gritting routesWarning for drivers ahead of another frosty night was last modified: October 29th, 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

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first_imgThe January 11 Google Doodle pays tribute to South African author and anti-apartheid activist, Alan Paton – commemorating his 115th birthday.The Google Doodle depicting South African writer Alan Paton on a train journey through the South African countryside, a trip that inspired the idea behind his best work, Cry, The Beloved Country. (Image: Google)CD AndersonSouth African writer Alan Paton, author of the classic South African novel Cry, The Beloved Country was born on 11 January 1903. Google celebrates the life and work of the author with a commemorative Doodle on the search engine’s homepage.The Doodle depicts Paton looking out on the South African countryside during a train journey that many believe was the moment the idea for his most famous work was first conceived. Paton had worked as a teacher and later as the headmaster of the Diepkloof prison for young black offenders where he took note of the effects of racial discrimination on South African youth.Through a number of his own progressive educational and social programmes at the facility, Paton hoped to reduce the suffering of prisoners, some as young as nine, and help them re-enter society on a better footing than most had arrived.Google, in a statement on the unveiling of the Doodle, hoped that highlighting Paton and his works on such a ubiquitous portal for many young people using the internet, his life story would reach new audiences.Other notable South Africans who have featured on Google Doodles in the past include Nadine Gordimer, Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko.For more information on Alan Paton, read these Brand South Africa articles below:South African literature31 books every South African should readSource: Google, eNCAWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseToday Governor John Kasich signed an executive order to take action on water quality in Lake Erie with Ohio’s agriculture in the crosshairs. The measures will impact roughly 7,000 farmers and over 2 million acres in northwest Ohio.“This is just requiring farmers to figure out a way to manage their land in a more effective and more environmentally friendly way. I believe the farmers want to do that. Sometimes some of them do not know exactly what that means. To put a plan in place where we can fund them on whatever it takes to do that makes a lot of sense,” Kasich said. “[But] if the agricultural community says we are going to do nothing, that is not acceptable.”The executive order signed by Kasich targets eight watersheds in the western basin of Lake Erie that will be considered for designation under state law as “Watersheds in Distress,” based on their high nutrient levels, especially phosphorous.  These include:Platter CreekLittle Flat Rock CreekLittle Auglaize RiverEagle CreekAuglaize RiverBlanchard RiverSt. Marys RiverOttawa River.The Ohio Department of Agriculture is directed by this order to consider these watersheds for the official designation “Watersheds in Distress” and to seek consent of the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission, as required by law. Watersheds receiving this designation will require the farmers within them to develop and implement nutrient management plans.“It will be our responsibility to work with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health, and Department of Natural Resources, look at the data they provide us, and make recommendations to the Soil and Water Commission about whether or not a watershed should be declared distressed. If that happens then we will submit rules…that will deal with what will be required for those watersheds in distress, very similar to what has happened with Grand Lake St. Marys,” said David Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “The nutrient management plans require regular soil testing and every operator farming over 50 acres will be required to have one of those for their farming operation sometime before the 2020 crop season. Hopefully everyone recognizes that a lot of people already have nutrient management plans and they are probably already compliant with the law. They will have to report to us that they have them and then we go through a process to make sure they are being followed.”These plans include rules for the use, storage, handling and control of nutrients and the development of management plans for all agricultural land and operations within each designated watershed.  If implemented, a “Watershed in Distress” designation can only be removed after the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture has confirmed the sustained recovery, restoration and mitigation of factors leading to the original designation.Leaders in Ohio’s agriculture watched a press conference held by Governor John Kasich with great concern. Agriculture groups were not consulted on the plans for the executive order and not asked to participate in the announcement.“We are pretty disappointed that agriculture got shut out of this process. The governor came into office on the promise of transparent and open government and we did not see that in this process. If there had been more open conversation things might have turned out differently, but they didn’t,” said Joe Cornely, with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “Now we are looking through the executive order and trying to figure out what it means. We are going to file a public records request so we can get more information because this two-page executive order doesn’t really tell us what farmers are facing.“On the assumption that this does go into effect or parts of it actually go into effect, our biggest concerns are about resources and time. With 7,000 farms and 2 million acres, that is a significant amount of farmers and land. How do you implement this if it actually becomes law and the changes that this executive order is mandating? How do you get the farmers trained? How do you pay for all of this? As this develops, those are questions we are going to be raising. If we have to comply, we have to comply, but how? That is the biggest thing.”In addition to the use of executive action on this issue, the order will likely increase the bureaucratic red tape and it is not clear that science was being used to determine the watersheds being targeted.“Today, Governor Kasich and administration officials made it seem that if farmers do a nutrient management plan for their farm, Lake Erie will never see an algal bloom again. That is wrong,” said Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association executive director. “What is true is that farmers have adopted best management practices including nutrient management plans, have invested millions of dollars in research and education, and even supported reasonable regulations to address water quality.”In addition to the measures outlined in the executive order, Kasich also signed bipartisan legislation known as Clean Lake 2020. The bill will invest significant new resources to protect water quality throughout the state, providing up to $20 million in a targeted phosphorus reduction fund, $3.5 million to support soil testing and the development of nutrient management plans, among other provisions. Clean Lake 2020 enjoyed broad support from Ohio agriculture.“We were big supporters of Clean Lake 2020. We were very encouraged when it passed unanimously in both the Senate and the House. We encouraged lawmakers to vote in favor of that. What we like about that is that it recognizes the complex solutions we are going to need to find on farms and it recognizes it will take time and money to make that happen,” Cornely said. “Clean Lake 2020 puts resources on the ground, but I don’t think the money in Clean Lake 2020 is sufficient to cover the massive number of farmers and ground this [executive order] could apply to.”The Kasich administration unsuccessfully lobbied to include the regulatory measures in Clean Lake 2020, but after being turned down by the legislature, Kasich pursued an executive order for the other regulations issued today.“Although Governor Kasich has worked productively with our farmers in the past, the administration is now acting without our input,” said Kirk Merritt, Ohio Soybean Association executive director. “Farmers are willing to do what needs to be done to solve this problem, but now we’re not even being invited to the table.”In recent years, Ohio farmers have implemented new best management practices on their fields to protect water quality while also funding research and education initiatives such as the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program, edge-of-field testing and an update of the tri-state fertility guide. For more information about what Ohio farmers are doing, please visit formyfarm.com.Now, instead of proactive efforts, Ohio agriculture is being forced into a reactive position based on Kasich’s executive order today.“We can’t even react to the specific regulations he’s proposing; we haven’t seen them,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “We’re also curious why the order deals with only agriculture and not other pieces of the water puzzle, especially since the administration has prioritized other water quality initiatives instead of farm conservation programs.”The Kasich administration said it has invested more than $3 billion to improve Lake Erie water quality. But an examination of the expenditures, reported by Cleveland Public Broadcasting station WCPN, found that only 1% of that money was used to address agriculture’s portion of the water quality challenge.“If we weren’t a priority for state resources, why are we a priority for state regulation?” Sharp said.View Tuesday’s press conference in its entirety.last_img read more

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