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  • Friel wants special council committee for Mica families

    first_imgElection candidate Eimer Friel says she will propose the setting up of a special Mica committee on Donegal County Council if elected this weekend.The Fine Gael candidate has worked with the Mica Action Group (MAG) for the past five years and says it’s important families have a role in the Council-led redress scheme.“It’s important that newly-elected councillors have a role and an oversight over how Donegal County Council manages and runs the scheme,” said Friel. “And it’s just as important that the Mica Action Group has a voice on that committee too.“They are the people who have been at the forefront of the campaign and living the nightmare and it is vital they get to oversee the response from the council. So I want to see a special committee set up in Council and given a statutory footing, with powers to oversee the scheme and scheduled to have full monthly meetings.”The Government has approved a 90 per cent contribution scheme with those homes worst affected being fixed first.Friel added: “I’ve also agreed alongside Joe McHugh to work with MAG to come up with ways of minimising the impact of the 10 per cent contribution including contacts with banks and other lending institutions. “It’s important that banks help including writing down mortgages on homes that are currently worth very little – but will return to their market value once remediation works are completed.“I want to pay tribute to all those involved in MAG and I want to pay tribute to our local TD Joe McHugh whose work to get this problem recognised by officials finally got the redress scheme delivered.”Friel wants special council committee for Mica families was last modified: May 23rd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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

  • They are back – Chelsea boots

    first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesChelsea FC players have different taste and preference over their football boots. They have several football boot brands such as Adidas, Puma, New Balance, and Nike being the most popular. Football boots models range from phantom V, mercurial, Tiempo, visa, predator and magistrate, among others. There is a reason why these football boots are the players’ top choice and here is they are back1. Lightweight speed In the football footwear market trends, shoes are getting lighter to allow players to attain maximum speed as well as flexibility. Lightfast boot range has its benefits and qualities. One model that is among Chelsea star players is a mercurial vapor model. Any midfield player would be lucky to have this pair. They are calm and will enable a player to have pure acceleration from the beginning of the game to the end. If you need to have a quick cutting movement which involves keeping the ball off your opponent, you require footwear that works and feels like an extension of your feet. These boots should have an internal cage of the soft material of an external thermoplastic supporting structure around the heels and the arch. These feature has enabled star plays like Eden Hazard prefer lightweight speed shoes. His impressive play has also made him famous among punters across various betting poker sites. Embed from Getty Images2. Prevent injury Apart from buying a classy football shoe, purchase one that has extra cushioning. Getting shoes with a heel lift that will help hold your foot into position to prevent injury to the heels. Boots with ankle sock are of assistance; they work by improving proprioception. The ankle sock should become firm around the ankle to help the human body know when the foot is rolling over so that the muscles can be fired to protect the ankle before any injury happens. That’s why we have seen star players with either mercurial superfly or magista obra. 3. Material Manufacturers are on toes to make new boots which are driven by technology. They incorporate useful features that form part of a right kick. Players prefer synthetic material over leather as it hardly gets saturated with water when one is playing on a wet field.The sole design is different for major manufacturers. They range from the hard ground, soft ground to turf or indoor. Players have different shoe for each playing field. While looking at boots used in solid grounds, we see they have a more significant number of smaller studs. Soft ground soles are made with the same material as a pair of runners. Other boots have thinner soles to reduce their weight. They’re okay on quiet grounds, but when used on harder grounds it can result in bruising injuries as well as stress fractures.ConclusionSelecting good footwear before a football game is very crucial. This is why world-renowned players have specific footwears that they identify with. Are you a goalkeeper, a midfielder, a striker or defender with no idea of which shoe to wear? You can check on Chelsea football wear line-up and see if you can notice one that will work for you! The line-up is also crucial for gamblers who are using various poker sites to place their stake.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebookby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksRecommended for youAspireAbove.comRemember Pauley Perrette? Try Not To Smile When You See Her NowAspireAbove.comUndoLifestly.com25 Celebs You Didn’t Realize Are Gay – No. 8 Will Surprise WomenLifestly.comUndoUsed Cars | Search AdsUsed Cars in Tuen Mun Might Be Cheaper Than You ThinkUsed Cars | Search AdsUndoTopCars15 Ugliest Cars Ever MadeTopCarsUndoSuper Boost WiFiEveryone In Tuen Mun Is Talking About This High Speed WiFi-BoosterSuper Boost WiFiUndoHappyTricks.comHer House Always Smells Amazing – Try her Unique Trick!HappyTricks.comUndoFood World Magazine15 Fruits that Burn Fat Like CrazyFood World MagazineUndoezzin.com20 Breathtaking Places to See Before You Dieezzin.comUndo Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

  • Mormons and Psychologists Burn Their Brains

    first_imgCan an MRI scan tell anything about spiritual experience?Some neuroscientists at the University of Utah decided to put Mormons in an MRI scanner and watch their brains light up when they felt spiritual. Science Daily describes the experiment:During fMRI [functional MRI] scans, 19 young-adult church members — including seven females and 12 males — performed four tasks in response to content meant to evoke spiritual feelings. The hour-long exam included six minutes of rest; six minutes of audiovisual control (a video detailing their church’s membership statistics); eight minutes of quotations by Mormon and world religious leaders; eight minutes of reading familiar passages from the Book of Mormon; 12 minutes of audiovisual stimuli (church-produced video of family and Biblical scenes, and other religiously evocative content); and another eight minutes of quotations.During the initial quotations portion of the exam, participants — each a former full-time missionary — were shown a series of quotes, each followed by the question “Are you feeling the spirit?” Participants responded with answers ranging from “not feeling” to “very strongly feeling.”The neuroscientists measured a connection between self-professed spirituality and activity in the prefrontal cortex, involved in rational decision making, and in the nucleus acumbens, a part of the brain involved in reward feelings. “Religious and spiritual experiences activate the brain reward circuits in much the same way as love, sex, gambling, drugs and music,” the article says. Here’s how the headlines came out:This is your brain on God: Spiritual experiences activate brain reward circuits (Science Daily)Spiritual Mind: What a Religious Experience Looks Like in the Brain (Live Science)Rachael Rettner at Live Science cautions, “The researchers noted that more studies, including those that look at people from different religions and cultures, are needed in order to identify other brain regions linked with religious experiences.”Philosophers warn that correlation is not causation. What does the experiment signify? What does it mean? Can any conclusions be drawn? If Mormon spiritual feelings produce the same results as gambling, drugs or sex, does the experiment mean anything at all?Apparently the radiologists forgot to include a control group. If any of the scientists were non-Mormons or atheists, they should have scanned themselves when thinking about nothing at all, or when thinking about doing science. Others could be measured when thinking about their favorite football team scoring a touchdown, having ice cream, or petting their dog. If all these things produce similar levels of reward activity in the brain, what could the scans possibly signify, other than the observation that human beings are easily aroused by pleasurable thoughts of all kinds?Such measurements certainly could not speak to the truth or falsity of a religion’s truth claims. Yet the authors of the paper in Social Neuroscience focus on the “evolution of complex religious systems” as if those are distinct from complex scientific systems within a materialistic, evolutionary framework. Here’s their conclusion:Theoretical models of religious cognition have proposed that networks comprised of ventral striatal and prefrontal regions may play a critical role in the development and maintenance of religious ideation….Given commonalities in brain architecture across individuals with limited neural mechanisms for representing euphoria, a search for shared neural mechanisms for intense religious and spiritual feelings across cultures may provide insight into the evolution of complex religious systems and opportunities for cross-cultural understanding of deeply held religious beliefs and experience. Ultimately, the pairing of classical reward responses with abstract religious ideation may indicate a brain mechanism for attachment to doctrinal concepts and charismatic in-group religious leaders.How, exactly, did doctrinal concepts (concepts being in the realm of rational thought and logic) become attached to purely physical pleasure responses? Do concepts even fit into an evolutionary worldview? Where did concepts come from? How did they evolve by mutation and selection?If religion evolved, so did Darwinism. If religion is an epiphenomenon of neurons, so is Darwinism. That implies that any “pairing of classical reward responses” with abstract scientific ideation may indicate a brain mechanism for attachment to scientific concepts and influential in-group scientific leaders. Let these scientists prove otherwise, using only Darwin’s toolkit of natural selection on random variations.We would like to know the motivation of these scientists. Why are they performing such experiments, which are doomed from the start to be meaningless? Knowing the mindset of today’s naturalistic secular scientists, we suspect their motivations include trying to prove that religion is nothing more than a neural activity in the brain that evolved because it makes people feel good. Like Marx, they want to show that religion is an opiate of the people, producing the same response as drugs. If so, let us remind them that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. That self-refuting motivation equally implies that doing science is nothing more than a neural activity in the brain that makes scientists feel good.This research was funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health. If anyone thinks this was a well-designed scientific activity, let’s start asking some questions: What is the significance of a pleasure response if it applies equally well to all kinds of non-spiritual activities, including drugs and gambling? If natural selection would prevent harmful activity like taking drugs, why would it reward it? It could kill the individual before he or she could pass on their genes. Why did they measure only self-induced “spiritual” activities and not rational activities like a debate on the truth claims of Mormonism? Why did they choose only Mormons and no control group? The paper astonishingly says that “each subject served as their own control,” hardly a good model of experimental setup. (Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 If the scientists are secularists and believe that religion evolved because it produces pleasure, why would natural selection reward anything they would presume to be irrational? If the scientists were scanned and showed responses, would they be upset if religious people drew conclusions that the scientists were sinners and this was their guilt manifesting itself in their brains? Why not? How do they know that the fMRI activity was not a secondary response to some other concurrent stimulation? I say it’s time to put the neuroscientists in the scanner and analyze them. We need to cure their Yoda Complex. We need to teach them about the argument from reason for the existence of God. We need to warn them about the danger of engaging in self-refuting belief systems.Exercise: Add to our list of questions that scientists never ask who perform these kinds of experiments on “the evolution of religion.”A note to Mormon readers: If your religion makes you feel warm and happy, that’s nice, but it has nothing to do with the truth of your church’s doctrines. You can get the same warm fuzzies from sex and drugs. The same warning applies to all religions and systems of ideas. Better do your homework on what you believe. Why did they not compare feeling-based religions like Mormon with rational-based religions like Presbyterianism, and atheism as an outgroup? How about scanning a Christian suffering persecution? or a PhD theologian writing a book on systematic theology? Would the scientists be willing to get into the scanner and let religious people run scans on them? Why not? Can they point to fMRI signatures of other intense feelings, including hate, pride, anger, fear, or laughter? Are those always distinct from pleasure responses in predictable ways? Why didn’t they measure the brain activity when the subjects thought about fear of hell or concern they are involved in a cult? Are the scientists presuming that the more the response, the better the religion? or that all religions that produce the same fMRI scan are equivalent? On what basis?last_img read more

  • South Africa streamlines customs control

    first_img“Electronification releases human resources from mundane, low-yielding administrative activities and allows more manpower to catch illegal traders. Implementation of electronic systems had already begun, but the first major changes could be expected in October this year. “The programme will improve the service for tax-compliant traders and increase the risks for those who are non-compliant,” SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Oupa Magashula told a conference in Johannesburg on Thursday. “If data is in a computer it is more manageable and that information is safer. We will be able to tell exactly where cargo is and at what stage of the customs process it is at.” Sapa Intikhab Shaik, executive of the modernisaton programme, said: “We will be automating technology, putting all data into computers. This will mean more ease and speed of the tax and trade process.” The South African Revenue Service is modernising the country’s customs processes to improve its service for tax-compliant traders while making it easier to identify illegal and illicit trade. Shaik said the electronification of South Africa’s customs process, electronic document delivery and management, would allow Sars to identify illegal and illicit trade more easily. Releasing human resources “We want to make sure ‘the stick’ is only used on non-compliant traders. We don’t want to be the gatekeepers any more. We aim for customs to only intervene silently and efficiently, and only when necessary.” He said Sars aimed to move from a paper-controlling organisation to a risk-management organisation. 30 July 2010 Sars also announced they would be eradicating some of their more “complicated” forms.last_img read more

  • African art scene blooms in South Africa

    first_imgArtist David Koloane attends the 2013 Turbine Art Fair in Johannesburg. (Image: Turbine Art Fair)• Ross Douglas Founder and directorArtlogic+27 11 447 3868• Jade MacCallumMarketing ManagerTurbine Art Fair+27 11 575 3698• Liza Dyason ProducerCape Town Art Fair+27 21 674 5644Lucille DavieThe African contemporary art scene is blooming in South Africa, with one fair going into its seventh year, and two others having a second showing this year.The longest-running of them, the FNB Joburg Art Fair, is planning its seventh splash in August this year in Sandton, in the northern suburbs of the city of gold. “As we sit down to plan for the seventh edition of the FNB Joburg Art Fair, we are very excited to [get] feedback on what a pivotal year 2013 was for the African contemporary art scene,” says Ross Douglas, the director and founder of Artlogic, the company that initially conceived the idea.In 2013, 33 galleries participated, with groups in Mozambique, Nigeria and Zimbabwe showcasing work, while galleries in England, France, Germany and Spain took floor space too. Douglas says sales were up 25%, with R20-million raked in. Some 10 000 visitors attended the fair, which was held in September.Artlogic was founded by Douglas in 2004, with its first venture a production of William Kentridge’s 9 Films for Projection, shown in South Africa and New York, as well as The Magic Flute. Artlogic also produces the FoodWineDesign Fair, and the Winter Sculpture Fair, held in the scenic surrounds of the Nirox Foundation sculpture park, in the Cradle of Humankind, some 40km north-west of Johannesburg.Douglas says that the Joburg Art Fair is now on the international art calendar, and the 2013 edition secured interviews on German National Radio, Deutsche Welle, Monocle, Art Tactic and the AMA newsletter. There were also six African pavilions at the Venice Biennale 2013, he adds, and the Golden Lion for the best national pavilion was awarded to Angola.Two new art fairs“While we [had] been pioneers for five years, 2013 saw no fewer than two new art fairs in South Africa.” The first Cape Town Art Fair took place in October, with the second planned for late February this year. And the first Turbine Art Fair, in Newtown in downtown Joburg, took place in July; the second is planned for July this year.In total, 28 South African galleries were represented in Newtown, with the aim to create a platform for aspiring art collectors to buy art, says Jade MacCallum, the marketing manager of the Forum Company, which conceived and organised the event. A ceiling of R25 000 was set for the artworks.“The project was started by The Forum with the purpose to educate, include and excite people about the wonderful world of art, people [who] wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to art or galleries. Sharing art experiences enables us to live out our passion and create opportunities,” says MacCallum. Some 3 000 people attended the two-day event, and she says the organisers are satisfied that they achieved their aim.The second Cape Town Art Fair takes place at the start of the year in which Cape Town is World Design Capital (WDC). “WDC is a biannual honour, awarded by the International Council for Societies of Industrial Design, to cities across the globe to show their commitment using design as a social, cultural and economic development tool,” indicate the organisers of the fair, Fiero Milano Africa.In all, 40 galleries took stands at the first Cape Town fair, most of which were from the city. Asked why it took Cape Town so long to have an art fair, Liza Dyason, the event producer, said: “I’m uncertain why it took so long… the idea seems obvious. Until now it was felt that the market was primarily Joburg-based but with the enormous developments and investments going into art and design in the Mother City, the [Cape Town Art Fair] was seen as an important addition to the events that are planned, especially with Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 in mind.”Fiera Milano Africa director Louise Cashmore says: “The success of the first fair in 2013 clearly illustrated that the time was right for Cape Town to host an art fair of this nature. Cape Town is an international city and home to many of the country’s leading contemporary artists, curators and galleries.”Other spin-offsAnother spin-off was the 1.54 Contemporary African Art Fair, held in London in October 2013. Artists from Tanzania, Mali, Angola and Benin exhibited, and galleries from Equatorial New Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, and South Africa took stands. Alongside these galleries were several European dealers who have an interest in work from Africa: Milan’s Galleria Continua, London’s Jack Bell and Berlin’s Mikael Andersen, among others.In November, the announcement of the first major private art museum in Africa was made: the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa will open in late 2016 in Cape Town. Jochen Zeitz has committed his collection of contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora in perpetuity as the museum’s founding collection. Not only will he underwrite the running costs of the museum, but he will provide “a substantial acquisition budget to allow the museum to acquire new important artworks over time to remain on the edge of contemporary cultural production”, according to a statement by the V&A Waterfront, his partner in the venture.The museum will focus on collecting, preserving, researching, and exhibiting “cutting edge contemporary art”. It will be housed in the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront, with the V&A committing over R500-million to the development. “Built in 1921, and at 57m tall, the Grain Silo remains an icon of the Cape Town skyline. This investment will further the development of art in Africa and acknowledges the important cultural and financial contribution the visual arts sector makes.”Around the time of the announcement, Zeitz said: “Over the last two decades, Africa has played an important role in both my professional and private life. My collection has been strategically built over many years specifically with the goal to create an internationally relevant public contemporary art museum in Africa. After considering many cities across Africa, I am excited to partner with the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. It is an iconic location in an iconic city, and will be situated in a historic landmark building. This will make my collection accessible to local, national, continental and international audiences.”Douglas says that this year, more galleries from Africa and Europe will participate in the Joburg Art Fair, but the core theme will remain African. England, France, Germany, Mozambique, Nigeria, Spain and Zimbabwe will be represented, and so far 33 galleries have confirmed their attendance, 11 of which are new to the event.“One of Artlogic’s primary aims with the FNB Joburg Art Fair is to grow the audience for art from Africa,” he says.last_img read more

  • Transnet opens wagon maintenance facility in Northern Cape

    first_img29 July 2014State logistics company Transnet officially opened a R30-million wagon refurbishment facility in De Aar in South Africa’s Northern Cape province on Monday.The De Aar wagons depot will maintain various types of wagons for Transnet Freight Rail, functioning as a satellite workshop for the Transnet Rail Engineering Beaconsfield Depot in Kimberley.Speaking at the opening, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said the investment was aimed at increasing Transnet Freight Rail’s capacity on the main freight corridor between Johannesburg and Cape Town.This facility has already created jobs and improved rail engineering skills in the area, Brown said, adding that 47 people, 22 of them from De Aar, had already been employed, and that an estimated 300 direct and indirect jobs would be created through this facility.“Government is committed to revitalising the economy of rural towns such as De Aar, so that we create sustainable livelihoods for the local people,” Brown said. “A wagon refurbishment facility will have a long-term impact not only on De Aar but surrounding areas, as it will be a springboard for development within the broader Northern Cape province.“The establishment of such a facility brings hope to the youth of De Aar to become engineers and better their lives.”After the opening, Brown and Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas handed over two new houses to families who agreed to make way for Transnet’s new Youth Multi-Purpose Precinct next to the De Aar Rail Station.The youth precinct comprises a youth shelter for 20 homeless boys, a youth educational centre, a recreational park and a social club for youth volunteers.The Transnet Foundation will fully fund the De Aar Youth Precinct NGO for the first three years (2014, 2015 and 2016). During this time, the Transnet Foundation will engage with other potential partners to invest in the precinct.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

  • Elevated phosphorus study progressing in Maumee Watershed

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseFarmers do not enjoy spending money on nutrients to have them float down the creek. They also do not enjoy being the subject of the blame for water quality issues in Lake Erie. For years, Ohio agriculture has seen trends of decreasing phosphorus (P) application and increased conservation tillage, yet the water quality problems persist and in some cases seem to be getting worse. Why?There are hundreds of potential factors from the watershed scale down to the specific zones of a single field that influence the answer to this question. One of those factors is the high P levels in portions of some fields from years of over application of nutrients. These elevated P zones are the subject of an ongoing study led by Jay Martin, an ecological engineering professor with The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.Martin said the study has four main parts: recruit the partner farmers; measure phosphorus runoff on the farmers’ fields; use and evaluate best management practices on the fields to reduce the fields’ phosphorus runoff while maintaining yields; and then form further public-private partnerships to expand the adoption of the practices throughout the watershed.“The rationale for the project is that there is the assumption out there that fields with higher soil test P values disproportionally contribute to P runoff. One of the things this project is going to do is test this hypothesis and see if this holds true. A lot of the research would point to that fact, but to test that hypothesis there are a few barriers that have limited the ability to get practices to these types of fields. It is proprietary information about the soil test P levels and not many producers want to be identified as having one of these fields. One of our objectives here is to protect farmer anonymity,” Martin said. “The other unique feature of this project is working through crop consultants and nutrient service providers to find producers who want to be a part of this project. We have reached out to four nutrient service providers that operate in the Maumee Watershed. They have shared with us some P soil test levels and we can identify the best fields for us to monitor. Then they can reach out to those clients without us knowing who they are and they can see if they are interested in being proactive and doing this. That opens the door for us to start talking to those producers, share the expectations and see if their field makes sense for some of our monitoring and best management practices we want to install.”If the farmer isn’t interested, “things end there, and no one finds out anything about their field that they didn’t know before we started,” Martin said. The participating farmers and nutrient service providers will be compensated. The study will pay for implementing and maintaining the management practices on the fields and will keep the farmer’s name and location confidential.The study effort is seeking zones within fields with P soil test levels exceeding 100 parts per million, about 2.5 times the agronomic level.“Beyond that we are looking for fields where we can put the best management practices either adjacent to that or on that field. We also have to have fields that are monitorable. Hopefully we have one drainage tile outlet from those high P zones. We have to collect water quality data to see how much P is coming off the field and how effective our practices are. We want to know about the tillage practices, application rate, crop rotation — anything that could impact the nutrients and water quality coming off the field,” Martin said. “One of the initial insights from this is that it is really not elevated P fields, it is elevated P zones within those fields. Less than 25% of the zones in these fields have elevated levels. That is a good insight. As we try to target management practices, we are trying to target those specific zones within the fields.”One challenge in addressing high P zones is that the 4Rs of nutrient management — right source, right rate, right time and right place — do not really apply. In an elevated phosphorus situation, the farmer has probably already stopped applying additional phosphorus fertilizer.“The 4Rs don’t really apply if we are not applying any P there. We need to find ways to manage that P leaking from those high P fields in a more effective way,” Martin said. “Instead, other best management practices are needed — ones that keep nutrients in the field or that trap them at the edge of the field before they get into waterways.”Martin said the study will implement a variety of best management practices at the study sites and then will evaluate the practices using edge-of-field water sampling. The practices may include building wetlands, growing cover crops and installing phosphorus filters, among others. Based on the findings, the study will then offer recommendations for farmers and nutrient service providers.They will be looking at both surface runoff and drainage water nutrient loss.“It makes sense that if more P is in the soil, more will leach out through a drain tile than come off the surface,” Martin said. “But, with tillage you can stir up the soil and have surface runoff too. That is something we will test in this.”This spring the researchers have visited about 25 to 30 potential fields and have some likely sites emerging.“In the end, we need to have 12 new field sites, and we have a good chance of reaching this goal. We hope to have all sites in hand, and conservation practices installed before it gets too cold,” Martin said. “Presently, we are completing some initial designs to present to the farmers that we hope to work with. We will then meet with them to make sure they like what they see, and our future plans, before completing a final design. Likely practices include phosphorus filters, drainage water management, and constructed wetlands.”The five-year, $5 million study includes partners and supporters from CFAES, the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Ohio State’s Center on Education and Training for Employment, and 12 Ohio agricultural businesses and organizations. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is funding the study, which started last fall and will run through summer 2023.“I’m excited,” Martin said. “This is a way that the agricultural community, Ohio State and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers, and nongovernmental organizations can work together to address an important unknown. By doing so, this will improve water quality while supporting agricultural production.”Other CFAES researchers involved in the study are Margaret Kalcic, Ryan Winston, Mike Brooker and Nathan Stoltzfus of the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Robyn Wilson of the School of Environment and Natural Resources; Greg LaBarge of Ohio State University Extension; and Brian Roe of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. Key partners on the study also include Jessica D’Ambrosio of the Nature Conservancy, Kevin King of USDA-ARS’s Soil Drainage Research Unit, the Nutrient Stewardship Council and the Ohio AgriBusiness Association.Collaborating on the study are four northwest Ohio nutrient service providers — Nester Ag, Legacy Farmers Cooperative, Nutrien Ag Solutions, and the Farmers Elevator Grain and Supply Association — and the following organizations: the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, the Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Pork Council, the Ohio Dairy Producers Association, Mercer County Community and Economic Development, and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.last_img read more

  • Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

    first_imgDuring the week of February 18, top Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee asked the IRS for information on the new individual 2018 Form 1040. A Treasury spokesperson said that most taxpayers were seeing tax reform’s benefits in larger paychecks rather than refunds. The IRS urged businesses to file certain cash transaction reports for cash payments exceeding $10,000.CongressTop Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee asked the IRS for information on the new individual 2018 Form 1040, (TAXDAY, 2019/02/20, C.1).TreasuryTax Reform Benefits. A Treasury spokesperson said that most taxpayers were seeing tax reform’s benefits in larger paychecks rather than refunds, (TAXDAY, 2019/02/18, T.1).IRSCash Transaction Reports. The IRS urged businesses to file certain cash transaction reports for cash payments exceeding $10,000, (FS-2019-1; IR-2019-20; TAXDAY, 2019/02/22, I.1).Comment Request. The IRS accompanied by the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services, requested comments on Grandfathered Group Health Plans and Grandfathered Group Health Insurance Coverage, (TAXDAY, 2019/02/22, I.2).FEMA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that certain areas in North Carolina and Minnesota were eligible for assistance, (TAXDAY, 2019/02/22, I.3).Locational Rule Criticism. The IRS’s proposed 50-percent gross income locational rule on the active conduct of Opportunity Zone businesses garnered criticism from stakeholders and lawmakers alike, (TAXDAY, 2019/02/19, I.1).Acquiescence Announcement. The IRS recommended acquiescence in result only to the Tax Court decision in J.M Jacobs, 148 TC —, No. 24, Dec. 60,947, (TAXDAY, 2019/02/18, I.1).I.R.B. The IRS released I.R.B. 2019-8, dated February 19, 2019, (TAXDAY, 2019/02/18, I.2).Applicable Federal Rates. The IRS released the applicable federal interest rates for March 2019, (Rev. Rul. 2019-7; TAXDAY, 2019/02/18, I.3).Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

  • MTC Continues Finnigan Model Statute Project, Discusses TCJA Impact on States

    first_imgAt the Multistate Tax Commission’s (MTC) spring meetings the committees:received a presentation on TCJA changes;decided to continue working on a model Finnigan statute; anddiscussed federal legislation that could impact the states.Litigation Committee Discusses GILTI, FDII, and BEATThe Litigation Committee received a presentation entitled “GILTI, FDII, BEAT and Repatriation: What the State Should be Doing in Response to the New Territorial Tax System Created by the TCJA” by Stephanie Do and Micheal Hilkin from Evershed Sutherland.The presentation provided suggestions to MTC members on how their states should respond to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The new provisions discussed include the:one-time repatriation transition tax; tax on global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI);foreign-derived intangible income deduction (FDII); andbase erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT).These provisions represent a shift from a worldwide tax system to a modified territorial tax system.Don’t Adopt the Provisions or Adopt All the ProvisionsThe presenters’ suggested that states should either not adopt the provisions or adopt the entire scheme. Conforming could lead to more aggressive state taxation than federal taxation. If states only conform to parts of the federal structure it could also lead to more aggressive state taxation.State Constitutionality of GILTIOne concern when adopting global intangible low taxed income (GILTI), IRC Sec. 951A, is that it could subject some companies to far higher tax bills than other companies taxed in the state.This could lead to discrimination concerns similar to those in Kraft v. Iowa. In Kraft, the U.S. Supreme Court found an Iowa law allowing a deduction for dividends received from domestic, but not foreign, subsidiaries violated the foreign commerce provision of the U.S. Constitution.The presenters noted that application of Kraft will vary among the states.Conforming to the Entire Federal SchemeAt the federal level taxpayers have the advantage of foreign tax credits, a federal tax rate reduction, and the IRC Sec. 250 foreign-derived intangible income deduction (FDII). Unless states adopt all these provisions taxpayers could end up paying more in taxes than before the adoption of the TCJA.Uniformity Committee Continues Work on Finnigan Model StatuteThe Uniformity Committee adopted a motion to return a draft model Finnigan Method: Combined Reporting Statute to the working group. The focus of the group will be developing options for the treatment of NOLs.Treatment of Net Operating LossesThe draft model allows net operating loss sharing with some limitations to prevent abusive practices. The committee received comments from a state that raised issues with NOL sharing:carry forwards; andcredits.The commenter suggested that the NOL changes were not necessarily required and the model statute should not contain specific loss and credit sharing rules. If the statute was going to contain NOL rules, the commenter thought more time should be spent considering the provisions.The committee discussed several different options. Among those were:developing a white paper discussing treatment of NOLs; anddrafting more than one version of the model NOL language and letting states choose.The committee decided to develop several versions of the model NOL language for states to choose from. The committee determined this approach would:promote consistency for taxpayers; andallow states to meet their policy choices.Federal Legislation Possibly Impacting the StatesThe Executive Committee discussed the possibility of federal legislation that may impact the states. Several of the bills were introduced in response to TCJA changes made to the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. The presenter mentioned that the prospect of federal legislation being passed did not seem high.Even a bipartisan bill, the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2019, had dim prospects. New York has concerns with the legislation. New York members hold several leadership positions in the U.S. Congress that could prevent passage.There have also been several bills introduced that seek to alter the state and local tax deduction cap. The legislation includes bills to:fully restore the deduction, the SALT Deductibility Act; andrepeal the limitation on the deduction, the SALT Fairness Act andrepeal the limitation on the deduction, the State and Local Tax Deduction Fairness Act of 2019.Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

  • Creative Inspiration: 3 Business Lessons From A Multi-Billionaire

    first_imgCreative entrepreneurs: improve the way you run your business with three quick lessons from multi billionaire Ray Dalio!I stumbled across this fascinating half hour animation designed to help the common man wrap his noodle around how the economy works, narrated by Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates – a fund management company with $150 billion under its supervision. Founded from his two room apartment by Ray in 1975, today Bridgewater is ”ranked as the largest and best-performing hedge fund manager in the world and in both 2012 and 2013 Bridgewater was recognized for having earned its clients more than any other hedge fund in the history of the industry.”So with success like that, I’m all ears. Thankfully Ray has also penned a free 120 page document entitled ”Principles” which outlines his thinking on how to run a successful company. Here are three lessons to help you improve the way you run your creative business from Ray Dalio.1. Think for yourselfThe consensus is often wrong, so I have to be an independent thinker. To make any money,  you have to be right when they’re wrong.One of Ray’s central premises to both his management style and what he looks to for success in life is his nature to be an independent thinker. He says he failed at school because he didn’t like doing things because he ‘had to’, where as at college he excelled because he was doing what he wanted to do. So Ray encourages his employees to have as much diverse and free thinking as they can muster to formulate their own opinions regardless of what others may think of them. But at the same time he also says that he always ‘stress-tested’ his opinions on the smartest people he could find, to see if they could find fault in the logic of his thinking (so he could weed out weaknesses and improve it) even if they disagreed with the outcome of his opinion.I never cared much about others’ conclusions—only for the reasoning that led to these conclusions. That reasoning had to make sense to me. Through this process, I improved my chances of being right, and I learned a lot from a lot of great people.This approach, to improving and growing your ideas and opinions through sharing them with others is extremely valuable when making big decisions, like in what direction to take your company or whether you should invest loads of money in new equipment. Talking through your thinking with others will expose holes you might not have noticed in your excitement (do you actually have any customers for that equipment?) and can help you make smarter decisions.2. Problems are ValuableRay says that one of the major factors in his continued success over the years is that he’s not afraid of problems or failure. And that inside every mistake is a gem that can teach you something valuable to help you improve. Ray makes a great point when he says:I learned that each mistake was probably a reflection of something that I was (or others were) doing wrong, so if I could figure out what that was, I could learn how to be more effective. I learned that wrestling with my problems, mistakes, and weaknesses was the training that strengthened me. Also, I learned that it was the pain of this wrestling that made me and those around me appreciate our successes.In the midst of going through a problem situation it is often difficult to unpick the puzzle of the mistake to pull out the gem of learning, which is why its important to go back and revisit some of your own failures to figure out (with the benefit of hindsight and the distance of time) just what went wrong, why and what you could change to do better next time. This kind of learning is doubly valuable because not only will you mitigate against repeating the same mistake but you’ll improve your chances of success by adopting an improved approach. I’ve also previously blogged some other practical thoughts on what to do when things go wrong, here.3. Living in the Real WorldIn pursuing my goals I encountered realities, often in the form of problems, and I had to make decisions. I found that if I accepted the realities rather than wished that they didn’t exist and if I learned how to work with them rather than fight them, I could figure out how to get to my goals. It might take repeated tries, and seeking the input of others, but I could eventually get there. As a result, I have become someone who believes that we need to deeply understand, accept, and work with reality in order to get what we want out of life.For a third and final lesson from Ray, the principle of dealing with the world as it really is, and with people as they really are is also a crucial element in Ray’s approach to life and business. He argues that the more you understand how the world really works and how people really function the more you can make accurate decisions about what to do.As a quick illustration of this kind of thinking lets take the example of a free lunch. As a freelancer I feel like I’m happier working for a client who gets me lunch, even if I’m on a lower day rate than I would normally agree to, just because I love a free lunch. It doesn’t make financial sense when you do the math, but that’s how I, and I assume, other people work. That’s the reality. Everyone loves stuff for free, even if in reality, they’re paying for it.It might be a silly example, but hopefully thinking more deeply about how and why people do the things they do, will spur you into some more creative thinking about how to get what you want out of life by understanding the real world as it really is.last_img read more